Archive | March 21st, 2012

Social fear as an obstacle to freedom in the West


By Ziad El-Hady

Ziad El-Hady argues that freedom in Western societies is seriously compromised by people’s fear of crime, and that the post-9/11 fear of terror, which has been grossly exaggerated by the media, appears to suit some governments as it pushes the public to consent to more surveillance and social control.

In a previous article, I discussed the concept of freedom with regards to the banking system and argued that its principles of lending lead to an unjust dynamic between citizens and banks, mirroring a master-slave relationship. Here, I intend to show how crime and the national conditioning of fear are also largely inhibiting our sense of freedom.

National crime and security

The lack of freedom that citizens feel due to the expectation of crime is often neglected when discussing the Western concept of freedom. Take the UK, for example. The UK (Home Office’s (interior ministry) British Crime Survey estimated that 745,000 domestic burglaries and 1,189,000 incidents of vehicle-related theft took place in England and Wales in 2010-11. That amounts to about 2,000 homes and 3,000 cars broken into every day. In response, citizens are spending more and more on security. Mintel, a leading market research company, estimated that the current burglary prevention market is peaking at around GBP 100 million in the UK as people continue to fortify themselves within their homes.

But what is most alarming is not only the sheer statistical magnitude of property crime in the UK but the psychological states and attitudes that this creates within us. The Office of National Statistics says that 2.5million British citizens pretend to own a dog to guard their homes from burglars, many of whom place misleading dog bowls at their front doors. In addition, half the population leave their lights on to trick potential intruders, and one in 10 Britons ask a neighbour or friend to move their car around when they are away. The list of deception tactics researched by one insurance company is actually quite exhaustive.

Even at the most basic level of human experience, a stranger knocking on your front door in the evening or approaching you in the street is often met with hostility or caution. We instinctively assume that you cannot leave a bicycle unchained in public for the briefest amount of time; and drivers had better hope that no passer-by saw them slip their satellite navigator into the glove box of the car, lest someone breaks in for it thereafter. You almost have to assume that everyone is a crook just to function in society.

Such a lack of feeling safe and constant precaution does not represent the type of “free” society that we would collectively favour. The correct balance between the right kinds of freedom is far from being achieved. Too often it seems that our justice system unwittingly views the freedom to commit crimes and to reoffend as of little consequence, while the freedom to feel safe is largely denied as a result.

World crime statistics typically show crime to be predominantly a Western problem, with the US, UK, Germany, France and Russia occupying the top five places. But even if we cannot take these statistics entirely at face value due to international crime recording differences, it is hard to deny the national fear of crime – exacerbated by the media – that is especially common in Western societies.

Professor of Criminal Justice Geoffrey R. Skoll argues that there is a prevalent “discourse of crime”, which is said to have been emphasized by governments and the media in the last 30 years. These discourses, which “trickle down from the top levels of ivory towers to popular culture outlets”, play on our deepest fears “wherein women are victims of stalking, children are sexually exploited, serial killers lurk in shadows everywhere, and so on”. Our trust in other people, especially strangers, seems to have been shattered by this caution towards criminal activity, which has settled in our public atmosphere.

The fear of terror

The construction of national fear in association with the “war on terror” is especially significant here. Panic and fear resulting from the high volume of terror “threats” broadcast in the media since 9/11 has probably caused more psychological harm to Western nations than any act of terror ever could.

For Professor Henry A. Giroux, author of The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear (2003) the rhetoric of terrorism is not only important because it addresses human misery, but because it inflicts it as well. Some sociologists have argued that “waiting for terror” is the most typical part of the fear discourse, characterized by a “perpetual omnipresent horror”. David Altheide, Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry, uses empirical evidence from news reports to show that the media have repeatedly used the term “fear” in headlines and reports on crime. The association is so strong that the mere mention of crime immediately implies and engenders fear.

Since 9/11, research shows that the same repetitive mentioning of “fear” has been associated with the words “terror” and “victim”, producing wider sentiments of insecurity. For Professor Altheide, such fear-conditioning in the media exists because “government officials dominate the sources relied on by journalists”. The wider argument is that our governments are not keen on remedying a scared nation, since national fear pushes the public to consent to more government surveillance and social control (Altheide 2006, Kellner 2003Parenti 2000Glassner 1999). (For an excellent and highly informative documentary on some of these issues, please see Adam Curtis’s, The Power of Nightmares.

American sociologist and investigative journalist Christian Parenti claims that not only does the discourse of crime leave people “scared, divided, cynical and politically confused”, but the prevalence of crime also “short-circuits the social cohesion necessary for radical mobilization”. I will leave it to the discretion of the reader to determine whether or not this is a contributing factor as to why there has never been an effective collective resistance to the economic problems outlined in myprevious article.

In sum, we have become a culture that accepts fear and caution as an integral part of life. Growing security measures and high crime rates, which are then further exaggerated largely through the media, only heighten this condition of fear, inhibiting both our social and psychological freedoms. If the theories of social control are true, it is all too ironic that some secular societies, which rightly criticized the Church for ruling society through fear of divine punishment, now themselves rule through fear of crime and terror. This once again calls into question whether we in the West are well placed to call for the freedom of others.

In a subsequent article I will be investigating the limitations of Western freedom and democracy, specifically in light of the influence of the media.

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Threat Inflation via Memory Lane

by Chris Toensing

In 2005, Yale professor Philip Smith published a fascinating book Why War? to examine the “cultural logic” underpinning three major Middle East conflicts involving Western democracies — the 1956 tripartite aggression in Suez, the 1991 Gulf war and the 2003 Iraq war. Smith’s thesis is that, while “hard” geopolitical factors may explain why democratic states want to go to war, they need “cultural mandates” from the citizenry in order to do so. These “mandates” emerge from public discourse, primarily but not exclusively in the press. In Smith’s three cases, the press in the soon-to-be belligerent Western country reliably employed an “apocalyptic” narrative genre to talk about the enemy-to-be. In 1956, the British and French press cast Nasser as an “icy fanatic” whose ambitions had to be stopped for the sake of world peace. In the leadup to Desert Storm, Time magazine similarly wrote that Saddam Hussein “made the entire world quake, weak-kneed, at his power.” And in 2003, of course, Americans were scared into backing invasion of Iraq by that non-stop tape loop of alleged al-Qaeda fighters “training” on a jungle gym in Salman Pak and all the rest.

Smith continues that participants in debates about international crises make “genre guesses” as to which narrative genre will capture the public mood. Hawks try to “inflate” the prevailing narrative into full-blown apocalyptic mode, which mobilizes fear and deeply painful memories, while more professorial sorts try to “deflate” the genre with appeals to reason.

Peter Hart at FAIR, Glenn Greenwald and others have been tracking how the American media is dipping into the apocalyptic genre to tell the story of the US-Israeli confrontation with Iran over the Iranian nuclear research program. As Hart has shown, ABC News has seemed particularly welcoming of the four horsemen.

A great deal of the media threat inflation has revolved around the supposed peril to Israel posed by Iran’s enrichment of uranium. And this theme resonates with many Americans. But the real helium for the genre balloon might be the 1979-1980 hostage crisis, a trauma shared by all Americans in their early forties or older. The 444-day captivity of US Embassy personnel in Tehran is a formative political memory for many, many people — and decidedly not a warm and fuzzy one. Coming amid “stagflation” and steadily falling real wages, the hostage crisis seemed to crystallize the ambient dread of the historical moment, confirming the end of US national greatness presaged by Vietnam and Watergate. It is, in short, an emotional steel girder holding up what Trita Parsi calls the “institutionalized enmity” between the US and Iran.

Today’s Washington Post features an op-ed by former hostage and retired State Department official Don Cooke, who recapitulates his personal ordeal to argue (a bit obliquely) that only pressure backed by the threat of force will bring Iran’s nuclear ambitions to heel. The Post chose an ominous-sounding headline: “Iran Held Me Hostage Three Decades Ago. It Shouldn’t Hold America Hostage Today.”

Cooke paints the Iranian students who took over the US Embassy as part of a “peacock show” begun by Iran’s revolutionary regime. “Two antagonists enter the field, dance and wave their feathers at each other. It becomes clear who has the more impressive feathers; the weaker one resigns the field without a fight.” The Carter administration, apparently, was not a very convincing peacock, and it is not clear if Cooke thinks the Reagan administration was any better. “The standoff between the United States and Iran that those demonstrators launched was destined to be a long one because of the interplay of two inconsistent philosophies. The Iranians were in the arena flashing their feathers, making a determined, ostentatious show of strength. The Americans were looking for a face-saving compromise but didn’t want to appear to give in.” (These two philosophies do not seem all that inconsistent, but leave that aside for a moment.)

Since the US is dealing with a peacock, Cooke continues, it has no option but to strut around and flash its feathers, too. “Iran is coming back to the negotiating table — but not because it has suddenly decided to live up to its international obligations. These talks may provide a face-saving way to halt its nuclear program. The key to the Iranians accepting such a solution is to convince them that we have the capability and the will to end their program ourselves. The irony is that the more clearly we demonstrate that capability and will, the less likely we will need to use them.”

In substantive terms, this argument is pretty much what the Obama administration is doing, so it should not necessarily be read as an endorsement of more aggressive tactics, the Post’s headline notwithstanding. But the evocation of the hostage crisis to understand the nuclear confrontation of today could help to blow up the putative threat.

For the Iran hawks of today, the narrative elements of the hostage crisis are almost too good to be true: wild-eyed captors fresh from chanting “death to America,” radical political Islam, Americans held captive and terrorized just for doing their jobs, a hapless attempt at rescue that dramatized US weakness and put it on global display, a cerebral Democratic president under relentless GOP attack for lacking maschismo…the list goes on. These elements all figure in Cooke’s piece, and many would seem ripe for exploitation amid the twenty-first-century version of “malaise,” when the US unemployment rate is artifically lowered because so many workers (2.6 million in February) have given up looking for jobs and Foreign Policy nervously checks a “decline-o-meter.”

Reason obviously lost to fear and trauma in the three cases adduced by Smith. Which “genre guess” will prove correct in the case of Iran? In the wake of the AIPAC conference, most observers believe that Barack Obama has coolly deflated the war talk. Robert Dreyfuss and Robert Malley, among others, have written the counterpoint. In any event, the Cooke piece is a reminder that the “cultural logic” of a war with Iran is half-asleep in the American psyche and with some effort could be jolted awake. So it is encouraging that there are other former hostages with subsequent diplomatic experience (including with Iran), like John Limbert and Bruce Laingen, who are vocal opponents of escalation.

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Court rejects 6 Beduin Negev land lawsuits


Oren Yiftachel: “Most researchers agree that 2-3 million dunam were cultivated by the Beduin in the early 20th century, which gives them land rights,” he said. “Yet the court claimed that no Beduin settlement and rights existed then. Where did the Beduin farmers live – in mid-air?”

Court rejects 6 Beduin Negev land lawsuits

In a precedent-setting ruling on Sunday, the Beersheba District Court rejected six lawsuits brought by Beduin regarding private ownership of some 1,000 dunam of land in the Negev.

Seventeen Beduin, members of the al-Uqbi family, filed the six land claims. The complex and often bitter legal proceedings went on for over six years, and discussed in detail the history of the Negev Beduin and land laws dating back to the mid-19th century. The Beduin claim the land had belonged to their families since before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and that it had come into their possession by means of purchase and inheritance over generations.

However, in 1951 they say they were evacuated from the land when the IDF confiscated it, and since then the state has not granted them permission to return, and has said the land belongs to the state and was never privately owned.

Significantly, the land in question – south of the Beduin city of Rahat – includes the hotly contested area known as al-Arakib, the site of an ongoing and bitter conflict between Beduin and the state. Temporary shacks built by the Beduin in al-Arakib were demolished by the state and rebuilt on more than 10 occasions, the last in 2010, and last year the state filed a NIS 1.8 million lawsuit against two Beduin families over the issue.

During the al-Uqbi lawsuit, both the state and the Beduin brought extensive expert testimonies, pitting the country’s most prominent experts in historical and political geography against each other. For the plaintiffs, Ben Gurion University’s Prof. Oren Yiftachel, one of the country’s foremost geographers and social scientists, gave expert testimony. Testifying for the state was Prof. Ruth Kark, a leading expert on the historical geography of Palestine and Israel from the Hebrew University.

At the heart of the case was the debate of whether the Beduin were able to prove that they had private land rights to the disputed plots, despite a lack of formal land-title deeds showing the land had been registered in their name in the Ottoman land registry, the “Tabu.”

Central to this was the question of the land’s legal classification under Ottoman and British rule, and whether it had been a form of state land, known as Mawat (wasteland that could not be cultivated). When the Israel Land Law abolished the old Ottoman land classifications in 1969, it said all land would revert to state lands, unless a claimant could produce proof of private ownership in the form of Ottoman or British legal title.

The British Mandate authorities stipulated that the last date by which Beduin could register land classified as Mawat as privately owned was 1921, however the al-Uqbis – like most Beduin – had not done so.

In court, the al-Uqbis argued that the state’s order to expropriate the land from them in 1951 was made on the erroneous assumption that under Ottoman law the land was classified as Mawat. They said that the land had been cultivated and owned by them, and so classified as Miri land under Ottoman legal terms.

Mawat lands were both uncultivated and not adjacent to settled lands. The Beduin, who argued that the el-Ukbi families had lived in al-Arakib before the State of Israel was established, testified that there had been tents and other structures on the land, and that Beduin residents had cultivated barley and wheat there. Therefore, they argued, the Ottoman authorities cannot possibly have classified it as Mawat.

In an expert opinion filed to the court, Yiftachel said that these “tribal areas” of scattered tent clusters were not at that time registered with the authorities, but were nevertheless considered “settled” and met the definition of a “village” in the 1921 Land Ordinance.

The Beduin also presented aerial photographs from 1945 onwards, which they said showed there had been extensive cultivation covering al-Arakib, meaning that it could not have been classified as Mawat land.

The state’s expert witness, Prof. Ruth Kark, gave the complete opposite view, and said that prior to 1858, there had been no fixed settlements on or near to the disputed land. The first fixed settlement had been Beersheba, she said, which the Ottomans founded in 1900 and which is 11 kilometers from al- Arakib – refuting the Beduin’ claims that the land could not have been Mawat because it was both cultivated and next to a settlement.

They also contended that the Ottoman, and later the British, authorities had granted legal autonomy to the Negev Beduin to organize land ownership according to Beduin law, which is why it was not registered as theirs in the Tabu.

However, the court did not accept this claim, saying that if the Ottoman authorities had wished to exempt a particular population from the law, then they would have done so explicitly.

Rejecting the claims, Judge Sarah Dovrat concluded the the land in question had not been “assigned to the plaintiffs, nor held by them under conditions required by law.”

“Regardless of whether the land was Mawat or Miri, the complainants must still prove their rights to the land by proof of its registration in the Tabu,” the judge said.

Dovrat added that “although the complainants believe they have proof that they held the land for generations, and that four families from the el-Ukbi tribe cultivated and owned the land, such claims require a legitimate legal basis in accordance with the the relevant legislation and according to precedents set out in case law.”

The judge held that the plaintiffs’ documents indicated that they knew they had a duty to register land in the “Tabu” (the land registry) but had not wanted to do so. “The state said that although the complainants are not entitled to compensation, it has been willing to negotiate with them,” the judge added. “It is a shame that these negotiations did not reach any agreement.”

The court also ordered the Beduin complainants to pay legal costs of NIS 50,000. Attorneys Michael Sfard and Carmel Pomerantz, who represented the Beduin complainants, slammed the ruling, which they said went against an international trend of recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples to their historic lands.

“In its ruling, the court affirmed the practice of expulsion that the state carried out against the Negev Beduin, and found that 60 years afterwards there is no point in testing whether that massive expropriation of lands was legal or not,” Sfard said on Monday.

Sfard and Pomerantz added the the court did not “take the opportunity to recognize, even symbolically, the historical injustice perpetrated to the residents of these lands, whose ancestors lived there for centuries.” Yiftachel called the decision “troubling,” and said on Monday that the Beduin were considering whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.

“[The ruling] is troubling first and foremost because it unjustly dispossesses many Bedouins who have simply inherited the land from their ancestors. The court decided that just because they didn’t register their land, they ought to lose it,” Yiftachel said. “It’s a sad irony – Jews who bought land from Bedouins in Northern Negev became recognized owners, while the people who sold them the land are now being dispossessed.”

Yiftachel said that the court had ignored new research he presented, which he said showed the Beduin had “acquired rights within a permanent land system they developed and how previous regimes have respected those rights.”

“Most researchers agree that 2-3 million dunam were cultivated by the Beduin in the early 20th century, which gives them land rights,” he said. “Yet the court claimed that no Beduin settlement and rights existed then. Where did the Beduin farmers live – in mid-air?”

Yiftachel added that recognizing the fact that Beduin did own parts of the Negev for generations was “not only a moral duty of any enlightened state, but also the key for good Arab-Jewish relations on which the Negev will depend for years to come.”

“Whatever the court decision, I am committed to the truth,” he said.

ILA director Benzi Lieberman welcomed the court’s ruling, and said on Monday that the ILA expected the Beduin claimants to respect it and “stop trespassing” on the land.

“The ILA will do all in its power to keep state land from trespassers – and this includes farming – in order to safeguard the land,” Lieberman said, adding that the ILA would file lawsuits against those who trespassed on state land.

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Hana Shalabi on Her 34th Day of Hunger Strike: Israeli Prison Service Refusing to Transfer Her to Hospital Despite Immediate Risk of Death


please contact the israeli consulate in your city or country and demand that hana shalabi’s medical needs are met and that she and other prisoners in administrative detention are given a fair trial. list of consulates:

Addameer, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) and Al-Haq express their grave concern for the health of Hana Shalabi, who is at immediate risk of death on her 34th day of hunger strike. As of today, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) is refusing to transfer Ms. Shalabi to the hospital, despite yesterday’s urgent reports by her doctor that she should be transferred immediately. Addameer, PHR-Israel and Al-Haq are certain that the quality and facilitation of medical care administered by the IPS is not adequate to attend to her current condition. Meanwhile, today, the Israeli military judge of the Court of Appeals postponed yet again making a decision regarding Ms. Hana Shalabi’s four-month administrative detention order following a meeting with her lawyers and the military prosecution.

Following an urgent report issued by the PHR-Israel doctor who examined Ms. Shalabi yesterday, 19 March, which concluded that Ms. Shalabi is in immediate mortal danger and should be immediately transferred to a hospital for close observation, Ms. Shalabi was transferred to the civilian Meir Hospital last night. However, for unknown reasons, she was not admitted to the hospital the IPS transferred Ms. Shalabi back to the IPS medical center in Ramleh Prison Hospital later on the same night. Ms. Shalabi’s doctor was not informed of this transfer until today. Addameer, PHR-Israel and Al-Haq share fears regarding the adequacy and timeliness of the medical care available in Ramleh, especially given the growing concern about her rapidly deteriorating condition.

Today, the chairman of PHR-Israel has been pushing on all possible fronts for her immediate transfer to a hospital. When he asked the IPS why they are refusing to transfer her, IPS Chief Medical Officer Dini Orkin informed him that the commissioner of the IPS—who is not a medical official—said that Ms. Shalabi’s doctor would have to return to Ramleh and provide another medical opinion before they would even consider her transfer, despite her urgent report from yesterday. Furthermore, and even more troubling, Ms. Shalabi reported to the PHR-Israel doctor that during her various transfers yesterday, she was handled violently, including being “dragged across the floor”. Her PHR-Israel doctor is particularly worried about Ms. Shalabi in light of this mistreatment, which undoubtedly is having an effect on her already-fragile state. Any further deterioration or aggravation of her condition, including emotionally, could cause a heart attack.

Addameer, PHR-Israel and Al-Haq also condemn the IPS’ latest actions regarding its role in pressuring Ms. Shalabi to end her hunger strike. During a visit by Addameer lawyer Muna Neddaf on 16 March, Ms. Shalabi stated that the IPS’ attempts to get her to end her hunger strike have included continuing to deny her family visits for the next month from 13 March; pressure from a Muslim cleric who is a member of the IPS “Ethics Committee”; and attempts to undermine her confidence and trust in her PHR-Israel doctor, including providing her with misinformation and telling her the doctor does not care about her. The IPS continues to consider force-feeding in disregard to the principles of medical ethics and the guidelines of the World Medical Association and the Israeli Medical Association.

In legal proceedings, today’s meeting followed her original appeal hearing on 7 March, during which the military judge stated that he would make his decision on 11 or 12 March in order to give the military prosecution ample time to “revise its position” and to allow for any negotiations on a “deal” between the military prosecution and the committee of lawyers representing Ms. Shalabi. He noted that his intention was for any such “deal” to occur at the Appeals Court level and not after, as in the case of Khader Adnan. No decision was made on 11 or 12 March in this regard. Today’s meeting with the Israeli prosecutor and Ms. Shalabi’s lawyers was called for by the military judge to discuss developments on the matter. However, the negotiations have not resulted in any agreement as of today. As a result, the judge stated that he will be announcing his decision soon, but did not specify when. The judge requested a detailed medical report on Ms. Shalabi’s health condition, which has been prepared by the PHR-Israel doctor and submitted to the court.

Commenting on the discussions, Addameer lawyer Mahmoud Hassan stated that “the Israeli military prosecution’s concern is to get Hana to end her hunger strike as opposed to seriously considering the reasons underlying Hana’s protest, including the infringement on her right to fair trial and right to an effective defense.”

At least 23 other Palestinian political prisoners are currently on hunger strike to protest the use of administrative detention as an indefinite form of detention without charge or trial, including 72-year-old Palestinian Legislative Council member Ahmad Al-Hajj Ali. Since the beginning of March, a number of administrative detainees have refused to acknowledge the military court and refused to participate in legal discussions of their cases. Due to Israel’s use of administrative detention, and the lack of due process afforded to Palestinians in the military court system, a hunger strike serves as a non-violent and sole tool available to administrative detainees and other political prisoners to fight for their basic human rights.

Addameer, PHR-Israel and Al-Haq are gravely concerned for the life of Hana Shalabi and call for her immediate transfer to a hospital, with adequate care that is uninterrupted by frequent and unnecessary transfers. Addameer, PHR-Israel and Al-Haq also appeal to the local and international communities to take every action in applying pressure on Israel to seriously address the underlying reasons behind the growing protests of Palestinian political prisoners and to end the large scale practice of internment without charge or trial. This practice is indicative of willful deprivation of the right to fair trial afforded to protected persons, in addition to the well-documented systematic policy of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment as methods of intimidation and coercion that Israel employs.


Legal information:

• Ms. Hana Shalabi, 30 years old and resident of Burqin village near Jenin, was re-arrested on 16 February 2012 and is being held in Hasharon Prison. She has been on hunger strike since 16 February in protest of her violent arrest, the harmful and degrading ill-treatment she suffered following her arrest and of her administrative detention. She was previously held for over two years in administrative detention and released in the exchange deal on 18 October 2011.
• On 23 February, the Israeli Military Commander issued a six month detention order for Ms. Shalabi.
• On 29 February, the Judge convened a meeting at the Ofer military court to discuss her detention. Neither Ms. Shalabi nor her lawyers were present.
• On 4 March the military court declared that Ms. Shalabi’s administrative detention order would be reduced from six to four months.
• On 7 March, an appeal hearing was held. The military judge stated that a decision would be expected around 11 March. During this time the judge urged that any agreement between the prosecution and defense should be reached at this level. No agreement was reached and no decision was announced on that date.
• On 20 March, the judge of the Court of Appeals summoned the Israeli military prosecution and the lawyers’ committee representing Ms. Shalabi in a meeting to review the developments towards an agreement. No agreement was reached, therefore the judge is expected to announce his decision, yet no specific time was given.
Medical attention:

• On 27 February Ms. Shalabi stated that she would not accept medical attention from the IPS, and that she would only accept to be examined by an independent doctor from PHR-Israel. IPS denied PHR-Israel doctors permission to visit Ms. Shalabi.
• On 4 March, PHR-Israel filed a petition to the District Court in Petach Tikva demanding that the IPS approve without delay a visit by PHR-Israel doctors to Hana.
• On 7 March the Israeli District Court ruled on the case brought by PHR-Israel that the IPS should allow a PHR-Israel doctor permission to visit and examine Hana Shalabi.
• On 8, 12, 19 March a PHR-Israel volunteer doctor has been able to examine Hana Shalabi.
• On 13 March the IPS Ethics Committee held a meeting to discuss the possibility of force-feeding a detainee on hunger strike.
• On 19 March, she was transferred to a hospital and then transferred back to the prison hospital. Her doctor is very worried about her as a result of the mistreatment.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Human Rights1 Comment

Birthers, Racists, Sexists and Homophobes: 13 Toxic Endorsers of GOP Presidential Candidates

What’s stunning about this year’s crop of endorsers is the torrent of venom, mendacity and absurdity that spills from their mouths and pens.

A man, the ancient fable  tells us, is known by the company he keeps. In a presidential primary, the endorsement game is one of the great spectator sports. Every four years comes the parade of politicians, preachers and a smattering of politically inclined demi-gods of popular culture stepping forward to endorse one or another of the presidential candidates.

Some are positioning themselves for a prime slot in what they hope will be a future administration. Others are making a statement to the folks back home about the authenticity of their ideological credentials. A few have designs on the levers of creative destruction in their own political party. And that’s before we get to the washed-up rock ‘n’ rollers and comedians who are clearly just looking for a gig, or relevance, or both.

