Saturday 5 November 2011

ICC to Probe NATO, NTC War Crimes in Libya War

Did You Know

Court to Consider ‘Series of Complaints’ Against NATO, NTC

by Jason Ditz, November 03, 201

NATO’s careful avoidance of any investigations of the many civilians they killed over several months of bombing western Libyan cities may have kept the situation quiet for awhile, but now it looks like the story is coming out without them.

That’s the news out of the Hague, anyhow, where Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) has announces that they will investigate NATO’s war crimes during the bombing of Libya.
NATO assault on Sirte inflicts more Libyan civilian casualties
Moreno-Ocampo confirmed that they have received a “series of complaints” from Libyan civilians about NATO as well as the National Transitional Council (NTC), the Benghazi-based rebel movement NATO’s war was supporting.

Moreno-Ocampo also confirmed reports that Saif al-Islam Gadhafi was attempting to negotiate a surrender to the ICC, saying he had received questions from Saif’s associates about the terms of such a surrender. Source

Lets hope they also investigate all the NATO hired mercenaries as well.

Well I can see this being a sham. They will pretend to investigate and they will say US/NATO did nothing wrong as par usual.

There is no real justice. The great pretenders.

the US/NATO have been committing war crimes for years and gotten away with it. So we can expect a pretend investigation and they will get away with mass murders again.

Then there are the Rebels they supported. Nothing like helping the terrorists. Terrorists that will give them access to oil/gold.

Let them in to privatize everything and steal every last penny from the Libyan people, then leave them to starve in poverty, just like they do to the rest of Africa.

If you think Africa has to be as poor as they are you are wrong. The rich countries make sure they stay poor so they can strip their resources. This has been happening for years.

This the typical senerio.

Land Grab in Ugamda leaves 20,000 homeless

Call for murder charges to be brought over Trafigura’s toxic dumping

The World Bank and IMF in Africa

Economic sanctions are a “Weapon of Mass Destruction”

Sanctions=Zimbabwe kids ‘eating rats’

A short list of war crimes.

US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

US-NATO Using Military Might To Control World Energy Resources

Blackwater Worldwide/Xe Services formed a network of 30 shell companies

The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated


The Iran you will never see on American Television

Canada: Mohawk Elders looking for mass graves of Children that died in Residential Schools

Deaths in Afghanistan 5.6 million due to war

Violence erupts as general strike shuts down Greece

World Wide Occupy Wall Street Protests

Pentagon Insider Says Green Light On Israel/USA To Strike Iran Within 2 Weeks

Feltman Warns of “Consequences” if Lebanon Doesn’t Fund STL

Local Editor

Top US official Jeffrey Feltman warned on Saturday that ties with Lebanon would be affected if Beirut failed to pay its share of funding to Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

"If Lebanon is unable to produce its share of the funding for the Special Tribunal, we're going to have to take some pretty tough decisions, and I think you're going to see some consequences in terms of the US-Lebanese bilateral relationship," Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television in Washington.
"I'd expect the same thing in terms of some other countries as well."

Under the tribunal protocol, Lebanon is responsible for meeting 49 percent of the costs of the STL, which is probing the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri.
However the controversial protocol was signed at a time the cabinet was lacking the real representation of all parties.

Few months ago, the tribunal issued its indictment in Hariri crime. It had accused four members of Hezbollah for taking role in the murder.

Hezbollah firmly denied the allegation, stressing that the tribunal is aiming at toppling the resistance, the unreachable goal of July war 2006.
The party’s Secretary General Sayed Hasan Nasrallah said it clear: “We will cut off any hand which will arrest any of our Mujahedeen”.

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Targeting Iran: World War III and The Chain of Obedience

by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat on November 5, 2011

“The World is at dangerous crossroads”

“The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough”

by Michel Chossudovsky

The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the World simultaneously.

Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the US military’s Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon. According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theaters: “[The] five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest.
A War on Iran has been on the drawing board of The Pentagon since 2004.
Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme is the pretext and the justification. Tehran is also identified as a “State sponsor of terrorism”, for allegedly supporting the Al Qaeda network.
In recent development, what is unfolding is an integrated attack plan on Iran led by the US, with the participation of the United Kingdom and Israel.

