Archive | February 15th, 2012

Antony Loewenstein Antony Loewenstein

NOVANEWS

Throwing money to defend occupation should send Israel totally broke

Posted: 14 Feb 2012

Hello Israel, you have a major issue:

Israel is dispossessing Palestinians in east Jerusalem and the West Bank as well as its Arab minority with a “strategy of Judaisation,” a United Nations representative charged on Sunday.

Presenting her preliminary findings after a tour of Israel and the Palestinian territories this month, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, said she had seen a pattern of discrimination.

“From the Galilee and the Negev to east Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities promote a territorial development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities, particularly affecting Palestinian communities, side by side with the accelerated development of predominantly Jewish settlements,” she said.

“As a whole, it is clear that Israeli policies and practices for the Palestinian population in east Jerusalem and the West Bank violate international human rights and humanitarian law,” she added.

As American writer Peter Beinart writes in his new book, The Crisis of Zionismpreviewed in the New York Timesyesterday:

Israel does not have a public relations problem; it has a policy problem. You can’t sell occupation in a postcolonial age.

Murdoch thuggery in America; his paper calls for war against Iran

Posted: 14 Feb 2012

This is how Rupert and friends roll (via the New York Post editorial). Because Murdoch’s support for the Iraq war hasn’t already caused enough mayhem:

How’s this for astonishing: NBC News is reporting that Israeli spies have been involved in the assassinations of five Iranian nuclear scientists.

So far, not so bad. We’d say the engineers basically needed killing.

But here’s the astonishing part: The source for the story apparently is theObama administration— albeit through anonymous leaks.

The network claims that Israel used members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK), a dissident group the United States classified as a terrorist group in 1998, to ice the engineers.

An Iranian spokesman told NBC the Mossad has been flying MeK members to Israel for training and sending them back home to carry out assassinations, which began in 2007.

The allegations are nothing new.

Whatisnew is that “senior US officials” are said to have confirmed the gory details.

One must wonder why.

We understand that the Obama administration’s ties with Israel are strained — at best — and that the State Department has a particular allergy to the Jewish state.

But Iran’s nuclear program is about much more than Israel alone.

A nuclear-armed Iran would pose a near-existential threat to US allies in the region — meaning a nuclear-arms race among its Arab neighbors would be inevitable.

And, of course, the lion’s share of the world’s oil passes through the Persian Gulf.

So who cares whether the MeK is a designated terror group? (Britain and the European Union already removed it from their lists, and there is pressure on America to do the same.)

And isn’t Iran itself the leading exporter of terrorism in the world?

Let’s be frank: Were the MeK to play the critical role in derailing an Iranian bomb, it would be far more deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize than a certain president of the United States we could mention.

So why is the administration making such details public?

President Obama did Israel no favors when he pressured it to join his love-peace-and-harmony nuclear summit in 2010, undermining a basic pillar of Israel’s security — its undisclosed nuclear program.

And his administration has done far worse damage now, which may make it much harder for Israel to operate in Iran.

Trouble is, Israel won’t suffer the consequences alone. Everyone will.

America included.

Photos from stunning yet troubled Papua New Guinea

Posted: 14 Feb 2012

I’ve just spent three weeks in Papua New Guinea investigating disaster capitalism for a new book (out 2013), as well as filming a documentary.

Here are my photos of BougainvilleMadang and Port Moresby/Papa Lea-Lea.

It was a wild trip and revealed deep complicity of Western and Chinese corporations in the exploitation of the nation. Sadly, it was ground zero for vulture capitalism.

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Zio-Nazi Regime: A Plea to the World from the Principal of a Palestinian School about to be Demolishe

NOVANEWS

In November we reported with joy about the new school structure at Susiya (Susya). (see also an earlier report here).

Only a few weeks later, the Occupation regime’s fraudulently named “Civil Administration” handed down demolition orders to the school.

In a rare direct expression of an Occupied Palestinian voice in the Israeli printed press, the school’s prinicipal Muhammad A-Nawwajeh published an editorial in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper about the demolition order on his school. Unlike most of Haaretz op-eds, this article was apparently not translated to the newspaper’s English site. We provide the translation below.

———————

What Will You Tell My Students?

Muhammad Jaber Hamed A-Nawwajeh


Our elementary school at Susiya is small. It has two classrooms, in which a total of 35 pupils – girls and boys – study. The staff includes four teachers and the principal, who is also the English teacher. The school opened in late 2010. Before we established our school, local children had to walk 4 km each way, every day, to reach the nearest school. To avoid this, many had stayed with relatives during the school week, without seeing their parents, causing severe psychological problems. No doubt, it is far better for young children to live with their families and attend a school near home.

Our school has no electricity, no running water and no schoolyard. Still, students arrive each day with excitement. When they grow up, they want to be doctors, police officers, teachers. Even though the school is in an area under Israeli control, it is not the government of Israel that built it. We, the residents of Susiya, have built it ourselves, with the help of the Spanish organization ACF and the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

Our elementary school, whose area is 100 square meters, is the only structure of this size around Palestinian Susiya. All students live in caves. Before the school structure was erected, we had used five tents. We live in a hilly high-altitude region with cold winters. First water leaked into the tents, then a strong storm blew them away.

Our new school might be demolished at any moment now, without any justifiable cause. The “Civil Administration” has issued a demolition order against it. Among the pretexts for the demolition order, the “Administration” cites the presence of “portable bathrooms” and a cistern that we had dug with our own hands, so that the children will have water to drink.

If the Israeli government demolishes the school, it will deny education to our children. More than half the students will stay at home and not go to school anymore. All the world’s children are entitled to education. It is a basic right enshrined in the United Nation’s Human Rights Charter. I am trying to comprehend: what would Israel accomplish by demolishing our school? What is the position of Israel’s Education Minister? What do Israeli teachers think? How will they explain to their own students the destruction of our little school at Susiya?

Mr. A-Nawwajeh is the principal of Susiya’s elementary school.

(Translated from Hebrew by Assaf Oron)

———————————————–

At the Villages Group, helping Massafar Yatta (South Hebron Hills) residents in their efforts to realize the right to education for their children has been one of our central missions over the years. Until 2010 when the Susiya school opened, we helped arrange student transportation from Susiya to Tuwani. In 2010 we brought a report about a tent school in a neighboring village, where teachers tried to educate under conditions much like the ones described above by Mr. Nawwajeh. Here are a few pictures from that visit, illustrating the learning conditions which we then described as “the worst in the Middle East”.

Please do not let the Occupation force these disgraceful conditions upon the children of Susiya. Please don’t let them rob these children of their dreams, and rob teachers, volunteers, and donors of the fruit of their hard labor.

The formal authority presiding over the deceptively-named “Civil Administration”, that pretends to be “the legal authority” in the area – is Israel’s Defense Ministry. Here are a few contact details:

Israel’s defense minister, sar@mod.gov.il or pniot@mod.gov.il, fax +972 3 6976711 (they are said to hate faxes), or the ministry’s US outlet (info@goimod.com, fax 212-551-0264).

Israel’s Education Minister whom Mr. Nawwajeh mentions in his article, will quite likely deny any responsibility. Personally, I (Assaf) think that the fraudulent “Civil Administration”, and all other arms of Israel’s government, should just keep out of West Bank Palestinian civil affairs, on which they have no genuine jurisdiction – if they ever had one, they have long lost it due to policies such as this. The Israeli authorities have proven that they are unwilling and ill-equipped to provide the needs of Palestinians in Area C.

But Mr. Nawwajeh has a point. Israel’s Education Ministry, after all, constructs and heavily subsidizes schools in the Jewish settlements all around Susiya, and pays for teacher salaries. The minister himself, a politician named Gideon Sa’ar, is a rather vocal proponent of the ideology that all of Israel-Palestine belongs to the Jews. Well, with ownership comes responsibility. Since the government behaves in the West Bank’s “Area C” (where Susiya is located) as if it is Israel’s to keep, it should provide the same level of education infrastructure to that area’s Palestinians, as it lavishes upon the Jewish settlers.

In short, here’s a link to the Education Ministry’s main contact. The Minister’s email addresses are sar@education.gov.il, dover@education.gov.il and info@education.gov.il. Phones – 072-2-5602330/856/584, 972-3-6935523/4/5. Faxes: 972-2-5602246, 972-3-6951769. And finally, here’s an online comment form.

Feel free to let Mr. Sa’ar know what you think about this blatant discrimination, and about the criminal neglect of, and the atrocious assault upon, right to education of children in what he calls “The Land of Israel”.

And please help spread Mr. A-Nawwajeh’s words far and wide.

Thank you.

(crossposted from the Villages Group Blog)

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