Archive | November, 2012

Freedom, Not Handouts, Will Save Palestine

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Palestinians celebrate on a street in Gaza City November 30, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Salem )
Palestine not only has a pie in the sky, it also has one off the coast of Gaza and many more across the land. The pies here are strategic economic assets for a Palestinian economy worthy of a state. But all of them are under total Israeli military control, rendering them paralyzed at best.

Until the collective international community — not just the United States —  starts using its political weight to hold Israel accountable for holding an entire economy — and people — hostage, the reality on the ground is bound to get worse and the forthcoming violence more deadly and damaging.

The first potential asset is the electromagnetic spectrum, better known as broadcast frequencies. These frequencies, are the media through which telephones, radios and televisions work. In Palestine, these frequencies above ground are occupied by the Israeli military, just like the land and water below.

The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement signed on Sept. 28, 1995 regulates the bilateral relations between Palestinians and Israelis, and dedicates an entire annex specifically to the issue of telecommunications. It states as its first principle that “Israel recognizes that the Palestinian side has the right to build and operate separate and independent communication systems and infrastructures including telecommunication networks …” (Annex 3, Article 36). Sounds great — until you read on. The rest of the annex is dedicated to making sure that the utilization of any economic resource required to actually build such networks would require unilateral Israeli approval.

So the Palestinians have the “right” to build a cellular network, but to do so, they will require frequencies which only Israel, their occupier, can release to them. This is the equivalent of giving your teenage child the right to use the car, but making them ask you for the keys every time they want to do so.

Palestinians yearn to use 3G telecommunication services. To do so, they require the specific frequencies which allow all of those smartphones to be connected to high-speed data networks. Over the past several years, Israel has refused to approve multiple Palestinian requests for their 3G frequencies, even though that very same Interim Agreement article states that the Israeli side “must fulfill these requirements within a period not exceeding one month …” In the meantime, Israel allows its own cellular operators, which are unlicensed in the Palestinian Authority (PA) area, to use the Palestinians’ 3G frequencies, in essence stifling the ability of the Palestinian telecommunications sector, and that of the economy as a whole, to grow.

What is missing is the Palestinian operators’ ability to provide services, to create the jobs to provide such services, to pay taxes that would support the PA and so on. In short, an Israeli muzzle is suffocating the Palestinian economy.

In Gaza, the situation is even more acute. Israel refuses to allow a second licensed Palestinian operator to bring in equipment and set up its own network, leaving Gazans with a monopoly service provider and, along with it, fewer job opportunities and a higher cost of living.

If prohibiting Palestine’s telecommunications sector from growing is not enough, Israel is making sure that the Palestinian economy will not benefit from their largest asset, which lies off the shores of Gaza: an estimated $6.5 billion in natural gas found in 1999.

According to estimates of the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), one of the partners responsible for developing this strategic asset, there are 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas available in two offshore gas fields. PIF’s gas-exploration partners are the BG Group and the Consolidated Contractors Company.

The sky is occupied. The sea is occupied. And the land does not stand a chance.

A free Palestine has so much to offer — everything from a vibrant agricultural industry to a tourism sector built around the magnificent sites of the Holy Land, such as the Church of the Nativity, Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulcher and hundreds of others. Add to that a cultural and arts scene that can give the rest of the region a serious run for its money. But none of these can be economically developed as long as Israel maintains a 10-meter-high separation wall and hundreds of military checkpoints within Palestinian lands, and as long as Israel continues to control the borders, effectively blocking the entire Muslim world from visiting and frequently turning away Christians — and even Jews — from its borders.

As the PA finds itself having to beg for financial assistance to remain afloat, donor countries such as the US are turning a blind eye to the fact that Palestine has plenty of natural and economic resources to stand on its own. Instead of throwing their citizens’ tax dollars in the never-ending well required to sustain the PA, the powers that be would be well-advised to hold Israel accountable.

If doing so requires calling for sanctions on Israel until it ends its 45-year military occupation, then so be it. Sanctions, as hard as they are to apply, remain a much more nonviolent tool than allowing the situation in Gaza and the West Bank to boil over into war yet again.

Sam Bahour is a business-development consultant living in Ramallah. He frequently provides independent commentary on Palestine and serves as a policy adviser to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He blogs at www.epalestine.com.

