Archive | July 7th, 2012

Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think ?


Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, a new documentary film from Unity Productions Foundation, explores the expertly gathered opinions of Muslims around the globe as revealed in the world’s first major opinion poll, conducted by Gallup, the preeminent polling organization.

Gallup researchers began by asking the questions on every American’s mind. Why is there so much anti-Americanism in the Muslim world? Who are the extremists and how do Muslims feel about them? What do Muslims like and dislike about the West? What do Muslim women really want?

Crucial policy decisions hang on these questions. They continue to generate passionate disagreements in the public square. Yet for all the heat and controversy, the actual views of the world’s Muslims have been conspicuously missing from this debate.

Now, we have the missing answers and statistics, gathered, parsed, and analyzed not by pundits but by professional researchers.

As part of this groundbreaking six-year project, Gallup conducted tens of thousands of interviews with residents in 35 predominantly Muslim nations, as well as smaller populations in Europe and the USA. The broad extent of the polling has delivered findings for the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims with a plus or minus accuracy of 3%

Focused on the issues of Gender Justice, Terrorism, and Democracy -the film presents this remarkable data deftly, showing how it challenges the popular notion that Muslims and the West are on a collision course. Like the research, the film highlights a shared relationship that is based on facts – not fear.

Experts featured (A Partial List): Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, John Esposito, University Professor, Georgetown University, RamiKhoury, Editor of the Daily Star (Beirut), and Kenneth Pollack, Director of Research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute.

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Reply to Mary Rizzo

To whom it may concern,On behalf of Collective Consciousness, we would like to state ourappreciation for the courage, sacrifice, and astute character in which the aggressive and illegal behaviors of a group of misfits on the social medium, Faceb ook has engaged in against innocent Palestinian and other human rights activist. As a result of our pursuit of justice and desire to bring such a long train of abuses by assailants to the public’s eye, we have also been addressed in a provocative manner by individual constituents of these group of bullies.

Therein lays the attachment in this e-mail which I have forwarded to you on behalf of myself and the organization, Collective Consciousness. This attachment is a personal reply to an individual that challenged me by making her own web blog post using my name and screenshots form Facebook. THerefore, I have not only used my screenshots to prove the connection between Mary Rizzo and the Facebook Hate website “No One in Gaza Wants Ken O Keefe” AND Kimberly Amatullah,but I have also provided a refutation of her article against Ken premise by premise with my own

inquires and refutations and challenges of her ambiguous rhetoric in attacking, and most importantly are included screenshots providing the narrative of how Kimberly Amatullah and others attempted to intimidate, threaten my life, and harass me over a $100 loan because I refused to engage in a campaign to defame Ken O Keefe.

I believe, strongly, that my screenshots, along with others I have not included, not only prove the relationship of Mary Rizzo, Kimberly Amatullah, and others; but it shows what lengths of illegal and
unethical activity all of the aforementioned and more are willing to go to destroy Ken O Keefe.

Moreover, I hope to clear my credibility and name with this narrative and proof.


Taiyo “Siraj” Davis


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Norman Finkelstein’s disinformation about BDS


Norman Finkelstein continues to spread disinformation about BDS. In a new interview [1], by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Finkelstein repeated the accusation that “BDS is a cult,” this time in a measured and composed way, not as an “outburst”. Parenthetically, the interview itself, in its structure and the kind of questions asked and not asked, suggests that Finkelstein himself is  fashioning his own persona as a cult leader. But let’s get back to the specific accusation. Finkelstein claims that “[t]he movement is riddled with flagrant hypocrisy.” He offers three examples:

“a) a leader calls for the boycott of all Israeli universities while he himself studies at Tel Aviv University, (b) a leader claims that BDS doesn’t target individuals or an individual’s beliefs, only institutions, but he then calls for a ban on Daniel Barenboim, because Barenboim is a “Zionist,” c) BDS did not call for a ban on [the film] Five Broken Cameras although it was produced in conjunction with an official Israeli film society.”

None of these three examples represent any shred of hypocrisy.


Finkelstein refers, strangely without mentioning the name, to Omar Barghouti, who is a citizen of Israel and a student at Tel Aviv University. One of the three demands of BDS is equality of Israel’s citizens. BDS is not a call for segregation, and obviously opposes the variety of measures used by Israeli universities to make Palestinian students feel unwelcome at Israeli universities and to reduce their enrollment numbers. Access to higher education is a fundamental civil right. We are fighting, among other things, so that more Palestinians in 48 Palestine can go to universities and study without being harassed, isolated, silenced, etc. It would be plainly counter-productive for Palestinians to assist Israel in the denial of their rights by giving them up on their own initiative. Precisely because BDS is not a cult, but a movement organized on principles of rational strategy, that no such demand for students to boycott themselves exists.

Indeed, there is likewise no BDS call for Israeli Jewish students to avoid studying at Israeli universities. The BDS call against Israeli universities is a call for world institutions and academics,  demanding that they sever institutional ties. Not only there are BDS adherents who are students at Israeli Universities, but there are some, like Koby Snitz and Anat Matar, who are professors there as well. To accuse students and professors of Israeli Universities of hypocrisy for supporting BDS is akin to demanding that workers picketing their employers must first quit their job in the name of “moral consistency.” It is plain silly. Omar Barghouti is calling for other institution to boycott the university where he is a student on the basis of a certain demands. That is perfectly legitimate.

With this accusation Finkelstein is belatedly joining a smear campaign launched against Barghouti in 2009. At the time, PACBI issued a statement clarifying why this smear campaign was wrong on every count, noting that

PACBI has never called upon Palestinian citizens of Israel and those who are compelled to carry Israeli identification documents, like Palestinian residents of occupied Jerusalem, to refrain from studying or teaching at those Israeli institutions. That would have been an absurd position, given the complete lack of alternatives available. Successive Israeli governments, committed to suppressing Palestinian national identity in their pursuit of maintaining Israel’s character as a racist state, have made every effort possible to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian university inside Israel. The only choice left to Palestinian students and academics in Israel, then, is to go to an Israeli university or leave their homeland to pursue their studies or academic careers abroad — often not possible due to financial or other compelling reasons. In fact, the Israeli authorities have consistently worked to strip Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem of their Israeli ID cards and thus their residency rights while they study abroad, thereby prohibiting them from returning.[2]

I find it hard to believe that Finkelstein is not aware of this statement, and either way, it is inexcusable that he ignores it.


