Saturday 27 February 2010

Security Measures at Beirut Airport to Face Forged Passports!


27/02/2010 More than one month has passed on the assassination of Hamas chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh through an operation in which forged passports were used, the issue of Israeli holders of European passports was seriously raised in Lebanon, especially regarding the threats on the Lebanese national security…

According to reports, Interior Minister Ziad Baroud has told the member of Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc MP Hasan Fadlallah, who had previously raised the passports issue in the last parliamentary session, that his ministry will take the necessary measures.

The information was confirmed by General Security Director Major General Wafiq Jezzini who told Al-Manar that Lebanon was technically ready to follow up on the inbound passengers and the individuals who receive them at the airport in order to prevent the Israeli Mossad of exploiting the forged passports to enter Lebanon.

Jezzini said that the general security is observing a circular of Jewish family names, noting that "when someone arrives in Lebanon with a foreign passport and a surname that indicates a Jewish origin, the border crossing points are sending the passenger's data to the central information office in the General Directorate of General Security that follows up on this person, especially that this person would have registered a temporary residence address in Lebanon."

"We are following up on the inbound passengers and the individuals who receive them at the airport," he added. "There is another method which we can follow, and usually imply, that is to inspect or authenticate the birth place of the inbound passengers."

Pan-Arab daily As-Sharq Al-Awsat earlier said that Lebanese General Security Department at Rafik Hariri International Airport has started to tighten security measures for European passengers arriving in Beirut.

According to the daily, "no complaints from Irish or British nationals have been recorded so far about harassments upon arriving in Beirut." However, the British foreign ministry confirmed "it will examine the situation," adding that it would directly submit any complaints to the Lebanese government.

As to Ireland, it expressed its "deep concerns" against the new measures. An Irish foreign ministry spokesperson told the newspaper that "the issue now is the responsibility of the European Union," adding that a meeting for the foreign affairs council was held last Monday to discuss immunizing European passports.

He stressed that the EU will decide "step by step" the necessary decisions in this regard, noting that the council has already condemned the usage of forged European passports in murdering al-Mabhouh, describing the incident as "deeply worrying."

The spokesperson called for the cooperation of all concerned nations with the investigation opened by the Dubai police.

Twelve British, six Irish, four French, one German and three Australian passports were used by the suspects, according to Dubai police.

In all cases, the taken measures are believed to be a legitimate right for Lebanon to safeguard its security. Even more, such measures are considered to be a duty according to the concerned parties who called on all countries to respect this right, especially in the face of the Israeli daily violations to the Lebanese sovereignty.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

We must never forget Gaza

[ 27/02/2010 - 04:47 PM ]

By Khalid Amayreh

Despite a slight improvement in the general humanitarian situation, the Gaza Strip remains a disaster area. In fact, in terms of the sheer destruction of homes and infrastructure, the coastal enclave can be compared to quake-stricken Haiti, with the main difference lying in the fact that while the Caribbean island’s calamity was a natural disaster, the Gaza disaster was inflicted by the criminal Israeli regime.

Today, Israel continues to prevent a large number of consumer products from entering Gaza. This policy, often justified by security considerations, has actually nothing to do with security. It is a deliberate measure aimed at further tormenting the inhabitants of Gaza by showing them that Israel has the final say and that they would have to submit themselves to the Zionist will. This is how the Nazis behaved toward the inhabitants of the Ghetto Warsaw, forcing them to smuggle food and other consumer products into the camp.

What is more scandalous is that the Zionist regime is adamantly preventing the entry into Gaza of building materials needed for the reconstruction of the estimated 40,000 homes destroyed, either completely or partly during last year’s Nazi-like onslaught against the impoverished territory.

Unfortunately, this callous and criminal policy is not being challenged by the international community which keeps issuing platitudinous remarks about the need to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza, this is while thousands of Gazans, whose homes were destroyed by the Nazis of our times, remain without shelter and are totally exposed to the elements of nature.

In fact, the enduring nightmare in Gaza is beyond the pale of common sense. The Israelis, who killed more than 1400 Gazans, including more than 350 children last year alone, claiming they did it in self defense, are maintaining this suffocating blockade as an expression of sadism, callousness and hateful vindictiveness. What else can be said about a government whose ministers and spokespeople routinely appear on TV screens bragging and gloating over the suffering of Gaza children?

There is no doubt that the continued blockade of Gaza has exposed the brutal ugliness of Israel’s face, demonstrating that Israel and Nazi Germany are very much two sides of the same coin. Nonetheless, exposing Israel’s ugly face alone won’t save Gazan lives or enable the thoroughly tormented inhabitants of the largest detention camp in the world to rebuild their lives, torn into smithereens by a state that murders, steals and lies and then claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East.

Hence, it is important to make every conceivable effort and make every possible undertaking to help Gaza rebuild its life and restore a semblance of normal life. Undoubtedly admirable efforts have been made by courageous men and women from around the globe who often put their lives at risk in order to highlight the Gaza plight. However, it is imperative that more qualitative and pro-active efforts be made in order to make a real difference.

In short, Gaza must never be allowed to die quietly or silently. This was the message more than three years ago when the cruel blockade began. This is still the message today; because the overall situation in Gaza doesn’t really differ much now from what it was three years ago.

Unfortunately, we can’t rely much on the “good will” of most countries, perhaps with the exception of some magnanimous governments such as the Turkish government which has utilized much of the diplomatic weight of the Turkish state in order to help the just cause of the oppressed people of Gaza.

The Obama administration, which many people had given the benefit of the doubt when it came to power more than a year ago, has turned out to be quite important in the face of Israeli insolence and arrogance of power.

Similarly, Europe is doing nothing in real terms, apart from issuing nice-sounding statements about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the need to allow Gazans to rebuild their homes.

And Egypt, the supposedly brotherly neighboring Arab country which is supposed to hasten to aide Gaza is completing and perfecting a nefarious underground concrete wall along its borders with Gaza in order to prevent the smuggling of food into the blockaded region.

Even the Palestinian Authority (PA) is implicitly encouraging Israel and Egypt and the West to keep up the pressure on Gaza in the hope that this pressure would prompt the people of Gaza to rise up against Hamas.

Well, how can such an entity, which is colluding and conspiring with Israel against its own people, be a true party to any Palestinian national reconciliation?

In light, it is necessary to once again mobilize the peoples of the world to rise up and demonstrate loudly in order to exert pressure on their respective governments to pressure Israel to put an end to this shameful, sadistic and cruel collective punishment.

We need to see millions of peoples take to the streets everywhere to demonstrate for Gaza and for humanity. In the final analysis, Gaza has become the ultimate test for humanity’s moral commitment.

If we, God forbid, don’t succeed in saving Gaza from the claws of Zio-Nazism, the future of humanity itself will be bleak.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

WEIR: Media reporting on Israel

February 28, 2010 

All in the family

by Alison Weir -  CounterPunch  -  26-28 February 2010

Recent exposés revealing that Ethan Bronner, the New York Times’ Israel-Palestine bureau chief, has a son in the Israeli military have caused a storm of controversy that continues to swirl and generate further revelations.

(See my piece for CounterPunch, The NYT’s Ethan Bronner’s Conflict With Impartiality.)

Many people find such a sign of family partisanship in an editor covering a foreign conflict troubling – especially given the Times’ record of Israel-centric journalism.

Times management at first refused to confirm Bronner’s situation, then refused to comment on it. Finally, public outcry forced Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt to confront the problem in a February 7th column.
After bending over backwards to praise the institution that employs him, Hoyt ultimately opined that Bronner should be re-assigned to a different sphere of reporting to avoid the “appearance” of bias. Times Editor Bill Keller declined to do so, however, instead writing a column calling Bronner’s connections to Israel valuable because they “supply a measure of sophistication about Israel and its adversaries that someone with no connections would lack.”

If such “sophistication” is valuable, the Times’ espoused commitment to the “impartiality and neutrality of the company’s newsrooms” would seem to require it to have a balancing editor equally sophisticated about Palestine and its adversary, but Keller did not address that.

Bronner is far from alone

As it turns out, Bronner’s ties to the Israeli military are not the rarity one might expect.
• A previous Times bureau chief, Joel Greenberg, before he was bureau chief but after he was already publishing in the Times from Israel, actually served in the Israeli army.
• Media pundit and Atlantic staffer Jeffrey Goldberg also served in the Israeli military; it’s unclear when, how, or even if his military service ended.
• Richard Chesnoff, who has been covering Mideast events for more than 40 years, had a son serving in the Israeli military while Chesnoff covered Israel as US News & World Report’s senior foreign correspondent.
• NPR’s Linda Gradstein’s husband was an Israeli sniper and may still be in the Israeli reserves. NPR refuses to disclose whether Gradstein herself is also an Israeli citizen, as are her children and husband.
• Mitch Weinstock, national editor for the San Diego Union-Tribune, served in the Israeli military.
• The New York Times’ other correspondent from the region, Isabel Kershner, is an Israeli citizen. Israel has universal compulsory military service, which suggests that Kershner herself and/or family members may have military connections. The Times refuses to answer questions about whether she and/or family members have served or are currently serving in the Israeli military. Is it possible that Times Foreign Editor Susan Chira herself has such connections? The Times refuses to answer.
• Many Associated Press writers and editors are Israeli citizens or have Israeli families. AP will not reveal how many of the journalists in its control bureau for the region currently serve in the Israeli military, how many have served in the past, and how many have family members with this connection.
• Similarly, many TV correspondents such as Martin Fletcher have been Israeli citizens and/or have Israeli families. Do they have family connections to the Israeli military?
• Time Magazine’s bureau chief several years ago became an Israeli citizen after he had assumed his post. Does he have relatives in the military?
• CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, while not an Israeli citizen, was based in Israel for many years, wrote a book whitewashing Israeli spying on the US, and used to work for the Israel lobby in the US. None of this is divulged to CNN viewers.
Tikkun’s editor Michael Lerner has a son who served in the Israeli military. While Lerner has been a strong critic of many Israeli policies, in an interview with Jewish Week, Lerner explains:
“Having a son in the Israeli army was a manifestation of my love for Israel, and I assume that having a son in the Israeli army is a manifestation of Bronner’s love of Israel.”
Lerner goes on to make a fundamental point:
“…there is a difference in my emotional and spiritual connection to these two sides [Israelis and Palestinians]. On the one side is my family; on the other side are decent human beings. I want to support human beings all over the planet but I have a special connection to my family. I don’t deny it.”
For a great many of the reporters and editors determining what Americans learn about Israel-Palestine, Israel is family.

Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth, writes of a recent meeting with a Jerusalem based bureau chief, who explained: “… Bronner’s situation is ‘the rule, not the exception. I can think of a dozen foreign bureau chiefs, responsible for covering both Israel and the Palestinians, who have served in the Israeli army, and another dozen who like Bronner have kids in the Israeli army.”

Cooks writes that the bureau chief explained: “It is common to hear Western reporters boasting to one another about their Zionist credentials, their service in the Israeli army or the loyal service of their children.”
Apparently, intimate ties to Israel are among the many open secrets in the region that are hidden from the American public. If, as the news media insist, these ties present no problem or even, as the Times’ Keller insists, enhance the journalists’ work, why do the news agencies consistently refuse to admit them?
The reason is not complicated.

While Israel may be family for these journalists and editors, for the vast majority of Americans, Israel is a foreign country. In survey after survey, Americans say they don’t wish to “take sides” on this conflict. In other words, the American public wants full, unfiltered, unslanted coverage.

Quite likely the news media refuse to answer questions about their journalists’ affiliations because they suspect, accurately, that the public would be displeased to learn that the reporters and editors charged with supplying news on a foreign nation and conflict are, in fact, partisans.

While Keller claims that the New York Times is covering this conflict “even-handedly,” studies indicate otherwise:
* The Times covers international reports documenting Israeli human rights abuses at a rate 19 times lower than it reports on the far smaller number of international reports documenting Palestinian human rights abuses.
* The Times covers Israeli children’s deaths at rates seven times greater than they cover Palestinian children’s deaths, even though there are vastly more of the latter and they occurred first.
* The Times fails to inform its readers that Israel’s Jewish-only colonies on confiscated Palestinian Christian and Muslim land are illegal; that its collective punishment of 1.5 million men, women, and children in Gaza is not only cruel and ruthless, it is also illegal; and that its use of American weaponry is routinely in violation of American laws.
* The Times covers the one Israeli (a soldier) held by Palestinians at a rate incalculably higher than it reports on the Palestinian men, women, and children – the vast majority civilians – imprisoned by Israel (currently over 7,000).
• The Times neglects to report that hundreds of Israel’s captives have never even been charged with a crime and that those who have were tried in Israeli military courts under an array of bizarre military statutes that make even the planting of onions without a permit a criminal offense – a legal system, if one can call it that, that changes at the whim of the current military governor ruling over a subject population; a system in which parents are without power to protect their children.
* The Times fails to inform its readers that 40 percent of Palestinian males have been imprisoned by Israel, a statistic that normally would be considered highly newsworthy, but that Bronner, Kershner, and Chira apparently feel is unimportant to report.
Americans, whose elected representatives give Israel uniquely gargantuan sums of our tax money (a situation also not covered by the media), want and need all the facts, not just those that Israel’s family members decree reportable.

We’re not getting them.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew and a board member of the Council for the National Interest (CNI). For more information on Ethan Bronner and his upcoming speaking tour on college campuses, join IAK’S email list. Alison can be reached at

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

British investigators in Israel over Mabhouh assassination


[ 27/02/2010 - 02:59 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- British investigators arrived in Israel to conduct their own investigation into the use of forged British passports in the assassination crime of senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai last month.

Agents of the Serious Organised Crime Agency would interrogate six Israeli nationals also carrying British citizenship, whose names were used on forged passports by the assassins of the Hamas commander, radio Israel reported on Saturday.

It noted that the UK police believe that the six individuals are probable witnesses, adding that the interrogation would take place at the UK embassy in Tel Aviv.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Dubai Police Chief to Israeli Mossad Head: Be A Man!

27/02/2010 Dubai Police Chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim urged Meir Dagan, the director of Israel's Mossad, to "be a man" and admit that Israel stands behind last month's assassination of Hamas chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, according to a report Saturday in Emirati newspaper Al-Khaleej.

Tamim also told the paper that Dubai has DNA evidence from one of the assassins and fingerprints from the crime scene.

Mabhouh was killed last month in his hotel room in what Dubai police have said they are near certain was a hit by Israel's Mossad. Police said the killers traveled to the Gulf Arab emirate using forged passports from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Australia.

The Dubai police chief also said he believes Mabhouh's assassins are currently in the Palestinian occupied territories. He said he is seeking the creation of an international team of investigators from the five countries whose passports were used in the assassination, and said those governments are all working closely with Dubai.

Tamim reiterated that if Mossad is found to have been behind the assassination, he would seek the arrest of Dagan and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, British daily 'The Independent' reported on Saturday that investigators from Britain's Serious Organized Crimes Agency have arrived in the occupied territories to interview dual nationals whose names were used on forged passports by the assassins Al-Mabhouh in Dubai last month.

The British agency said Friday that arrangements were already being made to speak to the six British-Israeli dual nationals whose names were among those used by the alleged hit squad.

In a related development, Australia said on Saturday it is not satisfied with its Israeli envoy's explanation about the fraudulent use of Australian passports in the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai last month, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Rudd said his government had to "proceed very carefully" in the investigation because of its complex security nature. "When it comes to Australian passport fraud or the use and abuse of Australian passports, this government has an absolutely hard line on defending the integrity of our passport system because millions of the traveling public depend on that each year," Rudd told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday. "That is why the foreign minister has called in the Israeli ambassador and asked for an explanation. Thus far we are not satisfied with that explanation," Rudd said.

Dubai police said on Friday they have DNA proof of the identity of at least one of the killers of senior Hamas strongman Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the emirate country last month. "We have DNA evidence ... from the crime scene. The DNA of the criminals is there," Dubai Police Chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim said on the Arab satellite television Al-Arabiya. He said police had "categorical DNA proof on one of the assassins" and fingerprint evidence from several other suspects, providing "100 percent" proof of their identities.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

The Road to Armageddon – Paul Craig Roberts


Posted by sakerfa on February 25, 2010
The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was the “Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,” about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.

Paul Craig Roberts
February 25, 2010

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on February 21 that American extremists are now as big a concern as international terrorists.
I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously. How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? “A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,” reports the Washington Times.

The paper reports that the architects and engineers have concluded that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology provided “insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction” and are “calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials.”
The newspaper reports that Richard Gage, the spokesperson for the architects and engineers said: “Government officials will be notified that “Misprision of Treason,’ U.S. Code 18 (Sec. 2382) is a serious federal offense, which requires those with evidence of treason to act. The implications are enormous and may have profound impact on the forthcoming Khalid Sheik Mohammed trial.”

There is now an organization, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth. At the main press conference in San Francisco, Eric Lawyer,the head of that organization, announced the firefighters’ support for the architects and engineers’ demands. He reported that no forensic investigation was made of the fires that are alleged to have destroyed the three buildings and that this failure constitutes a crime.

Mandated procedures were not followed, and instead of being preserved and investigated, the crime scene was destroyed. He also reported that there are more than one hundred first responders who heard and experienced explosions and that there is radio, audio and video evidence of explosions.

Also at the press conference, physicist Steven Jones presented the evidence of nano-thermite in the residue of the WTC buildings found by an international panel of scientists led by University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Professor Niels Harrit. Nano-thermite is a high-tech explosive/pyrotechnic capable of instantly melting steel girders.

Before we yell “conspiracy theory,” we should be aware that the architects, engineers, firefighters, and scientists offer no theory. They provide evidence that challenges the official theory. This evidence is not going to go away.

If expressing doubts or reservations about the official story in the 9/11 Commission Report makes a person a conspiracy theory kook, then we have to include both co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission and the Commission’s legal counsel, all of whom have written books in which they clearly state that they were lied to by government officials when they conducted their investigation, or, rather, when they presided over the investigation conducted by executive director Philip Zelikow, a member of President George W. Bush’s transition team and Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and a co-author of Bush Secretary of State Condi “Mushroom Cloud” Rice.

There will always be Americans who will believe whatever the government tells them no matter how many times they know the government has lied to them. Despite expensive wars that threaten Social Security and Medicare, wars based on non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, non-existent Saddam Hussein connections to al Qaida, non-existent Afghan participation in the 9/11 attacks, and the non-existent Iranian nukes that are being hyped as the reason for the next American war of aggression in the Middle East, more than half of the U.S. population still believes the fantastic story that the government has told them about 9/11, a Muslim conspiracy that outwitted the entire Western world.

Moreover, it doesn’t matter to these Americans how often the government changes its story. For example, Americans first heard of Osama bin Laden because the Bush regime pinned the 9/11 attacks on him. Over the years video after video was served up to the gullible American public of bin Laden’s pronouncements. Experts dismissed the videos as fakes, but Americans remained their gullible selves. Then suddenly last year a new 9/11 “mastermind” emerged to take bin Laden’s place, the captive Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the detainee waterboarded 183 times until he confessed to masterminding the 9/11 attack.

In the Middle Ages confessions extracted by torture constituted evidence, but self-incrimination has been a no-no in the U.S. legal system since our founding. But with the Bush regime and the Republican federal judges, whom we were assured would defend the U.S. Constitution, the self-incrimination of Sheik Mohammed stands today as the only evidence the U.S. government has that Muslim terrorists pulled off 9/11.

If a person considers the feats attributed to Khalid Sheik Mohammed, they are simply unbelievable. Sheik Mohammed is a more brilliant, capable superhero than V in the fantasy movie, “V for Vendetta.” Sheik Mohammed outwitted all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies along with those of all U.S. allies or puppets, including Israel’s Mossad. No intelligence service on earth, or all of them combined, was a match for Sheik Mohammed.

Sheik Mohammed outwitted the U.S. National Security Council, Dick Cheney, the Pentagon, the State Department, NORAD, the U.S. Air Force, and Air Traffic Control. He caused Airport Security to fail four times in one morning. He caused the state-of-the-art air defenses of the Pentagon to fail, allowing a hijacked airliner, which was off course all morning while the U.S. Air Force, for the first time in history, was unable to get aloft intercepter aircraft, to crash into the Pentagon.

Sheik Mohammed was able to perform these feats with unqualified pilots.

Sheik Mohammed, even as a waterboarded detainee, has managed to prevent the FBI from releasing the many confiscated videos that would show, according to the official story, the hijacked airliner hitting the Penagon.

How naive do you have to be to believe that any human, or for that matter Hollywood fantasy character, is this powerful and capable?

If Sheik Mohammed has these superhuman capabilities, how did the incompetent Americans catch him? This guy is a patsy tortured into confession in order to keep the American naifs believing the government’s conspiracy theory.

What is going on here is that the U.S. government has to bring the 9/11 mystery to an end. The government must put on trial and convict a culprit so that it can close the case before it explodes. Anyone waterboarded 183 times would confess to anything.

The U.S. government has responded to the evidence being arrayed against its outlandish 9/11 conspiracy theory by redefining the war on terror from external to internal enemies. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on February 21 that American extremists are now as big a concern as international terrorists. Extremists, of course, are people who get in the way of the government’s agenda, such as the 1,000 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The group used to be 100, now it is 1,000. What if it becomes 10,000?

Cass Sunstein, an Obama regime official, has a solution for the 9/11 skeptics: Infiltrate them and provoke them into statements and actions that can be used to discredit or to arrest them. But get rid of them at all cost.

Why employ such extreme measures against alleged kooks if they only provide entertainment and laughs? Is the government worried that they are on to something?

Instead, why doesn’t the U.S. government simply confront the evidence that is presented and answer it?
If the architects, engineers, firefighters, and scientists are merely kooks, it would be a simple matter to acknowledge their evidence and refute it. Why is it necessary to infiltrate them with police agents and to set them up?

Many Americans would reply that “their” government would never even dream of killing Americans by hijacking airliners and destroying buildings in order to advance a government agenda. But on February 3, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. government can assassinate its own citizens when they are overseas. No arrest, trial, or conviction of a capital crime is necessary. Just straight out murder.

Obviously, if the U.S. government can murder its citizens abroad it can murder them at home, and has done so. For example, 100 Branch Davidians were murdered in Waco, Texas, by the Clinton administration for no legitimate reason. The government just decided to use its power knowing that it could get away with it, which it did.

Americans who think “their” government is some kind of morally pure operation would do well to familiarize themselves with Operation Northwoods. Operation Northwoods was a plot drawn up by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff for the CIA to commit acts of terrorism in American cities and fabricate evidence blaming Castro so that the U.S. could gain domestic and international support for regime change in Cuba. The secret plan was nixed by President John F. Kennedy and was declassified by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. It is available online in the National Security Archive. There are numerous online accounts available, including Wikipedia. James Bamford’s book, Body of Secrets, also summarizes the plot:
“Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the Chairman [Gen. Lemnitzer] and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.”
Prior to 9/11 the American neoconservatives were explicit that the wars of aggression that they intended to launch in the Middle East required “a new Pearl Harbor.”

For their own good and that of the wider world, Americans need to pay attention to the growing body of experts who are telling them that the government’s account of 9/11 fails their investigation. 9/11 launched the neoconservative plan for U.S. world hegemony.

As I write, the U.S. government is purchasing the agreement of foreign governments that border Russia to accept U.S. missile interceptor bases. The U.S. intends to ring Russia with U.S. missile bases from Poland through central Europe and Kosovo to Georgia, Azerbaijan and central Asia. U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke declared on February 20 that al Qaida is moving into former central Asian constituent parts of the Soviet Union, such as Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Holbrooke is soliciting U.S. bases in these former Soviet republics under the guise of the ever-expanding “war on terror.”
The U.S. has already encircled Iran with military bases. The U.S. government intends to neutralize China by seizing control over the Middle East and cutting China off from oil.

This plan assumes that Russia and China, nuclear armed states, will be intimidated by U.S. anti-missile defenses and acquiesce to U.S. hegemony and that China will lack oil for its industries and military.
The U.S. government is delusional. Russian military and political leaders have responded to the obvious threat by declaring NATO a direct threat to the security of Russia and by announcing a change in Russian war doctrine to the pre-emptive launch of nuclear weapons. The Chinese are too confident to be bullied by a washed-up American “superpower.”

The morons in Washington are pushing the envelope of nuclear war. The insane drive for American hegemony threatens life on earth. The American people, by accepting the lies and deceptions of “their” government, are facilitating this outcome.

Source: Infowars
River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Be Grateful They let You Keep Your Land


- February 28, 2010

Age Cartoon 270210-

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Uprooted Palestinian

PILGER: Listen to the heroes of Israel

February 28, 2010

"Knowing is the Beginning" - PCFF members visiting a village which existed before 1948 , called Ekbeba. (2007)
"Knowing is the Beginning" - PCFF members visiting a village which existed before 1948 , called Ekbeba. (2007)
by John Pilger  -  ZNet -  26 February 2010

I phoned Rami Elhanan the other day. We had not spoken for six years and much has happened in Israel and Palestine. Rami is an Israeli graphic designer who lives with his family in Jerusalem. His father survived Auschwitz. His grandparents and six aunts and uncles perished in the Holocaust. Whenever I am asked about heroes, I say Rami and his wife Nurit without hesitation.

Soon after when we met, Rami gave me a home videotape that was difficult to watch. It shows his daughter Smadar, aged 14, throwing her head back, laughing and playing the piano. “She loved to dance,” he said. On the afternoon of 4 September, 1997, Smadar and her best friend, Sivane, had auditions for admission to a dance school. She had argued that morning with her mother, who was anxious about her going to the centre of Jerusalem. “I didn’t want to row,” said Nurit, “so I let her go.”

Rami was in his car when he turned on the radio to catch the three o’ clock news. There had been a suicide bombing in Ben Yehuda shopping precinct. More than 200 hundred people were injured and several were dead. Within minutes, his mobile phone rang. It was Nurit, crying. They searched the hospitals in vain, then the morgue; and so began, as Rami describes it, their “descent into darkness”.

Rami and Nurit are two of the founders of the Parents Circle, or Bereaved Families Forum, which brings together Israelis and Palestinians who have lost loved ones. “It’s painful to acknowledge,” he said. “but there is no basic moral difference between the [Israeli] soldier at the checkpoint who prevents a woman who is having a baby from going through, causing her to lose the baby, and the man who killed my daughter. And just as my daughter was a victim [of the occupation], so was he.” Rami describes the Israeli occupation and the dispossession of Palestinians as a “cancer in our heart”. Nothing changes, he says, until the occupation ends.

Every “Jerusalem Day” – the day Israel celebrates its military conquest of the city – Rami has stood in the street with a photograph of Smadar and crossed Israeli and Palestinian flags, and people spit at him and tell him it was a pity he was not blown up, too.  And yet he and Nurit and their comrades have made extraordinary gains. Rami goes to Israeli schools with a Palestinian member of the group, and they show maps of what ought to be Palestine, and they hug each other. “This is like an earthquake to children who have been socialised and manipulated into hating,” he said. “They say to us, ‘You have opened my eyes’.”
In October, Rami and Nurit sat in the Israeli High Court while the state counsel, “stammering, unprepared and unkempt,” wrote Nurit, “stood like a platoon commander in charge of new recruits and refuted … the allegations”. Salwa and Bassam Aramin, Palestinian parents, were there, too. Tears streaked Salwa’s face. Their ten-year-old daughter Abir Aramin was killed by an Israeli soldier firing a rubber bullet point-blank at her small head while she was standing beside a kiosk buying sweets with her sister. The judges seemed bored and one of them remarked that Israeli soldiers were rarely indicted, so it would be best to forget it. The state counsel laughed. This was normal.

“Our children,” said Nurit at a rally last December to mark the anniversary of the Israeli assault on Gaza, “have learned this year that all the disgusting qualities which anti-semites attribute to Jews are actually manifested among our leaders: deceit, greed and the murder of children … What values of beauty and goodness can we squeeze into such a sophisticated apparatus of brainwashing and reality distortion?”
Rami now tells me the High Court has decided to investigate the case of Abir Aramin after all. This is not normal: it is a victory.

“Where are the other victories?” I asked him.

“In America last year, a Palestinian and I spoke five times a day in front of thousands. There is a big shift in American public opinion, and that’s where the hope lies. It’s only pressure from outside Israel – from Jews especially – that will end this nightmare. People in the West must know that while there is a silence, this looking away, this profane abuse of Israel’s critics as anti-Jew, they are no different from those who stood aside during the days of the Holocaust.”

Since Israel’s onslaught on Lebanon in 2006, its devastation of Gaza in 2008-9 and Mossad’s recent political murder in Dubai, the criminality of the Israeli state has been impossible to disguise.

On 11 February, the influential Reut Institute in Tel Aviv reported to the Israeli Cabinet, which it advises, that violence had failed to achieve Israel’s ends and had produced worldwide revulsion. “In last year’s Gaza operation,” said the report, “our superior military power was offset by an offensive on Israel’s legitimacy that led to a significant setback in our international standing and will constrain future Israeli military planning and operations …”

In other words, proof of the murderous, racist toll of Zionism has been an epiphany for many people; justice for the Palestinians, wrote the expatriate Israeli musician Gilad Altzmon, is now “at the heart of the battle for a better world”.

However, his fellow Jews in Western countries, particularly Britain and Australia, whose influence is critical, are still mostly silent, still looking away, still accepting, as Nurit said, “the brainwashing and reality distortion”. And yet the responsibility to speak out could not be clearer and the lessons of history – family history for many — ensure that it renders them culpable should their silence persist. For inspiration, I recommend the moral courage of Rami and Nurit.

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February 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm (Corrupt Politics, Holidays, Israel

A Passover Seder without gefilte fish is like an Easter dinner without a baked ham. The prospect is unthinkable.

The US State Department, Hillary Clinton in particular, is leading the struggle to guarantee that gefilte fish will be on every Jewish table for the festive season….

Ummmmm….. what about the Palestinians that have NO FOOD on their tables? What about the Palestinians that do not even have tables to sit at in the tents they are forced to be living in because of illegal evictions from their homes?

Priorities?? DOWNRIGHT SICK!

Let my gefilte fish go!

Clinton promises to get Pessah shipment to Israel.

WASHINGTON – Add gefilte fish to the list of priorities championed by the US State Department.
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Sayyed: Resistance Is the Key

Sayyed Khamenei to Palestinians: Resistance Is the Key

27/02/2010 The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said Saturday the Palestinians are the most resilient people in history who will "definitely and undoubtedly" see the freedom of their land.

Sayyed Khamenei described the Palestinian resistance as an amazing phenomenon, which is driving Israel toward "defeat and annihilation."

Resistance is what has united different Palestinian movements as well as having faith in God, his eminence said. "And the supporters of the Zionist regime will find nothing but shame and historic notoriety."

Sayyed Khamenei expressed deep gratitude to the Palestinian nation. "Bearing the atrocities and endless pressures in Gaza and throughout Palestine is impossible without the guidance and assistance of God and the Palestinian nation truly deserves to be named as the most resilient nation in history," his eminence said.

Ayatollah Khamenei also touched upon the 22 day Gaza war and said the Arab governments claim that "the Palestinian issue" is an Arab one but when it comes to helping Palestinians, they left their Palestinian brothers unassisted in front of the enemy and its supporters. The Arab behavior will go down in history, his eminence stressed.

Sayyed Khamenei said the US president's slogan of change was an attempt to repair the damaged image of Washington and said, "such dishonest attempts bore no fruit because the Americans blatantly lie in the issue of Palestine and other issues."

The Leader said the Palestinian issue was a serious challenge for the Western civilization and advocates of liberal democracy. "The resistance of the Palestinian nation has questioned the West's multi-centennial claims of freedom and human rights and has disgraced the West."

Ayatollah Khamenei said the future America will have been defeated by the Palestinian nation. "Without a doubt, the actions of the United States over the past 60 to 70 years in support of the Zionists will be remembered as an instance of this country's dishonor in history."

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Abu Shaar warns of Israeli attempt to annex Aqsa to Jewish historical sites


[ 27/02/2010 - 09:09 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- PA minister of religious affairs in Gaza Dr. Taleb Abu Shaar has warned of calls by a Zionist organization for annexing the Aqsa Mosque to the list of Jewish historical sites.

Abu Shaar in a statement on Friday further warned that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) was planning to encircle the Aqsa Mosque with Talmudic parks under the name of public parks.

He noted that Israeli leaders would attend the inauguration of the biggest Jewish synagogue only tens of meters away from the Aqsa Mosque in mid March, adding that a Jewish prophecy says that the synagogue would herald the destruction of the Aqsa Mosque and the construction of their alleged temple on its ruins.

The minister also feared that Jewish settlers might storm the Aqsa Mosque on Sunday and Monday as circulated by Jewish websites, warning of any harm done to the holy site.

He appealed to worshipers and Aqsa guards to be on the watch for such attacks, pointing to a "serious escalation" in attacks on the Aqsa including the increase in diggings and demolitions of nearby homes.

The statement was coupled with news reports that new IOA excavations were carried out in the vicinity of the Aqsa Mosque.

The news report indicated that the IOA was trying to impose new facts on the ground.

For his part, MP Ibrahim Abu Tir said that the annexation of Ibrahimi mosque to the list of Jewish historical site was prelude to the judaization of the Aqsa.

He said in a press release from his Israeli prison on Friday that the Islamic Nation should be aware of the seriousness of the threats to its holy shrines.

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EXCLUSIVE: excerpt from Norman Finkelstein’s new book “This time we went too far”


February 26, 2010

by Norman Finkelstein  -  February 2010
From the chapter entitled SELF-DEFENSE(reproduced with the permission of the author and the publisher)

What do you feel is the most acceptable solution to the Palestine problem?

Mahatma Gandhi:
The abandonment wholly by the Jews of terrorism and other forms of violence. (1 June 1947)1
On 29 November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution dividing British-mandated Palestine into a Jewish state incorporating 56 percent of Palestine and an Arab state incorporating 44 percent of it.2 In the ensuing war the newly born State of Israel expanded its borders to incorporate nearly 80 percent of Palestine.

The only areas of Palestine not conquered comprised the West Bank, which the Kingdom of Jordan subsequently annexed, and the Gaza Strip, which came under Egypt’s administrative control. Approximately 250,000 Palestinians driven out of their homes during the 1948 war and its aftermath fled to Gaza and overwhelmed the indigenous population of some 80,000.

Today 80 percent of Gaza’s inhabitants consist of refugees from the 1948 war and their descendants, and more than half of the population is under 18 years of age. Its current 1.5 million inhabitants are squeezed into a sliver of land 25 miles long and five miles wide, making Gaza one of the most densely populated places in the world. The panhandle of the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza is bordered by Israel on the north and east, Egypt on the south, and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. In the course of its four-decade-long occupation beginning in June 1967, and prior to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s redeployment of Israeli troops from inside Gaza to its perimeter in 2005, Israel had imposed on Gaza a uniquely exploitive regime of “de-development” that, in the words of Harvard political economist Sara Roy, deprived “the native population of its most important economic resources—land, water, and labor—as well as the internal capacity and potential for developing those resources.”3

Read More…

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“Palestinian Combatant Groups” summit in Tehran ...

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

Booz/Allen's "Persia House"/ here
"... This summit will be held in Tehran from February 27-28, and will be attended by dignitaries and representatives from Palestinian resistance groups. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a number of high-ranking Iranian officials will also be in attendance. The session will be held at the Foreign Ministry’s Office of Political and International Studies. The summit’s agenda focuses on supporting the Resistance [movement] against the Zionist occupier regime. For the original article in Persian, click here.
The decision to hold a summit of “Palestinian Combatant Groups” in Tehran represents a public diplomacy effort to demonstrate that the Islamic Republic’s support of the Palestinian resistance remains steadfast despite Iran’s post-election turmoil. Tehran and the Palestinian resistance groups likely will leverage the high-profile summit to issue stern anti-Israeli and US pronouncements, as well as pledge strengthened political and military cooperation.
The conservative Iranian Ghods News has reported that Hamas Political Bureau Chair Khaled Mashal and Dr. Ramadan Abdullah, Head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, will be among the leaders of Palestinian groups who will be in attendance.
This summit may also provide a venue to address concerns some groups may have regarding the Iranian regime’s actions against protesters following Iran’s disputed June 2009 presidential election. In the fall of 2009, a story in the Persian press (spread later in the Arabic press) asserted that several Hezbollah leaders were afraid that their organization’s image would be sullied by the Islamic Republic’s crackdown on protesters. Furthermore, according to a Sunni Lebanese newspaper, in early January 2010, sources close to Hezbollah’s spiritual leader, Seyyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, stated that he “emphasized during his last meeting with the representative of the Supreme Leader in Damascus the need to resolve the problem in Iran by embracing the opposition and by dialogue.” The statement was issued to clarify reports indicating that several leaders of the Iranian reform movement had sought Fadlallah’s help in resolving the Iranian post-election crisis.
On February 9, however, a Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Nabil Qaouq, reiterated that Iran’s strategic presence in the region and globally—in addition to its continuing support of resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine—“represents a source of force and a strategic depth facing Israeli arrogance and American hegemony.” Qaouq also said that any act aimed at turning the conflict against Iran is an act of treason against the Islamic community. On February 26, President Ahmadinejad and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met with Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah while visiting Damascus.
A weak and challenged Iranian regime would represent bad news for Hezbollah and Hamas in terms of monetary and logistical support. Hamas, for instance, relies on an estimated $20 to 30 million sent by Iran per year. The Islamic Republic has helped keep Hamas afloat in Gaza, especially following Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead,” which took place from December 2008 to January 2009."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 10:10 AM
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February 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm (Israel, Tourism, Videos, zionism)

This seems to be a never ending saga…. it’s obvious that sex is a great attention getter….

Plans are even underway to release a second video within the next few days. I’m not sure if it is the zionist campaign or those of us that find it vile that is responsible for that…

Israelis Prove That Size Doesn’t Matter


The video attempts to promote the more attractive side of Israel, but not everyone seem to be pleased. Jewish blogger Richard Silverstein thinks the ad was made in “bad taste” and says it ignores the cultural complexities any tourist will discover while visiting Israel. He says, “I’m simply flabbergasted that Israel would use the promise of fellatio and cunnilingus to promote itself.”

Writer Neal Ungerleider, who is based in New York but spent a good amount of time in Israel, believes the ad was humourous but completely missed the mark in promoting the country itself. He says, “It is hard to believe even a single viewer will show interest in visiting Israel or have a higher opinion of Israel because of the ad. As even a first year employee at an advertising agency will tell you, associating your country with small genitalia isn’t the smartest move to attract tourism.”

This is not the first time, however, that Israeli governing bodies have opted for sex-themed promotional material. In 2007, four bikini-clad women from the Israel Defense Forces posed in sexy army-wear for Maxim magazine’s July issue. David Saranga, consul for media and public affairs in New York, said to the New York Post that the spread was supposed to improve the image of Israel among men aged 18-38 years old. But the Maxim photos received a lot of backlash from critics and even Israeli female legislators who found the images to be pornographic. Fast forward to present times and Israel promotions continue to stir controversy with the Size Doesn’t Matter campaign.

Shalom Life made an attempt to contact the CIJA for comment, however no one was available. But since then, Shalom Life has gotten in touch with Maya Kadosh, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Despite previous notions, Kadosh said that a conversation with the Israeli consulate in Toronto “indicated that the Consulate had no part in the movie, did not initiate it and did not participate in its planning or its distribution.”

Rebecca Cherniak, coordinator of the campaign and chair of Israel affairs for the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students also confirms that Size Doesn’t Matter is an initiative strictly run by students, not by CIJA. She said that they have not been in contact with any Israeli ministers or diplomats. Cherniak also clears up that the video was meant to change students’ views of Israel or perhaps know more about it. “We were very dismayed by the way that Israel is represented in the media,” she says. “We think students are more critical and want to understand more than the typical slogans they see. We put together a campaign that grabs people’s attentions.”

Since its release four days ago, the video has received 11, 000 clicks and the website has recorded 4,000 hits in the same amount of time. As for the controversy behind the video’s sexual content, Cherniak thinks people are taking it too seriously. She emphasizes that the demographic of the video was not meant to be religious groups. “It’s for the 80 per cent of students who have no connection with the Middle East and who don’t even know where Israel is on the map,” Cherniak says, “I think the majority of students are comfortable with that level of sexuality.”

The Size Doesn’t Matter video will premiere at various events in 20 different Canadian universities. CFJS also plans to release a second video within the next few days. For more information, visit
If sex truly sells, then the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy just boosted tourism in Israel. In conjuction with the Israel consulate in Toronto, CIJA recently released a 54-second spot as part of the Size Doesn’t Matter campaign, which aims to entice Canadian university students to visit the Middle Eastern country. The ad depicts a couple in bed, with the woman looking at the man’s crotch saying she can’t go there because “it’s too small.” The man replies, “I consider this a spot of worship. It may be small, but it’s brought the driest places to life. Baby, this is paradise.” The camera then pans to Israel maps and pocket guides placed strategically on the man’s lower body parts.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Erdogan Warns Turkish Army: “No One above Law”


26/02/2010 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the army Friday that no one should consider themselves above the law, as 18 more soldiers were charged for involvement in an alleged 2003 coup plot, the NTV news channel reported Friday.

The operation was carried out in 13 provinces and one of the suspects detained was the head of the paramilitary force in the central province of Konya, the report added. An Istanbul court has so far charged 31 retired and active-duty soldiers in the investigation.

"Those who make plans behind closed doors to crush the people's will must see that from now on they will face justice," Erdogan told a gathering of his Justice and Development Party (AKP). "No one is above law, no one has impunity," he said, without directly referring to the massive investigation into the alleged coup.

The prime minister also dismissed opposition criticism that his AKP party was becoming more authoritarian and had moved to discredit the military, seen as the bulwark of Turkey's secular system. "No one should have doubts and fears," he said. "Turkey's direction is obvious... Turkey is moving towards an advanced democracy... Turkey is advancing on the way to European Union accession." He said the coup investigation was a sign of Turkey's improving democracy.

"What is happening today is normalization... These are the footsteps of an advanced democracy," he said. "Yes, this process is painful, but it will be for the good of our people of 72 million," he said.

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IOA exploiting Palestinian prisoners in experimenting new drugs


[ 27/02/2010 - 08:31 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Jerusalemite MP Ahmed Atton has called for the formation of a fact-finding committee to look into the Israeli occupation authority's use of Palestinian prisoners to experiment new medicines.

The Palestinian MP said in a press release on Friday that Palestinian prisoners, especially in Negev jail, are also exposed to radiations that caused cancer among a big number of them.

He said that the crimes against prisoners are met with silence on the part of the Palestinian Authority and the Arab countries.

Atton championed prioritizing the issues of Palestinian prisoners and Jerusalem this year, focusing all efforts on those two questions.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Sourani: Extending Goldstone investigations grave mistake


[ 27/02/2010 - 07:49 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The UN General Assembly's decision to extend investigations into the Goldstone report for five more months constituted a grave mistake on the part of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Raji Al-Sourani, the director of the Palestinian center for human rights, said.

He added in a statement on Friday night that the decision shocked all those who were in pain over the Palestinian people's suffering and blood.

Sourani explained that the decision was a Palestinian draft resolution that was adopted by the Arab group before it was endorsed by the UNGA.

He charged that the PA in Ramallah had worked on weakening the report, adding that the PA is clearly not interested in implementing the Goldstone reports' recommendations.

It is not acceptable to give Israel another opportunity to escape punishment, Sourani underlined, adding that the adjournment was pushing the report into oblivion.

The UNGA on Friday endorsed with big majority the Arab decision that asked Israel and the Palestinians to launch new independent and credible investigations into the accusation mentioned in Goldstone report regarding the Israeli war on Gaza Strip.

The decision asked the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to present a report after five months on commitment of Israel and the Palestinians to the decision, warning of other "measures" in the event no independent investigations were made.

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 Uprooted Palestinian


Zionism just doesn’t give a damn! It’s as simple as that. They do what they want, when they want and to whom they want to. No one has stopped them in their quest to rid the entire area of all non Jews. No one has made a move to create sanctions against the state that has violated everything sacred to humanity, including the Declaration of Human Rights. To them, it’s nothing but a joke whenever there is criticism of their foul deeds.

An image appeared on many of my posts that I was forced to remove due to copyright law, it simply stated that “zionism is unhealthy for children and other living things”. I would have used that for this post as well, but it is forbidden. But the message is not forbidden! Zionism is unhealthy! We know that now after almost 63 years of the most brutal occupation of another nation in the past century. We know that now after the massacre of thousands of Palestinians in the name of “fighting terrorism”.

As I write this, ‘Brown Shirts’ are gathering at the tomb of one of the most despicable zionists to ever live here. And what is being done about this? Aside from these fascists getting police escorts and protection, NOTHING IS BEING DONE! Not here, not anywhere!

Regarding the Goldstone report; The UN General Assembly approved Friday an Arab League proposal by which Secretary-Genral Ban Ki-moon will report on progress made by both Israel and the Palestinians in independent investigations of Operation Cast Lead, following the Goldstone report on the conflict.

The resolution is aimed mainly at keeping the Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of war crimes, on the agenda. Three of the five permanent members of the Security Council – the US, Britain, and France – are opposed to its being brought before the council.

The above is an indication that not only is nothing being done, but that the West will not allow anything to be done.

Adding insult to injury 16 years to the day of one of the most brutal massacres inflicted on the Palestinian people, the Israeli Prime Minister announced his intention to add the scene of the massacre in a ‘Heritage Investment Programme’. Can you imagine the outrage in the United States if the Texas School Book Depository was turned into a national shrine?

But wait…… there are ‘concerns’…….. let’s wait and see if anything will come of them. Somehow I doubt it. These are concerns that the US taxpayers should be dealing with, it is them that will be ‘footing the bill’ of 107 million dollars.

Concerns over Israel heritage list
Al Ibrahimi mosque, also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, is one of the sites on Israel’s list [AFP
The United Nations’ culture and education body, Unesco, has expressed concern about Israel’s plan to rehabilitate religious sites in the occupied West Bank.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said he intended to include the Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and several other contentious sites in the West Bank in a $107m heritage investment programme.

The decision sparked anger in the Islamic world and drew international criticism, as it was seen as a move to stamp Israel’s authority on sites which are not recognised as Israeli under international law.

Irina Bokova, Unesco’s director-general, expressed her concern at the announcement that the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, and Bilal bin Rabah Mosque (Rachel’s Tomb) would be included in the plan, the organisation said on Friday.

The European Union (EU) also voiced concern over the decision, saying the move would not help the peace process.

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign-policy director, “regards the recent decision…as detrimental to attempts to relaunch peace negotiations,” her spokesman, Lutz Guellner, said in a statement.

The EU “calls on Israel to refrain from provocative acts …recognise the importance of these religious sites to all three Abrahamic faiths and support the principle of access for all,” the statement said.

‘Holy land-grab’

Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s ambassador to the UN, speaking on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), also condemned the “illegality and illegitimacy” of the Israeli decision.

Mark Toner, a US state department spokesman, called Israel’s heritage site list on Friday a “provocation” and an obstacle to peace.

Palestinians are calling the move an attempt to seize land and holy sites on illegally-occupied land.

Osama Hamdan, Hamas’ representative in Lebanon, told Al Jazeera: “When it comes to religion, Israel has a plan in changing the nature of Islamic sites and turn them into Jewish sites in a way that serves what they call the Judaisation of the state (of Israel).

“The process of swallowing the Ibrahimi Mosque started with a request to put a candle holder inside it.

“After the massacre that took place in the mosque in 1994 by the Jewish terrorist Baruch Goldstein, they divided the mosque between them and the Palestinians. Today, they are confiscating the whole mosque. So we can see there is a pattern.”

The Cave of the Patriarchs is sacred to Jews and Muslims as the traditional burial place of important religious figures.

Hebron and the shrine itself have long been flashpoints of violence in the West Bank – territory Israel’s government calls by its biblical names Judea and Samaria.


Protests in Hebron on Thursday turned violent following Netanyahu’s announcement about the heritage programme.

Clashes continued on Friday, with Israeli forces dispersing crowds with tear gas.
Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister, attended prayers at the tomb of Abraham on Friday, in a symbolic move to assert a Palestinian presence there after days of violence.

Speaking to reporters after prayers, Fayyad accused Israel of “annexing” it.
Israel has said that it had added the sites to a list of Jewish shrines due for restoration. It promised that Muslims would still be free to worship there.
Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, said on Friday: “There are many places that are holy to all of us so we are not monopolising.

“And in the Cave of the Monarchs, a holy site for Jews and Muslims as they call it, we even made arrangements that everybody will pray.”

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