Archive | May 9th, 2012

PCHR Condemns Preventing al-Quds Channel Crew from Carrying out Their Work and Their Detention by Shifa Hospital Security Personnel in Gaza City

NOVANEWS

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the prevention of the al-Quds satellite channel’s crew from carrying out their work at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and their detention by the security officers of Shifa Hospital on Monday, 07 May 2012.  PCHR calls upon the Palestinian police in Gaza to respect the press freedom and the freedom of opinion and expression which are ensured under the Palestinian Basic Law and relevant international standards.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimony of Rami Abu Shammalah, a cameraman, at approximately 10:00, on Monday, 07 May 2012, al-Quds satellite channel’s crew comprised of Hanadi Nasrallah, a reporter, Rami Abu Shammalah, a cameraman, and Yusef al-Telbani, a sound technician, was denied entry into Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.  The crew went to the hospital to report on the health conditions of the mother of Rami Barbakh, a Palestinian prisoner detained in Israeli jails.  The mother was hospitalized as a result of starting a hunger strike in solidarity with her son.  Abu Shammalah said that once they started to film the admission of the mother to the hospital in order to receive necessary medical treatment, two security officers came, began to shout at them, and pulled them out of the place.

Then four police officers, who were present at the hospital, arrived at the scene.  Abu Shammalah told them that he had stopped filming and would leave the hospital.  However, the police officer refused to let them go and detained the whole crew in one of the security rooms.  The director of Al-Quds channel’s office came to the hospital in an attempt to have the crew released, upon which the police officers told him that the crew did not have a permit for filming.  The director replied that al-Quds channel had obtained a permit for filming from the Ministry of Interior which allows its crews to film everywhere.  He also requested the police officers to release the crew, but they refused to do so. The director left and after a while the Public Relations Officer of the hospital intervened and arranged the crew’s release.

“The police officers also obstructed the work of another crew from al-Quds channel comprised of Mohammed al-Akhras, a cameraman, and Mahmoud Abu Seedo, a producer, when they were trying to interview Rawhi Moshtaha, an ex-prisoner who was admitted into Shifa Hospital.  Moshtaha’s health conditions deteriorated because of the hunger strike he started in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

PCHR denounces the detention of al-Quds channel’s crew and their prevention from carrying out their work, and:

1.     Calls for providing protection to journalists and media, and taking necessary measures to allow them to work freely in respect of the right to freedom of opinion and press freedoms;

2.     Stresses that the right to freedom of opinion and expression and press freedoms are guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law and relevant human rights conventions;

3.     Calls upon the Palestinian security services to respect international human rights standards, the Palestinian Basic Law and other relevant laws.

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LAUREN BOOTH REPORTS FROM KUALA LUMPUR WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL

NOVANEWS
GILAD ATZMON

http://www.deliberation.info/

Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Day 1

When authority entrusted to further truth and justice betrays that trust, two options remain: one is to throw up your hands in despair and resignation; the other is to reclaim that power and to hold authority accountable.

This is the statement of intent from the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War on the first day of its proceedings against former US President George Bush and 11 members of his regime. Over the next five days, the Tribunal will hear from victims of US torture in both Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

On ‘trial’ in their absence are former U.S. President George W. Bush and his associates. Namely Richard (Dick) Cheney, former U.S. Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, former Defence Secretary, Alberto Gonzales, then Counsel to President Bush, David Addington, then General Counsel to the Vice-President, William Haynes II, then General Counsel to Secretary of Defense, Jay Bybee, then Assistant Attorney General, and John Choon Yoo, former Deputy Assistant Attorney-General. The charge reads as follows:

The Accused persons had committed the Crime of Torture and War Crimes, in that: The Accused persons had wilfully participated in the formulation of executive orders and directives to exclude the applicability of all international conventions and laws, namely the Convention against Torture 1984, Geneva Convention III 1949, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter in relation to the war launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan (in 2001) and in Iraq (in March 2003); Additionally, and/or on the basis and in furtherance thereof, the Accused persons authorised, or connived in, the commission of acts of torture and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment against victims in violation of international law, treaties and conventions including the Convention against Torture 1984 and the Geneva Conventions, including Geneva Convention III 1949.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) is following the due process of the law in bringing these charges against the accused. In 2009, the Commission, having received complaints from torture victims from Guantanamo and Iraq and having conducted a painstaking and an in-depth investigation for close to two years. Thus, two charges on war crimes were drawn and filed against the both the Bush and the Blair regimes.

This War Crimes Tribunal heard the first charge in November 2011 against the two main accused; former U.S. President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Anthony L. Blair. After a 4-day trial Anthony L. Blair was found guilty of Crimes Against Peace. Both former heads of state were found to have violated the United Nations Charter and international law when they planned, prepared and invaded the sovereign state Iraq on 19 March 2003 using false and misleading ‘intelligence’ as justification for the ensuing, long term, massacre.

An avalanche of information, emerging after the launch of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, are providing evidence of the ways in which almost every facet of international law is being disregarded with impunity. Including the way in which the wars were launched and conducted of the wars – and the politically endorsed torture of civilians. The perpetrators of such barbarism are not being made to account for their acts. Indeed there is no legally constituted forum to address the grievances of the world community offended by these crimes against humanity.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is constituted of eminent persons with legal qualifications. Please visit the website of the Tribunal for more details.

 

The judges of the Tribunal, headed by retired Malaysian Federal Court judge Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus, details of the judges panel can be found at the Tribunals website.

In the event the tribunal convicts any of the accused, the only sanction is that the name of the guilty person will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide. However it is worth noting that since the tribunal found Blair guilty last year, Bush junior has cancelled several international trips for fear of legal reprisals and attempts to take such cases further.

The tribunal is a tribunal of conscience and a peoples’ initiative.

What follows is my partial transcription of the proceedings plus some conversations and personal observations. It is longer than pieces you usually read perhaps. It is much longer thank is usual for a news website. But the 1.4 million dead and tortured in Iraq deserve our attention. Soundbites and summaries no longer cut it. Read what you can, digest what you can cope with. Above all share these proceedings with your university or journalistic contacts and all those of conscience. Do what you like. But please don’t stay silent or turn away from your brothers and sister in humanity under such abject suffering. Those who demand justice and freedom from the aggressor of our age; The United States of America and Israel.

Yours in peace and in prayer to the One God of us all.
Lauren Booth
Kuala Lumpur
May 2012

DAY ONE OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Morning Break

I take coffee with three Iraqui university students. They want to know why Palestine ‘whose dead number in the thousands’ is the cause of such global outrage as opposed to Iraq ‘where millions are dead and millions displaced.’ Their genocide is being ignored there is no doubt. The man with the beard shakes with emotion, as he talks of the murder of thousands of scholars nationwide in Iraq. The other tells me that children for decades have struggled to even have pencils in schools because of the blockade and the subsequent occupation.

The Tribunal’s first witness is Abbas Abid. The defence council seeks permission for the witness to appear covered in court and for his image not appear. We are told this is because he fears the risk of further reprisals and danger back in Iraq. He appears with a Palestinian kaffiyeh wrapped about his face revealing only his eyes.

Witness is 48 year old man, married from Fallujah with five children born before his arrest. He was head of science and engineering in Iraq at the time.

First detained August 28 2005. He was removed violently from his house and after transferred to nearby base where he was detained for four weeks in the then secret prison known as, Jadrya bunker or shelter.

In Baghdad there were five shelters against nuclear attack. One of these were changed into a secret prison named above.  The Iraqui National Guard and US troops launched a raid on his uncle’s home with 4 American Humvees and 12 trucks of Iraqi soldiers. More than 15 Iraqi soldiers stormed the house in a ‘terrifying manner’. Smashing down doors and using sound bombs. They would scream and terrorise those inside the home ie his brothers family. His nephews came to his families home crying for help. His brother was absent at the time so he was called to help them. He said he was ready to answer any questions and was entirely co operative.  They said ‘why so many Holy books – there are too many holy books!’ I told them – everyone in the family has their own Quran. The soldiers examined some articles from the internet on the situation in Iraq. He was told to follow them for questioning. He was taken to Al Munhtanna Brigade Headquarters for questioning. They beat him up demanding to know the names of ‘terrorists’ in his neighbourhood.

‘They even electrocuted me’ he says. He was cuffed with hands behind him. A cord with a positive and negative charge attached to his hands and then attached to a power supply.

He stands up to show us his hands behind him.

The wire cable had current in it immediately and he felt the shocks straight away. The place he was in was’ new’ and not a’ professional place for torturing’ so they had amateur tools which they used at this time.

What was the effect of the electrocution he is asked?

I would turn into a dancer” he says to nervous laughter around the court. “You cannot react and your senses stop and you just shake, dancing’.

This was done more than three times and he was then threatened with being shot. The US soldiers, would use an AK47 and re load it with his eyes covered, then shoot near his ears saying the next shot would be to his head if he didn’t co-operate. He knew it was an AK47 as it is a popular gun in Iraq.

He saw Americans in uniform. The eye cover had a small space at the bottom and he could tell from the lower attire of the US military uniform. Plus their voices and accents were American. After the torture was finished he would see the soldiers involved were indeed American.

They tortured some of his cousins to get testimony against him. With 7 detainees he was moved to Al Jadrya-  he was again tortured using a wide range of methods

  • Electric shocks to his body especially the penis
  • Hitting with tools, pipes
  • Forced to drink water mixed with diaretics then having his penis tied to prevent urination
  • Hung to wall with weights hanging from his penis
  • Threatens of sexual assault and abuse to  sexual organs.
  • Shooting live rounds around his body

During the investigation period he was not given food and only drink with diaretics as above.

They pulled out his finger nails – the audience gasps using pliers – more gasps.

He was hung with his hands behind his back until his shoulders dislocated. Detainees were forced to have sex with each other. Solid objects were forced into the rectum of detainees. Forced standing for hours.

He was beaten on every part of his body – his genitals were assaulted.  Detainees were used as ‘ash trays’ by the torturers.

In a room 6×6 he was with thirty detainees for three days.  This room was a temporary room after torture, where detainees were brought in unconscious. Piles of bodies would lay there. He was wake from time to time and would then faint again.

A bag was put over his head for two months and only removed when food was given. Some detainees would have a bag on their head for more than five months. All the time in the prison detainees had bags on their heads from the minute they arrived to the moment they left.

The room he was kept in was so overcrowded no one could sleep lying down and all had injuries. Everyone had to urinate in plastic bottles by the door. Visits to the toilet were permitted only once every four days. This was timed at one minute per person. At all other times we had to discharge our waste into plastic bags by the door. These would be trodden on or tip over and spill waste all over the floor. The bags were only emptied every four days.

No medical care was available at all and men died from their injuries. He lists the names of almost a dozen men who died from their injuries in the 8 weeks he was there.

Water was withheld. A litre per detainee every three days was the ration. Sometimes thirst would become so bad that detainees would drink from the urine bottles. He confirms that US troops not only knew about the torture facilities but that they visited them all the time.

On release he was charged ten thousand  USD by the authorities. He was released with 3 other detainees. On release two cars followed him – one a BMW  with darkened windows. He evaded them. He later found out that the other two released at the same time were killed and their families forced to pay huge amounts of money in order to reclaim the bodies.

He stayed just one hour in his house with his family before moving to another house and then leaving his country. He is now back in Fallujah.

He says ‘my suffering was a test from Allah which I endured with patience. I am now unable to have children. I have nightmares all the time…Terrible dreams of someone coming to catch me, torture me or hurt my family. My family have similar nightmares of soldiers coming to torture me’.

When he married he wished to have 15 children. And according to plan he and his wife would conceive every two years until the time he was detained. He was happy to be released and he was overwhelmed by the joy of his loved ones but, the worst thing, that happened- the thing that took all his joy since,  is the fact he left his wife pregnant at the time of his capture. But as a result of the trauma of this capture – she miscarried twins. After going back to his life he realised his dream of a large family was shattered. He cannot have further children due to his injuries. He is giving this testimony to the world that those who act cruelly must be brought to justice.

The court defence lawyer examines Abid Abbas, who was born in Abu Ghraib district. He says that as the man has five children he is fortunate. Intimating that his long standing damage from his torture has not such serious effects. “Each man has his own dreams” replies Abid to accepting laughter around the court.

He is asked are you from Sunni or Shia?

You see this question regarding being a Muslim Sunni or Shia only started to be asked here and in other parts of the world after the war.’

A judge makes a call of order asking for the ‘point’ to  be reached. Clearly defining the parameters of the court as different from those of the US soldiers and their agenda.

The defence lawyer for Bush and his cohorts questions the ages of Mr Abbas children, how much they actually saw, how he spoke to the soldiers. He is asked many times –

‘Were you scared, you were scared weren’t you? You were scared for your brother’s children.’

‘No’ replies Abbas ‘not scared’,

When asked if he lost his position in Saddam’s government he says

Is that relevant to the case?

He is asked then how he supported the large family during the occupation as a man who had lost his position.

‘As a Muslim I believe that my wealth is managed by Allah and I still had a job until the detention in 2005’.

He is pushed on the question of whether the Saddam government had torturers and prisons.

‘Is this a trial of the previous government?’

The prosecution attorney Francis Boyle intervenes. Calling for questions of the ‘victim’s credibility to be dismissed and avoided’ as well as questions about the Saddam government which is not on trial in this court or this case.

The Bush defence asks if the witness had owned a gun and how he recognised the AK47 sound as mentioned. Witness clarifies that serving in the army was compulsory for at least two years.

‘Its very easy to differentiate between the Iraqi army and US forces by their uniforms, accents, voices and language.’

The defence looks very weak. Interestingly all the mechanics of its questioning have been played out in the mainstream press many times. They can be read in papers from the Telegraph to  Ynetnews in Israel and Fox in the US. The tired strategies of the oppressive regimes; first attempt to destroy the credibility of those with a message, a truth, you do not wish to hear or see shared. If that fails. compare the crime committed by yourself (your ally/paymaster) to  alleged crimes of the regime the victim lived under – or if not relevant then to any other oppressive regime,  not your own.

Finally try to make the victim into the aggressor via his views or his knowledge. Thus;

1.     Were you angry with the occupation

2.     Did you own a gun or serve in the military?

3.     Do you hold a grudge against the US?

Overall the Bush/Cheney defence team are doing a good job at being as obnoxious and intellectually limited as a US team – if that team were lead by Fox newsreaders rather than attorneys…

Did the Americans intervene at any time to stop the torture on you?

No. On the contrary in the first three weeks they would collaborate with the guards and beat him up.

Testimony from Mozzam Begg. Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, director of human rights organisation Cage Prisoner. British citizen of 41 years old.

Moazzam Begg wants to put on record his torture in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

In 2001 he went to build a school for girls in Afghanistan. When the region became dangerous due to the American invasion, he was evacuated, with his family, to Islamabad, Pakistan. On 31 January 2002, he was  arrested in this house in Islamabad. He was questioned about his presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was held for three weeks then handed over to the Americans. The minute he was handed over he was shackled and thrown to the ground. He was reverse shackled and carried into a plane. Punched and kicked throughout. A knife was put to his throat. Photos were taken of him in his hood.

On arrival he was punched and kicked. Cold steel ripped off his clothes. Photos were taken of him without clothes. Dogs were brought in and he was racially and religiously mocked and abused.

He was flown to Kadahar in Afghanistan where he asked when was the last time he saw Mullah Omar or Osama Bin Laden. He was taken to a tent. On the way to interrogations barking dogs were brought to ‘bark in my face.’

Once I was asked to write my entire life story and then the entire thing was torn up.

He was moved to Bagram. No one held there was allowed to walk, talk or move.

He used to see the taxi driver ‘Dilawar’ from his cell. The man was shackled to the sides of his cell. He saw him slumped at one time and instead of the soldiers administering medical aid they came in and kicked and punched him. He later found out that the man had died. The award winning documentary ‘Taxi to the dark side’ focuses on this murder of an Afghani civilian detainee held by the US troops.

Moazzem was threatened with being sent to Egypt on several occasions. In Egypt he learnt later a man was waterboarded who then gave testimony that he worked with Saddam Hussein – Ibn Sheikh Halibi. And more testimony about WMD’s. This testimony was then used to make the case for war by Colin Powell and others.

An American soldier who told him he could be sent to Egypt or ‘Syria’. This says Begg proves ‘an intelligence link between the US and Syrian leaderships.’

Did British intelligence play a part?

Yes – an immense role. I was intensely interrogated for a month in solitary confinement by the CIA, FBI, US military intelligence and also by British intelligence.  For the first time the British police are examining the British government for complicity in torture…enquiries have been ordered by the British PM into cases of torture.

During his incarceration Moazzem Begg wrote letters via the Red Cross to his wife and never got replies. At one point photos were brought in of his wife and children. A woman was heard screaming terribly nearby and profanities were being yelled at her. He believed his wife was being tortured as a result of this.  It was a ruse.

Conditions in Bagram

No tea no fruits no fresh food. Each cell was communal with ten prisoners with a bucket for a toilet. The stench was disgusting. Showers were communal and humiliating. Women prisoners were present during the showers and ‘trophy’ photos were taken. He was shackled in ‘3 piece shackles’ connecting arms and legs to neck and waist

Ear muffs over his ears and goggles on his eyes which were so tight as to be agony. He begged for a sedative and was given one. He arrived in Guantanamo Bay groggy as a result.

He spent 20 months in Guantanamo Bay. He was designated a ‘high risk detainee’. A document; a confession was produced for him to sign. Moazzem Begg was warned that failure to sign could lead to execution. Or he would spend decades in in Gitmo. He was in a state of constant anxiety. He continues; ‘The  female psychiatrist ( I was sent to)  told me a way to commit suicide using my trousers’. Drugs were given to aid sleep after which her would suffer hallucinations.

I never knew what my crime was to this day. The absence of due process became worse than the actual detention’.

He adds.

I never imagined the United States to be a country that would behave in this manner’.

When he heard US accents after being held by the Pakistanis at first he felt relief – ‘at last the good guys are here. That quickly changed.’

His testimony continues.

Nine people have died in Guantanamo.

Children are in Gauntanamo who have grown into adults there.

The US, Bush and his cohorts have not accepted responsibility for anything…it was said of us we were the ‘worst of the worst’ if so then why have some 600 of us been released?

There is no rule of law in the US. We still carry the stigma of being a Guantanamo Bay inmates to this day…until someone is charged and prosecuted for this it is very hard to remove this from over our heads.

The court is told that ‘Guantanamo is the tip of the iceberg. You go through secret prisons that makes Guantanamo look relatively tame’.

Under examination Mozzem Begg describes having some conversations and relationships with US soldiers at Gitmo..

Would he visit the US now?

He was invited recently. He was asked to visit the family of a 14 year old boy who is now 24 and remains in Gitmo. When the boy arrived at Gitmo he had a bullet wound. When Moazzem Begg arrived in Canada to meet the boys family, he was taken off the plane by police for being a ‘former Guantanamo Bay inmate.’

The defence asks  – are you a member of Al Quaeda?

Moazzem answers he has never been a member nor never will be and that the fact the British government has made an out of court settlement with him should be enough proof of this.

What of the school that Moazzem had gone to Afghanistan to help build?

It was ‘also hit by a cruise missile –  it was lucky no child was killed.’.

Defence asks about Moazzam’s book stall in the UK in the years before his detention. Was it a religious book stall?

In 2001 there was a raid on this shop and items were taken away under the uk terrorism act. The items were returned. He believes this was the process that was begun by Uk intelliegence and allowed us to keep him imprisoned.

Moazzem says

I have never been to America but America has been to me…I have never hurt an American but America has hurt me.’

He didn’t meet his son until he was three years old. There are says MB ‘ways of asking, processes’ what you can’t or shouldn’t’ do is take them to a place where the law doesn’t apply like GBay. Even iguanas are protected on the base but no one in orange jumpsuits has any rights there.

He is asked if he was raped in Guantanamo Bay.

Uncomfortably MB says ‘things were placed where they shouldn’t be.’

Asked if the thought the conditions had ‘improved over time. Moazzem Begg quotes Malcom X;

‘You don’t take a knife and put it in a man’s back nine inches deep – withdraw it two inches and say things are better.’

The US propaganda – outlined so well in James Yee’s book – that ‘some prisoners put on weight’ in Gitmo was brought up. As was the laughable sop that religious freedoms were respected. In Gitmo Begg did not know when Ramadan was, when Eid was, when the prayer times were at first.

Books and TV?

‘No TV there were some books usually English classics – Charles Dickens.’

Under examination, Moazzem Begg admits to reading Harry Potter in Guantanamo Bay – which? – the first five. To laughter and with a slight smile, he says;

‘These are some of the worst admissions I have had to make’.

‘Am I angry? If anyone wasn’t angry there would be something wrong with them’.

Recently he met with part of the Task force for detainee rights. He used his time to talk to them. He has invited Americans who served at Gitmo to his home.

‘These Americans some of whom kept me from my children are now in my home playing with them. My thoughts are that I am ready to forgive any American who asks for forgiveness. I am not at liberty to forgive for anyone else who is still suffering at their hands’.

He is asked if he can ‘understand’ the thought process that could have brought someone to close an eye to torture. The fear?

‘I have met many people I would consider torturers in my life. One was called the King of Torture and the Monster. He was responsible for the interrogation of many prisoners. One of whom (prisoners) said he (the torturer) tried to rape him’.

In Abu Ghraib he was present at abuse of females.

‘ In 2008 or 7 I received a call from my lawyers on whether I would be a character witness to him in the case regarding female prisoners’.

Begg said that Damien Corsetti, the US soldier called the Monster, said to him

“please forgive me -what I had become in Guantanamo Bay was as a result of the propaganda I had been fed by my country and my leaders.”

Corsetti realised what he had done and suffered a series of nervous breakdowns as a result.

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A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

 

Assange interviews two key Arab revolutionaries

 

Posted: 08 May 2012

 

The World Tomorrow is becoming essential weekly viewing (here’s past episodes). The latest edition features Alaa Abd El-Fattah from Egypt and Nabeel Rajab from Bahrain, two remarkable men who show dedication to free their countries from internal and external (read US) tyranny:

 

Highlighting the Western obsession with disaster tourism

 

Posted: 08 May 2012

 

What a fascinating project:

A disaster is not the event itself, but the trauma of the event. By adjusting to looming collapse in advance, your lifestyle can change gradually, at your own pace. ARK-INC offers holidays in apocalyptic landscapes, low-tech home comforts, and materials for self-evaluation.

 

 

How to treat corporations complicit in human rights abuses

 

Posted: 08 May 2012

 

The number of lawsuits filed by multinationals against governments is growing globally. It truly shows who controls this world.

It’s time for a serious fight-back. Evidence for the prosecution (via the Guardian):

Lloyds Banking Group has become embroiled in a row over its investment in a company accused of involvement in the rendition of terror suspects on behalf of the CIA.

Lloyds, which is just under 40% owned by the taxpayer, is one of a number of leading City institutions under fire for investing in US giant Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which is accused of helping to organise covert US government flights of terror suspects to Guantánamo Bay and other clandestine “black sites” around the world.

Reprieve, the legal human rights charity run by the British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, alleges that during the flights, suspects – some of whom were later proved innocent – were “stripped, dressed in a diaper and tracksuit, goggles and earphones, and had their hands and feet shackled”. Once delivered to the clandestine locations, they were subjected to beatings and sleep deprivation and forced into stress positions, a report from the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

CSC, which is facing a backlash for allegedly botching its handling of a £3bn contract to upgrade the NHS IT system, has refused to comment on claims it was involved in rendition. It has also refused to sign a Reprieve pledge to “never knowingly facilitate torture” in the future. The claims about its involvement in rendition flights have not been confirmed.

Reprieve has written to CSC investors to ask them to put pressure on the company to take a public stand against torture.

Some of the City’s biggest institutions, including Lloyds and insurer Aviva, have demanded that CSC immediately address allegations that it played a part in arranging extraordinary rendition flights.

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As new study shows, anti-Semitism can be a question of ‘geography’

NOVANEWS

By: Mark glenn

Two German economists map the anti-Semitic areas of Germany, and find a link between the place a person lives, and their tendency to prejudice against Jews.

ed note–anyone wanting to understand WHY ‘the Jewish question’ remains absolutely intractable need do no more than look at this article.

Jews have been rejected, hated, displaced, expelled, discriminated against ever since the biblical tale of Abraham selling his wife Sarah to the Egyptian Pharaoh, lying in the process that Sarah was Abraham’s ‘sister’ rather than his wife and therefore by implication, a virgin.

And yet, whenever the obvious question WHY is asked, they come up with something like this. Always blaming outside forces for their misery, rather than looking to themselves and their collective obnoxious behavior (which they glowingly refer to as ‘chutzpah) as the most likely explanation.

The thesis that ‘geography’, education and socio-economic status explains ‘anti-semitism’ is belied by the fact that in America, there is an ENTIRE SWATH, meaning MILLIONS, of poor, under-educated individuals known as Christian evangelicals who POSITIVELY LOVE the Jews and are as apt to criticise them even for the most heinous criminal behavior as they are say something positive about Muslims who–proportionally–don’t even register as a blip on the radar screen in terms of criminal behavior in both the US and around the world.

Haaretz

Is it possible to measure anti-Semitism and to influence its spread in society? Two German researchers who specialize in cultural economics claim that it can. The results of their research, entitled, “Hatred transformed: How Germans changed their minds about Jews, 1890-2006,” were published this week on the research portal of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, based in London.

We will reveal its conclusions now: Your place of birth bears a great influence on your level of hatred toward Jews (and foreigners in general), but with the help of the appropriate (but measured) education – we can reduce levels of anti-Semitism (and hatred of foreigners).

The two researchers, Nico Voigtländer and Hans-Joachim Voth, combined historical data with current statistics. In this way, they used statistics from the stockpile of the German General Social Survey that surveys German attitudes on a variety of issues, and also examined voting patterns for Germany’s extreme right-wing party and the Nazi party in certain parts of the country, from the 19th century until Nazi rule. The result enabled them to sketch a wide-ranging and interesting portrait of the trends in modern anti-Semitism, from the end of the 19th century, to the beginning of the 21st century.

The questions researchers asked and analyzed are interesting themselves, and can serve other researchers in different parts of the world, not only in regards to Jews. The list includes the following questions: “Do you think that Jews brought persecution on to themselves?” “Would you mind if you had Jewish neighbors?” “Should Jews have equal rights?” “Would you mind if a Jew married into your family?” “Do Jews have too much influence in the world?” “Jews are exploiting their victim status for their own financial gain – do you agree?”

On examination of the answers that Germans gave to these questions, from 1996 to 2006, the researchers discovered a consistent difference between different areas of Germany, which is made up of 16 states. In some areas, for example, 87 percent were convinced that the Jews brought persecution onto themselves.

In contrast, in other places the number of people who agreed with this sentiment was 38 percent of the population. At the top of the list, however, is Lower Bavaria, where the study found the highest rate of anti-Semitism, according to a number of variables.

The overall rate of extreme anti-Semitism in Germany, however, is not high, standing at 5 percent, according to the measures used by the researchers.

Following this, the researchers examined the rate of anti-Semitism in the same places in the past. They did this by examining the rate of voting among Germans for anti-Semitic parties from 1890 to 1912, as well as the Nazi party in the 1920s, and also in the 1930s.

The result was clear: In places where past support for anti-Semitic parties was low in the past, today’s German’s are more open to having Jewish neighbors, to having Jews as family members, and more likely to support equal rights for Jewish citizens. They are also less likely to blame Jews for bringing persecution onto themselves, to think that they have too big an influence on the world, or that they exploit their victim-status. Not surprisingly, overall hatred of foreigners in these areas is low.

“The extent to which the past still matters for attitudes today is surprising,” write the researchers. After 1945, anti-Semitism went from being an official policy to a taboo in German society. In Germany, and worldwide, “The fact that some people confess to it to the extent that they do, even in front of an interviewer who might elicit responses that are widely approved, suggests that privately-held views are probably even more anti-Jewish,” they added.

The study did not end there. It turns out that it is not only geographic location that has an influence on the anti-Semitic tendencies of its residents. It is also the kind of education they have undergone that plays a part.

“The Nazis, once in power, pursued a single-minded policy of indoctrination. We examine if this policy was successful in instilling racial hatred that is still visible some 70 years later,” the researchers wrote.

The conclusion is not surprising, but it is certainly interesting: As the Germans become older, there is a greater possibility that they hold xenophobic and anti-Semitic attitudes. Another interesting piece of data indicates that whoever was between 11 and 20 years of age when the Second World War was over, is likely to be far more anti-Semitic than the average. This, the researchers claim, is a direct result of a Nazi policy of indoctrination of the population towards hatred, racism and a belief in racial superiority.

And what happened after the war? The study also examined the influence of the policy of the countries that occupied Germany after 1945. At a time when all the allies were committed to a process of “de-Nazification,” every one of them implemented it in a different way. Analysis of the data showed that Germans who lived under British occupation are the least anti-Semitic. Areas controlled by the Americans, however, tend to have stronger anti-Semitic attitudes among residents.

The reason for this is related to the different policy that was enacted in the different areas. “The American authorities ran a highly ambitious and punitive programme which resulted in many incarcerations and convictions, with numerous, low-ranking officials banned and punished. Citizens were confronted with German crimes, forced to visit concentration camps, and attend education films about the Holocaust. There was a considerable backlash,” according to the researchers. The study cites an American military advisor who said in 1948, “If the United States Army were to withdraw tomorrow, there would be pogroms on the following day.”

The British, on the other hand, took a different approach: “A limited and pragmatic approach that focused on major perpetrators. Public support was substantial, perceived fairness was higher, and intelligence reports concluded that the population even wanted more done to pursue and punish Nazi officials,” the researchers said.

What is the conclusion of the overall study? In the researchers’ opinion, the conclusion is far more important than any other discussion of anti-Semitism in Germany, as it serves as an example of the extreme change of a society – from one that officially supported racism, to one that forbids it.

“We examine what it takes to change beliefs by looking at the case of Jew-hatred in modern-day Germany,” the researchers say.

“Across one of the greatest discontinuities in social norms in recorded history – the change of racism from encouraged attitude to banned belief – we find that policy can make a difference. The young can be manipulated by massive indoctrination, but only to the extent that the new, radical beliefs are not completely at variance with pre-existing norms. Policies designed to change the views of the population largely failed after 1945; we conclude that low-pressure interventions with substantial public support may be best to generate “buy-in“ from the population.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI1 Comment

Hollande likely to stick with Sarkozy policies on Iran, Syria, but 2012 Afghan withdrawal expected

NOVANEWS

miamiherald.com

French President-elect Francois Hollande is likely to speed up the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan and won’t support U.S. efforts to deploy a missile-defense system in Europe, policy changes that would affect France’s position on key international security issues.

But the new French government, headed by a member of the Socialist Party for the first time in 17 years, is unlikely to stray far from the policies of defeated conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy in areas such as Iran’s nuclear program and the conflict in Syria.

Bassma Kodmani, a leading figure in the opposition Syrian National Council, the internationally recognized umbrella group for opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, said in an interview in Paris that he expected no change in French policy toward his country. Sarkozy and his foreign minister, Alain Juppe, have been among Assad’s harshest international critics, backing calls for the creation of a humanitarian corridor where Assad opponents could take shelter from Syrian military campaigns.

“Francois Hollande and other socialist leaders have been very supportive,” Kodmani said. “We can expect the next French government to be consistent.”

Hollande has made no speech since his Sunday election that touches on foreign policy matters, but during his campaign he said France would participate in military intervention in Syria “if it is done in the framework of the U.N.” – a step that would first have to win approval of the United Nations Security Council, where it would face a likely Russian veto.

Experts here saw a thaw in Iranian-French relations as unlikely under Hollande. During the campaign, Hollande called Iran’s nuclear program “a vital danger for Israel and for world peace,” and he promised no letup in French pressure on the regime in Tehran.

The French Socialists have long criticized Sarkozy’s 2009 decision to return France to the integrated military command of NATO, but military experts said they doubted Hollande would want to change that decision now. But a former key French military commander – who asked that he not be quoted by name because he did want to be involved in what he said was essentially a political matter – said he thought Hollande would likely oppose French participation in a missile defense shield for Europe.

The retired general said Hollande is expected to make that point at the NATO summit meeting scheduled for May 19 in Chicago, four days after Hollande assumes office. 

Hollande expressed reservations about missile defense during his campaign, noting on one occasion that French companies “have no opportunity to participate commercially in this program.” He also said a missile-defense system undercuts “the very idea of deterrence” – the concept that nuclear-armed nations are less likely to resort to those weapons if they themselves could be the subject of a nuclear attack.

Sarkozy already had said that French troops would be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2013, a year ahead of the planned U.S. troop withdrawal. But Hollande has said he wants the 3,500 French forces there out by the end of this year.

Juppe said in April that he does not think so quick a departure could be arranged, “not as part of an organized return.” He said a withdrawal that quickly “would be a rushed escape” and “brings dishonor militarily.”

Sarkozy ordered French troops to come home early after an Afghan soldier killed four French colleagues in January. Sarkozy also ordered French troops to cease participating in combat missions. Eighty-two French soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

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The West’s Greatest Fear in Syria

NOVANEWS

Western attempts to destroy Syria have not been going to plan, revealing that what the West fears most is a peaceful resolution to the crisis

By Dan Glazebrook

The strategy was simple, clear, tried and tested. It had been used successfully not only against Libya, but also Kosovo (in 1999), and was rapidly underway in Syria. It was to run as follows: train proxies to launch armed provocations; label the state’s response to these provocations as genocide; intimidate the UN Security Council into agreeing that “something must be done”; incinerate the army and any other resistance with fragmentation bombs and Hellfire missiles; and finally install a weak, compliant government to sign off new contracts and alliances drawn up in London, Paris and Washington, whilst the country tore itself apart.

Result: the heart torn out of the “axis of resistance” between Iran, Syria and Hizbullah, leaving Iran isolated and the West with a free hand to attack Iran without fear of regional repercussions.

This was to be Syria’s fate, drawn up years ago in the high- level planning committees of US, British and French defence departments and intelligence services. But this time, unlike in Libya, it has not all gone according to plan.

First, there was Russia and China’s veto of the “regime change” resolution at the UN Security Council in October 2011, followed by a second veto in February of this year. This meant that any NATO attack on Syria would be denied the figleaf of UN approval, and seen instead as a unilateral act of aggression not just against Syria, but potentially also against China and Russia as well.

Vicious and reckless as they are, even Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama do not necessarily have the stomach for that kind of a fight. That left the burden of destroying the Syrian state to NATO’s proxy forces on the ground, the “Free Syrian Army” — a collection of domestic and (increasingly) foreign militias, mostly ultra-sectarian Salafi extremists, along with a smattering of defectors and Western special forces.

However, this army was not created actually to defeat the Syrian state; that was always supposed to be NATO’s job. As in Libya, the role of the militias was simply to provoke reprisals from the state in order to justify a NATO blitzkrieg. Left to their own devices, they have no chance of gaining power militarily, as many in the opposition realise.

“We don’t believe the Free Syrian Army is a project that can help the Syrian revolution,” said leader of the internal Syrian resistance movement Haitham Al-Manna, recently. “We don’t have an example of where an armed struggle against a dictatorial regime has won.” Of course, one could cite Cuba, South Vietnam, and many others, but what is certainly true is that internal armed struggle alone has never succeeded when the government is the only party in the struggle with any significant mass support, as is the case in Syria.

This reality was brutally driven home in early March in the decisive battle for the Baba Amr district of Homs. This was supposedly one of the Free Syrian Army’s strongholds, yet they were roundly defeated, leaving them facing the prospect of similar defeats in their last few remaining territories as well. The opposition groups are becoming increasingly aware that their best chance of meaningful change is not through a military fight that they will almost certainly lose, and which will get them killed in the process, along with their losing their support and credibility, but through negotiations and participation in the reform process and the dialogue that the government has offered.

This prospect — of an end to the civil war and a negotiated peace that brings about a reform process without destabilising the country — has led to desperation amongst the imperialist powers. Despite their claims to the contrary, a stable Syrian-led process is the last thing they want, as it leaves open the possibility of Syria remaining a strong, independent, anti-imperialist state — exactly the possibility they had sought to eliminate.

Hence, within days of Kofi Anan’s peace plan gaining a positive response from both sides in late March, the imperialist powers openly pledged, for the first time, millions of dollars for the Free Syrian Army: for military equipment, to provide salaries to its soldiers, and to bribe government forces to defect. In other words, terrified that the civil war in Syria is starting to die down, they are setting about institutionalising it. If violent regime change is starting to look unlikely, the hope instead is to keep the country weak and on its knees by sucking its energy into an ongoing civil war.

At the risk of making the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) appear even more out of touch with ordinary Syrians than it does already, its Western backers have increased the pressure on it to fall into line with this strategy, leading to open calls from the SNC leadership for both the full-scale arming of the rebellion and for aerial bombardment from the West.

This has caused huge rifts in the organisation, with three leading members defecting last month, because they did not want to be “accomplices in the massacre of the Syrian people through delaying, cheating, lies, one-upmanship and monopolisation of decision-making.” The SNC, according to one of the three, Kamal Al-Labwani, is “linked to foreign agendas that aim to prolong the battle while waiting… for the country to be dragged into a civil war.”

This month, one of the few SNC leaders actually based in Syria, Riad Turk, called on the opposition to accept the Anan peace plan, “stop the bloodshed” and enter into dialogue with the government — a call not echoed by his fellow SNC colleagues abroad. Likewise, the main peaceful opposition grouping within Syria — the National Coordinating Committee — has fallen out with the SNC over the latter’s increasingly belligerent role as a mouthpiece of foreign powers.

NCC leader Al-Manna spoke out against the Free Syrian Army recently, saying “the militarisation of the Syrian revolution signifies the death of the internal revolution…We know that the Turkish government is playing an important role in the political decisions of the Free Syrian Army. We don’t believe that an armed group can be on Turkish territory and remain independent of Turkish decisions.”

So, there is a growing perception, even amongst the Syrian opposition movement itself, that both the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council are working in the interests of foreign powers to prolong a pointless civil war.

Western policy-makers are playing a dangerous game. Short of a NATO attack, their best option for the destabilisation and emasculation of Syria is to ensure that the ceasefire fails and the fighting continues. To this end, they are encouraging their proxy militias to step up their provocations: the purpose of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé’s statements about “other measures” still being on the table is to keep the idea of a NATO attack alive in the heads of the rebels so that they continue to fight.

Indeed, many more foreign fighters have been shipped into the country in recent weeks, according to The Washington Post, and these have been launching devastating bomb attacks in Damascus and Aleppo. US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford is a protégé of John Negroponte, who organised Contra death squads to destabilise Nicaragua in the 1980s; he will almost certainly have been organising similar groups in Syria during his time there last year and for similar purposes.

Nevertheless, the destabilisation agenda is not going according to plan. The internal opposition in Syria is becoming increasingly frustrated with the way things are progressing, and a clear split is emerging between those based outside the country, happy to see Syria consigned to oblivion in order to please their paymasters and further their careers, and those who actually have to live with the consequences.

The reckless attacks carried out by the armed militias are increasingly alienating even those who once had some sympathy for them, especially as their foreign membership and direction is being exposed ever more clearly. Having been proven unable to win and hold territory, these militias are turning to hit- and-run guerrilla tactics. But the guerrilla, as Mao put it, is like a fish that can only survive in a sea of popular support. And that sea is rapidly drying up.

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Congressman Endorses Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing for Palestinians

NOVANEWS

220px-Rep_Joe_Walsh.jpg

The Atlantic

In a Washington Times op-ed, Rep. Joe Walsh, a Tea Party Republican from Illinois, unveils his new plan for solving the Israel-Palestine problem: 

1) Make the occupied territories part of Israel;

2) Give Palestinians who live in those territories “limited voting power” in the new, bigger Israel that they’ll have suddenly become residents of. (Walsh doesn’t define his euphemism, but no doubt the idea is that Jews get one-person-one-vote and Palestinians get something less, so that Israel can remain a Jewish state.)

3) Palestinians who don’t like having “limited voting power” can move to Jordan.

There are, of course, people who say that Israel already practices apartheid. Their argument: Israel has ruled West Bank Palestinians for 45 years, shows no signs of ending the occupation (and indeed keeps expanding the settler population), and doesn’t let these Palestinians vote in Israeli elections even though Jewish settlers in the West Bank do get to vote. The counter-argument is that, since the West Bank isn’t part of Israel, the policies that prevail there can’t make Israel an apartheid state. Joe Walsh’s plan would end the argument once and for all, making apartheid official Israeli policy.

As for whether this plan would also constitute ethnic cleansing: Well, when you (1) tell members of an ethnic group that the land they live on is being given to another nation; (2) tell them that neither they nor their descendants will be allowed to vote in that nation’s elections, even though next-door neighbors of a different ethnicity can; (3) tell them that the only way to avoid this fate is to go to another country–yeah, I’d call that ethnic cleansing, at least of a “soft” variety. (The harder variety, involving physical intimidation, is already practiced by the more extreme settlers–with little success thus far, though it could no doubt work in powerful synergy with Walsh’s subtler approach.)

Offhand, I don’t recall a member of Congress in my lifetime saying anything so grotesquely at odds with American ideals about ethnic relations and for that matter basic human rights. Will the Anti-Defamation League denounce Walsh? Will the American Jewish Committee? Will AIPAC have anything to say about the congressman whose strongly pro-Israel views its newsletter approvingly highlighted? If not, why not?

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NAZI’S IN LONDON

NOVANEWS
Israeli authority visits London to dictate Iran policy

Head of the Israeli regime’s National Security Council Yaakov Amidror has paid a visit to London to dictate the regime’s policies on the dispute over Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program.

Amidror visited London this week to discuss Iran, ahead of the second round of talks between the so-called Group 5+1 including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France and Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran to be held in Baghdad in three weeks.

The regime’s authority was assured by British officials that the representatives of the G5+1 were “not naïve” as far as the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is concerned.

The UK official said, however, that “there was a possibility Iran might respond positively to Western demands over its nuclear program”.

Amidror met his British counterpart Sir Kim Darroch, Foreign Secretary William Hague and senior Defense Ministry and intelligence officials in London.

“There were very intense discussions on Iran,” Matthew Gould, Britain’s ambassador to Israel, told Haaretz daily after taking part in the talks.

“We compared notes about the negotiations approach,
about how we continue to tighten sanctions and about the analysis of the progress of the Iranian nuclear program. The level of cooperation between the two countries is very high”, Gould added.

Amidror stressed in all the meetings Israel’s fear that the West would make too many concessions in its eagerness to strike an agreement. Israel is particularly worried that some of the sanctions imposed on Iran might be lifted.

This comes as Iran as an active member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a member to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has time and again stressed its peaceful nature of its nuclear program, and various inspections by the IAEA have endorsed non-diversion of the activities by Iran.

“We are very clear, we are absolutely not naive about Iran’s intentions and about Iran’s negotiation tactics,” said Gould.

“The people in London who deal with this dossier have been dealing with Iran for years and years. Our representative in the talks is Jeffrey Adams who was our ambassador to Tehran. There is no naiveté in our approach to these talks.”

Trying to calm Israeli fears, Gould said: “Iran will not get something for nothing. We will not be lifting sanctions simply because the atmosphere of the talks is constructive. Iran needs to come to the table with concrete proposals for how it can rebuild the trust of the international community. We will judge Iran by its actions and take our decisions accordingly. People who are worried that we are going to get carried away with a kind of negotiating warmth and that suddenly we will dismantle the sanctions regime don’t need to worry.”

The ambassador added that despite Israeli skepticism, the negotiations route must be fully explored. “We all agree that a negotiated peaceful solution to this is better than the alternative,” he said.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on NAZI’S IN LONDON

Israeli candidate runs for Congress in Texas

NOVANEWS

By: Mark gLENN

 

ed note–we can JUST IMAGINE if one of DEM MOOZLEMS, born in the US but who lived his entire life in Iran or one of DEM OTHER MOOZLEM countries, who served in the armed forces of one of DEM OTHER MOOZLEM countries came back to the US to run for congress on the platform ‘Stop the Judaization of America’.

THE SCREECHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sad part is that this Gelbman, obviously a traitor to America and who will sell out the country of his birth in favor of what is best for the Jewish state–will more than likely get the seat in Congress, and many years from now, after America is dead and gone and the people left to deal with the disaster start tracing America’s demise backwards to this very point, will marvel how so blatant a dangerous development reared its ugly head but nevertheless how the American people–rather than recognizing the danger for what it was and dealing with it appropriately,  embraced it.

jpost.com

DALLAS, Texas – Hundreds of Israelis are running for a seat in the Knesset. Only one is running for a seat in Congress.

Itamar Gelbman was born in New York 30 years ago and as a child moved with his parents to Herzliya, where he was raised. He studied business management and computer science at Tel Aviv University and served as an undercover reserve officer in the Tel Aviv Police District.

After graduation, Gelbman joined the IDF where he was a lieutenant in what he calls the “army special forces.” He said he could not be more specific about what he did in the army but that he received multiple awards, including a commendation from the IDF chief of staff.

Eight years ago, he moved to Texas. After US President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, Gelbman decided to get involved in politics. At first he wanted to volunteer for a politician, but he did not like the current crop of politicians where he lives.

“I didn’t like what I saw, so I decided to step up and run myself,” he said.

Gelbman is running in the May 29 Republican Primary in Texas’s Sixth Congressional District, which is outside Dallas. He will face off against incumbent Joe Barton, who was first elected in 1984 and has never won reelection with less than 60 percent of the vote, and challenger Joe Chow.

After Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and the television show Inside Edition ran critical reports of Barton receiving a car paid for by taxpayers, Gelbman said he is confident he could beat him. One of his reasons for optimism is that voters in the heavily Evangelical Christian district like his connection to Israel.

“I’m the only candidate for the seat who is pro-Israel,” Gelbman said.

“Barton has been in office for 28 years and has never been publicly outspoken on Israel. He votes with Republicans in favor of Israel, but he never visited. Israel’s not his thing,” he said.

Gelbman said he believes American politicians need to give Israel the benefit of the doubt. He does not believe the US should involve itself in the settlement issue and he would work to block foreign aid to Islamic countries that act against Israel and the United States.

“I would defend Israel and be their voice in the House,” he said.

“Israel should be allowed to do whatever it needs to do. The Palestinians need to change their education system and accept Israel as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Gelbman said he would work to make sure a law requiring the US to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would be enforced.

He received national attention when Muslims in his district were offended by his campaign flyer in which vowed to “fight the Islamization of America.”

Asked for his views on Iran, he said he was “100% against the Iranian nuclear weapons program and 100% behind Israel’s right to defend itself.”

He said that if Iran’s nuclearization was prevented, it would make the entire world safer.

Gelbman recently came to Israel to spend Passover with family. While he was in the country, he met with MK Danny Danon and other Likud politicians. He said he’s not a religious person but that he respects Jewish tradition.

Though Gelbman bills himself as the “first American- Israeli running for US Congress,” current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose father was born in Jerusalem and served in the Irgun, was in Congress from 2002 to 2009.

“Rahm Emanuel isn’t Israeli,” Gelbman said. “He never lived in Israel, and never served in the IDF. His father is Israeli.”

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Syria: Parliamentary elections – results are pending

NOVANEWS

Syria: External opposition boycotted elections and condemn it as a ploy, of course.

For the first time, the Syrian Parliament was elected on the basis of the new Syrian Constitution yesterday. Actually, the Parliamentary elections in Syria should have already taken place in early 2011 after cycle.

Due to the unrest, the elections were repeatedly postponed in Syria, of course. Yesterday, on 07/05/2012, it was now to come: the voters in Syria were able to determine who should receive the 250 available seats in the Syrian Parliament.

For the 250 seats in the Syrian Parliament, of which 127 are reserved for peasants and workers, over 7,000 candidates have advertised for them, including about 700 women. The Candidates were able to either compete in a party list or as individual candidates for the Syrian Parliamentary elections based on the new Constitution yesterday.
Early in the morning, 7:00 am local time, the more than 12,000 polling stations have opened their doors across Syria. Depending on the region in Syria, one can assume that the voter turnout was more or less. Many predicted increasing attacks at the Election Day and they had worries about their safety.

Until now, it seems that there have been no attacks on polling stations in Syria yesterday.  However, there were again reports of gunshots and explosions in some regions of the country, especially in the north of Syria. In the so-called strongholds of the unrest in Syria, the most people have probably taken no advantage of the opportunity to elect the new Syrian Parliament.

The polling stations were opened until 22:00 o`clock. The result of the vote count is not yet certain, of course. Many observers assume, however, that the Baath party and six other organizations, from the National Unity List, were able to obtain the majority of votes in Syria.

Of course, the opponents of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the opponents of the Syrian government and also Western media are particularly critical about the Parliamentary elections in Syria. It is sure no surprise that Western media and the dubious Muslim Brotherhood-council, the “Syrian National Council” (SNC), based in Turkey, says that the election was only a feint.

It is also stated that the Baath Party was strengthened in its role while only tame opposition groups are able to obtain some seats in the Syrian Parliament. Others say that these opposition groups called for a boycott of the elections because they know very well that they do not have the majority of Syrians behind them and thus, they would have no chance at such votes.

These people also say that these strange opposition groups have thus prevented that the final results of the Parliamentary elections confirm that they are worthless for the Syrian people and that the Syrian population condemns the violence and bloodshed by the “opposition forces” like the radical “Free Syrian Army” (FSA).

That the external “Syrian opposition” was not approved by the Syrian government to take part in these votes is understandable and every Western government would act the same way in a similar situation. These foreign forces declined the elections from the beginning and called for a boycott.

For example, the dubious “Syrian National Council” (SNC), in which the majority are Islamists (confirmed by opposition members and also Reuters), were just busy in trying to criticize the scheduled elections in Syria and to discredit it as a farce. Of course, the “Syrian National Council” (SNC) in Istanbul is, at least, also a huge farce.

Until now, there is no serious agenda or future plan for Syria by this questionable “council”. After over a year, they are only able to criticize, without delivering anything good to Syria and for the Syrian population. This Western-backed “Syrian National Council” (SNC), which has a huge support by the Qatari and Saudi regime, is already responsible for a lot of civilian victims in Syria and has no huge support within the country.

The heads of this “Syrian National Council” (SNC) became puppets of dubious intentions and questionable interests and are only keen on increasing their influence and power in Syria. At least, people like Ghalioun (was “elected” by the Muslim Brotherhood for this “job”) are not better than the Syrian regime / government. Thus, it is understandable that they have no real support within Syria and only try to sell this imagination since a long time.

The Western mass media is a benevolent customer for false information, propaganda and fakes. But it is also to predict, that despite the newly registered political parties and despite the new way of election campaign in Syria, not much will change in this country of the Middle East. Of course, nobody should underestimate the role of foreign governments in the fight against the Syrian President al-Assad and the Syrian government – on whatever level.

The situation within Syria would already be better when Western governments would stop their false games and the financially support for radical opposition groups in and outside Syria. Not to mention the despicable delivery of weapons to religious fanatics, radical opposition fighters and even to Libyan and Iraqi thugs in Syria. This support with weapons and ammo is a violation of the six-point peace plan by Mr. Kofi Annan. It is sure an act which is not in line with the sense of democracy.

Maybe it is the Western design of democracy. This support with ammo and weapons for radical gunmen boosts the bloodshed and violence in Syria. It is far away from being a good method for the ceasefire in this country. No surprise that the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has already said that this delivery of weapons to radical groups in Syria can be assumed as declaration of war against the country.

While delivering weapons and support to radical opposition groups, which have already proven that they also kill and rape Syrian civilians, the West and some Gulf States like Qatar and Saudi Arabia condemn the violations of the ceasefire by the Syrian government – and they only blame the Syrian government, of course.

The Western stance is still one-sided and based on willfully false information and propaganda which is used for propaganda purposes against Syria. The goals of these Gulf States and these Western governments are clear.

The Syrian President, his government, the so-called “Axis of Evil” and some more points are a huge thorn in the eyes of the West and Gulf States like Saudi Arabia. Not to mention that the West, especially America (under pressures of AIPAC and Israel), want to pave the path to Iran. The more destabilized Syria will be the better the way to Iran.

To be honest, not only these strange and dubious opponents of the Syrian President al-Assad have criticized the Parliamentary elections yesterday. Many Syrians expressed their doubts and criticism about the time at which the election is conducted.

Not only the time but also the circumstances are unfavorable for Parliamentary elections in Syria. Also foreign powers are responsible that the times are not very good for elections. How many of the voters have really understood the electoral system? Who knows how many candidates he is allowed to choose?

Who really knows all the new founded parties in Syria since the implementation of the new Syrian Constitution? Who knows about the optional programs of these new parties and who knows some or all individual candidates which were also on the election lists? Are the voters familiar with their programs?

Are the Syrian parties and the individuals, which have really good intentions for Syria and the Syrian population, able to get enough votes and really able to align something during the term of office? It is probably true that, in fact, the young people with real aspirations for a better Syria are the loser, because nobody knows them really and because they were not able to really lead a good campaign before the Parliamentary elections.

But despite all possible objections and doubts, many people have participated in the Parliamentary elections in order to contribute a bit for a better Syria and to push Syria on a new course. It is clear that in all the circumstances and conditions, the problems cannot be overcome overnight. Not to mention the pressure by foreign powers and the armed groups within the country.

Yet there is hope for recovery. The Syrian people want to finally overcome the violence in the country and get back to their normal life. Nobody wants the bomb attacks; nobody wants the language of violence and weapons, implemented by Western-backed armed groups in Syria.

Of course, it is questionable whether new reforms can already be implemented after the election and the reconstitution of the Syrian Parliament. The situation should stabilize first, but some foreign governments are not really interested in a stabilized situation within Syria.

The destabilization of a country is a part of a so-called “regime change” and some foreign powers want to destabilize Syria as much as possible to pave the path for a “regime change” and to pave a path to Iran.

The 300 observers of the United Nations (UN) are till June on location in Syria. These observers should monitor the ceasefire and its implementation. Whether this is really helpful is to question. The last observer mission of the Arab League (AL) was already a bit questionable and the final result of the observers was buried by Qatar, because it had included too much truth about the situation in Syria.

Of course, the United States still warn that the UN mission will end before the deadline of 90 days when the violence continues in Syria. But the U.S. administration does not speak about the fact that they meanwhile support radical groups in Syria with funds and weapons. You see, it stinks.

This fact and contradiction does not stop the U.S. administration from speaking about a military intervention in Syria, which would replace the position of the UN observer team when the violence continues. Of course, the United States only condemns the Syrian government, as usually. This one-sided condemnation is useful for propaganda purposes.

Today, a new report by Mr. Kofi Annan on the situation in Syria is expected. Hopefully, the report will not be one-sided, although more and more Syrians have doubts about the real intentions of Kofi Annan.

Mr. Kofi Annan is actually not on location in Syria and thus, it is questionable whether he has actually a real overview of the processes in the country. It would be no surprise when this updated report on the situation in Syria will be again based on false information and fakes by the “external Syrian opposition”.

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