In 2010, PACBI issued an opinion that Bareboim’s WEDO orchestra was boycottable. This was a controversial question, because the case of WEDO and the role it plays politically is both marginal and complex, and there were conflicting views about it. The argument against WEDO, whether one agrees with it or not, was not about Barenboim’s opinions, or indeed about Barenboim at all, given that WEDO is an institution in which people other than Barenboim hold decision making positions. It was a question of whether WEDO as an institution meets the criteria of the cultural boycott that have been laid down over a year earlier. PACBI’s position was that it did:

Based on quotes from the Orchestra’s own programmatic statements, PACBI concluded that WEDO’s

…self-definition turns occupation and colonial oppression into a mere “problem” or “barrier”  to be discussed between “traditional rivals” who hope to settle their “differences” and build “bridges” of understanding through music and dialogue to encourage “listening to one another” and to set “a good example of democracy and civilized living.”

By promoting this false symmetry or balance between the “two sides,” WEDO is indeed promoting normalization. The Divan refuses to even recognize, let alone oppose, Israel’s ethnic cleansing, occupation and system of racial discrimination as the root causes of the Arab-Israeli colonial conflict, sanitizing the very real oppressive reality on the ground with benign terms that are intended to project symmetry between oppressor and oppressed and moral parity between colonizer and colonized. This conforms to the definition of normalization, a term used across the Arab World, especially in Palestine, to describe joint Arab-Israeli projects that ignore or bypass the reality of oppression altogether, and/or fail to contribute to the struggle to end it, hence presenting to the world a deceptive image of “civilized” coexistence despite Israel’s patently uncivilized colonization and apartheid system.[3]

However one’s personal tolerance for political views than one deems offensive, a question of temperament , it is an undisputable  fact  that the PACBI boycott guidelines, on which the case against WEDO was made, do not cite Zionism, or any other held belief, as a ground for boycott. While Finkelstein feigns not to be aware of that, anybody with an internet browser can verify it.[4]

Finkelstein’s claim that Barenboim was boycotted for his “Zionism” repeats without attribution Mariam Said’s accusation against PACBI.[5] In claiming that the issue was Barenboim’s Zionism, Said paraphrased a PACBI statement to the Qatari government that is not available in electronic form. Therefore, I cannot say whether Said’s paraphrase has substance. It doesn’t bother Finkelstein to cite an unsubstantiated accusation, that PACBI subsequently denied, as if it were established fact. However, two more general points are worth making in that context.

First, even if Zionism isn’t the criterion for boycott, the question of where institutional agents stand politically is certainly within the scope of a useful analysis. For understanding better the political context in which this debate took place and Barenboim’s opinion were cited, I recommend reading Raymond Deane’s article about WEDO as an institution.[6] However, if indeed the original statement was not as clear on the grounds for boycott as PACBI’s subsequent clarification, the only conclusion one could draw from that legitimately would be one that every activist knows from experience. political positions, arguments and principles do not come down from heaven in a perfect state, but are constantly clarified and developed in the process of struggle itself. It is precisely because BDS is a political movement and not a cult that this is true of it.

Second, among all those who profess some kind of adherence to the BDS call there are, inevitably, different tendencies and interpretations. Part of the evolution of every political formation is a certain conflict within cooperation over those tendencies and interpretations. There are BDS supporters like Mariam Said and Virginia Tilley [7] who want relaxation of certain anti-normalization criteria. There are others who want boycott of all Israelis based on nationality. The 2006 case of the boycotting of Juliano Mer Khamis by some activists raised a storm [8] and was instrumental in building cohesion over the BDS attitude on Israeli artists. [9]  Mediating such conflicts creatively while building essential unity is part of the function of leadership, and the credibility of leadership is in large measure dependent of its ability to solve these contradictions in ways that are acknowledged by all parties as conducive for the movement’s shared goals. Of course, this does not always involve compromise. Sometimes, it also involves taking a clear stand against misguided attempts that would derail these goals if they were to gain the upper hand.


The third accusation against PACBI, for failing to call for a boycott against the filmFive Broken Cameras for being co-produced and co-directed with Israelis is the most bizarre.  I haven’t yet seen or studied the film, so what follows is preliminary. Obviously if an argument were advanced that a certain film should be boycotted, it would take some time to reach an informed decision, and Five Broken Cameras has barely been out. But on preliminary grounds, it seems quite obvious that the film is not boycottable for the exact same reason that WEDO is. The film is a work of resistance in itself, and a documentation of the resistance along the Apartheid Wall. Far from boycotting Israeli participation in Palestinian resistance, the BDS call “invite[s] conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace”. [10] The PACBI guidelines for cultural boycott specifies this exception clearly:

All such events and projects that bring Palestinians and/or Arabs and Israelis together, unless the Israeli side is explicitly supportive of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and unless the project/event is framed within the explicit context of joint opposition to occupation and other forms of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, are strong candidates for boycott. (my emphasis)[11]

Criticism can sometimes be harsh and uncompromising and yet valuable. Therefore, I wouldn’t want to hold it against Finkelstein simply that he is very harsh in his stance. Yet I find it hard to belief that Finkelstein, who is known for reading everything and checking every un-dotted and uncrossed t in what he reads, can be so egregiously unaware of the basic principles laid out by the people he criticizes.  By this stage, I find it unavoidable to conclude that Finkelstein is engaged in a politically motivated campaign of disinformation aimed at destroying BDS, rather than any form of conscientious, informed criticism of it. Anyone who gives him a podium or interviews him without being prepared to challenge him when he is simply making stuff up is effectively helping such a disinformation campaign.


I picked on these accusations because they were the most malicious. There is a lot more in the interview that I disagree with, and I would like to briefly refer to two more points about BDS being “like a cult.”

The movement functions in a cocoon world where the incantation of mantras – “BDS,”  “One State” and “Israeli Apartheid” – has replaced a political analysis of what’s possible and likely to reach a broad public.

It would be indeed a problem if that were so. Yet this is no more than one biased outsider’s impressionistic claim, backed with nothing. I’d rather be concrete with a counter example. BDS Switzerland, in which I am active, reached “a broad public” by two organized campaigns in the last year. In one, we got over 170 artists, including some of the most well known in the country, to join the cultural boycott on the basis of an explicit reference to the Right of Return.[12]  getting signatures was easier than expected and certainly does not back Finkelstein’s claim that the right of return is a non-starter with the public.

In the second, we collected 12,000 signatures in front of supermarkets, calling the major chains to destock Israeli products. Our campaign pressured the largest local chain to begin labeling products as “produced in settlements.”[13] Although it was less than our full demand, it was an important achievement that raised and changed the tone of mainstream public debate. We constantly analyze the public arena in order to identify what is “politically possible.” We never had a discussion of “one state,” and we have no campaign advocating one state, regardless of our personal opinion regarding what is more or less desirable. While I won’t vouch for the political maturity of every group that launches a BDS campaign, it is my personal impression that my experience of BDS is more widespread than Finkelstein’s.


The last point is more abstract, but worthy of discussion because it feels like it has some theoretical and experiential plausibility. Finkelstein claims that

Self-proclaimed leaders of the BDS movement claim to speak in the name of “Palestinian civil society”  or “the Palestinian people,” although they have no basis to make such a claim.  They then use this fraudulent claim as a club to silence any opposition to their diktat;

The reason this seems to be valid is because political representation is a fraught, contested, and constructed process, often misrepresented in the media as well as the political culture in general as a straightforward and objective relation.  Thus, in liberal democracies, we have a number of institutions that function as representations of the populace, primarily through elections.  By this stage in history, many people are keenly aware of how problematic the representative claims of even legally organized representative functions such as parliaments, elected presidents, councils, etc. are. Yet it is hard to deny that officially elected “representatives,” however compromised, do carry a certain level of legitimacy that their draw from “representing” a people, faction, district, etc., through institutionalized elections.

Thus, on the one hand, it has become fashionable among some to reject any representational claim and insist that people only “speak for themselves.” On the other hand, the legitimacy of liberal democratic representation is often contrasted in the public discourse with the lack of legitimacy of radical challenges to the political system, protesters, occupations of public spaces, revolts, strikes, etc., who are not backed by elections. Together, these two widely shared ideas contribute to weigh against any form of effective popular resistance to power.

It is both this liberal institutional discourse, which is crumbling around us, and the individualistic, existential riposte, that Finkelstein invokes implicitly when he denies the BDS organizers in Palestine the right to speak in the name of the “Palestinian people.” In contrast, I would suggest an alternative conception of representation. To be active politically, that is, to make an intervention in the public realm regarding a collective choice, is inherently to claim representative status of the concerned public, either directly, or through a proxy reference (X is representative and I support X). Arguments about political claims are inherently invalid unless they represent a public as a collection of people with certain concerns that unite them behind that claim. Thus, it would be both impossible and inadmissible for anyone to make a political argument about Palestine without such an argument citing some representational power. Indeed, Finkelstein himself cites representational power when he defends his views as both widely supported by Palestinians and objectively in their interests.

The status of a political function as representative is always contested . For the same reason that a political claim cannot be effective without representing a “people”, the best counter claim against one is often the demolition of its claim to represent. An essential part therefore of making political claims is establishing representational power in practice. For popular challenges, such actions involve organizing people in a way that affirms the representational power of certain claims. Thus, for example, calling a strike builds representational power to the extent that people actually strike. In Switzerland, the act of collecting 12,000 signatures buttressed our claim that de-shelving  Israeli products is not the personal affectation of a few activists but a broadly shared public request that our petition legitimately represented. Elections are a mechanism construed for institutionalizing such representative claims.

However, far from guaranteeing representation, liberal elections invariably create conditions in which representational claims can be advanced fraudulently more easily. BDS is not a party vying for elections, and the leadership of the BDS movement does not claim to represent Palestinians in a governing function. This, however, especially in the context of the failure of liberal democracy more broadly worldwide, cannot suffice to deny the claim of representation unless one accepts either that representation is impossible or that governing through elections are the sine qua non of political legitimacy.

It seems to me that the representational claims of BDS are essentially twofold, that the three demands of the BDS call represent the historical demands of the Palestinian people and are widely supported by Palestinians, and that the strategy of boycott, including an anti-normalization stance, is widely popular and widely perceived as appropriate. The test of these claims is not whether PACBI was elected or not or about how many Palestinians are hypothetically willing, as Finkelstein believes, to give up the right of return. The test is in actual organizing  in which support for these representational claims is established or contested in practice.

The 2005 BDS call, signed by over 170 organizations, including both Fatah and Hamas, is an example of a successful political organization that established precisely the claims of BDS to be representative of the Palestinian people.  The success in organizing the cultural boycott, including the success in denying boycott breakers platforms in Ramallah and other places in the Occupies Territories, even and indeed precisely because such actions require mobilizing people and building popular and public pressure on the undecided, are further proof of BDS’s legitimate representational claims. The absence of any Palestinian political force that calls for the renunciation of the Right of Return and the abandonment of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, as Finkelstein advocates, further buttresses the claim that the three BDS demands are indeed elements of national Palestinian consensus. It does not follow that there are no debates and disagreements. Debates about both goals and strategies have not ended, and the Boycott National Committee does not have the authority to settle these debates by declarative fiat.

There are, for example, those who want a more relaxed boycott, and those, like Sari Nusseibeh, who are willing to give up the right of return. The question in such cases is not whether BDS is officially representing the Palestinian people, but which of the different positions has a better representational claim. This is, of course, a question to be decided by Palestinians themselves through political means, not by solidarity activists and outside intellectuals. Finkestein’s argument is fallacious when he deduces from the contested nature of representation and the non elected position of the BDS leadership that the set of imposed demands and principles they advocate does not represent  the Palestinian people. It does precisely to the extent  that Palestinians have effectively and with wide consensus organized around them.

