Saturday 4 December 2010

Why Al-Akhbar?

Why Al-Akhbar?

People around the world are wondering why Wikileaks has chosen Al-Akhbar to publish their documents. 

Answer is very simple. 

As Al-Akhbar's general-director, Ibrahim Al-Amin, told me yesterday:  it is the only Arabic newspaper that would dare publish them. Period.
Posted by As'ad at 11:31 AM

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Carmel Fire: Top Abbas Priority - Death toll of Haifa fire rises to 43 Israelis

Abbas who said today that he has "dignity" sent firefighters to Israel

"Abbas sends firefighters to extinguish blaze in Israel"
Posted by As'ad at 10:26 AM


What did Egypt and Jordan do when Lebanon was under attack by Israel

Operartion Cast Lead Fires
"Responding to an appeal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for help, Bulgaria and Jordan sent firefighters; Cyprus, Greece, Russia and the United States dispatched aircraft to ferry water and chemical retardant; Britain sent helicopters; and additional assistance came from Spain, Azerbaijan, Romania and Egypt, government officials said."
Posted by As'ad at 10:13 AM
Carmel Fire “Act of Negligence”, Obama Vows Assistance “Top US Priority”

04/12/2010 A police spokesman said that the joint investigation team has determined that the first and largest fire, in the Carmel, was not a case of arson but was started by an act of negligence by a local family. Police said they are currently busy investigating, but know what the incident was.

Police said they were close to identifying the family. Israeli Channel 10 reported that it was suspected that the fire started from a nargilla water-pipe.

On Friday, Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen that two arson suspects arrested earlier in the day are not linked to the main fire on the Carmel Mountain.

Cohen said that investigators have determined that the large fire, which is raging in the Carmel, spread from a single ignition point. He added that the cause of the fire would be determined by Saturday.

Police have said that additional fires in Kiryat Bialik and Tivon were both caused by arson.

Firefighting aircraft from countries across the world took to the occupied Palestinian skies Saturday morning, in a renewed attempt to contain the Carmel wildfire, which continued to blaze unabated.

Two huge Russian planes capable of holding up to 42,000 liters of water arrived in Israel and were already in the air on Saturday morning - together with six other international aircraft from France, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, Israeli fire services said.

"The international support that we are receiving, that is impressive, could help us to extinguish the fire Saturday night", Yoram Levy, spokesman of the Israeli fire services said.

Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld added that changes in the wind, temperatures and other factors could extend the works to bring the fire under control between 24 and 48 hours.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon assured Friday night Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the UN would do everything possible to mobilize further assistance to stop the "terrible tragedy".

Ban stressed that he was "inspired by the generous international assistance rendered to the State of Israel within hours of the beginning of the fire, especially from your neighbors in the region." "I am deeply saddened by the loss of life, suffering, human displacement and damage to nature caused by the ongoing fire on Mount Carmel in northern Israel," Ban wrote, adding "this is a terrible tragedy. I would like to convey my deepest sympathy and extend my condolences to the bereaved families."

US President Barack Obama discussed Friday the deadly fire with Netanyahu during a telephone call from Air Force One, after his brief visit to Afghanistan. The U.S. president ensured Netanyahu that sending Israel the necessary assistance to combat the flames was a “top U.S. priority”.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also paid tribute to nations which had provided Israel with resources to battle the blaze. "We are moving as quickly as we can to provide this assistance, and are heartened by similar efforts to contribute resources from Israel’s other friends around the world,” Clinton said. “My hope is that the fires are extinguished soon. The hearts of the people of the United States go out to the people of Israel, and we stand with them at this difficult time.”

Death toll of Haifa fire rises to 43 Israelis
[ 04/12/2010 - 03:09 PM ]

NAZARETH, (PIC)-- The death toll from the massive bushfire in the heavily-forested Carmel hill, southeast of Haifa, rose to 43 on Saturday morning, while Israeli official sources said that the fire reached a minefield in the far north.

The sources said that the northernmost fires, which erupted Saturday at Manara and Margaliot areas near Kiryat Shemona and the Galilee Panhandle settlement, set off explosions in a nearby minefield.

Another fire reportedly broke out before noon today in Basma village in the Galilee. All efforts to contain the fires have so far failed.

For its part, the Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said Israeli settlers deliberately set fire this morning to the trees around Al-Qassam cemetery in Al-Sheikh town, east of Haifa, affirming that the fire burnt about 20 graves of Palestinians and caused partial damage to others.

In this regard, de facto president Mahmoud Abbas expressed in a letter sent to his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres his solidarity with the Israeli people and his grief over the human and material losses that resulted from Carmel fire.

The official news agency of the Palestinian Authority (PA) stated Saturday that Abbas offered Peres his readiness to help Israel to fight the blaze and extended his condolences to the families of the Israelis killed in the fire.
PA civil defense forces and firefighters were seen participating in the efforts to extinguish the fire.
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Hezbollah Rockets Cover All of Israel

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“GOD-TV” evangelical Christian channel funds Israeli ethnic cleansing

By  Neve Gordon | Redress | 4 December 2010
Despite the fact that it was the seventh demolition since last July, this time the destruction of the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib in the  Israeli Negev was different. The difference is not because the homeless residents had to deal this time with the harsh desert winter; nor in the fact that the bulldozers began razing the homes just minutes before the 40 children left for school, thus engraving another violent scene in their memory. Rather, the demolition was different because this time Christian evangelists from the United States and England were involved.

I know this for a fact because right next to the demolished homes, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) put up a big sign that reads: “GOD-TV FOREST, a generous donation by God-TV made 1,000,000 tree saplings available to be planted in the land of Israel and also provided for the creation of water projects throughout the Negev.” GOD-TV justifies this contribution by citing the book of Isaiah: “I will turn the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into springs.”

The JNF’s objective, however, is not altruistic, but rather to plant a pine or eucalyptus forest on the desert land so that the Bedouins cannot return to their ancestral homes. The practice of planting forests in an attempt to Judaize more territory is by no means new. Right after Israel’s establishment in 1948, the JNF planted millions of trees to cover up the remains of Palestinian villages that had been destroyed during or after the war. The objective was to help ensure that the 750,000 Palestinian residents who either fled or were expelled during the war would never return to their villages and to suppress the fact that they had been the rightful owners of the land before the State of Israel was created. Scores of Palestinian villages disappeared from the landscape in this way, and the grounds were converted into picnic parks, thus helping engender a national amnesia regarding the Palestinian  Nakba.

For several years, I thought this practice had been discontinued, but thanks to the JNF’s new bedfellows and the generous donation of  Rory and Wendy Alec, who established the international evangelical television channel GOD-TV, within the next few months a million saplings will be planted on land belonging to uprooted Bedouins.

God-TV can afford such lavish gifts, since it boasts a viewership of nearly half a billion people, with 20 million in the United States and 14 million in Britain. The television channel regularly features evangelical leaders such as Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and John Hagee, at least some of whom espouse  Christian Dispensationalism and believe that all Jews must convert to Christianity before the “Second Coming”.

The viewers are asked to open their wallets in order to “sow a seed for God”. In this case, the donations seem to have actually been allocated toward sowing seeds, but these seeds are ones of hate and strife. They are antithetical to Isaiah’s prophecy about the people beating their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Indeed, if Isaiah were alive today, he would probably be among the first to lie in front of the bulldozers in an effort to stop the destruction of the Bedouin homes.

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Israeli official: Collapse of Aqsa Mosque is imminent

[ 04/12/2010 - 02:47 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Col. Yoram Lev-Ran, the Commander of the Jerusalem district of the Home Front Command, has warned that a disaster might befall the holy Aqsa Mosque and that the old Marwani Mosque might collapse soon.

He told an Israeli weekly published on Friday that a collapse would happen, but the only "question is when? And how many will be killed and injured?"

Lev-Ran said that an emergency plan is always present when prayers in Ramadan are offered, adding the Home Front Command and the police are always on the alert.

Observers believe that Lev-Ran's statement is only a test balloon to check the Arab reaction, adding that the demolition of the Aqsa was taken a while ago by the Israeli decision makers but was awaiting the proper time for implementation.

Land caved in near the Aqsa Mosque and in occupied Jerusalem as a result of the Israeli excavations and tunnels dug underneath the holy site.

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MP Attal: All Hamas cadres detained by PA in Jericho jail in isolation cells

[ 04/12/2010 - 02:08 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Palestinian lawmaker Mohamed Attal said that the Hamas-affiliated detainees imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Jericho prison are separated from each other in very small solitary cells.

MP Attal added in a press release on Friday that the incarceration conditions in this PA jail are much worse than Israeli prisons, and appealed to human rights organizations to intervene to end the suffering of Hamas prisoners there.

In a separate incident, the PA security militias stormed on Friday the Mosque of Abrar in Al-Khalil city and kidnapped Sheikh Jibril Al-Jiyawi and his son Muntaser from inside the mosque as they were performing their evening prayers.

Eyewitnesses said that the militias took the father and his son to the preventive security headquarters in the city and then ransacked their home.

The militias also kidnapped seven other Palestinians affiliated with Hamas in the cities of Nablus, Tulkarem, Ramallah, Jenin, and Salfit, according to local sources on Saturday.

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Without land, Gaza farmers grow crops on roofs

Eva Bartlett, The Electronic Intifada, 3 December 2010

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Rooftop farming (Eva Bartlett/IPS)
BEIT HANOUN, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - "We grow on our roof because we are farmers but have no land now," says Moatassan Hamad, 21, from Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

"Our family is large and thankfully what we grow feeds us," he says. They grow a variety of staple vegetables.

"Cabbage and eggplants in winter, and endochriyya [a plant used for making soup] and chili and garlic and onions in summer. And other things that we can sell, like flowers and palm tree seedlings."

The house is a typical cement block house, in the crush of a Palestinian refugee camp. "There is no space in camps, no trees, no public gardens," Hamad says.

The flourish of greenery and color of his garden contrasts the utilitarian grey of their home and those close around it. Large blue plastic containers sprout date, orange and palm tree seedlings; parsley, cacti and peppers flourish.

"Our friends and guests like to sit up here, because most of them don't have anything like this," Hamad adds.

Hussein Shabat, director of the Palestinian Center for Youth Development, guides families working on rooftop garden projects, sometimes with the aid of outside donors.

"Beit Hanoun is an important place for such gardens. It's near the border with Israel, and much agricultural land has been destroyed repeatedly by the Israeli army," he says. The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee reports that up to 75,000 dunams (a dunam equals 1,000 square meters) of prime agricultural land has been destroyed by Israeli bulldozers and bombings.

"Also many farmers are unable to access their land because of the Israelis," Shabat adds. The Israeli imposition of a "buffer zone" along Gaza's borders swallows at least a third of Gaza's farmland and renders lethal any border regions farmers try to access. This land formerly produced wheat, barley and a variety of fruits and nuts; it was Gaza's food basket.

"Many people have left their homes and land near border areas, because they are afraid of the constant Israeli shooting and shelling attacks," Shabat says. Beit Hanoun is now a waterless, treeless landscape.

On the flat, square, cement roof of another Beit Hanoun home, Ahed Shabat, 42, looks after the plants and vegetables growing in tubs and cement planters amidst hung laundry and water tanks.

"We grow things we can use year round, like garlic and onions," he says. "But also seasonal plants like spinach, parsley, radishes, eggplant, corn, okra and chili peppers.

"We also grow flowers and herbs to use in tea, like mint, mirimiyya and zaatar," he adds. The latter two herbs, that commonly grow wild in the hills of the occupied West Bank, are a staple for most Palestinians' tea, and have medicinal uses.

The rooftop helps support his family of six, and is a tranquil island. "This garden is mostly for our family's consumption, and at the same time saves us money," Ahed Shabat explains. "My family enjoys sitting up here amongst the plants, because most of Beit Hanoun's plant life has been destroyed."

Home-grown food projects like rooftop gardens, and raising rabbits and chickens on the roof help combat the severe poverty of Gaza's 80 percent food-aid dependent population. Those living in tightly-packed refugee camps or overcrowded towns but with access to a roof can potentially stave off malnutrition and at the same time generate a small income.

"I love raising birds," says Abu Jihad, 17, at his rooftop coop of roughly 100 chickens and a score of pigeons in central Gaza. "In the beginning I learned about chickens watching how my friend worked with his coop. The only place I had to keep chickens was our roof."

Abu Jihad's chicken coop takes up the northeastern quarter, a ramshackle 1.5-by-3-meter pen of scavenged bits of wood, metal and chicken wiring, which he opens daily to let the birds run and peck all over the roof.

"I started with nine chicks my friend had given me, and bought another ten from pocket money that I'd saved. My family gave me a little more money to help out, so I bought another thirty."

The business is not easy. "This spring there were cool winds in the morning. I only had basic materials for a simple cage which was very exposed. Some of my chicks died from the wind and exposure to the intense sun."

Others became ill. "Medicine is very expensive, because of [Israel's] siege, and I was already struggling just to bring them food. But I bought medicine, because they all would have died otherwise."

Surviving a touchy start, his birds have multiplied and thrived. "Now I've got around fifty couples, and different types of chickens," says Abu Jihad.

The eggs and meat are better quality than factory-farmed chickens, he says, because of the natural food he gives them. "I don't feed them any steroids or chemicals, just vegetable peelings and dried bread and seeds, and I let them walk around on the roof every day."

Some nongovernmental groups in Gaza do assist in such projects, but Abu Jihad took the initiative to start the project himself.

"I spent a lot of money starting with the birds, and didn't earn anything from them for a long time. When I had more chickens and different types of chickens, I began to earn a little money. If my family didn't need money, then I'd use the money from the eggs I sold to buy the birds food."

What started as a project from fascination has developed into a relatively lucrative means of contributing to his family's needs.

All rights reserved, IPS -- Inter Press Service (2010). Total or partial publication, retransmission or sale forbidden.

WikiLeaks: Israel's Security Concerns Often Clash With U.S. Interests

Source Here

In an explosive WikiLeaks revelation, Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, the head of the Political Military Bureau of Israel's Ministry of Defense, while discussing Israeli requests for U.S. military aid, "acknowledged the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel's security focus is so narrow that its QME [Qualitative Military Edge] concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region," according to the State Department.

Gilad's "typically frank" remarks lend credence to the testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, then CENTCOM Commander, before the Senate Armed Service Committee in March. Petraeus articulated several reasons why U.S. and Israeli interests did not necessarily coincide. The Arab-Israeli conflict, according to Petraeus, "present[s] distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests," and "foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel." Petraeus went on to describe how Israel's ongoing conflicts spurred recruitment efforts for al-Qaeda and increased Iranian influence in the region.

What appears obvious to Petraeus and is reluctantly admitted to by Gilad is lost on Israel's most vociferous backers on Capitol Hill, such as incoming Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, who declared after conducting private diplomacy with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and undermining the Obama administration's efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that "the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other." In Cantor's view, daylight between the strategic interests of the United States and Israel is inconceivable because they are symbiotic.

Cantor would do well to read some of the 19 cables released so far by WikiLeaks from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, which shed important light on behind-the-scene tensions between Israel's quest for complete military dominance and U.S. attempts to militarize the Middle East, as evidenced by Gilad's admission. These documents display an incomplete, yet consistent, pattern of the United States saturating its allies with weapons while deflecting Israeli pressure not to do so.

Much of the disagreement, sanitized in diplomatic parlance, stems from different interpretations of what constitutes Israel's qualitative military edge (QME). This technical assessment, whose provisions were snuck into the 2008 Naval Vessel Transfer Act, sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman, requires the president to certify that any sale of weapons or military services to Middle East countries "will not adversely affect Israel's qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel." The law also mandates the president to submit to Congress secret reports that include an "empirical and qualitative assessment on an ongoing basis of the extent to which Israel possesses a qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel."

In conversations with U.S. officials, Israel stakes out an unequivocal position: any U.S. weapons sale, even to the most friendly of regimes, is potentially devastating to its security. The State Department reports that Israeli officials "attempted to make the argument that moderate Arab countries could in the future become adversaries -- and that this should be taken into account in the QME process." Israel raises specific concerns about the potential sale of F15-SA fighter planes to Saudi Arabia, the transfer of Cessna Caravan planes and Raven unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to Lebanon, and C-7 AMRAAM missiles to Jordan.

The always candid Gilad went a step further, stating the QME was nothing more than a "codename" for "potential threats against Israel." The cable summarizes his thinking:
"Israel currently enjoys peace with regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- but the future is uncertain, and each of these regimes faces the potential for change, he [Gilad] argued. U.S. weapons -- 'the best in the world'-- level the playing field by reducing the need for training -- and could ultimately aid a future enemy of Israel, Gilad said."
While staking out this maximalist position, Israeli officials, however, are resigned to massive U.S. weapons sales in the region. The State Department notes that "Israel understands U.S. policy intentions to arm moderate Arab states in the region to counter the Iranian threat, and prefers such sales originate from the United States instead of other countries like Russia or China." Israel's Assistant Chief of Defense, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz "seemed to acknowledge that Israel does not expect that all QME decisions will break in its favor, but that Israel only expects a fair and equitable process that incorporates 'intimate dialogue.'" And Israel's Mossad Chief Yair Dagan "clarified that he would not oppose U.S. security assistance to America's Arab partners. He expressed concern, nevertheless, about the current policies of those partners -- especially with regards to Syria and Iran. Dagan added that if those countries must choose between buying defensive systems from the U.S. or France, then he would prefer they buy systems from the U.S., as this would bring them closer to the U.S."

Israel's stance is a pragmatic one, in the realization that U.S. arms sales to the region will take place even over its objections. Discussing with Dagan the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for $30 billion in U.S. military aid to Israel, then Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns affirmed in 2007 that the "MOU serves as a concrete reminder that the U.S. stands by its long-term security commitments to its friends, and is ready to help them with their needs."

However, Burns also "noted that the Middle East is now at the heart of American interests. Because Egypt also plays a vital role in the region, the U.S. would also renew its security assistance commitment to that country. U.S. relations with the Gulf states were longstanding, and America would stay true to those friendships, as well." In other words, massive amounts of U.S. military aid to Israel in no way conflict with massive U.S. arms sales to the region in general, as witnessed by the Obama administration's record-breaking $60 billion sale of fighter planes and attack helicopters to Saudi Arabia, announced just last month.

The sad reality is that this process deliberately fuels an unnecessary and never-ending arms escalation in the Middle East, making President Obama's goal of achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace during his first term in office that much more remote. WikiLeaks has done a great service by exposing the inner workings of how U.S. diplomacy is drowning the region in weapons. As President Jimmy Carter once said, "We cannot be both the world's leading champion of peace and the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war."

Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 325 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. He is a former analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service (CRS).

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34 ships to carry aid to Gaza next April

[ 04/12/2010 - 08:08 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The international campaign for solidarity with the Palestinian people is preparing to send 34 ships loaded with humanitarian relief material to the Gaza Strip by next April, Mariam Zakut, the director general of culture and thought society, said.

She added that the vessels would also carry Arab and foreign solidarity activists from various world continents.

Zakut, who was participating in the international week for solidarity with the Palestinian people in France, said that the fleet targets forcing Israel to recognize the Palestinian people's rights and end its siege of Gaza.

The human rights activist said that she carried with her documentary films and photos explaining the tragic conditions in the Strip as a result of the Israeli siege for the fourth year running.

Zakut pointed out that she addressed rallies in various French cities organized by civil societies during which boycotting Israeli goods was a prominent goal during her campaign.

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Al-Akhbar WikiLeaks: A leak within Wikileaks or perhaps from a third-party source who wanted to beat Wikileaks' planned release. ..."

Via Friday-lunch Club

"...The documents appear to be authentic as the cables from Tripoli match up with The Atlantic's background reporting for an earlier story on a 2009 Libyan nuclear crisis, some details of which The Atlantic did not publish but nonetheless appear in Al Akhbar's cables. The rest of the cables are from U.S. embassies in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. They portray U.S. diplomats as struggling to understand and influence the region's oppressive and sometimes unpredictable regime.... Another series from Beirut in 2008 shows Lebanese Defense Minister Elias al-Murr telling U.S. diplomats, in a message he implied they should pass on to Israeli officials, that the Lebanese military would not resist an Israeli invasion so long as the Israeli forces abided by certain conditions. Murr, apparently hoping that an Israeli invasion would destroy much of the Hezbollah insurgency and the communities in Lebanon's south that support it, promised an Israeli invasion would go unchallenged as long as it did not pass certain physical boundaries and did not bomb Christian communities...... If Al Akhbar did not receive the cables from Wikileaks, it's unclear whether the newspaper got them from a leak within Wikileaks or perhaps from a third-party source who wanted to beat Wikileaks' planned release. ..."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 11:00 AM
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Clashes between protestors and occupation police in Eisaweyya

[ 03/12/2010 - 09:58 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Clashes broke out, Friday evening, in the Eisaweyya suburb of occupied Jerusalem after a protest march in which local residents and foreign sympathisers participated.

Local sources said that violent confrontations took place on the western entrance to the suburb after a march protesting the closure of the village’s entrances and the home demolitions that took place recently.

The sources added that IOF troops fired rubber coated bullets and teargas canisters at the protestors. No casualties were reported at the time.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

"xxxxx indicated that Jewish immigration from Israel to Russia greatly exceeded that of emigration from Russia to Israel.."


C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002837


Classified By: Ambassador John Beyrle for reason 1.4 (d)

¶1. (C) Summary: The Ambassador met separately with xxxxx during the week of September 15....

¶9. (C) xxxxx indicated that Jewish immigration from Israel to Russia greatly exceeded that of emigration from Russia to Israel. xxxxx appeared impressed by the level of reverse immigration from Israel to Russia, saying that only approximately 1,000 Russians emigrated to Israel over the past year. xxxxx impressions, saying that approximately 2,000 Jews in the entire former Soviet Union moved to Israel in the past year. Both regarded the figures as the product of Russia's growing stability and wealth. Adding greater depth on Russian-Israeli relations, xxxxx blamed the falling dollar for the reduction of Israeli support to the Russian Jewish educational system. xxxxx lauded the recently signed visa-free travel agreement between Russia and Israel since it would mean less work for him, no longer needing to help his community members receive visas.
Posted by G, Z, or B at 6:34 PM
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Abbas’s militia kidnap five Hamas supporters, 3 of them university students

[ 03/12/2010 - 09:02 PM ]

WEST BANK, (PIC)-- Abbas’s militia continue its campaign against Hamas supporters in all districts. They kidnapped 5 activists in the districts of Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem and Salfit, said local sources on Friday.

In the district of Tulkarem:
The militia kidnapped Wael Mussalamani as he left the Khadouri University after kidnapping, a few days ago, freed prisoner Mazhar Khreis, who spent five years in Israeli occupation jails.

Meanwhile, the militia continues to detain journalist Yazid Khader from the village of Deir al-Ghsoun for the fourth day running after kidnapping him while attending a relative’s wedding. He was released from Abbas’s jails only a few weeks ago.

The same militia continues to detain journalist Tareq Shehab from the village of Anabta for more than a month. He was kidnapped several times before.

In the district of Nablus:
Abbas’s militia kidnapped Arafat Ahmad, a student at Najah University, after storming his accommodation in the city.

In the district of Jenin:
The militia kidnapped Abdessalam Habaybah, a student at Najah University and a former captive in Israeli occupation jails, after summoning him two days ago. He is due to graduate at the end of this university term.

In the district of Salfit:
Abbas’s militia kidnapped Bilal Abdel-Rahim Harb, a student at Najah university, from the village of Skaka

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"..I am solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision.."


Yukiya Amano says Iran could be making a nuclear weapon
In a later cable in October, the US mission in Vienna goes as far as describing Amano as "DG of all states, but in agreement with us".
"... Amano reminded [the] ambassador on several occasions that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programMore candidly, Amano noted the importance of maintaining a certain "constructive ambiguity" about his plans, at least until he took over for DG ElBaradei in December...." 
... The other pressing question for the US mission during the transition was the fate of the deputy director generals, particularly Olli Heinonen, the head of the safeguards division - a widely-respected Finn who ran the inspections of Iran, Syria, North Korea and other nuclear rogue suspects, and who was consequently the second most (or perhaps the most) important person in the IAEA's Vienna headquarters, from Washington's point of view. He was due to retire in Summer 2010, causing some anxiety in the US delegation...
Posted by G, Z, or B at 12:14 PM
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Middle East countries leaking their own cables?

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

"... One Washington lobbyist who represents countries in the Middle East said that local press in several countries he works on is reporting on cables that haven't yet been reported on by the media outlets who had advance access to the documents. The lobbyist speculated that foreign governments may also be selectively leaking cables they've come across in order to spin them in their own favor before WikiLeaks or local media has a chance to weigh in." "New leaked cables are coming from weird sources, think tanks, the countries involved. There's a lot of stuff being quoted in local press from cables that haven't been released yet and I have no idea where they are coming from," this lobbyist said..."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 8:41 AM
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Jeff Gates: WikiLeaks and The Sound of Silence

December 3, 2010 by Jeff Gates

The scope and scale of WikiLeaks is a marvel to behold. Some praise it as the ultimate form of democracy. Others as the epitome of the most sacred of liberty’s principles: the right to know.

Yet the real story here is not what’s revealed but what’s withheld. The marvel is not what we now know but what is already known that is left unsaid. And what’s given an interpretive spin by those newspapers granted priority access.

The facts suggest that WikiLeaks is less about the right to know than the right to deceive.

Take for example the release of diplomatic cables on the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia and the interpretative gloss given by The New York Times.

Ashkenazi General David Kezerashvili returned to Georgia from Tel Aviv to lead an assault on separatists in South Ossetia with the support of Israeli arms and Israeli training. That crisis reignited Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Russia.

Then as now, it appeared there was a possibility of resolving Israel’s six-decade occupation of Palestine. At that time, The Quartet was coordinating the peace-making efforts of Russia and the U.S. along with the European Union and the United Nations.

Tel Aviv was not pleased.

Then as now, efforts to broker a peace were thwarted by creating a crisis within a coalition of those willing to invest their geopolitical capital to end a conflict that has long served its Zionist purpose as a source of other conflicts.

The resulting rift between the U.S. and Russia ensured some well-timed entropy and reduced the possibility of ending a decades-long occupation. Then as now, that occupation must end to bring peace to the region.

The Sound of Silence

Without that broader context, it’s not possible to isolate the motivation for that well-timed war. Yet the cables released by WikiLeaks say nothing about that. Nor does The New York Times.

Nor do the cables mention Tel Aviv’s interest in a pipeline across Georgia meant to move Caspian oil through Turkey and on to Eurasia, using Israel as a fee-collecting intermediary.

As with so much that is left “un-leaked,” the silence is telling.

What is leaked is accurately reported: “Official Georgian versions of events were passed to Washington largely unchallenged.” Yet The Times says nothing about the undisclosed bias motivating that behavior. That silence is deceptive.

Instead Times reporter C.J. Chivers notes only that the bombardments by Georgia of South Ossetia “plunged Georgia into war, pitting the West against Russia in a standoff over both Russian military actions and the behavior of a small nation that the United States had helped arm and train.”

Now as then, there’s no mention in the paper of record of the role played by an Ashkenazi general, the Israeli training of Georgian troops or the arms and equipment that Israel provided.
Tel Aviv must be pleased.

The Greatest Threat to Peace

The Times notes “the reliance on one-sided information” as Georgian President Saakashvili told the U.S. Ambassador “the Russians are out to take over Georgia and install a new regime.”

After the Russian Army dealt the Israeli-trained Georgians a quick defeat, President George W. Bush, as the U.S. economy was sliding into a recession, announced a $1 billion aid package to help Georgia rebuild. Rest assured those funds were borrowed.

In the netherworld where Colonial Zionists excel in catalyzing well-timed crises and generating interest-bearing debt, WikiLeaks has already achieved iconic status. Much as The Quartet faded into memory, the peace talks that showed promise just last week have been displaced by talk of yet another crisis—with Iran.

For those skilled at gaining traction for a storyline and then advancing a narrative, WikiLeaks is akin to a script doctor. With The Clash of Civilizations losing traction, this latest crisis helped put it back on track.

Only time will tell if this traction suffices to take the “coalition of the willing” from Iraq and Afghanistan into Iran. Occasionally those played for the fool turn their attention to the deceiver. An October 2003 poll of 7,500 respondents in the European Union found that Israel was considered the greatest threat to world peace.

The U.S. military is not without considerable knowledge confirming the common source of the fixed intelligence that induced America to invade Iraq.

With the Israel lobby seeking to induce the U.S. into Iran, events may take an unprecedented turn. A coalition of the willing might well be persuaded to secure Palestine along its 1967 borders with troops deployed to protect Jerusalem as a site of significance to three major faith traditions.

Should the U.S. Commander-in-Chief decide to earn his Nobel peace prize, he may order U.S. troops to secure the only known nuclear arsenal in the Middle East.

Tel Aviv will not be pleased.

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Ros-Lehtinen to Roed Larsen: "Lebanon is becoming insubordinate..."

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

What a pair........!

"... Lebanon's government is increasingly "subordinate" to Iran and Syria, a top US lawmaker told UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen on Tuesday... "Hezbollah, with the help of Iran and Syria, is massively rearming, the Lebanese government is becoming more and more subordinate to Iran and Syria, and the line between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Hezbollah is gradually being erased, ... Above all, we must protect the security of our allies and ensure that those responsible for (late) prime minister (Rafiq) Hariri's murder are held responsible," the Florida lawmaker added. Roed-Larsen has been overseeing UN Security Council Resolution 1559, a text adopted in 2004 by the 15-member body that calls for "the disbanding and disarmament" of all militias in Lebanon..."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 8:17 AM
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Friday 3 December 2010

'Zionists control US foreign policy'

'Zionists control US foreign policy'
Fri Dec 3, 2010 6:19PM

Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas
Renowned American author and veteran journalist Helen Thomas says the "Zionists" are in full control of the US foreign policy and its other institutions.

Thomas, a former White House journalist, said Israel can never be criticized in the US because Zionists are in control of the American foreign policy as well as its main institutions.

"I can call a president of the US anything in the book, but I can't touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank," Thomas said.

The 90-year-old national columnist says the White House, Congress, Wall Street and Hollywood are all owned by the Zionists.

"Congress, the White House, Hollywood, and Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion," she said.

Thomas also said that she stands by the comments she made about Israel earlier this year, which was condemned by the local Jewish community.

Thomas had said that Israelis should get out of Palestine and return to their homes in Europe and the US.

In an interview, Thomas said that criticizing Israel was the reason she was forced to resign from Hearst Newspapers and was ostracized in Washington.

The longtime White House correspondent, who grew up in Detroit as the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was in Dearborn for a workshop on anti-Arab bias.

Jewish groups have called Thomas' earlier remarks unfair and bigoted. They have also slammed Thursday's remarks.


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‘Carmel Fire Disaster Proved Israel Can’t Afford New War’

03/12/2010 The enormous blaze that broke out on the Carmel proved that Israel is not prepared for war or a mass terrorist strike that would cause many casualties in the home front.

In this context, Israeli daily Haaretz said that the Carmel huge fire will be remembered as the October War of the Fire and Rescue Service, who were not prepared to counter a disaster of such magnitude.

Haaretz said that it turned out that Israel is not prepared for war or a mass terrorist strike that would cause many casualties in the home front. “The warning of the outgoing Military Intelligence Chief, Amos Yadlin, that the next war will be a lot more difficult than past experiences, and that Tel Aviv will be a front line, was not translated into the necessary preparation by the authorities assigned the protection of the civilians,” the Israeli daily pointed out.

“Under such circumstances, it is best for Israel not to embark on war against Iran, which will involve thousands of missiles being fired on the home front,” Haaretz said. “After the Second Lebanon War, which exposed how pathetic the civil defense system was, reports were written, exercises were held, but everything broke down under the stress of a real emergency on the Carmel range − an area that already experienced the trauma of Hezbollah missiles.”

Furthermore, the Israeli daily pointed to the help Israel has asked for, an opportunity that wouldn’t be offered for the Zionist entity in the case of war. “Yesterday Israel asked for help from Cyprus and Greece, and the air force traveled to France to bring fire retardants to make up for the material that had run out. In war time, it is doubtful whether Israel will be able to rely on the generosity and largess of its neighbors.”

Haaretz noted that Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who is responsible for the firemen and the head of the Fire and Rescue Services, Shimon Romah, were nowhere to be found yesterday. “They are obvious candidates for losing their jobs as a result of the disaster,” the Israeli daily asserted.

The disaster has shown that the Israeli enemy was unable to face the incident alone, pushing Israeli officials to ask for international help.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted Israel was not equipped to deal with the type and magnitude of blaze, which has been ravaging the area around Haifa for 24 hours. He thanked nations sending aid, which included Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, stressing that Israel can't fight massive brushfire alone.

"We can't say that the fire is under control," Israeli Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen told reporters on Friday evening as the largest wildfire in Israeli history continued to burn in the Carmel hills south of Haifa.

Cohen added that despite the assistance received and the cooperation amongst various organizations the fire is continuing to spread in several locations. "The event has not yet ended and even now there are some locations where the fire has not been taken care of," Cohen said. "Despite all the aid forces have received, we can't say that the fire is under control. Perhaps we will be able to say that by Saturday afternoon. The strategic plan of the police is still to save lives and to bring the event to an end as quickly as possible."

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Resistance Triumphs Again: Israeli Spy Attempt Thwarted

03/12/2010 Once again, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon was able to prove to the Israeli enemy that all balances have changed…

Once again, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon proved to the Israeli enemy and the whole world that the Resistance is strengthening day after another and that the days of undermining it have gone forever…

On Friday, the Islamic Resistance announced that it has succeeded in thwarting an Israeli spy attempt on its telecommunications network in Wadi al-Qaisiyeh near Majdal Silim in South Lebanon.

In a statement it released, the Islamic Resistance emphasized that the Israeli enemy blew up its espionage device soon after it was discovered by the Islamic Resistance fighters and technicians.

The statement said that the Lebanese Army has started investigation into the new Israeli violation of the Lebanese sovereignty.

The statement concluded by stressing that the spy attempts of the enemy come in the framework of the continuous Israeli assaults on the national Telecommunication network, which are aimed at violating and therefore controlling it, what constitutes a violation of the sovereignty.

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Gilad Atzmon: The Burning Bush

By: Gilad Atzmon

"Like the pine tree, Israel and the Israeli are foreign to the region."

DateThursday, December 2, 2010 

Disaster in the North of Israel, at least 40 dead as fire rages across the Carmel Mountains. A mass evacuation has begun.

As I am writing these lines, Israeli Fire fighting crews are battling with the flames. They also express no hope of controlling the fire soon. "We lost all control of the fire," said the Haifa Fire fighting services spokesman. "There aren't enough fire fighting resources in Israel in order to put out the fire."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hurried to the scene of the fire on Thursday. He requested the help of the U.S, Greece, Italy, Russia, and Cyprus to send additional forces to aid the Israeli firemen.

A normal country would probably ask for the help of its neighbours, but the Jewish state doesn’t have neighbours. It made all its neighbours into enemies.

But the story here goes far deeper.  The fire in northern Israel is far from being a coincidence. Israel’s rural landscape is saturated with pine trees. These trees are totally new to the region. They were not there until the 1930’s. The pine trees were introduced to  the Palestinians landscape in the early 1930s  by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in an attempt to  ‘reclaim the land’ .

By 1935, JNF had planted 1.7 million trees over a total area of 1,750 acres.

Over fifty years, the JNF planted over 260 million trees largely on confiscated Palestinian land. It did it all in a desperate attempt to hide the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages and their history.

Haifa University

Uprooted Palestinian Playing Cards Under Palestinian Ollives
Along the years the JNF performed a crude attempt to eliminate Palestinian civilisation and their past but it also tried to make Palestine look like Europe. The Palestinian natural forest was eradicated. Similarly the olive trees were uprooted. The pine trees took their place. On the southern part of mount Carmel the Israelis named an area as ‘Little Switzerland’.

I have learned tonight that Little Switzerland is burned. 

However, the facts on the ground were pretty devastating for the JNF.

The pine tree didn’t adapt to the Israeli climate as much as the Israelis failed to adapt to the  Middle East.

According to JNF statistics, six out of every 10 saplings planted did not survive. Those few trees that did survive formed nothing but a firetrap. By the end of each Israeli summer each of the Israeli pine forests become a potential deadly zone.

In spite of its nuclear power, its criminal army, the occupation, the Mossad and its lobbies all over the world, Israel seems to be very vulnerable. It is devastatingly alienated  from the land it claims to own.

Like the pine tree, Israel and the Israeli are foreign to the region. 


If Israel, after many drills done during last years, can't deal with a bush fire, I wonder hot it will deal with the expected war with Hezbollah??
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Ministry of prisoners holds Fatah responsible on lives of hunger strikers in Jericho

[ 03/12/2010 - 03:33 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The PA ministry of prisoners in Gaza has held the authority of Fatah in the West Bank fully responsible for the lives of six Palestinian prisoners who went on hunger strike for the tenth day now in the infamous Jericho jail in the West Bank.

In a statement it issued over the matter, the ministry published the names of the hunger strikers, asserting they were maltreated and tortured while in detention.

A year ago, the six kidnapped Palestinians won a ruling from the PA high court dismissing their case and ordering their immediate release, but the PA security refused to implement the court order and kept the six in detention prompting their decision to go on hunger strike till they are released or die for their freedom, the ministry confirmed.

The ministry added that the detainees of the Jericho jail were exposed to incarceration condition worse than the imprisonment conditions in the Israeli jails, explaining that the detainees were maltreated, and denied their right a stroll and exercise.

Furthermore, the ministry said, families of the detainees in the said jail were maltreated and humiliated when they visit their detained sons, quoting the mother of one of the detainees as saying that the prisoners are exposed to slow execution process in the jail.

Relatives of the prisoners asserted that their sons committed no crime or law violation, adding that their sons were tortured and jailed for political reasons for supporting the Islamic Movement in Palestine, adding that many of them were jailed in Israeli jails for many years for the same reasons.

Moreover, the ministry underlined that hundreds of Palestinian citizens were detained and tortured in the PA jails in the West Bank, urging Arab and Muslim countries not to finance the “collaborator” government of Salam Fayyadh, the illegitimate PA prime minister in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, the director of the Jericho jail Tareq Sharbati threatened to break the strike even if half of the hunger strikers are killed, prompting wide criticism from human rights organizations, including the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain.

According to organization, the jail administration is launching strong psychological war against the hunger strikers in a bid to end the strike, even by force. The hunger strikers rejected Sharbati’s threats, and insisted on continuing their strike.

According to the Arab organization, international law bans the use of force to break the strike, holding the PA security forces responsible for lives of the six prisoners, urging media outlets to keep the focus on the issue till they are freed and the court order is heeded. It also called on the EU to dispatch fact-finding committee to check what is happening in the Jericho jail.
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