Archive | February 4th, 2012

US-CIA Heroin Transit Base Proven

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poppies

BFP Exclusive: U.S. Transit Hub-Base in Kyrgyzstan for Afghan Heroin

 

“A Nazi & a Drug Lord in Charge of Police in Osh?”

(Monday, 30. January 2012) – Today Turkish Weekly ran an investigative piece on the newly appointed chief of police in Osh-Kyrgyzstan. The new police chief Suyun Omurzakov, who used to be a deputy minister of interior, has been known as a highly influential drug lord, a leader of organized criminal groups, and he was the subject of a criminal investigation in the past:

In October 2009, the Kyrgyznews.com published an article pointing to a direct link between the then Osh city deputy chief of police S. Omurzakov and organized criminal groups engaged into drug trafficking, referring to this person as one of the most influential drug lords in the south of Kyrgyzstan.

Another report that investigates the June 2010 events developed by a coalition of Kyrgyz and Uzbek human right defenders “Oshskaya Initsiativa” (Osh Initiative) speaks of Omurzakov as a leader of an organized Kyrgyz criminal group, along with the mayor of Osh Melis Myrzakmatov, and crime bosses Almanbet Manapiyaev and Kadyr Dusanov (“Jengo”), etc., who were directly involved into plotting, leading, financing and participating in anti-Uzbek pogroms and distributing arms and ammunition among Kyrgyz militia.

 

Since 2001 Kyrgyzstan has been hosting the Transit Center at Manas (formerly Manas Air Base) as the transit point for US military personnel coming and going from Afghanistan, and pays 200 million for continued use of the facilities. For years the base has been riddled with scandals and fiascos.  Last December Boiling Frogs Post EyeOpener Investigative Report took a closer look at “The Manas Question: Drugs, Revolution & Terrorism on the Road to Afghanistan”:

But as important as the base is to the Kyrgyz people, the true nature of Manas remains an open question. For years, it has been at the centre of a string of allegations revolving around drug-running, terrorism and stage-managed revolutions.One of the most surprising revelations to emerge from Manas centered around the story of Abdolmalek Rigi, the former leader of the Jundullah terrorist organization who was captured by Iran onboard a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Kyrgyzstan.

Jundullah is a Pakistani tribal militant group that concerns itself with plight of Sunni Muslims in the predominantly Shiite Iran. Despite widely-acknowledged links to al-Qaeda, the CIA has been funding the group for years as a proxy force to commit attacks inside Iran, where it is believed to have killed and injured over 500 civilians since 2003.As Rigi himself told his Iranian captors, his story included the air base at Manas, which he claims the US uses to conduct covert meetings with people like himself.

 

 

You can watch the full report here at Boiling Frogs Post.

Last year, Peter Dale Scott wrote a lengthy article outlining how US intervention in Kyrgyzstan, in the name of protecting its strategic air base, has led to the destabilization of Kyrgyz politics and to a drastic increase in the flow of drugs through the country:

“…that there is a deep force behind drug, intelligence, and jihadi activity, would be consistent with the legacy of the CIA’s earlier interventions in Afghanistan, Laos, and Burma, and with America’s overall responsibility for the huge increases in global drug trafficking since World War II. It is important to understand that the more than doubling of Afghan opium drug production since the U.S. invasion of 2001 merely replicates the massive drug increases in Burma, Thailand, and Laos between the late 1940s and the 1970s. These countries also only became major sources of supply in the international drug traffic as a result of CIA assistance (after the French, in the case of Laos) to what would otherwise have been only local traffickers.

As early as 2001 Kyrgyzstan’s location had made it a focal point for transnational trafficking groups. According to a U.S. Library of Congress Report of 2002,

Kyrgyzstan has become a primary center of all aspects of the narcotics industry: manufacture, sale, and drug trafficking. Kyrgyzstan’s location adjacent to major routes across the Tajik mountains from Afghanistan combines with ineffectual domestic smuggling controls to attract figures from what a Kyrgyz newspaper report characterized as “an international organization uniting an unprecedentedly wide circle of members in the United States, Romania, Brazil, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan….These are no half-literate Tajik-Afghan drug runners, but professionals who have passed through a probation period in the mafia clans of the world narcotics system….”

Mr. Scott goes on to shine a further spotlight on the importance of Kyrgyzstan as a critical US “Transit Hub”:

The Badakhshan drug corridor is a matter of urgent concern for Russia. The Afghan opiates entering Russia via Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the chief smuggling route, come from Badakhshan and other northeastern provinces. The reductions of the last three years in Afghan drug production, while inadequate overall, have minimally impacted the northeast, allowing opiate imports into Russia to continue to grow. Meanwhile the much-touted clearing of opium poppy from the Afghan northern provinces has in some cases simply seen a switch “from opium poppies to another illegal crop: cannabis, the herb from which marijuana and hashish are derived.”

As a result, according to U.N. officials, Afghanistan is now also the world’s biggest producer of hashish (another drug inundating Russia).67 This has added to the flow of drugs up the Badakhshan-Tajik-Kyrgyz corridor. In short, the political skewing of America’s Afghan anti-drug policies is a significant reason for the major drug problems faced by Russia today.

IN July 2010 I wrote a lengthy investigative piece at Boiling Frogs Post on Kyrgyzstan, Bakiyev, Mina Corp and the connected US operatives:

When we talk about the strategic importance of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and other ‘stans’ we are not talking only about strategic in the sense of traditional resources-oil, we also talk about ‘narcotics resources’:

At the moment the stock of pure heroin in Afghanistan is estimated at slightly below 3,000 tons, and the revenues of Afghan drug suppliers reach around $3 bn annually. The international drug mafia earns at least $100 bn annually on heroin from Afghanistan, the money nourishing organized crime not only in Afghanistan but also across Central Asia – in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

And no, the real lords of these resources are not the farmers in Afghanistan or the mules transporting them. The real lords of heroin enterprises happen to be those who’ve been ‘groomed and planted’ to rule the source and transit nations, and the ones who rule those rulers who reside in the United States and other Western countries:

The revenues generated by the drug business are distributed among the criminal groups controlling various segments of the supply chain linking poppy farms to narcotics consumers. While Afghan poppy growers are enduring extreme poverty, the owners of the fields mostly reside in the US, Great Britain, and other Western democracies.

I encourage you to take the time and read the entire investigative report on Kyrgyzstan here. Once you do that you’ll understand why it makes perfect sense to have a drug boss lead Kyrgyzstan’s police force. It takes far more than a few mules to transport tens of billions of dollars worth of poppies-heroin. And it takes more than a third-world shack to house-base the loads as a transit hub. What you need is a major airbase and a massive hub. A la USA.

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US Envoy Writes of IsraHell Threats

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John Gunther Dean donated his collection of personal papers to the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, Georgia. The collection documents Dean’s career both during and after he left the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service.

John Gunther Dean  American Ambassador reportedly a target of an Israeli assassination plot. Published in The Nation.

 

by Barbara Crossett

 

In the wake of the accusation by Chas Freeman that his nomination to lead the National Intelligence Council was derailed by an “Israeli lobby,” a forthcoming memoir by another distinguished ambassador adds stunning new charges to the debate.

The ambassador, John Gunther Dean, writes that over the years he not only came under pressure from pro-Israeli groups and officials in Washington but also was the target of an Israeli-inspired assassination attempt in 1980 in Lebanon, where he had opened links to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Dean’s suspicions that Israeli agents may have also been involved in the mysterious plane crash in 1988 that killed Pakistan’s president, General Mohammed Zia ul Haq, led finally to a decision in Washington to declare him mentally unfit, which forced his resignation from the foreign service after a thirty-year career.

After he left public service, he was rehabilitated by the State Department, given a distinguished service medal and eventually encouraged to write his memoirs. Now 82, Dean sees the subsequent positive attention he has received as proof that the insanity charge (he calls it Stalinist) was phony, a supposition later confirmed by a former head of the department’s medical service.

Dean, whose memoir is titled Danger Zones: A Diplomat’s Fight for America’s Interests, was American ambassador in Lebanon in August 1980 when a three-car convoy carrying him and his family was attacked near Beirut.

Dean, whose memoir is titled Danger Zones: A Diplomat’s Fight for America’s Interests, was American ambassador in Lebanon in August 1980 when a three-car convoy carrying him and his family was attacked near Beirut.

“I was the target of an assassination attempt by terrorists using automatic rifles and antitank weapons that had been made in the United States and shipped to Israel,” he wrote.”Weapons financed and given by the United States to Israel were used in an attempt to kill an American diplomat!”

After the event, conspiracy theories abounded in the Middle East about who could have planned the attack, and why. Lebanon was a dangerously factionalized country.

The State Department investigated, Dean said, but he was never told what the conclusion was. He wrote that he “worked the telephone for three weeks” and met only official silence in Washington.

By then Dean had learned from weapons experts in the United States and Lebanon that the guns and ammunition used in the attack had been given by Israelis to a Christian militia allied with them.

“I know as surely as I know anything that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was somehow involved in the attack,” Dean wrote, describing how he had been under sharp criticism from Israeli politicians and media for his contacts with Palestinians. “Undoubtedly using a proxy, our ally Israel had tried to kill me.”

Dean’s memoir, to be published in May for the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Memoir Series by New Academia Publishing under its Vellum imprint, has been read and approved for publication by the State Department with only very minor changes, none affecting Dean’s major points.

Its underlying theme is that American diplomacy should be pursued in American interests, not those of another country, however friendly.

A Jew whose family fled the Holocaust, Dean resented what he saw as an assumption, including by some in Congress, that he would promote Israel’s interests in his ambassadorial work.

Ambassador Chas Freeman

Dean, a fluent French speaker who began his long diplomatic career opening American missions in newly independent West African nations in the early 1960s, served later in Vietnam (where he described himself as a “loyal dissenter”) and was ambassador in Cambodia (where he carried out the American flag as the Khmer Rouge advanced), Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand (where Chas Freeman was his deputy) and India.

He takes credit for averting bloodshed in Laos in the 1970s by negotiating a coalition government shared by communist and non-communist parties.

He was sometimes a disputatious diplomat not afraid to contradict superiors, and he often took–and still holds–contrarian views.

He always believed, for example, that the United States should have attempted to negotiate with the Khmer Rouge rather than let the country be overrun by their brutal horror.

As ambassador in India in the 1980s he supported then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s policy of seeking some kind of neutral coalition in Afghanistan that would keep the American- and Pakistani-armed mujahedeen from establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state.

For several years after the Soviet withdrawal, India continued to back Najibullah, a thuggish communist security chief whom the retreating Soviet troops left behind.

After the mujahedeen moved toward Kabul, Najibullah refused a United Nations offer of safe passage to India. He was slaughtered and left hanging on a lamppost.

Former Secretary of State George Shultz wrote a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, urging him to free Jonathan Pollard, the Washington Post revealed..

It was in the midst of this Soviet endgame in Afghanistan that Dean fell afoul of the State Department for the last time.

After the death of General Zia in August 1988, in a plane crash that also killed the American ambassador in Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, Dean was told in New Delhi by high-ranking officials that Mossad was a possible instigator of the accident, in which the plane’s pilot and co-pilot were apparently disabled or otherwise lost control.

There was also some suspicion that elements of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, its equivalent of the CIA, may have played a part. India and Israel were alarmed by Pakistan’s work on a nuclear weapon–the “Islamic bomb.”

Dean was so concerned about these reports, and the attempt by the State Department to block a full FBI investigation of the crash in Pakistan, that he decided to return to Washington for direct consultations.

Instead of the meetings he was promised, he was told his service in India was over. He was sent into virtual house arrest in Switzerland at a home belonging to the family of his French wife, Martine Duphenieux.

Six weeks later, he was allowed to return to New Delhi to pack his belongings and return to Washington, where he resigned.

Suddenly his health record was cleared and his security clearance restored. He was presented with the Distinguished Service Award and received a warm letter of praise from Secretary of State George Shultz.

“Years later,” he wrote in his memoir, “I learned who had ordered the bogus diagnosis of mental incapacity against me. It was the same man who had so effusively praised me once I was gone–George Shultz.”

Asked in a telephone conversation last week from his home in Paris why Shultz had done this to him, Dean would say only, “He was forced to.”

Source: The Nation


Barbara Crossette is The Nation’s United Nations correspondent. A former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, she is the author of several books on Asia, including So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1995 and in paperback by Random House/Vintage Destinations in 1996, and a collection of travel essays about colonial resort towns that are still attracting visitors more than a century after their creation, The Great Hill Stations of Asia, published by Westview Press in 1998 and in paperback by Basic Books in 1999. In 2000, she wrote a survey of India and Indian-American relations, India: Old Civilization in a New World, for the Foreign Policy Association in New York. She is also the author of India Facing the 21st Century, published by Indiana University Press in 1993.

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Editing: Debbie Menon

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A Crazy Republican Attack That Obama Himself Agrees With

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By David Swanson

 Iagine if a bunch of the craziest war-hungry Republicans in the House filmed themselves in a nutty bat-guano video packed with lies addressed to the President of the United States.  And then imagine President Barack Obama almost immediately agreeing with them.  I can think of two ways in which such a series of events could go unnoticed, as it just has

First, it could be about something insignificant. But this was about undoing the automatic cuts to the military mandated by the failure of the Supercommittee (remember, the top news story of a few months back?).  The military, across various departments, swallows over half of federal discretionary spending, and there’s no greater obsession in the corporate media than the great Spending vs. Cuts issue.  This is NOT insignificant.

Second, it could be about something that the elites of both major parties agree on, the media therefore ignores, most Republican voters love, and Democratic voters pretend not to notice because the President is a Democrat and an election is less than a year away.

If you’re guessing the second option, you are right. (Tell them what they’ve won, Leon!)  You are now the proud owners of the most expensive military ever seen, plus coming increases that will be presented as “cuts.”

When the Supercommittee failed, automatic federal budget cuts were to kick in — half to things we need and half to the bloated military.  The military cuts would take us back to 2004 spending.  We seem to have survived 2004 and the years preceding it OK.

The Pentagon claims to be making other cuts already, but they are “cuts” to dream budgets resulting in actual budget increases — and that’s not even counting increased war spending through other departments.

House Republicans have sent President Obama this crazy video opposing military cuts and introduced legislation to slash 10% of non-military government jobs instead. In the Senate, John McCain is said to be working on a similar bill.

Meanwhile “Defense” Secretary Leon Panetta has just announced the Obama Administration’s position: They will oppose the automatic cuts, or any other actual cuts, to the military. This will mean severe cuts to education, transportation, and — as President Obama indicated in his State of the Union speech — to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

At last Thursday’s press conference the first question following Panetta’s remarks was:

“Mr. Secretary, you talked a little bit on this, but over the next 10 years, do you see any other year than this year where the actual spending will go down from year to year? And just to the American public more broadly, how do you sort of explain what appears to be contradictory, as you talk about, repeatedly, this $500 billion in cuts in a Defense Department budget that is actually going to be increasing over time?”

Panetta had no substantive answer.  And he didn’t need one.  The media almost unanimously put out the false story that the military was undergoing serious cuts.  That first year’s cut, by the way, is 1%, to be followed by nine years of larger increases.

You might have forgotten that in 2008, three times in three presidential debates, Senator John McCain proposed cutting the military, while Senator Obama campaigned on increasing it — one promise he has actually kept.

Lately supporters have been saying that the President will become the Obama of our Dreams once he’s a lame duck.  But the history and the logic of lame duck officials is that they become less, not more, representative of the public will.  And the public will is strongly in favor of major cuts to the military.

Others may be inclined to suggest that while Obama and Panetta are increasing the military and calling it “cuts,” they are actually cutting the budget for wars.  Some may have been misled by this line in the State of the Union: “Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.”

But in reality, Obama and Panetta are proposing to cut the war budget by only $27 billion.  Meanwhile, the $27 billion has already been spent elsewhere in the Pentagon budget.  Plus military spending is on the rise in other departments.  Plus any new wars and confrontations — like in Iran or Syria — will offer the opportunity for supplemental bills.  And less expensive but more secretive and equally deadly wars are underway, investment will increase in drones and special forces, and I have doubts we could rebuild our nation here at home for $13.5 billion even if we had it, while continuing to dump over $1 trillion into preparations for the crime of war year after year.

We do have the option to resist.

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Consensus 9/11: Seeking Truth, Dispelling Lies

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by Stephen Lendman

 

Consensus 9/11 seeks “best evidence” proof to dispel official story falsehoods. It’s founded on:

  1. “The opinions of respected authorities, based on professional experience, descriptive studies, and reports of expert committees.

  2.  Physical data in the form of photographs, videotapes, court testimony, witness reports, and FOIA releases.

  3.  Direct rather than circumstantial evidence.”

Determining “best evidence” depends on “integrating individual professional expertise with the best available documentary and scientific evidence.”

Simplified Delphi methodology is followed. It’s often used “where published information is inadequate or non-existent.” As a result, experts use “best evidence” to determine truth.

9/11: The Seminal Event of Our Time

Lt. Col. Shelton F. Lankford, US Marine Corps (ret.) calls 9/11 “the watershed event of our lives and the greatest test for our democracy in our lifetimes.”

Calling the official explanation “impossible,” he cited “evidence of government complicity in the lead-up to the event, the failure to respond during the event, and the astounding lack of any meaningful investigation afterwards, as well as the ignoring of” subsequent evidence perhaps causing “the end of the American experiment….(O)ur republic and our Constitution remain in the gravest danger.”

Evidence revealed contradicts the official 9/11 story. It spawned a nightmarish decade of wars, torture, military tribunals, extraordinary rendition, assault on democratic freedoms, millions of deaths, and incalculable human misery.

Official 9/11 claims “are contradicted by facts that have been validated by a scientific consensus process,” using “best” and other strong evidence.

For example, bin Laden was blamed for 9/11. However, FBI charges against him excluded it. In fact, then FBI investigative publicity head Rex Tomb said no hard evidence connected him to it. Moreover, the 9/11 Commission also produced none.

Another example involves blaming jet impacts, fuel, and resulting fires for bringing down the Twin Towers. In fact, jet fuel reaches maximum temperatures no greater than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Steel begins melting only at 2,700 degrees or higher.

Yet official reports claimed otherwise. They also said three causes only downed the buildings – jet impacts, fires and gravity. However, best evidence disproves this and other official claims.

WTC 7′s collapse is especially important. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) initially blamed structural damage combined with jet fuel fire. Then its final report blamed fire alone.

However, no plane struck the building. In addition, “no steel-frame high-rise building” ever collapsed from fire. Moreover, if such an event was possible, gradual weakness would first occur.

Yet WTC 7 experienced “virtual free fall” straight down symmetrically into its own footprint with its “roofline remaining essentially horizontal.” Best evidence shows “all 82 of (its) support columns had been eliminated by the time” collapse began. Human meddling, not damage, was responsible.

Another key fact involves nanothermitic material evidence. It “can be tailored to behave as an incendiary (like ordinary thermite), or as an explosive….”

Four “independently collected” WTC dust samples found it. A multi-authored, peer-reviewed paper reported it. Although NIST performed no tests to determine the presence of incendiary materials, it claimed none were present.

Many other best evidence examples disprove official accounts. They entirely lack credibility.

Other Consensus Points ask the following:

  • Why wasn’t Bush “hustled away from the Florida School” for his safety?

  • How credible is the White House claim about why he remained under national emergency conditions?

  • Claiming no pre-9/11 insider put option trading when records show their existence.

  • The questionable initial official reason why the Pentagon attack wasn’t prevented.

  • The dubious one that followed.

Distinguished Panel Members

Twenty-one in all, they include:

(1) Dr. Robert Bowman: former US Air Force Institute of Technology Department of Aeronautical Engineering head. He also directed Ford and Carter administrations’ Advanced Space Programs Development.

(2) David S. Chandler: A physics and math educator, he formerly served on The Physics Teacher (AAPT journal) editorial board. In addition, he was key in forcing NIST to concede WTC 7′s free fall.

(3) Giulietto Chiesa: Italian journalist, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies Fellow, and documentary film producer about 9/11 titled, “Zero.”

(4) Dwain Deets: former NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Director for Research Engineering and Aerospace Projects. His awards include inclusion in “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering” and NASA’s Exceptional Service Award.

(5) Tod Fletcher: Former Berkeley, San Francisco State and Laney College geography and environmental science instructor. In 2010 and 2011, he hosted the weekly “9/11 In Context” radio program online.

(6) Lt. Col. David Gapp: Retired US Air Force pilot with 3,000 flying hours. He’s also a qualified aircraft accident investigator, former Aircraft Accident Board President, and Air Force Theatre Security Cooperation head.

(7) Dr. Niels Harrit: Associate University of Copenhagen Nano-Science Professor of Chemistry. He was first author of “Active Thermitic Material observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal in 2009.

(8) Dr. Steven E. Jones: Former Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University. He initiated research for the peer-reviewed paper titled, “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.” It was published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal.

(9) Commander Ralph Kolstad: Retired US Navy fighter pilot and 27-year airline pilot veteran, with 23,000 total flying hours.

(10) Lt. Col. Shelton F. Lankford: Retired US Marine Corps officer; fighter pilot with over 300 combat missions; Distinguished Flying Cross and 32 Air Medals recipient, with over 10,000 total flying hours.

(11) Dr. Graeme MacQueen: McMaster University Canada Buddhism and Peace Studies lecturer. He founded McMaster’s Centre of Peace Studies and its War and Health program. His 9/11 research includes, “The Fictional Basis For the War on Terror,” and New York Fire Department oral testimonies.

(12) Massimo Mazzucco: Award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and journalist. He serves as luogocomune.net editor. It’s dedicated to 9/11 research. His 2006 “Inganno Globale 9/11″ documentary aired on Silvio Berlusconi’s Canale 5 Italian TV. A national debate followed.

His documentary titled, “The New American Century” appeared in film festivals worldwide. He’s currently preparing his third documentary. It rebuts 9/11 Movement counter-claims.

(13) Dennis P. McMahon: He represented 9/11 family members in Burke v. McSweeney. It was part of the NYCCAN petition effort to have NYC voters decide whether New York should have its own 9/11 investigation. He was also involved in introducing the “Building What?” campaign. It was later called “Remember Building 7.”

(14) Rowland Morgan: An independent journalist, he co-authored “9/11 Revealed.” In the 1990s, he also wrote weekly London Guardian and Independent columns. In addition, he and Ian Henshall co-authored “Flight 93 Revealed.”

(15) Frances Shure: Retired business owner, Licensed Professional depth psychology Counselor, and Naropa University adjunct instructor. She’s also a longtime peace/environmental activist, co-founder of Colorado 9/11 Visibility, and Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth member.

(16) Lou Stolzenberg: Retired Physical Therapist. Using evidence-based patient care, faith, and social justice involved her with 9/11 Truth activism in 2006. She’s Coordinator for Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth.

(17) Daniel Sunjata: Film, television and stage actor, he performed in the TV series “Rescue Me.” A sub-plot included 9/11 as a false flag operation.

(18) Matthew Witt: University of La Verne, CA Associate Professor of Public Administration. His published work with others shows shadow governing entities and state crimes against democracy undermine America’s legitimacy and founding doctrine. His work appears in Administration & Society, American Behavioral Scientist, and Public Integrity.

(19) Dr. Jonathan B. Weisbuch (MD, MPH): Formerly he served as Maricopa County, AZ Chief Health Officer; LA County Department of Health Services Medical Director; Wyoming Department of Health and Social Services Director; American Association of Public Health Physicians President; and American Journal of Public Health editorial consultant.

(20) Dr. Paul Zarembka: SUNY, Buffalo Professor of Economics; Research in Political Economy editor; “The Hidden History of 9/11″ editor; Frontiers in Econometrics editor; and Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today’s Capitalism co-editor.

(21) Barrie Zwicker: former Detroit News, Toronto Star, and Toronto Globe and Mail reporter; Toronto’s Vision TV commentator; and Ryerson University journalism lecturer. In 2006, he published “Towers of Deception: the Media Cover-up of 9/11.” He was also featured in the 2009 CBC TV program, “The Unofficial Story.”

Honorary Panel Members

(1) Dr. Lynn Margulis: University of Massachusetts Department of Geosciences University Professor. In 1983, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1999, she received the Presidential Medal of Science. In 1998, the Library of Congress agreed to permanently archive her papers.

(2) Rt. Hon. Michael Meacher, British Parliament Labour MP. From 1997 – 2003, he served as Minister of State for the Environment. Regarding 9/11, he said:

“I do not subscribe to any theory about what actually did happen since in my view there are still far too many uncertainties – all I do know is that the official account has so many flaws and inconsistencies in it that it is simply not credible as it stands.”

(3) William F. Pepper: An international human rights attorney, he represented Dr. Martin Luther King’s family in a civil action that revealed the truth about his assassination, including James Early Ray’s innocence.

He’s also past Oxford University, UK International Human Rights Seminar Convener. Though not a 9/11 investigator, he’s long advocated a comprehensive, independent investigation as a just memorial to those whose lives were lost, and to fulfill an outstanding obligation to their families, whose questions remain unanswered.

(4) Andreas von Bulow: German writer, lawyer and politician, he served for 25 years in Germany’s parliament, was Federal Ministry of Defense state-secretary, and Minister of Research and Technology.

He also worked on the intelligence services parliamentary committee. Investigating Western intelligence criminal activities followed as well as two books: “In the Name of the State” and “The CIA and September 11.”

Consensus 9/11 Panel Administrators

(1) Dr. David Ray Griffin: Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology. His 37 books mostly examine the philosophy of science and religion. Among them, 10 discuss 9/11 definitively and comprehensively.

They include “The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11;” “The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Expose;” “The 9/11 Commission Report: “Omissions and Distortions;” and his newest titled, “9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed.”

Griffin’s the consummate 9/11 scholar. He’s also dedicated to truth and full disclosure.

(2) William Veale: An attorney, he served as UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law Criminal Trial Practice Instructor and Contra Costa County, CA Chief Assistant Public Defender. Through court appearances and his Vealetruth blog, he’s also involved in exposing 9/11 facts. He’s also pro bono 9/11 Consensus Panel legal spokesperson.

(3) Elizabeth Woodworth: Retired health sciences librarian, she authored “What Can I Do? Citizen Strategies for Nuclear Disarmament.” She’s involved in researching 9/11 evidence, editing books, and writing 9/11 related articles. She’s also 9/11 Consensus Panel co-founder and Coordinator.

A Final Comment

9/11 was the defining event of our time. Multiple wars followed. More are planned. America’s business is war – permanent, destructive, lawless ones.

Global terror wars rage, another on truth, democratic values, rule of law principles, social justice, and freedom.

Debunking the official 9/11 lie is a vital first step to ending the global nightmare threatening humanity if it continues.

As a result, joining the struggle against what’s too unacceptable to tolerate is essential. There is no alternative or time to waste, given the stakes.

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IsraHell Lawlessly Indicts MK Sa’id Naffa

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by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel reveals its rogue credentials daily. In mid-July 2010, its Knesset stripped MK Hanin Zoabi of key parliamentary rights and privileges for participating in the May 2010 Freedom Flotilla bringing vital aid to Gaza.

Since then, she’s been vilified, threatened, and may be prevented from standing for reelection. Hard-liners call her a “traitor.”

Arab MKs are accustomed to marginalization, threats, abuse, and lawless actions against them.

In November 2009, Hadash party chairman Mohammed Barakeh was bogusly indicted for allegedly assaulting a police officer during an anti-Separation Wall rally. Previous alleged incidents between 2005 and 2007 were included in charges against him.

The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights said indicting him criminalized “legitimate political activities (in an attempt) to harm the reputation and status of an Arab leader.”

Barakeh called charges against him false, saying “The ones that are being violent and abusing freedom of demonstration and of speech are the police and security establishment.”

He added that his indictment “reek(ed) of politics. It’s not a personal (attack) but an attempt to terrorize and deter anyone wishing to exercise his democratic right to resist government policy.”

Balad party MK Said Naffa’s also targeted. On December 26, 2011, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein indicted him for “illegally traveling to an enemy country” and assisting in organizing a visit for others.

At issue is Israel’s 1948 Emergency Regulations (Foreign Travel) Ordinance. It never should have been passed in the first place. It’s an affront to democratic rights and should be rescinded.

Other charges included “contact with a foreign agent.” Allegedly it was for meeting with Talal Naji, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) deputy director-general. In addition, Naffa was accused of planning to meet Khaled Mashal, Hamas political bureau head. Israel spuriously calls them “terrorist organization” leaders.

In September 2007, Naffa went to Syria with about 300 Druze clerics and Israeli social activists. It was a holy pilgrimage, unrelated to politics.

His lawyer, Saud Ghanim said:

“The religious leaders’ visit to Syria was purely for religious and humanitarian reasons. Even the Israeli Supreme Court regards the Israeli law that prevents these (type) visits as arbitrary. Therefore, the filing of an indictment in this regard is discriminatory, and the real problem is with the law and not the actual visit.”

“We will challenge the constitutionality of this law before the court. (It) dates back to the emergency laws in place since the days of military rule and contradicts modern fundamental constitutional principles.”

In fact, Naffa visited Syria to fulfill his MK duties as a public representative. Adalah said doing so “lies within the scope of his parliamentary immunity.” Israel’s High Court acknowledged it. Naffa acted legally and properly.

He noted Israel’s double standard. After his trip, an Israeli Christian delegation visited Syria. Prosecutions didn’t follow. Nor against Jews traveling to Iraq, other religious trips by Christians and Circassians, and Muslims going to Saudi Arabia.

Adalah said Naffa’s charges “have no legal or constitutional” basis. Its lawyers unsuccessfully tried to get charges dropped. They were issued four years after his visit.

Earlier, Naffa unsuccessfully appealed for Knesset help. The relevant committee voted 9 – 2 to strip his immunity and declined to hear supportive legal testimony.

On January 30, Nazareth’s District Court held its first hearing. Charges against him carry a maximum 15 year sentence. After being indicted, Naffa said he didn’t harm state security. “There is a long court proceeding before me. I will fight for my innocence and the matter of immunity will (also) be discussed….”

“I do not regret the trip and I am no hypocrite. The issues I am forced to pay the price for were discussed here for many hours, and very much promoted the interests and rights.”

In response, extremist MK Anastassia Michaeli said she’d initiate legislation to strip Naffa and others convicted of similar charges of citizenship immediately. “Maybe then they would think twice,” she said.

Meretz party MK Ilan Ghilon said he’d “like to see (Netanyahu) travel in a bus or minibus to Damascus. Then no one would complain of a violation of the State’s security.”

Naffa is Druze. Before the Knesset committee voted, he addressed members saying:

“Today I am addressing a taboo. The establishment considers the Druze a trained herd whose place is to serve in the military and the Border Guard – a herd that has no feelings.”

Former Israeli AG Menachem Mazuz said “Naffa ignored a decision by the authorized bodies and held a conspiracy meeting with one of the terrorist organization heads and tried to meet with another terrorist organization head, and such things are exactly what the law aims to prevent.”

In fact, Hamas, PFLP, and other lawful resistance groups want Israel’s lawless occupation ended and Palestine liberated. Their leaders and members aren’t terrorists. They’ve victims of Israeli state-terrorism like all Palestinians.

Numerous examples confirm it, including other targeted Arab MKs. On May 31, 2010, following the Mavi Marmara massacre, mass demonstrations protested Israel’s raid.

MK Taleb al-Sana said it “exposed the ugly face of Zionism and the violence and aggression of the government of Israel.” He called it an act of “state terror” against a humanitarian mission and said those responsible should be tried for war crimes. “This event proves you don’t have to be a German to be a Nazi,” he added.

Al-Sana also participated in a Gaza border demonstration during which Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke. In response, Israel’s internal security minister Yitzhak Ahaonovitch asked for charges against him “for supporting a terror organization.”

In February 2010, Islamic Movement northern branch head Sheikh Raed Saleh was sentenced to nine months for allegedly assaulting a police officer, a charge he denied. Like other Arab leaders, he was accused solely for his political affiliation and positions.

On February 2, 2010, a Haaretz editorial headlined, “Harassing Arab MKs,” saying:

Removing “Said Naffa’s parliamentary immunity, like the decision to prosecute (other Arab MKs), is unwarranted, harmful and smacks of political persecution based on nationality.”

Naffa’s being scapegoated. He’s not first Israeli MK to visit an Arab country, but he was targeted for doing it. Moreover, MKs rarely lose immunity for political reasons, unlike those accused of real criminality like corruption.

Nonetheless, “(i)nstead of calling on Arab lawmakers to act as a bridge between Israel and the Arab world, Israel puts them on trial under a law that should never have been passed in the first place.”

Prohibiting MKs from visiting Arab countries not only impedes their lawful activities serving constituents, it’s also discriminatory by targeting only Arabs, not Jews.

A Final Comment

On January 20, Britain lawlessly revoked Press TV’s broadcasting license, removing it from the Sky platform. Fortunately, viewers have options to follow an invaluable service online or by satellite.

This writer appears often on many topics. Press TV provides an open platform to speak freely. UK and American outlets suppress truth. Press TV reveals it. As a result, it’s targeted.

On January 26, political writer/hardline Republican supporter, and Foundation for Democracy in Iran (an anti-Iranian front group) executive director Kenneth Timmerman headlined an article, “Why Doesn’t America Ban Iranian Press TV?” saying:

Obama officials let “the channel operate (in America) without a license and in violation of US sanctions regulations, which ban commercial transactions with Iran.”

In fact, viewing it requires doing so online or by satellite. US and broadcast TV channels exclude it. Its US presence is through intermediary companies. Its correspondents report globally.

Timmerman outrageously called it an “anti-American propaganda” broadcaster. In addition, he attacked guests like James Fetzer, calling him a “well-known….conspiracy theorist.”

Fetzer appears regularly on the Progressive Radio News Hour. He’s an honored guest. He also founded and co-chairs Scholars for 9/11 Truth. Vilifying him is unconscionable.

He also attacked commentator Mark Dankof and Paul Sheldon Foote for reporting accurately on Israel, as well as Press TV CEO Mohammad Sarafraz for wanting to spread anti-American propaganda.

Moreover, he targeted Gamal Hassanein and Samir Ezeldin for working with Press TV in America, saying:

“(T)hey hire producers and camera crews to film events and conduct interviews at Press TV’s request.” By implication, he suggested wrongdoing.

Gamal arranges this writer’s Press TV appearances. He said Timmerman revealed his address and other personal information to vilify him and make him vulnerable to abuse.

Extremists like Timmerman use offensive and abusive tactics to further their hard-right agenda. In contrast, Press TV is an effective antidote. As a result, it’s spuriously vilified and excluded from US broadcast and cable channels.

Ignore Timmerman and others like him. Follow Press TV daily for real information and analysis to stay current and well informed – free from Western propaganda and hatemongers like Timmerman

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on IsraHell Lawlessly Indicts MK Sa’id Naffa

9/11 – Urban Renewal With a Twist?

NOVANEWS

by Stewart Ogilby

 

I was born in Staten Island Hospital and grew up on the southwest shore of that island when its waters were clean and teemed with fish including porgies, weakfish, bluefish, striped bass and big sharks. Our island, a burough of New York City, had clean beaches, dense woods, farms, unspoiled lakes, and abundant wildlife. Raritan Bay separates the island from the shoreline of New Jersey that stretches around to the entrance of New York harbor. Working on South Beach as a lifeguard in the summer for the NYC Department of Parks during my teens, I could watch magnificent passenger liners as they arrived and departed through the Narrows. On clear days the parachute jump ride at Coney Island in the distance could be seen from my beach perch. More than once I explained to Sunday city folk, when asked, that it was the Eiffel Tower. Some people are amazingly gullible.

To access Manhattan it was necessary to ride the ferry. When the Verrazano Bridge was planned my parents, both of whom came from old Staten Island families, recognized that the end had come for their beloved bucolic island and they bought a farm in Ohio. In my teens I spent summers with cousins and other family on the island. Some years later I watched the familiar New York City skyline change as two box-like immensely high buildings, presumably modern in design and vastly different from neighboring structures, towered above Hudson River’s city piers.

The so-called “twin towers” were flagship structures in NY Port Authority’s new World Trade Center in which seven other smaller ones were constructed. Building 7, which eventually achieved notoriety due to its obvious demolition late in the day on 9/11, was roughly half the height of the twin towers. The Port Authority’s 1964 cost estimate for the project was $350 million. By September 1965 it had risen to $525 million. By December 1966 it was $575 million. There was no stopping this highly touted project to construct the world’s tallest buildings, despite serious financial reservations. Bid at $750 million, the final construction cost was $1.2 billion.

By the time it was complete, commercial office space was no longer in great demand. The buildings were
topped off but some say that they were never fully occupied. To save money, interior construction, such as floors, would be constructed as leases were signed. To hide financial reality, occupancy percentages were calculated on constructed areas only, it is claimed.

The twin towers were a financial boondoggle. To make matters worse, there were design problems. Any good
sailor knows of galvanic corrosion between aluminum and steel, especially in a marine environment. As winds blew across the Hudson, the aluminum exterior sheathing began to separate from the interior steel beams. The face of the WTC began to fall off. Tenants would not tolerate the tremendous noise of repair. The sensible financial move for the Port Authority was to demolish the buildings. Due to the asbestos insulation, according to one source, the EPA would not permit the buildings to be imploded conventionally. They would have to be taken down by 2007 beam by beam, floor by floor, at a projected cost of $20 billion.

What to do? Well, these guys are not stupid. Today there are millions of Americans who, although not inclined to believe you can see Europe from the shore of Staten Island, are totally inclined to believe whatever masquerades as news, official government pronouncements and narratives broadcast from their magic boxes, the ubiquitous television sets that have matriculated from homes into restaurants, bars, barber-shops, and public areas. Add controlled newspapers and Hollywood fantasy and their propaganda game is complete.

Most intelligent and informed persons now realize that 9/11 was an “inside job”. TV narratives provide diversions. Let’s consider a few “what if’s”. These will offend, disgust, amaze, delight or confuse you, based upon the extent of your own knowledge and research since 9/11:

  • What if the story of hijacked commercial airliners is not true?

  • What if 9 WTC buildings (yes, 9!) were explosively demolished?

  • What if the buildings had been emptied and thousands not killed?

  • What if partying Arabs had been imported to be patsies?

  • What if UA-175′s impact of WTC-1 was animated digital fakery?

  • What if photographing that incoming drone plane had been pre-planned?

  • What if owners of America’s mainline media are complicit?

  • What if published airliner passenger lists are fake?

  • What if “lost relative” posters swamping NYC were fakes?

  • What if “The 911 Truth Movement” has been infiltrated for diversions?

  • What if “dead victims” were manufactured and unreal persons?

  • What if millions of dollars are being paid out to “grieving” actors?

  • What if no commercial airliners were crashed anywhere?

  • What if the 911 narrative was twisted to further demonize Arabs?

  • What if money, war, power, and psychopathology is in charge?

If 9/11 was an inside job, to be eventually exposed as such, would the perpetrators have risked
murdering thousands of innocent civilians only to have many thousand more irate relatives breathing
down their necks, demanding answers, and eventually suing them? What of the criminal liability?

If you think these ideas are far-fetched, please dig into work done pertaining to 9/11, New York City’s huge urban renewal project, over the past decade. As a start, approach with a new perspective Simon Shack’s September Clues and Phil Jayhan’s Let’s Roll Forums. Listen with caution to better financed 911 Truthers.

Sums of money are being raised by grieving family members who are equipped with one or two photos of
their “murdered loved one”. Arrests for fraud and sworn testimony from opportunists may become the key
to exposing the 9/11 perpetrators, addicts to money and dominance, the wanna-be masters of projected
world government.

Posted in USAComments Off on 9/11 – Urban Renewal With a Twist?

BBC Censorship Meltdown – Tunisian Jews Silenced

NOVANEWS

The BBC Censors its Own Report on Tunisia’s Jews Saying “No” to Israel!

One of those interviewed by Davies said to him and a listening world, “No one here is afraid.”

 

BBC Self Censors for the Israelis

  … by  Alan Hart

 

There was a moment in a report from Tunisia by the BBC’s Wyre Davies when I could not stop myself laughing. I was listening to it on the Corporation’s generally excellent World Service radio.

In my view this particular BBC service is generally excellent because unlike all other BBC news and current affairs outlets, radio and tv, it often reflects some of the truth about what is happening in and over Palestine that became Israel.

Davies was in Tunisia to find out how its remaining 2,000 Jews (down from 300,000 once upon a time) were responding to a call from an Israeli government minister for them to move to Israel.

I know my country well and I’m against the proposition to leave because no-one here is afraid” Atun Khalifa Senior figure in Tunisian Jewish community

The case the minister made was, apparently, that their security and wellbeing were no longer guaranteed in an Arab country with an Islamist government in place of what Davies called a “sectarian dictatorship”.

In other words, Tunisia’s Jews were in danger and would be safe in Israel.

My guess is that the greatest concern of the Israeli minister and his colleagues was less the fate of Jews in Tunisia and more the need for Jews from anywhere to go to Israel to help defuse the ticking demographic time-bomb of occupation.

The story as told by Davies for the BBC’s World (radio) Service was honest reporting at its best. Its explicit message was that Tunisia’s Jews have rejected the Israeli call.

One of those interviewed by Davies said to him and a listening world, “No one here is afraid.”

 

“Where would I go – to Europe? Come on, I’m not stupid. To Israel? I’m not that stupid either,” Jacob told me as he prepared to open the restaurant for the evening. Jacob Lelouche runs the last kosher restaurant in Tunisia. He is a proud Tunisian and he is also Jewish. None of which is contradictory or in any way problematic, says Jacob.

Another said, “Go to Israel?… I’m not crazy!

That’s what made me laugh.

A subsequent development wiped the smile from my face.

A friend in Italy sent me a web link for the television version of the Davies report from Tunisia. I opened the link to check that it was the same report I’d heard on the World (radio) Service.

It started in exactly the same way so I assumed it was, and I tweeted it as “MUST WATCH: Tunisia’s Jews reject (Israel’s) call to leave,”

An hour or so later I made the time to view the complete television version.

The Jewish gentleman who said, “Go to Israel…? I’m not crazy!” had been edited out.

On past BBC form there are four possible explanations.

  1. Driven by a personal commitment to Zionism and support for its monster child right or wrong, a senior BBC executive ordered the quote to be dropped on his own initiative,

  1. A senior BBC executive received a telephone call from the Israeli Embassy in London, or possibly the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem, telling him or her that Israel would not be pleased if the BBC gave more air time to a Tunisian Jew who was saying “No” to Israel in a way that suggested he had some contempt for the Zionist state and thought that many Israelis were crazy.

  1. A senior BBC executive anticipated that giving the Jewish gentleman in Tunisia a wider audience would provoke Zionism’s wrath and decided (as BBC excutives often do) that it was better for the Corporation to censor itself than provoke that wrath.

  1. For reasons of limited space in a television news bulletin, the report for the World (radio) Service had to be edited, shortened.

I have to say that I consider the fourth possible explanation as summarized above to be the least likely one. Why?

There are many very good journalists in the BBC and they know as well as I do that the single most revealing and therefore newsworthy statement in the original Davies report was that of the Jewish gentleman who said, “Go to Israel…? I’m not crazy!”

The censored (or edited) version of the Davies report can be found at : Tunisian Jews reject calls to leave

Editing: Debbie Menon

Posted in UKComments Off on BBC Censorship Meltdown – Tunisian Jews Silenced

Notice – Byron, Illinois Nuke In Trouble

NOVANEWS

Loss of Off-site Power Shuts Down Reactor

by Bob Nichols

 

Jet Stream Winds push Radiation to Downtown Chicago The Weather Channel

Jet Stream Winds push Radiation to Downtown Chicago

(San Francisco) Excelon Corporation announced Monday, Jan 30 that one of two reactors at Byron, Illinois had automatically shut down due to loss of electrical power from the electrical grid.

The two Byron nuclear stations generate almost 7 Billion Watts of heat, 2.3 Billion Watts is turned into electricity; the remaining 4.7 Billion Watts of Heat is wasted heating up the Rock River.

This is perfectly in line with the normal abysmal efficiency of the big nuke power reactors of at most 33%. Equivalent Billion Watt  coal and/or natural gas power plants hit 60% efficiency.

Light radioactive gases are being released in steam from the turbine building.

Excelon says this includes radioactive Hydrogen. Excelon’s description would be funny if it was not an outright lie and murderous in its application.

“The steam contains tritium, a hydrogen isotope with low levels of radioactivity. Exelon, in a news release, said tritium occurs naturally and is found in virtually all surface water, although it is found in greater concentrations near nuclear reactors.” …Excelon Corporation

Tritium is vanishingly rare in nature. Tritium is manufactured by atomic bombs and nuclear reactors. Tritium is then used by the nuclear weapons labs in hydrogen bombs to boost the bomb’s destructive output a thousand times.

A look inside the Bryon Control Room Created Sat Nov 19 2011

A look inside the Bryon Control Room Created Sat Nov 19 2011

The simple fact of the matter is that radioactive hydrogen combines readily with water and all of us humans are 70% water.

What’s more, 80% of the molecular bonds in human bodies are hydrogen bonds. The radioactive hydrogen goes right through our clothes and skin to wreak havoc on a molecular scale.

Vets, Don’t Go to Byron, Il.

 

Because of this, I’d stay clear of the Byron, Illinois area for the immediate future. For VeteransToday readers, there is no good reason to go there.

All American nuclear reactors must be fed electricity from the electric grid from two separate directions. The outside electricity is used to power the all important water pumps. Without tons of moving water utter destruction is but hours away. It is a very interesting question, then from a military standpoint, of how both electrical feeds at the Byron Station were discontinued at the same time.

Your comments are welcome.

Sources and Notes.

“The steam contains Tritium,” Jan 31, 2012, Exelon on Byron, Il., “Byron Station Declares Unusual Event,” Byron News Release, Jan 30, 2012. http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/79874780?access_key=key-1ywmjgffakub40kpkaap

Unusual Event, State of Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, Division of Emergency Management, Jan 30, 2012, Lon Getter. http://enenews.com/state-of-wisconsin-issues-statement-on-nuclear-incident-in-illinois-currently-monitoring-conditions-after-plant-lost-power-and-went-offline

Posted in USAComments Off on Notice – Byron, Illinois Nuke In Trouble

Dorothy Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

 

7 items below—none, however, about Israel striking Iran—a subject that is more and more discussed here with added tidbits from the US and other countries.  May it never happen!

Item 1 reports that 3 people were injured today at the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh, one of the three, a French national, was apparently badly wounded.  Haaretz had less information than is in the 972 Magazine report below (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-french-woman-wounded-by-idf-gas-grenade-in-west-bank-demonstration-1.410945 ).  Ynet has nothing, not even in its updates.  Nor did I find any report in France24.  Which means that we won’t know how badly she was injured until at least tomorrow.  There have been in the past lethal and almost lethal  injuries from canisters being shot by IOF soldiers at close range directly at demonstrators.  I hope that in the present case the injury will be less severe and that the person injured will soon be well.  Whoops, there’s an update that was not there 10 minutes ago, but not of her condition http://972mag.com/witnesses-video-challenge-army-account-of-nabi-saleh-shooting/34594/

Item 2 is commentary on Mohammed Bakri acting in a play at the Tzafta theater in Tel Aviv.

Item 3 informs us that Jerusalem Armenians are outraged because a parking lot near their homes has suddenly become for Jews only.  Yep.  That’s Israel.

In item 4 Ben White argues that Palestinian citizens of Israel will not enjoy equality.  I agree.

Item 5 is a further report on Professor Gur’s slurs regarding the BDS conference at the University of Pennsylvania.  The University responds to the complaint.

In item 6 Ban Ki Moon states that the Palestinians will have a state only via negotiations, which is the same as to say that the Palestinians will never have a state.  Israel uses ‘negotiations’ not to end the conflict but rather to win time until it takes over the entire West Bank. 

In item 7, the final item, Amira Hass poses the question ‘does helping a Palestinian beautify the occupation?’  Her essay, which is about Machsom Watch, which comprises women who monitor the checkpoints, reminds me of a piece that I wrote in 2004, when I still was quite active, and in which I acknowledged that I was a collaborator—not by choice, but by necessity.  Because the truth is that helping Palestinians—be it harvesting olives or driving them to hospitals or helping to get a permit (which often is impossible) or anything else can be done only by appealing to the occupation authorities.  Sad.

That’s it for today.

All the best,

Dorothy

+++++++++++++

1 Friday, February 3 2012Independent commentary and news from Israel & PalestineCategories

http://972mag.com/reports-of-serious-injuries-at-weekly-west-bank-demonstration/34527/

Foreign national injured at weekly West Bank demonstration

A photographer and two women, one reportedly a French national, were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at this Friday’s anti-occupation demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available

http://972mag.com/witnesses-video-challenge-army-account-of-nabi-saleh-shooting/34594/

|Lisa Goldman

Three civilians were injured in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh today and required hospitalization, according to reports from several eyewitness. A French national, whose name is reportedly Amissy (unconfirmed), was hit in the neck with a projectile – either a tear gas canister or a steel-coated rubber bullet. The Israeli army reports that a border police officer was injured in the head by a rock.

 

French national injured at Nabi Saleh Friday demonstration (photo: ActiveStills / Oren Ziv)

 

Although photos show the woman bleeding profusely and obviously in pain, IDF spokesman Major Peter Lerner tweeted that she had been ‘lightly injured’ by a rock thrown by a ‘non-violent’ Palestinian.

 

Major Lerner’s tweet provoked jeers from eyewitnesses, with several tweeting that they had seen the incident and that an indisputable video would soon be available. +972 Magazine has confirmed that there is a video of the shooting; we will upload it as soon as it is available.

 

Eyewitnesses report that soldiers beat Nariman Tamimi, a Nabi Saleh woman who is a trained medic, as she tried to help the injured French woman. Ms. Tamimi is the wife of imprisoned activist Bassam Tamimi, whose jail sentence was handed down based on forced coercions taken from minors. Bassem Tamimi’s case has attracted the attention of French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé.

 

Ms. Tamimi’s cousin Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was killed at a Friday demonstration in early December 2011, when an Israeli border police officer shot a tear gas canister at his head from very short range.

 

Soldiers also reportedly shot directly at a photojournalist who was covering the demonstration, prompting several people present to comment that the Israeli army was targeting journalists. This would not be the first time journalists were targeted by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. Photojournalist Mati Milstein wrote this report for +972 Magazine after he and several colleagues were targeted by Israeli soldiers shooting tear gas canisters at close range.

 

Proper use of tear gas canisters, according to both IDF training manuals and the tear gas manufacturers, is to shoot it from a safe distance in arcs over the heads of demonstrators, in order to avoid injury.

 

Nabi Saleh is a small village of approximately 500 people, located in the Ramallah District. It has been the scene of weekly demonstrations since December 2009, shortly after Jewish residents of the neighbouring settlement of Halamish forcibly confiscated a water spring that is on Nabi Saleh-owned land.

|++++

 

2  Thursday, February 2, 2012 Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine

Minister of Culture urges Tzavta Theater to ban Muhammad Bakri

 

http://972mag.com/minister-of-culture-urges-tzavta-theater-to-ban-muhammad-bakri/34511/

 

Ori J. Lenkinski

 

Mohammad Bakri in Tel Aviv last September (photo: Keren Manor / Activestills)

 

In response to Desmond Tutu’s call on the Capetown Opera Company to cancel their 2010 tour in Israel, director Michael Williams said, “arts and academics are never the right place to boycott.”

These words jumped into my mind this week as I read of the organization Im Tirzu’s demonstrations against actor and director Muhammad Bakri, and the urging of Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat to ban Bakri from Israeli stages.

At present, Bakri is in rehearsals for an interpretation of Frederico Garcia Lorca’s 1936 play, The House of Bernarda Alba, which will run at Tzavta Theater. The participants in this production are Bakri’s theater students from the Academy of Performing Arts in Tel Aviv.

Since 2003, when Bakri released his film Jenin, Jenin, harsh criticism of the Palestinian artist has lurked around every corner. The film was about the events that took place during the 2002 clashes between the IDF and residents of the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.

Time and again, Bakri has been questioned about his film Jenin, Jenin. The Supreme Court of Israel ruled that Bakri broke no laws in the creation of this controversial piece. And yet, for the past eight years, Bakri has been all but blacklisted in Israel.

“We are the people of Israel,” shouted the director and spokesperson for Im Tirzu during a televised interview. “And the people of Israel are tired of letting terrorists perform on Tzavta’s stage.” The organization is an extra-parliamentary movement dedicated to strengthening Zionist values in Israel. Among their many activities, Im Tirzu’s members have been known to spy on university professors who they suspect of subversion.

There is no controversy surrounding Bakri’s talent as a performer. And though his work in the past has been directly connected to the political situation in Israel, this play is not.

Tzavta is a government-funded theater, and Livnat and Im Tirzu thus believe that it is not an appropriate venue for Bakri’s work. It should be noted that The House of Bernarda Alba is not a Tzavta production, but rather that of an outside entity that is being hosted by the theater.

“You can’t interfere with art,” said Yankale Mandel, founder and director of the Israeli Union for Performing Arts, in response to Livnat’s statement, which essentially left the decision whether or not to give Bakri the boot to the directors of Tzavta.

As far as I am concerned, the folks at Im Tirzu can think what they want and demonstrate to their hearts’ content. It’s a free country. However, when the Minister of Culture and Sport decides to chip in her two (I would argue McCarthyistic) cents, then there’s a problem.

The House of Bernarda Alba is a story of an overpowering mother who oppresses and dominates her five daughters excessively. It seems poetic that the narrative in this play mirrors Livnat’s actions so perfectly.

If, in the state of Israel, we accept the interference of politicians in the art sector, the  imposition of censors and blacklists, we are lost.

+++++

3  Haaretz

Friday, February 03, 2012

Jerusalem’s Armenians outraged as city approves Jews-only parking lot in Old City

For decades, the parking lot was open to all, though Jewish Quarter residents paid far less for a parking sticker than their Armenian neighbors.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/jerusalem-s-armenians-outraged-as-city-approves-jews-only-parking-lot-in-old-city-1.410694

By Nir Hasson

Tags: Jerusalem Old City

Armenian residents of Jerusalem’s Old City are protesting a municipal decision to designate a parking lot in the area solely for Jews, although part of it stands on land belonging to the Armenian Patriarchate.

 

Parking is a major problem in the Old City, and some residents of the Jewish Quarter claim it is one reason secular families have been moving out. One of the parking lots serving this quarter is adjacent to the Armenian Quarter and is partially built on land owned by the Patriarchate, though the land has been leased by the Jewish Quarter Development Company since the 1970s.

 

For decades, the parking lot was open to all, though Jewish Quarter residents paid far less for a parking sticker than their Armenian neighbors. But around two years ago, Armenians were forbidden to park there.

 

“One day I came home from work and the lot was closed,” said Mussa Marizian, an Armenian Quarter resident whose windows overlook the parking lot. “The quarter’s management decided we shouldn’t park there; they just got rid of us. Jews who live in the Muslim Quarter are allowed to park there, but I, who live right on top of the parking lot, am not allowed.”

 

The development company subsequently asked the municipality for a waiver to enable the lot to be permanently used for parking, even though it is zoned as open public land under Jerusalem’s master plan of 1978.

 

On Thursday, the city’s planning and building committee approved the waiver, over the protests of both Armenian residents and the

Patriarchate’s representative, attorney Mazen Qupty, who argued that most of the land was owned by the church.

 

“It was hard to hear the very inconsiderate arguments made by the people of the Jewish Quarter about the needs of their Armenian neighbors,” said Yosef “Pepe” Alalu, the Meretz deputy mayor, who voted against the waiver. “How can it be that the parking lot used to be open to all but now Armenians cannot enter?”

 

The Jerusalem Development Company said that less that 10 percent of the parking lot’s land was leased from the Patriarchate, and that the lease was for 99 years.

 

“The Armenians have a roomy parking lot 150 meters from that spot,” the company said. “The request for exceptional use was a procedural issue to renew the parking lot’s operating license and the objections were legally rejected.”

+++++++++

4 The Guardian

Friday 3 February 2012

Equality for Palestinians? Israel won’t have it

Elected representatives of the Palestinian community in Israel face growing harassment by the state, fellow MKs and the media

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/03/equality-palestinians-israel

Ben White

Activists wave Palestinian flags in the East Jerusalem district of Sheikh Jarrah, September 2011. Photograph: Mahmoud Illean/Demotix/Corbis

 

The presence of a few Palestinian members in the Knesset (MKs) is often touted as a sign of Israel’s robust democracy. Yet elected representatives of the Palestinian community inside Israel face growing harassment by the state, by fellow MKs and the media.

 

On Monday, the trial of MK Said Naffaa, from the Balad party, opened in Nazareth. Naffaa is charged with “travelling illegally to an enemy state, assisting in organising a visit to an enemy state, and being in contact with a foreign agent” – all relating to a trip he made to Syria as part of a Druze delegation in 2007.

Naffaa has denied the charges, insisting that “all his activities and meetings fall within the framework of his duties as an elected public official”.

 

Two years ago the Knesset house committee voted overwhelmingly to strip Naffaa of his parliamentary immunity. At the time, the committee chair declared: “Holding a Knesset seat is not a permit to visit enemy countries and hold meetings with terrorists.” MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) suggested that Naffaa and “his colleagues go to the Syrian parliament and work from there”.

 

An editorial in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz has called the prosecution of Naffaa “unwarranted, harmful and smack[ing] of political persecution based on nationality”. It is part of the state’s efforts to use criminal law against the Palestinian leadership in Israel.

 

Another Arab MK, Mohammad Barakeh is still facing two charges (of an original four) relating to his participation in demonstrations in 2005 and 2007, and the allegation he assaulted or insulted police officers.

 

MK Haneen Zoabi, while not facing criminal charges, has been the target of the most vicious incitement and smears. Two weeks ago, a photograph was published in the Israeli media of her meeting with the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) speaker Aziz Dweik in the West Bank. That was followed by reports that two other Arab MKs had met with Dweik.

 

The response was an outpouring of invective. MKs from prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud urged the state to “immediately remove the fifth column from the Knesset”, while the chair of the house committee, MK Levin described Arab MKs as “competing [to be] the greatest traitor and terrorist sponsor”. Another Likud MK, Miri Regev, said that “the time has come for Arab Knesset members to realise their place”.

 

MK Alex Miller, from Yisrael Beiteinu (a partner in the coalition government) urged that it was time to disqualify Balad, while MK Uri Ariel said Zoabi should be tried as a traitor. Some analysts have noted the strong possibility that Zoabi, as well as her Balad party, and maybe also the United Arab List, will be banned from the next election. In 2010, the chair of the committee that removed Naffaa’s immunity said: “We must make a serious decision on whether or not these parties can continue to sit in the Israeli parliament, even while they operate against the country”.

 

Along with articles calling Zoabi a “clear and present danger” to Israel’s national security, I found myself being used in the campaign against her, on account of the fact she wrote the foreword to my new book. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot ran a pathetic smear piece in both the Hebrew print edition and the online English version. Readers’ comments included numerous attacks on Zoabi as a “traitor” – including a call for the death sentence.

 

So why are representatives of the Palestinian minority being targeted so viciously? First, the current Knesset includes political parties shaped by hard-right nationalist ideology, including those in the coalition government. Second, the likes of MK Ahmad Tibi, Zoabi, and Barakeh have forged links with Palestinians in the occupied territories – as well as those working for Palestinian rights regionally and internationally. These are seen as dangerous solidarity ties, and go against the efforts made by the Israeli state since 1948 to isolate “Israeli Arabs” from the wider Arab world and Palestinian struggle.

 

Finally, Zoabi and other community leaders are at the forefront of the Palestinian political struggle inside the state, especially the demand that Israel be a state of all its citizens. This is beyond the pale for the Zionist political-security establishment, who continue to define the boundaries of “acceptable” dissent with regard to Palestinian citizens, an approach that goes all the way back to the era of military rule between 1948 and 1966.

 

In 2007, Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, stated it would “thwart the activity of any group or individual seeking to harm the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel, even if such activity is sanctioned by the law”. In 2008, Shin Bet’s chief, Yuval Diskin, told US officials that many of the “Arab-Israeli population” are taking their rights “too far”. Last month, MK Tibi had two proposed bills thrown out by the Knesset presidency on the grounds that they undermined “Israel’s existence as the state of the Jewish people” (in accordance with the Knesset’s rules of procedure).

 

Thus, as Palestinian citizens work for an end to decades of ethno-religious discrimination, a clear message is being sent through the targeting of their political leadership. The threat that is deemed intolerable by the state is devastatingly simple: the demand for equality.

 

+++++++

5 Amy Gutmann

 

Organizers of the BDS conference (boycott, divestment and sanctions) at the University of Pennsylvania this weekend are facing mounting incitement against the conference and rising security costs. Today they called on Penn president Amy Gutmann to condemn an article in the school newspaper that called their work “genocidal” and likened them to Nazis. Tonight Gutmann’s office issued a statement condemning the article.

 

Their letter deploring the “atmosphere of fear”– and Penn’s president’s response:

Dear President Gutmann,

 

We are the organizers of the upcoming BDS conference. First, we want to thank you for upholding our freedom of expression on campus. We would expect no less from such a prestigious university.

 

The purpose of this letter is to express our deep and serious dismay at the opinion piece published in yesterday’s Daily Pennsylvanian by Professor Ruben Gur of Penn’s Department of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurology. With no evidence whatsoever, and in complete contradiction to every statement we’ve ever issued, Professor Gur designates our student group “genocidal” and equates our upcoming conference with Nazi anti-Semitism. He compares our Jewish participants and student organizers to “Capos”–that is, Jews who policed other Jews in German concentration camps–and accuses us of attempting to bring a second Holocaust to Penn.

 

Statements like these by a tenured professor in a school newspaper are not only outrageous, deplorable, and frankly unprecedented, but they also incite against and endanger both the speakers and organizers of this weekend’s conference. This is not only our opinion: in response to this op-ed, Officer Leddy of the Penn police has called an emergency meeting to consider increasing the security at the conference, at significant cost to our group.

 

Tenure does not, on our understanding of it, permit professors to incite hostility and aggression against students with whose political positions they disagree. Professor Gur has created an atmosphere of fear for PennBDS members and our guests. We hope you will publicly condemn his article and seek whatever administrative redress might be available to ensure nothing like this happens in the future.

 

It is the University’s responsibility and burden to protect its students. This includes both safeguarding our physical security at events like our conference and taking all appropriate action against language with the potential to incite.

 

And the response to Penn BDS from Gutmann’s office:

 

Thank you for your note concerning the letter to the editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian by Professor Gur, a faculty member who does not represent the University in this matter.  President Gutmann asked that I respond on her behalf.

 

Much of Dr. Gutmann’s academic career has been devoted to the importance of civil discourse to a democratic society.  It is always unfortunate when people make personal or ad hominem attacks against others in the course of that discourse.  This kind of attack is counter to her personal values and the goal of civility on campus.

 

It is, however, neither possible, nor consistent with the value of free expression, for me or the Administration to intervene in the exchange of words that will inevitably occur in the context of highly controversial and deeply emotional issues.   It is not an appropriate role (nor that of the University’s), to be the referee of individual’s comments, regardless of how overheated or ill-advised they may be.

 

We certainly appreciate the concern that you feel over this matter.  We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of all participants in this debate.

 

Sincerely,

Steve MacCarthy

Stephen J. MacCarthy

Vice President for University Communications

University of Pennsylvania

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

++++++++

 6.  Haaretz

Friday, February 3, 2012

 

UN chief to Haaretz: Palestinians will only get a state through negotiations

On visit to Israel, Ban Ki-moon calls on leaders to show courage to resolve conflict.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/un-chief-to-haaretz-palestinians-will-only-get-a-state-through-negotiations-1.410687

 

By Barak Ravid

Tags: UN Middle East peace Gaza Palestinians Jerusalem

  

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is worried by the collapse of the Middle East peace talks brokered by Jordan and by the Palestinians’ drive for UN recognition. In an interview with Haaretz, Ban said he is concerned by possible damage to various UN institutions if the Palestinian Authority presses ahead with its membership requests to them. The stalled peace talks under the auspices of King Abdullah only started last month.

 

“The Palestinians’ aspirations for a state must be realized as part of a negotiation process,” Ban says, adding the aspiration to establish a sovereign Palestinian state is long overdue.

 

This is Ban’s third visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the first during his second term as UN secretary-general.

While the Palestinians’ bid for full UN membership is still stuck in the UN Security Council, the PA was received as a member in UNESCO. Consequently, the American administration cut back the organization’s annual budget, causing immediate damage. Plans and projects were suspended, salaries were slashed and employees were fired.

The Palestinians are threatening to request membership in 16 other UN agencies, especially if the talks with Israel in Amman quagmire.

 

Ban and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who met in Ramallah on Wednesday, spent a large part of the meeting dealing with this issue, UN diplomats said.

 

Ban told Abbas that continued bids for UN membership would harm the organization, due to further cuts in American funding.

On Thursday morning, on the sixth floor of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Ban was still worried.

“Admission of the Palestinians and funding of UN agencies are separate issues, but unfortunately they has been linked in practical terms and that is what I am very much concerned about,” he said.

 

“At the same time, the aspiration of the Palestinian people to establish a viable and sovereign state is long overdue. I have been urging that these aspirations could be realized in the context of a two-state vision. That requires negotiations. Everything should be addressed in a negotiated process.”

 

Asked whether the talks between Israel and the Palestinians are on the verge of breaking up, Ban said, “Israel and the Palestinians have wasted two years without moving forward. Considering what is happening in this region, this is the right moment for Israelis and Palestinians to agree on a better future for the two peoples.

 

“There is lack of confidence and mutual trust,” Ban continued. “It is understandable because of this long-standing conflict. But to overcome this, they need to sit down and resolve this issue. This is a time when the leaders must show a vision of courage and determination.”

 

A few minutes before the interview, Ban read a news summary his aides prepared for him. One of the items was about eight rockets fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the night.

 

An hour later, Ban was on his way to Gaza and Sderot. At the entrance to the Gaza Strip, he was met by Palestinian demonstrators, who threw shoes at his car.

 

Asked if he was worried Israel may launch another military operation in the strip, Ban said: “For many years I have been fully condemning those rocket attacks on civilians. This is totally unacceptable and against the fundamental principals of human rights.”

Since the Turkish aid flotilla to Gaza in May 2010, Israel has removed most of the restrictions on merchandise, and even building materials, going into Gaza, after years of arguing that building materials would serve Hamas to build bunkers. UN agencies are building 2,000 housing units in Gaza. Israel has approved 170 UN projects there, including building and renovating 60 schools and kindergartens.

 

“I appreciate that Israel has allowed construction materials and other humanitarian goods to be shipped into Gaza,” Ban said. “What is important is that all the restrictions imposed on Gaza are lifted unconditionally and completely. They have the right to live in peace and enjoy freedom of movement.

 

“I urge Israel to lift those restrictions completely,” he added. “Those impositions in Gaza have generated illegal trade through tunnels. For a normal economy to work, this is not good.”

++++++++

7 Haaretz

Monday, January 30, 2012

Does helping Palestinians beautify the occupation?

The women of MachsomWatch have helped some 5,000 people through the process of appealing their travel ban to Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/does-helping-palestinians-beautify-the-occupation-1.409946

By Amira Hass

Tags: Shin Bet Palestinians West Bank

  

There is a thorn in the side of the Israeli prohibitions industry, in the guise of several stubborn and persistent women of retirement age. In a word: nudniks. They are the MachsomWatch volunteers, who during the past seven years have been offering their persistence in order to appeal the travel ban that the Shin Bet security service imposes on Palestinians who seek work in Israel.”

The MachsomWatch organization of female volunteers, which began over a decade ago with the monitoring of physical and administrative checkpoints on the West Bank, has developed various areas of expertise: travel bans for security reasons, the military courts, police fines, permits for reasons of health, restrictions in the Jordan Valley and more.

During their shifts at the checkpoints the women have come to know the Palestinian workers and tradesman who depend on Israel for their livelihood, and who one murky day discover that their exit permit has been revoked and a “security prevention” imposed on them. After becoming acquainted and having conversations with hundreds of people, and later with thousands, the women reject the automatic interpretation that the average Israeli attributes to the pair of words “security prevention”: “The Shin Bet knows what it’s doing. If the permit was revoked, that means that the man is dangerous.”

They began waiting for hours with the workers and tradesman who went to appeal the “security prevention” in the offices of the Coordination and Liaison Administration, and afterwards they helped to fill out forms and submit requests to overturn the prevention. They called everyone possible in the Civil Administration to find out why someone waits for hours and never gets to the window of a clerk, why he is not given a receipt for submitting the request, why a reply to a previous request doesn’t arrive, and why there are no forms in Arabic. They wrote letters to the officer of the employment department in the Civil Administration, to the Military Advocate General in Judea and Samaria, to the head of the Shin Bet and to the head of the Civil Administration.

The pestering brings results: To date they have helped some 5,000 people through the appeals process. The “security prevention” evaporated for 35 percent of them already in the initial stage of handling the case. Some go on to judicial institutions, despite the financial outlay. Attorney Tamir Blank is a partner to the women of MachsomWatch, whose volunteer work lowers the cost to the Palestinian worker. The security denial of about 70 percent of the 283 people who turned to the courts via MachsomWatch evaporated, usually before the deliberations stage.

On November 9, 2009 an officer in the Population Registry department of the Military Advocate General in Judea and Samaria wrote to them: “Recently our office has been receiving on a weekly basis a large number of copies of requests to revoke the “security prevention” of residents whose request to enter Israel for employment purposes was denied … Our office is not the authorized administrative institution for handling such requests … [and] complaints about the conduct of the Civil Administration. I ask that the sending of these copies be stopped. [They create] a burden on the fax machine and also waste precious ecological resources.”

The MachsomWatch activists had the fax number of the advocate general because until June 2007 he was, in fact, the address for appealing security prevention. Later the rule was changed and he stopped being the address, and again the rules were changed, then again something changed and there was a wave of cancellation of permits of veteran workers. Then for some reason, from July 2009 until March 2010 there was nobody to turn to in order to appeal.

The women faxed a reply to the officer: “Employers [who under the new procedures were asked to personally request that the security prevention of a Palestinian laborer be revoked] don’t receive replies. Attorneys don’t receive replies … The Coordination and Liaison Office offers no reply regarding the reason for the confiscation of a permit … [The workers] try to meet with a Shin Bet [representative], who makes them wait for hours and sends them away saying: ‘You aren’t needed.’ When a Shin Bet representative consents to meet with the Palestinian resident, the crushing statement is: ‘Help us and we’ll help you, and if not, you’ll never receive a permit.’ And when they appeal the prevention together with their employers there is no reply. There’s a sealed wall ….

“Israel’s control of the area is that of belligerent occupation, and therefore it has obligations toward [its residents], and among other things the obligation to take care of their welfare and their needs. Therefore along with the complaint about the ecological damage that we are causing, we would expect at least a minimal reference to the human damage …”

Kafkaesque sagas

A second report by this group of experts was posted on the MachsomWatch website, which sums up its activity since June 2007 and is called “Invisible Prisoners – Don’t Know Why and There’s Nowhere to Turn.” It was written by Sylvia Piterman, a retired senior economist.

She has reason for beginning the report with a scene from Kafka’s “The Castle.” There is no shortage of Kafkaesque sagas of individual Palestinians in the mazes of the occupation in our newspapers. But the report tells a saga of thousands. That is why throughout the report one can hear the refrain: There’s a method here, there’s a purpose behind the wholesale denial of permits and of restrictions of movement.

“This is a system that is designed to continue and maintain the occupation. And for that purpose the population has to be kept afraid, in a situation of uncertainty and without social solidarity. The

method is also designed to maintain a large reservoir of Palestinians … in order to enlist them [as informants to the Shin Bet], while cynically exploiting their most urgent needs,” writes Piterman.

It would have been worthwhile to add: The method is designed to reduce to a minimum the number of Palestinian workers in Israel, on the way to completing the policy of demographic separation that governments have been practicing since the early 1990s.

Another thing that the report outlines – and here, too, more details would have been welcomed – is the gradual inclusion of the Palestinian workers in Israel in the category of “foreign workers.” Israel is establishing many facts on the ground in order to create the false presentation that Areas A and B are a “state” rather than occupied territory. For example, the checkpoints are called “terminals” or “crossings.” Placing Palestinian laborers under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry (rather than the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, as used to be the case ) and treating them as though they were from Thailand and Colombia, are another such fact.

Doesn’t the assistance to individuals (even when there are thousands ) beautify the system? That is a question that comes up in the report, as in the constant conversations of the activists. This is a dilemma that faces every anti-occupation group in Israel. In the overall battle against a regime of privileges for Jews, Jewish Israelis exploit their superior rights in order to try and help people (usually of those classes which are not wrapped with money and connections ) in their daily dealings with the empire of prohibitions: to go to Israel for medical treatment, to overturn a home demolition order, to prepare a building plan, to dig a water cistern, to file a complaint with the police against settler harassment, to go to study, to visit a sick mother.

 

 

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Sign the “Don’t Bomb Iran” Petition Today!

ACTION ALERT
 

 

Starting February 4, Americans are holding mass actions to stop an attack on Iran.

Visit http://www.change.org/petitions/dont-bomb-iran to sign our petition (text below). Tell lawmakers you don’t want either Israel or the United States to bomb Iran. Pass the petition along to your friends and associates.

Dear Congressional and Presidential Candidates, including President Barack Obama:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes that Israel will strike Iran this spring—before Iran even begins building a nuclear bomb. Both he and President Barack Obama are said to have warned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack, which would derail the international economic sanctions program and other non-military efforts to stop Iran from building the bomb.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak guesses if Tehran retaliates, Israel would suffer fewer than 500 civilian fatalities. He does not even consider the thousands of Iranian civilians who could be killed or wounded by Israeli preemptive airstrikes.

Iranian leaders have consistently said their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. An unprovoked Israeli air strike—illegal under international law—would strengthen Iran’s leaders, promote domestic solidarity and gain sympathy and support from Iran’s neighbors.

Iran could retaliate by targeting American ships and troops in the region and closing the Strait of Hormuz. Oil prices would soar, devastating the fragile global economy.

The White House hasn’t yet decided how the United States would respond if the Israelis attack. If Israel acts on its own, the United States should cut $3 billion in military aid it gives to Israel each year.

We cannot afford a new war in this volatile region. I will not give my vote in November to anyone who supports bombing Iran.

 

 

 

###

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