While the media has presented Israeli and British military planning pertaining to Iran as separate initiatives, what we are dealing with is an integrated and coordinated US led military endeavor.
In early November, Israel confirmed that it is preparing to launch air attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities, without however acknowledging that this would be carried out as part of a US led initative:
Reportedly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently sought to drum up cabinet support for a military strike against the nuclear sites of the Islamic republic of Iran. In joint efforts with the defense minister Ehud Barak, Netanyahu has succeeded in wringing support for such a reckless act from the skeptics who were already opposed to launching an attack on Iran. Among those he managed to convince was Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

There are still those in the Israeli cabinet who are against such a move including Interior Minister Eli Yishai of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, Strategic Affairs Minister and Netanyahu confidant Moshe Yaalon, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, army chief Benny Gantz, the head of Israel’s intelligence agency Tamir Pardo, the chief of military intelligence Aviv Kochavi and the head of Israel’s domestic intelligence agency Yoram Cohen.

However, the support voiced by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is considered an ace in the hole for Netanyahu who also enjoys the full-throated support of Washington.

In a show of military prowess and obvious brinkmanship, Israel test-fired a nuke capable missile on Wednesday which cannot be taken as a coincidence considering the threat made by Netanyahu. ( Ismail Salami. An Israel Attack on Iran: Military Suicide , Global Research, November 3, 2011)
Meanwhile, the British government has also signified that it will participate in a US led attack on Iran:
The Ministry of Defence believes the US may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities. British officials say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, UK military help for any mission, despite some deep reservations within the coalition government.

In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air and sea campaign.

They also believe the US would ask permission to launch attacks from Diego Garcia, the British Indian ocean territory, which the Americans have used previously for conflicts in the Middle East. (The Guardian, November 2, 2011

The War on Syria

There is a military roadmap characterised by a sequence of US-NATO war theaters.
In the wake of the war on Libya, there are also war plans directed against under NATO’s Responsibility to Protect (R2P). These plans are integrated with those pertaining to Iran. The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US-NATO sponsored war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (“regime change”) including covert intelligence operations in support of rebel forces directed against the Syrian government
The World is at dangerous crossroads.
Were a US-NATO military operation to be launched against either Syria or Iran, the broader Middle East Central Asian region extending from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with China would be engulfed in the turmoil of an extended regional war.
There are at present four distinct war theaters: Afghanistan-Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine and Libya.
An attack on Syria would lead to the integration of these separate war theaters, eventually leading towards a broader Middle East-Central Asian war.
In turn, a war on Syria would evolve towards a US-NATO military campaign directed against Iran, in which Turkey and Israel would be directly involved. It would also contribute to the ongoing destabilization of Lebanon.
Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled: “We must fight against evil in all its forms as a means to preserving the Western way of life.” Breaking the “big lie” which upholds war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.
The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network, across the land, nationally and internationally, which challenges the structures of power and authority. People must mobilize not only against the military agenda, the authority of the state and its officials must also be challenged.
This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens as to the implications of a nuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.
The objective is to forcefully reverse the tide of war, challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.
Break the American Inquisition.
Undermine the US-NATO-Israel military crusade.
Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.
Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war.
Bring home the troops.
Break the chain of shameful obedience
“The death squads and concentration camps of history were never staffed by rebels and dissidents. They were were run by those who followed the rules.”
Sit back and behold, in the following video, how we subscribe to doomsday through our shameful acquiescence and willing ignorance.

Sources: global & StormClouds Gathering
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Libya’s new Liberation Front organizing in the Sahel

By Franklin Lamb
Graphics: By Alex

On the edge of the Sahel, Niger

 “Sahel” in Arabic means “coast” or“shoreline”. Unless one was present 5000 years ago when, according to anthropologists, our planets first cultivation of crops began in this then plush, but now semiarid region where temperatures reach 125 degrees F, and only camels and an assortment of creatures can sniff out water sources, it seems an odd geographical name place for this up 450 miles wide swatch of baked sand that runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.
Yet, when standing along its edge, the Sahel does have the appearance of a sort of dividing shoreline between the endless sands of the Sahara and the Savanna grasses to the south. Parts of Mali, Algeria, Niger, Chad, and Sudan, all along the Libyan border fall within this supposed no man’s land. 
Today the Sahel is providing protection, weapons gathering and storage facilities, sites for training camps, and hideouts as well as a generally formidable base for those working to organize the growing Libyan Liberation Front (LLF). The aim of the LLF is to liberate Libya from what it considers NATO installed colonial puppets. The Sahel region is only one of multiple locations which are becoming active as the Libyan counter revolution, led by members of the Gadahfi and Wafalla, make preparations for the next phase of resistance.
When I entered an office conference room in Niger recently to meet with some recent evacuees from Libya who I was advised were preparing to launch a “people’s struggle employing the Maoist tactic of 1000 cuts”against the current group claiming to represent Libya,” two facts struck me.

One was how many were present and did not appear to be scruffy, intensely zealous or desperate but who were obviously rested, calm, organized and methodical in their demeanor.
My colleague, a member of the Gadhafi tribe from Sirte explained “More than 800 organizers have arrived from Libya just to Niger and more come every day”. An officer in uniform added, “It is not like your western media presents the situation, of desperate Gadhafi loyalists frantically handing out bundles of cash and gold bars to buy their safety from the NATO death squads now swarming around the northern areas of our motherland. Our brothers have controlled the borderless routes in this region for thousands of years and they know how not to be detected even by NATO satellites and drones.”

d8b5d988d8b1d8a9-d985d8aed8aad984d981d8a9-0081The other subject I thought about as I sat in an initial meeting was what a difference three decades can make. As I sat there I recalled my visit with former Fatah youth leader Salah Tamari, who did good work at the Israeli prison camp at Ansar, south Lebanon during the 1982 aggression, as the elected negotiator for his fellow inmates.
Tamari insisted on joining some of them at a new PLO base at Tabessa, Algeria.

This was shortly after the PLO leadership, wrongly in my judgment agreed to evacuate Lebanon in August of 1982 rather than wage a Stalingrad defense (admittedly minus the nonexistent expected Red Army) and the PLO leadership apparently credited Reagan administration promises of “ an American guaranteed Palestinian state within a year. You can take that to the bank” in the words of US envoy Philip Habib. Seemingly ever trustful of Ronald Reagan for some reason, PLO leader Arafat kept Habib’s written promise in his shirt pocket to show doubters, including his Deputy, Khalil al Wazir (Abu Jihad) and the womenfolk among others in Shatila Camp who had some garve misgivings about their protectors leaving them.

At Tabessa, somewhere in the vast Algerian desert, the formerly proud PLO defenders were essentially idle and caged inside their camp and apart from some physical training sessions appeared to spend their days drinking coffee and smoking and worrying about their loved ones in Lebanon as news of the September 1982 Israeli organized massacre at Sabra-Shatila fell on Tabessa Camp like a huge bomb and many fighters rejected Tamari’s orders and left for Shatila.

This is not the case with Libyan evacuees in Niger. They have the latest model satellite phones, laptops and better equipment than most of the rich news outlets that showed up with at Tripoli’s media hotels over the past nine months.

This observers, “how did you all get here and where did you secure all this new electronic equipment so fast?” question was answered with a mute smile and wink” from a hijabed young lady who I last saw in August handing out press releases at Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel for Libyan spokesman Dr. Musa Ibrahim late last august. On that particular day, Musa was telling the media as he stood next to Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Kaim, a friend to many Americans and human rights activists, that Tripoli would not fall to NATO rebels and “we have 6,500 well trained soldiers who are waiting for them.” As it turned out, the commander of the 6,500 was owned by NATO and he instructed his men not to oppose the entering rebel forces. Tripoli fell the next day and the day after Khalid was arrested and is still inside one of dozens of rebel jails petitioning his unresponsive captors for family visits while an international, American organized, legal team is negotiating to visit him.

The LLF has military and political projects in the works. One of the latter is to compete for every vote in next summers promised election. One staffer I met with has the job of studying the elections in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the region for possible applications to Libya.
Another LLF committee is putting together a Nationalist campaign message plus specific campaign planks for their candidates to run on and putting together lists of recommendations of specific candidates. Nothing is firmly decided yet, but one Libyan professor told me “for sure Women’s rights will be a major plank. “Women are horrified by NTC Chairman Jalil said while seeking support from Al Qaeda supporters who threaten to control Libya, about polygamy being the future in Libya and the fact that women will now longer be given the home when divorced. Libya has been very progressive with women’s rights as with Palestinian rights.” Aisha Gadhafi, the only daughter of Muammar who is now living next door in Algeria with family members including her two month old baby, was a major force behind the 2010 enactment by the Peoples Congresses of more rights for women. She has been asked to write a pamphlet on the need to retain women’s rights which will be distributed if the 2012 elections actually materialize.
While their beloved country lay in substantial NATO bombed ruin, the pro-Gadhafi LLF has some major pluses on its side. One are the tribes who during last summer were starting to stand up against NATO just as Tripoli fell before they launched their efforts which included a new Constitution. The LLF believes the tribes can be crucial in getting out the vote.
Perhaps even a more powerful arrow in the LLF’s quiver as it launches its counter revolution are the 35 years of political experience by the hundreds of Libyan People’s Committees long established in every village in Libya along with the Secretariats of the People’s Conferences. While currently inactive (outlawed by NATO--truth be told) they are quickly regrouping and are expected to be able to dominate any forthcoming election. 

Sometimes the subjects of ridicule by some under informed self-styled Libya “experts,”the People’s Congresses, based on the Green book series written Lby “Baba” Gadhafi, are actually quite democratic and a study of their work makes clear that they have increasingly functioned not as mere rubber stamps for ideas that floated from over the walls of Bab al Azziza barracks. A secretary general of one of the Congresses, now working in Niger, repeated what one western delegation was told during a fascinating late June three hour briefing at the Tripoli HQ of the national PC Secretariat. Participants were shown attendance and voting records as well of each item voted on, for the past decade and the minutes of the most recent People’s Congress debates. They illustrate the similarities between the People’s Congresses and New England Town Meeting in terms of the local population making decisions that affect their community and an open agenda where complaints and new proposals can be made and discussed. Libyan leaders, including Muammar Gadhafi lost plenty of votes on items they favored or proposed. In the last few years the Guide declined to take public positions on the items to be voted on in the PC’s because he preferred not to influence or interfere with what he called “the decisions of the masses.”

This observer particularly enjoyed his 4 years term representing Ward 2A in the Brookline, Massachusetts Town Meeting while in college in Boston, sometimes sitting next my neighbors Kitty and Michael Dukakis. While we both won a seat in the election, I received 42 votes more than Mike but he rose politically while it could be said that I sank, following my joining Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the ACLU and the Black Panthers all in one semester as an undergraduate Boston University, following an inspiring meeting with Professor Noam Chomsky and Professor Howard Zinn in Chomski’s office at MIT. The Town Meeting debates were interesting and productive and “Mustafa”, the National Secretary of the Libyan People’s Congress, who studied at George Washington University in WDC and wrote a graduate thesis on New England Town Meetings, claimed his country patterned their People’s Congresses on them. Unfortunately, “Mustafa”is also now incarcerated by the NTC according to mutual friends.
Who LLF candidates will be if an election is actually held is unknown but some are suggesting that Dr.Abu Zeid Dorda, now recovering from his “suicide attempt”(the former Libyan UN Ambassador was thrown out of a second floor window during interrogations last month by NATO agents but he survived in front of witnesses so is now recovering in prison medical ward).

Contrary to media stories, Saif al Islam is not about to surrender to the International Criminal Court and, like Musa Ibrahim, is well. Both are being urged to lay low for now, rest, and try to heal a bit from NATO’s killing of family members and many close friends.

Many legal and political analysts think the ICC will not proceed with any trials relating to Libya for reasons of the ICC convoluted rules and structure and uncertainly of securing convictions of the “right” suspects. Whatever happens on this subject, if a case goes forward, researchers are preparing to fill the ICC courtroom with documentation of NATO crimes during its 9 month, 23,000 sorties and 10,000 bombing attacks on the five million population country.  
 Some International Criminal Court observers are encouraged by the ICC Prosecutor’s office pledge this week and as reported by the BCC: “to investigate and prosecute any crimes committed both by rebel and pro-Gadhafi forces including any committed by NATO.”
  As one victim of NATO crimes, who on June 20, 1911 lost four of his family members including three infant children, as five NATO American MK-83 bombs were dropped and two missiles fired on the family compound in a failed assassination attempt against his father, a former aide to Colonel Gadhafi, wrote this observer yesterday from his secret sanctuary, “This is good news if it is true.”.
As NATO moves its focus and drones to the Seral, it is possible that its nine months of carnage against this gentle country and people will not in the end achieve its goals and that the Libyan people will defeat NATO’s neo-colonial project both by armed resistance and at the ballot box.
A rejuvenated national resistance has begun on Libya’s borders.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Libya. He is reachable c\o fplamb@gmail.comHe is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.
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PA: We’ll Change Face of the Mideast if Settlements Continue

We’ll Change Face of the ME if Settlements Continue
"Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, announced that the PA was about to take "important, big and dangerous decisions" if Israel continued with its current policies. He did not give further details about the expected decisions."

On reading Nabil's statement, I recalled Alan Hart saying: Netanyaho could not say “Yes” to President Obama and the Palestinian could not say “No”.

Though, I am inclined to believe Alan, I would say, even if Abbas have the balls to say No to Obama, with or without his "IF", he will not change anything. The face of the Mideast have already changed starting Palestian Great First Intifada (the real mother of the "arab spring") , The Liberation of south Lebnon, The Liberation of Gaza. the Israeli failures in July 2006 war and the War on Gaza, the fall of Arab puppets in Tunis and Egypt, and the ongiong Battle (mainly in Syria) to fill USA vacum.

Nabil, may claim that his BOSS, two decades ago played a roll in changing the face of  of the Mideast which started with Camp David, OSLO (engineerd by Abbass), Wadi Araba, Ask Mr. Linkman.

PA: We’ll Change Face of the Mideast if Settlements Continue
The Palestinian Authority on Thursday threatened Israel that its decision to expedite construction in settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods following the admittance of Palestine to UNESCO will drive the PA to take “important” and “dangerous” decisions.

Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, announced that the PA was about to take "important, big and dangerous decisions" if Israel continued with its current policies. He did not give further details about the expected decisions.

However, Abu Rudaineh said in an interview with BBC that the planned decisions would "change the face of the entire Middle East."

Last week, Abbas told an Egyptian TV station that he was considering "dangerous and significant" decisions in wake of the continued stalemate in the so-called peace process.
PA officials in Ramallah said they believed that the decisions include either the dismantlement of the PA or the resignation of Abbas.

At a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah last week, Abbas hinted at the possibility of dissolving the PA when he told delegates that the PA "was not a real authority."

Some Palestinians believe that dissolving the PA would be the most appropriate way to "punish" Israel for its refusal to stop construction in the settlements and occupied east Jerusalem neighborhoods and accept the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution, according to the Jerusalem Post.
These Palestinians argue that dissolving the PA would mean that Israel would have to assume responsibility for running the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinians, at least in the West Bank.

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Bellemare ‘Away from STL Seat’: STL is not good for health

SLT not good gor health: Ask Antonio Cassese
Local Editor
The acting spokesman of Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare confirmed that the judge is currently away from the STL seat but stressed that he is following up the work of his office, media sources quoted him as saying.

“As a matter of policy we do not discuss details of the health of staff,” Gregory Townsend, the senior legal officer and acting spokesperson of Bellemare’s office added.

“We can confirm that the prosecutor has been away from the seat of the STL in Leidschendam,
Netherlands, due to health reasons,” he said.

However, Townsend stressed that “Bellemare is in constant contact with his staff and the work of the office of the prosecutor continues at full speed.”

The acting spokesperson’s comment came after pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported that Bellemare is suffering from an advanced stage of diabetes.

Bellemare has isolated himself in a room in Canada away from the people’s sight over his “serious illness,” it said.

When asked if the prosecutor would attend a hearing at the STL next Friday, Townsend did not comment.
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Balfour’s apartheid legacy

By Stuart Littlewood

 5 November 2011

Stuart Littlewood charts the British lies and duplicity, manifested most blatantly in the Balfour Declaration whereby Britain promised to give something it did not own (Palestine) to someone who had no right to have (the Zionist settlers), and the resulting bloodshed, pain and injustice.

Arthur Balfour's infamous "Declaration" was written 94 years ago this week. Palestinians, of course, don’t need reminding.

And to mark the anniversary Israel ordered its warships to carry out yet another act of piracy on peaceful, innocent shipping carrying humanitarian relief to the imprisoned people of Gaza.

British duplicity

Let's cast out minds back – Stephen Ostrander's simple verse cuts through all the rhetoric to the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"Glourios Sultan voices support for 'glorious' Syrian opposition
For centuries long
our land enslaved
by Turkish kings
with sharpened blade.

We prayed to end
the Sultan's curse,
the British came
and spoke a verse.

"It's World War One,
if you agree
to fight with us
we'll set you free."

The war we fought
at Britain's side,
our blood was shed
for Arab pride.

At war's end
Turks were smitten,
our only gain,
the lies of Britain.
The country called Palestine was “liberated” from Turkish Ottoman rule after the Allied powers, in correspondence between Sir Henry McMahon and Sharif Hussein ibn Ali of Mecca in 1915, promised Arab leaders independence in return for their help in defeating Germany's ally.

“In Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. The four powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad...”
Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, 1916-19
However a Jewish political movement, Zionism, was finding favour among the ruling élite in London, and the British government was persuaded by the Zionists' chief spokesman, Chaim Weizmann, to surrender Palestine for their new Jewish homeland. Hardly a thought, it seems, was given to the earlier pledge to the Arabs, who had occupied and owned the land for 1,500 years – longer than the ancient Jews ever did.

The Zionists, inflated by the notion that an ancient Biblical prophecy gave them the title deeds, planned to push the Arabs out by bringing in millions of Eastern European Jews. They had already set up farm communities and founded a new city, Tel Aviv, but by 1914 Jews numbered only 85,000 to the Arabs' 615,000.

Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 – actually a letter from the British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, to the most senior Jew in England, Lord Rothschild – pledged assistance for the Zionist cause, ignoring the consequences to the native majority.

Calling itself a “declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations”, it said:
His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing and non-Jewish communities...
Balfour, an ardent Zionist, wrote:
In Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. The four powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now occupy that land.
He later wrote the introduction to a book published in 1919, History of Zionism 1600-1919 by Nahum Sokolow, in which he said: “Conversations I held with Mr Weizmann in January 1906 convinced me that history could not thus be ignored, and that if a home was to be found for the Jewish people, homeless now for nearly nineteen hundred years, it was vain to seek it anywhere but in Palestine.”
Some opposed the idea. Lord Sydenham warned:
The harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country may never be remedied. What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.
The American King-Crane Commission of 1919 thought it a gross violation of principle. "No British officers consulted by the commissioners believed that the Zionist programme could be carried out except by force of arms. That, of itself, is evidence of a strong sense of the injustice of the Zionist programme."

 And the scheme was heading for serious trouble for another reason. A secret deal, called the Sykes-Picot Agreement, had been concluded in 1916 between France and Britain, in consultation with Russia, to re-draw the map of the Middle Eastern territories won from Turkey. Britain was to take Jordan, Iraq and Haifa. The area now referred to as Palestine was declared an international zone.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Balfour Declaration and the promises made earlier in the McMahon-Hussein letters all cut across each other. Was it really a case of the left hand not knowing what the right was doing in the confusion of war?

 After the Russian Revolution of 1917 Lenin released a copy of the confidential Sykes-Picot Agreement into the public domain, sowing seeds of distrust among the Arabs.

The unfolding story, from the start, had all the makings of a major tragedy. Subsequent crimes – on both sides – flow from this triple-cross.


Apartheid and occupation: “in practice there is little difference”

At Cambridge Arthur Balfour read moral sciences, but much good it did the poor Palestinian Arabs he helped dispossess.

Described as born lazy, aloof and having an attitude problem, he was convinced of his personal superiority and wished to keep the vulgar world at arm's length. Balfour famously said: “Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all.”

He was said to be a man who would make almost any sacrifice to remain in office. In this case, he sacrificed the Arab homeland. In 1922 the League of Nations put Palestine under British mandate, which incorporated the principles of the Balfour’s Declaration.

How have things turned out?
John Dugard, a professor of international law and former Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, explains@@ on Aljazeera the differences and similarities between apartheid South Africa and apartheid Israel.
Of course, the regimes of apartheid and occupation are different. Apartheid South Africa was a state that practised discrimination against its own people. It sought to fragment the country into white South Africa and black bantustans. Its security laws were used to brutally suppress opposition to apartheid. Israel, on the other hand, is an occupying power that controls a foreign territory and its people under a regime recognized by international law – belligerent occupation.
However, in practice, there is little difference. Both regimes were/are characterized by discrimination, repression and territorial fragmentation (that is, land seizures).

Israel discriminates against Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in favour of half a million Israeli settlers. Its restrictions on freedom of movement, manifested in countless humiliating checkpoints, resemble the "pass laws" of apartheid. Its destruction of Palestinian homes resembles the destruction of homes belonging to blacks under apartheid's Group Areas Act. The confiscation of Palestinian farms under the pretext of building a security wall brings back similar memories. And so on. Indeed, Israel has gone beyond apartheid South Africa in constructing separate (and unequal) roads for Palestinians and settlers.

Apartheid's security police practised torture on a large scale. So do the Israeli security forces. There were many political prisoners on Robben Island but there are more Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

Apartheid South Africa seized the land of blacks for whites. Israel has seized the land of Palestinians for half a million settlers and for the purposes of constructing a security wall within Palestinian territory – both of which are contrary to international law.
The “running sore” Sydenham warned of has been festering for 94 years, crippling the Middle East and turning the Holy Land into an abomination. Balfour and his clueless pals in the corridors of British power clearly had no idea of the true purpose and base methods of Zionism.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israeli navy boards Gaza-bound boats

He is desperate to visit Caza, BUT
Once upon a time he was considering sailing to the Gaza Strip as part of an aid flotilla backed by the Turkish Navy,
Israel warns Erdogan will be committing ‘diplomatic mistake’ if he visits Gaza Instead he visted Cairo, Libya and Tunis,
He threatened arrogant radical Jewish Prime Minister Benji Netanyahu that Turkish Navy will escort the future Turkish aid vessels to Gaza Strip.
Thanks to the Irish and Canadian boat's activists for exposing the stoge, and scaring State Department prostitue.
'Turkey's patience has run out'
"My sense of this was that, given the way this came together there was some element of surprise for both the Turkish government and our own government,"Victoria Nuland said.
She said the United States had sought clarification on news reports that Turkish warships might be accompanying the flotilla and were told "quite emphatically" by Turkey that this was not the case. "We've been clear to them that we think that would be an extremely bad idea and they've now reassured us that that is not what they are doing in this case," she said.
Read what Turkey did in this case: Flotilla Heads to Gaza Amid Turkish Obstruction and read how the Gardian reporting the Israeli act of piracy in international waters.

"After Friday prayers at a Gaza City mosque, Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister, said of the boat activists: "Your message has been delivered whether you make it or not … The siege is unjust and must end.""

I hope he got the message of his Turkish "brothers"

Military says two boats trying to break blockade were boarded peacefully and will be towed to Israeli port of Ashdod
Gaza flotilla intercepted by Israeli navy. Link to video
The Israeli navy has boarded two protest boats heading to Gaza to try to break the blockade of the Palestinian territory.

The military said forces moved after repeated calls for the boats to turn around were ignored. The boarding was carried out peacefully and nobody was hurt, it said.

The protest boats were the latest attempt by pro-Palestinian activists to draw attention to the five-year Gaza blockade, which critics say amounts to collective punishment.

Israel says the blockade is vital in preventing weapons from reaching violent groups such as Hamas, the Iranian-backed militant group that controls the Gaza Strip.

The protest vessels were being towed to the port of Ashdod where activists will be questioned by police and immigration officials and sent home as soon as possible, Israeli police said. There were 27 activists from nine different countries on board.

Amjad Shawwa, an activist in Gaza, called for their release. He said he had spoken to some of those on the boats about an hour before they were boarded. Contact was severed when their satellite phones stopped working. It was not clear whether Israel was jamming them.

The Israeli military issued a short video showing a naval official calling on the ships to turn around. "The Gaza area and coastal region are closed to maritime traffic as part of a blockade imposed for security purposes," the unidentified officer said.

"Your attempt to enter the Gaza Strip by sea is a violation of international law. We remind you that humanitarian supplies can be delivered to the Gaza Strip by land, and you are welcome to enter Ashdod port and deliver supplies through land crossings."

Israel's navy has intercepted similar protest ships in the past. Israel sees the attempts to break the sea blockade as provocations and publicity stunts, and says the amount of aid in the small boats used by activists is insignificant, as Israel transfers aid to Gaza daily.

Last year, Israeli troops killed nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists when they resisted an Israeli operation to halt a similar flotilla. Each side blamed the other for the violence. Israel has said its troops fired live ammunition only after they were attacked by activists armed with knives, clubs and metal bars and they felt their lives were in danger. The activists say they were attacked first.

The incident forced Israel to ease its land blockade on Gaza, which was imposed in 2006 and tightened, with Egyptian co-operation, after Hamas seized control of the territory the following year.
Militants in Gaza have fired thousands of rockets into Israel in the past decade, and now have much of southern Israel in range. On Saturday militants fired dozens of rockets at residential areas in southern Israel, killing one Israeli and injuring several others.

After Friday prayers at a Gaza City mosque, Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister, said of the boat activists: "Your message has been delivered whether you make it or not … The siege is unjust and must end."

Irish MP: Israel Must Not be Allowed to Stop Gaza Boats
Local Editor

Irish Sinn Fein's shadow foreign minister Padraig Mac Lochloainn said Israel must not be allowed to prevent Irish and Canadian boats from delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“These two boats should be allowed safe travel and the Irish Government should be speaking to the Israeli authorities to ensure that they get it,” Mac Lochloainn said.

“I would further urge the Government to do all in its power to end the siege of Gaza and the suffering of the Palestinian people,” he also said in a statement obtained by IRNA.

Israeli warships were reportedly seen six miles from the Irish MV Saoirse boat and Canadian Tahrir after they successfully reached international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday night in the latest attempt to break the five year siege of Gaza.
Earlier this year, the propeller shaft of the MV Saoirse was sabotaged while docked in Turkey and prevented the ship from completing its aid mission as part of the defunct second freedom flotilla, but has since been repaired.

“The Irish Government must defend the right of Irish citizens joined by human rights activists from eight other countries to sail through international waters and deliver a message of hope to the beleaguered people of Gaza forced to live in an open air prison on horrendous circumstances,” the Sinn Fein MP said.
He praised the efforts of the crews of the two boats, which include Sinn Fein members, in the latest mission dubbed the 'Freedom Waves to Gaza Initiative.'

“I want to commend them and their colleagues for their heroism and courage in standing up for the rights of the people of Gaza to live free of oppression,” Mac Lochloainn said.

“The Freedom Waves to Gaza Initiative is a non-violent, civil society movement, the primary aim of which is to end the Israeli blockade of Gaza. They have responded to an urgent call for international solidarity from 46 civil society organizations in Gaza,” he added.

An emergency demonstration was being called by the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Dublin on Friday night in the support of the humanitarian initiative, which has raised over €140,000 via small donations in fund the MV Saoirse's mission.

“It is clear from the recent vote at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to accept the full membership of Palestine that the overwhelming weight of international opinion supports the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, dignity, justice and freedom,” Mac Lochloainn concluded.
Source: IRNA

"Israel's hell has begun" Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian