Archive | August 16th, 2013

Zionist settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.

NOVANEWS

by James M Wall

The illegal Israel settlement of Gilo. Credit: Baz Ratner for Reuters

The illegal Israel settlement of Gilo. Credit: Baz Ratner for Reuters

 

The first session of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel.

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat will represent their respective sides.

U.S. envoy Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, will chair the meeting.  A second working session is planned for “later this month” in the West Bank city of Jericho.

In the hours leading up to Wednesday’s opening session, signs were not good for a successful conclusion to the talks.

Possibly with encouragement from the U.S., Israel agreed to release a proposed 126 Palestinian prisoners currently held in its military prison. This action made it difficult for the Palestinian Authority to stay away from the talks.

The release of prisoners was resisted within the Israeli public, which is still chafing over the release of 1027 Palestinian prisoners in 2011 in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held for five years by Hamas.

To demonstrate that Israel was in no danger of giving away the store, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on the eve of the talks that the Israeli government would issue 2000 housing permits for construction in existing Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

The first 26 Palestinian prisoners who were released Tuesday night were all arrested, charged and imprisoned by military courts at some point between 1985 and 2001

Palestinian released prisoners are well aware they will not be entirely free.  They remain in constant danger of being returned to prison at the slightest provocation.

Mairav Zonszein, a Jewish journalist who moved from New York to Israel, is blunt in her assessment of the prisoner release:

Releasing Palestinian prisoners is primarily symbolic – considering that Israel remains the controlling power, choosing who and when it releases and re-arresting as it pleases, whenever it pleases.

At the same time it announced the names of the first prisoners to be released, Israel displayed a disdain for the talks by announcing new construction in a wide range of settlements.

Zonszein, who writes for the Israeli liberal 972 website, provides the sordid details:

Something like 2,000 new units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – some in final approval stages before building begins and others at the start of the tender process – have been announced in the last few weeks. The construction published today enumerates 400 new units in Gilo, 210 in Har Homa and 183 Pisgat Ze’ev — all settlements beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem. In the West Bank, it was made up of 117 units in Ariel, 149 in Efrat, 92 in Ma’aleh Adumim and 36 in Beitar Ilit.

With details like these, it should be obvious that plans for this new settlement building were developed over a long period of time.  The government’s formal announcement was timed to assuage the right-wing politicians who strongly oppose the release of Palestinian prisoners, an old political tactic of releasing good and bad news on the same day.

It is also important to note that the Gilo’s 400 new units and Har Homa’s 210 units increase the populations in settlements on each side of the highway that connects Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  Ma’aleh Adumim, a much older settlement, is on the highway between Jerusalem and Jericho. (Additional earlier Gilo construction is shown in the photo above.)

Instead of delaying or postponing the talks, Secretary of State John Kerry gave Israel the usual diplomatic pass in spite of Israel’s arrogant and self-defeating behavior.

Traveling in Colombia, according to the Reuters news service, Kerry “told reporters that while some movement on the settlement front had been expected, the wave of announcements may have been ‘outside of that level of expectation’”.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat was less sanguine. Stunned by the size of the new construction, he warned:

“If the Israeli government believes that every week they’re going to cross a red line by settlement activity … what they’re advertising is the unsustainability of the negotiations.”

The New York Times editorial page deplored the Israeli tactic of pairing the prisoner release with the housing expansion announcement:

This balancing act may have made sense in the narrow world of the Knesset. But, in the broader world beyond Israeli domestic politics, giving the green light to more settlement construction in contested territory is not just untimely but a fresh cause for pessimism about the prospects for successful peace negotiations.

One of the main reasons Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to the “peace talks” was to demonstrate to an increasing number of outside critics that he was willing to reach out to the Palestinians.

Announcing the housing settlement “tenders” (permission to construct) did not play well on the world stage that Netanyahu hoped to cultivate. The Omar Tribune reports:

Palestinians, Russia and the European Union (EU) on Monday slammed the Israeli approval of new settlement construction as a move aimed at “preventing” peace talks to be resumed on Wednesday.

“It is clear that the Israeli government is deliberately attempting to sabotage US and international efforts to resume negotiations by approving more settlement units three days before the … Palestinian-Israeli meeting,” Palestinian negotiator Mohammed Shtayeh said.

“Israel is attempting to prevent negotiations from taking place on Wednesday.”

“Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s spokesman Michael Mann said.

Stephen Walt, veteran foreign policy analyst, is not optimistic about the talks.  He does, however, hope for the best. In a recent piece for Foreign Policy, Walt offers words of encouragement to Secretary of State Kerry.  Here are excerpts of Walt’s analysis:

What does U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry think he’s doing? Kerry may not be Mr. Charisma, but he’s not stupid. So why has he chosen to put himself on this well-worn path to failure? No doubt it is partly because he knows unconditional U.S. support for Israel and the continued colonization of Palestinian land is deeply damaging to broader U.S. interests. No doubt he understands that current trends threaten Israel’s long-term future. . . . . .

Here’s what I think may — repeat, may — be going on and why it is still misguided.

First off, even hawkish Israelis are worried about the “demographic problem,” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent warnings about the “one-state solution” reflect that concern. Serious Israelis are also worried about their eroding image worldwide, and the European Union’s largely symbolic decision to ban grants to Israeli entities on the West Bank is an important bellwether in this regard. Even a passionate advocate of “Greater Israel” — which Netanyahu surely is — might see some value in cutting a deal now, especially if he thinks he can get one that is heavily skewed in Israel’s favor. . . . . .

My fear: Even if a deal is somehow reached and the doves fly across the White House lawn nine months from now, it won’t be a true end to the conflict. If the terms are blatantly one-sided and if Israel continues to seek concessions from its far weaker Palestinian neighbors, the deal will not produce a lasting peace. Instead, it will be but a temporary respite, and conflict is likely to resume at whatever point in the future the balance of power shifts.

In his The Second World War, Winston Churchill summarized the “Moral of the Work” in four Churchillian phrases: “In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.”

The victors in the long conflict between Zionist Israelis and Palestinian Arabs would be wise to heed those maxims, and if I were John Kerry, I’d spend a lot of time over the next nine months reminding them about the last two.

As the peace talks begin, it is important, I believe, to give John Kerry as much room to maneuver as he needs to reach his goal of a successful peace agreement in nine months.

He is on a difficult assignment.  He must persuade Palestinians to settle for less than they fairly deserve. And he must deal with a recalcitrant Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who knows he has the U.S. Congress in his hip pocket.

That control of the U.S. legislative body by the leader of a foreign nation was confirmed with all of its dark implications when on May 26, 2011, Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

Gideon Levy, a courageous Israeli columnist for Ha’aretz, wrote a column in which he told his Israeli readers, and those American readers who ought to be paying attention, just what he felt about his prime minister’s performance in his address to the U.S. Congress.

Here is the opening section of what Levy had to say about that May 26, 2011 Netanyahu speech:

It was an address with no destination, filled with lies on top of lies and illusions heaped on illusions. Only rarely is a foreign head of state invited to speak before Congress. It’s unlikely that any other has attempted to sell them such a pile of propaganda and prevarication, such hypocrisy and sanctimony as Benjamin Netanyahu did yesterday.

The fact that the Congress rose to its feet multiple times to applaud him says more about the ignorance of its members than the quality of their guest’s speech. An Israeli presence on the Jordan River – cheering. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel – applause. Did American’s elected representatives know that they were cheering for the death of possibility? If America loved it, we’re in big trouble.

The fact that the only truth spoken in the Capitol was that of a former Israeli shouting “equal rights for Palestinians” is a badge of honor for us and a mark of shame for America. Netanyahu’s “speech of his life” was the speech of the death of peace.

This is the Israeli leader about whom Levy writes, the leader with whom John Kerry must relate as he works toward an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.  Kerry needs our prayers and our support. The way forward is dark. God speed, Mr. Secretary.

        The picture at top is from the Gilo Settlement. It appeared in Jewish journal.com.  It was taken by Baz Ratner for Reuters.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Zionist settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.

Spinning the IsraHelli/Palestinian Peace Process

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Don’t expect Times editors to explain. Managed news misinformation substitutes. It’s longstanding Times policy.

by Stephen Lendman

New York Times editors, correspondents and contributors do it as well as anyone. They deceive regular readers in the process. 

Illusions substitute for facts. Pro-Israeli bias reflects longstanding Times policy. The worst of occupation harshness goes unreported. Settler violence is ignored. Palestinians are blamed for Israeli crimes.

Friel  Falk Cover

In their book titled “Israel-Palestine on Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East,” Richard Falk and Howard Friel said: 

“The Times regularly ignores or under-reports a multitude of critical legal issues pertaining to Israel’s policies, including Israel’s expropriation and settlement of Palestinian land, the two-tier system of laws based on national origin evocative of South Africa’s apartheid regime, the demolition of Palestinian homes, and use of deadly force against Palestinians.” 

What’s suppressed matters more than what’s reported. Systematic Israeli state terror goes unmentioned. Militarized occupation’s not an issue. Nor is international law guaranteed right of return.

Kafkaesque control dominates Palestinian life. Millions of long-suffering Palestinians are prisoners in their own land.

They’re held in bondage. They’re virtual hostages. They suffer largely out sight and mind. They’re persecuted. They’re exploited. They’re brutalized.

Don’t expect Times editors to explain. Managed news misinformation substitutes. It’s longstanding Times policy.

Hardline Israeli control’s reflected in numerous ways. International law protections don’t matter.

Over 2,500 military orders cover all aspects of Palestinian life. They include criminal, civil, political, economic, social, military and security issues.

Military Order 101 (Regarding Prohibition of Incitement and Hostile Propaganda Actions as amended) forbids gatherings of more than 10 Palestinians without advance IDF notice and permission.

Palestinians are prohibited from demonstrating. They can’t express views freely. They’re forbidden from engaging in peaceful protests. Displaying Palestinian flags, banners and symbols is criminalized.

Other orders authorize military tribunals without appeal, sweeping searches and seizures, land confiscation, settlement expansions, home demolitions, closed military zones, administrative detentions uncharged, exclusive Jewish development, checkpoints, resource exploitation, border closings, isolated communities, and virtually everything else affecting daily life.

Order 1650 (Prevention and Infiltration) and Order 1949 (Security Provisions) were issued in October 2009.

They’re amendments to 1969′s Order 329 (Order Regarding Prevention of Infiltration).

They call Jordanians, Syrians, Egyptians and Lebanese entering Israel “infiltrators.” They’re subject to arrest, imprisonment and/or deportation.

Israel’s longstanding policy to seize all parts of Judea and Samaria it wishes puts Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem residents at risk.

Israeli military commanders can dispossess them. They can expelled them. They can issue a decree to do so.

It facilitates colonization and apartheid. It’s a ruthless form of social, economic, political and military control. It violates fundamental international law. It doesn’t matter. Militarized control enforces policy.

Repressive ghettoization reflects daily Palestinian life. Orders, rules, regulations, and permits govern the following:

 

  • permitted home and village construction;

 

  • building permit restrictions;

 

  • home demolitions for code violations;

 

  • land theft for Israeli “public purposes;”

 

  • agricultural restrictions;

 

  • crop destruction for violations;

 

  • licensing and inspection of Palestinian businesses;

 

  • closures anywhere, any time, for any reason.

 

  • movement and travel restrictions within and outside the country; as well as

 

  • numerous other politically motivated orders, rules, regulations and guidelines.

 

They deny fundamental civil and human rights. Israel claims otherwise. It spurns international laws and its own.

It ignores dozens of UN resolutions. They condemn and/or censure Israel. They deplore its longstanding lawlessness. They demand observance of rule of law principles. 

It doesn’t matter. Israel does what it pleases. It gets away with murder. It does so because international leaders don’t intervene. 

They ignore Palestinian rights. They hang them out to dry. They let Israel use intimidation, violence and belligerence. Israel’s police state apparatus operates as an instrument of social control.

It institutionalizes repression. It furthers colonization and apartheid. It denies fundamental freedoms.

It mocks democracy. It facilitates permanent conflict. It traumatizes children. It reveals Israel’s dark side. It prevents peace.

Not according to New York Times editors. On July 25, they headlined “Inching Forward in the Mideast,” saying:

Israel offered concessions, they claim. So did PA officials. John Kerry’s optimistic. Future prospects are “unpredictable.”

 

“Consequences of inaction (are) increasingly grave.”

 

“No good can come if Israel, with its growing Palestinian population, evolves from a Jewish majority state to an Arab majority state; if disenfranchised Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza remain stateless in an increasingly restive region; and if the long sought dream of a Palestinian state is left to die.”

Palestine’s already a state. It’s been one since November 15, 1988. The PLO adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.

It includes all sovereign state rights. It qualifies for full UN membership. Israel deplores peace. It’s “inching” toward greater control.  Don’t expect Times editors to explain.  

Don’t expect them to demand occupation harshness end. Don’t expect truth and full disclosure. Longstanding pro-Israeli bias matters more.

Times columnist Roger Cohen is one-sidedly pro-Israeli. On August 12, he headlined “One-State Dream, One-State Nightmare.”

He deplores advancing Palestinian rights. Only Israel’s matter. It shows in his writing.

On the one hand, he abhors one nation for all its people. Israel’s an ethnocracy. It’s the only developed country enforcing longterm lawless occupation.

It’s the only one allowing one religious group rights. It’s the only one persecuting 20% of its people. It does so for praying to the wrong God.

It’s the only one enforcing Jewish supremacy over other religious and ethnic groups. It’s the only able to do for decades with impunity.

Cohen calls one state for all its people “a seductive illusion.” One state, he claims means “the end of Israel as a Jewish state, the core of the Zionist idea.”

“Jews will not, cannot and must not allow this to happen.”

“They have learned how dangerous it is to live without a certain refuge, as minorities, and will not again place their faith in the good will of others, nor trust in touchy-feely hope over bitter experience.”

They do so in America. They do it comfortably. They do so in other Western societies. Why not in Israel? Cohen didn’t explain.

Before Balfour’s 1917 declaration, Jews and Arabs lived peacefully with each other. They did so for centuries.

At issue isn’t Arab/Jewish hostility. It’s racist state policies. It’s belligerent ones. It’s state-sponsored terrorism. It’s police state repression.

It’s supporting wrong over right. It’s government of, by, and for privileged elites. It’s fostering hate. It’s prioritizing war. It’s spurning peace.

Cohen and likeminded ideologues proliferate false notions. They believe in Jewish exceptionalism. They call Jewish suffering unique. 

They believe Jews are “God’s chosen people.” They think Zionism’s inherently righteous. They ignore its dark side.

They call Israel an “extraordinary success story.” Extremist zealots govern. Militarism’s prioritized. So is state-sponsored terrorism.

Big Lies substitute for truth and full disclosure. Peace, equity and justice are considered “delusional fantas(ies).” So is Israeli democracy. It exists in name only.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Spinning the IsraHelli/Palestinian Peace Process

Mark Dankof’s America

Mark Dankof’s America Aug 14, 2013

by crescentandcross

Mark interviews Merlin MIller, president of Americana Pictures.

mda-aug-14-2013.mp3

Download Here

THANK YOU FOR ASSISTING WITH THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH PRODUCING THIS PROGRAM

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Snowden: NSA targeted journalists critical of government after 9/11

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jewisheye

thehill.com

Leaker Edward Snowden accused the National Security Agency of targeting reporters who wrote critically about the government after the 9/11 attacks and warned it was “unforgivably reckless” for journalists to use unencrypted email messages when discussing sensitive matters.

Snowden said in an interview with the New York Times Magazine published Tuesday that he came to trust Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who, along with Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, helped report his disclosure of secret surveillance programs, because she herself had been targeted by the NSA.

“Laura and [Guardian reporter] Glenn [Greenwald] are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, and resulted in Laura specifically becoming targeted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures,” Snowden said for the article, a profile of Poitras.

Snowden didn’t detail how Poitras was targeted by the NSA surveillance programs he disclosed, but suggested the agency tracked her emails and cautioned other journalists that they could be under surveillance.

“I was surprised to realize that there were people in news organizations who didn’t recognize any unencrypted message sent over the Internet is being delivered to every intelligence service in the world,” he said. “In the wake of this year’s disclosures, it should be clear that unencrypted journalist-source communication is unforgivably reckless.”
Snowden, who at one point in the interview referred to himself as “famously paranoid,” said he came to trust Poitras because she was one of the few journalists “to challenge the excesses of the government” during a time of “heightened nationalism.”

“After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in American abdicated their role as a check to power – the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government – for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism,” he said.

“From a business perspective, this was the obvious strategy,” he continued. “But what benefitted the institutions ended up costing the public dearly. The major outlets are still only beginning to recover from this cold period. Laura and Glenn are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics.”

Earlier this month, the Russian government granted Snowden temporary asylum. The U.S. government wants the NSA leaker sent back to face trial on espionage charges.

Posted in USAComments Off on Snowden: NSA targeted journalists critical of government after 9/11

Turkey urges UN to stop Egypt ‘massacre’, Iran fears ‘civil war’

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dailystar.com.lb

Turkey urged the U.N. Security Council and Arab League on Wednesday to act quickly to stop a “massacre” in Egypt, and Iran warned of the risk of civil war, after Egyptian security forces killed dozens of Islamist demonstrators.

European leaders criticised the violence against a camp of protesters seeking the restoration of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, calling for restraint and a return to meaningful dialogue to defuse Egypt’s political stand-off.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said international passivity had paved the way for the military-backed Egyptian government’s crackdown, which included violence in areas beyond the capital that killed at least 14 protesters.

“It is clear that the international community, by supporting the military coup (that ousted Mursi on July 3), and remaining silent over previous massacres instead of protecting democracy and constitutional legitimacy in Egypt, has encouraged the current administration to carry out today’s intervention.

“The international community, especially the U.N. Security Council and Arab League, must act immediately to stop this massacre,” Erdogan, whose government is Islamist-rooted, said in a statement.

His office said he had spoken to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and separately to all permanent members of the Security Council this week about the crisis.

Some 300 protesters gathered outside the Egyptian embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara, then went to the gates of the U.S. embassy, where they chanted anti-U.S. slogans and carried pictures of Mursi.

Turkey has emerged as one of the sharpest international critics of what it has called an “unacceptable coup” after Egypt’s military ousted the elected president on July 3, following weeks of widespread protests against his rule.

Iran, whose hardline Islamist leadership put down post-election unrest by force in 2009, denounced the Egyptian bloodshed and called for a “national dialogue and democratic process”.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern and added: “Undoubtedly the current approach … strengthens the likelihood of civil war in this great Islamic country.”

Qatar took the lead in Arab criticism of the violence, condemning the attack on the protest camp and urging Egyptians to return to dialogue to ease the crisis polarising the Arab world’s most populous nation.

A Qatari Foreign Ministry official, quoted by the state news agency QNA, said Egyptian authorities should “refrain from the security option in dealing with peaceful protests, and preserve the lives of Egyptians at protest sites”.

Qatar strongly backed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood government before he was ousted by the army a year after becoming the first freely elected leader in Egyptian history.

“Qatar believes that the safest and guaranteed way to resolve the crisis is a peaceful way based on dialogue between parties that have to live together in a pluralist social and political system,” the official said.

Energy-rich Qatar, among the world’s wealthiest states and under authoritarian dynastic rule, gave Egypt $7 billion in aid after his election last year following the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

In the Palestinian Gaza Strip, a spokesman for the ruling Islamist Hamas movement, which arose out of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, said Hamas “condemns the massacres … and calls for an end to bloodshed and a halt to the killing of peaceful protesters”.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was following the situation with great concern.

“Confrontation and violence is not the way forward to resolve key political issues. I deplore the loss of lives, injuries and destruction in Cairo and other places in Egypt. I call on the security forces to exercise utmost restraint and on all Egyptian citizens to avoid further provocations and escalation,” she said in a statement.

Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Norway all appealed for mutual restraint by Egypt’s factions and for negotiations to resolve the crisis. Britain said it had advised its citizens visiting Egypt to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.

“It is essential that violence stop and conciliation prevail. France calls on all sides to show restraint and hold back from disproportionate use of force,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Vincent Floreani said.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: “We expect the transitional government and Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protest and do everything to ease the situation.”

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Turkey urges UN to stop Egypt ‘massacre’, Iran fears ‘civil war’

Egypt violence West’s plot against Islamic Awakening: Iran lawmaker

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Bodies wrapped in shrouds are laid out at a mosque in Cairo following a bloody clampdown on supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, August 14, 2013.

Bodies wrapped in shrouds are laid out at a mosque in Cairo following a bloody clampdown on supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, August 14, 2013.
An Iranian lawmaker says the crisis and unrelenting wave of violence in Egypt is a Western plot aimed at hampering the wave of Islamic Awakening in the Arab world.

“What has happened in Egypt and the massacre of Muslims are signs of a string of coordinated measures by the United States and [other] Western countries against the wave of Islamic Awakening in the region,” Davoud Mohammadi said on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, the intervention of foreign powers in Egypt’s internal affairs has pushed the country to the brink of civil war,” Mohammadi added, noting that the crisis has been intensified by the massacre of thousands of innocent people.

The Iranian legislator highlighted the involvement of the West, the US in particular, in the turmoil, saying the White House seeks to prepare the ground for further interference in Egyptian affairs.

Mohammadi called on the Egyptian people to counter the West’s divisive scheme and urged political and religious figures of Egypt to help the country move toward national reconciliation.

Tension has intensified in Egypt since July 3, when the country’s powerful military deposed former president, Mohamed Morsi, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the parliament.

On Wednesday, Egyptian security forces moved in to clear out thousands of supporters of the ousted president from two camps – one near the Rabaah al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City and a smaller one in Nahda Square in Giza.

According to Egyptian officials, over 520 people, including 43 policemen, were killed and nearly 3,000 more injured in the violence.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood put the death toll far higher, saying more than 2,000 people had died in the police clampdown on Morsi supporters.

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Egypt violence West’s plot against Islamic Awakening: Iran lawmaker

Teen girl attacked near Paris for wearing Hijab

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A French teen was assaulted for wearing hijab in the Paris suburb of Trappes on August 12, 2013. (file photo)

A French teen was assaulted for wearing hijab in the Paris suburb of Trappes on August 12, 2013. (file photo)
A teenage girl has been assaulted near Paris for wearing an Islamic veil, the latest in a wave of violent attacks against the Muslim community in France.

The incident occurred on Monday afternoon when two “European-looking” men confronted the 16-year-old who was leaving a friend’s house in the Paris suburb of Trappes.

The men shouted racists and anti-Muslim insults at her before attacking her with a box cutter, said the victim. They then tore off her veil, pushed her to the ground and hit her.

The assailants fled the scene in a car after a third man intervened.

The teen was taken to hospital where medical staff treated her for light wounds on her face and throat.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Tuesday condemned the attack, expressing “indignation” at the move.

“I severely condemn this newest demonstration of anti-Muslim hatred and intolerance,” Valls told French television BFMTV, saying the police had started an operation to track down the perpetrators.

The attack is not the first acts of Islamophobia in France, where assaults against Muslims have hiked by 60 percent in recent months.

On Tuesday, a man was arrested for writing Islamophobic tags across several buildings in the southern city of Avignon.

A French military serviceman was also detained on August 11 on charges of planning an attack on a mosque.

Several Muslim women in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil were assaulted in June by racist elements who tore off their veils.

One of the victims suffered miscarriage as a result of the attack

Posted in Campaigns, FranceComments Off on Teen girl attacked near Paris for wearing Hijab

Zio-Nazi Everyday Racism — and How American Jews Turn a Blind Eye to It

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ovadia

Refocus Anti-Semitism Outrage on Our Own Dirty Laundry

forward.com

The Anti-Defamation League and the rest of the American Jewish establishment owe Jesse Jackson a big apology. They put the man through the wringer, they made him apologize in every possible forum for his “Hymie” and “Hymietown” remarks back in 1984. Yet look at the kinds of things Israeli leaders — senior government ministers, chief rabbis — get away with without ever having to apologize, without ever being punished in the slightest.

Just last week, Naftali Bennett, the fresh new face of right-wing Orthodox Judaism, said in a cabinet meeting how he didn’t like these releases of Palestinian prisoners. “If you catch terrorists, you simply have to kill them,” he was quoted in Yedioth Ahronoth as saying. The head of the National Security Council, Yaakov Amidror, told Bennett, “Listen, that’s not legal.” Bennett replied: “I have killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there is no problem with that.”

The media, the left and the Arabs made a big deal out of it, nobody else. Bennett defended what he said, and so did countless talkbackers and Facebookers.

Two days later the newly-elected Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, David Lau, was seen on a video telling an audience of yeshiva boys that they shouldn’t watch European basketball games in public.

“What difference does it make,” Lau said, “if the kushim who get paid in Tel Aviv beat the kushim who get paid in Greece?” Kushim, especially when used in a dismissive context like Lau did, is a well-understood derogatory term for blacks.

Again, the media, the left, some Ethiopian Jews and presumably some African refugees were outraged. But Lau defended his words, blaming the media, saying “they made a big deal out of a joke.”

Who else defended his remarks about “kushim”? Bennett: “The media are pouncing on him for a joking, insignificant remark.”

So really — what was so bad about “Hymies” and “Hymietown”? Or the thousand other anti-Semitic or even just possibly anti-Semitic remarks that the ADL and other American Jewish organizations have “pounced on” since then? Israeli public figures say the same kind of garbage, the difference is that they never, ever pay a price for it, in fact they usually manage to play the victim and get away with it, and at worst will be obliged to offer some backhanded apology.

Likud lawmaker Miri Regev is doing fine after having called Sudanese refugees “a cancer on our body” to a crowd of hopped-up south Tel Avivians in May of last year, shortly before the crowd went on a window-smashing mini-pogrom against the Africans in the neighborhood.

Legendary basketball coach Pini Gershon’s career and public stature didn’t suffer at all after he explained his racial theory about blacks to a class of amused army officers in 2000.

“The mocha-colored guys are smarter, but the dark colored ones are just guys off the street,” Gershon said. “They’re dumb like slaves, they do whatever you tell them.”

Nor was there any blowback whatsoever after Bibi Netanyahu bragged in 2007 that the cuts he’d made to child subsidies had brought a “positive” result, which he identified as “the demographic effect on the non-Jewish public, where there was a dramatic drop in the birth rate.”

Imagine the scandal if an American political leader boasted publicly that his cuts to child subsidies had reduced the “non-Christian” birth rate. Imagine the ADL’s reaction. But in Israel, in 2007, from the mouth of a once-and-future prime minister — nothing.

These are just a few of the more appalling examples of the kind of racist remarks that Israeli politicians, rabbis and celebrities feel free to make. I haven’t even mentioned Avigdor Lieberman and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. As a rule the words are directed at Arabs, now and then against blacks: either Ethiopian Jews, African refugees or athletes.

I’ve lived roughly half my 61 years in the United States, the other half in Israel. There is absolutely no comparison between American tolerance for public displays of racism and Israeli tolerance for it.

I’ve stood in the middle of Israeli crowds chanting “Death to the Arabs.” I’ve sat in a Tel Aviv soccer stadium watching and listening to an entire section of fans erupt in monkey sounds – “Hoo, hoo, hoo!! Hoo, hoo, hoo!! – after a black player on the visiting team scored a goal.

A few liberals and a few do-gooders and a few journalists wring their hands. But the racists in the street, the synagogues, the Knesset and the government go on doing their thing.

Does this mean all Israelis, or even most of them, are racists? No. Does it mean Israeli society, by commission and omission, encourages racism? Oh, yes. To a degree that would be unthinkable in the United States.

And the leaders of the U.S. Jewish establishment, Israel’s most valued, devoted, determined friends, keep pouncing on every untoward or conceivably untoward remark about Jews or the Jewish state. Yes, the ADL will send out a press release about its “concern” over the “inappropriate” remarks made by some relatively minor Israeli figure.

But it never hits hard at the major figures. It said nothing last week about Bennett or Lau. The ADL goes after anti-Semitism with a fist, it goes after Israeli racism with a sigh.

As a matter of fact, the ADL and the entire American Jewish establishment should suspend their campaigns against anti-Semitism indefinitely and take a look at what’s going on in Israel.

When the Jewish state is this riddled with racism, its advocates abroad should be a little less outraged over the offenses of gentiles. They should be a little more humble — and a lot less hypocritical.

 

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ANSWER Coalition Condemns Massacres in Egypt: “End all U.S. Aid to the Egyptian Military

NOVANEWS

Brian Becker speaks on behalf of ANSWER Coalition at press conference at National Press Club on August 14, 2013, condemning the massacres in Egypt

“Egyptian soldiers may be the ones pulling the trigger but the bullets and guns are paid for by the government in Washington,” states Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.
Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo, Aug. 14

The following statement was presented by Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 14 in response to the massacre in Egypt.

The ANSWER Coalition condemns the massacres carried out by Egyptian security forces in Cairo today and demands an immediate end to the $1.3 billion in annual U.S. aid to the Egyptian military, which is now ruling the country. According to official estimates, nearly 300 people were killed today and more than 1,400 were wounded, most of them civilians. We express our solidarity with the Egyptian people, who have inspired the world with their great struggle over the past two and a half years.

While the Obama administration may issue hollow statements opposing the repression, much of the weaponry used today came from the United States, just as was the case in the long years of the Mubarak dictatorship.

The Egyptian Revolution that began in January 2011 has gone through many phases. After the downfall of Mubarak in February 2011, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) became the de facto rulers. But the Egyptian people continued the struggle demanding an end to military rule, leading to elections. After Mohammed Morsi was elected president in June 2012, his policies included continuing neo-liberal economic policies, reactionary social policies, and continued cooperation with Israel and the United States against the Palestinian people. We disagreed with Morsi’s economic and social policies, and we disagreed with his orientation supporting the foreign-backed armed struggle in Syria.

On June 30, millions of people took to the streets opposing the Morsi government and its policies. The opposition was eclectic. It included progressives, socialists, liberals and some former elements of the Mubarak regime. The military, led by General al-Sisi, seized upon this mass outpouring to project itself as the “savior of the nation,” and became the effective ruling power. In reality, the brutal repression carried out by the state security forces over the past six weeks endangers the future of Egypt and could lead to even more tragic consequences for the Egyptian people and the Arab people as a whole.

Nowhere in the Middle East has the United States played anything but a destructive and reactionary role over the past 70 years. The aim of the Obama administration is the same as that of all of its predecessors – Democrat and Republican alike since the end of World War II – domination of the entire region.

We in the anti-war and people’s movement here demand an end to U.S. military aid to Egypt, and of course to Israel as well, and for an end to all forms of U.S. intervention in the Middle East.

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LebanonWatch – Berri Sees ‘IsraHell Hand’ in Dahieh Blast, Urges Vigilance

NOVANEWS

Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday blamed the deadly bombing that targeted Dahieh earlier in the day on “the hand of organized crime and terrorism,” saying “it is undoubtedly a black Israeli hand.” “This crime only serves the Israeli enemy, which has been plotting to undermine the elements of national unity that were the elements that led to Lebanon’s victory in 2006,” Berri said in a statement. “This bloody crime, which aims to stir strife among the Lebanese, requires the Lebanese and their spiritual and political leaders to show vigilance and unity … in order to confront the challenges that have been imposed on our country,”he added. ——————————-
Aoun: Dahieh Blast Should Motivate us to Form National Unity Government 

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun condemned on Friday the blast that took place in Beirut’s southern suburb of Ruwais on Thursday, saying it should motivate leaders to form a new government. He told OTV: “The attack may be a valid excuse to form a national unity cabinet because all powers are being targeted.”[[[[ He also refuted claims that Hizbullah is “paying the price for its fighting in Syria, because the crisis was ongoing before it got involved in unrest.”]]]]]  [[[[[“Is the party the only side taking part in the unrest? Isn’t Turkey funding the fighting? Aren’t Arab countries sending fighters to Syria?” asked the MP]]]]]]]. “The Dahieh blast indicates that no one can be immune from such terrorist attacks. Anyone can be reached directly or indirectly,” Aoun remarked. Moreover, he warned: “We have entered the phase of terrorism in Lebanon.” “We are all in agreement that this phase requires the strong rule of government,” he stressed.

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