What’s stunning about this year’s crop of endorsers of Republican presidential candidates is the torrent of venom, mendacity and absurdity that spills from their mouths and pens — not to mention the fact that most of these endorsements have been warmly received, and none have been rejected. There’s also a peculiar dichotomy of styles represented: They either hail from the priggish, uptight wing of the party that loathes popular culture as coarse and sinful, or they represent that coarse and sex-laden culture. The thing they have in common? Hatred — of somebody who’s not like them.
The Obama campaign may have a Bill Maher problem, but compared to the smorgasboard of slander and contempt on display by the GOP’s great wits, Maher’s garden-variety misogyny seems almost quaint. That the corporate media have failed to note most of these quotes — or to challenge the candidates on accepting the support of these luminaries — speaks less to any willful complicity than to the fact that “hatefully insane” has become the new normal.
Sixteen years ago, Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign had to let go of campaign co-chair Larry Pratt, president of the Gun Owners of America, just because Pratt once gave a little lecture to a gathering of white supremacists. Today, Mitt Romney shows no intention of rejecting the endorsement of a racist who said that President Barack Obama should “suck on my machine gun.”
The list below is hardly definitive; one could surf the Web for days, racking up an epic stack of crazy and worse from endorsers of one or another of the Republican candidates, but at some point, one just needs to get on with writing the dreaded listicle. Presented below, in reverse order of their prospects (according to delegate counts) for seeing their endorsed candidate actually win the Republican presidential nomination, are the endorsers who have uttered some of the most jaw-dropping words I’ve stumbled upon.
One might expect the neo-libertarian, anti-war, states’ rights, racist newsletter-publishing congressman from Texas to have some intriguing endorsers, and he doesn’t disappoint. For a minimal sampling, we highlight here a misogynist and a nihlist.
Rev. Chuck Baldwin: After serving as the Constitution Party’s standard bearer in the last presidential election, in which he won Ron Paul’s endorsement, Baldwin has returned the favor. The Constitution Party, with which Paul has a close relationship, is essentially the political organization of the Christian Reconstructionist movement. Although not quite a Christian Reconstructionist himself, most of Baldwin’s views comport with those of the hard-core religious movement, which ultimately seeks to make biblical law the law of the land. (That would include the stoning of adulterers, the execution of non-celibate gay men — you get the idea.) One of Baldwin’s grand laments is the dissipation of what he calls “masculine culture,” and the disappearance of a certain kind of man from the American landscape: “A man committed to manly virtues. A man who is the head of his home and knows how to control and discipline his children.” In a 2006 essay , Balwin blamed the “problem” on women:
It seems that most Christian schools and church Sunday Schools (and probably Christian homes) are controlled and dominated by women…The overexposure of young boys to women leaders is taking a serious toll on their masculinity…boys are constantly taught to submit to feminine leadership. Independence and assertiveness are considered evil, when in fact, any man worth his salt must, by definition, be a man of independence and strength.
And then there are all of those gay-ish people making gospel music:
Many of today’s popular Christian entertainers (and that’s all many of them are) are markedly soft and effeminate in appearance, voice, mannerisms, and actions.
Doug Stanhope, comedian: For something completely different there’s Doug Stanhope, whose video endorsement  of the Texas congressman is right up there on the endorsement page of, just like Baldwin’s. Stanhope is known for almost never performing without an alcoholic beverage in his hand (or in his mouth).
But there are other videos, like this one  from a “performance” in Leeds, U.K., where he responds to an audience that is trying to boo him off the stage after he goes on a bizarre rant about abortion:
“You’re the reason I fucking don’t care about people. You could all die in front of me and I wouldn’t even flinch, I’d just move on with my act…”
At a nightclub appearance in Scotland, Stanhope talks about his visit to a potato processing plant staffed mostly by Polish immigrants, noting that the young women spot-checking the potatoes for flaws are “hot.” He continues  (at around the 3:08 mark):
“You can’t get a hot chick to do shit in the States. You just want to say — and I couldn’t, ’cause it would sound rude, with broken English — but you want to just nudge ’em and go, ‘Why are you countin’ potatoes? Suck a dick. I’m not tryin’ to be rude, but, for God’s sake, suck a dick — just one dick. One dick is worth, like, a thousand potatoes.”
So far, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has hit the jackpot in picking up endorsements from a couple of eccentric wacky also-rans: Herman “9-9-9” Cain, and the neo-secessionist Texas Gov. Rick Perry, both of whose rhetorical foibles are well known. But Newt’s stable of endorsers also includes an anti-gay crusader and a xenophobic TV has-been who wants to bring his version of God back into the public schools.
Rev. Don Wildmon, founder, American Family Association: Now retired from the role of head hatemonger at the anti-gay AFA (a role bequeathed to his son Tim), Wildmon has taken to the airwaves on behalf of the man who would colonize the moon. Part of the right-wing Center for National Policy, Wildmon’s decades-long jihad against LGBT people set the standard for how to use homophobia as a fundraising tool in breathless direct-mail pieces and newsletters that paint the gay-rights movement as one comprised of predators and pedophiles. Defending the Boy Scouts’ prohibition on gay leaders and scouts, Wildmon praised the Scouts for not wanting to “expose its young members to lonely sodomites.”
Early on in the history of the modern religious right, Wildmon’s AFA began targeting popular television programming as hostile to “the Christian faith.” In 1981, he offered this  as a possible reason: “Most television producers are of the Jewish perspective.”
Not to mention the gays — and liberals, generally. On a July radio program, Wildmon explained :
Hollywood hates Christians. The only thing standing between, let’s just say the homosexual movement, homosexual marriage and the whole homosexual agenda, is the church. And not just the whole church but the evangelical dedicated Christians, and they are hated by the liberal-left because we stand in way, we stand in the way, of their achieving of what it is they want to achieve.
Wildmon’s commitment to traditional, till-death-do-us-part, heterosexual-only marriage does render his endorsement of the thrice-married Gingrich something of a head-scratcher. As Right Wing Watch notes:
Wildmon endorsed Gingrich, who has admitted that extramarital affairs were reasons that ended his first two marriages, despite previously arguing that “adultery is destructive to relationships, to families, and to society.”
Rev. Tim and (Mrs.) Beverly LaHaye (respectively), co-author of end-times novels, and founder of Concerned Women for AmericaBeverly LaHaye’s group, Concerned Women for America, was early out of the gate with the false narrative that LGBT people are out to recruit children to their sexual orientation. From Right Wing Watch :
Mrs. LaHaye warned her members that homosexuals “want their depraved ‘values’ to become our children’s values. Homosexuals expect society to embrace their immoral way of life. Worse yet, they are looking for new recruits!” (CWA direct mail, 5/92)
While Tim LaHaye is best known for Left Behind, the seemingly endless series of eschatological dime-store novels he co-authored, he’s also one of the founding members of the modern religious right.
During the 2008 presidential election season, Sen. John McCain’s campaign issued an anti-Obama ad called “The One” which seemed to insinuate that Obama was the anti-Christ. As an anti-Christ expert, LaHaye felt compelled to weigh in. In a statement issued by LaHaye and Left Behind co-author Jerry B. Jenkins, LaHaye is quoted  as saying:
I can see by the language [Obama] uses why people think he could be the antichrist, but from my reading of scripture, he doesn’t meet the criteria. There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American.
Now, about that birth certificate….
Chuck Norris, television actor, martial artist, exercise guru: He may not have had a TV hit since his bust-em-up favorite, “Walker, Texas Ranger,” but that doesn’t mean Chuck Norris has gone all quiet. He’s been writing up a storm, trying to get a biblical curriculum placed in the public schools, speculating on whether abortion might have deprived the world of its savior, fanning the flames of Islamophobia, and getting his birther thang on. Here’s Norris on the president’s birth certificate, as reported  by Mother Jones:
If the birther movement is truly full of a bunch of conspiracy-fringed kooks or “zombies,” as the Los Angeles Times proclaims, then prove once and for all that you are a naturally born citizen by posting your original birth certificate. And all the controversy will fade away like the pains of childbirth.
 Less than a year after Obama’s inauguration, Norris advanced  the president-as-crypto-Muslim narrative, writing, “President Obama has sympathized and supported Muslims and Islamic theology, practice and culture.”
In March, Norris wrote  that Christians should “work to install a Bible curriculum into your public school districts across the country.”
This year’s Christmas offering from Norris posited the notion  that under the healthcare reform law Obama signed in 2010, the Blessed Mother herself might have been made to commit a most grievous sin, one that could have ended in eternal damnation for all humankind:
What would have happened if Mother Mary had been covered by Obamacare? What if that young, poor and uninsured teenage woman had been provided the federal funds (via Obamacare) and facilities (via Planned Parenthood, etc.) to avoid the ridicule, ostracizing, persecution and possible stoning because of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy? Imagine all the great souls who could have been erased from history and the influence of mankind if their parents had been as progressive as Washington’s wise men and women! Will Obamacare morph into Herodcare for the unborn?
With a presidential candidate who has stated his personal opposition to birth control, pegged African Americans as the sole recipients of public assistance, cited John F. Kennedy’s speech on the First Amendment as something that makes him “throw up,” and declared that Satan has made significant inroads in his demonic quest to take over the United States, you’d expect him to have a whole passel full of crazy and/or nasty endorsers — and you’d be right!
From reality TV stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar (parents of 19, all Michelle’s) to the immigrant-bashing former congressman Tom Tancredo, to the Islamophic retired general William “Jerry” Boykin, the birther Joseph Farah and the racist and homophobic lawmaker, Sally Kern, Santorum would seem to have covered all corners of the right-wing hate coalition. Oh, and the heavy metal community , too.
Michelle Duggar, co-star of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting: This reality-TV mega-mom likely endorsed Rick Santorum because her husband told her to. Or at least that’s what I read in this excerpt from her marital advice pamphlet, The Seven Basic Needs of a Husband, as reported  by RadarOnline:
  • A Husband Needs A Wife Who Accepts Him As A Leader And Believes In His God-Given Responsibilities”: Husbands are commanded to govern their wives; God works through a man’s decisions — good or bad; Bad decisions reveal his needs and allow the wife to appeal and demonstrate Godly character; The more a wife trusts her husband, the more careful he will be in giving her direction; Never ask others for counsel without your husband’s approval; reassure your husband that you understand and believe that he is your God-given leader.
  • A husband needs a wife who will continue to develop inward and outward beauty: How can you become more of the wife of your husband’s dreams?; discover and  conform to your husband’s real wishes; explain your hairstyle to others on the basis of your submission to your authority; separate your “rights” from your responsibilities.
  • Ask your husband to define your responsibilities; Ask your husband to tell you when you have a resistant spirit; dispel a backbiting tongue by silence.
Tom Tancredo, former U.S. congressman: For the overlapping racist and anti-immigrant faction, there’s twofer Tom Tancredo, the former congressman from Colorado, and Constitution Party candidate in that state’s 2010 gubernatorial election. At at 2009 Tea Party Nation convention, Tancredo called for the reinstatement of literacy tests for voting eligibility, such as those famously used in the Jim Crow days of the South to keep African Americans away from the polls. As reported  by ABC News:
The opening-night speaker at first ever National Tea Party Convention ripped into President Obama, Sen. John McCain and “the cult of multiculturalism,” asserting that Obama was elected because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”
According to the Cleveland Leader, he went on :
“People who could not even spell the word ‘vote’ or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House…Barack Hussein Obama.”
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin: The religious right’s favorite general, Boykin retired after a Pentagon investigation found his statements about Islam and Christianity to have violated military rules. From a new report  by People for the American Way:
[W]hen Boykin was still on active duty, he generated criticism for public comments, given while he was in uniform, indicating that he saw U.S. military engagement in religious terms, as “our God” (Christian) vs. Satan or the “idol” God he said was worshiped by Muslims.
Since then, Boykin has become a minister and hit the stump for Santorum, reiterating his belief that the First Amendment does not apply to Muslims, and that “no mosques” should be permitted to be built in the United States. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch reported  these remarks from Boykin, from an exchange with AFA’s Bryan Fischer from his radio program, Focal Point:
But Islam, we need to think Sharia, it is not just a religion it is a totalitarian way of life. A mosque is an embassy for Islam and they recognize only a global caliphate, not the sanctity or sovereignty of the United States.
Joseph Farah, editor, WorldNetDaily: While Farah echoes Boykin’s anti-Islam sentiments, he gets a bit more personal when it comes to Barack Obama, whose birth certificate he refuses to accept as legitimate. On the occasion of the president’s 50th birthday, Farah penned an op-ed  that called for Obama to be carried out of the White House, face down:
How long will it take to see him frog-marched down Pennsylvania Avenue?
How will this charade finally be resolved?
What steps need to be taken to see justice prevail?
Sounds a little lynchy, doesn’t it?
Sally Kern, Oklahoma state legislator: When the Republican-controlled Oklahoma state House of Representatives passed an amendment to the state Constitution last year that would eliminate affirmative action rules, Sally Kern was all in, and with her own theory of why African Americans didn’t fare as well as whites in places of employment and institutions of higher education. As reported by the Tulsa World via ThinkProgress :
Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said minorities earn less than white people because they don’t work as hard and have less initiative.
 “We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”
 Kern said women earn less than men because “they tend to spend more time at home with their families.”
Ann Coulter, author: Ann Coulter may have been a reluctant endorser of Mitt Romney, but she endorsed him nonetheless. “You’ve got to go with what you have,” Coulter told Sean Hannity . As far as we know, Romney has said nothing to distance himself from Coulter, who made a big splash at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2007 by calling John Edwards, the former Democratic senator and vice presidential candidate, “a faggot .” (As it turns out, there were other pejoratives better suited to Edwards.)
Since making outrageously nasty claims is basically what Coulter does for a living, let’s leave aside her recent disparagement of Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law School student made famous by Rush Limbaugh’s three-day verbal assault on her. (Coulter’s biggest complaints against Fluke seem to be that she had never heard of her before Rush’s self-immolating invective, and that she doesn’t care for Fluke’s haircut.) No, let’s examine a Coulter line she never expected to leave the room in which she delivered it.
In 2007, I covered a right-wing conference, for Church & State magazine, at the Coral Ridge enclave of the late Rev. D. James Kennedy. Coulter was a keynote speaker, but unlike the other religious-right eminences who graced the pulpit in Kennedy’s church, she forbade any recording of her remarks.
As I later wrote :
I watched her describe, to a church full of right-wing activists, abortion-clinic doctors and healthcare personnel who were murdered as either having been shot, “…or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure performed on them with a rifle.”
That was before the murder of Dr. George Tiller. But doctors David Gunn  and Bernard Slepian  had already been killed by right-wing assassins.
Kid Rock, rapper/singer: Perhaps trying to pick up some street cred to add to his known highway prowess (at least in the canines carting department), Romney has not only accepted the endorsement of Kid Rock; he’s had the foul-mouthed, misogynist rap-metal star play at his rallies. I haven’t seen the set lists, but I’m betting that his “American Bad Ass ” didn’t make the cut for the Mittfests. However, if the Kid would only rename it “American Bad Ass the Beautiful,” perhaps Mitt would sing it for us:
I’m an… American Bad Ass
Watch me kick
You can roll with rock
Or you can suck my dick
I’m a porno flick, I’m like amazing grace
I’m gonna fuck some hoe’s after I rock this place
Super fly, livin double wide
Side car my glide
So Joe C can ride
Full sack to share
Bringin flash and glare
Got the long hair swingin middle finger in the air
Snakeskin suits, ’65 Chevelles
See me ride in sin
Hear the rebel yell
I won’t live to tell
So if you do
Give the next generation a big “Fuck you!”
Who knew I’d blow up like Oklahoma
Said fuck high school, pissed on my diploma
Smell the aroma
Check my hits
I know it stinks in here
Cause I’m the shit, shit, shit, shit, shit
Ted Nugent, rock ‘n’ roll one-hit wonder: The self-styled Motor City Madman conferred his endorsement on the Mittster after what he termed “a long heart&soul conversation,” as announced on his Twitter feed.
In the 1970s, Nugent was known for his screaming hit, “Cat-Scratch Fever.” Nowadays he’s known for misogynist, racist rants, which have done little to deter high-powered Republicans from seeking his foul-mouthed blessing. A longtime supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Nugent made quite the impression at Perry’s 2007 gubernatorial inaugural ball:
According to a report  that appeared at the time in the Houston Chronicle:
Nugent appeared onstage wearing a cut-off T-shirt emblazoned with the sure-to-draw-headlines Confederate flag and shouting some unflattering remarks about non-English speakers, according to people who were in attendance. His props were machine guns.
That same year, he suggested in a night club appearance that he’d essentially like to see Barack Obama, then the Democratic presidential candidate, dead (or gravely wounded), and had some choice words for several Democratic women politicians:
“I was in Chicago last week, I said, ‘Hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk!’ Obama, he’s a piece of sh*t and I told him to suck on my machine gun! Let’s hear it for them. I was in New York and I said, ‘Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.’ And since I’m in California, how about Barbara Boxer? She might want to suck on my machine gun! Hey, Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these, you worthless whore!”
I haven’t had the opportunity to ask Romney how he feels about these remarks from a man whose endorsement he apparently sought. One might imagine that these are not the words that Mitt would have chosen. But the endorsement, well, that’s another story.