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U.N. chief appeals for countries to take Iran dissidents (TERRORISTS)

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news.yahoo.com

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon appealed on Thursday for countries to consider resettling several thousand Iranian dissidents living in Iraq who were recently moved to a former U.S. military base in Baghdad from a camp where they lived for decades.

In a report to the Security Council, Ban said 3,112 members of the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran have been transferred to Camp Hurriya, leaving about 100 still at Camp Ashraf – also know as Camp New Iraq – to help close it down.

Ashraf residents agreed in February to move to the new camp, where the United Nations intends to process them for refugee status in other countries, but they have complained that the conditions at the new base are poor and that they have not been permitted to bring many of their personal belongings.

The group is no longer welcome in Iraq under the Shi’ite Muslim-led government that came to power after U.S.-led forces invaded and toppled Saddam in 2003. Clashes between Ashraf residents and Iraqi security forces last year killed 34 people.

Ban said so far only 31 people had been accepted by other countries and that it was now a matter of urgency that they be offered resettlement opportunities in other countries.

“Without the strong commitment of member states to accept former residents of Camp New Iraq, no sustainable solution can be achieved,” Ban said in the report. “I appeal to member states to offer resettlement opportunities to residents with international protection needs as soon as possible.”

In September the U.S. State Department removed the dissident group from its official list of terrorist organizations but underscored serious concerns about the group which is seeking to recast itself as an Iranian opposition force.

The group calls for the overthrow of Iran’s clerical leaders and fought alongside Saddam’s forces in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. It also led a guerrilla campaign against the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran in the 1970s, including attacks on U.S. targets.

The group surrendered weapons to U.S. forces after the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the fate of Ashraf’s residents has been in question since Iraqi authorities took over the camp from U.S. forces in 2009 under a bilateral security pact.

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TUT Broadcast

TUT Broadcast Nov 28, 2012

by crescentandcross

 

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Resistance is Gentile

Resistance is Gentile Nov 27, 2012

by crescentandcross

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Israel’s Holy War: Triggering the Palestinian Exodus?

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By Julie Lévesque

Israel’s latest attack on Gaza, “Operation Pillar of Cloud”, was named after a passage in the Torah:

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22

Far from divine guidance, however, the intentions underlying the pillars of cloud and fire Israel violently dropped on the small and densely populated territory had quite a nefarious objective: Exodus and the chasing of Palestinians out of the “Holy Land”. To achieve their goal, some prominent Israeli figures even had mushroom clouds in mind:

We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.(Gilad Sharon A decisive conclusion is necessary, Jerusalem Post, November 18, 2012)

Nile Bowie views the latest attacks as part of the expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements:

The Israeli bombardment of Gaza being perpetuated under ‘Operation Pillar of Defense’ comes at an interesting time. Under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements into Palestinian lands has increased at unprecedented rates. Netanyahu’s administration has approved the construction of 850 settler homes in the occupied West Bankin June 2012, even after the Israeli parliament rejected a bill to retroactively legalize some of the existing homes in the area. [2]

The number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank has almost doubled in the past 12 years, with more than 350,000 residing illegally under international law. [3] While Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman asserts Tel Aviv’s unwillingness to permit Palestinians any right to return to their lands, emphasizing, “not even one refugee,” apartheid enforced on ethnic and religious lines has become a ratified part of Israeli government policy. [4] Far-right political discourse that was once considered extremism is now the status quo in Israel. (Nile Bowie, Gaza and the Politics of “Greater Israel”, November 17, 2012.)

While the Jewish state is blamed for its repeated brutal attacks on Gaza, the crimes committed against the people of Gaza would not be possible if it weren’t for the broad international support of Israel, mostly from the US, but also from other Western and Middle Eastern countries.

The last assault named Pillar of Cloud (or Pillar of Defense) would have been impossible without the U.S.’ unyielding political and military assistance:

As Michel Chossudovsky notes, the U.S. not only supported Israel, the attack on Gaza, from a Command and Control point of view, was a joint US-Israeli military operation:

While reports acknowledge that president Obama, in the wake of the November 6 elections, had granted a “Green Light” to Tel Aviv, the central issue does not pertain to Washington’s support but rather to the direct involvement of the US government and military in the planning and implementation of the attack on Gaza.

There is evidence that Operation “Pillar of Cloud” was implemented in close liaison with Washington in the context of the broader process of allied military planning. Senior US military officials were on location in Israel working with their IDF counterparts in the days leading up to the attack. http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-israeli-attack-on-gaza/5312383

Although Israel buys most of its weapons from the U.S., the European arms dealers also contribute to the Israeli war machine and are profiting from the killings of Palestinian civilians. David Cronin explains:

Haneen was 10-months-old; Omar 11 months; Ibrahim one year. For the offence of being reared in Gaza, these infants were killed with the aid of Israel’s “precision-guided” missiles.

A few days before their deaths, the European Commission sponsored the “second international homeland security conference” in Tel Aviv.  More of a bazaar than a talking shop, the event featured exhibits by Israel’s top weapons companies.

As far as I can see, the EU’s involvement in this exhibition went unnoticed by the media. That is deeply disturbing. It suggests that the Commission can endorse firms which profit from dropping bombs on Palestinian babies without anyone batting an eyelid.

The officials who rubber-stamped the EU’s participation in the Tel Aviv fair cannot claim it was unrelated to the latest offensive against Gaza […]

In June, numerous Israeli firms took part in Eurosatory, an arms fair in Paris; so did delegations from the EU and NATO. (David Cronin, How Europe Courted Israel’s Arms Industry on Eve of Gaza Attack, November 28, 2012.)

If this unending war relies on arms dealers, military and political support, it would not be possible without the mass propaganda in and outside Israel.

The widely accepted racist and dehumanizing view of Arabs perpetuates the war on Palestine. It was blatantly expressed by Israel’s Prime Minister himself, Benjamin Netanyahu, who appealed to the misleading authority of the Bible to confirm his racist worldview:

“The Bible finds no worse image than this of the man from the desert. And why? Because he has no respect for any law. Because in the desert he can do as he pleases. The tendency towards conflict is in the essence of the Arab. He is an enemy by essence. His personality won’t allow him any compromise or agreement. It doesn’t matter what kind of resistance he will meet, what price he will pay. His existence is one of perpetual war. Israel’s must be the same. The two states solution doesn’t exist; there are no two people here. There is a Jewish people and an Arab population… there is no Palestinian people, so you don’t create a state for an imaginary nation… they only call themselves a people in order to fight the Jews.” Benjamin Netanyahu, cited in (Nile Bowie, Gaza and the Politics of “Greater Israel”,November 17, 2012)

While Israeli officials like Netanyahu constantly claim the people they occupy threaten their nation’s survival, they themselves openly deny the very existence of the Palestinian people. Palestinians are labelled as savage terrorists by Israel and various lobby groups with similar agendas and this racist portrait of a nation under occupation is never challenged by the mainstream media. Within this frame of mind, war crimes can easily be presented as collateral damages.

Prof. James F. Tracy shows which propaganda techniques are being used to “whitewash” Israel’s war crimes:

The week-long Israeli onslaught against largely defenseless Palestinians in Gaza that began on November 14 provides a basis for assessing how Western corporate media whitewash the war crimes of America’s foremost ally in the Middle East. There are three often intertwined techniques consciously applied to such news coverage—historical context, sourcing, and objectification of the enemy to be targeted. Such practices can readily transform journalism into propaganda that acts to abet such crimes while at the same time allowing journalistic institutions to still claim the mantle of “objectivity.” Prof. James F. Tracy, When Propaganda Masquarades as News, November 24, 2012.)

But Palestinian leaders are also to blame for their inaction and submission to Israel’s demands. Stephen Lendman notes:

Abbas seeks nonmember observer status. With it come significant rights. Getting them requires not requesting they be excluded or omitting them from draft text language.

Full rights permit joining specialized UN agencies. They include the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Law of the Sea Treaty (LST), NPT, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and International Criminal Court (ICC).

Membership gives Palestine control of its territorial waters and air space. Other rights are afforded.

Suing Israel (at the ICJ) and Israeli officials (at the ICC) for genocide, as well as crimes of war and against humanity is permitted. By or after 2017, Israel can also be sued for criminal aggression.

November 29 is D-Day (decision day). UN Member States will vote. Palestine will easily gain upgraded nonmember observer status. At issue is what comes with it. It depends on what’s excluded.

Abbas submitted a 316-word draft. It calls for resuming peace talks with Israel. Doing so is meaningless and insulting. Abbas knows it. Going through the motions is a charade.

Peace isn’t possible without a legitimate partner. Palestine never had one. It doesn’t now.

Talks were stillborn from inception. One observer called them “the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history.” […]

Abbas’ draft language said nothing about halting settlement construction. It doesn’t request membership in UN agencies and treaties. That’s key.

Without it, upgraded status is meaningless. Vital rights are denied. Abbas seems headed in that direction. It shouldn’t surprise. (Stephen Lendman, Abbas Submits Weak UN Status Bid, November 28, 2012.)

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Abbas: We’ll wave Palestinian flag in east Jerusalem

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After being recognized by 138 states, Palestinians are certain this is just the beginning. Prime Minister Fayyad says PA is in “final stage before becoming an independent state,’ while Hamas leader Mashaal believes this is outcome of recent ‘victory’ against IDF

ynet

The Palestinian leadership is in a state of euphoria following its success in Thursday’s United Nations General Assembly vote. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated the Palestinian people on Friday for their “victory in the UN.”

Abbas thanked the Arab and Islamist states, which he said had always stood by the Palestinians and the Palestinian issue.

The Palestinian president promised to continue the national struggle, “until we wave the Palestinian flag over east Jerusalem.”

According to Abbas, the UN resolution was a victory for peace, freedom and international law.

Shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the eight countries which voted with Israel against the Palestinian bid, Abbas thanked the 138 countries that voted in favor of upgrading the status of Palestine. Forty-one countries abstained in the General Assembly vote.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad expressed his satisfaction with the diplomatic move as well, saying that “this achievement has greatly benefitted the efforts invested by the PA on all levels in order to prepare for the establishment of a state.”

He noted that the international community must implement what the international law requires in order for the Palestinian people to obtain their rights, freedom and independence.

“The PA is in the final stage before becoming an independent state capable of providing services to its people.”

Hamas counting on ‘heroic resistance’

Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal told Reuters that the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state should be seen alongside Gaza’s latest conflict with Israel as a single, bold strategy that could empower all Palestinians.

“I told Abu Mazen (Abbas) we want this move to be part of a national Palestinian strategy” that includes “the (armed) resistance which excelled in Gaza and gave an example of the ability of the Palestinian people to resist and steadfastly confront the occupier,” a confident Mashaal said.

Mashaal, who will visit the Gaza Strip next week, said the short war which claimed 162 Palestinian lives and five Israelis was concluded on terms set by the Palestinian Islamist movement and ended its isolation, creating a new mood that could lead to reconciliation with Abbas’ Fatah.

He compared Israel’s mood of dejection with the jubilation of Palestinians in Gaza and across the West Bank led by Abbas, insisting that “for the first time a ceasefire was achieved on conditions set by Hamas, and in the presence of the Americans.”

The Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, praised the “diplomatic victory,” linking the Israeli operation in Gaza to Thursday’s vote.

“What happened at the General Assembly is the height of the resistance and sacrifice of the Palestinians, and confirms the victory in Gaza. We must persist with the resistance and jihad.”

Izzat Rishaq, a senior Hamas figure in exile, said he welcomed the UN vote as an achievement, but that Hamas counted on “heroic resistance” to create a Palestinian state – underlining the group’s deep ideological rift with Abbas who opposes violence.

The Islamic Jihad chose to downplay the resolution. Several hours before the vote, when the results were already known, the organization’s Secretary-General Ramadan Salah said his movement did not welcome the Abbas plan but would not lash out at it.

“What Palestine are we talking about? If we were talking about the whole Palestinian homeland from the river to the sea, we would naturally welcome it, but if we are talking about setting a ceiling for the Palestinian rights (the 1967 borders), then as we said sincerely to the PA and our bothers in Egypt – we don’t welcome this plan but won’t act against it.”

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Egypt court sentences Terry Jones and 8 others to death over prophet film

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news.yahoo.com

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world.

The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and are thus unlikely to ever face the sentence. The charges were brought in September during a wave of public outrage in Egypt over the amateur film, which was produced by an Egyptian-American Copt.

The low-budget “Innocence of Muslims,” parts of which were made available online, portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon.

Egypt’s official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information — charges that carry the death sentence.

Maximum sentences are common in cases tried in absentia in Egypt. Capital punishment decisions are reviewed by the country’s chief religious authority, who must approve or reject the sentence. A final verdict is scheduled on Jan. 29.

The man behind the film, Mark Basseley Youssef, was among those convicted. He was sentenced in a California court earlier this month to one year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter. Youssef, 55, admitted that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver’s license under a false name. He was on probation for a bank fraud case.

Multiple calls to Youssef’s attorney in Southern California, Steve Seiden, were not returned Wednesday.

Florida-based Terry Jones, another of those sentenced, is the pastor of Dove World Outreach, a church of less than 50 members in Gainesville, Fla., not far from the University of Florida. He has said he was contacted by the filmmaker to promote the film, as well as Morris Sadek, a conservativeCoptic Christian in the U.S. who posted the video clips on his website.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Jones said the ruling “shows the true face of Islam” — one that he views as intolerant of dissent and opposed to basic freedoms of speech and religion.

“We can speak out here in America,” Jones said. “That freedom means that we criticize government leadership, religion even at times. Islam is not a religion that tolerates any type of criticism.”

In a statement sent to The Associated Press Wednesday, Sadek, who fled Egypt 10 years ago and is now a Coptic activist living in Chantilly, Virginia., denied any role in the creation, production or financing of the film.

He said the verdict “shows the world that the Muslim Brotherhood regime wants to shut up all theCoptic activists, so no one can demand Copts’ rights in Egypt.”

Coptic Christians make up most of Egypt’s Christian minority, around 10 percent of the country’s 83 million. They complain of state discrimination. Violent clashes break out occasionally over land disputes, worshipping rights and love affairs between Muslims and Christians.

The connection to the film of the other five sentenced by the court was not immediately clear. They include two who work with Sadek at a radical Coptic group in the U.S. that has called for an independent Coptic state, a priest who hosts TV programs from the U.S. and a lawyer living in Canada who has previously sued the Egyptian state over riots in 2000 that left 21 Christians dead.

In a phone interview, one of the men sentenced who works with Sadek, Fikry Zaklama, said he had nothing to do with the film and hadn’t even seen it.

“When I went to look at it (on the Internet), they told me it had been taken down,” said Zaklama, 65, a Coptic activist and retired physician who practiced in Jersey City, N.J. “I’m not interested. I’m not a clergyman. I’m a political guy.”

Nader Fawzy, a 53-year old jewelry store manager and president of an international Coptic rights organization from Toronto, Canada, said he planned to file a lawsuit against the Egyptian government in Canada for what he said was a wrongful prosecution.

He said he’s terrified of being kidnapped and spirited to Egypt. Fawzy, who came to Canada in 2002 from Sweden and lost his Egyptian citizenship in 1992, denied any involvement in the film. He said the Egyptian government has long been out to get him because of his Coptic Christian activism.

“Of course, I’m worried about this death penalty,” Fawzy said, adding that the verdict has limited his ability to travel freely. “Who will give me guarantees that the Egyptian government will not try to kidnap me, to take me to Egypt?”

The other person is a woman who converted to Christianity and is a staunch critic of Islam.

The official news agency report said that during the trial, the court reviewed a video of some defendants calling for an independent Coptic state in Egypt, and another of Jones burning the Quran, Islam’s holy book. The prosecutor asked for the maximum sentence, accusing those charged of seeking to divide Egypt and incite sedition. All the defendants, except Jones, hold Egyptian nationality, the agency added.

Some Christians and human rights groups worry that prosecutions for insulting religion, which existed to a degree under the secular-leaning regime of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, will increase with the ascent of Islamists to power in Egypt.

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Syria: Zio-NATO Rebels using Children in War

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Syrian children from the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain are pictured near the Turkish border fence as gunfire is heard between the Zio-NATO puppets F SA and the armed Kurds of The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the northern Syrian town of Ceylanpinar, November 25, 2012.

Zio-NATO rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad have sent children into combat and used boys as young as 14 to transport weapons and supplies, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.

The New York-based group said it had interviewed five boys aged between 14 and 16 who said they worked with rebels in the southern province of Deraa, the central Homs region and on the northern border with Turkey.

Three of them, all aged 16, said they carried weapons and one said he participated in attack missions. Two others, aged 14 and 15, said they supported fighter brigades by conducting reconnaissance or transporting weapons and supplies.

The International Criminal Court says that conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 or using them to participate in hostilities is a war crime. The United Nations convention on child rights urges states to ensure that people under 18 are not recruited or used in hostilities.

“All eyes are on the Syrian opposition to prove they’re trying to protect children from bullets and bombs, rather than placing them in danger,” said Priyanka Motaparthy, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.

She urged rebel commanders “to make a strong, public commitment against use of children in their forces, and to verify boys’ ages before allowing them to enlist.”

A 16-year-old boy from the Khalidiyeh district of Homs city told HRW he participated in combat missions.

“I used to carry a Kalashnikov… I used to shoot checkpoints … to capture (them) and take the weapons,” he said, adding that his 2,000-strong battalion gave him combat training.

“They taught us how to shoot, how to dismantle and put together a weapon,” he told Human Rights Watch. He volunteered along with his older brother and other relatives.

Another boy, from Homs, said children took on various roles. “The job you have depends on you,” he said. “If you have a brave heart, they’ll send you to (attack) checkpoints.”

He said that after several months in a combat post, his commanders told him to leave the unit because of his age.

“They said we need older guys – you’re too young,” he said.

The youngest boy quoted by the rights group was a 14-year-old who said he transported weapons, food and other supplies for fighters near the Turkish border.

“We would bring bullets and Russiyets (Kalashnikovs). All of the kids were helping like this. We were 10 boys between 14 and 18 years old,” he said.

The Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria, an opposition monitoring group, has documented the deaths of at least 17 children who fought with the FSA. Many others have been severely wounded, and some permanently disabled, HRW said.

Rights groups say both government forces and rebels may have committed war crimes during the 20-month-old uprising against Assad, including torture and summary executions. Most of the accusations have been levelled against pro-Assad forces

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NATO Preparing Psy-Op in Syria

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Internet connections & telecom reportedly failing across Syria, right as NATO has finished preparing their proxy “SNC” and readies for final push.

By Tony Cartalucci
Land Destroyer

In early summer, NATO had attempted to overwhelm Damascus and Aleppo with a torrent of psychological operations, communication disruptions, foreign terrorists crossing Syria’s borders, and a devastating assassination of top Syrian officials in the heart of Damascus. The idea was to cause panic, division, mass defections and fold the Syrian state when in reality, it was more than able to fight on. Syria called the bluff and here it still stands.

With the Israel-Gaza charade concluded, it was reported that NATO would pivot back toward Syria – and it has. It has handpicked a new proxy-regime to act as the face of the terrorists battling Syrian civilians and soldiers alike within the country, while it has been conducting a concerted and refocused propaganda campaign to paint the Syrian government as once again, “imminently about to fall.”

Reports are now trickling in that communications are failing across the country and another attempt at a Libyan-style “Mermaid Dawn” is being made by NATO and its terrorist proxies inside Syria. The hope is, that after several months more of terrorism, threats, sanctions, and pressure put on the border by both Israel on the Golan Heights, and Turkey along Syria’s north, that this time the trick might work.

If operations are not already in progress, they will be soon, and one must recall historical instances when this tactic has been used before so as to recognize it when it is tried again.

Reposted below, is Thierry Meyssan’s June 2012 warning regarding NATO psychological operations – and the information is as relevant now as ever. Inside Syria, unity and resilience is more important now than ever.

Thierry Meyssan
voltairenet.org
June 12, 2012

In a few days, perhaps as early as Friday, June 15, at noon, the Syrians wanting to watch their national TV stations will see them replaced on their screens by TV programs created by the CIA. Studio-shot images will show massacres that are blamed on the Syrian Government, people demonstrating, ministers and generals resigning from their posts, President Al-Assad fleeing, the rebels gathering in the big city centers, and a new government installing itself in the presidential palace.

This operation of disinformation, directly managed from Washington by Ben Rhodes, the US deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, aims at demoralizing the Syrians in order to pave the way for a coup d’etat. NATO, discontent about the double veto of Russia and China, will thus succeed in conquering Syria without attacking the country illegally. Whichever judgment you might have formed on the actual events in Syria, a coup d’etat will end all hopes of democratization.

The Arab League has officially asked the satellite operators Arabsat and Nilesat to stop broadcasting Syrian media, either public or private (Syria TV, Al-Ekbariya, Ad-Dounia, Cham TV, etc.) A precedent already exists because the Arab League had managed to censure Libyan TV in order to keep the leaders of the Jamahiriya from communicating with their people. There is no Hertz network in Syria, where TV works exclusively with satellites. The cut, however, will not leave the screens black.

Actually, this public decision is only the tip of the iceberg. According to our information several international meetings were organized during the past week to coordinate the disinformation campaign. The first two were technical meetings, held in Doha (Qatar); the third was a political meeting and took place in Riyad (Saudi Arabia).

The first meeting assembled PSYOP officers, embedded in the satellite TV channels of Al-Arabiya, Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Fox, France 24, Future TV and MTV. It is known that since 1998, the officers of the US Army Psychological Operations Unit (PSYOP) have been incorporated in CNN. Since then this practice has been extended by NATO to other strategic media as well.

They fabricated false information in advance, on the basis of a “story-telling” script devised by Ben Rhodes’s team at the White House. A procedure of reciprocal validation was installed, with each media quoting the lies of the other media to render them plausible for TV spectators. The participants also decided not only to requisition the TV channels of the CIA for Syria and Lebanon (Barada, Future TV, MTV, Orient News, Syria Chaab, Syria Alghad) but also about 40 religious Wahhabi TV channels to call for confessional massacres to the cry of “Christians to Beyrouth, Alawites into the grave!.”

The second meeting was held for engineers and technicians to fabricate fictitious images, mixing one part in an outdoor studio, the other part with computer generated images. During the past weeks, studios in Saudi Arabia have been set up to build replicas of the two presidential palaces in Syria and the main squares of Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. Studios of this type already exist in Doha (Qatar), but they are not sufficient.
The third meeting was held by General James B. Smith, the US ambassador, a representative of the UK, prince Bandar Bin Sultan (whom former U.S. president George Bush named his adopted son so that the U.S. press called him “Bandar Bush”). In this meeting the media actions were coordinated with those of the Free “Syrian” Army, in which prince Bandar’s mercenaries play a decisive role.

The operation had been in the making for several months, but the U.S. National Security Council decided to accelerate the action after the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, notified the White House that he would oppose by all means, even by force, any illegal NATO military intervention in Syria.
The operation has a double intent: the first is to spread false information, the second aims at censuring all possible responses.

The hampering of TV satellites for military purposes is not new. Under pressure from Israel, the USA and the EU blocked Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian TV channels, one after the other. However, no satellite channels from other parts of the world were censured.
The broadcast of false news is also not new, but four significant steps have been taken in the art of propaganda during the last decade.

• In 1994, a pop music station named “Free Radio of the Thousand Hills” (RTML) gave the signal for genocide in Rwanda with the cry, “Kill the cockroaches!” 
• In 2001, NATO used the media to impose an interpretation of the 9/11 attacks and to justify its own aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq. At that time already, it was Ben Rhodes who had been commissioned by the Bush administration to concoct the Kean/Hamilton Commission report on the attacks. 
• In 2002, the CIA used five TV channels (Televen, Globovision, ValeTV and CMT) to make the public in Venezuela believe that phantom demonstrators had captured the elected president, Hugo Chávez, forcing him to resign. In reality he was the victim of a military coup d’etat. 
• In 2011, France 24 served as information ministry for the Libyan CNT, according to a signed contract. During the battle of Tripoli, NATO produced fake studio films, then transmitted them via Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, showing phantom images of Libyan rebels on the central square of the capital city, while in reality they were still far away. As a consequence, the inhabitants of Tripoli were persuaded that the war was lost and gave up all resistance.

Nowadays the media do not only support a war, they produce it themselves.

This procedure violates the principles of International Law, first of all Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights relating to the fact of receiving and imparting information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Above all, the procedure violates the United Nations General Assembly resolution, adopted after the end of World War II, to prevent further wars. Resolutions 110, 381 and 819 forbid “to set obstacles to free exchange of information and ideas” (like cutting off Syrian TV channels) and “all propaganda provoking or encouraging threats to peace, breaking peace, and all acts of aggression”. By law, war propaganda is a crime against peace, the worst of crimes, because it facilitates war crimes and genocide

Posted in SyriaComments Off on NATO Preparing Psy-Op in Syria

Palestine, the UN and Zionist bullying

NOVANEWS
Palestinian UN membershipBy Jamal Kanj

Today Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will formally request the United Nations General Assembly to vote on Palestine’s application for observer member state status.

This comes exactly 65 years to the day after the General Assembly voted to partition Palestine between its native inhabitants and new Jewish immigrants.

On 29 November 1947 guilt-ridden Westerners, the Soviet Union and a bunch of newly independent vassal states voted in favour of granting 55 per cent of historical Palestine to European Jews. The vote to divide Palestine was originally planned for 26 November. However, the sponsors failed to garner the two-thirds majority to pass the resolution, so the meeting was postponed by three days.

Several nations spoke of pressure orchestrated by the Zionist Organization (ZO) – the precursor to the World Zionist Organization – in New York to get them to switch their vote.

The ZO headquarters were established in Berlin at the turn of the 20th century. At the time, Germany represented the centre of European power and the country with the greatest influence over the Ottoman Empire, which had control over Palestine.

 

Philippines’ representative, General Carlos Romulo, warned the UN not to embrace “a policy which is clearly repugnant to the valid nationalist aspirations of the people of Palestine”. Following pressure from the US, he was recalled and the Philippines’s vote changed.

 

After its victory in World War I Great Britain became the new centre of power and the Mandate Authority over Palestine. The ZO abandoned Berlin and moved to London. World War II propelled the US to a new pre-eminence on the world stage. Predictably, ZO made New York its new home.

From its new headquarters the ZO succeeded in enlisting 26 senators, many with strong influence on foreign bills, to send a telegram, urging wavering nations to support the partition plan.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru expressed frustrations with Zionist attempts to buy India’s vote. The Liberian ambassador to Washington spoke of threats to cut US aid. Philippines’ representative, General Carlos Romulo, warned the UN not to embrace “a policy which is clearly repugnant to the valid nationalist aspirations of the people of Palestine”. Following pressure from the US, he was recalled and the Philippines’s vote changed.

After guaranteeing a favourable vote, the 56 General Assembly members met on 29 November. Thirty-three countries supported partition, 12 opposed, 10 abstained and one absent.

After 65 years of being stateless and more than 20 years of serpentine negotiations, the Palestinians are seeking UN recognition on less than 22 per cent of historical Palestine.

The General Assembly has changed dramatically since 1947. The organization today is about four times larger. To be admitted to the UN, a new state must receive support from more than 127 nations.

 

…the USA’s fruitless opposition for Palestine’s membership will go down in the annals of history – along with the ill-treatment of native Americans and slavery – as one of the most abominable and darkest eras in American history.

 

But one thing remained unchanged. The Israeli lobby is again using the US Congress to blackmail the international community to block Palestine’s admission at the UN.

To that end, the World Zionist Organization’s lobbying arm – the ZO changed its name in 1960 – coerced Congress to pass special law (22 USC 287e) prohibiting US funding “for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states”.

Last September a US communique warned European countries that granting observer status to Palestinians will force the US to stop “financial support for the Palestinian Authority”.

It is almost certain PA is poised to get the two-thirds majority for seat number 194 at the UN.

A year ago, the Israeli proxy US veto at the Security Council delayed the inevitable course of history for one year.

Today, however, the USA’s fruitless opposition for Palestine’s membership will go down in the annals of history – along with the ill-treatment of native Americans and slavery – as one of the most abominable and darkest eras in American history.


A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News. The version here is published by permission of Jamal Kanj.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Palestine, the UN and Zionist bullying

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