Saturday 9 May 2009

Syria & Sanctions


Nukes & Spooks, here
"There are limits to engagement, apparently. President Barack Obama this week extended sanctions on Syria that were passed by Congress and signed into law by then-President Bush in 2004. Obama's action comes the same week in which he sent two senior officials to Damascus to try to explore better relations with the government of President Bashar Assad.
That may seem a bit oxymoronic, and perhaps it is. But it also reflects Obama's--and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's--caution in reaching out to U.S. adversaries, Obama has gone full-bore in some cases, as with Iran, where the administration at times seems to be tripping over itself in its urgency to start a dialogue with Tehran. And there's no equivocation in Obama's general outreach to the Muslim world.
But with Syria and another country--Cuba--Obama and his team appear to be saying, in essence, the ball's in your court. They have made gestures to both countries, and are waiting to see if Syria and Cuba respond in kind.
In a statement Friday, Obama said he extended the sanctions for 1 year because "the actions of the government of Syria in supporting terrorism, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, and undermining U.S. and international efforts with respect to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq pose a continuing and unusual extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."
That may well be true. But for the Assad regime, which just received the two presidential envoys, it's got to be a bit confusing--like a bad case of diplomatic whiplash..."

Posted by G, Z, & or B at 11:11 AM

Lavrov: "As for S-300... the weapons we sell to Iran have never been used against any one country.."


"...As for S-300, yeah we touched upon this again in our discussions today. Whatever we sell to Iran or to any other country is not covered by any prohibitions internationally or nationally. In the Russian Federation we have one of the strictest export control legislation. And whatever we sell to Iran in particular is only of defensive nature. In spite of this, we always listen to concerns expressed to us regarding one or another aspect of our military and technical cooperation with one or another country. But as I said and I want to emphasize it, whatever we do in the area of military and technical cooperation with Iran is absolutely legal and, which is also very important, the weapons we sell to Iran have never been used against any one country. Speaking of arms sales, the weapons which had been sold to Georgia have been used to kill Russians, to kill civilians, including Russian peacekeepers who are serving under the international agreement signed by Georgia. And those weapons were sold to Georgia ignoring the continued warning which we have been making for the last two or three years, that to arm this particular regime would be really very dangerous.

Posted by G, Z, & or B at 10:44 AM

Hamas: Dhameeri’s remarks aimed to justify the Israeli bombing of mosques

Hamas: Dhameeri’s remarks aimed to justify the Israeli bombing of mosques

[ 09/05/2009 - 03:34 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Hamas Movement on Saturday deplored PA police spokesman Adnan Al-Dhameeri for alleging that the security apparatuses in the West Bank found explosives stashed inside a mosque, saying that such statements are aimed to justify the Israeli bombing of mosques and scare the citizens away from their religion, culture and their rallying around the resistance.

In a statement received by the PIC, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that Dhameeri’s remarks is an attempt to distort the great victory achieved by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people there.

Spokesman Barhoum added that such remarks were a cover-up for the PA security coordination with the Israeli occupation and the policy of suppression it practices against the Palestinian people in the West Bank.

The spokesman stressed that these statements confirmed what was reported by the media about the signing of an agreement between the PA and the Israeli government at the US consulate in occupied Jerusalem on pooling the efforts to eliminate Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza.

In another context, spokesman Barhoum denied that there is a truce with the Israeli occupation, saying that the Israeli aggression and escalation against the Palestinian people did not stop.

In a press statement to the PIC, Barhoum noted that the Israeli occupation had never worked for the success of the Egyptian efforts, but rather it employed these efforts to serve its extremist agenda.

US warns of 'military' response to hackers


When one might be forgiven for thinking that we have seen it all, now this:

Press TV reports: A top US commander has warned that Washington will consider using any option even a military one against threats to the army's computer networks.

Air Force General Kevin Chilton said cyber espionage and attacks from well-funded nations or terror groups are the biggest threats to the military's networks.

"Our job would be to present options. I don't think you take anything off the table when you provide options," in the wake of an attack, whether the weapon is a missile or a computer program, said the general.

Gen. Chilton, who heads US Strategic Command, added that the Pentagon is concerned about new ways for disabling or distorting battlefield communications.

The US military is planning to set up a new cyber command at Fort Meade near Washington that would report to the Strategic Command.

The decision is a response to concerns that offensive and defensive cyber operations are currently separate, and not as coordinated as they should be.

Gen. Chilton said 2,000-4,000 more staff were needed over the next five years to provide the expertise for both offensive and defensive cyber operations.

There have been no major attacks against the military's networks so far, only intrusions or efforts to steal data, he concluded.

This is truly one of the most idiotic statement any US officer has ever made. Bombing hackers?! This really begs the questions whether the good general has any ideas of how computer networks work. Turns out that General Chilton is not only a highly qualified officer (check out his bio here) but even a former NASA astronaut. A person with this time of qualifications has to understand networks, rather well in fact. So Chilton is spewing this kind of nonsense not because he believes it, but because he is "selling" it to somebody - either his political bosses, or the American public. Either way, that kind of nonsensical talk is really bad news as it makes me wonder what the crazies in power in Washington are up to next.

Posted by VINEYARDSAKER: at 8:29 AM

UN probes Gaza crimes despite Israel fury

UN probes Gaza crimes despite Israel fury

UN experts plan to visit Gaza soon to investigate the Israeli war crimes during the three-week war on the Gaza Strip amid Israel's opposition to the probe.

International human rights experts said on Friday that they renewed a call on Israel to fully cooperate with the probe into the alleged war crimes that left thousands of civilians killed and wounded.

Former UN war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone heads the team of four investigators who were appointed last month.

"In the course of its work, the mission intends to conduct visits to affected areas of southern Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza, and has requested the cooperation of the government of Israel in this regard," the team said in a statement issued by the UN in Geneva on Friday.

Last month Israeli officials said that Israel would not cooperate with the UN investigation team, claiming that its military forces had acted professionally and tried to avoid civilian casualties during the offensive.

Israeli Gaza war crimes include the use of deadly white phosphorus shells in densely populated civilian areas. While Tel Aviv initially denied using the controversial weapon, mounting evidence later forced officials to admit having employed the shells.

In March, Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council in which he declared that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza and called for an independent inquiry into the issue.

He explained that Tel Aviv enforced an already crippling blockade on Gaza while bringing three weeks of devastation to the territory and preventing civilians from fleeing "from the orbit of harm".

Falk, who himself is Jewish but was banned from Israel before the war, describes the operations against Gaza as a "military assault with modern weaponry against an essentially defenseless society".

Earlier on Wednesday, a UN probe into the Israeli offensive against Gaza found Israel guilty of intentionally shelling a UN-run school and killing three people seeking shelter there. The raid was one of eight occasions where the Israeli army targeted UN personnel or facilities.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he would pressure Israel to pay compensation in excess of the $11 million in damages caused to UN property.


Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 5:19 AM

Palestinians rebuild with mud


Eva Bartlett
The Electronic Intifada, 8 May 2009

RAFAH, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - Jihad al-Shaar is pleased with his mud-brick house in the Moraj district of Gaza. The 80-square meter home is a basic one-story, two-bedroom design, with a small kitchen, bathroom and sitting room, made mostly with mud and straw.

"My wife and our four daughters and I were living with family, but it was overcrowded, impossible. We knew we had to build a home of our own," Shaar said. "We waited over two years for cement but because of the siege there is none available. What could we do, wait forever?"

So he decided to do it with mud.

Building earthen structures like bread ovens and small animal pens is a technique many Palestinians are familiar with, but extending the method to houses isn't a notion that has taken hold in Gaza.

Jihad al-Shaar got the idea from his travels in Asia and the Middle East. "I traveled in Bangladesh, India, Yemen, Turkey ... they all use some similar technique of building houses from earth. All you need is clay, sand and some straw." These he mixed with water, and poured into brick moulds that were left in the sun to dry for three days. Good enough to build a fine house with.

While some Gaza residents speak of shame at the way life has "gone backwards" with the siege -- using cooking oil in cars, wood fires for cooking, and horse and donkey carts for transportation -- Shaar is proud of his clay home.

"In the winter it is warm, and in the summer it will be cool. There's no problem with leaking, and this type of house will last a lifetime," he says. "And it was cheap to build. A house this size made of cement would cost around $16,000 at least. This one, because it was made with simple, local materials cost just $3,000."

Prior to Israel's crippling siege on Gaza cement would have cost 20 shekels (about $5) a bag. Now, with cement among the many banned items, what does make it into Gaza through tunnels under the Egypt border costs ten times as much.

The $3,000 Shaar spent was mostly on support metal and on the flakes of straw used in the mud bricks as a strengthening agent. The metal bits, formerly just over 1,000 shekels a ton, are now quadrupled in price, which contribute to making an otherwise cheap building process still somewhat pricey.

Straw abounds, but due to the siege it is more often used as animal fodder, rendering it more precious and driving the price up. Clay and sand, found all over Gaza, must still be transported to the building site.

Compared to a cement home, the mud homes Shaar has designed and taught others to build are nonetheless the most practical and immediate solution.

Nidal Eid, 35, has seven children and has been renting a home in the Rafah region since his house was bulldozed by the Israeli army four years ago. Larger than Shaar's and still in its nascent form, Eid's home will take another two weeks to complete, he estimates, and will cost roughly $4,000.

"It's going to be fantastic," Eid said, adding mud mortar and new bricks to the waist-high wall he has already completed. "We make about 1,000 bricks every three days."

The work, he said, was shared between six people. "I couldn't wait any longer for the siege to end. I have a family and we need a house, so I'm building this. Everything is difficult in Gaza, but we have to find ways to get by."

A tour through Jihad al-Shaar's home shows all sorts of creative touches to the simple structure. Inlaid shelves are custom-sized to hold gas lanterns, dishes, ornamental vases, books, an earth-brick bed eliminates the need for an additional bed frame. The 35cm thick walls keep the house surprisingly cool, and the wooden windows propped open by poles allow the breeze to pass through.

This sort of idea is catching on. Yousef al-Mansi, minister for public works and housing says the ministry will build a school, a mosque, and a clinic out of recycled rubble from bombed buildings.

The Gaza crossings online database of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) records that only two trucks carrying construction material have been allowed into Gaza since 19 January this year. Israel's assault on Gaza ended 18 January.

While $4.5 billion in aid money for reconstruction has been pledged by international donors, to date Israel has not permitted the entry of materials into Gaza.

During its three-week assault Israel destroyed some 5,000 homes and 20,000 buildings.

"Since I've made my house, I've got many calls from people, especially in Rafah, who want to rebuild their houses using this technique," says Shaar.

"There are entire families living in tents. Why not build a home like this? Because of the siege, we've found other ways of living."

All rights reserved, IPS - Inter Press Service (2009). Total or partial publication, retransmission or sale forbidden.

Play Video Mideast Video:Palestinians rebuild in mud, nothing else around AP




May 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm (Israel, Palestine, Religion)

By Angie Tibbs

12 May 2009

Angie Tibbs asks Pope Benedict XVI to justify his decision to shun the people of Gaza, including its Christian community, who are most in need of help, comfort, love and support in the wake of the Israeli blitzkrieg that left 1,400 civilians, including 400 children, dead.

It was with great shock, sadness and, yes, anger that I viewed the itinerary of your current trip to the Holy Land, a land beset by the unholiest of human actions.

I am very troubled and hugely disappointed that, as leader of the Catholic Church, you have chosen to ignore the people of Gaza who, just three months ago, were being bombarded from land, sea and air by the Israeli military.

Fourteen hundred of their loved ones, including over 400 children, were killed in that 22-day assault, killed without mercy by Jewish soldiers, supported by, in one Israeli survey, a “whopping 94 percent” of Jews in Israel.

Your Holiness, how can you justify this decision to bypass Gaza and its people? How can you reconcile not visiting a devastated people in a devastated land, living under a three-year siege, while you are partaking in activities in Israel? You are scheduled to meet with Israel’s two chief rabbis. Will you also meet with Gaza’s long-serving Catholic priest, Fr. Manuel Mussallam?

What, I wonder, is the real purpose of your visit?

Certainly, it is not to offer comfort, love and compassion to those that need it most. If this were the reason, you would have stipulated that Gaza and its people be an integral part of your journey.

You would meet with the families, sympathize with the victims of Israeli bombs, missiles, tanks. You would talk to the homeless. You would offer the people of Gaza some much needed encouragement, a spiritual uplifting, perhaps, as they struggle through an economic hardship deliberately imposed by their oppressors.

You would meet with the duly elected Palestinian leaders of Hamas, the only social, economic and resistance life line that the Palestinian people have ever had. I haven’t seen anyone else helping them, and obviously you have no intentions of helping them either. And that, to me, your Holiness, is truly unacceptable.

You are shunning the people who are most in need of help, most in need of comfort, most in need of love and support.

Can you not find it in your heart to walk among them, to reach out to them, to talk to them, to comfort them, to publicly pray for them?

Is this not what Jesus would do? Would Jesus not speak out in the midst of so much pain and suffering?

Are you not expected to display similar compassion and concern?

To turn your back on Gaza and its people will be a moral catastrophe, one that will reverberate throughout the ages. You will leave behind a legacy as the Pope who not only closed his eyes to a slow motion genocide being carried out against the Palestinian people, but also as the Pope who refused even to acknowledge the Palestinian people in Gaza during their time of great hardship.

I strongly urge you to reconsider your decision. The faithful of the world are watching. If, as we are told, there is a God, then he must be watching too.

The people of Gaza are waiting. Please, let this be their “miracle”.


Angie Tibbs

Angie Tibbs is a writer and activist. She can be reached at

This article was is also published on Dissident Voice.


Khudari calls on Pope Benedict XVI to visit Gaza

Related News.

Pope walks out of meeting after PA official criticizes Israel

Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Pope Benedict XVI left an interfaith meeting in Jerusalem early on Monday following a harshly worded attack on Israel by an Islamic judge, according to news reports.

The chief Islamic judge of the Palestinian Authority, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, had criticized Israel for “murdering women and children in Gaza and making Palestinians refugees, and declared Jerusalem the eternal Palestinian capital,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Following his remarks, and before the meeting had officially ended, the pope reportedly left, although Israel’s Army Radio said Benedict shook Tamimi’s hand before leaving.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Tamimi had opened his speech with a story about Saladin, who had upheld the rights of Christians after conquiring Jerusalem, and stressed that Islam and Christianity should unite against “Israeli occupation and bring about an independent state.”

“Israel destroyed our home, exiled our people, built settlements, ruined the Muslim holy sites, and slaughtered women, children and senior citizens in Gaza,” he added.

Haaretz noted that the majority of people in the audience applauded the remarks, but that the conference’s organizers nonetheless tried to persuade the judge to end his speech.

Tamimi was apparently not actually on a list of speakers for the event, but took the podium anyway. According to Father Deferico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See’s press office, Tamimi’s remarks were “not previewed by the organizers of the interreligious meeting.”

In a statement responding to the incident, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that “it is regrettable that Sheikh Tayssir Tamimi has abused an inter-religious meeting aimed at promoting dialogue and understanding between Christians, Jews and Muslims, in order to incite against Israel.”



May 9, 2009 at 7:29 am (Israel, Palestine, Religion)

The Coalition for Jerusalem has delivered a letter to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI through the Apostolic Delegation Office in Jerusalem today 9th May 2009.

The full text follows:

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI,

Your visit to the Holy Land your Holiness comes, at a time when the indigenous people of this land, both Muslims and Christians are suffering under an extremely brutal military occupation. A great injustice has smothered this land over sixty years and the people, the victims, are Still suffering its ramifications today. Israel’s continuing military occupation of Palestinian territories Since1967, has furthered this injustice by separating and isolating, discriminating against, killing, incarcerating, prohibiting the movement and access to the Holy places for prayer, blockading, starving and denying medical treatment of millions of Palestinians.
Over 3.5 million Palestinians are still living in refugee camps, waiting with patient desperation for the implementation of their human, ethical and moral right to return to their homes.

In this context, the Palestinians welcome your Holiness to the Holy Land hopeful that your visit will bring with it the justice and peace the Palestinians have been longing for; they have endured and dearly sacrificed in order to achieve the just peace.

Your Holiness, You will pray in Jerusalem, the City Holy to the three monotheistic religions and a source of spirituality for millions more. As a result of Israel’s systematic policies that aim to turn Jerusalem into a Jewish capital of the Jewish State, Jerusalem is today rendered an isolated city though it is the home of over three hundred thousand Palestinians. These numbers and the high growth rate among the Christian and Muslim population of the city endangers the demographics and tries to ensure the maintenance of a Jewish majority. This in turn means that crimes of a routine nature like home demolitions, land and property confiscation, evictions, revocation of residency rights, high taxations, etc. are daily practices committed by Israel against the Palestinians in Jerusalem. Jerusalem today, and under the eyes and full knowledge of the International Community is witnessing yet another wave of Israel’s ethnic cleansing crimes that continue since 1948.

Your Holiness, Bethlehem will be another Palestinian city that You will visit. This little town that was an open and accessible city for all to visit and pray in, is today encircled by an eight-meter cement Wall that not only imprisons some 186,000 Palestinians but has also impoverished a whole population that has always been prosperous and productive. The alarming rate of emigration among Christians in general and in Bethlehem in particular, is but another indicator of the deteriorating situation.

Your Holiness will also visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, a memorial that stands to remind us all of the brutality of the Human Being. We urge your Holiness that on this visit you will also remember and pay tribute to all the victims of the Second World War, the fifty five million that were killed as a result and not only the six million Jews.

We urge you to remember and pray for the Palestinians who are direct victims of this war. In asking for forgiveness for the atrocities committed by people in our recent history, we are hopeful that your Holiness will speak out against the continuing atrocities that are committed against the Palestinian people.

We welcome You to Jerusalem and the Holy Land and trust that your Holiness will not forsake the Palestinian people who look up to you for help to lift this injustice and to achieve their sacred rights of freedom, independence and self determination.

Mathew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

May your pilgrimage be also instrumental in bringing peace, love and good will to All!

The Coalition for Jerusalem

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

US Afghan Strike so Bloody, Karzai Begs for Mercy; Pakistan Joins the Act.

US Afghan Strike so Bloody, Karzai Begs for Mercy; Pakistan Joins the Act.

By Will

Actually, a better headline would be 'Karzai plays leader, pretends to confront the United States.' He was unhappy his master's attacks have killed so many civilians. In one bombing spree this week, an estimated 147 civilians from two nearby villages lost their lives. Pakistan is following suit with civilian-terrorizing campaigns on its own territory.

Karzai is demanding a halt to American air strikes. Nod and wink.

He announced this at a meeting Wednesday in Washington with his overlord.

In most countries, a leader would never hold a friendly summit with the leader of the country that just killed so many of his civilians. The Afghan puppet version is an empty demand, followed by President Obama's "sorrow." A real leader would have left in protest and done something in response.

That this Pinocchio-leader won't really take any moves against his Geppetto; so he deceives with false demands.

What a charade. It only shows what a fiction the American-installed government of Afghanistan is. Even if the Taliban are routed, which they won't be, this government will likely never prevail. It has already been corrupted by association with a deadly invasion, the institutionalization of warlordism, and re-emergence of a narco-economy. It is an embryonic failed state even with American success.

At the meeting Wednesday in Washington between Obama, Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, they further solidified their commitment to fighting extremists in their respective territories. President Obama won their approval for stepped up efforts by warning that Congress wants to see more bang for the buck in terms of US aid.

Immediately, Pakistan launched a domestic bombing campaign in its famously ungoverned provinces, the beginning of a war of survival. Pakistani jets hit a Taliban-controlled town and bombed fighters. This sent hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing in terror. Those who could not escape begged for a pause in the bombing to escape.

The total number of preexisting refugees is half a million people. They left the Swat Valley and nearby districts already. After this, according to the UN, the total number of displaced due to Pakistan's internal offensive will approach 1 million. Wow, sounds like Darfuran numbers. In the context of full-fledged war, the government will become more vicious and increasingly punish civilians who harbor the fighters.

Civilians have already paid significantly in previous government attacks against this part of Pakistan. That surely only helps the opposition. But it makes Congress happy. They like to see the war of occupation next door spill into a civil war next door because it makes the American agenda seem valid. The problems are so structural -- the non-governability of that part of Pakistan, the prominance of Taliban-like orientations among the populace there and in Afghanistan -- they are unlikely to go away.

Looks like our progressive President will be presiding over a resign of terror in AfPak.

Update: Don't believe the hype about the Talibanization of Pakistan.

Sayyed Nasrallah, Berri, Aoun Meet over Jizzine District

Sayyed Nasrallah, Berri, Aoun Meet over Jizzine District
Readers Number : 13

09/05/2009 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, Speaker Nabih Berri and MP General Michel Aoun held a meeting Friday night to discuss the latest developments in Lebanon at all levels, particularly the upcoming election in June.

According to a Hezbollah’s Media Relations statement, the meeting was also attended by MP Hasan Khalil, Berri’s political aid, Telecommunications Minister Jibran Bassil and Sayyed Nasrallah’s political aid Hussein Khalil.

MP Aoun and Speaker Berri, two key constituents of the Lebanese National Opposition, have two competing lists of candidates in the district of Jizzine. Both parties stressed the competition will be democratic and will not affect their alliance across Lebanon.

During the meeting, Berri and Aoun underlined the following:
“1- With regards to the particularity of the Jizzine district, the election will take place in a civilized and friendly manner between the two parties, with two competing and closed tickets.
2- Each group confirms that this election (in Jizzine) will not affect the inclusive alliance with the other group in other districts and therefore pledge to spare no effort with allies to expand participation and voting outright for the opposition.
3- Both parties take upon themselves projecting their alliance on the political and media levels through every possible means that enhances the unified position of the opposition.
4- Both parties vow that the outcome of the Jizzine election shall not affect the unified position of the two groups in particular and the opposition in general, in a way that guarantees understanding later on every future event including the government and the parliament.”

Gaza 2009: The Moment of Truth

By Dr. Haidar Eid - Gaza
Gaza has returned to its pre-massacre state of siege, confronted with the usual, conspiratorial, "international" indifference after 22 long days and dark nights, during which its brave people were left alone to face one of the strongest armies in the world -- an army that has hundreds of nuclear warheads, thousands of trigger-happy soldiers armed with Merkava tanks, F-16s, Apache helicopters, naval gunships and phosphorous bombs. Gaza now does not make news. It's people die slowly, its children malnourished, its water contaminated, its nights dark, and yet it is deprived even of a word of sympathy from the likes of Ban Ki Moon and the president of "Change; Yes We Can."
Israel could not have carried out its genocidal war, preceded and followed by a medieval, hermetic siege, without a green light from the international community. During the massacre, one Israeli soldier commented: "That's what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn't have to be with a weapon, you don't have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him."
When apartheid Israel decided to attack the northern part of the Gaza Strip in late February, early March of 2008, we were threatened with a greater shoah (Holocaust) by the deputy minister of war, then, Matan Vilnaii. Around 164 Palestinians, including 64 children were killed. What was the reaction of the international community? Absolutely nothing. In fact, the EU decided to reward the oppressor by issuing declarations of intentions to upgrade their trade agreements with Israel, which, needless to say, served as a green light for the current atrocities. On Sunday 18 January, Israel's Prime Minister Olmert, a war criminal by all standards, expressed his pleasure to six European leaders, over their "extraordinary support for the state of Israel and their concern about its security". In retrospect, the upgrading of relations between the EU and Israel in early December 2008 was a green light for the larger Gaza massacre of 2009. In spite of the war crimes committed by the IOF, and in spite of the obvious fascist make-up of the current government, the EU will continue to strengthen bilateral relations with Tel Aviv.
Within this context, the anti-apartheid freedom fighter Ronnie Kasrils says:
“What [Hendrik] Verwoerd [the architect of apartheid] admired too was the impunity with which Israel exercised state violence and terror to get its way, without hindrance from its Western allies, increasingly key among them the USA. What Verwoerd and his ilk came to admire in Israel.., was the way the Western powers permitted an imperialist Israel to use its unbridled military with impunity in expanding its territory and holding back the rising tide of Arab nationalism in its neighborhood.”
March 2008 was, then, a rehearsal for Gaza 2009. Israel knew that it could go on committing war crimes fully equipped with an international conspiracy of silence. The international community did not react in March 2008: why would it do otherwise in 2009? That was the Israeli logic, and so it remains. Mind you, Israel's fascist foreign minister is of the opinion that Gaza should've been nuked. No wonder Adolf Hitler once said: "What luck for rulers that men do not think!"
For those who accuse us of subscribing to conspiracy theories, we have this reminder: in 2004 the Israeli Professor Arnon Soffer, Head of the IOF's National Defense College, and an advisor to Ariel Sharon, spelled out the desired results of Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza in an interview with the Jerusalem Post:
“ ... when 1.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it's going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today,... The pressure at the border will be awful. It's going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day...If we don't kill, we will cease to exist...Unilateral separation doesn't guarantee "peace" - it guarantees a Zionist-Jewish state with an overwhelming majority of Jews...”
Then, there is the view bluntly expressed in 2002 by Israel's then chief of staff, General Moshe Yaalon, and which I think sums up the objective of the hermetic medieval siege and the massacre:
"The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people".
Now, this is a total dehumanization of the Palestinians of Gaza. And West Bankers, here is the message for you: you'd better accept your fate as cockroaches, ready to be crushed willingly under the boot of a zealot Israeli soldier, or else.
The resemblance of Israel's campaign of tribalistic racist hate both to that of apartheid SA and to Hitler's murderous regime has recently been articulated by Comrade Kasrils:
“Certainly we South Africans can identify the pathological cause, fuelling the hate, of Israel's political-military elite and public in general. Neither is this difficult for anyone acquainted with colonial history to understand the way in which deliberately cultivated race hate inculcates a justification for the most atrocious and inhumane actions against even defenseless civilians - women, children, the elderly amongst them. In fact was this not the pathological racist ideology that fuelled Hitler's war lust and implementation of the Holocaust?”
In actual fact, if there is something to learn from Gaza 2009, it is that the world was absolutely wrong to think that Nazism was defeated in 1945. Nazism has won because it has finally managed to Nazify the consciousness of its own victims! Just think about the soldiers' T-shirts episodes. The courageous Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has written that Israel today looks very much like Germany in 1933.
But now the urgent question is how to hold Israel accountable to international law and basic principles of human rights in order to forestall the imminent escalation? The most immediate and pressing questions within this context are: what the nature of international solidarity should be and how it can best support the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.
The South African apartheid regime came under repeated pressure from the international community and multilateral organizations such as the United Nations Security Council which passed countless resolutions against it because of its inhumane treatment of blacks. This gave much-needed succor to the oppressed, while we today are bereft of even this tiny comfort because the United States continues to use its veto to ensure that Israel escapes censure from the world body.
Grassroots opposition to a brutal apartheid finally forced the US and UK and other governments around the world to isolate apartheid South Africa. They would not have done so without the pressure exerted on them by their own people. Israel needs to be isolated in exactly the same way as apartheid South Africa. Today, there is a growing mass-based struggle inside Palestine, as well as other forms of struggle, exactly as there was inside apartheid South Africa. An intensified international solidarity movement with a common agenda can make the struggle for Palestine resonate in every country in the world, thus closing off the world to Israelis until they open the world to Palestinians. Our goal now, as civil society organizations, is to lift the deadly hermetic siege imposed on Gaza causing slow motion genocide; marching towards the six gates of the Gaza prison has been tried and must intensify. This is what many activists, Palestinian and international, are planning to do. Our BDS campaign modeled on the South African anti-apartheid global campaign is gaining momentum as a democratic movement based on the struggle for human rights and implementation of international law. Our struggle is NOT religious, nor ethnic, nor racial, but rather universalistic: one that guarantees the rehumanization of our people in the face of a genocidal machine run by what Moshe Dayan would have called "a mad dog."
The Palestinians of Gaza have lost faith in the failed "peace process" and the two-state solution; hence, the desperate need for a new national program that can mobilize the masses; a program that is necessarily democratic in its nature; one that respects resistance in its different forms and, ultimately, guarantees peace with justice. The new, much-needed program, however, must make the necessary link between all Palestinian struggles: the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, Israel's ethnically-based discrimination and rights violations of more than one million Palestinian citizens, as well as the 1948 externally displaced refugees.
What we are constantly told, is either accept Israeli occupation in its ugliest form -- i.e. the ongoing presence of the apartheid wall, colonies, checkpoints, zigzag roads, color-coded number plates, house demolitions and security coordination supervised by a retired American general -- or have a hermetic medieval siege imposed on us, but still die with dignity.
But, the lesson we learn from Gaza 2009, exactly like Sharpville 1960, is to harness all effort to fight the outcome of the Oslo Accords, and to form a United Front on a platform of resistance and reforms. This cannot be achieved without realizing that ministries, premierships, and presidencies in Gaza and Ramallah are a façade not unlike those inauthentic structures in the South African Independent Homelands. In a short story by SA writer, Najbuolu Ndebel, a young black woman comments on the generous offer given by the racist white government: "That's how it is planned. That we be given a little of everything, and so prize the little we have that we forget about FREEDOM."
This is exactly what Steve Biko, the hero of anti-apartheid struggle--who paid his life for the freedom of all South Africans-- meant when he said:
“Not only have the whites been guilty of being on the offensive, but by some skilful manoeuvres, they have managed to control the responses of the blacks to the provocation. Not only have they kicked the black, but they have also told him how to react to the kick. For a long time the black has been listening with patience to the advice he has been receiving on how best to respond to the kick. With painful slowness he is now beginning to show signs that it is his right and duty to respond to the kick in the way he sees fit.”
And we, Palestinians, have decided to respond to the Zionist kick in the way we see fit. In Ndebel's story quoted earlier, a black intellectual makes it clear that "[he'd] rather be a hungry dog that runs freely in the streets , than a fat, chained dog burdened with itself and the weight of the chain." These examples used again and again in the anti-Apartheid literature sum up the lessons we learn from Gaza 2009. In a word it is resilience.
Archbishop Desmund Tutu of South Africa said, in a much quoted wisdom: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." And as I said in an earlier article, while IOF were bombing my neighborhood, the UN, EU, Arab League and the international community by and large have remained silent in the face of atrocities committed by Apartheid Israel. They are therefore on the side of Israel. Hundreds of dead corpses of children and women have failed to convince them to intervene.
We are, therefore, left with one option, an option that does not wait for the United Nations Security Council or Arab Summits: the option of people's power, as we have been repeatedly saying. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The horror of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa was challenged with a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated in 1958 and given new urgency in 1960 after the Sharpeville Massacre. This campaign led ultimately to the collapse of white rule in 1994 and the establishment of a multi-racial, democratic state.
Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza 2009, like Sharpeville 1960, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it. This is the only way to ensure the creation of a secular, democratic state for all in historic Palestine regardless of race, sect and ethnicity. The Australian journalist John Pilger has this to say:
"What happens in Gaza is the defining moment of our time, which either grants the impunity of war criminals the immunity of our silence, while we contort our own intellect and morality, or gives us the power to speak out."
Gaza 2009, with mass mobilization and international solidarity, is, therefore, becoming the guiding torch, not only for the Palestinian people, but also for the Arab world, towards a new Middle East, one that is, unlike Condoleezza Rice's ME, characterized by democracy and freedom. This is the least our resistance to religious exclusivism, xenophobia, and tribalistic world view should lead to.
- Based on a speech delivered via video link at a panel on "Promoting a Culture of Resistance" at the 4th Bil'in International Conference on Grassroots Popular Resistance.
- Dr. Haidar Eid is Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza Strip, Palestine. Dr. Eid is a founding member of the One Democratic State Group (ODSG) and a member of Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 9:37 PM 0 comments

Samir Kuntar was Innocent, Says Former Israeli Police Chief

Samir Kuntar was Innocent, Says Former Israeli Police Chief

You also met with Samir Kuntar of the Palestine Liberation Front, who murdered members of the Haran family in Nahariya and was released as part of the deal with Hezbollah that brought back the bodies of the two abducted soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

“We turned Kuntar into God-knows-what - the murderer of Danny Haran and his daughter, Einat. The man who smashed in the girl’s head. That’s nonsense. A story. A fairy tale. He told me he didn’t do it and I believe him. I investigated the event within the framework of the next book I am writing, about hostage-taking incidents. As far as I am concerned, it was no more than a newspaper report. I sat with him; he was very intelligent. He was a squad commander at 17. He told me that his motive for infiltrating Nahariya was to take hostages. He said [his organization] knew that would both humiliate Israel and get them media publicity.”

He told me: ‘If I had wanted to kill Danny and his daughter, I would have shot them in the house. I took them to the boat because I wanted hostages. I had no interest in hurting them. After I got them into the boat, wild gunfire started and I went back to help my squad on the shore. Danny, the father, kept shouting, “Stop firing, you crazy people.” He and his daughter were found shot in the boat. I was on a small rise, shooting at your forces, and the boat was 20 meters away in the water, with Danny and the girl.’

So you say that Kuntar did not murder Haran and his daughter?

“That is what he says, and in my opinion there is support for the fact that they were killed by fire from the Israeli rescue forces. You can accuse him all you like, but it was obviously the rescue forces that opened fire. There were all kinds of legends about Kuntar. People also said that he would return to being a terrorist [after his release]. Nonsense. He told me then explicitly that he would not go back to terrorism, that he was too old to execute operations - and that’s also clear. For the same reason, I see no problem in releasing terrorists with blood on their hands in return for [kidnapped soldier] Gilad Shalit. I get the feeling the country is waiting for his body.”


Posted by Faisal Tehrani at 10:42 AM

Mustapha Barghouti: We are Heading For A Third Intifada

Mustapha Barghouti: We are Heading For A Third Intifada
Milan, May 2009

Mustafa Barghouti, an eminent personality and exponent of Palestinian civil society, a former candidate at the presidential elections of the Palestinian National Authority in 2005, then Information Minister in the national unity government headed by Ismail Haniye, is also a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

He participated at the VII International Conference of the Palestinians in Europe for the Right of Return, held in Milan, at the sidelines of which Arabmonitor met with him to get his opinion on crucial issues.

How do you evaluate the ongoing reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo ? Is there any possibility of an understanding coming out from them ?

“Reaching an understanding would be of vital importance for the Palestinians. On some points progress was achieved, for example regarding the need to reform the PLO and on the call for simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections as well as regarding the necessity to form a unity government. On other issues however, the gap between the parties remains huge, for instance regarding the future government's program and the management of the security issue”.
Has any agreement been reached regarding the name of the eventual future Prime Minister ?

“That argument was not yet discussed. What was agreed upon is that the government would be formed by independents or technicians instead of by members of either one of the blocs”.

Do you see any chance for an accord to be reached ?

“It all depends on (US President Barack) Obama”.

On Obama ?

“Yes, certainly, because it's the White House which must guarantee that the future Palestinian government does not get boycotted, otherwise no understanding will be possible”.

Are you optimistic ?

“At least, with the present (US) administration we can say: let's wait and see”.

In the present administration who could be considered to be the most sympathetic towards the Palestinians, certainly not the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton ?

“That's absolutely right, in fact, it's the first time that the President is more open than his own Secretary of State”.

What about the Arab states, what kind of support do they give the Palestinians ?

“For the Arab states, what's on the table is the Arab Peace Initiative. They're not discussing anything else”.

Is Egypt interfering heavily with the talks among Hamas and Fatah ?

“No, they seem to have taken upon themselves an authentic role of facilitators for the talks, apparently they are not putting any pressure on the parties”.

Should an understanding with Hamas not be forthcoming, how would Fatah react?

“They would be absolutely relaxed. They've got all the power in the West Bank. They collect the international donations and manage them. For all the rest they have little concern”.

And there are no divisions inside the Fatah bloc ?

“Oh, yes there are, and how, but they are sparked essentially by a struggle for power: who gets a hold on power and on how much of it”.

And what about the struggle between the old and the new generation ?

“That's a Western simplification. There's much talking about the old ones being corrupt, however they forget that the most corrupt of them all is a so-called young leader (Mohammed Dahlan ?)".

And Marwan Barghouti, does he still enjoy grass-root support ?

“He certainly is the most popular among the leaders, but I wouldn't exaggerate”.

How about Abu Mazen, what's the degree of popularity he can rely on ?

“Well, he never actually enjoyed such a great deal of popularity to start with and with the Israeli war against Gaza he lost some more of it”.

And Salam Fayyad ?

“He's cleverer. He gets around much, talks to the people, claims to be against armed resistance, but he keeps himself active. His appeal is greater than that of Abu Mazen”.

But Abu Mazen also declares himself opposed to armed resistance ?

“Abu Mazen is opposed also to verbal resistance”.

The question about the end of Abu Mazen's term as President (expired in January) doesn't come up any more in the talks between Hamas and Fatah ?

“Hamas doesn't mention it. As of now, the issue has been put on hold. If the reconciliation talks will succeed, this issue won't come up any more. If they fail, it will resurface prominently”.

Do you recognize any Israeli partner with whom peace talks might be forthcoming ?

“At this point in time, I see nobody”.

Not even Ehud Barak ?

“I would say, he's the worst of all sitting cabinet ministers, he's the one committed to perform the role of Labourist”.

You came to Milan to talk about the Right of Return.

“That is the central issue of the Palestinian question. It is a right and as such it is not negotiable. Would you forsake your rights ? Your right to your citizenship ? The right to live as a free man in your country ?”.

Thinking about the upcoming visit of the Pope to Palestine, do you believe it will have an impact on the situation on the ground ?

“I would say it will have zero impact. The Palestinians don't overestimate this visit, although Israel will surely try to exploit it”.

In case the Gaza Strip remains isolated for a longer time to come, do you see any risk of a renewed upsurge in violence ?

“What I see on the horizon is the outbreak of a new Intifada in all of the Occupied Territories of Palestine and that is going to be pretty tumultuous”.

Within short ?

“I wouldn't be able to predict a timeline, but the suffering is enormous”.

Palestinians Demonstrate against 'Israeli Occupation Flu'

Palestinians Demonstrate against 'Israeli Occupation Flu'
Readers Number : 30

08/05/2009 Dozens of Palestinian and foreign activists sporting protective face masks demonstrated on Friday against the "occupation flu" from the Zionist entity, stressing it said was worse than swine flu.

The demonstrators gathered in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin brandished banners that read: "Put an end to occupation flu."

"The world today is extremely interested in swine flu because it has killed people but it has forgotten that what we suffer from is worse," one of the protesters, Abdullah Abu Rahmeh said.

"We are trying to draw the world's attention to a virus that is much more dangerous than swine flu, the virus of the Israeli occupation that has caused the deaths of

Plans to Judaize Jerusalem; No peace without Jerusalem

Hanna: No peace without Jerusalem

[ 08/05/2009 - 05:24 PM ]

AMMAN, (PIC)-- The prominent Palestinian Christian figure archimandrite Atallah Hanna has called on the Arab countries to immediately mobilize to save the occupied city of Jerusalem of the persistent Israeli activities to judaize it, stressing that there will be no peace in the region till Jerusalem is returned to the Palestinians.

The archimandrite's call was made during a speech in the anti-racism and anti-Zionism society in Jordan Wednesday where he also underlined that the Palestinian Christians would hand the Pope of the Vatican a clear message during his visit to occupied Palestine that Palestinian people were and would remain adherent to Jerusalem and that they are against any Israeli settlement measures in it.

He also expressed hope that the Pope would be able to see for himself the suffering of the Palestinian people under the Israeli occupation, underling that returning the occupied city to the Arabs would ensure freedom of religion in the holy city.

"There will be no [Palestinian] state without Jerusalem, and Jerusalem wouldn’t be free without the return of the Palestinian refugees to their home land, and this right we should adopt and defend", Hanna pointed out.

He added that although Palestine witnessed many Nakbas (catastrophes); yet, he added, the human tragedy in Gaza was beyond all catastrophes, underscoring that Zionism was the worst form of racism there is "because racism was embodied in the Zionist ideology".

Moreover, Hanna criticized the Arab condition, describing it as "unhealthy", stressing that the big challenges before the Arab Ummah calls on it to unite in order to confront the Dangers that engulf it.

Finally, Hanna called on the people not to be disappointed or surrender, asserting that the Palestinian issue is a just issue and it would prevail. He also called on them not to be deceived by the Israeli allegations of seeking peace, underscoring that the Israelis want the Arabs to surrender, and that they weren’t interested in making peace with the Palestinians at all.

Salah exposes new Zionist plans to Judaize Jerusalem

[ 07/05/2009 - 10:00 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The prominent Muslim leader in the 1948-occupied Palestinian lands Shiekh Raed Salah has exposed on Thursday an Israeli scheme prepared and crystallized by five Israeli ministries, which targets the Muslim identity of Jerusalem.

In a press conference he held in the city's suburb of Sheikh Jarrah, Salah asserted, "There is a broad Zionist scheme being prepared with the aim to hit the social fabric in Sheikh Jarrah suburb, Wadi Al-Joz, and Sawwana with the aim to cordon the old city, and to expand 32 settlement colonies around the Aqsa Mosque in preparation to ultimately control it".

He also disclosed that the city's Jewish municipal administration started to survey Palestinian homes in the occupied city to find out any extension in the building permits in order to justify the demolition of that extension or even of reducing the entire house to rubbles.

He described numbers of the Palestinian homes that are threatened with demolition in Jerusalem as "horrifying", adding that the municipal engineers were preparing new plans to build more Jewish settlements on the ruins of the Palestinian homes.

Moreover, Salah pointed out that a Jewish organization interested in constructing more Jewish colonies in the city had offered a Palestinian Jerusalemite $ 600,000 for every square meter of his real estate.

"International Zionism, using its different arms, is working hard to achieve its objectives in the holy city amidst the passive and unexplainable silence," Salah said.

Tens of Palestinian homes in the occupied city were demolished recently under false Israeli allegations, turning hundreds of Palestinian Jerusalemite families homeless. The IOA, however, insisted on pursuing the demolition policy despite calls from the UN to halt them.

Putting Lebanon's elections in context


Rami Khouri, in the Daily Star, here

"......First, this is a rare election in the Arab world where the results are not known ahead of time - and, when they are known, they definitely will not show one party winning with 97.8 percent of the vote, as happens in so many other Arab countries where elections are an insulting joke. This is especially true given that somewhere around 17-19 seats whose results are not predictable (out of 128 in total) will determine the overall results. .......

Second, ideological contests in Lebanon often are proxy battles for wider antagonisms in the Middle East and globally. The two main camps - roughly the Hariri-led group that is allied with the United States and the conservative Arabs, and the Hizbullah-and-Michael Aoun-led group that is allied with Syria and Iran - reflect the two dominant ideological confrontations that now define the Middle East. The election results will clarify the relative strengths of these two camps, probably revealing nearly equally matched strengths that will reinforce the need for negotiated coexistence and power-sharing.

Third, on the national front, the elections are often contested on the basis of what could be called, in very rough shorthand, pro- or anti-Syrian platforms.... This is of monumental importance for most Lebanese, and of marginal interest for everyone else in the world. However, it deserves watching because the local developments touch on, and reflect, the wider trends that make Lebanon such a powerful microcosm of the Middle East as a whole.

Fourth, the elections may be an important step in clarifying if Lebanon and the entire region move toward more secular, non-sectarian and meritocratic governance systems, or sink deeper into the current regional trend where religion, ethnicity and sect are playing a greater role in life, power, and identity. The Lebanese people have repeatedly expressed their desire for a more non-sectarian governance system - as agreed in the Taif Accord that helped end the civil war in 1990 - but to date they seem incapable of making the transition to that new world.

And fifth, the issue that might be clarified by the election results and the political deal-making that will follow is whether Lebanon - like most Arab countries - will opt for a strong central state that is also efficient and equitable in serving its citizens, or instead will remain with the current model of a weak central state dominated by special interests, ethnic groups, religious organizations, and armed groups - most directly and openly supported, funded and armed by foreign governments......"

Posted by G, Z, & or B at 5:38 PM

Friday 8 May 2009

Gaza: pursuit of the laws of war



If the UN fails to further investigate crimes committed during the conflict it will ensure stalemate, and more suffering for civilians.

The Israeli government and its supporters have lashed out at the report of the UN board of inquiry into Israeli attacks on UN installations during Israel's latest offensive in Gaza. The report, they say, is biased, tendentious and inaccurate. According to Robbie Sabel, writing in Comment is Free, the "unbalanced report" does "little to bring understanding or justice to the conflict in Gaza".

The full report has not been published, but there's little in the summary that UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon sent to the security council on Tuesday to support such claims. On the contrary, it provides careful but compelling evidence that Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) violated the laws of war during their military operations around UN installations in Gaza.

According to the summary, the board of inquiry concluded that "IDF actions involved varying degrees of negligence and recklessness with regard to United Nations premises and the safety of United Nations staff and other civilians within those premises, with consequent deaths, injuries and extensive physical damage and loss of property". The board also holds "Hamas or another Palestinian actor" responsible for one attack on a UN installation – a World Food Progamme warehouse hit by a Qassam rocket.

The terms of reference of the UN inquiry were extremely narrow. Its job was to look at attacks on eight UN installations and one UN convoy during the period of Israel's military offensive. As far as one can tell from the summary, the board has been meticulous in sticking to these terms of reference.

However, the conclusions of the inquiry, as represented in the summary (which, it should be noted, was not written by those who wrote the full report), raise broader questions about the use of force by the IDF during the conflict. It appears the authors of the UN report felt these questions should not be ducked. The summary notes that the board of inquiry was "deeply conscious" that the attacks on UN installations investigated in its report "are among many incidents ­during Operation Cast Lead involving civilian victims".

The board therefore recommended that "these incidents should be investigated as part of an impartial inquiry, mandated and adequately resourced, to investigate violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza and southern Israel by the IDF and by Hamas and other Palestinian militants".

But in his letter to the security council presenting his summary, secretary general Ban Ki-moon says bluntly: "I do not plan any further inquiry." Whether under pressure from external sources – as reported in the Israeli media – or not, the secretary general has thus rejected his own board of inquiry's most important recommendation even before the security council has had time to discuss it.

Indeed Ban could not even bring himself to put his weight behind an inquiry that has already been mandated by the UN human rights council to investigate broader laws of war violations in the Gaza fighting. Although the human rights council has often been criticised for an anti-Israel bias, this inquiry is headed by Richard Goldstone, who gained international respect for his critical role in dismantling apartheid in his native South Africa and served with distinction as the chief prosecutor at the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Goldstone has said that he will look at violations committed by both sides in the conflict.

So what happens now? The media and human rights organisations like Human Rights Watch have already documented serious violations of the laws of war by both sides in the conflict in Gaza, several of which have now been corroborated by this latest UN report. There is a strong prima facie case for a broad international and impartial inquiry, as recommended by the UN board.

Justice Goldstone's inquiry (which has been accepted by Hamas but rejected by Israel) should be fully backed by the secretary general, the security council and all those states who profess to care about the vital importance of upholding the rule of law in international affairs.

There is a wide perception, backed up by strong evidence, that serious laws of war violations were committed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. Failure by the UN to investigate and make recommendations for the prosecution of individuals responsible for war crimes will perpetuate the climate of impunity that characterises this conflict, like so many others, and ensure that in the next round of fighting once again it will be civilians who suffer most. That will only further polarise and radicalise both sides and dim even further the prospects of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.


Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 12:45 PM

May is 61st. Anniversary of Nakba (Catastrophe).

The Displacement of Palestinians by Zionists Terrorists!

Palestinians driven out of their land in 1948  by Zionist Terrorists

Palestinians driven out of their land in 1948 by Zionist Terrorists

Ruins of the Palestinian village of Suba, near Jerusalem, overlooking Kibbutz Zova, which was built on the village lands

Ruins of the Palestinian village of Suba, near Jerusalem, overlooking Kibbutz Zova, which was built on the village lands

Ruins of the former Arab village of Bayt Jibrin, inside the green line west of Hebron.

Ruins of the former Arab village of Bayt Jibrin, inside the green line west of Hebron.

In this month of May, marks the 61st anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe), a critical event in Palestine history. After such a long time, millions of Palestinian refugees are still unable to exercise their basic human right to return to their homes. Thus, Israel’s glorious celebration of establishing a homeland in 1948 is when more than 750,000 Palestinians were displaced or expelled by the Israeli military forces and more than 500 Palestinian villages were depopulated(by Massacres and were driven out) and later destroyed. Of the roughly 150,000 Palestinians who remained in that part of Palestine that became the state of Israel on 15 May 1948, several tens of thousands were internally displaced. This unlawful displacement continues until today with the home demolitions

May 8, 2009 Posted by Elias

Five More Mossad Agents

Five More Mossad Agents Arrested in Lebanon
Readers Number : 235

08/05/2009 Security forces have arrested Friday five individuals in various southern towns on suspicion of collaborating with the Israeli Mossad.

Sources told Al-Manar that the security forces arrested (S. Abbas) and (R. Bazzi) in the southern town of Bent Jbeil on suspicion of dealing with the Zionist entity. They also arrested (H. Abbas) in the southern town of Qana on the same suspicion.

Earlier, a security source said that the suspects arrested in Ghaziyyeh were identified as brothers (H. Shehab) and (M. Shehab). It added that “security forces are searching their house for evidence and that they are being interrogated.”

Until today, the number of collaborators arrested since the beginning of 2009 has risen to 22. They have been referred to military court after they had been charged for collaboration with the enemy.

Moussawi: Spread of Spy Cells Result of Attacks on Resistance
Readers Number : 84

08/05/2009 Hezbollah candidate in the southern Tyr district Sayyed Nawwaf Moussawi said on Thursday that one of the root causes for the spread of the Zionist entity's spy networks in Lebanon was represented by the political attacks on the Resistance, which pave the way for Israel to recruit informants and spies.

Speaking during an electoral meeting in Tyr, Moussawi warned that dealing with the Resistance as an element which needs to be eliminated, or saying that its weapons contradict the unity of Lebanon, opens the way for Israeli penetration.

The Hezbollah candidate stressed that the spying networks prove some people’s lack of national pride. "We need to find the reasons behind this disease and find a cure for it," he said.


The Magority ruling Lebanon lack national bride.
Is it a concidance that most of the spy cells were "discovered" now ahead of election, by the information security off loyal to Hariri?

'Israel occupation worse than swine flu'

'Israel occupation worse than swine flu'

Fri, 08 May 2009 17:53:26 GMT

The Israeli crackdown on a Bilin protest

Activists have taken up the cudgels on behalf of a free homeland, claiming that the swine flu-ridden Palestine would hurt less than the one under the occupation of Israel.

On Friday, the Palestinian and foreign activists in the West Bank village of Bilin renewed their complaint of the Israeli occupation, AFP reported.

"The world today is extremely interested in swine flu because it has killed people but it has forgotten that what we suffer from is worse," one protester, Abdullah Abu Rahmeh was quoted as saying.

"We are trying to draw the world's attention to a virus that is much more dangerous than swine flu, the virus of the Israeli occupation that has caused the deaths of thousands of Palestinians," he added.

They wore protective masks and unfurled banners reading "put an end to occupation flu."

The demonstrators usually protest at Tel Aviv's erection of a 723-kilometer separation wall in the nearby village of Ni'lin. The barrier encroaches upon vast expanses of the Palestinian land under the pretext of 'protecting' Israeli settlers - who on the same day had killed a Palestinian.

Israel, which has detected seven cases of affliction with the A(H1N1) strain of the flu, was the first to report sufferers in the Middle East.

Since its April outbreak, the viral disease has reportedly hit 2,371 people the world over.

The US-based anti-Semitism watch, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has accused the Arab media of taking advantage of the contagion to provoke aversion towards the Jews, Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

The center targeted dailies such as the Qatari Al-Watan and UK-based Al-Quds al-Arabi's publication of cartoons which depicted the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a swine.