Saturday 3 July 2010

4th of July: From Celebration of Independence to Acceptance of Slavery?

kenny's sideshow

Fireworks remain the symbol of neverending war while we sing the anthem of death and destruction.

It can be argued that the American war of independence against the British was the last just war in our history. You could add the War of 1812 when the English and European bankers took a stab at regaining central control  but that's it. We as a country were never threatened by external forces beyond that point. The threats were always internal. Bankers, corporations, corrupt politicians and their willing allies who hoped to gain favor and profit rigged the system.

Some will continue to say that the Civil War, WWI and the 'good war,' WWII had to be fought to preserve our freedom. The only freedom won in these conflicts was for the few to be able to count their money unhindered and to impose taxes and fear on the 'small people.'

The winds of war today are pushed along by media propaganda and an extensive network of social engineering psychopaths deeply funded by ultimately the bankers.

The pawns are the soldiers and the working classes who are forced to pay for it all through the system of what could be called indentured servitude. We are conditioned to think that we don't have a choice. Pay the taxes of death or go to prison ... or worse.

In reality this cannot continue. The debt of war and extorted payments to the banks and the corrupt traitors that enforce their rules are too great for our country to survive. Maybe that's the plan? The American people are the biggest threat to a global order. Destroying us leaves what is perceived by the planners as an open road to world wide central control.

What we are facing today is not all that different from July 4, 1776. The enemy is essentially the same, only the technology and some of the techniques of propaganda have changed. Slavery of the population is still the end game. Depopulation of the 'useless eaters' also comes into play.

What we can do on this 4th of July is to reinforce the idea of independence. Many of our friends and neighbors need a little help. They are having a hard time seeing the enemy within for the distractions of the failing economy and the threat of 'events' such as the Gulf disaster and the brain numbing repetitive rhetoric of 'terrorism' and the false celebrity culture.

Perhaps over that burger and beer and the figurative 'bombs bursting in air' you can plant a seed of dissent towards the powers that be or as some call them the powers that think they be.  Isn't it our duty to do so?

Just say it. No war with Iran, bring our troops home, end the Federal Reserve and their enforcement arm the IRS, clean up our environment messes and work to decentralize our energy monopolies, keep our communications and internet free from totalitarian repression, kick out the traitors in government, imprison the criminals at the top, America first with no foreign influence (insert Israel here).  You can ad lib with a few more independent concepts that you are concerned with.

If we don't do something soon, the potential for another independence day dims.

We can have the numbers. All we lack is the will and strategies to take our country back.

Have a safe 4th and don't be afraid to speak your mind. I think our lives depend on it.
Posted by kenny's sideshow at 12:34 PM  
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Netanyahu: No Apology, No Compensation to Turkey over Gaza Flotilla

03/07/2010 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Friday on his claims concerning the Gaza flotilla raid alleging that the Israeli occupation soldiers were forced to defend themselves against the Pro-Palestinian activists.

Netanyahu stressed that Israel won't apologize to Turkey over the Gaza aid flotilla clashes and the possibility of giving compensation to those injured in the incident is not up for discussion.

"Israel cannot apologize for our soldiers being forced to defend themselves against the mob that almost slaughtered them," Netanyahu said during an interview with Israel's Channel 1.

"We are sorry over the loss of life," Netanyahu said. "This is clear."

The Israeli prime minister also denied reports that Israel is considering compensating those injured in the clashes. "That is not up for discussion," Netanyahu said.

The clandestine talks between Israeli Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu which took place in Brussels earlier this week caused a small spat between Netanyahu and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Netanyahu acknowledged that it was a mistake not to update the foreign minister on what was happening. "I explained the circumstances [to Lieberman], the mistake was fixed and we are moving forward. The coalition is not in danger," Netanyahu said.

Speaking about the actual meet, Netanyahu said "It's good that there was contact on a senior level, even if there are no agreements. It's good for Israeli interests and even for Turkish interests to try and stop the deterioration [in relations]."

Netanyahu said that different people had approached him in recent weeks with proposals of finding ways to contact Turkey in order to stop the worsening of relations.

"One of them was Ben-Eliezer, who proposed an unofficial meet at the airport in Zurich. I told him 'go ahead, meet.'"

Netanyahu refuses to apologize to Turkey over flotilla massacre

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Torpedoing the Lebanon Flotilla: Controlling Civil Disobedience

by William A. Cook Source

Ten days ago I left California to join other U.S. citizens on the Lebanese Boat Brigade—the first such effort to penetrate Israel’s blockade of Gaza since the deadly attack on the Freedom Flotilla May 31.
I joined other Americans—Jeff K and Noel I from Boston, Ron D from Maui, Bill S from South Carolina, and Sister Pat C from Wisconsin—enticed by an announcement from the Council for the National Interest and the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign to bring women, journalists and writers to this latest effort to break the siege of Gaza now in its 3rd year.
We congregated at the Royal Garden Hotel in Beirut while others gathered in other places, two large groups intentionally brought to weaken Israel’s resolve to assert force—the first a large contingent of women from many lands including nuns to board a ship renamed Mariam for the Mother of God, carrying as well medical supplies and toys, the second a group of journalists without borders to accompany a cargo ship, the Julia, loaded with construction materials.
Each came determined to express solidarity with the people of Gaza who have suffered more than 62 years of occupation, oppression, siege and destruction by the Israeli state and the Congress of the U.S—a battalion of abuses fittingly described as “crimes against humanity.”
This article by Dr. William Cook is the third in a series devoted to the Lebanon flotilla. It is also the last as the flotilla appears to be sinking in the morass of political duplicity and an atmosphere of induced fear.  

    I will not speak for the others, American or foreign, but I will mark in passing the sense of futility they feel as Americans for their government’s complicity in Israel’s blatant and calculated destruction of the people of Palestine. For years, certainly since the Presidency of George W. Bush, these Americans have attempted to condemn and to distance themselves from the crimes committed by their representatives, including their belief that the election of Barak Obama would offer change—yet change does not happen. Consequently, varying organizations, agencies and individuals have joined forces to confront the illegality of these two nations by using international waters to break the blockade of Gaza.

    Needless to say, Israel and its Congressional Knesset in Washington have determined to stop the freedom flotillas from reaching Gaza or impacting their illegal siege of this strip of land where they have imposed collective punishment against the people. The interception of Turkey’s boat, Marmara, and the killing of 9 citizens of that NATO nation by Israeli naval commandos breaks the governing principles of NATO’s obligations to its members, a virtual act of war, even as it breaks international law governing attacks at sea.

    But Israel and the U.S. act with impunity in our name. Hence the need to take active measures to stop such unilateral betrayal of the agreements we have formed as a people with member states of the United Nations. The disaster resulting from the attack on the Marmara follows six decades of Israeli atrocities against the indigenous people of Palestine including a terrorist war against the authorized British government during the Mandate Period, the massacre at Deir Yassin and 27 subsequent massacres that caused the obliteration of 418 towns and villages, the ethnic cleansing of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes to refugee camps where they continue to live in poverty without rights of citizenship abandoned by the governments of the world, the subsequent invasion of Lebanon by Israel in 1982 and the slaughter at the Sabra Chatila refugee camp, one of the most brutal and savage massacres orchestrated by Israel through its mercenaries, and more recently the 2006 invasion of Lebanon capped by a return to the massacre of the Qana orphanage, the Christmas destruction of Gaza in 2008/9 and now its wanton attacks against international citizens on international waters.

    How can anyone with a conscience allow such behavior to continue? I began this series on the Boat Brigade referring to Wagner’s Das Rheingold and its major theme—acquisition of power and wealth by repudiation of human love, the denial of sympathy or compassion for one’s fellow man, the creation of a people willing to forgo all morals and principles to achieve ultimate power, the soulless human without conscience or remorse, the walking dead. There is an unfortunate consequence to such acceptance of a life lived for self and the acquisition of gold—a life lived in isolation from all others because success necessitates lies, deceit and manipulation if one is to defeat all others, an alienation from warmth and true concern that gives substance to spirit as opposed to pocketbook.
     It is a life of self-imposed fear that another, especially fear of associates that are accomplices in this quest for the coins of greed and the trappings of power, will deceive and destroy their comrades to further their ends. It is a vicious cycle of psychotic siege mentality that grows as the coldness of the heart grows until every waking moment heightens the realization that all find repugnance in the acts that give purpose to those who repudiate natural love. Such is the present state of Israel.

    Faced as they are with the world against them, Israel and the United States turn to devices of control to prevent the confrontations the freedom flotilla represent. Having lost once again acceptance of their brutal attack on the Mamara, they have found it necessary to link any who join such a flotilla to terrorist groups, enemies of the state of Israel and, therefore, enemy combatants which legitimizes in their distorted minds their right to engage and kill such people as if they were militarily threatening the state of Israel.

    Since this Lebanon flotilla was announced shortly after the attack on the Marmara, with openness of intent and revelation of the groups, the women and the journalists’, Israel has alleged over and over that this flotilla is not manned by humanists but rather by terrorists, unsubstantiated charges of guilt by association, hearsay, omission of truth and outright lies, made in order to torpedo the boats even before they sail.
     The Jerusalem Post reports that the government of Israel has “linked the boat to Hizbullah,” that Yasser Kashlak, Director of the Free Palestine Movement, is “a fervent Hizbullah supporter,” that the true intentions of the organizers “remain dubious,” that the possibility exists that “terrorists or arms will be smuggled on board,” that Lebanon is an enemy country and must be treated “as if they were hostile,” that these boats “which are carrying representatives of Hizbullah and Iran” mean that Israel “reserves its rights under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the existing naval blockade” and that the presence of Samar Haji, the wife of a former Lebanese General “jailed for his part in the assassination of PM Rafiq Harari, “means a real connection with Hizbullah.
     None of the above is substantiated, none of it belies the true intention of the people who left their homes to participate in a direct act of civil disobedience against the state of Israel which is supported by their representatives in the Congress, and none of it provides either the U.S. or Israel with legal justification for preemptive strikes against a flotilla in international waters.

    Yet as a result, the flotilla has not and cannot sail as planned, not on the 25th of June, not on the 29th, not on the 3rd or 4th of July, and perhaps never. The accusations have forced the government of Lebanon to confront Israel’s contention that it will hold Lebanon responsible for any attack Israel must take against the ships; the organizers have had to confront the allegations of complicity with terror groups even though only the U.S., Israel and Canada have alleged that Hizbullah is a terrorist organization and not a legitimate political and humanitarian organization in Lebanon or that Hamas is labeled a terrorist organization although it too is an elected party in Palestine and only prevented from acting as such by Israel and the U.S.
     And, finally, the individuals who have come to Lebanon have to contend with the consequences of the delays that result from such allegations and the threats that their own representatives contend will be imposed on them if they confront Israel, the ally they have justified in its criminal behavior. That these people are professors, lawyers, doctors, journalists, students, and human rights activists who arrived with their own views regarding Israel’s illegitimate actions is irrelevant and unsought.

    Clearly, the power and control that Israel imposes on Palestine, its calculated willingness to steal as much land as it can from the rightful owners, its conscienceless drive to eradicate the people, its willing use of American soldiers for its own purposes, its control of our representatives through fear and intimidation, demonstrates that it will not tolerate demonstrations against its tyranny. Yet should they succeed, they will have once again perverted the very ideals on which America was founded and the voice of the people will be buried beneath the overwhelming power that gold represents—and the human need for love and compassion for all will be made irrelevant to and subjected to those who live without human sympathy.

    These are my thoughts as I leave Lebanon this Saturday, a victim of those who have no conscience, no remorse, and no soul.

William A. Cook is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His most recent book, The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction, has just been published by Macmillan. He can be reached at or
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Hamas slams Egypt for barring Arab delegation from visiting Gaza

[ 03/07/2010 - 10:11 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Hamas Movement strongly denounced the Egyptian authorities for preventing the delegation of the Arab grassroots mobilization committee against the siege from crossing into the Gaza Strip and stressed that this behavior proved that the Rafah border crossing is practically closed.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told the Palestinian information center (PIC) on Friday that the measures taken at the Rafah crossing do not reflect any change in Egyptian intentions to facilitate the movement of goods and people from and into Gaza.

Spokesman Abu Zuhri urged all the world's free people, and the Arab and Muslim committees and organizations which support Gaza not to cease their attempts to enter the Strip and to confront the arbitrary measures and obstacles placed by the Egyptian authorities.

He also called for continuing to send sea convoys to Gaza in light of Egypt's persistence in not opening the crossing in a natural way.

Informed sources said that the delegation's visit was intended for gathering accurate information on the vital needs of Gaza people before circulating it to pro-Gaza organizations and concerned parties.

For its part, the authority of crossings and borders in Gaza reported Saturday that the Egyptian authorities had refused to allow 3,223 passengers to travel through the Rafah crossing since it was opened partially one month ago.

The authority of crossings, however, said that 10,531 passengers were able to travel from Gaza through the crossing during this one-month period and 10,172 others, most of them were patients, returned to Gaza.

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak ordered the opening of Rafah crossing in both direction earlier last month in the aftermath of Israel's deadly attack on Freedom Flotilla aid convoy, but the Egyptian authorities at the crossing prevented many aid convoys and delegations from visiting Gaza.

For his part, leader of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt Mohamed Badi urged in his weekly letter the Muslim nation to go to Palestine to liberate it and the Aqsa Mosque from the Israeli occupation

Badi underlined that the resistance is the only way to destroy the "Satan and its allies", and to restore the usurped rights.

He recalled that the Muslim scholars used to meet annually in Jerusalem on the anniversary of the night journey of Islam's prophet, but these meetings stopped when the eastern part of the holy city was occupied in 1967.

The Egyptian leader also called on the Muslim scholars meeting in Turkey to visit Gaza to demand the world to end the blockade and to declare from there that their next meeting would be in Jerusalem after liberating it from the occupation.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israel: A Failing Colonial Project


M. Shahid Alam

Increasingly, despite its early military and political successes, it appears unlikely that Israel can endure for long as a colonial project. 

In order to firmly secure its existence – as firmly as that is possible for any state – a settler state has to overcome three challenges. It has to solve the native problem; break away from its mother country; and gain the recognition of neighboring states and peoples. It can be shown that Israel has not met any of these conditions.

Consider Israel’s native problem. In 1948, in the months before and after its creation, Israel appeared to have solved its native problem in one fell swoop. It had expelled 80 percent of the Palestinians from the territories it had conquered. In addition, with the rapid influx of Arab Jews, Palestinians were soon reduced to less than ten percent of Israel’s population.

So, had Israel licked its native problem for good? Not really.

The Palestinians inside Israel pushed back with a high natural rate of growth in their numbers. As a result, despite the continuing influx of Jewish immigrants, the Palestinian share in Israel’s population has grown to above 20 percent. Increasingly, Jews in Israel see Israeli Arabs as a threat to their Jewish state. Some are advocating a fresh round of ethnic cleansing. Others are calling for a new partition to exclude areas with Arab majorities.

The Palestinians expelled from Israel in 1948 did not go away either. Most of them set up camp in areas around Israel – the West Bank, Gaza, southern Lebanon and Jordan. In 1967, when Israel conquered Gaza and the West Bank, it could expel a much smaller fraction of the Palestinians from these territories. In consequence, with more than a million additional Palestinians under its control, Israeli had recreated its native problem.

Israel’s native problem has grown worse since 1967. Already, the Palestinians equal or outnumber Israeli Jews between the Sea and the Jordan River. In the years ahead, moreover, the Palestinian share will continue to rise.

Having run out of solutions – such as rising net immigration of Jews and ethnic cleansing – Israel has been implementing draconian measures to handle its native problem. With Egyptian collaboration, it maintains a medieval siege over Gaza; it neutralizes the Palestinians in the West Bank with the apartheid wall, expansion of settlements, settler-only roads, intimidation and humiliation of Palestinians, and military control over the Jordan Valley.

However, these remedies are creating new problems. They lend support to charges that Israel is an apartheid society not a democracy. As a result, slowly but steadily, Western publics are throwing their support behind the campaign to divest from, boycott and impose sanctions on Israel.

Has Israel broken away from dependence on its mother country/countries?

In the absence of a natural mother country, Zionism worked with surrogates. Quite a few of them. Indeed, there is not a Western country – including Russia in its previous incarnation as Soviet Union – that has not served as a surrogate mother country to the Jewish colonial project.

The Jewish settlers in Palestine lost the support of Britain – their leading surrogate mother – in the early years of World War II, but retained it long enough to create their own state. Over the next few years Israel took on several new surrogates, not counting the Jewish diaspora: including the Soviet Union, France, Germany and the United States. Starting in the late 1950s, however, the United States became the leading mother country to Israel. This was the result of a powerful dynamic largely directed by Israel and the Jewish lobby in the United States.

Over the years, the United States has subsidized Israel, armed it, allowed it to acquire nuclear weapons, and gave it immunity from the sanction of international laws. Under the protection of the United States, Israel quickly gained hegemony over the Middle East: it became a law unto itself.

Still Israel is not an autonomous state.

 It could not sustain its current military posture without the annual military grant of some three billion dollars from the United States and the tax-free donations from American Jews. More importantly, without the US veto at the United Nations, Israel could not continue its occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights, its siege of Gaza, its pre-emptive wars against its neighbors, and its policy of assassinations against Arabs. In short, without US-backed immunity, Israel would become a pariah state.

Arguably, this dependence does not place Israel at risk, since it is primarily an artifact of the Israel lobby in the United States. Over time, however, as the damage that Israel causes to US interests filters to the American electorate, unqualified US support for Israel may be in jeopardy.

Finally, there is the question of gaining the recognition of its neighbors.

Israeli gains on this front are more apparent than real. The Arab regimes that have recognized Israel, or are eager and ready to recognize it, have little legitimacy. Should these regimes collapse, their replacements are likely to resume their early confrontational posture towards Israel.

This is not mere speculation. Under the despotic Shah Iran was friendly to Israel, but after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 Iran became an ideologically committed adversary of Israel. As the powers of the secular generals in Turkey have been clipped, Turkey too has been revising its friendly ties with Israel.
In recent years, Israel has been running into a new problem: the loss of legitimacy with growing segments of civil society in the Western countries.

Driven by the contradictions of an exclusionary settler-state, as Israel has ratcheted its violence against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, as it has tightened its siege of Gaza, as it deepens its apartheid regime in the West bank, as it threatens to strips Arab Israelis of their rights, it has slowly called forth a new form opposition to its policies.

Angry at the complicity of their governments in Israeli crimes, segments of civil society in Europe, Canada and the United States have been moving forward with calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Increasingly, despite vigorous opposition from the Jewish establishment, this movement has been spreading among academics, students, trade unions, church groups, dissenting Jewish organizations, and human rights activists. Some of them have been organizing convoys, over land and sea, to break the blockade of Gaza.

As the failure of Israel’s colonial project looms larger, its nervous leaders will increasingly seek security in new and more dangerous wars. Increasingly, Israel will become an intolerable threat – if it isn’t already – to the Middle East, the world, and no less to Jews everywhere. Zionism was founded overwhelmingly by secular Jews, but, in order to succeed, it created a new religious myth of Jewish restoration, galvanized messianic tendencies among Western Christians, and created the myth that Israel alone shields the West from a resurgent Islam and Islamicate. It will not be easy putting these genies back in the bottle.

Perhaps, the best chance of unwinding the Zionist colonial project lies with the Jews themselves. Only when liberal segments of the Jewish diaspora are convinced that Zionism endangers Jewish lives, only when they act to countervail the power of the Jewish lobby in leading Western societies, will Israel finally be moved to dismantled its apartheid regime. In the end, the alternative to this orderly dismantling of Zionism is a destructive war in the Middle East that may not be limited to the region. Whatever else happens, it is unlikely that Israel or US interests in the Middle East will survive such a war.

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. He is author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave, 2009) and Challenging the New Orientalism (IPI, 2006). Visit his website at; and write to him at

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Haneyya: We will not allow the return of security chaos

[ 03/07/2010 - 08:48 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya has said that his government would never allow the return of security chaos to the Gaza Strip, adding that the execution of convicted agents and criminals came to preserve the Palestinian society.

Haneyya, addressing a tribal conciliation in Gaza on Friday, said that his government was keen on maintaining social security, noting that it managed to solve numerous complicated cases including murder.

The premier asked all families to put an end to their differences through the courts and concerned parties.

Citizens in Gaza Strip are in need of security and stability after suffering a lot from the previous state of security mess that prevailed in previous years, Haneyya underlined.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israel Eyes Lebanon's Offshore Gas Reserves - Energy Hegemony


By RANNIE AMIRI, CounterPunch
“We are not obliged to state the limits of our State.”
– David Ben Gurion, 14 May 1948
In all regional disputes, big or small, Israel will invariably threaten or implement violence. It is the preferred method of conflict resolution. The recent discovery of natural gas reserves in Lebanese territorial waters, and Israel’s claim to them, is no exception.

It didn’t take long for Israeli infrastructure minister Uzi Landau to raise the prospect of war. That is, if Lebanon attempts to prevent his country from exercising full control over the field despite portions apparently falling within Lebanon’s exclusive economic zone.
“We will not hesitate to use our force and strength to protect not only the rule of law but the international maritime law,” he said. It was an absurd statement, of course, in light of the utter contempt Israel held for maritime law in the attack (in international waters) on the Turkish relief flotilla.

The Tamar natural gas field, 50 miles off Israel’s northern coast, is run by a consortium of American and Israeli companies, including U.S.-based Noble Energy. The latter announced that Tamar may contain up to 8.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and a second, Leviathan, 16 trillion. The deposits in these fields, both found in the last 18 months, are more than twice the size of Great Britain’s proven reserves.

Because Tamar appears to extend into Lebanese waters, and in full recognition of Israel’s history of stealing precious water resources from its neighbors, there have been urgent calls for Lebanon to ratify an energy bill. Last week, parliament speaker Nabih Berri indicated he would swiftly work to pass draft legislation to permit offshore oil and natural gas exploration before Israel claims the zone as its own and starts drilling.
“Israel is racing to make the situation a fait accompli and was quick to present itself as an oil emirate—ignoring the fact that, according to the maps, the deposit extends into Lebanese waters. Lebanon must take immediate action to defend its financial, political, economic and sovereign rights,” Berri said.

In an October statement, Norway-based Petroleum Geo-Services confirmed Lebanese waters contain potentially valuable deposits and may prove to be an “exciting new province for oil and gas.”

Despite the pending legislation, the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri has been criticized for acting too slowly. “The Israeli enemy has started exploring for oil while Lebanon has started exploring an energy law,” quipped one Hezbollah official.

In the latest spat between the two countries still technically at war, one can see how the situation might deteriorate. Indeed, Landau’s threat was one Prime Minister Netanyahu endorsed with his silence.
For Lebanon, the stakes are enormous; potential revenue from tapping into oil and gas reserves would help finance a staggering debt accounting for nearly 150 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Will this be the cases belli Israel has been desperately seeking since the July 2006 Lebanon war ended in a humiliating draw?

The debate over which country’s claim is most sound is not meant to be adjudicated here. What can be said, however, is that Israel’s reflexive threat to use military force to solve this—or any—disagreement with its neighbors cannot be legitimized.

Israel’s history of instigating conflict and then waging war has led to the immeasurable loss of life, land and property. If the pretext to do so again will be control of natural gas reserves shared with Lebanon, the international community must unequivocally declare this an issue to be resolved by rule of law, not act of war.

Rannie Amiri is an independent Middle East commentator. He may be reached at: rbamiri [at] yahoo [dot] com.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Hamas: Netanyahu wants to relieve Shalit-related pressure on him

[ 03/07/2010 - 08:30 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Hamas Movement on Friday condemned Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu's last remarks about the prisoner swap deal as an attempt to shirk his responsibility for obstructing the deal and to ease the pressure put on him by the Israeli community.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum denied that his Movement received a new proposal on the swap deal and described Netanyahu's declared intention to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners as aimed at pleasing the Israeli public opinion.

"Hamas has no objection to the resumption of swap deal talks where they left off, but it will never give up any of its previous conditions," spokesman Barhoum emphasized.

The spokesman, however, expressed his Movement's rejection of Netanyahu's talk about releasing a list of prisoners on condition that they should not stay in their homes in the West Bank.

Earlier, another senior Hamas official, Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, told the PIC that his Movement had no information about new offers concerning the swap deal, but it would consider any serious proposals that could lead to the resumption of indirect talks in this regard.

Netanyahu on Thursday said in a televised speech addressed to the Israeli public that he was ready to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners from his jails and described his new offer as the price he was willing to pay for the release of soldier Gilad Shalit.

"The state of Israel is willing to pay a heavy price for the release of Gilad Shalit but we are not able to say it will be any price," he added.

Netanyahu made his announcement on Shalit to reduce mounting pressure from the Israeli public demanding his government to get Shalit released.

On Friday, thousands of Israelis participated for the sixth consecutive day in a massive protest to pressure the government to bring Shalit home at any price. About 10,000 Israelis reportedly marched towards Netanya city to attend a gathering in protest of the government's inactive attitude towards the deal.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian



Wow, just Wow! The American state of New Jersey, you know the state where all that corruption went on, where 44 people were arrested including a gang of Rabbis selling human organs on the black market and money laundering to the tune of 1.5 million? Yeah, THAT New Jersey has, wait for it.............elected a new mayor, and wait for it...............he's a Muslim!! And he was elected in a predominately Jewish area:
link Democrat Mohammed Hameeduddin Is First For Bergen County; Residents Mostly Agree: 'He's American, Right?'

Voters in Teaneck have chosen the first Muslim mayor in Bergen County.

And while he said his religion wasn't a factor, it's still a major mark of tolerance for a place with a huge Jewish population.
sounds good so far, let's keep going:
"He seems to be somebody who is putting Teaneck first and not necessarily religion first, looking at what's good for the community, which is what he is supposed to do," resident Shari Baran added.
Good, now let's keep going...
Teaneck has 14 synagogues and lots of stores catering to the town's large Jewish population. And now they have a new mayor, Mohammed Hameeduddin, who is Muslim.

"What's wrong with that?" asked resident Art Ekelchik. "He's an American citizen. Isn't he? That's all that counts, right."
Ooops, starting to slip a wee bit there, with that "He's an American Citizen isn't he?" remark.......but let's keep going because I think we are about to head south:
An employee of a local kosher bakery said: "I'm not happy about it. I don't think it's right, but everyone has a chance to be whatever they want. But Muslims are against us Jews and I think it's horrible," Eddie Loeb said.
See? there's always an asshole, told you so!!

Posted by I4P Writers Group at 10:34 PM  
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

On Israel's 'Right to Exist' and on Racism

Persons have absolute rights not to be occupied. (Lasse Shmidt)

By Denis G. Rancourt Source

Surely the Israeli government would agree that the right of a nation state to exist is a question of international law.

Under international law, no other country has ever demanded or been granted that another nation state be forced to officially recognize the claimant nation’s “right to exist”, under the threat of military reprisal no less.

But since this is an original and unresolved question of international law and since Israel has forcefully put it on the table, it is relevant to examine whether Israel is following established principles of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions for example, or foreign country assassinations and kidnappings, or international waters commando attacks of civilian ships, etc.

These specific questions of international law are not complicated. The laws and international treaties are written in clear language, and Israel’s actions are also clear. Global civil society (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Red Cross, etc.) and all independent international law experts that I have heard or read are unanimous in the answer.

Indeed, the absurd “right to exist” posturing of Israel deserves to be ridiculed.

Did Nazi Germany have a “right to exist”? Germany exists today and its criminal behaviour of the past has been stopped. It has no nuclear weapons and its security arises from its respect for international law and for its neighbours. Its internal security arises from respecting human rights. I wish the same for Israel. The right of return is a human right.

No country has the right to extort a statement of “right to exist” from any other country.

Every country has a right to its opinions and official positions about the legal and historic legitimacies of other states. What matters are actions and crimes and these matter in proportion to their magnitudes – the numbers matter, not the rhetoric.

No country has a recognized God-given or otherwise right to exist, only responsibilities under international law and moral responsibilities.

Persons have absolute rights not to be forcibly displaced, occupied, collectively punished by arbitrary sanctions, murdered, etc. – this includes Palestinians and Israelis, all persons. States are criminal states to the extent and to the degree that they violate persons’ rights – the numbers matter.

To compare home-built rocket attacks on desert land to military onslaughts on cities and national infrastructures is a grotesque charade to justify mass murder and collective punishment.

The numbers matter. The numbers result from a large power asymmetry and this asymmetry (in both power and suffering) is the FIRST reality of the illegal Palestinian occupation. A language that does not start with this reality is one which masks and condones state criminality.

Likewise, the religious fanaticism and racism of many Israelis does not matter. What matters are the physical crimes being committed (in the name of “security”) that must be stopped.

World powers and influential organizations and civil society need to become rhetoric and racism insensitive in order to clearly see and gauge the actual physical crimes and to stop them, as the surest way to security for all (and to reduce cultural racism).

Commentators, lobbyists and service intellectuals who emphasize the rhetoric and societal racism of the oppressed work for the oppressor. Let us not have a competition about which side is most racist. Criminal racism is not rhetoric or vehement emotional reaction or hate – it is killing brown people. Leave opinion racism alone. Stop criminal acts. Focus. The cart needs to be put back behind the horse.

Israel needs to be stopped, for the greater safety of the most people – including Israelis.

And the US and Canada need to be stopped in their support of Israel state crimes. The Israel lobby needs to be stopped for the same reasons, exposed and stopped, on campuses, in governments, everywhere.

Security first!

- Denis G. Rancourt was a tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009 by a president who is a staunch supporter of Israeli policy. This article was contributed to

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

'UNIFIL Should Realize that Going Beyond Limits Poses Concern'


The military maneuvers carried out by UNIFIL that sparked the anger of South Lebanon residents remain in the eyes of many Lebanese as "suspicious," especially after the statements made by UNIFIL sources and published in the media, holding the resident responsible of the "misunderstanding" that happened.

President Michel Sleiman personally took the charge of defending the residents, saying that they weren't used to witness military exercises carried out in the streets, between the houses, even from the Lebanese. Sleiman argued that no military exercises should be carried out within the villages because UNIFIL must defend Lebanon.

Yet, UNIFIL officials sought to justify the drills, claiming that they were aimed at testing the positions of the force to deploy its capabilities at any moment as European sources were quoted as saying that UNIFIL states started reconsidering the benefits of its mission in the South.

The European sources were quoted by Lebanese daily As-Safir as accusing the South residents of standing behind 25 stone-throwing incidents, wondering whether the southerners don't want the foreign forces on their land. While denying the fact that any movement carried by the UNIFIL needs a direct participation of the Lebanese Army, the sources claimed that the army is not fully coordinating with the international forces.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah called on the UNIFIL forces to commit to their mission as stipulated in the international resolution 1701, stressing that UNIFIL should realize that "going beyond limits" poses a concern to residents. "It would have been better that the UNIFIL did not create this tension with the people, especially after it planned to conduct its maneuvers in very unsuitable circumstances," Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said.

Speaking to Lebanese daily As-Safir, Sheikh Qassem stressed that the UNIFIL should watch what it is doing, since its encroachments cause people worry, demolishing all trust elements between UNIFIL and the people.

For his part, Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Qahawaji stressed that "civil peace was a red line" and said the military was ready to confront any Israeli attack on Lebanon. "Our decision is clear. The army will interfere to prevent any sectarian or political strife and will not be lenient with problems that threaten national security, stability and civil peace," Qahwaji told As-Safir.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

German Parliament calls for an end to the blockade on the Gaza Strip

[ 02/07/2010 - 03:36 PM ]

BERLIN, (PIC)-- The German parliament has passed a cross-party motion calling for an end to the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip saying that the blockade was counter-productive.

"The living conditions of the civilian population of Gaza must be urgently improved," said the motion, adding that the blockade was counterproductive.

The motion was supported by all parties from the three party governing coalition to the opposition Social Democratic Party; and the Green Party.

International pressure on Tel Aviv increased following Israel's vicious May 31 attack on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza.

Nine Turkish activists were killed in the attack and more than 50 others were injured in the attack.

The petition has sparked the wrath of Germany's influential Central Council of Jews which actins as a diplomatic representative of the Zionist regime in Berlin.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

From Israel to Arizona, boycott racism!

Press Release, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, 2 July 2010

The following press release was issued by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) on 27 June 2010:

The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) endorses and supports the call for Boycott of Arizona on account of its manifestly racist laws, HB1070 and SB 2281.

SB1070 calls for police officers to require documentation from people to establish resident status. The law essentially requires police to engage in racial profiling and discrimination on the basis of appearance. SB 2281 outlaws the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona schools. It builds a pretext for the censorship of books and suppression of historical texts which are perceived by the state as political literature.

USACBI calls attention to the similar plight of Palestinians in occupied Palestine. Analogous to Arizona's policies, Palestinian narratives are suppressed by the state of Israel, including a new piece of legislation outlawing the commemoration of al-Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948. Israel also requires identification papers of Palestinians in order to engage in routine and essential daily tasks. These ID cards, which not all Palestinians are granted, forces many Palestinians from the diaspora to be foreigners in their own land and often denies them entry into their own country or results in expulsion from it.

Palestinians, like many Mexicans and Mexican Americans, are forced to resist borders that were imposed on them by foreign powers. In this context we also call attention to stark similarities between Israel's Apartheid Wall and the US Apartheid Wall. Israel's Apartheid Wall confiscates Palestinian water and land for the sole benefit of illegal Israeli settlements, and strangles the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians.

The two walls have much in common -- not only because both are built on land that was occupied by conquest, that displace indigenous people, and that separate families, but also because these walls are built by the same colonial forces. The Israeli firm, Elbit Systems, played a leading role in the construction of both walls. Naomi Klein warned that the US Apartheid Wall (which the US, like Israel, calls a "fence") will have similar consequences to the one on Palestinian land:

"In April 2007, special immigration agents with the US Department of Homeland Security, working along the Mexican border, went through an intensive eight-day training course put on by the Golan Group. The Golan Group was founded by ex-Israeli Special Forces officers and boasts more than 3,500 employees in seven countries. 'Essentially we put an Israeli security spin on our procedures,' Thomas Pearson, the company's head of operations, explained of the training course, which covered everything from hand-to-hand combat to target practice to 'getting proactive with their SUV.' The Golan Group, now based in Florida but still marketing its Israeli advantage, also produces X-ray machines, metal detectors, and rifles. In addition to many governments and celebrities, its clients include ExxonMobil, Shell, Texaco, Levi's, Sony, Citigroup and Pizza Hut" (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007, p 438).

The US wall will further segregate border communities, break families apart and increase the number of deaths on the border as migrant workers are pushed deeper into the desert.

Both walls protect imperial interests, not those of indigenous people whose rights are violated by these states and their structures. Like Israeli settlers, militia organizations like the Minute Men have found legitimacy for attacking economic refugees crossing the border. These armed, racist groups find their counterparts in groups of Israeli settlers shooting at Palestinian farmers attempting to access their own land, visit families, or travel between home and work.

USACBI expresses its solidarity with organizations that strive for equality and justice of oppressed indigenous peoples, particularly the move to boycott Arizona until it reverses these racist laws. We call on others to join us in the boycott of Arizona and to build divestment campaigns targeting companies like Elbit that profit from the oppression of indigenous people on stolen land whether in the US or Palestine. River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

“Israel’s” new master plan

Quietly, “Israel” is preparing the biggest illegal land grab in recent memory, all on Obama’s watch
by Khaled Amayreh, source

A few days before his scheduled visit to Washington on 7 July, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appears as deliberately thwarting American efforts to push forward indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

This week, an Israeli government body was set to approve “an unprecedented master plan” for an all-out expansion of Jewish settlements that would effectively — using the words of one Palestinian official — “decapitate” East Jerusalem’s Arab identity.

The plan would see the building of tens of thousands of Jewish-only apartments in East Jerusalem to be constructed on Arab owned land.

The Jerusalem Municipal Council, controlled by fanatical Jewish radicals advocating ethnic cleansing of non-Jews in the city, is trying to enforce the plan with a discernible green light from the government.

In essence, the plan would leave a zero room for future expansion of Arabs in Jerusalem, as virtually all remaining open space or “green areas” would be used for “Jewish development”.

The estimated 270,000 Arab East Jerusalemites are already confined to a mere 13 per cent of East Jerusalem while more than 85 per cent of the city has been seized by Jewish authorities since 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank.

According to Palestinian officials, the plan — if carried out — constitutes a turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and will surely lead to an early and potentially violent collapse of the shaky and uncertain peace process.

“I don’t believe that the peace process will withstand the reported plan to expand Jewish settlement in Jerusalem. In fact, the main goal of that plan is to kill any remaining hope for peace,” said Ghassan Al-Khatib, a PA spokesman in Ramallah. “This is more than a provocation. It is actually a decapitation of the peace process.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Ramallah on 29 June that, “We haven’t heard from Israel anything that would encourage us to continue negotiating.” “We will see what [US Peace Envoy George] Mitchell is carrying with him. If he has positive answers from the Israelis, then we might agree to switch to direct talks. But we have heard nothing from him that would encourage us to keep up the talks.”

Mitchell was due to arrive in Ramallah on Thursday 1 July, the latest Israeli settlement expansion schemes expected to top the agenda of talks with Abbas. Since taking up his position as envoy, Mitchell has visited the region 18 times without achieving any real progress.

Israel officials, including Netanyahu, have carefully refrained from elaborating on the plan. Their reticence appears motivated by the desire not to mar Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Washington.

The Israeli media has reported that the Obama administration is frustrated with the slow pace of the peace process, particularly Israeli-PA proximity talks. Washington is urging both sides to switch to direct talks, though no evidence suggests that moving to direct talks would make any difference.

Netanyahu, too, has been demanding that the PA engage in direct talks. However, it is understood that this is posturing intended to give the false impression that the Palestinians are the ones impeding progress to peace. The Israeli premier may also be aiming to divert attention from the plans to radically expand Jewish settlements following the expiration in September of a largely disingenuous moratorium on settlement expansion adopted under US pressure early this year.

On the other hand, Netanyahu seems convinced that the Obama administration is largely a paper tiger and that the powerful Jewish American lobby will be able to defeat the president in any confrontation over Israel. Netanyahu’s calculations in this regard don’t seem out of touch with reality. A number of senators and congressmen from both parties have already censured the president for “exerting too much pressure on Israel.”

Illustrative of Israel’s excessive confidence, this week the Israeli government approved a plan to demolish 22 Arab homes in the Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. The wanton demolitions are part of a larger plan to destroy hundreds of Arab homes in the densely populated Arab neighbourhood. Israel says it wants to build a Talmudic park and other tourist attractions in the area, to make it more “attractive”.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem, already exasperated by unrelenting Israeli efforts to narrow their horizons are threatening an all-out uprising. “I think the Israelis are pushing us into a situation where we have nothing to lose,” said H Abu Saud, a long-time resident of the city. “Israel is pushing Jerusalemites to embrace violence. What would you do if you were facing systematic persecution on a daily basis?”
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Report: US warships stationed off Iranian coast

navyship Report: US warships stationed off Iranian coast

Sunday, June 27th, 2010 -- 4:22 pm

As unconfirmed reports of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities pick up steam in the Middle Eastern media, a US-based strategic intelligence company has released a chart showing US naval carriers massing near Iranian waters.
The chart, published by Stratfor and obtained by the Zero Hedge financial blog, shows that over the last few weeks a naval carrier -- the USS Harry S Truman -- has been positioned in the north Indian Ocean, not far from the Strait of Hormuz, which leads into the Persian Gulf. The carrier joins the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was already located in the area. The chart is dated June 23, 2010.

Reports of mass movements of Israeli and US naval warships have been circulating through the media for weeks. On June 19, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported that 12 US and Israeli warships were seen moving through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

And a report from the Associated Press published Saturday evening cited "unconfirmed" reports from Israeli and Iranian media that Saudi Arabia has allowed Israel to use its territory in preparation for an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

"The allegation could not be independently confirmed, and the Saudis deny cooperating with the Israeli military," AP reported.

An article in the Gulf Daily News, largely dismissed by Western observers, did not mention any Saudi involvement but said Israel is preparing to attack Iranian targets from the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The claims that Israel may be preparing for an assault on Iranian nuclear facilities were strengthened this weekend by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who told reporters at the G8 summit in Canada that G8 leaders "believe absolutely" that Israel will "probably" strike Iran.

“Iran is not guaranteeing a peaceful production of nuclear power [so] the members of the G8 are worried and believe absolutely that Israel will probably react preemptively,” Berlusconi said, as quoted at Ha'aretz.
CIA director Leon Panetta said Sunday that Iran has enough enriched uranium to build two nuclear bombs. In an interview on ABC's This Week, Panetta also said he believed the recent spate of international and US sanctions against Iran will not convince the country to change course on its nuclear program.

"Will it deter them from their ambitions with regards to nuclear capability? Probably not," Panetta said.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Friday 2 July 2010

Israeli Official: PM-Obama Talks to Determine Region's Future


02/07/2010 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's senior advisor's, Yitzhak Molcho and Uzi Arad, are expected to leave for Cairo on Sunday for meetings with senior Egyptian officials ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington next week.

"This time, the talks with President Obama on the Palestinian issue are more important than ever," a senior Israeli official in Tel Aviv said Friday morning. "They will determine the future of the process in the region."

Arad, the Israeli prime minister's national security advisor, and Molcho, Netanyahu's special emissary on Palestinian issues, are scheduled to meet with Egyptian Information Minister Omar Suleiman due to the great importance Israel sees in the Egyptian involvement in the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Tel Aviv officials estimated that Netanyahu-Obama meeting on Tuesday would be important for the possibility of launching direct negotiations.

It is unclear whether Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will accompany the prime minister on his trip to Washington.

Israel is looking into options to persuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, through Cairo, to launch direct talks. On another front, Egypt seeks to be involved in the Israeli moves in terms of easing the Gaza blockade.

State officials estimated that Abbas' decision on whether to launch direct talks would be based on the Israeli willingness to continue its settlement construction freeze after September 26.

Obama is interested in preventing an embarrassment in case the Palestinians accept the demand, but Israel resumes construction in the occupied West Bank at the same time. Netanyahu, on his part, will try to reach a solution which would not undermine the stability of his coalition.

Amos Gilad, head of the head of Israeli Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau, visited Cairo recently. Molcho and Arad's visit is aimed at examining the situation after Cairo was briefed by Ramallah about the Abbas-Obama meeting.

Egypt has stressed the importance of returning Palestinian Authority representatives to the Gaza crossings – particularly the Rafah crossing, which has been opened for 29 days now following the flotilla affair. Another issue expected to be discussed is the Egyptian initiative to resume the activity of European Union monitors.

Concerning this issue, Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported Friday that the Israeli Defense Ministry has begun preparing for the possible transfer to the PA of responsibility for the crossings into the Gaza Strip.

It said that on Wednesday night, Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, met with Hussein al-Sheikh, the Palestinian Authority’s minister for civilian affairs. The two men decided to establish a number of joint Israeli-PA teams to coordinate work on two issues – the renovation of the Kerem Shalom crossing and international construction projects in the Strip.

The model under which Israel would transfer control over the crossings would likely involve an international mechanism like the European Union observers, who were stationed at the Rafah crossing from 2005 until 2007, before Hamas took control there. EUBAM Rafah (The European Union Border Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point) has since kept a smaller delegation (18 international members and 8 local staff, according to its Web site) on standby in Ashkelon, awaiting a political decision to redeploy the observers at one of the Gaza crossings.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian