Archive | May 31st, 2014

Nakba by Walid Khalidi

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Blind and unconditional obedience to the government of I$raHell

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On 5 April 2014, former Irgun and Knesset member, Uri Avnery, said this at the Gush Shalom web site:

“If anyone had any illusions about American politics, they were dispelled this week. The casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, organized a public display of his power. He summoned to his Las Vegas betting paradise the four most probable Republican candidates for the next presidential elections, in order to choose one of them. All the invitees heeded the summons, of course.

It was a shameless exhibition. The politicians groveled before the casino lord. Mighty governors of important states did their best to sell themselves like applicants at a job interview. Each of them tried to trump the others in promising to do the Mogul’s bidding.

Flanked by Israeli bodyguards, Adelson grilled the American hopefuls. And what was he demanding from the future president of the United States? First of all and above everything else, blind and unconditional obedience to the government of another state: Israel.

Adelson is one of the richest Jews in the world. He is also a fanatical rightist, not only an American rightist, but also an Israeli one. While he is now looking for the best American president money can buy, he has already chosen his Israeli stooge. He has done something unprecedented in Israeli history: created an instrument to impose his ultra-right views on the Israeli people.

For this purpose he has invested large sums of money in a daily newspaper of his creation. It is called “Israel Hayom” (Israel today), and is literally priceless: it is distributed for nothing all over the country. Its readership is now the largest in the country, threatening the existence of the former No. 1, ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’ and killing the next one, ‘Maariv.’

The sole purpose of Adelson’s paper is to serve Binyamin Netanyahu, personally and politically, unconditionally and unreservedly. This is such a blatant intervention in Israeli politics by a foreign billionaire that it is causing a reaction: all Knesset factions, both rightist and leftist (except the Likud, of course) have signed a demand to put an end to this corruption of democracy…

Everything Adelson does is done openly, proudly, shamelessly. I wonder how ordinary Americans react to this spectacle of one billionaire, especially a Jewish one, choosing their next president for them. We are told that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe and and across the globe. In the crazy mental world of the anti-Semites, Jews control the cosmos. And here we have a Jew, straight out of the pages of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, trying to appoint the ruler of the mightiest country on the planet…

The basic problem is that the American political process is totally corrupt. There is no other way to put it. In order to become the nominee of one major party, and then to be elected president, one needs enormous sums of money. Since the major battlefield is TV, and candidates have to pay for it, these sums get bigger and bigger…

A billionaire does not donate a fortune for a presidential candidate for nothing. That’s not how he became a billionaire in the first place. Once he gets his man elected, he demands his pound of flesh, many pounds… If he succeeds in installing his favorite in the White House, the US will become totally subservient to the extreme right-wing in Israel. He might as well put Netanyahu in the Oval Office… If Adelson could dictate our future, it would spell disaster for our country…
There is no way to roll back the corruption of the political process in the US, or here, without completely changing the electoral system. As long as huge sums are needed to get elected, corruption will reign supreme.” More here..

If there’s anyone out there under any illusion about what kind of a world we’d be living in if Sheldon Adelson’s chosen Goy should come to power, well, think Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Egypt (Obama), Iraq (Bush) and Afghanistan (Bush, Clinton and, before them, Reagan).

Better still, check out what the biggest donor to the Republican Party had to say at the Yeshiva University in New York on 22 October 2013:

“The United States should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran to spur the country to end its nuclear program,” said Sheldon Adelson.

Harry Truman, the President who recognised Israel in 1948, (he was the first world leader to offer such recognition) was the first and only President to attack another country with nuclear weapons.

If the Adelsons and their pet politicians aren’t reigned in very shortly, he won’t be the last.

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Who wants a laugh? Stalinist CPGB Graffitti found in Birmingham unbelievable wow

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Pope Francis RFID Hoax: ‘Goes Public With Support Of RFID Micro Chip Implantation’ is a Fake

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Epoch Times
Pope Francis holding a tall, lit, white candle, enters a darkened St. Peter's Basilica to begin the Easter vigil service, at the Vatican, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis holding a tall, lit, white candle, enters a darkened St. Peter’s Basilica to begin the Easter vigil service, at the Vatican, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

An article saying Pope Francis support RFID chip implantation isn’t real.

The fake report, published on “satire” website National Report, appears to be poking fun at the fear that a widespread microchip implantation is “the mark of the beast,” as described in the Bible.

“In a controversial move by the Catholic church, Pope Francis has come out in vocal support of RFID Chip technologies and the extraordinary potential they hold for mankind. The outrage stems from a belief held by many Evangelicals, Fundamentalists and Catholics, that RFID implants are the Mark Of The Beast, spoken about in their Holy Book’s chapter regarding the end of the world,” the article reads.

According to a disclaimer that has since been removed, National Report isn’t a real news source.

“National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental,” it states,according to hoax-debunking website Waffles at Noon. 

A quick search shows that Pope Francis has never made statements about RFID chips.

No legitimate local or national media reports have anything about it either.

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The Revival of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

If the repeated discourse of the Western media is to be believed, the idea of the revival of Non-Alignment is unrealistic. According to that discourse, all that happened in the world between 1945 and 1990 can be explained merely by the ‘cold war’ and nothing else. The Soviet Union disappeared and the page of the Cold War has been turned, and any posture analogous to what we have known has no meaning. Let us examine the ineptitude of this discourse and its incredibly dismissive prejudice – nay, even racism. What is its basis? The real story of Bandung and Non-Alignment that arose from it showed that the peoples of Asia and Africa actually seized at the time an initiative by themselves and for themselves. The reader will find in what I have written a demonstration that the Non-Alignment was already a movement of countries non aligned on globalisation ’ in contrast to the globalisation that the imperialist powers wanted to impose on countries that had regained their independence, substituting the deceased colonialism with a neocolonialism.

Non-Alignment constituted a refusal to comply with the requirements of this renewed imperialist globalisation. Imperialism won the battle, for the moment at least. Non-Alignment was, therefore, itself a positive factor in the transformation of the world for the better, despite all its limitations. The Soviet Union understood at the time the benefits it could derive through its support for the Non-Aligned, especially because the Soviet Union was also in conflict with the dominant system of globalisation, and suffered from the isolation into which the Atlantic powers locked it. Moscow realised that by supporting the Non-Aligned it could break this isolation. In contrast, the imperialist powers fought against Non-Alignment because it was not ‘aligned’ to globalisation.

Call it ‘Bandung 2’, if you like. Of course ‘the world has changed’ since then (this observation reveals its extreme banality). Thus the new imperialist globalisation is not a copy of the one that Bandung faced. The discourse that reduces Non-Alignment to an avatar of the Cold War reflects a persistent prejudice in the West: the peoples of Asia and Africa were unable to drive the initiative on their own then, and they are no more capable of doing so now. They are doomed forever to be manipulated by the major powers (primarily Western of course). This contempt barely conceals a profound racism. As if the Algerians, for example had taken up arms to please Moscow, or perhaps Washington, and they had been manipulated to this end by certain leaders who had chosen to play a game of playing one power against another. No, their decision stemmed from their just desire to be free of colonialism, the form that globalisation took in that era. And when they implemented their own decisions, the battleground is drawn between those who supported the struggles and those who opposed them. That is the reality of history.

1. We live in an unbalanced globalisation, unequal and unjust. Some have exclusive rights to access all the resources of the planet for their own use or even to waste.

For others, their obligation is to accept this order and adjust their own requirements, even to give up their own development, waive their rights to basic food, education, health, life itself for large segments of their people – our people. This unjust order is called ‘globalisation’.

We should even accept that the beneficiary powers of this unjust world order, mainly the United States, the European Union and associated military partners in NATO, have the right to intervene by force of arms to enforce their abusive rights to use – even to pillage – our own wealth. They do so using various pretexts – the war against terrorism when it suits them. But the facts show that in neither Iraq nor Libya, for example, did their intervention help restore democracy. On the contrary, their interventions have simply destroyed the states and societies concerned. They did not open the way to progress and democracy, but rather closed them.

Our movement could be called the Non-Aligned Movement on Globalisation. We are not opponents to any form of globalisation. We are opponents of this unjust form of globalisation in which we are the victims.

2. The responses we want to give to this challenge are simple to formulate in terms of their major principles.

We have the right to chose our own path of development. The powers that were and are the beneficiaries of the existing order should accept to adjust themselves to the requirements of our development. The adjustment must be mutual, not unilateral. That is, it is not the weak who have to adjust to the strong, but rather the strong need to adjust to the needs of the weak. The legal principle should be designed to redress injustices, not to perpetrate them. We have the right to implement our own sovereign development projects. We reject the tenets of globalisation that are currently in place.

Our sovereign development project must be designed to enable our nations and our states to industrialise as they see fit, in the legal and social structures of their choice, those that allow us to capture and develop ourselves with modern technologies. These must be designed to ensure food sovereignty and allow all strata of our people to be the beneficiaries of development, halting ongoing processed of impoverishment.

The implementation of our sovereign projects require us to regain our financial sovereignty. It is not up to us to adjust the financial plunder for the benefit of the banks of the dominant economic powers. The global financial system must itself be forced to adjust to the implications of our sovereignty.

It is up to us to define the ways and means of developing South-South cooperation that can facilitate the success of our sovereign development projects.

3. Our movement can and must act within the UN to restore their rights violated by the unjust globalisation order.

At present a so-called ‘international community’ has proclaimed itself as a replacement of the UN. Media of dominant powers keep repeating the phrases: “The International Community believes this or that, decides this or that”. Looking more closely, we discover that the ‘international community’ they refer to is made up of the United States, the European Union and two or three handpicked countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Is there anything more seriously insulting to our people than this self-proclamation ? China, Algeria , Egypt , Senegal, Angola, Venezuela , Brazil , Thailand, Russia, Costa Rica and many other countries apparently no longer exist. They no longer have the right to make their voices heard in the international community. Yes, we bear a great responsibility in the UN environment where we are a major group. But this requires the restoration of the rights of the UN, the only acceptable framework for the expression of the international community.

4. We can now take a look at our past, which provides us a great lessons about what we once were and what we should be again.

The Non-Aligned Movement was formed in 1960 in the path opened by the Bandung Conference of 1955. It sought to assert the rights of our peoples and nations of Asia and Africa which had not then been recognised as being worthy of being partners in the reconstruction of a new world order. Our movement was not the by-product of conflict between the two major powers of the time – the USA and the USSR – and the “Cold War ” as may try to make us believe. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Asia and Africa were still largely subjected to odious colonialism. Our people were engaged in powerful struggles to regain our independence by peaceful means or by means of liberation war if necessary. Having regained our independence and restored the existence of our states we found ourselves in conflict with the world order that wanted to impose on us at the time. Our Movement of Non-Aligned Countries then proclaimed our right to choose our route to development, implemented laws and forced the powers of the time to adjust to the demands of our development.

Certain powers at that time accepted it. Others did not. Western powers – the United States and the countries of what would become the European Union, already involved in NATO since 1949 – have never hidden their hostility to our own project of independent development. They fought us by all means at their disposal. Other powers , the USSR first, chose a different path for us. They accepted and even supported the positions of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. The military power that the USSR represented during that era in effect limited the possibilities of aggression by those nostalgic of colonialism and consistently ardent supporters of the unjust international order.

We can therefore say that even if the world today is no longer that of 1960 – a banal and obvious observation – the Movement of Non-Aligned there was already 60-year ago was a Movement of countries Non Aligned on Globalisation, that globalisation they wanted to impose on us at the time.

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Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh rejects US plea deal, prepares for October trial

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Ali Abunimah

sankari-small.jpg

Approximately ten supporters traveled from Chicago for Rasmea Odeh’s pre-trial hearing in Detroit today.

(Ali Abunimah)

A federal judge in Detroit today delayed the trial of Rasmea Odeh until 21 October in order to give her new lawyer time to prepare a defense.

The trial had been set to begin on 10 June, but in a dramatic development last week, Odeh removed her Detroit-based attorney from the case and appointed Michael Deutsch of the People’s Law Office in Chicago.

Odeh, a Palestinian community organizer in Chicago, was indicted last October for allegedly lying on her citizenship application two decades ago about a conviction in an Israeli military court more than forty years ago.

Odeh, who is free on bond, faces up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, as well as revocation of her US citizenship, if she is convicted.

Deutsch is a veteran civil rights and human rights attorney who has defended a number of high-profile cases, most recently the “NATO 3,” three protestors acquitted of state “terrorism” charges in Chicago in February.

He also defended Muhammad Salah and Abdulhalim Ashqar, two members of the Palestinian community acquitted by a jury of terror and conspiracy charges in a federal court in Chicago in 2007.

At today’s hearing in Detroit, Deutsch told Judge Paul D. Borman he needed more time to prepare Odeh’s defense, including discovery of evidence from the prosecution and commissioning a psychological evaluation of his client.

No plea

Following the brief hearing, Deutsch told reporters that Odeh’s previous attorney had been negotiating a plea agreement with the government that in the best case would have seen her US citizenship revoked, and her departure from the United States.

Deutsch said that the government contends that Odeh has a valid Jordanian passport. However, he pointed out that there would be no guarantee that Jordan would not revoke her status. Jordan has a history of arbitrarily revoking the citizenship of Jordanian citizens of Palestinian origin.

This could put her in jeopardy of being sent to the Israeli-occupied West Bank where she would not enjoy the relative protection afforded by US citizenship.

Deutsch noted that Odeh had pleaded not guilty. “The statute requires that you knowingly provide false information, and the government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she knowingly intended to lie. She wants that decided by a jury of twelve people who are not part of the government,” he said.

Odeh “has been living in the United States and serving her community as a model citizen for twenty years,” Deutsch added. “She’s built her life here. Her community is here and now the government wants to take that away. I don’t think that’s fair.”

Deutsch was circumspect about Odeh’s defense strategy, saying he had yet to review all the materials. But he said that Odeh’s history of torture during a decade of Israeli custody could become a relevant issue.

It is not only Odeh’s Palestinian background and activism that make this case notable for its connection to the Middle East.

Judge Borman, appointed to the federal bench in 1994 by President Clinton, has been recognized for his long history of activism promoting Israel. The Jewish Federation of Detroit lauded Borman as “instrumental in bringing hundreds of Detroiters to Israel as co-chair of numerous missions” as recently as 2007. In 1988, Borman co-chaired a “solidarity” delegation to Israel and in 1990, a delegation for Michigan legislators. He also chaired the Jewish Federation’s “Israel and Overseas Committee” in the 1990s.

While a judge must be impartial, and guilt or innocence is decided by the jury, a judge has broad influence over what types of arguments the defense or prosecution can make.

Community support

Odeh’s case has become a rallying point for members of Chicago’s Palestinian community. At her first hearing last November, dozens traveled from Chicago to Detroit.

Muhammad Sankari, a youth organizer with the Arab American Action Network, has been working to educate and mobilize members of the community in solidarity with Odeh and to bring them out for the now postponed June trial.

He was among about ten people who made the 280 mile drive from Chicago for today’s hearing.

“Rasmea has a large base of supporters in the Arab community in Chicago but logistically coordinating those people to travel and support her in Detroit is very challenging,” Sankari told The Electronic Intifada.

But Deutsch underscored that such support can make a difference. “It’s important for people to be in court,” he said. “When the government tries to paint you one way, it’s important to show that you have support in your community.”

Following her arrest last October, there was an outpouring of support for Odeh, including a statement from groups including the Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, the US Palestinian Community Network and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee saying that Odeh is being targeted for her community activism.

Her arrest came at a time when “federal authorities, along with Israel and its supporters in the US, are continuing to search for ways to intimidate and silence those who are effective advocates for Arab American communities, and who speak out for Palestinian rights,” the groups said.

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Drowning in the Balkans

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The Politics of the Flood

by BINOY KAMPMARK

Behind every calamity of nature lies a political response. Human communities eventually need to find the cause, the hand that made things worse, what might have been done better. The Bosnian and Serbian floods have made the opponents of the government hungry. The animal is wounded, and as the Balkans drowns, a dividend is being reaped. Whether the Prime Minister accompanies a rescue effort or not, there are criticisms; when he is not there, the opposition complain that he is invisible and indifferent.

In Serbia and Bosnia, crops have been destroyed by broken banks and failed barriers. Power infrastructure is being threatened. Mining has been disrupted, and the functioning of two hydro-power plants of the Serbian power utility company EPS halted. Unexploded land mines from the civil war of 1992-5 are also being disturbed. Sports stadia are being filled; tents and shelters erected. If governments can fold because of the price of foodstuffs, there is every reason to assume the same in the event of environmental calamity. Fragile states are often at the mercy, not merely of their governors, but the elements.

Then there is the sense of battle over how humanitarian, and effective, an effort can be. Help has been forthcoming from neighbours. Macedonia has been providing assistance. Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia have also added their presence, along with such EU states as Germany, Austria and Britain. Donations are streaming in, as are foot stuffs and water.

But it is Russian rescue efforts which have proven to be formidable, credited with saving thousands of lives. In one operation at Obrenovac, site of Serbia’s biggest power plant, 393 people, including 79 children were rescued. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) despatched members of the Tsentropas airmobile team with a degree of immediacy last week, after a request from Belgrade for help was received.

There was even the suggestion that Russians did more than the Serb forces combined, giving a sense of woe as to where Serbia’s own prowess in civil protection had gone. The skills of the 76 or so divers with updated “equipment and techniques” on the part of the Russian rescue team, equipped with K-32 helicopters and Illyushin IL-76 aircraft, were praised.

In this effort, a political note has emerged. The Russians have been effective and enthusiastic, salutary to a long fraternal association with the Serbian state. The European Union has been half-hearted, even cold, asserting its bullying posture over admitting Serbia to the club, but indifferent to its times of need. In the words of Svetlana Maksovic, writing for the Serbian monthly Geopolitika, “many Serbian people are upset by the reaction, or lack of reaction thereof, of the European Union, especially after EU Foreign Policy Head Catherine Ashton did nothing more than send her condolences” (Voice of Russia, May 17).

A the Voice of Russia noted, almost with a degree of smug satisfaction, “The Russian Federation has been the first country to respond during the dire time of need of the Serbian people with many Serbians dismayed by the almost complete lack of response from the European Union and other countries.” Milica Djurdjevic, head of public relations with the patriotic organisation Srpski sabor Zavetnici, was adamant in praise about how Serbia “immediately received material help from our historical friends and allies from the Russian Federation.” Such a sentiment suggests that EU officials would be wise to front up to the way natural disasters figure in political narratives. Russia, as it has done in its interventions in Europe, is gaining plaudits.

The questions are gathering in number. Did the warning to evacuate come too late? In a sense, the lethargic, even complacent response to the floods could not be faulted – its scale took most by surprise. Many simply did not want to believe it. Rescuers who came up to some residents, urging them to leave, were rebuffed. According to Sinisa Mali, describing the early stage of the floods, “A man was refused to leave his home as suggested by rescuers and drowned overnight in Umcari.” Some residents of Obrenovac have shown similar stubbornness in terms of being evacuated, so much so that the Minister for Labor, Employment, Social Affairs and Veterans, Aleksander Vulin, has become desperate. Everything, he assures, is there for the evacuees. Don’t tempt fate.

In all of this, the meteorologists have become the new apostles of gloom, though on this occasion, their warnings of total submerging were treated as minor murmurings. The subtext in the response was that it could surely not happen. Stay in the homes and weather the storm.

The suggestion coming from weather watchers was not merely that the floods were the worst in 120 years, but in centuries. This is not the freak show of a malevolent divinity, the ‘act of God’ insurance companies like citing. This may well be standard fare, a recurring feature of a malevolent, angry climate that makes rescue and response efforts miniature in scale. In such cases, it is not merely the dams that burst, put the political will to maintain stability.

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