Archive | November 9th, 2012

Obama win infuriates drone victims

NOVANEWS

US president gave no indication he would halt or alter the drone programme

gulfnews.com

The roars celebrating the re-election of US President Barack Obama on television give Mohammad Rehman Khan a searing headache, as years of grief and anger come rushing back.

The 28-year-old Pakistani accuses the president of robbing him of his father, three brothers and a nephew, all killed in a US drone aircraft attack a month after Obama first took office.

“The same person who attacked my home has gotten re-elected,” he told Reuters in the capital, Islamabad, where he fled after the attack on his village in South Waziristan, one of several ethnic Pashtun tribal areas on the Afghan border.

“Since yesterday, the pressure on my brain has increased. I remember all of the pain again.”

In his re-election campaign, Obama gave no indication he would halt or alter the drone programme, which he embraced in his first term to kill Al Qaida and Taliban militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan without risking American lives.

Drone strikes are highly unpopular among many Pakistanis, who consider them a violation of sovereignty that cause unacceptable civilian casualties.

Taliban recruits

“Whenever he has a chance, Obama will bite Muslims like a snake. Look at how many people he has killed with drone attacks,” said Haji Abdul Jabar, whose 23-year-old son was killed in such a bombing.

Analysts say anger over the unmanned aircraft may have helped the Taliban gain recruits, complicating efforts to stabilise the unruly border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. That could also hinder Obama’s plan to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

Obama authorised nearly 300 drone strikes in Pakistan during his first four years in office, more than six times the number during the administration of George W. Bush, according to the New America Foundation policy institute.

Since 2004, a total of 337 US drone strikes in Pakistan have killed between 1,908 and 3,225 people.

The institute estimates about 15 per cent of those killed were non-militants, although that percentage has declined sharply to about 1-2 per cent this year. Washington says drone strikes are very accurate and cause minimal civilian deaths.

The Pakistani government says tens of thousands of Pakistanis have been killed in the fight against militants. Many were civilians caught in suicide bombings. Others were killed by the Pakistani army.

No difference

Getting accurate data on casualties and the effects of drones is extremely difficult in the dangerous, remote and often inaccessible tribal areas. The Taliban often seal off the sites of strikes.

While the aerial campaign has weakened Al Qaida, its ally, the Pakistani Taliban, remains a potent force despite a series of Pakistan army offensives against their strongholds in the northwest.

Seen as the biggest security threat to the US-backed Pakistani government, that faction of the Taliban is blamed for many of the suicide bombings across Pakistan, and a number of high profile attacks on military and police facilities.

“We are amazed that Obama has been re-elected. But for us there is no difference between Obama and Romney; both are enemies. And we will keep up our jihad and fight alongside our Afghan brothers to get the Americans out of Afghanistan,” said Pakistan Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan.

On Thursday, a suicide bomber rammed the gates of a military base in Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi, killing at least one soldier and wounding more than a dozen people.

Pakistanis were largely indifferent in the run-up to Tuesday’s election, expecting little change to the drone attacks regardless of whether Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney won.

“Any American, whether Obama or Mitt Romney, is cruel,” Warshameen Jaan Haji, whose neighbourhood was struck by a drone last week, told Reuters on the eve of the election. “I lost my wife in the drone attack and my children are injured. Whatever happens, it will be bad for Muslims.”

Pakistani politician Imran Khan, a vocal critic of US drone strikes, said he believed Obama stepped up the attacks in his first term so he wouldn’t look weak on national security.

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Call to lift Syria arms embargo to aid rebels

NOVANEWS

guardian.co.uk

Britain is to review the EU arms embargo on Syria as part of a wholesale change in strategy in the wake of Barack Obama’s re-election that could lead to the eventual arming of the rebel forces fighting to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

As David Cameron said he would press Obama to make Syria a priority, No 10 officials indicated that the prime minister now wants to put every possible measure to remove Assad “back on the table”.

Cameron’s visit to the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan on Wednesday, in which he heard “appalling stories” of suffering, persuaded him that Britain and its allies need to review their strategy, a source said. Britain’s national security council will discuss the crisis in special session next week.

It will include a review of the EU ban on providing weapons to all sides in Syria. Officials say that the embargo includes the principle of “proportionality” which suggests the restriction could be relaxed in the event of a humanitarian disaster.

Evidence of a British rethink on the crisis came on a day when rebels fired mortars at a presidential palace in Damascus and as different elements of the divided Syrian opposition met in the Qatari capital Doha to try to close ranks and form a transitional government for the post-Assad era.

In another indication of regional tensions, Turkey confirmed that it is to make an official request to Nato to station Patriot missiles along its border with Syria. The move follows several incidents of shelling across the 560-mile frontier. It could also be linked to the ideas of establishing a safe zone or no-fly zone in the border area.

The moves by Britain and Turkey both seemed to anticipate a bolder approach from Obama to end the conflict that has claimed an estimated 35,000 lives since the bloodiest of the Arab spring uprisings erupted in March 2011. On average 100 to 150 people now die every day.

The text of the EU embargo, agreed two months after the conflict began, says: “By way of derogation … the competent authorities in the member states … may authorise the sale, supply, transfer or export of equipment which might be used for internal repression, under such conditions as they deem appropriate, if they determine that such equipment is intended solely for humanitarian or protective use.”

Cameron made clear he believes that stage may have been reached after he visited the refugee camp, where 110,000 Syrians are sheltering. “I think what I have seen and heard today is truly appalling,” said. “I think [with] a re-elected president [Obama] with a new mandate … it’s really important to discuss what more we can do to help resolve the situation.”

Underlining the shift, the foreign office announced on Wednesday that it will talk to “military figures in the armed opposition” though it insists it has no plans to arm the rebels – the suspicion of those who fear a rerun of Nato’s intervention in Libya last year.

Previously the Foreign Office had sanctioned contact only with “political representatives of armed Syrian opposition groups”.

William Hague, the foreign secretary, said in a statement to MPs that Britain would “adhere to our clearly stated policy of only supplying non-lethal support to the unarmed opposition”.

But No 10 believes there is a mismatch in which the EU and the US provide only “non-lethal” help to the rebels while Russia and Iran provide resources and weapons to Syrian government forces.

It is understood that Britain may review the EU embargo as a tactical ploy to persuade the Russians and Chinese, who have pledged to veto any UN security council resolution, to change position.

The prime minister wants Britain’s security council to examine the viability of creating safe havens, an idea championed by Turkey, and to assess whether Assad could be persuaded to stand down by the offer of safe passage to a third country.

Officials acknowledge that it would be difficult to secure such havens without imposing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria. This is deemed impossible because China and Russia would block such a move, which would be difficult to enforce in the face of Syria’s powerful air force.

But Cameron said he was determined to act across a range of fronts. “That means more help for the opposition, more pressure at the UN, more help for the refugees, more work with the neighbours but also a general sort of: ‘Look let’s be frank what we’ve done for the last 18 months hasn’t been enough.’ The slaughter continues, the bloodshed is appalling, the bad effects it’s having on the region, the radicalisation but also the humanitarian crisis that is engulfing Syria. So let’s work together on really pushing what more we can do, what other steps we can take to hasten the end of this regime.”

The No 10 source said: “Today is the moment the prime minister came and saw for himself what is happening. This is the moment to get some impetus going forward. We want to put everything on the table.”

The main Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council, discussed electing a new leader and executive committee on Wednesday. It and other groups will meet on Thursday to form a new 50-member civilian group that will later choose a temporary government for Syria and, western governments hope, improve coordination with armed groups.

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Expanded Conflict in Syria Promised by Romney Will Proceed Under Obama

NOVANEWS

Most irrelevant election in US history comes and goes as long-planned regime change using Al Qaeda death squads against Syria continues unabated. 

 

Tony Cartalucci

Land Destroyer

Almost as if to affirm the absolute irrelevance of elections in the “democratic” West, expanded conflict promised by the perceived “hawkish” Republican candidate Mitt Romney is proceeding immediately ahead under the re-elected President Barack Obama. Aside from superficial window dressing via an elaborate array of proxies through which US cash and weapons will flow, more direct military aid, including securing a defacto no-fly zone over parts of northern Syria using US-made Patriot missile batteries is now being discussed. 

Image: A Patriot missile system. NATO Source Alliance News Blog reported on November 4, 2012, “Turkey plans to officially request NATO deploy a Patriot missile defense system in its territories as a security precaution against a potential large-scale military offensive from Syria as Syrian shelling on the border raises tensions.” Now this request is being re-purposed to enact a defacto “no fly zone” over northern Syria – illustrating the duplicitous nature of reports/initiatives coming out of NATO members as they once again attempt to creep their way toward unwarranted military intervention. 

….

The Associated Press (AP) claims in their article titled, Obama Re-Election Signals New Phase in Syria War,” that “Turkey and allies, including the United States, have discussed the possibility of using Patriot missiles to protect a safe zone inside Syria.” This, it is claimed, would only be implemented with a UN mandate. Such a mandate is unlikely, with Russia and China having obstructed all efforts to justify Libya-style military aggression against Syria. Additional cross-border incidents will most likely be used as a pretext instead. 

 

Secretary Clinton Handpicks Client Syrian Regime at Meeting in Despotic Nation of Qatar. 

Meanwhile US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is attempting to gestate a newly handpicked proxy regime to pose as the leadership of NATO armed, funded, and directed terrorists currently ravaging Syria within and across its borders. Ironically, this is occurring in Doha, Qatar, one of the most despotic regimes on Earth, and one of a handful of remaining absolute monarchies.

While Western governments and the Western press have attempted to portray the violence in Syria as the result of indigenous “pro-democracy” aspirations, it is clear that not only is the violence driven by sectarian extremists – many of whom are not even Syrian, its leaders are merely handpicked proxies of the West, contradicting any concept of “self-determination” one might associate with “democracy.” 

UK’s Prime Minister Cries Freedom for Syria, Then Arms Despotic Autocracies to Teeth.  

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is likewise in the Middle East, pledging tens of millions in cash to foreign terrorists operating inside Syria in an effort to ””shape the opposition” into a coherent force and open channels of communication directly with rebel military commanders,” while making arms deals with certifiably despotic regimes lining the Persian Gulf.

Image: A Saudi Typhoon fighter (Wikipedia). Both the Saudis and the UAE seek additional Typhoon aircraft as part of astronomically large weapons deals being made with the West as of late. The hypocrisy of arming terrorists for “freedom” in Syria, while the West arms regimes like the Saudis currently slaughtering protesters both at home, and in neighboring Bahrain, has forced even Amnesty International to make a statement, albeit an ineffectual one. 

….

Even Amnesty International was forced to recognize the overt hypocrisy of a British prime minister selling despotic regimes deadly weapons systems almost assuredly to be turned on their own people, while citing  a moral imperative to justify supporting violent regime change in Syria. Amnesty International stated

Responding to news of the Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to promote UK arms sales, Amnesty International UK’s Head of Policy and Government Affairs Allan Hogarth said:

“Selling arms to countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE should only be considered if there are absolutely watertight guarantees over them not being used to commit human rights violations.
“Saudi Arabia has been the recipient of record-breaking arms deals involving the UK, yet these have been highly secretive and there’s been little or no follow-up over how the weaponry was used.

“For example, in 2009 the Saudi air force used UK-supplied Tornado fighter-bombers in attacks in Yemen which killed hundreds – possibly thousands – of civilians. In one attack conducted by Saudi forces on the town of al-Nadir in November 2009, so many were killed in just one extended family that witnesses say the family ‘had to create a cemetery for themselves’.

“More than two years ago we called for the UK government to urgently investigate Saudi Arabia’s involvement in this episode and meanwhile suspend any further arms supplies to Saudi Arabia.

“In the past a large Saudi chequebook has apparently meant it could purchase weapons as well as silence over its own dreadful human rights record. It’s time for David Cameron to end this deeply disturbing trade-off.”

Saudi Arabia, US, and Israel had Planned Overthrow of Syria via Al Qaeda Since 2007.   

 

Saudi Arabia, of course, is using their weapons and cash flow from the West to not only to brutalize their own people, but to seed the Muslim World with madrases designed to indoctrinate an army of sectarian extremists, arm and fund them, and use them across the Muslim World to execute Western and Saudi foreign policy. The very same networks used by the US and Saudi Arabia to flood Afghanistan in the 1980′s with militants to fight the Soviets, and again during the US-British occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, are now being used to flood Syria with foreign terrorists.

A plan by the US, Israel, and Saudis to use sectarian extremists against Syria, many directly associated with Al Qaeda itself, was first exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker report titled, “”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?

In the report it specifically stated: 

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007) 

Hersh’s report would continue by stating:  

“the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations.” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

The link between extremist groups and Saudi funding was also mentioned in the report, and reflects evidence regarding the origin and backers of similar extremists who flooded Iraq during the US occupation, sowing sectarian strife and killing Western troops alike: 

“…[Saudi Arabia’s] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s whothey throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Image: (Left) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria’s southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right) A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called “pro-democracy fighters.” 

….

It was exposed inNATO Using Al Qaeda Rat Lines to Flood Syria With Foreign Terrorists,” that indeed, the very networks used by Al Qaeda to flood Iraq with foreign fighters is now being used by the United States, NATO and the Persian Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to violently overthrow Syria.

Image: The most prominent routes into Syria for foreign fighters is depicted, with the inset graph describing the most widely used routes by foreign fighters on their way to Iraq, as determined by West Point’s 2007 Combating Terrorism Center report Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq (page 20).  These same networks are now being used, with the addition of a more prominent role for Turkey, to target Syria directly. (Click to enlarge)

Mitt Romney’s Warmongering Promises to be Fulfilled by Reelected President Obama.  

While Americans, and the world in general, are expected to believe that elections directly affect a nation’s policy, it is clear that foreign policy objectives versus Syria were determined long before President Obama took office, and have continued despite whatever alleged political ideology he supposedly adheres to. While many may be disappointed by the loss of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, within hours of President Obama’s reelection, already a pledge made by Romney is being fulfilled by his opponent.

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After perceived tilt toward Romney, IsraHell leader must mend ties with Obama

NOVANEWS

washingtonpost.com

President Barack Obama’s re-election has left Israel’s prime minister in a bind.

Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly has clashed with Obama and was widely seen as backing Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the American election. Yet in the coming months, Netanyahu will need American support more than ever as the Palestinians seek upgraded recognition at the U.N. and the world grapples with the Iranian nuclear program.

“It seems like it is not such a good morning for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Israeli Cabinet minister Eli Yishai told reporters early Wednesday as news of Obama’s victory emerged.

The concern reflected the widespread perception in Israel that poor personal chemistry between the two leaders could affect the broader relationship between their governments, particularly if Netanyahu is re-elected in upcoming parliamentary elections. The Israeli leader is the front-runner in the Jan. 22 race, according to opinion polls.

The chilly relations are a result of style and substance. The two men have vastly different world views — Netanyahu’s hawkish positions on security and support for free-market capitalism are much more in line with the Republicans — and they have never appeared comfortable with one another.

In one tense encounter, Netanyahu appeared to lecture Obama on the pitfalls of peacemaking as they sat in front of reporters in the Oval Office. During that same trip to Washington, Netanyahu was warmly welcomed in a speech on Capitol Hill, creating a perception that he was playing off Congress against the president.

They have also clashed over key policy issues. Obama took office promising to make Mideast peace a top priority, and he quickly alienated many Israelis with his outreach to the Muslim world. Israelis remember Obama’s decision not to visit the country after making a landmark speech in neighboring Egypt shortly after taking office.

Obama pressed Israel to end settlement construction in occupied territory claimed by the Palestinians. Netanyahu, a longtime supporter of the settlers, agreed to a limited freeze on construction. But when the slowdown expired, he refused Obama’s appeals to extend it. Peace talks quickly broke down, and Palestinians, disillusioned with Obama, have refused to return to the negotiating table.

Differences over Iran have been equally stark. Both countries suspect that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon — a charge Tehran denies. But their approaches to resolving the matter are vastly different.

Obama has pushed for a diplomatic solution and spearheaded international efforts to impose a series of punishing economic sanctions on Iran.

Netanyahu, believing a nuclear-armed Iran would threaten Israel’s very existence, has expressed skepticism over diplomatic efforts and threatened to attack if necessary.

These threats are not empty. Earlier this week, an Israeli news program reported that Netanyahu had put Israel’s air force on high alert for a possible attack in 2010 but backed down following objections by his security chiefs. Speaking to the program, Netanyahu said his resolve to attack, if necessary, remains firm.

Disagreements over the military option spilled over in September when Netanyahu urged the president to spell out clear “red lines” that would trigger an American attack on Iran. Obama refused.

The dispute, coupled with Netanyahu’s decades-old friendship with Romney and American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a bankroller of Romney’s campaign, added to the perception that the Israeli leader was siding with the Republican challenger.

“I think that a prime minister in Israel doesn’t do two things. He doesn’t interfere in the elections in the U.S. and he doesn’t gamble on one of the candidates. This definitely caused damage,” opposition leader Shaul Mofaz told Channel 2 TV.

Netanyahu, who has denied taking sides in the U.S. race, quickly congratulated Obama on Wednesday and described the security relationship between the two countries as “rock solid.”

“I look forward to working with President Obama to further strengthen this relationship and I look forward to working with him to advance our goals of peace and security,” Netanyahu said at a joint appearance with U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro.

Shapiro, meanwhile, dismissed suggestions that Obama might seek revenge as “ridiculous.” Obama is “not somebody whose policies are governed by emotions,” Shapiro told an academic conference.

Relations could be tested as soon as this month when the Palestinians are expected to ask the U.N. General Assembly to grant them upgraded “nonmember state” status. The Palestinians are seeking broader international backing for their independence in the absence of peace talks.

Israel staunchly opposes the bid, saying differences can only be resolved through negotiations. While the U.S. also opposes the Palestinian initiative, Obama may push Israel to make some concessions to the Palestinians in order to halt the bid and return to negotiations.

“We hope that President Obama’s second term will be a term for peace, stability and democracy for the region, during which we will witness the implementation of the two-state solution, the end of Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.

The Obama victory could also play a role in the Israeli election campaign.

Eytan Gilboa, a political scientist at Bar-Ilan University, said Obama could hypothetically side against Netanyahu in the Israeli campaign by signaling support for opposition leaders, though he said Obama would be “ill advised” to do so. More likely, he said opposition leaders would try to make the rocky relationship with the U.S. a key issue during the campaign.

Gilboa said the Obama reaction might even draw heavyweight opponents like former prime minister Ehud Olmert back into the race.

In a speech to American Jewish leaders in New York on Wednesday, Olmert, in a possible prelude to a political return, accused Netanyahu of damaging relations with the U.S. “Following what Netanyahu did in the last few months, raises the question whether or not our prime minister has a friend in the White House,” Olmert said, accordingly to a statement from his aide.

“I am not sure of that, and it could be very significant for us at a critical time,” he said. “To my great distress, Netanyahu has turned Israel from an issue that is above all dispute in the American campaign to an issue at the heart of the debate.”

The biggest challenge for U.S.-Israeli relations could be Iran. In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Netanyahu said the window to attack Iran was quickly closing, and the world would have to act by next summer at the latest. With Obama expected to step up his diplomatic efforts, perhaps even through direct talks with Iran, tensions could emerge if Netanyahu is re-elected.

Aaron David Miller, a former Mideast negotiator under Republican and Democratic presidents, said he did not think Obama “will go to war” with Netanyahu. But he said he did not think the personal relationship will improve unless the men are “forced by necessity” to cooperate, perhaps by resolving the Iran issue.

“In general, you have a relationship that doesn’t have a solid foundation. There’s great distrust,” he said. “But regardless of a lack of trust, in a way, the relationship is too big to fail.”

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Naziyahu repentant as Obama re-elected

NOVANEWS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he delivers his speech during a ceremony at the Jewish school in Toulouse, France, Thursday, Nov.1, 2012.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he delivers his speech during a ceremony at the Jewish school in Toulouse, France, Thursday, Nov.1, 2012.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has moved quickly to mend fences with the White House after President Barack Obama was re-elected to office for another four years.

Wednesday was “not a good morning for Netanyahu,” as one of his deputies Eli Yishai of the religious Shas Party said, when results showed that Bibi’s friend Mitt Romney had lost the presidential race.

Netanyahu had at times confronted Obama or even tried to undermine him by making direct relations with the Republican-dominated, Israel-friendly Congress and during the election campaigning, had driven Obama into a tight corner by challenging his positions about Iran’s nuclear energy program and the recent developments in the Arab world.

On Wednesday, however, the primer invited the US ambassador to Tel Aviv to his office to give his painful congratulations and issued a statement describing the bond between the US and Israel as “rock solid.” He also instructed his Likud Party leaders to omit any criticism of Obama in their congratulatory messages.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who plans to forge a comeback to the political arena after fighting an uphill battle in a corruption case, was emboldened by Obama’s re-election and took a swipe at Netanyahu for the way he had handled US-Israel relations.

“Given what Netanyahu had done these recent months, the question is: Does our prime minister still have a friend in the White House?” Olmert asked at a meeting with Jewish leaders in New York. “I am not certain of this, and this might be very significant to us at critical points.”

Netanyahu also faces a harsh battle at home as the snap elections slated for January 22 approach. His Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak, the leader of Independence Party, in recent months decided to side with the US over the issue of Iran’s nuclear energy program after a long sharing of a bellicose stance against Iran with the premier.

Barak rushed to congratulate Obama nearly an hour ahead of Netanyahu and seemingly failed to conceal his happiness at Obama’s re-election when he started e-mailing photos and videos of himself and the newly-elected president to reporters.

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Naziyahu, on phone with Obama, pledges cooperation

NOVANEWS

news.yahoo.com

Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Barak Obama on Thursday and congratulated him on his re-election, after critics accused the Israeli prime minister of backingMitt Romney and jeopardizing ties with Washington.

After Obama’s re-election on Tuesday, some of Netanyahu’s opponents – who hope to defeat him in an election on January 22 – accused the right-wing leader of backing the wrong man.

Netanyahu, who denies having shown any preference during the U.S. campaign, told Obama during the call that his re-election “was a vote of confidence in your leadership”, his office said.

The White House said Obama had received messages of congratulations from leaders around the world and the president was able to return some of the calls on Thursday.

Netanyahu said he “looked forward to continuing to work with the president to address the great challenges facing the United States and Israel and to advance peace and security in our region,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said.

In a speech earlier in the day, Netanyahu said some of his critics “were trying to cause conflict between us and the United States” by saying he had shown preference for the Republican challenger.

“They won’t get away with it,” he said, in remarks that appeared to be aimed mostly at Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister who is considering running in the upcoming election, which polls predict Netanyahu will win.

“The alliance with the United States is firm,” Netanyahu said.

Israeli media quoted Olmert, former head of the centrist Kadima party, as telling a meeting of U.S. Jewish leaders in New York on Wednesday that Netanyahu had intervened in American politics and might not have a friend in the White House.

Financial backing for Romney from a U.S. casino magnate who is also one of Netanyahu’s biggest supporters was cited by critics as evidence he had tried to undermine Obama.

“We have a strategic partnership (with the United States), but most of all in security, where the cooperation is deep, wide and solid,” Netanyahu said.

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PM to Ministers: Don’t talk about Obama

NOVANEWS

Following series of undiplomatic statements by Likud MKs, Netanyahu orders party’s lawmakers not to comment on US president’s re-election without coordinating statements with his office

ynet 

US President Barack Obama’s re-election was celebrated almost everywhere around the world Wednesday, while in Israel members of the Likud party rushed to expressed their disappointment, some publicly and some anonymously.

Following the negative responses, Ynet has learned, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered all of his party’s ministers and Knesset members to avoid commenting on Obama’s re-election without coordinating their statements with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Knesset Member Danny Danon was one of the first to express his disappointment with the election results, saying that Obama cannot be trusted. “The State of Israel will not surrender to Obama. We have no one to rely on but ourselves,” he argued.

Another Likud lawmaker said that “Obama is not good for Israel and we’re concerned that he will try to pressure Israel into making concessions because of his chilly relationship with Netanyahu.”

According to a senior Likud official, the Prime Minister’s Office was alarmed by the negative reactions to Obama’s re-election, which could intensify the cold relationship between the two leaders – and therefore decided to begin damage control and prevent uncoordinated responses.

On Wednesday afternoon, the ministers’ spokespersons and advisors received text messages from Netanyahu’s office, asking them not to comment about Obama’s re-election. The Likud spokespersons were requested to stick with the statements issued by Netanyahu’s office.

During the US election campaign, Netanyahu took a stand which many in the political system saw as gross intervention in America’s internal affairs. He hosted Republican candidate Mitt Romney in Israel and was even included in the Republican Party’s election ads.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai, chairman of the Shas party, was the first minister to admit Wednesday that Obama’s re-election did not benefit Netanyahu. “This is probably not a very good morning for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Yishai said during a local authority spokespersons’ conference in Eilat.

Asked whether Israel was wrong to intervene in the US elections, he responded: “I don’t know if Israel interfered in the elections or not, but in general we should not interfere in elections taking place in another country.”

President Shimon Peres, who is visiting Russia, was also asked whether did not damage Israel’s relationship with the US by interfering in the American election campaign.

“There are many wise people in Israel and there are many people who think differently. I prefer to be part of the right minority than of the wrong majority,” the president replied.

Former Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni wrote on her Facebook page that she congratulates Obama, “who moved America once again. The US has put its future in Obama’s hands, and that means a lot as far as we are concerned as well.

“Israel’s security is based on the strategic relations between Israel and the US, which are also built on the trust between leaders that is missing today. Self-examination and deep reparation are required.”

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Israeli hypocrisy at Mavi Marmara trial

NOVANEWS
In memory of Mavi Marmara victimsBy Yvonne Ridley in Istanbul

Israel has reacted with squirms and wriggles, like a worm on a fishhook, to the trial in Turkey over the deaths of nine unarmed humanitarian aid volunteers on board a ship bound for Gaza.

Tel Aviv has called the hearing in Istanbul a “show trial” with no legal foundation or meaning at all since, rather predictably, the four military commanders at the centre of the brutal air and seaborne assault are being tried in absentia.

In a 144-page indictment, the four stand accused of inciting murder and injury, and prosecutors are seeking multiple life sentences for the top brass group which includes the former Israeli military chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi.

I sat and listened in a hushed courtroom as the trial opened on the first day with a number of survivors recounting the military assault on their aid flotilla in May 2010 which was bound for besieged Gaza.

They came from around the world and included a former US Army colonel, journalists and peace activists who witnessed the massacre onboard the Mavi Marmara.

The survivors’ “stories and graphic recollections could have come from the pages of an action-packed thriller about piracy on the high seas, but the pirates were Israelis and the international waters were the Mediterranean”.

They told how live ammunition was fired at them, killing nine and injuring countless more; how hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, laptops, credit cards and other valuables were stolen never to be seen again.

Aid collected and organized by the internationally renowned and respected Turkish charity IHH simply disappeared and most was never recovered.

Their stories and graphic recollections could have come from the pages of an action-packed thriller about piracy on the high seas, but the pirates were Israelis and the international waters were the Mediterranean.

The wood-panelled courtroom was packed, standing room only with scores more standing outside the long corridors waiting for snippets of information from within the chamber. As the evidence was given there was a profound silence punctuated by occasional, uncontrollable sobs from two rows of widows and mothers who had lost their loved ones. A man sitting next to me was unable to stop the trickle of tears pouring from his eyes as the damning evidence unfolded. This was not a show trial, a political stunt or a symbolic hearing. This was real.

Yet back in Ankara, Israeli embassy officials continued to insult the dead by pouring scorn on the trial and calling it a “unilateral political act with no judicial credibility” because the four accused were being tried in absentia.

Not for the first time, the weasel words of Israeli officialdom smacked of hypocrisy – were these not the same mealy-mouthed accusations levelled by Nazi supporters against the Nuremberg trials?

Those military tribunals, launched after World War II, saw the top Nazi leaders tried in absentia during 1945-46. Martin Bormann wasn’t present in the dock but he must have spent the rest of his miserable life looking over his shoulder after the death penalty was imposed. Yes, it was a pity that the Nazi party secretary was never brought to justice, but at least some of those survivors of the regime got closure from the sentencing knowing that he would spend his life waiting for that knock on the door.

Israel, as everyone knows, has a long-distance relationship with international law. It has violated or ignored more than 70 UN sanctions – this is more than any other country in the world. It is also a stranger to due legal process and still has detentions without trial even for children under the age of 18.

Israel knows all about trials in absentia – in fact, it has conducted similar courts without the accused being present. Between 1950 and 1961 the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators Punishment Law (Hok Le’Asiat Din BaNatzim) was used to prosecute 29 Jewish holocaust survivors accused of being Nazi collaborators. The first and only time it was used to execute a person was in the Adolf Eichmann case. He was illegally kidnapped, drugged and moved by Mossad from Argentina in 1960 and two years later was hanged after a televised trial in Israel.

The trial in Istanbul is very real and as I sat there and watched the faces of the survivors, the families of those who died, I realized this event is the cornerstone of a historic legal action which will eventually deliver justice to those seeking it.

Protest as it might, Israel which is also no stranger to carrying out extra-judicial killings, hasn’t a leg to stand on when it makes hollow claims about the legitimacy of the Istanbul court.

Israel, as everyone knows, has a long-distance relationship with international law. It has violated or ignored more than 70 UN sanctions – this is more than any other country in the world. It is also a stranger to due legal process and still has detentions without trial even for children under the age of 18.

During the coming days almost 500 people are expected to give evidence before the court reaches a verdict on the four accused.

Israel’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the trial “clearly falls under the category of a show trial, an act which has nothing to do with either law or justice”, adding it was ”merely a propaganda display” and that Turkey should deal with the issue through bilateral dialogue.

The truth is while Israel has expressed “regret” over the Mavi Marmara deaths it still steadfastly refuses to apologise, despite a raft of damning reports and comments from a number of bodies, including the United Nations. This typically stubborn refusal to say “sorry” will come to cost the Zionist state dearly – it is already regarded as a pariah state by many.

Perhaps [the accused Israelis] Ashkenazi, Marom, Yadlin and Levy should man up and travel to Istanbul to submit themselves before the court. It would be the right and honourable thing to do – but historically, doing the right and honourable thing is something which is an alien concept to the Zionist State.

Israel’s reprehensible position in questioning the legitimacy of the trial insults every victim, including those who perished in the holocaust and the survivors who relied on Nuremberg to help give them some sort of closure through justice.

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who plans to make an official visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza soon in the wake of the high profile visit by the emir of Qatar, describes the flotilla deaths as “state terrorism”.

We will have to await the outcome of the trial on the four – Gabi Ashkenazi; Eliezer Marom, former commander of the Israeli navy; Amos Yadlin, former commander of the air force; and Avishai Levy, former head of air force intelligence – to find out if the court agrees with Erdogan.

Whatever the outcome Israel must accept the result – it cannot play two games. The rule of law is there for one and all and there should be no exceptions.

Perhaps Ashkenazi, Marom, Yadlin and Levy should man up and travel to Istanbul to submit themselves before the court. It would be the right and honourable thing to do – but historically, doing the right and honourable thing is something which is an alien concept to the Zionist State.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, TurkeyComments Off on Israeli hypocrisy at Mavi Marmara trial

You Should Know These Basic Facts

NOVANEWS

Question:        Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections? ?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What country in the Middle East created millions of refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents from USA and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a civilian U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana , Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid to the world yet is the 16th richest country in the world?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S. ?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely insults the American people by having its Prime Minister address the United States Congress and lecturing them like children on why they have no right to reduce foreign aid?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because “We control America?”

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International for demolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing 15 civilians including 9 children?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?

Answer:         Israel.

 

Question:        Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on You Should Know These Basic Facts

Anti-Semitism reaches historic low in US

NOVANEWS

ADL annual audit reveals 13% decline in anti-Semitic incidents throughout United States in 2011, reaching lowest level in two decades

ynet

Acts of anti-Semitism reported throughout the United States in 2011 were at their lowest in two decades, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.

The audit, released last week, shows a decline of 13% over the previous year with a total of 1,080 incidents reported, compared to 1,239 in 2010.

“It is encouraging that over the past five or six years we have seen a consistent decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents across the country and that the numbers are now at a historic low,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director.

“To the extent that these incidents serve as a barometer, the decline shows that we have made progress as a society in confronting anti-Semitism and pushing it to the far fringes, making expressions of anti-Jewish hatred unacceptable.

“These declining numbers, while promising, must nevertheless be viewed in the context of other factors, including online expressions of anti-Semitism that are impossible to quantify and often go unchecked.”

Not surprisingly, the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported was higher in states with larger Jewish populations.

The top four states with reported incidents were California with 235; New York, with 195 incidents New Jersey, with 144 incidents in 2011, and Florida, with 111 incidents in 2011.

Bullying at schools

According to the audit, anti-Semitic incidents increased in Massachusetts and Connecticut, but decreased in other New England areas and nationwide.

Hate incidents aimed at Jewish people in Massachusetts increased from 64 in 2010 to 72 in 2011. In Connecticut, incidents increased from 38 to 43.

ADL’s New England Regional Director Derrek Shulman said the Internet ‘‘has breathed new life’’ into destructive stereotypes about Jews.

Nationally, many reported incidents involved bullying at schools.

But ADL found hate incidents dropped in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, also posting a 9.5% national decline.

The organization uses crime statistics, and information from victims, law-enforcement officials and community leaders for the audit.

It identifies acts of harassment and intimidation, including threats, slurs and hate propaganda distribution.

Posted in USAComments Off on Anti-Semitism reaches historic low in US

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