Saturday 16 January 2010

Newspaper: Egypt will fortify its security system around the wall

Newspaper: Egypt will fortify its security system around the wall

[ 16/01/2010 - 04:50 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- An Egyptian newspaper revealed that the Egyptian authorities intend to make its security system around the steel wall more complicated through building observation towers, installing sensors and surveillance cameras to prevent any attempt to smuggle anything into the Gaza Strip.

Al-Shorouq newspaper on Saturday quoted informed sources as saying that in the northern part of this security system, there will be 10 observation towers overlooking the sea guarded by gunboats.

The newspaper added that Egypt will also establish a fence of barbed wire starting from the last observation tower whose location will be at the village of Abu Shnar which is six kilometers away from Gaza borders and reaching Karam Abu Salem crossing.

The newspaper also noted that Egypt intends to build a small security seaport near its borders with Gaza for the gunboats.

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Israel’s Growing Insanity

Intifada Voice

By Avigail Abarbanel

Benzion Netanyahu and Benjamin Netanyahu

I wrote this on 9th February 2009, the day before Israel’s election, after seeing an interview with Benjamin Netanyahu’s father on Israeli TV. Benjamin Netanyahu’s father—described as “sharp as a razor” at the ripe old age of 99—gave a rare interview to Amit Segel of Israel’s Channel 2 to support his son’s election campaign (Channel 2 website. 7 Feb. 2009).

At some point in the interview Professor Ben-Zion Netanyahu said, “Today we are facing plain and simple, a danger of annihilation. This is not only the ongoing existential danger to Israel, but a real danger of complete annihilation. People think that the Shoah (Holocaust) is over — but it is not, it is continuing all the time” (My translation from the Hebrew).

The views of Netanyahu Senior do not represent a lunatic fringe, but the Israeli mainstream. When I was growing up in Israel, things were much the same. I and everyone I knew believed in earnest that we were always at risk of annihilation. Fear of annihilation is at the heart of Jewish, not just Israeli culture and it pre-dates the Holocaust. But the climate in Israel today is far more extreme than it was in my time, as Israel on the whole moves further and further to an irrational fanatic position.

When a person’s perception of reality is completely out of touch with reality itself, we begin to get an uneasy feeling that something might be wrong with his or her mind. Where is the evidence that the Jews, right now are facing a “real danger of complete annihilation”? Where is the evidence that the Holocaust, a systematic and deliberate plan to eliminate all Jews during the Second World War, is still being carried out?
I would even argue that saying this is an insult to the victims of the real Holocaust. Israel is rumoured to have one of the most powerful military forces in the world but Israelis still believe that they are right now being annihilated. This is insanity.

Someone is indeed facing a risk of cultural, economic, political and even physical annihilation, but it’s not Israel or Jews, it’s the Palestinians, and the annihilator is Israel itself.

Our politics and our economics are both a product of our psychology, not something separate. We make political and economic choices based on who we are and what we feel and believe. Many rational people search for a rational analysis—often political or economic—for what is happening in Israel-Palestine. But the only way to interpret Israel’s behaviour during the past 61 years is through understanding the psychology of its society and its leaders.

To ignore Israel’s psychology is dangerous because it means that any intervention based only on political considerations, will miss the mark and risk being irrelevant. Indeed if you look at the history of diplomacy and `peace negotiations’ in the region, it is quite obvious that they have achieved nothing at all. Things seem to be progressing on a trajectory determined by something that to someone in my profession, looks more like a mental illness than a political plan, bearing no relation to any rational diplomatic efforts, `roadmaps’, peace plans or truces.

Israel’s behaviour is a direct product of its psychological struggle with the implications of Jewish identity, which in turn determines Israel’s very reason for existence. In his book Alternative to a Psychotic State Akiva Orr asks if Israel is a `Jewish state’ or a `state for the Jews’. Since it is clearly not a Jewish state—Israeli state law is different to religious law—then it must be a state for the Jews. And this begs the question of `who or what is a Jew’, and to that there has never been a satisfactory legal answer.

Israel has no constitution precisely because it cannot resolve the question of who or what it wants to be. The de-facto, modern secular Zionist definition of a Jew is someone who would have been considered a Jew by Hitler. Effectively Jews are allowing themselves to be defined by those who hated them and sought their annihilation. In other words, this identity was formed as a reaction to a particular set of circumstances.
But what happens if the circumstances change? What does that do to this identity? In other words, if the world is now safe for Jews and is no longer what Jewish people thought it was, then Jewish people no longer know who they are, in which case either Jewish identity needs to change, or you make sure that the world is back to what it was when the Jews were persecuted. That way there is no need to go through the difficult process of self-examination or live in a world that doesn’t make sense.

The reason for the existence of the state of Israel is a direct result of Jewish self-perception as victims of persecution. Israel was created to offer a safe haven for Jews from persecution. I could be wrong, I might be naïve, but I don’t believe that Israeli leaders are conscious that they are now hyping up more traditional forms of anti-Semitism—that is to say, I don’t think that they are consciously plotting to do it. They are operating without awareness and they probably believe in their own explanations for what they are doing, for example that they attacked Gaza to weaken Hamas. But we must look at the real consequences of Israel’s actions in Gaza and three years ago in Lebanon for example, to understand Israel’s real motivation.

If Israel’s actions lead to an increase in fanaticism and in anti-Jewish sentiment, this is because this is what Israel wants to achieve, albeit unconsciously.

But why does Israel need more fanaticism and antisemitism? An increase in real anti-Semitism and attacks on Jews would bring current reality into line with the outdated imaginary reality, and would help keep Jewish identity unchanged. The reality is that Jews have not been victims, certainly not of a genocidal regime for over sixty years—the Holocaust is not happening now and there is no attempt by anyone to annihilate the Jews.
The fact that Jews live in safety everywhere and are not persecuted makes Israel uncomfortable. If the Jews are doing well everywhere, then Jewish identity is being put to question, and so is the very reason for the existence of Israel. The very state that was created to save the Jews from persecution, now needs them to be persecuted again so that it can continue to exist. Escalating the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians is one of the means to achieving this end.

The Palestinians, who are desperately trying to understand what has been happening to them, are caught in this madness and are the victims of it. It’s not because of who they are or something they did, that they are suffering. It’s because they had the misfortune of living on the land that a neurotic Zionist movement was determined to take for itself regardless of cost. I think many Palestinians are beginning to recognise this but the world leaders still believe Israel’s racist propaganda, which says that there is something inherent in the Palestinian people that means that they deserve what they get.

This is why it is essential that the world intervene decisively. I do not trust Israel to suddenly develop sufficient self-awareness to understand what it’s doing and put a stop to it. Israel’s growing delinquency demonstrates the exact opposite. The Palestinians do not have any more time to spare.


Avigail Abarbanel
Born in Israel in 1964 and grew up in Bat Yam. In 1982 Avigail served her compulsory two years in the Israeli army, where she first trained as a platoon commander and later worked as a draftsperson in the army’s central headquarters in Tel Aviv. She finished with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Her army experience has turned me into a pacifist.

She studied two years at Bar Ilan University in the combined program in the social sciences. This program combined majors in sociology, political science and economics. She chose Bar Ilan because it required students to take units in Jewish studies in addition to their major subjects. She wanted to know and understand more about her culture and history. Growing up in a secular family meant that she knew very little about Jewish religion and law. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Macquarie University, Sydney, 1995, Graduate Diploma in Individual Psychotherapy and Relationship Therapy, Jansen-Newman Institute, Sydney, 1999. Certificate in Gestalt Counselling, Illawarra Gestalt Centre, Wollongong, 2000.
Since July 1999 Abigail has her own private practice in Fully Human Psychotherapy and Counselling Services which has been running successfully ever since.  She is Canberra director of Deir Yassin Remembered.

January 16, 2010 - Posted by Elias

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European parliamentary delegation visits bombed area in north Gaza


[ 16/01/2010 - 03:48 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The European parliamentary delegation on Saturday morning visited many bombed areas in northern Gaza Strip to see closely the humanitarian conditions of citizens and war victims one year after the Israeli war.

The European lawmakers listened during their tour to many tragic stories of war experienced by the people living in the areas destroyed by Israel during its war on the Strip.

For his part, Palestinian lawmaker Mohamed Shihab said in a statement that the visit of such high-ranking European lawmakers and officials is a precedent in the history of the Palestinian people and expressed his thanks for their solidarity with Gaza people.

Shihab called on the European delegates to report about the impacts of the Israeli siege and war to their parliaments and peoples in order to end the suffering of Gaza people and the blockade imposed on them for nearly four years.

For his part, MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, on Saturday called on the visiting European lawmakers and officials to work alongside their governments on pressuring Israel to end its siege on Gaza.

In a speech at the Palestinian legislative council (PLC), Khudari hailed the change in the European solidarity with Gaza and expressed hope that such efforts would continue until the blockade is lifted.

Earlier on Friday, MP Khudari had stated that the visit of the largest European parliamentary delegation to Gaza sends a message to the international community that it should seriously end the unjust blockade on Gaza people.

He added that the presence of such a huge number of European lawmakers in Gaza refects the size of change in the European perspective on Gaza, urging the Arab and Muslim parliaments to follow suit and send delegations to visit Gaza.

The coalition of Palestinian trade unions also welcomed the arrival of this European delegation and considered it a big step towards ending the siege on Gaza.

In a statement, the coalition called on Arab lawmakers to take a similar step reflecting the size of the Arab solidarity with the people of Gaza and translating the resolutions taken by the Arab League to break the blockade.

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"Israel understands only Turkish" "The Turkey-Israel love affair is over."


TIME/ here

"Not a month goes by without a new chapter in the increasingly bitter diplomatic sparring between traditional allies Turkey and Israel. Relations took a downturn a year ago, when Turkey's government forcefully criticized Israel's military assault on Gaza, and have since lurched from bad to worse. "One road accident, two accidents, three ... all of a sudden it starts to look as if they're not accidents — the road itself is the problem," says Turkish foreign-affairs commentator Cengiz Candar. "The Turkey-Israel love affair is over."
This week's drama was provoked by a bizarre p.r. stunt on the part of Israel's right-wing Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. Ayalon called in Turkey's ambassador to Israel and staged a demeaning photo op calculated to humiliate the Turkish diplomat as a rebuke for negative portrayals of Israel on a Turkish TV drama. Only Ayalon's last-minute apology prevented the resulting furor from causing a diplomatic breakdown.
But further rows seem inevitable. Turkey's newfound ambition to become a major regional power broker has seen an energetic forging of ties with Arab and Central Asian countries. Asserting a foreign policy increasingly independent of Washington, Turkey has not hesitated to criticize Israel's actions against the Palestinians, defend Iran's nuclear program and expand economic ties at a moment when the U.S. seeks to isolate Tehran, and repair relations with Syria. Israel's leaders warn publicly that they believe Turkey is moving into the region's Islamist orbit, and hard-liners within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government appear to have been spoiling for a fight.
In the past six months, Turkey has scrapped visa requirements for Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and signed a raft of agreements with each country designed to improve trade and cultural exchange.
Since publicly chastising Israeli President Shimon Peres over Gaza at a conference in Switzerland last January, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become a hero on Arab streets, and the latest diplomatic spat with Israel won't do his popularity any harm. Beirut daily Al Akhbar's headline on the Ayalon apology story praised "Sultan Erdogan" and exalted that "Israel understands only Turkish."
But while Erdogan may appear to be striking out independently of his country's NATO partners, it's notable that his outbursts critical of Israel draw little comment from the U.S. and Europe. That suggests "there is a sense that Erdogan is saying things that someone needs to say to Israel," says a European diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity.
Just last month, Erdogan left an upbeat meeting with President Barack Obama, rode to a downtown Washington hotel and gave a speech lambasting Israel for "inhuman" deeds in Gaza. "The timing doesn't suggest someone who is unaware of what he's doing in an international context," says Candar. "The West is relieved to have someone taking on Israel. They've outsourced the job to Erdogan. That's why, when he does the cost analysis of saying these things about Israel, he has the added confidence of knowing that Turkey won't face recrimination from its Western partners either."
Turkish-Israeli relations are still anchored by military cooperation, as they have been since the 1950s. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is due to visit Ankara next week, hoping to reinforce strategic ties and negotiate deals for Israel's military industries, which already have contracts worth more than $1 billion to supply Turkey. Meanwhile, a Turkish delegation is currently in Israel to wrap up the purchase of 10 Heron drones. "Defense ties have become the safety valve for bilateral relations," says Candar. "They prevent a complete breakdown. That doesn't change the fact that there has been a significant structural shift in the relationship, and it is open to future crises."

Posted by G, Z, or B at 5:31 AM

Turkish paper: Gul, Erdogan refuse to meet Barak

[ 16/01/2010 - 02:49 PM ]

ANKARA, (PIC)-- Turkish president Abdullah Gul and his premier Recep Erdogan have refused to meet Israeli war minister Ehud Barak during his visit to Ankara, a Turkish paper reported on Saturday.

"Hurriyet" quoted Turkish diplomatic sources as saying that Gul and Erdogan do not wish to meet Barak despite the official Israeli apology for humiliating the Turkish ambassador to Tel Aviv.

The paper said that Barak would meet his Turkish counterpart, the foreign minister and the chief of staff.

It underlined that the Israeli apology had averted the cancellation of Barak's visit.

Another Turkish paper "Sabah" said that Turkish civil institutions were planning protest demos immediately on Barak's arrival to Ankara on Sunday.

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January 16, 2010 at 9:30 am (Activism, From The Media, Gaza, War Crimes)

In letter to UN, Gaza children demand justice

Gaza –  Marking the aniversary of Israel’s war on Gaza, hundreds of children gathered in Gaza City to sign a letter asking that the UN denounce as criminal the Israeli actions that lead to the death of their friends and loved ones.

The Thursday rally saw the children march from the center of Gaza City to the UN headquarters. Children headed up the march, followed by groups of women and police officers who were targeted by Israeli forces during the war. Members of the de facto government in Gaza took up the rear of the march in solidarity.

Marchers demanded justice for the death and destruction caused by the war, and children called on the UN to prosecute the pilots who dropped bombs on homes and public buildings.

Eleven-year-old Nour Radwan hand delivered a letter to a representative of the UN, appealing to its Secretary General to pressure the Israeli government to respect the rights of Palestinian children, and to ensure aid and medical equipment were allowed into the Strip.

Nour’s letter asked that the UN protect children “by all possible means,” to support them materially, psychologically and with the full weight of justice that they deserve.

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Jewish settlers close main road, confiscate land and uproot trees


[ 16/01/2010 - 09:17 AM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Jewish armed settlers closed the main road linking northern and southern villagers in Al-Khalil district on Friday, local sources reported.

They added that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) had opened the road after ten years of closure at the pretext of providing security for settlers but were ordered to re-open it by a court ruling.

The settlers blocked Palestinian cars from passing through the road under the escort of IOF troops.

Meanwhile, other groups of settlers uprooted 70 fruitful trees south of Al-Khalil, local sources said, adding that the farmers woke up to find the trees cut off by electric saws.

In Nablus district, the Jewish settlers took control of 25 dunums of Deir Estiya village and used military bulldozers to damage those lands and prevented their Palestinian owners from approaching.

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The headline is from today's news. But I am posting a slightly older blog first. It is excellent preparation for the short news report on the West's involvement in Afghanistan.


By Len Hart,
The Existentialist Cowboy
December 11, 2009.

DEA agents were photographed among first responders on 911. That's curious. What interest have drug enforcement agents in this alleged act of 'terrorism'?

Connect some dots: upon the 911 pretext, the US invaded Afghanistan whose 'cash crop' of 'poppies' was under threat. Without poppies, US drug dealers may be hard pressed to stay in business. That applies, as well, to the CIA which most certainly financed Iran-Contra almost entirely 'off the books'

If the US/CIA hoped to control this lucrative trade, the Taliban had to go. I wonder how many CIA 'black ops' have been financed 'off the books' (as was Iran/Contra) with the proceeds of its various drug sales?
An August, 1996, series in the San Jose Mercury News by reporter Gary Webb linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the contras, a guerrilla force backed by the Reagan administration that attacked Nicaragua's Sandinista government during the 1980s.

Webb's series, "The Dark Alliance," has been the subject of intense media debate, and has focused attention on a foreign policy drug scandal that leaves many questions unanswered.

This electronic briefing book is compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive, including the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort, and FBI and DEA reports.

The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included. ~ The Contras, Cocaine, and Cover Operations
U.S. govt 'Dirty Tricks' are bankrolled 'off the books', primarily drug sales. It should be clear by now ~ drug revenues are the source of US/CIA interest in Afghanistan and its antipathy to the Taliban which had insisted upon upon control of its own cash crop ~ poppies.
“Given the global context of the war on drugs-coupled with growing recognition since September 11, 2001 (9/11), of the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism-the mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and efforts to forge effective interagency partnerships and coordination are increasingly important. the Government Accountability Office was asked to examine, in the context of the post-9/11 environment, DEA’s priorities, interagency partnerships and coordination mechanisms, and strategic plan and performance measures.

GAO reviewed DEA policy, planning, and budget documents and visited 7 of DEA’s 21 domestic field offices and 3 of its 7 regional offices abroad-sites selected to reflect diverse drug-trafficking threats, among other factors. GAO also contacted other relevant federal agencies-including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-and various state and local partner agencies. ~ GAO Report on DEA’s Post-9/11 Drug Control Responsibilities
Let's cut to the chase: that 'nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism' is called the CIA. The CIA finances 'black ops' and 'secret operations' off the books by trafficking in drugs. Is there any doubt that Bush Sr's sudden disillusionment with Manuel Noriega had to do with Noriega either demanding a bigger cut or daring to control the supply?

He [Bush Sr] ordered the invasion of Panama, which began just after midnight on December 20, 1989. It was the twelfth U.S. invasion of that country since 1903. The mission of U.S. forces was to depose long-time CIA asset General Manuel Noriega, an indicted drug trafficker.

It was the largest airborne assault since World War II. When it was over, the Army excluded the press and Red Cross from entering heavily bombed areas for three days while soldiers incinerated some civilian casualties and buried others in mass graves.

Bush’s Defense Secretary, Richard Cheney claimed a death toll of between 500 and 600. But independent human rights groups put the death toll between 3,000 and 5,000 with about 25,000 left homeless.

This military operation turned out to be practice for even greater press censorship, propaganda and human rights violations during and after Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. air and ground attack that failed to depose Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, in 1990.

That failure eventually eroded public confidence in Bush and contributed to his defeat by Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential election. ~ Famous Texans, George H.W. Bush
In Afghanistan, a similar motive may be ascribed to US 'interests' but, certainly, a different modus operandi. The Taliban had, in fact, threatened to wipe out the poppy fields and end the traffic. Could the CIA tolerate this effrontery? Would the CIA tolerate the loss of revenue?
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment.

So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: "We'll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us." The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). ~ Steve Kangas, A Timeline of CIA Atrocities
Pakistan is a case in point.
Since 9/11, the Bush administration has been propping up Musharraf's military regime with $3.6 billion in economic aid from the US and a US-sponsored consortium, not to mention $900 million in military aid and the postponement of overdue debt repayments totaling $13.5 billion.

But now the administration is debating whether Musharraf has become too dependent on Islamic extremist political parties in Pakistan to further US interests, and whether he should be pressured to permit the return of two exiled former prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who have formed an electoral alliance to challenge him in presidential elections scheduled for next year. ~ Pakistan: Friend or Foe? The US shouldn't prop up President Musharraf's military regime, Selig S. Harrison
The late Benazir Bhutto revealed the truth before she was brutally gunned down in the streets of Karachi: US policy causes world terrorism. She died before she could tell the rest of the story.
When the United States aligns with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, it compromises the basic democratic principles of its foundation -- namely, life, liberty and justice for all. Dictatorships such as Musharraf's suppress individual rights and freedoms and empower the most extreme elements of society. Oppressed citizens, unable to represent themselves through other means, often turn to extremism and religious fundamentalism.
Benazir Bhutto, A False Choice for Pakistan
~ Why the CIA is the World's Number One Terrorist Organization
The amount of monies involved is not chicken feed.
Last year, Afghanistan produced nearly 4,000 tons of opium, about 75 percent of the world's supply, U.N. officials said. Opium ~ the milky substance drained from the poppy plant ~ is converted into heroin and sold in Europe and North America.

The 1999 output was a world record for opium production, the United Nations said ~ more than all other countries combined, including the "Golden Triangle," where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet.

Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's supreme leader, banned poppy growing before the November planting season and augmented it with a religious edict making it contrary to the tenets of Islam.

The Taliban, which has imposed a strict brand of Islam in the 95 percent of Afghanistan it controls, has set fire to heroin laboratories and jailed farmers until they agreed to destroy their poppy crops.

The U.N. surveyors, who completed their search this week, crisscrossed Helmand, Kandahar, Urzgan and Nangarhar provinces and parts of two others ~ areas responsible for 86 percent of the opium produced in Afghanistan last year, Frahi said in an interview Wednesday. They covered 80 percent of the land in those provinces that last year had been awash in poppies. ~ Afghanistan, Opium and the Taliban


January 15, 2010


A senior Iranian anti-drug official has accused the US, Britain and Canada of playing a major role in Afghanistan's lucrative drug trade.

On the sidelines of an anti-drug conference in Tehran, deputy head of Iran's Drug Control Headquarters Taha Taheri said that Western powers are aiding the drug trade in Afghanistan.

"According to our indisputable information, the presence of the United States, Britain and Canada has not reduced the dug trade and the three countries have had major roles in the distribution of drugs," IRIB quoted Taheri as saying on Thursday.

Iranian officials have always criticized Western countries over their policies towards Afghanistan, where poppy cultivation has drastically increased since the US-led military occupation of the country in 2001.

Taheri added that drug catalysts are being smuggled into Afghanistan through borders that are controlled by US, British and Canadian troops.

Some 13,000 tones of drug catalysts are brought into Afghanistan every year as the war-torn country is the producer of 90 percent of the world's opium.

The UN office on drugs and crime said last month that the 2009 potential gross export value of opium from Afghanistan stood at $2.8 billion.

Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has had a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

"More than 340 tones of drugs have been seized all over Iran in the past nine months," IRNA quoted the commander of the drug squad, General Hamid Reza Hossein-Abadi, as saying earlier this month.

The UN has praised Tehran for its commitment to the fight against drug trafficking.
Posted by Noor al Haqiqa at 9:20 PM 

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7th conference of Al-Quds int’l warns of Zionist schemes in Jerusalem

[ 16/01/2010 - 09:08 AM ]

BEIRUT, (PIC)-- The seventh conference of Al-Quds international institution on Friday warned of the Zionist schemes that are aimed to liquidate the Palestinian cause and target the occupied city of Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque as well as the Arab identity of the city.

In a closing statement, Al-Quds institution strongly denounced Israel for its persistence in Judaizing Jerusalem through confiscating lands, demolishing homes, expanding settlements and changing the Islamic-Christian landmarks.

It also deplored the excavation conducted by Israel under the Aqsa Mosque and the Old City of Jerusalem which led to serious cave-ins in the Mosque and its surrounding areas.

The conferees decided in their statement to urge the Arab League and the council of Arab ministers of culture to declare Jerusalem as the permanent capital of Arab culture in order to maintain the efforts to support it in the Arab world.

The statement called on the Arab and Muslim nations to activate their roles and efforts in support of Jerusalem and its people, and also demanded the Arab and Muslim governments to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the dangers and challenges which Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque face and the Judaization schemes, and to develop a strategy to protect them.

The statement appealed to the UN, the organization of the Islamic conference and the Arab League to assume their responsibilities in protecting Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy places against Judaization plans.
The statement also called for breaking the unjust siege imposed on Gaza people and helping the Palestinian people to restore their unity on the basis of the national constants.

The seventh conference of Al-Quds international which took place in Beirut evaluated the performance of the institution during the past year, and explored the challenges it faces and the ways to address them.

The conferees reviewed the new projects which are being established in some Arab countries which will promote the work of the institution and contribute to the support of the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.

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For Israel, a Reckoning

Inifadah Voice

John Pilger

A new global movement is challenging Israel’s violations of international law with the same strategies that were used against apartheid

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the growing boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. Based on the anti-apartheid campaign that helped bring down the racist regime in South Africa, BDS is becoming a catch-cry for freedom in countries whose governments continue to ignore the Palestinians’ struggle against another form of apartheid and which Nelson Mandela has described as “the greatest moral issue of our time”.

The farce of the climate summit in Copenhagen affirmed a world war waged by the rich against most of humanity. It also illuminated a resistance growing perhaps as never before: an internationalism linking justice for the planet with universal human rights, and criminal justice for those who invade and dispossess with impunity. And the best news comes from Palestine.

The Palestinians’ resistance to the theft of their country reached a critical moment in 2001 when a UN conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, identified Israel as an apartheid state. To Nelson Mandela, justice for the Palestinians is “the greatest moral issue of the age”. The Palestinian civil society call for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) was issued on 9 July 2005, in effect reconvening the great, non-violent movement that swept the world and brought the scaffolding of African apartheid crashing down.
“Through decades of occupation and dispossession,” wrote Mustafa Barghouti, a wise voice of Palestinian politics, “90 per cent of the Palestinian struggle has been non-violent . . . A new generation of Palestinian leaders [now speaks] to the world precisely as Martin Luther King did. The same world that rejects all use of Palestinian violence, even clear self-defence, surely ought not begrudge us the non-violence employed by men such as King and Gandhi.”

No more a taboo

In the United States and Europe, trade unions, mainstream churches and academic associations have brought back the strategies that were used against apartheid South Africa. In a resolution adopted by 431 votes to 62, the US Presbyterian Church voted for a process of “phased, selective disinvestment” in multinational corporations doing business with Israel. This followed the opinion of the International Court of Justice that Israel’s wall and its “settler” colonies were illegal. A similar declaration by the court in 1971, denouncing South Africa’s occupation of Namibia, ignited the international boycott.

Like the South Africa campaign, the issue of law is central. No state is allowed to flout international law as wilfully as Israel. In 1990, a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Saddam Hussein get out of Kuwait was the same, almost word for word, as the one demanding that Israel get out of the West Bank. Iraq was driven out while Israel has been repeatedly rewarded. On 11 December, Barack Obama announced $2.8bn in “aid” for Israel, part of the $30bn US taxpayers will gift from their stricken economy during this decade.

The hypocrisy is now well understood in the US. A “Stolen Beauty” campaign pursues Ahava cosmetics, which are made in illegal West Bank “settlements”; last autumn it forced the firm to drop its “ambassador” Kristin Davis, a star of Sex and the City. In Britain, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are under pressure to identify “settlement” products, whose sale contravenes human rights provisions in the European Union’s trade agreement with Israel.

In Australia, a consortium led by Veolia lost its bid for a billion-dollar desalination plant following a campaign highlighting a plan, involving the French firm, to build a light rail connecting Jerusalem to the “settlements”. In Norway, the government pension fund has withdrawn its investment in the Israeli hi-tech company Elbit Systems, which helped build the wall across Palestine. This is the first official boycott by a western country.
In 2005, Britain’s Association of University Teachers (AUT) voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions complicit in the oppression of Palestinians. The AUT was forced to retreat when the Israel lobby unleashed a blizzard of character assassination and charges of anti-Semitism. The writer and activist Omar Barghouti called this “intellectual terror”: a perversion of morality and logic that says to be against racism towards Palestinians makes one anti-Semitic. However, the Israeli assault on Gaza on 27 December 2008 changed almost everything. The US Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was formed, with Desmond Tutu on its advisory board. In 2009, Britain’s Trade Union Congress voted for a consumer boycott. The “Israel taboo” is no more.

Crimes against humanity

Complementing this is the rapid development of international criminal law since the Pinochet case of 1998-99, when the former Chilean dictator was placed under house arrest in Britain. Israeli warmongers now face similar prosecution in countries that have “universal jurisdiction” laws. In Britain, the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 is fortified by the UN report on Gaza by Justice Richard Goldstone, which in December obliged a London magistrate to issue a warrant for the arrest of Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister wanted for crimes against humanity. And in September, only contrived diplomatic immunity rescued Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister during the assault on Gaza, from arrest by Scotland Yard.

Just over a year ago, 1,400 defenceless people in Gaza were murdered by the Israelis. On 29 December, Mohamed Jassier became the 367th Gazan to die because even those needing life-saving medical treatment are not allowed free passage out. Keep that in mind when you next watch the BBC “balance” such suffering with the weasel protestations of the oppressors.

There is a clear momentum now. To mark the first anniversary of the Gaza atrocity, a humanitarian procession from 42 countries – Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists, old and young, trade unionists, writers, artists, musicians and those leading convoys of food and medicine – converged on Egypt. And even though the US-bribed dictatorship in Cairo prevented most from proceeding to Gaza, the people in that open prison knew they were not alone, and children climbed on walls and raised the Palestinian flag. And this is just a beginning.


John Pilger

John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, author and documentary filmmaker, who began his career in 1958 in his homeland, Australia, before moving to London in the 1960s.
He regards eye-witness as the essence of good journalism. He has been a foreign correspondent and a front-line war reporter, beginning with the Vietnam war in 1967. He is an impassioned critic of foreign military and economic adventures by Western governments.
January 15, 2010 Posted by Elias

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian



January 16, 2010 at 8:44 am (Activism, Gaza, Guest Post, International Solidarity, Palestine)

One of my dearest and oldest friends sent me the following this morning…. it is followed by a post he wrote for his Blog.

Shades of the 60’s and civil rights marchers! Fourteen Hundred marchers from countries all over the world descended on Cairo, Egypt on New Year’s. Their goal – to protest the continued deadly and criminal siege that Israel has perpetrated on the people of Gaza. A year ago was the war – a vicious aggression that held the civilian population hostage with massive devastation by Israel’s powerful armed forces (fueled by billions in U.S. military aid it should be noted). Then a blockade that has impoverished and starved the population, cutting it off from access to and from the outside world and deprived of goods, food and medicine.

The freedom marchers powerfully exposed this blockade to the entire world. Eighty-five year old Holocaust survivor, Hedy Epstein, who marched with the others, embarked on a hunger strike when the Egyptians refused to allow the marchers to enter Gaza with their message of human solidarity. Here was a Jewish woman, a survivor, who was saying to the world, clearly, passionately and loudly, “No! Not in my name will you oppress other human beings!”


- another Jew against the occupation and proud of it!. –that’s the only way to peace in the Mid East so that all people may live dignity.

Brooklyn Hears From The Gaza Freedom Marchers

Brooklyn For Peace sponsored a report back from the recent Gaza Freedom March which brought some 1400 people to Cairo from around the world at the beginning of this year. The marchers were drawing the world’s attention to the continuing Israeli siege of Gaza. That blockade has resulted in dire conditions for the Palestinian population who are suffering joblessness, malnutrition, poverty and extreme deprivation. Israel, which launched a widely-condemned war a year ago, has continued its hostility by sealing off the besieged country and severely restricting access, food and medicine.
Some 60 Brooklyn residents came to the Brooklyn Friends Meeting House in downtown Brooklyn to hear from some of the marchers who recently returned. Besides Brooklyn For Peace, the meeting was also sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace and the Peace and Social Action Committee of the Brooklyn Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Of the 1400 internationals, twelve people from Brooklyn marched in Cairo and two of those were Brooklyn For Peace members. The meeting was organized by BFP’s Israel/Palestine Committee which has led the way in the borough of forthrightly raising the question of justice and freedom for Palestine along with security and peace for all people both Israeli and Palestinians. That can be achieved, they say, by negotiating an end to the circle of violence perpetuated by Israeli policies of occupation and expansion.
A large crowd packed into the Brooklyn Friends Meeting House in downtown Brooklyn to hear the Freedom Marchers report-back.

Naomi Allen, of Brooklyn For Peace’s Israel Palestine Committee, welcomes people to the event.
First to speak was Ted Auerbach, a member of Brooklyn For Peace. He presented a slide show and narrated photos showing the event in Cairo including protest demonstrations, a hunger strike by several dozen of the marchers and the unprovoked violence unleashed by the Egyptian authorities against the marchers. He said that one impressive aspect of the march was the tremendous support shown by average Egyptian citizens as they passed the marchers in the streets of Cairo. He was also impressed by the militancy of the various national delegations but particularly the spirit shown by the French and the South African delegations.
Ted Auerbach, who marched in Cairo, gave a report and slide show.
Ted narrated a slide show with pictures from Cairo. The connivance of the Egyptian government and police prevented the marches from entering Gaza.
Another speaker, David Letwin, summarized the Cairo Declaration, a statement of principles written by the marchers that chart some goals in the months and years ahead, including boycott, divestiture and sanctions (BDS) of Israeli products and companies. This is increasingly raised by international activists as necessary to expose the nature of Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. Analogous to the international struggle against the South African apartheid regime, BDS was a potent tool that raised awareness througout the world of the necessity to finally end the evil apartheid regime in South Africa.
David Letwin reported on the Cairo Declaration, a document that summarized the demands of the Gaza Freedom Marchers.
Finally, well-known activist and founder of the International Solidarity Movement, Adam Shapiro, appealed to the assembly to carry on exposing the tragedy of Israel’s siege of Gaza to let the world know the truth of what is happening there, the result of the blockade that has led to dire conditions among the civilian population of the besiegd country.
Adam Shapiro urged the assembly to carry on the struggle in order to keep alive the issue of Israel’s starvation siege of Gaza.

IOF quelling of peaceful anti wall march wounds 8 Palestinians

[ 16/01/2010 - 08:29 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) used rubber bullets and gas canisters to quell two peaceful demonstrations organized by villagers of Bilin and Nilin villages, Ramallah district, to protest the building of the separation wall on their lands.

Both marches started after the Friday congregation with the participation of foreign solidarity activists some of whom along with locals suffered breathing problems as a result of the IOF abundant use of tear gas canisters.

Tens of participations hoisted Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against occupation and the racist, separation wall in addition to calling for the release of all detainees, ending the siege on Gaza and halting the confiscation of Palestinian lands.

The popular anti siege committee in Bilin called fort the release of its coordinator Abdullah Abu Rahma, who was arrested by the IOF soldiers on 10/12/2009, and four other leaders of the popular committee in Nilin.

Meanwhile, the Hebrew radio reported that the Israeli occupation police rounded up 13 demonstrators in Sheikh Jarrah suburb in occupied Jerusalem on Friday.

It noted that Jewish activists contributed in the rally organized by the Palestinian inhabitants of the suburb to protest the Israeli occupation authority's policy against Jerusalem.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Israel Should be Tried for War Crimes

Jan. 15 2010 (AP). Israelis who authorized the use of white phosphorous in densely populated Gaza should be tried for war crimes, a British Labour Party legislator said Friday, after entering the Hamas-ruled territory with 60 European parliamentarians.

The lawmakers are visiting Gaza to draw attention to the territory’s “evil blockade” by Israel and Egypt, said the Labour legislator, Gerald Kaufman. The closure was first imposed in 2006, after Hamas-allied militants captured an Israeli soldier.

Kaufman also spoke in support of attempts by pro-Palestinian groups in Britain to get Israeli politicians and army officers arrested once they step on British soil. Britain has a “universal jurisdiction” law that allows prosecution of alleged war criminals whose crimes have no direct connection with Britain.

“We have had a fuss in our country about the inability of certain Israeli politicians to visit Britain for fear of being arrested,” said Kaufman, frequently an outspoken critic of Israeli policies. “Anybody who uses white phosphorus should be arrested and should be tried for war crimes.”

“But when we read of an Israeli politician being afraid of being arrested in Britain, we remember that 1.5 million people in Gaza are under arrest every day of their lives by the Israelis, suffering depravation, hunger, lack of satisfactory medical treatment, lack of screws to put school desks together so your children can learn,” Kaufman added.

In Beirut, meanwhile, the top leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, urged Egypt to stop its construction of an underground steel wall along its border with Gaza. Walls are built “between enemies, not brothers,” Mashaal said in a rare criticism of Egypt.

Egypt’s underground anti-tunnel barrier of steel beams, now under construction, could eventually seal Gaza’s southern border, block hundreds of smuggling tunnels and deprive Gaza’s Hamas rulers of their only lifeline.

Speaking at a conference in Beirut, the Damascus, Syria-based Mashaal urged Egypt to take “its rightful, leading role” in the Arab and Muslim world and force Israel to lift its siege on Gaza.

[ 15/01/2010 - 11:38 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- A high-ranking European parliamentary delegation arrived Friday in the Gaza Strip to express solidarity with the besieged Gaza people and to see for themselves the effects of the Israeli war on Gaza.

The delegation, which comprises 56 parliament members from 12 European countries and the European Union, is headed by Sir Gerald Kaufman, a veteran British MP.

They crossed into Gaza on Friday afternoon through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt where they were received by an official Palestinian parliamentary delegation headed by the first deputy speaker Dr. Ahmad Bahar.

Speaking at a news conference at the Rafah crossing, Sir Gerald Kauffman said that the visit of the delegation was a message of solidarity with Gaza and called for an end to the Israeli siege.

He also said: "anybody who uses white phosphorous should be arrested and should be tried for war crimes".

Kauffman said that while many Israeli leaders avoid travelling to European countries for fear of being arrested, we know that there are 1.5 million human beings in the Gaza Strip suffering because of the Israeli siege.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker of the PLC, told reporters that the visiting delegation know the extent of destruction caused by the Israeli war on Gaza, but now they will see that destruction for themselves.
Also see the press conference held by members of the delegation prior to their arrival in Gaza

Palestine Video - A Palestine Vlog
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 Uprooted Palestinian

Comments on another Wheelchaired Patroit Mocking Haneyya's call for rehabilitating Egyptian-Saudi-Syrian axis in region

Contributed by Nadia
Another Good Comment on another Wheelchaired Patroit. "What do you expect Haniyeh to say? The people of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria support Palestinian resistance and Hamas. Obviously, the governments are a different story. This is politics and sometimes you have to soften your rhetoric and look for a solution - thats what Haniyeh is doing. I dont think he believes that Egypt and Saudi are going to help Palestinians acheive their rights but he is leaving his options open - this is a clever strategy. Your constant description of Ismail Haniyeh as Habila is also offensive to the many Muslims and Arabs that see this man as a great leader who is humble, principled and steadfast. Obviously, you can say what you want but I doubt you'll get very far. "
The Arm chair Pundit [TON TFUUUU] preyed
"Habila may be honest and steadfast, but he is no liberation leader. What the Palestinians need is a leader of the caliber of Castro, Guevara or Nasrallah, not a low-grade politician who you think is using "a clever strategy."
What has all the politicking and running for elections under Oslo and being part of the PA bought us? A big open-air jail and starvation! "
Tony Sayegh

Breaking and Exciting News....Habila Has a Strategy! A New Resistance Axis: Egypt-S.A.-Syria-Turkey (why not Togo?)...

What is he smoking anyway?
# posted by Tony : 8:56 AM

"غزة- دعا رئيس الحكومة الفلسطينية المقالة التي تديرها حركة حماس إسماعيل هنية الجمعة إلى رسم إستراتيجية فلسطينية عربية جديدة تقوم على أسس تقييم حقيقي لمسيرة التسوية التي وصلت إلى طريق مسدود.
وحث هنية خلال إلقائه خطبة صلاة الجمعة في أحد مساجد مدينة غزة على أن يكون التوازن الجديد قائما على المحور المصري والسعودي والسوري الذي ينفتح على تركيا.

وقال هنية إن تركيا تطوي حاليا صفحة تحالف استراتيجي مع إسرائيل وهي تستعيد دورها الإسلامي وتعود بقوة لقضايا الأمة وبالتحديد القضية الفلسطينية.

وحدد هنية ثلاثة أسس لهذا التحالف هي الاعتراف بفشل المفاوضات والذهاب إلى حوار وطني بهدف التوصل إلى برنامج سياسي يقوم على الثوابت الفلسطينية، وتحقيق المصالحة الوطنية الفلسطينية الحقيقية.

My Comment

Screwed because Pharaoh failed to produce a domisticated Hamas as he, SUN TZU, (I mean TON TFUUUU) pridicted, he would hunt any thing to attack Hamas.

I shall translate the last 2 lines:
"Habila" set 3 conditions for the Syrian, Egyptian, Suadi Axis:
1- Admitting the failure of peace option (Oslo).
2- National dialogue to reach a political agreement based on Palestinian constants.
3-Palestinian reconciliation.

I agree with Billal, its a smart movement, and would add well co-ordinated with Syria, Iran, and Turkey.
We have seen Assad's call in action in Davos, in Viva Palestina, we have seen how the Zionist entity  bowed to Sultan Rajab Tayeb Erdogan, and Livni slaming Netanyahu and calling Turkey to Choose a Side. Thanks to Assad's for involving Turkey in the indirect negociations. Turlish, including secular Turkish are united behind Sultan Rajab Tayeb Erdogan,
Britain, Egypt need leaders like Erdogan Thus said Galloway.

The asshole asked: "What has all the politicking and running for elections under Oslo and being part of the PA bought us? A big open-air jail and starvation!"

Resistance forced Sharon to leave Gaza without conditions, and politicking and running for election "under Oslo" Liberated Gaza from Dayton's thugs. According to real Patriots, like Abulsattar Qasem,
Hamas made history in Making a Focal Point in Gaza and fighting the Ist Palestiinan war since 1948

Few days ago the asshole posted an Arabic Article written by Azzam Tamimi (Azzam is Hamas or at least a Pro-Hamas) about Hamas's Only Statigy

This very moment I am watching Azzam, on Al-Hewar Channel. He said Saudis boycotted Hamas for violation of Mecca agreement. He confirmed that Hamas surprised Khalid Mashaal by the so called "coup". Azzam confirmed that the decission to Take Gaza was an operational decission taken by Hamas Leadership in Gaza. Azzam consider that Mashaal tout in Gulf states is break through the political siege.

Thats how I read Mashaal's tour, Assad's visit and Haneyeh's call.

Update: Here is Hameya speech for non-arabic readers

[ 16/01/2010 - 08:01 AM ]
GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya on Friday called for having a new Arab strategy based on the rehabilitation of the historic axis of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria in order to create a kind of power of balance in the face of Israel.

During the weekly Friday khutba (sermon), Haneyya called on this axis to renew its historic relations with Turkey, which started to reconsider 60 years of its alliance with Israel and restored its Islamic role.

He also expressed his pride to see the rapprochement between Turkey and the Arab and Muslim worlds, calling for investing this for the benefit of the Palestinian cause.

The premier, in another context, stressed the importance of keeping the strategic relations with Egypt and called for addressing the last events of Rafah in a responsible way and stopping the media campaign against Gaza.

In an interview with the Iranian Al-Kawthar satellite channel, premier Haneyya had condemned Thursday the option of settlement and negotiations with Israel to restore the usurped Palestinian rights as a “false pregnancy”, highlighting that the adoption of this option will not lead to real results in light of Israel’s intransigent attitude.

The premier called for a Palestinian-Arab strategy taking into account the fact that the option of negotiation had failed and there is a need for restoring the Palestinian-Arab initiative.

“We do not call on the Arab states to wage a war on the Zionist entity, but we say that we must build a new balance in the region based on the axis of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria in addition to Turkey and benefit from the Islamic republic of Iran,” he underlined.

Regarding the inter-Palestinian reconciliation file, the premier said that 2010 is the year of the national reconciliation because it is a strategic choice and a national need, stressing that his government is seriously determined to end the internal division.