Archive | December 29th, 2011

Trends to Barbarism and Prospects for Socialism




Western societies and states are moving inexorably toward conditions resembling barbarism; structural changes are in place which are reversing decades of social welfare and subjecting labor, natural resources and the wealth of nations to raw exploitation, pillage and plunder, driving living standards downward and provoking unprecedented levels of discontent.

Barbarism is most clearly evident in the genocidal wars, organized and directed by the US and Western Europe. Imperial destruction of entire societies is accompanied by the disarticulation, murder and exile of the modern scientific, secular and artistic core of Iraqi society and the fomenting of retrograde ethno-religious strife and satraps. Imperial barbarism is found in the systematic application of cruel and unusual punishment, government sanctioned torture and cross-border assassinations as official state policy. Barbarous imperialism is driven by militatists and Zionists who seek to destroy adversaries, their economies and societies, in contrast to traditional imperialists who seek to take control over and exploit resources and skilled labor.

Barbaric practices are the result of policymakers and their aides embedded in barbaric institutions: doctors and psychologists advise and participate in torture; academics propagate doctrines (“just wars”) defending barbarous wars; military officials design and practice crimes against humanity to secure promotions, higher pay and lucrative pensions. The mass media transmit the official triumphalist euphemisms in support of mass population displacements, attributing war crimes to the victims and lauding the executioners. In a word barbarism begins with the metropolitan elite and percolates downward to the provincial manual worker.

We will proceed by outlining the economic political and military processes driving the process of decay and decomposition and follow with an account of the mass popular responses to their deteriorating conditions. The deep structural changes accompanying the rise of barbarism becomes the bases for considering the prospects for socialism in the 21st century.

The Rising Tide of Barbarism

In ancient society ‘barbarism’ and its carriers, ‘the barbarians’, were envisioned as threats by outside invaders from outlying regions descending on Rome or Athens. In contemporary Western societies, the barbarians came from within, among the elite of society, intent on imposing a new order which destroys the social fabric and productive base of society, converting stable livelihoods into insecure deteriorating conditions of everyday life.

The key to contemporary barbarism is found in the deep structures of the state and economy. These include:

1.The ascendancy of a financial-speculative elite which has pillaged trillions of dollars from savers, investors, mortgage carriers, consumers and the state, siphoning enormous resources from the productive economy into the hands of a parasitic elite embedded in the state and paper economy.

2.A militarist political elite which is in a state of permanent warfare since the middle of the last century. Endless wars, cross border assassinations, state terror, the suspension of traditional guarantees has led to the concentration of dictatorial powers, arbitrary jailing, torture and the denial of habeas corpus.

3. In the midst of a deep economic recession and stagnation, high levels of state spending on economic and military empire building at the cost of the domestic economy and living standards reflect the subordination of the local economy to the activities of the imperial state.

4. Crime and corruption at the top, in all aspects of state and business activity – from state procurement to privatization to subsidies for the super-rich – encourage the growth of international crime from top to bottom, the lumpenization of the capitalist class and a state in which law and order have fallen into disrepute.

5. As a result of the high costs of empire building and the pillage by the financial oligarchy, the socio-economic burden has been placed square on the shoulders of wage and salaried workers, pensioners and the self-employed, resulting in long term, large scale downward mobility. With job losses and the loss of well paying jobs, mortgage foreclosures skyrocket and the stable middle and working class shrinks and is forced to extend its hours of labor and years of work.

6. As imperial wars spread across the world targeting entire populations, via sustained bombings and clandestine terror operations, they generate opposing terrorist networks which also target civilians in markets, transport and public spaces. The world resembles a Hobbesian world of ‘all against all’.

In reality the “western world” (the US/EU/NATO/Israel and their satellites) are engaged in a ‘total war” against the peoples of the world, resisting imperialists and Zionist subjugation. “Total war” as practiced by the West, means that (a) no distinction is made between military and civilian targets – all are routinely considered worthy of destruction. In a perverse sense of totalitarian irony, by bombing civilians the imperial powers turn a guerilla war into a “peoples war”: total wars unify communities, families, clans with resistance fighters. (b) Total wars use all means to annihilate the enemy – weapons of mass poison ( depleted uranium), death squads, summary executions, indiscriminate drone bombing of villages, mass roundup of adult males in regions of intense conflict. As a consequence of imperial “total war” as the standard of conflict, the opposition has followed suit, targeting civilians, including teachers, doctors and translators employed by Western agencies.

7.Rising ethno-religious extremism linked to militarism is found among Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, replacing international class solidarity with doctrines of racial supremacy and penetrating the deep structures of state and societies.
One of the most egregious outcomes of the post-world war two period has been the unprecedented influence of the Zionist Jewish power configuration and its central role within the US imperial state, fusing US imperial and Israeli barbaric practices. These include systematic torture, economic sanctions, bombings of civilians and other crimes against humanity. Israel’s long wars against Arab and Muslim peoples – over 60 years and counting, is now matched by Zionist strategists in Washington who promote prolonged, serial wars which follow the Israeli agenda and who incite hysterical Islamophobia via the mass media and academia. Today Judeo-fascism is embedded in the Israeli cabinet (3 ministers), military,religious orders and substantial sectors of the population.

8.The demise of European and Asian welfare collectivism – in the ex USSR and China – has lifted the competitive pressures on Western capitalism and encouraged them to revoke all the welfare concessions conceded to labor in the post World War II period.

9.The demise of Communism and the integration of social democracy into the capitalist system has led to a severe weakening of the Left, which the sporadic protests of the social movements have failed to replace.

10.In the face of the current large scale assault on workers and middle class living standards, there are only sporadic protests at best and political impotence at worst.
11.Massive exploitation of labor in post-revolutionary societies, like China and Vietnam, includes the exclusion of hundreds of millions of migrant workers from elementary public educational and health services. The unprecedented pillage and seizure by domestic oligarchs and foreign multinationals of thousands of lucrative strategic public enterprises in Russia, the ex-Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Baltic countries was the greatest transfer of public to private wealth in the shortest time in all of history.

In summary ‘barbarism’ has emerged as a defining reality, product of the ascendancy of a militarist Zionized and parasitic financial ruling class in the US. The barbarians are here and now, present within the frontiers of Western societies and states. They are dominant and aggressively pursuing an agenda which is continually reducing living standards, transferring public wealth to their private coffers, pillaging public resources, savaging constitutional rights in their pursuit of imperial wars, segregating and persecuting millions of immigrant workers and promoting the disintegration and diminution of the stable working and middle class. More than at any time in recent history the top 1% of the population controls an increasing share of national wealth and income.

Myths and Realities of Historical Capitalism

The sustained, large scale roll back of social rights and welfare provisions, wages, job security, pensions and salaries demonstrates the falsity of the ideas of the linear progress of capitalism. The reversal, product of the heightened power of the capitalist class, demonstrates the validity of the Marxist proposition that class struggle is the motor force of history – at least, in so far, as the human condition is considered the centerpiece of history.

The second false assumption is that states based on ‘market economies’ require peace and the corollary that ‘markets’ trump militarism, is disproven by the fact that the premier market economy, the United States has been in a constant state of war since the early 1940’s; actively engaged in wars on four continents, to the present day.With new bigger and bloodier wars on the horizon. The cause and consequence of permanent warfare, is the growth of a monstrous ‘national security state’ which recognizes no national borders and absorbs the greater part of the national budget.

The third myth of ‘advanced’ mature capitalism is that it constantly revolutionizes production through innovation and technology. With the rise of the militarist – financial speculative elite, productive forces have been pillaged and ‘innovation’ in largely in the elaboration of financial instruments which exploit investors, strip assets and wipe out productive employment.

As the empire grows, the domestic economy diminishes, power is centralized in the executive, legislative powers are diminished and citizenry is denied effective representation or even a veto via electoral processes.
Mass Responses to Rise of Barbarism

The rise of barbarism in our midst has provoked mass public revulsion against its principal proponents. Surveys have repeatedly found

1.Profound disgust and revulsion against all political parties.
2.Huge majorities harbor profound distrust of the corporate and political elite.
3.Majorities reject the concentration of corporate power and the abuse of that power, especially among bankers and financiers.
4.There is widespread questioning of the democratic credentials of political leaders who act at the behest of the corporate elite and promote the repressive policies of the national security state.
5.A large majority rejects the pillage of the state treasury to bail out banks and the financial elite, while imposing regressive austerity programs on the working and middle class.

The Transition from Economic to Barbarous Imperialism

The US has been engaged in continuous imperial wars for over 60 years. War has been endemic to the imperial system; most of the time it has been integral to securing economic resources, market shares, and the exploitation of cheap labor. The dialectic between military expansion and conquest, political dominance via collaborator regimes and privileged economic access for US multi-national corporations (MNC) was effectively the defining character of US imperialism. This imperial dialectic no longer operates today. The rise of financial capital and the flight of US MNC overseas to sovereign Asia states had weakened the role of manufacturing capital as the driving force of imperial expansion.

Today we have a new set of mechanisms driving imperial wars – militarism and Zionism – which see wars and military conquest as “ends in themselves”. They do not seize resources or market shares, they destroy them, as the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Honduras and elsewhere demonstrate. These wars destroy the wealth of nations.They deplete the American treasury.They do not enrich corporations (except temporarily mercenary war contractors) and do not lead to outflows of profits back to the US/EU.

Imperial wars, which destroy civil society, the state and disarticulate modern secular societies, lead to alliances with the most retrograde clerical- ethnic collectivities which share the barbaric murderous inclinations of their imperial backers and sponsors.

Prospects for Socialism

The faint hopes for socialism lie outside of Europe and the United States. Even in the regions of high intensity anti-imperialist warfare such as in the Gulf, South Asia, the Horn of Africa, the main resistance forces are led by Islamic movements which reject secular socialist programs. Islamic led movements may weaken the empire but they also oppose and repress any overtly Marxist led working class movements. In Latin America nationalist regimes have weakened US imperialism’s stranglehold over their foreign policy and opened opportunities for the local capitalist class to gain new markets, but they have also de-radicalized , demobilized and co-opted formerly independent class movements and trade unions led by Marxists and socialists.

Insofar as socialism exists as a mass phenomenon – and not merely among academics and intellectuals attending each others conferences – it is found among dissident sectors of the Bolivian miners factory and public employees trade unions, sectors of the Brazilian landless workers and scattered among minorities in the trade unions and peasant movements throughout the region. Only in Venezuela, under President Chavez does a socialist program have both state and popular mass support, even as deep contradictions between “state” and “regime” co-exist.

In Asia the recent working class strike waves in China, in the context of a revolutionary socialist past, give substance for hopes of a mass socialist revival based on working class and peasant militancy. The same is true in Viet Nam, where worker militancy is in search of independent class organizations against the savage exploitation of foreign capital and local “Communist” oligarchs. In India peasant guerrillas control broad swathes of tribal regions and have established ‘dual power’ in limited domains, subject to military encirclement and search and destroy missions. Mass protests in Greece, Spain, France and Italy demonstrate profound working class hostility to class selective austerity programs. Theoretically they could provide the bases for a revival of Marxist politics; but as of the moment, no significant revolutionary party or movement exists to transform the mass strikes into a project for political power.

While the prospects for socialism especially in the US are especially distant and at present almost invisible, certain conditions could trigger a radical revival – which unfortunately may “turn right” before it looks left. In any case the prospects for socialism in the US and Western Europe involves a prolonged and difficult process based on (re) creating class consciousness and organization.

The capitalist offensive has certainly had a major impact on the objective and subjective conditions of the working and middle classes, increasing immiseration and provoking rising tide of personal discontent but not yet massive anti-capitalist movements or even dynamic organized resistance.

Major structural changes require a coming to terms with the current adverse circumstances and the identification of new agencies and modes of class struggle and transformation.

One key problem is the need to recreate a productive economy and to reconstruct a new industrial working class in the face of years of financial plunder and de-industrialization. Not necessarily the ‘dirty’ industries of the past, but certainly new industries using and inventing clean energy sources.

Secondly, the highly indebted capitalist societies require a fundamental shift from high cost militarism and empire building toward a kind of class based austerity that impose sacrifice and structural reforms on the banking, financial and big import retail commercial sectors, substituting local production for cheap consumer imports.

Thirdly, downsizing the financial and retail sectors requires the upgrading of skills of the displaced workers and employees as well as shifts in the IT sector to accommodate the shifts in the economy. Paradigmatic shifts from the money wage to the social wage, in which free public education to the highest levels and universal health care and comprehensive pensions replace debt financed consumerism.These changes can become the basis for strengthening class consciousness against individual consumerism.

The question is how do we move from weakened, fragmented labor and social movements in retreat or on the defensive to a position of launching an anti-capitalist offensive?

Several subjective objective factors are possibly working in this direction. First, there is the growing negativity of vast majorities to the political incumbents and in particular to the financial and economic elites who are clearly identified as responsible for the decline in living standards and growing inequalities. Secondly,there is the popular view shared by millions that the current austerity programs are clearly unjust – having the workers pay for the crises that the capitalist class brought forth. As yet these majorities are more “anti” status quo than pro transformation. The transition from private discontent to collective action is an open question as to who and how, but the opportunity exists.

Several objective factors could trigger a qualitative shift from passive angry discontent to a massive anti-capitalist movement. A “double dip” recession, the end of the present anemic recovery and the onset of a more profound and prolonged recession/depression, could further discredit current rulers and their economic backers.

Secondly, a period of unending and deepening austerity would discredit the current ruling class notion of “necessary pain for future gain” and open minds and move bodies to seek political solutions to achieve immediate gains by inflicting pain on the economic elites.

Unending and unwinable imperial wars that bleed the economy, ultimately create a consciousness that the ruling class has “sacrificed the nation” for ‘no useful purpose’.

Likely, the combination of a new phase of the recession, perpetual austerity and mindless imperial wars can turn the current mass malaise and diffuse hostility against the economic and political elite and toward socialist movements, parties and trade unions…

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Behind the GOP’s Sudden Civil Rights Crusade


Republicans have abruptly embraced anti-discrimination laws—for fetuses.

—By Stephanie Mencimer

pro-choice rally

Frances M. Roberts/UPPA/ZUMA Press

Generally speaking, the Republican Party isn’t known for its stalwart defense of civil rights these days. The party has helped to obstruct legislation that would require equal pay for women. In 2006, many congressional Republicans voted against renewing the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights law that helped ensure equal access to the ballot box. But lately, Republicans have enthusiastically embraced the expansion of anti-discrimination laws to at least one category of individuals: those still in the womb. Their sudden interest in civil rights for the unborn is part of a broader anti-abortion strategy designed to ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade by passing legislation aimed at abortion restrictions that are supported by a majority of the public.

To that end, for the third time in as many years, Republicans in the House are considering the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which would ban abortion based solely on the race or gender of the fetus. The bill was introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who has made fighting abortion his life’s crusade. “This is the civil rights struggle that will define our generation,” he declared at a December hearing on his bill in the House subcommittee on the Constitution.

The bill ostensibly concerns itself with the plight of the black community, where, according to the legislation, “race-selection abortions have the effect of diminishing the number of minorities in the American population and therefore, the American electorate.” The Republicans who wrote the bill are also concerned that women are exterminating their gender through sex-selection abortions, which they claim is causing “unnatural sex-ratio imbalances within certain segments of the United States population…”

The bill’s language invokes the nation’s great struggles for racial and gender equality, noting that “the elimination of discriminatory practices has been and is among the highest priorities and greatest achievements of American history.” And it takes its constitutional authority from, among others, the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery. Franks has even suggested thatabortion has been more harmful to the black community than slavery. “Far more black children, far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today, than were being devastated by the policies of slavery,” he said last year, a comment roundly condemned by civil rights groups.

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US: End CIA Drone Attacks


Demonstrate ‘Targeted Killings’ Adhere to International Law

  • Members of the Abida tribe point to a drone aircraft flying over Wadi Abida, Yemen on October 13, 2010.

    © 2010 Reuters

CIA drone strikes have become an almost daily occurrence around the world, but little is known about who is killed and under what circumstances. So long as the US resists public accountability for CIA drone strikes, the agency should not be conducting targeted killings.

James Ross, legal and policy director

(Washington, DC) – The US government should transfer Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) command of aerial drone strikes to the armed forces and clarify its legal rationale for targeted killings, Human Rights Watch said today in a letterto President Barack Obama and in a questions and answers document. A dramatic increase in the use of CIA drone strikes underscores the need for the US to demonstrate that the CIA adheres to international legal requirements for accountability, Human Rights Watch said.

“CIA drone strikes have become an almost daily occurrence around the world, but little is known about who is killed and under what circumstances,” said James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch. “So long as the US resists public accountability for CIA drone strikes, the agency should not be conducting targeted killings.”

In the decade since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Bush and Obama administrations have engaged in a campaign of “targeted killings” – deliberate, lethal attacks aimed at specific individuals under the color of law. Estimates of the number of deaths of alleged al Qaeda members, other armed group members, and civilians from US targeted killings range from several hundred to more than two thousand.  Most of these attacks are believed to have occurred in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, armed with missiles and laser-guided bombs.

The lawfulness of a targeted killing hinges in part on the applicable international law, which is determined by the context in which the attack takes place, Human Rights Watch said. The laws of war permit attacks during situations of armed conflict only against valid military targets. Attacks causing disproportionate loss of civilian life or property are prohibited. During law enforcement situations, international human rights law permits the use of lethal force only when absolutely necessary to save human life. Individuals cannot be targeted with lethal force merely because of past unlawful behavior, but only for imminent or other grave threats to life when arrest is not reasonably possible.

The CIA’s increasing role in targeted killings using drones in Pakistan and other countries with no transparency or demonstrated accountability raises grave concerns about the lawfulness of the attacks, Human Rights Watch said. While the laws of war do not prohibit intelligence agencies from participating in combat operations, states are obligated to investigate credible allegations of war crimes and provide redress for victims of unlawful attacks. The US government’s refusal to acknowledge the CIA’s role in targeted killings or to provide information on strikes where there have been credible allegations of laws-of-war violations leaves little basis for determining whether the US is meeting its international legal obligations.

“Unsupported claims by administration officials that all US agencies involved in targeted killings are complying with international law are wholly inadequate,” Ross said. “By failing to adopt policies and practices that demonstrate compliance with international law, the US raises doubts among its allies about the lawfulness of its actions and creates a dangerous model for abusive governments.”

Since the US has not demonstrated a readiness to hold the CIA to international legal requirements, the use of drones for attacks should be exclusively within the command responsibility of the US armed forces, Human Rights Watch said. The military has more transparent procedures for investigating possible wrongdoing, although it too needs to make clear that it is conducting attacks in accordance with international legal requirements.

Ending the CIA’s command of targeted killing operations would be consistent with the recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission, which in 2004 specifically urged that “[l]ead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift to the Defense Department.”  In November, former director of national intelligence Dennis Blair called for military control over the armed drone program, noting that the armed forces have an open set of procedures, while CIA operations require secrecy, which is not sustainable over the long term: “If something has been going for a long period of time, somebody else ought to do it, not intelligence agencies.”

Human Rights Watch also called upon the US government to clarify fully and publicly its legal rationale for conducting targeted killings and the legal limits on such strikes. The US should explain why it believes that specific attacks are in conformity with international law and make information public, including video footage, on how particular attacks comply with those standards. To ensure compliance with international law, the United States should conduct investigations of all targeted killings where there is credible evidence of wrongdoing, provide compensation to all victims of unlawful strikes, and discipline or prosecute as appropriate those responsible for conducting or ordering illegal attacks.

The Obama administration, through public statements by senior officials, has provided an outline of its legal justification for using force against al Qaeda and associated organizations.  However, the administration has yet to clearly explain where it draws the line between lawful and unlawful targeted killings, Human Rights Watch said.

In asserting that targeted attacks on alleged anti-US militants anywhere in the world are lawful, the US undermines the international rules it helped craft over the past half-century. This sets a dangerous precedent for abusive regimes around the globe to conduct drone attacks or other strikes against anyone labeled a terrorist or militant, and undercuts the ability of the US to criticize such attacks.

About 40 other countries currently possess basic drone technology, and the number is expected to expand significantly in coming years. These drones are primarily used for surveillance. China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom either have or are currently seeking drones with attack capability.

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Libya: Ensure Gaddafi Son’s Access to Lawyer


Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi Says Physical Conditions Good

The security conditions are no doubt tenuous, but the government can and should find a way to ensure Saif al-Islam legal representation in Zintan. The new Libya is about respecting the rights of all detainees. The world is watching how Libya handles this case, and Libya should prove that it will grant Gaddafi all the rights that were too often denied in the past.

Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch

(Tripoli) – Libyan authorities appear to be holding Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in good physical conditions but should allow him immediate access to a lawyer, Human Rights Watch said today.

Human Rights Watch visited Gaddafi in Zintan, Libya on December 18, 2011. Libya’s general prosecutor, Abdelaziz al-Hasadi, who is investigating Gaddafi’s case, granted permission for the visit. The Zintan Military Council, which has physical custody of Gaddafi, allowed Human Rights Watch 30 minutes with the detainee in private.

“Saif al-Islam Gaddafi says he is getting good food and medical care – he had no complaints about the physical conditions of his detention,” said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch, who conducted the visit. “His main concern was the lack of access to family and to a lawyer who can help his case.”

Al-Hasadi told Human Rights Watch that he would allow Gaddafi access to a lawyer as soon as the government prepared a secure detention facility in Tripoli where Gaddafi could be held without risk of attack, either by those wishing to free him or by those wishing him harm. The prosecutor’s office is working to prepare such a location, he said.

Under Libya’s code of criminal procedure, the state must allow a detainee access to a lawyer during investigation if he or she asks for one. Special laws enacted during Muammar Gaddafi’s rule allow restrictions on access to a lawyer, but these restrictions are inconsistent with Libya’s transitional Constitutional Declaration, which entered into force on August 3, 2011. The declaration also provides for a “fair trial at which [the accused] has the guarantees necessary for exercising his right of defense.”

“The security conditions are no doubt tenuous, but the government can and should find a way to ensure Saif al-Islam legal representation in Zintan,” Abrahams said. “The new Libya is about respecting the rights of all detainees. The world is watching how Libya handles this case, and Libya should prove that it will grant Gaddafi all the rights that were too often denied in the past.”

International standards, including the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, require giving defendants prompt access to a lawyer, no later than 48 hours after arrest. The Basic Principles state that detainees shall have “adequate opportunities, time and facilities to be visited by and to communicate and consult with a lawyer, without delay, interception or censorship and in full confidentiality. Such consultations may be within sight, but not within the hearing, of law enforcement officials.”Libya’s Constitutional Declaration acknowledges the central role of international human rights treaties.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Libya ratified in 1970, states that anyonefacing criminal charges has the right “to be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him.” The ICCPR also requires Libya to ensure that anyone detained is brought promptly before a judge or equivalent.

Speaking comfortably in English in a private setting, Gaddafi said he had no complaints about his physical treatment by his captors, both those who apprehended him outside of Obari in southern Libya on November 19 and those holding him in Zintan.

“The treatment is okay; at least I’m in my own country,” he said. “There is no torture or anything like that.”

Gaddafi told Human Rights Watch that he was seeing a doctor every week. About three weeks ago he had an operation on the thumb and two fingers of his right hand. The hand was injured in a NATO strike about two months ago in the Zimzim Valley near Bani Walid, which killed 26 members of his convoy, he said.

His main complaint was what he called his “total isolation” from the outside world. He has not been allowed to speak with or receive visits from any family or friends. He would like such a visit to help him arrange for a lawyer for his defense, he said.

Al-Hasadi and members of the Zintan Military Council said contact with family and friends was not possible at this time due to security concerns. However, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners say all prisoners are to be allowed regular contact with family and friends, both in correspondence and through personal visits. Some restrictions are permitted for security reasons, but these need to be the minimum necessary concerning the particular individual, and should not amount to a complete ban.

Gaddafi said he has access to some books, but not to newspapers, television, or radio. Human Rights Watch said the authorities should find ways to provide access to media without compromising Gaddafi’s security. The UN Standard Minimum Rules state that prisoners are to be kept informed of current events and important items of news.

Gaddafi said the general prosecutor and a host of Libyan government officials had visited him. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it visited Gaddafi on November 22, 2011.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi for crimes against humanity committed in Libya starting on February 15. The ICC investigation was authorized under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970. The resolution requires Libya to cooperate with any ICC investigation into serious crimes committed in Libya, including the surrender of ICC suspects.

Libya’s general prosecutor, as well as the justice minister, prime minister, and chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), all told Human Rights Watch that they are determined to try Gaddafi in Libya. The Libyan government has hired a law firm in London to represent its interests before the ICC, senior officials said.

If Libya wishes to try Gaddafi domestically for crimes within the ICC’s arrest warrant, it must challenge the ICC’s jurisdiction through a legal submission to the court. Libya would have to show that it is genuinely able and willing to prosecute Gaddafi’s case in fair and credible proceedings. In addition, the Libyan proceedings must encompass the same conduct as in the case before the ICC. The ICC judges would review the challenge and determine whether the Libyan proceedings make it unnecessary for the ICC to hear the case.

If Libya argues that surrendering Gaddafi to the ICC would interfere with an ongoing domestic investigation or prosecution for a different case, thenit may postpone surrendering him for a period of time agreed upon with the court.

Al-Hasadi told Human Rights Watch that his office had opened an investigation into alleged corruption-related crimes committed by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi before this year’s conflict began. In addition, the prosecutor said he would investigate alleged crimes committed by Gaddafi during the 2011 conflict.

On what basis the Libyan authorities will proceed remains unclear. In a decision by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber on December 6, the judges noted that the chamber had received, through the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, a letter allegedly from the NTC. Referring to article 94 of the ICC treaty, the letter said the NTC will postpone the execution of the ICC’s request for the arrest and surrender of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and that it would discuss the matter with the court. Article 94, unlike the ICC treaty’s provisions on the admissibility of a case, provides for postponing the execution of a request in light of ongoing investigation or prosecution.

The ICC judges, in their December 6 decision, requested further information from the Libyan authorities regarding Gaddafi’s status, including whether and when Libya intends to surrender him to the court. Libya has until January 10, 2012, to file submissions on the issues outlined by the ICC judges.

In the interview with Human Rights Watch, Gaddafi provided some details about his apprehension outside of Obari.

“I was going to meet a doctor in the south for my hand, for an operation,” he said. “The hand was in very bad shape.” Forces from Zintan learned about the trip and made the arrest, he said. He was treated well during the arrest and subsequent transfer to Zintan, he said.

Gaddafi also confirmed that a NATO strike in late April had killed his brother Saif al-Arabi, as well as one guard. He said NATO had targeted his family’s house in the Gharghur neighborhood of Tripoli because his father had used the house to meet Libya’s foreign minister and former intelligence chief Musa Kusa, who later defected. Two grandchildren of Muammar Gaddafi were also killed, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said, but that was in another strike.

“Saif al-Islam Gaddafi deserves his due process rights, and so too do the more than 8,000 other people in detention across Libya without access to a lawyer,” Abrahams said. “They should be properly investigated and brought as soon as possible before an independent judge.”

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Bahrain: Independent Commissioners Urge Prisoner Release


Convictions for Exercising Freedom of Speech, Assembly Should Be Voided

(New York) – The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, in its recommendation to review convictions of people for exercising their basic rights, intended that the government should free them and void their convictions, Human Rights Watch said today.

Sir Nigel Rodley, one of the commissioners and a former UN special rapporteur on torture, told Human Rights Watch that the commissioners, in calling on authorities to review convictions and commute sentences of persons charged for attempting to exercise their basic political rights, intended that they be released and their criminal records expunged of these charges.

“I can confirm that our collective understanding was that the purpose of the review would be to exonerate from criminal responsibility those who have acted peacefully in the pursuit of the internationally recognized rights of freedom of expression and assembly,” Rodley said in a statement to Human Rights Watch. “In the absence of any prior criminal charges, or any other charges, such persons should be released from all criminal responsibility and their records expunged.”

Human Rights Watch has called on Bahrain to immediately release hundreds of people wrongfully convicted and void all verdicts against persons convicted of speech-related offenses, including leading opposition activists like Ibrahim Sharif, Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja, and Abdul Wahhab Hussein.

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4 thoughts on “Revealed story of Israeli troops told to ‘cleanse’ Gaza”

  1. Wally D. says:

    December 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    The mightly IDF fires on women and children waving white flags; war crimes which would shame any civilized country.

  2. mark says:

    December 29, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    U.S. tax dollars at work for insane zionists.

  3. Trudy says:

    December 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    This could have all been avoided – HAMAS STOP FIRING ROCKETS

    –note from me, MG, as well as all the rest of the readers of TUT and for that matter, the rest of the civilized world–


    And as far as your comments concerning ‘Hamas’ firing rockets, who says it was them? There have been TOO MANY instances now of Jews being caught dressed as arabs and engaged in acts of false flag terrorism such as the aforedescribed for us to take anything that Israel says concerning Hamas’ rockets with anything other than a microscopic grain of salt.

  4. Ingrid B says:

    December 29, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    two out of three with regrets, I suppose that`s something, but is of little comfort to their victims..

Posted in GazaComments Off on ZIO-NAZI TROOPS TOLD TO ‘CLEANSE’ GAZA

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


When will US State Dep’t demand release of 70-year-old Palestinian intellectual in failing health?

Dec 28, 2011

Philip Weiss

Dr Yousef Abdel Haq
Dr Yousef Abdul Haq

We’ve written before about Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, 70, a leading Nablus intellectual who has been in an Israeli prison for 16 days.

Ma’an says he was transferred to a prison hospital due to failing health (per translation by Saed Abu-Hijleh, Abdul Haq’s friend)

Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum has now issued the following statement:

The lawyer Yousef Abdul Haq (Abu Shaddad), professor at the An Najah National University, and coordinator, former President of the Governing Council of the Tanweer Forum, was arrested Wednesday 7/12/2011 at three o’clock in the morning.

We in the Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum consider the continued detention of our colleague Dr. Youssef a war crime against international law, and we demand his immediate release especially because he was suffering from physical illness and takes medication continuously, in addition to the difficult prison health conditions. The occupation government holds responsibility for any negative results reflected on his health. We call upon all academic institutions, both cultural and scientific to demand his release.

We call on all parties and civil society groups and national figures, trade unions and the lawyers’ bar to form a committee to address the human rights of colleagues in the legal tribunals of the world to require the occupation to stop the indiscriminate arrest of the Palestinian people.

We also appeal to all people of conscience in Nablus, Palestine and the Arab nation and the world as a whole to stand firm against political and administrative detention. And, with the will of one united and of one voice we cry out to release all prisoners of freedom from Israel’s occupation prisons, including Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq.

Here is a link from the Palestinian Enlightenment Cultural Center (Tanweer) about Dr Abdel Haq and his cultural activities (in Arabic with some pics).

NBC discovers ‘Rosa Parks’ in story about Israel’s long struggle for freedom

Dec 28, 2011

Philip Weiss


Two nights ago, NBC Nightly News aired one of those “struggle for the soul of Israel” stories, focusing on religious-secular tensions. Reporter Martin Fletcher explored the case of Tanya Rosenblitt, who insisted on taking a seat at the front of an orthodox bus. Titled, “In Israel a woman takes a front seat and a stand,” the story repeatedly likened Rosenblitt to Rosa Parks of Montgomery, Alabama, fame.

By the way, I am fairly certain that NBC never covered the six Palestinians who were arrestedin November for stirred memories of Rosa Parks by trying to board an Israelis-only bus in the West Bank. Rosenblitt is brave; but her treatment has been very different from theirs. For instance, she was welcomed to the Knesset and embraced by Tzipi Livni.

Some notes on Fletcher’s feel-good story. Emphases mine:

Fletcher: “big storm brewing in Israel… Tanya Rosenblitt, Israel’s new poster child for women’s rights…. Israel’s Rosa Parks moment.”

Tzipi Livni: “It’s not only about women, it’s about the face and the nature of Israeli society….”

Fletcher, doing the Arab Spring parallel:

“All this began with one woman’s comment on her facebook page. Tanya Rosenblitt had no idea what she started… All of Israel heard… Another page in Israel’s longrunning struggle in what kind of country it will be.”

Rosenblitt: “We have a beautiful country. There are extremists here who try to make it something that it’s not…”

Orthodox woman: “We don’t care about the law of Israel.”

Fletcher: “The fight goes all the way to Parliament, where Tanya Rosenblitt finds herself the star, calling for equal rights everywhere.”

Again, Rosenblitt is seen with Tzipi Livni.

Noam Sheizaf has described such stories as good Israel versus bad Israel stories. Annie Robbins says they are meant to show, Look, we’re going after the nuts!

Israeli construction in E1 is slap in the face to US

Dec 28, 2011

Alex Kane

Map: Ir Amim

The big news that Mondoweiss recently highlighted (here by Allison Deger and here by Annie Robbins) is that construction in the controversial “E1” area in Jerusalem has restarted again, according to a Haaretz report. Completion of illegal settlement infrastructure and homes in the area would bisect the West Bank.

But what the move also represents is a big, giant slap in the face to the United States. As Nir Hasson explains in Haaretz , it was “American pressure” from the Bush administration that “forced all work in the area halted in 2007.” And according to this document from the “Palestine Papers,” President Barack Obama “said he got Israel to commit to stop construction in E1” early on in his term. The US knows that no Palestinian official could accept an agreement that allows Israel to bisect the West Bank, though completion of construction in E1 would be only the most egregious example in a line of Israeli obstacles that has already carved up the West Bank.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going ahead with E1 construction because he knows Israel can get away with it, especially in a US election year. And because of the Israeli government’s move, the next president (Obama or someone else) may wake up and realize there’s no way to shove this Palestinian bantustan down the PA’s throat.

Three years later, IDF happy with ‘Cast Lead’, wants to have another go

Dec 28, 2011

Paul Mutter

From Haaretz:

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz marked the three-year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead on Tuesday by hailing it “an excellent operation that achieved deterrence for Israel vis-a-vis Hamas.” However, he warned, cracks have emerged in that deterrence over time, and a second round of fighting in the Gaza Strip is not a matter of choice for Israel.

Such a round must be initiated by Israel and must be “swift and painful,” he said, adding, “I do not advise Hamas to test our mettle.” [emphasis mine]

Since becoming Chief of Staff, Gantz has argued that Israel must respond to any rocket attacks with extreme force. He has also hinted that future Israeli actions will not be confined to airstrikes: “we shall in the end need to move to broader, more aggressive action in the Gaza Strip” he told Knesset members recently.

“The harder you hit them, the longer they stay quiet,” as a tsarist general one said. It’s hard to tell if Gantz is merely trying to cow Hamas, or if he is really intent on launching Cast Lead II in the near future.

Contrary to my expectations this summer, Israel did not use the Eilat attacks as an excuse to undertake a full-scale operation in Gaza, even though there were calls for regime change there among Israeli politicians and former military leaders. Ynet reported in November 2011 that that the IDF has been training its combat engineers for a possible resumption of hostilities in Gaza. Israel’s latest consigment of American-made bunker busters – ostensibly for a strike against Iran – could also be used against targets in Gaza, such as the smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt that, according to the IDF, are a serving as conduits for a stream of stolen Libyan arms. And as war warning signs, neither the trainings nor the bunker busters raise new alarms.

For now, I think Gantz is saber-rattling. Israel is hoping to scare or wrongfoot Hamas as it scores political successes through the prisoner exchanges, the electoral success of Egypt’s Islamist bloc, entry to the PLO and new unity talks with Fatah. A more conciliatory Hamas is not what Likud wants to deal with. The best way to undermine Hamas’s nonviolent political successes would be to put Hamas in awkward position over the actions of Islamic Jihad (which Israel struck just this week) or another militant organization. Hamas’s leadership would be an awkward position of having to manage feelings of militant nationalism that it has cultivated in order to secure potentially ephemeral political concessions. Its legitimacy would be at stake, but should it respond with violence, its survival would be in jeopardy.

Hamas will likely avoid the temptation to return to fighting. The Middle East is too politically fluid at the moment. But given the hawkishness of the “liberal” alternatives to Likud, as Dimi Reider points out, I am still convinced that the timing of Cast Lead II will be a question of when, not if. Israel would be more likely to use massive force against Gaza than Iran if it came down to an eleventh-hour choice for Defense Minister Barak. Israel’s leadership has no doubt been encouraged by SecDef Leon Panetta and President Obama’s public backpedalling on their reluctance to attack Iran. The U.S. could deal with Iran (an “October surprise,” as some have suggested), leaving Israel a stronger hand to play against Hamas. The timing for any of these possible actions will greatly depend on how the 2012 U.S. presidential election progresses.

As for how the IDF will react to Hamas’s announced new focus on popular demonstrations, Gantz’s past comments about the Arab Spring offer some insight:

There is a focal player in the Middle East – the street – and it is clear to us that in the coming months we can find ourselves in broad popular demonstrations, which gain public resonance. The IDF is preparing for these demonstrations.


For this reason, we will act with great fire power and full force at the very beginning of the confrontation. Anything the camera can stand or could stand in the first three days of fighting – it will not be prepared to put up with thereafter.

‘Economist:’ analysis of Iraq war that leaves out neocons’ Jewishness is ‘deficient’

Dec 28, 2011

Philip Weiss

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

Another sign that Walt and Mearsheimer’s analysis of the causes of the Iraq war published 6 years ago is being mainstreamed. An Economist blogger with handle “MS” has jumped into the controversy over allegations of anti-Semitism levelled at writers who had the temerity to point out that Jewish neoconservatives played a central role in the Iraq war planning.

There are, in fact, a lot of Jewish neocons… Those neocons did, in fact, press for the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. The Israeli government also generally supported the American invasion of Iraq, though it was more concerned about Iran and had misgivings about a prolonged American occupation.

Yes, it would be ridiculous, and anti-semitic, to cast the Iraq war as a conspiracy monocausally driven by a cabal of Jewish neocons and the Israeli government. But it’s entirely accurate to count neoconservative policy analyses as among the important causes of the war, to point out that the pro-Israeli sympathies of Jewish neoconservatives played a role in these analyses, and to note the support of the Israeli government and public for the invasion. In fact any analysis of the war’s causes that didn’t take these into account would be deficient.

Claims that the Jews caused the world wars through their financial conspiracies and so forth are pure fantasies with no factual base, motivated by religious bigotry and paranoid worldviews. The claim that Jewish neocons “colluded” with Israel to “cause” the Iraq war is an exaggerated way of making the point that Jewish neocons, and to a much lesser extent the Israeli government, supported the Iraq war and played a substantial role in precipitating it. The words “collude” and “cause” are over the top, but I’m not sure who exactly has used them, outside of this press release. If bloggers refer to the existence of Jewish neocons, their close ties to the Israeli government, and the consequential roles they played in causing the Iraq war, it’s preposterous to accuse them of retailing a modern version of old blood libels.

The writer says that this type of analysis has become more acceptable given the growing diversity within Jewish opinion toward Israel; that is to say, the neocons are on one side of a split.

Israel attacks international observers on monitoring boat in Gaza waters, injures Palestinian

Dec 28, 2011

Civil Peace Service Gaza

DSC 0118
(Photo: Rosa Schiano, Civil Peace Service Gaza)

At 10:55 am, an Israeli naval warship attacked the international observers and Palestinian captain of the Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSGAZA) boat Oliva, injuring its captain in an apparent attempt to capsize it.

“The Israeli navy passed near us and the fishermen, and started to go around us, creating waves,” said Rosa Schiano, one of the international observers. “The fishermen escaped, but we couldn’t because of a problem with our engine. We couldn’t move, and they went around us very quickly. The Israelis saw that we couldn’t move, and that the captain was trying to fix the engine, but they didn’t stop. We told them, ‘Please stop! Please stop!’ But they didn’t.”

When the warship was two meters away from the Oliva, one of the waves it had created nearly capsized the small boat, filling it with water and causing the Palestinian captain to fall out, injuring his left leg.

“Their intentions were to do something very bad,” said international observer Daniela Riva. “Coming so close to us was very dangerous, and they obviously knew that.”

After more than twenty minutes, the warship retreated, and the Oliva was rescued by a small Palestinian fishing boat, or hasaka, which threw it a line and towed it toward the shore.


Restrictions on the fishing zone are of considerable significance to Palestinian livelihood. Initially 20 nautical miles, it is presently often enforced between 1.5 – 2 nautical miles (PCHR: 2010). The marine ‘buffer zone’ restricts Gazan fishermen from accessing 85% of Gaza’s fishing waters agreed to by Oslo.

During the Oslo Accords, specifically under the Gaza-Jericho Agreement of 1994, representatives of Palestine agreed to 20 nautical miles for fishing access. In 2002 the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan empowered Catherine Bertini to negotiate with Israel on key issues regarding the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and a 12 nautical mile fishing limit was agreed upon. In June 2006, following the capture of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit near the crossing of Kerem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom), the navy imposed a complete sea blockade for several months. When the complete blockade was finally lifted, Palestinian fishermen found that a 6 nautical mile limit was being enforced. When Hamas gained political control of the Gaza Strip, the limit was reduced to 3 nautical miles. During the massive assault on the Strip in 2008-2009, a complete blockade was again declared. After Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli army began imposing a 1.5 – 2 nautical miles (PCHR: 2010).

The fishing community is often similarly targeted as the farmers in the ‘buffer zone’ and the fishing limit is enforced with comparable aggression, with boats shot at or rammed as near as 2nm to the Gazan coast by Israeli gunboats.

The fishermen have been devastated, directly affecting an estimated 65,000 people and reducing the catch by 90%. The coastal areas are now grossly over-fished and 2/3 of fishermen have left the industry since 2000 (PCHR: 2009). Recent statistics of the General Union of Fishing Workers indicate that the direct losses since the second Intifada in September 2000 were estimated at a million dollars and the indirect losses were estimated at 13.25 million dollars during the same period. The 2009 fishing catch amounted to a total of 1,525 metric tones, only 53 percent of the amount during 2008 (2,845 metric tones) and 41 percent of the amount in 1999 (3,650 metric tones), when the fishermen of Gaza could still fish up to ten nautical miles from the coast. Current figures indicate that during 2010 the decline in the fishing catch continues. This has caused an absurd arrangement to become standard practice. The fisherman sail out not to fish, but to buy fish off of Egyptian boats and then sell this fish in Gaza. According to the Fishermen’s Union, a monthly average of 105 tons of fish has been entering Gaza through the tunnels since the beginning of 2010 (PCHR 2009).

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). “The Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip.” Oct. 2010.

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. “A report on: Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishers in the Gaza Strip.” August 2009.

‘Haaretz’ columnist says 2-state solution is dead–and global community must help us toward equal rights

Dec 28, 2011

Philip Weiss

Carlo Strenger
Carlo Strenger

Excellent piece by Carlo Strenger in Haaretz, “2011 is the year the two-state solution died.” Catching up to truth offered to us by Ali Abunimah and John Mearsheimer and others, Strenger acknowledges the reality and says that apartheid must be crushed; and Israel is here to stay. The wisdom here is the awareness that his society can only be saved and its good parts redeemed through an international multicultural community Strenger has come to rely on via the internet, one that believes all people are created equal. This is the community that will defeat Zionism. This is the community that can help a reactionary society stumble forward into the modern age… And yes, Strenger is locked inside the fear-ridden Israeli head in this piece, but he knows that American Jews have had enough, and so has Europe. The thrust of this piece is an awareness borne by social media: Israel must join the Arab spring, or there will be cataclysm far worse.

If they [the Palestinians] will, as they say, stick to peaceful resistance, they will need a lot of stamina indeed. In the short run, I am afraid, they will, as Sari Nousseibeh predicts, live without full political rights. I say this with shame. But this is the truth

Our long-term task is to develop new models of dealing with the emerging reality. I wish I could say something clear and constructive, but for the time being I can’t. I have not yet seen realistic models other than the two state solution.

The one state solution, at this point, is an empty concept, so is that of an Israeli-Palestinian confederation. For neither case can I imagine how the parliament of the greater Israel-Palestine would function, or how equality of all citizens with respect to security could be achieved: I agree with Sari Nousseibeh that Jewish history from the Pogroms through the Holocaust, from the 1948 war to that of 1973, is too traumatic for Israelis to relinquish control of security for a long time to come.

Yet any solution that looks like apartheid is unacceptable.

Although the two state solution was far from perfect: at least it gave answers to these basic questions of governance and civic rights. But Israel’s citizens and its government have decided: It will not be.

For the “Free World” the end of the two state solution has a number of implications. The charade of trying to get Netanyahu to negotiate with Palestinians can be ended: there is nothing to talk about with Netanyahu, and he is likely to win Israel’s next elections as well. To some extent, this may come as a relief: after all, trying to set up negotiations was a waste of time and energy….

I would like to end this rather somber eulogy for the two state solution on a personal note. Looking back on the entries in ‘Strenger than Fiction’ of 2011, I see how difficult this year was politically. In many ways my motivation to analyze and reflect upon the many negative developments of this year; of trying to maintain hope, and sticking to principles of decency was fuelled by the support of many friends and readers, in Israel and abroad.

This community of like-minded people is varied. It is composed of Jews and Gentiles; of people who clearly belong to the left, and others who are more centrist in their positions; it spreads from Jerusalem through Europe to the U.S. and South America with occasional interesting comments from India and Korea.

It is held together by a set of common beliefs: that all humans are created equal; that we must strive to create societies that protect human rights, and allow individuals and cultures to flourish; and that the task of humanity is to gradually overcome our tribal past and strive towards a world order that reflects out dependence upon each other. I am grateful for this community that is keeping our hopes alive, even in difficult times.

Nada, zilch, finito– the media snowjob of mass proportions

Dec 28, 2011

Annie Robbins

Delphine Seyrig in a scen 007
Prop her up and grab the smelling salts, ethnic cleansing and #hasbaraFAIL

Israel and US media are thumping the Ultra Orthodox flurry in Israel to hide the division of the West Bank, and it is happening right under our noses, right before our eyes, right now, and we are sleeping. I know this in my bones. Listen:

Sometimes I go all roundabout getting where I am supposed to go on these excruciating efforts of journalism, so I’m going to try to cut to the chase, please hear me out.  I knew, like any news hound knows, something was gonna come down this week. I was ‘holiday preoccupied’ for much of the last weekend, which was why I woke up at 4 am on Monday morning and started scouring the blogs, MSM and Twitter.

Although I can’t recall how I first stumbled upon the story of 8-year-old Naama (background– open that link!) but as soon as I saw the source (LATimes, no slouch) and video I realized it was old news and thought to myself, WTF and why now? I knew it was a distraction.

How does some anonymous blogger calling herself Mother in Israel happen to add subtitles to a TV show that aired Friday night in Israel and have that video land in the LA Times by Monday morning? And then the news just happens to spread like wildfire by Tuesday? Connections, that’s how. And maybe huge (pdf) intention.

I read this:

Linah Alsaafin
LinahAlsaafin Linah Alsaafin
On-going Judaizaton of Jerusalem, leading to division of the west bank… #previoustweet
26 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply

I caught  Joseph Dana‘s tweets (and hat-tipped him). “bait & switch tactic used by the ‘liberals’ of the society”. The Haredi thing was the bait & switch. The big news is this:


Both the Americans and the Palestinians claim that building in E1 would in effect cut the West Bank into two sections and make it impossible to establish a Palestinian statewith any kind of reasonable territorial contiguity.

The big tamale. (Allison hits this angle in her post today on 70,000 Jerusalemites denied residency in the blink of an eye). This is what Norm Finkelstein was talking about (1:41:00 watch it!) when he said you can’t have a Palestinian state if you cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank. Referencing the annexing of ‘settlement blocs’ (note the distinction between settlements and settlement blocs)  and Ma’ale Adumim. He says once Israel sets its mind on annexing certain ‘settlement blocs’ there is no chance for a Palestinian State. He’s very clear:

There is no East Jerusalem unless it’s organically connected with the rest of the West Bank. And there is just no possibility of a Palestinian State with this settlement bloc. It’s not a matter of being stubborn or unreasonable, it’s simply objective fact…..if you don’t have East Jerusalem as an organic part of the Palestinian state there is NO economy. There is no state.

There’s no way our State Department doesn’t understand this. No way. (read Alex Kane!).

The Haredi thing? That was so happening last fall. There were several videos available from the fall and I posted a sampling below. Plus, remember the parking lot fiasco? Huge riots every week on the street and nada zilch finito in the MSM here. Remember the woman who starved her child and the baby was taken to the hospital by the state!?!..Huge riots in Israel, nada zilch nothing here…Remember the school issue when the state stepped in and made them (aghast) integrate (w/another segment of religious..not ARABS or anything that radical!) nada zilch in the msm here.

So, for our holiday diversion pleasure while the US is being inundated with smelling salts overHaredi violence is damaging Israel’s image, Israel is ethnically cleansing and NOTHING is being spoken shhhh here.

Here’s the old news hauled out this week: Sep 8, 2011 Sep 6, 2011 Sep 25, 2011

There’s a lot more at those YouTube pages on the sidelines.

Did the US msm even care until the week between Christmas and New Year’s? NO, not one itty bitty iota. Why do they care now? To distract you! WAKE UP!


Israel prepares to transfer 70,000 Jerusalem Palestinians to West Bank i.d.’s

Dec 28, 2011

Allison Deger

silwan protest
Silwan residents, now facing transfer to the West Bank,

protest home evictions in 2009 (Photo: Oren Ziv/Active Stills)

This week Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat announced plans to strip IDs from 70,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem , and transfer them to the West Bank civil administration. Though not a physical transfer, this stripping of IDs will mark the largest en masse stripping of citizenship rights, since 1967, the Palestinian naksa, or “setback.”  Palestinians who were forced into exile as refugees, or were traveling abroad in 1967 were stripped of their Palestinians IDdocuments.

The Palestinians from East Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Silwan, whose status will be revoked, are already geographically annexed to a “greater Jerusalem” by the security wall.  The route of the wall cuts Silwan from other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are east of the wall, and west of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement.

Haaretz’s Nir Hassan reported on December 23, the stripping of Jerusalem IDs coincides with the opening of a massive new checkpoint in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, and the re-emergence of construction on a settler road connecting Jerusalem to Ma’ale Adumim.  Finishing the construction, combined  with the new checkpoint, would all but cut the West Bank in half– and complete the physical annexation of East Jerusalem.

Hassan writes:

Put the pieces together, and you get a picture of Israel erecting, at enormous expense, a major system of roads and checkpoints that would allow for the total separation of Palestinians and Israelis while also enabling the construction of Mevasseret Adumim, a neighborhood that would connect Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.

E1 plan. A Jerusalem settlement bloc which would bifurcate the West Bank (Map: Ir Amim)

Mevasseret Adumim, located in what is called EI, currently has, “roads, electricity lines, traffic circles and lots for development,” according to Hassan. The transfer of 70,000 Palestinians, the new checkpoint, and the road construction all indicate that though development of Mevasseret Adumim stopped in 2007, plans to construct this settlement (which will break territorial continuity in the West Bank ) are back.

Ron Paul and the left

Dec 28, 2011

Lizzy Ratner


Ron Paul posing with Don Black, founder of white supremacist

Dear Phil,

I am distressed, I am. You’re a smart man and a thoughtful one. But you went surprisingly light in your recent post titled “The Ron Paul Moment: bad and good, minimizing the Ron Paul Newsletter scandal as a possible Neocon “smear” while letting the good doc off with scarcely a pinky waggle.

Don’t get me wrong: I applaud – no, thrill to – Ron Paul’s antiwar righteousness as much as you do. On occupation, military bases, civil liberties, and the useless, murderous immorality of war and interventionism he is saying all the right things, a breath of bracing, anti-imperial honesty. But to take Paul’s antiwar declarations without scorching, or at least seriously interrogating, some of the other parts of his platform is not just intellectually sloppy but morally lazy, a big, politically reckless spit glob in the face of African Americans, gay folks, women, poor people, and just about every other marginalized person in this country and beyond.

Let’s start (start, but not finish) with the contents of the Ron Paul newsletter, that lucrative experiment in conspiracy-laced wingnuttery that burns with such virulent bigotry that I practically singed my face just reading excerpts. I found these excerpts courtesy of the website “Et tu, Mr. Destructo,” which recently unearthed and released a 50-page cache of greatest Newsletter hits. It’s worth mentioning that Et tu, Mr. Destructo is a deliciously acid voice of lefty irreverence – proudly anti-war, pro-union, Israel critical – hardly part of the neoconservative cabal that Andrew Sullivan so quiveringly accuses of trying to smear Doc Paul. In fact, plenty of the media outlets that have been so gleefully sifting through the contents of the “Ron Paul Newsletter” colostomy bag are “respectably” mainstream operations (I know, there’s no such thing) if not staunchly progressive ones – which is appropriate given that the man is running for President of the United States. Getting frisked by the media is part of the job application.

In any case, since the newsletters are now effortlessly accessible – thanks again to aforementioned “Et tu, Mr. Destructo,” among others – I would hope that you would have taken a few minutes to examine them. However, just in case, I’ve selected a sample.

Let’s roll the fiche…

Ron Paul Newsletter—December 1990

[King] was also a Comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration. King, the FBI files show, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys…. And we are supposed to honor this ‘Christian minister’ and lying socialist satyr…?

Ron Paul Newsletter—February, 1990

Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer, Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day. Listen to a black radio talk show in any major city. The racial hatred makes a KKK rally look tame.

Ron Paul Newsletter—January, 1991

St. Martin was a world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours (‘non-violence’ didn’t apply in all spheres, I guess).

Ron Paul Newsletter—June, 1990

President Bush invited the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony. As Congressman Bill Dannemeyer (R-CA) noted, ‘It’s a tragic message that is being sent,’ that normality and deviance are equal. I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous. Is it any coincidence that the AIDS epidemic developed after they came ‘out of the closet’ and started hyper-promiscuous sodomy? I don’t believe so, medically or morally.

Ron Paul Newsletter—October, 1990

A mob of black protestors, led by the ‘Rev.’ Al Sharpton, occupied and closed the Statue of Liberty recently, demanding that New York be renamed Martin Luther King City ‘to reclaim it for our people.’ Hmmm. I hate to agree with the Rev. Al, but maybe a name change is in order. Welfaria? Zooville? Rapetown? Dirtburg? Lazyopolis? But Al, the Statue of Liberty? Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.

Ron Paul Political Report—July 1992

Perot cannot fix the welfare state any more than Gorbachev could fix Soviet socialism. To achieve even a semblance of success, Perot may resort to authoritarian means. Maintaining order may be the number one priority, especially as the race riots grow…. Just after a basketball game ended on June 14, blacks poured into the streets of Chicago in celebration. How to celebrate? How else? They broke the windows of stores to loot, even breaking through protective steel shutters with crowbars to steal everything in sight…. (Is this why Hollywood tells us White Men Can’t Jump?).

Ron Paul Survival Report—January, 1994

They [gay men] enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick. Put it all together, and you’ve got another wave of AIDS infections, that you, dear taxpayer, will be asked to pay for.

Ron Paul Survival Report—November, 1994

If you belong to one of these groups [i.e., a right-wing militia], be careful not to let down your guard too easily if at all…. Big government is forever, says the Beltway elite. But don’t believe it. If people form their own communities of internal protection, the central state becomes an even more obvious parasite. It is an encouraging sign that the end of government as we know it may be near.

Had enough yet?

As you know, Paul’s response thus far has been about as flimsy as the paper his Newsletter was printed on. “I didn’t write them. I didn’t read them at the time and I disavow them,” he told CNN’s Gloria Borger in a near-parodic replay of James Murdoch’s hacking scandal defense.

Now it’s certainly possible that Paul didn’t write the newsletters, as he claims. In fact, despite draping his name across the top of all of them and John Hancocking the bottom of some of them, it’s pretty well-suggested that Lew Rockwell, Paul’s former right-hand, penned the missives. But the claim that he didn’t read them? Come on. The man spent 30 years publishing these tracts, raking in more than $1 million in the process — and he’s saying he had no clue about the contents? He certainly seemed pretty well briefed on the details in this 1995 video.

All of which reflects pretty poorly on Dr. Paul.

As Et tu, Mr. Destructo writes:

Paul supporters face three losing propositions:

• [Ron Paul] lacks the competency to control content published under his own name for over a decade, and is thus unfit to lead a country.

• He doesn’t believe these things but considers them a useful political tool to motivate racist whites, which makes him fit to be a GOP candidate, but too obvious about it to win.

• He’s actually a racist, which makes him unfit to be a human being.

In other words, no matter how you spin the Newsletter scandal, Ron Paul is either incompetent, cynical, or racist.

But here’s the other truth: troubling as the Newsletter is, it’s really only part of the Ron Paul problem, because the Ron Paul problem is ultimately bigger and murkier, the creepy-reckless result of an ultra-libertarianism which looks refreshingly righteous at first but, when followed to its natural conclusion, leads to some pretty slithery-slippery places.  Which is what I hope to discuss in my next installment…

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

Breaking: Patriot Missiles Seized, Sold To China by IsraHell (Updates)


Iron Dome Defense Missiles Seized by Finland, Labeled “Fireworks”

69 Newest Patriot Missiles Bound For Reds

“…Thorco Shipping representative, Thomas Mikkelsen said he was unaware any such cargo was on board his vessel”…a statement that categorically “debunks” attempts at denial – Editor)

       …by Gordon Duff,  Senior Editor

Latest update from today’s Washington Post:

Finland says cargo ship can sail again, but without its 69 missiles, explosives or it’s Ukrainian captain


HELSINKI — “A British-registered ship (editor’s correction, ship is not “British-registered”) that was held in a Finnish port after authorities discovered 69 surface-to-air [Anti-ballistic]missiles and 160 tons of explosives onboard has permission to travel again, but without those materials or its captain, a port official said Monday.

The M/S Thor Liberty was headed to China and had docked in the southern Finnish port of Kotka to pick up anchor chains when police last week discovered and seized the missiles and explosive piric acid on board.”

Finnish authorities have confirmed the seizure of 69 Patriot missiles manufactured by Raytheon Corporation today.

(A popular graphic going viral on the internet, edited to eliminate an inappropriate ethnic reference)

During a routine search of the MS Thor Liberty, a ship flagged by the Isle of Man, at the Finnish port of Kotka, authorities found 69 Patriot missiles of a type capable of intercepting ICBMs, the most modern available and America’s most sensitive military technology.

Update:  The official publication of the shipping industry, The Maritime Executive states:

“Finnish police launched a probe on a ship bound for Shanghai, China, after they discovered 69 surface-to-air Patriot missiles, explosive materials, and propelling charges illegally aboard. “  Note, what had been called by some “chemicals” are now “propelling charges.”  What they propel, of course, are guided missiles from nuclear submarines and plutonium and uranium components into contact to inititate nuclear explosions.

Germany officials have offered to take responsibility for the shipment to China though there is no record of Germany ever having received the missiles in the first place.  There had been a shipment of PAC 2 missiles, 64, several months ago, which had been completed.  No further shipment had been scheduled. 

Germany is responding to a request from Netanyahu to Merkel to save Israel from a potential spy scandal.Similarly, a South Korean paper has published a story about the missiles but at no time has the South Korean embassy in Helsinki, made a statement or made contact with authorities as would be expected.  This one gets more interesting every day.

Germany has a long history of working with Israel, call it “war guilt” or profiteering.  The centrifuges used to develop nuclear weapons that were distributed by Israel, first to South Africa then by Israeli Johann Meyer to Libya were of Germany origin.  Saddam Hussein received his biological and chemical warfare equipment from Germany, but through Bush family sources, not Israel. 

We are told the missiles heading to China were to be “cloned” for sale along with radar and launch units, already there.  They would be sold worldwide under Israeli branding in competition with the US.  Israel is free to sell to clients the US would be likely to refuse. 

The JA 20 Stealth fighter, built from plans stolen by Bush era White House Israeli “dual-citizens” is only one of dozens of defense projects stolen by Israeli spies and sent to China.  China has every current nuclear weapons design and plans to upgrade its submarine fleet and will be building aircraft carriers eventually.  All will be done with American technology.

Here is the photo of the ship’s ‘very special’ explosives in shrink wrapped cardboard boxes. Do you really think this is how western Allied/NATO countries transport munitions, or would allow hugely expensive anti-ballistic missiles to be put on a ship like this? If there was a detonation device in one of these boxes that could set it off (like with a satellite phone call), it would go up like an A-bomb. No one would have been looking for the 69 Patriot ABM’s listed as rockets or firecrackers. There is one rouge country’s Intelligence service, an American ally, that could do this in it’s sleep because it had extensive practice while building it’s WMD programs, the details of which our America government still holds secret from Americans.

Attempts to represent this as a sale of “second hand” PAC 2 missiles, stories filling the blogosphere, fail to address that these are PAC 3 advanced missiles and labeled for shipment to China, not Korea.

Patriot ICBM Interceptor – PAC3

The next stop for this cargo, valued at over $4 billion even without the associated radar, which may well have been shipped via some other method, was Shanghai, China.

Yet the Chinese government has given an official denial of any knowledge of this transaction.They went even further, they claimed the missiles were heading to South Korea.

However, were China to have given the issue a second’s thought, it would have been advisable to have failed to acknowledge any familiarity with the issue whatsoever.

China walked into a trap, one that uncovered their espionage cooperation agreements that involved, not the receipt of advanced Patriot missile systems but the full plans for the F22 stealth fighter.

Initial stories from 2009 indicating China has received plans for the F35 though espionage with Israel were false.

The F22 is a far more advanced aircraft.


On April 21, 2009, the Department of Defense announced the theft of 1.5 terabytes of data on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the platform meant give the United States and her allies air superiority for the next 40 years.

In a flash, all that was gone, $300 billion dollars of funding down the drain, every system, defense, offense, stealth, everything needed to build one or shoot it down, all gone. Day one, China was accused but it wasn’t China, it wasn’t Iran, it wasn’t Pakistan.

The theft left a clear signature, one identical to the data Wikileaks has been receiving, sources inside the Pentagon repeating the actions of Israeli-Soviet spy, Jonathan Pollard.  As vital as the F-35 is to America’s defense, Pollard’s triumph on behalf of Soviet Russia and Israel dwarfs the current espionage coup.

Since the 2009 announcement, there has been nothing but silence.

Now we learn the Pentagon story was “cover” and it was the F22 Raptor, not the F35, an “export plane,” that was compromised:

F-22A Raptors – America Top Fighter

The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation super maneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology.

It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attackelectronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.[6]

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22.

Program partnerBoeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the years prior to formally entering USAF service in December 2005 as the F-22A.

Despite a protracted and costly development period, the United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of US tactical air power, and claims that the aircraft is unmatched by any known or projected fighter.[7]

While Lockheed Martin claims that the Raptor’s combination of stealth, speed, agility, precision and situational awareness, combined with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, makes it the best overall fighter in the world today.[8]

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the “F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built.”[9]

Raptor Formation

The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air combat missions because of delays in the Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighter programs, a US ban on Raptor exports, and the ongoing development of the planned cheaper and more versatile F-35 resulted in calls to end F-22 production.[N 1]

In April 2009 the US Department of Defense proposed to cease placing new orders, subject to Congressional approval, for a final procurement tally of 187 Raptors.[11] The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 lacked funding for further F-22 production.

The final F-22 Raptor fighter jet rolled off the assembly line on 13 December 2011 during a ceremony at the Lockheed Martin aircraft plant at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.[2]

China is testing a 5th generation fighter, 20 years earlier than estimated, the JA 20.  It is based on systems from the Raptor and is considered a far superior plane to the F 35.From a January, 2011 Guardianstory suppressed in the United States:

Chinese F22 Raptor Clone, 20 Years Early


A photograph of what is reported to be a new Chinese stealth fighter and “carrier-killer” missile has prompted concerns that a tilt in the balance of military power in the western Pacific towards China may come sooner than expected.

The emergence of the hi-tech weaponry – which would make it more difficult for the US navy and air force to project power close to Taiwan and elsewhere on China’s coastline – comes at a politically sensitive time.

Later this month, President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, will hold a summit in Washington aimed at patching up their differences after a niggling year in bilateral relations.

he photograph, of what appears to be a prototype J-20 jet undergoing initial tests, has been circulating on the internet since last week, fueling speculation that China’s fifth-generation fighter may fly ahead of forecast.(Attempts have been made to alter photos of the plane and misrepresent its “lineage.” The only alterations from the F22 seem to be the rear control surfaces.  What has been most telling is the attempt to misconstrue the JA 20 as a “large bodied” interceptor with a weapons bay for anti-ship missiles instead of the air superiority fighter it actually is. )

The defence ministry has yet to comment on the image, which seems to have been shot from long-distance near the Chengdu aircraft design institute. The photographer is also unknown, which has added to the mystery about its origins and authenticity as well as the motive of the distributor.

But defence analysts believe this is the first glimpse of the twin-engined, chiseled-nosed plane that mixes Russian engine technology with a fuselage design similar to that of the US air force’s F-22 “stealth” fighter, which can avoid detection by radar.

If confirmed, it would be an impressive step forward for the Chinese air force, which until now has largely depended on foreign-made or designed planes. “I’d say these are, indeed, genuine photos of a prototype that will make its maiden flight very soon,” said Peter Felstead, the editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The J20 is likely to be many years from deployment, but the US defence secretary, Robert Gates – who visits Beijing next week – may have to revise an earlier prediction that China will not have a fifth generation aircraft by 2020.

It is not the only challenge to US superiority in the region. China has refurbished a Ukrainian aircraft carrier and wants to build its own by 2020.

Photo corrected from “stretch” version issued to mislead public

The US and Israel had scheduled an air defense exercise this week but no Patriot missiles were to be shipped to Israel as part of their mission, DOD sources indicate.

This week’s exercise was to use Patriot missiles deployed from American ships in the eastern Mediterranean to test Israeli missile defenses.  Reports indicate that all missiles for this exercise have been accounted for.

Patriots Away “

These units, the most advanced Patriot system had only been supplied to one nation, Israel.

The 69 Patriot ICBM interceptors are believed to be a highly secret consignment demanded by Israel as protection from any retaliatory strike by Iran were war to break out in the region.

Instead of deploying them, the missiles were apparently  sold to China labeled as “fireworks” according to Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen.

Though the missiles themselves were worth only $4 billion, the technology transfer itself would be worth over $125 billion, and represent a significant loss of defense capability for the United States.

Sources termed it, “An absolute disaster, even if they only received the radar systems alone, much less the missiles.That this would go unreported though the story was broken in Europe 48 hours ago is astounding.

Nobody in Washington has this although even the BBC reportcontains more than enough information to bring Washington to a halt.

DOD sources indicate that it would be unusual for these missiles to be moved without radar and launch facilities to have been moved in advance.   It was also indicated that the Department of Defense denies shipping any such missiles to Germany or anywhere else in Europe, labeled as “fireworks” or anything else.

The owner of the ship of record is Thorco Shipping.  Their representative, Thomas Mikkelsen said he was unaware any such cargo was on board his vessel.

Patriot Command Control Center

Claims were made that the missiles were destined for South Korea but an examination of documentation indicated that there were no South Korean ports scheduled.

Additionally, the likelihood that the US government would ship its most valuable and secret missile technology through Germany mislabeled as “fireworks” rather than on a C 17 under military security supports the Finnish claim.

Finnish police say they opened all 69 units, are recording serial numbers and have been unable to find any documentation indicating the real ownership of the  seized cargo.

And they certainly have found nothing involving the any of the claimed “cover stories” involving Germany or Korea, otherwise, of course, the cargo would never have been seized nor would there have been arrests made.

Detective Superintendent Timo Virtanen of the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation is in charge of the case.  He has stated:

 ”Actually, in our investigation at the moment, we have got the information that we found 69 Patriot missiles on the ship and around 160 tonnes of explosives.”

The explosives are identified as nitroguandine, a low sensitivity explosive with a very high detonation speed.   These explosives have several uses, among them launching shipboard or submarine launched missiles or in the development and testing of nuclear weapons design.

Finnish authorities indicate the explosives were packed in an “informal” and highly dangerous manner and that the Thor Liberty’s captain and chief officer are under arrest on suspicion of arms trafficking.  Both are citizens of the Ukraine.The government of China has denied all knowledge of the incident although the cargo was destined for their ports.

The head of Finnish Customs CID, Petri Louatmaa said this was not the first such incident but by far the most serious he has ever heard of.Finland has requested “information” from several countries.

The US Department of Defense has assured all involved that these missiles were not being sent to South Korea and that their presence on a civilian ship either being loaded in Germany or in port in Finland was in now way a part of any exercise nor any accepted methodology for the handling of this type of ultra-high technology weaponry.

American sources further indicated confusion at the odd number of missiles:

“There are two missiles per launch container.  The containers can’t be easily opened and the missiles can’t be removed for examination without damage to the launch mechanism.They are delivered for mounting to ships or land based mobile launchers.  Thus, the packaging indicated either demonstrates confusion or serious unprofessional tampering.”

Israeli officials have failed to respond to questions about the consignment.Air Force transport command personnel indicate that high tech transfers to Israel are routinely offloaded at Schipol Airport in the Netherlands where Israel maintains secure facilities.

Editing:  Jim W. Dean

Patriot PAC3s Are Shipped in Pairs – Ground to Air Patriots are Shipped With Lauchers

Posted in ZIO-NAZI19 Comments

Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,


Hoping that this gets through to you—8 items below, some very brief.


Item one is short but not sweet.  Israel again assassinated.  The Israeli Chief of Staff has lately almost daily been reminding us that the IOF has to hit Gaza again.  Why?  It has been relatively quiet.  Apparently the war on Iran is not yet quite in the offing, so it has to be Gaza.  Got to keep the arms industrialists in business, after all, and Israelis shaking in their boots.  May it nevertheless not happen!


Item 2 relates that every 3 child lives under the poverty line.  A few years ago it was every 5th child, and I thought that was horrid.  Meanwhile, today the Knesset voted on not cutting the Defense (what defense?) budget, at the expense of health, education, and social welfare (what social welfare?).  So next year we can expect that every 2nd child will live under the poverty line.


Item 3 reports that colony building is going on at full speed.


Item 4 shows us once again that Israel’s High Court goes more often than not with the government, not against it.  I agree with Michael Sfard’s point of view (at the end of the report).


Item 5 reports that the Palestinians, under pressure, are willing to renew talks with Israel without insisting that Israel stops building in the WB, but will as a gesture release 100 prisoners (there are over 4,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails at present).  Israel apparently will refuse.  Naturally, Israel will find reasons to refuse.


Item 6 is brief but sweet.  An American judge has ruled that there is no anti-Semitism in UC Berkeley.  Glad to hear, because in Israel there have also been mock checkpoints, and by Israelis to show the other Israelis (the ones that don’t know and don’t want to know) what a check point is like.  No one so far has accused these Israelis of being anti-Semitic.


Item 7 is an essay after my heart.  I hope that you will read it and distribute it widely.


Item 8 is, you guessed, Today in Palestine—for December 27th.


That’s it for tonight.

All the best,


1 Haaretz

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Israel strikes Gaza Strip for second time in hours, IDF says

Three killed, 10 wounded in two strikes on coastal enclave; Israeli army says strike thwart plans for major attack on Israel-Egypt border.

By Gili Cohen


The Israel Air Force conducted a second strike of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, just hours after the Israeli army confirmed it targeted a terror operative in the coastal strip.

A statement by the IDF Spokesman’s Office said that the second strike targeted a global Jihad terror cell in the northern Strip that was planning to attack the western part of Israel’s border with Egypt.

The IDF identified the two operatives targeted in the second strike as Rami Daud Jaber Kaferana, a global Jihad operative from the Gaza town of Jebalia and Hazzam Muhammad Saadi al-Shaker, a global Jihad man from the town of Beit Hanun.

It was not clear whether or not those operatives were killed in the attack.

Earlier Tuesday, Palestinians sources reported that an explosion killed one person and wounded three others in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian reports indicated that the strike targeted and killed an Islamic Jihad operative..

According to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, an Israeli reconnaissance craft fired a missile at a motorcycle in the Dowar Abu Sharkh area killing its rider.

A statement by the Israel Defense Forces indicated that the strike was the result of joint actions by Shin Bet and IDF forces and that the target had been a squad involved in recent terror activity.

Both airstrikes came days after it was revealed that the IAF struck two Gaza-bound arms convoys in the past month.

According to two Sudanese media outlets, Israel launched two attacks in recent weeks.

The outlets, however, don’t present a uniform version on the dates. One claims the attacks took place at the end of November and on December 15, the other says they occurred on December 15 and December 18.

The attack at the end of November, one media outlet says, targeted two vehicles in the area of Wadi Al-Allaqi in northern Sudan, near the border with Egypt, and left two people dead and another two wounded.

The second incident, on December 15, saw Apache helicopters over an island off the Sudanese coast. Other reports spoke of Israeli submarine activity off the coast of the African state.

On the other hand, reports appearing in the Al-Intibaha daily speak of an attack on December 15 against a convoy of vehicles that left four civilians dead. The second attack, three days later, also reportedly targeted a vehicle. According to the report, all occupants of the vehicle were killed.

For its part, the Sudanese army has rejected reports of Israeli aerial activity over the country. The Sudanese army spokesman, Col. Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said the country’s aerial defense systems had not recorded any infiltration into the country’s airspace.

The Sudanese military over the weekend dismissed reports of recent Israeli airstrikes in the country.


2  Haaretz

Wednesday, December  28, 2011

Report: Every third child in Israel lives below poverty line

Annual report finds a fifth of Israeli children receive assistance from the welfare authorities.

By Dana Weiler-Polak

Tags: Israel health

The Israeli Council for the Welfare of the Child published its annual report on Wednesday, revealing that a fifth of Israeli children have received assistance from the welfare authorities.

The reports points to a decline in the number of children living in poverty – 889,500 out of a population of 2,519,900 children in Israel, yet finds that every third child lives under the poverty line.

In January 2011, the welfare services assisted 430,863 children at risk – 17 percent of children in Israel. This marks an increase of 48 percent since 2001.

The annual statistical report, “Children in Israel,” has been published for the past 20 years. The head of the Israeli Council for the Welfare of the Child, Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, presented the report to President Shimon Peres on Wednesday.

The report says that the number of schoolchildren in Israel has passed the 2 million mark during the last school year. 82.8 percent of youth between the ages of 15 and 18 inform themselves about the news from the Internet, 7.2 percent from television and 3.6 percent from newspaper.


3  Ynet

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Construction in Gilo (archives) Photo: EPA

    Gilo to get 130 new housing units

Another EU condemnation on the way? Jerusalem Municipality committee approves extensive construction in disputed neighborhood about week after government announces plan to market lands for hundreds of flats beyond Green Line,7340,L-4168224,00.html

Omri Efraim

The Jerusalem Municipality’s District Planning and Construction Committee on Wednesday approved a plan for the construction of 130 housing units in the neighborhood of Gilo, which is regarded by the international community as a settlement.

The move comes about a week after the government decided to market lands for the construction of hundreds of housing units beyond the Green Line.

The plan must next be approved by the Interior Ministry and Regional Planning Committee. Jerusalem Council Member Yosef (Pepe) Alalu of Meretz confirmed the details.

About two weeks ago, the Construction and Housing Ministry and Israel Land Administration announced that hundreds of housing units would be marketed beyond the Green Line.

According to the announcement, 348 of the units will be built in the haredi town of Beitar illit, 500 in Har Homa in south Jerusalem and 180 in Givat Ze’ev in the northern part of the capital.

The announcement was followed by a strong condemnation on the part of UN Security Council powers. Britain, France, Germany and Portugal – EU representatives on the council – said in a statement that they were “dismayed by these wholly negative developments.”

They said Israel’s move to accelerate the construction of settlements in the West Bank “sends a devastating message. We call on the Israeli government to reverse these steps.

The Foreign Ministry issued a harsh response to the condemnation, saying that “if instead of contributing to stability in the Middle East, European countries are investing their efforts in inappropriate bickering with the one country in which the independent law justice system knows how to deal with lawbreakers, then they are losing their credibility and making themselves irrelevant.”

4  Haaretz

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

High Court says Israel can take advantage of West Bank resources

Court adopts state position: no new Israeli-owned quarries should be established in the West Bank, but existing ones should be allowed to continue operating.

By Zafrir Rinat

The High Court of Justice has authorized Israel to exploit the West Bank’s natural resources for its own economic needs by rejecting a petition against the operation of Israeli-owned quarries in the territory.

In its ruling, issued on Monday, the court adopted the state’s position: that no new Israeli-owned quarries should be established in the West Bank, but existing ones should be allowed to continue operating.

The petition was filed two years ago by the Yesh Din organization. It argued that the 10 Israeli-owned quarries in the West Bank violate international law, which states that an occupier may not exploit an occupied territory’s natural resources for its own economic benefit; it may use such resources only for the benefit of the occupied people or for military purposes.

The Israeli quarries sell 94 percent of their yield to Israel and supply almost 25 percent of Israel’s total consumption of the raw materials in question. But until the petition was filed, the state had never seen any problem with this.

Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, who wrote the ruling, began by accepting the state’s view that the Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement permits the quarries to operate in their present manner until a final-status agreement is signed.

She then moved on to discuss what international law has to say, and particularly Article 55 of the Fourth Hague Convention, on which the petition was based. That article requires the occupying power to “safeguard the capital” of the occupied party’s natural resources and “administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct,” meaning the rules governing fair usage.

But Beinisch accepted the state’s position that Israel’s use of the quarries is limited and does not amount to destroying their “capital,” and hence does not violate international law. This position is bolstered, she said, by the state’s decision not to permit any new quarries to open.

Moreover, she said, it is necessary to take account of the fact that the West Bank has been under a prolonged and continuing occupation, so the territory’s economic development cannot be put on ice until the occupation ends. The quarries, she noted, supply jobs and training to a non-negligible number of Palestinians; some of their yield is sold to the Palestinians; and the royalties the quarry owners pay the state – almost NIS 30 million a year – are used by the Civil Administration in the territories to fund projects that benefit the Palestinian population.

“In this situation, it’s hard to accept the petitioner’s unequivocal assertion that the quarries’ operation does nothing to advance the [Palestinian] region, especially in light of the Israeli and Palestinian sides’ mutual economic interests and the prolonged duration” of Israel’s presence in the West Bank, she concluded.

The petition was not a total loss for Yesh Din: Both the decision not to open new quarries and the decision to allocate all the royalties to the Civil Administration were made only after it was filed.

Nevertheless, attorney Michael Sfard, who represented Yesh Din, was disappointed.

“Mining natural resources in occupied territory for the economic needs of the occupying state is looting,” he said. “The High Court’s argument, that one should relate differently to a long-term occupation, cannot legitimate economic activity like this, which harms the local residents.”


5.  Haaretz

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Palestinians offer to renew Israel peace talks without settlement freeze, official says

PA reportedly submits new Quartet offer to restart negotiations, demand Israel releases 100 Palestinian prisoners; Israel likely to refuse.

By Barak Ravid

Tags: Middle East peace Benjamin Netanyahu Mahmoud Abbas Palestinians West Bank

Get Haaretz on iPhone Get Haaretz on Android The Palestinian leadership submitted a proposal to renew peace talks with with Israel that drops their long-standing demand that Israel ceases all West Bank settlement construction, a top Israeli official said on Wednesday.


According to officials with knowledge of the proposal, the Palestinian Authority informed the Quartet two weeks ago that it would renege on its demand for a settlement freeze if Israel releases 100 prisoners as a show of good will.


The Palestinian proposal was reputedly the result of heavy pressure applied by Quartet members – the United States, the European Union, Russian, and the United Nations – on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to renew talks before January 26.


That date marks the expiration of the three months specified by a Quartet statement in September in which Israel and the Palestinians are to resume talks and present concrete proposals concerning issues such as borders and security arrangements.


Quartet officials – especially EU – made it clear to the Palestinians that they would bear equal responsibility in the event that the two sides would not resume talks by late January.


One Israeli official indicated that, in the current situation, January 26 has become the “new September” – alluding to the PA’s September submitting of their UN statehood bid – adding that everyone was waiting to see what Abbas’ next move will be.


“There’s real concern in the Quartet that after that date Abbas will return to UN initiatives,” the Israeli official said, adding that, at the same time, the Palestinian president will have to decide whether or not to proceed with the formation of a unity cabinet with Hamas.


With one month to the Quartet deadline, the two sides haven’t even held predatory meetings that were supposed to take place two months ago, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s adviser Yitzhak Molcho and top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat were supposed to set the talks agenda.


The Israeli official indicated that Israel rejects the Palestinian offer for two reasons: 1) That is replaces one precondition with another, and 2) since officials say the Palestinian proposal is too vague and did not make it clear whether the prisoners’ release will lead to full talks that would include meetings between Netanyahu and Abbas or just the preparatory sessions.


Israel fears that, upon the prisoners’ release, and after a few early sessions, the Palestinians will announce new conditions or find new ways to stop negotiations.


It seems at least some of the Israeli trepidation is warranted, since the Palestinains refuse to call the move a “resumption of negotiations,” rather defining it as the “talks’ renewal,” meant to define the guidelines for future peace talks.


News of the new PA proposal came after on Sunday, Netanyahu commented on the recent moves by Fatah and Hamas to set up a unity government, saying that Israel would not negotiate with the Palestinians should such a government be established.


“If Hamas joins the Palestinian government we will not hold negotiations with the Palestinian Authority,” said Netanyahu in a speech at a conference for Israeli ambassadors.


He added that he is ready to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas anytime, anywhere, in order to renew negotiations.


“The peace process can only advance while maintaining security arrangements, which is becoming more difficult in light of the current situation in the region,” Netanyahu added.


Last week, Abbas met with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Cairo and set the ground for Hamas to join the Palestine Liberation Organization. During the discussions, Hamas and Fatah decided to form a unity government by the end of January 2012, and that the Palestinian parliament, including both Fatah and Hamas legislators, will begin operating in February.


6  Ynet

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

 Pro-Palestinian protest (archives) Photo: AP

     Court: No anti-Semitism in UC Berkeley

Federal judge dismisses Jewish students’ lawsuit, says much of alleged harassment by Muslim students, even if true, constitutes protected political speech that university had no obligation to stop,7340,L-4167727,00.html

Associated Press

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley filed by two Jewish students who alleged harassment by Muslim students.

US District Judge Richard Seeborg said much of the alleged harassment, even if true, constituted protected political speech that UC Berkeley had no obligation to stop.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Seeborg issued his ruling last week.

The plaintiffs, a current student and a recent graduate, said the harassment included checkpoints at an annual event protesting Israeli policies.

Demonstrators in military attire and carrying fake weapons at the checkpoints allegedly asked passing students whether they were Jewish.

The event, Apartheid Week, is held by Muslim student groups.

Joel Siegal, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said his clients are reviewing their options.


7  Al Jazeera

Wednesday, December  28, 2011

Sacred women in Israel and Palestine

 Will protests against ultra-Orthodox Jews’ campaign for gender segregation get justice for women in Israel, Palestine?

Mark LeVine

I can think of about four million Palestinians who can sympathise with Naama Margolese, the eight-year-old Israeli girl, whose routine humiliation by ultra-Orthodox Israelis on her way to school has “shocked” the nation, uniting the majority of Jewish Israelis in anger at the growing power of harshly conservative Jewish movements in the country.

But you won’t be hearing from them any time soon the way this story is being presented.

Coming on the heels of the unprecedented and largely secular protests this past summer in Tel Aviv and other cities to press for affordable housing and “social justice” more broadly, and the recent attacks by extremist settlers against Israeli soldiers, this latest conflict has led many mainstream news outlets to talk of a continuing “religious war” in Israel, pitting secular and moderately religious Jews against an increasingly assertive, militant and expanding ultra-Orthodox sector.

“It doesn’t matter what I look like, someone should be able to walk around in sleeveless shirts and pants, and be able to walk down the street and not be harassed,” the young girl’s Chicago-born mother, Hadassa, explained.

Of course, Palestinians couldn’t agree more. But somehow, the vast majority of the Israeli and Western mainstream media seems unaware of the obviously parallels between the treatment of Naama Margolese and Israeli girls and women more broadly by ultra-Orthodox, and the treatment of millions of Palestinians by Israel. Even the most recent Haaretz editorial criticising the growing militarism and violence of the ultra-Orthodox did not mention Palestinians.

Unpleasant images

In fact, as unpleasant as are the images of a young Jewish girl being screamed and even spit at by Israeli Jewish Taliban, it is still preferable from the point of view of Israel’s propaganda efforts to being confronted with heartrending images of Jews attacking Palestinians, never mind religious settlers attacking of young Palestinian children, which is a routine occurrence in the Occupied Territories.

It is ironic that today Jewish-on-Jewish conflict is, from a certain perspective, preferable (at least at the level of spectacle) to Jewish-Palestinian conflict, because for several decades, part of the accepted wisdom surrounding the unwillingness of Israelis to reach a viable peace agreement with Palestinians was that doing so would lead to an untenable level of conflict, and even civil war, within Jewish Israeli society.

The alternative to focusing on this story would be a focus on Israeli High Court’s determination on Tuesday that Israel can continue to exploit Palestinian mines and other resources for the benefit of Israelis, even though this is a direct contravention of international law. Or to read an email about a young Palestinian boy, so frightened by Israeli soldiers who have given his family 10 minutes to get their belongings out of their house before it’s to be demolished that he stood, shivering outside, wetting his pants. The list goes on and on; all of it, tragically, far worse than the already deplorable hatred and discrimination that Naama has daily faced, just for being a girl.

Sacred women

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has described the figure of the “homo sacer”, or sacred man, who from ancient Rome to the Middle Ages, and again today, is considered completely outside the law and deprived of all rights of citizenship. He can therefore be killed with impunity, not merely by representatives of the state (the police or army, for example), but by anyone.

Jews and Roma during the Holocaust are the modern epitome of the homo sacer, as are, to a greater or lesser degree, all colonised people, including – and particularly, today, Palestinians, as the South African theorist Achille Mbembe has shown in his work on necropolitics as well as Irish human rights scholar John Reynolds.

But there is a specific manner in which what I would term the “femina sacra”, or sacred woman, is also a primary object of violence, whether in Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian or most other societies for that matter. The much publicised recent army and police violence against women in Egypt is a good example of how, once the general public loses fear of state violence, the state must press even harder by specifically attacking the repository of honour and values – female citizens – as a way of attempting to break down the resistance of society as a whole. (Of course, it rarely works).

Israeli President Shimon Peres declared solemnly that Israelis are “fighting for the soul of the nation and the essence of the state”, while a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party declared that the harassment the young girl faces “have no place in sane and moderate Judaism”. Excluding women from the full rights of citizenship or the realisation of their humanity – at least as that humanity has come to be nearly universally accepted and codified in international law – is, as one sign held up by a female protester in Bet Shemesh against the ultra-Orthodox put it, “my red line”.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared: “Israel is a democratic, Western, liberal state… In a Western liberal democracy, public space is open and safe for all – men and women alike – and has no room for any harassment or discrimination.”

Neither western nor liberal

Of course, Netanyahu is lying. Israel is not democratic in any meaningful sense if one considers that millions of Palestinians under its control for decades have been deprived of citizenship and its attendant rights – a society in which anyway, from elderly man to young girl can become “sacred” – that is, outside the bounds of civilised law, at any moment. Nor is it Western in any meaningful sense in that it has honoured the core ideal of Western modernity largely in the breach (which, of course, only makes it a microcosm of the West writ large). And while gays might have rights – at least in Tel Aviv, for now – it cannot be considered liberal from any perspective when it so thoroughly violates the rights of millions of people.

But as long as Palestinians are absent from the conversation, as long as the focus is on Naama Margolese and the reprehensible conduct towards her, then the fiction that there is still a struggle to be had for Israel’s “soul” can be maintained.

Of course, for some adult ultra-Orthodox women in Beit Shemesh, being forced to the back of buses and being prevented from walking on the same side of the street as men or being attacked for not dressing modestly enough is not a problem. “I feel uncomfortable when men look at me,” one woman declared in explaining why she doesn’t mind being segregated away from men.

We can debate whether the woman who isn’t bothered by segregation or the back of the bus is making a free judgment, or has been so cowed by living in an extremely patriarchal and repressive community that she has internalised male dominance to the point of accepting it as both a given and a source of protection – just as so many Muslim women accept and even defend their second class status in countries across the region. But free adults at least have, in theory, a choice. Naama Margolese has clearly not been socialised into the values of this community, and feels frightened and excluded by what its members are trying to impose on her.

Recognising shared oppression

As her mother complained, “they” want to “push us out of” and “take over the city”.

This is, of course, a lament which untold numbers of Palestinians can appreciate, from residents of Jaffa pushed out to make way for expensive condominiums to Bedouins whose villages remain unrecognised when their lands aren’t being further expropriated to the millions of Palestinians across the Green Line and in exile.

If Israel is to have a chance at surviving as some approximation of the “Jewish democratic state” envisioned by its founders, Jewish Israelis, like Hadassa Margolese and the protesters on behalf of her daughter, or the J20 protesters this summer  who took to the streets in huge numbers for “social justice”, are all going to have to accept that the injustices against which they are fighting are inseparable from the injustice their society as a whole continues to inflict, far more intensely, upon Palestinians.

I won’t get my hopes up for the adults accepting and acting upon this reality any time soon. But as she grows up, we can hope that Naama’s firsthand experience of exclusion, oppression, bigotry and even hatred, will help her see the equal humanity of the Israeli Other – Palestinians – more fully than her parent’s generation has been able to do.

If that can happen, then however unacceptable Naama Margolese’s experience, it will have prepared her for the even greater struggle for full democracy for all the people, men and women, Israelis and Palestinians, living between the River and the Sea, that will soon enough be her generation’s to assume.

Mark LeVine is a professor of history at UC Irvine and senior visiting researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden. His most recent books are Heavy Metal Islam (Random House) and Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989 (Zed Books).

Follow him on Twitter: @culturejamming


8  Today in Palestine for December 27, 2011


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TUT Radio Podcast:Jesus the Anti-Zionist

Dec 27, 2011



Jesus the anti-Zionist rebel, revolutionary, rabble-rouser and all-around good guy.

How do you NOT like a guy such as Jesus…

…unless of course you adhere to an evil, racist, supremacist mindset.

We are joined by Christian writer/blogger Richard Edmonson of to discuss that side of Jesus few want to consider, namely as anti-Zionist/anti-racist/anti-Jewish supremacist freedom fighter and author of mankind’s Declaration of Independence from the madness, exploitation and violence of Jewish elitism. Please check out as well the website for his new book at

(ed note–sorry, no cameo appearances from MCP on this one)


Download Here


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