Archive | January 19th, 2011

The economics of occupation in the West Bank

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By Dr. Abdel Sattar Qassem

The Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967 have suffered from an odd economic situation ever since, in stages summarised as follows:

1. The Israeli occupation authorities adopted two main principles until the establishment of the Palestinian Authority:

a) The people were not exactly starved, as that would threaten the security of the occupation, but nor were they privileged to have enough to give them self-respect. Their economic well-being fluctuated between two points; the poverty line without ever really going below it, and the level of having enough food, without ever really surpassing it.

b) Palestinians’ means of production were destroyed, creating a dependence on foreign aid and manual work in Israel. Control of the means of production is to have control of free will. The Israelis kept the people on a cycle of dependency on Israel, PLO funds or donations from Arab countries in order to cripple their political will. 

2. The Palestinian Authority came into being in 1994 along with a global economy strategic plan which adopted the following principles: 

a) Tying the Palestinians’ ability to feed their families to funds from donor countries. Post-Paris economic agreement, this helped to erode their political will and ensure that they will not reject the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements. Most donor funds came from Arab countries, but the global scheme represented by the United States and its foil the World Bank does not trust the Arab regimes, no matter how pliable they are. America and its allies wanted to control the sources of funding for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

b) Damaging Palestinian production, or what was left of it, by the following means:

i. Opening the West Bank and Gaza Strip to imports of cheap goods from abroad, particularly China, reducing demand for locally-produced goods of a better quality but higher price. The West Bank and Gaza were swamped with Chinese goods, and Palestinian producers suffered.

ii. Connecting the financial system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the global finance market, through linking the existing banks in the West Bank and Gaza to the Israeli financial system and through that to the global market. The West Bank and Gaza Strip are not a state and do not possess a competitive global economy. They are under occupation, and financial openness is not commensurate with their status at all, but the US-Israeli masters wanted to tighten the grip on the people.

iii.  Along with damaging Palestinian production, the number of staff who rely on wages coming from donor countries had to be increased. Farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters, furniture makers, shoe makers, weavers and tailors, etc., all had to be hit financially; The result was that tens of thousands of them were pushed by necessity into non-productive government work. More than 250,000 people have been stripped of productive capacities, while about 150,000 have been transferred to salaried status. People stopped being productive and began waiting for assistance from various channels, including NGOs, waiting for their salaries at the end of each month. Large numbers of people were turned, in effect, into economic prisoners and beggars.

3. Services were developed substantially without concern for real economic development based on production. Visitors to the West Bank can notice that there is development in services such as roads, communication networks, electricity and banking services, and perhaps they are astonished by such development under Israeli occupation. This has raised the cost of monthly bills for families without being based on real production that covers the purchase of services. In economics, this is dangerous because this will increase individual debts which will be hard to repay. This served the Israelis’ purpose in that people were focused on consumer matters without paying much notice to the national interest; concerns about bank loans and paying bills took priority over the struggle for freedom from the occupation. Plus, of course, the fake “facts” which claim to show that economic growth in the West Bank is increasing are provided by the World Bank; is it coincidental the PA Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, is an ex-World Bank man?

The separation of Gaza from the West Bank was another stage in this process which was characterized by the following:

1. The siege of Gaza began because the peoples’ democratic choice did not fit with US and Israeli wishes. It was important to impose a siege on the people of the Gaza Strip order to put pressure on Hamas to abandon its mandate. Israel and its supporters have long used pain as a tool to achieve political purposes; the blockade is one such tool of this policy.

2. The oppression caused by the Israeli occupation and colonisation of the West Bank is, in effect, a war to divert attention from the main issues to the struggle to get money and food. The creation of a consumer-based economy has helped to strip people of their political will in exchange for the “privilege” of living under Israeli occupation. It is a policy intended to demoralise the people and strip them of their humanity; they become consumers and little else and with little dignity or self-reliance. This policy is succeeding, but perhaps not as quickly as Israel and America would like.

3. Burdening the people with high prices, government fees and taxes as a gradual means of eroding their autonomy. Israel and America are not interested in maintaining current levels of funds disbursement and neither are the Europeans. They want to use money to destroy the national spirit of the Palestinians to such an extent that they will not return to the struggle against the occupation.

It is necessary for the Palestinian people to start financing themselves without having the means of real agricultural or industrial production. The Palestinian Authority is required by its masters to impose various fees for various government transactions in order to collect the largest possible amount of money from its people, raising these fees wherever possible; it is also required to collect ever more taxes and levies. Tax and revenue departments are now active throughout the West Bank, affecting non-government employees’ end of service bonuses, dividends, and per capita economic and roaming activity, etc. PA officials in the West Bank have to raise their contributions to the expenditure of the Authority gradually, and that only comes at the expense of people who now already over-burdened by high prices disproportionate to their incomes.

There was a suggestion in the 19902 to create in Jericho a large house for prostitution that would generate a large income for the PA; the establishment of various facilities for this purpose including importing prostitutes from Eastern Europe. This project started with a casino in Jericho, but that went bankrupt. Even though Jericho has now become a vital centre for the CIA, the possibility of it becoming a major tourist destination to support the economy of the West Bank could resurface.

If the Palestinians want to move away from the economic grip of Israel and the West, and facilitate economic and financial matters for themselves, they need to take the following steps:

1. Break free from the Paris Economic Agreement and the yoke of the World Bank and USAID.

2. Seek alternative funding sources.

3. Focus on production, especially agricultural production.

4. Reintroduce traditional money transfer systems to break away from the stranglehold of the banks which are linked to the Israeli and international financial systems.

5. Transfer security services staff (excluding police officers to some extent) to production facilities. Security services consume about 45% of the budget of the Ramallah PA, almost entirely for the benefit of Israel over the people of Palestine. Meanwhile, the people have to make do with just 5% spent on the police service, which should preserve law and order.

6. Block certain imports to encourage Palestinian production, farming, artisans and craftsmen.

7. Insist that Arab countries provide donated funds directly to the Palestinian people and not through third-party donor countries.

8. Accept that consumer spending must decrease below what it is.

9. Develop an economy commensurate with the tasks of liberation rather than one commensurate with the occupation and demoralisation.

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Iraq: Zio-Nazi Mask

Occupied Iraq: New Year, Same Zionism

The Zio-Nazi entity has annihilated the ancient nation of Iraq.

by Jonathan Azaziah Nearly 8 years into the most inhumane, horrific and devastating occupation in modern history, and the people of Iraq still know nothing of even the smallest glimpse of peace. Not even the tiniest smidgen of rest. The people of Iraq, Muslim, Christian, Yezidi and secular alike, are exhausted from this genocide. The new year hasn’t brought them any closer to an end of this dystopian nightmare; it has brought more of the same terror, more of the same barbarism, more of the same Zionism. 

There are more than 2 million innocents dead due to the brutal aggression inflicted upon Iraq (1); again, 2 million innocent people, men, women and children, are dead due to the brutal aggression inflicted upon Iraq, an aggression exclusively designed by the Project For A New American Century, an exclusivist think tank comprised of Zionist war criminals (2). 

While ‘leftists’ and ‘anti-imperialists’ rightfully expose the crimes of the fascist American, British and coalition armies that have ravaged the Iraqi nation, they astonishingly (and deliberately) ignore the IEDs and car bombs which have wreaked the worst form of havoc on Iraq’s people since the occupation began. 

These military-grade explosives, many of which are tipped with depleted uranium, have leveled city blocks, demolished mosques, homes and other structures and murdered hundreds of thousands of people (3); at their peak, car bombs and IEDs were the cause of death for three out of five innocent Iraqis, 60% (4). 

Prior to the occupation, these murderous occurrences weren’t part of Iraqi life. That is because, these explosives are the work of Mossad predominantly, the CIA and British intelligence. The occupiers have attempted to convince the people that Sunnis bomb Shia mosques, Shias bomb Sunni mosques, and Muslims bomb churches, but the Iraqi people haven’t been fooled. They are well aware that these bomb-infused false flags lead straight to the Zionist regime, America and Britain (5). 

Those who attribute Iraq’s annihilation to ‘imperialism’ or ‘corporatism’ are ignoring the blue and white six-pointed star staring them dead in the face. Either they are too cowardly to speak the Zionist entity’s name, too oblivious to recognize the obvious, or they are paid Zionist propagandists (gatekeepers) posing as leaders of the ‘truth movement.’ Not only has Tel Aviv repeatedly admitted that it has benefitted greatly from the destruction of Iraq (6), it has openly admitted to being the cause of its destruction, though Zionist-owned mainstream media and alternative news networks have both downplayed it. 

Former Shin Bet head Avi Dichter admitted to the destruction
of Iraq at the hands of Tel Aviv.

Zionist war criminal Avi Dichter, the former Israeli Minister of Internal Security, former head of Shin Bet  (Shabak) from 2000-2005, and current member of the racist institution of the Knesset, issued an ominous speech to the Israeli National Security Research Center on May 26, 2010. Dichter told the audience: 

“We have achieved in Iraq more than we expected and planned. Iraq has vanished as a military force and as a unified country. Our strategic option is to keep it divided. Our strategic goal is to not allow Iraq to take its regional and Arabic role back. Iraq must stay divided and isolated from its regional environment. Nobody can ignore what we have achieved in this field. Iraq can never be the same Iraq before 2003 (7).” 

Dichter would say throughout his speech that Iraqi oil from Kirkuk, controlled by Kurdish collaborators, would flow into occupied Palestine into the hands of the Zionists. He would also boastfully say that Israel is still active in Iraq and Zionist operatives move in the shadows to secure political and economic benefits from the puppet regime; not only from the Kurdish collaborators who have been consistently supported by Mossad since the end of the 1950s (8), but also from traitorous elites in Baghdad. 

As evidenced by the recent developments in Iraq since the new year began, Israel is still active in occupied Iraq indeed.

‘Greater Israhell’ is the ultimate goal of Zio-Nazi’s.

Greater Israhell and Nazi Mossad Terrorism Defused 

‘High-tech’ terrorism has been the principle agent of Israhell in fracturing Iraq as a nation, destabilizing it beyond recognition from the occupation’s inception (9). On January 6th, 2011, the Iraqi army’s 2nd division, in coordination with the national intelligence service, seized six IEDs and two explosive belts prepared for detonation near a church in central Mosul; the ancient land of Nineveh to be exact (10). 

Mosul is crawling with Nazi Mossad and has been since 1991, with at least 100 agents conducting operations in the Iraqi city (11). Nineveh, along with Arbil and several other Chaldean/Assyrian cities in Iraq’s north, are being terrorized daily by Mossad and Zionist mercenaries in a depopulation campaign. Israhell wants the Christian populations eliminated because Israhel operatives of Kurdish origin have been purchasing land in northern Iraq en masse to facilitate a Zionist relocation program to transform Iraq into a part of ‘Greater Israhell.’ Tel Aviv is also looking to claim ownership on religious shrines outside of the north, in the Misan village of al-Kifl, near Basra, and Babel, near the holy city of Najaf (12). 

Israhell has succeeded in confiscating the shrine in al-Kifl, partnering with UNESCO, a United Nations wing with strong Zionist ties, to build three hotels as a stronghold to surround it (13). These hotels will no doubt be infested with more Nazi Mossad operatives.

Nazi Mossad is using a front company called the Kurdish Lending Bank to purchase the land in northern Iraq, and it has already annexed Iraqi oil fields, residential areas and agriculturally-rich grounds which are key to Zio-Nazi profiteering (14). 

The true Zionist plan, the ‘dream’ of Zionists everywhere, based on the exegeses of the racist rabbinical authorities governing the Israhell creature which is occupying Palestine, as well as parts of Lebanon, Syria and now Iraq, is to see their creation gloriously become Greater Israhell. This creation would conquer parts of Egypt, specifically the Nile, all of Jordan, a large piece of Saudi Arabia, all of Kuwait, all of Lebanon, all of Syria, a massive part of Turkey up to Lake Van, all of Cyprus, and of course, large chunks of Iraq (15). From the Nile to the Euphrates, the Zionist criminal network wants its tentacles to extend.

The foiled January 6th attack on the Nineveh church was an extension of the murderous depopulation program that the Zionist entity has specifically employed in the northern region of Iraq, in its attempt to further its ‘Greater Israhell’ scheme, and while the Mossad agents who planted the IEDs weren’t caught in this particular instance, they have been caught in Iraq before, with IEDs on their person (16).

The Iraqi Christian community has been a threat to the occupiers for nearly a century, playing key roles in the anti-monarchical movements, anti-Zionist movements and anti-British movements. Israhell was well aware of these historical affirmations, and made it a key note to its government of puppets in America to decimate the Iraqi Christians in the early years of the occupation (17). Decimate them the monsters did. 

The aftermath of Mossad’s bombing at al-Qiddisin Church 
in Alexandria, Egypt.

The Qiddissin Church Connection: Iraq and Egypt 

In the aforementioned speech about Iraq by Zionist war criminal Avi Dichter, the former head of Shin Bet Zio-Nazi ‘Gestapo’ also commented sinisterly about Egypt, “Weakening and isolating Iraq is no less important than weakening and isolating Egypt. Weakening and isolating Egypt has been done by diplomatic methods while everything has been done to achieve a complete and comprehensive isolation of Iraq.” 

These statements confirm what has been obvious to activists, writers, Resistance fighters, the Egyptian people themselves and even the blindest of bats for decades: Egypt is infested with Zionism. 

From the Lavon Affair, in which Israhell agents posing as Arabs placed bombs in several Egyptian buildings including a US diplomatic facility (18), to the Mossad-CIA plot known as Operation Cyanide, in which Israhell would ruthlessly assault a US Navy ship, blame it on Egypt and start World War III {this failed however and resulted in the USS Liberty massacre, leaving 34 American servicemen murdered and 171 others brutally injured} (19), to Anwar el-Sadat’s de-Arabization of Egypt (inspired by Zionists), his reprehensible recognition of Israhell as a sovereign state and his active, delighted collaboration with the Zionist entity and the United States (20), to the 15 Israhell spy networks that have been dismantled in Egypt since 1978 (21), Tel Aviv has been working diligently to destabilize Cairo since its illegal creation nearly 63 years ago. 

The most recent example of this Zio-Nazi destabilization is New Years Day, 2011. At least 25 Coptic Christians in al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria, Egypt were murdered, and at least 97 other innocents were wounded after a massive car bombing. Security forces of Zio-Nazi dictator Hosni Mubarak’s (a prime example of Israhel’s ‘diplomatic weakening and isolation of Egypt’) regime withdrew an hour before the blast, allowing Nazi Mossad ordnance experts to plant the explosives and then vanish into obscurity. The attack was designed to incite communal war, cover up Israhell’s most recent spy network being unearthed and deflect attention off of Egypt’s recent sham elections (22). 

While the Zio-Nazi entity may have indeed silenced the mainstream media in discussing its outed spy network and Mubarak’s election rigging, its main goal of fomenting ‘sectarian’ strife followed by all-out communal war on the streets of Egypt miserably failed. Thousands of Muslims, the religious majority in Egypt, joined their Coptic brothers for Christmas Mass six days after the bombing, offering themselves as ‘human shields’ to protect all those in the church from would-be attackers (23). This beautiful unity is anti-venom for the Zio-Nazi’s poison spread throughout the region.

Just five days into the aftermath of Nazi Mossad’s attack on al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria is when Iraqi intelligence and the Iraqi army defused the aforesaid IEDs in Nineveh, averting an enormous disaster and preventing a plethora of bloodshed. 

Avi Dichter linked Egypt and Iraq in his speech, putting the two Arab nations at the top of the Zio-Nazi entity’s list of ‘who to destroy,’ and these recent events in Alexandria and Nineveh are clearly linked as well. Israhell hoped for a successful operation in northern Iraq to coincide with its success in Alexandria. Consecutive explosions in churches, in two predominantly Muslim nations, would spark worldwide outrage at Islam. This fervent hatred could be manipulated into interfaith fighting and subsequent massacres. Malevolence such as this benefits Israhell and Israhell only, as it is Zionist by design.

Sayedat al-Najat cathedral in  Karada, Baghdad, occupied Iraq;
besieged by Zio-Nazi agents on October 31st, 2010.

The Baghdad Cathedral Massacre Revisited 

The mass murder in Alexandria and the debarred crisis in Nineveh are further connected through another event of butchery and tragedy at the hands of the Zio-Nazi entity: the Sayedat al-Najat cathedral killings in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad at the end of October 2010. 

This sheer display of barbarity left at least 58 innocents dead and at least 78 others wounded. The Zionist media and the puppet government in Iraq blamed the attack on Islamic State of Iraq, a non-existent group connected to the most infamous of fake terror groups, Al-Qaeda. But, all evidence proved this to be what it typically is, a cover-up for homicidal tactics employed covertly by the Zionist entity.

The attack was initially reported by SITE Intelligence Group, a known Nazi Mossad front operated by the daughter of an Israhelli spy, Rita Katz. Car bombs and IEDs, Israhell’s signature weapons, were used in the assault. American helicopters shielded the Nazi Mossad operatives from above and puppet prime minister al-Maliki provided further collusion by keeping the identities of the attackers hidden. False flags were left to blame it on who else, but Muslims: Fake passports produced in an Zio-Nazi military base in Petah Tikvah were found at the scene; these passports were made to appear like they were from Yemen, a state that Zio-Nazi war criminals are looking to invade, and none other than Egypt (24). 

Additionally, the shadowy gunmen called the ancient Baghdad church a ‘dirty den of idolatry (25).’ This is by no means Islamic language. This language was taken straight out of the Babylonian Talmud, a ‘dirty den’ of racism, xenophobia, obnoxious and vile filth directed at prophets respected by all faiths, real anti-Semitism against Arabs, obscene anti-Islamic slurs and rabid anti-Christian discourse that is followed strictly by the world’s Zio-Nazi rabbinical authorities (26). It is another display of the usurping regime’s arrogance; it thought nobody would pick up on its Talmudic terminology, and the unsuspecting masses would follow the official lie blindly. However, people are much more resourceful than Zion thinks that they are.

The Egyptian passports left at the scene set the stage for the New Years Day false flag attack in Alexandria, and the Talmudic declaration by the gunmen set the stage for future false flag assaults on Christians, their communities and their places of worship across occupied Iraq. The besiegers, who have been revealed to be Mossad, stated that all Iraqi Christians are ‘legitimate targets (27).’ 

Iraqi traitor Jalal Talabani shaking
hands with Zio-Nazi war criminal,
Ehud Barak.

In the aftermath of the horrific massacre at Sayedat al-Najat, Zionism continued to rear its ugly head to the  detriment of unity in occupied Mesopotamia. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a man hated across Iraq for shaking hands with Zionist mass murderer and 9/11 criminal Ehud Barak (28), publicly stated that he has ‘no objection in forming a special province for Christians in Iraq (29).’ 

This separationist policy is an extension of the original Zionist plan for Iraq set forth in 1982 by Oded Yinon, an Zio-Nazi foreign policy advisor who penned a menacing document for the information department of the World Zionist Organization. This piece throughly detailed the Israhell plan for fracturing Iraq through ‘sectarian’ warfare and then partitioning it into three states of Sunni, Shia and Kurd. Once Iraq is partitioned and maliciously destabilized, the lands would then be annexed as a part of ‘Greater Israhell.’ The document also detailed the Zionist scheme to fracture Egypt sectarianly and ‘break it down geographically’ in the exact same fashion (30). 

Though a Christian province for Iraq wasn’t originally written into Yinon’s disturbing plan, it is by no means out of the ordinary for the Tel Aviv usurpers to initiate the idea of creating one. Sudan, which Yinon discussed in his piece, was meant to be fractionalized as a means of weakening Egypt, and the Zionist entity has done just that, funding, arming, training and coddling the Sudanese successionist movement in the southern part of the nation to form a Christian state, disconnected from the largely Muslim north (31). 

Following the lead of the deplorable treasonist Talabani, 16 Christian organizations in Iraq met on December 7th, 2010 to discuss the prospects of forming their own ethno-religious province, falling right into the Zionist trap (32). The groups met in the ‘Kurdish capital’ of Arbil, which is actually the Israeli capital of Iraq, where Nazi Mossad trains and arms the Kurdish terrorist group, PKK (33). PKK has openly declared its allegiance to Zionism, with its leader stating, ‘our enemies are also the enemies of Israhell (34).’ 

Talabani’s recent adherence to Zionist thought is perfectly in line with his historically traitorous nature towards the Israhell regime. The Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington D.C., owned by Zio-Nazi’s billionaire and Mossad asset Haim Saban, who is close friends with Israhell criminals Nazi Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and ultra-Zionist Rupert Murdoch (35), has been frequented by Talabani, and it is where he boasted to Saban that ‘there is no hostility between Iraq and Israhell,’ and then unabashedly encouraged Israhelis to invest in Iraq (36). 

It is in part a result of Talabani’s loathsome declaration, that at least 70 Zionist firms all directly working with Nazi Mossad, operating under Arabic, English and Turkish names, are now doing business inside occupied Iraq, raking in at the bare minimum, $300 million annually from the savage occupation (37). 

Once a prominent Resistance leader, Muqtada al-Sadr is now 
a traitor to the Iraqi people.

Muqtada al-Sadr: Traitor Or Savior? 

The day before Mossad’s massive IED assault in the northern Iraqi city of Nineveh was prevented, Muqtada al-Sadr returned to his occupied homeland after spending four years in the Islamic Republic of Iran for religious purposes in a self-imposed exile. His reappearance in Iraq, which he says is permanent, was considered ‘triumphant,’ receiving a hero’s welcome from hundreds of supporters in Najaf (38). 

Al-Sadr, who is known for being particularly hot-tempered, delivered an intense speech in the following days to an absolutely massive crowd of hundreds of thousands of supporters. His infamous speaking follies seemed to have dissipated, proving himself to be an exceptional public speaker, captivating his audience brilliantly (39). He told the crowd to resist the occupiers of their homeland by any means and to ‘reject America.’ He said that the United States, Israhell and Britain are common enemies of the Iraqi people. He later repeated himself, ‘We will resist the occupier, by military Resistance and all means of Resistance,’ and further asked the Iraqi people to support the current government (40).

And so ends the pleasantries. The flagrant hypocrisy in Muqtada al-Sadr’s words is revolting. They are corroded with repulsive contradiction. By making these absurd statements, whatever was left of his aura of Resistance after abandoning the Iraqi people has evaporated.

By asking the Iraqi people to support the government, he is asking the Iraqi people to support America. Support Israhell. Support Britain. Not reject them. The puppet prime minister Nouri al-Maliki was placed into power by the Zionist criminal network that runs the United States, he has tortured dissidents and watched as US forces and operatives from the Zionist entity committed (and continue to commit) unspeakable crimes against humanity all over Iraq (41). Al-Sadr wants the Iraqi people to support a man who is buying a home in Rothschild-controlled London for 35 million pounds (42), while the Iraqi people in Baghdad are subsisting with less than an hour of electricity per day (43). 

Al-Sadr is asking the Iraqi people to support President Jalal Talabani, Iraq’s Salam Fayyad, who filthily encouraged the Zionist usurping entity to invest in Iraq (i.e. bleed the Iraqi people dry), while 70% of the people do not have running water and the same percentage are unemployed (44). Al-Sadr also called for unity in his speech. Such a call is hollow when al-Sadr is simultaneously asking to support Talabani, a man actively engaged as a stooge in the Zionist plan to desecrate that very same unity through the partitioning of Iraq.

Muqtada al-Sadr wants the Iraqi people to support Nazi Massoud Barzani, the President of the imaginary land of ‘Kurdistan,’ a known capitalist war criminal whose family has oppressed the Kurdish people for more than five decades, raking in billions of dollars through their totalitarian-esque regime. How is al-Sadr going to ‘resist Israhel’ when he supports Barzani, a traitor living under the protection of the Zionist entity (45)? 

How dare Muqtada al-Sadr ask the Iraqi people to support the puppet government of Zionist-owned Western occupiers when the average Iraqi politician makes a corrupt, unconscionable 12.9 million Iraqi dinars a month, which translates to nearly $130,000.00 every year (46), while at least 43% of the Iraqi population lives in the most humiliating poverty and at least 500,000 internally displaced refugees are living in squatter slums (47). 

How exactly does Muqtada al-Sadr want the Iraqi people to employ military Resistance and reject America, when the Iraqi government is set to equip its military with $26 billion worth of American weaponry (48)? In addition, the bullets that the Americans are using to slaughter innocent Iraqis on a daily basis (and which they will undoubtedly sell to the Iraqi government that al-Sadr wants the people to support), are being manufactured in occupied Palestine, by the vile entity of Zionism, and are being unleashed by IOF on a daily basis to murder innocent Palestinians (49). What kind of military Resistance is armed by the occupiers you’re supposed to be resisting? 

Perhaps the most pathetic form of hypocrisy from al-Sadr, is that he is now actively collaborating with the very same personalities that persecuted his Jaysh al-Mahdi militia, the same criminals that massacred his fighters with American weapons, the same traitors that jailed his commanders, tortured his soldiers and provided intelligence to the mass murderers also known as the British and American military to obliterate his Resistance.

Muqtada al-Sadr’s constituents now include the Badr Organization, controlled by the most traitorous family in all of Iraq, the al-Hakim clan, the same group that waged open warfare on Jaysh al-Mahdi (The Mahdi Army), murdering many of al-Sadr’s lieutenants and supporters (50), and of course, al-Sadr’s one-time sworn enemy, Nouri al-Maliki, the puppet prime minister who collaborated with the American army and Badr to wage an all-out war on Jaysh al-Mahdi, murdering hundreds of fighters and civilians and destroying infrastructure across the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala (51), effectively eliminating the militia’s strength.

During the recent Iraqi government impasse, in which al-Maliki was vying for power against CIA-asset and another persecutor of the Mahdi Army, Iyad Allawi, it was Muqtada al-Sadr that came to the aid of his enemy, granting him support from his movement to seal al-Maliki’s sham re-election (52). Al-Sadr’s movement was rewarded for its support with 7 ministries and 40 parliamentary seats (53). The lack of dignity is abominable. 

Still, there remains an alternative theory: Muqtada al-Sadr is only supporting al-Maliki to stop any further bloodshed, and that his support is predicated on all foreign troops leaving Iraq at the end of 2011 (54).The theory is that the US ‘fears’ an ‘Iraqi Hezbollah,’ and that the Sadrist movement has gained unprecedented prominence as the only real grassroots movement in Iraq, severely threatening US influence in the annihilated nation (55). The theory is that if al-Maliki reneges on the agreement to remove all occupying forces, al-Sadr and his strategically placed MPs and Ministry heads will overthrow the collaborationist regime. 

Though that would be an incredible development and a true victory for the Iraqi people, all evidence presented above debunks this theory; not to mention, it is an insult to compare the Lebanese Resistance, which genuinely defeated an occupier, and his eminence, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah himself, the hope, light and dignity of all of Lebanon, who led his men to victory, with a two-faced opportunist like Muqtada al-Sadr who is now working with the occupier.

Gone is the man that resisted the occupation and inspired his brothers and sisters to give their lives for their nation. Gone is the man who directed his militia to protect schools, playgrounds, direct traffic and donate blood to their Sunni brethren who stood and resisted with them (56). Gone is the man who led joint Sunni-Shia protests of the Zio-Nazi occupation of Iraq in the hundreds of thousands (57). And gone is the man who once said, ‘I’m prepared to have my own blood shed for what is holy to me,’ in reference to the ancient land of Iraq and what has been to it by the oppressors (58). 

Many people in Iraq have chattered about the possibility, and now Mask of Zion’s sources have confirmed that prior to Muqtada al-Sadr’s departure to Iran, he was seen traveling with security from the infamous hunter-killer private mercenary firm, Blackwater (Xe). 

A little known fact about Blackwater is that it was actually owned by ex-CIA agent Erik Prince’s brother-in-law Dick DeVos (through his Amway Corporation), a Christian Zionist extremist that has spent ungodly amounts of money in promotion of the ‘protect Israel for the imminent apocalypse’ death cult. Under Prince and DeVos, Blackwater became a haven for Zionist sympathizers and agents (59). DeVos is also deeply connected to the wealthiest of the wealthy in Detroit’s pro-Israel Jewish community (60). Sadr’s methods of resisting Israhell are no different than those of Mahmoud Ab-A$$, the Zionist entity’s favorite puppet. 

Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr
was assassinated for his
revolutionary ideals.

Muqtada al-Sadr’s father-in-law was the fearless Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, who (along with his sister, Sayyeda Bint al-Huda) was tortured and executed in 1980 by the US-backed dictator Saddam Hussein for his revolutionary activities and refusal to collaborate with the Western-funded, anti-Islamic regime (61). Would Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr travel with Blackwater security? 

Muqtada al-Sadr’s father was the eloquent and fierce Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, who was also assassinated by Saddam’s hitmen and left to bleed to death for defying the Baathist regime and refusing to end his call for Islamic unity between and Shia and Sunni to overthrow the US-backed dictatorship (62). Would Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr travel with Blackwater security? 

Muhammad Sadiq
al-Sadr was 
for his defiance.

Muqtada al-Sadr’s cousin is the legendary Imam Musa al-Sadr, the godfather of the Lebanese Islamic Resistance and founder of Amal, who was considered an ‘absolute evil’ by the abhorrent Zio-Nazi entity (63); the Imam vanished in 1978 while on a diplomatic mission to Libya, and many believe that Mossad, in collusion with collaborationist Libyan elements, were responsible for the kidnaping. Would Imam Musa al-Sadr travel with Blackwater security? 

The answer to all three redundant questions is a resounding ‘NO.’ Muqtada al-Sadr’s father and father-in-law are most certainly spinning in their graves at the thought of their son collaborating with the occupiers and its puppet regime. And wherever Imam Musa al-Sadr may be, he is shaking his head in disgust and disappointment.

The question remains: is Muqtada al-Sadr, the son of martyrs and scholars, a savior of the occupied, butchered, besieged, maimed and tortured Iraqi people, or a traitor? Unfortunately, and contemptibly, the facts speak for themselves. He is simply the latest in a long line of the latter. 


The end of Zionism will lead to the restoration of Iraq.

Conclusion: Free Iraq, Expose Israhell 

As the 8th anniversary of the criminal Zio-Nazi invasion and occupation of Iraq approaches, the Zionist role in Iraq’s destruction, subversion and corruption/ownership of its politicians is under-reported, non-reported, ignored, brushed off, covered up or a combination of all of the above in varying degrees.

Ignoring Zionism when discussing occupied Iraq is like ignoring Zionism when discussing the occupation of Palestine. Age-old Zionist war criminal Henry Kissinger famously said, “The road to Jerusalem passes through Baghdad (64).” This atrocious but telling statement has been echoed by senior US policymaker Raymond Tanter (65), a staunch Zionist who is affiliated with the CFR, AIPAC, WINEP, the criminal ADL and B’Nai B’Brith itself (66). Greater Israhell is incomplete without the annexation of Iraq; international Zionism’s goals are incomplete without the destruction of Iraq and the total humiliation of its people.

Beyond the Israhelli car bombs and IEDs, the Zio-Nazi entity has stamped its signature in other areas, in fact, every area which pertains to the mutilation of Iraq. Israhelli interrogators from IOF operate in secret Iraqi intelligence centers, conducting torture to extract intel that could be vital to Tel Aviv (67). Mossad is also running interrogations in ‘black site’ prisons in Iraq, torturing innocents and offering them death or a job to work as a Zionist agent (68). The notorious Abu Ghraib affair was also a Zionist operation. Israhelli torture tactics from the dungeons of the occupied West Bank were used on hundreds of Iraqi civilians and the army officials involved all had strong ties to the Zionist military establishment (69). 

The Abu Ghraib crimes against humanity were
masterminded by genocidal Zio-Nazi criminal,
Paul Wolfowitz.

The genocidal architect of the Iraqi occupation, Paul Wolfowitz, along with his Zionist cronies Douglas Feith, Abram Shulsky and Elliott Abrams, imported Israheli ‘experts’ from Nazi  Mossad, Shin Bet and Aman (Zio-Nazi military intelligence) to train US soldiers in the darkest aspects of torture and human degradation. The Abu Ghraib scandal was revealed to be a product that originated from a Pentagon subdivision called the Office of Special Plans, founded by Wolfowitz and headed by Shulsky (70). 

The Zio-Nazi entity is behind the desecration and theft of Iraq’s priceless and precious history, from one end of the nation to the next. Mossad has executed its missions of thievery with the help of aforementioned Zionist-linked UNESCO (71). Israhell is also the leading arms dealer for CIA-backed death squads in occupied Iraq, via its retired officer Shmoel Avivi (72). The puppet politicians serving as faces to disguise who really governs Iraq, were placed there by NDI-rigged elections orchestrated by supreme agent of Zionism, the evil Madeline Albirght, head of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs {NDI} (73). 

These crimes barely scratch the surface; the acknowledgment of their existence should bring to light that the occupation Iraq goes far beyond pointing out the obvious of Bush and Blair being war criminals.

Removing every foreign soldier, mercenary, politico and businessman, followed by the shutdown of every foreign military base and all enemy embassies would only be the first step in freeing Iraq and restoring dignity to its magnificent people, who have displayed a form of courage not known by the majority of the world due to Zionist media bias.

The next step would be to remove the puppets in power, by any means necessary, followed by the final step, which would be to eradicate all traces of Zionism throughout the nation and to vociferously reject any chance of it returning. 

The end of the occupation is the beginning of freedom. The death of Zionism is the rebirth of Iraq. 

Journalists, activists, emcees, musicians, poets, religious leaders, authors and others can play a major role in every step of this necessary process to restore humanity to Iraq. The role is simple: stop following alternative media demigods and speak the truth. Speak. The. Truth. Unequivocally. Exposing Israhell is the groundwork needed to liberate Iraq from the relentless Zionist maniacs who have destroyed it.

Iraq doesn’t need traitors like Muqtada al-Sadr. It doesn’t need puppets and war criminals like Nouri al-Maliki. It doesn’t need treasonous Israhell Firsters like Talabani and Barzani. It doesn’t need murderers like the al-Hakim family. It doesn’t need weaklings like al-Jaafari. It doesn’t need CIA lapdogs like Allawi. It doesn’t need liars like Chalabi. It doesn’t need cowards like Sistani. It doesn’t need another reign of a British-styled monarchy. And it doesn’t need another dictator that is subservient to the West like Saddam Hussein.

General Abdul Karim Qassem (rip)
orchestrated the July 14th Revolution 
that ousted the British-installed

Iraq needs the strength of General Abdul Karim Qassem. It needs the wisdom of Ayatollah Sayyed  Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr. It needs the steadfastness of Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr. It needs the fearlessness of Sheikh Abdul-Aziz al-Badri. It needs the fire of Sheikh Mahdi al-Khalissi. It needs the unity of the Sunni, Shia, Christians and Kurds that answered al-Khalissi’s call to stand together in the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920. It needs the courage of every Iraqi, from any background, who has stood up in defiance to a century of colonialism and 20 years of Zionist genocide.

The Sayedat al-Najat massacre, Mossad’s coordinated car bombings across poor Muslim neighborhoods in Baghdad that claimed over 120 innocent lives two days after the massacre (74) and the bombing that didn’t come to fruition in Nineveh should serve as a lesson to the Muslims and Christians of Iraq: The occupation doesn’t discriminate in its bloodlust. 

The occupation doesn’t ask the Iraqi that it shoots on the street if he attends mass or if he attends Jummah. The occupation doesn’t ask the Iraqi woman it rapes if she adheres to the biblical explanations of Jesus or the Qur’anic explanations of Jesus. The occupation doesn’t analyze the name of the Iraqi it tortures and stop if the name is Christian or proceed with even more iniquity if the name is Muslim. The occupation bombs mosques full of worshipers and detonates IEDs in churches full of worshipers. The Zio-Nazi occupation of Iraq just kills; it kills everything that is in its path and spreading division is its chief weapon.


The flag of unified Iraq under the revolution of General Abdul
Karim Qassem (rip).

Therefore, Iraq must resist division and stand united if it is to rise from its ashes of depleted uranium and  white phosphorus. Victorious Resistance is a tree that grows from seeds of unity.

The enemy of Resistance is the occupying power, and it is nothing more than a mighty fortress on a vast bed of quicksand. The slightest push starts the vanishing at a speed so fast, one can forget that the might of the occupier even graced the pages of history. Iraq is the quicksand. Zionism is the fortress. And unity is the push. May Iraq rise again, stronger and more unified than ever before.

~ The End ~


(1) Two Million Iraqi Deaths, Eight Million Bush Asian Holocaust Deaths And Media Holocaust Denial by Dr. Gideon Polya, Counter Currents

(2) 9/11: Israel’s Grand Deception by Jonathan Azaziah, Mask of Zion

(3) The Zionist Murderers Of Iraq by Jonathan Azaziah, Mask of Zion 

(4) America’s S.O.S. To The IDF by Amir Oren, Haaretz

(5) British Terrorism In Iraq by Dr. Elias Akleh, Global Research 

(6) Wikileaks Is Zionist Poison II: Deconstruction Of The Myth by Jonathan Azaziah, Mask of Zion

(7) Israel: We Destroyed Iraq.. Iraq Must Stay Divided And Isolated… The Oil Of Northern Iraq Will Flow Into Israel by Jouhina Portal News; And Former Israeli Minister Of Security (Avi Dichter) We Have In Iraq Is More Than We Planned And Expected by Al-Hurriya News

(8) The Israeli-Kurdish Relations by Sergey Minasian, 21st Century, Number 1, April, 2007

(9) The Zionist Occupation Of Iraq Is The ‘War In Iraq’ by Christopher Bollyn

(10) Church Bombing Foiled In North Iraq by Press TV 

(11) Facts Vs. Beliefs – Today’s Ancient Warfare by Jeff Gates, Salem News

(12) Israel Hopes To Colonize Parts Of Iraq As ‘Greater Israel’ by Wayne Madsen, Online Journal/Wayne Madsen Report

(13) Tourist Hotels To Be Built Near Shrine Of Ezekiel by Point of No Return

(14) Fifty-Five Zionist Companies Said To Be Operating In Iraq Under Assumed Names by Yaqen News Agency, translated by Muhammad Abu Nasr

(15) Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of 3,000 Years by Israel Shahak (rip)

(16) What Were The Mossad And Fake New Zealand Passports Doing In Iraq? by Jerry Mazza, Live Leak

(17) The US War Against Iraq: The Destruction Of A Civilization by James Petras, Global Research

(18) The Lavon Affair: Is History Repeating Itself? by What Really Happened?

(19) Operation Cyanide: How The Bombing Of The USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War Three by Peter Hounam

(20) Sectarianism And Its Discontents by Joseph Massad, Al-Ahram Weekly

(21) “Israeli Spying Network” Uncovered In Egypt Days Before Church Blast by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat, Veterans Today

(22) The Alexandria Church Bombing: Mossad, Who Else? by Jonathan Azaziah, Mask of Zion

(23) Egypt’s Muslims Attend Coptic Christmas Mass, Serving As ‘Human Shields’ by Yasmine el-Rashidi, Al-Ahram Online

(24) The Baghdad Cathedral Massacre: Zionist Fingerprints All Over by Jonathan Azaziah, Mask of Zion

(25) Hostages Killed In Iraq Raid by World Bulletin

(26) Judaism Discovered: A Study Of The Anti-Biblical Religion Of Racism, Self-Worship, Superstition and Deceit by Michael Hoffman

(27) Al Qaeda Ally In Iraq Says All Christians ‘Legitimate Targets’ by Taylor Barnes, The Christian Science Monitor

(28) Iraqi Leader Shakes Barak’s Hand by BBC News

(29) President Talabani Has No Objection To Form Christian Province by Aswat al-Iraq

(30) A Strategy For Israel In The Nineteen Eighties by Oded Yinon, Kivunim

(31) Israelis Can Tell The Whole Story Of Sudan’s Division – They Wrote The Script And Trained The Actors by Fahmi Howeidi, Al-Khaleej Times

(32) Iraqi Christians Demand Christian Province by Ken Timmerman, News Max

(33) Ho, Hum More Wikileaks ‘Chickenfeed’ by Gordon Duff, Veterans Today

(34) PKK Vows Allegiance To Israel by Press TV

(35) Afghanistan – Obama’s War For Israel by Christopher Bollyn

(36) Talabani: Iraq Not Ready For Israel Ties by Nathan Guttman, The Jerusalem Post

(37) Al-Dhari: Israeli Firms Operate In Iraq by Press TV

(38) Sadr Receives Hero’s Welcome In Iraq by Press TV

(39) The New And Improved Muqtada as-Sadr by As’ad Abu Khalil, The Angry Arab News Service

(40) Al Sadr: US, ‘Israel,’ Britain All Common Enemies Of The Iraqi People by Moqawama English

(41) Wikileaks Is Zionist Poison by Jonathan Azaziah, Mask of Zion

(42) Nuri Al-Maliki Is Preparing To Live In Britain by Al-Iraq News

(43) Baghdad Gets Less Than An Hour Of Electricity A Day by Saadoun al-Jaberi, Azzaman English

(44) Mission Accomplished? Not For The Iraqi People by Hadani Ditmars, Counter Currents

(45) Massoud Barzani, Israel Is My Ally, Is Not Kingmaker In Iraq by Hamma Mirwaisi, Kurd Net

(46) The Huge, Hidden Salaries Of Iraq’s Parliamentarians by Hayder Najm, Niqash

(47) Iraq Is America’s Gaza by Allen L. Roland, Allen L. Roland’s Weblog

(48) Iraq To Buy $26 Billion Worth Of Armaments From United States by Ria Novosti

(49) US Forced To Import Bullets From Israel As Troops Use 250,000 For Every Rebel Killed by Andrew Buncombe, The Belfast Telegraph

(50) Clashes Between The Mahdi Army And Badr Expand Across Iraq by Azzaman English

(51) What Direction For The Al-Mahdi Army After The Basra Offensive? by Babak Rahmi, Terrorism Focus Volume 5, Issue 13

(52) Iraq: Threats Of Foreign Influence by Robert Grenier, Al-Jazeera English

(53) Security Implications Of Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Return To Iraq by Babak Rahmi, Terrorism Monitor Volume 9, Issue 2

(54) Anti-Biden Protests In Iraq: Iraqis Call On US To Withdraw by Jason Ditz,

(55) Washington Worried About The Rising Role Of Sadr’s Movement In Iraq by Yusuf Fernandez, Al-Manar

(56) Fury Ignites Solidarity In Iraq by Naomi Klein, The Los Angeles Times

(57) Media Disinformation And The Nature Of The Iraqi Resistance by Ghali Hassan, Global Research

(58) The Roving Eye: One Year On: From Liberation To Jihad by Pepe Escobar, The Asia Times

(59) Wikileaks, A Circus With No Elephants by Gordon Duff, Veterans Today

(60) Good Riddance To Dick DeVos by Neal AbuNab, Oped News

(61) Biography Of Shaheed Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr by T.M. Aziz, Ahlul-Bayt Islamic Mission

(62) Father Of Moqtada Al-Sadr: Sayyid Muhammed Muhammed Sadiq Al-Sadr by Yasin T. Al-Jabouri

(63) Lebanese Capture Of Israeli Spy Ring Reveals Zionist Operations Against Hizbullah by Khalil Osman, Media Monitors

(64) Blair Echoes Kissinger’s Words: ‘The Road To Jerusalem Passes Through Baghdad’ by Lebanon Wire

(65) US Mideast Policy – Does The Road To Jerusalem Run Through Baghdad? by Jeffrey Donovan, Radio Free Europe 

(66) Raymond Tanter by SourceWatch

(67) Israeli Interrogators ‘In Iraq’ by BBC News

(68) Mossad Does Interrogations In Iraqi Jails: Human Rights Group by Xinhua English 

(69) Israeli Ties To The Abuse At Abu Ghraib by Christopher Bollyn, Rumor Mill News

(70) An Exposé Of An Exposé: Seymour Hersh And The Missing Zionist-Israeli Connection by James Petras, Rebellion

(71) WikiWeasel II: The Alternative Media Crushes Wikileaks by Gordon Duff, Veterans Today

(72) Israeli Officer Sells Weapons To Terrorists In Iraq by Press TV

(73) Who Is Behind The Sham Elections In Iraq And USA? by Christopher Bollyn, Rumor Mill News

(74) Coordinated Blasts Kill 120 In Iraq by Press TV

Posted by Mask Of Zion  

Posted in World1 Comment

A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter


 Miss America, please tell us about Wikileaks

Posted: 18 Jan 2011 02:00 PM PST



 Serco doesn’t really work for the people

Posted: 18 Jan 2011 11:28 AM PST

Wonderful editorial in the Northern Territory News:

The Federal Government’s attempt to gag journalists reporting on asylum seekers in the Territory is contemptible – and laughable.

Contemptible because it is undemocratic; laughable because it won’t work.

Canberra has told the NT News it broke the law by speaking to an asylum seeker.

It also said a complaint had been lodged with the police.

It turns out that both these things are untrue.

It seems that the federal Immigration Department has resorted to threats, bully-boy tactics and deceit in a bid to prevent coverage of a news story embarrassing to itself.

As it is, secrecy already surrounds asylum seekers and the way they are handled in the Territory.

The Immigration Department contracts out some services, for which it is responsible, to Serco – a giant foreign company.

Serco in turn has subcontracted out to MSS Security in Darwin.

MSS – until recently – subcontracted out again to other smaller companies.

Each time, lines of responsibility blur.

And it gives bureaucrats the opportunity to refuse to discuss some elements of asylum seeker “management” – a public interest issue – under the guise of commercial-in-confidence.

Thus Territorians are not ever likely to see reports about the riot or the mass breakout and protest at the troubled Darwin Detention Centre last year.

Australia is a democratic country and Territorians have every right to know what’s going on with the asylum seekers in their midst.

Territorians may agree with the content of some stories; they may strongly disagree with others.

But either way, they have a right to know.

Canberra, of course, would prefer that reporting on asylum seekers stemmed only from its press releases. That’s not going to happen.

The Federal Government needs reminding that it exists to serve the people – not itself.


 London and its torturing allies

Posted: 18 Jan 2011 04:38 AM PST

Christopher Hitchens may be sharing his bromance with Tony Blair in the latest Vanity Fair, but back in the real world away from elite cocktail party chatter, Britain stands condemned:

UK authorities passed information about British nationals to notorious Bangladeshi intelligence agencies and police units, then pressed for information while the men were being held at a secret interrogation centre where inmates are known to have died under torture.

A Guardian investigation into counter-terrorism co-operation between the UK and Bangladesh has revealed a detailed picture of the last Labour government’s reliance on overseas intelligence agencies that were known to use torture.

Meetings and exchanges of information took place between British and Bangladeshi officials in an effort to protect the UK from attacks that might be fomented in Bangladesh, according to sources in both countries.

The likelihood that a number of suspects would be tortured as a result of the meetings went unmentioned, according to the sources. Subsequently, more than a dozen men of dual British-Bangladeshi nationality were placed under investigation, and at least some suffered horrific abuse from the Bangladeshi authorities.

At one point Jacqui Smith, then home secretary, flew to Dhaka for face-to-face meetings with senior officials from one agency, the Directorate-General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), whose use of torture had been the subject of a detailed report by Human Rights Watch, the New York-based NGO, less than eight weeks earlier. Seven months before the visit, a report prepared by Smith’s own department had documented the widespread concern about the routine use of torture in Bangladesh. Smith spoke publicly during the visit about the dangers that could be posed by dual nationals; privately, according to a senior DGFI counter-terrorism officer, she urged that the agency investigate a number of individuals about whom the British were suspicious.

In September it emerged that in recent years MI5 and MI6 have always asked the home secretary or foreign secretary for permission before conducting any information exchange where there was a risk of an individual being tortured. Smith, her successor Alan Johnson and David Miliband, the foreign secretary during the period of the joint UK-Bangladeshi counter-terrorism campaign, have declined to answer questions about the matter.


 Say after me; Serco isn’t that hard to spell

Posted: 18 Jan 2011 03:00 AM PST

The issue of Australia’s immigration detention centres is routinely misreported/ignored by corporate media.

British multinational Serco runs all the country’s centres – not that you’d know that by reading most media reporting – and here’s just a few latest examples of where this information routinely lies (ie. a black hole):


Hundreds of asylum seekers at the Curtin Detention Centre near Derby have gone on hunger strike this morning and are refusing to even drink water, according to a refugee advocate.

Advocate Pamela Curr said a detainee told her of the protest in a short telephone conversation earlier today.

“Some of the men have been on hunger strike for three weeks and some have been taken to hospital because they’ve collapsed … he said two people are in hospital that he knows of,” she said.

“I asked him if he would consider drinking water – and he said ‘I would consider it, but nobody wants to do it. We have decided no.’”

Ms Curr said she had been told that the men, mostly young Afghani males, were frustrated at not being told anything by the Department about how their cases were proceeding.

He had also claimed that access to the internet had been blocked, she said [I have heard from refugee activists that Serco has been responsible for this decision].

Detainees’ moods had lifted in October after the Federal Government lifted its six-month processing ban for Afghani asylum seekers.

Ms Curr said many of the detainees had been interviewed in November but since then, about 150 people had been rejected as refugees.


The Gillard government wants to raze the habitat of an endangered West Australian cockatoo to build its latest immigration detention centre, but is relying on permission from a hostile Barnett government.

The Northam detention centre was to hold 1200 asylum-seekers by March and a further 300 by June but has been hit by delays. The Immigration Department now hopes the first 600 detainees will be moved there in late March or early April.

The entire proposed camp is subject to a public comment period and has been referred to the Federal Department of Sustainability, Water, Population and Communities because it requires clearing banksia woodland found to be a feeding ground of the Carnaby’s black cockatoo — an endangered native bird found only in parts of southwest WA.

“The design of the detention centre will ensure minimal clearing of the identified black cockatoo foraging habitat in the northwest of the project is required. Clearing in this section will be less than one hectare in area,” says a report prepared for the Immigration Department by environmental consultants GHD.

Neither story mentions Serco despite the firm being directly relevant to both situations. That’s bad journalism.

If any evidence was needed that the Australian government is so desperate to rid itself of refugees, it’s now done a deal with one of the most corrupt regimes in the world, Afghanistan. Furthermore, what kind of pressure has Serco placed on Canberra to lessen its loads in the over-flowing detention centres?

Australia has the green light to deport thousands of Afghan asylum seekers after reaching a historic agreement with the Afghan government.

The Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Afghan Refugee Minister, Jamaher Anwary, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Sydney yesterday.

It enables the forced return of Afghans whose bids for asylum fail. The move is alarming security experts and refugee advocates.

Mr Bowen said it would deter Afghans considering travelling to Australia. ”Never, all through the Howard years, never before today, has there been an involuntary return from Australia to Afghanistan,” he said.

”To dissuade people from risking their lives by joining people-smuggling ventures, it is important that Afghans found not to be owed protection by Australia are returned to Afghanistan.”

About 2600 Afghans are in Australia’s detention centres. Of those, 49 must win court appeals to avoid imminent deportation.

The opposition was sceptical about the agreement, saying it was only as good as the government’s will to enforce it. ”The minister is unable to say when anyone is going to be returned,” said its immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison. ”It’s not clear to me the government has the resolve to implement this.”

In three years, only three asylum seekers have been returned to Afghanistan – all last year after volunteering to go. In 2008 and 2009, 126 people were returned to their countries of origin.

The director of the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University, William Maley, warned that ethnic Hazaras, in particular, should not be deported without extreme caution. ”The security situation in Afghanistan is extremely unsettling,” he said.

He cast doubt on the security expertise of Australian officials making refugee assessments.

The decapitation of 11 Hazaras in Oruzgan province in June contradicted a cable from the Kabul embassy proclaiming a ”golden age” for Hazaras, he said.


 Palin’s world

Posted: 17 Jan 2011 11:13 PM PST

A fine cartoon appearing in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.


 Israel feels light tap on wrist and marches on regardless

Posted: 17 Jan 2011 10:26 PM PST

I’m sure Israel is shaking; two close allies chastise Israel and then do absolutely nothing about it. That’s pointless loyalty:

Britain and Australia urged Israel to refrain from settlement building on the West Bank and called for a “return to direct talks” between Israel and the Palestinians.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Middle East peace process had featured in Tuesday’s summit with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd and defence ministers Liam Fox and Stephen Smith.

 “Our joint belief (is) that the parties involved should return to direct talks and refrain from acts that undermine confidence such as settlement building,” Hague told reporters. 

 It follows calls from UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday for Israel to freeze settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, after Israeli media reported that Israel is to approve 1,400 new settler homes. 

 That push, reportedly into east Jerusalem, is in defiance of pressure to halt settlement building that has stalled peace talks with the Palestinians. 

The Palestinians halted direct talks with Israel, brokered by the United States, in September after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on settlement building. Israel says the construction should be an issue discussed in direct talks.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

News**News Today In Palestine


Dear Friends,

I spent the day doing various chores and the evening at Tel Aviv University listening to a panel on the situation at Al Arakib and Israel’s intentions with respect to Al Arakib in general and with the Bedouins in particular.  As for the latter, in a word, the intentions are “ethnic cleansing.”

Am too emotionally worn out to start scanning newspapers.  So am letting Shadi Fadda do the job for me.  One of my favorites below is the poster at St Paul’s university.  There are 2 items about the boycott call there, one of which has the poster that I refer to.  Won’t spoil the fun by revealing what it says, but I think it is a novel initiative.  I am sure that you will find much to read in Shadi’s compilation.

All the best,


Headlines January 18, 2011

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

Israel set to build more homes on annexed land
JERUSALEM, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Israel’s Jerusalem municipality took another step on Monday towards building 124 new apartments on annexed land around East Jerusalem, a move likely to draw international condemnation.  The municipal planning committee authorised construction of 92 flats in East Talpiot in the southern part of Jerusalem and 32 in Pisgat Zeev to the north. Israel calls both areas Jewish “neighbourhoods” built on land it annexed following a 1967 war. 124 housing units get construction approval in east Jerusalem
City’s factions divided over construction plans as Likud stresses housing unit shortage while Meretz focuses on inequality of municipality response.,7340,L-4015088,00.html

Al-Araqib residents expelled to make way for trees

On Sunday, January 16th, 2011, the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) accompanied by a heavy police presence destroyed the Bedouin village of Al Araqib for the 9th time since its total destruction in July 2010. During the village’s destruction the police forces used large amounts of violent force, including sponge bullets (a police method of crowd dispersal) which injured eleven of the residents, one of them in his eye.  This time it seems that the ILA has decided to expel the residents once and for all. This is corroborated by statements made by Shlomo Zeiser, the ILA officer in charge of inspection … The ongoing demolitions are not a coincidence. They are part of The 30 Day Plan, which is the plan to rid the Negev of its Bedouin residents.

UK minister condemns latest Israeli settlement project
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The UK’s Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt, touring the region for the first time as minister, called the latest plans to build 1,400 new Jewish-only homes in occupied Jerusalem “deeply unhelpful.”

European countries ask Palestinians to postpone anti-settlement draft resolution
RAMALLAH, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — Some European countries have asked Palestinians and Arab states to postpone presenting draft resolution against Jewish settlement to the United Nations, a Palestinian official revealed Monday.  Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, said that the European states want “more discussions” so that the United States would not veto the draft resolution at the Security Council. 

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Weekly Anti-Wall Protest Update
Jan 18, 2011– Bi’lin marches in solidarity with its prisoners and martyrs. Occupation forces injure one in Ni’lin and open fire with live ammunition in al Nabi Saleh, where protestors clashed with soldiers in the center of the village.

Police fire sponge bullets at Israeli citizens in al-Araqib, Joseph Dana
The Bedouin village of Al-Araqib was destroyed for the 9th time on Sunday morning in the wasteland of Israeli democracy. Today police forces were back in Al-Araqib destroying make-shift structures which had been erected over night. Villagers resisting the takeover have been arrested and beaten, with eyewitnesses reporting use of sponge bullets. Based on villagers’ and activists’ accounts, the state is planning a major offense to erase the village once and for all in order to make room for a forest to be planted by the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

MK praises resolve of Al-Araqib village
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Knesset Member Talab Al-Sanei on Monday commended the resolve of residents of Al-Araqib, a Bedouin village destroyed nine times by Israeli forces.  Israeli forces carried out the latest demolition of the village in southern Israel on Sunday.  Al-Sanei said the villagers’ attachment to their land showed “heroic determination and steadfastness.” 

Protest Held at Mercer County Plant Over Tear Gas
A Mercer County company is manufacturing and selling a type of tear gas to law enforcement agencies around the world.  Monday, a group of protesters gathered outside of that facility, upset that the company is allegedly selling that product to Israeli military forces who are in turn using it against Palestinians.  Combined Systems Incorporated, or CSI, based in Jamestown, Pa., manufactures and sells what they call less-lethal weapons to law enforcement.

Israeli Activists Call on UK Telecommunications Giant to Cut Ties with Israeli Phone Company
Tel Aviv – PNN – Israeli activists on Tuesday called on UK telecommunications giant BT to “live up” to the company’s “professed ethical standards” and “cut all ties with Israel’s occupation” by severing links with Israeli phone company Bezeq.  On the one year anniversary of BT accepting Bezeq into its exclusive ‘Global Alliance’, Israeli citizens from ‘Boycott From Within’ said they were “saddened and dismayed” at BT’s relationship with a company deeply involved in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

‘Boycott From Within’ making international waves against the occupation,  Joseph Dana
Boycott From Within is taking credit for the recent cancellation of  French pop star Vanessa Paradis’s visit to Israel. The group, made up of Israeli citizens who advocate the Palestinian national call for international call for boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) of Israel, believes that there efforts helped persuade Paradis to cancel her March performance in Tel Aviv.  Officially, her concert was cancelled for ‘professional reasons’ but those close to singer believe that she was driven by calls for boycott.

#BDS: ‘Undip Sabra’ campaign hits DePaul’s bulletin boards and cafeteria cash registers

#BDS: ACTION ALERT: Remove Sabra Hummus from DePaul University

There is no substitute for seeing it for yourself – Travel to Israel/Palestine with Interfaith Peace Builders in May 2011, Adam Horowitz
I am incredibly excited to make this announcement. If you’re reading this site you are most likely very interested in events in Israel/Palestine. There are many ways to learn about the conflict – books, films, websites – but nothing beats seeing it for yourself. I am going to be co-leading a delegation to Israel/Palestine from May 21 – June 3, 2011 with Huwaida Arraf. Please consider joining us – it should be an amazing time.

Human Rights/Humanitarian Issues/Siege

Gaza children ‘at risk’ near border
New report says 26 children killed by Israeli troops near the border in 2010, while the blockade is ‘ravaging’ economy.

Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Dec 19 – Jan 15

Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Dec 19 – Jan 15

Israel blocks entry of medical team into Ramle prison hospital
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli prison services (IPS) refused to allow an independent medical team to enter the Ramle prison hospital to check on Palestinian sick detainees.  The prisoner’s committee in 1948 occupied Palestine said in a statement on Monday that it presented a list of prisoners to be checked by this team but the IPS rejected the step.  The committee noted that Ahmed Tamimi, from Ramallah, as one example, and who is serving a life sentence, was suffering from an unknown health condition, recalling that he was detained since 19/7/1993. 

Palestinian factions: Refugee camps source of stability for Lebanon
SIDON: Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are a source of stability and security in the country, Palestinian factions said Monday. Following talks at the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh on the outskirts of Sidon, Palestinian factions, including Islamist groups, stressed in a statement their keenness “on preserving the stability and security of [Palestinian] refugee camps. 

Violence/Aggression/War Crimes

Israeli tank shell kills Gaza resident-medics
GAZA, Jan 18 (Reuters) – An Israeli tank shell killed a Palestinian and wounded two others close to the border fence in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, medical officials at a Gaza hospital said.  The Israeli army had no comment and a spokeswoman said she was checking for details.

Israel raids Al-Burage camp, no causalities 
Gaza Strip , (Pal Telegraph) – A number of Israeli machines and bulldozers raided the east of AL-Burage refugee camp ,central Gaza strip.   Witnesses reported to local sources that four military vehicles  advanced about 300 meters  toward AL-Burage refugee camp and started firing, leaving no causalities. A case of fear and panic was created among Palestinian civilians, especially children.  Israel justified that  the raid was in response to rocket attacks by Hamas fighters.  It’s noteworthy that occupation machines daily provoke military operations along Gaza borders, causing great damage with civilians’ properties.

Israeli navy fire damages dozens of Palestinian fishing boats
Israeli navy gunboats opened machinegun fire at dozens of Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Monday night, a PIC reporter said.

Woman loses finger after prison guards slam door
A Palestinian woman’s finger was amputated when prison guards slammed a door on her when she was visiting her son Bilal Abbas in the Israeli Ohlikdar prison.

10 January 2010: Israel Police refutes claims of Ni’lin video forgery
In July 2010, the special military court on the Kirya base convicted Lt. Col. Omri Borberg, former commander of Battalion 71 of the Armored Corps, for the offense of attempted threats, and convicted Staff Sgt. (Res.) Leonardo Corea for the unlawful use of a weapon. The two were also convicted of unbecoming conduct. The offenses for which they were convicted carry a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment and the convictions will be listed in their criminal records.


3 Palestinians Detained in Hebron-area by Israeli Forces
On Tuesday morning, the homes of three men in the southern West Bank towns of Beit Ummar and Adh-Dhahiriya were raided and searched by Israeli forces, resulting in the men’s detention.

Hamas says PA detained 17 supporters
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas officials in the West Bank issued a statement on Tuesday saying Palestinian Authority’s security services detained 17 of the movement’s supporters.  The party listed 17 individuals they said were detained in Bethlehem, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Nablus. Ma’an could not independently verify the report.

Islamic Jihad to PA: Release our activists
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two members of Islamic Jihad were detained by Palestinian Authority police without arrest warrants on Monday night, a statement from the party said, and demanded their immediate release.  The men were said to have been detained in the Tulkarem region, and taken to the Juneid Prison in the northern West Bank district of Nablus.

Shin Bet agent makes attempted hit on Eshel prisoner
A Shin Bet agent inside the Eshel Prison in Beersheba made an obvious attempt to assassinate another prisoner in the facility, the Gaza prisoners ministry said Tuesday.

Gaza inhabitants demand right of visiting their detained relatives
Relatives of Gazan prisoners in Israeli occupation jails have demanded the right of visiting their next of kin after four years of visit deprivation.

Political Developments

European countries may recognize Palestinian state – Shin Bet
Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin said on Tuesday that he believed that international recognition of a Palestinian state will spread.

Norway to be first EU nation to recognize Palestine?
JERUSALEM  – Guyana became Thursday the seventh Latin American state to recognize an independent Palestinian state. Although the official recognitions are largely nominal, they have irked the State of Israel as they expose its growing diplomatic isolation in the face of the current peace deadlock.

Medvedev: As we did in 1988, Russia still recognizes an independent Palestine
Russian president makes announcement after meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in West Bank; Israeli officials fear recognition will cause a domino effect of other states following Russia’s lead, including China.

Israel concerned Russia will recognize Palestinian state
Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath tells Al-Hayat newspaper that Dmitry Medvedev will affirm Soviet Union’s 1988 recognition of a Palestinian state during West Bank visit.

Israel’s Barak breaks from Labor Party, fortifying bond with Netanyahu
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak left his Labor Party to form a faction that would preserve his alliance with Prime Minister Netanyahu, throwing the political system into turmoil.

Senior official: Israeli attack on Hezbollah will bring war with Syria, Akiva Eldar
Departure of the relatively moderate Labor ministers makes the irrationality with regard to the idea of an attack on Lebanon a more cardinal condition for its existence.

Braverman to Haaretz: Lieberman harmed Israel’s relations with its Arab citizens
Labor’s Minority Affairs minister, who resigned from the government on Monday, says present goal is to ‘topple the regime of Netanyahu, Lieberman, Barak.’

Other News

Israeli man arrested for alleged involvement in Bosnia genocide
The International Investigations Unit arrests Aleksandar Cvetković after Bosnia files extradition request over suspicions that he was involved in 1995 mass murder.

Study: 61% of men don’t see forced sex with acquaintance as rape
Over half of Israeli men – 61 percent – do not consider forcing sex on an acquaintance as rape, a study conducted by Tel-Hai Academic College recently found. Moreover, 41 percent of Israeli women share that view.

Rabbi: Lower marriage age to 15
Initiator of new bill says legislation would financially help large families, curtail sexual offenses. ‘Girls who do not want to study or work are a burden to the household,’ says Rabbi Asher Idan.,7340,L-4013584,00.html


WEST BANK: Political upheaval in Tunisia spurs Palestinian leaders to issue reassurances on own economy
The factors that led to the popular upheaval in Tunisia set off alarm bells throughout the Arab world, and the Palestinian Authority was no different.  Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad spent more than two hours on Sunday talking to 40 Palestinian journalists at his Ramallah office about the economic situation and living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Shepherd’s lost sheep–As Palestinians call for recognition of their state, its contours are blurring
FEW architectural sites in East Jerusalem, the side of the city that Palestinians see as their future capital, capture the flavour of Palestine’s British Mandate more acutely than the Shepherd Hotel. It was where British officers hobnobbed with Palestinian high society before the territory was partitioned in 1948. General Sir Evelyn Barker, in command of British troops under the mandate, dallied there with a celebrated Arab hostess, Katy Antonius. 

Israel’s ‘disobedient women’ questioned over illegal trips for Palestinians | Harriet Sherwood
Days out to Israel for West Bank women and children come under police scrutiny amid fears of rising intolerance.  In a small village between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, I joined a remarkable group of women and children for lunch last weekend, a noisy and cheerful crowd enjoying plates of chicken, fish, rice and salad. All of them were breaking the law.  The party consisted of around 20 mostly middle-aged Israeli women, slightly fewer and younger Palestinian women and a handful of the latter’s children.

All paperwork was in place for the 8 and 9-year-olds to see the beach, and permission issued…, Jeff Loewenstein
It’s plain sick!  There is nothing original in the statement that whatever one might have read, or seen, about Israel and the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, can prepare one for seeing things for oneself “on the ground”. The large, obscene blot of a Wall (sometimes with gun towers) dominating the skyline and looking down on the people it surrounds. The checkpoints and border-crossings and everything associated with them.

Winter Break in Gaza, MAX AJL
I got to Gaza three weeks ago after being away for over five months, and almost nothing has changed. F-16s continue to unload their cargoes of heavy explosives on “suspected” military sites nearly every night, terrifying everyone in Gaza as we all wonder if this is the explosion which heralds Cast Lead II, while “suspected militants,” or any Palestinian male under the age of 80, are consistently shot down by the IDF for loitering within a couple hundred meters of the border, especially if a bit of debris kicked up by the wind scares a frazzled and homicidal IDF sniper. 

Amira Hass on the Israeli Policy of Separate Development
Amira Hass, an Israeli, moved to the Gaza Strip to cover the Palestinian side of the peace process for Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, Ha’aretz. She argues that over the past 20 years, Israel has placed the Palestinians under severe and complex movement restrictions, forcing them to live in disconnected and congested enclaves of limited self-rule. Perceived by many Israelis (and even Palestinians) as a coincidental process of ad hoc measures against terrorism, she has discovered a pattern at odds to both the Oslo accords and security considerations.

I get a closeup picture of the health care system and women’s lives in Palestine, Alice Rothchild
For the second week of the delegation, we divide into different interest groups and the medical folks are based in Nablus, working with Palestinian Medical Relief Society. On the second day we are standing in the waiting area of the Community Based Rehabilitation offices when a staff member, a beautiful somewhat demure woman with large black eyes and a graceful white hijab framing her face, beams and offers us chocolates. I decline (I am still recovering from breakfast), but she insists. “You must, my father just got out of prison and we are celebrating.” We learn he was imprisoned for four years. I take the chocolate.

In Nablus, An Invasion of Cardboard Tanks
Sidqi Musa – Nablus – PNN – He lines up the Israeli army tanks on a street in Zawata, a small village west of Nablus in the northern West Bank, reminiscent of scenes from the Israeli invasions of the Second Intifada. Except this time, the tanks are cardboard, made by twin brothers Sabhi and Bakr Saleh.

Obama puts peace process in concrete shoes and pushes it off the Staten Island ferry, Philip Weiss
Laura Rozen at Politico reports that Obama administration is seeking “new ideas” on the Middle East “from outside experts on how to advance the peace process.” Can you believe this roster? One of em’s a Bush neocon! Anyone who’s failed or who has street cred with the Israel lobby counts. Obama thinks he can put everything in Park till 2012. This is why civil society is so important.

Majida Abu Rahmah: A Melancholy Martin Luther King Day in Bil’in
As the people of the United States commemorate the non-violent leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, they must be reminded of the Palestinian sisters, fathers and husbands held in Israel. 

Levy: Labor never really took on nationalist Revisionism, Philip Weiss
Smart analysis of Labor Party’s dissolution in Israel, from Daniel Levy at Foreign Policy. A few different moods in the piece. 

Bra-gate, the plot thickens, Annie
Did you read about Israel’s new charm offensive? Me too, but apparently I failed to grasp the “charm” of strip searching pregnant journo Najwan Simri of Al Jazeera (left) down to her birthday suit was for the purpose of stimulating positive coverage of Israel!  Eyewitness Roee Ruttenberg reports +972blog (my bold):  Inside the hotel ballroom, Netanyahu was lecturing (yes, lecturing!) the foreign press, asking why they are not covering Israel’s more positive image? He cited the strong economy, booming tourism, vastly advanced R&D facilities, and the standard bearers of Israeli self-defined success. All the while, an invasive strip search was taking place on the other side of the door. Did he really expect Simri to leave the event only to go home and blog about Tel Aviv’s beaches?

An educated Palestinian explains her rightslessness,  Alice Rothchild
I thought my last day in Ramallah, January 15, would be a reflective, low key day to catch up, finish blogging, look at my 700+ emails, and pack, when my host asks me to join him and the US student he is mentoring on an extraordinary visit to the village of Al Walajeh near Bethlehem. Soon we are in a taxi hurtling along Wadi El Nar Road, with hair-raising rollercoaster curves and more USAID road building projects. My friend reflects on the changes underway in the West Bank: in particular a huge NGO, donor, and governmental focus on security. I have noticed the PA forces in their fresh new uniforms standing on many corners. He tells me that under the guise of “law and order, justice, and building prisons,” there is now one Palestinian policeman, security agent, or intelligence officer for every 50 West Bankers. Prime Minister Fayyad, the World Bank trained technocrat, is getting everything under control. During Eid this year, my friend reports that every kid wanted a plastic gun, wanted to be powerful.

Road Map to Peace Beginning with Justice  (An Open Letter to Sandy Berger and Stephen Hadley), William A. Cook
Let me introduce myself lest you discard a letter from someone you do not know. I am a citizen of this nation having lasted beyond the biblical three score and ten with an ancestry that can be traced back to 1636. That’s not necessarily a positive thing as our own ethnic cleansing of the natives of this continent can testify. But as a professor who has written three books about the mid-East, Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy, The Rape of Palestine, and an edited work, The Plight of the Palestinians, all specifically focused on Israel and Palestine, and, let me add, a novella that drew its inspiration from Ariel Sharon, a morality tale The Chronicles of Nefaria, I do my best to find recourse in the moral premise that underlies America and its potential for good in the world. 

Hollywood, Israel and the Pursuit of Normalcy, Basil Abdelkarim
While flipping through channels on television last week, I ran across an episode of Friends, the long running hit NBC sitcom (1994-2004), which grabbed my attention. In this episode from 2004, paleontologist and professor Ross Geller proudly announces to his circle of attractive young friends that he has just earned tenure at a New York university. This glorious occasion prompts the young dinosaur expert to break out a bottle of Israeli champagne in celebration. There are actually two references to Israeli champagne (‘Israel’s finest’) in this episode, and these moments are played ostensibly for laughs. (Israel? Champagne? Whoda thunk it?) 

‘Sumoud’ in Palestine: To Exist is to Resist, Kim Bullimore
On Tuesday, the Israeli military demolished the dreams of a family of five in the Palestinian village of Azzoun Atma. At 8.30am, on January 11, more than 100 Israeli soldiers surrounded their home, forced them onto the street and then locked them in the neighouring house for the next three and half hours. As “the most moral army in the world” stood guard around the neighbouring house, ensuring the family could do nothing to stop what was about to happen, a heavily armoured Caterpillar bulldozer smashed down the walls of the home they had lived in for more than 8 years. The Israeli occupation forces then made their way to the other side of the village and demolished a farm house belonging to another family, along with their agricultural pens. 

Israel’s Actions Reflects the Arrogant Mentality of an Occupier, Daoud Kuttab
Sometime over the weekend and somewhere within the Israeli military’s decision making apparatus, a decision was taken. Thousands of decisions like this are taken daily. For sure no one thought much of it, after all, who cares about such insignificant decisions that affects the Palestinian population.  The Israeli army which is generally in charge of the occupied territories and specifically in charge of all declared military areas, decided to close a particular area off for security reasons. The area in question is the King Hussein bridge, the only crossing point in and out of the occupied Palestinian territories for three million Palestinians. 


Shami summons U.S. ambassador:  Minister tells Connelly her visit to Fattoush counts as meddling in country’s internal affairs
BEIRUT: Caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Shami summoned the United States ambassador to Lebanon Monday over what he termed “interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs.”  Shami, a March 8 figure,  told U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly that her visit Sunday to M.P. Nicholas Fattoush “is interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs that violates diplomatic tasks stipulated by national and international conventions and laws, especially the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1962.”  Connelly held a one-hour meeting with Fattoush at his hometown of Zahle. The visit came on the eve of parliamentary deliberations that President Michel Sleiman was scheduled to carry out Monday and Tuesday to nominate a prime minister, but which he later postponed for one week to help reach a consensus over a prime minister-designate.

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah Could Be Right, Alan Hart
It’s not impossible that Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah was right when he described the tribunal investigating the assassination of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 as “an American and Israeli tool”. Though I, myself, see Israel’s military and political leaders as those with most to gain – I mean thinking they have most to gain – from a successful attempt to pin  the blame on Hezbollah.


Tikrit bombing kills 40, wounds 60
A major suicide bombing left behind around 100 police recruits among killed and wounded in central Tikrit. The death toll of the bombing that targeted a police recruit center in central Tikrit raised to 40 killed and more than 60 wounded, a police source from Salahuddin province said.

Monday: 9 Iraqis Killed, 22 Wounded
At least nine Iraqis were killed and 22 more were wounded in attacks across central and northern Iraq. To the south, Kuwait is planning to clean oil contamination left from the 1990 Gulf War. 

Three killed, five wounded in suicide explosion in Iraq
The suicide bomber blew his explosive-laden vehicle in Ramadi city targeting Al-Anbar governor Qassim Mohammad Abdu.

Policeman killed in attack on Iraqi governor
A policeman was killed and five people were injured Monday in a car bombing targeting the governor of Iraq’s central Anbar province, media reports said.

Detainees don police uniforms in Iraq jailbreak
BAGHDAD (AP) — A dozen terror suspects disguised in police uniforms broke out of an Iraqi jail Friday, prompting a manhunt across the nation’s south for what officials called a dangerous group of top–ranking insurgents linked to al–Qaida.


Tunisians sceptical of new govt
Tunisians have expressed dissatisfaction with inclusion of ruling party members in new ‘national unity’ government. 

Tunisian anger at ‘unity govt’
A new national unity government has been announced in Tunisia, but protesters are angry at how many members of the previous government have been allowed to keep key posts, including the ministers of defence, finance, the interior and foreign affairs. Tear gas and water cannons were used by police to disperse demonstrators, who have demanded, along with opposition parties, a government consisting of more members not belonging to the ruling RCD party. Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports from the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Tunisian vegetable seller a resistance symbol-brother
TUNIS, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Mohamed Bouazizi, the vegetable seller whose self-immolation inspired protests that toppled the Tunisian ruler, has become a “symbol of resistance” against Arab autocrats, his brother said.  “Freedom is expensive and my brother paid the price of freedom,” Salem Bouazizi told Reuters by telephone from the central town of Sidi Bouzid, where the revolt began.  Bouazizi set himself on fire on Dec. 17 after police seized the vegetable cart by which he earned his living, becoming a martyr to crowds of students and the unemployed protesting against poor living conditions. 

Ex Tunisia President’s Wife Left with 1.5 Tons of Gold: Report
The French government suspects that former Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his family may have fled the country with 1.5 tons of gold, French daily Le Monde reported Monday. 

Tunisian events likely to spark wider Arab reforms, but not revolutions
A number of copycat self-immolations across the Middle East are raising questions about whether the protests that drove Tunisia’s Ben Ali could soon threaten other Arab autocrats.

Dyab Abou Jahjah, “Tunisia: The Struggle for Legitimacy”
In Tunisia, a new government is being formed under the leadership of the RCD (the party of the fallen dictator) and with the participation of some legalized opposition parties. All parties that were illegal under the old regimes are being excluded, however, and this is stirring up a lot of controversy among parts of the Tunisian population who feel that the Revolution is being driven away from its ideals. . . . In my opinion, the Americans and the French have certainly played a role in convincing parts of the mild opposition to support this government in order to guarantee continuation of the old economic structure and its integration as a service economy for France, plus the political and military alliance with the U.S and NATO. . . . The risk is that this government will not be so transitory after all and will only serve as an excuse to win more time and allow intelligent services and regime loyalists to work on their strategy to take back control of the country, albeit under another leader who will govern slightly differently than Ben Ali but will be just as autocratic and corrupt and pro-Western. This is a real risk and the people started protesting against this government today and in Tunis the governmental police used tear gas against the demonstrators. 

U.S. and Other World News

Sean Hannity: U.S. Can ‘Go In’ To Kuwait, Iraq, ‘Take All Their Oil’ (VIDEO)
“You know, we have every right to go in there and frankly take all their oil and make them pay for the liberation.”

Banking secrets handed to WikiLeaks
Former Swiss banker passes on details of alleged tax evasion by politicians, celebrities and business leaders. 

Reacting to leak, Swiss officials accuse US of illegal spying operations
The government of Switzerland said Monday that it was investigating whether the United States had conducted illegal spying operations within its jurisdiction. The Swiss ministry said that US contacts asked for permission in 2007 to conduct an intelligence operation, but were denied “due to a lack of legal basis.”

Turkey allowed US ‘extraordinary rendition’: WikiLeaks
The US secret services used Turkey as a base to transport terrorism ” suspects as part of its extraordinary rendition programme, German daily Die Welt reported today citing a WikiLeaks cable.

Al-Turabi arrested in Khartoum
Opposition leader arrested by government security forces from his home after calling for a ‘popular revolution’.

Egyptian, Mauritanian men set themselves alight
Two men set themselves on fire in Egypt and Mauritania Monday, raising to three the number of self-immolation attempts apparently influenced by a similar action in Tunisia that helped trigger a popular uprising. 

Two torch themselves in Egypt, taking cases to 10
Two men set themselves ablaze in Egypt on Tuesday, security officials said, bringing to 10 the number of such cases in the Arab world, including a Tunisian whose action sparked a revolution.

Will Egypt Follow Tunisia’s Lead?
CAIRO – “Where can I find a Tunisian flag?” The question flooded Egyptian blogs, Twitter, and Facebook pages minutes after news that popular protests had forced out long-time Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Egypt is feeling the ripple effect from Tunisia already.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on News**News Today In Palestine

Another Palestinian, another terrorist



Israel National News reports that “Israeli tanks and bulldozers crossed several hundred feet into Gaza Tuesday afternoon and killed one terrorist after a bomb exploded near an Israel patrol vehicle at the Gaza separation/security barrier.” I know that this isn’t true, because I know who they killed: Amjad Sami Za’aneen. I know because I got a call from his relative Saber Za’aneen earlier today that there had been an incursion in Beit Hanoun, and because my friends went to the hospital to go interview his family members. They said he’d been collecting rocks with friends in the buffer zone when an Israeli tank unloaded a shell at them.

It blew a hole in his abdomen so big he didn’t even make it to the hospital before he died. The murderers’ newspaper says: “it is widely known that the patrol area is a closed military zone.” That’s how they shrug off ripping a hole in a boy’s stomach and ripping a hole in his family’s world. They lie about it. Then they blame the victim. Then they call him a terrorist. Then they refuse to say his name. A friend asked me what we do here, because we cannot do direct action anymore. I told him, we make sure the dead have names.

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