Posted in USAComments Off on Birthers, Racists, Sexists and Homophobes: 13 Toxic Endorsers of GOP Presidential Candidates

حماس ومحور المقـاومة: هجرة ام انفصال؟  حماس وحزب الله: «العشق الممنوع»

تباينت وجهات النظر بين حركة المقاومة الإسلامية «حماس» و«حزب الله» تجاه ما يجري في سوريا. الطرفان عملا على إيجاد حل للأزمة السورية، وتوسطا بين المعارضة والنظام السوري. جهود «حماس» باءت بالفشل، فانسحبت الحركة من العاصمة السورية. انسحاب الحركة وتّر علاقتها مع «حزب الله»، لكن التوتر لم يبلغ حد القطيعة. حالياً، عادت الاتصالات واللقاءات بين الطرفين، لكن بحميمية أكثر، فما يجمعهما أكثر مما يفرقهما

قاسم س. قاسم- صحيفة الأخبار اللبنانية
تعرف «حزب الله» إلى «حماس» للمرة الأولى مباشرة عام 1993 في منطقة مرج الزهور. حينها، تواصل الحزب يومياً مع قيادات الصف الأول للحركة المبعدين إلى الأراضي اللبنانية، وحينها تعرف إلى «تفكيرنا وعقائدنا مباشرة على الأرض»، كما يقول مسؤول بارز في «حماس». الحركة الإسلامية الفلسطينية، بدورها، وطدت علاقتها بالحزب اللبناني المقاوم، و«اجتمعنا على فكرتين: مقاومة العدو الإسرائيلي وتوجهنا الإسلامي المشترك»، يقول المسؤول «الحمساوي». لكن «الأخوّة» بين الطرفين لم تكن تمنع التباين في وجهات النظر في بعض المسائل، ما كان يوتّر العلاقات. آخرها كان موقف «حماس» مما يجري في سوريا.

خروج «حماس» من سوريا، الذي بات مسلّماً به رغم نفي القيادات، ومواقفها تجاه ما يجري هناك، وتّرا علاقة الحركة مع «حزب الله» وقواعده في لبنان، وخصوصاً بعد خطاب رئيس وزراء الحكومة المقالة إسماعيل هنية في جامع الأزهر في القاهرة، حيث ردد المصلون شعار «لا إيران، ولا حزب الله، سوريا سوريا إسلامية». يبرر الحمساويون هذه الحادثة بالقول: «لا علاقة لنا بالشعارات التي رددت، وهذه الشعارات لم تردد داخل الجامع، بل خارجه، والجمهور الموجود لم يكن جمهورنا»، بحسب مسؤول بارز في الحركة. ويضيف أن «الشعارات التي رددت صدمت هنية، ويمكن ملاحظة ذلك على تعابير وجهه عندما كان على المنبر، وعند سماع أبو العبد هذه العبارات وجه التحية إلى الشعب السوري لإيقاف هذه الشعارات، وبدّل سياق خطابه ليركز على الأقصى والقدس؛ لأنهما ما يجمع عليه العرب». يؤكد القيادي الحمساوي أن «هنية لم يقبل بهذه الشعارات، وهي سببت الإحراج لنا أمام حلفائنا». أبناء الحركة الإسلامية رأوا أن ما رُدِّد في الأزهر كان رسالة شخصية مباشرة موجهة إلى «أبو العبد، وخصوصاً أنه كان قد عاد لتوه من إيران بعد زيارة ناجحة مليئة بالعواطف».
كوادر الحركة يستطيعون تبرير أي شيء، لكن قبل الشعارات التي رُدِّدت في الأزهر، كانت الشرطة الفلسطينية في غزة قد قامت بملاحقة وضرب بعض المنتمين إلى المذهب الشيعي الموجودين في القطاع لإحيائهم ذكرى أربعين الإمام الحسين. حينها، أصدرت وزارة الداخلية في غزة بياناً قالت فيه إنها «تحترم كل المذاهب، بما في ذلك المذهب الشيعي في أماكن وجوده بالعالم». وأكدت أن ما جرى هو «ملاحقة قامت بها الشرطة الفلسطينية لمجموعة مشبوهة خارجة عن القانون وصاحبة تاريخ فكري منحرف كانت تخطط لأعمال إجرامية».
كل هذه الأحداث كانت عين «حزب الله» تراقبها بحذر. مسؤولون في الحركة أكدوا أن المقاومة اللبنانية لم تسألهم عما جرى مع هذه المجموعة، بل «نحن بادرنا وشرحنا لهم ذلك، حفاظاً على خصوصية كلٍّ منّا». يضيف المسؤول في الحركة: «قلنا لهم إن ما تداولته وسائل الإعلام مضخم ولم تضرب المجموعة في المستشفى، بل كل ما جرى أنها أخذت إفادتهم هناك». ويضيف: «الداخلية الفلسطينية كانت قد تلقت بلاغاً بأصوات مرتفعة تصدر من أحد البيوت، فتوجهت الشرطة لقمع هذه المخالفة».
لكن المشكلة الأساسية لدى «حماس» هي مع أنصار المقاومة اللبنانية، الذين أبدوا استياءهم من الموقف الذي اتخذته الحركة من النظام السوري. إلا أن ذلك لم يقطع حبل الودّ مع قيادة حزب الله؛ فمقعد ممثل حركة «حماس» في لبنان، علي بركة، لا يزال محفوظاً في الصفوف الأمامية لاحتفالات الحزب. ووجه بركة لا يزال يجذب الكاميرات كلما ذكرت عبارة «المقاومة الفلسطينية» في خطابات الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله. ففي الاحتفال الأخير لحزب الله لمناسبة «إحياء ذكرى الشهداء القادة»، تندر الحمساويون كيف أن «وجه الأخ علي ظهر على الشاشة أكثر من وجه السيد حسن». الحمساويون عدّوا ذلك رسالة موجهة من حزب الله إلى الرأي العام وإلى قاعدته لإظهار أن «حركات المقاومة مهما فرقتها السياسة إلا أن البندقية توحدها»، يقول أحد المسؤولين البارزين في «حماس».
هكذا، يمكن القول إن حرارة العلاقة بين حركة حماس وحزب الله تبدلت من «فاترة» في الفترة الأخيرة إلى «ساخنة»، بحسب تعبير أحد مسؤولي الحركة. بالطبع، كلا الطرفين نفيا وجود أي برودة بينهما في الفترة الماضية، مشددين على «الأخوّة» واستمرار الاتصالات والاجتماعات التنسيقية بينهما. ويقول مسؤول بارز في الحركة ممازحاً: «حتى إننا لا نزال مربوطين بالشبكة الداخلية لاتصالات الحزب، ومكاتبنا لا تزال مفتوحة في الضاحية». ويضيف: «التنسيق في ما بيننا هو على مستوى أعلى من ذلك، ولا يمكننا ذكره في الإعلام»، في إشارة إلى التنسيق العسكري بين المقاومتين.
من جهته، يقول أحد المواظبين على متابعة لقاءات الطرفين إنه توجد تباينات في قراءة بعض الأحداث والنظرة إلى بعض الثورات العربية، لكن على «قاعدة احترام الاختلاف في وجهات النظر ضمن ما يسمى آداب الاختلاف». يضيف الرجل: «أي إننا نعمل معاً على ما نتفق عليه، ويعذر بعضنا بعضاً في ما نختلف عليه». فبالنسبة إلى حماس، ما يجري في سوريا له بعدان: «بعد داخلي متجسد بمطالب شعبية محقة أقرّ بها النظام، وهناك الاستغلال الخارجي للمطالب ولسوء إدارة النظام في معالجة الأزمة السورية الداخلية». يقول الرجل إن «حزب الله يختلف معنا من خلال تغليبه المؤامرة الخارجية على البعد الداخلي، ويرى أن ما يجري في سوريا مؤامرة».
حالياً الأولوية بالنسبة إلى حماس هي لتحصين الجبهة الداخلية السورية ومعالجة الأزمة حتى يقف النظام والشعب ضد المؤامرة الخارجية. ابن الحركة الفلسطينية يستفيض بشرح موقف حماس مما يجري في سوريا، وذلك لأن «قواعد حزب الله فهمت موقفنا غلط». فـ«نحن لا نتدخل في الشأن السوري الداخلي، ولا نعلن مواقف مع هذا الفريق ضد ذاك الفريق، أو مع الشعب ضد النظام». والموقف الرسمي بالنسبة إلى الحركة هو «الحل السياسي للأزمة السورية بما يحقق مطالب الشعب السوري من حرية وعدالة وإصلاح، وبما يحفظ وحدة سوريا وأمنها واستقرارها، وأن تبقى سوريا دولة مقاومة وممانعة».
يؤكد الرجل أنّ بإمكان «الجميع أن يلاحظوا أننا لم نهاجم النظام السوري ورئيسه يوماً ما، فنحن أوفياء لمن وقف معنا عندما تخلى العالم عنا، وقلنا إننا مع مطالب الشعب السوري ولا أحد يمكنه أن يكون ضد الشعب». يضيف أن «حماس لا يمكنها أن تكون صورة طبق الأصل عن حلفائها؛ فالحركة تعتقد أن هناك مطالب محقة أقر بها النظام ينبغي أن تعالج وتعطى لها الأولوية وأن يقف نزف الدم السوري الذي يراق. لذلك نحن نميز بين المطالب المحقة والمؤامرة الخارجية على سوريا بسبب مواقفها السياسية الداعمة للمقاومة في فلسطين ولبنان».
يتفهم القيادي «الحمساوي» خسارة حركته شعبيتها نسبياً لدى جماهير حزب الله بسبب موقفها، ويقول إن «حزب الله أيضاً خسر جزءاً من شعبيته في أوساطنا بسبب ما يجري في سوريا، لكننا نقوم بإجراءات تنظيمية داخلية للشرح لقواعدنا طبيعة علاقتنا مع الإخوة في حزب الله». من جهتها، تقول أوساط في حزب الله إن حماس «تمر في ظروف استثنائية وحساسة تستدعي تفهم موقف الحركة وحساباتها». يضيف: «هناك مناخ من التساؤلات والقلق والاستغراب لسياسة حماس داخل القاعدة لدينا، ونحن نعالجها بإجراءات داخلية». يؤكد الرجل حرص حزب الله على عدم «وجود أو إيجاد أي مناخ سلبي تجاه حماس لدى حزب الله».
هكذا، مهما اختلف «الإخوة» في السياسة، تبقى القواسم المشتركة أكبر من أن تفرقهما. فالعين حالياً تتجه جنوباً، وتحديداً إلى جنوب الجنوب، أي إلى قطاع غزة وإلى كتائب القسام. ويقول أحد أبناء الحركة الإسلامية: «انظر إلى ما يجري في غزة وإلى طريقة إطلاق المقاومة لصواريخها، وستعرف طبيعة علاقتنا وعلاقة المقاومة هناك بحزب الله».

Posted in Arabic, GazaComments Off on حماس ومحور المقـاومة: هجرة ام انفصال؟  حماس وحزب الله: «العشق الممنوع»

The Other Side of the Talmud Debate: Michael Hoffman Refutes a Defense of the Zio-Nazi Talmud


Posted in EducationComments Off on The Other Side of the Talmud Debate: Michael Hoffman Refutes a Defense of the Zio-Nazi Talmud

مجلس الأمن يدعم «مقترح» النقاط الست لأنان ويطالب بتطبيقها «فوراً»

 صحيفة الأخبار اللبنانية –  نزار عبود

نيويورك | اعتمد مجلس الأمن الدولي، أمس، بياناً رئاسيّاً يطالب سوريا بالتطبيق الفوري لمقترح السلام الذي عرضه المبعوث الخاص للأمم المتحدة والجامعة العربية كوفي أنان، ويتضمن تحذيراً مبطناً باتخاذ إجراءات دولية. وبعد مفاوضات مكثفة بين القوى الكبرى، وافقت روسيا والصين على النص الذي قدمته فرنسا ويدعو الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد إلى العمل باتجاه وقف العنف وانتقال ديموقراطي.

والبيان، الذي ليس له قوة قرار رسمي، يقدم دعماً قوياً لأنان المقترح الواقع في ست نقاط عرضها خلال محادثاته مع الرئيس السوري في دمشق في وقت سابق هذا الشهر. وجاءت الموافقة على مسودة البيان الرئاسي بعد إدخال تعديلات كثيرة عليها بحيث باتت مقبولة من الوفود التي كانت تعترض عليها وعلى رأسها روسيا والصين وجنوب أفريقيا والهند وتصفها بأنها لم تكن متوازنة. وباتت الصيغة الجديدة خالية من اعتبار كوفي أنان ممثلاً للجامعة العربية، رغم الإشارة إلى أنه عيّن في هذا المنصب بعد قرارات الجمعية العامة والجامعة العربية. وبات البيان يطالب بعملية سياسية وهدنة إنسانية لمدة ساعتين يومياً، والإفراج عن الموقوفين غير المتورطين في القتال ضد القوات السورية، وإنشاء آلية مراقبة ورعاية لعملية سياسية بين الحكومة والمعارضة تحت إشراف المبعوث الأممي ترمي لإقامة ديموقراطية في سوريا. ولا يتضمن البيان مهلة سبعة أيام للتطبيق.
وكان أمام الدول الأعضاء مهلة حتى الساعة الثالثة بتوقيت بيروت لكي تقدم اعتراضاتها على النص الذي تقدمت به فرنسا، لكن لم تقم أي دولة بذلك. ويطلب النص من الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد والمعارضة السورية «العمل بحسن نية» مع أنان و«التطبيق الكامل والفوري» لخطة حل الأزمة المؤلفة من ست نقاط وطرحها أنان في أثناء محادثاته في دمشق.
ويعبّر مجلس الأمن، في البيان، عن دعمه التام لجهود المبعوث من أجل وضع حد فوري لكافة أشكال العنف وانتهاكات حقوق الإنسان وضمان وصول المساعدات الإنسانية وتسهيل عملية انتقالية سياسية سورية لبلوغ نظام سياسية تعددي يكون فيه المواطنون متساوين بغض النظر عن انتماءاتهم وعرقيتهم ومعتقداتهم، من خلال بدء حوار سياسي شامل بين الشعب السوري وكافة أطياف المعارضة السورية.
ويمضي البيان قائلاً إنه لتحقيق هذه الغاية يدعم مجلس الأمن دعماً تاماً مقترح الست نقاط الأولية (وشطبت كلمة الخطة) الذي قدمه للسلطات السورية، وحددها المبعوث لمجلس الأمن الدولي في 16 آذار 2012 (وحذفت عبارة كجزء من مقترحه الأولي للسلطات السورية) من أجل التزام العمل مع المبعوث بأسلوب جامع في عملية سياسية تقودها جهات سورية لمعالجة التطلعات المشروعة والهواجس لدى الشعب السوري، ولهذه الغاية التزام تعيين محاور مفوّض عندما يدعى إلى عمل ذلك من قبل المبعوث. وكذلك الالتزام بوقف القتال وتحقيق وقف إطلاق نار فعال بشكل عاجل، يكون بإشراف الأمم المتحدة، للعنف المسلح بكافة أشكاله من قبل كافة الأطراف لحماية المدنيين وإعادة الاستقرار للبلاد. ولهذه الغاية، تتوقف القوات السورية فوراً عن تحريك قواتها نحو، ووقف استخدام الأسلحة الثقيلة، في المراكز السكانية والشروع في سحب التجمعات العسكرية من داخل المراكز السكانية وحولها. ويطالب البيان بتوفير مساعدات إنسانية في موعد مناسب لكافة المناطق المتأثرة بالقتال، ولهذه الغاية، وفي خطوة فورية، القبول بتطبيق لمدة ساعتين يومياً لهدنة إنسانية في كافة المناطق المتأثرة بالقتال وتنسيق الوقت المحدد وأساليب الهدنة اليومية من خلال آلية فعالة، بما في ذلك على المستوى المحلي. كذلك يطالب البيان بـ«تكثيف وتيرة وحجم إطلاق سراح المعتقلين اعتباطياً، بمن فيهم الأشخاص من الفئات الضعيفة والأشخاص الضالعون في تظاهرات سياسية سلمية، وتقديم قائمة من دون إبطاء، ومن خلال قنوات مناسبة لكل الأماكن التي يُحتجَز فيها الأشخاص، والشروع فوراً في تنظيم الوصول إلى تلك الأماكن، والرد من خلال القنوات المناسبة، فوراً على الطلبات المكتوبة للمعلومات وسبل البلوغ، أو الإفراج، المتعلقة بأولئك الأشخاص. إضافة إلى توفير حرية الحركة على امتداد البلاد للصحافيين ومنحهم تأشيرات دخول من دون تمييز، وإحترام حرية الانتماء والحق في التظاهر السلمي كحق مضمون.
ويدعو مجلس الأمن الحكومة السورية والمعارضة العمل بنيات صادقة مع المبعوث نحو تسوية سلمية للأزمة السورية وتطبيق اقتراحه الأولي ذي النقاط الست فوراً وكاملاً. كذلك يطلب من مبعوثه إحاطة المجلس بانتظام وفي وقت مناسب بشأن تطور مهمته. وفي ضوء هذه التقارير ينظر المجلس بالخطوات اللاحقة كما تدعو الحاجة.
تجدر الإشارة إلى أن مجلس الأمن وافق أيضاً على بيان صحافي اقترحته روسيا ويدين التفجيرات في دمشق وحلب في نهاية الأسبوع. وجاء في البيان الثاني أن «أعضاء مجلس الأمن يدينون بأشد التعابير الهجمات الإرهابية التي وقعت في دمشق في 17 و19 آذار وفي حلب في 18 آذار، ما أودى بعشرات القتلى والمصابين». وأضاف: «إنهم يعبّرون عن تعازيهم الحارة لعائلات ضحايا هذه الأعمال الشنيعة».
وأشادت وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية هيلاري كلينتون الأربعاء بالبيان، وحضت الرئيس السوري على تطبيق خطة كوفي أنان، وإلا فإنه سيواجه «المزيد من الضغوط». وقالت إن الخطوة التي اتخذها مجلس الأمن المنقسم حيال الأزمة في سوريا «إيجابية». ودعت الجيش السوري إلى التمرد ورفض تنفيذ الأوامر التي تصدرها له حكومته لمواجهة المعارضة المسلحة في سوريا، ودعت كذلك رجال الأعمال السوريين الذين لا يزالوا يدعمون النظام إلى العمل لتطبيق بيان مجلس الأمن ومهمة كوفي أنان.
ورحّب وزير الخارجية البريطاني وليام هيغ بتبني البيان. وحثّ وزير الخارجية البريطاني السلطات السورية على «انتهاز هذه الفرصة لوقف إراقة الدماء وإظهار التزامها تنفيذ خطة أنان ذات الست نقاط، بما في ذلك سحب الجيش من داخل المراكز السكانية وحولها».

Posted in Arabic, SyriaComments Off on مجلس الأمن يدعم «مقترح» النقاط الست لأنان ويطالب بتطبيقها «فوراً»

No One Asked Their Names


By Qais Azimy

Nine of the 16 victims were children [AFP] March 20, 2012 “Information Clearing House” —In the days following the rogue US soldier’s shooting spree in Kandahar, most of the media, us included, focused on the “backlash” and how it might further strain the relations with the US.

Many mainstream media outlets channelled a significant amount of  energy into uncovering the slightest detail about the accused soldier – now identified as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. We even know where his wife wanted to go for vacation, or what she said on her personal blog.

But the victims became a footnote, an anonymous footnote. Just the number 16. No one bothered to ask their ages, their hobbies, their aspirations. Worst of all, no one bothered to ask their names.

In honoring their memory, I write their names below, and the little we know about them: that nine of them were children, three were women.

The dead: Mohamed Dawood son of  Abdullah Khudaydad son of Mohamed Juma Nazar Mohamed Payendo Robeena Shatarina daughter of Sultan Mohamed Zahra daughter of Abdul Hamid Nazia daughter of Dost Mohamed Masooma daughter of Mohamed Wazir Farida daughter of Mohamed Wazir Palwasha daughter of Mohamed Wazir Nabia daughter of Mohamed Wazir Esmatullah daughter of Mohamed Wazir Faizullah son of Mohamed Wazir Essa Mohamed son of Mohamed Hussain Akhtar Mohamed son of Murrad Ali   The wounded: Haji Mohamed Naim son of Haji Sakhawat Mohamed Sediq son of Mohamed Naim Parween Rafiullah Zardana Zulheja

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Shoah: Zio-Nazi Murder Palestinian Children


Yes, Virginia, Israel Does Murder Palestinian Children

by Keith Johnson

In between heaping helpings of flesh and blood, Israeli war criminals feasting on the carcass of Palestine stopped long enough on Tuesday to shriek out an indictment against EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton because she dared count Gaza’s children among “young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances.”

During a speech delivered on Monday to Palestinian refugees in Brussels, Ashton addressed the recent shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse that left four people dead, and then referred to other tragedies that have taken the lives of children around the world—including last year’s massacre in Norway, a bus crash in Switzerland that killed 22 Belgian school children a week ago, the current violence in Syria and “what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world.”

This was enough to “incense” serial-child-murderer Benjamin Netanyahu, whose ears must be constantly ringing as Palestinian mothers grieve over the loss of their offspring.

“What gets me especially incensed is the comparison between the targeted slaughter of children and the surgical, defensive activities of the (Israel Defense Forces) that are meant to hit terrorists who use children for human shields,” Netanyahu told reporters on Tuesday.

Netanyahu has that ass-backwards. Members of the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF—Not IDF) are the ones who target children for slaughter, and they are also the ones who use Palestinian children as human shields.

On November 12, 2011, Moammar Mashni of Australians for Palestine wrote:

“Contrary to the often regurgitated myth that Palestinians use their children as human shields, it has never been proven – not once. Yet in October 2010, two Israeli soldiers were convicted of using a 9-year-old boy as a human shield during the infamous Operation Cast Lead of 2008/9. There are at least 15 other documented cases of children being used as human shields since 2004, with only the aforementioned case of the 9-year-old ever having been investigated.”

“Analysing the statistical data of child mistreatment by Israel is a horrific mission. The average number of Palestinian children in Israeli detention over the last 12 months is 212 – that is children aged 12 to 18 locked up on for the most minor indiscretion as Israel creates specific military orders that criminalise any form of opposition to the occupation.”

Without doubt though, the statistic that should trouble any person of good conscience is the data relating to child fatalities. From 2000 to 2009, 1,329 children were killed by Israel. In real terms that means a Palestinian child was killed every three days, of every week, of every month, of every year, for 10 long years. How can this possibly be justified?

Don’t just take Mashni’s word for it. An October 2010 report byDefense of Children International states:

“Between 26 March and 14 October 2010, DCI-Palestine documented 14 cases of children shot whilst collecting building gravel near the border fence between Gaza Strip and Israel. Due to a severe lack of job opportunities and a shortage of construction material entering Gaza from Israel, hundreds of men and boys scavenge for building gravel amongst the destroyed buildings close to the border fence. The gravel is collected into sacks, loaded onto donkey drawn carts and sold to builders for use in concrete. Children can earn up to 50 shekels (US $13) per day which is used to help support their families. Reports indicate that Israeli soldiers on duty in the observation towers which line the border between Gaza and Israel frequently fire warning shots to scare workers away from the border region. Reports also indicate that these soldiers sometimes shoot and kill the donkeys used by the workers, and also target the workers, usually, but not always, shooting at their legs. In the cases documented by DCI-Palestine, the children report being shot whilst working between 50 to 800 metres from the border fence.”

Statistics maintained by if Americans knew estimate that 1,471 have been killed by Israel from September, 2000 to present day. This month alone, at least seven Palestinian children were killed and dozens more seriously injured during Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza.

Yes, Virginia—Israel deliberately targets children, makes them into human shields, and even uses their dead bodies for target practice. Read this heart wrenching tale, entitled Dad, I’m Dying.”

Here is an excerpt:

“Laughs got louder as they carried the body to a higher place to start their party. For a whole hour, the father hushed his cries of pain as he watched the Israeli soldiers compete in sniping on his dead son’s body. ‘They were using his bullet-ridden, bleeding body as a shooting practice,’ said the Father. ‘With each bullet, they were humming with words I could not figure out, but it sounded full of rapture. It was as if they were celebrating.’”

Some may claim that these atrocities don’t represent Israeli policy, and are only carried out by a few demented individuals. Really? I would argue that this hatred for Palestinian children is epidemic throughout Israeli society. In 2009, “The King’s Torah,” became a best-selling book in Israel. Written by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, it sets out a justification for murdering any gentile that poses a threat to the Jewish—even babies and children.

According to Haaretz:

“Shapiro based the majority of his teachings on passages quoted from the Bible, to which he adds his opinions and beliefs.

“It is permissable to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” he wrote, adding: “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments – because we care about the commandments – there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

Several prominent rabbis, including Rabbi Yithak Ginzburg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, have recommended the book to their students and followers.”

This attitude is not just confined to soldiers and the Rabbinate. Just recently, when a bus that crashed near Ramallah and killed nine Palestinian children, Israeli citizens posting on Facebook were overjoyed.

Some of the comments were:

Tali: It seems like they are Palestinian children.. Thank God..

Benny: Calm down, they are Palestinian Children.

Tal: Thank God they are Palestinians

Ajala: Great less terrorists!!!!

Eliya: Only Palestinian children were injured about ten.

Itai: Thank God its Palestinians, let it be such bus every day.

Aleyah: calm down, Its a bus with Palestinian children, lets pray there will be deaths, or at least severe injuries, this is great news to start the day with.

Oh, by the way—Netanyahu wasn’t the only Israeli official offended at Ashton’s speech. Equally complicit serial-child-murderer Ehud Barak was also pissed. 

According to Reuters;

“Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the grouping of Gaza violence with the Toulouse shooting and the fighting in Syria was ‘infuriating and detached from reality.’”

Detached from reality, Mr. Barak? Tell that to 15-year-old Ahmed F., who describes how IOF soldiers blindfolded him then used a dog during an interrogation for an alleged “stone throwing” incident:

“They saw me shaking and started laughing and making fun of me. Then they put another piece of bread on my trousers near my genitals, so I tried to move away but he started barking. I was terrified.”


  1. On March 21, 2012 at 10:57 am Karri said:

    Jews accuse others of what they themselves do. It is ignorance and stupidity to believe otherwise. They always do this. Not just 911 and the Liberty and these acts that are so cruel it could only take the cruel mind of the jew to fathom it then make it real. The lies are opposites, when they claim title of the most humanitarian we know they take credit for being the most barbaric monstrous. What they do is more hideous than our minds can tolerate. They must become the receiving end of this cruelty they force onto others while claiming how civil they are. Only in appearance are they civil! The grand illusion! Your very own children are going to be the jews victims to the next goyim crimes after the mutilations and ‘mysterious’ deaths you are told is ‘family history’ or ‘fate’. Not your fate goyim! The fate of the jews so they can have it all at your expense. With the launching of robots you goyim will not even be saved to be servants. The stronger we resist the more ludicrous and evil weight we must bare. And when the friends of Jesus dared lift the weight from Jesus cross they too were tortured. NOthing has changed except the cruelty has gotten worse from the jews. It is time they are on the receiving end of such cruelty. From mutilation to adulthood all the while sympathysing with the jews, the brutality turned into compassion by way of deception, who is sicker? Those the punish or those that refuse to acknowledge the truth and origin of the punishment.

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