Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Apartheid Bread and Circus Show in Washington

By Richard Edmondson

Times are tough in America, for sure—but never too tough for a bread-and-circus spectacle such as that set to get underway Sunday in Washington. I’m talking about the AIPAC Policy Conference, of course. If the the Lobby’s website is anything to go by, this year’s conference promises to be one of the biggest ever, with more than 10,000 delegates from all 50 states in attendance, and of course it should make a nice diversion for millions of out of work Americans as they watch the evening news while eating their macaroni and cheese dinners, their elected officials, one by one, coming forward, groveling and pledging their undying devotion to Israel.

As we see from AIPAC’s list of scheduled speakers, the lineup will include a speech from this somewhat dubious character:

Meet Steny Hoyer, congressman from Maryland. Aside from having the facial features of a bordello keeper par excellence, Steny, surprise surprise, is an avid supporter of Israel, who last year, along with numerous other members of Congress, signed a letter calling for an end to public criticism of the Zionist state. Sounds like a real champion of free speech, doesn’t he? The letter was circulated after a brief spat between the Obama administration and Benjamin Netanyahu over Israel’s ongoing policy of settlement building on Palestinian land, and included the following line: “Our view is that such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence.” Among Steny’s other stellar accomplishments on behalf of his Maryland constituents is support for granting immunity to telecom companies who participated in the Bush era’s warrantless surveillance program against millions of unsuspecting Americans.

Also taking the podium will be this somewhat muculent little creature who oozed out of the political mud in the state of Virginia:

Eric Cantor has been a congressman from Virginia’s seventh district since 2001. The year after taking office, he voted in favor of the Iraq war, and more recently has called for “crippling sanctions” on Iran—a nation he views as “the world’s most notorious state sponsor of terrorism.” As for domestic issues, Cantor voted in favor of bailing out banks (the so-called Troubled Asset Relief Program), this occurring immediately after he had opposed an increase in the minimum wage the previous year. Money for the rich, but not for the poor, as it were. (Sigh.) Neither does he seem kindly disposed toward the idea of American workers having union representation. The AFL-CIO has given Cantor a 0% approval rating. Ah! But this Jewish Republican, who became House Majority Leader in January, does love Israel with a glowing passion! Last year, shortly after the midterm elections, Cantor assured a visiting Netanyahu that he and his fellow Republicans in Congress would “serve as a check” on the Obama administration in the event of any possible disagreements with the Zionist state. Cantor was in effect stating that should policy disputes break out, he, Cantor, would side with Israel against his own government.

And of course the AIPAC crowd anticipates its due homage from this lovably surprising chap:

In 2008, Obama managed to convince large numbers of antiwar leftists to vote for him in the belief he would end the wars and bring the troops home. Well, of course, we now know that didn’t happen. He also didn’t keep his promises to close Guantanamo or to fight for a “public option” in his health care initiative, but then spinelessness, waffling, and disingenuousness have long been traits of Democrats. Indeed. On the key issue of the Palestine-Israel conflict, the president’s record has been one of vacillation and docility in the face of Zionist pressure. In the first year of his administration, Obama called for a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, while his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, even went so far as to declare the settlements “illegitimate.” But then both incurred the disfavor of the pro-Israel crowd and immediately retreated from their positions—and earlier this year Obama ordered his U.N. ambassador to veto a resolution condemning the settlements as illegal. Oh yes, and last Thursday, in his “major speech” on the Middle East, our flint-eyed, steel-jawed leader expressed the view that it might be perhaps sorta kinda nice if Israel would withdraw to its pre-1967 borders. Well, well! you might say—and certainly we could theorize, given the political capital he has accrued from the “bin Laden assassination,” that this time around Obama might—yes he just might—conceivably throw caution to the wind and stand his ground! Oooo! Wouldn’t that be something! I don’t look for it to happen, however. When AIPAC flexes its muscles in response to this cheeky affront, as inevitably it must, Obama, I fear sadly, will revert to his true character: a simpering, limp-wristed Israeli puppet. Moreover his “major speech” last Thrusday, as also Hillary’s swollen and fustian introduction, contained impolite eruptions of the sort of flatulent hypocrisy the world has come to expect from America in the era of Zionist domination of Washington.

Other speakers at the Israel Apartheid Fest will include House Majority Leader John Boehner, who wants to cut programs that benefit the poor (what few such programs there are left that is, and there aren’t many) uh, but not of course war spending; Jim Woolsey, a former director of the CIA who within hours of the 911 events appeared on national TV suggesting that Iraq and Saddam Hussein were behind the attack; Dan Senor, of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former chief spokesperson for the “Coalition Provisional Authority” in occupied Iraq; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; plus two other U.S. senators, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania and John Thune of South Dakota, among others. And of course, last but not least, in the role of godfather-consigliere, his ring most certainly to be kissed, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel.

In a recent post I speculated on the possibility that apartheid and political repression might become Israel’s chief exports to the world. Apartheid of course comes from the Dutch word, apart, or “separate,” and is a system under which separate laws are applied to different groups of people based upon their race, caste, or the like. Consider the case of Javed Iqbal and you begin to see signs that the United States has already begun to move in that direction. In 2006 Iqbal, a Pakistani immigrant who operated a business as a satellite TV provider in Staten Island, New York, was arrested and charged with providing material support for terrorism. His crime? Including broadcasts of Al Manar, a television station operated by Hezbollah, among the channels he offered his customers (along with various and sundry other channels, including Christian evangelists).

“Are you aware of Al Manar’s relationship to Hezbollah?” Iqbal was asked by his Jewish judge, Richard Berman. The defendant replied in the affirmative, whereupon Berman informed him he could be facing 15 years in prison. The punishment ended up being not quite that harsh, however. Under a plea bargaining agreement reached with his Jewish prosecutor, Lev L. Dassin, of the Southern District of New York, Iqbal entered a guilty plea in return for a lesser sentence of five and a half years. The sentence was formally handed down in April of 2009. Mr. Iqbal, who had immigrated to America some 20 years prior to his legal troubles, is presumably at this moment serving his time behind bars.

So how is it, we might ask, that in America, where we supposedly have “freedom of speech,” a man can go to prison for the “crime” of airing a TV channel? The railroading of Iqbal was sharply criticized by David D. Cole, a Georgetown University law professor, who likened it to a McCarthy-era witch hunt. “Mr. Iqbal is being penalized for doing nothing more than facilitating speech, and is being punished not because the speech itself is harmful, but because it is associated with Hezbollah,” he said. Others compared it to a hypothetical case of China trying to block CNN, or the government of Iran, say, banning the New York Times. But Berman rejected such arguments, claiming the case was about nothing more than a defendant who “ran afoul of legitimate laws designed to protect against terrorism.”

Now compare Iqbal’s case to that of Ben-ami Kadish, who was arrested in 2008 and charged with spying for Israel. Kadish, like Iqbal, pled guilty to the charges against him, but unlike Iqbal, this Zionist, who grew up in British mandate Palestine and fought with the Haganah , was not sentenced to prison; instead, he was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. You read that right. For actively working as a spy for a foreign nation, Kadish was fined rather than imprisoned.

After his immigration to the U.S., our Zionist spy, Mr. Kadish, secured employment at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center at Dover, New Jersey, where he held a job from 1963 to 1990. According to Wikipedia, it was during this time—specifically the years 1979-85—he served as an agent for Israel, taking documents from the military facility and handing them over to an Israeli hander, documents which included information about nuclear weapons, Patriot missiles, and a modified F-15 jet fighter. Kadish’s activities apparently became known to the government as early as 1985, but incredibly charges were not brought against him until 2008—something the judge in the case raised as a point of contention. “The offense is a grave one that implicates the national security of the United States,” said Judge William H. Pauley in a ruling on the case on May 29, 2009. “Why it took the government 23 years to charge Mr. Kadish is shrouded in mystery,” he added.

In handing down his light sentence, Pauley also cited Kadish’s advanced age (85 years old at the time), but made clear his opinion that “the government could have charged Mr. Kadish with far more serious crimes.”

What can we make of these two respective cases other than that they stand as a symptom, an indicator, of a sort of “creeping apartheid.” In America, a land founded upon justice and equality under the law, spying for Israel will now get you less of a sentence than airing a TV station. It is sad but true: in American jurisprudence, spying for Israel has essentially been reduced to a simple misdemeanor.

The gala Apartheid event in Washington will also include, we are told, a “Seudah Shlishit,” a “Mincha,” a “Maariv,” and a “Kiddush.” Not sure what these words mean? Below is a helpful guide.

Seudah Shlishit—a “third meal” customarily eaten by Jews on Saturdays, or Sabbath.

Kiddush—a blessing recited over a cup of wine or over bread on the Sabbath or on a festival

Mincha—an afternoon service—the second of three periods of daily prayer in Judaism.

Maariv—evening service

Those who belong to the vast, goyim underclass might want to start familiarizing themselves with terms such as these. In apartheid America, your life, or at any rate staying out of prison, may one day depend on it.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Iran Dismantles US-Spy Network, Arrests 30 People

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry has identified and dismantled a spy network affiliated to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and made 30 arrests, state television reported on Saturday.

The ministry said in a statement that the Islamic Republic also identified 42 CIA operatives in connection with the network. According to the statement, the network was set up by a considerable number of outstanding CIA operatives in several countries of the world.
"Due to the massive intelligence and counter-intelligence work by Iranian intelligence agents, a complex espionage and sabotage network linked to America's spy organization was uncovered and dismantled," the statement read out on the television said.
"Elite agents of the intelligence ministry in their confrontation with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) elements were able to arrest 30 America-linked spies through numerous intelligence and counter-intelligence operations," it added.
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Abdallah II Worried about Washington’s Call for his Departure

Local Editor
King of Jordan, Abdallah II, has complained against the policy adopted by the US administration towards the ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, upon the people of Egypt had called on him to step down, the Israeli Newspaper Maa’rif reported.

According to the Israeli daily, the king expressed his concerns in a meeting with Jewish organizations during his recent visit to Washington.

Abdallah has also strongly criticized the American policy, stating that the US- backed governments are fear of it now, due to the rude abandon of Mubarak and the calling upon him to resign.

Abdallah is fear of US Administration’s call for his departure. “If Syrian president Bashar al-Assad left his post, Israel wouldn’t shed a tear”, Ma’arif added.

However, there isn’t any clear Israeli policy with respect to the Syrian affair. US works currently on toppling the Assad regime. For this reason, the king’s fears are understandable, Maa’rif concluded.

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Turkey Warns Israel over Repeating Gaza Flotilla Tragedy

Turkey Saturday warned Israel against another act of bloodshed in international waters after activists announced plans to send a new aid flotilla to the blockaded Gaza Strip.

"It should be known that Turkey will give the necessary response to any repeated act of provocation by Israel on the high seas," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in an interview on NTV television.

"Those who believe Turkey should take certain steps to stop (the new flotilla) must first warn Israel not to repeat the human tragedy it caused last year," he said.

On May 31 last year, Israeli marines swarmed aboard the Turkish flagship of an international aid flotilla bound for Gaza, martyring nine Turks in international waters and plunging ties with Ankara into deep crisis.

The Istanbul-based charity which had spearheaded the mission said Friday that a new convoy of ships would sail to Gaza in the last week of June. Around 1,500 activists from more than 100 countries will take part in the convoy, organized by 22 civic groups, it said.

Asked whether Ankara had made any attempt to dissuade the group from the campaign, Davutoglu said: "We have never encouraged any convoy. We have shared our views about the safety of our citizens with all related parties. That was the case last year and it is not any different this time."

The minister insisted however that his government "cannot give instructions to civil society" and that Israel's "unlawful" blockade of Gaza lay at the core of the tensions. He urged the United States and the international community to back a recent reconciliation deal between the Palestinian resistance group Hamas and the secular Fatah faction of Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

"If the division of the Palestinian authorities is healed, the conditions that serve as Israel's justification for the blockade will be eradicated... and there will be no need for an aid convoy," he told NTV.
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Egyptian Intifada: Hidden Hands Stoke Sectarian Strife

FALSE FLAG?: Cairo's Church of the Virgin Mary in flames
CAIRO, May 19 (IPS) – Recent Muslim-Christian clashes have renewed fears of sectarian conflict in Egypt. But many local analysts – along with wide swathes of the public – believe sectarian tensions are being stoked by elements loyal to the ousted Hosni Mubarak regime in possible coordination with Israel. 

“Whoever is fanning the flames of sectarian conflict has two objectives: to distract attention from the ongoing prosecution of Mubarak and his henchmen, and to derail what’s being described as the Third Intifada,” journalist and political activist Mugahid Sherara told IPS.

The most recent confrontation was triggered on May 7, when rumours that a Coptic-Christian woman who had converted to Islam was being held against her will in a church in Cairo’s Imbaba district. After a number of Muslim residents gathered outside the church to investigate, shots were reportedly fired from a neighbouring building, killing several of them.

“The first shots, fired from an automatic weapon, originated from a building adjacent to the church,” recalled Sherara, who witnessed the events.

Hearing the gunfire, hundreds of local residents quickly arrived to the area. Clashes soon erupted between Christians and Muslims, which quickly escalated into an exchange of gunfire. Eyewitnesses from both sides, however, later said that unidentified gunmen had instigated the violence by firing randomly into the crowd.
By the time the army arrived some 90 minutes later, 15 lay dead, both Muslims and Christians, and more than 230 injured. Dozens were arrested.

During the clashes, meanwhile, another Coptic church – located some two kilometres away – was set on fire by gunmen. While there were no resultant deaths or injuries, the church was badly damaged by the blaze.
While the twin incidents were initially attributed to local Muslim-Christian rivalries, it later emerged that the violence had been largely instigated by outsiders.

“Initial investigations confirm that the events in Imbaba were planned and instigated by hired ruffians, not religious zealots,” Justice Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz al-Gindi announced on May 11. He went on to blame the incidents on an ongoing “counter-revolution aimed at destroying national unity.”

Egypt’s recent January 25 Revolution led to Mubarak’s February ouster after 30 years in power. Since then, the country’s affairs have been run by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

A May 11 report issued by the state-run National Council for Human Rights concluded that the church-burning incident had likewise been the work of “hired thugs who were not from the neighbourhood.”
Accounts by eyewitnesses appear to support this conclusion.

“The men who torched the church looked like professional thugs, not religious extremists. They weren’t from around here. It looked pre-planned,” one Coptic eyewitness, preferring anonymity, told IPS. The eyewitness added that frictions between the neighbourhood’s Muslims and Christians had been “previously unheard of.”
The May 11 edition of state daily Al-Missa quoted local Coptic clergymen who described the events as “a conspiracy.”

Nevertheless, hundreds of Coptic protestors have staged an open-ended sit-in in Cairo’s Maspero district since May 8 to protest perceived discrimination against Egypt’s Christian minority (estimated at roughly ten percent of the majority-Muslim country’s population of 85 million). On May 14, protesters clashed with armed thugs, leaving dozens injured from both sides.

It has not been the first time that apparent sectarian tensions have spilled out of control since Mubarak’s ouster.

In February, reports circulated that the army had opened fire on Coptic monks at a monastery in the Nile Delta, injuring several. Although the reports infuriated the Coptic community at the time, they later turned out to be false.
And in early March, the local press reported that several Christians had been killed after a church on the capital’s outskirts was torched by a Muslim mob. Although these reports, too, turned out to be wildly exaggerated, they nevertheless led to violent clashes in which 13 people – both Christians and Muslims – were killed.

Numerous local commentators blame the mounting sectarian tension on “remnants of the former regime,” which, they say, have a vested interest in derailing post-revolutionary Egypt’s transition to democracy. A number of commentators, including prominent political figures, have also alluded to a possible Israeli role in the recent sectarian flare-ups.

On March 15, Deputy Prime Minister Yehia al-Gamal, appointed by the ruling SCAF following Mubarak’s ouster, warned of a “counter-revolution directed by elements of the former regime and Israel, which… is currently working against Egypt’s interests.”

Mohamed Selim al-Awa, former secretary-general of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, speaking to Al Jazeera on May 10, alleged that “Israel is trying to thwart Egypt’s revolution by any means possible.” He went on to point to “elements of the former regime that will ally themselves with anyone to restore the status quo.”

On the following day, prominent political commentator Fahmi Howeidi asserted that “the possibility of Israeli involvement (in the ongoing sectarian strife) cannot be ruled out.” Israel, he wrote in independent daily Al-Shorouk, “was badly frustrated by the ouster of Mubarak, who Israel officials had publicly described as a ‘strategic treasure’.”

Notably, last November, former head of Israeli military-intelligence Amos Yadlin openly bragged about Israel’s success in “promoting sectarian tension” in Egypt. “We have succeeded in promoting sectarian and social tension there so as to create a permanent atmosphere of turmoil,” Yadlin was quoted as saying in the Hebrew- and Arabic-language press.

On Friday (May 13), hundreds of thousands of Egyptians amassed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to both appeal for national unity and express solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

“Egypt’s Christians and Muslims have always lived side-by-side in peace,” Mikhail Henna, a Coptic political activist who attended the rally, told IPS. “But there are still elements loyal to the former regime – along with external forces hostile to Egypt – trying to sow fitna [discord] in hopes of destabilising the country and derailing our revolution.”

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani
IPS: Hidden hands stoke sectarian strife
See also: Egyptians gear up for 3rd Intifada and Post-Mubarak ‘Counter-revolution’ sows chaos, fitna

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Did Obama’s big speech offer any hope for Palestine?

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Thu, 05/19/2011 - 14:59

The New York Times was quick to spin Obama’s speech in ‘historic’ terms
Obama Endorses 1967 Borders for Israel” as part of a “Broad Speech Rejecting Status Quo in the Middle East” – that was the instant spin on the front of The New York Times website within minutes of the president speaking.
But while President Barack Obama laid out in a little bit more detail a US “vision” of what “peace” would look like in his much anticipated speech on US policy in the Middle East and North Africa, there was precious little new.
Moreover, the speech affirmed that the United States will not take any effective action to advance its vision of a two-state solution.
The president covered broadly the uprisings in the Arab world and the American response to them, but I will look at the sections on Palestine – not necessarily in the order of delivery, but by theme.

The 1967 lines

What the president actually said was:
We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.
There is a world of difference between “the 1967 lines” and “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” It is sort of like the difference between “a true story” and a Hollywood movie “based on a true story.”
As the Palestine Papers showed, US-brokered negotiations for years were predicated on trying to reach such a result, and despite unprecedented Palestinian concessions agreeing to allow Israel to annex most of its settlements, no agreement could be reached.
Although it is true that the Obama administration previously adamantly refused to mention the term “1967 lines,” its doing so now is couched in such a vague formula that it does not contradict President George W. Bush’s April 2004 pledge on behalf of the United States to support Israel’s annexation of its West Bank settlements.
Moreover, as Palestinian Authority (PA) “chief negotiator” Saeb Erekat recently told The Electronic Intifada, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas remains fully committed to “land swaps” to allow Israel to keep its settlements even if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state “on the 1967 line.”
Shortly after Obama’s speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a grand-standing statement rejecting the 1967 borders as “indefensible.” He needn’t worry. There were enough loopholes in Obama’s speech to drive several large settlement blocs and perhaps even the entire Jordan Valley through.

Israel as a “Jewish state”

Obama has done it before, but once again he explicitly endorsed Israel’s demand to be recognized as a “Jewish state”:
a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
It is shocking that a president who constantly boasts that he is only in the White House because of the victories of the US Civil Rights movement against vile Jim Crow racism would endorse Israel’s demand to be allowed to discriminate against Palestinians. I explained in detail why Israel’s demand to be recognized as a “Jewish state” is totally incompatible with democratic principles and human rights in a 2009 article in The Nation:
If Israel has a “right to exist as a Jewish state,” then what can it legitimately do if Palestinians living under its control “violate” this right by having “too many” non-Jewish babies? Can Israel expel non-Jews, fine them, strip them of citizenship or limit the number of children they can have? It is impossible to think of a “remedy” that does not do outrageous violence to universal human rights principles.
And indeed, recognizing Israel’s “right” consigns not only Palestinian refugees to the trash heap, but Israel’s own 1.4 million Palestinian citizens whom leading Israeli politicians like Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni and foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman view as a fifth column and hope to expel or denationalize.
Obama made a nod to this kind of racism when he warned that “The fact is, a growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River.” This was a coded reference to what Israelis openly term the “demographic threat” to a Jewish majority posed by the reality that Palestinians are once again becoming the majority population throughout historic Palestine. This is due to natural growth of Palestinians, a lower Israeli Jewish birthrate and the dearth of Jews around the world who wish to settle in historic Palestine.
In my 2009 article, I explained in American terms why this is unacceptable and racist:
What if we apply Israel’s claim to the United States? Because of the rapid growth of the Latino population in the past decade, Texas and California no longer have white majorities. Could either state declare that it has “a right to exist as a white-majority state” and take steps to limit the rights of non-whites? Could the United States declare itself officially a Christian nation and force Jews, Muslims or Hindus to pledge allegiance to a flag that bears a cross? While such measures may appeal to a tiny number of extremists, they would be unthinkable to anyone upholding twenty-first-century constitutional principles.
Yet this is precisely the nightmare vision Obama is endorsing for Israel which has become increasingly bold in its passage of new laws discriminating against non-Jews, and is in the grip of state-funded rabbis calling for Jews to shun and boycott non-Jews and refuse to rent or sell homes to them.


The president said:
the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel: How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? And in the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question. Meanwhile, the United States, our Quartet partners, and the Arab states will need to continue every effort to get beyond the current impasse.
On its face this might appear to be a softening of Obama’s long-standing rejectionism of any dealings with Hamas in that he’s not calling for an immediate aid cut-off to the Palestinian Authority. He appears to be giving the Palestinians time. But it still looks certain that the ultimate US response will depend on whether Hamas submits – as Fatah has done – to Quartet conditions.

Always more sensitive to Israelis

If this was a speech intended to woo an Arab audience, then it is notable that Obama displayed the typical bias characteristic of American officials. He was very graphic and vivid about Israeli suffering and victimhood, while vague and evasive about the vastly greater terror Palestinians have experienced under Israeli rule. Reflecting on decades of conflict, Obama said:
For Israelis, it has meant living with the fear that their children could be blown up on a bus or by rockets fired at their homes, as well as the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them.
Aside from its visceral language, this formulation feeds the myth that hostility to Israel is primarily a result of Arabs being “taught to hate,” when in fact if Arabs do hate Israel it is a result of Israeli actions. Israel teaches Arabs to hate Israel. Contrast the president’s words on the other side:
For Palestinians, it has meant suffering the humiliation of occupation, and never living in a nation of their own.
That’s it? Toward the end of the speech, the president did mention “the Israeli father whose son was killed by Hamas” and “a Palestinian who lost three daughters to Israeli shells in Gaza” – but this was only to offer an example of a Palestinian who decided to let bygones be bygones despite Israel’s ongoing actions.
The president would never dream of actually supporting efforts to hold Israel accountable. Indeed, he vowed:
Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums.
Clearly the president cannot risk offering sympathy to Palestinians proportionate to their actual suffering. As he has learned before, this would risk offending the Israel lobby which demands that American politicians always portray Israel as the principal victim. Recall that during the 2008 campaign Obama once accidentally let slip that “Nobody is suffering more than Palestinians” but later “clarified” that he meant they were suffering at the hands of their own leaders, not Israel.

Obama vows to continue US inaction

Putting the merits of Obama’s “vision” aside, what will the president actually do to advance it? Before he laid out the details, Obama said:
Now, ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them – not by the United States; not by anybody else.
What this means in translation is that the United States will not put any pressure on Israel to change its behavior – such as forcing it to stop building settlements. But Obama will continue to support lop-sided “negotiations” between local superpower Israel and a Palestinian Authority that is actually dependent on Israel for its mere survival (as Israel’s recent withholding of PA tax funds shows). No peace, let alone a just one, can emerge from such “negotiations.”

Palestinians must sit on their hands

During his speech, the president also warned:
For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.
The reference to “delegitimization” appears to be a coded condemnation of the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a growing nonviolent campaign to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian human rights. That’s out.
The bid to get Palestine recognized as a state is a desperate effort by the PA to seek international support in the face of intransigent US bias toward Israel. That’s out too.
Next the president tells Palestinians to reject “terror.” Ok, fair enough. And indeed elsewhere in his speech Obama was fulsome in his praise for “nonviolence.”
But what happened when tens of thousands of Palestinians peacefully marched for their human rights, including their right to return to Palestine even if they are not Jewish, last Sunday on Nakba Day? Israel gunned down more than a dozen people and the White House endorsed its actions.
So as far as Obama is concerned Palestinians have no options but to turn to negotiations that have proven utterly fruitless as even he acknowledged.
Soon after Obama was elected in 2008, I predicted that his tenure – despite high expectations everywhere else – would not produce any progress toward the mythical “two-state solution.” I see no reason to change that assessment.
But I concluded then, as I do now, that “This does not however mean that the situation will remain static or that those pursuing a just peace have no recourse for action.”
Indeed as recent months have shown throughout the region, the fates of nations are in the hands of their own citizens, not those of the American president.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Obama’s latest deception

Posted on May 21, 2011 by rehmat1|

I believe Barack Obama in his much advertised speech on May 19. 2011 – has tried to pre-empt Benji Netanyahu’s coming address to the joint session of Congress. In his address, Obama told the Americans how he plans to hijack the current events in the Middle East and North Africa for the benefit of the West and Israel. Turkish President Abdullah Gul in New York Times Op-Ed wrote: “Whether these (Arab) uprisings lead to democracy and peace or to tyranny and conflict will depend on forging a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and a broader Israeli-Arab peace”.

Before, I respond to Obama’s latest deception – I would like to quote former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s remark at the International Conference on Global Alliance Against Terrorism for a Just Peace, in Tehran on May 15, 2011.

“Today, US policy is rooted in lies, injustice, and war. And at home, the people of the US suffer.  Racism is acute, despite and maybe because of President Obama; hatred is rampant with hatred of Muslims, incarceration of Palestinians, targeting of immigrants, the lynchings of Blacks, disappearances of Latinos, and the pauperization of the people. People inside the US are under attack in the realm of policy”.

Obama, once again, has refused to grow-up to the fact that the current protests against the western puppet-regimes in the Middle East and North Africa are the results of the rulers’ barbaric political, economic and social policies carried out under the dictation of their western colonial masters who have long been slaved by the local Jewish Lobby groups.

Obama’s speech is full of Zionist lies about Palestinian Resistance, Islamic Iran and the Arabs coined by Israeli Zionazi mafia, Jewish Lobby and the neocons (mostly Jewish) against Iraq during the Bushes era. Since Iraqi threat to Israel was eliminated in 1991 – they replaced the word ‘Iraq’ with Iran.
Now, let us enjoy some of the ‘jokes’ from Obama’s speech.

Bin Laden was no martyr.  He was a mass murderer who offered a message of hate – an insistence that Muslims had to take up arms against the West, and that violence against men, women and children was the only path to change,” Obama claimed. Yep. It was Osama who killed over two million Iraqi Muslims and Christians, not the US. It was Osama who occupied a foreign land and forced over five million of its native Muslims and Christians to live in exile, not the western Jewish settlers funded and protected by United states, France, Germany and England. Only the western-created terrorist groups have claimed him to be ‘martyr’ to demonize Islam and Muslims. Oh, Obama forgot to mention that Osama and his Al-Qaeda was created by Iran and not the US! And for ignorants like Obama – Holy Qur’an does command Muslims to fight against the occupation forces with all available means except western terrorism and carpet-bombing targeting civilian population.
There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years.  In America, think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat,” said Obama. How true. And the ordinary Arab citizen who are turning against their western-protected tyrant rulers are calling for the elimination of the Zionist regime and slamming the US for its blind support for Israel. Rosa Parks like the rest of American-majority including Obama himself was also affraid to say the truth in public as Helen Thomas did last year.
Obama said he has “heard the shouts (of protesters) of dignity from Cairo, Benghazi, Sanaa and Damascus” – but, naturally, he is not concerned with similar ”shouts of dignity” coming from Gaza, Bahrain and Pakistan. Why? Because both “Israel and Bahrain are longstanding partner, and we are committed to their security,” says Obama. “We recognize that Iran has tried to take advantage of the turmoil there, and that the Bahraini government has a legitimate interest in the rule of law,” said the Messiah.
The United States opposes the use of violence and repression against the people of the region.  (Applause.) ”. I doubt very much if any Iraqi, Afghan, Lebanese, Gazan, Iranian or Pakistani would be among those fools applauding Obama’s bigotary.

Let’s remember that the first peaceful protests in the region were in the streets of Tehran, where the government brutalized women and men, and threw innocent people into jail,” gloated Obama. I am sure Zionist poodle doesn’t believe that he presides over a country which has world’s highest jail-birds (over 6.3 million), Guantanamo Bay concentration camp and home to 100,000 children sexually exploited each year.

Before someone give ‘high-five’ to Barack Obama for his support for a Palestine state – he should know that Benji Netanyahu has already rejected Obama’s vision of a demilitarized Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. He should also keep in mind the fact that it’s not the politician at the Capitol Hill who rule America but the ones in Knesset.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

63 Years Later, Palestine From River To Sea

source: google images

63 years later, Palestine,

I see you waiting, with a tear that refuses to come down, waiting for the return of your child … waiting for the return of the son, the return of the daughter… waiting for the child who refused to remain inactive, refused to watch while your blood is being shed… waiting for the child who refused to remain occupied, refused to remain oppressed …

I see you waiting for your child… and when he/she does return, carried on the shoulders of the comrades, you watch your children celebrate another Palestinian wedding. I see you welcome the bride, I see you welcome the bridegroom. I see the pain in your eyes, I feel the pain in your heart. I see you hug your child to you… you kiss your child’s forehead, wipe away the blood stain and smile in your child’s face… for your child has come home.

63 years later, Palestine,

Lebanese Army-Maroun al-Ras
I see you waiting, in patience, waiting for the return of your child… waiting for the return of the son… the return of the daughter… waiting for the child who refused to remain inactive, refused to watch while you are held captive… waiting for the child who wanted to break the chains of captivity, touch your sacred soil, breath in freedom … I see your heart bleeding every time your child is tortured in the interrogation cells. I feel your heart aching every time your child is thrown into isolation cells. I hear you sing songs of love to your child, I hear you count the days till he/she free of the captivity … for no freedom without the freedom of all your children and no freedom without your freedom.

63 years later, Palestine,

I see you there, sitting on the hilltops of Jerusalem, Nablus, Hebron and Al-Jalil, watching us, waiting for us to rise, waiting for us to wipe away your tear, waiting for us to heal your wounds. I feel ashamed, for we are busy with everything else except defending you. I feel ashamed, for we are busy with everything else except freeing you from your usurper. I feel ashamed, for we are busy with everything else, everything… except you. We congratulate ourselves on the few protests carried out once a week and leave you to fend for yourself the rest of the week … we congratulate ourselves on the few actions carried out here and there every couple of months and go back to “life as usual” in between … we congratulate ourselves on the “donations” we send, on the charity functions we organize in your name and ignore that what your children steadfast on your soil need is one people everywhere united in action against occupation and oppression… we congratulate ourselves on lecturing your children steadfast on your soil on “resistance” and how to “deal with the occupation”, how to “co-exist” with the colonizers usurping your soil, and pretend that we, with our fancy passports and fancy life on Mars, know better how your children should think and act… we congratulate ourselves on the much talk we do, on how often we mention the words: Palestine, Right of Return, Jerusalem, Resistance … and ignore our state of inaction, our submission to the status quo, our apathy … we comfort ourselves that we are doing something, when we are doing so little, when we are doing nothing…

63 years later, Palestine,

I see your face wherever I go, wherever I look. I hear your voice calling us, asking us: when will we wake up again? When will we rise up again? I see your wounds, still bleeding from 63 years. I feel your pain, and it overwhelms me.

I cry and you comfort me, you remind me of your other children; you remind me of Ghassan, Taghreed, Nidal, Dalal, Mohammad and Ayat. I look at you and you show me Jrash, Deir Aban, Al-Majdal, Yafa and Bisan. I want to apologize and you shake your head and show me the graves of the martyrs, you show me the children of the martyrs, you show me the road paved by the martyrs. You remind me of the revolt of 1936, of the first Intifada, of the second Intifada and all the small revolts, all the tiny intifadas in between. You remind me of the time when Palestinians from River to the Sea, when Palestinians from Haifa, An-Naqb and Bisan, from Jenin, Hebron and Al-Jalil stood as one for Jerusalem, stood as one for you. You remind me of the time when resistance was the priority of every one of your children, when resistance was the means to ease your suffering, to free you from your usurpers. You show me the houses of your children, the hills and the valleys, the almond trees and the olive fields… you remind me of a people that never sleeps … a people that never gives up… a people that dreams of the return, of the villages from which they were expelled, of the homes that were demolished… a people steadfast despite all Zionist terror, despite collaborators, despite oppression, despite world apathy and indifference … a people that believes in justice, yearns for freedom and sings only for Palestine.

63 years later, Palestine,

I complain to you about those who sold us, sold our rights, sold you …
I complain to you about those who in the name of preserving their own interests, their own power and their own bank accounts, have signed the deeds for the sell-out of 80% of your sacred body, have signed your death warrant, have killed you another time and killed every martyred child of yours a second time.
I complain to you about those who claim to be your children, those who sold you… They sold you a thousand times over, Palestine, and still do …
They sell you in the name of “resistance”, when they declare that no resistance will be allowed except their “concept” of resistance, only their understanding of “resistance”, which is: talk about the occupation, swear to liberate your homeland from the occupier, but don’t translate words into action, don’t defy the occupier, don’t fight for your freedom, accept the occupation, accept the oppression and call it “liberation”.
They sell you in the name of “peace”, when they declare that the only way to confront the on-going zionist terror, the on-going colonization, ethnic cleansing, massacres, home demolitions, land theft, the only “logical” way to confront occupation and oppression and colonization is to “negotiate, negotiate and negotiate a little bit more”.
They sell you in the name of a “state”, when they sign away our rights, sign away our home deeds, give up 80% of our historical homeland, our haven, our paradise, exchange our ancestral homes and lands for Bantustans, for a double occupation, for prisons within prisons.

And then they sell you in the name of a “unity”;

They sell you in the name of “unity” to preserve an authority that serves the occupation, that divides the people… an authority that has no authority, that is not real, that does not exist beyond the “yes” and “no” of the occupier…

They sell you in the name of “unity” and say: the Palestinian people want a unity …
And the Palestinian people want a unity … but a different kind of unity …

  • The Palestinian people want a unity that places Palestine above all personal interests…
  • The Palestinian people want a unity that safeguards the Palestinian constants…
  • The Palestinian people want a unity that embodies their aspirations …
  • The Palestinian people want a unity that leads the way to liberation…
  • The Palestinian people want a unity; a unity that brings an end to collaboration, to concessions in the form of negotiations, to concessions in the name of “peace”, in the name of a tiny prison called “state”…

The Palestinian people want a unity that will unite the Palestinian people, in the homeland and in the Diaspora, unite them in one goal: total liberation.
The Palestinian people want a unity that will draw Palestine’s map; as it was, as it is and as it always will be: Palestine: one from the River to the Sea.

And 63 years later, Palestine,

I want to wipe away your tear, but you wipe away mine… I want to hug you, but you hug me… I want to comfort you, but you comfort me… I want to swear to you that we won’t rest until you are free from the zionist occupation and colonization, that the collaborators don’t represent us, that the opportunists don’t represent us and you tell me that injustice never lasts, that the colonists will have no peace on your soil, that collaborators and opportunists will pass away like the dust off a table, they will be forgotten, erased from history except as a warning and a reminder to all those who think of betraying their homeland and their people….

And you tell me that only your name and that of your loyal children will remain forever carved in the stones of Nablus and Acca, that only your name and that of your loyal children will be engraved on the stems of olive trees, that only your name and that of your loyal children will be sung by morning birds, whispered by almond trees, drawn in the sand of the beaches of Haifa, Yafa, Akka and Gaza, sung by the farmers as they replant the meadows of Bisan, sung by the workers as they rebuild every village and every house…. Palestine, it is your name that will forever be there… and the names of the colonizers, the occupiers and the collaborators will be forgotten, deleted, wiped out…. Because, Palestine, it is only with you complete and one, that we are complete and one; it is only with you Palestine that we are Palestinians, for you are us and we are Palestine.

And 63 years late, Palestine,

You show me the land and the people…. And you whisper: as long as the land runs in your veins, as long as your hearts whisper “the land” with every heart beat, as long as the people are one with the land, I will always be alive, I shall never be defeated, I shall never be conquered. And you point to the green hills in the distance, to the Mediterranean waves hugging the sunset, to the villages steadfast, to the ruins refusing to disappear and whisper: look at Palestine.

And I look at Palestine…..
I pass the old houses, beautiful stone houses darkened with years, standing steadfast, surrounded by alien houses, standing steadfast and refusing to leave. I see these Palestinian houses and I see your face. I see the hands that built these houses so many generations ago and I hear the laughter of those who live them and I feel the love they have for you. I see these houses, their stones darkened with age, clutching the almond and apple trees around them and standing tall on your soil. I hear them whisper to the wind and to the sun and the rain: we are here to stay, we are Palestinian.

I run down the hill tops, along the fields and the groves…. I collect poppies and give a silent prayer to the martyrs. I wander in the meadows and touch every sacred stone. I walk among the fields and take in the smell of the ripe fruits. I run with the sheep and the goats up and down the stony hills. I see your face in the almond flowers, in the butterflies that flutter around, in the green leaves of the grapevine… I hear your voice in the songs of the birds in the distance, in the songs of the villagers during the harvest, in the songs of the fishermen in the middle of the sea, in the songs of the workers, the teachers and the nurses… I see the land clad in red, green, white and black, celebrating a home that is steadfast, celebrating a people that are steadfast… I hear you say: the land is me and I am the land; love the land, protect the land, liberate the land.

I walk in the narrow alleys of the old city of Jerusalem, smell the spices coming from every direction, watch the wedding of colors as I walk from one alley to the other, I listen to the songs of love to a woman called Palestine, more beautiful than any, more noble than any. I pass the elderly chatting at the cafes and at the side roads, I smile and they smile back. I play with the children running along the narrow streets of your capital, your heart, Jerusalem.
I join the women at the balconies, watering the flower pots and singing of a woman who sits on a hilltop, waits for a hero, wearing a kuffiyeh and carrying a Palestinian flag, to come and liberate her from the usurpers.

I pick the olives with my mother, look at her beautiful face as it shines under the blue sky of Palestine… I feel her warmth and her love as she tells tales of her childhood, as she tells me of a life in a refugee camp, as she tells me of the life of refugees denied their heritage, their legacy, their home, their land….

I listen to my father tell me of children standing up to fully-armed soldiers, confronting fully-armed settlers come from afar to steal the land, to kill the land, and I see hope in his eyes and I see you Palestine, alive, forever….

I touch the soil near my grandmother’s grave, I place my hand on the stone and feel her warmth, I feel your warmth, your love, Palestine. I watch my grandfather plant an olive tree in the over-crowded refugee camp, I see him shed a tear over the thousands of trees he planted as a young man back home, I watch his eyes wander, and I feel his soul yearning to that place, to the paradise from which he was expelled… . I pass those working in the fields and planting olive trees, I pass those teaching the children about one Palestine from the river to the sea, I pass those rebuilding their demolished homes, I pass those confronting the occupier, the colonizer.

I pass those steadfast on their land despite 63 years of on-going terror. I see those who dream of their homes in Jrash, Zakariya, Deir Aban, Haifa and Bisan, those who refuse to be called anything but Palestinians. I see them … I see their steadfastness… I see those who cherish one atom of your soil than all the riches of the world….

I see those who prefer a tiny house in Um Il-Fahim to a villa in Il-Masyoon. I see those who refuse to give up the right to return to their homes, those who refuse to accept less than a Palestine from the River to the Sea, I see those who know the only way to be free is through resistance. I see those who love you, as you are, not as colonizers want you, not as occupiers want you, not as collaborators want you, not as imperialists want. I pass these people, my people, the Palestinians…

I look at the map and I see my homeland… I see the homeland we learned to draw as children, I see the homeland we carved into tree stems, we drew on our copybooks, we stitched into our kuffiyehs…. I see the homeland we carved in stone ….
I see the homeland we drew on the waves of the Mediterranean … I see the homeland we painted against the blue sky…. I see a homeland compete, not missing one inch…

And I see a people whose minds are directed towards only one place, whose hearts are beating for only one place…. I see a people marching in hundreds, in thousands, in millions towards one place….. I see Palestinians crossing the seas, crossing the skies, crossing the lands to reach you Palestine …. I see Palestinians breaking the borders, confronting the occupiers to be one with you Palestine… I see Palestine opening her heart and welcoming the millions…I see Palestine swimming in a sea of green, red, white and black…. I see Palestine free…

And 63 years, Palestine,

I see your children, their hearts beating only for you … after 63 years, their hearts only beating for you…. and I know, the countdown has begun and the march has started and you won’t have to wait much longer now, dear Palestine ….
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian



 May 21, 2011

BDS explained – DID YOU KNOW? updated 12May11 from Sonja Karkar on Vimeo.

This video is created by Australians for Palestine and Women for Palestine as an educational tool to help people gain a better understanding of the clear principles underpinning the Palestinian BDS call and the global Palestinian BDS movement.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian