Archive | October 16th, 2010



Washington agrees that Wikileaks harmed nobody but US war-making16 Oct 2010

So after all the huffing and puffing and accusations,

Wikileaks is only “guilty” of harming US interests? Surely questioning the rationale

behind criminal American foreign policy is highly praise-worthy:

No U.S. intelligence sources or practices were compromised by the posting of

 secret Afghan war logs by the WikiLeaks website, the Pentagon has concluded,

but the military thinks the leaks could still cause significant damage to U.S.

security interests.

The assessment, outlined in a letter obtained Friday by The Associated Press,

suggests that some of the Obama administration’s worst fears about the July

disclosure of almost 77,000 secret U.S. war reports have so far failed to materialize.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates reported these conclusions in an Aug. 16 letter to Sen.

 Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who had requested a

Pentagon assessment.

WikiLeaks, a self-described whistle-blower website, is believed to be preparing to

release an even larger set of classified Pentagon documents on the Iraq war as

early as Sunday.

U.S. officials warned of dire consequences in the days following the July leak.

In his letter to Levin, Gates struck a more measured tone in describing the impact.

“Our initial review indicates most of the information contained in these documents

relates to tactical military operations,” Gates wrote, suggesting the materials did

not include the most sensitive kinds of information.

“The initial assessment in no way discounts the risk to national security; however,

the review to date has not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods

compromised by this disclosure,” he added. 

16 Oct 2010

Post 9/11, finding nuance in the state view towards “terrorism” was rare, indeed.

But here is a challenging example, questioning the idea that every form of resistance

 is somehow connected to al-Qaeda:

More than three years after federal agents locked up a Sri Lankan immigrant

they say was the top U.S. representative of the Tamil Tigers, his fate may

hinge on a complex question: Was the rebel group a terrorist threat to Americans?

Federal prosecutors who charged Karunakaran Kandasamy with supporting

terrorism say the answer is yes. And they say he should get a stiff sentence

approaching 20 years for raising money for the separatist group, which fought

a 25-year war with the Sri Lankan government.

But a judge recently expressed his doubts.

The case against the jailed Kandasamy doesn’t neatly fit the definition of “a more

obvious or garden variety terrorism case, where … our security interests are

compromised and the safety of our citizenry is in jeopardy,” U.S. District Judge

Raymond Dearie said earlier this month at Kandasamy’s scheduled sentencing,

which was postponed.

“Do we simply wave the red flag of terrorism and impose the maximum sentence?”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Knox argued the Tamil Tigers had earned a State

 Department designation as a terrorist organization in part by putting U.S. citizens

 living in Sri Lanka in harm’s way. He also said the group’s supporters in the United

 States extorted cash from Sri Lankan immigrants.

The Tamil Tigers pioneered and perfected technology for suicide bombings,

Knox said. That technology “was borrowed and copied and sold on some

occasions to other terrorist organizations — organizations like al-Qaida, that

directly target the United States, organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and

others in the region,” he said.

Internal documents show the Tamil Tigers considered other terror groups as

fellow freedom fighters, and had a policy of “sharing black market arms

shipments and explosive shipments, the financial system, bank accounts,”

he said.

The judge put off sentencing after Kandasamy — who has battled a spinal

problem and other serious ailments since his arrest — asked for mercy.

“I love this country and its soil,” the 54-year-old former cab driver said through

an interpreter. “I’m sick and I’m afraid I’ll never live to be free with my family again.”

16 Oct 2010

Zionist propaganda on the Birthright trip is almost pathological. Arabs are ignored

but loathed. Everybody is an enemy. It’s militarism run riot. The occupation is

excused and defended (the soldiers manning the checkpoints have families, the young

 Jews are told, as if this excuses illegally brutalising an entire people). This is sad:

16 Oct 2010

After attending a Sydney event last night with Liberal Opposition leader

Tony Abbott and writer Bob Ellis (with actor Rhys Muldoon in my photo above),

 today’s ABC Radio AM reported on proceedings:

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Politics throws up some unlikely friendships.

Indeed it’s hard to imagine a more unusual friendship than the one

between the Labor Party stalwart and speech writer, Bob Ellis, and

the man who sued him for a million dollars – the Leader of the Opposition,

Tony Abbott.

But friends they are and last night they got together to help promote

Bob Ellis’s latest book.

It was enemy territory for Tony Abbott in inner-city Sydney but he braved

the hostile crowd for a wide-ranging public discussion.

Our reporter David Mark was there.

DAVID MARK: Friday night.

Gleebooks in Sydney – the place is packed.

This is a Labor crowd.

And there reading from the pulpit is a man steeped in the Labor Party,

the author and speechwriter for many a premier and prime minister,

Bob Ellis.

And the subject, the other man on the stage, conservative warrior and

Liberal leader, Tony Abbott.

BOB ELLIS (reading from book): Coffee with Quentin Dempster and a chat

 about things in Parliament House this afternoon. I put the case that our

problem with Abbott is he’s so good looking…


He has no bad angles and like Hawke he’ll win over women with his

handsome, husky looks and cheeky male manner.

“Good looking?” says Quentin “he’s as ugly as a hatful of arseholes”.


DAVID MARK: And does Tony Abbott smile? Not quite.

The crowd loves the joke at Tony Abbott’s expense. They’re not here to give

him an easy time.

He’s heckled repeatedly.

TONY ABBOTT: This is almost as bad as Parliament, Bob. We’ve got cheeky

 interjections. Where’s the Speaker to send someone out at the appropriate time?

DAVID MARK: Tony Abbott may not have won over the crowd, but at least he got

to show himself in a new light as he and Bob Ellis discussed issues ranging from

Afghanistan and asylum seekers to abortion and his religious beliefs.

TONY ABBOTT: Plainly, there are a lot of people in this audience who don’t share

my views but the dialogue is incredibly important. I mean, we are a civilised

polity because we can talk about things and argue about things, rather than

simply fight about them and ultimately shoot people over them.

DAVID MARK: And by the end there was at least some respect from audience

members like Antony Loewenstein.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: Abbott has a degree of nuance and I admire that, even

though I disagree with everything he says.

DAVID MARK: As for his host, Labor stalwart Bob Ellis, as unlikely as it seems,

there’s warm affection for the Opposition leader.

BOB ELLIS: Yes, I met him first about 15 years ago.

I’ve more or less liked him since, although he sued my publisher for a million

dollars and got it.

DAVID MARK: So what are the qualities, what are his qualities that you enjoy?

BOB ELLIS: Um, a lack of arrogance, a willingness to listen, a capacity to struggle

 with his own beliefs.

DAVID MARK: How would you, then, compare the leaders of the two major

parties in Australian politics at the moment? Tony Abbott, who you admire,

 and Julia Gillard.

BOB ELLIS: Gillard makes a mistake every three days and will not last – has

 five or 15 months in her. Nobody is speaking of the Gillard era. She should be

 there for 20 years logically, but she will not. She has a kind of political tone

deafness whereas Tony has a political acuteness. He hears, he listens; she doesn’t.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Author, speech writer and, believe it or not, all-round

Labor Party figure, Bob Ellis, ending that report from David Mark.


16 Oct 2010

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER



Uri Avnery

October 16, 2010

WILL GERMANY enact a law that demands that every Turk aspiring to citizenship swear allegiance to the “German Federal Republic, the Nation-State of the German People”? Sounds like a ridiculous idea.

Will the US Senate adopt a law that would compel every candidate for citizenship to swear allegiance to “The United States of America, the Nation State of the…” Of whom? “The American People”? “The Anglo-Saxon People”? “The Christian People”? An absurd idea.

But the Knesset is about to enact a law that demands from every non-Jew who desires Israeli citizenship to swear allegiance to “The State of Israel, the Nation-State of the Jewish people”. It seems that our benighted law-makers do not see anything questionable about this.

And there already hovers in the air a bill that demands that all Israeli citizens, or perhaps only the non-Jewish ones, swear allegiance to this Nation-State of the Jewish People, or else.

Binyamin Netanyahu has proposed extending the building freeze in the settlements for two or three months – if the Palestinian leadership recognizes the State of Israel as the Nation-State etc. etc.

And one may well ask: what is the source of this obsession, this demand from near and far, strangers and non-strangers, to declare that Israel is the “Nation-State of the Jewish People”?

The State of Israel has already existed for 62 and a half years. It is a regional military power, a state with nuclear capabilities, with an economy that arouses envy in a world steeped in crisis, it has a dynamic cultural, scientific and social life. So why this obsessive need for confirmation of its existence and its ideological definition?

Why the fanfares accompanying the announcement of every second-rate artist who agrees to appear in Israel?

What do we have here? What is the reason for this gaping lack of self-confidence? This obsessive need for confirmation and for the respect of the entire world? A collective mental disturbance? A matter for political psychologists, or perhaps for political psychiatrists?

I CANNOT abstain from comparing this pathetic need to our mood when I was young.

In the middle of the 1940s, the Hebrew Yishuv (community) was about 600 thousand strong. But our self-confidence was enough for a nation of 60 million.

We had no state. We were still fighting against foreign rule. But a large number of ideological groups were hatching grandiose plans. The “Canaanites” were speaking about “the Hebrew Country” from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates. Groups on the Right advocated the “Kingdom of Israel” from the Nile to the Euphrates. The “Bema’avak” (“In the Struggle”) group (to which I belonged) spoke about a united “Semitic Region” that would include Palestine, all the Arab countries and perhaps also Turkey, Iran and Ethiopia. A local water expert published a plan for the rational division of the waters of all the region’s rivers – Tigris and Euphrates, Orontes and Litani, Jordan and perhaps also the Nile – for the good of all the region’s peoples. Nobody thought that these plans were an expression of megalomania.

And here we are now, 12 times larger. We have a state that most of the world’s peoples can only envy. And we are begging to be recognized. We demand that the Palestinian people, which has no state yet, recognize our self-definition. That a bride from Ramallah, who wants to marry her cousin in Haifa, recognize the “Nation-State of the Jewish People”. Isn’t that ridiculous?

NOW REALLY, cynics will say, why do you take this seriously? After all, it’s only one of Binyamin Netanyahu’s and/or Avigdor Lieberman’s tricks to achieve personal gains.

That’s true, of course.

Netanyahu uses this trick to sabotage the peace negotiations that haven’t yet started. He wants to prevent negotiation that may, God forbid, lead towards peace – a peace that would compel us to evacuate the settlements and return the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

The peace negotiations are the enemy. Better to kill an enemy while he is still small, preferably even before he sees the light of day. The demand to recognize the State of Bla-Bla-Bla is an instrument of abortion.

If Netanyahu believed that this aim could be achieved by the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Vegetarian State, he would propose that.

So why deal with it seriously and discuss it?

Avigdor Lieberman speaks to his potential voters, headed by one and a quarter million immigrants from the Soviet Union, who have not yet struck roots in this country. They were raised on a totalitarian cult of power, internal terror and the super-power arrogance of their former homeland, before its collapse. Lieberman’s political ideas – an ideological oath of allegiance, the transfer of peoples and territories, and in future also gulags for the enemies of the regime – are taken from the mental world of Stalin.

For Lieberman, all this talk about an oath of allegiance to the Jewish Soviet is nothing but a means to gain the leadership of the Israeli Right, and from there to the leadership of all Israel. For this end he is ready to declare war on 20% of Israel’s citizens – every fifth Israeli – something without precedent in a democratic country.

That’s obvious. So why take it seriously?

For a simple reason: both Netanyahu and Lieberman are convinced that this demand will raise their popularity among Jewish Israelis by leaps and bounds. How come?

Is this public in the grip of a deep inner anxiety? Does it need a daily dose of tranquilizers in the form of recognition of its state, the State of Bla-Bla-Bla?

IF I were asked to swear allegiance to the “Nation-State of the Jewish People”, I would have to respectfully decline. Perhaps by then a law will be in force that will cancel the citizenship of Israelis who refuse this demand, and I shall be demoted to the status of permanent resident devoid of civil rights.

I would have to refuse so as to avoid lying.

First of all, I don’t know what the “Jewish people”, to which the state of Israel supposedly belongs, is. Who is included? A Jew in Brooklyn, a citizen of the Nation-State of the American People, who served in the Marines and votes for the American president? Richard Goldstone, who is denounced by the leaders of Israel as a liar and self-hating traitor? Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, who was told this week by Lieberman to solve the Burka problem in France instead of poking his (Jewish) nose into our affairs?

And how does the ownership of Israel by these Jews express itself? Will they be able to vote for our government (after this right has been taken away from a million and a half Arab citizens)? Will they determine the policy of our government – joining the Jewish billionaires, casino and brothel owners, who own our newspapers and TV stations and buy our politicians wholesale or retail?

No Israeli law has defined what the “Jewish people” is. A religious community? An ethnic group? A race? All these together? Does it include all those professing the Jewish religion? Everybody who has a Jewish mother? Does it include a non-Jew married to someone with one Jewish grandparent, who today enjoys the automatic right to come to Israel and become a citizen? If 100 thousand Arabs were to convert to Judaism tomorrow, would the state belong to them, too?

And what about the confusion between “Nation” and “People”? Does the Nation-State belong to the “Nation” or to the “People”? According to what scientific or juridical definition? Does the German “Nation-State” belong to the German “People” – which, according to some, also includes the Austrians and the German-speaking Swiss?

We have here a knot of concepts, terms and semantic confusions, a knot that cannot be unraveled.

THE FORMER Minister of Justice, the late Yaakov Shimshon Shapira, a Zionist through and through, told me once that, as the Legal Advisor of the government, he had advised David Ben-Gurion not to enact the Law of Return – because he would never find an answer to the question “who is a Jew”. It is even more difficult to answer the question “what is a Jewish State”.

And indeed, what does it mean? A state in which there is a Jewish majority – something that may well change in time? A state whose language is Hebrew and whose official holidays are Jewish? A state that belongs to the Jews all over the world? A state all of whose citizens are Jews, and Jews only? A state of transfer and ethnic cleansing? And how do the words “Jewish” and “Democratic” go together?

Because of all these questions, Israel has no constitution. In the absence of such, all the confusion will land in the lap of the Supreme Court (after the Arab judge has been removed, of course.)

THIS WEEK I took part in the demonstration of writers, artists and intellectuals on Tel-Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, in front of the building where Ben-Gurion announced on May 14, 1948, the founding of “a Jewish state in Eretz Israel – to be known as the State of Israel”.

Why “a Jewish state”? For Ben-Gurion, this was not an ideological definition. He just quoted the resolution of the UN General Assembly, which partitioned the country between an “Arab state” and a “Jewish state”. The framers of the resolution did not have any ideological character in mind. They simply took note of the fact that there were in the country two rival populations – the Jewish and the Arab – and decided pragmatically to divide the country between them.

The demonstration reached its climax when the queen of the Israeli stage, Hanna Meron, who had lost a leg in 1970 in an attack initiated by Issam Sartawi (before he became a peace activist and a close friend of mine) read out the Israeli Declaration of Independence. She reminded us that the declaration included the undertaking that the State of Israel would “foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; and will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

It was a sad demonstration indeed.


Posted in PoliticsComments Off on THE STATE OF BLA-BLA-BLA



Dear Friends,

6 items below, 2 of which are videos that I hope that you will watch.  One of these is about the Breaking the Silence organization and the flack that they receive.  The other shows the hard sell that kids on the Birthright trips are exposed to.

Apart from that, the first item tells us that every other day the IOF kills a Palestinian civilian with impunity.  Items 2 and 3 are the videos, neither more than about 10 minutes.  Item 4 is an itinerary for Partners for Peace, in which our own Ruth Hiller (one of the founding members of New Profile) is participating in.  Item 5 informs us that Israeli officials justify the building in East Jerusalem, which of course tells us that they are more interested in expansion than peace—nothing new in that stance! 

An item that I sent yesterday, in which Israeli officials downplay the foreign criticism, though disgusting, has more truth to it than all the talk about peace.  If the US wanted Israel to stop, it has the levers to force Israel to come to its knees.  The final, item, 6 reports that at least some rabbis in the US oppose the loyalty oath.  May it not pass!  But that’s asking a lot, probably too much of today’s Israeli government.

All the best,



1.  [Forwarded by Donna Wallach ]

From:   hassan

Subject: [hurriyya] The average civilian kill

Date: October 16, 2010

Think about this B’Tselem report when you hear Obama and our politicians talk of the need to protect Israel’s “security.”   They are really revolting.


The IDF kills 1 Palestinian civilian every 2 days, on average, with impunity


by Philip Weiss

October 15, 2010

Every other day, the IDF kills a Palestinian civilian with impunity in the occupied territories. And the Israelis have treated these killings as “combat action,” reports B’Tselem in a report on Israeli military killings in the occupied territories, 2006-2009, not including the Gaza war.

From 2006 to 2009, the IDF killed 1,510 Palestinians, not including Palestinians killed in Operation Cast Lead. Of these 1,510 deaths, 617 were of persons who were not taking part in hostilities.

Regarding these 617 fatalities, BʹTselem demanded an MPIU [Military Police Investigation Unit] investigation into the deaths of 288 of them, who were killed in 148 incidents. Ninety‐five of these incidents occurred in the Gaza Strip, accounting for 230 of the deaths. The other 53 incidents took place in the West Bank and resulted in the killing of 58 Palestinians. One hundred and four of the fatalities were minors under age 18, 23 were persons 50 and above, and 52 were women. One hundred of the Palestinians whose deaths B’Tselem demanded to investigate were killed in 2006, 86 in 2007, 93 in 2008, and 9 in 2009.

Stephen Lendman’s comment:

Most are witnessed by bystanders whose testimonies are crucial to achieve justice. Yet Israel won’t use them, clearly hiding the truth and obstructing justice.

Further, since September 2000, B’Tselem received no response from the Judge Advocate General’s Office for ” the vast majority” of cases warranting investigation, civilians killed in cold blood, responsible soldiers unpunished.

More from the B’Tselem release:

From the beginning of the first intifada, in December 1987, to the outbreak of the second intifada, in September 2000, the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) investigated almost every case in which Palestinians not taking part in hostilities were killed. At the beginning of the second intifada, the Judge Advocate General’s Office announced that it was defining the situation in the Occupied Territories an “armed conflict,” and that investigations would be opened only in exceptional cases, in which there was a suspicion that a criminal offense had been committed..

B’Tselem protests the sweeping classification of the situation in the Occupied Territories as an “armed conflict,” which effectively grants immunity to soldiers and officers, with the result that soldiers who kill Palestinians not taking part in hostilities are almost never held accountable for their misdeeds. By acting in this way, the army fails to meet its obligation to take all feasible measures to reduce injury to civilians, allows soldiers and officers to violate the law, encourages a trigger-happy attitude, and shows gross disregard for human life.


2.  See a short film about Breaking the Silence

English subtitles


3.  A video on birthright (taglit in Hebrew) showing brain washing in act.


4.  New Profile’s own Ruth Hiller, one of its founding members, will be on tour with Partners for Peace.  If you happen to be in one of the areas below, be sure not to miss them.

Partners for Peace, Jerusalem Women Speak Tour – Oct 19th-Nov 7th

Tuesday Oct 19th Arrival in Washington DC

Wednesday Oct 20th Orientation

Thursday Oct 21st 10:00-12:00 @ Rayburn House

Thursday Oct 28th Northfield, MN

11:30  am @ St Olaf College , Gold Ballroom in Buntrock Commons  Co-sponsored by Oles for Justice in Palestine and Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel

7:00 pm @ First United Church of Christ 300 Union St Northfield. Sponsored by Nothtfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel

Friday and Saturday Oct 29th-30th St. Paul, MN

Friends of Sabeel  Conference “One Land, Two Peoples, Three Faiths: Time for Reconciliation, Justice and Peace”

Wednesday Nov 3rd Fayetteville, AK

          3:00 pm – Giffles Auditorium, Old Main on the University of Arkansas,  Fayetteville Campus

Thursday Nov 4th Tahlequah, Oklahoma

          10:00 am “Jerusalem Women Speak” , Webb Auditorium, Northeastern State University

Saturday Nov 6th Washington DC

          2:00 pm Holy Land Trust Conference

Sunday Nov 7th Shirlington, VA

          6:00 pm Busboy and Poets


5.  Haaretz,

October 17, 2010

Officials defend East Jerusalem building plans as business as usual

Netanyahu’s office responds to criticism by the U.S. and France on Israel’s plans to build nearly 240 new housing units east of the Green Line.

By Chaim Levinson, Jonathan Lis and Nir Hasson

The Prime Minister’s Office responded last night to international criticism regarding Israel’s plans to build 238 new housing units in East Jerusalem, saying that announcements on renewal of construction in Jerusalem are nothing new.

Israel announced Friday its approval of tenders for 238 new housing units in areas of Jerusalem east of the Green Line, which triggered statements by both the U.S. and France saying they were “disappointed” by the announcement.

“We have already said in the past that there is no longer a settlement freeze in Jerusalem,” the PMO said in a statement. “Regarding the relationship with the United States, they received notification of the plan before we announced it.”

Both the United States and France said they were “disappointed” with the move.

Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias told Haaretz the informal building freeze in East Jerusalem led Palestinians to think of the city as an ordinary settlement and not part of undivided Jerusalem.

“We must not let the Palestinians get used to Jerusalem being part of the talks,” he said.

Atias also said that Jerusalem has nowhere to develop but over the Green Line. The tenders, published on Thursday, are for 158 units to be built in Ramot, northwest of Jerusalem and another 80 units Pisgat Ze’ev, northeast of the city.

On Friday, the United States expressed disappointment over reports that Israel had approved tenders for construction of the new housing units.

The Housing Ministry has issued no new tenders for construction in East Jerusalem since March, when tenders published during a visit to Israel by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden became a point of contention between the United States and Israel.

An informal freeze was subsequently imposed on construction over the Green Line in Jerusalem, including large Jewish neighborhoods like Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramat Shlomo. The Prime Minister’s Bureau demanded that it be informed of any plans brought before the Regional Planning and Building Committee for approval, and plans considered controversial were shelved.

However, in recent months, two tenders were issued by the Israel Lands Administration for extensive construction in Neveh Ya’akov, north of the city, and in Pisgat Ze’ev, plans for some 600 units have been approved and permits issued.

Neither of those moves led to U.S. protests, apparently because the U.S. is particularly sensitive to construction that expands to new areas, as do the construction in the tenders issued Thursday.

American criticism could also be a reflection of the sensitive nature of Washington-led direct peace talks, with the U.S. wanting to use the tenders issue to push Israel on other matters.

In an effort to maintain a low profile, the Housing Ministry issued the tenders only in real estate publications, and as part of a larger announcement of tenders throughout the country.

The issuing of the tenders on Thursday was reportedly timed for just before the weekend break to lessen international pressure over the decision.

Netanyahu’s envoy Isaac Molho had reportedly updated U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell over the past few weeks of the intention to issue the tenders.

Jerusalem expected the decision to be criticized. However, officials hoped the Americans would make do with a statement.

“We were disappointed by the announcement of new tenders in East Jerusalem yesterday. It is contrary to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties,” U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said during a press conference in Washington on Friday. Yesterday, France also condemned Israel’s construction plans, saying that “France is deeply disappointed” by the decision and urged the Israeli government to reconsider.

Earlier yesterday, Egypt said that Israel’s building permits for 238 new housing units in East Jerusalem are a sign that direct peace talks could collapse.

On Friday, the Arab League said it may ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state if Israel continues construction in the settlements.

Islamic states blast construction

Also yesterday, the Organization of the Islamic Conference condemned Israel for renewing settlement construction in East Jerusalem and urged the international community to put an end to what it called “Israeli arrogance.”

The 238 units are among 1,700 planned for Jewish neighborhoods over the Green Line.

A senior minister said the move had been fully coordinated with the Americans, including agreement over the formula of the critical response the United States would make.

Atias, who is considered a moderate and has privately expressed a willingness to renew the building freeze, asked Netanyahu’s approval for renewed construction in Jerusalem at the end of the freeze to alleviate a housing shortage and not for ideological reasons, government officials said.

One minister said at end of the week that if Atias had not asked Netanyahu for permission to issue the tenders, the premier would not have initiated such construction himself at this delicate juncture in talks with the Palestinians.

Also on Friday, a number of Palestinians took part in violent protests in Silwan, hurling rocks at Jewish homes and Border Police. One protester was injured by a rubber bullet.


6.  Ynet,

October 17, 2010

Stormy Debate

 Liebarman: Scorned by US rabbis Photo: AP

    US reform rabbis: Loyalty oath undemocratic

American Reform rabbis issue statement condemning amendment to Citizenship Law, saying ‘oxymoronic law’ will strengthen Israel’s enemies. ‘This legislation greatly diminishes Israel’s Jewish character,’ they say

Kobi Nahshoni

US Reform rabbis issued a statement Sunday condemning the loyalty oath bill, an amendment to Israel’s Citizenship Law that requires all new non-Jewish immigrants to pledge allegiance to a Jewish democratic state.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), which authored the statement, warned that forcing Arab citizens to take a loyalty oath will strengthen Israel’s enemies and harm the State’s security.

CCAR claimed that the oath, proposed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu and supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, creates “one law for Jews and another law for non-Jews.” The amendment was approved in the Knesset on October 10.

“It would turn Israel into the very kind of country which historically Jews themselves have rightly cursed for their unequal treatment of non-Christians and non-Muslims,” CCAR stated.

According to CCAR, which represents nearly 2,000 Reform rabbis, the loyalty oath denies non-Jewish citizens the political rights and the freedom of conscience guaranteed by Israel’s Declaration of Independence. The organization quoted the declaration promising full and equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, and asserted that the loyalty oath goes against this provision.

“Our deep conviction that Israel is and must remain both Jewish and democratic is precisely what compels us to oppose this oxymoronic law,” CCAR stated. “For in requiring non-Jewish citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, this legislation greatly diminishes Israel’s Jewish character and compromises its democratic commitment.”

The organization was especially outraged that the loyalty oath might send a message that co-existence between Jews, Muslims and Christians in a Jewish state is impossible.

“More than symbolic loyalty statements, Israel needs its non-Jewish citizens as partners in peace, equally invested in the future of the state,” CCAR said.

Moreover, the Reform leaders wrote that the loyalty oath defies the Torah, which commands the Jewish people not to oppress others living amongst it.

“If this legislation comes to the floor of the Knesset,” the statement concluded, “we implore all those who themselves would be loyal to Israel’s democratic and Jewish character to oppose and vote down once and for all this un-Jewish and un-democratic legislation.”

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER



October 16, 2010

by Gordon Duff  


By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

9 years after 9/11, American drug production in Afghanistan has gone from zero to 92% of world output.  Calling the drug business there anything but “American” is a lie.  We don’t just “turn way,” we are in it up to our necks, maybe deeper.  Last week we learned that USAID, part of the Department of State, was supplying fertilizer for opium production.  Testimony that implicates every level of the American government in drug dealing, corruption and even complicity in terrorism has been ignored or suppressed for years. 

The American government, in concert with the powerful Israel lobby, is working to silence citizen dissent, suppress “open source” information and control, not just the media but every form of human communication beyond the guarded whisper.

No police state in history is guilty of more.

In particular, I recently read the most recent additions to Dimitri  Khalezov’s book on 9/11.  Khalezov was a Russian “special weapons” officer.  This led his examination to look at applications of advanced technologies tied to the application of particle physics, fission and fusion weapons and “Star Wars” technology which he has a unique understanding of.  What was enjoyable was his non-dogmatic approach. 

There are so many theories around regarding 9/11, with government paid “shills” coming up with a new and crazier version almost weekly.  For every pronouncement about Al Qaeda and hijackers the government makes overtly, they make ten pronouncements about space aliens and cosmic death rays on the internet.

We know they do it, they have been caught repeatedly.  These are the actions of a police state.

I am not ready to comprehensively discuss all the reasons that 9/11 is such a disgusting subject.  Suffice it to say that the naked lies the government has foisted on the public for so long are both irrational and patently insane.  This is where Khalezov shines.  He has a way of cutting through the manure.

It is funny to read a Russian discuss 9/11.  One area that we can deal with today and, perhaps, put one minor thing to rest is how the World Trade Center was built and why an aircraft, why 500 aircraft could never hurt it.  Oh, you say, the plane flew right through the building, passing through the thin glass windows and out the other side.

Yup, that’s how it seemed.

How Khalezov describes the outer walls of the WTC is though comparison with a World War II T-34 Russian Tank.  His point is that each of the beams that made up the outside of the building, space 3 feet apart, had four sides, each not only harder but thicker than the armor on a tank.  The analogies used by Khalezov were compelling.

His first point, of course, is that anti-tank rounds are never made of aluminum.  You don’t use aluminum knives.  Aluminum can’t cut steel.

We could go further:  Crashing a Boeing 767 into 20 massive 4 sided hardened steel girders, highly supported and interlaced, cutting through them and eventually bringing down the largest building in the world would be the equivalent of throwing a beer can at a garbage truck.

Want more?  Cutting a steel knife with a piece of cheese?

Derailing a freight train with a thrown marshmallow?  OK, that one is a bit much, but you get the picture.  Aircraft are made of lightweight and very thin aluminum.  The WTC had a massive outer wall of heavy steel, thick enough to armor a tank, a similar center structure around the core and a second wall for a plane to pass through.  No possible amount of aluminum in any shape or configuration at 400 miles per hour or 2000 miles per hour could pass through one steel beam much less dozens.

Pages are spent describing this point nobody has discussed other than Khalezov.  It is clear that Khalezov and David Ray Griffin don’t see “eye to eye” on the methods used to bring the building down.  In many ways, it is a shame that there is a more powerful need to deal with the science before we deal with the criminal intent, especially finding those responsible.  I respect both men for the work they have done and their disagreement is an honest one.  That both manage to disagree with each other and still humiliate the government’s fabrication is both curious and compelling.

This point all are in agreement.  Khalezov is emphatic that the wildest possible conspiracy theory involves box cutters, hijackers and  a massive building “pancaking” to the ground in total free fall while enough steel to build a naval fleet turns into dust. No idiot could believe that, a “hare brained” lie that has proven to be assembled from planted witnesses, misquotes and total fabrications.

If even one of these things were a factor, it would be evidence of a criminal conspiracy.  That all are present, that and the massive government spy operation directed against those seeking the truth, an operation that takes up an entire department header by Cass Sonnenstein, with a title that unavoidably sounds like “Reichs Minister of Propaganda,” we can say “case closed.”  We can also say with some certainty, “No Muslims were harmed in the making of this picture.”

I don’t plan on going there but something haunts me.  Nobody has seen or heard from Osama bin Laden since 2001.  Benazir Bhutto says he was killed then.  Intelligence officials from several countries confirm this privately.  Yet we have a hundred thousand people looking for him, nearly 5,000 have died hunting him after his death was confirmed, as reliable sources tell us.

On the other hand, the “suicide hijackers” we claim were on the planes on 9/11 seem to be, not only alive, but are thinking of suing the networks for being refused entry into the country to go on talk shows.  How can we have dead hijackers kept out of the country because they are on terrorist watch lists?  Doesn’t that stop when you die?

What kind of place are we running here?

But, we are here to talk dissolving steel, magically plummeting buildings and government misconduct.  When the NIST stated that the WTC “pancaked” they misrepresented the amount of concrete in the upper stories.  There was nothing to collapse, only vertical steel, no huge concrete walls, no pillars made of concrete and only thin concrete floors.  They lied.

Almost all the concrete in the buildings is in the foundation, there is little in the upper floors.  They are steel.  It would be like dissolving several aircraft carriers and seeing them blow away with the wind, except this is exactly what we saw.  However, we have seen one other steel building, the Windsor Building, in Madrid, burn for 24 hours.  This building was nowhere as strong and burned, not one hour but for at least a day.

The “government’ runs a website at meant to “debunk” 9/11.  They refer to an article from Popular Science and a study done by the National Institute of Standards.  Few scientists will stand by any of this anymore, they are all either onboard with “9/11 Truth” or protecting their careers with silence.

When we talk about steel no plane could ever penetrate, the NIST does supply a nice photo, though.

My recommendation is to read the book, not because I agree with it or everything it says.  Simply read it because it provides many relevant points, and some clear warnings about how serious government interference has been in the process of finding the truth.

Every lie, every infiltrated group, every bit of ridiculous pseudo-science proves one thing.  9/11 was an inside job and those responsible are still pulling the strings in America.

Posted in USAComments Off on WHEN WILL THE CRIMES OF 9/11 END?



ALAN HART: Yes indeed, show us all the map!

October 16, 2010

by Alan Hart

That’s a completely logical and totally reasonable demand.

By Alan Hart

Better late than never, a very senior Palestinian official in Ramallah, Yasser Abed Rabbo, found the right way to challenge Israel and the U.S. As reported by AFP on 13 October, he said, “We officially demand that the US administration and the Israeli government provide a map of the borders of the state of Israel which they want us to recognise.”

That’s a completely logical and totally reasonable demand.

IF Israel was interested in peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept, the map provided would show Israel with borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war. An accompanying note would say that, subject to agreement in final negotiations, Israel seeks minor border adjustments here and there. The note would also propose that Jerusalem should be an open, undivided city and the capital of two states.

If such a map with the note as above was presented, it would open the door to peace.

But the implementation of such land-for-peace deal would require the IDF to confront and forcibly remove illegal Jewish settlers who refused to leave; and that would open the door to a Jewish civil war – the price Israel’s Jews would have to pay for 62 years of contempt for and defiance of international law.

Of course it won’t happen. As I reveal in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews (, why not was explained to me as far back as I980 by Shimon Peres. At the time he was the leader of the Labour Party, the main opposition to Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s Likud-led coalition. Peres was hoping to win Israel’s next election and deny Begin a second term in office. (President Carter was hoping and possibly praying for such an outcome). My purpose in talking with Peres in private was to establish whether or not he was interested in me acting as the linkman in a secret, exploratory dialogue between himself and PLO Chairman Arafat. Peres was interested but before I went off to Beirut to seek Arafat’s agreement to participate in a little conspiracy for peace, he said to me, “I fear it’s already too late”.

I asked Peres what he meant and this was his answer:

“Every day that passes sees new bricks on new settlements. Begin knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s stuffing the West Bank with settlers to create the conditions for a Jewish civil war. He knows that no Israeli prime minister is going down in history as the one who gave the order to the Jewish army to shoot Jews out of the West Bank”. Pause. “I’m not.”

When Peres spoke those words to me there were 70,000 illegal Jewish settlers on the occupied West Bank. If it was “too late” then, in 1980, how much more too late is it today when the number of illegal Jewish settlers is in excess of 500,000 and rising on a daily basis?

Some weeks after that conversation with Peres, I had reason to talk in private with Ezer Weizman, then serving as Defense Minister in Begin’s first-term government. He gave me extraordinary and frightening insight into why any future Israeli prime minister would not and possibly could not order the IDF to remove settlers from the West Bank by whatever force was necessary. At a point in our conversation he said the following, very slowly and with quiet emphasis:

“This lunchtime Sharon convened a secret meeting of some of our generals and other top military and security people. They signed in blood an oath which commits them to join with the settlers and fight to the death to prevent any government of Israel withdrawing from the West Bank.” Pause. “I know that’s what happened at the meeting because I’ve checked it out and that’s why I was late for this appointment with you.” (I tell the full story of this conversation with Weizman in The Blood Oath, Chapter 12 of Volume Three of the American edition of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews).

So no, there won’t be a Jewish civil war because no Israeli prime minister is ever going to risk provoking it.

So there will be no map. (I mean not one that could come even close to satisfying the Palestinian demand and need). Yasser Abed Rabbo knew that when he put the demand into words.

So what was the point of his challenge?

I presume he was hoping that Israel’s refusal to come up with a map based on more or less pre-June 1967 borders will help to convince more and more people, Americans especially, that Israel simply is not interested in peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept, and for which there is universal support (minus only the opposition of the Zionists and the mad, fundamentalist Christians who support them right or wrong, an opposition which in numbers of people is only a tiny, almost invisible fraction of the global whole).

If it does that, the challenge will not have been made in vain.


The day after Yasser Abed Rabbo issued the challenge, Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman had the gall (chutzpah) to say that Israel “has already made many gestures to the Palestinian Authority to facilitate restarting direct negotiations,” and now “the other side must show goodwill”. In one sense Liberman was right. Israel has made many gestures to the Palestinians. But all of them have been of the “Go to hell” type.

Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East.  His Latest book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is a three-volume epic in its American edition.  He blogs on and tweets on

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on YES INDEED, SHOW US ALL THE MAP!



 At NYU, Israel is held up as the model for US counter-terrorism effort

At NYU, Israel is held up as the model for US counter-terrorism effort

Oct 15, 2010

Chase Madar

Is Israel a good counter-terrorism role model for the US? This question has been on my mind ever since the morning of September 12, 2001, when professors in two consecutive lecture classes told us first-year law students that we needn’t worry, that they had been talking to friends in Israel, friends who knew just what we were going through because they deal with terrorism all the time, and that we’d get through it just like they did, whether with tighter airport security or with other measures. We’d get through this just like the Israelis do every day. This was intended as a soothing reassurance, and taken as such by many students. 

I found it disturbing. Do we really need to start living like Israelis? In constant tension with neighboring countries, in a state of permanent national emergency, under constant threat of terrorist attack? Do we really want to be the defiant practitioner of many policies—assassination and preventive detention for instance—that most of our peer nations profess to abhor? (We americanos used to officially abhor them too in that sepia-toned decade before 9-11.) Beefed-up airport security has indeed come to pass, a farce and a headache. Overall, not my idea of the good life.

Last week I went back to NYU for a short conference, “Democracies and National Security: The American and Israeli Experiences,” sponsored by NYU’s Taub Center for Israel Studies and an Israeli outfit called the Israel Democracy Institute. 


The panel led off promisingly with Gabriella Blum, a former IDF lawyer now at Harvard Law, who told us that the similarity between the US and Israel is in fact a little too intuitive, and laid out the many differences. Brava.

Have we then turned to Israel for guidance a little too reflexively, a little thoughtlessly? If the similarity of our circumstances really is overdrawn, is Israel then the best source of counter-terrorist guidance for the US? I asked the panelists if we necessarily had more to learn from the Israeli experience than from the United Kingdom, Colombia or Italy, all liberal democracies which have also dealt with sustained threats from terrorists and/or armed militants over the past decades. None of these other countries is an exact parallel to our own situation, and none has met total success in balancing national security with civil liberties and other concerns. And the same, of course, could be said of Israel.

The response to my question was pretty much what I expected. Gabby Blum herself quickly answered that no, the European examples are not applicable to the US because their terrorism is “home-grown.” (Really, the IRA, home-grown? More than Hamas, which Israel used to bankroll? Not a very satisfying answer.) Yuval Shany, Hersh Lauterpacht Professor of International Law at the Hebrew University, assured me that Israel and the US were, alas, locked into their own little support group of two. This he said sighingly, as if the US and Israel were two star-crossed lovers in a cold and misunderstanding world.

The outlook of so many American national security intellectuals was typified by panelist Rick Pildes, a justly-esteemed professor at NYU Law. Pildes is a real asset to NYU Law: a frequently brilliant scholar on election law and constitutional law, always a cogent talking head, a popular lecturer and a co-director of the school’s Center for Law and Security.

Pildes seemed almost to salivate at the prospect of adopting a counter-terror legal system like Israel’s, “more sophisticated, less binary,” than the American approach. He spoke enviously of Israel’s “third way” that is neither a war paradigm, nor a criminal justice paradigm, and wondered aloud if the US might adopt judicially-ordered preventive detention, just like Israel has. No doubt about it, Israel does have a more complex, developed set of laws in its counter-terrorism toolkit—but is this really a virtue? Shany said that the Israeli legal system had “benefited” from a gradual and constant deterioration of the nation’s security, and so has developed more nuanced legal tools to prevent terror attacks. Ah wonderful, a silver lining for lawyers.

Of course we lawyers do have a built-in bias in favor of law itself: a solution to any problem that involves more law we tend to like, and the more complex and nuanced the law–the more we like it! (This goes triple for law professors.) Solutions that are non-legal—for instance political, diplomatic, social, military– tend not to cross our minds. Not our brief, can’t help you. So the counter-terrorist solutions boosted by Pildes and speaker Amos Guiora (another former IDF lawyer now teaching law at University of Utah) have all revolved around fancy new legal structures, like hybrid special courts and subtle continuums from criminal to terrorist, all giving more power to the judges and courts. Yes, more law!

Not surprisingly, the simple option of withdrawing our military from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq or cutting off our lavish military and diplomatic support to Israel was not even mentioned as a way to undercut anti-American terrorists, despite this course of action’s essential morality, prudence and Gordian efficiency. Equally unsurprising, neither was the possibility of Israel withdrawing behind its ‘67 borders, uprooting its illegal colonies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and/or giving full citizenship rights to all Palestinians. Too crude, too unsubtle? Too “unrealistic”? 

George Fletcher of Colombia Law, to his credit, did at least bring a glimmer of peripheral vision as he pondered the immense costs of Bagram and Guantánamo, both in treasure and soft power. But his contention that the boring old US Constitution is perfectly up to the task of regulating our many counter-terrorist policies was speedily pooh-poohed by Pildes. “To say that the Constitution is enough for this situation is to blank out reality!”

I’m not so sure. Since 9-11, of course, the US has performed many extra-Constitutional and extra-legal maneuvers in the name of emergency, from torture to indefinite detention at Gitmo and Bagram to the conquest of Iraq itself. To claim that any of these measures has contributed one iota to national security rather than undermined it is, it seems to me, to blank out reality. It is 2010, not 2003; this is no longer a minority opinion.

Throughout the conference, the overall strategic failure of Israel’s quest for national security went all but unmentioned, as did the overall failure of America’s spastic and self-defeating responses to 9-11. (Perhaps a support group is not the place to probe such wounds.) Shany did alight on the disturbing “spillover” of counter-terrorist practices into the policing of ordinary Israelis, where gag orders and incommunicado detention are mushrooming. Is this something we want to emulate in the United States? Have we already taken this path?

Nine years and one conference later, I remain unconvinced that Israel is a good counter-terrorist role model for the United States. What Israel does offer us seems to lie much more in the way of object lessons than sane, effective security policies. No matter. Since 9-11, our own permanent emergency has corroded civil liberties, spawned pullulating Islamophobia and produced illiberal detention policies and Presidentially ordered assassinations, of US citizens even. This is not unlike the Israeli way—and is it really working out for them? By now our heads should have cooled off enough to allow us to look around the world and see what works and what doesn’t in counter-terrorism, never ignoring the big strategic picture as this conference resolutely did. Then again I’m not sure whether the function of the conference was to stimulate real thinking about counter-terrorism or to cement even closer ties between the US and Israel. The two may well be mutually exclusive.

Madar is a lawyer in NY who writes for Le Monde diplo, the London Review of Books, and The American Conservative. Six months back we posted Madar’s report on the American Society for International Law’s annual conference and their panel on the Goldstone Report,  here.

The new threats to Israel’s Palestinian citizens

Oct 15, 2010

David Samel

Two related articles of note. First, from ynet, a new poll finds that 36% of Israeli Jews want to revoke voting rights for Palestinian citizens. Of course, this exclusion would represent a change only for the 1.4 million or so Palestinians who are citizens, and not the 4 million Palestinians under occupation who have no say in the regime that rules over them.

The number 36% is shockingly high, and indicates that Israel’s rightward shift in the government is a reasonably accurate reflection of its constituents’ sentiment. Will this growing trend translate into policy? Palestinians comprise about 20% of the Israeli electorate, and as long as the non-Jewish population remains at a safe level, with zero chance of Palestinians gaining a significant voice in how the country is run, there is nothing to gain by stripping them of the right to vote; on the other hand, any pretense of democracy would be obliterated. But with the whiff of loyalty oaths in the air, and even forcible “transfer” openly discussed as a possibility, who knows?

That 20% figure will inch upward in coming decades because of a higher birthrate, and at some point, something will have to be done to “save” Israel as a supposed Jewish and democratic state. The demographic time bomb is a lively topic of discussion, and no doubt many are preparing to lay the groundwork to defuse it, even if it means risking international condemnation, which Israel always manages to weather until the storm passes.

How troublesome is this descent into unabashed racism? It’s hard to evaluate. Any change that makes things more difficult for Palestinians, both citizens and non-, is surely a change for the worse. However, Israel’s international legitimacy has always depended on a veneer of respectability. Many articulate the position that Israel’s noble experiment, and the moral righteousness of its founding generation, have been corrupted by today’s leaders. There is a longing for the good old days when Israel truly was a moral beacon for the world, a noble revival of a people from the brink of annihilation.

This myth remains quite persistent, despite the abundance of evidence that from the start, the Jewish State was conceived and realized only through racist dismissal of the indigenous population. As Israel’s racism becomes more and more brazen and unapologetic, the immaculate conception myth recedes further into history, and the necessity of compelling its people to accept fundamental 21st century norms of racial/ethnic equality becomes clearer.

But bad news cannot be welcomed on the theory that it will provoke a pendulum swing. Which brings us to the second article, on Israel’s budding citizenship law, which requires non-Jewish applicants for citizenship to swear an oath of loyalty to the Jewish and democratic state, as if repetition by enough people could transform an oxymoron into reality. It turns out that the law, which has application to a very limited number of people, will have one prominent victim: journalist Jonathan Cook, who is married to a Palestinian citizen and has a pending application for citizenship himself.

Cook writes about his dilemma in facing this new law and eloquently dissects the law itself. As others have pointed out here, Cook warns that this is probably just the first step toward requiring Israel’s non-Jewish citizenry to swear the same oath upon penalty of loss of citizenship and voting rights, which brings us back to the new poll regarding disenfranchising Palestinians.

‘60 Minutes’ set to look into colonized E. Jerusalem

Oct 15, 2010

Philip Weiss

This coming Sunday, “60 Minutes” will go to Silwan, the neighborhood just outside the walls of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem that Jews are colonizing. The trailer suggests that she will put some emphasis on the biblical stories that rightwingers tell themselves to justify the landgrab. The Brook Kidron, etc. Though the trailer ends with that shocking video of the settler in his car upending two Palestinian boys in the road in Silwan as they threw rocks. I am told that Stahl turned to Ir Amim for her reporting, the group that wants to share Jerusalem, and that offers some hope that she will expose the occupation in all its gory.

The IDF kills 1 Palestinian civilian every 2 days, on average, with impunity

Oct 15, 2010

Philip Weiss

Every other day, the IDF kills a Palestinian civilian with impunity in the occupied territories. And the Israelis have treated these killings as “combat action,” reports B’Tselem in a report on Israeli military killings in the occupied territories, 2006-2009, not including the Gaza war.

From 2006 to 2009, the IDF killed 1,510 Palestinians, not including Palestinians killed in Operation Cast Lead. Of these 1,510 deaths, 617 were of persons who were not taking part in hostilities.

Regarding these 617 fatalities, BʹTselem demanded an MPIU [Military Police Investigation Unit] investigation into the deaths of 288 of them, who were killed in 148 incidents. Ninety‐five of these incidents occurred in the Gaza Strip, accounting for 230 of the deaths. The other 53 incidents took place in the West Bank and resulted in the killing of 58 Palestinians. One hundred and four of the fatalities were minors under age 18, 23 were persons 50 and above, and 52 were women. One hundred of the Palestinians whose deaths B’Tselem demanded to investigate were killed in 2006, 86 in 2007, 93 in 2008, and 9 in 2009.

Stephen Lendman‘s comment:

Most are witnessed by bystanders whose testimonies are crucial to achieve justice. Yet Israel won’t use them, clearly hiding the truth and obstructing justice.


Further, since September 2000, B’Tselem received no response from the Judge Advocate General’s Office for ” the vast majority” of cases warranting investigation, civilians killed in cold blood, responsible soldiers unpunished.

More from the B’Tselem release:

From the beginning of the first intifada, in December 1987, to the outbreak of the second intifada, in September 2000, the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) investigated almost every case in which Palestinians not taking part in hostilities were killed. At the beginning of the second intifada, the Judge Advocate General’s Office announced that it was defining the situation in the Occupied Territories an “armed conflict,” and that investigations would be opened only in exceptional cases, in which there was a suspicion that a criminal offense had been committed..

B’Tselem protests the sweeping classification of the situation in the Occupied Territories as an “armed conflict,” which effectively grants immunity to soldiers and officers, with the result that soldiers who kill Palestinians not taking part in hostilities are almost never held accountable for their misdeeds. By acting in this way, the army fails to meet its obligation to take all feasible measures to reduce injury to civilians, allows soldiers and officers to violate the law, encourages a trigger-happy attitude, and shows gross disregard for human life.

The plan

Oct 15, 2010

Philip Weiss

This is the new neoconservative echo-chamber. Marty Peretz at the New Republic has adopted Jeffrey Goldberg’s tactic (and Michael Oren’s too): to rattle the sword for Americans to hear and so give our permission to Israel to bomb Iran:

Iran now has three frontiers with Israel. The line with Gaza, patrolled by Hamas. The line with Syria proper. And the line with Lebanon which is not Lebanon at all. But Hezbollah land. These are all unstable fields of battle. Israel may be forced to deal directly with Iran itself.

Defiant Netanyahu: ‘We will continue to build’ (and subjugate)
Oct 15, 2010 12:11 pm | Seham

and other news from Today in Palestine


Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing 

Settlers attempt to kidnap toddler in al-Khalil, beat up boy in Jerusalem
A number of extremist Jewish settlers tried on Wednesday evening to kidnap a 3-year-old Palestinian toddler in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil, according to Palestinian security sources.

Settlers Attack Olive Pickers In Nablus
Israeli settlers attacked, on Friday morning, Palestinian olive pickers, and fired rounds of live ammunition at them, near the village of ‘Azmout, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Settlers fire at Palestinians in West Bank
Settlers, Palestinians blame each other for torching of fields, other violence during olive harvest,7340,L-3969876,00.html

Israel expels residents from Bethlehem village
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Thursday demolished storage units and tents in a village east of Bethlehem.  Forces threatened residents of the Kahlet Abu Hamad village east of Rashaydah with arrest in the event they opted to stay in the area.  Calls to Israel’s Civil Administration placed outside business hours were not immediately returned.

PA condemns land confiscation
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday condemned an Israeli military order to confiscate 1,000 acres of the Palestinian Al-Jalud village, south of Nablus. The order says that the commander of the Israeli army “believes that this is necessary for military needs, following the special security conditions which prevailed in the area and the need to take steps to prevent terrorist acts.”

Netanyahu approves tenders for 238 homes east of Green Line
Neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot included in nation-wide building plan despite controversy over construction in East Jerusalem.

E. Jerusalem construction bid underway
New Housing Ministry tender includes 240 homes slated for construction in east Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly okays bid. PA says act will be ‘final nail in negotiation’s coffin’.,7340,L-3969774,00.html

Rightist plans to settle 10 new Jewish families in East Jerusalem neighborhood
Delivers eviction orders to families living in Sheikh Jarrah and to the south of the neighborhood.

Erekat: We won’t accept population exchange
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The head PLO negotiator said Wednesday he would never accept proposals to “swap” Palestinian citizens of Israel for settlers in the occupied territories.  Saeb Erekat told Ma’an radio that Israel’s recent drills involving mass imprisonment of Palestinians were “test balloons” to see the potential reaction to such an initiative.  Addressing Palestinians in Israel, Erekat said, “We will not harm you in any way, nor will we accept Israel’s racist proposals including recognizing it as a Jewish state or a land swap or population swap or whatever.”  He said the PLO would conduct negotiations solely according to international law.

Palestinians: Netanyahu harming chance for peace by approving East Jerusalem construction
Netanyahu approves tenders for 238 homes east of Green Line; neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot included in nation-wide building plan despite controversy over construction in East Jerusalem.

Palestinians protest new Jerusalem housing plan
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel on Friday of choosing “settlements over peace” in a protest over publication of a plan to build 238 housing units in East Jerusalem.  Israel issued the building tenders on Thursday in a little-noticed move that may further complicate U.S.-backed efforts to rescue direct peace talks with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu: We will continue to build and to create
Washington – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the Independence Museum in Tel Aviv, hours after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed thousands of Hezbollah ralliers in southern Lebanon. Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that Israel’s very existence discredits its opponents, Haaretz reported Thursday.  “And since then, look at what a nation, what a state, what an army we have,” said Netanyahu. “We will continue to build and to create, and we will know how to protect ourselves as best we can.”  Prime Minister Netanyahu was asked if Israel had considered assassinating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his Lebanon visit. In response to this query, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “We consider with reason what needs to be done to protect the state.”

Smothered by Settlements, MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI
Negotiations between two unequal parties cannot succeed. Success in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations requires a reasonable balance of power, clear terms of reference and abstention of both sides from imposing unilateral facts on the ground. None of that existed in the talks that were re-initiated in September.  Much like previous rounds of talks, these negotiations were dominated on one side by an Israeli government that controls the land, roads, airspace, borders, water and electricity, as well as the trade and economy of the Palestinian side, while possessing a powerful military establishment (now the third military exporter in the world) and a robust gross domestic product, which has tripled in the last decade.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment

Many Protesters Suffer From Tear Gas During The Weekly Non-violent Protest In Nil’in
Many suffered from the effects of tear gas inhalition during the weekly non-violent demonstration against the wall in the village of Nil’in, near the centrel West Bank.

Israeli Troops Attack Nil’in Anti Wall Protest; Number Of Injuries Reported
Nil’in – PNN – A number of civilians suffered effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday when Israeli troops attacked them during the weekly anti wall protest in the central West Bank village of Nil’in.  Villagers along with international and Israeli supporters marched after midday prayers towards the Israeli wall, which is being built on local farmers’ lands.  The protesters demanded to reach the villagers’ lands on the other side of the wall to harvest their olive trees. Palestinian farmers start harvesting their olive trees on the first week of October, with the season lasting until the end of the month. During this time, settler and military attacks often escalate against West Bank farmers.  As soon as protesters reached the gate of the wall, stationed troops fired tear gas and sound bombs at the protesters. Around a dozen locals and internationals were lightly wounded, suffering tear gas inhalation. They were treated at a local clinic.

Bethlehem Village Protest The Israeli Wall, Troops Injuries An International Supporter
Bethlehem – PNN – On Friday, villagers from Al Ma’ssara village near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem organized their weekly anti wall protest.  The protest started at midday, as Israeli and international protesters joined the villagers and marched to farmer’s land, where Israel’s wall is under construction. Troops stopped the protest at the village entrance.  During the face-off, troops fired tear gas and sound bombs at the protesters to force them back to the village. An international supporter was hit in the head with a sound bomb and transported to the local clinic for treatment. Others were treated for effects of tear gas inhalation.

Bil’in: Troops Use Tear Gas To Suppress Weekly Anti-Wall Protest
Bil’in – PNN – Israeli and international supporters joined the village of Bil’in on Friday for the weekly nonviolent action against the Israeli wall being built on farmers’ lands.  Image Today’s demonstration was comprised of about 100 local residents, Israeli activists and internationals. As the group moved peaceful y towards the site of the wall, they chanted demands to free Palestinian political prisoners, including Abdullah Abu Rahma and Adib Abu Rahman, who were arrested last year for their leadership of the popular resistance in Bil’in.

Protest tent set up again in Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A member of Fatah’s revolutionary council said Wednesday a protest tent was erected in Jerusalem.  The tent has been repeatedly taken down and replaced over a period of years protesting settlement activity and expulsions of Palestinians.  Demetri Deliani said the tent was set up yet again after Israeli forces tore it down this week.

Socialist youth call for settlement freeze
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The International Union of Socialist Youth insisted Friday that the continuation of illegal settlement expansion prohibited the 2-state solution as a choice for the future.  The IUSA in Austria passed a statement calling on the government of Israel to put an end to all settlement activities within the Palestinian territory and lift the blockade in the Gaza Strip.  It also deplored the idea that the displacement of population should replace the internationally recognized principle of “land for peace” as recently stated by the Israeli Foreign Minister in his speech at the UN.  The statement was passed after lobbying by Fatah youth delegates.

Bilin organizer’s wife talks about his trial, detention
Magda Abu Rahme, the wife of detained Bilin community organizer Abdullah Abu Rahme, speaks of her relief after his sentencing this week to one year in prison.  “This was a difficult period,” she told “We lived on the edge of our nerves. They dragged their feet and postponed this farce of a trial so much just to weaken the morale of Abdullah.”  Abu Rahme says that the family was expecting a heavier sentence. The prosecution asked for a jail term of two years. And still she fears that Abdullah’s sentencing could be relived if the military court accepts further arguments from the prosecution.  Abu Rahme was originally charged with incitement, organizing and participating in illegal demonstrations, breaking the law, throwing stones and possession of weapons.

From Budrus to Bilin: Arresting Heroes
One stark lesson from the collapse of the Oslo process ten years ago is that no top-down approach to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking will succeed without widespread support from the grassroots. Yet as talks predictably falter once again, the very civic leaders who are willing to risk their lives to promote a dignified, free, secure and rights-respecting future for both peoples are being jailed, harassed and silenced. In recent months, Palestinian nonviolence leaders in particular are facing a severe crackdown, just as their unarmed movements to end the occupation in cooperation with Israeli and international allies are picking up steam.

Criminal Complaint Lodged Against Dutch Company for Construction of Settlements and the Wall
Oct 14, 2010– Al-Haq has announced that it has lodged a criminal complaint against a Dutch private rental company, Riwal, for its involvement in the construction of the Annexation Wall, ‘the Wall,’ and illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank.

#BDS: BDS Victory: Veolia Sells Shares in Jerusalem Light Rail
Veolia has signed a principled agreement to sell its shares in the Jerusalem Light Rail to the Israeli transportation cooperative Egged, reportsTheMarker today (15 October). This sale marks a substantial victory for the Palestinian-led international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.  According to the agreement, Veolia will receive NIS 45 million (approximately EURO 9 million) for its shares, which will be gradually transferred to Egged over a five year period from the first day of the light rail’s operation. This gradual transfer ensures compliance with conditions of the initial tender, which mandate that the light rail operator must have a minimum of five years experience in operations. Egged will also pay increasing percentages of the sale as the light rail becomes increasingly profitable.

#BDS: Another Firm Boycotts Israeli Settlements
In case you need an introduction to the whole boycott thing against Israel, I’ll repost my prompt before I get to the new news:  If Israel refused to respect Palestinian rights and national aspirations when the world was offerings carrots in the forms of international recognition, then a new tactic was to now be adopted: using sticks in the form of international isolation.

#BDS: Unions want ACTU to endorse protest plan against Israeli settlements
AUSTRALIAN unions are signing up to an international campaign to boycott Israeli goods.  But a fight is brewing over a proposal for the Australian Council of Trade Unions to endorse the movement.  The broad-based divestment and boycott campaign is targeting companies that profit from the Israeli settlements.  The Electrical Trades Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the Queensland branch of the Rail Tram and Bus Union and the Finance Sector Union have all passed a resolution supporting the international campaign of “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) against Israel.
Communications Electrical Plumbing Union national secretary Peter Tighe told The Australianthe electrical branch of his union had adopted the resolution and he would now take it to the broader CEPU, then the ACTU.

#BDS: Pro-Palestine initiative urges directors to return Israeli prizes
The Initiative of Boycott against Israel for Palestine, a Turkish civil society organization that aims to raise international awareness of a long-running blockade on Gaza and the plight of Palestinian refugees, has called on Turkish filmmakers Semih Kaplanoğlu and Reha Erdem to return the awards they won at this year’s Haifa International Film Festival.

There’s a great new website and billboard campaign by the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
It launched in Chicago on Oct 4th with billboards on the city’s mass transit system that read “End U.S. Military Aid to Israel.” The campaign website, is full of well-documented information and talking points. I consider myself well-versed and I was taking lots of notes! Take a look…

Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement

Israel blocks teen from visiting home
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police have decided to temporarily prevent a Palestinian teenager from returning to his home, apparently as punishment for his involvement in an altercation with Israeli settlers.  Ayman Nasser Al-Ghawi will not be permitted to return to the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah for 15 days, police determined Thursday, after he was detained in connection with a clash with settlers in occupied East Jerusalem.  The youngster was initially detained for interrogation after being attacked by a group of seven settlers in the flashpoint Jerusalem neighborhood. His nose was broken and he sustained bruises to the face.

Israeli Occupation Set Up Roadblocks In Jenin
The Israeli army erected, on Friday afternoon, a roadblock at the entrance of the town of ‘Aja, south of Jenin, and hindered the movement of palestinian citizens.

Soldiers Install Roadblocks In Hebron
The Israeli soldiers installed, on Friday morning, several roadblocks at the main entrances leading to the southern West Bank city of Hebron, searched Palestinian vehicles and inspected the ID cards of residents.

Finland urges Israel to ease Gaza blockade
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Finland’s foreign affairs minister on Thursday called for Israel to open its crossings with the Gaza Strip.  Alexander Stubb arrived in Gaza via the Erez crossing for a brief trip during which he visited homes destroyed in Israel’s 2008 assault.  The visit marks the fourth time an official EU delegation has visited the besieged enclave, following Norway, Sweden and Ireland.

Israel allows 20 new cars into Gaza
GAZA (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities will allow 20 cars to enter Gaza on Thursday via the southern Kerem Shalom crossing, a Palestinian liaison official said.  Raed Fattouh said approximately 220 to 230 truckloads of goods for the commercial, agricultural and transportation sectors would enter through the same crossing, as well as limited quantities of domestic gas and industrial diesel.

Gaza tunnels used to export goods
The network of tunnels in Gaza, long used to import life-saving goods, are being repurposed to export material to Egypt.

Without Water, There is No Life,  ZIAD ABBAS
Since I started working at Middle East Children’s Alliance, the MAIA Project to bring clean water to the children of Palestine has become closest to my heart. All of our projects are important for people in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq, but the MAIA Project is connected to my history and my family. It takes me back to the days when I struggled with my family to bring clean water to our house so we could drink, cook and, sometimes, have a shower. My mother, sisters and I would carry gallons of water in heavy containers on our heads. Providing this essential for our family made my mother physically strong, her arms and shoulders shaped by her efforts, but her health suffered greatly. Much work and time is required to achieve the basic necessity of clean water. I still remember the weight of the water and the great responsibility on our necks and backs everyday.

Racism and Discrimination

Poll: 36% of Jews want to revoke Arabs’ voting rights
While few Israeli Jews say they are nationalistic, many favor anti-democratic values, survey finds.,7340,L-3969831,00.html

Kahane’s vision for loyalty oath was not so different than Barak’s
Late extremist rabbi proposed every non-Jew wishing to become a naturalized Israeli would have to pledge to ‘the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.’

Settler-style thugs operating inside Israel, Jesse Bacon
One after another, the parallels to fascism pile up in Israel, like the sticks (which is what the root of Fascism means) on a fire. Now a town in Israel has adopted perhaps the most visible feature of many a dictatorship: paramilitary police. The settlers have long functioned in this role in the Occupied Territories, but in the borderless Israeli occupation such methods do not stay contained. What’s more the mission of the militia sounds uncomfortably like the thousands of “sundown towns” of American racism, keep ethnically-defined “outsiders” out of a town with the threat of violence.


10 Palestinians injured in Silwan clashes
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Ten Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and dozens inhaled tear gas during clashes with Israeli forces after noon prayers Friday in the Al-Bustan area of Silwan in East Jerusalem.  Fatah official Hatem Abdul Qader and Sheikh Ikrima Sabri were among those who inhaled gas. He told Ma’an that forces threw the gas canisters at worshipers without cause.  Abdul Qader also claimed the gas affected muscles differently than the usual kind.

A woman is injured and two youth are arrested in renewed clashes in Silwan
Clashes between local Palestinian youth and IOF soldiers erupted again on Thursday evening in the Silwan suburb to the south of the Aqsa Mosque in the holy city.

3 Palestinians injured in clashes in Silwan
Three Palestinians were injured including a 35-year-old woman in clashes between young men and Israeli forces Thursday in the Silwan area south of Jerusalem., Jawad Seyam, head of Wadi Helwa Information Center, said that “Israeli soldiers violently and harshly beat Abdallah Gheith, 17, and Mohammad Maher Abed Al-Wahed, 19, before arresting them.

Shooting in “buffer zone,” air strikes across Gaza
Israeli snipers shot a Palestinian boy collecting scrap building material in the northern Gaza Strip yesterday. The shooting follows several air strikes across the Gaza Strip, injuring a total of eight Palestinians, according to medical sources.


Fayyad sends letter to imprisoned child
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Prime Minister Salam Fayyad sent a letter to an imprisoned child Thursday.  The letter, to Sayel Abu Queider of Hebron, who was detained in September, came as part of a new letter-writing initiative launched by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs to improve communication with prisoners.

Detainees in Nafha prison Attacked by Israeli Military
Detainees in Nafha prison reported to the ‘Wa’ed’ society for detainees and ex-detainees that Israeli military invaded, on Friday afternoon, the Nafha prison and attacked detainees.

Israel’s Arab Helpers

Hamas: PA arrested 1,000 party members last month
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas said Thursday that Palestinian Authority security forces arrested 1,008 party members in September.  “It’s clear that the arrest campaign being waged by the Palestinian Authority did not exclude anyone and did take into consideration the circumstances and titles of the people being arrested, whether they were former detainees from Israeli jails, university professors, teachers, or members of city councils and other categories.”

National campaign wants immediate halt of torture in Abbas’s jails in W. Bank
The National campaign for the defense of kidnapped Palestinian citizens in the PA jails in the West Bank has expressed anxiety over the continued torturing of kidnapped Palestinian activists.

Hamas leaders banned from entering Egypt
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities will prevent a number of Hamas leaders from traveling through the country en route to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj.  Hamas officials told Ma’an that among the leaders prohibited from accessing Egypt are lawmaker Salah Al-Bardawil and spokesmen Sami Abu Zuhri and Fawzi Barhoum.

Political Developments

Dismay, disillusionment prevail in Palestinian camp
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct 15 (Reuters) – The stalemate in direct peace talks with Israel risks undermining the moderate Palestinian leadership and should force world powers to reassess their Middle East strategy, senior Palestinian officials say.  The U.S.-brokered negotiations kicked off in Washington last month, but stalled less than 4 weeks later after Israel refused to extend a freeze on settlement building in the occupied West Bank, prompting the Palestinians to refuse to carry on talking.

Abbas: We’ll never sign deal demanding recognition of Israel as Jewish state
‘PA recognized Israel’s existence in 1993, and now Israel needs to recognize the Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders,’ Abbas tells left-wing Mk’s in Ramallah.

Abbas: No choice but 2 states
President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that the Ramallah-based government had yet to rule out the 2-state solution to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination., “We fully support the 2-state solution, a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders living side by side with Israel in peace, security and stability,” Abbas said after meeting with Finland’s President Tarja Halonen.

Fatah: Netanyahu is politically bankrupt
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conditions for negotiations demonstrate his government’s “political bankruptcy,” a Fatah spokesman said Thursday.  Ahmad Assaf said Israeli violations against Palestinians and their land, and the racist laws passed by the Israeli government, would not weaken the resolve of Palestinians to achieve peace.  Further, Fatah’s determination to establish an independent Palestinian state would not change, Assaf added.

War Crimes

Turks accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC
Complaint filed with International Criminal Court accuses Israel of war crimes including torture, inhuman treatment during IDF raid on Gaza-bound flotilla last May. ICC’s jurisdiction unclear.,7340,L-3969639,00.html

Families of Gaza flotilla victims accuse Israel of war crimes in The Hague
Delegation representing 300 activists files complaint over Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which left 9 activists dead.

Army chief to testify again before Israel flotilla probe (AFP)
AFP – Israel’s armed forces chief Gabi Ashkenazi was on Thursday asked to testify for a second time before an Israeli committee probing the navy’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a spokesman said.*

Israel Raid on Gaza Flotilla: US Failure to Condemn Despite UN Findings
If Iran had attacked a humanitarian flotilla in international waters and killed 9 people, there would be certain retaliation from Washington. Until our government stands up to the powerful Israel lobby in the United States, the Palestinian people, and our own humanity, will continue to be held hostage.

Other News

J’lem unfazed by US stuttering over ‘Jewish state’
Sources close to PM note that Obama told UN: ‘Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people’.  State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley’s difficulty on Tuesday answering with a simple yes or no as to whether the US recognizes Israel as a Jewish state is no cause for concern, since Israel knows full well where Washington stands on the issue, diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said Thursday.

ADL lists top 10 anti-Israel groups in U.S.
Jewish Voice for Peace included on list, drafted based on groups’ ability to organize events, attract supporters, form relationships with like-minded groups.

Ex-President Carter to start Mideast peace tour (Reuters)
Reuters – Former President Jimmy Carter will start a tour of the Middle East on Saturday to build support for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.*

Accepting ADL award, Murdoch decries ‘ongoing war against Jews’
Media magnate accuses Leftists of spurring anti-Semitism under the guise of legitimate criticism of Israel.

‘Rabbis committed to Torah, not democracy’
Elon Moreh’s Elyakim Levanon says rabbis don’t have privilege of keeping opinions to themselves, even if opinions are contradictory to values of democracy.,7340,L-3969307,00.html

Margalit Har-Shefi to be exonerated?
Right, left-wing politicians in uproar over request to reverse conviction of Yigal Amir’s accomplice.,7340,L-3969827,00.html


Intellectual Healing At The Freedom Theatre, Palestine Monitor
At Jenin’s Freedom Theatre, the guiding principle is to use art as resistance. As Nabil Al-Raee, director and acting instructor says, “theatre can open the minds of people, it can make them free from the occupation mindset.” This is the message the theatre wants to send to Jenin, Palestine and the world.

Watching ‘Budrus’ in Gaza, Jared Malsin
I just got back from a screening in Gaza of Budrus, Julia Bacha’s film about grassroots resistance against the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank village of the same name. Some 100 people, Palestinians and a few foreigners, came to the screening in the courtyard of the French Cultural Center.

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest“The Elders” in the Middle East, As’ad Abukhalil

I received an announcement that a group who call themselves “Elders” are going on a fact finding mission to the Middle East.  The group includes the lousy Jimmy Carter (whose proudest achievement (Camp David) is one of the worst US foreign policy legacies in our region), and the most lousy AlAkhdar Al-Ibrahimi.  The lousy work of Ibrahimi (who spent his last working years as a mere tool of the Bush administration) can still be felt in Iraq and Afghanistan.  If you read about Iraq under US occupation, you realize how much Ibrahimi assisted the American occupation of the country.

Michael Oren’s Rhetorical Erasure of 1948 Palestinians, Alex Kane
Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren’s column in today’s New York Times is part of what the Zionist project has attempted to do for the last 60-plus years: erase the Palestinian narrative out of existence and deny that the Nakba ever occured.

Letter from an Israeli (Birmingham) Jail, Dallas Darling
If Martin Luther King would have been a Palestinian, I sometimes wonder how Israeli authorities would have treated him. This came to mind again when it was reported that an Israeli military court sentenced Palestinian nonviolence activist Abdullah Abu Rahmeh to one year in prison. Evidently, the military tribunal found him guilty of “incitement” and for organizing illegal protests. It also fined him $1,400, a stiff penalty for someone who lost over half of his farmland to land seized by Israeli settlement programs.

Postcard From Palestine, Christopher Hayes
HEBRON.  The first thing you notice when you drive into Hebron is the lack of cars. Since 1997 this second-largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, the only one with an Israeli settlement in its midst, has been formally divided. Within the Israeli section, which takes up much of the historic downtown, Palestinians are not allowed to drive, so they walk or use donkey carts. When people are ill or injured, they are carried to the hospital. It is not surprising, therefore, that many of the 30,000 Palestinians who once lived here have moved out. According to a 2007 report from Israeli human rights organizations, more than 1,000 Palestinian housing units in the area have been left vacant, and more than 75 percent of the businesses in the central district have closed. A handful of shops remain open; a cluster or two of children play in the street. But that’s it. The streets are buried under the heaviness of an ominous quiet. Periodically, buses rumble past bringing settlers to and from the adjoining settlement, Kiryat Arba, and Israel proper. In the absence of routine urban noise, their engines sound like gunshots.

Victims of our Visions: Asa Winstanley on the Kibbutzim, Max Ajl
The idea of the kibbutzim was beguiling to many socialist Jews looking at different ways of living in the world: agricultural communes, the seeds of the new society germinating in the interstices of the old, and all that saccharine stuff. The anarchist publisher AK Press recently put out a book by James Horrox entitled, A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement. It was very positively reviewed by Keith Kahn-Harris in the Forward (not a shock). Curious to see what exactly Horrox had to say, I had been thinking of reading it. Asa Winstanley has convinced me that it may not be worth it. In a review essay originally published in the New Left Project, Winstanley dissects the Utopian visions of the founders of the kibbutzim by sharply reminding us that they were nearly uniformly racist institutions, unprincipled and opportunistic in their purportedly socialist commitments, and far too frequently built on illegitimately bought or stolen land.

Jewish, “democratic”, and racist as a matter of habit, Yaniv Reich
The big story at the moment is the forthcoming law that would require all non-Jews, who want to become Israeli citizens, to make a loyalty oath to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state. Although revealing in the insecurity of identity and purpose that motivates it, it really is just one more law (among at least 30) that forces the ideology and privilege of Jews, as an ethnic group, over (and very frequently against) the status of other ethnic groups in Israel.  This bill is a problem and I encourage readers to click through some of the following commentaries for important criticism (e.g. here, here, here, and here).

My Oath to Israel’s “Jewish Democracy”, Jonathan Cook
In all likelihood, I will be one of the very first non-Jews expected to swear loyalty to Israel as an ideology rather than as a state.  Until now, naturalising residents, like the country’s soldiers, pledged an oath to Israel and its laws. That is the situation in most countries. But soon, if the Israeli parliament passes a bill being advanced by the government, aspiring citizens will instead be required to uphold the Zionist majority’s presumption that Israel is a “Jewish and democratic state”.

The ATFP Is “Proud And Honored” Hillary Is The Keynote Speaker At This Year’s Gala
Despicable Arabs lacking any self-respect are always “proud and honored” when an American politician agrees to attend one of their events.  Clinton is a pro-Israel, anti-Arab, politician that has adopted all of AIPAC’s views.  That won’t be a problem for the folks at the ATFP.  They have also befriended AIPAC lately, and adopted many of its views themselves.  Hillary is a cheap and fraudulent politician whose knowledge of the Middle East doesn’t extend beyond the traditional, pro-Zionist narrative, and standard American talking points.   She is likely to reiterate the “strong US desire for peace.”   She will also engage in some blathering about a “two-state solution.”

A Handful of Washington Arabs (WA WA’s): Our Community’s Collective “Wa Wa”
The ATFP clique in Washington has still not responded to the revelation (see below) that one of its own board members has a lucrative and ongoing business relationship with the Israeli army.  The ATFP also appears to be very fond of Yasser Abd Rabbo whose smug face is currently featured on the front page of their website.  Arab-American “activists” are required to be impressed with pro-Israel, pro-American “leaders” in the Arab world.   What is clear is that the ATFP does not represent any grassroots Palestinians in the US unless you want to count the one (does he even live in the US?) doing business with the Israeli army, the PNA does not represent the Palestinian people, the ADC does not represent Arab-Americans,  Jim Zogby and the AAI do not represent the Arab community, and all the Kings, Queens, Ambassadors, and oil-Sheiks representing pro-American tyrannies invited to attend the events, banquets, and galas organized in Washington by these individuals and groups do not represent anyone in the Arab world.

Israeli Policies are Manifestly Evil: Philip Giraldi
Philip Giraldi joined me in an exclusive interview to discuss the latest developments of the Middle East, the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the possibility of a peaceful compromise between Iran and the United States and the impact of Israeli lobby on the long-term policies of the White House.

Slate and Orientalist trash
Slate, like many other liberal-minded publications and websites in the US,  suspend its liberalism when it comes to Muslims and Arabs.  Look at this trash (the person she sites is a well-known pro-Hariri right-winger, by the way, who supported the candidate who received a whopping 1% of the Shi`ite vote in the last election):  “”In Arabic poetry and in the Quran, camels are one of the greatest gifts, because they are a means of survival,” Lokman Slim told me. “So it is an honor to sacrifice them for a guest.” Or, he added, you could cynically interpret their slaughter as representing the bodies of Rafik and Saad Hariri—one assassinated physically, the latter politically.  As I got into a taxi, I saw the camels’ bright red blood running into the gutter and heard the click of a camera shutter as people took photos to commemorate the moment.”  Of course, the reporter knows neither Arabic or Persian but she talks to right-wingers and taxi driver.  Long live Western journalism.


Hezbollah’s gift for Ahmadinejad: An Israeli rifle (AP)
AP – The leader of Hezbollah gave Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a unique gift to cap off his two-day trip to Lebanon — an Israeli assault rifle captured during the militant group’s 2006 war with the Jewish state.*

Southern Lebanese give hero’s welcome to ‘Nejad’
BINT JBEIL: They have been waiting for over three hours in the broiling sun. Tens of thousands heave and sway, shouting and sweating in equal measure as music pumped through giant speaker stacks struggles to maintain feverish levels of anticipation.

Ahmadinejad speaks in rebuilt Lebanese town near Israel
Iran’s president travels to within miles of archrival Israel and delivers a pointed if typical speech to tens of thousands of supporters, most of them backers of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah militia.  Iran’s controversial president on Thursday traveled to within a few miles of his nation’s archrival Israel and delivered a pointed if typical speech to tens of thousands of supporters, most of them backers of Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim Hezbollah militia.,0,7878076.story

Ahmadinejad tells Israelis their country is doomed
BEIRUT: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday Israel was doomed to perish as he addressed thousands of supporters of Hizbullah at a rally in Bint Jbeil, just four kilometers from the Israeli border.   Ahmadinejad’s tour in south Lebanon drew sharp criticism from the US and Israel as tensions ran high on the Lebanese-Israeli border.

Speech:  Ahmadinejad in Bint Jbeil and Qana: Lebanese Are United, Steadfast, Victorious

Iran leader in Lebanon’s Hezbollah stronghold
In a rare and controversial visit to south Lebanon where he received a hero’s welcome, Iran’s president praised the people’s resistance to Israel. Speaking just a few hundred meters from Israel’s border, Ahmedinejad told Hezbollah, the Lebanese group that fought two wars with Israel, that “the people of Iran will support you forever.” But some Lebanese officials considered Ahmedinejad’s visit a sign that Iran is interfering in the country’s affairs to pursue its own agenda. Zeina Khodr reports from south Lebanon. [October 15, 2010]

In Ahmadinejad’s Lebanon Visit, the Ruins of Bush’s Mideast Doctrine, Tony Karon
As Israeli bombs killed hundreds of Lebanese in the summer of 2006, then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the people of Lebanon that they were simply experiencing “the birth pangs of a new Middle East.” That new Middle East was on view during the two-day visit to Lebanon this week by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — and it looks nothing like the vision pursued by the Bush Administration’s military-driven strategy of dividing the region into “moderate” and “radical” camps locked in a fight to the finish.,8599,2025713,00.html#ixzz12RE6Xwz2

Ahmadinajad in Lebanon, As;ad Abukhalil
So Robert Worth said:  “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran arrived here on Wednesday morning and was given an ecstatic welcome by supporters of Hezbollah, the militant Shiite movement his country backs.”  What is inaccurate is the suggestion that only supporters of Hizbullah welcomed him to Lebanon.  In fact, the Amal Movement has also been enthusiastically welcoming him to Lebanon too: I am now watching him live on TV give a speech in Qana.  And the affair in Qana has been officiated by the Amal Movement.  (By the way, people don’t know that Iran also financially supports the Amal Movement).   But the popular support and enthusiasm for Ahmadinajad among Shi`ites is genuine and sincere and it has–to a degree–surprised me a bit particularly because the man has no charisma or oratorical skills.   Of course, every article on the visit has to mention the slaughter of the sheep.  If they were slaughtered in honor of a Zionist leader, they would have not been mentioned, or would have mentioned with admiration and glee.  Spare me Orientalist cliches and focuses.

A Small Shove Back,   By RANNIE AMIRI
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s first state visit to Lebanon elicited a schizophrenic reaction among Lebanese.  An ecstatic reception awaited him along Beirut’s airport highway Wednesday as his motorcade drove toward Baabda presidential palace to meet President Michel Suleiman.  With great fanfare, Iranian flags, balloons sporting its green, white and red colors, thrown flower petals, and greetings shouted in Farsi by mostly Shia Lebanese welcomed him to the city—a remarkable sight in an Arab capital. It likely left allies of Lebanon’s ruling, Western-backed March 14 Coalition in Amman, Cairo and Riyadh bewildered.


Baghdad roadside bomb kills 4, wounds senior politician
Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb has hit a senior politician’s convoy, killing four people and wounding six others, including the politician. Police and hospital officials say Thursday’s blast struck the car of Abdel-Karim al-Mohammadawi, a prominent member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance, while he was traveling through southeast Baghdad.

Thursday: 8 Iraqis Killed, 24 Wounded
The U.S. military has released an Iraqi casualty tally that likely lead to more acrimonious debate over the true extent of deaths the country has suffered. Meanwhile, at least eight Iraqis were killed and 24 more were wounded in today’s violence.

Lies, damned lies, and US statistics: 77,000 Iraqis killed over 5 years
A new US military tally puts the death toll of Iraqi civilians and security forces in the bloodiest years of the war thousands below Iraqi government figures.

Syria offers Maliki a life jacket
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s visit to Damascus repairs ties strained by his accusation that Syria harbored Ba’athists responsible for last year’s massive bombings in Baghdad. Maliki has likely reasoned that Syrian support lends him the legitimacy he needs among Sunnis and Kurds to stay in power and end the country’s seven-month post-election stalemate. – Sami Moubayed (Oct 15, ’10)

U.S. Other Mideast/World News

WikiLeaks says funding has been blocked after government blacklisting
Founder Julian Assange hits out at decision by Moneybookers, which collects the whistleblowing website’s donations.

“War on terror” psychologist gets giant no-bid contract
The Army earlier this year steered a $31 million contract to a psychologist whose work formed the psychological underpinnings of the Bush administration’s torture program.

Justice Department clears FBI in imam shooting
No federal crimes were broken when four FBI agents killed a Detroit mosque leader during a raid last year, according to a U.S. Justice Department report released Wednesday.

Keeping Christians in Mideast ‘Islamic duty’: Muslim leader (AFP)
AFP – Christian presence in the Middle East is a “necessity” and keeping Christians there is “an Islamic duty”, the secretary of the Lebanese national committee for Muslim-Christian dialogue said Thursday.*

Denmark Denies Apologising For Mohammad Cartoons
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark’s foreign minister denied Thursday that she had apologised on a Middle East trip for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, initially published by a Danish newspaper in 2005, that angered many Muslims.

French Woman on Trial For “Burqa Assault”
PARIS (Reuters) – A French woman accused of ripping off the full face veil of an Emirati tourist and biting and scratching her when she put it back on faced prosecution demands for a two-month suspended prison sentence on Thursday.

Magda Abu-Fadil: Egyptian Clampdown on Press Freedom Gaining Pace
“The ‘free speech’ spring in Egypt is nearing its end,” headlined a report in Lebanese daily An-Nahar in describing the sacking of noted controversial media figures critical of the regime ahead of legislative elections in November.

AN ATOL EXCLUSIVE : Pakistan frees Taliban commander
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s commander in Afghanistan who was arrested in Pakistan in February, has been set free. Asia Times Online has learned that Baradar has been reunited with his Taliban “family”, and that he has been earmarked to play a key role in backchannel talks through the Pakistani army with Washington. – Syed Saleem Shahzad (Oct 15, ’10)

New Columbia U. Palestine Center gets a shingle and bupkus

Oct 15, 2010

Philip Weiss

Good reporting at the Forward, by Joy Resmovits, on Columbia U. opening a new Center for Palestine Studies. No funding for it, though note the appearance of filmmaker James Schamus, who is Jewish, near the end of the story. I wonder why the Forward did not call Columbia alum Robert Kraft, who gives a ton of money to Jewish causes and to dialogue causes, and ask why he isn’t ponying.

The piece contains in the negative the shadow possibility (which I sense even at AIPAC with its blind generosity), that two Jewish American traditions, rachmones (or compassion) and wealth, might actually at last be turned like a spigot on the only critical-moral real-world object of Jewish attention, the Palestinians, whom we have done so much to dispossess, dishonor and disfigure. I believe naively and faithfully, that some day that will happen, because the Schamus’s are defeating the Foxman’s, slowly.

“We have absolutely no money,” Rashid Khalidi, the center’s co-director, told a packed audience at the launch event, attended, among others, by some notable supporters from the campus Jewish community. The center is now funded through Columbia’s Middle East Institute. In an interview, Khalidi, Columbia’s Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies and Literature, expounded on his hopes for the center. “We’d like to have post-docs, be able to bring students here from Palestinian universities and fund research,” he said. “I’d like to give Palestinian universities the sense that they’re not so isolated.”

But he added, “It would be nice to have money for programming and ultimately have money for an endowment, but that’s very difficult.”

An historian of the Middle East and leader of the project, Khalidi is co-directing the center with Columbia University anthropologist Brinkley Messick.

Unlike Israel Studies, which has expanded rapidly with support from wealthy Jewish donors, “Palestine studies” as an autonomous field of research has no ready-made set of foundations and donors to back it…

Schamus said he became involved in the center’s formation when a group of Columbia faculty felt the sting of the earlier campus polarization. “There was a real assault on fundamental academic freedoms a few years ago. That really galvanized a lot of faculty,” Schamus told the Forward after the event. He cited the highly publicized film “Columbia Unbecoming,” which advanced the anti-Semitism charges, later refused, against Professor Joseph Massad, and to the high-profile tenure case of anthropologist Nadia Abu El-Haj at Barnard.

Schamus said the center’s launch marked a new moment of civility for Middle East dialogue on Columbia’s campus. “The failure of those assaults has made everyone — no matter what their political opinions — much more sensitive to the value of open and courteous dialogue, and has given real impetus to the establishment of the center, the first ever of its kind in North America,” Schamus said.

Uncle Sam = Jim Crow

Oct 15, 2010

Philip Weiss

This website is necessary because there is a crisis in Israel and Palestine in which the U.S. is implicated, and American Jews as well. Writes a friend from occupied East Jerusalem:

Did whites in Jim Crow country call blacks “ANIMAL” to their faces? A soldier said that to me, in Arabic, today. To be humiliatedfor no good reason…

Spade, duck, fowl, apartheid, ghetto

Oct 15, 2010

Eva Smagacz

 Lets talk about spades.

Did you know that  saying “calling a spade a spade” may have originated as an early response to political correctness? When “black as an ace of spades” was a saying in use, it was describing a black person by his/her skin colour.  It was also stating the obvious. 

Now lets pinch this delightful comment  from 2006 from the commenter on Daniel Pipes blog: ” Look like a duck – walk like a duck – quack like a duck – call it fowl”

About 800,000 copies of latest The Economist will distribute in North America. Subscribers will read, among the other news and opinion, this description of Israel’s city of Lod or Lydda:

” NOT long ago, Lod, an Israeli city near the commercial hub of Tel Aviv, was a sleepy backwater. Its 20,000 Arabs among 45,000 Jews peppered their Arabic with Hebraisms, voted for Jewish parties, and described themselves as Israeli. The Arab population, drastically reduced in the 1948 war that marked Israel’s birth, has revived, exceeding its previous total.

But the calm has been disturbed. This month Israel’s leaders have taken their demand that the world—and the Palestinians—should recognise their state as specifically Jewish in exchange for a renewed freeze on building Jewish settlements in the West Bank, to Lod. Cabinet members have proposed “strengthening” the city’s population by bringing in more Jews (…)

Liberal Israelis fear that these measures may import the Arab-Israeli conflict, which had been largely confined to the territories occupied by Israel beyond the 1948 partition line, into Israel proper. Adding to the psychological barriers, the Lod authorities have erected physical ones. This year they have finished building a wall three metres high to separate Lod’s Jewish districts from its Arab ones. And where the Arab suburbs are cordoned off to prevent their spread, Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, encourages building for Jews to proceed with abandon.

By contrast, old Arab houses are under threat of demolition. Now and again, bulldozers demolish a couple, stressing Arab vulnerability. A study by a liberal Israeli group called Shatil (“Seedling”) estimates that 70% of Arab homes in Lod lack legal status. Many municipal services, such as street lighting and rubbish collection, stop at the boundaries of Arab suburbs. Sixteen kilometres (ten miles) from Tel Aviv, Israel’s richest city, sewage flows through some of Lod’s Arab streets.

Once mixed districts are separating. Ramat Eshkol, a housing estate built for Jewish immigrants in the ruins of Lod’s old Arab city, bulldozed after the 1948 war, is today a squalid slum, housing mostly Arabs. Piles of rubbish make it grimier than refugee camps in Gaza, the blockaded Palestinian territory 35km to the south. Gangs cruise the streets. The local community centre has been shut for the best part of a decade, says its last employee: the Jewish Agency, a welfare organisation, does not want it “overrun with Arabs”.

(…) Lod’s 120-strong police is Muslim-free.”

How many will call Duck a Duck and Spade a Spade? How many will call it Fowl and “an implement to manually move the earth from one geographic position to another?”

When you lose Yglesias…

Oct 15, 2010

Philip Weiss

Another striking paragraph below from Matt Yglesias, who’s clearly not buying the Fayyad magic, observing that he has “no democratic legitimacy.” Yglesias has come a long way since this (the idea of expelling Palestinians) and this (his tweeted desire to have an “I’m Jewish too!” sticker to wear in Israel). He has lately made the case against the hateful sentencing of nonviolent protest leader Abdallah Abu Rahme, pleading with the “Progressive Except Palestine” community to pay attention and stop calling for the (omnipresent) Palestinian Gandhi’s. (Thanks to Rahim for this.)

Inside the Bubble by Matthew Yglesias:

But the Ramallah bubble is truly a bubble. Fayyad’s achievements come either as gifts from Israel (in terms of reduced checkpoints and road closures) or from the U.S. and Europe in the form of money used to underwrite a massive growth in the state apparatus. He has no democratic legitimacy and has no way to deliver sustainable economic gains under the current circumstances of the occupation. Politically aware Palestinians understand what’s happening all too well: More than one described him as a tool of the occupation rather than a leader of the Palestinian people. Nonviolent resistance organizers observed that Fayyad’s strategy is predicated on engaging in essentially no resistance of any form. His economic-development strategy amounts to running a tight ship in terms of personal corruption, plus begging for scraps from Israel and America, which severely constrains his political options in a way that utterly destroys his credibility.

