Archive | April 23rd, 2011

A long Walk Home from School



23 April 2011

On 20 and 21 April 2011, during the Jewish Passover holiday, the Israeli military closed all of the gates on the east side of the Old City souq in Al Khalil/Hebron.  This severely restricted the movement of Palestinian residents in that area.  One of those affected was Yusuf.

Yusuf is five years old.  He attends the kindergarten just across the landing from the CPT women’s apartment.  He’s a bright little boy, who interprets in sign language for his mother, who is deaf.  He has congenital physical difficulties: he has no left arm and one leg is significantly shorter than the other.

On 20 April two CPTers happened to meet up with Yusuf and his kindergarten teacher as she took him home after class.  The teacher took him first to one gate.  It was locked.  A soldier refused to open it and directed her to another locked gate.  She walked there with Yusuf, and knocked at the gate.  A soldier at that gate also refused to let them come through.

Yusuf’s teacher then went with him to the home of a Palestinian woman whose house has doors both into the souq and onto Shuhada Street.  She kindly allows children and teachers to pass through her house when the military lock the gates.  Through that circuitous route the teacher was finally able to take Yusuf to his home.

To see video of Yusuf’s journey home click here,


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Pig’s head found on Belgian Mosque site


by crescentandcross


A mosque in Brussels, Belgium
A pig’s head buried under a Christian cross along with several offensive inscriptions have been found at the future site of a mosque in southern Belgium.

The inscription “Muhammad lies here” was among the Islamophobia-fueling slogans found at the French-speaking Charleroi city, AFP reported.

According to a statement released by Xavier Godefroid from the mayor’s office on Tuesday, the opponents of the construction of the mosque have left many “unacceptable, intolerable and disrespectful” messages at the site.

Godefroid added that the city’s police have begun an investigation into the case.

The rise in anti-Islamic and racist behavior in European nations such as France has attracted worldwide attention.

In a debate about the role of Islam in the French society, Interior Minister Claude Gueant referred to the number of Muslims in France as “a problem.”

Paris had earlier declared that any woman — French or foreigner — who wears a niqab or burqa (an Islamic headdress) in public will be fined 150 euros, and those that force women to wear such covers will face a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years.


Posted in Campaigns1 Comment

Kristol’s Ode to Arab Spring




“…the Arab Spring deserves to be greeted with enthusiasm and support. It’s been clear at least since September 11, 2001, that decades of “stability” in the Middle East had produced a waste land of brutal authoritarianism, Islamic extremism, and corrosive anti-Americanism. President Bush set out to change that, but it seemed for a while that the Middle East would be impervious to change. Some sophisticates rationalized that the status quo was better than any likely alternative—after all, the thinking went, at least the Arab “Winter kept us warm, covering / Earth in forgetful snow, feeding / A little life with dried tubers.”

No more. The Arab winter is over. The men and women of the Greater Middle East are no longer satisfied by “a little life.”

Now it’s of course possible that this will turn out to be a false spring. But surely it’s not beyond the capacity of the United States and its allies to help reformers in the Arab world achieve mostly successful outcomes—in Iraq, where we need to be sure that we don’t fritter away the extraordinary gains that have been made in the last four years, and in Egypt and Tunisia. In Libya, halfway competent Obama administration policies should enable the Libyan people to get rid of Muammar Qaddafi. Regime change in Syria looks possible, and would surely be more likely with our aid and encouragement, and without our saying that nation’s hereditary thug ruler, Bashar al-Assad, is a “reformer.” And if at some point the House of Saud totters—well, goodbye to them too, and good riddance.

Here, early in the twenty-first century, the Arabs seem to be rising to the occasion. The question is, will we?

Lest anyone think that Kristol & Co. have gone soft, check out this Russia Today report on FPI’s recent conference:


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BBG: Broadcasting IsraHell-friendly “democratic values” to the Middle East (with American taxpayers’ money)




Norman J. Pattiz, American radio mogul and chairman of the U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Middle East Committee, founded Radio Sawa, which successfully “used music as a tool to attract a younger audience” — it’s listened to by over 42% of youth in a number of Arab countries, including Egypt. But how many of the 75% of Radio Sawa listeners who consider its news “reliable and credible” know this about its “founding father”?

Pattiz is also on the national board of the Israel Policy Forum, which is “committed to a strong and enduring U.S.-Israel relationship and to advancing the shared interests of the United States and the State of Israel.” Its Israeli Advisory Council is comprised of prominent figures from Israel’s military and intelligence establishment, mostly notably David Kimche, who was once described as “Israel’s leading spy and would-be Mossad chief.” According to a Washington Report profile, “The ‘man with the suitcase,’ as Kimche became known by colleagues in Israel, would appear in an African country a day or two before a major coup, and leave a week later after the new regime was firmly in control, often with the aid of Israeli security teams.”

While Pattiz’s efforts helped foster a more positive attitude toward the the United States among the region’s youth, former BBG Chairman Jim Glassman, later appointed Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, was responsible for the “subtle work” of promoting “democratic change” through the use of social media networking.


Walter Issacson, Glassman’s successor as BBG chairman, is also a fan of digital technology as a means to promote “a more hopeful, democratic world.” In a Feb 8, 2011 piece in Foreign Policy entitled “From Samizdat to Twitter,” Issacson writes:

Our media tools have changed. In the 1950s, we floated weather balloons containing leaflets with news from the outside world over the Iron Curtain and into Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Today, we help information flow freely using sophisticated anti-censorship tools including satellite transmissions, web encryptions, and proxy servers to evade Internet firewalls.

Issacson is also president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, whose board of trustees not only includes a close-knit network of advocates of democracy promotion in the Middle East such as Madeleine Albright,Condoleeza Rice and Vin Weber, but also staunch supporters of Israel, including major Obama backersJames Crown and Margot Pritzker.



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Libya: Another Neocon War


by crescentandcross



By David Swanson


April 22, 2011 “Information Clearing House” — The US department of justice (DOJ) has submitted a written defence of the US role in this new war in Libya to the US Congress. The DOJ claims the war serves the US national interest in regional stability and in maintaining the credibility of the United Nations. Who knew?
The regional stability line would be a stretch for the UK but is downright nuts for the US. Who, outside of US strategic command types working on weapons in space, thinks Libya and America are in the same region? (In fact, the US is in Northcom and Libya in Africom, in the lingo of the Pentagon’s structure of global domination. Europe is in Eucom.) And what has done more good this year for the region that Libya is actually in than instability (think Tunisia, Egypt)?

The bit about the credibility of the United Nations is really cute coming from a government that invaded Iraq in 2003 – despite UN opposition and for the express purpose (among others) of proving the UN irrelevant. This also comes from the same government that just this month refused to allow the UN special rapporteur to visit a US prisoner named Bradley Manning to verify that he is not being tortured. How does that maintain UN credibility? And how exactly does authorising the CIA to violate the UN arms embargo in Libya maintain UN credibility? How does violating the UN ban on “a foreign occupation force of any form” in Libya maintain UN credibility?

So, one of the main justifications offered to the first branch of the US government is that the war in Libya is justified by a UNresolution, the credibility of which must be maintained even while violating it. But the DOJ memo also stresses that such a justification is not needed. A US president, according to this memo, albeit in violation of the US Constitution, simply has the power to launch wars. Any explanations offered to Congress are, just like the wars, acts of pure benevolence.

The DOJ memo also argues that this war doesn’t really measure up to the name “war”, given how quick, easy and cheap it’s going to be. In fact, President Obama has already announced the handover of the war to Nato. I think we’re supposed to imagine Nato as separate from the US, just as Congress does when it conducts no investigations of any atrocities in Afghanistan that the US attributes to Nato. Do the other Nato nations know that this is the purpose Nato serves in US politics?

But how quick and easy will this war really be? One expert predicts it will last 20 years, with the US eventually pulling out and allowing the European Union to inherit the illness of empire it had earlier shared with us. Certainly, the promise of a quick and easy war in Iraq in 2003 was based on the same baseless idea as this one, namely that killing a president will hand a country over to outside control (excuse me, I mean, flourishing democracy). The blossoming democracy in Iraq has just banned public demonstrations. The fact is that Gaddafi has a great deal of support, and making him a martyr would not change that.

Popular “progressive” US radio host Ed Schultz argues, with vicious hatred in every word he spits out on the subject, that bombing Libya is justified by the need for vengeance against that Satan on earth, that beast arisen suddenly from the grave of Adolf Hitler, that monster beyond all description: Muammar Gaddafi. But you can’t really fight a war against one person. The last time we did that to Gaddafi, we killed his little daughter, while he survived.

Even if you had the legal or moral right to assassinate foreign leaders, and even if you independently and rationally worked up your passion to kill a particular dictator by sheer coincidence in the same moment in which your government wanted to bomb him, you couldn’t do it without killing innocent people and shredding the fabric of international law (with or without UN complicity). Hatred of a single individual is great propaganda – until people begin to question what killing him will involve and what will come next.

Popular US commentator Juan Cole supports the very same war that Ed Schultz does, but supports it as a gentle act of humanitarian generosity. The Libya war has become less popular more quickly in the US than any previous US war, but it has its supporters. And to them, it doesn’t matter that half their fellow war supporters have a different or even opposing motive. For years, Americans cheered the slaughter of the hated Iraqi people while other Americans praised the Iraq war as a great act of philanthropy for the benefit of the Iraqi people (whether they wanted it or not).

But let’s examine Cole’s claims about Libya, because they are quite popular and central to the idea of a “good war”. One claim is that the Nato countries are motivated by humanitarian concern. Another is that this war might have humanitarian results. These have to be separated because the former is laughably absurd and the latter worthy of being examined. Of course, many people in Nato countries are motivated by humanitarian concern; that’s why wars are sold as acts of philanthropy. Generosity sells. But the US government, which has become a wing of the Pentagon, does not typically intervene in other nations in order to benefit humanity. In fact, it’s not capable of intervening anywhere, because it is already intervened everywhere.

The United States was in the business of supplying weapons to Gaddafi up until the moment it got into the business of supplying weapons to his opponents. In 2009, Britain, France and other European states sold Libya over $470m-worth of weapons. Our wars tend to be fought against our own weapons, and yet we go on arming everyone. The United States can no more intervene in Yemen or Bahrain or Saudi Arabia than in Libya. We are arming those dictatorships. In fact, to win the support of Saudi Arabia for its “intervention” in Libya, the US gave its approval for Saudi Arabia to send troops into Bahrain to attack civilians, a policy that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly defended.

The “humanitarian intervention” in Libya, meanwhile, whatever civilians it may have begun by protecting, immediately killed other civilians with its bombs and immediately shifted from its defensive justification to attacking retreating troops and participating in a civil war. The United States has very likely used depleted uranium weapons in Libya, leading American journalist Dave Lindorff to remark:

It would be a tragic irony if rebels in Libya, after calling for assistance from the US and other Nato countries, succeeded in overthrowing the country’s long-time tyrant Gaddafi, only to have their country contaminated by uranium dust – the fate already suffered by the peoples of Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Irony is one word for it. Another is hypocrisy. Clearly, the military power of the west is not driven by humanitarian concerns. But that still leaves the question of whether, in this particular case, such power could accidentally have humanitarian results. The claim that a massive massacre of civilians was about to occur, on careful review, turns out to have been massively inflated. This doesn’t mean that Gaddafi is a nice guy, that his military wasn’t already killing civilians, or that it isn’t still killing civilians. Another irony, in fact, is that Gaddafi is reportedly using horrible weapons, including landmines and cluster bombs, that much of the world has renounced – but that the United States has refused to.

But warfare tends to breed more warfare; and cycles of violence usually, not just occasionally, spiral out of control. That the United States is engaging in or supporting the killing of civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere, while ignoring the killing of civilians in various other countries, is not a reason to tolerate it in Libya. But escalating a war and doing nothing are, contrary to Pentagon propaganda, not the only two choices. The United States and Europe could have stopped arming and supporting Gaddafi and – in what would have been a powerful message to Libya – stopped arming and supporting dictators around the region. We could have provided purely humanitarian aid. We could have pulled out the CIA and the special forces and sent in nonviolent activist trainers of the sort that accomplished so much this year in the nations to Libya’s east and west. Risking the deaths of innocents while employing nonviolent tools is commonly viewed as horrific, but isn’t responding with violence that will likely cause more deaths in the end even more so?

Washington imported a leader for the people’s rebellion in Libya who has spent the past 20 years living with no known source of income a couple of miles from the CIA’s headquarters in Virginia. Another man lives even closer to CIA headquarters: former US Vice President Dick Cheney. He expressed great concern in a speech in 1999 that foreign governments were controlling oil. “Oil remains fundamentally a government business,” he said. “While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East, with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies.”

Former supreme allied commander Europe of Nato, from 1997 to 2000, Wesley Clark claims that in 2001, a general in the Pentagon showed him a piece of paper and said:

I just got this memo today or yesterday from the office of the secretary of defence upstairs. It’s a, it’s a five-year plan. We’re going to take down seven countries in five years. We’re going to start with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, then Libya, Somalia, Sudan, we’re going to come back and get Iran in five years.

That agenda fit perfectly with the plans of Washington insiders, such as those who famously spelled out their intentions in the reports of the thinktank called the Project for the New American Century. The fierce Iraqi and Afghan resistance didn’t fit at all. Neither did the nonviolent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. But taking over Libya still makes perfect sense in the neoconservative worldview. And it makes sense in explaining war games used by Britain and France to simulate the invasion of a similar country.

The Libyan government controls more of its oil than any other nation on earth, and it is the type of oil that Europe finds easiest to refine. Libya also controls its own finances, leading American author Ellen Brown to point out an interesting fact about those seven countries named by Clark:

What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers’ central bank in Switzerland. The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked. Kenneth Schortgen Jr, writing on, noted that ‘[s]ix months before the US moved into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein, the oil nation had made the move to accept euros instead of dollars for oil, and this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar.’

According to a Russian article titled ‘Bombing of Libya – Punishment for Gaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar’, Gaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency. During the past year, the idea was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States. The initiative was viewed negatively by the US and the European Union, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Gaddafi was not swayed and continued his push for the creation of a united Africa.

[…] If the Gaddafi government goes down, it will be interesting to watch whether the new central bank [created by the rebels in March] joins the BIS, whether the nationalised oil industry gets sold off to investors, and whether education and healthcare continue to be free.

It will also be interesting to see whether Africom, the Pentagon’s Africa Command, now based in Europe, establishes its headquarters on the continent for which it is named. We don’t know what other motivations are at work: concerns over immigration to Europe? Desires to test weapons? War profiteering? Political calculations? Irrational lust for power? Overcompensation for having failed to turn against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak until after he’d been unseated? But what about this one: actual fear of another Rwanda? That last one seems, frankly, the least likely. But what is certain is that such humanitarian concern alone did not launch this war, and that the continued use of war in this way will not benefit humanity.

The United Nations, far from being made credible, is being made the servant of wealthy nations making war on poor ones. And within the United States, where the United Nations is alternatively held up as a justification or mocked as irrelevant, the power to make war and to make law has been decisively placed in the hands of a series of single individuals who will carry the title “president” – precisely the outcome American revolutionaries broke with Britain in order to avoid.

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Zionist TV Mocking Jesus


Posted in ZIO-NAZI1 Comment

Prelude to More Wars For Israel as Obama claims “Syria seeking Iran’s assistance to suppress protests”



At least 88 protesters were killed Friday in the bloodiest day in a month of escalating demonstrations against Syrian President Bashar Assad.


U.S. President Barack Obama called on the Syrian government on Friday to stop using “outrageous” violence against demonstrators and accused President Bashar Assad of seeking help from Iran.

“This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now,” Obama said in a statement.

Syria Protests April 22, 2011 In this citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone and acquired by the AP, a Syrian boy carries a banner during an anti-government demonstration in Syria, April 22, 2011.
Photo by: AP

“Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria’s citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies,” the president said.

Earlier Friday the White House urged the Syrian government to stop its violence against demonstrators and called on Damascus to follow through on promised reforms.

The comments came as Syrian security forces shot to death at least 88 protesters in the bloodiest day in a month of escalating demonstrations against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, speaking to reporters said, “we deplore the use of violence.”

He called on the Syrian government to “cease and desist in the use of violence against protesters” and to follow through on promised reforms.

Thousands took to the streets after weekly Friday prayers following President Bashar al-Assad’s move this week to formally lift a 48-year-old state of emergency.

Videos posted online on Friday showed protesters tearing apart posters of al-Assad. Protesters were seen carrying long flags, banners that read “Point your gun to my body as you wish, I will not let go of my demands” and “Syrian media is lying.”

“To all the demonstrators today, please carry signs with slogans that are clear with the just demands advocated by the revolution,” activists urged protesters as they organised rallies using social networking websites.

They also called on protesters to remove images and statues along their way, referring to images of al-Assad and his late father spread across the country. Protesters were also asked to document their moves “with pictures and videos that have an appropriate degree of clarity.”

Christian churches across the country cancelled outdoor Good Friday services and street processions as the country braced for protests that organizers said would be the biggest yet.

The planned protests came one day after al-Assad approved lifting the state of emergency, which had been in effect since 1963. It had widely curbed freedoms and the right to assembly by banning unauthorized protests. It also gave the government sweeping powers to crackdown on dissidents.


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Turkey voices support for Palestinian statehood


by crescentandcross


Ankara’a UN ambassador says international community must show solidarity with Palestinians, help them ‘live in peace and with dignity’

Turkey has declared that it supports Palestinian efforts to seek UN recognition for an independent Palestinian state.

According to a report in Turkish newspaper Zaman, Ankara believes it is “time for the international community to be in solidarity with Palestinians to help them live in peace and with dignity.”

Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Turkey’s permanent representative to the UN, said at a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East that, “Through their state building efforts, the Palestinian Authority has proven to all the skeptics that they deserve to attain their decades-long target of internationally recognized statehood, even though they continue to suffer under occupation,”

Apakan added that if the Palestinian Authority proved “objectively ready” to be upgraded from its current observer status at the UN, the international community “must not turn a blind eye to their just and legitimate appeal… The time has come to show solidarity with the Palestinians and help them to live in peace and dignity.”

Apakan also highlighted that the needs of those who live on the Gaza Strip must be urgently addressed. Speaking of the next planned aid sail to Gaza Strip, Apakan warned that humanitarian flotillas breaking Israel’s blockade must not be perceived as provocations to violence. “It should also be borne in mind that the phenomenon of humanitarian convoys to Gaza cannot simply be explained away as unilateral provocations,” he said.

Posted in WorldComments Off on Turkey voices support for Palestinian statehood

Iraqi women sexually abused at US base’


by crescentandcross

An Iraqi interpreter talks to soldiers in Baghdad (file photo).

A number of female Iraqi interpreters have accused an American contractor of sexual harassment at a base in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.

The women said Friday that Christopher J. Kirchmeier, then 26, who worked as a contractor in charge of security badges and clearances at a base inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, sexually harassed them in 2009,The Washington Post reported.

Kirchmeier’s superiors at L-3 Communications and in the military knew of his behavior for several months but did nothing about it, according to the interpreters and an army officer who supports their claims of harassment.

Advocates for the women want the US authorities to try Kirchmeier and punish him and his superiors at L-3. They also tried to persuade the US State Department to reverse its decision barring one of the women from the United States.

The interpreters and Kirchmeier’s former colleagues have said that he punished those who rejected his advances by seizing their security badges and sabotaging their US visa applications.

His alleged conduct was a violation of L-3′s ethics code, which says “physical conduct of a sexual nature is inappropriate in the work place and may be unlawful.”

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Abeer Skafe,10 years old, died today after Zio-Nazi’s denial see her imprisoned Father





Abeer Skafe,10,died today after a nervous breakdown&complete paralysis for Zio-Nazi denying her permission to see imprisoned father.

In a unique case that highlights the sense of shock and the strain the occupation brings to bear on ordinary people, psychological trauma has been blamed for a Palestinian girl’slife-threatening coma after she was prevented by Nazi authorities from hugging her father when she went to visit him in prison where he is serving a life term. Nazi police officers in charge of the prison where Abeer Eskafi’s father, Yousuf, is serving his sentence,  did not allow the 10-year-old to go over to the prisoners’ side of a meeting room where visitors can meet inmates when she expressed a wish to hug her father. The little girl was so hurt by the episode that soon after returning home, she refused to eat and retreated into a shell of silence. Later she became paralysed and subsequently slipped into a deep coma that even affected her respiratory functions. She is now on life-support at a hospital in Hebron.

Doctors at Hebron’s Princess Alia Hospital say Abeer’s condition is deteriorating steadily, which is preventing her from being transferred abroad for advanced treatment which the Palestinian health service is not in a situation to provide.Physicians treating Abeer have warned that there’s a big risk to her life if she is moved from her bed or if the connection to the artificial breathing apparatus is disturbed. Abeer’s father has been sentenced by an Zio-Nazi court to four life terms with no chance of parole.

Abeer is the eldest of his three daughters, the others being Falastine and Tahreer. Abdul Rahim Abdul Mohsin Eskafi, Abeer’s grandfather, told Gulf News that her health started to decline following her visit to her father in prison. Eskafi said Abeer used to be allowed to the other side to hug her father and spend a couple of minutes with him on earlier visits but was refused such permission on her latest visit ostensibly because she had passed an age limit a few days ago that made her ineligible for such consideration.


Eskafi, who also heads the Prisoners’ Families Committee at the Palestinian Prisoners Club, said Abeer collapsed after the Israeli officer prevented her from getting close to her father, but kept knocking on the glass barrier and Yousuf responded by knocking on it from the other side but even this distressing sight did not evoke any pity in the officer. After Abeer got back home to Hebron, she started knocking hysterically on pieces of furniture in the house all the time until her right hand became weak. She refused to eat and kept calling for her father, he added.

All specialist doctors who saw Abeer diagnosed her condition as psychological, and the girl’s health deteriorated till she became totally paralysed and had to be hospitalised when she lapsed into a coma.

Meanwhile, Yousuf, Abeer’s father had to undergo emergency surgery after suffering a heart attack on hearing about his daughter. Abeer’s elder brother, Ahmad, was shot dead by the Zio-Nazi army in 2007 when he was just 15.

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