Saturday, 28 May 2011

One for the Women

My mother, my first great blessing in life.
The weblog of Ken
This is one of those very unplanned articles born out of inspiration in Egypt.

I arrived in Egypt after being blocked by the Egyptian security services four separate times over the course of nearly three months. During this period, with an easy opportunity for attention and exposure, I kept my mouth almost completely shut. In the meantime I have quietly done what I could to depart Gaza and return to my family and to join my wife for the birth of our second child. Instead I was repeatedly blocked, missed the birth of our child and have been unable to give emotional, physical and even financial support to my family. All the while it has never been lost on me that this is only a small fraction of the injustice thrust upon Palestinians every single day.

The blessing in this is that the Samouni Project and other very promising work has transpired, due directly to me ending up in Gaza longer than planned. I am always keen to turn negatives into positives, and that is exactly what I have done.

In this extra time in Gaza, being separated from my wife and family I have become that much more aware of how ultimately blessed I am as a man. What my wife endures, all too often without any tangible support from me, is a man who is gone much of the time, who works every single day when he is absent or around, a man who earns almost no money and who by the nature of his work brings danger not just to himself, but possibly to her and our family. When you add all this up, I have a gem of a woman, the best kind of woman (in my mind anyway), a Palestinian woman, a shining example of womanhood.

It is said that behind every great man you will find a great woman. I do not look at myself as a great man per se, but I do see the greatness of the women in my life, and if I do indeed succeed in my ultimate goals, you can thank these women every bit as much as me. They have played the essential role in my character development, they are Goddesses, the fabric of a healthy society and responsible for the most important job that exists, that of being a mother.

My mother, my grandmother, and my wife are such women; all of them have shown me a love that is boundless and unconditional. Because of them, more than any other factors in my life, I hold great love for my fellow human beings and all life in general. When you combine true love with the understanding of a women’s intimate relationship and experience with injustice, you will be empowered. The strength that myself and countless others exhibit in the face of the sadistic tyrants and their minions in this world, is derived in great part by the beauty and essence of the women in our lives. I feel sorry for the lowly men trapped in the simplistic attraction of the sexual essence of a woman, there is so much more, so, so much more, and to know women as I do is to know the whole beauty of them.

I had no plans to write about women when I arrived in Cairo, but something happened and a link in my mind was made between the Egyptian Revolution and the cause of women in general. And I am always keen to link causes, always. I have met many people since arriving in Cairo and what has been communicated to me is that the revolution continues as a non-stop endeavor. I have been told the demands of the revolution are beginning to center around financial justice, workers rights and an egalitarian tax system that would result in a redistribution of wealth. The achievement of these demands would inevitably lift countless millions of Egyptians out of the deep poverty that Western cultural imperialism and Egyptian corruption have relegated them to.

As fate would have it I watched a movie in Cairo that developed a link worthy of sharing. I seriously recommend this movie to everyone, but especially to women. And though it may seem the message of the movie centers around equal pay for women, I have to disagree. I believe the central theme is justice, and as Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The movie is called ‘Made in Dagenham’, watch it, breathe it in and realize that the struggle for equal pay in Britain, the struggle for redistribution of wealth in Egypt, and every struggle you can think of has just one thing obstructing justice, and that would be unity. In the movie men and women of the workers unions united, despite the best efforts of the sell-outs, and in the end men and women united and gained. That is the secret waiting to be figured out by us, we all have the same cause, when we unite, we can achieve anything.

I supported the Egyptian Revolution from the moment I heard of it, which was before it officially began, and that explains the reason I have been blocked by the security services up till now. But I want Egypt to know, and the workers of England to know, as well as the Palestinians, the American’s, the students, the oppressed everywhere, to know, that you all have the same struggle, against the same centralized enemy. Think critically, open your heart, shed the fear, and you will know this to be true.
If you see the world the way I do, and I know I am not alone in this, you will see the methods of divide and rule are everywhere. The powers that be know all too well that we, the masses, the working class, the immigrants, the women, the blacks, the Hawaiians (kanaka maoli), the Palestinians and the occupied, oppressed and violated from all around the world are all fighting the same system. God help the tyrants should we ever figure this out, because the moment we do, we will begin to experience the sweet taste of justice and the liberation of a dignified life.

And so I go back to the women, the massive numbers of women who have been raped and beaten and exploited and violated, and yet they do what women do, they are moms. They look after us, love us, nurture us and support us, they shelter us from a cruel world. God help the child whose mother does not fulfill this role, I reckon you can explain to one degree or another the level of insanity in our collectively insane world, by the success or failure of the mothers in every child’s life.


Zeinat Samouni, a great, great mother.

I was blessed in this regard, my children are equally blessed, and now I finally see my failure as a man, my failure to be the father and husband, something that every woman and child deserves. As I return home to my family, after 8 months of absence, during almost the entire pregnancy of our second child, I vow to give the time and support my family deserves. I will finally find the balance of time for my family and time for the cause. I will not sacrifice my family for the cause any longer, I cannot, simply because I cannot respect myself as a man, when I chose my woman, impregnated her , while not honouring the commitment and responsibility that this inherently involves.

You will see less of me on Facebook and Twitter, but you will get more from me in the end. Leadership by example is a principle I believe in to the hilt, and to be a good father and husband is essential for me if I am to be considered a leader.

For those of pure heart and genuine support, know this, as I achieve greater success in my stated goals, I am all too predictably to be increasingly attacked by the idiots and agents. It seems the central charge, although there are so many, is that I do what I do for money and fame. Make no mistake; the timing of these attacks is not accidental. This latest round of attacks began just days after the birth of our second son, while I was involuntarily thousands of miles away from my wife. This attack included an extra charge that I was committing adultery, again within days of my wife giving birth… alone. Whether Zionists initiated this attack or not, they would be the first to cheer it on.

What can one say who is the target of such libel? Not many are willing to subject themselves to this type of poison, but putting yourself out there on the chopping block is inevitable should you walk the path that I do. Again it comes down to the love given to me by the women in my life. Does a mother abandon her child because her own life or character is at risk? Of course not, and so it is I will not abandon my brothers and sisters in Palestine, Hawaii, Iraq, Afghanistan, and indeed America and every corner of the Earth were people endure injustice. We are all family, flawed as we may be, and I am a brother, and I will act as such.

Through the women in my life I have been given love that has afforded me the self-respect so many others can only yearn to know. Rest assured, I will not abandon my mission for a better world, no matter how vicious the attacks on me. I prefer to die, as a mother does to protect her vulnerable child, then live and turn my back on my brothers and sisters who constitute my human family. And the women in my life are every bit as strong as myself, and they too will not be swayed by attacks on me or even themselves.

As for the slander directed at me, slander flying in the face of the facts, those of you who subscribe to this garbage make yourselves out to be dupes and fools. You are indeed a significant part of the problem. Do not get me wrong, nobody should be followed blindly, myself included. Never should a person abandon critical thinking. But to ignore the obvious commitment a person like myself has shown, by words spoken and deeds carried out, to buy into the slander leveled at me simply because supposed “allies” say it is so, is a disgrace. In doing this you feed tyranny and division, you attack a brother who has put his life on the line numerous times. It really is a disgrace, especially since most if not all of you have never risked what I or my family have.

The dupes fail to see that anyone who stands as I do against injustice, especially if they are getting results and inspiring others to act, will be attacked. They fail to understand the method of divide and rule through slander and liable. Wake up, smell the coffee, stop being dupes and join the struggle or identify yourselves as the agents of the enemy you are, unwittingly or not.

As the character Forest Gump says in the movie of the same title, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
As yet another means of educating the idiots I shall take an extraordinary step. My wife and family and all of my closest friends already know this truth, but some of you are suckered into doubting it. My path has meant an enormous amount of unpaid work; spiritually rewarding I must say, but the vast majority of it unpaid. And yes many people have helped my along the way, so that I could do what I do. The result however, in travelling this dubious, perilous path, for my wife and kids, is a sacrifice in which they are deprived of the resources required for financial security. I could make money a priority, but I have not. Nonetheless, I am not willing to subject them to this insecurity any longer; accused or not of doing what I do for money, I will secure a modest paycheck earned out of an honourable and altruistic job. My benefits will derive from the benefits of others. If you see me sporting flashy cars and living in a mansion, then you will have every right to sling mud my way, but bank on this, that will never happen. Riches for me are measured in terms of what you give, not what you take. And in this sense, I am one of the richest men on the planet, I will continue to give everything I have, except my self-respect.

And as I venture to earn this pay, to honour my duty as a father and a husband, I will submit my bank statements for the world to see. Thus you will all be able to see that while I have risked life and limb, as do so many others, I have done so with little to no reward in financial terms; and yet some very stupid or very evil people, have been spreading the lie, that I do what I do for money*. I do not say this to defend myself, really I don’t, I say this to help others understand, because enough of us must understand in order to create a better world.

But I am telling all the idiots right now; I will not take on the full time job of responding to every spurious claim made about me. After I show my bank statements, the next charge will be that I have taken cash payments which were never deposited. How will I prove this false? The answer is there is no way to disprove this, and that is why such charges will inevitably come. The idiots will buy it, I do accept this, but the thinking people, those not clouded by jealousy, insecurity, cynicism and outright stupidity, you are the ones I am talking to now. You are the ones that matter, idiots do as idiots do, it is irrelevant as long as thinking, conscientious people do what they can do. And that really is the question, will enough of us do what we are capable of doing?

I have made it a goal of mine to help the stupid people who bite hook, line and sinker into the slander written and said about me, and I will help you. I will help you see the character assassination trash for what it is, and how it makes the Zionists and the tyrants smile. But I will not dedicate limitless time to this endeavor. I will do it because I know many of the idiots, like myself when I was a US Marine, are not bad people. You are just stupid, and easily manipulated, a crime worth forgiving. Like myself 20 years ago you deserve some love and effort, how could I not extend to you what was given to me when I was once you?

But the rest of you, the insidiously false “allies”, you I am happy to expose. You are often the neo-liberal wanker “activists”, you make us Western people of good heart look like the enemy. You are even worse then the direct enemies, at least they are much more honest about where they stand. You on the other hand are the people who destroy the capacity of good people in the West to express genuine brotherhood and sisterhood with our non-Western family. The damage you do is incalculable, and exposing you is a task of significant importance.

And so I return to the women, the women in my life are the core of my strength. Ultimate love and respect to all the sane and beautiful women out there. In me you have a brother or a son, look at me as you would your blood brother or your beloved son, and I in turn I shall give what you deserve of me. You, the true woman, you are our greatest hope; you are at the center of a just and peaceful future, I am born of you, and I will die of you.
TJP

* In case you missed it: After Galloway, Ken O'Keefe under fire at HTT (Hasbara think thank).
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

This Documentary May Help You Understand Israel

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 11:11AM Gilad Atzmon

and its supporters around the world.

Posted by nahida the Exiled Palestinian at 12:15:00 PM 

Meir Dagan pulls Zionazi rug Again!


Posted on May 27, 2011 by rehmat1

 
Early this month, ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who resigned after the January 2010 assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh by Mossad agents (both male and female) in Dubai – had called Israeli idea of attacking Islamic Iran as “absolute stupidity”. Now, Meir Dagan admits that opposition to Palestinian statehood in the form of the upcoming September vote before the General Assembly is a serious error of judgment.

Dagan told his audience that Palestinian statehood is an outcome that is unstoppable. It would be far more in Israel’s interest to come to terms with the declaration of statehood than to oppose.
It’s interesting to note that an Israeli Jewish mass killer is more honest than the leaders of world’s morality squad, such as, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, Angela Markel, Sarkozy, Benji Netanyahu, Abe foxman, etc.

Over 130 of the 192 member of the United Nations have pledged so far to support the establishment of a Palestinian state if it is brought up for a vote by the General Assembly this coming September. However, none of them have in mind Obama’s absurd notion of a demilitarized state of Palestine being declared by the Palestinian Authority.

Benji Netanyahu and other radical Jewish leaders have rejected Barack Obama’s vision of the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian mini-state on parts of the territories occupied by the Israel Occupation Forces (IOF) in 1967. This state would become a Bantustan with its foreign policy dictated by the Zionist Occupied Governments (ZOG) – undoubtedly a mockery of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

Currently, no demilitarized sovereign state exists in the world. Currently, there are over two dozen ‘entities’ which do not have regular armed forces – as their agreed borders are protected by the former colonial powers. These ‘entities’ (Iceland, Monaco, Vatican, Grenada, Samoa, etc.) have police or para-military force to keep law and order.

Frankly, Obama’s vision of an independent, democratic and contiguous Palestinian state that would not be allowed to have a military to defend its borders from the Jewish army or having defense pacts with its neighboring countries (Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Lebanon) – is nothing but a sick joke.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Reconciliation and Collaboration under the same ceiling, Abbas thugs have no orders to change dealing with Hamas

Hamas and Fatah have met in Gaza to discuss ways to ....enhance the reconciliation deal, noting that Hamas strongly urged for the need to free the political prisoners held by security agencies in the West Banks, where Fatah governs. It also called for the freedom of organizational work in the West Bank and addressed the passports issue."

"Fatah's Shaath said the meeting was “successful”, adding that it focused on many daily issues related to the livelihoods of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

In West Bank the "Palestinian lawmaker MP Abdul Jaber Foqaha has warned Friday that the Palestinian people could lose patience if the PA in Ramallah remains unwilling to free political prisoners in its jails that could put the reconciliation agreement at risk...... Palestinian people started to put pressure to suspend the agreement and to stop all meetings with Fatah faction as a result of the PA reluctance to free the detainees, stressing that families of the detainees couldn’t wait forever to see their sons freed.... we urged the people to bear for a little but we couldn’t ask them to bear forever," the lawmaker pointed out....

Foqaha urged PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and the leadership of Fatah faction to be more responsible and to implement the agreement conditions in this regard swiftly... Frankly speaking, I and my fellow lawmakers from Hamas could be forced to say any moment that all doors were closed in our faces and the agreement wasn’t implemented on the ground, which could lead us to urge the suspension of all other steps, including the suspension of the formation of the government, till the agreement is totally applied on the ground,” Foqaha underlined.

"Foqaha criticized the speech of US president Barack Obama on the Palestinian reconciliation agreement, .... He urged the Palestinian leadership to withdraw recognition of the Zionist entity and to halt all forms of security coordination with it" being "the main reason and big obstacle before Palestinian unity and reconciliation."

"He also urged the Palestinians to search for alternatives through agreeing on one action strategy that would unite the Palestinians, and called on them not to drop any effective card from their hand, including the strong card of resistance."

Hamas got the answer from Abbas Thugs in West bank, they have no orders to change dealing with Hamas, "stressing they would monitor Hamas activists despite the signing of the reconciliation agreement." Here, I have a question: Who issue the Orders? Is it Abbas??
And assuming he issued such order, would they obey?
I never been against "Palestinian reconciliation" though I was sure it will lead to no where, and I was sure Pharaoh shall not succeed in domasticating Hamas. Hamas was buying time.
As the tide has changed, Abbas is now buying time, using reconciliation, to pressure Obama and Netanyaho. He got the Answer from both.
On the other side, I claim, in sitting with Fateh, Hamas achieved easing the Eygtian siege on Gaza, and exposed Ramalla traitors, and some Palestinians claiming that the Palestinian rift is about power, that hamas is using resistance to get to negociation table.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

PALESTINE: What's next for Palestine Inspite of the nature of the decades-long relationship btween the USA and Israel?


Decades-long
relationship between Israel and the USA

Aadel M Al-Mahdy 


While the US wants to placate Israel, which itself is unbending and belligerent, the Palestinian people are in no mood to take orders or accept more false promises, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah.

__________________________________

Having been deeply disappointed by what many here call Obama's "capitulation" to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is now studying possible options that would advance Palestinian interests.

Palestinian officials have been quite parsimonious in their reactions to Obama's two recent speeches, with some spokesmen speaking off the record and saying the new US posture "contains nothing new".

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been vowing to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly in September, was due to convene a crucial meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee Wednesday to discuss the crisis befalling the so-called peace process.

Abbas refused to say if he considered Obama's embrace of extremist Israeli policies a betrayal of the Palestinians. However, he told reporters in Amman this week, where he met with King Abdullah, that he felt that both the Americans and Israelis were misunderstanding the Palestinian stance.

Abbas said the next Palestinian government of national unity would be composed neither of Hamas nor of Fatah, and that the principle of land swaps had been mutually agreed upon between Israel and the PA in the context of any prospective peace agreement.

He hinted that the Israelis were probably using some these issues as public relations pawns and "red herrings" to perpetuate their hold on the occupied Palestinian territories.

The PLO Executive Committee meeting in Ramallah won't have many options to discuss. One disgruntled Fatah official said the Palestinian leadership is likely to put the issue to the Arab League, in order to place blame on the Arabs for any possible blunders or miscalculations.

A follow-up Arab League committee is also due to meet Saturday to discuss the latest developments, including the latest US embrace of the Israeli position. However, it is clear that whatever decisions or steps the Arab League meeting could take would depend largely on what the Palestinians themselves want.

The Obama administration is discouraging the PA from seeking UN recognition of Palestinian statehood. President Obama said in his White House speech last week that such recognition would give the Palestinians only a symbolic diplomatic victory but nothing else.

But cancellation or even postponement of the "September entitlement" would be very unpopular in the occupied Palestinian territories and could trigger the outbreak of a new uprising, especially if more Palestinians realised that such a step wouldn't serve the Palestinian national interest and that it was taken solely to please and appease the Americans.

Fatah has already warned against ceding Palestinian rights under American-Israeli pressure. The movement is worried that any sign suggesting that Fatah would be willing to compromise on fundamental Palestinian constants -- the inviolability of the 1967 lines, Jerusalem and the refugees -- would have disastrous ramifications for Fatah in any prospective elections.

One possible scenario under these circumstances could see Mahmoud Abbas quit his leadership role, especially if he found himself between the American-Israeli hammer and the anvil of the Palestinian people. The emergence and consolidation of Abbas following the death of Yasser Arafat introduced a strong element of moderation into the Palestinian national movement. His possible demise could lead to a radicalisation of Palestinian society and the revival of calls for direct resistance.

The impossible conditions imposed on "peace" by the Israeli prime minister preclude Palestinian acceptance, and of course peace. Netanyahu says Israel won't return to the 1967 lines, which he described as "indefensible". He also rejects the repatriation of refugees, along with returning East Jerusalem to its rightful owners. Further, he rejects dismantling Jewish colonies in the West Bank and refuses negotiations with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, ignoring the fact that Hamas was democratically elected.

Acceptance by any Palestinian leadership of Netanyahu's impossible conditions would be viewed as treason by virtually all Palestinians. And with the Obama administration visibly shaking in fear at the thought to opposing the Jewish lobby and Israel, it would be safe to assume that the coming summer months in occupied Palestine-Israel will be hotter than usual.

Yes, the US will do its utmost to maintain a semblance of a peace process by cajoling the weak and beleaguered PA to accept certain arrangements and proposals, ones without substance and certainly without any real promise for real peace. But this will only increase frustration and trigger a counter-reaction of another kind.



Israeli settlers plan provocative march in O. Jerusalem

 [ 28/05/2011 - 09:14 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Fanatic Israeli groups have decided to hold a provocative march in the heart of the occupied city of Jerusalem on Wednesday to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the city, Hebrew sources revealed.

According to the Hebrew Yedioth ahronoth newspaper, the provocative march will start from the Palestinian suburb of Sheikh Jarrah that witnessed a number of clashes between Palestinian citizens and Israeli settlers attempting to usurp their homes by force.

The paper described the march as "the march of the heart of confrontation," adding that the settlers would pass through the gates of Bab Al-Amood and al-Khalil leading to the center of the city's old town.

The paper also quoted the rightist Israeli lawmaker Michael Ben Ari as saying that the march will be the suitable answer for US president Barack Obama, and for all those "conspiring" to divide Jerusalem.

The Israeli occupation police is expected to deploy more policemen and soldiers in the old city to protect the marchers, the paper added.

NGO declares 'commercial disaster' in Jerusalem's Old City

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Lebanese Army Takes Control of Telecom Ministry Building

Lebanese army took control of a Telecom Ministry building in Adliyeh late on Friday.

“A Lebanese Army unit took control of securing the second floor of the telecoms building in Beirut's Adlieh district and imposing security in the area,” according to a statement released by the army command on Friday.

According to the Head of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), Brigadier General Ashraf Rifi, an “agreement” was reached for the transfer of control”.

The step on Friday came after the developing events that occurred on Thursday between caretaker Telecom Minister Charbel Nahhas and the ISF unit that banned him from entering the ministry’s buildings.

A telephone network known as Ogero-Mobile was operating on the second floor. The system, which was considered Lebanon's third GSM network, was established in 2007, but has not yet been made available to the Lebanese people.

Nahhas had previously posed major questions on the nature of the private network and the purpose of its existence, but all his calls for investigation had been snubbed.

In order to clarify the Ogero-Mobile's position, the minister, along with a number of technicians, decided to inspect the facility in person, but was faced with the ISF.
Nahhas then refused to enter and left the building immediately.

In this context, high-level sources revealed that the security operation in Adliyeh region aimed at covering up a wiretapping process carried out inside the Syrian territories.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Hamas wins; Cairo opens Rafah border-crossing

Posted on May 28, 2011 by rehmat1


US-Israel with the help of Hosni Mubarak offered Hamas only one way out. Subordinate to Fatah, relinquish power in Gaza and hand the border crossings back to the Western-backed secularist and corrupt Fatah lead by Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas refused.

It seems, to the great dismay of Tel-Aviv-Washington, the regime change in Cairo could slowly be turning into another Israel’s imaginery threat to its existence. The military junta’s first anti-Semitic action was to force Mahmoud Abbas to make peace with the democratically elected Islamic Resistance Hamas, currently ruling Gaza.

Today, Cairo partially opened the Rafah border-crossing to the beseiged 1.5 million native Muslims and Christians inside tiny Gaza ghetto. Now, Women would be able to leave Gaza without restrictions, while men between the ages of 18 and 40 would have to obtain visas for Egypt at the border. However, the old restriction on transfer of goods across the crossing will remain in force.

The lifting of the four-year-old blockade at Rafah border-crossing, though, will not allow Hamas to receive Iranian missile but certainly means a blow to the US-Israeli international isolation of 1.5 million Gaza inhabitants. Now, Zionist-regime will be left with its siege on its own border with Gaza. Israel currently maintains the only border crossing that allows goods to cross. And once Cairo decides to remove even this restriction – the US-Israeli policy towards Islamic Resistance and Palestinian will go down the drain serving none of Zionist agenda.

The Zionist-regime with the help of its poodles in western world governments has long been spreading lies for inforcing its naval and ground blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on the fear of Hamas receiving arms from Iran via Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. Israel’s blockade was never meant for the political defeat of Hamas but to turn Gazan genocide into profit.

The Gaza Strip is the most aid-dependent area in the world. Without the ability to export and to import raw materials, without the needed infrastructure for local industry, the Gaza Strip is unable to generate sufficient local income to sustain its population and must depend on aid. The Israeli siege thus creates the conditions for large amounts of aid to be sent to Gaza.

This aid must pass through Israeli ports and airports, with customs,storage fees, and transport fees ending up in the coffers of Israeli companies. The limitations set by Israel on the number of trucks allowed to enter Gaza and the prolonged checks the goods must go through increase the transportation and storage costs dramatically.

Much of the aid comes in the form of products – food, animal feed, petrol, cooking gas, medicine, etc. – procured from Israeli companies. These companies have thus been able to find a captive market in Gaza, get paid up-front (because checks from banks in the Gaza Strip aren’t accepted in Israel), and increase their sales. Most importantly, this aid is funded with foreign currency, but the goods come from Israeli companies which must be paid in Israeli currency. The result is that massive amounts of foreign currency are converted at the Central Bank of Israel into Israeli shekels in order to fund aid, and the Central Bank of Israel gets to keep the foreign currency. In effect, the Israeli siege of Gaza has transformed the aid industry into one of Israel’s biggest exports – companies that would normally provide domestic services have become sources for foreign currency, which contributes to Israel’s overall economic strength and has already eliminated Israel’s trade deficit almost entirely.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

John Mearsheimer on RT talking about AIPAC and American Interests

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 11:12AM Gilad Atzmon

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Netanyahu wants a Palestinian quisling, not peace partner

[ 27/05/2011 - 09:40 PM ]

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

There is absolutely no doubt that a true, dignified peace with the Palestinians is nowhere on Benyamin Netanyahu's agenda. The clear spirit of insolence characterizing his recent speech before Congress, often described as an Israeli-occupied territory, caricatures an extremist demagogue who understands peace to mean domination and enslavement by Zionist Jews of the Palestinian people.

Netanyahu doesn't use terms such as "domination," "enslavement" or even "subjugation. "However, the misleading rationales, pretexts, and red herrings he keeps invoking to justify Israeli recalcitrance and rejectionism of a just peace illustrate a depraved mindset that covets more lebensraum or "breathing space" at the Palestinians expense.

Lebensraum represented the gist of Nazi Germany's expansionistic policies toward its neighbors especially on the eastern front.

Netanyahu has been disseminating lies which, were it not for Israel's tight domination of Congress as well as the bulk of US media, would mark the man with the indelible stamp of pathological liar.

The list of demands he has been making shows that true peace and Israel can’t really be used in the same sentence, that the two are actually an eternal oxymoron.

Netanyahu, who only a few months ago complained to western media that Israel couldn't negotiate with a divided people, is now saying the opposite, that Israel can't live with the latest reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas,.

Looking into the brutal ugliness of his thuggish mentality, it is clear that Netanyahu wants to see Palestinians at each other's throats once again, which he hopes would enable him to claim anew that Israel can't have peace with a people who don't have peace within themselves.!!

Netanyahu says the Palestinian leadership must choose between peace with Hamas and peace with Israel. He easily forgets that that the Islamic liberation movement would actually look like a group of boy scouts when compared with the vast majority of his coalition government's partners. It was this fact that prompted an Israeli cabinet minister to declare recently that "we are already a fascist state."

Netanyahu keeps complaining about the fact that Hamas doesn't recognize Israel. Well does Israel recognize Palestine? Does Israel recognize a putative Palestinian state on the West Bank?

Besides, why should Hamas recognize the legitimacy of a state that is based on ethnic cleansing, land theft and aggression? How would Hamas that recognizes "Israel 's legitimacy" face millions of Palestinian refugees who were uprooted from their homes and villages 63 years ago in order to make accommodations for racist invaders from Eastern Europe claiming mendaciously a religious affinity with the homeland of the Palestinian people.

Indeed, such recognition by Hamas would spell the end of the movement in the eyes of the Palestinian people, Arabs and Muslims.
Netanyahu insists that Israel can't and will not return to the 1967 borders which he describes as indefensible. However, it is amply clear that what he has really in mind is the fate of hundreds of Jewish colonies inhabited by hundreds of thousands of Jewish fanatics who are inculcated with the false messianic doctrine that the Almighty created the entire universe for the sake of the Jew and that the very existence of non-Jews is inessential and that their lives have therefore no sanctity.

It is really shameful and shocking that western intellectual circles and media don't pay sufficient attention to this conspicuous Nazi dimension of the Jewish settler movement while readily indulging in demonizing Islamist freedom fighters fighting for freedom from Israeli occupation that differs little in substance from the Nazi occupation of Europe.

Netanyahu also wants the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which implies that Israel would have the right in the future to expel its non-Jewish citizens. Unfortunately, there are western officials, including the President of the United States, who are willing to accept this orgy of insolence which goes beyond the pale of anything moral, anything human, anything decent.

Indeed, one might wonder how Zionist Jews in the North America and Europe would react if the US declared itself a Protestant state or even a Christian state whereby non-Christians would have to submit to the will of the Christian majority?

One would expect many Zionist Jews to leave no stone unturned in protest against the "Nazification" of America and how anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head again.

Israel, whose leaders are among the world's most professional liars when the Hebrew Bible commands people not to lie, claim that Israel is both Jewish and Democratic? However, everyone knows that Israel can't be both Talmudic and democratic.

There is no doubt that Israel is seeking true Palestinian quislings, not true Palestinian peace partners because no dignified Palestinian would accept these insolent dictates coming from one of the most mendacious persons under the sun.

And if such a Palestinian did, he probably would be shot and killed like a stray dog in the streets of the West Bank.

The nearly pornographic indulgence by Netanyahu in lying and misrepresenting the truth about the Palestinian plight underscores the insecure position and fragile foundation upon which the entire Zionist argument is based.

It also gives the auspicious promise that this virulent diabolic entity won’t last very long because that which is based on falsehood won't endure.
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Wiki Jews

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 7:59AM Gilad Atzmon

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Coup-Coup in Lebanon: Minister Baroud Resigns Over Telecoms-ISF Showdown



I've been wanting to do this for a long time...

Qifa Nabki

Posted by Qifa Nabki under Lebanon
Lebanese Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud resigned yesterday following a bizarre showdown involving two different branches of the Internal Security Forces, Minister of Telecommunications Charbel Nahhas, and Baroud himself.

March 14 is calling it a Telecoms Ministry-launched coup against the executive branch of the Lebanese government; March 8th is calling it an ISF-launched coup against the state. Who’s right?

There are many conflicting accounts of what actually took place (see here for a translated round-up of the Arabic press’s lead stories) but the basic chronology seems to be as follows:
  1. Nahhas (who is a member of the Free Patriotic Movement’s cabinet bloc and a staunch ally of Michel Aoun) sent a team to dismantle some equipment housed in a building affiliated with the Telecommunications Ministry.
  2. Ashraf Rifi, general of the Internal Security Forces, sent a large group of policemen to secure the building and prevent the telecommunications team from accessing the equipment.
  3. Nahhas then sent a letter to Ziyad Baroud, asking him to order Rifi to have his men stand down. (Technically, Rifi reports to Baroud, as the ISF is under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry).
  4. Baroud did so, and Rifi ignored him, arguing that his orders came from a superior authority (more on that later).
  5. Nahhas also somehow managed to get a second branch of the ISF that is responsible for embassy protection (see here for the ISF website) to accompany him to the building where he tried to access the equipment himself.
  6. Rifi’s men prevailed, but not before the entire sad spectacle was caught on television: two branches of the same police force staring each other down, with one minister prevented from accessing a building connected with his own ministry and another minister issuing orders to his subordinates to no avail.
I’ve been in touch with government officials and other political insiders since yesterday evening, trying to piece together the factors that led to this showdown and to assess the fallout. Here are some preliminary observations:

The first questions that spring to mind, of course, are: (1) what was this mysterious equipment that Nahhas was prevented from accessing? (2) on whose authority did Rifi cordon off the building and ignore Baroud’s orders? On these issues, al-Akhbar provides some help background. It seems that the telecommunications equipment was a gift from the Chinese government in 2007. The Saniora government licensed Ogero (the state-owned company that is responsible for maintaining the telecommunications infrastructure and which has had a deeply antagonistic relationship with the current Telecoms minister) to set up a third telecommunications network in Lebanon. Why they chose to do so at that time remains unclear, but Rifi claimed to have been operating under the executive order of Saniora’s government when he disregarded the orders of Baroud to allow Nahhas access to the equipment.

It is highly ironic (as Mustapha at Beirut Spring astutely pointed out yesterday) that the ordered dismantling of a telecommunications network should again provide the spark for a tense confrontation between Lebanon’s two political blocs. When the Saniora government attempted to pull the same trick on Hizbullah in 2008, we all recall what happened.

As far as the political fallout is concerned, Nahhas and Michel Aoun look like the clear winners here. Ashraf Rifi has long been accused by March 8 politicians of running the ISF like a March 14th militia accountable only to Saad al-Hariri. Baroud’s resignation makes that reading very attractive to many Lebanese who are uncomfortable with the idea of a military officer ignoring the directives of perhaps the most popular civilian leader in the country (i.e. Baroud).

It should also be pointed out that Baroud (a friend of this blog whom I admire a great deal) has long been unhappy in his position at the Interior Ministry. His freedom of movement has been severely curtailed and he has had virtually no authority over many of the security-related fiefdoms that he is supposed to oversee. He has supposedly come very close to resigning on multiple occasions, but was likely prevented from doing so by President Suleiman, who needed a trustworthy ally in this all-important ministry. Yesterday’s events, however, were too egregious for Baroud to ignore. My personal feeling is that he made the right move.

More info will be posted as it becomes available…

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Al-Sayasna: I Am Mistaken… I Realized Too Late That There Is Conspiracy

May 27, 2011
DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Imam of al-Omari Mosque in Daraa, Sheikh Ahmad al-Sayasna, said that he was mistaken and realized too late that there are a conspiracy and calls for bloodshed in Syria.

Interviewed by the Syrian Satellite channel on Thursday, al-Sayasna, who turned himself in to the competent authorities, added that his statements to foreign satellite channels came before he knew of the existence of weapons and armed members.

"When I investigated into the matter, my stance was changed," said al-Sayasna, adding, "Those who continued demonstration are vandals who want to take the country to the unknown. They are connected with a foreign agenda aimed at destroying the country."

He stressed that he condemns calls for sowing sedition and terrifying the safe people.

The Imam talked about how he received a phone call from London from a man called Mohammad Sourour Zein-Elabdin who expressed his sorrow for the people of Daraa and the desire of many who are in London to come to Syria to support them.

"The second call I received was from Riyadh who asked me to adhere to demonstrations. When I replied that we already lost many martyrs and we can't endure losing more, he said it is not a big deal if we lose even 40 or 50 thousands more and that they will rally support from other Syrian provinces to stand by Daraa…I told him that we don't want what happened in Egypt to happen in Syria. To which he answered that they were keeping contact with the satellite channels which are supporting them," added al-Sayasna.

In his comment on his calls or Jihad, al-Sayasna denied the issue completely, saying that Jihad could only be directed against the Israeli enemy and never against an Arab as this is religiously unacceptable.

In terms of him holding the state responsible for the sedition which emerged in Daraa in his speech to some channels, al-Sayasna said that at the beginning he thought that the security forces were trying to stir up the situation and he did not know what was going on in the street.

"Later, I knew everything and this is why I apologize for my speech. Although I was late to know about the weapons and the armed groups, but mistakes happen," al-Omari Mosque Imam added.

Commenting on him being accused of betrayal by some who were surprised when he called on people for calm following his visit to President al-Assad among a delegation from Daraa, al-Sayasna said "I didn't surprise anybody because I had been calling for calm for two or three weeks before meeting the President, otherwise I wouldn't go to meet the officials and try to stop sedition."

The Imam voiced conviction that those who perpetrated riot acts are vandals who do not listen to the voice of reason and want to achieve specific sabotage goals aimed at taking the country to the unknown, stressing they are definitely connected with foreign agenda, otherwise the issue would have remained peaceful.

Al-Sayasna expressed condemnation of the armed groups members who committed heinous acts in Tafas, al-Sanamin and Said areas in Daraa including killing the security members and mutilating their bodies and attacking military housing compounds to kidnap the army members' women and terrorize their children, in addition to firing at demonstrators to aggravate violence in the city.

Asked about his statement to Radio Monte Carlo in which he said that freedom needs blood to be gained, al-Sayasna said It was not his intention to instigate for bloodshed, but he was irritated and passionate, adding he was mistaken to say what he said and that fighting should be only against the Israeli enemy and not among the sons of the homeland.

In his comment on the eyewitnesses who appeared on some satellite channels, al-Sayasna said that the testimonies of those eyewitnesses were exaggerated, stressing that Daraa was not under siege or shelling, but there was an exchange of fire between the armed members and the army and security forces.

R. Raslan/ H. Said/al-Ibrahim

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Abbas’s security moves hunger-strikers to Jenin and Jericho prisons - Families of political detainees in W.B. hold sit-in, demand their release

Abbas’s security moves hunger-strikers to Jenin and Jericho prisons

[ 27/05/2011 - 07:04 PM ] 
JENIN, (PIC)-- Families of political prisoners at the Junaid prison in Nablus said that the prison administration moved those who went on hunger strike to other prisons in Jericho and Jenin.

The prisoners’ families further told the PIC that the Junaid prison administration transferred at midnight Thursday six of the prisoners to the Jericho prison and five to the Jenin prison, adding that the prisoners were not allowed to take any of their clothes or personal belongings with them, in an attempt to make them end their hunger strike which they started 4 days ago to protest their continued detention despite the national reconciliation agreement.

The families held Mahmoud Abbas and his security agencies responsible for the lives of their sons and demanded that they be released in accordance with the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed on 5th May to close the file of political detention once and for all.

The families said that Asad Shadid, Hamza al-Qaraawi, Muhammad Nasif, Asad Badran, Ahmad al-Naqib and Maher Hattab were transferred to the Jericho prison, while Hazem al-Qaraawi, Musaab al-Husary, Muhammad Shadid, Adham al-Shouli and Suhaib Mesleh were transferred to the Jenin prison.

Families of political detainees in W.B. hold sit-in, demand their release
[ 27/05/2011 - 10:42 AM ] 

NABLUS, (PIC)-- Families of the political detainees in Junaid prison in Nablus city have decided to hold a sit-in in front of the jail after PA security forces refused to let them visit their sons who started an open hunger strike two days ago.

Palestinian lawmaker MP. Fathi Al-Qarawi, of Hamas parliamentary bloc in the PLC, was among the sit-inners as two of his sons were among the hunger strikers in the jail.

Qarawi said that he was participating as a father of two and not as a lawmaker, adding that the sit-inners wanted to deliver humanitarian message and not a political one.

"The file of the political detainees is of great importance and a very sensitive file, and it should be addressed before any other files and without further discussions in order to assure the Palestinian people that the national reconciliation is still on track", Qarawi said as he urged the swift release of all political detainees as stipulated in the national reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo early this month.

The sit-inners also accused the PA security forces of attempting to disperse them by force, alleging that the sin-in was against the law and that they got to stop it.

"We have heard a lot of promises from the PA that our sons would be released soon, but we see nothing on the ground, we are fed up with empty promises," said mother of one of the detainees in the prison in a phone interview with the PIC correspondent.

Most of the hunger strikers are students of the Najah University.

Meanwhile, in the southern West Bank, dozens of relatives of political detainees in Al-Khalil city gathered at the main square in the city's down town urging Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and political leaders of the Palestinian factions to release their sons.

They held placards with phrases demanding the immediate halt of political detention and political summonses against Hamas cadres, chanting "The people want to end summonses", "Why is the security coordination while we all still under bullets of the IOF", "Oh Abbas, Oh Fayyadh, our captives are the main concern".

MP Mohammed Abu Juhaishah spoke in the sit-in and called on Abbas to issue his orders for the release of all political detainees in the West Bank, and to respect the Supreme Court orders in this regard.

PA security forces in the city surrounded the gathering and attempted to break the sit-in by force as they arrested Palestinian cameraman Ishaq Arafa who was covering the event, and questioned him before his release.

The reconciliation agreement signed by all Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, early this month in Cairo stipulates the immediate release of all political detainees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip without any conditions.
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Palestinians to Renew “Return” Marches on Naksa Day

A new date has been set for the Palestinians to see their land again and emphasize their “right to return” before the Israeli occupation forces as well as the entire world.

The “return to Palestine” committee has completed organizing a new march towards the Lebanese borders with the occupied Palestinian territories on Sunday the 5th of June that marks the Naksa (setback) Day, committee member Abu Mohammad Imad told Al-Manar’s Website.

The committee in Lebanon has been constantly arranging activities since Sunday the 15th of May’s massive rally towards Maroun Al-Ras, including the raising of a mural with the pictures of the martyrs who fell that day and “we are returning” written in Hebrew on it.

The committee has also been receiving models of monuments, and the best model would get an award and the monument will be established and fixed to commemorate those martyrs and the deadly incidents of that day.

Imad pointed out that “the nature of the second demonstration is not specified yet, we have various options that we are still studying”.

“We will not even specify on which border the demonstrations will take place, so that the enemy would not be waiting in that region, like the case of Maroun Al-Ras on May 15”, Imad added.

He pointed out that “we want to keep the enemy on alert from Nakura to occupied Golan, for the deployment of four brigades on May 15 reportedly cost it over one billion dollars… and so we want this demonstration to cost the Zionists even more”.

According to the “return to Palestine” committee member, Sunday’s march in Lebanon included over 50,000 protestors, and the Palestinian public is always ready and very excited. The Palestinian refugees were behind the idea and urged us to adopt it, he indicated.

“Our fields are always ready to witness such activities … and we are coordinating with other parts especially in Jordan and Egypt to take part in this demonstration on the Naksa Day. We want the enemy to be waiting for us in ever valley and on every hill”, Abu Mohammad Imad stressed.

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Change and Reform Bloc Calls for Trying Rifi

Local Editor
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun urged on Friday President Michel Suleiman to take the necessary measures to address Thursday’s incident at one of the Telecommunications Ministry buildings at Adlieh, describing the event as a “premeditated crime.”

He said after an extraordinary FPM meeting on the incident: “According to the military law on rebellion and mutiny, yesterday’s incident is a crime that was part of a coup attempt.”

Seeing as the Interior Ministry falls under the President’s authority because of his role as commander of the armed forces, “we hope that he will take the right measures in this affair according to legal and administrative norms,” said the MP.

Aoun called on President Michel Suleiman to refer Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi to the judiciary, withdraw Intelligence Bureau members from the Adlieh building, and refer its director to the judiciary because he is responsible for the officers’ violations.

“We hope the president will exercise his authority so that we won’t be forced to make greater demands,” he warned.

“We have several options to tackle this issue if it is not properly addressed,” the FPM leader stated.

“The rebellion was not spontaneous and the people now know why I have been demanding to acquire the Interior Ministry portfolio,” Aoun concluded.

On Thursday, security forces prevented caretaker Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas from entering the second floor of a ministry building at Adlieh, despite the Interior Minister’s order asking them to withdraw from the place.

Hezbollah Denounces Adliyeh Incidents

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London Concert: Tahrir Square to Jerusalem



Amal Murkus joins a host of artists celebrating the work of Juliano Mer Khamis and the power of art in the struggle for freedom. An imaginative production that will transport us from Tahreer Square through Jenin and to the heart of the new Jasmine Revolution sweeping the Arab world (all profits go to the Freedom Theatre in Jenin).

It’s curfew in Palestine. “The Army surrounds our neighbourhood. I sit on my bed writing a poem, the tank outside my window is probably reading this over my shoulder, I keep writing…” says a poet from Tulkarm.
For many, art was the only freedom of expression allowed, because art is safe, unarmed. But in January 2011, it was the artists, the writers, the musicians the comedians who walked into Tahreer Square and stood in the face of armed state police. Defenceless but for the conviction in their hearts. A conviction that said, unarmed but not powerless. Unarmed but not afraid. This was the conviction of artists, writers and musicians in Tunisia, Libya Yemen and Palestine who still sing in the face of dictators, occupation and bombardment. It was also the same conviction of Palestinian filmmaker and director of the Freedom Theatre Juliano Mer Khamis who walked into the Jenin refugee camp he called “the most attacked place in Palestine” every day to wipe away the fear in the eyes of 10 year old kids traumatized by the occupation.

http://al-carmel.com/?p=6

To View Seating plan please click here

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IED Explosion Injured Six UNIFIL Soldiers

Local Editor

Two Italian peacekeepers were badly hurt in an explosion targeting their UN patrol in Lebanon as a roadside bomb targeting a UN patrol exploded along a highway in south Lebanon on Friday.

"Of the two who were gravely wounded, one risks losing his eye while the other suffered a laceration of his carotid artery and has already been operated" on, La Russa told reporters in Milan.

The incident – occurred in the southern city of Sidon - came two days before the United Nations marks Peacekeepers Day.

Neeraj Singh, a UNIFIL spokesman in Beirut said six soldiers were wounded along with two civilians in the explosion, for which no group immediately claimed responsibility.

George Fuhaili, head of the emergency room at Hammoud Hospital in Sidon, said that two of the soldiers were in critical condition.

The explosion went off as the UNIFIL patrol was passing an entrance to Sidon on the highway linking the capital Beirut to south Lebanon.

An earlier report from Italian news agency ANSA citing defense ministry sources had said that one soldier was killed in the blast.

Earlier in the day, UNIFIL held a ceremony at its headquarters in the southern village of Naqura close to the Israeli border to honor 292 peacekeepers killed since the force was established in 1978.

The multinational force currently has 12,000 troops stationed in south Lebanon.

The force has been the target of three other unclaimed attacks, the latest in January 2008 when two Irish officers were wounded by a roadside bomb.

In the deadliest incident, three Spanish and three Colombian peacekeepers were killed in June of 2007 when a booby-trapped car exploded as their patrol vehicle drove by.

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Friday, 27 May 2011

An Evening with Helen Thomas and Flashback to John Lennon and Vanunu Mordechai

Contributed by Frank Lamb
May 26, 2011:
IMG_1063When I heard the call to “Move Over AIPAC: Building a New US Middle East Policy” I immediately became one of over 100 organizations to endorse it; but I didn’t commit to attend the event until I learned that journalist Helen Thomas was to be the keynote speaker.

By the time I booked my flight, Ms. Thomas had been “disinvited” because of the pressure from a few particular people who had still not gotten over her flaming honesty expressed on 27 May 2010, in a courtyard at the White House.

As “life is what happens while you are making other plans” [John Lennon] their shortsightedness led to one of the highlights of my 57 years of life.


On 20 May 2011, I enjoyed an evening with Ms. Thomas and was introduced to my new favorite aperitif; a mix of Vodka, Lemoncello and strained raspberry juice which was followed by an exquisite dinner prepared in the home of Ms. Thomas’s friend and assistant, Michelle Cohen, who is in the middle of Rich Forer and Helen Thomas:
IMG_1060IMG_1062
eileen fleming with Helen Thomas-her new best friend of the old Fourth Estate
IMG_1064

Only because of my new best author friend, Richard Forer, was I even invited to that dinner!
Ms. Thomas had recently reviewed Rich’s book, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict.”


Ms. Thomas wrote, “People need to be informed so we can make good decisions regarding our involvement in the Middle East, and ultimately support the right governments. Forer offers a viewpoint that is not available in the mainstream…I admire Forer’s courage to not being silent. He openly shares his personal transformation, and encourages the reader to be willing to ‘assess one’s beliefs with honesty and to follow wherever the facts lead’. The truth cannot be silenced.” [1]

This member of the New Fourth Estate-Internet muckraker and activist reporter not only admires Ms. Thomas for her truth telling, I contend that she is in the same league with Edward R. Murrow!

In 1958, Murrow warned that as television became more about entertainment and not about shows of enlightenment, this republic would be dumbed down; but only an informed and engaged citizenry can preserve a democracy, which thrives on dissent!

During Jewish Heritage Month in 2010, in a courtyard at the White House, blogger and Long Island Rabbi David Nesenoff approached Ms. Thomas and introduced her to two young boys with him who were interested in a career in journalism.

Nesenoff asked, “So what do you think of Israel? Got any advice? Go for it” as he pointed his camera at Ms. Thomas like a “jackknife” and she readily replied, “They should get the hell out of Palestine.”

In an interview with Playboy, Ms. Thomas elaborated, “I knew I’d hit the third rail. You cannot say anything about Israel in this country. But I’ve lived with this cause for many years. Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist—but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians. Why shouldn’t I say it?” [2]

IMG_1063

eileen fleming with Ms. Thomas who is sporting her Palestinian flag bracelet and one of the saints.


Flashback to John Lennon:

In the summer of 1966, it was reported that John Lennon made a comment to a friend and reporter that the Beatles were more popular with my generation than Jesus was.

Lennon endured a firestorm of media attacks, but none inquired as to WHY kids like me who went to mass every Sunday and catechism every Wednesday afternoon, never quoted Jesus but knew every lyric to every Beatles song.
Because of Ms. Thomas’s truth telling the ‘occupied’ media relentlessly attacked her and although she issued an apology, Ms. Thomas abruptly “resigned” from Hearst Newspapers on 7 June 2010. Her speaking agency dropped her, journalism schools and organizations rescinded awards named in her honor and she lost her front row seat in the White House press-room; and it was all because she audaciously spoke her heart and mind as did John Lennon!

The old Fourth Estate spins the illegal colonies/settlements as ‘neighborhoods’ and never mentions such things as Aliyah, which I learned about during my first of seven trips to Israel and occupied Palestine in June 2005 from an American Jewess who had taken the deal. She informed me:


“I get fifteen hundred shekels or about thirty-six hundred dollars a year in increments to help with my expenses. I can apply for unemployment benefits after seven months, as long as I look for a job. I just completed Ulpan, which was five hundred hours of Hebrew language immersion studies that took five months, five hours a day, for five weeks. I get subsidized rent and just moved out of the Absorption Center Projects. All the new immigrants get room, utilities, and three meals a day for the first five months in Israel. We also receive free medical care and all the doctors here are dedicated. We can go to the university with 100 percent of the tuition paid by the government. College is much cheaper here; it’s about three thousand to four thousand dollars a year. Until I am thirty years old, I can receive up to three years of education for my master’s degree.”[3]

Any Jew without any historical connection to the so-called Holy Land is encouraged by the state of Israel to colonize legally owned Palestinian property.

On 16 July 2007, while I was in Jerusalem, I learned from an Israeli citizen and volunteer with ICAHD/Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions:

“There is an advertisement that runs in the USA that reads:‘Have a Holiday Home in Jerusalem.’ The ad does not mention this home is 100% ILLEGAL! There are forty-two illegal settlements in the Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters of Jerusalem. The only green area for [Palestinian] children to play will soon have a high rise for the settlers, which will be 7 meters taller than the walls of the Old City! The Wall has been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice [in 2005] but America continues to allow it to grow. The wall is way over the Green Line proving it is not about security but about grabbing Palestinian land. Israel’s policy of Quiet Transfer: getting rid of the Palestinians is a huge humanitarian crisis. It is clear how the wall zig zags that it is not about security but about grabbing the maximum land with minimal Palestinian occupation.” [IBID]

The Wall
My view from a rooftop in Aida Camp, in the little town of Bethlehem which is Occupied Territory, June 2009


During my conversation with Ms. Thomas I filled her in on my distress over Amy Goodman’s failure to follow up on her 2004 interview with Mordechai Vanunu which resulted in his being sentenced to 6 months in jail in 2007 and then enduring 78 days back in solitary in 2010, just because he dared to speak to foreign media after he was released from 18 years in jail for telling the truth and providing the photographic proof of Israel’s WMD Program.

In April 2007, I had lunch with Amy Goodman-not because we have ever been friends, but only because I had once been a generous donor to Democracy NOW! was I invited to have lunch with Amy.

I accepted the invitation only so I could fill Amy in on the fact that her 2004 interview with Vanunu was major testimony against him in his FREEDOM of SPEECH trial-which began the same day Hamas was democratically elected on 25 January 2006- and also to ask her to follow up asap!

Amy acted interested and jotted down notes in her Blackberry, but she didn’t bother to call Vanunu until July 2007 after he was sentenced to 6 more months in jail essentially for speaking to foreign media in 2004!


Vanunu refused to speak to Amy because she–like all THE MEDIA-hadn’t done anything to raise awareness about Israel’s continuing persecution of him and to this day Vanunu is still waiting for his inalienable right to leave Tel Aviv and fly to freedom.

After I filled Ms. Thomas in on my anger with Amy she replied, “She used to be better.”

I then brought up Ms. Thomas’s first and last question to President Obama regarding Middle East nuclear weapons when he blew her off claiming he didn’t want to ‘speculate’ and her ‘peers’ remained mute, although the State Department has reams of documentation about Israel’s WMD.

Ms. Thomas replied, “They have no conscience.”

I also claim their lack of integrity borders on treason!

I was not a reporter when I met Vanunu for the first time in June 2005, but I knew I had to become one when he told me:
“Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

“Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.

“The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago. Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground.

“In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on.

“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”


After cheese cake for desert I asked Ms. Thomas what she would advise anyone who wanted to go into the field of journalism and she stated:

“Go for it! It’s the greatest profession in the world because you are always learning and you are aware of the world, so you just might be able to affect change.


“You cannot have a democracy without an informed people.

“Information is everything; it enlarges your intellect and that guides you.

“The job is to follow the truth and report where it leads you!

“Right and wrong is not relative. Empathy is fine but kindness and sympathy do not change the facts and conscience is everything!

“Leaders are suppose to do the right thing and we should back up the president when he does the right thing; but drop him when he doesn’t.

“The WHY is the most important question-not that something happened- but WHY did it happen?

“Somewhere along the way America lost its soul.

“People have to rise up but Americans have become so passive and power overwhelmingly abusive.”

I responded, “So how do we fix this situation?”

Ms. Thomas replied, “It’s being done!”

And when I asked Ms. Thomas if she had always wanted to be a journalist, her persistent smile broadened and the gleam in her eyes sparkled with unshed tears as she replied, “When my first article was published in the high school paper and I saw my byline, I was hooked!”

I shot back, “I had a similar but opposite experience!”

I explained that when I was a child, my dream was to grow up and become Brenda Starr, the red headed, ace investigative journalist and star reporter for the metropolitan daily, The Flash. The fictional Brenda traveled the world solving mysteries and unearthing scoops and she intuitively knew when somebody was not telling the truth.

But when my first assignment for the high school newspaper was edited beyond my recognition but my name was attached, my Irish temper erupted and I immediately confronted the faculty member on the paper and inquired, “Why did you publish an article with my name but with words I did NOT write?”

I was told that it was just standard procedure for the faculty to edit all of the student’s work and I replied, “Not mine you don’t! I quit!”

Ms. Thomas pointed her finger at me and said, “That’s ethics!”

And that comment is the second highest compliment I have ever been paid in my life!

The first remains the one Mordechai Vanunu graced me with when he said, I was always good to remind him of JC/Jesus Christ.

JC was never a Christian, but a social justice radical revolutionary nonviolent Palestinian devout Jew who rose up against a corrupt Temple and taught the people there was no need to pay the high priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already loved just as they were.

 What got JC crucified was agitating the status quo of the Roman Occupying forces, for Rome’s method of capitol punishment was to crucify all dissidents, rebels and agitators.

 And that leads me back to John Lennon:

“Christ, you know it ain't easy. You know how hard it can be. The way things are going; They're gonna crucify me!


"The struggle is in the mind. We must bury our own monsters and stop condemning people. We are all Christ and Hitler. We want Christ to win. We're trying to make Christ's message contemporary. What would he have done if he had advertisements, records, films, TV and newspapers! Christ made miracles to tell his message. Well, the miracle today is communications, so let's use it.”

For love for all of the people on this one small planet, this little sister is doing just that!

IMG_1083
Rabbi's and Mahdi Al-Husseini, a Palestinian American Muslim who still has family in Occupied East Jerusalem with his sons in D.Con the street outside of Congress, 24 May 2011.

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