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Anti-Defamation League smears peace groups, Jewish Voice for Peace on top 10

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Anti-Defamation League smears peace groups, Jewish Voice for Peace on top 10

Under Abraham Foxman’s leadership, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is an embarrassment. It calls itself the “nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency,” dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry and protecting the civil rights for all. But there’s a critical exception– “all” does not include those it considers a threat to the Israeli government.

This is a terrible shame, in part, because the ADL  (especially in local offices) does so many good things- speaking out against bullying, criticizing a lawmaker’s “shoot to kill” attitude towards immigrants, supporting the right of gays and lesbian to serve their country. But all of these things, and likely the caring staff-members behind them, are undermined by Foxman and company’s cynical attitudes when it comes to protecting Israel’s right to infinitely expand into Palestinian territory. (Elegantly achieved by simply crying anti-Semitism when anyone says enough already!)

The examples of Israel politics trumping the struggle against bigotry are numerous and appalling. Most notoriously, Foxman and the ADL actually lobbied the US Congress against the recognition of the Armenian genocide when they felt it threatened Israel’s special relationship with Turkey, a country that has worked hard to erase any acknowledgment of its heinous history. Foxman fired a regional ADL head who publicly criticized this particularly craven stand for a Jewish organization that hunts down even a hint of Holocaust denial.

As Michelle Goldberg writes today in The Daily Beast:

In the 1980s, at a time when Israel maintained close ties with South Africa, the ADL went on the attack against Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. As Sasha Polakow-Suransky reported in his recent book The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, ADL National Director Nathan Perlmutter co-authored an article implying that the ANC was “totalitarian, anti-humane, anti-democratic, anti-Israel and anti-American.”

The ADL sent spies into the American anti-apartheid movement, as well as other movements critical of right-wing American foreign policy.

Eventually, the organization was surveilling much of the American left. In 1993, a California police raid on the offices of the ADL and one of its investigators yielded files on Greenpeace, the NAACP, Act Up, New Jewish Agenda, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and several Democratic politicians, among hundreds of others. The ADL eventually settled a class-action lawsuit brought by several of its targets.

Foxman also advocated for the censorship of Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Tutu and President Jimmy Carter  and went after Bill Moyers because they dared talk openly about Israel’s human rights abuses. And there was Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison for invoking the Reichstag and so on and so on.

Most recently Foxman, the head of an organization dedicated to civil rights for all fueled growing anti-Muslim hysteria by condemning the Park 51 Muslim Cultural Center. (Because, as MJ Rosenberg observed, keeping the fires of  anti-Muslim hatred and suspicion burning is seen as good for preserving the US-Israel special relationship. Special as in entirely unconditional, and destructive for both parties.)

Stepping into it yet again, at the very same time that the ADL gave its highest honor to none other than Rupert Murdoch (see Media Matters’ report on Fox News and anti-semitism),  Foxman and his staff couldn’t resist issuing what they humorously call a “report”naming the country’s top 10 “anti-Israel” organizations.

Jewish Voice for Peace, my group, is on the list. (So is CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Students for Justice in Palestine and other groups.) It’s rather stunning to see what passes for a thorough report at the ADL- they seemed to have signed up on our email lists and scanned the internet a few times. Filled largely with unsubstantiated insinuations, it would barely pass muster in a high school social studies class.

Much of what they say about us is dead wrong – we seek a suspension of military aid, not an end. We actually have well over 20 chapters and growing. We are not an anti-Zionist organization nor are we anti-Israel (unless, of course, the ADL’s idea of either Zionism or Israel is in any way threatened by the concept of universal democratic rights, which says a great deal more about the ADL than Jewish Voice for Peace.)

But it’s the ADL, and for reasons I can’t really explain, people still listen to Foxman,  so now the top 10 list is in Haaretz, and the Jerusalem Post, and Ynet.

Here are critiques of the list in Salon, Meretz USA, New Voices (the Jewish student magazine) and The Daily Beast and below is our official response to this absurd blacklist:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is at it again.

Jewish Voice for Peace statement on making it on the Anti-Defamation League’s list of top ten “anti-Israel” groups

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is at it again. They just came up with a list of the top ten most influential anti-Israel Groups in America, and Jewish Voice for Peace makes the list. We appreciate the honor, except that the ADL–as usual–got a few things wrong in describing us.



We do not hold Zionism as a litmus test for membership. Some of our members are Zionists, some are anti-Zionists, and some are non-Zionists. We believe you can define yourself in any of these ways as long as you support an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank — including East Jerusalem — and Gaza, and you advocate for human rights, which naturally apply equally to Israelis and Palestinians.

We stand by Israelis that hold these views, such as Israeli conscientious objectors and Israeli actors refusing to play in illegal settlements in the West Bank.

We stand by Palestinians that hold these views, such as Palestinian activists protesting the Israeli confiscation of land in the West Bank town of Bil’in.

We stand by internationals that hold these views, such as students pressing for divestment from occupation and war crimes or activists trying to break the siege of Gaza.

What unites us is our belief in human rights and equality.


We are Jews and allies who strongly oppose anti-Jewish hatred, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab racism.

We do understand that as Jews we have a special role to play in bringing about a change in American and Israeli policy. Israel claims to be acting in the name of the Jewish people. Some American Jewish organizations defend Israel right or wrong, claiming to be representing all American Jews. It is up to us to set the record straight.

We strongly reject the misleading accusations of anti-Semitism that the ADL and others have used in other to protect Israel’s policies. For example, when the ADL accuses Archbishop Desmond Tutu of anti-Semitism, it is not only wrong, but it also makes all Jews less safe when facing a real case of anti-Jewish hatred.


Would the ADL call those that acknowledge the genocide of Native-Americans in this land anti-American?

We believe that in order to reach a just and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the Nakba must be addressed. Without  acknowledging the events of 1947-9, there will be no truth and reconciliation. JVP adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.” Israelis should acknowledge the Palestinian refugees’ right of return and negotiate a mutually agreed just solution based on principles established in international law, including  return, compensation, and/or resettlement.

We acknowledge our own legacy of suffering and the horrors of the Holocaust, but we do not allow these to blind us to the suffering of others. Quite the opposite, we have learned from our own history and from our own tradition not to stand silent when others are suffering. The ADL, on the other hand, fights Holocaust-deniers and denies full recognition of the Armenian genocide at the same time.


Jews in America constitute fewer than 2% of the population. We would be rightfully upset if we had to recognize the United States as a “Christian state.” And yet, he ADL expects Palestinians — 20% of Israel’s population — to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” The ADL apparently has learned little from Hillel: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”


The ADL protests the fact that JVP members hold signs stating “Starving Palestinians Is Not My Judaism.” This one they got right, and they have the picture to prove it. Our question to the ADL is: what is your Judaism?

Want to read more? Check out what Salon has to say: Anti-Defamation League beclowns itself, again. And see also Foxman vs Peace Groups.

An amusing postscript:4 or 5 years ago, the very same ADL office notorious for conducting the largest ever civilian domestic spying operation, started sending me emails under a false name and a yahoo email account. They wanted to know if Jewish Voice for Peace was planning a secret action at their oxymoronically titled conference on progressive anti-Semitism. But the emails were oddly over enthusiastic, and we weren’t planning anything, and I checked the IP number and sure enough, the return address was the ADL office in San Francisco. The then director, blamed, what else, on the intern.

Cecilie Surasky

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October 16, 2010

There’s a lot going on amongst British neofascism, split, fights and more splits. Hopefully I will have time in the future to cover them, but for now Unite Against Fascism has an amusing piece on some BNP splitters and their desire for better PR:

“A splinter group aiming to form a new-style version of the Nazi British National Party has been forced to recruit black supporters… from a well known photo library.

The soon-to-launch British Freedom Party has emerged from the BNP Reform group set up by disaffected former BNP members who have fallen out with BNP leader . The BNP Reform group gathered around former BNP webmaster , would-be challenger to Griffin and former BNP legal officer .

No real difference…

Aside from the in-party BNP squabbling over Griffin’s leadership and financial matters, the “reformers” seem to have no real differences with the fascist BNP and its poisonous politics. 

court case brought by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission that has seen the BNP wriggle about over clauses in its once explicitly “whites-only” constitution.

Now some of the splinter group are forming a new party. An announcement from BNP Reform dated 14 October 2010 says:

We, in our group, always knew that the likelihood of a successful negotiation with the Leadership was a very remote possibility and had accepted the fact that a completely new party may have to be formed. That situation has now come to pass.

The new party – which will apparently launch without Eddy Butler – has been dubbed the British Freedom Party and has already established a website (see screenshot, above – click to enlarge).

But in a departure from BNP tradition, the website of the British Freedom Party features a group of cheery people, two of whom are black.

Perhaps the new outfit is mindful of the long-running

Where has the British Freedom Party found these black people? It seems unlikely that black people would rush to join an organisation set up by those who until very recently were leading figures in the BNP… 

The answer is simple. There’s no need for any real black supporters: the BFP has found just the mixed race group it needs. It’s the “happy friends” from the iStockphoto picture library!



Posted in UKComments Off on BNP SPLITS & PHOTOSHOP



ULT expands Academy empireThe United Learning Trust was told to stop expanding its empire after Ofsted branded its 2 Sheffield Academies ‘inadequate’. Yet this week ULT have been allowed to take over another Academy chain, the Emmanuel Schools Foundation Academies. The addition of these 4 schools take it to 21 secondary schools.

This is the beginning of the process that most people who campaign against Academies have predicted – the growth of monopoly education providers. ULT is now larger than many local authorities.

Some important questions need to be asked about this:

  • How can ULT, which was told by the government to stop expanding its empire after it’s 2 Academies in Sheffield were branded inadequate by Ofsted, be allowed to continue to expand?
  • When a school changes proprietor – do staff, parents or pupils have a say, or are they simply part of the furnishings?
  • Has any money changed hands?
  • ULT will now make some savings on economies of scale. Will any staff lose jobs at Emmanuel? Will all money be ploughed back into education?
  • In the future will all companies plough all money back in?

This is a worrying development, and one celebrated by Michael Gove in this press release.
Help the Anti Academies Alliance

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TUC conference: The future for our schools

The TUC have organised a major conference on education on Saturday 27th November.
More details and registration here

Burnham pledges to cast shadow over the new breed of academies

Vocational grade values too high, academy heads admit

Catholic Education Service latest on Academies
For schools and headteachers, autonomy can lead to disaster 
True parent power means sticking by your local school 

Education Flash Mob (against cuts & academies)

Protestors at the SSAT conference on Academies addressed by Michael Gove

Anti Academies Newspaper – Orders now hit 60,000

Over 60,000 newspapers have now been despatched around the country and are being distributed to parents, teachers, governors.
It includes updates on the impact of the Academies Act, the case against ‘Free’ schools, who loses? consultation, campaign news.
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It is perfect for union meetings / parent meetings / campaign meetings.
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Posted in EducationComments Off on ULT EXPANDS ACADEMY EMPIRE



For decades, Israel has maintained an “opaque” nuclear posture — neither confirming nor denying that it possesses nuclear weapons. The time has come for Israel to reconsider the policy of nuclear ambiguity. It can do so without jeopardizing the nation’s security.

AVNER COHEN is a Senior Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the author of the forthcoming book The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain With the Bomb. MARVIN MILLER is a Research Associate in the Science, Technology, and Society Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a Senior Research Scientist in the MIT Nuclear Engineering Department and has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department and the Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

Reading List

What to Read on Nuclear Proliferation

Bradley A. Thayer

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on nuclear proliferation.

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In the shadow of the Holocaust, Israel made a determined effort to acquire nuclear weapons. However, just as fear of genocide is the key to understanding Israel’s nuclear resolve, that fear has also encouraged nuclear restraint. After all, if Israel’s enemies also acquired the bomb, the Jewish state might well face destruction, given its small size and high population density. Moreover, the specter of killing large numbers of innocent people, even to save their own, was morally unsettling for Israeli leaders.

This combination of resolve and restraint led to a code of nuclear conduct that is fundamentally different from that of all other nuclear weapons states. Israel neither affirms nor denies its possession of nuclear weapons; indeed, the government refuses to say anything factual about Israel’s nuclear activities, and Israeli citizens are encouraged, both by law and by custom, to follow suit. And so they do, primarily through government censorship of and self-censorship by the media. This posture is known as nuclear opacity, or, in Hebrew, amimut.

The policy and practice of nuclear opacity was codified in 1969 in an extraordinary secret accord between Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and U.S. President Richard Nixon. Although this agreement has never been openly acknowledged or documented, its existence was revealed in 1991 by the Israeli journalist Aluf Benn, and more information came out in some recently declassified memos regarding Nixon’s 1969 meeting with Meir written by Nixon’s national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. According to the Nixon-Meir pact, as long as Israel did not advertise its possession of nuclear weapons by publicly declaring or testing them, the United States would tolerate and shield Israel’s nuclear program. 

Ever since, all U.S. presidents and Israeli prime ministers have reaffirmed this policy — most recently, U.S. President Barack Obama, in a White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 6, during which Obama stated, “We strongly believe that, given its size, its history, the region that it’s in . . . Israel has unique security requirements. It’s got to be able to respond to threats. . . . And the United States will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine [its] security interests.” 

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