Saturday, 15 January 2011

Hamas MPs: The place for Blackwater is the courts, not Palestine

[ 15/01/2011 - 09:19 AM ]

WEST BANK, (PIC)-- Hamas MPs in the West Bank condemned the US for recently signing a security deal that would bring the Blackwater firm into the region, saying the place for the infamous security firm is the international criminal court in The Hague, and not Palestine.

The US State Department signed an 84 million dollar deal with a company tightly linked with Blackwater to provide security for foreign figures and delegations in the West Bank. Hamas lawmakers in the area forecast that the move was to strike resistance against the Israeli occupation.

The West Bank representatives called Blackwater's presence in the region an endangerment to the lives of Palestinian citizens, saying they would be subjected to be fired at any time as happened in Iraq.

Palestinian freedoms have already been violated by the presence of US generals Mueller and Dayton, who came to the West Bank to train elements in the Palestinian Authority. The citizens, the MPs said, do not need any more risks that would threaten their already violated freedoms.

The MPs called on the US to nullify the contract and not use the lie of security to bring more security elements into Palestine.

Political detainee Hardan on hunger strike for days in PA jails

[ 15/01/2011 - 02:36 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Political detainee Mohsen Al-Hardan has been on hunger strike for days in protest at the poor incarceration conditions he is experiencing in the Palestinian Authority's jails in Nablus city.

Hardan, 49, has been in Juneid prison for more than one year and was jailed for his political affiliation with Hamas Movement.

In a new incident, the PA security militias kidnapped eight Palestinian citizens affiliated with Hamas during the last two days in the cities of Al-Khalil, Nablus, Ramallah, and Tubas, according to local sources on Saturday.

The PA intelligence, for its part, still refuses to release 12 Palestinian students from Al-Quds university from its jails in Ramallah city or let their families visit them.

Hamas MPs: The place for Blackwater is the courts, not Palestine
Torture in PA jails
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The Poet of the Tunisian Revolution

The Poet of the Tunisian Revolution

It is unquestionable that another star of the Tunisian Revolution is the Tunisian poet, Abu Al-Qasim Ash-Shabi (lived early in the 20th century and died very young, leaving one Diwan "Aghani Al-Hayat" (Songs of Life)).  Anthony Shadid said this today:  

"Hours after President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia on Friday, a Lebanese broadcaster, in triumphant tones, ended her report on the first instance of an Arab leader to be overthrown in popular protests by quoting a famous Tunisian poet.  

“And the people wanted life,” she said, “and the chains were broken.”"  

The anchorwoman, I think on New TV, was not quoting the the poet.  She was paraphrasing.  The famous poem "The Will of Life" is known by all Arabs and goes like this:  

"If the people will to live, providence is destined to favorably respond; and night is destined to fold, and the chains are certain to be broken; and he who has not embraced by the love of life, will evaporate in its atmosphere and disappear."  

But I wish Arabs know more of his poetry: he wrote many nice poems and wrote a lot about melancholy--he clearly suffered from an acute case of it.  He has a poem titled "To a Tyran" which says:  "Woe to you, abode of injustices, from a future, when the oppressed rise and show determination."  

I am afraid that I have found one of his poems, "The New Morning" (written in 1933) more than a bit influenced--if not plagiarized from--a poem written by Mikha'il Nu`aymah titled "Contentment" (written in 1922).  

Posted by As'ad at 9:57 AM

إذا الشعب يوماً أراد الحيـاة فلا بدّ أن يستجيب القدر
ولا بدّ للـيل أن ينجلي ولا بدّ للقيد أن ينكسـر
ومن لم يُعانــقه شوق الحيــاة تبخّر في جوّهـا واندثــر
فويلٌ لمن لم تشُقْه الحياة من صفعة العدم المنتصــر
كذلك قالـت لي الكائنــات وحدّثني روحهـا المستتــر

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Netanyahu's Government: Israel's Worst Ever

by Stephen Lendman

Numerous previous articles explained Israel's extremism, notably under Netanyahu exceeding the worst of Ariel Sharon. Both men, of course, are war criminals by any standard. So are complicit Knesset members - roguish, racist and hard-line, comprising a voting majority that co-opt a weak-kneed opposition going along most often to get along.

Access several relevant previous articles through these links:




Turkish Prime Minister Tayyep Recep Erdogan agrees. On January 13, Haaretz Service headlined, "Turkey PM: Netanyahu has worst government in history of Israel," saying:

Erdogan told Al Jazeera that close Israeli/Turkish ties faltered following Cast Lead and "spiraled to an unprecedented low" after Israeli commandos attacked a Turkish-flagged Freedom Flotilla ship in international waters bound for Gaza last May. Nine Turkish citizens aboard were murdered. Erdogan demanded an apology. Israel refused, the Prime Minister telling Al Jazeera:

"As long as Netanyahu does not change his policies, he cannot expect us to change ours." He added that Turkey won't renew any previously signed accords, and won't consider renewed relations until Israel accedes to its demands.

