Saturday, 30 April 2011

Aid to Israel compared with aid to U.S. tornado victims: take a guess who gets more

Destruction in Alabama (L), and Gaza




Each time disaster strikes somewhere inside the U.S., the Zionists who run Washington make a big show of rushing to provide assistance to the poor, poverty-stricken Gentiles whose A-frame homes, house trailers, and small businesses have been wrecked by the latest “aberration” of nature.

“I’ve never seen devastation like this. It is heartbreaking,” said Obama Friday while touring the state of Alabama—decimated by what was the worst tornado outbreak in at least 37 years, and maybe even the worst in history.

On Tuesday and Wednesday approximately 258 tornadoes, some up to a mile wide, hit not only Alabama, but also Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia, with some of the twisters traveling more than a hundred miles on the ground. The storms included a multiple-vortex tornado that hit Cullman County, Alabama, as well as one particularly massive funnel cloud, perhaps a mile wide, that rampaged through both the cities of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa and is estimated to have traveled some 180-225 miles altogether. At least 350 people were killed and thousands were left homeless.

Obama has authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to coordinate disaster relief efforts, and according to Reuters, “the president was eager to show that federal relief is on its way and that he is not taking the disaster lightly.” But how much help can these traumatized Americans realistically expect from their government?

FEMA is at best a band aid. In dispensing disaster assistance money, the agency authorizes up to $28,000 per household—not nearly enough for a family which has lost everything in a major storm or other catastrophe. Also, the words “up to” are particularly important, since the full $28,000 is not guaranteed to every household in every case. Sometimes it’s only a fraction of that. This money “is meant to help you with critical expenses that cannot be covered in other ways,” reads the official FEMA website. “This assistance is not intended to restore your damaged property to its condition before the disaster.”



Moreover, much of the help comes in the form of low interest loans—rather than outright grants. “While some housing assistance funds are available through our Individuals and Households Program, most disaster assistance from the federal government is in the form of loans administered by the Small Business Administration,” says the website.

FEMA comes under the Department of Homeland Security, which for the 2011 fiscal year submitted a budget of $56.3 billion. But the vast bulk of these funds were for security, terrorism prevention, and immigration enforcement. A relatively paltry $1.95 billion was earmarked to DHS’s Disaster Relief Fund. (see pdf document, FY 2011 Budget in Brief, Homeland Security, p. 10).

By contrast, the Obama administration requested $3 billion in foreign military financing for Israel for fiscal year 2011. This includes $2.75 billion for the purchase of 20 F-35 fighter planes as well as $205 million for up to ten “Iron Dome” batteries. (see pdf document, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, by Jeremy Sharp, p. 1 ) Under the terms of this agreement, Israel is allowed to use approximately 25 percent of this aid to purchase military equipment from Israeli manufacturers—a benefit allowed to no other recipient of foreign aid. All other recipients must purchase from U.S. manufacturers. In addition, there are also other “hidden costs” involved in our unremitting support for the Zionist state. As Alison Weir wrote in 2008:

On top of this, Egypt and Jordan receive large sums of money (per capital about 1/20th of what Israel receives) to buy their cooperation with Israel; and Palestinians also receive our tax money (about 1/23rd of that to Israel), to repair infrastructure that Israeli forces have destroyed, to fund humanitarian projects required due to the destruction wrought by Israel’s military, and to convince Palestinian officials to take actions beneficial to Israel. These sums should also be included in expenditures on behalf of Israel.

When all these other considerations are factored in, the total cost of our support for Israel far exceeds the $3 billion per year tagged as “direct aid” to the Zionist state, and quite literally dwarfs the $1.95 billion allocated for Americans hit by tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Add to that the $3 trillion for wars fought on Israel’s behalf and the disparity becomes gigantic. It certainly shows where “our” government’s priorities lie.

Israeli settlement of Ariel, in the illegally-occupied West Bank

Worth keeping in mind, of course, is that the natural disasters we are witnessing seem to be hitting the country with ever increasing frequency these days. According to the Weather Channel, the month of April this year set a record, with a preliminary count of 453 tornadoes. This far exceeds the number recorded in previous years for the same month. Prior to 2011 the record was 267 tornadoes in April of 1974.

So high is this month’s twister count in fact that it is within range of the all-time record number of tornadoes ever recorded in a single month. That record—of 543 tornadoes—was set in May of 2003.

“There have been over 5,200 severe weather reports (tornadoes, hail, and high winds/wind damage) so far in April,” said the Weather Channel in a report updated on April 30. “On average, only about 3300 severe weather reports are tallied in an entire April nationwide.”

Just two weeks ago, on April 16, at least 60 tornadoes erupted in seven states, with 28 of those centered in North Carolina, which was by far the hardest hit state. It was the largest tornado outbreak in that state’s history, and approximately 4,700 people registered for disaster assistance. So how much money will they get? Roughly $2.8 million, according to the Fayetteville Observer—which would average out to a bit over $595.70 each.

Of course, the people of Alabama and North Carolina should count their blessings. At least the Zionists aren’t blockading their states and preventing building supplies from entering as they are in Gaza. Thank goodness for small favors.

Map of North Carolina showing where tornadoes hit on April 16



River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

A message to Congress: Take your money and shove it


[ 30/04/2011 - 04:45 PM ]

After four grim years of mutual recriminations, cold war and deep mistrust, the two main Palestinian political camps, the nationalist Fatah and Islamic Hamas, reached an auspicious agreement to end their differences.

The four-year rift exhausted the Palestinian people, seriously weakened the traditionally-strong fabric of the Palestinian society, and nearly caused an irreversible implosion within the Palestinian community at home and in the Diaspora.

And, above all, it made the prospects of peace in the region as remote as ever if only because a divided nation can't get its acts together, especially when an increasingly fascist Israel, which always searches for pretexts and red herrings in order to evade and circumvent peace, sought to utilize the inter-Palestinian front to evade real peace and keep up building peace-killing settlements for fanatical Jews.

Needless to say, many if not most of these so-called settlers, are taught a morbid, venomous ideology which inculcates in them a certain belief that the whole universe was created solely for them and that non-Jews were created by the Almighty solely to serve Jews.

Interestingly, both Israel and its allies, including Israel's obedient dog, which is US Congress, have rather vehemently and opportunistically, even obscenely manipulated the Palestinian rift to throw the proverbial propaganda ball into the Palestinian and Arab courts. Hence, one would be affronted when hearing ostensibly respectable US senators and congressmen remark gloatingly, saying "Let the Palestinians first have peace amongst themselves; peace with Israel will only come when the Palestinians learn to live in peace with themselves."

Similarly, opportunistic Israel raved and ranted on every conceivable occasion, claiming that the Palestinian division, not Israel's "lebensraum" policy in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, was impeding peace since the Palestinians didn't have a unified leadership.

Now, after painstakingly achieving the long-awaited reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, Israel is fretting, like a woman who has just received a bad divorce deal in court, threatening the Palestinians with doom and reprisals, as if the Palestinians were supposed to perpetuate their internal difference for ever and ever for the sake of despicable Zionist thugs, many of whom originated in Eastern Europe and Russia and who brought with them a genocidal ideology along with every form of racism, fascism and jingoism to the Holy land.

And, unsurprisingly, Congress didn’t lag behind. Indeed, no sooner than Hamas and Fatah representatives had announced their rapprochement in Cairo on Thursday, 28 April, than several Congressional figures warned that the US would stop financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Well, if American aid to the Palestinians is meant to help them help themselves (the US, the Palestinian's ultimate tormentor and Israel's guardian-ally, enabler, guarantor, and sustainer of Israeli insolence and territorial aggrandizement), then this aid is welcomed and appreciated and all of us Palestinians will have a standing ovation in America's honor and solemnly say "thanks America for your most altruistic help."

However, if this aid is meant as bribe money to encourage or entice Palestinians or certain Palestinian elements to sell off their people inalienable national rights, then, we are sorry; we can't accept your money.

More to the point, if Congress insists that aid to the PA or to a prospective Palestinian national unity entity hedges on the resumption of inter-Palestinian strife, which I am sure would instill in Israel and her allies a lot of mirth, glee and gloat, then we have no alternatives but to look our American interlocutors in the eye and say, "Sorry friends! Take your money and shove it."

There is no doubt that Israel has been taken by surprise by the reconciliation pact in Cairo, an auspicious feat that complements the great historic changes now taking place in the Arab region.

Avigdor Lieberman, who combines Stalin's ruthlessness and Hitler's nefariousness, along with characteristic Zionist depravity, was quoted as saying that Israel was preparing "an arsenal of reprisals against the Palestinians."

The more public relations savvy Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu reiterated old stands that Israel wouldn't resume peace talks with a Hamas-Fatah government due to the participation of Hamas, as if the good tidings of peace were hovering over the Middle East prior to the reconciliation agreement.

Netanyahu, a real thug, with a neck tie and an amazing ability to fornicate with language to change and distort the truth, once again invoked the terror issue, ignoring the clarion and cardinal fact that Nazi-like Israel is the ultimate expression, embodiment of terror in our time.

Netanyahu invoked the fact that Hamas didn't recognize Israel. Well, does Israel recognize Palestine? Does amorphous Israel have fixed borders? Hamas will never ever recognize such a state, which was born in terror and genocide and mendacity.

Likewise, Congress along with happy-go-lucky Hillary Clinton is re-invoking the so-called Quartet conditions for talking to Hamas. These anachronistic "Nay-set" includes, abandoning armed resistance, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous agreements between the PA and Israel.

Well, these impossible blackmailing conditions are illogical and preposterous to say the least.

First, Hamas has been serious and sincere about observing the tahdia or calm in the Gaza Strip, often in the face of Israel's murderous provocations. However, rather than meeting appreciation and praise from Washington as well as hard opposition from some other Palestinian factions, Hamas only received malice and vilification from the U.S., which only underscores America's pornographic subservience to Israel and her wantonly hegemonistic Jewish lobby.

As to negotiations with Israel, it is well known that Hamas, which is not part of the PLO, never took part in these futile negotiations. Hence, the resumption of whatever negotiations wouldn’t hedge on Hamas' approval.

Finally, asking Hamas to accept previous agreements between Israel and the PLO is really ridiculous since nearly all these agreements, including the scandalous Oslo Accords, are essentially vague so much so that even Israel and the PLO themselves don't agree on a common understanding of these agreements.

An advice to the PA

Finally, an advice to the PLO and its leadership: Don't be obsequious or complacent vis-à-vis Israel or any of its obedient dogs. These people have no iota of morality or honesty, let alone justice in their moral set of ideals. They are willing to blackmail us to the last drop of our blood. They would embark on the unthinkable to keep us in a state of enslavement to Zionism.

Hence, you should be able to seriously threaten the Zionist regime to dismantle the whole autonomous regime once and for all; in addition, of course, to terminating irreversibly any vestige of "security coordination" a revolting and repulsive factor in inter-Palestinian discordance.

Don't display weakness or cowardice or indecisiveness. Our destiny as a people is not to be perennially enslaved by those racist thugs from Eastern Europe who want to build their glory at our expense.

K. Amayreh is an American-educated journalist living in occupied Palestine. His email address is: amayreh@p-ol.com
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

JEWS/USA: EXCERPTS : Hang ‘Em High!

  TheNackedtruthinaconfusedworld.blogspot.com

 

They are not the Americans, and “we” are not the rest of the planet. “They” are a small sliver of the American population, the get-rich-quick crowd from the East Side of Manhattan and similar places.

Excerpts from the article By Israel Shamir 
September 25, 2008

Seven years after 9/11, we witness another, greater and even more enjoyable collapse, that of the American financial pyramid. It took some twenty years in building; its collapse took only a few weeks. Let us cut the hypocritical crap: this was a wonderful show, no ifs, ands or buts. The US stock markets boomed when they bombed Baghdad and Belgrade, they prospered when they robbed Moscow and squeezed sweat from Beijing. When they had it good, they had plenty of money for invading Iraq, threatening Iran and strangling Palestine. In short, when it was good for them, it was bad for us. Let them have a taste of their own medicine!
They are not the Americans, and “we” are not the rest of the planet.

They” are a small sliver of the American population, the get-rich-quick crowd from the East Side of Manhattan and similar places. The last twenty years witnessed a great shift of money upwards, to a smaller and smaller pack of greedy beasts. While the majority of Americans lost the ability to send their children to universities, these fat cats bought themselves villas in Florida and houses in Tel Aviv. Worse, they spent their billions buying up the media in order to subvert American democracy and send American soldiers to fight wars in far-away places. A big part of the stolen money was siphoned off to Israel, where apartment prices went through the roof and are still rising.

They had it good; they were proud that the financial charts of the US and of the world were drawn up in a small room by Henry Paulson of the Treasury, Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve, by Maurice Greenberg of A.I.G. They built their world surrounded by Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Marc Rich, Michael Milken, Andrew Fastow, George Soros, et al. Their exciting new world of Lexus and Nexus was glorified by Tom Friedman of the New York Times. They gave the Nobel Prize in Economics to Myron Scholes and Robert C

Merton, proud board directors of the now infamous Long Term Capital Management hedge fund that was bailed out by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to the tune of $3.6 billion. President Bush rewarded them for their unaccountability by releasing them from the burden of taxation. Let them pay now for all the fun they had.

They took your real dollars and turned it into funny money — “unredeemable, non-interest-bearing promissory notes of the Fed, that are not backed by anything other than the confidence of the credulous”, in the words of one Internet wit. The ruination of the American working class and even its middle class is unavoidable. The fears about the Large Hadron Collider creating a big black hole in place of Earth were based on this sinking feeling that the incredible riches of the US are disappearing into their own black hole.

This is not the first confidence trick in US history: Jay Gould and Joseph Seligman caused the ‘Black Friday’ stock market crash in the late 19th century, while Jacob Schiff caused the notorious ‘Black Thursday’ panic that led to a nationwide economic depression. Seligman was also the mover behind the Panama affair, a stock market swindle that became proverbial in France. The swindle was set up by two Jews of German origin, Jacques Reinach and Cornelius Herz who bribed parliamentarians. 

While Reinach was working on the right wing, the ‘Republicans’ of his day, Herz was working on the ‘Democrats’. Wikipedia quotes Hannah Arendt, who wrote that the middlemen between the business sector and the state were almost exclusively Jews. This warm embrace between the state and the business sector was a recipe for disaster.

Obviously things have changed since then, and now the Mammonites are of various persuasions, even of Christian Science, like Hank Paulson, whose net worth is estimated at $700 million and whose career at Goldman Sachs (Chairman 1998-2006) made him the obvious choice for the position of secretary of the treasury. Only their devotion to the god of Greed remained constant. In the world of ideal capitalism (“market economy”) they so glorified, they would have paid a price. In Glen David Gold’s vastly entertaining novel Carter Beats the Devil, their spiritual ancestor was tarred and feathered by strong-willed Connecticut folk circa 1670, for he had bought a whole boatload of imported products with the criminal intent of getting rich quick by cornering the market and ripping off his fellow men. Nowadays such a criminal would get a medal from the neo-liberal Milton Friedman Fund, a citation from JINSA and be taught as a positive example by the Harvard Business School.

Now they intend to use their control over the government in order to shift their losses onto ordinary Americans. Whether this act is called ‘nationalisation’ or ‘privatisation’ or ‘bailout’, the bottom line is that many Americans will find themselves poor, and all Americans will have a huge tax burden to bear. But the perpetrators of the pyramid will get off scot-free; they will retire to their castles and to their sure and protected investments as they have always done before.

The Americans were played for suckers; they were cleaned out as easily as were the unsophisticated Albanians a few years ago. Even worse: the Albanians took out their guns and pursued the robbers; the Americans take it all lying down. But the device was the same.

The Americans are entitled to know who robbed them and their children: these are the men who became so ostentatiously rich during last two decades. They should pay the price of their crime. And if the government, the President, the Congress and Senate, the Democrats and the Republicans are reluctant to enforce it, the ordinary Americans may do as their Connecticut Yankee ancestors did: apply tar and feathers liberally. If this does not help, hang the bastards on the lamp posts.

If we assume that more than half of all billionaires are proud members of the Israel Lobby, it will also solve the Middle Eastern problem. To be on the safe side, confiscate all the assets of the Pyramid-builders: of Paulson and Bernanke, of Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs executives, and of President Bush who allowed it all to happen. Peace will come to Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq; Americans will again become proud of their country. Such mass confiscation will restore democracy in the US: the next candidates for the Presidency will not go hat in hand to AIPAC to declare their fealty. The defeat of Greed will turn people back to God; the eliminated ballast will allow for national medical care, social security and free education for all. Instead of being a disaster, the financial collapse offers a unique opportunity to fix all America’s ills. Do not miss it!

Speaking for the wide world outside America, I’ll tell you this: do not throw good money after bad. Reject the seductive purring from Washington. Consider your funds in the US already lost. If you can still get something, good; but do not waste money and efforts to regain what is gone. There is a most valuable asset you may get for the lost ones; that is your freedom and independence. An undermined dollar means your economy will be safe. 

The Pyramid collapse will set you free!

_________________________ 

Israel Shamir is a critically acclaimed and respected Russian Israeli writer. He has written extensively and translated Joyce and Homer into Russian. He lives in Jaffa, is a Christian, and an outspoken critic of Israel and Zionism





Wake up USA!

'Even Human Rights groups are more cautious on Syria...'

Via FLC

"... Human-rights groups are even more cautious. “If Obama were to call for Assad to go, I don’t think it would change things on the ground in any way, shape, or form,” said Joseph Stork, deputy director of the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch, which had been supportive of military action in Libya. In this case, he said, targeted sanctions, he said, were the right move....  The administration did not sanction President Assad, saying it focused on those directly responsible for human-rights abuses. A senior official said the United States would not hesitate to add him to the list if the violence did not stop. But the White House seemed to be calculating that it could still prevail on him to show restraint.
“Our goal is to end the violence and create an opening for the Syrian people’s legitimate aspirations,,” said a spokesman for the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor. .... ..... .....  for the Obama administration, abandoning Mr. Assad has costs. For two years, it cultivated him in the hope that Syria would break the logjam in the Middle East peace process ... ... .... Israel’s sensitivity about Syria is so acute that when reports began circulating this week that Israeli officials were pressing the White House to be less tough on Damascus, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael B. Oren, called reporters to insist that his government was doing nothing of the sort. ... ... “The regime coming down in a speedy, orderly transition to a Sunni government would be a setback for Iran, but that’s not what’s happening,” said Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “We’re headed for something much messier. The Iranians can play around in that.”

Zuckerman Rag prints bald-faced lies on US flotilla to Gaza

Via MCS

- 01. May, 2011

THE NY DAILY NEWS PUTS THE LIES IN EDITORIALIZE



NOTE: The following piece was co-written by Nima Shirazi and Alex Kane and was originally published on Mondoweiss under the headline: “Zuckerman rag prints bald-faced lies on upcoming flotilla to Gaza.”
Nima has added some more of his own observations on the New York Daily News editorial below.
***
MORT ZUCKERMAN NY DAILY NEWS

by Alex Kane* and Nima Shirazi**

It comes as no surprise that a newspaper owned by Mort Zuckerman, an ardent Zionist, would be anti-Palestinian and that it would strongly oppose efforts to break the Israeli naval blockade by sending a flotilla of ships to Gaza. But a recent editorial printed by the Zuckerman-owned New York Daily News is a particularly egregious example of U.S. media’s aversion to the facts on Israel/Palestine. The bald-faced lies–which follow recent Israeli pronouncements about the “terrorists” organizing the upcoming international flotilla to break the Israeli blockade–printed would be laughable only if it wasn’t going to be read by thousands of people.

The editorial states:
Sponsors of the flotilla are happily playing with fire, as they did a year ago in sailing into the blockade under the guise of delivering medicines and the like to Gaza. In fact, some of those ships carried suicidal fighters instead of useful goods. Nine of the brigands died when Israeli commandos were forced to board and came under assault.
NEW YORKERS TAKE TO THE STREETS
IN A GAZA FLOTILLA DEMO!
To claim that those aboard the Mavi Marmara were the aggressors is to completely invert reality. The attack was conducted in international waters after Israel cut off all communications from the ships and surrounded the flotilla with over 20 naval vessels and warships, along with multiple helicopters. In addition to the 45 highly-trained and heavily-armed commandos who rappelled onto the largest ship, the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, murdering 9 civilians and wounding about 60 more, about 650 other Israeli troops, including surveillance and support troops alongside those who actually boarded the ships, took part in the illegal assault on the flotilla.
And then there’s these howlers:
No one of any credibility disputes that Israel’s blockade is legal under international law. In coordination with Egypt, Israel barred sea-going shipments into Gaza in 2009 after years of Palestinian mortar and rocket attacks on Jewish soil.


As a board of inquiry put it:


“Israel imposed the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip for military-security reasons, which mainly concerned the need to prevent weapons, terrorists and money” from entering.


The UN has recognized the blockade’s legitimacy under international law. Now, it must prevent this perilous propaganda ploy.
First of all, the naval blockade has been in place since 2007, along with the land and air blockade–not 2009 as the editorial claims. The “board of inquiry” the Daily News refers to is the Turkel Commission, the name for the Israeli investigation into the flotilla events–hardly a neutral source of facts about the blockade of Gaza.
And finally, it appears that Zuckerman’s newspaper likes to make up facts. The UN has not “recognized the blockade’s legitimacy under international law.” In fact, various UN reports have labeled the blockade illegal. The UN fact-finding mission on the 2008-09 Gaza conflict, known as the Goldstone report, stated that the blockade was a form of collective punishment and that it was therefore in “violation of the provisions of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” The UN report on the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara also clearly states that the blockade is illegal. In 2009, the Associated Press reported that “U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay has accused Israel of violating the rules of war with its blockade stopping people and goods from moving in and out of the Gaza Strip.”
*****
*Alex Kane, a freelance journalist based in New York City, blogs on Israel/Palestine and Islamophobia in the United States at alexbkane.wordpress.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

VISIT US TO GAZA BOAT
***** ***** *****
UPDATE:
Clearly, the editors who wrote this piece of garbage know nothing of the actual goals of the flotilla organizers. For instance, the Free Gaza movement, which has sent numerous boats to Gaza in the past few years, states on their website that their intention is “to break Israel’s illegal stranglehold on1.5 million Palestinian civilians.” Furthermore, they continue that, along with their “coalition partners, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza; IHH — the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief; the International Committee to End the Siege on Gaza; Ship to Gaza Sweden and Ship to Gaza Greece,” they seek to defy “Israel’s criminal closure of the Gaza Strip” and “sail as an expression of citizen nonviolent, direct action, confronting Israel’s ongoing abuses of Palestinian human and political rights.”
Free Gaza’s mission statement reveals, contrary to what the Daily News ignorantly claims, the actual goals set forth by the movement. Here is what they state:
We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine’s right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.


We have not and will not ask for Israel’s permission. It is our intent to overcome this brutal siege through civil resistance and non-violent direct action, and establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world.

Doesn’t sound much like their “only goal is to deliver humanitarian supplies.”
Likewise, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, which “advocates the fundamental right of the Palestinian people in Gaza to live in peace and dignity without being subjected to any form of collective punishment such as the cutting of supplies of food, fuel and medicine or their denial of free access to travel outside Gaza Strip,” declares its own goals this way:
[The ECESG] urges the participation of politicians and non-politicians alike to honor their duty to stop the suffering of one and a half million people trapped in Gaza under the most inhumane conditions. Supported by international and humanitarian law, the ECESG encourages all peoples of conscience and human rights advocates to intensify their efforts to highlight this life-threatening issue and end the catastrophe.
The U.S. Boat to Gaza describes the upcoming flotilla as an “international effort to break the blockade of Gaza and to end the occupation of Palestine.” Additionally, as an American delegation, the US Boat believes that “from the deck of The Audacity of Hope, we will be in a powerful and unique position to challenge U.S. foreign policy and affirm the universal obligation to uphold international law and human rights.”
In their mission statement, the U.S. Boat organizers declare that they “are taking action to help break the blockade which is suffocating the lives of the people of Gaza and denying them their liberty” and are joining “others from across the world to support an end to the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.”
All flotilla organizers stress, as the U.S. Boat does, that “we agree to adhere to the principles of nonviolence and nonviolent resistance in word and deed at all times.” Naturally, the editors of the Daily News are uninterested in these inconvenient facts, labeling the flotilla vessels “warships in disguise” and describe flotilla organizers as “terrorists…disguised as humanitarians.” Without providing any evidence, the article presents as fact the outrageous suggestion that the “ships carried suicidal fighters instead of useful goods.” Not only is the assertion that Hamas and al Qaeda operatives were aboard the flotilla ships untrue, it has been repeatedly proven false by journalists such as Max Blumenthal.
While the editorial describes the flotilla organizers as “Islamic extremists” seeking to smuggle weapons “under the guise of delivering medicines and the like to Gaza,” such allegations are absurd. The “brigands” it refers to are the nine unarmed Turkish citizens (including one Turkish American) who were executed by Israeli soldiers in international waters.
The writers also state, without hyperbole, that the nine activists “died when Israeli commandos were forced to board and came under assault.” DiedForced to board? Came under assault? The nine passengers killed during the Israeli assault didn’t just “die,” they were shot to death by Israeli troops who illegally boarded their ship. To claim that the Israeli commandos “came under assault” is to outrageously invert the roles of aggressors and victims.
Last year, an UN report on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla massacre found, not only that the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza is illegal under international law and constitutes collective punishment (which is a war crime), but also:
“The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence. It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.”
The report also found “clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: willful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health,” and stated that Israel had seriously violated its obligations under the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including the “right to life…torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…right to liberty and security of the person and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention…right of detainees to be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person…[and] freedom of expression.”
Additionally, in July 2010, domestic Israeli policy and its occupation conduct had been found to violate these very same statutes (among others) by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Based on both “forensic and firearm evidence,” the fact-finding panel concluded that the killing of American citizen Furkan Dogan and that of five Turkish citizens by the Israeli troops on the Mavi Marmara “can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions.”
Furthermore, even propagandistic Zionists such as the New York Times‘s Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner has admitted that all 10,000 tons of aid goods aboard the Mavi Marmara was “unquestionably humanitarian in nature.” The aid included 6,000 tons of cement, more than 2,000 tons of iron, 100 prefabricated houses, 500 wheelchairs, crutches, medical equipment, wood and glass for building, electric generators, water purifiers, a mobile dental care facility, and food. The cargo had also been confirmed not to be transporting any weaponry by authorities before its departure.
Another aid ship, the MV Rachel Corrie which carried 550 tons of cement, 20 tons of paper for printing school books, 25 tons of school supplies, 12 tons of sports equipment and 150 tons of medical supplies, was also illegally seized by the Israeli Navy a few days after the Mavi Marmara massacre.
The need for medicine and health care supplies in Gaza is very real, despite what the editors of the Daily News may want their readers to believe. Since June 2007, “the number of Palestine refugees unable to access food and lacking the means to purchase even the most basic items, such as soap, school stationery and safe drinking water, has tripled” and over 80 UN and aid agencies agree that “the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed.” At the end of 2009, a UN report found that “insufficient food and medicine is reaching Gazans, producing a further deterioration of the mental and physical health of the entire civilian population since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against the territory,” and “blamed the blockade for continued breakdowns of the electricity and sanitation systems due to the Israeli refusal to let spare parts needed for repair get through the crossings.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has “called on Israel to end the blockade of Gaza,” stating, “In particular, the Government of Israel should allow unimpeded access to Gaza for humanitarian aid and the non-humanitarian goods needed for the reconstruction of properties and infrastructure.”
The United Nations – which the Daily News calls upon to stop the upcoming flotilla -reported in January 2010 that Gaza is in “socio-economic crisis” and is suffering from the “severe deterioration of the already precarious living conditions of the people in Gaza and have further eroded a weakened health system.” The UN’s World Health Organization warns specifically that the brutal Israeli blockade – a clear example of collective punishment, which is illegal under international law – and the 2008-2009 winter massacre of Gaza “have led to on-going deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health.” The report notes that “many specialized treatments, for example for complex heart surgery and certain types of cancer, are not available in Gaza and patients are therefore referred for treatment to hospitals outside Gaza” continuing that “many patients have had their applications for exit permits denied or delayed by the Israeli Authorities and have missed their appointments. Some have died while waiting for referral.”
The UN also points out that “there are often shortages” of drugs and disposables “on the ground mainly because of shortfalls in deliveries” and that “[d]elays of up to 2-3 months occur on the importation of certain types of medical equipment, such as x-ray machines and electronic devices. Clinical staff frequently lack the medical equipment they need. Medical devices are often broken, missing spare parts or out of date.”
Furthermore, the report notes that sixteen health workers were killed and twenty-five injured while on duty by Israeli strikes. Also, fifteen of Gaza’s twenty-seven hospitals, forty-five of its 110 Primary Health Care services, and twenty-nine of its 148 ambulances were either damaged or destroyed in the Israeli assault. None of these facilities have been able to be repaired in the past two years due to the fact that Israel refuses to allow building materials into Gaza.
In June 2010, the WHO said that medical equipment valued at $20 million, including “CT scanners, X-ray machines, fluoroscopes, infusion pumps, medical sterilization gases, laboratory equipment, UPS (uninterrupted power supply) batteries and spare parts for support systems such as elevators” and which were “urgently needed in Gaza had been piling up for a year waiting for clearance from Israel.”
The WHO also renewed its call “to allow for the unimpeded access into the Gaza Strip of life-saving medical supplies, including equipment and medicines, as well as more effective movement of people in and out of the territory for medical training and the repair of devices needed to deliver appropriate healthcare.” The statement continued:
“It is impossible to maintain a safe and effective health care system under the conditions of siege that have been in place now since June 2007,” Tony Laurance, the head of the WHO’s office for Gaza and the West Bank, said in the statement. “It is not enough to simply ensure supplies like drugs and consumables. Medical equipment and spare parts must be available and be properly maintained.”
By December 2010, the Ministry of Health in Gaza was warning that “137 types of medicine and 150 of essential medical supplies are out of stock in Gaza, among those supplies are drugs used to treat cancer and kidney patients” and that a mere “37% of required medical supplies reached the Strip this year so far.”
Thankfully, the Daily News didn’t burden its readers with these annoying facts.
The Daily News editors claim that “the true aim is to provoke a confrontation that serves as a rallying point in a drive to portray Israel as an amoral, oppressive force.” Anyone familiar with Israel history knows full well that no artificial provocation is required for Israel to be portrayed as “amoral” and “oppressive.” The actions of the Israeli government and military over the past six decades prove that such a depiction is accurate, if not woefully inadequate to describe the war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and institutionalized discrimination necessary to continue Zionist domination of Palestine.
It should also be pointed out that, when mentioning mortars and rockets shot from Gaza into Israel, the Daily News states that the Palestinians were attacking “Jewish soil.”Jewish soil? Describing the State of Israel, which was established after years of massive (and illegal) Jewish immigration and months of deliberate and violent ethnic cleansing to eliminate the majority of native Muslim and Christian inhabitants from the area, as “Jewish soil” is disgusting. What does the Daily News think about the 20% of the Israeli population who are Palestinian Arabs and whose ancestors have owned and lived on the land for centuries if not longer? Whose “soil” are they living on?
Lastly, the photograph accompanying the Daily News piece shows a young Palestinian boy stocking shelves in a Gaza grocery store. The obvious implication is that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that the 1.5 million Palestinians there are in no need of humanitarian aid, let alone human rights solidarity.
Naturally, this suggestion ignores the fact that, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 61% of Gazans are “food insecure,” of which “65% are children under 18 years;” the level of anemia in infants is as high as 65.5%, about 70% of Gazans live on less than $1 a day, 75% rely on food aid, and 60% have no daily access to water. It also sidesteps the fact that, as Rebecca Sargent of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network has noted, “Much of the population remains unemployed and thus have no money to buy supplies for themselves. U.N. Resolution 1860 calls for the unfettered access of aid and commercial goods to Gaza, although it would appear this call has been mostly ignored by the Israeli government’s blockade.”
The photo of the Gaza grocery store is clearly another piece of propaganda meant to signify to the reader, “hey, with stores like these, can we really believe that Gaza’s inhabitants are victims of deliberate deprivation, discrimination, and occupation?”
Apparently, according to Zuckerman’s Daily News editors, where there’s a market, there’s no suffering, right? To answer this question, one need only look at these pictures of the Warsaw Ghetto marketplace in the 1940?s:




I suppose, if we are to believe the Daily News editors, there was nothing too offensive going on there, I mean, just look at all those warm coats, high heels, and storefronts!


And hey, if these children were smuggling food into the Ghetto, I suppose they had a good reason. But if Palestinians do the same in Gaza, clearly it’s because they are all murderous anti-Semites.



While the Daily News ends its piece by urging the UN to prevent the upcoming flotilla from sailing to Gaza this June, it is clear that the “perilous propaganda ploy” it warns against is actually its own unadulterated hasbara.
*****
** Nima Shirazi is a political commentator from New York City.  His analysis of United States foreign policy and Middle East issues is published on his website www.wideasleepinamerica.com, and can also be found in numerous other online and print publications. Visit his website at: www.wideasleepinamerica.com. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima Contact him at wideasleepinamerica@gmail.com.

VISIT US TO GAZA BOAT
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Bahar warns Abbas against submission to US, Israeli threats to thwart unity - Haneyya: Government ready for unity deal

Bahar warns Abbas against submission to US, Israeli threats to thwart unity

[ 30/04/2011 - 03:44 PM ]
GAZA, (PIC)-- Deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Dr. Ahmed Bahar has called on Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah to ignore US-Israeli threats aimed at thwarting reconciliation with Hamas.

Israel and the Obama administration have threatened to discontinue aid to the PA if it follows through in a historic unity government deal with longtime rival Hamas that governs the Gaza Strip.

Bahar emphasized the need to counter the warnings through continued internal unification.

Israel and the United States administration wish to perpetuate the Palestinian split for ”black agendas and malicious objectives”, Bahar said.

He called on Arabs to give political and moral support for Palestinian unity and to cover the material needs of the Palestinians in order thwart the Israeli-US strategy aimed at hampering reconciliation efforts.

Separately, during the same press statement issued Saturday, Bahar highly commended Egypt's decision to permanently open the Rafah border crossing to the Gaza Strip within the next few days.

He stressed that the decision is a genuine contribution and practical step in breaking the siege on the Gaza Strip.

Egypt's new policy has reflected in its best on the Palestinian cause through the hosting of internal reconciliation, Bahar said. Now it plays a natural, avant-garde role by easing the suffering of the Gazan people by opening the Fatah crossing.

Egypt has made a strong comeback to once again lead the Arab world and crystalize a new stage in pride and dignity, far from dependence and submission to Israeli and western positions which drowned the former regime, Bahar went on to say.

Haneyya: Government ready for unity deal

[ 30/04/2011 - 10:30 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Prime Minister of the Palestinian government in Gaza, Ismail Haneyya, has confirmed his government is willing to give dues based on the national reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas.
”[The government] has overcome obstacles and encouraged and opened the door widely before this national moment on more than one level,” Haneyya said after meeting Friday night with the Hamas delegation that took part in talks in Cairo on Wednesday.
Haneyya pointed out that understandings were reached on pending issues, opening the door for the signing of the reconciliation agreement.
The premier congratulated the Palestinians over the unity deal and expressed gratitude to Egypt which brokered the talks.
”[Egypt] served at this stage as a basic lever to create desired penetration, which came as a culmination of Palestinian and Arab efforts exerted in that regard,” he said.
He added that the deal reflected the strategy of the government in Gaza and Hamas which manifested itself in many stations over the years of dispute.
He said he believed in the paramount importance of national unity especially at this stage in order to preserve and defend Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause.
Haneyya said he is aware that the deal does not please enemy forces and that they will try to place obstacles in front of it, requiring concerted efforts to counter attempts to curb the people's will for national unity and harmony.
The prime minister expressed hope that the rest of the Palestinian factions would co-sign the deal and that a national consensus would be achieved.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian