Saturday 7 May 2011

The foreign minister of the Free-Libyan-Revolutionary-Rebellious-Higher-Council (inhale) ..... not allowed over Saudi airspace!


He was apparently flying to Doha but his plane was not allowed over KSA's airspace.
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 4:05 PM
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

"I am Saudi ... Osama bin Laden is my father!"


Via War in Context:

"Osama bin Laden's daughter cradled the head of her wounded mother in the room where the al-Qaida leader had just been killed.
"I am Saudi," she told Pakistani security officials shortly after US special forces had flown away with the terrorist's bloodied body. "Osama bin Laden is my father."
The 12-year-old had herself been injured by a piece of flying debris in her foot or ankle during the night-time raid on Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, northern Pakistan, but she was comforting her father's fifth wife, Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, 29, who was shot in the calf by commandos as they closed in on Bin Laden.
The woman lay quietly, her head in the girl's lap, though she seemed conscious, the officials told the Guardian. Across the room stood another woman, hands tied behind her back and mouth taped, aged around 30 and initially identified as a Yemeni doctor for Bin Laden's wife and children...."
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 7:16 PM
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Arab marches marking Nakba to head to Palestine borders

[ 07/05/2011 - 09:32 AM ]

BEIRUT, (PIC)-- A wide-ranging march to be launched in Lebanon will head for the border with occupied Palestine to mark the Nakba (disaster) on May 15, the step was announced in the Lebanese press association in the presence of Hamas representative Ali Baraka and march coordinator Hani Suleiman.

The march, staged by Lebanese and Palestinian organizations, is timed to coincide with similar Arab marches designed to peacefully blockade Israel, which was established on the usurped land of Palestine.

The marches are set to coincide with the Nakba to ”confirm the right of all Palestinians to return to their land and property from which they forcibly evicted back in 1948,” said the preparatory committee chairman Khalid Zeidan in a statement.

Millions of Palestinians have been ejected since 1948.

The march is also designed to reiterate the right of the Palestinians to use all forms of resistance to liberate Palestine.

”The idea [of encircling Israel] is a great idea in its method and timing, especially after the decision made by Israel prohibiting the use of the term 'Nakba',” said chief journalist Mohammed al-Baalabaki.

He expected that the borders would see an ”Arab battle” amounting to a land blockade in response to the Israeli blockade imposed on Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the governor of Northern Sinai in Egypt Abdul-Wahhab Mabrouk has announced that relevant agencies are geared to support marches heading for the Palestinian border on the same day from Egypt.

The march was formed after Egyptian youths made calls for it on a Palestinian Facebook page urging for a third intifada against Israel.

Simultaneously, hundreds of Egyptians have stationed themselves outside of the Israeli embassy in Cairo demanding the banishment of the Israeli ambassador and preparation for the third intifada due May 15.

The vigil was organized by the third intifada preparatory committee as well as Egyptian activists.

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The NEW Egypt: "George Washington & Nelson Mandela were also 'terrorists'!"


"You upgraded Egypt’s relationship with Hamas. [Former chief of intelligence] Omar Suleiman tried for years to negotiate a unity government between Fatah and Hamas, and you did it in months.
It all started with the new government that came after the revolution. The government — which is now two months old — made it very clear from the first day that we want to open a new page with all the countries in the world....
Hamas is on the U.S. terrorist list.
You want my answer? So was George Washington for the British. So was Nelson Mandela in South Africa. So were Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir. Begin was one of the biggest terrorists and was responsible for the bombing of the King David Hotel. Shamir was responsible for the assassination of Count Bernadotte. And they worked for peace after that. Allow someone who is fighting for a cause to see the light of day at the end of the tunnel and to enter into peace. That is the history of the world.
What will Egypt’s position be in September regarding the recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations? I interviewed Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently, and he spoke of his desire to see a Palestinian state recognized this fall.
We support it [statehood] very much. We are pressing all our friends. We are pressing the Europeans. We hope they will all recognize Palestine.
Moving to Iran, you recently said Egypt intends to ready to normalize relations with Iran.
No, never. I said Egypt has turned a page with every country in the world. I never specified Iran. [I was] asked if this included Iran, and I said yes. We don’t want to look backwards, we want to look forward. No decision has been made on Iran. Every country in the world has relations with Iran except three — [the United States], Egypt and Israel.
Didn’t they have a big Hezbollah cell aimed at Egypt a few years ago?
They are not an enemy. If you want me to say it — Iran is not an enemy. We have no enemies. Anywhere.
I read that the majority of Egyptians want to abrogate the treaty with Israel. What kind of relations do you want to have with Israel?
Egypt is going to comply with every agreement and abide by every treaty it has entered into. That is the goal of treaties..."
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 10:58 AM
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Mishaal meets with Egyptian elites in Cairo

[ 07/05/2011 - 08:16 AM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- Head of Hamas's political bureau Khaled Mishaal met on Friday with a galaxy of Egyptian noted figures and intellectuals.

It was part of several meetings he intends to have with Egyptian officials and elites from different spectra during his stay in Cairo following the signing of the Palestinian reconciliation deal.

In his speech, Mishaal expressed thanks on behalf of Hamas Movement and the Palestinian people to the Egyptian leadership for the efforts it made for the success of the Palestinian reconciliation.

The Hamas leader stressed the need for Egypt to restore its leading role in the region. "We are ready to cooperate with Egypt strategically and tactically, for one of Egypt's new responsibilities that we hope is to devise a new strategy for the conflict."

"We are proud of the revolution that has happened in Egypt and reflected on the Palestinian spirit of understanding that led to the reconciliation; we hope to see Egypt recover and restore its role," he added.

Mishaal also talked about the developments and the details related to the reconciliation deal and answered the questions asked by the attendees.

He said that the deal would not have seen daylight without the flexibility that was demonstrated by his Movement, and highlighted the need for complete Palestinian partnership in the political, security, and military decision-making.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Lobby lectures Turkey on hate and bigotary

Posted on May 7, 2011 by rehmat1

Robert O. Trestan, civil right counsel for a major pro-Israel American Jewish organization, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), had attended the three-day conference seeking ways to prevent hate speech and hate crimes, organized by the International Hrant Dink Foundation at Istanbul Bilgi University on April 15/17, 2011.

Abraham Foxman, the national director of ADL is well-known for his criticism of everyone who dares to criticize the Zionist regime – from former US President Jimmy Carter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trestan began his speech with usual Zionist rant: “The Anti-Defamation League has been fighting antisemitism and all forms of hate and bigotry for almost 100 years. We have known what many of you attending this conference know; that when one of us is targeted because of our religion, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, none of us is safe. Acts of violence motivated by hatred are an attack on all of us. Acts of hate and terror permeate nations around the world at every level of society…..”

Naturally, Trestan believes that none amongst his audience knew ADL being strictly an Israel Lobby. On December 20, 2006, ADL fired an open letter to Jimmy Carter, saying: “We have read your letter to American Jews. As much as the tone of this letter is different from that of your book, “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” or your many public interviews, the damage to the good name of Israel and the American Jewish community from your unwarranted attacks remains. As does our outrage”.

While receiving ADL’s highest humanitarian award in 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had said that there is no place for the so-called ‘anti-Semitism’ in Turkey. However, that was the time when Erdogan had not criticized Israel for later’s genocide of Palestinians. On January 21, 2010, Abe Foxman wrote in Huffpost: “Erdogan’s tirade against Israel during the Gaza war, his continuation last year at Davos which forced Israeli President Shimon Peres to react, his unstinting support of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Goldstone Report accusing Israel of war crimes, and his support of Iran in the nuclear standoff, are impossible for Israel to ignore”.

Abraham Foxman in his book “Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism” had claimed that the Christian Bible, The New Testament (NT) is ‘anti-Semitic’ and its teaching fueled the Holocaust during WW II. In other words, Abe Foxman, too believe that the 150,000 Grman Jews who took active part in the Nazi Army, had studied NT instead of their Holy Talmud which loaths Christianity.

Abe Foxman was against American Muslims building an Islamic Center not far away from ‘Ground Zero’, Israel’s greatest PR stunt. He said: “The Cordoba Initiative, has the legal right to build at the site. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.”

On June 6, 2010 – Abe Foxman issued a statement that Helen Thomas cannot be forgiven for telling Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to their ancestral European lands.

On October 14, 2010 – Abe Foxman released list of top US ‘anti-Semite’ groups for criticizing Israel’s illegal actions in the Midlle East. Abe’s list included; Jewish Voice for Peace, Muslim American Society, Friends of Sabeel, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, ANSWER, If American Knew!, Al-Awada, CAIR, International Solidarity Movement, and Students for Justice in Palestine.

Last year, when one of America’s top dozen Islamophobe, Glenn Beck, called Jewish multi-billionaire George Soro, “a Nazi helper” – Abe Foxman defended Soro by saying: “This is the height of ignorance or insenstivity, or both. There is an arrogance here for Glenn Beck, a non-Jew, to set the standards of what makes a good Jew”.

And finally, the latest case of Zionists’ hate and bigotary right under ADL’s nose. The City University of New York (CUNY), has withdrawn its offer of an honorary degree to the award-winning Jewish playwright Tony Kushner by bowing to its Jewish trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld’s campaign. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, an investment banker and former Republican Party aide, claims that Kushner had described the removal of Palestinians in order to create Israel as an act of ethnic cleansing and supported a boycott of the state.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israel confiscates Al-Khalil village

[ 07/05/2011 - 07:41 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) handed locals land confiscation and eviction notices during an attack Friday on the Um Neir village in Al-Khalil province, the West Bank.

Sources said an officer placed markers around the village of more than 300 dunums as locals tried to rebuild the village demolished by the IOF troops just a day earlier.

The same day, the IOF arrested three foreign activists as well as the coordinator of the national committee for the resistance of settlement activity and the apartheid wall, Mahmoud Zawahira, amid a crackdown on a weekly march in Al-Ma'sara, south of Bethlehem.

”Occupation forces stopped the march from arriving at the separation wall after closing the street and then assaulting the participants. The marchers staged a sit-in there which was followed by the arrest of supporters and the committee's coordinator,” said the committee's media spokesman Mohammed Barijiyya.

Hundreds more rallied in Na'lin after the Friday congregation near the separation wall erected west of Ramallah.

After prayers, the local protesters accompanied by dozens of foreign supporters marched towards the separation wall raising Palestinian flags and those of the Hamas and Fatah parties that have recently reached a unity deal in Cairo.

When they reached the barrier's gates, IOF soldiers showered them with tear gas and stun grenades.

The soldiers fired in the air to disperse the crowd. Dozens of protesters were injured after clashes flared between youths and soldiers.

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May 7, 2011 by freedemocraticsyria

Security and police personal killed with US weapons in Homs by United States sponsored terrorists.
A military source stated that army and security forces units on Friday pursued armed terrorist groups in the outskirts of Homs city in the areas of Baba Amro, al- Sultaniyeh, Bab al-Dreib and al-Qarabis.

This came after an attack by these terrorist groups on an army and police checkpoint in the city. The clashes led to the number of military and police martyrs to rise to ten martyrs in addition to a number of injuries.
Several members of the armed terrorist groups were killed or injured during the clashes.

Earlier, the military source said that an armed criminal group attacked on Friday a military checkpoint, the police and security forces west of Baba Amro near al-Sultaniyeh Bridge in Homs.

The terrorist group fired at the checkpoint members, killing Officer Ahmad Hallaq and four policemen: Sergeant Major George Elian, Policeman Mohammad Maarouf, policeman Bassam abu al-Anz and the policeman-driver Thaer Jardou, and wounding others.

The armed criminal group mutilated the martyrs’ bodies.

A number of police and army wounded members reported about the attacks they were exposed to by the hands of the armed terrorist groups.

“We went to guard at al-Sultaniya barricade… we were ordered not to fire, but when a group of protesters approached, we asked them to return. Later, they suddenly opened fire against members of the patrol,” Policeman Ahmad Suleiman told Syrian TV.

Policeman Adjutant Mohammad Ismael who was shot in his left hand said “we have been informed of shootings in al-Mreijiya and al-Fakhoura neighborhood… we rushed to the place, but we were heavily fired by snipers who were hiding on the roofs of buildings.”

Sergeant Feras al-Mohammad, for his part, told the Syrian TV station that he and a number of his fellows were ordered to go on patrol in Bab al-Dreib neighborhood after they had been informed of shootings against civilians.

“When we arrived in the place and got out of the car, snipers on the roofs shot us and I was injured,” Sergeant al-Mohammad said.

Doctor Hussein al-Habet said the medical staff in Homs was on alert since Friday morning and the atmosphere was calm. But suddenly a batch of martyrs and wounded reached the hospitals. The injuries ranged between limbs, chest and head.

“The remarkable thing is that the bullets’ direction was from top to the bottom,” Doctor al-Habet said.
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Salame, Ghunaim urge Shalit captors to insist on demands

[ 07/05/2011 - 07:13 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation jails Hassan Salame and Abdul Hadi Ghunaim have urged the captors of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to stick to their demands and not to cede any of them.

Salame and Ghunaim in a message published by the Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners on Friday said that Palestinian resistance should particularly insist on the freedom of Palestinians serving high sentences.

Salame, who is serving 48 life sentences, and Ghunaim, who is serving 16 life sentences in addition to 480 years, said that the list of prisoners presented to the Israelis in exchange for Shalit should never be altered.

They called on the resistance factions holding Shalit to resist all pressures by Israel to remove some names of prisoners serving high sentences from the list.

They said that all prisoners, especially the oldest serving ones, are impatiently waiting for the day of freedom, adding that they die a "hundred times" in prison each day.

Both prisoners, who are from Gaza Strip, appreciated the Palestinian resistance's concern with the issue of prisoners, describing its demands as "just".

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PHILIP GIRALDI : War is a Sticky Business

PHILIP GIRALDI : War is a Sticky Business

- 06. May, 2011

Recently Senator Lindsey Graham has warned that America in Iraq could go on forever because Iraq will “go to hell” without a continued US military presence.

By Philip Giraldi / Antiwar

The killing of Osama bin Laden, which could have signaled an end to the global war on terror and a retrenchment from interventionism by Washington, appears to be going the other way, with government hawks extolling the virtues of torture and singing the praises of special operations directed against nations with which the US is not at war.  If the United States of America survives another fifty years and historians begin to chart the decline of the Great Republic, they will undoubtedly reach the conclusion that post-9/11 Washington found it very easy to use continuous conflict as a substitute for any real foreign policy while also finding it extremely difficult to exit from what it had begun. Empires frequently exhibit such a failure of imagination, thinking themselves invincible. Rome sought absolute security by invading and conquering much of central Europe, Mesopotamia, and Scotland, only to find itself defending territory that was largely indefensible, at great cost in manpower and treasure.  The British should have learned their lesson with the American Revolution, but a repeat performance against Boer farmers served as a prelude to the utter collapse of their Empire after the Second World War.

Remember back how Iraq, a war based on lies, was going to be quick, surgical, and paid for by oil revenue.  Eight years, some trillions of dollars, nearly five thousand dead Americans, and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis later, the war is still going on.  Recently Senator Lindsey Graham has warned that America in Iraq could go on forever because Iraq will “go to hell” without a continued US military presence. Ironically, Senator Graham notwithstanding, it is unlikely that any Iraqi government will agree to an open ended invitation to the US Army, meaning that all those fine bases with their Burger Kings and the Embassy-Mausoleum on the Tigris will be little more than hugely expensive monuments to America’s failure to understand what makes a foreign nation tick.

And then there is Afghanistan, which many, including the current president of the United States, still believe to be the “necessary” war.  The United States intervened in the country at the end of 2001 to remove al-Qaeda, which had used Afghanistan as a sanctuary for training and organizing its cadres.  It was an objective that most Americans at the time supported, though it would have been nice if Congress had closed the circle by properly declaring war as required by the constitution.  Now, ten years later, al-Qaeda is gone and bin Laden dead but the US military presence in the country exceeds 100,000.  Nearly two thousand Americans have died while the tally of dead Afghan civilians is difficult to assess but certainly exceeds thirty thousand.  Neighboring nuclear-armed Pakistan has meanwhile been reduced to something approaching a failed state by the conflict, was recently caught concealing Osama bin Laden, and is now refusing to cooperate with the CIA and Pentagon.  President Obama has promised to begin a drawdown of soldiers next year, but he also promised to close Guantánamo prison, so his pre-electoral pledges should not be regarded as completely reliable.  The president’s top military advisers have also been more cautious, warning that a US presence in the country could easily continue until 2015 and even beyond.  It costs the United States $80 billion a year to conduct military operations to provide security in Afghanistan.  The entire annual gross domestic product of the country is estimated to be around $20 billion, meaning that the American taxpayer spends four times as much to defend the country as its entire economy produces in a year. Those numbers reveal that there is something definitely wrong. It hardly sounds as if the Afghan Army will be able to take up responsibility for security anytime soon, particularly as they are too busy shooting their foreign trainers.

And then there is ever expanding and continuing war number three – Libya.  Even though Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned that providing a UN mandated no-fly zone would be an act of war, the president began bombing on what he presumed to be his own authority on a Friday without consulting anyone and then went off on a foreign trip the next day.  The American public was assured that there would be no American ground troops sent to Libya.  Fortunately, no Americans have been killed, though one F-15 has crashed.  The barrage of cruise missiles and bombs raining down on Libya have so far cost nearly $800 million, with total expenses for the American involvement coming in at $1 billion and counting.
But the issue of the presence of ground troops is a little bit more sticky, in spite of the soothing commentary from the White House.  The revelation at the end of March that CIA teams have been active in Libya should come as no surprise due to the poor intelligence that Washington possesses relating to the rebel movement. Both the CIA and State Department found it difficult to develop any contacts with opposition movements inside Libya due to the heavy security presence and opted instead to communicate with exiles in the US and Europe, which is what one always does when at a complete loss for any information.  As a result, there has been considerable concern within policy making circles in Washington that the United States is being drawn into an Iraq-type situation where “intelligence” coming from several Libyan exiles who have been advising both the Agency and Defense Department might conceal other multiple agendas, as Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress succeeded in doing in 2002-3, working with the neocons to skew policy towards war.  It is widely believed that Khalifa Hefta, head of the in-exile Libyan National Army, has been a resident of Northern Virginia for the past twenty years and has been a fixture both at Langley and at the Pentagon.

The CIA teams on the ground in Libya consist of operations officers familiar with the country who are attempting to learn more about the rebel leadership while simultaneously assessing both the opposition’s capabilities and its needs relative to the Gadhafi government.  Protecting the operations officers are armed teams drawn from the Agency’s Special Activities Division, its paramilitary wing.  The Obama Administration insistence that there will be no “boots on the ground” in Libya is consequently somewhat of a fiction.  The SAD officers are in most cases former special operations soldiers who shifted over to the Agency after leaving the uniformed services.  Though non-uniformed, they are equipped and trained in exactly the same fashion as spec-ops soldiers and will react using their weapons if threatened.  If they engage in training or advising the Libyan rebels it will be de facto exactly the same as if the army were doing the training but without having to admit that American soldiers are involved.  There is little substantive difference between CIA paramilitaries and actual US Army advisers.  And they will become more vulnerable as the rebel cause continues to collapse, placing them in situations in which they must join in the fighting.  When the first American dies in Libya, the fraudulence of Obama’s case for going to war there in the first place will be exposed for all to see.

And the war in Libya could easily grow bigger, possibly even much bigger.  The CIA teams are in Libya as part of a presidential finding which authorized the action.  Under the finding, it will be possible to considerably expand the Agency role without any additional approval and only limited oversight. Bay of Pigs, anyone? At the present time, no one at Langley believes that the effort in Libya will be getting any smaller any time soon.  As the rebels grow weaker, there will be serious pressure from Congress and other interested parties to get more deeply involved.  Senator John McCain visited Benghazi two weeks ago and stopped just short of declaring “We are all Libyans” as he egged the rebels on while calling for increased US support.  President Obama obliged by ordering in pilotless drones armed with hellfire missiles to target Gadhafi’s forces.

And just to demonstrate that Washington continues to live in a complete fantasy world, wars four and five just might be hovering on the horizon.  Last week Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham all called on the Obama Administration to get tough with Syria.  They had better check first with their minders in Israel since it is by no means clear whether Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu would welcome the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is, at least, predictable compared to whatever kind of regime would succeed him.  And then there is Iran, always the enemy of choice, with a constant drumbeat from Tel Aviv and Washington.  Previously highly touted Yemen and Somalia have apparently fallen off the Pentagon’s short list, but that might only be temporary.

Now that the president of the United States has indicated that Washington is willing to fight more wars based on humanitarian principles and furthermore that presidential prerogatives make it unnecessary to go to Congress for a proper declaration of war, these new interventions could easily take place as the administration becomes more comfortable with throwing its weight around overseas.  Jingoism fueled imperialism is a formula for failure and is particularly discouraging in that candidate Barack Obama clearly saw the problems with the policy and has done a flip flop to become little more than a Democratic version of George W. Bush.  It is up to the American people to demand accountability from Washington.  Accountability would mean returning to the old standard, that war should be infrequent, a last resort, properly authorized by Congress, and only fought in response to a threatened vital interest.  The Obama wars, both current and impending, do not satisfy any of those requirements.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA Officer, is the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. His “Deep Background” column appears every month exclusively in The American Conservative.
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Jerusalemite youths wounded in Silwan confrontations

[ 07/05/2011 - 06:48 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Violent confrontations were reported on Friday in a number of suburbs in Silwan town in occupied Jerusalem between civilians and the Israeli occupation soldiers.

Local sources said that the clashes were particularly violent in Batn Al-Hawa suburb where an Israeli military post is located, adding that 15 young Palestinians were injured with rubber coated bullets.

They said that a Palestinian home caught fire as a result of the abundant use of teargas bombs while all family members were treated for breathing difficulty.

The confrontations started after the Friday congregation as the youth burnt tires and closed roads.

Earlier on Thursday night, similar confrontations were reported in Shufat refugee camp in occupied Jerusalem after the Israeli occupation forces closed the roadblock in central Jerusalem.

Locals reported that the IOF soldiers fired teargas canisters and stun grenades at youths in the camp who were protesting the step. The young men closed the camp's main road using rocks and burnt tires.
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The Wandering Who?

The panel meeting with Gilad Atzmon, Alan Hart , Karl Sabbagh and Sameh Habib proved to be a fascinating, outspoken and of course controversial discussion, assisted in the audience by a clutch of some prominent intellectuals in the Palestine solidarity community.
These notes are not intended to represent the view of any particular speaker but are intended to give a flavour of the discussion that took place.

The evening started off with an attempt to define what exactly was meant by the terms Jewish People, Judaism and Jewishness . Jewish People it would appear is an oxymoron as Jews are not a People in the accepted sense of the term. Judaism is the religion (which most Jews don’t actually practice or believe in).

Jewishness is where the problem lies; it is based on a supremacist Zionist ideology which is present deep down in the supposed non-believing majority (hence the insistance on Israel being located in Palestine rather than Madagascar or Uganda even amongst supposedly assimilated non-believing Jews. Do Palestine support groups which prefix their names with a ‘J’ for Jewish serve any purpose? Is their Jewishness any more relevant that say a group calling itself Jewish Scottish Nationalists? It seems that initially in the days when there was no support in mainstream society in this country especially, the Jewish identification did serve a useful purpose but today that usefulness has more or less disappeared. Nowadays the prefix serves as a barrier against the inclusion of Palestinians, not only are they outcasts from their own land, they are also outcasts from support groups in the diaspora – the Jews doubly screw them.

Why do most Jews however much they distance themselves from the Greater Israel worldview still seem to stop short in acknowledging the full genocidal dimensions and implications of the Nakba. Probably because it falls outside their atavistic notions of Jewishness, their sense of difference, of a chosenness and exclusivity which makes Jews want to band together behind their eruvs, their ghettos and their apartheid walls. Goyim are looked on as stupid which they probably are inasmuch as they give the Zionists free rein to screw them politically, geographically, financially. The pork-barrel way that the US congress operates ensures that the Israel Lobby will always get its way and any new candidate to office in Washington will have to sign up to support Israel if they want to get anywhere.

The creation of the state of Israel was an attempt to turn the ‘ugly’ diaspora Jew into the beautiful ‘civilised’ sabra, Today, as Shlomo Sands has explained, a ‘diaspora Jew’ is a Zionist concept, defining all Jews in relation to the so-called Jewish state. Without Israel, as it were, they don’t exist as Jews.

What is the difference between an anti-Semite in the past and today? There is a joke which says: in the past an anti-Semite was someone who hated Jews; today it is someone whom the Jews hate. In effect today there is no anti-Semitism in this country; what people object to is Jewish control of the media and the power of Jewish money; they object to our government’s subservience to the interests of the state of Israel. But they do not hate Jews simply because they were born Jewish.

If you ask a Muslim what he is he will explain his relationship to the Koran and his beliefs; if you ask a Christian what he is, he will talk about God and Jesus etc; if you ask an orthodox Jew what he is he will explain the concept of the 613 mitsvot and his belief in the Torah. Ask a secular Jew what he is however and he will define himself by what he is not; he is not Christian, not Muslim, not religious, not anything; basically his identity is based on something like the traditional Jewish chicken soup.

The concept of peace as we know it does not exist for an Israeli; he would define peace (his famous “shalom”) as ‘security for Israel’. Despite all the Zionist hasbara, throughout all the wars in the Middle East since before the creation of the State of Israel, that country has never been in any real danger. Israel suffers from a variant of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with the ‘Post’ replaced by ‘Pre’.

It appears that there are three references to the Holocaust already appearing in the Old Testament. Jews tend to think that calamities such as the Holocaust appeared suddenly out of the blue, for no reason like a flash of lightening; you can read in the Book of Esther, the Persians suddenly decided that henceforth they hated Jews and wanted to kill them. And we are supposed to believe that in 1933 the cultured German people suddenly changed overnight into anti-Semites and decided they wanted to kill the Jews.

However if one is looking for causes for the Holocaust (and not excuses for it of course) one could mention the perceived betrayal of the German people by the Jewish bankers who (together with the Russian Jewish bankers) were persuaded into using their influence and money to supporting American entry into the first world war on the British side by the promise of the Balfour Declaration, with its notion of a Jewish state in Palestine.
Sameh Habib described the hostility he had met in the UK and told us how he had learned to distinguish Zionist from Jew, Jew being the word normally used by the children in Gaza as he grew up. Jew is the word normally used by adult Arabs too but Sameh mingled with Europeans visiting Gaza and probably learned the importance of not using the term Jew.

Themes brought up at the Q&A included:

JFJFP decided to use the term Palestinians instead of Palestine in its name due to the perceived reluctance of potential members to envisage any two state solution, possibly on account of their guilt over the destruction that the Jews had wreaked upon the country..

A possible influence on Balfour to push for a Jewish State, back in the early years of the last century, despite widespread hostility in his own Government to he idea, might be due to the widespread use of a Zionist leaning bible distributed by a small group of people that included Theodore Herzl in its number.

The multi-millionaire American Israeli Haim Saban says that to control the US you need to take charge of its politics, its think tanks and its media.

This has been achieved, thanks to AIPAC and the Lobby; Purim was probably the first occasion where Jews entered politics and succeeded behind the scenes in bringing about the downfall of their enemies through political action (Esther).

Our uphill struggle against the power of the lobby however is changing; the internet and blogging is taking over from the printed media, till now controlled by the Lobby; thus we can organise meetings such as this one without the permission of the self appointed Gatekeepers of the campaign for Palestine both Zionist and anti-Zionist.

alex seymour

IOF troops arrest Hamas leader Majed Hasan, Islamic Jihad leader Bassam al-Saadi and four others

IOF troops arrest Hamas leader Majed Hasan

[ 06/05/2011 - 07:32 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- IOF troops arrested on Thursday morning prominent Hamas leader Majed Hasan (47 years) from his home in the southern West Bank city of Ramallah.

Sources close to Hasan’s family said that the IOF troops raided the house and ransacked it, confiscating computers and books, then the intelligence officer who accompanied the IOF troops told him that he was under arrest.

Hasan, who is a prominent Islamic figure in the West Bank, was arrested by the occupation and the PA security in the West Bank on several occasions. He spent more than eight years in occupation jails. His wife, Nada al-Jayyousi, who is active in the field of Islamic propagation, was also detained by the Israeli occupation for several months in the past.

The Israeli occupation has stepped up arrests amongst Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters in the past couple of days, arresting two leaders from the Islamic Jihad and a number of activists from both movements in Ramallah, Jenin and Nablus.

IOF troops arrest Islamic Jihad leader Bassam al-Saadi and four others

[ 06/05/2011 - 06:53 PM ]

JENIN, (PIC)-- IOF troops arrested on Friday morning Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi, member of the political leadership of the Islamic Jihad, who was released from Israeli occupation jails only two months ago, along with four others from the Jenin refugee camp and the village of Silet al-Hartheyyah in the northern West Bank.

Local sources told PIC that IOF troops raided the refugee camp at 4 o’clock in the morning amid firing of live ammunition in the air and stun grenades to terrorise the people.

The locals added that the IOF troops surrounded the house of Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi (49 years), before raiding the it, arresting Saadi and ransacking his home.

The sources also said that the IOF troops drove through the streets terrorising the population, leaving the camp at 6 o’clock in the morning.

Meanwhile, occupation military vehicles in large numbers raided the village of Silet al-Hartheyyah to the West of Jenin and raided the homes of a number of Islamic Jihad affiliates and arrested four of them.

The sources said that all those arrested have been previously detained by the Israeli occupation and that their families were questioned during the raid.

This comes only one day after the arrest of the Islamic Jihad representative in Jenin Tariq Qaadan from the village of Arraba to the south of Jenin.

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Egypt and Israel Headed for Crisis

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

Israeli officials have expressed alarm at a succession of moves by the interim Egyptian government that they fear signal an impending crisis in relations with Cairo.

The widening rift was underscored yesterday when leaders of the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation pact in the Egyptian capital. Egypt's secret role in brokering the agreement last week caught both Israel and the United States by surprise.

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called the deal "a tremendous blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism".

Several other developments have added to Israeli concerns about its relations with Egypt, including signs that Cairo hopes to renew ties with Iran and renegotiate a long-standing contract to supply Israel with natural gas.

More worrying still to Israeli officials are reported plans by Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing into Gaza, closed for the past four years as part of a Western-backed blockade of the enclave designed to weaken Hamas, the ruling Islamist group there.

Egypt is working out details to permanently open the border, an Egyptian foreign ministry official told the Reuters news agency on Sunday. The blockade would effectively come to an end as a result.

The same day Egypt's foreign minister, Nabil Elaraby, called on the United States to recognise a Palestinian state -- in reference to a move expected in September by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to seek recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.

Israel and the US have insisted that the Palestinians can achieve statehood only through negotiations with Israel. Talks have been moribund since Israel refused last September to renew a partial freeze on settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

According to analysts, the interim Egyptian government, under popular pressure, is consciously distancing itself from some of the main policies towards Israel and the Palestinians pursued by Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president overthrown by a popular uprising in February.

Mubarak was largely supportive of Israel and Washington's blockade policy to contain Hamas' influence. Egypt receives more than $1.3 billion annually in US aid, second only to Israel.

But the popular mood in Egypt appears to be turning against close diplomatic ties with Israel.

A poll published last week by the Pew Research Centre showed that 54 per cent of Egyptians backed the annulment of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, with only 36 per cent wanting it maintained.

Israel's Yedioth Aharonoth daily reported this week that Egyptian social media sites had called for a mass demonstration outside the Israeli embassy tomorrow, demanding the expulsion of the ambassador, Yitzhak Levanon.

In comments to several media outlets last weekend, unnamed senior Israeli officials criticised Egypt's new foreign policy line. One told the Wall Street Journal that Cairo's latest moves could "affect Israel's national security on a strategic level".

Another unnamed official told the Jerusalem Post that "the upgrading of the relationship between Egypt and Hamas" might allow the Islamic movement to develop into a "formidable terrorist military machine".

Silvan Shalom, Israel's vice-premier, told Israel Radio on Sunday that Israel should brace for significant changes in Egyptian policies that would allow Iran to increase its influence in Gaza.

Egypt's chief of staff, Sami Hafez Anan, responded dismissively on his Facebook page to such statements, saying, "Israel has no right to interfere. This is an Egyptian-Palestinian matter."

In a sign of Israeli panic, Netanyahu is reported to be considering sending his special adviser, Isaac Molho, to Cairo for talks with the interim government.

In recent weeks, Netanyahu has repeatedly complained to visiting European ambassadors and US politicians about what he regards as a new, more hostile climate in Egypt.

Late last month Elaraby said Egypt was ready to "turn over a new leaf" in relations with Tehran, which were severed after the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty more than three decades ago.

Egyptian offiials have also warned that the supply of natural gas to Israel may be halted. The pipeline has been attacked twice on the Egyptian side, including last week, in acts presumed to be sabotage.

Even if Egypt continues the flow of gas, it is almost certain to insist on a sharp rise in the cost, following reports that Mubarak and other officials are being investigated on corruption charges relating to contracts that underpriced gas to Israel.

Yoram Meital, an expert on Israeli-Egyptian relations at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva, said Egypt's policy change towards Gaza threatened to "provoke a severe crisis in Egyptian-Israeli relations" by undermining Israel's policy of isolating Hamas.

With the toppling of Mubarak's authoritarian regime, Meital noted, the Egyptian government is under pressure to be more responsive to local opinion.

"We are at the beginning of this crisis but we are not there yet. However, there is room for a great deal more deterioration in relations over the coming months," he said.

Analysts said Cairo wanted to restore its traditional leadership role in the Arab world and believed it was hampered by its ties with Israel.

Menha Bahoum, a spokeswoman for the Egyptian foreign ministry, told the New York Times last week: "We are opening a new page. Egypt is resuming its role that was once abdicated."

That assessment is shared by Hamas and Fatah, both of which were looking to Egypt for help, said Menachem Klein, a politics professor at Bar Ilan University.

He noted that Abbas had lost his chief Arab sponsor in the form of Mubarak, and that the Hamas leadership's base in Syria was precarious given the current upheavals there.

With growing demands from the Palestinian public for reconciliation, neither faction could afford to ignore the tide of change sweeping the Arab world, he said.

Meital said: "We are entering a new chapter in the region's history and Israeli politicians and the public are not yet even close to understanding what is taking place".

- Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). He contributed this article to Visit:

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Mishaal: reconciliation requirements must be implemented immediately

[ 06/05/2011 - 05:39 PM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- Khaled Mishaal, the head of Hamas's political bureau, said on Thursday that obligations of the Palestinian reconciliation must be implemented on the ground immediately, stressing that all parties involved have the good will to do so.

In an interview with the PIC, Mishaal pointed out that both Hamas and Fatah leaderships have met and put a timetable for the practical steps that must be taken including the release of all political detainees, the interim leadership framework of all Palestinian factions, and the formation of the new Palestinian government among other files.

When asked about people’s fears that the latest agreement might fall apart, Mishaal replied that the Palestinian people have suffered a lot and waited for a long time to reach this great moment, and thus their worry is justified, but added that Palestinian factions will seek to overcome such fears through practical steps on the ground that everyone is keen to expedite.

As far as the expected time needed to achieve what had been agreed upon among the Palestinian factions, Mishaal said: "We need some time to achieve this, but with the strong determination we have, we pray to Allah that we would overcome a number of obstacles in this regard".

When asked on the "price" that Hamas was willing to pay for the sake of achieving the reconciliation, Mishaal explained that Hamas and Fatah have signed the Egyptian paper in addition to a memorandum of understanding in parallel with that paper that would be the reference for implementing the agreement.

However, he clarified that the price was attached to the details of the agreement that might produce a little difference in opinions among the two Movements, stressing that Hamas has decided to go as far as it could to overcome any misunderstanding.

Mishaal also explained that both Hamas and Fatah should sit together to discuss ways and means on how to move on the political level and all other levels including the management of the resistance and struggle with the Israeli occupation, the popular struggle and the PLO leadership.

Moreover, Mishaal hailed the Palestinian people for contributing strongly to achieve the reconciliation through the demonstrations they held demanding the end of political rift in the Palestinian arena.

"They (demonstrators) chanted we demand an end to political division, but we need them also to chant we demand an end to occupation, we demand an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, we demand [a liberated] Jerusalem and the right of return, and we demand an end to security coordination with the occupation," Mishaal underlined.

Haneyya calls for an honest implementation of reconciliation

[ 06/05/2011 - 04:22 PM ]
GAZA, (PIC)-- Ismael Haneyya, the Palestinian prime minister, said on Thursday that the Palestinian reconciliation wasn’t a surprising event, but rather a reflection of the Palestinian people's aspirations.

"We all went [to Cairo] to achieve national reconciliation because we all felt the dangers that engulf the Palestinian issue, Jerusalem, the aqsa Mosque, holy shrines, the land, and the Palestinian identity," Haneyya stressed in a speech he made in Gaza after the signing of the agreement in Cairo.

He explained that the agreement calls for the formation of a new Palestinian government, the release of all political detainees, the formation of a supreme security committee, and the formation of a committee and a court to supervise the elections among other terms, asserting that the release of all political detainees was an essential factor to build bridges of trust between the two biggest Palestinian factions.

Haneyya also announced that he won't be the prime minister of the next Palestinian government, calling on both Movements to honestly implement the reconciliation agreement in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, urging Arab "brothers" to extend all the help needed by the Palestinian people to foil any external attempt aiming at aborting the reconciliation.

Moreover, Haneyya urged the Palestinian people to forgive each other and to give the spirit of forgiveness more space in their hearts and minds, inviting the Arab and Muslim Ummah to back Egypt's efforts in sponsoring and overseeing implementation of the agreement.

"We must bite on and cure our wounds for the sake of the unity of our people" Haneyya underlined in his speech, adding that the reconciliation was indeed a reflection of the aspirations of the Palestinian people, and a victory to the will of unity based on healthy basis.

Furthermore, Haneyya underscored that all changes that took place and still are taking place in the region were in favor of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause, emphasizing that the future is for the Palestinian people and not for the occupation.

As far as the Israeli threats to foil the reconciliation, Haneyya stressed that his government doesn’t fear those threats, and that it will do everything to protect the Palestinian people and to ensure that resistance against the occupation would persist till the liberation of Palestine.

Moreover, Haneyya said that the Israeli siege on Gaza would ultimately collapse on the strong rock of Palestinian joint action, explaining that his government and the Palestinian people confronted a three-pronged Israeli scheme including the war on Gaza, the political war, and the five-year old economic siege on the Strip.

Haneyya confirmed that the issue of the Palestinian captives in Israeli jails would remain on top of the Palestinian resistance and diplomatic action till they return safely to their families, vowing that Hamas and the Palestinian government in Gaza will never sell their political stands.

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Palestinian Unity and the New Middle East

'Egypt is charting a new course in its foreign policy'.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response to the Hamas-Fatah deal in Cairo was both swift and predictable. "The Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both," he said, in a televised speech shortly after the Palestinian political rivals reached a reconciliation agreement under Egyptian sponsorship on April 27.

Despite numerous past attempts to undercut Mahmoud Abbas, stall peace talks, and derail Israel’s commitment to previous agreements, Netanyahu and his rightwing government are now arguing that Palestinians are solely responsible for the demise of the illusory ‘peace process’. Israeli bulldozers will continue to carve up the hapless West Bank to make room for more illegal settlements, but this time their excuse may not be ‘natural expansion’. The justification might instead be Israel has no partner. US and other media will merrily repeat the dreadful logic, and Palestinians will, as usual, be chastised.

But frankly, at this juncture of Middle East history, Israel is almost negligible. It no longer has a transformative influence in the region. When the Arab people began revolting, a new dimension to the Arab-Israeli conflict emerged. As the chants in Cairo’s Tahrir Square began to adopt a pan-Arab and pro-Palestinian language, it became obvious that Egypt would soon venture outside the political confines of Washington’s patronizing labels, which divide the Arabs into moderates (good) and radicals (bad).

A day after the handshakes exchanged by chief Fatah representative, Azzam al-Ahmed, and Hamas’s leaders, Damascus-based Dr. Moussa Abu Marzoug and Gaza-based Mahmoud Al Zahar, the forces behind the agreement in Cairo became apparent. While Israeli leaders used the only language they know for these situations – that of threats, intimidation and ultimatums - the US response was flat, confused, and extraneous. Aside from the outmoded nature of US officials’ remarks, the focus was largely placed on the only leverage the US has over Abbas and its Fatah allies. Jennifer Rubin wrote in her Washington Post blog on April 29: “The Obama administration is reluctant to articulate clearly a position that if a Hamas-Fatah unity government emerges as Mahmoud Abbas has been describing, the U.S. will cut off aid.”

The temporary reluctance is not pervading, however. “Congress is an entirely different matter,” Rubin wrote, quoting an angry, unnamed official: “The only acceptable answers (to whether the US should fund the new Palestinian government) for most Americans would be no or hell no.”

But how effective will such financial arm-twisting be, especially with the possibility of other donor countries following suit?

If the question had been asked prior to the Arab Spring - and the Egyptian revolution in particular - the answer would have been marred by uncertainty. A whole class of Palestinian politicians had arranged their stances almost exclusively around funding issues.

What really allowed Israel and the US to control the outcome of political events, even internal Palestinian affairs, was the lack of any real political balance surrounding this conflict. The US and its allies defined the will of the ‘international community’, and the region was trapped in Washington’s – and Tel Aviv’s – political designations of friends and enemies. It was a political stalemate par excellence, and only Israel benefited.

This analysis is not merely relevant to recent events. The greatest Israeli gain of the Camp David agreement (1979) was not of bringing peace to the region - for no regional peace truly followed. It was the total marginalization of Egypt as a powerful Arab party from virtually all Arab affairs of concern to Israel. The absence of Egypt in the process made it possible for Israel to repeatedly attack Lebanon, and also to further its colonization and destruction of the occupied territories.

Now Egypt is back - not merely in terms of a return to the ‘Arab fold’ - but as the party that will increasingly define the new Arab reality. The signing of the Hamas-Fatah deal may have come as a surprise in terms of media coverage, but it was really a predictable consequence in a chain of events that signaled the remaking of a region. Now the Middle East is spearheaded by a powerful Arab country, secure enough to reach out to multiple partners - other Arab countries, as well as Iran, Turkey and others.

Not only did both Turkey welcome the deal, it was also one of the main sponsors of the Palestinian rapprochement. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has been instrumental in pushing for Palestinian unity. As for the Iranian position, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi hailed the “auspicious” agreement, which he described as “one of the achievements of the Egyptian revolution,” according to the Tehran Times (April 30).

The Israeli vision for the region was to keep it politically divided at any cost. Without such a division, Israel is likely to be on the defensive, and the US will be consumed in crisis management. A Palestinian unity in post-revolution Egypt, with the blessing of all Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, and many others, is an extremely worrying prospect for Israel. Of most concern is the rise of Egypt as a political party, one that is capable of making decisions on its own. Aside from sponsoring the unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah, without Israeli or US permission, Egypt’s new foreign minister, Nabil al-Arabi, also described the decision to seal off Gaza as “shameful”, and he promised to lift the siege (as reported by Aljazeera on April 29).

“Egypt is charting a new course in its foreign policy that has already begun shaking up the established order in the Middle East, planning to open the blockaded border with Gaza and normalizing relations with two of Israel and the West’s Islamist foes, Hamas and Iran,” wrote David D. Kirkpatrick in the New York Times (April 30). Such language was, at one time, unthinkable. Now, thanks to the will of the Egyptian and Arab peoples, it is likely to define the new Arab political discourse. Not even a fiery speech by a discredited Israeli Prime Minister could prevent this powerful paradigm shift.

- Ramzy Baroud ( is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press, London), available on

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian