Saturday 6 February 2010



February 6, 2010 at 10:51 am (Censorship, Corporate Media, DesertPeace Editorial, Free Speech, Freedom of The Press, From The Media, Hasbara, Israel, Palestine, War Crimes, zionist harassment)

Some Background info first…… Just who is the New Israel Fund?

What the Israeli Right says about them

And what were the manifestations? ……
The Im Tirtzu pro-Land of Israel group is opening a campaign against the New Israel fund, headed by former Meretz Member of Knesset Naomi Chazan, in conjunction with Israel’s response to the Goldstone report on last winter’s Cast Lead counter-terror operation in Gaza. Im Tirtzu will present a mock Hamas demonstration of support for the fund in front of Chazan’s Jerusalem home Saturday night.

According to Im Tirtzu, the fund – under Chazan’s leadership – funds the organizations that were cited in the Goldstone report, which accused Israel of war crimes during the campaign. Those citations contributed to an accumulation of libels against the Israel Defense Forces and a negative attitude toward Israel in the wake of the report.

And what has the NIF itself said about all of the above?

Now, back to the headng of this post…. WITCH HUNT AT THE JERUSALEM POST

Just how did the official English language mouthpiece of the ‘Only Democracy in the Middle East’ react?
Amid row over contentious ad, Jerusalem Post fires Naomi Chazan of New Israel Fund

The broadside campaign by the Im Tirtzu movement against the New Israel Fund caught its president, Professor Naomi Chazan, in New York, where she traveled to chair a meeting of the fund’s board of trustees, scheduled months in advance.

“I’ve seen everything,” she said in a phone interview this week of the posters released by the movement depicting her with a horn emerging from her forehead and labeling her Naomi Goldstone Chazan. “I don’t know why they chose me – I can think of plenty of human rights supporters they could pick on. But I’m ever so proud to be a symbol of Israeli democracy. No doubt about it.”

“They’re using me to attack in the most blatant way the basic principles of democracy and the values of the Declaration of Independence: Values of equality, tolerance, social justice and freedom of speech,” she added.

Caught its president”??? They make it sound like she is a criminal on the run….The editor of the JP didn’t even have the guts to confront Chazan personally or by phone….On Thursday, Chazan received an e-mail from Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief David Horovitz, informing her the newspaper would cease publishing her column.

And just who are the supporters of these Im Tirtzu people? …
Meanwhile, the Hebrew news Web site Walla! revealed this week that one of the donors to Im Tirtzu is CUFI, Christians United for Israel, led by evangelist preacher John Hagee. CUFI’s Web site stated it had given Im Tirtzu $100,000.
Hagee achieved notoriety in 2008, when saying that Hitler carried out the will of God, to return the Jews to Israel in accordance with the biblical promise. Then-presidential candidate John McCain responded by renouncing Hagee’s support. Walla! said that in one of his books, Hagee also claimed that Hitler was half-Jewish, a descendant of Jacob’s brother Esau. He added that the Holocaust took place because the Jews rebelled and renounced the true God. Hagee claimed the Jews’ rebelliousness was the reason for anti-Semitism and the persecutions they suffered through the years.

And that is OK with the editors of the Post?
The paragraphs in parenthesis were taken from THIS report in HaAretz.

So we see in action a good, old fashioned, witch hunt reminiscent of those that took place in the States during the McCarthy Era.

Bottom line is….. if you want to read the truth about what is going on in the world today, stick to the Blogesphere. If it’s the truth you are after as far as the Middle East, Israel and Palestine in particular are concerned, you have come to the right place! The links provided at the left are all wonderful sources as well.
If you want to continue living in the fantasy world of the Hasbara, then the Jerusalem Post is for you, but remember….. IT’S ALL LIES!
River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Palestine's impossible dream

Lavish, unrealistic plans for Palestinian development are a dangerous alternative to the struggle for independence
Artists’ sketches of the proposed new city, Rawabi, which is six miles north of Ramallah and hopes to attract young professionals. It includes apartment blocks, olive trees and shaded walkways.

Photograph: Public Domain
Recently I received a very impressive full-colour booklet printed on expensive paper advertising a development project. The ambitious plan is to build a new Palestinian city, "Rawabi", in the West Bank.

The glossy images inside are not of the Palestine I know. The bulldozers are not demolishing homes, they are breaking ground to make room for the new city.

Suited, Palestinian elites appear in lush boardrooms with international partners. The white, symmetrical buildings, typical of hilltop Israeli settlements, are instead part of the scale-model of the future development.

It's crafted for secular, western investors. Women pictured do not wear the traditional headscarf common among most Palestinian women, and the longest beard belongs to an Orthodox Christian priest. The booklet also portrays a Palestine sans occupation: independent and capable of securing investments.

The reality is radically different; Israel occupies the West Bank and blockades Gaza. Israel continues to control the West Bank through checkpoints and roadblocks that often arbitrarily close. Water is disproportionately dominated by a settler class that is privy to Jewish-only roads.

Rawabi may not even succeed. Its plot is surrounded by Israeli settlements and the roads which will connect it to other cities have not been approved by the ultimate authority over the territory: the Israeli government.

Rawabi, itself, is not problematic. Rather the growing, fanciful discourse that it fits into, a discourse that emphasises development before independence, is the greater cause for alarm. This is evident in a new document by the Palestinian Authority (PA) entitled Palestine: Moving Forward about the vast institutions the PA seeks to develop to "establish the state of Palestine in two years." (Hussein Ibish discussed it here on Cif yesterday.)

But given the realities of occupation, the same realities ignored in the shiny Rawabi booklet, one has to ask: "Moving forward towards what, exactly?"

With little change on the political front, exacerbated by expanding settlements, home demolitions in Arab East Jerusalem, and Israeli statements about retaining settlements deep inside the West Bank and controlling the Jordan Valley, it is hard to imagine these conditions foster a move forward at all. Instead, the development initiatives, in the actual political context, move Palestinians in three directions, and none of them are toward freedom from occupation:

1. Sedation – The development narrative temporarily assuages Palestinians who have long been living under occupation. Success stories about growth, increased wages, drops in unemployment and the sight of new buildings being put up in the centre of town eases people away from desperation. Israel facilitated this, to the extent that it suited their security, by permitting limited room for Palestinian development and growth in Palestinian cities in the West Bank. The measly economic success makes Palestinians hope for a brighter future despite the occupation. The masses were pulverised to the point that they have begun accepting the false choice between moderate quality of life and political freedom/self-determination.

2. Dependency – While most states wish they could escape the dependency curse, the institution-building initiatives outlined by the PA seem endanger the future economy of perpetual dependence. The economy in the West Bank is already highly dependent on Israel. Severed unnaturally from what was historically one economy, the West Bank will depend on Israel into the future. With no achievable state in sight to undergird the independence of a Palestinian economy through policy, Palestinian development is inevitably going to hit a glass ceiling structured by Israel interests.

Additionally, the document indicates that executing these plans requires exorbitant international investment. Only 25% of the costs are already funded, whereas 51% await international donor and investment money. International money comes with international strings. For a nation trying to achieve liberation, compromised economic independence will undoubtedly yield compromised political independence, making the struggle for a just resolution to the Palestinian question more difficult. Any state that accepts significant external support for domestic institution building should be concerned about its independence in the future – for stateless Palestine the concern should be even greater.

3. Division – The plan includes an important yet inconspicuous footnote regarding Gaza. Plans for Gaza's development will be implemented "after the Palestinian National Authority has the ability to do so". Until a political solution to Palestinian division is reached, development plans will go on in the West Bank and not in Gaza. Since such a deal seems remote, and the continuation of Palestinian division suits the interests of Israel, the dominating power, it is unlikely that change for Gaza is near. Therefore, the groundwork is laid for an increasing gap between the quality of life for Palestinians in Gaza and those in the West Bank, and also between a small, elite business class that stands to benefit from some projects and the majority of the Palestinian population that does not. The economic differences will permeate political and cultural dialogue as Palestinians in the West Bank will seek to live, while Palestinians in Gaza will seek to survive.

Development is not a bad thing. Every nation aspires to develop and build its political, economic and cultural institutions. However, a Palestinian national strategy of development that ignores the context of occupation and divorces itself from the struggle for independence is not only naive and irresponsible, but it may have dangerous implications for the future of Palestine and its people.
River to Sea
Uprooted Palestinian

Israel: Occupation or Apartheid?

Via Intifada Voice

Jamal Dajani

VP of International News, Series Producer of Mosaic News, Link TV
Posted: February 5, 2010 10:01 AM
The dreaded “A-Word” has once again made its way into Israeli media, not by a leftist “self-hating Jew”, but by a prominent Israeli politician, the Minister of Defense, who is a decorated soldier and a former prime minister as well. “A” is for Apartheid.

An awful word that evokes awful memories, presumably left behind in the annals of history in places such as Soweto and Cape Town. A word that has invited rage, insults, and attacks against a former US president who received a Nobel Peace Prize.

This past Tuesday, however, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that if Israel does not achieve a peace deal with the Palestinians, it will have to become a binational state or be an undemocratic apartheid one if it remains as it is.

“The simple truth is, if there is one state” including Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, “it will have to be either binational or undemocratic. … if this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state,” Barak said at the Herzliya Conference north of Tel Aviv.

Though rarely used by Israeli leaders in connection to the Palestinians, the term “apartheid” is becoming more common to describe the current reality on the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
More than two years ago, on the anniversary of the 1947 UN partition plan that would have divided British mandate Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned of this same scenario. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Ehud Olmert said Israel was “finished” if it forced the Palestinians into a struggle for equal rights.

If the two-state solution collapsed, he said, Israel would “face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, and as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished”.

But veteran Israeli journalist David Michaelis believes that a South African-style apartheid system has already emerged due to Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territories.

“What Ehud Barak intended to do is to send a stark warning that Israel is heading towards a binational situation; however, we are already in a binational situation, and an apartheid system that’s working very well for the Israeli military and government.”

Five years ago David Michaelis and I jointly interviewed Palestinians and Israelis about the prospect of a binational state. Most Palestinians we spoke to then were thinking of independence and most Israelis were thinking of separation. At the time, the Israeli government was frantically building the Separation Wall, and only a handful of Israelis entertained the idea of binational coexistence. One such person we interviewed who predicted what Ehud Barak is currently cautioning of was Meron Benvenisti, a former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem.

Benvenisti has recently published an elaborate article in Ha’aretz chronicling how Israel became a de facto binational regime.

“The attempt to mark the settlements, and the settlers, as the major impediment to peace is a convenient alibi, obfuscating the involvement of the entire Israeli body politic in maintaining and expanding the regime of coercion and discrimination in the occupied territories, and benefiting from it,” he argued.

According to him, the violent events of the (second) intifada brought the Jewish-Israeli public to a crossroads in relation to their neighbors-enemies. Benvenisti argues that Israeli-Jews turned their backs on the Palestinians, erasing them from their consciousness and imprisoning them behind impenetrable walls, and became willing to congregate in a ghetto and pray that the Mediterranean might dry up or a bridge be built to connect them with Europe.
This mentality is manifested in two, recently constructed, architectural monuments whose symbolism transcends their functional value: The gigantic Separation Wall and the colossal Ben Gurion air terminal. The former is meant to hide the Palestinians and erase them from Israeli consciousness and the latter serves as an escape gateway.
David Michaelis concurs and believes that most Israelis prefer to live in denial and avoid the subject of apartheid.

“The peace process is a misnomer, and the word occupation is misleading because it’s really about systematic control.”

How long can Israelis live in this denial and pretend that apartheid-like conditions do not exist?
Well you’ve heard the expression, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”
February 6, 2010 Posted by Elias |

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

The Arab International Forum for the Support of the Resistance, Beirut Lebanon 15-17 January 2010 Report by Lasse Wilhelmson

The Conference on resistance, 15-17 January 2010 in Beirut.Link

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 7:52PM Gilad Atzmon

The Conference on resistance, 15-17 January 2010 in Beirut.

The conference concerning the resistance, held in Beirut from the 15th to 17th January 2010, was an overwhelming experience for me personally with its almost 10 000 delegates from all over the Arab world and a small number from Europe and the US. It was indeed a great honour for Sweden to have a delegation of four.
 The conference opened at the UNESCO Palace where the leaders of Hezbollah, Hamas and Iraq’s armed resistance, in that order, held introductions that set the tone for the conference.

Introductory speech in the lecture hall.  Those dressed in white are the Sudanese.Introductory speech in the lecture hall. Those dressed in white are the Sudanese.

Prominent religious Muslim leaders and representatives of Syria’s government also spoke. It was a powerful manifestation of unity against the politics of Israel and the US and, with no name mentioned serious criticism of Egypt, and open praise for Iran.
This was my first visit to Lebanon. Nearly fifty years ago I was only able to glimpse the country from the Israeli side, it was then enemy territory to me. I lived in Israel for a few years searching for my identity. At that time, the Jewish state was part of my identity and I contemplated staying there. Here I was again, surveying enemy country, only this time from the opposite side.

The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasralla, for security reasons talking on video, here in a room adjacent to the packed lecture hall.The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasralla, for security reasons talking on video, here in a room adjacent to the packed lecture hall.

Now I wholeheartedly support the Palestinians’ resistance and their right to return home in accordance with FN resolutions. In fact, I go even further. I believe that the whole of the Jewish settlement state is illegitimate and should therefore be returned to its rightful owners who should decide which settlers stay.
On the second day of the conference, I took part in a seminar where representatives from most of the countries that have liberated themselves from colonialism told of their experiences.

The border with Palestine showing an Israeli kibbutz on the hill.The border with Palestine showing an Israeli kibbutz on the hill.

I was particularly struck by the fact that none of the liberation movements agreed to disarm as a condition for peace negotiations, and that historically recognised, justifiable struggles for liberation such as those in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan are today called terrorism by the western world, though nothing in the armed struggle has actually changed and it is still protected in human rights law.

A journalist from Syria’s largest daily newspaper who interviewed me asked especially why I, in connection with my work for the Palestinians, had abandoned my Jewish identity. I replied that as a Jew I felt guilt about the treatment of the Palestinians because it is carried out in the name of all Jews. I converted guilt into responsibility by taking up the political cause for the dissolution of the Jewish state. Thus, as I have never been a religious person, the grounds for my identity as a Jew ceased to exist. I then urged all diaspora Jews to distance themselves from the Jewish apartheid state, mainly for the sake of the Palestinians, but also for their own, as they otherwise risk being held to account for Israel’s crimes on the day of reckoning.

Lasse Wilhelmson with leaders for different Palestinian organisations from the refugee camps in Lebanon.Lasse Wilhelmson with leaders for different Palestinian organisations from the refugee camps in Lebanon.

I also had the opportunity to talk with leaders for different Palestinian organisations from the refugee camps in Lebanon. They were very keen to stress their close collaboration with Hezbollah and Hamas, that they had open minds and that they were Islamists.

I now have a standing invitation to visit the refugee camps and they will be my guides.
It should be said that Palestinians in Lebanon are not permitted to buy land or houses, or to work outside of the camps; they cannot become Lebanese citizens, and as stateless persons they have fewer rights than the Palestinians living under the apartheid laws in Israel. They cannot launch armed attacks against Israel without permission because Hezbollah controls the whole of southern Lebanon and the border. However,

UN personnel.UN personnel.

Hezbollah wholeheartedly supports the Palestinians and tries to improve their situation in Lebanon. But Hezbollah is not a Palestinian liberation movement. It is a national Lebanese movement that governs in coalition with others, and has successfully defended its country against Israeli attacks.

Along the road that borders Palestine, there are pictures of martyrs from the latest war and of Hezbollah’s leader, Nasrallah, and loot. Special permission is needed to travel on this road. We passed several UN outposts.

Our caravan of buses and cars from the resistance conference was on its way to the top of a hill at the entrance to the Beqaa Valley and the border to the country of Palestine.

The entrance to the Beqaa Valley with Palestine to the right.The entrance to the Beqaa Valley with Palestine to the right.

We had a break there and visited a large open-air establishment with a restaurant, probably built by Iran because only the Iranian flag was flying. Viewing the terrain south of the Litani River in Lebanon with its mountains and deep valleys and narrow winding roads, it is easy to understand why Israeli tanks encountered great problems in comparison with Hezbollah’s small, easily moved units in the war of 2006.

One of several large rooms and a tasty meal on the way back from our excursion to the border with Palestine.
One of several large rooms and a tasty meal on the way back from our excursion to the border with Palestine.

While I felt very happy about the generous support given by all to the Palestinians, I could not but help realise that their chances of liberating themselves, especially through military struggle, are smaller than ever today, not least because of the rift caused by Abbas’ s collaboration with Israel.
Considering the Wall, the sectionalised West Bank and the crowded flatlands of the Gaza Strip, the odds of winning an armed struggle against one of the world’s most powerful military forces are very bad. I therefore believe that a prerequisite for the liberation of Palestine is that Israel’s influence on US foreign policy must stop, and Zionism’s hold over the media in the western world must end.

Sheik Dr Mohemmed-Nemer Zaghmout President, Palestinian Islamic Council Lebanon/Overseas and myself.Sheik Dr Mohemmed-Nemer Zaghmout President, Palestinian Islamic Council Lebanon/Overseas and myself.

In my discussions with religious leaders, I was astonished not only by their vast general political knowledge and insight but also that they were so keen to distinguish between Jewish settlers, Jewish leaders, ordinary diaspora Jews and the Jewish mafia in their struggle against the Zionist enemy. I had the feeling though, that they do not really understand that most people who identify themselves as Jews are actually secular and to them the line drawn between Judaism and Zionism is indistinct.

Dr Sheik Hareth Al-Dari. Dr Sheik Hareth Al-Dari.

The Swedish group had a long, specially arranged interview with Dr Sheik Hareth Al-Dari, spokesman for most of the Iraqi resistance and general secretary of The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI). He lives in exile in Jordan, together with his closest colleagues. A delegation from AMSI visited Stockholm in the spring of 2009, a visit I helped plan and implement. I conveyed my warmest greetings before I asked some questions about how we might improve our support of the resistance in Iraq. I pointed out that the delegation had encountered marvellous weather and warmth that probably did not correspond to their expectations of Sweden. Al-Dari replied that given such a warm reception, even snow and ice would have melted.

Dr Sheik Hareth Al-Dari (AMSI) and myself.Dr Sheik Hareth Al-Dari (AMSI) and myself.

He said that the resistance continues with unimpaired force, but that information on the web has been scarce due to resistance websites being hacked into by the enemy. Al-Dari was eager to point out that all tribes/families in Iraq consist to a certain extent of both Shia and Sunni and that the absolute majority of the people are against the occupation and also critical of Iran’s interference.

A small amusing example of this is that the now world- famous journalist who threw his shoe at President Bush was a Shia Muslim. His brother was present at the interview and can be seen here with me.

Most of the armed resistance fighters, however, are Sunni Muslims. Up until now it has been difficult to enrol Shia Muslims. According to Al-Dari this is partly because, before the invasion, the US bargained with certain Shia leaders promising favours if they did not resist, partly because Shia leaders in southern Iraq keep postponing their promises to start armed resistance.

The shoe thrower’s brother and myself.The shoe thrower’s brother and myself.

I myself believe the fact that the Quisling regime is dependent both on the occupation powers and on Shia-governed Iran makes it difficult to enrol Shiites in the armed resistance movement. The Quislings’ foreign minister and all their foreign ambassadors are Kurds and this also favours the occupiers’ attempts to divide the country.

Al-Dari was keen to point out that the picture, promoted by the occupation powers, of the division between Sunni and Shia is greatly exaggerated, and that it is the occupiers themselves who are responsible for the terror against civilians and often they who perpetrate it.

Dr. Al-DariAl-Dari concluded by stressing the Muslim duty to resist and the importance of national unity against US warfare – which in actual fact is primarily a war for Israel, I added and received a nod and a wide smile for an answer.

Dr. Al-Dari

1. Final declaration of the conference.
2. Revoking Israel´s UN Membership.
3. Gaza and the Diaspora Jew´s Responsibility.
4. Lasse Wilhelmson on the war on Lebanon 2006.
5. Iraqi Resistance According to the Iraqis Themselves, by Snorre Lindquist.
River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Perfect execution points to Israel


February 6, 2010

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's death in Dubai had all the hallmarks of a hit by the Jewish state's spy agency, writes Jason Koutsoukis in Jerusalem.

The Hamas gunrunner Mahmoud al-Mabhouh arrived in Dubai on an Emirates flight from Syria at 3pm on January 19.

The Dubai police chief, Lieutenant-General Dahi Khalfan al-Tamim, said Mabhouh checked into his room at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel about 4pm. After depositing some documents in the hotel safe, Mabhouh went out for dinner, arriving back at his room by 9pm.

Police believe that shortly after, the usually security-conscious Mabhouh, who routinely blocked the doors to his hotel rooms with heavy furniture, opened his door to a woman.

Hours later Mabhouh, 49, was dead, believed poisoned by a mystery drug that at first led investigators to think he had suffered a heart attack.

Dubai police believe that the suspects, at least seven people carrying European passports, were out of the country before Mabhouh's body was discovered by hotel housekeeping staff at midday on January 20.

Later that day, Hamas officials in Damascus went so far as to put out a statement saying that Mabhouh had died of natural causes.

Nearly 10 days later, autopsy blood results returned from France suggested otherwise.
In the ever-suspicious world of Middle Eastern intrigue, Mabhouh's death had all the hallmarks of an assassination by Israel's national intelligence agency, Mossad.

Israel certainly did not lack motive.

In 1989, Mabhouh was part of a team of Palestinian resistance fighters who kidnapped and killed two Israeli soldiers stationed in the Gaza Strip.

Israel either killed or arrested most of those believed responsible for the deaths, but Mabhouh got away.

Eventually arriving in the Syrian capital, where Hamas had been allowed to establish its political headquarters, Mabhouh rose through the ranks to become the movement's liaison with its main weapons supplier, Tehran, responsible for co-ordinating the movement of weapons from Iran to Gaza.

In November the chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Major-General Amos Yadlin, appeared before the Israeli parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee.

Yadlin said Hamas had just test-fired a rocket with a range of 60 kilometres, within range of Israel's business and financial capital, Tel Aviv, a rocket that he said had been supplied by Iran.
At Mabhouh's funeral in Damascus, 10 days after his death, the Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, vowed revenge against Israel.

''You have assassinated an enormous man who bravely killed some of your soldiers, but this is a passing joy,'' Meshal said. ''I tell you, Zionists, do not be joyous. You killed him, but his sons will fight you.''

In September 1997, Meshal was himself the target of a bungled Mossad assassination attempt in the Jordanian capital of Amman that bears some resemblance to the way Mabhouh was killed. Meshal was getting out of his car when a man posing as a Canadian tourist approached him and squirted something in his ear.

At first, Meshal seemed fine. It was not until hours later, as he slipped in and out of consciousness, that doctors realised that he had been injected with a powerful painkiller that was shutting down his respiratory system.

Luckily for Meshal, his bodyguard had seized one of the attackers, whom local police were able to tie to Mossad. King Hussein of Jordan pressured Israel's then prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who leads Israel again today, to hand over the antidote.

Since the 1960s, when Mossad captured the leading Nazi Adolf Eichman, Israel has been accused by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Hezbollah of involvement in the assassination of their organisations' leaders. Israel has never responded to the accusations.

''The one part of this story that suggests Israel had something to do with it is that Mabhouh was injected with something,'' says a former Israeli security operative who spoke to the Herald this week.

Asking that only his first name be used, Itamar, who is the managing director of a specialist security consultancy, said he neither would, nor could, confirm Israel's involvement.

''But the method is indicative. Very clean and quiet, and it enabled the team to exit the country well before the body was discovered,'' he said.

The parts of the story that did not add up, Itamar said, were suggestions that Mabhouh had been tortured with an electrical device, and then possibly strangled.

''I don't think a highly trained Israeli team would bother with this simply because it would take up too much time,'' Itamar said.

So if not Israel, who?

A report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz this week said many people across the Arab world wanted Mabhouh dead.

''Unofficially, Hamas has conceded that quite a few parties had an interest in taking out Mabhouh, who had become central to the Iran-Gaza Strip axis,'' the report said, without saying who those parties might be.

Whether or not Israel was involved, proving it will be near impossible. ''Dubai police say they have the identities of seven suspects,'' Itamar said.

''Why haven't they been released? They say they have hotel security footage of people entering Mabhouh's room. Why have we not seen it?

''The answer is because any information or photographs, or security footage they have, it doesn't tell us anything.''


Zuheir Mohsen: The Palestinian leader of a pro-Syrian faction of the Palestine Liberation Organisation was shot in the head on July 15, 1979, as he returned to his flat in Cannes, France.

Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir, more commonly known as Abu Jihad: A high ranking member of the PLO faction Fatah, he was shot multiple times in front of his wife and children near his home in Tunisia.

Fathi Shikaki: Founder of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, he was shot multiple times on October 26, 1995 in front of the Diplomat Hotel in Sliema, Malta.

Imad Mughniyeh: Liaison officer between the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah and its main ally, Iran, Mughniyeh was killed in Damascus on February 12, 2008, when the headrest of a car he was in exploded.

Mohammed Suleiman: A Syrian general and adviser to the President, Bashar al-Assad, and an intermediary between the Syrian government, Hezbollah and Iran. He was shot in the head on August 1, 2008, on a beach near the Syrian city of Tartous.

Jason Koutsoukis is the Herald's Middle East correspondent.
River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Islamic-Christian commission warns of building Jewish town in place of Silwan


[ 06/02/2010 - 09:03 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Islamic-Christian commission for patronizing Jerusalem and holy sites on Friday warned of Israeli intentions to build a Jewish religious town on the ruins of the houses of Silwan people in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Commenting on the threats made by head of the Israeli-controlled municipal council in the holy city Nir Barakat to demolish all Palestinian homes in Silwan, the commission said that that means the displacement of hundreds of Palestinian families.

It added that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) with its political and military wings, according to their extremist Toratic vision, consider Silwan the City of David.

The commission pointed out that there are more than 60 settlement outposts in Silwan including Jewish religious institutes, apartment buildings, parking lots and others.

In a separate incident, a large number of Israeli settlers on Thursday appropriated an area of 500 dunums on a hill located near the village of Jalud in Nablus, where the IOA plans to establish a new settlement.

Palestinian citizens reported that the settlers placed on the hill four mobile homes, which means a premeditated intention to stay a long time there.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

IOA transfers Barghouthi to solitary confinement in Jalbo prison

[ 06/02/2010 - 08:55 AM ]

BEER SHEBA, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has transferred Hamas leader Abdullah Al-Barghouthi from his solitary conferment in Beer Sheba prison in the Negev desert to the Jalbo prison, sources in Hamas Movement revealed.

The sources said that the IOA decision came after Israeli investigators interrogated Barghouthi in the infamous Maskobeyya interrogation center about allegations that he made secret contacts with Hamas activists south of the West Bank. However, the charges proved to be false.

In the same context, the IOA transferred PFLP captive Ahed Al-Ghalama from the Hadarim prison to an isolation cell in Beer Sheba prison without giving reasons.

The IOA had recently renewed the solitary confinement of Hamas's political leader Jamal Abul Haija for the eighth successive year on allegation he poses threat to Israeli security.

In a related matter, families of Palestinian captives in the West Bank city of Jenin staged a sit-in and called on all regional and international human rights and legal organizations to help them pressure the IOA to allow visits to detained relatives.

For her part, Dima Mahajneh, the director of the ICRC in the city, told the rally that her department was and would remain concerned with the affairs of the Palestinian captives and that it would send the relatives' memo in this regard to the ICRC office in occupied Jerusalem.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IOF troops rounded up five Palestinian citizens, including four from Al-Khalil city, and one who allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the Qalandia barrier, north of occupied Jerusalem.

The suspect was identified as Mahmoud Al-Qatari, 25, from Jerusalem city. He was taken to an unidentified location immediately after he was seized.

According to Palestinian records, nearly 12,000 Palestinian citizens, including hundreds of children and women, are held in Israeli jails, many of them for more than 15 years.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Israel: When the Gun Turns

Via South Lebanon

By Shafiq Morton

If you're a budding student of surrealism, I would recommend Israel. It will prove to be your greatest project. I can assure you that Israel's bizarre political landscape will provide you with material beyond your wildest dreams.

Described by the Oxford dictionary as an “expression of the sub-conscious mind through imagery”, surrealism communicates its meaning through absurd, irrational and capricious nonsense. It is a metaphor in which nothing is what it seems.

And if we weren’t addressing one of the modern era’s most vexing conflicts, we would all be laughing by now. For the issue of Erez Israel, the “greater” Israel, is a serious one.

For those of us who might need reminding, Israel was the political end-result of a project; a project initiated by European Jewish secularists at the end of the 1800’s to create a Jewish homeland.

Whilst this aspiration (called Zionism) was initially seen as a noble end in itself, its means – the Palestinian people being displaced at the point of a gun – has become, as Nelson Mandela once said, one of the world’s biggest unresolved questions.

This is because for its most ardent and unbending disciples, Zionism in the 21st century has morphed into a golden calf. This is why in its inviolable, idolatrous name Gaza can be bombed and besieged, and why helicopters can murder Hamas leaders from the sky.

Zionist reasoning is that if you question Zionism, you strike at the heart of a mythical, homogenous “collective Jew”. That this “collective Jew” is an emotional red-herring, and that the idol is actually nationalism – and not Judaism – should be clear to all of us.

Nationalism by definition is a blind groupthink in which morality is suspended for the sake of a greater cause – in this case, power over Palestinians who pose a threatening counter nationalism by just existing.
This idolatry of Zionist nationalism was the biggest fear of Professor Judah Magnes at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University in the 1950’s, who actively warned against Zionism becoming an idol of the Jewish people.
And as Chicago University’s Bernard Wasserstein noted almost 40 years later: Israel was founded on nationalism, and not religion. Religion, he says, only came into the Zionist frame after 1948 when Israeli nationalism had to be bolstered.

Yet it was the protagonists of this same secular ideology, atheists such as Israel’s first Prime Minister Ben Gurion, who incongruously insisted on declaring a “Jewish” (read religious) state in 1948. It was the equivalent, I was once mischievously informed, of a Mufti declaring an Islamic state in Ireland without believing in the Shari’ah.

However, Judaism as a great monotheistic faith is not the problem in the Middle East. Modern political Zionism, incapable of acknowledging its injustices and blind to its faults, thoroughly ridicules the sublime human values of Judaism. It is belligerent Zionism that opens the door to the unwelcome spectre of anti-Semitism.

Nonetheless, it is agreed now by most diplomatic players on the Levantine chess-board that Israel is a political reality. Even Hamas concedes this, although Likud’s constitution still doesn’t recognise a Palestinian state. But then again, that is just Israel.

However, as one of the world’s smallest countries with the best equipped army in the Middle East – and as the largest beneficiary of US aid – nuclear-powered Israel is a revelation of modern political science.
For how many nation-states in the 21st century can boast of four parallel legal systems within its territories?
Israel can. Israelis are governed by secular law, but issues of personal law are seen to by the Orthodox Rabbis. Israel’s parliament, the ever fractious Knesset, exists without a constitution to guide it.

Then there are the occupied zones. They are governed by military law, or as in the case of the old city of Hebron – where you have an occupation within an occupation – by military and civil law combined.
So when Hebron’s xenophobic settlers indulge in their sport of harassing Palestinians, the army has to stand by. This is because I’m told it has no jurisdiction over the settlers, who are governed by civil law. Palestinians, regulated by occupational military law, are far easier to arrest.

The fourth legal system – or what’s left of it – exists in the pockets of land still governed by the Palestinian Authority.

The final anomaly is the fact that Israel is the only modern nation-state in the world today without properly defined borders. The West Bank Barrier, the Apartheid Wall, is but the most recent example of an insidious territorial creep that has consumed Palestinian land for decades.

What prompted all these thoughts was when I started going through my photo archives the other day. After several trips to the region in the last decade or so, I have an eclectic mix of images, and decided to try and sort them out.

I hadn’t seen my pictures for years, but what kept appearing in the dusty negatives were frames of people wielding guns. I wondered why I had not previously been aware of this. Image after image revealed just how many Israelis – especially radical settlers – openly carried weapons.

With 1948 Israel and 1967 Palestine so geographically compact, and with seven different climate zones and so much to see, your visit often results in a sensory overload.

Perhaps that’s why I hadn’t taken too much note of the firearms. That and the fact that we South Africans, having only just abandoned Apartheid, were still probably desensitised to political violence.

Noticeable amongst my negatives, though, was the lack of arms in the Palestinian camp. The PA’s rag-tag platoons and Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades could not hold a candle to Israeli firepower.

And if ever the disproportionate nature of Israel’s hostility against Palestinians was seeking for definition, here it was in my files.

So what was the point of it all? Terry Crawford-Browne, an observer for the World Council of Churches to Palestine, put it this way: the guns (and checkpoints) were there to make Palestinian life as miserable as possible.

In other words, the military’s role was not just to fend off weakling Arab regimes. The army’s job was to enforce an occupation – to execute a spider-web of laws used to justify Zionist Apartheid, and ultimately in places such as East Jerusalem, to effect ethnic cleansing.

But here lies the rub. As Zionism becomes more and more unpalatable in the post Cast Lead era, and pressure against occupation and siege starts to bear, who will the IDF listen to? The doves, or the hawks?
In recent years a host of Israeli analysts have pointed out that a right-wing settler minority has quietly worked its way into the senior ranks of the IDF. The army has been taken over by extremists, said Gush Shalom’s Uri Avnery bluntly to me in an interview last year. The beast was in the belly.

If we consider that a 2002 Ha’aretz poll revealed over 70% of Israelis would be prepared to sacrifice West Bank settlements for peace, grave problems loom for Israeli leaders. This is because there is the very real prospect of factions in the IDF ignoring official orders.

For once, Palestinians could be spectators as ill-tempered Israelis turn their guns on each other – the one party wanting peace, and the other one abjectly fearing it. Indeed, when the gun turns in Israel (on the occupied West Bank) life is really going to be interesting.

- Shafiq Morton is a presenter at Voice of the Cape radio station. He was South African Vodacom Community Journalist of the Year in 2008 and was recently voted amongst the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by the Jordanian Royal Islamic Strategies Study Centre headed by Prof John Esposito of Georgetown University. He contributed this article to
Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 11:44 PM
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 Uprooted Palestinian

Jordanian paper: Dahlan plans to abort prisoners' swap deal


[ 06/02/2010 - 08:25 AM ]

AMMAN, (PIC)-- The Jordanian AL-Haqeeqa Al-Dawleyyah newspaper has quoted Friday a "senior source" as saying that Fatah's media official Mohammed Dahlan plans to abort the prisoners' swap deal between the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) and Hamas Movement.

The source, who preferred not to be identified, revealed that Dahlan had laid down political and media schemes for that purpose, and that part of the plan was to launch a smear campaign against Hamas Movement in addition to portraying the deal as a deportation deal and not a swap deal.

The source further revealed that the PA leadership in Ramallah urged the IOA to exclude the names of Marwan Al-Barghouthi, Fatah's strong man, and Ahmad Sa'adat, the secretary general of the PFLP, from the list of released prisoners in order to avert the popular support for the deal, which he described as national par excellence because it comprises prisoners from all Palestinian factions and not only from Hamas.

He added that both Mahmoud Abbas and Dahlan wants Barghouthi to be freed in a separate deal in a bid to deny him any popular support thus terminating his political career in favor of the duo, explaining that the Arab and Palestinian street would question the reason behind his release in case it happened outside Hamas's deal.

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The Holocaust In Israeli Political Discourse

The Holocaust In Israeli Political Discourse

By Yacov Ben Efrat

It is taboo in Israel to compare the suffering of the Palestinians with that of the Jews in the holocaust. Anyone who does so is at once ostracized. The latest is film director and producer Yonatan Segal: in a marketing document for his Odem (Lipstick), which is currently being filmed, he wrote that "the occupation is more terrible than Israel has ever admitted, and it is possible to compare it with the holocaust." The Israeli Film Fund, which has been backing the project, responded by freezing the money. The issue even reached the Knesset, to which Segal was summoned to explain. He is only one among many who have been pilloried for the comparison.

Currently a play called The Third Generation is running in German cities. The actors are Israelis, Palestinians and Germans. The work appears under the aegis of Israel's National Theater, known as Habima, and Berlin's Schaubühne. It slaughters all the sacred cows, subjecting the tragic history of the three peoples to satire, criticism and discussion. Despite a brilliant monologue called "Don't Compare," delivered by one of the Israelis, comparison is of the essence throughout.

The Israeli Occupation invites the comparison. Yet the invitation must be declined. Those who accept it act, I suspect, more from ignorance than from any intention to falsify the historical truth or diminish the suffering of the Jewish people. The younger generation in Israel has little interest in history. Theodore Herzl and David Ben Gurion are largely just names to our young. They know little, too, about what took place in Europe in the 1930's and 40's. This ignorance exposes them to cynical manipulation where the holocaust is concerned. Youth trips to Auschwitz, for instance—organized by the Ministry of Education—are intended not just to inform but to convey messages, explicit and implicit, justifying the Jewish state and its policies.

Fifty million people died in World War II, including twenty million Soviet citizens. To the death camps were sent not only the Jews, but also the German Communists and Social Democrats, as well as Gypsies and homosexuals. But the liquidation of the Jews was the cruelest of all, the most systematic and barbaric, and the least comprehensible. Here was Germany, the most advanced nation in Europe, perhaps the world, demonstrating how deeply human beings can sink. Culture, science and technology put up no resistance before a racist, nationalist ideology.

Yet precisely those who raise the banner of the holocaust, claiming to preserve the memory, have become the big falsifiers, using it to achieve their goals and justify their acts against the Palestinians. Among the worst is Binyamin Netanyahu, who has no shame about standing at Auschwitz and comparing Hitler to Ahmadinejad and Iran to Nazi Germany. The clear intent is to equate the victims of the holocaust with the State of Israel. According to this distorted view, Israel is the victim, and occupying the Palestinians is nothing but a defensive act against those who want to exterminate us.

There is no basis for this comparison. The European Jews who perished were, for the most part, poor and persecuted, lacking all rights and means of defense. They were Diaspora Jews who spoke Yiddish, a culture that has been erased by Israel. The only thing that Israel preserved from it is the holocaust, which has been transformed from a horrible historical event into the mythic bedrock of the nation. Its victims are evoked to justify every outrage. With Torah in one hand and holocaust in the other, the Israelis established their state while disinheriting another people. The factors behind Nazi aggression—namely, the will to expand the nation's borders by force, racism, hatred of outsiders, a sense of superiority, and indifference to the suffering of others—are values adopted by Israeli society. That is why the critics of Israel doggedly compare the occupation and the holocaust—for if the Israeli Prime Minister is permitted to draw analogies, why not they?

The holocaust cannot be compared with anything humanity has known. In contrast, what Israel is doing in the Occupied Territories is comparable to much else that has happened. It invents nothing new. When the first Intifada broke out in 1987, the IDF distributed to its officers Alastair Horne's book, A Savage War of Peace, on the French occupation of Algeria. The apartheid regime in South Africa also invites comparison, as do all the varieties of colonialism that marked the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. But colonialism has passed from the world, and only the Israeli brand persists ad nauseam. The world has tired of this intractable conflict.

In order to condemn the occupation, to expose its full inhumanity, there is no need to compare it with the holocaust. It is bad enough as is. Those who fear a return of fascism ought not to seek the root of all evil in the caves of Toura Boura, nor in Tehran. Fascism continues to fester in the same western societies where it first developed. It sprouts up in the US, Switzerland, Italy, France, Holland, Britain and Austria. Its common denominator is hatred of strangers, nationalism, racist supremacy, scorn for democracy, and the attempt to renew the greatness of declining empires. Here is where the real danger lurks. To this danger, however, the State of Israel remains indifferent, aiming its arrows eastward. Netanyahu's comparison is worse than false: it is harmful.
Posted @ 22:28
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