Archive | April 4th, 2013

The Orgasm Gap: The Real Reason Women Get Off Less Often Than Men and How to Fix It

NOVANEWS
The gap between men’s and women’s frequency of orgasm is impacted by social forces that privilege male pleasure.

According to a large-scale survey of American adults, women have about  one orgasm for every three a man enjoys.  We call this the “orgasm gap” and it’s been a point of contention since feminists identified it during the heyday of the sexual revolution.

In the U.S. we tend to explain the orgasm gap by suggesting that women’s bodies are somehow bad at orgasms. Sigmund Freud infamously posited that women should have orgasms in response to intercourse. If they didn’t, he argued, there was something fundamentally wrong with their sexuality. While his theory has been roundly debunked (as few as 25% of women will routinely have orgasms from intercourse), many female college students who don’t have orgasms this way assume there is something wrong with their sexual response. College students bring some other interesting ideas too. I’ve been asked to confirm if it’s true that women are physically incapable of orgasm before the age of 30. I’ve explained to a truly confused listener why, anatomically speaking, women are unlikely to orgasm from anal sex. I’ve clarified the location of the clitoris ( 30% of women and 25% of men don’t know where it is). 

These are the stories we tell ourselves about the clitoris: that women’s bodies are simply more difficult. The clitoris is hard to find and complicated to operate; it’s shy and persnickety; it disappoints its owner and mocks the efforts of her partner. And perhaps it doesn’t matter anyway, we continue, because women aren’t as interested in orgasm, right? They don’t need them like men do. They’re a more giving sex. Their pleasure is more diffuse and empathic. In any case, they’re really in it for the eye contact and the cuddling.

Freudian echoes, anatomical mischaracterizations and gender stereotypes are part of the logic naturalizing the orgasm gap, but there is nothing natural about it. We know this because women who sleep with women have  many more orgasms than heterosexual women, almost as many as men who sleep with women. Women also have no problem experiencing  orgasm through masturbation and the same women who frequently have orgasms during masturbation report  many fewer orgasms when they’re with a partner. Men are also not faster to climax than women; it takes women the same amount of time to orgasm during masturbation as it takes men, on average, to have an orgasm through intercourse:  four minutes.

Instead of being driven by biology, women’s rate of orgasm relative to men is a function of social forces. For one, we often bifurcate the sexual experience in line with gender norms: men are sexual (they experience desire) and women are sexy (they inspire desire). The focus on men’s internal wants and sensations also draws our attention to his satisfaction. Thus his orgasm, but not necessarily hers, becomes a critical part of what must happen for a sexual encounter to be successful and fulfilling. This is part of why intercourse – a sexual act that is strongly correlated with orgasm for men – is the only act that almost everyone agrees counts as “real sex,” whereas activities that are more likely to produce orgasm in women are considered optional foreplay.

Meanwhile, the idea that women’s primary goal in sex is to deliver a sexy body can focus her attention on how she looks instead of how she feels. This can lead to spectating, being worried about how she looks from her partner’s perspective, which decreases the chance a woman will have an orgasm. It can also lead to active avoidance of orgasm because of worries her face or body might do something unattractive.

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U.S., Jordan Zionist Puppet boost training of Zio-NATO Rats

NOVANEWS

THE ZIONIST BROTHERS

American and Jordanian Zionist efforts to train Zio-NATO rats have stepped up, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, following reports that the training has been focused on anti-tank weaponry.

The report on Wednesday, citing U.S. and Jordanian Zionist puppets, stated that training – which reportedly began last year – could also be used to establish a buffer zone along Syria’s southern border.

“Jordanian security officials  said a previous  timetable to complete training of about 3,000 Free Syrian Army officers by the end of June has been moved up to the end of this month in light of the border victories,” the Post reported.

A buffer zone would essentially aim to “aim to convert areas now in rebel hands into permanent havens for thousands of army defectors and displaced civilians in the area and allow easy access for humanitarian aid,” the report added.

“Buffer zones on the Syrian side of the border is the only way to keep the conflict away from Jordan,” Mahmoud Irdaisat, head of the Amman-based Center for Strategic Studies at the King Abdullah II Defense Studies Academy, told the Post.

Last month, German newspaper Der Spiegel quoted what it said were participants and organizers in the training, adding that there were doubts over whether the Americans worked for private firms or were from the army, although some reportedly wore uniforms.

Spiegel said the training focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.

Jordanian intelligence services are involved in the program, which aims to build around a dozen units totaling some 10,000 fighters to the exclusion of radical Islamists, Spiegel reported.

“The Jordanian intelligence services want to prevent Salafis (radical Islamists) crossing from their own country into Syria and then returning later to stir up trouble in Jordan itself,” one of the organizers told the paper.

A spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on the Spiegel report. The French foreign ministry and Britain’s foreign and defense ministries also had no comment.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported in recent weeks that U.S. trainers were assisting Syrian rebels in Jordan. British and French instructors were also participating in the U.S.-led effort, the Guardian said on Saturday, citing Jordanian security sources.

More than 70,000 people have been killed and 1 million refugees have fled the Syrian conflict.

The United States has said it would provide medical supplies and food directly to opposition fighters but has ruled out sending arms for fear they may find their way to Islamist hardliners who might then use them against Western targets.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Jordan, SyriaComments Off on U.S., Jordan Zionist Puppet boost training of Zio-NATO Rats

$HAME ON YOU HAMA$

حماس: رفض عباس الإساءة لقطر غير كاف

حماس

$HAME ON YOU HAMA$

إعتبر الناطق باسم حركة “حماس”، سامي أبو زهري أن “رفض الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس لإساءة بعض أبناء الشبيبة الفتحاوية لقطر وقيادتها هو “أمر غير كاف، ولا يعفيه من المسؤولية” كونه رئيسًا لحركة “فتح”. ودان أبو زهري في بيان “هذا العمل اللامسؤول” داعيًا الرئيس عباس إلى “إعتقال المتجاوزين حفاظًا على علاقات شعبنا الخارجية”. واوضح أن “هذا التجاوز ناتج عن عملية التحريض والشحن التي تمارسها بعض قيادات فتح لدعم جهات عربية ضد جهات أخرى”، وفقا للبيان.

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Wake Up AmeriKa: Lucinda White, Pregnant Woman, Stunned With Taser By Illinois Police (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

NOVANEWS

The Huffington

By n

Lucinda White

Springfield Police used a Taser on Lucinda White, a pregnant woman, after she allegedly resisted arrest March 31.

It started as a minor altercation over alleged damage to a car, but this incident in a Best Buy parking lot quickly escalated and ended with two people — including a pregnant woman — getting stunned with a Taser by police.

According to an arrest report filed by Springfield, Ill., police, Lucinda White, who is eight months pregnant, called police after getting into a fender-bender in the parking lot on March 30. The driver of the other vehicle was questioned by police, and White’s boyfriend, Frederic Thomas, became upset after he denied there was damage.

In the police report, which was posted by the website Springfieldleaks.com, it stated that Thomas began yelling and cursing at the driver. The officer, R.T. Kuhn, wrote that he told Thomas to calm down or he would be arrested, but Thomas persisted and then resisted arrest, “swinging his arms and hands wildly” at the officer’s “head and upper body.” A struggle between Kuhn and Thomas ensued, and the officer called for back up.

In a cell phone video of the incident posted to YouTube March 31, White can be seen in close proximity to officer Kuhn and Thomas as they struggle between parked cars. One officer, identified as “Higginson” in Kuhn’s report, runs up and uses a Taser on Thomas. White protests verbally and then resists as Higginson tries to arrest her. He then appears to deploy a Taser on the woman.

YouTube commenters were outraged, as were some eyewitnesses in the video.

“I find it infuriating that the police used a taser on a pregnant woman; especially when she was the one that called the cops for help when her vehicle was hit by someone else,” wrote Reddit user MrMagPi, who posted the video of the incident to the social news site Wednesday.

But Springfield police are standing by the officers’ actions.

“The video actually mirrored the reports that they turned in before we even knew about the video… They [the officers] followed policy.” Cliff Buscher, deputy chief for the Springfield police, told WICS.

Buscher added that an internal investigation is still pending. Thomas and White were arrested and charged with resisting arrest.

This isn’t the first time police have used a Taser on a pregnant woman. In 2004, three Seattle police officers used a Taser on a pregnant woman, Malaika Brooks, after she refused to sign a speeding ticket. Courts ruled that the officers were justified in making the arrest in that case, and the woman was convicted of one criminal charge.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the officers in the Brooks case could not be sued for using excessive force for deploying the Taser, because laws surrounding the use of stun guns were unclear at the time. In 2012, the officers tried to bring the case before the Supreme Court in an effort to have their actions justified, but the court refused to hear it.

Posted in USAComments Off on Wake Up AmeriKa: Lucinda White, Pregnant Woman, Stunned With Taser By Illinois Police (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Arab Spring Big Lie: World Must Unite Against US-Saudi-IsraHell Proxy War in Syria ” 14 ”

NOVANEWS

Posted By: Sammi Ibrahem Sr

 

syrianrebels

landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk
  • US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel have conspired to destroy Syria by way of arming sectarian extremists since 2007.
  • The West now admits it, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have provided thousands of tons of weapons to militants in Syria – while also conceding that Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra is the best armed, most well equipped militant front in the conflict.
  • US, Saudi, Israeli-backed terrorists are now committing a myriad of horrific atrocities against all of Syria’s population, including Sunni Muslims – meaning neither “democracy” nor even “sectarianism” drives the conflict, but rather the destruction of Syria in its entirety.
  • US State Department acknowledges Syria faces threat from Al Qaeda, demands blockade of arms/aid from reaching government to fight terrorists the US State Department admits are present in every major Syrian city.

March 30, 2013 (LD) – Since 2007, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel have been documented as conspiring to overthrow the Syrian government by way of sectarian extremists, including groups “sympathetic to Al Qaeda,” and in particular, the militant, sectarian Muslim Brotherhood. While the West has attempted to portray the full-scale conflict beginning in Syria in 2011 as first, a “pro-democracy uprising,” to now a “sectarian conflict,” recent atrocities carried out by US-Saudi-Israeli proxies have shifted the assault to include Sunni Muslims unable or unwilling to participate in the destruction of the Syrian state.

Such attacks included a mortar bombardment of Damascus University, killing 15 and injuring dozens more, as well as the brutal slaying of two prominent Sunni Muslim clerics – the latest of which was beheaded, his body paraded through the streets of Aleppo, and his head hung from the mosque he preached in. While the West attempts to mitigate these events by labeling the victims as “pro-government,” the reality is that the forces fighting inside Syria are funded, armed, directed, and politically supported from abroad – and therefore do not represent any of the Syrian people’s interests, including those Syrians who do not support the government.

It is abundantly clear that the West’s goal is neither to institute “democracy,” nor even take sides in a “sectarian conflict,” but rather carry out the complete and permanent destruction of Syria as a nation-state, sparing no one, not even Sunnis.

Such a proxy war exists contra to any conceivable interpretation of “international law.” The world is left with a moral imperative to not only denounce this insidious conflict brought upon the Syrian people, compounded and perpetuated entirely by external interests, but demands that concrete action is taken to ensure that this act of aggression is brought to an end.

The US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have admitted to colluding together, flooding Syria with thousands of tons of weapons via Jordan to Syria’s south, and NATO-member Turkey to Syria’s north. And in an otherwise inexplicable conundrum, while the likes of US Secretary of State John Kerry insist this torrent of weapons is being directed to “moderates,” neither the US nor its allies are able to explain why Al Qaeda terror front Jabhatal-Nusra has emerged as the most heavily armed, best equipped militant organization in the conflict.

AP reported specifically in their article, “Officials: Arms shipments rise to Syrian rebels,” that:

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on the sidelines of a Syrian opposition meeting in Italy last month that the weapons are ending up in the hands of secular groups. “I will tell you this: There is a very clear ability now in the Syrian opposition to make certain that what goes to the moderate, legitimate opposition is in fact getting to them, and the indication is that they are increasing their pressure as a result of that,” he said, without elaborating.

But even AP admits that:

Syrian opposition activists estimate there are 15-20 different brigades fighting in and around Damascus now, each with up to 150 fighters. Many of them have Islamic tendencies and bear black-and-white Islamic flags or al-Qaeda-style flags on their Facebook pages. There is also a presence of Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the strongest Islamic terrorist groups fighting alongside the rebels.

The US State Department’s own statement regarding the designation of al-Nusra as a listed Al Qaeda terror organization states:

Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr.

According to the US State Department, al-Nusra is carrying out hundreds of attacks with a wide array of weaponry, across the entire nation of Syria, indicating a massive front and implying an equally massive network of logistical support, including foreign sponsorship. What’s more, is that the US State Department acknowledges al-Nusra’s presence even in cities close to Syria’s borders where the CIA is admittedly overseeing the distribution of weapons and cash. The New York Times, in their June 2012 article, C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” reported that:

A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

And in New York Times’ more recent March 2013 article, Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” it is admitted that weapons are being funneled into Syria across both its borders with Turkey and Jordan:

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

The article would also state:

Although rebel commanders and the data indicate that Qatar and Saudi Arabia had been shipping military materials via Turkey to the opposition since early and late 2012, respectively, a major hurdle was removed late last fall after the Turkish government agreed to allow the pace of air shipments to accelerate, officials said.
Simultaneously, arms and equipment were being purchased by Saudi Arabia in Croatia and flown to Jordan on Jordanian cargo planes for rebels working in southern Syria and for retransfer to Turkey for rebels groups operating from there, several officials said.

The US State Department acknowledges that the well armed, prominent terror front al-Nusra is operating in the very areas the CIA is feeding weapons and cash into.

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” and also happen to be areas the US CIA is admittedly distributing weapons and other aid in.  

….

Such a reality directly contradicts the US State Department’s official position, and no explanation is given as to how “moderates” can be provided with such extensive support, and still be eclipsed militarily and logistically by terror-front al-Nusra. That is, unless of course, the US, British, Saudi, and Qatari weapons aren’t simply just handing the weapons directly to terrorists, precisely as planned as early as 2007.

The Destruction of Syria Began in 2007, Not 2011

While the West has attempted to reclaim Syria as part of its sphere of influence for decades, concrete plans for the latest proxy war were laid at least as early as 2007. It was admitted in 2007 that the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel conspired together to fund, arm, and direct sectarian extremists including militants “sympathetic” to Al Qaeda, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, against the governments of Iran and Syria. In Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 New Yorker article,  The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism? the conspiracy was described as follows:

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.

Hersh also cited US, Saudi, and Lebanese officials who indicated that, “in the past year, the Saudis, the Israelis, and the Bush Administration have developed a series of informal understandings about their new strategic direction,” and that, “the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The report would also state:

Some of the core tactics of the redirection are not public, however. The clandestine operations have been kept secret, in some cases, by leaving the execution or the funding to the Saudis, or by finding other ways to work around the normal congressional appropriations process, current and former officials close to the Administration said.

Mention of the Muslim Brotherhood already receiving aid even in 2007 was also made:

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a branch of a radical Sunni movement founded in Egypt in 1928, engaged in more than a decade of violent opposition to the regime of Hafez Assad, Bashir’s father. In 1982, the Brotherhood took control of the city of Hama; Assad bombarded the city for a week, killing between six thousand and twenty thousand people. Membership in the Brotherhood is punishable by death in Syria. The Brotherhood is also an avowed enemy of the U.S. and of Israel. Nevertheless, Jumblatt said, “We told Cheney that the basic link between Iran and Lebanon is Syria—and to weaken Iran you need to open the door to effective Syrian opposition.”

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.

The Wall Street Journal in 2007 would also implicate the Muslim Brotherhood and more specifically, the so-called “National Salvation Front,” in its article, To Check Syria, U.S. Explores Bond With Muslim Brothers.”

It is clear that the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel planned to use sectarian extremists against the nation of Syria starting at least as early as 2007, and it is clear that now these sectarian extremists are carrying out the destruction of Syria with a massive torrent of weapons and cash provided by the US and its regional allies, just as was described by Hersh’s report.

A Moral Imperative to Save Syria 

Syria is under attack by an insidious, premeditated foreign assault, intentionally using terrorist proxies in direct and complete violation of any conceivable interpretation of both national and international law. The world has a moral imperative to support the Syrian people and their government as they fight this assault – both politically and logistically. While US Secretary John Kerry is unable to account for how his nation’s support for moderates has left Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra front the premier militant faction in Syria, he has demanded that Iraq help stem the flow of alleged aid Iran is providing the Syrian government as it fights these terrorists.

Does US Secretary of State John Kerry deny that Syria is fighting a significant (and continuously growing) Al Qaeda presence within their borders, which according to the US State Department’s own statement, is operating in every major city in the country? What conceivable explanation or excuse could be made to justify the blockading of aid sent to Syria to fight Al Qaeda terrorists? In fact, why isn’t the US aiding the Syrian government itself in its fight against Al Qaeda – a terrorist organization the US has used as an excuse to wage unending global war since 2001 when Al Qaeda allegedly killed some 3,000 American civilians?

Does Secretary Kerry believe that further arming “moderates” is a legitimate strategy to counter Al Qaeda’s growing presence in Syria when these “moderates” openly defend Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra? The US’ own hand-picked “Syrian opposition leader,”  Mouaz al Khatib, demanded the US reconsider its designation of al Nusra as a terrorist organization. Retuers reported in their article, Syrian opposition urges U.S. review of al-Nusra blacklisting,” that:

The leader of Syria’s opposition coalition urged the United States on Wednesday to review its decision to designate the militant Islamist Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist group, saying religion was a legitimate motive for Syrian rebels.

“The decision to consider a party that is fighting the regime as a terrorist party needs to be reviewed,” Mouaz Alkhatib told a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Morocco, where Western and Arab states granted full recognition to the coalition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

The US is directly responsible for the emergence and perpetuation of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Syria. The statements of Secretary John Kerry are made merely to maintain an increasingly tenuous “plausible deniability.” The precedent being set by the US and its allies is one of using full-scale proxy invasions, that if successful in Syria, will be directed into Iran, up through the Caucasus Mountains in Russia, and even onto China’s doorstep via extremists the West is cultivating amongst the Uighurs. It is also clear that the West is directly responsible for the extremists within their own borders, and that these extremists are being used as a political tool against the people of the West, just as they are being used as a mercenary force abroad.

A united front between nations against this wanton state sponsorship of terrorism is needed – with nations pledging political and logistical support to the Syrian people to defeat this open conspiracy. Individually, we can identify, boycott, and  the corporate-fina permanently replacencier interests who conceived of and are driving this agenda. Failure to stop such wide scale criminality against the Syrian people now, will only invite greater criminality against us all in the near future.

Posted in Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Arab Spring Big Lie: World Must Unite Against US-Saudi-IsraHell Proxy War in Syria ” 14 ”

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Restriction of movement

NOVANEWS

Israel cuts off water supply to 10 villages northwest of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (WAFA) 1 Apr – The Israeli authorities Monday completely cut off the water supply to ten villages located northwest of Jerusalem, according to a local official. Yousef al-Faqeeh, head of joint services council of these villages, told WAFA that the Israeli authorities restricted the amount of water pumped to these villages; residents were living on very small amounts of water and now the water supply is completely cut off. He added that hundreds of students are suffering from the lack of water in their schools, calling on the relevant sides to promptly intervene to pressure the Israeli authorities to re-pump water to these villages. He said that the only source of water now is water tanks which the authorities also prohibited.
link to english.wafa.ps

IOA forces Palestinian to raze part of his house [in] East Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 2 Apr — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Monday evening forced a Palestinian citizen to demolish a room of his house in Sawwanah district east of occupied Jerusalem at the pretext of unlicensed construction. Tayseer Abul Hawa, owner of the house, said that in 2005, he had built an additional room in his house, but the Israeli municipal council demanded him to knock it down or get a construction permit, adding that he tried hard during the past years to have the room licensed, but to no avail. He pointed that an Israeli municipal court, in 2010, ordered to imprison his wife if he did not remove the room, adding that his lawyer managed to delay the demolition of the rooms several times. The owner also said that he has paid the IOA construction fines of about 11, 000 dollars so far.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Owners of confiscated lands near Ramallah assert they won’t give up their lands

RAMALLAH (PIC) 2 Apr — Israeli occupation has confiscated thousands of dunums of Palestinian lands in Deir Jarir, Silwad and Ein Yabrud for the construction and expansion of Ofra settlement, east of Ramallah … Salim Abu Makhou, one of the residents of Deir Jarir village and the owner of a land adjacent to Ofra settlement, pointed to the continuation of the settlers’ attacks on Palestinian lands, the last of which was uprooting olive trees in the eastern side of the settlement. The citizen Mohammed Dahabra, from the village of Ein Yabrud in the western side of the settlement, told PIC’s correspondent that the settlers have been constantly trying to buy lands belonging to the citizens who live in America, and urged for launching a campaign to raise public awareness about these schemes. Silwad Municipality said that according to Israeli law, 55% of the lands located inside Ofra must be returned to Palestinians, and confirmed that it will continue its efforts to return the confiscated lands. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon has admitted in an interview with Haaretz that Ofra contains 450 illegal houses, according to occupation law.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

PHOTOS: Palestinians return to village destroyed in 1948 Nakba

Activestills 1 April –  Photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler — Palestinian citizens of Israel return to the village of Al-Ruways, which was destroyed by Zionist military forces during the Nakba –  The Israeli group Zochrot organizes many tours of Palestinian villages depopulated during the Nakba of 1948. What made this Saturday’s tour of Al-Ruways particularly remarkable was the large number of displaced Palestinians and their descendants who made the event more of a return than a simple tour. Zochrot, whose name means “remembering” in Hebrew, aims to educate Israeli Jews about the history of the Nakba and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees … Such a large turnout of Palestinians was possible because when this village was forcibly evacuated by Zionist forces, they were simply pushed to the nearest town, Tamra, which remains until today. The residents of Al-Ruways were told by the Jewish militia leaders that after two weeks, that they would be able to return to their homes. Of course, as in many similar cases throughout what became the State of Israel, the displaced Palestinians were never allowed to return to their homes, even though they continued to live just a few kilometers away. The village itself was completely destroyed 
link to 972mag.com

Hundreds wait long hours at Allenby Bridge

JERICHO (Ma‘an) 1 Apr – Hundreds of Palestinian passengers are waiting long hours between the Jordanian and Israeli terminals at Allenby Bridge as thousands of pilgrims return to the West Bank after performing Umrah. Director of the Palestinian borders and crossings department Nathmi Muhanna told Ma‘an on Monday that the heavy jam partly resulted from reduced operating hours due to Jewish holidays. Muhanna said the “huge amount of luggage pilgrims bring back from Saudi Arabia takes a long time at the security checkpoints.” Pilgrims bring all kinds of goods including food, clothes, containers filled with Zamzam water and even electric tools, he said. Hajj pilgrims usually bring water from the Zamzam well in Mecca. Muslims believe the water was miraculously generated by God thousands of years ago when Prophet Ibrahim’s son Ismail was thirsty in the desert and kept asking his mother for water.
link to www.maannews.net

Death of detainee Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh – and the reaction

Obituary: Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh (1949-2013)

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died on Tuesday as a prisoner of Israel, was a married father of four who spent decades of his life in exile. Born in Hebron on Sept. 25, 1949, Abu Hamdiyeh was first imprisoned by Israel in 1969, accused of membership of the General Union of Palestinian Students. Abu Hamdiyeh received a diploma in electronics in Cairo, and later studied law at university in Beirut. Wanted by Israel, he never graduated. Between 1970 and 1975, Abu Hamdiyeh lived in Syria, Kuwait, Lebanon and Jordan. Every time he returned to the West Bank he was detained without charge. In 1978, Abu Hamdiyeh was exiled to Jordan but returned to Palestine two decades later. A Fatah leader, he worked as a general in the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security. Abu Hamdiyeh was arrested again in May 2002, and in 2005 an Israeli court sentenced him to 25 years. Israeli military authorities appealed for a lengthier sentence, and in 2007 Abu Hamdiyeh was sentenced to life. Since Abu Hamdiyeh’s arrest in 2002, Israel banned his four children from visiting him. In August 2012, Abu Hamdiyeh suffered severe throat pain. Five months later, he was diagnosed with throat cancer….
link to www.maannews.net

Dying prisoner treated cruelly by Israeli doctors over many years

EI 1 Apr by Linah Alsaafin — …In 2007, Abuhamdia became another victim of the Ramleh “slaughterhouse” after he was admitted to that prison clinic because of a painful stomach ulcer. He wrote a letter describing the deliberate medical negligence of the Israeli Prison Service and the cruel behavior of doctors toward the sick prisoners, who he said were subjected to medical experimentation without their consent. In an excerpt translated and posted by Tariq and found on theFacebook support page, Maysara Abuhamdia states: “The intentional negligence starts during the treatment, when the doctors receive orders to not cure the patient but to give him painkillers without any restoration of the damaged parts.” He adds,”These instructions come from the Israeli security apparatus, and the goal is to keep the prisoners alive but not cured to be a lesson to others.” In his letter Abuhamdia refers to the ill-treatment afforded to other sick prisoners at Ramleh, such as Alaa Hassouneh, who is described as suffering from heart disease but is only given painkillers. Another prisoner, Mansour Maqoudeh, was shot in the spine during his arrest by the occupation forces in 2002, which left him paralyzed. He was given injections in his abdomen by the Israeli Prison Service that caused him intestinal damage. Maqoudeh suffers from bouts of convulsions and unconsciousness, and can only urinate through a plastic bag, as Maqoudeh’s lawyer told the Arabic-language outlet Donia Alwatan last month.


link to electronicintifada.net

Protests in Israeli jails after inmate death

Al Jazeera 2 Apr — Palestinians allege Israel denied proper medical treatment to Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh who died of cancer — Israeli prison guards have fired teargas on Palestinian inmates in several Israeli jails who have been protesting the death of a prisoner who died of cancer…
Abu Hamdiyeh’s death has raised tensions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinians, who view jailed brethren as heroes in a fight for statehood, have held several protests in recent weeks in support of prisoners. One of the main points of concern is prisoners on long-term hunger strike who are held under ‘administrative detention’ – meaning they are held indefinitely without charge or trial.

Abu Hamdiyeh is the second Palestinian to die in Israeli prison this year. Arafat Jaradat, 30, died under dubious circumstances after being interrogated by Israeli authorities in February. Palestinian officials say he had been tortured, but Israel denies these allegations without adequately explaining how Jaradat died …

Abu Hamdiyeh, who was arrested in 2002 in the occupied West Bank, began complaining of throat problems about nine months ago and was subsequently diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. Issa Karakeh [Qaraqe‘], Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister, called Abu Hamdiyeh’s death a “vicious crime” which had come about due to Israel’s “stalling over giving him the right to be treated following a late cancer diagnosis”. “In one instance, when they took him away after he had collapsed and lost consciousness and lots of weight – they gave him flu shots.”
According to the Prisoner’s Club, 25 inmates serving time in Israeli jails are currently suffering from cancer. The Palestine Liberation Organisation has warned that more terminally ill prisoners could die. “We are still looking at a grave situation with hunger-striking prisoners and dozens of cases of long-term illnesses in need of treatment,” it said.
link to www.aljazeera.com

Israeli crackdown as prisoners protest against colleague’s death

MEMO 2 Apr — More than 30 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were reported to have been wounded by guards on Tuesday afternoon as they took part in a protest against the death in custody of their colleague Maysara Abu-Hamdiyya. Mr Abu-Hamdiyya died in an Israeli hospital this morning after suffering from cancer for several months. He had been denied proper treatment for his cancer – staff gave him painkillers and water – before his condition got so bad that he was transferred to hospital. Immediately after his death was announced, prisoners in Israel’s Eshel Prison started their protest. A statement of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Forum said that security officers entered sections 10 and 11 in the prison and beat the prisoners for protesting. “The prisoners were hit by batons and had tear gas fired at them,” said the Forum. For the first time in an Israeli jail, Palestinian prisoners burnt the Israeli flag and smashed CCTV cameras in Remon Prison. In a televised statement, it was said that prisoners across the Israeli prison system are likely “to explode” in “violent protest” against their conditions in jail. “We are hit by collective punishment,” said the prisoners, “and the Israeli Prison Service shows no respect for human rights and international conventions to which they have signed up.”
link to www.middleeastmonitor.com

Medics: 12 hospitalized after Hebron protest over prisoner death

HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Twelve Palestinians were hospitalized Tuesday after clashes with Israeli forces in Hebron during a protest over the death of a detainee with cancer in Israeli custody, medics said. Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh died in Israel’s Soroka hospital on Tuesday morning after efforts by the Palestinian leadership and popular protests to secure his release failed. In central Hebron, Hamdiyeh’s hometown, protesters threw rocks at an Israeli military base. Dozens of Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at demonstrators, Red Crescent medics told Ma‘an. Twelve Palestinians were hospitalized for injuries caused by rubber bullets, they said, adding that others were treated at the scene.
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli police arrest 9 protesters in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (WAFA) 2 Apr – Israeli police Tuesday arrested nine Palestinians while suppressing a demonstration in Jerusalem condemning the death of prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiya. The Israeli police attacked the demonstration, injured a number of protesters and arrested nine others. The protestors hurled stones towards the police, which fired tear gas canisters and used batons to disperse them in return. The current atmosphere in Jerusalem is very intense with heavy police and military enforcements on standby as Palestinians continue to react to the death of Abu Hamdiah, who was diagnosed with cancer and didn’t receive the proper medical treatment.
Meanwhile in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, tens suffered from suffocation in clashes that erupted with Israeli forces over Abu Hamdiya’s deat
link to english.wafa.ps

Gaza militants fire on Israel after prisoner death

AFP 2 Apr — Gaza militants fired a rocket into southern Israel on Tuesday, after the death in custody of a Palestinian who suffered from cancer, Israeli police said. “There was a rocket that was fired,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. “It landed in an open area,” he said, adding there were no immediate reports of casualties or property damage. Earlier in the day Palestinian witnesses told AFP militants in Gaza City had fired three mortar rounds on Israel. The Israeli army initially said one projectile had landed in the Jewish state, without causing any casualties, but later said none had. A spokeswoman said military systems detected launches within Gaza but that they had fallen short and landed within the strip. A coalition of Salafist groups later claimed that its militants fired two rockets at Israel on Tuesday afternoon. The Mujahedeen Shura Council said in a statement received by AFP that its action was “part of our answer to the death of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh.”
link to uk.news.yahoo.com

Israel hits Gaza in first airstrikes since November

GAZA CITY (AFP)  3 Apr — Israeli aircraft carried out three apparent warning strikes in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, hitting empty fields after a rocket earlier struck waste ground in southern Israel, Palestinian security sources said. They said that the strikes, the first since the end of a deadly eight-day confrontation between Israel and Hamas in November, hit in two spots close to Gaza City and one other site further north toward the frontier with Israel. Nobody was injured.
link to www.maannews.net

2 Gaza rockets explode near Sderot; none hurt

Ynet 3 Apr — Qassams fired toward western Negev as children make their way to schools, kindergarten after Passover holiday. Defense Minister Ya’alon: Hamas responsible — Sderot residents reported hearing explosions shortly after the Color Red siren sounded in the city at 7:33 am. The rockets apparently landed in an open area. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said “Israel holds Hamas responsible for everything that is fired from Gaza. We will not allow a routine of (rocket) fire at our civilians and forces.”
Ya’alon, who spoke prior to Wednesday morning’s rocket attack, was referring to the IDF’s strikes in Gaza and the Golan Heights Tuesday night.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Factions unite to condemn neglect of Abu Hamdiyeh

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Condolences and condemnations poured in from across the Palestinian political spectrum on Tuesday after the death of a cancer-stricken prisoner. The Palestinian leadership said Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh died because Israeli authorities refused him treatment until his cancer had spread. Abu Hamdiyeh, from Hebron, was hospitalized in late March.
Abu Hamdiyeh was considered a symbol for national unity, and a model for cooperation in resistance between Palestinian nationalists of all factions. A Fatah leader, Abu Hamdiyeh’s death drew statements of condolence and outrage from all factions, as well as protests in prisons and on the Palestinian street.

In Gaza, Hamas said it was following with the “greatest concern” the developments and warned that Israel would “regret its continuing crimes,” spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called for a response to Abu Hamdiyeh’s death, while Islamic Jihad called for popular protests to support detainees and warned Israel to stop its war on prisoners. Qais Abdulkarim, of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, sent his condolences to Palestinians and said Abu Hamdiyeh’s death was a result of medical negligence. The Popular Struggle Front said Abu Hamdiyeh’s death must not pass without punishing “the extremist Israeli government that committed this heinous crime” and other crimes against Palestinians detained in Israel. The Arab Liberation Front said Israel’s prison services had killed Abu Hamdiyeh “with cold blood.”
link to www.maannews.net

Issawi sends condolences to family of Abu Hamdiyeh

RAMALLH (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Long-term hunger striker Samir Issawi on Tuesday sent his condolences to the family of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died in Israeli custody after a battle with cancer. “Maysara died for the battle of dignity and pride, which is fought by thousands of steadfast Palestinians,” Issawi wrote in a letter passed to his lawyer Jawad Boulus. “Here we walk the path that would either lead us to dignified freedom, or to martyrdom for the soil of our land,” wrote Issawi.  After nine months on hunger strike, Issawi’s heart muscles are dangerously weak, and the low levels of minerals and salts in his blood could cause brain damage, medics said, according to the lawyer. Issawi, who was transferred to the Kaplan Medical Center on Feb. 27, is determined to continue his strike and refuses any supplements in his water, Bulous added.  Bulous called for international intervention in Issawi’s case “before it is too late,” warning that if no action was taken, Abu Hamdiyeh would not be the last to die in Israeli prison.
link to www.maannews.net

Abbas: Israeli arrogance led to death of prisoner

RAMALLAH (WAFA) 2 Apr — President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that the arrogance of the Israeli government stopped in the way of responding to Palestinian efforts to secure the release of the prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiya, who died in prison due to medical negligence by the Israel Prison Service … “We tried working on Abu Hamdiya’s release due to his medical condition, but the Israeli government refused to respond to the PA’s efforts in releasing him, which led to his death,” he said. “This shows the intransigence and the arrogance of the Israeli government especially toward prisoners of freedom held in its jails,” he said
link to english.wafa.ps

Other prisoner news/ Court actions

PCHR calls for investigation into the circumstances of death of suspect in police detention facility in Rafah

PNN 2 Apr — The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) calls upon the Attorney General in Gaza to conduct an investigation into the circumstances of the death of a suspect in the detention facility of Rafah police station and to publish the results of the investigation. According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimony of a suspect’s relative, at approximately 23:35 on Sunday, 31 March 2013, the body of Sami Hamdan Qishta, 50, from al-Brazil neighbourhood in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, was taken to Martyr Mohammed Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in the town. According to police sources had been detained in the detention facility of Rafah police station since 20 March 2013 by a court order, and he had received a special treatment because he was suffering from weakness of the heart muscle. He was allowed to stay with his family on Thursday and Friday, 28 and 29 March 2013, before he came back to the detention facility on Saturday morning, 30 March 2013.
link to english.pnn.ps

Ahrar Center calls for release of activist Thamer Saba‘neh

NABLUS (PIC) 2 Apr — Ahrar center for Prisoners studies and human rights called on all human rights organizations, to pressure the occupation authorities to release the writer and the activist in prisoners’ affairs Thamer Saba’neh. Saba’neh was arrested on March 6 during a campaign that targeted 19 citizens from different areas in the West Bank, only four months after an earlier arrest.
The human rights center noted that the Israeli occupation has been targeting writers and intellectuals, because they are trying to make change and consolidate the values and conservative principles in the Palestinian society. Captive Saba’neh has participated in many activities and events in support of the prisoners in Israeli jails.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

DCI Detention Bulletin – Overview February 2013

[with charts, case summaries] Defence for Children International — February registered the highest number of Palestinian children imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system since October 2010, reaching a total of 236, an increase of 5.8 percent from January. 39 children were between the ages of 12 and 15, a 25.8 percent increase from January. A total of 141 children (59 percent) were held in detention facilities inside Israel in violation of international humanitarian law. DCI-Palestine welcomes UNICEF’s release of a briefing paper titled “Children in Israeli military detention: observations and recommendations” on 7 March,which backs Palestinians claims that ill-treatment of children is widespread and systematic within the Israeli military detention system.
link to www.dci-palestine.org

Israel’s detentions in March: 330 Palestinians including 90 children

MEMO 1 Apr — The Israeli occupation authorities detained 330 Palestinians in March. The figure includes ninety children, six women, eight journalists and a parliamentarian, reported the Palestine Prisoners’ Centre (PPC). In its monthly statement on Israel’s detentions of Palestinians and the conditions facing them in Israeli jails, the PPC said that last month’s arrests were made during 300 military operations across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Most of those detained are still behind bars. The PPC’s spokesperson, Reyad Al-Ashqar, said that March witnessed an increase in the number of children detained by the Israelis. Out of the total of 90 children taken into detention, 50 were captured on the streets of Hebron in one day. Of the six women detained, one 14 year-old girl was interrogated in the absence of her parents or lawyer for several hours before being released.
link to www.middleeastmonitor.com

3 Jerusalemites charged with burning Israeli soldiers in Al-Aqsa mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli Public Prosecution accused on Sunday 3 young Jerusalemites with throwing Molotov cocktails in al-Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to burn soldiers. Tadamun Foundation’s lawyer, Mohammad Ramzi Mahmoud, told Wadi al-Hilweh Information Center that “the Israeli Public Prosecutor submitted an indictment in the District Court against 3 young Jerusalemites, Mamoun Farhan, Mohammed Farhan, and Uday Abu Saad from Shuafat refugee camp.” The indictment stated that the youths threw Molotov cocktails in al-Aqsa mosque burning soldiers during clashes in courtyards of the mosque on 8 March 2013.

Meanwhile, the so-called Magistrate’s Court extended yesterday the detention of two youths from Issawiya village, while releasing a third one on bail. The lawyer Mahmoud explained that the Magistrate’s Court extended the arrest of two young men Majd Darwish, 23, and Mohammed Darwish, 23, until next Wednesday, where they were charged with “throwing Molotov cocktails at the Hebrew University.” The court released the boy Mohammed Samir Obeid, 15, on bail of 1,000 shekels and turned him to house arrest for 20 days on charges of throwing stones.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Court convicts Palestinian of murder in Asher Palmer case

Ynet 2 Apr –  The Ofer Base Military Court convicted Tuesday Waal al-Araja, a member of the Palestinian security forces from Halhoul, of the murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son, Yonatan, in September 2011. Al-Araja, who was throwing stones from a moving vehicle toward Palmer’s car on Route 60, causing the father and son’s death, was also convicted in connection with a series of attempted murders of a similar nature. His sentence will be given at a later date.
link to www.ynetnews.com

VIDEO: Prison-smuggled sperm gives Palestinians hope

Nablus, West Bank (Al Jazeera) 2 Apr by Rania Zabaneh — Women with husbands serving long terms in Israeli jails have resorted to sneaking sperm out and getting pregnant — Dallal and Ammar al-Ziben’s eight-month-old baby boy will grow up to realise his parents were pioneers. Ammar al-Ziben was sentenced to 25 years in jail for allegedly having planned deadly attacks against Israel. That was 15 years ago. Despite the fact that conjugal visits are forbidden in Israeli prisons for the more than 4,800 Palestinians incarcerated there, Ammar managed to impregnate his wife from behind bars. A sperm sample was spirited out of the Israeli prison of Hadarim, and Dallal gave birth to Muhanned last August – the first baby born to a Palestinian prisoner through a combination of sperm-smuggling and in vitro fertilization (IVF). “Those were tough years until Muhanned came,” Dallal told Al Jazeera. “Muhannad brought life back to our house.”
link to www.aljazeera.com

Violence / Raids / Attacks / Arrests

Palestinian farmer hurt escaping settler attack

HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — A Palestinian farmer sustained bruises while fleeing an attack by a group of armed settlers near Hebron on Monday, a local official said. Four settlers carrying guns chased 45-year-old Jihad Salameh Makhamrah from his land east of Yatta, said Ratib al-Jubour, spokesman of the southern Hebron popular committee. While running away, Makhamrah fell in a rocky area and was treated for severe bruising in hospital.

Meanwhile, a group of settlers led by “terrorist Yaakov Dalia” attacked a group of shepherds in the same area, al-Jubour said. Dalia lives on an illegal outpost built on private Palestinian land and released his sheep in fields owned by 55-year-old Ziad Younis Abu Iram, according to al-Jubour. Abu Iram argued with Dalia, al-Jubour said, adding that Israeli police arrived and arrested the Palestinian shepherd.
link to www.maannews.net

Settlers attack a child in Jerusalem

IMEMC 1 Apr — The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, reported that a group of settlers attacked a Palestinian child in Ash-Sharaf neighborhood as he was heading to school, causing various injuries that required hospitalization. The center said that Sultan Al-Kiswani, 16, was walking from home to the Al-Rasheediyya school in Jerusalem when the settlers attacked him, and was moved to a local clinic before being moved to the Eye Hospital in Sheikh Jarrah.

The center added that settlers attacks witnessed a serious escalation especially on roads the Palestinians use to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the markets of the Old City of occupied Jerusalem. A few day ago, the settlers attack several Palestinian schoolgirls in Silwan as they were walking back home, and threw trash at them. The settlers also attacked a woman that rushed to help the schoolgirls, and attempted to remove her hijab.
link to www.imemc.org

Settlers attack Jerusalemite families; IOF arrests five, including a young woman

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 1 Apr — Jewish settlers attacked a number of Jerusalemite families in Hush Al-Shawish in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem on Sunday evening triggering confrontations between the two parties. Locals said that the settlers provoked the families into arguments that developed later on to fistfights and squabbles. They said that Israeli occupation forces arrived to the scene and rounded up five Jerusalemites including a young woman and a youth and his father.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Center: Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinians in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in a dawn raid on Silwan in East Jerusalem on Tuesday, a local center said. Tamer al-Abbasi, 22, and Musa Usama al-Abasi, 22, were detained during a raid on their homes, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center said. In both cases, their families were confined to one room as police dogs searched the homes. Israeli forces confiscated computers and cell phones and ransacked the homes, the center said in a statement.
link to www.maannews.net

IOF soldiers close suburb in Al-Khalil after injury of child

AL-KHALIL (PIC) 1 Apr — A 12-year-old Palestinian child was injured in his head after Jewish settlers from Kiryat Arba attacked Palestinian citizens in Jaber suburb east of the Ibrahimi mosque in Al-Khalil on Sunday night. Eyewitnesses said that the Jewish settlers threw stones and empty bottles at young men and children while playing soccer in the suburb injuring the child Saad Jaber.
They said that two hours of confrontations then erupted in the suburb and the Israeli occupation forces sealed off the entire neighborhood and banned traffic and movement of citizens.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

IOF soldiers arrest father and his son

BETHLEHEM (PIC) 1 Apr — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a child and his father in Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, during confrontations with inhabitants on the occasion of Land Day … The sources said that the soldiers arrested the 11-year-old child Saleh Mousa after breaking into his family home and searching it. They said that the soldiers detained his father with him when he tried to inquire about his son.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Relatives: Israel detains mother near Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Israeli forces detained a 27-year-old woman from her home in a pre-dawn raid in Doha, near Bethlehem, relatives said. Soldiers raided Hiba Bahjat’s home at 1.30 a.m. and detained her, her parents told Ma’an, adding that she is sick and needs treatment. Forces also confiscated the woman’s cell phone, computer and wedding album, the parents said.
Bahjat has two daughters, aged 5 and 7.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said six Palestinians were arrested overnight in raids across the West Bank. One person was arrested in Bethlehem, two in Tuqu‘, one person in Rummana, one in Hebron and another in al-Arrub refugee camp, she told Ma‘an.
In Tuqu‘, south of Bethlehem, locals said Tareq Abu Mefreh, 24, and Ayman al-Badan, 22, were detained. They said soldiers raided several homes in the village.
Residents of Rummana, near Jenin, told Ma‘an that 23-year-old Muhammad Mahajneh was detained in a raid on his home.

Israeli forces have increased restrictions at the Dotan checkpoint between Jenin and Tulkarem over the last week, searching cars and checking IDs, a Ma‘an reporter said.
link to www.maannews.net

IOF closes Beit Kahil bridge in al-Khalil, arrests a college student

AL-KHALIL (PIC) 1 Apr — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) closed on Monday morning Beit Kahil Bridge west of al-Khalil, preventing passengers and vehicles’ movement, conducting accurate inspections for one hour and a half. Eyewitnesses confirmed that the traffic was disrupted this morning, where many employees and students were barred access to their work places and schools. During the search process, the IOF arrested the university student Salman Mohammed al-Amla, 21, and they handcuffed him and took him to an unknown destination, before opening the bridge. Israeli patrols also conducted a combing and military operations west of al-Khalil next to the Apartheid Wall, local sources confirmed. Eyewitnesses confirmed that the combing and search operations still continued since several days in different parts in al-Khalil next to the Apartheid Wall amid intensive fire until dawn. The sources added that the occupation repeats its military exercises in the Palestinian residential areas west of al-Khalil, where they used, in some cases, helicopters and armored personnel carriers.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Israel arrests settlers over Palestinian shootings

AFP 2 Apr — Five Israelis from a wildcat settlement outpost in the northern West Bank were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of shooting and wounding two Palestinians in February, Israeli army radio reported. The suspects, from Esh Kodesh, near Nablus, were believed to have shot two men from the neighbouring Palestinian village of Qusra during a confrontation, the radio said, adding police found a weapons cache at the outpost in an overnight raid. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that five Israelis were arrested in connection with “anti-Arab incidents” in the Qusra area, but he did not elaborate. On February 23, Palestinian security sources and the Israeli military said settlers from Esh Kodesh used live fire on villagers and that two Palestinians were injured. There have been repeated clashes between the sides, each of which claims farmland between the two communities.
link to en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com

The occupation’s toll on one family in Burqa

Burqa (ISM) 1 Apr by Team Nablus — A brief visit to any family home in the occupied West Bank is sure to be a combination of warmth and tragedy as no person here has been immune to the brutality of the occupation that has dominated the lives of Palestinians for over 60 years. In the small village of Burqanear Nablus , we visited the Haj household , where 32 year old Ra‘ed has been rendered unable to speak, walk or talk after nerve gas was fired into the bathroom he was washing up in in 2002. The Israeli soldiers reached this bathroom by knocking through wall after wall of neighboring houses, which is common practice for the Israeli Occupation Forces. Despite also suffering from a brain tumor, Ra‘ed has been repeatedly denied permission to seek adequate medical facilities by the Israeli army. His mother and father now care for him, but worry who will continue to do so in the future.  Which relatives will be there to care for him in the future is unpredictable to say the least. His brother Muhammed is currently in the notorious Jalame prison after the Haj household was raided by the army at 2am. He is still awaiting charge or trial. Jalame prison is infamous for its harsh interrogations and solitary confinement in the dark. Muhammed also suffers from regualar migraines after he was shot in the head with a steel coated rubber bullet in 2005. The same illegal ammunition was fired at his friend which took out both of his eyes. In 1994 his home was also demolished to make way for the illegal Homesh settlement.
link to palsolidarity.org

PA security forces kidnap 4 Hamas members in W. Bank

WEST BANK (PIC) 4 Apr — The Palestinian authority security forces kidnapped four Palestinians affiliated with Hamas in BethlehemTubas and Al-Khalil, and refused to comply with a court decision ordering the release of a detainee. In Al-Khalil, the PA preventive security apparatus rearrested Alaa Azghir and his cousin Karam Azghir from their workplaces in the city. The preventive security in Bethlehem also detained a young man called Muhahid Jebril from Tekoa [Taqu‘] town and summoned ex-detainee Hasan Al-Wardiyan for interrogation.

The same security apparatus has been detaining Amir Hawtari from Huja in Qalqiliya city since last Friday. The detained young man was an ex-detainee in PA and Israeli jails. A PA security apparatus also refused the release of detainee Mohamed Zahid from its jail in Ariha. The PA intelligence agency in Tubas city, in turn, rejailed a young man from Hamas named Osama Sawafta who declared his hunger strike in protest at his arbitrary detention.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Gaza siege

Man dies of injuries from Gaza tunnel blast

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — A 30-year-old man from southern Gaza died Tuesday from injuries sustained in an explosion in a smuggling tunnel, medics said. Amer Abu Khamash, from Khan Younis, was seriously injured when a gas canister exploded in a tunnel he worked in under the Gaza-Egypt border on March 26. Three tunnel workers were wounded in the blast.
link to www.maannews.net

Photo Essay: Palestinians in Gaza make coal by recycling scrap wood

Mercury News 1 Apr — In adapting to years of border blockades and shortages, Gazans have become experts at recycling and making new out of old including turning scrap wood into charcoal to be used for barbecue grills and water pipes in local restaurants and coffee houses.
link to photos.mercurynews.com

Israel’s siege tips Gaza waste management to crisis point

GAZA CITY (IPS) by Eva Bartlett – “For the past five years we’ve collected garbage by traditional means: donkey and cart,” says Abdel Rahem Abulkumboz, director of health and environment at the Municipality of Gaza. The municipality alone produces 700 tons of waste daily, Abulkumboz says. More than half of this waste is collected daily by 250 donkey carts. “It’s a means of doing the job, but not an optimal one,” says Abulkumboz. Among the growing problems facing waste management throughout the Gaza Strip, even this simple solution nearly came to an end this month. “The funding allotted to garbage collectors finished at the end of February,” says Kumboz, noting that it is not slated to resume until June at the earliest. Hamada al-Bayari from the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that the emergency response came recently after the intervention of Cooperazione Internazionale, an Italian aid group. Bayari says that COOPI provided the funding for the waste collection to continue until the already-slated June funding begins.
link to electronicintifada.net

IOA closes Gaza sole commercial crossing for 4th day running

GAZA (PIC) 1 Apr — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) continued to close on Monday the sole Gaza commercial crossing of Karm Abu Salem for the fourth day running. Raed Fattuh, in charge of coordinating entry of goods into the Strip, said that the IOA informed his department with closure of the crossing on Sunday and Monday while it closes it on Friday and Saturday every week.
The IOA had closed Karm Abu Salem for 17 days in March for Jewish feasts and for security pretexts. The closure affects the life of one million and seven hundred thousand Palestinian inhabitants of the coastal enclave and leads to shortages in basic supplies in addition to fuel, gas, and constructions materials. It also affects quantity of aid delivered by UNRWA to more than a million Palestinians.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Egypt seizes fuel en route to Gaza tunnels

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Egyptian authorities on Monday seized diesel en route to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip, a security source said. Egyptian forces stopped a truck carrying 2,000 liters of fuel in Sinai’s el-Arish and arrested the driver. The driver told police he planned to smuggle the fuel into Gaza through tunnels in Rafah, an Egyptian security official told Ma‘an.
link to www.maannews.net

Protesters close UNRWA office at Gaza refugee camp

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Protesters on Monday closed an UNRWA office at al-Bureij refugee camp in a protest against cuts of services. The protesters forced staff of the UN refugee agency’s services office to leave, but there were no injuries or damage … They are not satisfied with UNRWA policies, especially concerning housing construction and shortages of medication. UNRWA has cut $10 for each beneficiary of aid for needy families, they said. Wajeh Hamas, one of the protesters, told Ma‘an that the demonstration was organized after they discovered that UNRWA was to cut aid for refugees. He noted that the protest started 10 days ago, and he said it would not end until UNRWA stops working “against refugees” and hires more staff from the camps.
link to www.maannews.net

Gender segregation now mandatory in Gaza schools

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip  (AP) by Dalia Nammari — Starting with the new school year in September, Gaza boys and girls in middle and high school will be breaking the law if they study side by side. Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers argue that the new legislation, mandating gender separation in schools from age nine, enshrines common practice. But women’s activists warned Tuesday that it’s another step in the Hamas agenda of imposing its fundamentalist world view on Gaza’s 1.7 million people. The Gaza rules appear harsh compared to Western practice but are not unusual in parts of the Arab and Muslim world. In Iraq, for example, boys and girls are required by law to study separately after age 12 … In conservative Palestinian society, the idea of gender segregation in schools from the onset of puberty is widely accepted. Even in the West Bank, run by a more liberal Western-backed self-rule government, most public schools separate boys and girls by fourth grade. But in the West Bank, separation is not mandated by law.
link to www.ajc.com

Political and economic developments

Mishaal elected again to lead Hamas

CAIRO (PIC) 1 Apr — The Shura Council of Hamas has re-elected Khaled Mishaal as head of the movement’s political bureau for another term, according to a Quds Press report. Quds Press quoted “well informed sources within the Hamas movement” that the Shura Council of the movement met in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Monday morning and re-elected Mishaal for another term by acclamation. The sources said that the majority of members of council insisted on Mishaal despite the fact that he insisted on being relived from the post for several months. The sources said that the stage requires that Mishaal remains in office and that Mishaal will be the head of the political bureau for the next four years.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Cautious Fatah welcome over Meshaal re-election

GAZA CITY (AFP) 3 Apr — Khaled Meshaal has been re-elected head of the Hamas movement, an official said, drawing a cautious welcome from the rival Fatah movement which rules the West Bank … His reelection was welcomed as a positive step by a senior member of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah movement. “Meshaal is a pragmatic person and may be more malleable than others in Hamas,”Fatah Central Committee member Mahmud Alul told Voice of Palestine radio. “This may help in pushing forth a number of political files and also internally to achieve reconciliation,” he said, referring to efforts to bridge years of bitter rivalry between the two Palestinian national movements. “All we want is a capable movement that can lead Hamas. There needs to be a leadership that can impose a political will — one approach and not contradictory ones — especially in terms of reconciliation and the overall Palestinian cause,” he said. There was no official reaction from Israel to his reelection, although public radio described Meshaal as a “pragmatist with charisma,” saying he represented “hardcore Hamas with a Western facade.” In recent years, Meshaal has modified his position adopting an implicit acceptance of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, although the Jewish state has remained guarded.
link to www.arabnews.com

Abbas says will only attend Cairo talks as sole representative

RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — President Mahmoud Abbas will attend a proposed Arab League meeting in Cairo if he is invited to represent the whole Palestinian people, he said Monday. “Once again I say that if we are invited to an Arab summit, we will go because we represent the Palestinian people, and nobody else should be invited to represent them,” Abbas said at a tree-planting ceremony in al-Bireh near Ramallah. At an Arab League summit in Doha last week, the emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called for a mini-summit to be held in Cairo to further Palestinian reconciliation. Al-Thani said representatives of Abbas’ Fatah faction and rivals Hamas would participate.
link to www.maannews.net

Fayyad suffers pancreatic swelling

RAMALLAH (AFP) 2 Apr — Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad was in hospital for an inflamed pancreas on Tuesday, a medic in Ramallah said, having been admitted the night before with stomach pains. “Medical tests and scans show that Fayyad is suffering from pancreatic inflammation,” a doctor at the hospital in the West Bank city told AFP. But his condition was “not serious,” the doctor said, adding he would likely leave the hospital after undergoing treatment and resting. The 61-year-old, a smoker who suffered a heart attack during a private visit to the United States in May 2011, could be kept at the hospital overnight for observation, the source added.
link to www.maannews.net

MP Masri: Hamas has strong relations with Egypt despite razing tunnels

CAIRO (PIC) 31 Mar — Senior Hamas official and lawmaker Mushir Al-Masri said that his Movement’s relations with the Egyptian army and intelligence agency are strong and solid regardless of the destruction of many tunnels in the Rafah border area. In a press statement to the Palestinian Information Center (PIC), Masri demanded the Egyptian leadership to bring hope to the hearts of the Palestinians in Gaza by providing alternatives to the tunnels which was imposed on them by the Israeli occupation regime. The Hamas official also called on the Egyptian leadership to activate the free trade zone project between Egypt and Gaza, affirming that its establishment would put an end to the tunnels. He expressed his Movement’s understanding of the Egyptian security worries about shouldering the burden of Gaza if this trade zone was established, stressing that such concern could be eliminated if the project was subject to regulations.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

After Israeli apology, Turkey dreams of new tourism boom

ISTANBUL (AFP) 1 Apr — The air-clearing apologies were both made and accepted. Now, Turkey’s tourism industry is holding its breath and hoping that Israel’s apology for a deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla will translate into a new love affair that will bring Israeli holidaymakers back to its beach resorts. “After the apology, I think we’ll reach 500,000 (Israeli) tourists this year,” said Timur Bayindir, the president of the Association of Hotel Owners in Turkey (TUROB), convinced that any grudges between the two allies were erased thanks to last week’s diplomatic breakthrough. And he is not the only one who is optimistic.
link to www.google.com

Palestinian refugees outside Palestine

16 Palestinian refugees including six children killed in Syria

DAMASCUS, (PIC)– A barrage of Grad rockets and mortar shells showered the Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus killing and wounding dozens of refugees. A statement by the action group for Palestinians in Syria on Monday said that 16 Palestinians were killed over the past 24 hours due to the Syrian regular army’s extensive shelling and sniper fire targeting refugee camps. It said that the bombardment targeted main streets and suburbs in Yarmouk refugee camp, adding that 30 Palestinians were also wounded in the attack including seven in serious condition … It said that a Palestinian woman and her four children were wounded in Syrian bombing of Al-Husseiniya refugee camp.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Egypt creates exception for Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria

PNN 28 Mar — As many as 9,000 Palestinian refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and seeking safety in Egypt have found that the host country is discriminating against them — a policy left over from the pre-revolution governments and upheld by the Morsi government…
Currently, a Palestinian refugee from Syria may only enter Egypt if they arrive directly from Damascus at Cairo’s airport — a condition that is highly unlikely to be met moving forward, as the Damascus airport has been routinely closed. Any Palestinian refugee arriving from Turkey or Lebanon or anywhere else is detained at the airport and pressure applied on them until they agree to return to Syria. When Egyptian authorities have forced these refugees onto planes back to Lebanon or Turkey, those authorities refuse entry and force them back to Egypt.

Once inside Egypt, however, Palestinian refugees from Syria are prevented from registering with UNHCR. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed that the Palestinians fall under UNRWA’s mandate, but Egypt is a territory over which UNRWA does not (and never has had) a mandate. Thus, Palestinian refugees are ineligible for residency, health care, food aid and other services and support provided by UNHCR to other refugees in the country. Egypt is bound by the 1951 Convention on Refugees and the subsequent Organization of African Union convention related to refugees. Yet, in the case of Palestinians, these are set aside.

Sanaa Ibrahim (20 years old) and Khaled Ibrahim (29 years old) are the latest victims of this discrimination. Arriving via Turkey, the brother and sister were detained at the airport for 30 days. On two occasions Sanaa was flown to Lebanon, but the Lebanese authorities refused to allow her entry and sent her back to Cairo. This morning Sanaa, Khaled and 3 other Palestinian refugees from Syria stuck at the airport, including a minor, were sent to Karatin Prison in Cairo, where they are effectively in a black hole. UNHCR is not allowed to have any access to them. Sanaa and Khaled have siblings who are citizens in Sweden and thus there is a strong case for emergency resettlement in Sweden. But because they are not permitted to register with UNHCR, there is no legal way to make the process begin for Sweden to consider resettlement.
link to english.pnn.ps

Other news

The month in pictures: March 2013

The Electronic Intifada 2 April
link to electronicintifada.net

Israeli conscientious objector to refuse IDF service for 8th time

Haaretz 1 Apr by Amira Hass — Conscientious objector Natan Blanc will go to the IDF Recruitment Bureau for the eighth time on Tuesday to inform the army his refusal to serve because of his opposition to the occupation. He is expected to be sentenced again for another period in military prison. Since first declaring his refusal upon being conscripted in November 2012, the military court has sentenced Blanc to seven prison terms . Altogether, he has served 116 days in jail, of which 11 days were taken off for good behavior.
link to www.haaretz.com

Video: Delegation of journalists tours occupied West Bank

Press TV 1 Apr –  The European Union leads a delegation of International journalists in order to introduce them the situation on the ground in Palestine. The tour began with a briefing by an E-U official, who described the difficulties, the Palestinians under Israeli occupation face on a daily bases, such as Israeli settlement expansions, checkpoints, the Apartheid wall and the lack of access to their natural resources. The group was then given a lecture by Palestinian independent politician Mustafa Barghouti, who described the type of violence the Palestinians enduring at the hands of Israeli army, particularly during non-violent demonstrations … The reaction from the journalists was that the media in their countries rarely show what’s happening on the ground, and that the Palestinian- Israeli narrative is usually represented as a fair struggle between the two sides.
link to www.presstv.ir

The brutality of the Occupation spreading to Israel?

71-year-old attacked for ‘driving slowly’

Ynet 2 Apr — Two young men, aged 25 and 26, were arrested Monday night on suspicion of physically assaulting a 71-year-old man in Herzliya. Apparently, the reason for the attack was the slow speed the elderly man was driving in … Tuesday, the Tel Aviv District Court remanded the two young men from Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan to house arrest after they allegedly pushed the man during a heated argument. During the confrontation the man felt chest pains and was hospitalized at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where he was diagnosed as possibly suffering from a heart attack; his condition is currently stable…

The event occurred just three days after Friday’s attack on a 79-year-oldHolocaust survivor – who was punched after asking a man’s children to stop destroying benches in central Holon – and two days after Saturday’s attack on a 75 year old – who was attacked because he had the ‘audacity’ to chide a couple for letting their dog loose in the children’s play area in his Herzliya neighborhood.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Israeli navy gears up for new job of protecting gas fields

Reuters 2 Apr — As natural gas starts flowing from Tamar field, Navy prepares for defending Israel’s new found energy independence from ‘every possible scenario’ — Israel’s huge new offshore gas resource offers its enemies an obvious target and gives its navy, long overshadowed by other branches of the Israeli armed forces, a big job that will require extra spending. On patrol boat 836, circling two gas platforms in choppy Mediterranean waters, Captain Ilan Lavi flipped through pictures of the possible threats: boat bombs, drones, submarine vessels, rockets and missiles.
link to www.ynetnews.com

A dozen IDF soldiers guard empty West Bank outpost while settlers take break for the holiday

Haaretz 2 Apr by Chaim Levinson — Israeli reserve troops spend Passover watching over a cluster of empty settler homes long designated for demolition while residents spend holiday elsewhere with their families … “We basically guard ourselves instead of being home,” says one soldier bitterly. They held seder in the mobile home and spent their time on patrol. “Where will we go?” says one. “This is what they told us to do. It’s absurd, but it’s the mission.”
link to www.haaretz.com

Analysis / Opinion / Reviews

Reading Palestinian prison diaries / Richard Falk

Palestine Chronicle 1 Apr — (The Prisoners’ Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag, edited by Norma Hashim, in close collaboration with the Centre for Political & Development Studies, Gaza, 2013) There are many moving passages that can be found in these excerpts from prison diaries and recollections of 22 Palestinians. What is most compelling is how much the material expresses the shared concerns of these prisoners despite great variations in writing style and background. A few keywords dominate the texts: pain, God or Allah, love, dream, homeland, steadfastness, tears, freedom, dream, prayer. My reading of these diaries exposed me to the distinct personal struggles of each prisoner to survive with as much dignity as possible in a dank and poorly lit circumstances of isolation, humiliation, acute hostility on the part of the prison staff, including abusive neglect by the medical personnel. The diaries also confirmed that even prolonged captivity had not diluted the spirit of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, but on the contrary had intensified it.  A strong impression of the overall illegitimacy of Israel’s encroachment on the most fundamental rights of the Palestinian people is also present on virtually every page … What I found most valuable about this publication was its success in turning the abstraction of Palestinian prisoners into a series of human stories most of which exhibit agonized feelings of regret resulting from prolonged estrangement from those they most love in the world. Particularly moving were the sorrows expressed by men missing their mothers and daughters …(The pdf version of Prison Diaries can be downloaded now for USD1.99 here. The printed book will be available at palestinemall.net from 17 April 2013.)
link to palestinechronicle.com

Prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia dies; son accuses PA of betrayal / Linah Alsaafin

EI 2 Apr — …We’ve witnessed the protests fuelled by anger over Muhammad al-Salaymeh’s death in Hebron last year; he was killed on his 17th birthday (12 December) by an Israeli border official. We’ve seen the protests as they rippled mostly from Hebron when Arafat Jaradat was killed. These waves of anger — with protests closely monitored by Palestinian Authority security forces and intelligence officers — subside almost as quickly as they begin. And we find ourselves — those who are outside of the prison cells and “free” — shackled and mute. We utilize social media as a platform to furiously denounce the collaborative role the PA plays in ensuring Israel’s security at the expense of our people. Yet we remain silent on the ground, helpless and drowning in a sea of PA complicity. Meanwhile the prisoners — who spend their youths locked up behind bars, banned from their loved ones, who use every weapon they have from hunger striking to disobedience to resist against their occupiers — seem more and more like the liberated ones.There is no question that the road to liberation passes through the PA compound of the muqata‘a. The PA and the Israeli occupation are two sides to the same coin. They both must be annihilated.
link to electronicintifada.net

25 years on: What did Israeli settlers learn from the first Palestinian intifada? / Chaim Levinson

Haaretz 1 Apr — When the first intifada broke out, in 1987, peace as the settlers in the territories knew it died. Up until then, the settlers had marketed themselves as an important security force, as the spiritual heirs to the Zionist pioneers who came to this land in the Second Aliyah ‏(wave of immigration to Palestine, between 1904 and 1914‏). The settlers claimed that Israel’s future could be secured with the power of the plowshare. When they spoke about genuine good-neighbor relations with the Palestinians, they were not talking like the leftists who sat in the cafes of Tel Aviv. They spoke about shopping in Palestinian markets and employing Palestinian workers. What they offered was an alternative to the model offered by the Israeli left: Instead of an independent state, argued the settlers, the Palestinians would be given autonomy, and their economy would be dependent on the pockets of rich Israelis. However, the outbreak of the intifada left those ideas in the garbage bin of history. It suddenly became clear that the Palestinians really did want an independent state of their own. The boiling cauldron of the West Bank, whose contents the Shin Bet security service and Israel’s Civil Administration tried to stir but to keep from boiling over, was overflowing, and the settlers’ plan collapsed.

What pulled the carpet out from under the settlers’ feet was not the violence in the West Bank … The Palestinian popular uprising changed the strategic situation in the West Bank for other reasons. First of all, Israeli troops were moved en masse into the northern West Bank to put down the uprising, and regional brigades of the Israel Defense Forces were created both there and in the Gaza Strip. The number of soldiers, most of them reservists, stationed beyond the country’s pre-1967 borders was multiplied a hundredfold. It was at this point that Israelis began asking themselves, “What the hell are we doing here in the first place?”

link to www.haaretz.com

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Restriction of movement

Visualizing Palestine: End $ 30 Billion of Military Aid to IsraHell

NOVANEWS

 

Source: Visualizing Palestine

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Visualizing Palestine: End $ 30 Billion of Military Aid to IsraHell

Council of the National Interest: Many of the Most Serious Dangers Facing Americans Today Stem From Our “Special Relationship” With IsraHell

NOVANEWS
 

 

Many of the most serious dangers facing Americans today stem from our "special relationship" with Israel

 

Our uniquely massive support for Israel has cost trillions of dollars and multitudes of lives. It has diminished our moral standing in the world, lessened our domestic freedoms, and exposed us to unnecessary and growing peril.

 

The majority of Americans – as well as our diplomatic and military experts – oppose this unique relationship. Yet, the lobby for Israel continues to foment policies that are disastrous for our nation and tragic for the region.

If we are to have Middle East policies that serve the national interest, that represent the highest values of our founders and our citizens, and that work to sustain a nation of honor, decency, security, and prosperity, then it is essential that all Americans become active and informed. Below are the facts:

American taxpayers give Israel over $8 million per day

stacksofmoney

(See report from Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress):

This to a nation of about 7.5 million people – smaller than New Jersey. Israel has received more American money than any other nation on earth. It is more than we give to all the starving countries of Africa put together.

From 1950-53 Israel’s financial influx from the U.S. was one billion dollars; Israel at that time had 1.6 million inhabitants

In the past 40 years, American taxpayers have given Israel approximately $200,000 per Israeli family of five.

This costs us even more:

US aid to Israel is given in a lump sum at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Since the US is operating at a deficit, this means that we borrow the money, give it to Israel, and then pay interest on it long after it is gone.

Israel, on the other hand, makes interest from it. Congress has mandated that Israel’s aid be immediately deposited to an interest bearing account with the Federal Reserve Bank.

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Additional financial costs: $3 trillion

* About $1.5 billion to Egypt and $843 million to Jordan is dispensed annually under arrangements made to induce these countries’ friendly relations with Israel.

* Billions of dollars have been lost to U.S. manufacturers because of the Arab boycott engendered by Israeli actions.

* Enormous and continuing costs to U.S. consumers of petroleum, which surged to such heights that it set off a world-wide recession during the Arab oil boycott imposed in reaction to U.S. support of Israel in the 1973 war.

There are a multitude of such costs.

report by an economist commissioned by the Army War College in 2002 to analyze the situation in full found that the total cost to Americans over Israel’s 60+ years has been $3 trillion.

Americans have a higher unemployment rate than Israel and 10 million families are reportedly sliding into foreclosure; yet Americans continue to give tax money to Israel.

us-caskets

On top of this are the costs of the Iraq war:  hundreds of thousands of lives & over $3 trillion

The costs of the the Iraq war, which was promoted by Israel partisans, are almost incalculable and are still growing.

The war added trillions of dollars to the federal debt, and this doesn’t include future health care and disability payments for veterans.

Economists report that the global financial crisis was due, at least in part, to the Iraq war.

The same parties are pushing for a similar attack on Iran.

AIPAC

The Lobby for Israel overrules US experts

U.S. policies in the Middle East rarely reflect U.S. interests and values.

Instead, over the objections of a multitude of State Department and Pentagon analysts, they are largely driven by a variety of factors:

1. Special-interest lobbying.  Fortune Magazine rates one of the many lobby organizations working on behalf of Israel, AIPAC, as the second most powerful lobby in Washington. Many analysts consider the pro-Israel interest group the most powerful lobby in our nation. It consistently drives U.S. policies, to the detrimet of Americans.

By the late 1960s Senator William Fulbright found that U.S. aid to Israel was being secretly william fulbright

funneled back to lobbyists in the U.S., who would use it to lobby for still more U.S. money to Israel.

The U.S. justice department and other agencies have often attempted to enforce U.S. laws

2. Israel partisans in the U.S. government and media: The efforts of a growing number of individuals with close ties to Israel (some are neoconservatives, others are neoliberals) who often hold key positions in U.S. administrations, the State Department, Pentagon, and media.

The US Ambassador to Israel stated that all US Middle East policies are predicated on their effect on Israel. This is a highly inappropriate practice and one that is replicated in no other region. US policies should be based on American interests and priorities, not those of a foreign nation.

3. Campaigns by pro-Israel funders to engender Islamophobia: to create fear and hatred of Muslims, a highly diverse population of 1.5 billion people whose faith is one of the three Abrahamic religions and who worship the same God as Christians and Jews.

4. Israeli-centric news reporting by the U.S. media consistently misportrays the current situation and the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

5. Hollywood movies and television shows, which often play a significant role in shaping attitudes and beliefs. These shows, frequently produced by individuals with ties to Israeldepict Arabs and Muslims almost always negatively, Jews and Israelis almost never negatively, and Christians both positively and negatively.

[Interestingly, the oil and weapons industries are not responsible for our relationship with Israel. In fact, at times these industries have lobbied against U.S. support for Israel, which undermines their ability to do business in the region.]  

Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard

Israel promotes its own interests, which is the right of any nation.

However, this is done at the expense of Americans who fund it.

There is considerable evidence that Israel is not the close ally many Americans believe it to be:

* The GAO has reported that Israel conducts the most intense spyingoperation against the U.S. of any of our presumed allies. Israel features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.”

* Intelligence experts consider Jonathan Pollard the most damaging spy in US history. For years Israel denied any connection to Pollard; now it actively lobbies for his release. (CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who used to work for the Israel Lobby, wrote a book about Pollard that “senior Israeli Defense Department officials are understandably pleased with.”)

* Israeli forces have killed and injured numerous Americans. Rarely, if ever, have there been significant consequences.

* Israel has stolen U.S. technology, and passed it on to other nations, some of them U.S. adversaries.

libertyposter2-lowres

The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty

In 1967 Israeli forces attacked a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Liberty, killing 34 Americans and injuring 174.

An independent commission in 2003 by extraordinarily high-ranking U.S. military officers and officials found that

Israel had commited an act of war against the United States,

the US President had recalled rescue aircraft, and that

the President had ordered a cover-up on the incident.

These statements, recorded in the Congressional Record, were not reported by U.S. news media.

Israeli ethnic expansionism has caused regional misery, instability, and continual conflict.

Israeli aggression (Israel initiated all of its wars except one) and its violations of international lawhuman rightsconventions, and UN resolutions, have created enormous hostility against it throughout the world. The US, as Israel’s number one funder, is increasingly imperiled by hostility created by Israeli actions.

nuclear blast

Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons poses considerable danger both to the region itself and far beyond.

it has refused to sign the nuclear proliferation treaty and the British American Security Information Council has found that in Israel “nuclear weapons are being assigned roles that go well beyond deterrence.”

While US intelligence agencies have so far found no indication that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Israel’s possession of these weapons, combined with its history of aggression, create a compelling motivation for other nations in the region to acquire them for deterrence.

israel-war-crimes-in-gaza

Israel frequently uses American weapons in violation of US laws, killing and maiming large numbers of civilians, women, and children.

Since this is funded by American tax payers, and shielded by the U.S. government, it is causing dangerous hostility toward the U.S.

Damage to civil liberties and the American way of life

This dangerous and unnecessary peril (diplomats note that before Israel the US had no enemies in the region) has caused Americans to tolerate dangerous infringements on our liberty and violations of our Constitution

.TSA searches child

This is causing deep damage to our character as a nation.

Deeply intrusive and potentially carcinogenic airport scanners (promoted by former Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff, who makes money off them), offensive “pat-downs” of our women and childrenabrogations of our nation’s most fundamental legal principles are just a few of the direct and indirect results of our Israel policies.

statue of liberty

A secure, prosperous, and honorable America

We would be far safer and our nation far healthier by heeding the wisdom of George Washington, the father of our nation:

“…nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.”

These policies create tragedy and destruction abroad and at home. It is time to change them.

 

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Council of the National Interest: Many of the Most Serious Dangers Facing Americans Today Stem From Our “Special Relationship” With IsraHell

President Obama’s Second Term – Selling Death and Buying Assassins In the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia

NOVANEWS
Posted by:  

Introduction: As President Obama enters his second term with a new Cabinet, the foreign policy legacy of the past four years weighs heavily on their strategic decisions and their empire-building efforts. Central to the analysis of the next period is an evaluation of the past policies especially in regions where Washington expended its greatest financial and military resources, namely the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.

 

We will proceed by examining the accomplishments and failures of the Obama-Clinton regime. We will then turn to the ongoing policy efforts to sustain the empire-building project. We will take account of the constraints and opportunities, which define the parameters resulting from imperial military ambitions, Israeli-Zionist influence in shaping policy and the ongoing anti-imperialist struggles. We will conclude by examining likely polices and outcomes resulting from current strategies.

The Clinton-Obama Imperial Legacy: The Accomplishments

The greatest success of the Obama-Clinton (OC) imperial legacy was the virtual elimination of organizeddomestic anti-war dissent, the demise of the peace movement and the co-optation of virtually the entire ‘progressive’ leadership in the US – while multiplying the number of proxy wars, overt and covert military operations and ‘defense’ spending. As a result, the entire political spectrum moved further to the right toward greater militarization abroad and increased police-state measures at home.

Facing mass revolts and the overthrow of long-standing client regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, the Obama-Clinton (OC) Administration moved rapidly to reconfigure new client regimes while preserving the state apparatus – the military, intelligence, police, judicial and civilian bureaucracy. The empire dumped incumbent regimes in order to save the repressive state, the key guarantor of US strategic interests. Washington reminded its client rulers that ‘There are no permanent alliances, there are only permanent imperial interests’. Washington successfully engineered a political pact between conservative Islamist leaders and parties and the old military elite.

The new political blocs in Egypt upheld Israeli annexation of Palestine, the brutal blockade of Gaza and the neo-liberal economic order. Washington repeated the ‘reshuffle of clients’ in Yemen and Tunisia. The OC intervention temporarily aborted the pro-democracy, anti-Zionist and anti-corruption popular revolt. The OC policies secured a temporary respite, but the subsequent effort by Egypt to secure an IMF loan has led to a stalemate amid deteriorating economic conditions and rising political protest. The successful imposition of new client regimes amenable to US hegemony in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, in the face of popular revolts, marked the beginning of a series of favorable political-military outcomes in the region for the OC regime.

Facing Israeli annexation of ever-widening swaths of Palestinian land and the end of any pretense of ‘peace negotiations’, Washington continued to provide Israel with massive military assistance, modern weapons systems and unconditional political support in the UN. By submitting to Israel the OC regime succeeded in retaining the political support of the domestic Zionist power configuration (ZPC). The OC regime’s economic handouts supported the puppet Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as it policed the West Bank for Israel. Despite losing the vote to seat the Palestinians as a non-voting member in the UN, Washington succeeded in blocking full membership. The OC regime succeeded in fulfilling its role as Israel’s handmaiden, despite opposition from the vast majority of UN members.

The OC regime succeeded in tightening sanctions on Iran, by securing Russian, Chinese and Arab League support, without provoking a potentially destructive war. The US sanction policy toward Iran is largely designed and implemented by key Zionist appointees in the Treasury (formerly Stuart Levy, now David Cohen) and in Congress, by legislators bought and directed by the powerful America-Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

The US, under Obama-Clinton, destroyed the independent nationalist Gadhafi government via a joint air war with the EU and tried to set up a client regime. In turn, Libya became a key recruiting ground for violent Islamist mercenaries invading Syria and weapons depot supplying Islamist terrorists. The OC regime’s military success in Libya was part of a general strategy to accelerate the expansion of US and European military operations in Africa. This includes setting up drone bases and promoting African mercenary armies from Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia to expand imperial control in Somalia, Mali and elsewhere.

In the Gulf region the US succeeded in propping up the autocratic Bahrain monarchy, as it killed and jailed opponents and outlawed the mass pro-democracy social movement among its oppressed Shi’a majority population. The OC regime successfully secured Gulf state financing for the Libyan and Syrian wars.

In Iraq, the US has succeeded in dividing the devastated nation into fragments of warring fiefdoms, Shi’a, Sunni, Kurd and subsets of each. It succeeded in destroying a once modern and secular society, an advanced economy and independent nationalist regime. Initially the OC regime hoped to establish a client outpost in Iraq from which to secure Washington’s wealthy petro-clients in the Gulf, especially among the patrimonial dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

Washington, in alliance with other NATO powers and its Gulf state clients, succeeded in converting a peaceful civilian protest movement in Syria into a full scale civil war and military invasion, increasingly dominated by armed Al Qaeda ‘internationalists’. The US-EU-Gulf State-Turkey-Israeli alliance has armed, financed, trained and advised Islamist and mercenary terrorists to effectively destroy the Syrian state, society and economy, dispossessing and uprooting a million refugees across the border and resulting in the death and injury of hundreds of thousands.

The US promoted invasion of Syria has seriously weakened one of the last governments defending the Palestinians, opposing Israeli colonization of the West Bank and providing a refuge for persecuted Palestinian leaders. By virtually destroying the Syrian state, the OC regime has driven a wedge between Hezbollah, the leading nationalist force in Lebanon and its ally Iran, while tightening the military encirclement of Teheran and exerting cross-border pressure against Iraq. A brutal Islamist regime in Syria will replace the secular state with prospects of massive ethnic cleansing against minority populations, especially Christians and Allevis.

Obama and Clinton successfully expanded the drone assassination program throughout the Middle East and South Asia, killing more civilian non-combatants than suspected adversaries especially in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

The OC regime successfully imposed the presidential doctrine of killing of US citizens via drones with the support or acquiescence of the US Congress, judiciary and most of the mass media and without a shred of judicial due process. Accompanying the license to assassinate civilians via drones, Obama/Clinton successfully expanded the use of Special Operations death squads, dispatching them to seventy countries to assassinate political adversaries, destabilize independent governments and bolster client regimes.

The OC regime has spent tens of billions of dollars and succeeded in building a 350,000 man mercenary army in Afghanistan to defend US strategic interests, sustain its military bases and destroy the nationalist-Islamic opposition (‘Taliban’). OC hoped to cover Washington’s retreat from the combat front. Despite the military build-up and in the face of a sharply deteriorating military situation in Afghanistan, the OC regime has been negotiating with political sectors of the ‘Taliban’, to dump the current client ruler, Karzai, and ‘reshuffle the regime to save the state’, hoping to pull-off a coalition-collaborator Islamist-military regime such as has been shoe-horned in place in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

Vulnerability and Failures of the Obama-Clinton Legacy

The apparent and real empire-building successes of the Obama-Clinton regime are fraught with vulnerabilities and are based on fragile political and socio-economic foundations. Temporary tactical gains reveal strategic weaknesses and high military costs without commensurate imperial economic gains.

The Obama-Clinton counter-revolutionary offensive and its political military successes are driven by a military conception of empire building without a shred of economic thinking. It is not surprising that many of the key decision-makers promoting military-driven empire building are militarist ideologues and Zionist policy-makers, who specialize in utterly destroying adversaries (of Israel) and not in promoting or protecting US imperial oil, manufacturing and service interests.

A telegraphic point-by-point analysis and critique of the major policy interventions of the Obama-Clinton regime highlights strategic weaknesses and failures, even in areas that the empire-builders currently celebrate as ‘successes’.

While the OC regime succeeded in procuring close to fifteen billion US tax payer dollars in tribute payments to Israel, they failed to secure a neo-colonial settlement of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, even one based on conceding a truncated part of the West Bank composed of disconnected enclaves (‘Bantustans’). As a result of the total dominance of US Middle East policy by the Zionist power configuration (representing less than 1% of the US populace), the OC regime was repeatedly ‘humiliated’ by their Israeli overlords.

The supremely confident, beefy Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu launched and flaunted massive new exclusive Jews-only colonial settlements on Palestinian land, despite near universal condemnation, knowing he could count on the veto power of Washington in the United Nations and its political leverage over EU allies and Arab clients. Strategically, the OC regime’s deep links to the Zionist power configuration includes the appointment of Israel Firsters to top positions in the US foreign policy establishment. These appointments ensured that Israeli interests would continue to determine US policies in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region. The Zionist appointees designated which political clients would be acceptable and which adversaries would be targeted for destruction. The OC regime’s biggest failure as US empire-builders was their inability to achieve independence from the Zionist incubus and accommodate the emergence of new socio-political forces as well as its failure to reap economic gains commensurate with its budget-busting military expenditures.

The successful imposition of new client regimes in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) is a short-term victory, based on force and the continuation of the authoritarian repressive state apparatus. The introduction of regressive neo-liberal policies will doom this short-term success. If the US ‘won’ the first round in the ‘Arab Spring’, its client rulers face a more radical social upheaval, one which goes beyond the earlier anti-dictatorial struggle and which explicitly targets the US, EU and the IMF. The new clients’ prospects of achieving stability via economic recovery are virtually non-existent. The full implementation of the OC-IMF agenda of ending popular food and fuel subsidies, increasing regressive taxation and wide spread privatizations will create a powder-key among the Arab masses. Under pressure from new waves of mass uprisings against brutal neo-liberal economic policies, the Arab clients’ US-mandated complicity with Israel may end.

The OC regime’s successful overthrow and assassination of President Gadhafi was accompanied by the utter destruction of the Libyan nationalist state, its economy and social fabric. The OC policy of total war has produced a miserable, lawless, chaotic society ‘headed’ by powerless expat neo-liberals at the top and run by local tribal chiefs, Islamist thugs and criminal gangs on the ground. They specialize in running guns, dispatching armed mercenaries abroad (especially to Syria), trafficking in migrant workers, drugs and sex slavery. The oil industry enclave has partially recovered but few if any oil profits make it to the US. Meanwhile, even US Embassy personnel (including the Ambassador) have been murdered and visiting US officials only travel in heavily armed conveys. Instead of a political victory, Washington has lost a potential oil partner for its own extractive industry. One might say the only real ‘beneficiary’ of the US-EU war to destroy Libya was Israel: Gadhafi had been a staunch ally and supporter of the Palestinian people. The invasion of Libya led to the massive displacement of armed ethnic communities, which has exacerbated conflicts in resource-rich sub-Sahara neo-colonies.

The Zionist power configuration, embedded in Congress, Treasury and inside the OC regime, has succeeded in imposing new and harsher economic sanctions on 75 million Iranians in support of Israel’s goal of ‘regime change’ in Teheran. However, the effect has been to strengthen the unity of the ethnically diverse Iranian population, especially when overt military threats, emanating from nuclear-armed Israel, are amplified by the White house and the Zionist-occupied US Congress.

Iran’s peaceful nuclear program continues; oil and gas sales to China, Japan, India and Korea and Pakistan continue. A new billion-dollar gas pipeline agreement with Pakistan has been signed. Iran has replaced the US as the major foreign influence in Iraq.

In other words the Obama-Clinton diplomatic success (‘sanctions against Iran’) have not enhanced US power nor achieved any strategic goals. Moreover Zionist-designed sanctions have had a negative effect on US energy prices and oil company profits. The OC regime’s policy toward Iran has ‘succeeded’ in maintaining Israel as the only nuclear power in the Middle East, a goal of Tel Aviv.

Obama and Clinton’s success in expanding outposts, missions, drone platforms and mercenary armies in Africa has been costly, politically destabilizing and has not prevented large-scale long-term Chinese economic penetration in the most lucrative resource sectors of the region. The US may have closer ties with African generals and dictators; its bankers come and go; but capital flight out of Africa accompanies inflows of US foreign aid. While the OC regime were building drone platforms, thousands of Chinese miners, investors, construction and transport companies were establishing an economic empire that over time will enhance China’s power, long after the US military empire has collapsed.

The OC regime claims ‘military victory’ in Iraq when, in fact, what we see is ‘defeat via retreat’ on the ground. The US has spent $2 trillion dollars in order to overthrow and execute the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The Bush and Obama-Clinton regimes have made absolute fools out of the entire executive branch of the US government by justifying the war on the basis of crudely manufactured intelligence (falsely claiming the existence of weapons of mass destruction) through a series of lies cooked up by Israeli-collaborators in the Pentagon, White House and New York Times (especially the infamous propagandist Judith Miller).

The end result is a failed state: savage ethnic-religious divisions, millions of dead, displaced and injured, daily terror bombings against a brutalized population, and a great leap backward in terms of Iraq’s economic, scientific and social development. In political terms, Iraq is now ruled by a thuggish Shia elite closely tied to Iran – which is the biggest beneficiary of the US invasion of Iraq and principal adversary of US empire building. The OC regime’s post-war Iraq is composed of an overwhelmingly hostile population, a divided and fragmented country pitting Arabs against Kurds, where the most qualified and educated have been driven out or assassinated and entire ancient Christian communities have been obliterated. The OC regime claims to ‘success in Iraq’, in fact, show a weakening of the overall US presence in the Gulf region. Economically, Turkey has become Iraq’s main trading partner with trade growing by double and triple digits each year.

In other words, the US invasion of Iraq destroyed an adversary of Israel, broke the US economy ($2 trillion and counting), increased the influence of Iran and handed Iraq’s petro-dollar consumer market and lucrative reconstruction contracts over to Turkey. The Obama-Clinton regime’s claims of military victory ring hollow in the empty coffers of the US Treasury – where are the ‘spoils of this imperial war’? Most of the intellectual authors of the invasion of Iraq have departed from the US government and are now comfortably ensconced within Zionist think tanks (propaganda mills) in Washington or flaunt lucrative ‘consultant’ contracts in Wall Street and Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, the American taxpayers are left to struggle with an enormous war debt and to grieve the several hundred thousand American casualties – soldiers who lost their lives, limbs and minds – all for a blatant lie perpetrated at the behest of a foreign power, Israel.

The people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria – serial victims of the US-EU military machines and their Islamist mercenaries – face an increasingly militarized Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, out of which new wars are already emerging, like pus from festering wounds. In Libya, the US and EU diplomats cringe in their bunkers and travel only in armed convoys, the consequences of their ‘humanitarian’ imperial-Islamist alliances.

As the US and EU supply arms to Islamist terrorists and murderous gangsters who plunder Syrian cities, decapitate captured government soldiers and execute civilian suspects (civilian government functionaries, such as school teachers), Syria’s diverse secular society is on the brink of extinction. Islamist fanatics bristling with advanced weaponry bought by the Saudi monarch and Gulf petro-oligarchs capture sophisticated Syrian cities and impose medieval Sharia law on what was one of the region’s most diverse and sophisticated secular societies.

The large communities of Alewites, Orthodox and Syriac Christians, Kurds and educated secular Syrians face mass extermination or expulsion by Saudi-funded Wahhabi fanatics. The EU-US backed ‘secular’ clients (mostly ex-pat Syrians with US or UK passports) serve as propaganda cover for the armed Islamists thugs and mercenaries. Authoritarian Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, himself a ‘soft-core’ Islamist, provides bases, training, and logistical support for the Syrian invasion. Turkey has become the Islamist pivot for fundamentalist power taking over Syria and the Levant. Islamist terrorist violence is spilling over the border into Lebanon today, Jordan tomorrow and may eventually lead to multiple wars involving vulnerable Gulf clients.

Yes, the Obama-Clinton regime undermined an independent, secular, nationalist adversary in President Assad and by doing so they destroy an advocate of Palestinian self-determination, but the ultimate results will not favor US imperial military, economic or diplomatic interests. The OC regime’s wars have destroyed US commercial prospects for decades ahead; the victory of their mercenary Islamist ‘rebels’ is setting in motion a more virulent armed version of Al Qaeda with a territorial base and access to immense quantities of modern weapons in areas contiguous to US client regimes.

The OC regime claim to have discovered a low-cost (in terms of American blood) technique to project US military power: killing anti-imperial opponents by drone and Special Forces. According to the OC regime’s strategists the advantages of assassination by drone warfare is that it would not result in the death of US combat soldiers and the Special Forces, whose high-intensity, low visibility operations are ‘off-budget’ would not elicit any public or legislative scrutiny. But drones have become highly visible, even to the usually complacent and highly myopic US Congress and are routinely condemned even by client regimes in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The United Nations has publically condemned drones as civilian casualties have far exceeded the number of so-called ‘terrorist’ targets. Most experts agree that drone assassinations have vastly increased the number of opponents and facilitated the recruitment of resistance fighters. Drone warfare has increasingly isolated client regimes like Yemen that permit US drone attacks against its citizens. The strategy of foreign policy by ‘drone and death squad’ has not replaced the need for ground troops in the task of empire building. Once US troops do withdraw, its mercenary armies have proved incapable or unwilling to obey US advisors, trainers or Special Forces.

The clearest expression of the failed strategy is the rising number of defections from Afghan security forces and the killing of NATO and US officers by Afghan soldiers and officers – even those with the highest security clearance. This infiltration into the highest ranks of the Afghan military and police points clearly to the near-future demise of puppet Karzai regime. The various ministers in the Afghan client regime and their banker cronies know they have no chance of surviving a post-US withdrawal situation: they have multiple passports in hand and millions in stolen funds stashed in Gulf State bank accounts; their families are safely housed abroad; and their private planes are ready to take off at a moment’s notice.

We may witness the panic scenes at the US Embassy, reminiscent of the last days in Saigon (Viet Nam), with local ‘small-fry’ collaborators clamoring to board the ‘last flights out’ before the advancing Taliban insurgents – if our jaded media even bother to cover the debacle. The current attempt by the US to strike a face-saving deal with the ‘political Taliban’ (under auspices of ‘our friends’, the Saudi autocrats) has infuriated our current puppet in Kabul, Hamid Karzai. As a result he is publically condemning Special Forces operations and their arbitrary killing and torture of villagers, as well as US drone attacks against Afghan civilians.

The OC regime’s overtures to the Taliban have so far failed because the sine quo non-condition of the Islamist nationalists is the total withdrawal of all US military and civilian occupation forces: in other words an unconditional collapse of US power in Afghanistan. The Taliban do not need to offer Obama a ‘face-saving’ formula allowing for a ‘residual’ US presence. As the withdrawal proceeds, more and more Afghan military officers will switch sides, dumping the losers and building bridges toward the new rulers. If the US decides to reverse course and retain ‘garrison bunkers’ in Afghanistan, they will face a continuing and deepening war of attrition under conditions of growing budgetary constraints and US electoral hostility.

Results and Perspectives: The Obama-Kerry-Hagel (OKH) Era

The Obama-Kerry-Hagel (OKH) regime has few imperial assets with which to confront the next four years of US empire building and has powerful constraints against devising strategic innovations or even tactical advances, capable of limiting US losses.

The most significant obstacle to any shift from costly and ineffective military-driven empire building to economic and diplomatic informed policies is the influence of the Zionist power configurations (ZPC) over the ‘troika’ (OKH) and the Congress. The new Israeli coalition regime is even more extreme and militarist, as indicated by the powerful presence of a radical settler-colonist party intent on violently annexing what remains of the Palestinian West Bank. The effective Israeli veto over US foreign policy in the Middle East is enforced by the Presidents of the Major America (sic) Jewish Organizations (representing over 50 powerful Zionist groups) that exclude any possibility that the Obama-Kerry-Hagel regime can even paste a tiny fig leaf ‘peace process’ onto Israel’s accelerating seizure of Palestinian land. The OKH regime, under war-mongering ZPC tutelage, will never attempt any reasonable negotiations with Iran.

The OKH regime is openly committed to entering a war on Israel’s behalf, if the Jewish state unilaterally decides to attack Teheran. Obama’s visit to Israel, and his obligatory ‘consultation’ with leading Jewish-Zionist leaders prior to the trip, was designed ‘to fix’ the White House agenda: US lock-step conformity with Netanyahu’s policy of provoking war against Iran and Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands. The Zionists have even dictated Obama’s own body language toward Netanyahu: no public spats, only smiles and handshakes, the lapdog US President agreed. If anything, the OKH regime will be even more servile to Israeli demands over the next four years because the Zionist occupied US Congress has given Israel a ‘free hand’ in deciding US foreign policy in the Middle East, including the timing of war and the substance of negotiations.

Obama’s newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew are unconditional lifetime Zionists who can be expected to advance economic sanctions against Iran in hopes of strangling its economy and provoking a military confrontation.

Given Washington’s costly commitment to Israeli war plans and the constraints of US budget cuts, the new OKH regime will try to ‘coordinate’ policies with the other NATO powers, including sharing material resources and devising complementary strategies in counter-insurgency operations in sub-Sahara Africa, Islamist mercenary operations in Syria and managing ‘Muslim–neo-liberal’ regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Kerry’s visit to Europe was designed to strengthen inter-imperial efforts and especially to bolster French ‘Socialist’ President Hollande’s imperial war policies in Mali and Niger and the ‘Franco-Saudi’ efforts against Syria.

Under pressures from the puppet Syrian mercenary army invading Syria, British Prime Minister Cameron and French President Hollande, the OKH regime will step-up the flow of US arms in an attempt to forestall the advance of the Wahhabi Islamist terrorists who have effectively taken over regions of Syria with backing from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the other Gulf petro-dictatorships. The great fear in Washington is that its modern weapons will not just contribute to overthrowing the secular nationalist Assad regime but will put in power a new Al Qaeda-type regime on the borders of the most vulnerable client rulers in Jordan and Lebanon.

An Islamist fundamentalist Syria could serve as a ‘headquarters’ and trampoline for cross border attacks on US bases throughout the region. Israel will finally annex the strategic Syrian ‘Golan Heights’, which it has occupied since 1967, on the pretext of protecting itself from the Islamist it worked hard to put in power. The Kurds will try to seize regions of Northern Syria as part of ‘Greater Kurdistan’, to Ankara’s consternation. Turkey will traffic its ‘gentler’ version of ‘Islamist nationalism’. Washington, London and Paris will be unable to enthrone their London-based ex-pat clients in Damascus … The OKH regime may have ousted the secular, nationalist President Assad but it will certainly reap the whirlwind of long-term bloody strife pitting regional powers, rival clients and Al Qaeda terrorists all intent on pillaging the war-ravaged Syria.

Faced with its dubious prospects in Syria, unable to secure a deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan and impotent to regain influence over Shi’a Iraq, the new OKH regime will make an effort to bolster the military-Islamist regimes in Egypt and Tunisia by co-opting sectors of the liberal secular opposition. This won’t be an easy task given the growing socio-political polarization. Washington’s prospects for consolidating a new set of client regimes will be severely tested by its support for brutal IMF demands on Morsi to eliminate popular food and fuel subsidies – a policy guaranteed to provoke large-scale rioting among impoverished Egyptians and even the threat of a mass national uprising, uniting secular leftists and poor Muslims. The key concern in Washington is that the ouster of its Islamist client Morsi might jeopardize Egypt’s subservient deal with Israel to enforce the economic blockade of millions of Palestinians in Gaza and to accept the Jewish State’s seizure of more Palestinian land in the West Bank.

So far the OKH regime has relied on the combined repressive power of the intact Mubarak military, police and intelligence services to prop-up its client Morsi. But in a pinch, if he falls, the US may try to reshuffle the deck and seek a new set of ‘liberal’ political clients or impose an outright military dictatorship on the Egyptians.

In Obama’s never-ending pursuit on behalf of Israeli interests, his new Secretary of State John Kerry made a point of directly attacking Prime Minister Erdogan for equating Zionism with fascism as soon as he landed in Turkey. While his ham-fisted tirade made little headway in achieving a Turkish-Israeli reconciliation, Obama convinced Erdogan to accept a pro-forma apology from Netanyahu. Erdogan now has to face the political reality that 90% of the Turkish people clearly oppose Israel’s savage repression of the Palestinians. In the meantime, Turkish capital has been the main beneficiary of the US military-imposed ‘partition’ of Iraq. Turkish traders and oil speculators dominate the market in Iraqi ‘Kurdistan’.

The US may have wasted hundreds of billions of dollars in the invasion but the Turks have made many billions in profits from a war they did not support and immensely increased Turkey’s regional influence. The OKH regime can do nothing about Turkey, an opponent of Washington’s Iraq invasion, reaping huge profits from that $2 trillion-plus investment of US treasure and blood. The OKH regime may have secured Erdogan’s support for the violent overthrow of the Assad regime in Syria … but it will be for Turkey’s own hegemonic interests. Erdogan’s interest in overthrowing the secular-nationalist Assad is based on his plans to establish a compliant client Islamist regime in Damascus and market to be dominated by Turkish business leaders and policy makers. Erdogan has taken a page from the Israeli playbook of manipulating the US military machine for its own regional interests and profit.

Washington will continue to rely on Saudi and Qatari financing of mercenary armies and Islamist terrorists to destabilize and invade anti-imperialist regimes but with the caveat that the battle-hardened mercenaries are also fanatics – profoundly hostile to the US and the EU.

Qatar’s billions of petro-dollars are like a venereal disease, ‘here, there and everywhere’, infecting a region through the funding and arming of Islamist terrorists in tandem with NATO missiles and bombs to destroy Gaddafi’s nationalist welfare state in Libya, savaging the independent secular government in Syria and providing billions of dollars to prop up the puppet Islamist regimes in Egypt and Tunisia (Financial Times, 3/19/2013, p.7). Qatar’s autocratic monarchy enriches its extended royal family and the foreign imperial protectors – namely the US and UK, in exchange for buying and distributing weapons to Islamist mercenaries attacking independent nationalist regimes.

The OKH regime will retain the presence of its naval armada in the Gulf and its training missions and military bases in order to prop-up the decadent Gulf petro-monarcho-dictatorships. However, the entire Gulf-US complex could become the scene of a grisly military conflagaration if the extremist Israeli regime decides to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran and provoke a generalized regional war. As it stands, the stability of the entire US-Gulf oil alliance rests on the whims of a ‘third party’ (Israel) and its Fifth Column embedded in the US Congress and Executive branch.

Conclusion

Obama’s second term depends on a precarious set of alliances, conditioned by the decisions of a fanatical ultra- militarist foreign power (Israel) and subject to a rising tide of mass pro-democracy movements in an arc extending from Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen over to Pakistan. Moreover, many of the crucial outcomes are beyond the control of the US White House. The OKH regime does not control the mass movements in North Africa and the mercenary Islamists currently taking over Syria are sworn enemies of both Washington and Damascus. Washington may retain, within a shrinking budget and in concert with the EU, the power to brutally destroy independent regimes. However, in the process they rip the very fabric of complex societies and shatter their economies, thus undermining their own capacity to reap the economic spoils of imperial conquest. Indeed the main ‘booty’ extracted from Washington’s imperial wars has derived from the US Treasury, as rapacious contractors, corrupt politicians and US military officials pillage billions of US taxpayer dollars in ‘aid and reconstruction programs’ for themselves.

A 2011 report from the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated that defense contractors had wasted or lost to fraud as much as $60 billion dollars – or $12 million a day since 2001 (Financial Times, 3/19/2013, p. 4). The biggest military contractor ($39.5 billion dollars) is Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton – formerly run by George W. Bush’s Vice President Richard Cheney. Cheney was a co-architect of the Iraq war along with the Pentagon Zionists Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Corrupt war profiteers and Zionist Fifth Columnists (for Israel) teamed up to pillage the US Treasury for self-enrichment and to destroy Iraq, a key ally of Palestinian liberation and consolidate what Obama hails as Israel’s military supremacy in the Middle East.

The legacy of the Bush regime and Obama’s first term is one of pyrrhic military victories: an Iraq shredded by sectarian wars and the reversal of half a century of socio-economic, educational and scientific progress under a secular nationalist government. The OKH regime cannot undo the growing ties between Iraq and Iran. Nor can they reverse the growing commercial, gas and energy ties between Iran and Pakistan. The US has secured greater Israeli military links with NATO and the European Union, but a growing popular European and North American boycott against Israeli good and investments is taking its toll on the Jewish state.

The Obama-Kerry-Hagel regime shows no sign of making even a partial break with costly policy of ‘military driven imperialism’ in the Middle East and North Africa. Moreover, it lacks economic resources to prop up its new clients in North Africa. While they scurry to fund the current brutal war against Syria, they will have to prepare for new wars against Lebanon and Iran. The OKH regime will have to rely on low-cost, high-risk, mercenary warfare in Syria. It will try to carve out defense perimeters around its political and petroleum enclaves in Libya. It will have to concede even greater economic and Islamist ideological influence to Turkey. Above all, it will need to appease the Jewish State’s annexation of the West Bank, under pressure from the ZPC!

The old RCA Victor Company marketed its Victorolas, ancient phonograph players with huge horn-like amplifiers, with the image of an attentive dog sitting before the machine in eager anticipation of ‘his master’s voice’. The recent trip by the Obama to Israel evokes such an image. Obama’s speech to Jewish students in Jerusalem included such ecstatic praise of everything Israeli or Jewish that he exceeded any propagandistic AIPAC press release, surpassed any fabrication by Netanyahu and embellished (almost to the point of caricature) every racist myth of Jewish superiority. He lauded Israel as a ‘land of peace and democracy’ in the face of 45 years of brutal military rule and expropriation of 60% of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

He spoke of ‘negotiations without conditions’, a euphemism for giving Israel the green light to annex what remains of Palestinian land in the West Bank. He praised Israel’s creativity and courage in founding the Jewish State, ignoring the violent ethnic cleansing and expulsion of over 850,000 Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians. He spoke of Israeli technological genius, forgetting that Israel’s main exports are weapons of massive destruction. No US leader, past or present (or any other imperial ruler), has so faithfully echoed and embellished the lies of such a bloody colonial power and its US-based Fifth Column with greater fervor than Obama’s degrading effort to satisfy his Zionist handlers in Washington. His performance far exceeded their highest expectations of US servility. In style and substance he fulfilled and over-fulfilled their demands for unconditional US subordination to the Jewish state. In fact, one might suspect that in doing so he set a new standard for the boot-licking belly crawl so familiar to observers of US Congressional servants to Israel. Needless to say, the entire Zionist propaganda apparatus from neo-cons to liberals were ecstatic. Here was a Shabbat goy out-Zionizing the most fanatical Zionist.

The day Obama spoke in Jerusalem will be remembered as a day of shame for all Americans who believe in freedom and dignity and peace with social justice. To listen to the President of the United States grovel before a racist colonial power is degrading. It was also a day of anger for the five billion people of the world who have broken their chains of colonial racist oppression. Obama has made his choice: His administration will have to live with this for the next four years.

The OKH regime’s attempt to penetrate Africa via military missions and the promotion of Pan-African mercenary forces will require an accommodation of France’s rising imperial militarism. It will have to acknowledge China’s increasing economic supremacy in Africa’s extractive sectors, infrastructure and trade. The OKH regime’s ‘pivot to Asia’ involving trans-Pacific free trade agreements excluding China, military bases encircling Beijing and encouraging Japan’s provocation over disputed territory has had no impact on China’s economic growth and burgeoning trade relations. China’s trade with Asia now surpasses its trade with the US. The two way flow of investments into and out of China trump all the OKH regime’s offshore war mongering. The OKH regime’s Asian ‘pivot’ has failed to produce any imperial economic rewards for Washington’s coffers. However, it has incited greater military tensions between Japan and China and between North and South Korea. This is occurring at a time when the Pentagon faces major budget cuts and US Treasury Secretary Lew is trying to drum up greater trade with China.

In sum, the past military commitments, the links to Israel, the legacies of political failures in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fragility of new client rulers mean that the OKH regime will play an increasingly marginal economic role in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The Obama-Kerry-Hagel troika will do their best to salvage the US military bases and political influence among autocratic petro-states in the Gulf.

Posted in USAComments Off on President Obama’s Second Term – Selling Death and Buying Assassins In the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia

Elias Akleh: Obama’s “Listening” Trip to the Middle East

NOVANEWS
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President Obama has just concluded his visit to the Middle East that included Israel, occupied Ramallah, and Jordan. The declared purpose of the visit was to listen to the concerns of the heads of states in an attempt to devise some means to revive the peace process. The real undeclared purpose of the visit is to re-instate Israel’s international status that had suffered increased isolation and criticism.

United Nations Children Fund issued its investigating report of Israeli army abuses of young Palestinian children and accusing it of grave violations of international humanitarian laws.    Fourteen members of the UN Security Council had condemned, last December, Israel for advancing the construction of the illegal settlements (colonies) in occupied West Bank and Palestinian East Jerusalem stating that such plans undermine their faith in Israel’s willingness to negotiate with Palestinians.  A General Assembly resolution was issued on January 14th 2013 calling on Israel to end its settlement (colonies) expansions declaring such activity as illegal. Many Israeli diplomats and pro-Zionist American politicians had expressed their concern about the increasing worldwide criticism of Israel, even among its supporters, for its settlement (colonies) expansion plans in the West Bank.

Statements of the members of the new Israeli government had shown that this government is the most extremist since the illegal establishment of the state. The new Israeli government had declared its major goal of enlarging the illegal settlements (colonies) and achieving a million Jew on occupied West Bank. Besides expansionism its members have no vision of any possible peace with Palestinians or even negotiating with them. Danny Danon, for example, the new Israeli deputy defense minister vowed to expand settlements (colonies) stating that US and the rest of the world will have to get used to see increased settlement construction. He also sees that there is no Palestinian peace partner to talk to. Avigdor Leiberman, leader of Yisrael Beitenu, stated that “anyone who thinks peace can be reached with the Palestinians is delusional.”  Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Orthodox right-wing Jewish Home party, emphatically declared: “The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel.”

There was nothing in Obama’s trip  he had done that he couldn’t have done while in his oval office in the White House except his affirmation to the whole world that in the eyes of his administration Israel can do nothing wrong despites its state terrorism, and violations of international laws and basic humanitarian rights. While in Israel Obama told the Israelis: “The US is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend … to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our nations, to restate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security … our alliance is eternal, it is forever.” In his statements Obama has ignored the many facts that Israel is not really a true friend rather a covert enemy to the USA.  The reality is that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that conducted terrorist attacks against the US despite it being America’s spoiled bastard state. The Israeli’s had conducted terrorist attacks known as the Lavon Affair, against American cultural centers, libraries and post office in Egypt in the 1954. In March 2005 Israeli President Moshe Katzav honored who were called “Israel’s Heroes of Lavon Affair

Another of Israeli terrorist attack and declaration of war against the US was 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Israel had also spied and most definitely is still spying on the US. The case of the Israel spy Jonathan Pollard is very well known. Ron Olive, Chief US investigator of the case, stated that “No one in the history of the US who spied … came close to causing the colossal damage Pollard did to our national security.” Even Secretary of defense at the time (Jewish) Casper Weinberger said: “Pollard’s spy case was the most damaging spy case in the entire history of America.” Pollard caused the murder of hundreds of American agents in Eastern Europe.  Israeli spying on the US is described by Dorothy Rabinowitz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, as “activities that go on every day in Washington, and that are clearly protected under the First Amendment.” Her statement came describing the spying activities of Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former top officials of AIPAC.

The most devastating Israeli terrorist attack and a declaration of war against the US is the false flag attacks of 911 that eventually got the US involved into many proxy wars for Israel in the Middle East such as Iraq war. The internet and youtube are full of analytical documents and movies by scientists and political analyst debunking the official story and pointing to Israel as the prime suspect and perpetrator of the attack.

Yet instead of retaliating against Israel Obama’s administration, similar to many previous administrations, gives Israel more tax money, badly needed locally, and more weapons. The only reason the US has enemies in the Middle East, in Africa, in South East Asia and in the whole Islamic world is because of American unconditional support to terrorist state of Israel. With a friend such as Israel the US does not need any enemy.

While still in Israel Obama pressured Netanyahu to call Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan offering Israeli apologies and compensations for the death of nine Turkish citizens, who were murdered by Israeli army during their raid on a Turkish flotilla while delivering humanitarian aid to besieged Gaza. Although the apology was not really official and vague, and Israel did not lift the siege on Gaza as conditioned by Erdogan himself, Erdogan accepted the apologies despite the criticism of many Turkish politicians such as MK Muhamad Shereen and Minister of Labor Yeshar Ouquan, who consider such move as an American pressure to unite both countries against Syria and eventually against Iran.

Obama’s visit to Ramallah was a “quicky”; disrespecting, threatening and bribing. He treated the Palestinians as aliens to the land as reflected in his speech to the Israelis where he stated that this land (Palestine) is “… the historic homeland of the Jewish people”  where “More than 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people lived here, tended the land here, prayed to God here, and after centuries of exile and persecution, unparalleled in the history of man, the founding of the Jewish State of Israel was a rebirth, a redemption unlike any in history.” What more do Palestinians need to hear to understand that Obama is actually an ardent Zionist.

Obama’s disdain to the Palestinian was reflected in him not visiting the tomb of Yasser Arafat when on the Israeli side he visited the tombs of Zionist Theodor Herzl, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yad Vashem.

In his speech to the Palestinians Obama rudely told them not to object to illegal Israeli expanding colonization program of their land because this condition will hamper peace talks. Such condition Obama, himself, had asserted in his Cairo 2009 speech. He looked them in the eye and lied to them that he still believes in the Two State Solution knowing very well that the Israeli policies and the Israeli colonial expansions had made such a solution an impossible reality. He stated that as long as the US exists the Israelis would not be alone, and urged the Palestinians, and the Arabs, to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state because denying that right is like denying the existence of heaven and earth.

Obama talked much about his concern for Israeli security but nothing about Palestinian security.  He ignored the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that would have guaranteed Israeli security and normalization with all Arab states if Israel withdraws to 1967 borders. It seems that he equates Palestinian sovereignty to Israeli security.

Obama needed to deal with the Palestinian Authority on two main issues. The first is the PA, as a non-member observer stat at the UN, had threatened to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its illegal settlements in the E1 area of the West Bank. The second is the PA’s reconciliation attempts with Hamas that would put more pressure on Israel. During his visit Obama has warned Abbas against any reconciliation with Hamas, and had pressured him not to take any legal action against Israeli bribing him with a potential $500 million in US aid; some crumbs compared to billions of dollars and tons of sophisticated weapons Obama grants to Israel.

Obama’s mission in Jordan was to assure King Abdullah’s cooperation and support to the anti-Syrian coalition. He stated that Assad has “lost all legitimacy”, and that his fall was not a question of “if, but when.” He pledged to give Jordan $200 million ostensibly in aid for the Syrian refugees, but in reality as payment to the king for providing the US a base where it’s military can train anti-Syrian terrorists.

Obama joined UK and French official in accusing Syria of using chemical weapons, an accusation is intended to be used as a justification for US/NATO forces attacking Syria. The British envoy to the UN, Ambassador Mark Lyall, stated that the use of chemical weapons is an abhorrent act and would require a serious response from the international community.  Sadly this allegedly humane international community did not respond either when US/NATO forces used white phosphorous, chemical and DU weapons in Iraq especially in the Fallujah massacre and in Basra, nor when Israel had also used chemical, DU and white phosphorous weapons against Gaza. They act only in proxy wars for Israel.

Posted in Middle East, USAComments Off on Elias Akleh: Obama’s “Listening” Trip to the Middle East

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