Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

April-23-09, 1:36:51 PM AbzGo to full article



By John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt Working Paper Number:RWP06-011
Submitted: 13/03/2006



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Abstract In this paper, John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science and Stephen M.Walt of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government contend that the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is its intimate relationship with Israel. The authors argue that although often justified as reflecting shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, the U.S. commitment to Israel is due primarily to the activities of the “Israel Lobby." This paper goes on to describe the various activities that pro-Israel groups have undertaken in order to shift U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.

To view responses to this paper from Harvard University faculty members, click here

Cairo Game is not over: Happy Family Playing Football

"The ball is now in the court of the other party (Fatah faction) that should refuse such conditions and find out means of achieving Palestinian unity away from Israeli and American dictates,"


Abu Zuhri: American conditions for dialog with Hamas blackmail

[ 25/04/2009 - 07:29 AM ]

DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, the Hamas spokesman, has criticized American secretary of state Hillary Clinton for imposing conditions in order to open dialog with his Movement.

He expressed regret in a statement to Quds Press on Friday that the new American administration was reiterating conditions of the old administration such as recognizing Israel, commitment to previous agreements between the PA and Israel and shunning "violence", the Zio-American term for resistance.

Abu Zuhri noted that the American and Israeli positions are identical, a thing, which he described as a bad omen.

"We, in Hamas, affirm our rejection of Clinton's conditions, which were previously reiterated by the international quartet committee," he elaborated.

The spokesman said that the American position was different from the western stands in general, pointing to the meetings held between Hamas and European MPs and political leaderships.

He underlined that Hamas has no problem with the West and is ready for talks but without linking such talks to recognizing Israel and surrendering rights.

Abu Zuhri charged that the timing of Clinton's statement was meant to disrupt any attempt to salvage the inter-Palestinian dialog in Cairo, adding that Washington was interested in impeding this dialog.

The ball is now in the court of the other party (Fatah faction) that should refuse such conditions and find out means of achieving Palestinian unity away from Israeli and American dictates, he underlined.

Shifting to other issues, the Hamas spokesman said that there was nothing new in the issues of calm or the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, holding the Israeli occupation authority responsible for the delay in concluding deals in both cases.

Radwan: External meddling only obstacle derailing national reconciliation

Comment


Happy Family Playing Football

And Tony Trying

Flashback:

[TONI'S COMMENT: Keep dreaming, Mr. Mishaal. From one illusion to the next. This is so Yasser Arafat, it is not even funny!]........"

Stay tuned Tony "will write a longer comment about all these "peace" and "reconciliation" moves breaking out all over, and what could be behind them.

The more things change, the more they stay the same: Hamas wants recognition and a place at the Table and the


Pharaoh will deliver a domesticated Hamas.

# posted by Tony : 2:58 AM

*****
Finaly, he did it, delivered, but a little comment "Fart"
Most likely this post helped the delivery.

COMMENT:

"There Are Still Many Idiots Within Hamas......Who Are Still Counting on Obama, and a "Change" in American Policy!!Hard to Believe....After 61 Years of the Nakba, The Palestinians Still Can't Figure Out How the Game is Played.....Illusions of American "Balance" and "Fairness" Still Exist in the Minds of Those Leading the Hapless Palestinians.....What a Pity!I Am Afraid That it is Late in the Day for the Palestinians to Develop the Needed Revolutionary Leadership to Lead Them......There is No Evidence of That Taking Place."

Very Good Hamas is learning, but 'There Are Still Many Idiots Within Hamas......"

What a Pity: Donkeys after hard training the Donkey failed to understand the football

George Galloway Speech, Al-Awda, 2009,04-06

Link



"George Galloway talks about how he became involved in the Palestinian cause and the twinning of Dundee with Nablus in 1980. He talks about how the British authored the Palestinian tragedy by promising the land of the Palestinians to the Jews. He calls for the liberation of Palestine because all Palestinians have the right to return to it.

See the whole speech at
The Forbidden Truth
http://www.theforbiddentruth.net/

Order George Galloway's speech on DVD at
Al-Awda
http://www.al-awda.org/

Learn more about the Viva Palestina USA aid convoy at
http://www.vivapalestina.org/"



Palestine Video - A Palestine Vlog

Another Israeli Mossad-Linked Cell Uncovered in Sidon


Another Israeli Mossad-Linked Cell Uncovered in Sidon



25/04/2009 Once again, Lebanese security forces were able to discover an Israeli Mossad-linked cell operating in Lebanon!

Indeed, well-informed sources told Al-Manar on Saturday that the security forces arrested at down three members of a new cell linked to the Israeli Mossad in Sidon in southern Lebanon,

According to the sources, the arrested agents were two Lebanese and a Palestinian. One of the Lebanese (A.K.) was from Zahle while the other (M.M.) is from the southern town of Zebdine. The Palestinian member of the cell (A.A) was reportedly the cousin of Abdul Rahman Awad, believed to be the successor of Fatah al-Islam leader Shaker Abssi.

The sources noted that the investigations with the "al-Alam cell" contributed in uncovering the new cell, emphasizing that its members are focusing on the potential link between the two cells and whether the new one was working independently or not.

Police lately uncovered an Israel spy network dubbed "al-Alam cell." Former security services officer Brigadier General Adib al-Alam, his wife Hayat Saloumi and nephew Joseph Semaan al-Alam - also a security official – were charged on Thursday with spying for Israel. They are accused of informing Israel about Lebanese and Syrian military and civilian sites with the aim of facilitating Israeli attacks.

Assassination of the youngest terrorist in the world

Genevieve
Link
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

From Aggression to Victimhood: David Aaronovitch (or How the Mighty Fall)

Link

By Mary Rizzo • Apr 25th, 2009 at 9:35 • Category: Analysis, Counter-terrorism, No thanks!, Gilad Atzmon, Internet and Communication, Israel, Newswire, Religion, Resistance, War, Zionism

WRITTEN BY MARY RIZZO Like anybody, we love to watch false idols crumble, and when rabid Zionist and war advocate Aaronovitch hit the floor with a crash, it was actually one of the most amusing moments in recent political public events. We got to hear, and in some cases, to see the man who considers himself to be an iconoclast living the role of the icon tossed to the floor. And he’s stomping-foot mad about it!

Aaronovitch isn’t what one might consider well known outside of the UK, his argument is actually quite provincial if one can wade through his less than captivating prose, but in his own eyes, he’s quite something. That's him in the photo, giving one of those Come Hither looks he must think the ladies find irresitible. To the unacquainted, this is a man who used to spread a tribalistic ideology and colonial war mongering that would sit well in any imperial war room, and he would wage his battle cries in particular through a moderately progressive UK paper, The Guardian and a more conservative one, the Times. Can we consider it a promotion to now find his lame writing in the really exclusive and excitingly hip London Shtetl weekly, namely the Jewish Chronicle?
It took Aaronovitch three weeks to assimilate his humiliating defeat in Oxford when he was one of the speakers on a panel that was about a topic that is considered to be “hot”, one about Antisemitism in the UK, and after that pause of reflection, it’s pretty disappointing to see the guy come up with such a weak piece. It is an attempt to soul search, but judging by the result, he maybe should have taken a few more weeks to get a few more ideas to rub together. Watching someone lick their wounds is never interesting, and self-pity at least should have a bit of self-irony to it. But the man takes himself far too seriously, but what would we come to expect from someone who shouts at people, “How DARE you applaud! YOU, Sir, are an antisemite!”

He bares what we can for expediency’s sake call a soul that he has been searching and in the subtitle tells his thousand or so readers: “I imagined this anti-Jewish Jew’s own words would show him up, but they were applauded”. He realises that in a Jewish paper, he has to appeal to the important matters first, namely, “who’s a Jew”. After getting that crucial matter out of the way, one is left with the realisation that if someone operates from some kind of judgment that is so utterly wrong about the need to drive the UK into an invasion against Iraq, making a value error about his own success in front of a paying public at a literary event in Oxford should be no surprise. Humiliation and failure always hurts, but what’s a bit of humiliation compared to being responsible for endorsing the upheaval of a foreign country that has cost the lives of one and a half million civilians?

He doesn’t seem to have that much of a sense of perspective either, if he is missing what matters to people. Let’s see what he wrote: “In essence,” says Aaronovitch, Atzmon’s argument is that Jews are responsible for their own historic misfortunes due to their tribalism and aggression.” Well, the man writing in the Jewish Chronicle about his own poorly managed public speaking event did bring that down on himself, and if he’s blamed for convincing others to get behind the Shock and Awe aggression stuff, this fatal responsibility should weigh on him too. It seems he has captured the essence of some points Gilad Atzmon was making about Jewish identity and its historical responsibilities. In other words, Atzmon suggests that Jews and those who write for Jewish papers, like our subject in question, might think twice and start to take responsibility for their own fate and glimpse into the mirror occasionally. Aaronovitch is very unhappy with such a suggestion. He prefers obviously to keep advocating wars forever, while being an Israeli Hasbara Committee author. With this kind of track record, how could he be stunned, upset or surprised that people are going to be intelligent or attentive enough to just connect the dots and hiss the man out of the premises?

But then the self-confessional begins as Aaronovitch admits why he took the fatal challenge in accepting to confront Atzmon in public. “I was too proud and arrogant not to believe I could show a roomful of British people that a line was in danger of being crossed.” Apparently as the audio link proves (click on the podcast), Aaronovitch was indeed silly not to realise that Atzmon possesses far more consistency and clarity, as well as having the not small benefit of being humanistic and a capable writer, all of this leading to popularity. Considering the extensive research he made of Atzmon’s writing - if we want to imagine for a moment he did it himself and not accept the suggestion made on Aaronovitch Watch that it was compiled for him from the other “look like a leftist and talk like a neocon” at Harry’s Place - Aaronovitch should have grasped that he just did not stand a chance. To win the applause of the public, one has to have something to offer.
A little further on in this vapid article Aaronovitch provides us with an explanation of his total failure. “A co-speaker, arranged at the last minute, was the journalist Nick Cohen. This was worrying, not because Nick is anything other than excellent,” Aaronovitch states, and a round of drinks or dinner shall be due for this hyperbolic comment, “but because British audiences hate ganging-up. If it was two beauteous elves against one hideous orc, they would side with the orc.” Man, if this is how he understood the dynamics, he should have left the research aside and just insisted that Azog be accompanied by the Phantom of the Opera, that way, it would be a fair discussion!

(at the left, how Aaronovitch fancies himself and Cohen). For those out of nursery school or who don’t accept the freaky math of our correspondent, the explanation was far simpler. Our hoity-toity Jewish Chronicler had nothing to say except to just read Atzmon extracts that were - shock - very convincing. Might just be something that explains Atzmon’s huge readership. Listening to the recordings for those who missed out on the other beauteous elf, Cohen had nothing to say in general except to pour poison on Islam. In an academic platform, the reality is that the two stood zero chance against Atzmon.
Interestingly enough, when addressing the Jewish reader, Aaronovitch employs some racial and physical categories to get his point across. Equating Atzmon with an orc was just one example. But here is far more revealing one: “Towards the back was the unmistakable Aryan presence of Michele Renouf, of the Number One Ladies.” Aaronovitch, who campaigns against antisemitism should know that referring to people by employing inflammatory racial references is nothing less than crude racism. However, as Atzmon said during the event, racism is a Jewish territory in the UK. Jewish Chronicle authors such as Aaronovitch get away with it, don’t they?
“From there it was downhill,” admits Aaronovitch as he watched the room drinking from Atzmon’s well. Aaronovitch and Cohen, the leading advocates of the Iraq war in the British press were confronted with Atzmon’s “diatribe about warmongers” when he was pointing at them again and again. “If you want to know what is the root cause of Antisemitism, here they are, sitting in front of you (Cohen/Aaronovitch)” was basically the recognition that the public was there making. If Jews want to save themselves, they better disassociate themselves from wars that are committed in their names or advocated by their Jewish Chronicle writers. It’s telling that Cohen and Aaronovitch can’t interpret this as one of those “I hope you’re happy now” moments. People actually DO resent their nation being dragged into wars while the journalists are sitting pretty when not actually shouting at them to stop showing their approval of someone else.

(at the left, how Aaronovitch thinks the public is required to view Atzmon) Towards the end of his confession, Aaronovitch admits being staggered by a Jew who supports Atzmon. Aaronovitch decided to act on this shocking scene. “Later on that evening, I emailed this man and asked how it could be that he was so interested in Jewish history and the early experience of British Jews, and could end up co-applauding the Judeophobia of an idiotic musician, alongside Renouf.” Seemingly, in spite of Jewish emancipation and 200 years of Jewish assimilation, Aaronovitch expects Jews to act as one people. Pretty astonishing to hear such an idea from a man who advocated the invasion of Iraq in the name of the ‘Western notion of liberty’. When it comes to Jews, Aaronovitch expects total intellectual and spiritual submission.
Writing for a Jewish paper, Aaronovitch must end with the tragic victim exposition talking about an iconic ‘Jewish student’ who came to him afterwards ‘in tears.’

Aaronovitch fails to tell us why exactly the Jewish student was crying. Was it because the war in Iraq didn’t work as had been promised by Aaronovitch? Or maybe was it because of the Madoff swindling affair that inflicted so much loss on so many Jewish charities. Perhaps it was just because the tag team bullying tactics of Cohen /Aaronovitch proved to be a complete disaster and the Jewish student doesn’t have any other devices left at his disposal. It would be great if Aaronovitch would be kind enough to tell us and to remove any form of speculation. When a Jew cries, we all are entitled to know why.



Mary Rizzo is an art restorer, translator and writer living in Italy. Editor and co-founder of Palestine Think Tank, co-founder of Tlaxcala translations collective. Her personal blog is Peacepalestine.
Email this author All posts by Mary Rizzo

Caught on tape

Link

An extraordinary scoop exposes Democrat Jane Harman and the murky inner workings of Washington politics

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein

guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 April 2009 14.00 BST

Jeff Stein, a reporter for Congressional Quarterly, has broken an amazing scoop revealing that Democratic member of congress Jane Harman was caught red-handed on a National Security Agency wiretap colluding with an Israeli "agent" to get a reprieve for two alleged spies working for Aipac, the American-Israel public affairs committee. The quid pro quo for Harman - according to the CQ revelations - was that the agent would arrange for wealthy Democratic party donor Haim Saban to threaten the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, with withdrawing funding unless Pelosi made Harman the chair of the House's powerful intelligence committee.

Harman vehemently denies the story - telling CQ that its claims "have no basis in fact" - and says she never contacted the Justice Department on the Aipac Two's behalf. (There are other agencies within the executive branch, I note.) But she does not deny the conversation took place with the Israeli "agent," who she has inferred was affiliated with Aipac. In 2006, I reported that Saban did threaten Pelosi, precisely as Harman had requested. No wonder Pelosi didn't take kindly to being swatted around. She was so ticked off by the assault that it backfired, and she put Harman in a deep freeze. The latter never got the gold ring she'd sought.

In addition, the CIA director informed Pelosi of the wiretap and its contents, so the Speaker already knew about Harman's collusion (though the former denies it had anything to do with her decision not to promote Harman).

When the NSA presented the evidence to Justice, there was a debate about whether to pursue an investigation against Harman. CIA director Porter Goss approved it. But ultimately, the then attorney general Alberto Gonzales decided to abort it. The reason he demurred is tantalizing. The New York Times NSA warrantless wiretapping story - which in 2006 won a Pulitzer prize - was about to break, and the Bushites needed every political hand on deck. Harman could be counted on since she was the most security-hawkish Democrat in Congress. On a related note, Helena Cobban obeserves that Harman was captured by the very same NSA which she defended so vociferously on behalf of the Bushites. Ah, delicious irony!

Did Gonzales, or anyone associated with the administration, contact Harman directly and ask for the NSA support in return for dropping the Aipac investigation?

The CQ story provides another bombshell that reflects poorly on Bill Keller, the New York Times managing editor. The NYT originally planned to publish the NSA wiretap story not long before the 2004 election. Guess which senior House Democrat lobbied it not to publish the story? Why did the Times sit on this story for well over a year at least partially on the word of a compromised Aipac stooge like Harman? Bill Keller has said that she wasn't a factor in his decision to delay publication. Yet the fact that he did exactly as she urged might lead one to naturally suspect otherwise.

The ironies of this story are beyond measure. Though the NSA claims the wiretap was authorised and not warrantless - assuming we can believe anything they tell us? - isn't it an irony that the Patriot Act may have made a victim of a powerful member of the House intelligence establishment? For a minute there, I thought the NSA's mission was to go after al-Qaida and Islamic terrorists. Though it was the Israeli agent and not Harman who was the target of the NSA investigation, isn't it also ironic that an intelligence maven would get caught like this? Shouldn't someone like Harman have known better than to consort with Israeli agents of influence?

Let's not forget that Harman is one the greatest beneficiaries of the largess distributed by Aipac's donor community, receiving more funding than almost any other House member from pro-Israel public action committees. Indeed, in the midst of her denials she proudly proclaims the deep pride she maintains in her relationship with Aipac (and you can be damn sure the phone lines are burning up between Aipac and its Congressional allies begging them to remain mum and let this die). In effect, she implies that her offer to go to bat for the Aipac Two was due to her close relationship with the organisation, rather than because of any help it might provide in getting her the intelligence committee job.

Spencer Ackerman reports that Harman is due to speak at the Aipac national policy conference next month. Ackerman speculates that either Harman or Aipac might be too embarrassed for her to show up at the conference. But this is unlikely to be the case. Harman has become the biggest hero the lobby has. She will speak to the conference and she will receive a thunderous standing ovation. Count on it.

The Washington Post is reporting that the Justice Department is contemplating dropping charges against the Aipac Two. In fact, some journalists speculate that various government officials involved in the Aipac investigation, knowing the case will be dropped, are sick at heart at the prospect of it going no further. Hence their motivation to leak the story. In fact, one of the most powerful statements in Stein's original article is this quote from one of his sources denouncing Harman's behavior:

"It's the deepest kind of corruption," said one of the sources, recently retired law enforcement official who was involved in the Aipac investigation. "It's a story about the corruption of government - not legal corruption necessarily, but ethical corruption."

Dropping the case would be most unfortunate. Those of us who know Aipac and what it's capable of, understand that Rosen and Weissman were gaming the system.

The follow-up media coverage notes the absolute silence in both Democratic and Republican quarters about this scandal. Since both sides have a great deal to lose, they face mutually-assured destruction if either side tries to make hay out of it. The only one complaining loudly is Harman herself, who called for the Obama administration to release the entire wiretap transcript. Conveniently for her, this is not likely to happen.

Perhaps the final and ultimate irony will be that just as Harman was locked in a tight embrace with the Bush administration when the NSA story broke, now Harman and Gonzales are once again paired off. Each benefits from fear of the damage that this affair could do to their respective parties.

The shame is that because no one wants to touch this, Harman, Gonzales, Aipac and the alleged spies are not likely to face further investigation. In fact, announcing the end of the Aipac Two trial will be the best gift the Justice Department could offer Aipac on the eve of its national policy conference. The lobby and all its flacks and operatives will take this as a vindication of their tactics and mission. And a major opportunity to examine the inner workings of the Israel lobby's political machine will have been lost.

Istanbul peace platform calls for protecting the Aqsa Mosque




[ 25/04/2009 - 10:23 AM ]

ISTANBUL, (PIC)-- Hundreds of writers, historians, and intellectuals attended the inaugural session of the Istanbul Peace Platform, which is organized in cooperation with civil society institutions with the aim of “protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque, and drawing attention to Israeli plans to demolish it”.

Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Israeli historian Adam Shamir, Dr. Kamel Al-Sharif, of Mizan Center for Human Rights, and several other researchers and historians are participating.

The conference would be discussing the dangers of Israel’s violations in Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque.

The conference would be concluded on Saturday evening with a session on the future of the Aqsa Mosque and the role of the international community in protecting it especially as Israel is disregarding demands to halt its excavations.

The Istanbul Peace Forum was formed earlier this year by a number of civil society institutions in Istanbul. It is said to be aiming at achieving cooperation with all efforts that seek peace and justice, attempting to find solutions to conflicts and ending injustice.

The Forum issued a statement on Friday asking the world community to urgently act to halt the Israeli excavations and to protect the Aqsa from Israeli oppressive practices.

Blood Shall defeat the SWORD

cartoon of the day


The Resistance is STILL THERE! by Amjad Rasmi

Its Time for a Resistant Government

"of Israel's cruelty" my letter published 4-25-9 Baltimore Sun

link
Baltimore Sun online Bonus letters
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/letters/bal-ed.le.webletters25aapr25,0,2301035.story

of Israel's cruelty

It was excellent to see George Bisharat's riveting column "A step toward ending Israel's impunity" (Viewpoint, April 16) pop up on The Baltimore Sun's Web site.

His column is a veritable treasure trove of very accurate and quotable tidbits such as "Israel's attempted legal innovations are simply bad for humanity, and our response to them should be: 'No thanks.'"

I very much hope more and more Palestinian Americans will feel free to step up to speak out so clearly with Mr. Bisharat's compelling combination of respect and compassion for America, and for Palestine and peace.

Anne Selden Annab
Mechanicsburg, Pa.


*************************************************
April 16 2009 Baltimore Sun: George Bisharat's
Viewpoint: A step toward ending Israel's impunity
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.viewpoint16apr16,0,1875626.story

Why are they terrified from Mordecai Vanunu?

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The US role in helping Israel develop nuclear weapons
Uri Avnery*
24 April 2004

Uri Avnery explains why severe restrictions have been imposed on Israeli nuclear whistlebower Mordechai Vanunu, even though "everybody understands that he has no more secrets". He says that what the Israeli secret services are really afraid of is the possibility that Vanunu might expose the fact that "the Americans are full partners in Israel's nuclear arms programme, while pretending to be the world's sheriff for the prevention of nuclear proliferation".

In the darkness of a cinema, a woman's voice: "Hey! Take your hands off! Not you! YOU!"

This old joke illustrates the American policy regarding nuclear armaments in the Middle East. "Hey, you there, Iraq and Iran and Libya, stop it! Not YOU, Israel!"

The danger of nuclear arms was the main pretext for the invasion of Iraq. Iran is threatened in order to compel it to stop its nuclear efforts. Libya has surrendered and is dismantling its nuclear installations.

So what about Israel?

This week it became clear that the Americans are full partners in the creation of Israel's "nuclear option".

How was this exposed? With the help of Mordechai Vanunu, of course.

Throughout the week, a festival was being celebrated around the prisoner, who was released on Wednesday [21 April 2004].

The security establishment has not stopped harassing him even after he has sat in prison for 18 years, 11 of them in complete solitary confinement - a treatment he himself described on leaving the prison as "cruel and barbaric". After he was "set free", far-reaching restrictions were imposed on him (e.g. he is forbidden to leave the country, is restricted to one town, cannot go near any embassy or consulate, may not talk with foreign citizens). All this under the British colonial emergency regulations that were condemned at the time by the leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine, as "worse than the Nazi laws".

Not, God forbid, because of any desire for revenge!

The security people declared from every podium that this is not revenge for all the shame Vanunu caused the security services, and is by no means just more persecution, but an essential security requirement. He must not be allowed to leave the country or to speak with foreigners and journalists, because he is in possession of secrets vital to the security of the state.

Everybody understands that he has no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18 years in jail, during which technology has advanced with giant steps?

But gradually it becomes clear what the security establishment is really afraid of. Vanunu is in a position to expose the close partnership with the United States in the development of Israel's nuclear armaments.

This worries Washington so much that the man responsible in the State Department for "arms control", Under Secretary John Bolton, has come to Israel in person for the occasion. Vanunu, it appears, can cause severe damage to the mighty superpower. The Americans are afraid of sounding like the lady in the dark cinema.

(By the way, this John Bolton is an avid supporter of the group of Zionist neo-conservatives who play a central role in the Bush theatre. He opposes arms control for the United States and its satellites, and was installed in the State Department against the wishes of the secretary of state himself.)

In the short address Vanunu was able to make to the media immediately on his release, he made a strange remark: that the young woman who served as bait for his kidnapping, some 18 years ago, was not a Mossad agent, as generally assumed, but an agent of the FBI or CIA. Why was it so urgent for him to convey this?

From the first moment, there was something odd about the Vanunu affair.

At the beginning, my first thought was that he was a Mossad agent. Everything pointed in that direction.

How else can one explain a simple technician's success in smuggling a camera into the most secret and best guarded installation in Israel? And in taking photos apparently without hindrance? How else to explain the career of that person who, as a student at Beersheva University, was well known as belonging to the extreme left and spending his time in the company of Arab fellow students? How was he allowed to leave the country with hundreds of photos? How was he able to approach a British paper and to turn over to British scientists material that convinced them that Israel had 200 nuclear bombs?

Absurd, isn't it? But it all fits , if one assumes that Vanunu acted from the beginning on a mission for the Mossad. His disclosures in the British newspaper not only caused no damage to the Israeli government but, on the contrary, strengthened the Israeli deterrent without committing the government, which was free to deny everything.

What happened next only reinforced this assumption. While in London, in the middle of his campaign of exposures, knowing that half a dozen intelligence services are tracking his every movement, he starts an affair with a strange women, is seduced into following her to Rome, where he is kidnapped and shipped back to Israel. How naive can you get? Is it credible for a reasonable person to fall into such a primitive trap? It is not. Meaning that the whole affair was nothing but a classic cover story.

But when the affair went on, and details of the year-long daily mistreatment of the man became public, I had to give up this initial theory. I had to face the fact that our security services are even more stupid than I had assumed (which I wouldn't have believed possible) and that all these things actually had happened, and that Mordechai Vanunu was an honest and idealistic, if extremely naive, person.

I have no doubt that his personality was shaped by his background. He is the son of a family with many children, who were quite well-to-do in Morocco but lived in a primitive "transition camp" in Israel, before moving to Beersheva, where they lived in poverty. In spite of this, he succeeded in getting into university and got a master's degree, quite an achievement, but suffered, so it seems, from the overbearing attitude and prejudices of his Ashkenazi peers. Undoubtedly, that pushed him towards the company of the extreme left, where such prejudices were not prevalent.

The bunch of "security correspondents" and other commentators who are attached to the udders of the security establishment have already spread stories about Vanunu "imagining things", his long stay in solitary confinement causing him to "convince himself of all kinds of fantasies" and to "invent all kinds of fabrications". Meaning: the American connection.

Against this background, one can suddenly understand all these severe restrictions, which, at first sight, look absolutely idiotic. The Americans, it seems, are very worried. The Israeli security services have to dance to their tune. The world must be prevented by all available means from hearing, from the lips of a credible witness, that the Americans are full partners in Israel's nuclear arms programme, while pretending to be the world's sheriff for the prevention of nuclear proliferation.

"And the lady cried: "Not you! YOU!"

*Uri Avnery is an Israeli journalist, writer and peace activist.

"Scottish Trade Union Congress Votes for BDS against Israel"

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April-24-09, 10:35:56 PM Iqbal TamimiGo to full article


On Wednesday, Scotland joined Ireland and South Africa when the Scottish Trade Union Congress, representing every Scottish trade union, voted overwhelmingly to commit to boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. This is the third example of a national trade union federation committing to BDS and is a clear indication that, while Israel can kill Palestinians with impunity and Western support, it has lost the battle for world public opinion. It is now seen to be a state born out of ethnic cleansing and still expanding through the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people.

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/stuc230409.html

Scottish Trade Union Congress Votes for BDS against Israel
by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign

22 April 2009 -- On Wednesday, Scotland joined Ireland and South Africa when the Scottish Trade Union Congress, representing every Scottish trade union, voted overwhelmingly to commit to boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. This is the third example of a national trade union federation committing to BDS and is a clear indication that, while Israel can kill Palestinians with impunity and Western support, it has lost the battle for world public opinion. It is now seen to be a state born out of ethnic cleansing and still expanding through the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Speaker after speaker expressed intense anger at Israel's butchery of 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza over the New Year, as well as the much longer history of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The vote followed a visit to Israel/Palestine by an STUC Delegation in March which heard from a wide range of trade union and other bodies and returned with a unanimous recommendation that the parent body adopt BDS.

The STUC move to a position of BDS followed debate on the Delegation report with affiliated unions as well as consultations across Scotland. There were written and oral submissions from Zionist as well as human rights bodies.

The commitment to BDS was made despite aggressive lobbying by Zionist groups, including an absurd warning that a commitment to active support for Palestinian human rights would lead to attacks on Scottish Jews, and the parachuting into Scotland of the Histadrut's Head of Communications from Israel.

The STUC's new position is a dramatic breakthrough which has the potential to greatly accelerate the boycott campaign already underway in Scotland against, for example, Israeli companies and sporting or cultural visits. The Scottish Government earlier in the year yielded to public concerns and cancelled a trade delegation to Israel.

It will also make easier the task of building a mass boycott campaign across the land surface of Scotland, in every town and small community, in every supermarket and every sporting and cultural event.

Israel's New Year mountain of corpses in Gaza, together with its frequent murder of unarmed civilians across Palestine, was only the latest in a long series of Israeli massacres. We may be unable to stop the next one, but our job of building the sort of mass BDS campaign that can confront Israeli violence with a countervailing force has just become easier. An aroused world opinion is increasingly ready to ensure that all don't die in vain.

We can only offer hope to the hard-pressed Palestinians that their freedom is coming, however long Israel and its allies work to delay it.

Speaking prior to the debate, STUC General Secretary, Grahame Smith, said: "The STUC General Council is recommending support for boycott and calls for sanctions against Israel because of its attacks on the human rights of Palestinian people and its breaches of international laws.

Mr Smith continued: "On our recent visit to Israel and Palestine we witnessed the human rights violations experienced by ordinary Palestinians on a daily basis. We saw how restrictions on movement and checkpoints prevent people from going to work, to school and to visit their families -- even when they are sick and dying."

"We heard powerful arguments from the Palestinian Human Rights Organisation, Al-Haq, outlining how Israel is in breach of the Geneva Conventions, and the need for other signatories to international laws to hold Israel to account."

"Our delegation also met with the leadership of Israeli trade union centre, Histadrut, and the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions. The STUC has carefully considered the complex issues involved, and we believe that we have a moral obligation to show solidarity to Palestinian people."

View the STUC General Council Recommendation on BDS passed at Congress today in Perth. The significant paragraphs are:

6.1 The General Council is recommending that Congress should take a position of:

* supporting boycotts and disinvestments against lsrael,
* calling for sanctions against lsrael,
* encouraging positive investments in the occupied territories.

6.6 The STUC acknowledges its relationship with both PGFTU and Histadrut and supports the development of a constructive dialogue between them. The STUC will explain its position on BDS to Histadrut, and will, over the next 12 months, raise with them Histadrut positions in relation to Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The STUC will review its relationship with Histadrut in this context.

Peace Process at work: Netanyahu : We will not freeze settlement construction






Netanyahu: We will not freeze settlement construction



Friday April 24, 2009 13:23



by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies





Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated on Thursday that Israel does not intend to freeze the expansion and construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The statements of Netanyahu came during a meeting with the Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek. The Czech Republic is the rotating head of the European Union.
The Israeli PM said that this issue should be parallel, stating the “if the Israeli’s were barred from building in the West Bank, the Palestinians should refrain from building too”.
This position disregards the fact that settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under the international law and constitute a war crime.
Topolanek told Netanyahu that the European Union is concerned that the ongoing construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank would hinder the establishment of an independent, contiguous Palestinian state.
Netanyahu said that the “West Bank is a disputed territory” and that he does not intend to halt the construction and expansion of settlements.
He stated that Israel does not currently plan to expand settlements, but added that “if a settler wants to build a home in a settlement, then there is no problem in that” although it will “enforce the law in dealing with illegal settlement outposts”, also referred to by Israel as “random outpost”.
He slammed some European Legislators who are saying the EU should not upgrade its relations with Israel because of its violations against the Palestinians.
Netanyahu stated that relations with Israel should not be dependent on Israel’s relations with the Palestinians, and added that Israel will not accept preconditions.
The statements of Netanyahu come in direct contradiction to international law especially since Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are built on areas stolen from the Palestinian.


Lieberman: "Believe me, America accepts all our decisions,"
Lieberman must be thinking of Janie Harman and her ilke!


PCHR WEEKLY REPORT: 3 PALESTINIANS KILLED, INCLUDING 2 CHILDREN, 11 INJURED!!!

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Comment:This is the weekly report by Palestinian Center for Human rights. As you read this report its obvious that Gaza troubles are far from over, the siege continues, Innocent Men, women and children are dying because Israel is restricting the entry of food, Medicines and other bare necessities. The oppression continues in all Occupied Palestinian territories. Administrator

PCHR Weekly Report: 3 Palestinians killed, including 2 children, 11 injured this week


Friday April 24, 2009 11:20 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 16 - 22 April 2009, 3 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, including 2 children. Eleven people were injured, three of them children. One Japanese humanitarian aid worker was wounded in the Gaza Strip. 15 Palestinians, including 3 children, were abducted by Israeli forces during 27 invasions in the West Bank. In Gaza, Israeli forces abducted 2 fishermen.

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Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

On Thursday April 16th, the Israeli airforce shelled a home east of Dir al Balah, completely destroying it.

On Saturday, April 18th, Israeli soldiers stationed at the Beit Hanoun/Eretzcrossing opened fire at two aid workers who work withthe international organization World Vision. One, the driver, was a 32-year old Palestinian, andthe other a Japanese humanitarian aid worker. The organization had informed the Israeli forces that they would be approaching the crossing, as the Japanese worker was planning to leave Gaza. When he got out of the car, Israeli forces opened fire. The two workers hid behind cement blocks, but the Israeli troops kept firing for fifteen minutes, breaking the windows of the car.

Also on Saturday April 18th, Israeli troops opened fire at a farmer who was working in his field 400 meters away from the border fence, east of Dir al Baleh. The farmer was not injured, but four homes were hit with bullets.

Throughout the week, the Israeli navy fired at fishing boats off the Gaza coast. No injuries were reported. Two fishermen were abducted by Israeli forces in Rafah on Tuesday April 21st.

In spite of Israeli claims that border crossing restrictions had been eased in Gaza, Israeli forces obstructed the entry of most food, medical supplies, and other necessities. The situation in the Strip continues to deteriorate, with the siege barring the entry of construction materials thereby preventing the reconstruction of thousands of buildings demolished or damaged during the January invasion. Fuel and cooking gas are also barred, except for extremely small amounts, The price of food has risen considerably in the last two months with the proportion of those living in poverty rising from 60% to 80 %.

The Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.

At least 900 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been denied family visitation for more than 17 months.

The power station in Gaza received only 7.5% of the power it needs to run. At least 10% of the population of the Gaza Strip is deprived of electricity supplies.


Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

Israeli forces conducted 27 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week. During those incursions, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinians and wounded 11.

On Friday, April 17th, a child from Al Zaitoun neighborhood in Hebronwas killed by an Israeli settlement guard. Israeli authorities claimed that the child attacked the guard with a knife. Investigations by the PCHRrevealed that he was trying to cross a settlement fence in an agricultural area, and there was no reason for the guard to kill rather than arrest the boy.

Also on Friday April 17th, Israeli forces killed one child and wounded another in Al Jalazoun refugee camp north of Ramallah. The army claimed that the two were trying to throw ‘molotov cocktails’ at settler homes in Beit El settlement.

Also on Friday, Israeli forces violently attacked two anti-Wall protest in Bil’in and Nil’invillages, both west of Ramallah, killing one Palestinian and wounding 10, including 2 children.

On Thursday April 16th, Israeli soldiers closed a number of roads in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the roads leading to Al Aqsa mosque, andbarred all residents under the age of 50 from entering. When Palestinians tried to reach the mosque to pray, Israeli forces attacked them violently with billy clubs, injuring several.

On Saturday April 18th, Israeli soldiers barred hundreds of Palestinian Christians from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during the celebration for the Orthodox Easter. Tourists were allowed to enter but Palestinian Christians were prevented from entering the holy site.

On Saturday April 18th, Israeli troops arrested children, ages 14 – 17, at a roadblock southeast of Hebron. They were taken to Kiryat Arba police station, and released on the same day.

On April 19th, Israeli troops arrested one child age 15 from Safah village, north of Nablus as he was trying to cross a barbed wire fence near the village.

On Monday April 20th, Israeli forces abducted one resident from Dura village, southeast of Hebron, when he got too near a section of the Wall.


Israeli Annexation Wall:

Israeli forces began the construction of a new section of the Wall on the land of Ramad’in village, southwest of Hebron. Troops bulldozed Palestinian land east of Ashkelot settlement, placing large concrete blocks in preparation for the construction of the Wall.

On April 22nd, the Israeli Army decided to seal 1,000 acres south of Hebron, and prevented villagers from entering their lands, declaring the area a ‘closed military zone’.

On Friday, April 17th, in the village of Bil’in, west of Ramallah, villagers gathered, as they do each week, after Friday prayers. They were joined by Israeli peace activists, including the Anarchists Against the Wall. Some of the protesters wore mock shackles on their hands to honor the Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, as the protest was held on Palestinian Prisoners Day. The villagers held flags and chanted, and marched toward the site of the Wall construction. Israeli troops fired rubber-coated steel bullets and high-velocity tear gas canisters. One Palestinian non-violent demonstrator, Bassem Abu Rahma, 31, was killed by a canister fired directly at his chest from a distance of less than 20 meters. In Nil’in, 10 Palestinians were injured, including 2 children, by rubber-coated steel bullets and high-velocity tear gas canisters in a similar anti-Wall protest.

South of Bethlehem, in al-Masara village, soldiers attacked a protest held on Friday April 17th. The soldiers barred the march from moving forward by placing a barbed wire barrier in front of the marchers. Israeli forces attacked from Efrat settlement, moving in toward the protesters firing rubber-coated steel bullets and high-velocity tear gas canisters.

When complete, the illegalAnnexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.

Although the Israeli military claims to have lifted some restrictions on movement in the West Bank, 630 Israeli military roadblocks remain in place, preventing Palestinians from travelling within the West Bank.


Israeli settlement activity:

On Sunday April 19th, the Israeli army resumed the bulldozing of Palestinian lands in Beit Ummar village north of Hebron in order to construct a new high-voltage electricity line of 1600 volts for Kiryat Arba and Hadar Beita settlements. The troops uprooted two acres of land, destroyed vineyards and demolishing ancient stone walls separating Palestinian lands.

On April 22nd, Israeli soldiers, accompanied by 3 bulldozers, invaded an area east of Akraba town near Nablus and forced eight families living in ten houses to leave their homes to clear the area for settlement expansion.

In Jabal al Mukaber, Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home, again to make way for settlement expansion.

Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians on a number of occasions this week. On Thursday April 16th, a large group of Israeli settlers tried to break into the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam. The settlers began shouting and claiming that they would destroy the mosque to build a Jewish temple. When the settlers tried to attack the mosque, Palestinian citizens who were praying there prevented the settlers from entering. Access to the mosque is controlled by Israeli soldiers, who made no effort to stop the group of extremist from entering.

On Saturday April 18th, armed Israeli settlers came to the site of the former Homesh settlement, and threw stones at the Palestinian cars driving on the Jenin-Nablus. They also attacked Palestinian farmers in their orchards.


Recommendations to the International Community

Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHRmade a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The PCHRstated that they believe the conspiracy of silence from the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law andencourages it to continue its violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The PCHR called upon the High Contracting Parties to the FourthGeneva Convention to comply with its legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.


April 24, 2009 Posted by Elias

The World Was Able to Watch Live From Their Living Room a Holocaust Conducted By Israel Against Innocent Men,Women, and Children!!!

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Massacre

Massacre


By Elias Farhud

The Ethnic cleansing of Occupied East Jerusalem, and the rest of the west Bank by Israel is accelerating at a fast pace. Israel is urgently speeding up the Colonization of Occupied Palestinian Land, Israeli leaders are apparently worried because of the shift in world opinion since the Gaza War, and uneasy on how far President Obama will go to obstruct their Zionist Dream of Greater Israel. Since the Gaza War, world opinion has been slowly changing because of the extensive amount of documented evidence of war crimes, witnessed on the scene, by Journalists, international Agencies, YouTube and yes, even Israeli Soldiers who testified they were ordered to kill anything that moved, and were even blessed by the Chief Military Rabbi to kill Palestinian children. These Israel’s actions are not new , Israel has always used State sponsored terrorism against Palestinians. The state of Israel was founded upon terrorism,theft of Palestinian land, and the displacement of Palestinians from their homeland. Israel is not viewed as the Victim anymore, the tide is slowing turning the other way, we see now world opinion has a better understanding of the Plight of the Palestinian people, the opressive occupation, their uprooting from their land which has produced more than 6 million refugee’s, comprising around three-quarters of the Palestinian people. The Palestinians have braved the onslaughts of Bulldozers, Bullets, Machine guns, and teargas for the sake of freedom. The Bombing of Civilians in Gaza by Israel was one of the most horrendous crimes in modern history. The ferocity with which Israel attacked Civilians caused significant damage to the country’s image around the world. In the U.S., unprecedented numbers of civil society groups including Jewish groups expressed open criticism of Olmert’s decision to launch the war.


Perhaps for the first time in History , with today’s advanced communications, News media outlets, the world was able to watch live from their living room or work place , Mass destruction, a Holacust conducted against innocent Men, women, and children .

April 23, 2009 Posted by Elias

Gaza, Remember?

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By Gideon Levy

April 24, 2009 "Haaretz" -- Alyan Abu-Aun is lying in his tent, his crutches beside him. He smokes cigarettes and stares into the tiny tent's empty space. His young son sits on his lap. Ten people are crammed into the tent, about the size of a small room. It has been their home for three months. Nothing remains of their previous home, which the Israel Defense Forces shelled during Operation Cast Lead. They are refugees for a second time; Abu-Aun's mother still remembers her home in Sumsum, a town that once stood near Ashkelon.

Abu-Aun, 53, was wounded while trying to flee when his home in the Gaza town of Beit Lahia was bombed. He has been on crutches ever since. His wife gave birth during the height of the war, and now the baby is with them in the cold tent. The tent was sent flying during the storm that devoured the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, so the family had to put it back up. They receive water only occasionally in a container, and a tiny tin shack serves as a bathroom for the 100 families in this new refugee camp, 'Camp Gaza,' in Beit Lahia's Al-Atatra neighborhood.

Abu-Aun sounded particularly bitter this past weekend; the Red Cross refused his family a bigger tent. He has also had enough of eating beans.

For three months, the Abu-Aun family and thousands of others have been living in five tent encampments built after the war. They have not begun clearing away the ruins of their homes, let alone build new ones. Thousands live in the shadow of the ruins of their homes, thousands in tents, thousands crowded together with their relatives, tens of thousands who are newly homeless and whom the world has lost interest in. After the conference of donor countries, which convened to great fanfare in Sharm el-Sheikh a month and a half ago, which included 75 countries and agreed to transfer $1 billion to rebuild Gaza, nothing happened.

Gaza is besieged. There are no building materials. Israel and the world are setting conditions, the Palestinians are incapable of forming a unity government, as is needed, the money and concrete are nowhere to be seen and the Abu-Aun family continues to live in a tent. Even the $900 million promised by the United States is stuck in the cash register. It's doubtful whether it will ever be taken out. America's word.

It's exactly three months since the much-talked-about war, and Gaza is once again forgotten. Israel has never taken an interest in the welfare of its victims. Now the world has forgotten, too. Two weeks with hardly a Qassam rocket has taken Gaza completely off the agenda. If the Gazans don't hurry up and resume firing, nobody will take an interest in their welfare again. Although not new, this is an especially grievous and saddening message liable to spark the next cycle of violence. And then it will be certain they won't get aid because they will be shooting.

Somebody must assume responsibility for the fate of the Abu-Aun family and other victims like them. If they had been injured in an earthquake, the world probably would have helped them recover long ago. Even Israel would have quickly dispatched aid convoys from ZAKA, Magen David Adom, even the IDF. But the Abu-Aun family was not injured by a natural disaster, but by hands and flesh and blood, made in Israel, and not for the first time. The response: no compensation, no aid, no rehabilitation. Israel and the world are too preoccupied to rebuild Gaza. They have become speechless. Gaza, remember?

From the ruins of the Abu-Aun family sprouts a new desperation. It will be more bitter than its predecessor. A decent family of eight has been destroyed, physically and psychologically, and the world stands aloof. We should not expect Israel to compensate its victims or rebuild the ruins it caused, even though this would clearly be in its interest, not to mention its moral obligation, a topic not even talked about.

The world once again has to clean up Israel's mess. But Israel is setting more and more political conditions for providing emergency humanitarian aid ? empty excuses to leave Gaza in ruins and not offer aid that Gaza deserves and desperately needs. Gaza has once again been left to its own devices, the Abu-Aun family has been left in its tent, and when the hostilities resume we will be told once again about the cruelty and brutality of ... the Palestinians.

Quotable: Ben-Gurion on Zionism & the UN

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We consider that the United Nations' ideal is a Jewish ideal.

Source: David Ben-Gurion as quoted in "The Watchman." Time. August 16, 1948.

... for many of us, anti-Semitic feeling had little to do with our dedication [to Zionism]. I personally never suffered anti-Semitic persecution. Plonsk [the city in Poland where Ben-Gurion Grün/Gryn was born in 1886] was remarkably free of it ... Nevertheless, and I think this very significant, it was Plonsk that sent the highest proportion of Jews to Eretz Israel from any town in Poland of comparable size. We emigrated not for negative reasons of escape but for the positive purpose of rebuilding a homeland ...

Life in Plonsk was peaceful enough. There were three main communities: Russians, Jews and Poles. ...

The number of Jews and Poles in the city were roughly equal, about five thousand each. The Jews, however, formed a compact, centralized group occupying the innermost districts whilst the Poles were more scattered, living in outlying areas and shading off into the peasantry. Consequently, when a gang of Jewish boys met a Polish gang the latter would almost inevitably represent a single suburb and thus be poorer in fighting potential than the Jews who even if their numbers were initially fewer could quickly call on reinforcements from the entire quarter. Far from being afraid of them, they were rather afraid of us. In general, however, relations were amicable, though distant.

Source: David Ben-Gurion. Recollections. (London: Macdonald Unit 75, 1970) pp. 36-37.

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Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 1

Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 1

By David Kendall

It seems ridiculous to speculate about what Dr. King might say to Barack Obama when we have a published record of what King actually did say to his government immediately before they had him assassinated. [1]

"Humanity is waiting for something other than blind imitation of the past. If we want truly to advance a step further, if we want to turn over a new leaf and really set a new man afoot, we must begin to turn mankind away from the long and desolate night of violence. May it not be that the new man the world needs is a nonviolent man? Longfellow said, "In this world a man must either be an anvil or a hammer." We must be hammers shaping a new society rather than anvils molded by the old. This not only will make us new men, but will give us a new kind of power. It will not be Lord Acton's image of power that tends to corrupt or absolute power that corrupts absolutely. It will be power infused with love and justice, that will change dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows, and lift us from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope. A dark, desperate, confused and sin-sick world waits for this new kind of man and this new kind of power." [2]

At the 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Celebration in San Francisco staff members from the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute had an opportunity to participate in the festivities and interact with those in attendance. Along with receiving bookmarks, buttons, pencils and a special note from Dr. King on political participation, attendees were asked to answer the question, "What would Dr. King want to say to Barack Obama?" [3]

But all speculation aside, Dr. King's actual comments appear in his last book, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" The admonitions from that book seem as well-suited for Barack Obama now as they were for Lyndon Johnson in 1967 regarding war, poverty, racism, apartheid, imperialism and all the associated wastes of human and natural resources. If these typical forms of injustice aren't entertaining enough, they become even more surreal as Barack Obama now perpetuates them in the name of "Dr. King's Dream". Apparently, he thinks he can get away with this morbid and fraudulent strategy because his skin color is roughly the same as Dr. King's. But somebody needs to draw the line here, and it might as well be me. I don't see any other volunteers.

According to Dr. King, his dream came in two general phases: 1) abolish racial segregation, particularly in the southern United States, and 2) eradicate poverty worldwide. [2] The first four chapters of his last book discuss the successes, struggles and failures of phase one. The final two chapters and the appendix of his book outline his planned approach toward phase two. Dr. King was an extremely intelligent man, and the preceding is just a rough summary of his well organized book.

But nowhere in Dr. King's book is there any suggestion that the fulfillment of his "dream" might be the election of a black President who supports racist wars of economic aggression in the Middle East and the financial interests who sponsor them. He does emphatically insist that blacks must become politically involved, but not to advance the status quo or to "save Capitalism from itself". [4] The status quo doesn't need any help. It doesn't need to be "bailed out". It needs to be challenged and, for the most part, dismissed. I doubt that anyone had a greater understanding of the "deep structural change" necessary to accomplish phase two of his dream than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, recent conclusions indicate he was murdered by his own government for daring to make such recommendations. [1]

Barack Obama is obviously intelligent enough to share Dr. King's understanding. But he also seems to driven to evade the public responsibility that should accompany that understanding. Is he merely dodging a bullet, or does he honestly believe he can rewrite history to somehow revise "Dr. King's Dream"? In his first ten weeks of office, when Obama makes decisions that are obviously not in the best interest of the people who elected him, it becomes brutally apparent that those decisions are in deliberate compliance with forces outside the democratic process. There isn't much question about who or what those corporate forces might be. The question is, why does such an intelligent man continue to lead in the same failed direction as his predecessors after so vehemently denouncing their approach?

Moreover, why does Barack Obama think he can pursue a plunder-for-profit agenda in the name of "Dr. King's Dream"? This is a sick fantasy that must be debunked and rebuked whether Obama plans to change his approach or not. If you want to lead this herd of stupid sheep to slaughter, Mr. Obama, then by all means do it. I won't begin to presume I could possibly stop you. But don't think for a minute that you can get away with blaming this painful fiasco on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or remotely associate yourself with him in the process.

Here's Dr. King:

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?


Excerpts from chapters 1 and 2:

The Assistant Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, Hyman Bookbinder, in a frank statement on December 29, 1966, declared that the long-range costs of adequately implementing programs to fight poverty, ignorance and slums will reach one trillion dollars. He was not awed or dismayed by this prospect but instead pointed out that the growth of the gross national product during the same period makes this expenditure comfortably possible. It is, he said, as simple as this: "The poor can stop being poor if the rich are willing to become rich at a slower rate." Furthermore, he predicted that unless a "substantial sacrifice is made by the American people," the nation can expect further deterioration of the cities, increased antagonisms between races and continued disorders in the streets. He asserted that people are not informed enough to give adequate support to anti-poverty programs, and he leveled a share of the blame at the government because it "must do more to get people to understand the size of the problem."

The legal structures have in practice proved to be neither structures nor law. The sparse and insufficient collection of statutes is not a structure; it is barely a naked framework. Legislation that is evaded, substantially nullified and unenforced is a mockery of law. Significant progress has effectively been barred by equivocations and retreats of government -- the same government that was exultant when it sought political credit for enacting the measures.

The hard truth is that neither Negro nor white has yet done enough to expect the dawn of a new day. While much has been done, it has been accomplished by too few and on a scale too limited for the breadth of the goal. Freedom is not won by passive acceptance of suffering. Freedom is won by a struggle against suffering.

No great victories are won in a war for the transformation of a whole people without total participation. Less than this will not create a new society; it will only evoke more sophisticated token amelioration. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. There is no other answer. Constructive social change will bring certain tranquility; evasions will merely encourage turmoil.

Power, properly understood, is the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political or economic changes. In this sense power is not only desirable but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice. One of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power are usually contrasted as polar opposites. Love is identified with a resignation of power and power with a denial of love.

What is needed is a realization that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. There is nothing essentially wrong with power. The problem is that in America power is unequally distributed. It is [the] collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our times.

Before this century, virtually all revolutions had been based on hope and hate. The hope was expressed in the rising expectation of freedom and justice. The hate was an expression of bitterness toward the perpetrators of the old order. It was the hate that made revolutions bloody and violent. What was new about Mahatma Gandhi's movement in India was that he mounted a revolution on hope and love, hope and nonviolence. This same new emphasis characterized the civil rights movement in our country dating from the Montgomery bus boycott of 1956 to the Selma movement of 1965. We maintained hope while transforming the hate of traditional revolutions into positive nonviolent power. As long as the hope was fulfilled there was little questioning of nonviolence. But when the hopes were blasted, when people came to see that in spite of progress their conditions were still insufferable, when they looked out and saw more poverty, more school segregation and more slums, despair began to set in.

Unfortunately, when hope diminishes, the hate is often turned most bitterly toward those who originally built up the hope. In all the speaking that I have done in the United States before varied audiences, including some hostile whites, the only time that I have been booed was one night in a Chicago mass meeting by some young members of the Black Power movement. I went home that night with an ugly feeling. Selfishly I thought of my sufferings and sacrifices over the last twelve years. Why would they boo one so close to them?

But as I lay awake thinking, I finally came to myself, and I could not for the life of me have less than patience and understanding for those young people. For twelve years I, and others like me, had held out radiant promises of progress. I had preached to them about my dream. I had lectured to them about the not too distant day when they would have freedom, "all here and now." I had urged them to have faith in America and in white society. Their hopes had soared. They were now booing because they felt that we were unable to deliver on our promises. They were booing because we had urged them to have faith in people who had too often proved to be unfaithful. They were now hostile because they were watching the dream that they had so readily accepted turn into a frustrating nightmare.

The line of demarcation between defensive violence and aggressive violence is very thin. The minute a program of violence is enunciated, even for self-defense, the atmosphere is filled with talk of violence, and the words falling on unsophisticated ears may be interpreted as an invitation to aggression. If a method is not effective, no matter how much steam it releases, it is an expression of weakness, not strength. When one tries to pin down advocates of violence as to what acts would be effective, the answers are blatantly illogical. This is no time for romantic for romantic illusions and empty philosophical debates about freedom. This is a time for action. What is needed is a strategy for change.

Beyond the pragmatic invalidity of violence is its inability to appeal to conscience. Power and morality must go together, implementing , fulfilling and ennobling each other. In the quest for power I cannot by-pass the concern for morality. Power at its best is the right use of strength. The words of Alfred the Great are still true: "Power is never good unless he who has it is good."

Nonviolence is power, but it is the right and good use of power. In the guilt and confusion confronting our society, violence only adds to the chaos. It deepens the brutality of the oppressor and increases the bitterness of the oppressed. Violence is the antithesis of creativity and wholeness. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible.

Are we seeking power for power's sake? Or are we seeking to make the world and our nation better places to live? If we seek the latter, violence can never provide the answer. The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, betting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder the hate. In fact, violence merely increases the hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, the hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why the psychiatrists say, "Love or perish." I have seen hate expressed in the countenances of too many Mississippi and Alabama sheriffs to advise the Negro to sink to this miserable level. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Of course, you may say, this is not practical; life is a matter of getting even, of fighting back, of dog eat dog. Maybe in some distant Utopia, you say, that idea will work, but not in the hard, cold world in which we live. My only answer is that mankind has followed the so-called practical way for a long time now, and it has led inexorably to deeper confusion and chaos. Time is cluttered with the wreckage of individuals and communities that surrendered to hatred and violence. For the salvation of our nation and the salvation of mankind, we must follow another way.

Humanity is waiting for something other than blind imitation of the past. If we want truly to advance a step further, if we want to turn over a new leaf and really set a new man afoot, we must begin to turn mankind away from the long and desolate night of violence. May it not be that the new man the world needs is a nonviolent man? Longfellow said, "In this world a man must either be an anvil or a hammer." We must be hammers shaping a new society rather than anvils molded by the old. This not only will make us new men, but will give us a new kind of power. It will not be Lord Acton's image of power that tends to corrupt or absolute power that corrupts absolutely. It will be power infused with love and justice, that will change dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows, and lift us from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope. A dark, desperate, confused and sin-sick world waits for this new kind of man and this new kind of power. [5]


David Kendall lives in Washington state and is concerned about the future of our world.

Notes:

[1] Douglass, James W. (March 15. 2000). “The King Assassination: After Three Decades, Another Verdict”. Christian Century. http://www.precaution.org/lib/09/prn_king_
assassination_another_verdict.000315.htm

[2] King, Dr. Martin Luther (1968). Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community?. New York, NY: Beacon Press, pgs 3-4, 66. ISBN 0807005711

[3] Staff. (February 02, 2009). “What would Dr. King want to say to Barack Obama?”. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/news/article/what_
would_dr_king_want_to_say_to_barack_obama/

[4] Obama, Barack (2006). "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream". Crown Publishing Group. pg 155. ISBN 0307237699.

[5] King, Dr. Martin Luther (1968). Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community?. New York, NY: Beacon Press, excerpts from chapters 1 and 2. ISBN 0807005711


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