This is not to say that the status of Palestinian leadership is resolved. There seems to be a widely shared sense of the need to rebuild institutions in order to restore the level of cohesion and authority that was lost with the demise of the PLO through the Oslo process.  In no way does the recognition of the need for better representational institutions justify the kind of blank dismissal advocated by Finkelstein. What Finkelstein advocates in practice is nothing other than undercutting and declawing of one of the most effective forms of Palestinian  organizing within the scope of the Palestine liberation struggle in recent years. No conscientious person should allow herself to be seduced by that.

The post originally appeared at jews sans frontieres.


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Straight Talking: The Syrian Cauldron


By Jeremy Salt

Ankara – Tension between Turkey and Syria along their border is edging closer to flashpoint. Last week a Turkish air force jet was shot down after violating Syrian air space. The Syrian government said the plane was hit while inside Syrian air space. Turkey says it had already left Syrian air space and was hit in international air space.

What the plane was doing inside Syrian air space is another matter. Turkey’s President, Abdullah Gul, said it had ‘strayed’ off course. Other accounts suggest that it was there to ‘light up’ Syria’s radar system or test its missile defences. Turkey immediately sent troops and armor to the border and invoked Article 4 of the NATO Charter, calling for consultation with its partners in the alliance. They immediately endorsed the Turkish version.

Hillary Clinton called the shooting down of the plane ‘brazen’ while William Hague thought it was ‘outrageous’, words, one cannot help noting, that they have never used to describe the missile attacks by their armed forces that have killed civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Another ‘incident’ might lead to Turkey invoking Article 5, the common defence article of the NATO Charter, which regards an attack on one member as an attack on all. War between Syria and Turkey would then become war between Syria and all NATO members, leading in turn to confrontation between the NATO/Gulf state bloc on one hand and Russia, China, Iran and their allies on the other.

There is nothing accidental or unwilled about what is happening in Syria. The government in Damascus has been deliberately locked into a cycle of violence fed from the outside by the self-styled ‘Friends of Syria’. Both sides are implicated in the killing of civilians yet the mainstream media has created a narrative in which virtually all the killing is the work of the army or the ‘regime loyalists’ known as the shabiha.

‘Activists’ routinely blame every murder, bombing and act of sabotage on the government even when the victims have been Baath loyalists (as was the professor murdered by armed men in her home on the outskirts of Homs in late June, along with her three children and parents). The suffering of families whose menfolk have been killed after taking up arms against the government is reported in the media but not the suffering of families who have lost members to the armed groups. The jury remains out on the Hula massacre.

While the UN Human Rights Council says in its latest report that ‘many’ of the killings ‘may’ have been the work of regime loyalists, other evidence points to the massacre having been the handiwork of jihadis, reportedly including the Faruq Brigade of the so-called Free Syrian Army. As the Human Rights Council admits that it has no conclusive evidence as to who was behind this massacre it might have been more responsible for it say nothing unless and until it did have such evidence.

This unbalanced narrative feeds into the war strategies being framed by the ‘Friends of Syria’. These ‘friends’ insist that the armed campaign they are sponsoring is directed against the government and not the people. What ‘the people’ – by any measure the majority of Syrians – want is hard to gauge amidst such chaos but evidence suggests they see these ‘friends’ as their enemies. The referendum in February and the elections in May were hardly perfect but remain the clearest indications yet of general support amongst Syrians for a political solution to the crisis gripping their country. Outside the enclaves dominated by the armed groups, the people are strongly opposed to these groups and their external backers, knowing that but for the obstruction of Russia and China, NATO warplanes would have been bombing their country long ago.

Outside governments have fastened on Syria’s problems with the tenacity of leeches. The ‘Arab spring’ created the opportunity to reshape the Middle East at its political and geographical centre and they have seized it. Although paying lip service to Kofi Annan’s ceasefire plan they are prolonging the violence in the hope that the army will eventually disintegrate and the government implode. While the destruction of the government in Damascus is an end in itself, Syria must also be seen as a way station on the road to Iran.

If the Baath government can be brought down, the strategic alliance between Iran, Syria and Hizbullah will collapse at the centre. Even if the government is not dislodged, Syria will be in such chaos that it would be unable respond if Iran is attacked. Hizbullah would be similarly immobilized. Israel would be able to attack without having to worry about a second front opening up across its northern armistice lines. President Putin’s assurance while on an apparently unscheduled visit to Israel that Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon may have been a last ditch attempt to ward off an attack on Iran. Perhaps Russian intelligence has found out that a decision has finally been taken and the date and time set.

Turkey’s initial response to the ‘Arab spring’ was sluggish. The Tunisian president was gone before the government had time to react. It waited almost until the end before calling on Mubarak to step down. Prime Minister Erdogan spoke strongly against military intervention anywhere in the region before coming in behind the armed attack on Libya. On Syria he and his Foreign Minister claimed to have given President Bashar al Assad good advice which he refused to take before deciding that he had to go.

In late summer they threw their government weight behind the establishment both of the ‘Syrian National Council’ (SNC) and the ‘Free Syrian Army’ (FSA), giving the first a home in Istanbul and the second sanctuary in southeastern Turkey. For the first time in Turkey’s republican history a government had committed itself to ‘regime change’ in a neighboring country; for the first time a government had sponsored an armed group operating across its border to kill the citizens of a neighboring country. Even now the moral and legal implications of this policy have scarcely been touched upon in the Turkish media.

For a country which has a long history of other governments meddling in its affairs the Turkish position is almost surreal. This is not just because of the parallel between the PKK and the FSA, both crossing the borders of neighboring countries to kill the citizens of their own country; both claiming to be fighting in the name of human rights and freedom; and both regarded as terrorist organizations by the governments of the countries in which they are operating. The history of external meddling and support for rebels by outside governments goes deep into the history of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, from the support for the Greek rebels in the 1820s, to support for the Bulgarian rebels in the 1870s and Macedonian and Armenian rebels in the 1890s.

Intervention in the name of civilization was replaced in the 20th century by intervention in the name of democracy and freedom and now we have intervention in the name of humanitarian concern – a continuing theme through these two centuries – and the ‘responsibility to protect’. In a paradoxical play on history, Turkey is now intervening in Syria as the imperial powers once intervened in the Ottoman Empire and as they are still intervening in the affairs of other countries.

Other agendas are easy to see. Saudi Arabia wanted the US to attack Iran during the George W. Bush presidency and ‘cut the head off the snake’. Its interests are partly ideological, directed against Shiism in general as well as Iran in particular, while also arising from the traditional Saudi fear of its large northern neighbor. The US put the Syrian government on its list of states that support terrorism in 1979 and since the introduction of SALSA (Syrian Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Act of 2003) has gradually tightened economic sanctions in an effort to bring the government to its knees.

For Israel Syria has always been the visceral Arab enemy and of course, what Israel wants, any US administration will do its best to deliver. Turmoil in the Arab world suits Israel down to the ground, literally. It is tightening its hold on all the territories occupied in 1967 all the time without the world paying any attention because of the drama of the ‘Arab spring’. Not that the world has ever paid much attention but for the moment Israel is having a dream run.

The one agenda that is difficult to determine is Turkey’s. It has the approval of its partners inside NATO and the collective known as the ‘Friends of Syria’ but this has come at a heavy price. Cross-border trade in the southeast has all but collapsed. Relations with Iran, Iraq and Russia have been undermined. Perceptions of government sympathy for a Muslim Brotherhood-type government in Syria have aroused the suspicions of Turkish Alevis, especially in the border province of Hatay, where the population is about 50 per cent Alevi. The region was severed from Syria by the French in 1938 and handed to Turkey. Both Alevis and Christians still have family ties across the border and both see the Assad government as an effective guarantor of minority rights. They certainly do not share their own government’s perspective.

What is being played out is one of the greatest power games since the end of the First World War. Behind the cover of the ‘Arab spring’ the obstacles to renewed western domination of the region are being removed one by one. The destabilization of Syria is bringing the region close to a war with potentially catastrophic global repercussions but the rewards are so great that the western coalition cannot help itself from pressing against all red lines.

Turkey’s involvement is central to western strategic planning and if war does come either through accident or design Turkey will be right on the front line. A recent poll carried out by the Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Research shows strong opposition to any deeper involvement in the Syrian crisis. The majority of those polled (56 per cent) do not support military intervention in Syria and only a small number (less than eight per cent) support the arming of the Syrian opposition. The question here is whether the Turkish people realize how deeply their government is already involved. The ruling party dominates parliament but Syria might yet prove to be its Achilles heel.

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Dagan retracts quote that attacking Iran is ‘stupid’



Bombing Iran is not the stupidest idea Meir Dagan has heard after all, the former Mossad head made clear in an interviewin the recent issue of Lochem magazine, distancing himself from his statement earlier this year – which was widely circulated to discredit a possible Israeli military action against Tehran.

“This was a miserable quote that was said absentmindedly, not in public, and which someone quotes all the time,” Dagan said in the magazine for disabled IDF veterans. “Let’s set the record straight. I think the Iranian nuclear capacity is a threat with strategic implications for Israel.

I know the air force well enough to know that it will perform successfully any task entrusted to it.”
While stepping away from that particular quote, Dagan did not however move away from the substance of his opposition to military action.

“I do see a nuclear Iran as a problem,” he said. “If I believed that a military attack would solve the problem, believe me, I would be in favor.

If I thought that an attack would stop the nuclear program, I would be in favor. But what can you do, an attack cannot stop the nuclear program – it can only delay it for a period of time.”

Dagan, repeating what he has been saying for months aboutthe military option, said it was necessary for Israel to always consider what would happen the day after an attack, and that this was a discussion that should take place before – not after – military action. He added that he thought the cost of such an assault would be greater than the benefit.

He dismissed, however, the notion that Prime MinisterBinyamin Netanyahu was using the Iranian threat to divert the public’s attention from issues such as the social protests and the African migrants. “I do not agree with the defense minister and prime minister [on Iran], but I do not think they are that cynical,” Dagan said. “I believe that when the prime ministerraises the Iranian issue he is substantively very concerned about Israel’s security, and I do not link that with any other event.”

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‘It’s a shame they didn’t kill him’: Nazi react to video of soldiers kicking Palestinian child

Eden Oreus (Gedera Regional High School): Channel 2, you are the garbage of the state, all respect to the Border Police officer and it’s a shame he didn’t put a bullet in the head of the son of a bitch videographer who documented it.

This posting from a high schooler was one of hundreds by Israeli Facebook users reacting with pride and joy, and incitement to violence and murder, on seeing a video ofIsraeli occupation soldiers in Hebron kicking a young Palestinian boy as he screams in pain.

The video, shot by a Palestinian videographer and released by B’Tselem, was widely reported in the Israeli media, and shows Israeli occupation soldiers in Hebron, occupied West Bank, violently assaulting a child whom B’Tselem identified as Abd al-Rahman Burqan, aged 9.

B’Tselem described the incident captured on film as follows:

The video shows a Border Police officer ambushing a child from around the corner. As the child walks past, the officer grabs him by the arm and says: “why are you making trouble?” The officer then drags the child, who is screaming, on the ground for a few seconds. A second Border Police officer then appears and kicks the boy. The officer then lets the child go. He runs away, and the two Border Police officers leave the scene as well.

Jessica Montell, the director of B’Tselem, said Israeli occupation authorities had opened an investigation into the incident, however in practice such investigations almost never lead to accountability and punishment of routine violence against Palestinians.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on ZIO-NAZI : ” IT’S SHAME THEY DIDN’T KILL HIM ”



Senior IDF officer: Israel is preparing for the next Lebanon war, will target ‘civilians’

Officer says instability in Syria could ignite violent confrontation with the Lebanese army, says ‘Goldstone report will pale in comparison to what will be here next time.’


Six years after the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, the IDF is saying openly that Israel is preparing for another Lebanon war.

The commander of the IDF’s 91st Division, Brigardier-General Hertzi Halevy told journalists on Thursday, “We understand that there is more than one factor, whether this is Lebanese, or whether it will come from somewhere else, that can ignite the border here.”

The 91st Division, part of the Northern Command, and responsible for the front with Lebanon, sees developments in Syria as one of the factors that could upset the calm that has prevailed in the region since the war. The collapse of the Syrian regime may also bring with it an increase in Jihadi or Hezbollah operatives, who may try to carry out targeted attacks in the area.

Already, Northern Command intelligence says certain areas of the border between Lebanon and Syria are “lawless zones,” which enable the transfer of more advanced weapons into the region. The IDF has stated that there are some 60 thousand missiles in Lebanon, ten times more than there were in the country during the first Lebanon war. Hezbollah has the capability to launch a large quantity of rockets in a short period time, and this could cause significant damage on the Home Front.

In IDF simulations of what a third Lebanon war would look like, ground maneuvers in villages that are considered bastions of Shiite Hezbollah become particularly important. “The next war will be different, and therefore we should stop it as quickly as possible, in order to make things easier for the home front. This means carrying out a very strong attack against Lebanon, and the damage will be enormous,” says a senior officer in the Northern Command.

“The Goldstone report will pale in comparison to what will be here next time. There is no choice but to fight against the enemy where he is, and that is in the heart of a populated area. “

Despite Halevy’s warnings against Hezbollah violence in the north, the majority of violent incidents have actually been taking place on the initiative of the Lebanese army, which has aimed its arms at the IDF. Only last week an unusual incident occurred on the Hasbani River, near Ghajar. A group of eight soldiers, who were on patrol in the area with the company commander, identified five fighters from the Lebanese Army, together with RPG launchers and snipers. In a subsequent investigation, a tracker reported that a commander from the Lebanese force had instructed his fighters to harm IDF soldiers. In response, the IDF advanced the tank force in the area as a cover, sending a strong message to the UNIFIL force in the area that the IDF would respond harshly in case of any fire from the Lebanese army.

In practice, the forces serving in the region must practice restraint: Official policy dictates that the IDF must not open fire first, except for extenuating circumstances. Nevertheless, recent violent events have occurred only with the Lebanese army, and not with Hezbollah.

“When things happen with the Lebanese army, it is preferable to solve them with an M16, and not with F-16s,” a senior official in the area explained.

The Northern Command point out that reconstruction work in Bint Jbeil, the site of a major battle during the 2006 war, was only completed a few months ago. The next confrontation, they point out, will cause even more damage. In the event that the situation would erupt, said Halevy, “the IDF is preparing seriously and professionally for another Lebanon war. The response will need to be sharper, harder, and in some ways very violent. The next war will be with very heavy exchanges of fire on both sides, and so both need to make every effort to stop this happening. In the Goldstone Report, the community and the world tended to get confused and think that this can be done in a nicer way. It cannot be nice. Without the use of great force, we will find it difficult to achieve the aim, and the enemy should also know that. “

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, LebanonComments Off on NAZI NEXT LEBANON HOLOCAUST



Saudi women fight abuse

by American Bedu


Khaled Almaeena wrote this interesting article in the Saudi gazette:

The “Himaya” organization, which was established to protect abused women, recently held a course for 20 women on how to package gifts and accessories. The women who ranged from 20 to 45 years of age and came from different backgrounds underwent a four-day training course.
Himaya, which caters to over 50 families, is prominent for focusing on abuse, protecting the victims and helping them through rehab programs.

This type of news would not have been published a decade or two ago. It was taboo to focus on such issues, and, if you did, there would be heavy criticism from the “paragons of virtue”.

“No, our society is not like that of the West!” a man claimed after hearing about the plight of women suffering at the hands of their monstrous husbands. In those days, at every level there was denial of any wrongdoing. However, women could not take it any longer. They enlisted the help of their own gender in the media who brought to light horrific cases of the abuse of women and children. This news spread throughout the media, and talk shows across the Gulf focused on the issue.
People asked for legislation to safeguard the rights of women, provide them with security and safety and help them carry on with their lives.

It is difficult to protect women’s rights in society where the rulers, the culture, the police and the religious clergy are all firmly against women’s rights. For example, a few years ago a judge ruled that it is ok for men to slap their wives if they spend too much:

Arab News, a Saudi English-language daily newspaper based in Riyadh, reported that Judge Hamad Al-Razine said that “if a person gives SR 1,200 [$320] to his wife and she spends 900 riyals [$240] to purchase an abaya [the black cover that women in Saudi Arabia must wear] from a brand shop and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment.”

When you do a google search a lot of shocking reports turn up, though, with the secrecy, and lack of information one cannot but wonder if they are correct.

As many as 95 percent of women in Riyadh have been subjected to a form of physical or emotional abuse from within their family, according to a new survey.

The survey – which constituted of 80 women being interviewed about their family life – revealed that 75 percent have been abused both psychologically and verbally.
Another 25 percent said they had been sexually abused by a family member, reported the Saudi Gazette.

Several of the women, according to an Al-Riyadh report, said their salaries were withheld from them by their families and they were prevented from getting married. Some said their families did not want them to get married so they would not have to share their salaries with anyone else but the family, the paper said.

This is what the Human Rights Watch Report 2012 has to say about the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia responded with unflinching repression to demands by citizens for greater democracy in the wake of the pro-democracy Arab Spring movements. King Abdullah bin Abd al-‘Aziz Al Saud announced economic benefits worth over US$130 billion, but authorities continued to jail Saudis for peaceful dissent. New laws introduced or proposed in 2011 criminalize the exercise of basic human rights such as freedom of expression, assembly, and association.

Women’s and Girls’ Rights

The Saudi guardianship system continues to treat women as minors. Under this discriminatory system, girls and women of all ages are forbidden from traveling, studying, or working without permission from their male guardians. In 2009 the Ministry of Commerce, though not other ministries, stopped requiring women to conduct ministerial business through a male representative.

On September 25 King Abdullah announced that women will be able to vote in municipal elections in 2015. The government continued to exclude women as voters or candidates in the September 2011 municipal elections, despite a two-year delay to allow for logistical preparations to include women. In March 2011 women activists launched the Baladi (My Country) campaign in protest, trying—unsuccessfully—to register to vote. In the first municipal elections in 2005, authorities said that election workers could not verify a woman’s identity since many did not have identity cards. However, the Interior Ministry began issuing identity cards to women over 22 years old in 2000. The king also promised to appoint women as full members of the Shura Council.

On May 22, Saudi authorities arrested Manal al-Sharif after she defied the kingdom’s de facto ban on women driving. Al-Sharif appeared in a video showing herself behind the wheel. Prosecutors charged her with “tarnishing the kingdom’s reputation abroad” and “stirring up public opinion,” according to Saudi press reports. On May 30, Khobar police released al-Sharif from prison after she appealed to King Abdullah.

On June 17 around 40 women with international drivers’ licenses participated in a “women2drive” campaign. No law bars women from driving, but senior government clerics have ruled against the practice. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to prohibit women from driving.

In view of all this opposition it is remarkable that there are still Saudi men and women ready and willing and risking much, to fight for women rights.

Read more:

Saudi Gazette


Human rights Watch

Posted in Saudi ArabiaComments Off on SAUDI CORRUPT RACIST REGIME

LIBOR -The Biggest Scam in History?



(left, ex-Barclay’s Bank CEO Bob Diamond) 

Bankers are insane vampires by definition. The banking cartel  rules the entire planet and is owned by a small group of families known as the Money Power or Illuminati.

Ten trillion involved. 

“When bankers decide to manipulate this rate, it has profound consequences. Even with 1 basis point, (1/10 of one per cent) tens of billions of dollars are lost and gained, depending on whether you are the lender or borrower. They are planning class-action law suits which could topple the banks.”

by Anthony Migchels

The LIBOR scandal, called LieMore by a witty commentator, involving the manipulation of LIBOR rates by Barclays Bank is only beginning to have an impact, but already some have dubbed it the biggest scandal in the history of finance. So is it?

LIBOR (London InterBank Offered Rate) is the index of interest rates banks charge each other. It used to be one of those highly relevant, but completely unknowns, until it became a concept of household fame in the fall of 2008.

At the height of the Credit Crunch, a peak in LIBOR showed banks were unwilling to lend to each other, forcing first the financial and then also the real economy to grind to a halt.

LIBOR is set every day by the world’s biggest banks. They call in to report the rates at which they borrow from each other. The highest and lowest 25% of rates are discarded and the rest are used to calculate the average.

This number is then used as a benchmark for interest rates all over the world. For instance, almost 60 percent of prime adjustable rate mortgages, and nearly 100 percent of sub-prime ones, were indexed to LIBOR in 2008. One estimate has it that $350 trillion worth of loans and derivatives are indexed to LIBOR.

So when a couple of bankers decide to manipulate this rate, it has immediate and profound consequences worldwide. Even with 1 basis point, (one tenth of one percent) tens of billions of dollars are lost and gained, depending on whether you are the lender or borrower.

As a result, the banks involved face class action suits and clearly the sums involved will quickly overwhelm the banks.

Whether this will happen remains to be seen. BP destroyed the Gulf, but just coughed up 20 billion and never looked back. It is well known that banks are really, really very important to us. We couldn’t exist without them, that’s why we have to cough up trillions upon trillions to bail them out.


The scandal breaks

The story broke, when Barclays was fined $450 million by regulators in America and London. Their boss, Bob Diamond, initially shrugged it off and declared business as usual. The same idiot declared before the Treasury Select Committee in January last year: “There was a period of remorse and apology for banks and I think that period needs to be over.”

In Holland, when a single mum on the dole rips off the system for a few thousand, she’ll be tossed into jail for a few months and she’ll be paying back everything. With interest.

Clearly, Bob Diamond, and a great number of other bankers too, should have been incarcerated a long time ago, but here too, he gets away with resigning.

Now the blame game is beginning. Yesterday Diamond declared that the Bank of England’s second in command Paul Tucker made him do it. LIBOR was so high, the creditworthiness of the banks was being doubted. This was badly exacerbating the Credit Crunch and Tucker proposed a simple solution. He, in turn, was pressured by influential Whitehall types.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan, Citibank, Bank of America and probably most other banks involved in LIBOR are being investigated and undoubtedly are  involved. This goes to the heart of the banking cartel.

Barclays was named as being at the epicenter of the small group of firms that a fascinating study discovered to own most companies in the world, a few years back.

But in a classic case of double think, Diamond simultaneously declared it was ‘just a group of 14 rogue traders’.



The whole system is involved. All the major banks, BoE and the British Government are already implicated. But undoubtedly the FED, the ECB and and a number of Governments were at least aware of what was going on.

The Banking System is One and involves all these players, including the press and the academic world. By shifting blame amongst each other they distract us from this simple truth. If they are all to blame, none are to blame.

So is this the biggest scandal ever? 

Finance itself is the scandal. That $200k mortgage that we are paying $300k in interest over in thirty years was printed the minute we took out the loan.

The $450 billion the taxpayer is sweating to cough up each year to service the National Debt while the Government could easily print some interest free credit or even debt-free money is another example.

This is just the umpteenth banking scandal, but people simply cannot yet get their head around the fact that bankers are insane vampires per definition. That the banking system is one cartel ruling the entire planet and owned by a small group of centuries old families known as the Money Power or Illuminati.

That we should be getting our money out of the system now, lock up all these disturbed maniacs and print some interest free cash.

Perhaps this particular little scandal will help them understand. But I’m not holding my breath.

Posted in UKComments Off on LIBOR -The Biggest Scam in History?

RAW Spy-network Exposed


By Sajjad Shaukat


Recently, Pakistani government released Indian spy, Surjeet Singh who was handed over to the Indian authorities at the Wagah border crossing. He was given death sentence in 1991.


He openly admitted that he was in Pakistan to spy when he was arrested in 1982, In this regard, Surjeet Singh said, “I was a RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) agent. No one bothered about me after I got arrested.” Surjeet told reporters soon after stepping on Indian soil.


Quite opposite to the admission of Surjeet, on June 29, Indian Home Secretary RK Singh told a news conference in New Delhi, saying, “We do not accept this that Singh was Indian spy…it is completely wrong.” However, it shows Indian illogical approach as New Delhi denies facts in order to conceal the presence of other Indian spies in Pakistan.


On the other hand, while reaching India, Surjeet Singh again admitted before Indian reporters that he sent to Pakistan by Indian secret agency RAW for espionage purposes.


While, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari commuted death sentence of another Indian spy of RAW, Sarabjit Singh into life imprisonment on June 26. Sarabjit Singh is in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.


Surjeet Singh revealed, “Sarabjit Singh is a terrorist and terrorists are neither released.” On the other side, Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna who welcomed Surjeet Singh’s release, stated on June 25, it was now “time for Sarabjit Singh to be freed.” Like Indian home secretary, even external affairs minister is defending the Indian agents. It shows that Indian high officials are deliberately and officially supporting RAW agents to destabilise Pakistan.


Besides, Indian spy also pointed out, “All Indian prisoners are treated well in Pakistani jails. Sarabjit Singh is also doing well there…I was treated well by prison officials and I am thankful to them.”


While India has arrested hundreds of Pakistan’s citizens, often accusing them of being spies after they have strayed across the land or maritime border due to unconscious mistake. It also includes some tourists who went to India. Quite contrary to the well-treatment of Indian spies in Pakistani jails, RAW and other security agencies employ various techniques of torture on the so-called Pakistan’s suspected persons. Most of the Pakistani nationals have also been killed in Indian jails, while a majority of them have been killed by Indian security agencies in fake encounters.


However, both Surjeet Singh and Sarabjit Singh were responsible for the string of blasts in Faisalabad, Lahore, and Multan in 1990 in which several innocent people were killed. They were also behind other terror-activities in Pakistan.

On June 28, 2012, BBC reported, in recent years, “several Indians returning from Pakistani jails have admitted to spying for Indian intelligence agency RAW” and some have criticised India’s government for abandoning them.”


It is mentionable that in April 2011, Gopal Das, one of Pakistan’s longest-serving Indian prisoners, was released after Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari intervened in his case.


Upon his release, Das admitted he was an Indian spy. Similarly, Kashmir Singh, sentenced to death in Pakistan in 1973 for spying, was released in March 2008. Afterwards, he also admitted that he was spying for RAW.


The fact of the matter is that admission of the Indian spies indicates that RAW has a well-organised spy-network in Pakistan. In this respect, Indian RAW with the tactical assistance of American CIA and Israeli Mossad have well-established its espionage network in Afghanistan. Besides, a religious Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afghanistan is functioning under the patronage of Indian officials—with the consent of CIA. It is being used for brainwashing of very young boys who are Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. They have also been made to learn Pashto and traditions of Pathans. Posing as volunteers, they join the Taliban activists to fight against Pakistan’s security forces. In this context, India’s several secret training camps are also present in Afghanistan from where highly trained militants, equipped with sophisticated weapons including motivated suicide bombers are being sent to Pakistan’s various places to conduct target killings, bomb blasts, attacks on civil and military installations, forced abductions and sectarian violence regularly.


Indian RAW, CIA and Mossad have also been supporting the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and another separatist group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been committing various subversive acts in the province of Balochistan. The main aim behind is to separate the province of Balochistan to fulfill secret strategic designs of US, India and Israel.


It is notable that since April, 2011, heavily-armed insurgents from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s region intermittently, targeting the security checkposts, and conducted  several attacks on Pakistan’s police stations, mosques, schools and infrastructure in Upper Dir, Chitral and other areas bordering Afghanistan.


As part of cross-border intrusion, on June 24, this year, more than hundred militants, equipped with heavy arms entered Pakistan’s region of Dir, attacked two checkposts of the security forces, while bloody clashes between the intruders and Pak Army continued on June 25 which resulted in martyrdom of at least seventeen Pakistani troops, beheaded by the Afghani miscreants. The Taliban released a video on June 27 that they showed the heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers captured in a cross-border raid from Afghanistan were beheaded.


Indian RAW is fully backing intermittent incursions to destabilise Pakistan which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. For this purpose, in Afghanistan’s Kunar and Nooristan provinces, with the help of foreign secret agencies, their affiliated militant groups which are also penetrated into the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan have set up safe havens in Afghanistan to conduct cross-border attacks in Pakistan.


Notably, on October 17, 2011, the former ISPR spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas disclosed regarding insurgents’ infiltration in Pakistan, saying, “The attacks in which terrorists loyal to Maulvi Fazlullah, (leader of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan) who fled to Afghanistan during Swat military operation, killed about 100 members of Pakistan’s security forces.”


During the Swat and Malakand military operations, while hinting towards, India, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas had revealed in on of the press briefings that 400 foreigners and Afghans, having connections with the enemy countries were captured along with huge caches of sophisticated weapons, made of India and America—Afghan fighters had been infiltrated into Pakistan with the help of some external agencies bordering Afghanistan.


As regards perennial disturbance internal criminals, and some Indian Muslims and foreign insurgents who are particularly backed by RAW have joined the ranks and files of the militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Sipah-e-Sahaba, BLA and other religious sects. They have also got the membership of  MQM, ANP and PPP. Besides killing the leaders and persons of the rival religious parties, and attaking the offices of the opponent political parties, these are real miscreants who target the Pushtuns, Urdu-speaking people and even the people, belonging to the interior Sindh.


While, Pakistan’s Federal Minister has repeatedly disclosed that Indian RAW is behind acts of sabotage in Karachi and Balochistan including sectarian violence.


In this connection, RAW-based espionage network in Afghanistan has been in contact with its agents in Pakistan. In this regard, apart from other Indian spies, Surjeet Singh’s clear admission has exposed the RAW spy-network in Pakistan.


Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in India, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on RAW Spy-network Exposed

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