He also called Foreign Minister/Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman Israel's "greatest problem," a "despicable" man Israel should "get rid" of.
"It is up to them, not us. If they don't, Israel's problems will only get worse."

Erdogan also supports Hamas, saying:

"Hamas is not a terrorist organization. They are people defending their land. It is a movement that entered the elections and won," adding that conflict resolution is impossible without them.

Crimes of War and Against Humanity under Netanyahu

A November Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PACTI) explains some, titled "When the Exception Becomes the Rule: Incommunicado Detention of Palestinian Security Detainees." Many, in fact, are uncharged or only accused of minor offenses because no seriously incriminating evidence exists, yet they're held and brutalized anyway.

Moreover, Israeli and international law recognize the right of detainees "to meet and consult with an attorney," a fundamental due process principle Israel flaunts. Yet its Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty affirms it. So does IDF Order Regarding Security provisions (No. 378) 5730, 1970.

In addition, in Israeli legal discourse, incommunicado detentions are considered draconian, causing great harm, including to rule of law principles. It's intended only under emergency conditions or in unique cases "in which (the) alleged harm and damage justifies the prevention of this consultation." As a result, civilized societies rarely use it. For Israel, it's standard practice against people too powerless to resist.

Decades of evidence "show that the right to meet an attorney is systematically denied to Palestinian detainees....undergoing interrogation by General Security Services (GSS)." Israeli military code justifies it as a way to "benefit" interrogations and/or the "security of the area."

Israel won't disclose how many are affected. PACTI, however, learned that minimally it's many hundreds or even thousands annually, especially since October 2000, the onset of the second Intifada. As a result, denial of attorney consultations are "routine practice," no matter how illegal and unjustifiable. Israel pays rule of law principles no heed, not now, not ever.

Another article explained PACTI's earlier study on detainee abuse during Cast Lead, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/08/palestinian-detainee-abuse-during.html

Its November one evaluated over 1,000 detainee cases, concluding that:

-- from 70% to 90% were held incommunicado during their entire interrogation or a portion thereof;

-- their duration ranged from 12.7 to 19.2 days, and in 10% of cases over 30 days;

-- affidavits from those held said they were subjected to "systematic violence, torture and/or psychological ill-treatment" to admit guilt;

-- pressure was intense, resulting in fear, confusion and uncertainty, hampering judgment and influencing behavior;

-- "significant gaps were found between the justifications given by the GSS for demanding" incommunicado detentions and "the content of the final indictments," mentioning minor violations only that most often are bogus or inconsequential;

-- despite intervening for justice, PACTI's "involvement (most often) was....completely ineffective;" unable to dissuade GSS from acting lawlessly; and

-- incommunicado detentions empower GSS at the expense of rule of law justice. Palestinians get none no matter how much pressure is applied on their behalf.

These abuses won't end unless sustained international and grassroots efforts force it. Israel is already shamed. Legal, political, economic and cultural measures must take it to the next level, the way South African apartheid was toppled, though what replaced it left poor Blacks worse off than before, victimized by predatory capitalism.

They, Palestinians, and all exploited people deserve better, but wishing won't make it so. Bare-knuckled activism is needed, restoring democratic values Israel won't tolerate, at the same time exposing its lawlessness and status as a world class terror state, preying on vulnerable Arabs on false national security grounds.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

posted by Steve Lendman @ 3:14 AM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Hizbullah, Palestinian factions praise Tunisian uprisin - Abbas sends condolences toTunisian Dictator , and (DFLP), warns the Tunisian people of "waves of political Islam"


Commenting on the Historic Developments witnessed in Tunis, Hizbullah issued the following statement:

Hizbullah expresses deep pride and praises the Tunisian people's Intifada, which leads their way towards their hoped freedom.

Hizbullah cannot but express respect for the popular will that astonished the world with its unity, solidarity, and quick reaction, which refers that the source of the truth is the people, and is represented by their free will and not through seeking foreign help.

Hizbullah believes it is the Tunisian people's right to choose their representatives and elect who they find appropriate to rule their country.

Hizbullah calls upon leaders to learn from what has happened in Tunis, and the first lesson should be to end the leaders' relation with the arrogant countries that do not admit an ally or a friend, but rather cares only for their interests on the expense of those who serves them for years.

Hizbullah recalls history when the Iranian people exiled the Shah, who was not received by any of those countries he used to serve.

This is what happened today in Tunis, where the Presidential plane did not find any airport to land in, even among the countries which Tunis used to serve its interests on the expense of the Tunisian people's.

The immortal firm truth in all times is that when the people depend on Allah and on their internal will, then they could achieve miracles in victory, freedom, and independence, and not through depending on foreign powers.

Hizbullah Media Relations

[ 15/01/2011 - 04:29 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian factions are praising the Tunisians for the recent uprising that led to the ousting of their once president Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali, who had "suspicious" ties with Israel, and for bringing the country's decision back to the people.


"We are with the Tunisians in choosing their leaders, no matter what sacrifices it takes," said Gaza Foreign Minister Fathi Hammad.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said his movement respects the will and choice of the Tunisians and assures it will stand by them.

Islamic Jihad Movement spokesman Dawud Shehab, in statements he made for the AFP, accused the former Tunisian regime of having "suspicious ties" with Israel.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), a member faction of the PLO, warned the Tunisian people of "waves of political Islam" that could turn the "great victory" into a "quagmire of extremism and terrorism".

In an attack on the Gaza-governing Hamas group, the DFLP called on Tunisian forces to "cut the road to political Islam and its misleading slogans to avoid a repeat of the Gaza Strip experience in Tunisia."

The Tunisians successfully forced Ben Ali out of power after a month of suppressed protests that left hundreds of casualties. The Tunisian Ambassador to UNESCO said Ben Ali told him he warranted the lethal force used against civilians as a means of blocking any chance for the Muslim Brotherhood at power.

However, Sheikh Habib Khader, an Islamic Jihad leader, told the PIC in a statement on Saturday evening that his movement viewed with concern the DFLP statement.

Abbas sends condolences to overthrown Tunisian president

[ 15/01/2011 - 02:23 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- De facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas phoned former Tunisian president Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali a few hours before his people overthrew him to send condolences for the events that preceded his escape from the country.

Abbas discussed with his counterpart the latest political developments relating to the peace process and the incidents in Tunisia before the dramatic developments that led to the overthrow and flight of Ben Ali, according to Palestinian media.

Abbas visited Tunis earlier this month and met with Ben Ali to discuss developments in Palestine issues. He also met with PLO political department chief Farouq al-Qaddoumi after long years of estrangement.

The Tunisian people successfully forced the 23-year ruling Ben Ali out of office after a month of unprecedented, deadly protests. Mohammed al-Ghanouchi, the Tunisian premier, is serving as interim president of the country.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Tunisian Ben Ali Officialy Ousted, Speaker Appointed As Interim Leader

15/01/2011 Tunisia’s Constitutional Council announced on Saturday that the ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was officially swept aside, naming the speaker of Parliament as the interim leader.

The council declared the head of state had "definitively" left power and appointed Foued Mebezza acting president under the constitution in a communique published by the official news agency TAP.
The council made its ruling at the request of Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi.

Responding to Tunisians’ mounting demands for him to concede power, Ben Ali fled the country for Saudi Arabia late Friday in a dramatic end to his 23 years in power.
Saudi Arabia has welcomed Ben Ali and his family on Saturday, a day after they fled a mass uprising in their country.

A statement released by the Saudi monarchy said the decision to welcome Ben Ali was based on appreciation of the "exceptional circumstances" in Tunisia.
"Out of concern for the exceptional circumstances facing the brotherly Tunisian people and in support of the security and stability of their country... the Saudi government has welcomed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family to the kingdom," the statement said.

Also on Saturday, all airports and the country's airspace were reopened.
"Tunisian airspace and nationals airports are open to air traffic," said the authority in a statement quoted by TAP.
It said travelers should still contact airlines to avoid any airport congestion due to flight cancellations or delays.
Airport officials had announced the closure on Friday as Ben Ali prepared to flee the country.

After abandoning power, Ben Ali boarded a plane with his family and left the country, amid widespread rumors about where he was travelling to.
Sources speculated they were flying to Malta, Libya, France or elsewhere. Eventually, it appeared Ben Ali's plane had been en route to Paris. But French media reported that President Nicolas Sarkozy had rejected a request for his plane to land in Paris.

INTERIM POWER

Before leaving, the “ex-president” signed a decree handing interim presidential powers to Ghannouchi.
"Since the president is temporarily unable to exercise his duties, it has been decided that the prime minister will exercise temporarily the [presidential] duties," Ghannouchi said in a statement broadcast on state television.

As a state of emergency has been declared, Ghannouchi has said he will meet political leaders on Saturday in an attempt to form a government.
Ben Ali, who has ruled Tunisia since coming to power in a bloodless coup in 1987, fled amid violent demonstrations and protesters who rejected his last-minute raft of concessions.

Members of Ben Ali's family, reportedly including some of his in-laws, were arrested as they tried to leave the country.
The unrest in the country began on December 17, after a 26-year-old unemployed graduate set himself on fire in an attempt to commit suicide. Mohammed Bousazizi's act of desperation set off the public's growing frustration with rising inflation and unemployment, and prompted a wave of protests across the country.
Dozens of people have died in recent weeks as unrest has swept the country and security forces have cracked down on demonstrations over unemployment, food price rises and corruption.

SECURITY CHALLENGES

Tensions remained high despite Ben Ali's exit, with protesters reported to be ransacking government buildings in the capital, Tunis, and throughout other provinces. Police have also been accused of participating in looting, and citizens have made appeals for the protection of their property.
Ben Ali's apparent downfall has not calmed all the protesters; there were reports of continued protests outside the interior ministry on Friday night calling for Ghannouchi's immediate resignation.

In his televised address, Ghannouchi vowed to respect the constitution and restore stability and called on citizens to "maintain patriotic spirit ... in order to brave through these difficult moments".
He also vowed to address problems of inflation and unemployment "exactly" as they had recently been announced by Ben Ali.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Gilad Atzmon: And What About the Sperm?


Friday, January 14, 2011 at 2:35PM Gilad Atzmon

The Jewish state has decided; we let you be a Jew as long as you are willing to kill for us.

The Knesset recently passed a bill allowing the State to approve IDF conversions without the permission of the Chief Rabbinate.

Apparently this law has been approved today by Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who has decided to legitimize all conversions performed in the Israel Defense Forces in recent years.

I guess that for some, it is much easier to become a Jew riding a Merkava Tank over a Palestinian village than learning Halakha law for seven years.


Rabbi Waldman holding baby,
and Rabbi lior reciting blessings
Yet I am slightly confused. I also learned this week that ‪‪Rabbi Dov Lior, another genius Talmud scholar, announced that Jewish Law prohibits sterile couples from conceiving using non-Jew's sperm, as it causes adverse traits. According to Rabbi Lior, a baby born through such an insemination will have the "negative genetic traits that characterize non-Jews."


Rabbi Lior indeed solved a lot of questions that have bothered me for years. All those Jewish outlaws such as mega swindler Bernie Madoff, war criminal Paul Wolfowitz, ethnic Cleanser David Ben Gurion, mass murderer Ehud Barak, you name it, must have been conceived from a gentile sperm. They better look for their real fathers.


And what about the sperm of the newly converted soldiers? Will it cure on the spot?


I guess that Tel Aviv university biology department will have to look closely into this question. The morality of future Jewish generations seems to be at high risk.


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Getting Clear About Jews and Judaism


"Over 100,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, no Ethiopian Rabbi can be a top Rabbi, white Jews discriminate heavily against black Jews in Israel.


How can anyone claim that the Jews are a race?


Eastern European “white” Ashkenazi Jews:


Recent DNA genome tests confirm that Palestinians are the most pure Shepardic Jews.  The great irony of the genocidal policies of Israel is that Ashkenazi controlled Israel is busy killing off the most authentic Hebrew people." More

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Israeli Rabbi Dov Lior Says Non-Jews Are Cruel and Barbaric, Jewish Women Shouldn't Accept their Sperms

Editor's Note:

It's amazing that these Zionists don't realize that they are the most barbaric and cruel of all times, as documented in their almost daily killing of Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims since 1948 !!!

Examples of Zionist Barbaric Cruelty:

Gallery of Zionist Massacres - Page ( 1 ) ... Zionist murderers have committed uncountable number of awful massacres against the unarmed innocent civilians of Palestine, Lebanon and ...

Resistance - Gallery of Zionist Massacres

The following article (3160 words!) was published in the Hebrew daily Ha'ir on 6 May 1992. It contains new revelations about war crimes committed by the Zionist forces in 1948 ...


BOOKSTORE

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Worldwide authentic jewry appalled by zionist 'rabbis' statements legitimisizing zionist massacres
Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish statement on the massacre in Gaza and letter on this event sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
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Israel rabbi: Gentile sperm risks 'barbaric' offspring

Published today (updated) 12/01/2011 15:15
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) --

A Jewish woman should never get pregnant using sperm donated by a non-Jewish man – even if it is the last option available, a senior Israeli authority on Jewish law has asserted.

According to Rabbi Dov Lior of the Religious Zionism movement, a baby born through such an insemination will have the "negative genetic traits that characterize non-Jews," Israeli media reported Wednesday.

Lior's stance negated a ruling, widely accepted by rabbis, that sperm donated by a non-Jew is preferable to that of an anonymous Jew, who might pose a "genealogical risk," the Israeli news site Ynet reported.

Lior, who reportedly addressed the issue during a women's health conference held recently at the Puah Institute, a fertility clinic, advised sterile couples to adopt rather than produce non-Jewish offspring.

A religious text "states that the character traits of the father pass on to the son," he said.
"If the father is not Jewish, what character traits could he have? Traits of cruelty, of barbarism! These are not traits that characterize the people of Israel."He added: "A person born to Jewish parents, even if they weren't raised on the Torah – there are things that are passed on in the blood, it's genetic. ... "If the father is a gentile, then the child is deprived of these things.

"I even read in books that sometimes the crime, the difficult traits, the bitterness – a child that comes from these traits, it's no surprise that he won't have the qualities that characterize the people of Israel," he added.

Lior also said that children born to single mothers are more inclined to criminality.

The rabbi's remarks come as rights groups warn of a rising tide of anti-Palestinian sentiment in Israeli society.

In recent weeks, about 300 rabbis have signed a letter calling on Jews to avoid renting or selling property to non-Jews, and right-wing groups have staged demonstrations warning against fraternizing with Palestinians.

The rabbis' letter drew widespread condemnation, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but a poll published in late December showed Israelis are evenly divided on the issue, AFP reported.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

This is What Victory Looks Like

Pupse

Written on the night of January 14th 2011

The dictator, thief and Western client Zein al-Abdine Ben Ali, beloved until a few hours ago in Paris and Washington, has been driven from Tunisia. His reign was ended not by a military or palace coup but by an extraordinarily broad-based popular movement which has brought together trades unions and professional associations, students and schoolchildren, the unemployed and farmers, leftists, liberals and intelligent Islamists, men and women.

One of the people’s most prominent slogans will resonate throughout the Arab world and beyond: la khowf ba’ad al-yowm, or No Fear From Now On.

It is to be hoped that Tunisia will now develop a participatory system based on respect for citizens’ rights, that it will reclaim and develop its economy, implement social justice, and move out of the Western-Israeli embrace.

The revolution, however, is beset by dangers. Although the head of the snake has been sacrificed, the conglomerate of interests behind the Ben Ali regime is largely still in place, and will be working furiously to restrict and roll back popular participation. For this reason it is of crucial importance that Tunisians are tonight raising the slogan al-intifada mustamura,’ or ‘the intifada continues.’

Beyond the local Tunisian mafia, those who have every reason to wish the revolution to fail include: the terrified Arab regimes, particularly the Western clients; Israel; and sections of the American, French and other Western elites. One or more of these powers may stoop to sponsoring chaos in some form or another. But we can have a good degree of confidence. Over the last weeks Tunisians have proved themselves sufficiently courageous and open-eyed to face down all manner of threats.

Whatever happens next in Tunis, the Arab world has entered a new stage. Tunisia has shown that the ‘Arab street’ has greater potential, greater power, than many Arabs, cowed by decades of oppression, dared dream. Now we know that if Arabs are enraged by their regimes’ corruption and mismanagement, by the muzzling of dissent and debate, by the failure to build functioning health and education systems, by the craven kow-towing to Zionism and the hosting of foreign miltary bases – now we know the Arabs can coerce their regimes to change these policies, or face Ben Ali’s fate.

The Western clients in particular are in trouble. Saudi-owned media coverage of Tunisia makes their fear plain. Over the last weeks Algeria has seen demonstrations and riots. Yesterday thousands marched against economic conditions in Jordan. Tonight a demonstration outside the Tunisian embassy in Cairo congratulated the intifada, and chanted “Revolution Until Victory” (the old Palestinian battle cry), “Revolution in Egypt.”

Egypt used to be the political, cultural and military leader of the Arab world; now it bears less weight than Qatar. Most Egyptians are hungry and over a third are illiterate. Mubarak’s regime is a willing tool of Zionism and imperialism, a besieger of Palestinians. And the country’s social fabric is being ripped apart by salafism and sectarianism. If somewhere needs a dose of Tunisia, that place is Egypt. Inspiration from Tunisia is something that could raise Egypt’s confidence, halt Egypt’s decline, and give impetus to radical change. The escape route from communal hatreds and social breakdown is popular action, for all citizens, irrespective of religion, sect, ethnicity, tribe or region.

This Tunisian victory was not won by employing nativist romanticism, sectarian distraction or religious obscurantism. Tunisians held ‘Power to the People’ signs and posters of Che Guevara rather than the rulings of a cleric. This will have a long-term cultural effect on the Arab world, at least to the extent of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, which has energised Arab Islamism ever since. (Here I’m remarking on the surprising fact that the first Arab revolution of the age has largely been secular in character, but I don’t wish to trot out a simplistic secular-versus-Islamist discourse.

Tunisian Islamists have been as active as everyone else in the struggle, and Tunisian Islamism is very often politically pluralist and reasonably progressive. Rashid al-Ghannushi’s Nahda Party is a good example.)

Inevitably the events have exposed the continuing hypocrisy of Western governments as well as the mainstream media’s continuing adhesion to ruling class foreign policy concerns. Until the very day of the revolution’s victory the Anglosaxon media kept as quiet as it possibly could. This in marked contrast to its coverage of the Iranian Green Movement, which had a much narrower social base but was cast as a near-unanimous uprising, its martyrs were named and lionised, and reams of nonsense were written concerning the ‘twitter revolution’. Well, here was a secular mass movement calling for freedom and civil rights, using the new media, appealing to universal values, on the southern shore of the mediterranean – and nobody wanted to know.

By tonight, all of a sudden, the American position has changed from ‘we’re not taking sides’ to applauding ‘the courage and dignity of the Tunisian people.’ And, in a twinkling, the media has discovered that Ben Ali was a corrupt dictator. A new story is being scribbled out, to adapt to events. That’s what you call a fait accompli. And, for once, it was the Arab people who did the deed. This is what victory looks like.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Can O’Keefe lick the Palestinian campaign into shape?

By Stuart Littlewood

15 January 2011

Stuart Littlewood argues that the Palestinian cause is in desperate need of a marketing and public relations makeover, and of competent advocates to promote the Palestinian struggle in the West. He contrasts the complacency and ineptitude of the Palestinian Authority with media savvy internationals and Palestinian volunteers.

Find something else to get angry about, I was telling myself.

Yes, I was all set to shunt Palestine into a mental siding because leadership is still lacking and so much time and effort is misdirected, uncoordinated and wasted.

Most importantly of all, there’s no overall strategic plan for meaningful action and communication, although individual groups are doing amazing work in their efforts to break the Gaza blockade.

Then somebody – Debbie Menon – said: "You gotta listen to this Press TV interview, it's fantastic. Ken fills my heart with pride."

She was talking about Ken O-Keefe.








After watching his high-octane performance, which hit so many right notes, I'm beginning to think that here’s a man who could take the shambling and ineffectual Palestinian "campaign" (wrong word really) by the scruff of the neck and knock it into shape.

Some of my friends are convinced he's a plant, or an agent provocateur*. It would be hugely disappointing if that turned out to be true. In the meantime he seems to be doing Israeli gangsterdom a lot of damage.

Calling a spade a spade

In the interview he proceeded to give the Israeli government a good tongue-lashing, calling it "not only racist but crazy, insane, psychotic and capable of anything". He also flayed the European Union governments for doing 25 billion euros of trade with Israel while spouting "pretty words that have no substance at all". If the EU wanted to stop the settlement building, he said, it could end its relationship with Israel, which would "cripple the Israeli economy".

Correct. Since the EU trade agreement calls for suspension if Israel breaches its terms (which it does continuously), many others have made the same point but to no avail, which shows how corrupt the EU is.

And O'Keefe roundly condemned his own government, the US, for its 3-billion-dollar a year aid "to the richest country in the Middle East", and called for general strikes and for people to unite across the spectrum in the Palestinian cause because governments and the UN are doing nothing.

He wanted to ask the Jews of the world if Israel really represented them – was Israel synonymous with Judaism? Because if so, "you as a people are a threat to everyone and every ounce of decency and humanity that exists". He called on them to speak up and condemn the acts of racism and mass murder.

Towards the end of the interview he spoke mysteriously of a big plan he was working on, which would “shatter” the blockade of Gaza.

All this lifted the gloom somewhat. Up to that moment the New Year chatter on the BBC had been of a fresh war in the Middle East – a Cast Lead mark II.

I had already come to the conclusion that the Palestinians need and deserve much more than the good wishes of people like me living comfortably in the UK. They need nothing less than a political upheaval, levered by an angry civil society worldwide, to force implementation of international law and justice. Will they get it in 2011? Fat chance, because those civil societies are not yet well enough organized or angry enough, and Palestinian leaders have zero appeal and are continually playing the fool.

Palestinian public relations ineptitude

Their embassy (actually a General Delegation) here in London is a joke. Visit its website and you'll find little that's useful. The last update was eight months ago – yes, it’s EIGHT MONTHS out of date. That's how committed Fatah, the Palestinian Authority and their staff are to the Palestinian cause. Their failure to make an effort effectively sabotages the work of campaigners and activists.

How fair is that on the sick and homeless and hungry in Gaza and those under the jackboot (of Israeli storm-troopers and Fatah’s quislings) in the West Bank?

So whom should we help? The legitimate authority is Hamas, democratically elected in 2006. Fatah were sore losers and wouldn't accept the people's verdict. Neither would the half-baked politicians of the US, Britain and the EU – or their manipulators in Tel Aviv. Such people do not respect democracy.

Hamas is inaccessible but in serious need of a marketing makeover to transform its prospects. Let’s hope it soon takes the trouble to have its spokespeople properly trained in media skills – something Fatah never bothered to do, to the permanent detriment of the whole Palestinian nation.

Negotiations with Israel? What is there to negotiate? Focus must be on what has already been ruled under international law, humanitarian law and a whole raft of UN resolutions.

Until these are implemented resistance is surely the correct route and should command worldwide backing. Besides, who authorized here-today-and-gone-tomorrow politicians such as Obama, Clinton and Blair to ignore international law for the benefit of Israeli ambition?

Media savvy volunteers

As must be painfully obvious by now, a continuing problem for the Palestinian movement outside as well as inside the occupied territories is its failure to engage with the media. The superb George Galloway pops up occasionally but that is not enough.

The campaign, if it’s to become a true campaign, needs first-rate spokespeople available in an instant. Straight-talking O’Keefe is articulate and interesting enough, with just the right degree of scariness, to fascinate Western audiences. In the Press TV interview he was ably flanked by the lovely Nada Hashwi and Sameh Habeeb. I’d say Hashwi also has the power to wow the West and ought to be pushed forward much more.

Meanwhile, O'Keefe's concept of people-power, "fully exerted and acting in unison, intelligently", sounds promising. That's what is needed, if only the threads can be pulled together. It's a mighty task because the battleground extends to every country in the West paralysed by Zionist infiltration. That’s most of them.

In the meantime I’m itching to know what Ken O’Keefe’s “shattering” big plan is.

+++++++

* I guess I know stu's friends convinced that "Ken's a plant, or an agent provocateur"

After Galloway, Ken O'Keefe under fire at HTT (Hasbara think thank).

Dear Stu
They are not friends, they are Plants and agent provocateur, spreading Zionist Hasbara, smearing real activists having a real plan such as Ken and Galloway.

Listen to friends such as Debbie

Uprooted

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Torture in PA and Pharaoh jails - 1337 Palestinian children killed since Aqsa intifada

Torture in PA jails

[ 14/01/2011 - 08:34 PM ]

LONDON, (PIC)-- The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain and the Middle East Monitor recently issued a report documenting torture territory of the Palestinian Authority.

The report showed that the Palestinian security services have been using torture on a wide and systematic basis for several years using, inter alia, the following techniques: shabh (hanging) of all kinds, beating with cables, pulling out nails, suspension from the ceiling, flogging, kicking, swearing and cursing, electric shocks, sexual harassment and the threat of rape.

The organisations also said in their report that at least six people have been killed while undergoing torture in Palestinian Authority centres: Shadi Shaheen, Ramallah; Majd Barghouti, Ramallah; Mohammed al-Haj, Jenin; Kamal Abu Taima, Hebron; Haitham Amro, Hebron; Fadi Hamadna, Nablus. Many ex-detainees have permanent disabilities. Mass arrests have taken place on political grounds.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain has documented such crimes for the three years from October 2007 to October 2010.

An analysis of the data shows that in the period under review, the security services detained almost 8,640 people at a rate of 8 arrests per day.

The analysis also shows that an astonishing 95% of the detainees were subjected to severe torture, others feeling the detrimental effects on their health for varying periods. Seventy-seven percent of the detainees had been in the custody of the occupation before being released and rearrested by the Palestinian Authority on the same charges.

Download full report

Ahrar: 1337 Palestinian children killed since Aqsa intifada

[ 15/01/2011 - 08:14 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and Jewish settlers have killed 1337 Palestinian children since the Aqsa intifada in late September 2000 until late 2010, the Ahrar center's research and media unit said in a documentary report.

The study published on Friday said that the children were killed in direct murder crimes or during shelling, random firing, confrontations, and targeting residential areas.

It noted that the biggest number of children killed was in Gaza (977) followed by Nablus (92) then Jenin (77).

The study said that the IOF detained around 3300 Palestinian children in 2010 and around 11000 in the past three years, including 103 girls.

Fuad Al-Khafsh, director of the Ahrar center, held the Israeli occupation authority fully responsible for crimes committed against those Palestinian minors. He asked human rights groups and all concerned institutions to prosecute IOF leaders and Israeli security apparatuses for such crimes.

In a related development, IOF soldiers stormed Zabuba village west of Jenin on Friday night and took away a 16-year-old boy from his home.

Witnesses reported that the soldiers broke into several homes and questioned their owners after searching them.


[ 15/01/2011 - 07:58 AM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- Hafiz Abu Saada, secretary-general of the Egyptian rights group organization, said Egypt's policies of detaining and torturing Palestinians is ruining the country's reputation among the Arab and international communities.

The Egyptian rights group received medical reports stating that Palestinian prisoner Ramzi al-Ra'i's leg has become infected after Egyptian officials tortured him and neglected to provide treatment for his wounds, Abu Saada told the PIC Friday. If left untreated, gangrene could develop on Ra'i's leg, a condition that would require amputation, the medical report says.

Ramzi Nasri Khamis Al-Ra'i was detained by Egyptian authorities on April 12, 2010 after leaving the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in Egypt for several wounds he had sustained on his body.

Ra'i was severely beaten by Egyptian security forces, causing a severe gangrene-like infection to appear on his legs, the UK-based Arab human rights organization, for its part, said, adding that prison authorities in Egypt have refused to transfer Ra'i to the hospital for treatment.

"Ramzi's medical condition, as described by doctors, requires diligent follow-up outside the prison. His remaining inside the prison, despite decisions to release him, is exacerbating his health condition," the Arab organization said.

Family committee slams PA for not releasing woman based on court order

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Tunisia's 'Would Be Ex-President' Welcomed in Saudi Arabia


15/01/2011 Responding to Tunisians’ mounting demands for him to concede power, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in a dramatic end to his 23 years in power for Saudi Arabia, after France rejected a request for his plane to land in Paris.

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Ben Ali and his family a day after they fled an mass uprising in their country.
A statement released by the country's monarchy said the decision to welcome Ben Ali was based on appreciation of the "exceptional circumstances" in Tunisia.
"Out of concern for the exceptional circumstances facing the brotherly Tunisian people and in support of the security and stability of their country... the Saudi government has welcomed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family to the kingdom," the statement said.

After abandoning power, Ben Ali boarded a plane with his family and left the country, amid widespread rumors about where he was travelling to.
Sources speculated they were flying to Malta, Libya, France or elsewhere. Eventually, it appeared Ben Ali's plane had been en route to Paris. But French media reported that President Nicolas Sarkozy had rejected a request for his plane to land in Paris.

INTERIM POWER

Before leaving, the ex-president signed a decree handing interim presidential powers to Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi.
"Since the president is temporarily unable to exercise his duties, it has been decided that the prime minister will exercise temporarily the [presidential] duties," Ghannouchi said in a statement broadcast on state television.

As a state of emergency has been declared, Ghannouchi has said he will meet political leaders on Saturday in an attempt to form a government.
Ben Ali, who has ruled Tunisia since coming to power in a bloodless coup in 1987, fled amid violent demonstrations and protesters who rejected his last-minute raft of concessions.

Members of Ben Ali's family, reportedly including some of his in-laws, were arrested as they tried to leave the country.
The unrest in the country began on December 17, after a 26-year-old unemployed graduate set himself on fire in an attempt to commit suicide. Mohammed Bousazizi's act of desperation set off the public's growing frustration with rising inflation and unemployment, and prompted a wave of protests across the country.
Dozens of people have died in recent weeks as unrest has swept the country and security forces have cracked down on demonstrations over unemployment, food price rises and corruption.

SECURITY CHALLENGES

Tensions remained high despite Ben Ali's exit, with protesters reported to be ransacking government buildings in the capital, Tunis, and throughout other provinces. Police have also been accused of participating in looting, and citizens have made appeals for the protection of their property.
Ben Ali's apparent downfall has not calmed all the protesters; there were reports of continued protests outside the interior ministry on Friday night calling for Ghannouchi's immediate resignation.

In his televised address, Ghannouchi vowed to respect the constitution and restore stability and called on citizens to "maintain patriotic spirit ... in order to brave through these difficult moments".
He also vowed to address problems of inflation and unemployment "exactly" as they had recently been announced by Ben Ali.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Canada blamed for the failure of the Forum for the Future in Qatar


 
Canadian Arab Federation
La Fédération Canado-Arabe

 
PRESS RELEASE
 
 
  January 14, 2011

Canada blamed for the failure of the Forum for the Future in Qatar

Canada's inflexibility and insistence on not including a reference to Palestine prevented the issuance of a communiqué at the end of the Forum for the Future, Qatari officials have said.
The Seventh Forum for the Future Ministerial Meeting between the G8 and Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) countries was held in Doha on January 12-13.
"There had been an agreement on the communiqué for the seventh Forum for the Future," Ahmad Bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, Qatar's state minister for foreign affairs, said. "However, the Canadians, the co-chair of the forum, insisted on not including a paragraph on Palestine," he said, quoted by Qatar News Agency (QNA).

Salah Al Deen Jorchi, the First Vice-President of Human Rights League in
Tunisia and Representative of the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) at the forum, said Canada should be held accountable for hindering the progress on the final declaration.

"We were shocked because we have always believed that the Palestinian issue was clear to everyone and that there was consensus about it, especially that the previous forum in
Marrakesh has agreed on it," Salah Eddine said. "The Canadian stance is a setback and Ottawa assumes the responsibility of not issuing the final communiqué," he said.
In a speech in Ottawa on November 8, 2010 Mr. Harper declared that as long as he is Prime Minister, whether it is at the United Nations, the Francophonie, or anywhere else, Canada will defend Israel whatever the cost. This explains Canada’s shameful stand in Qatar of ignoring Palestinian rights that are enshrined in international law.
 
At the Forum for the Future in Qatar, the Harper government assumes the responsibility for the immense loss suffered by the civil society organizations and the business sectors. They have lost good opportunities to secure reforms approved by all the governments for the first time following successful negotiations.


For more information, please contact:
 
Khaled Mouammar                                
CAF National President                                 
416-879-6766
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
“We find it disturbing that Mr. Harper’s commitment to Israel comes before his duty as prime minister, before his duty to represent Canada's interests abroad, and before his role of elected representative. In short his dedication to Israel supersedes his commitment to Canada,” stated Khaled Mouammar, CAF National President.