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Monday, August 31, 2009

Sanctions Won't Work Against Iran .... Force could!

Link



Bolton in the WSJ, here

"... Accordingly, President Obama is readying two alternatives. One is to characterize "freezing" Iran's nuclear program at existing levels as a "success." However, this less than complete termination of Iran's nuclear program would run contrary to years of determined clandestine efforts. Such a freeze is utterly unverifiable and amounts to surrender. This will result in a nuclear-armed Iran........... Adopting tougher economic sanctions is simply another detour away from hard decisions on whether to accept a nuclear Iran or support using force to prevent it."
Posted by G, Z, & or B at 7:40 PM

Review: Erasing the borders in "A Map of Home"

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Robin Yassin-Kassab, The Electronic Intifada, 31 August 2009






Randa Jarrar's A Map of Home is a beautifully achieved coming of age novel which follows a clever girl through a war, a domestic battlefield, and repeated forced migrations. For our heroine, these events are aspects of normal everyday life (because everything's normal when it happens to you), like school, friends, family and shopping. Despite the geographical and cultural particularities of the story, the themes -- of awakening sexually, of learning how to love a parent yet firmly say no, and of struggling for independence and a place in the world -- are universal, and the book will appeal to all but the most easily shocked readers.

At the novel's center is a family. The father, Waheed, is a Palestinian from Jenin exiled to a string of temporary residences. Resentful of his failure to develop a career as a poet, he projects his ambition onto his daughter, about whom Waheed is convincingly self-conflicted: he wants her to be a famous professor, but doesn't want her to study away from home.

The mother, Fairuza, is a Greek-Egyptian mixture who owns a piano and a prodigiously large backside. Waheed and Fairuza's fights are frequent and sometimes ugly.

Nidali -- the name means "my struggle" -- is the product of this complex marriage, a traveling Greek-Egyptian-Palestinian, and born in Boston for good measure. In America, "people would have assumed that Mama was a Latina, and that I, a cracker-looking girl, was her daughter from a union with a gringo, and that would have been that." But it's not.

The plot follows Nidali from place to place, the narrative voice seamlessly modulating as she grows from a Persian Gulf schoolgirl to sassy Arab-Texan chica. At first she considers cosmopolitan Kuwait home. This section of the novel delivers situational comedy at its funniest and most delicate, with an added dash of hyperrealism, as it offers closely observed descriptions of everyday, normal life.

For instance, a seven-year-old Nidali wonders who this "people of Ibrahim" her father asks God to bless at prayer time is, so her friend Zainab informs her that the Ibrahims are "a family that throws big barbecues at Eid." Later, Nidali's excessively religious cousin Essam comes to stay. He destroys her Wonder Woman (Nidali translates it "Woman of Wonders") stickers, and when challenged declares that the superhero "is a shameless prostitute."

Nidali wins a Quran competition and kisses her first boyfriend Fakhr who, like a low-brow version of Saul Bellow's Herzog, writes letters to "presidents, actors, dead singers." Soon Nidali herself has occasion to write an amusing letter to Saddam Hussein. The occasion is the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. Bombs, bodies in the streets, and the mysterious presence of a black cat in the toilet won't move her father to flee, but a shortage of za'tar will. The family moves through Iraq and Jordan to Egypt, where Nidali begins a new, less naive life chapter. Alexandria is certainly full of life -- they arrive during an Ahli-Zamalek football match, men watching dashboard-mounted TVs as they drive -- but the family is in extended and uncomfortable transition, until their move to Texas.

The absent home of the novel is of course Palestine, known from maps and snatched glimpses. Nidali remembers her grandmother's stories, and being strip-searched at the Allenby bridge between Jordan and the West Bank. Beyond that, Palestinian identity is migration -- "moving was part of being Palestinian" -- and return denied. "I'd never see them again," becomes a refrain.

It's also obstruction. In airports, mother, father and child have to stand in different queues. Waheed can't enter Saudi Arabia with his Jordanian "pity passport." His wife's Egyptian passport, and Nidali's American, won't work for Saddam's Iraq. After the liberation, Waheed -- because Palestinians were collectively punished for Yasser Arafat's support of Saddam Hussein -- is forbidden to return to Kuwait.

There's a wonderful moment when Nidali erases the borders she's drawn on her map of Palestine. "I stared at the whiteness of the paper's edges for a long, long time. The whiteness of the page blended with the whiteness of my sheets. 'You are here,' I thought as I looked at the page and all around me. And oddly, I felt free." Another advantage of homelessness is that the homeland becomes portable. "Our people carry the homeland in their souls," says Waheed.

A Map of Home has a cartoon quality, so comparisons with Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis are valid. The novel form, however, provides it with extra dimensions of style and word play, and Jarrar's writing contains unabashed metaphors reminiscent of Franz Kafka or Andrei Bely. Its exuberance is on display in such lovely sentences as: "Guilt descended like a fat mosquito and sucked out all our blood." When Waheed rushes down a hospital corridor, patients and nurses see only "an enormous moustache with limping legs." Fairuza's hair is "a thought balloon hanging above her face."

The book bulges with translated Arabic phrases, including lots of warm-hearted profanity. People curse each other's religions, and worse, and exclaim "O eye!" mid-sentence. Hearing some of these expressions defamiliarized in English reminds you just how expressive they are -- phrases like, "May God brighten the world for you." A Map of Home is not just playing with language -- it's about language. Jarrar explores the condition of homelessness and cultural transplantation through the somersaults made by words. In Kuwait, for instance, she reads "an Egyptian comic called Meeky." This eye for traveling words is reminiscent of Ahmed Alaidy.

As lyrical as Arundhati Roy or Mourid Barghouti, Jarrar's pacing is tight and her dialogue approaches perfection. With light and loving characterizations that are entirely free of false romance, her tone is wry, sunny, very feminine and very powerful. A Map of Home is addictive reading.

Robin Yassin-Kassab has been a journalist in Pakistan and an English teacher around the Arab world. His first novel, The Road from Damascus, is published by Hamish Hamilton and Penguin. He blogs on politics, culture, religion and books at qunfuz.com.


Related Links

Why Not Crippling Sanctions for Israel and the US?

Why Not Crippling Sanctions for Israel and the US?



By Paul Craig Roberts

In Israel, a country stolen from the Palestinians, fanatics control the government. One of the fanatics is the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week Netanyahu called for “crippling sanctions” against Iran.

The kind of blockade that Netanyahu wants qualifies as an act of war. Israel has long threatened to attack Iran on its own but prefers to draw in the US and NATO.

Why does Israel want to initiate a war between the United States and Iran?

Is Iran attacking other countries, bombing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure?

No. These are crimes committed by Israel and the US.

Is Iran evicting peoples from lands they have occupied for centuries and herding them into ghettoes?

No, that’s what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians for 60 years. What is Iran doing?

Iran is developing nuclear energy, which is its right as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran’s nuclear energy program is subject to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which consistently reports that its inspections find no diversion of enriched uranium to a weapons program.

The position taken by Israel, and by Israel’s puppet in Washington, is that Iran must not be allowed to have the rights as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that every other signatory has, because Iran might divert enriched uranium to a weapons program.

In other words, Israel and the US claim the right to abrogate Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy. The Israeli/US position has no basis in international law or in anything other than the arrogance of Israel and the United States.

The hypocrisy is extreme. Israel is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and developed its nuclear weapons illegally on the sly, with, as far as we know, US help.

As Israel is an illegal possessor of nuclear weapons and has a fanatical government that is capable of using them, crippling sanctions should be applied to Israel to force it to disarm.

Israel qualifies for crippling sanctions for another reason. It is an apartheid state, as former US President Jimmy Carter demonstrated in his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

The US led the imposition of sanctions against South Africa because of South Africa’s apartheid practices. The sanctions forced the white government to hand over political power to the black population. Israel practices a worse form of apartheid than did the white South African government. Yet, Israel maintains that it is “anti-semitic” to criticize Israel for a practice that the world regards as abhorrent.

What remains of the Palestinian West Bank that has not been stolen by Israel consists of isolated ghettoes. Palestinians are cut off from hospitals, schools, their farms, and from one another. They cannot travel from one ghetto to another without Israeli permission enforced at checkpoints.

The Israeli government’s explanation for its gross violation of human rights comprises the greatest collection of lies in world history. No one, with the exception of American “christian zionists,” believes one word of it.

The United States also qualifies for crippling sanctions. Indeed, the US is over-qualified. On the basis of lies and intentional deception of the US Congress, the US public, the UN and NATO, the US government invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and used the “war on terror” that Washington orchestrated to overturn US civil liberties enshrined in the US Constitution. One million Iraqis have paid with their lives for America’s crimes and four million are displaced. Iraq and its infrastructure are in ruins, and Iraq’s professional elites, necessary to a modern organized society, are dead or dispersed. The US government has committed a war crime on a grand scale. If Iran qualifies for sanctions, the US qualifies a thousand times over.

No one knows how many women, children, and village elders have been murdered by the US in Afghanistan. However, the American war of aggression against the Afghan people is now in its ninth year. According to the US military, an American victory is still a long ways away. Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared in August that the military situation in Afghanistan is “serious and deteriorating.”

Older Americans can look forward to the continuation of this war for the rest of their lives, while their Social Security and Medicare rights are reduced in order to free up funds for the US armaments industry. Bush/Cheney and Obama/Biden have made munitions the only safe stock investment in the United States.

What is the purpose of the war of aggression against Afghanistan? Soon after his inauguration, President Obama promised to provide an answer but did not. Instead, Obama quickly escalated the war in Afghanistan and launched a new one in Pakistan that has already displaced 2 million Pakistanis. Obama has sent 21,000 more US troops into Afghanistan and already the US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, is requesting 20,000 more.

Obama is escalating America’s war of aggression against the Afghanistan people despite three high profile opinion polls that show that the American public is firmly opposed to the continuation of the war against Afghanistan.

Sadly, the ironclad agreement between Israel and Washington to war against Muslim peoples is far stronger than the connection between the American public and the American government. At a farewell dinner party last Thursday for Israel’s military attache in Washington, who is returning to Israel to become deputy chief of staff of the Israeli military, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, and and Dan Shapiro, who is in charge of Middle East affairs on the National Security Council, were present to pay their respects. Admiral Mullen declared that the US will always stand with Israel. No matter how many war crimes Israel commits. No matter how many women and children Israel murders. No many how many Palestinians Israel drives from their homes, villages, and lands. If truth could be told, the true axis-of-evil is the United States and Israel.

Millions of Americans are now homeless because of foreclosures. Millions more have lost their jobs, and even more millions have no access to health care. Yet, the US government continues to squander hundreds of billions of dollars on wars that serve no US purpose. President Obama and General McChrystal have taken the position that they know best, the American public be damned.

It could not be made any clearer that the President of the United States and the US military have no regard whatsoever for democracy, human rights, and international law. This is yet another reason to apply crippling sanctions against Washington, a government that has emerged under Bush/Obama as a brownshirt state that deals in lies, torture, murder, war crimes, and deception.

Many governments are complicit in America’s war crimes. With Obama’s budget deep in the red, Washington’s wars of naked aggression are dependent on financing by the Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Saudis, South Koreans, Indians, Canadians and Europeans. The second this foreign financing of American war crimes stops, America’s wars of aggression against Muslims stop.

The US is not a forever “superpower” that can indefinitely ignore its own laws and international law. The US will eventually fall as a result of its hubris, arrogance, and imperial overreach. When the American Empire collapses, will its enablers also be held accountable in the war crimes court?

Paul Craig Roberts [paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

Source: http://vdare.com/roberts/090830_sanctions.htm


Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 12:45 PM

US Audacity of Hope Falters


Link

By Ramzy Baroud

The US has decided to be 'flexible' regarding its once touted call for a total Israeli freeze on the expansion of its occupied territories' settlements, all illegal under international law.

A senior official spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity on August 27. “It was more important that the scope of a settlement freeze was acceptable to the Israelis and the Palestinians than to the United States,” Reuters reported, citing the senior official. This means that peace negotiations can resume while Israeli bulldozers are carving up Palestinian land, demolishing homes and cutting down trees.

It also means that the Israeli rejection of the only US demand, which has thus far defined President Barack Obama’s relations to the Middle East conflict, has prevailed over the supposed American persistence. In other words, the US has officially succumbed to Israeli and pro-Israeli pressures, in Tel Aviv and Washington.

Those not familiar with the connotation of certain terminology in this conflict may not appreciate what it truly means that the US will no longer demand an Israeli halt of the ‘natural growth’ of its settlements, especially in the occupied Jerusalem area where tens of thousands of Palestinians are vulnerable to Israeli ethnic cleansing. Families like the Hanoun and Ghawi family have been evicted from their homes and thrown out on the street before sunrise. “The police came for them at dawn on a Sunday, heavily armed, wearing helmets and riot shields as they broke down the metal doors of the houses and dragged the two Palestinian families out onto the streets,” reported the Guardian on August 24.

The heart-wrenching episodes of innocent people being thrown into the street for no fault of their own, only for the need to make room for more Jewish inhabitants took place before TV cameras and barely required more than a few words of bashful disapproval. That was in fact a political message, sent by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the US administration and anyone else who dares to question US settlement policy. It took place when Obama’s call for settlement freeze was at its pinnacle. Now, just imagine how Israel will behave, now that the US’s lonely demand is officially retracted. The rightwing Israeli government will likely expedite its settlement program to preclude any future demands for freeze. Many more Hanouns and Ghawis, and their children, will find themselves on the pavement for simply not being Jews, even if they are the rightful owners of the land.

The Israeli logic, however, is uncompromisingly clear. Two weeks before the evictions took place, Netanyahu addressed his cabinet, saying that Jerusalem (including occupied East Jerusalem) is "the capital of the Jewish people and of the state of Israel" and that "our sovereignty over it cannot be challenged." He continued, "We cannot accept the idea that Jews will not have the right to live and purchase in all parts of Jerusalem."

Aside from her unusually ‘harsh’ statement that the evictions were “deeply regrettable”, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had no answer to the Jerusalemite families pleading for their stolen homes. And now this, more American flexibility.

While Palestinians, and those who support and sympathize with their rightful struggle, are accustomed to Israel’s belligerent violations of international and humanitarian law, and direct and indirect US support of Israeli behavior, many had the ‘audacity’ to hope that things might change under the new US presidency. Obama’s speech in Cairo, despite its many flaws, was seen as a promising sign that the US will play a more conducive role in finding a just solution to the conflict and the ongoing tragedy of the Palestinians. It was thought that Obama was planning to start simple, by merely demanding a freeze of the settlement expansion. It’s anything but demanding full rights for Palestinians, or even allowing cement, food and medicine to starving Gaza, but it’s a start, nonetheless.

And as Palestinians, Israelis, the entire region and world media awaited the outcome of the Obama-Netanyahu battle of wills, Israel carried out all sorts of harms, that also went unnoticed.

Externally, Israel capitalized on the supposed US pressure, to place counter pressure on the US to impose dilapidating sanctions on Iran, provide a timeline for the end of diplomacy aimed at diffusing the hyped tension over Iran’s nuclear program, and more. That too was the message that Netanyahu carried with him to the meeting with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in London, last week.

Still, Israel expected more, demanding - with the blessing of the US - Arab normalization with Israel, in reciprocation for the never actualized willingness to temporarily halt the expansion of settlements. Mitchell was too of the opinion that “Arab states (should) offer some gestures toward normalization of ties with Israel,” according to Reuters.

Internally, things took a dramatic turn for the worse. It started with a bill in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) that would jail Arabs who would commemorate the Palestinian Nakba or Catastrophe of 1948, which saw the expulsion of nearly 800,000 Palestinians from their land. Then, there was the new law that enforces the replacement of Arabic lettering on road signs referring to various locations with their Hebrew equivalent, even if these locations have been known by their Arabic names for millennia. These are neither the first nor the last of such fascist roles aimed at denying any trace of a Palestinian (Muslim or Christian) identity to co-exist along with the exclusively ‘Jewish character’ of Israel.

But that, and much more, was taking place as Palestinians and hopeful others held their breath, waiting for Obama to deliver, until the most recent expression of American flexibility. Now, Palestinians are left with one of two options: to continue to subscribe to the illusion that the US is capable, or even willing to rein in Israel’s transgression and exact justice and human rights on their behalf, or to cleanse their midst of self-seeking and corrupt leaders, unify their ranks and continue their struggle for an uncompromisingly free and independent Palestine.

- Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an author of several books and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in many newspapers, journals and anthologies around the world. His latest book is, "The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle" (Pluto Press, London), and his forthcoming book is, “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, London), which is now available for pre-orders at Amazon.

Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 12:37 PM

A free Alawite state might even be a natural ally of Israel for the same reasons the Middle East’s Christians and Kurds tend to be"

link

From the 'never-failing-to-be-idiotic' Michael Totten in Commentary, here

" ... I don’t know for sure whether Syria’s Sunni Arabs — who make up around 70 percent of the population — would actually accuse Assad of treason and seriously threaten to remove him from power if he signed a peace treaty. But that’s how many Alawites see it. As “infidels” they don’t feel they have the legitimacy to force Sunni Arabs to make peace with Israel. That is a risky business even for Sunni Arab leaders, as the assassination of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat shows.

Most of Syria’s Alawites live along the Mediterranean coast, away from the Sunni heartland. They could, at least theoretically, be separated from Syria into their own Alawite nation. The Middle East would probably be a safer place if they were. They did have their own semiautonomous government under the French Mandate between 1930 and 1937, and again from 1939 to 1944, but their Latakia region has been a part of Syria ever since.

Such a nation almost certainly would make peace with Israel, at least eventually, if it wasn’t ruled by Assad and his thuggish clan. Arab nationalism would lose its appeal among a people that would no longer need to demonstrate belonging to an ethnic majority to make up for its status as a religious minority. The strident anti-Zionism of the Sunni “street” could likewise ease. A free Alawite state might even be a natural ally of Israel for the same reasons the Middle East’s Christians and Kurds tend to be."


Posted by G, Z, & or B at 9:55 AM

"US on the road out of Iraq"

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FILE  - In this June 22, 2009 file photo, a U.S. Army soldier ...
AP/ Here

"The U.S. military is packing up to leave Iraq in what has been deemed the largest movement of manpower and equipment in modern military history .........The goal is to withdraw tens of thousands of troops and about 60 percent of equipment out of Iraq by the end of next March ..... The nearly 300 American bases and outposts currently remaining in Iraq will shrink to 50 or less by the president's deadline ..... the independent Government Accountability Office reported to Congress earlier this year that the withdrawal would be a "massive and expensive effort" that would likely increase war costs by billions. It also estimated an additional $12 billion to $13 billion a year would be needed for two years following the withdrawal for maintenance, repairs and replacement of equipment returned from Iraq. ..........."We are going to use every means necessary: air, Iraqi railroad, the roads. Whatever it takes, ...."

Posted by G, Z, & or B at 9:43 AM

" ... escalation against Syria is a warning from Tehran ..."

Link

A "Good piece" of Shit for TONY:

Asharq Alawsat, here

"... Syria is trying to arrange its political situation in the Arab world and internationally, and has taken steps in Lebanon. Some would describe these steps as being insufficient, however they are concessionary, particularly to those who follow the Syrian line. Confirmed information also indicates that there is a considerable disagreement between Syria and Hezbollah, .....

It would also not be rational for Damascus to allow the Baathists to attack from within Syrian territory, especially as the Americans have now opened up channels of negotiation with the Iraqi Baathists via Turkey, which is now Syria's most important ally. .......This would only serve to put Syria in a dangerous international predicament. Even if Syrian interests call for the end of any pro-Iranian regime in Baghdad, because Damascus does not want to find itself surrounded by [pro-Iranian] Iraq on one side, and Hezbollah's Lebanon on the other, any act of sabotage at this level is an act of madness. .....All indications seem to point that the major beneficiaries of the Baghdad bombings are [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki's rivals, who are also allies of Iran, and here we must not forget the new Iraqi Shiite coalition [the Iraqi National Alliance]....... Therefore the political escalation seen today against Syria seems to be a warning to Damascus, perhaps from Tehran, otherwise how could Iran accept this kind of escalation against its Syrian ally? ..."



Posted by G, Z, & or B at 10:10 AM



Assad: Iraqi Accusations against Syria Immoral

31/08/2009 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday said allegations that Syria was sheltering people suspected of involvement in devastating bombings in Iraq were "immoral" and politically motivated.

His comments came as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu embarked on a mediation bid between Baghdad and Damascus to defuse tensions which worsened last week when the neighbors recalled their respective ambassadors. Iraq has accused Syria of sheltering suspects allegedly involved in one of two devastating truck bombings that targeted government ministries in Baghdad on August 19, killing a total of 95 people and wounding 600.

"Syria is accused of killing Iraqis although it welcomes 1.2 million Iraqis (refugees)," Assad said at a joint news conference with visiting Cyprus President Demetris Christofias. "Such accusations are immoral and political," he said. "When accusations are not based on any proof, this means they are illogical in the eyes of the law," Assad said, again calling on Iraq to present evidence about its allegations. "As soon as the accusations were made, Syria officially asked Iraq to send a delegation to Damascus with proof," he said. "So far we have not received any reply."

Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign minister was in Baghdad on Monday for talks with Iraqi officials ahead of visiting Damascus later in the day in a bid to defuse the tensions. "We will try to re-establish an atmosphere of trust between the two sides," Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters at Ankara airport before beginning his shuttle diplomacy mission.

Hamas Refusing to Budge on Terms for Shalit Deal


Al manar

31/08/2009 Hamas has rejected every Israeli request to exile some of the Palestinian detainees due to be released as part of a deal for captured Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Shalit, a senior official in the Islamic resistance group said Sunday.

Osama al-Mzainy, the Hamas official in charge of the Shalit affair, also insisted that no quick agreement over the captured soldier is in sight.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, al-Mzainy said every prisoner should be allowed to return home. "All the statements about optimism and expectations - that the deal will soon be sealed - all these statements are exaggerated," he told the television station. "We still need some time in order to overcome the obstacles put up by the Israelis."

He said Israel's demand that some of the released detainees be deported is what caused the talks to fail when Ehud Olmert was prime minister, and if Israel continued to insist on this point, the current negotiations would fail as well.

Hamas, he added, has not backed down on any of its demands, including the release of 1,000 detainees in total. "They will be released in two stages. The first group will comprise 450 prisoners, whose names will be determined by Hamas ... In the second stage, 550 prisoners will be released. Hamas is attached to this plan. We will not accept any deal unless this request is accepted," al-Mzainy told Al Jazeera.

The Hamas official's comments came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday that there had been no breakthrough in talks with Hamas over Shalit, and people should not expect a deal to be concluded in the coming days. He was responding to a spate of recent media reports claiming that a deal was near.

Netanyahu told the closed cabinet session that "talk about a deal [for Shalit] being closed in the next few days has no basis, and it will not happen tomorrow or the day after." "We must bring Shalit back home safe and sound, but nonetheless, there is a great deal of exaggeration and inaccurate information out there," he added.
  • FLASHBACK: TWO MONTHS AGO

Once upon a time......in the West

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http://www.novinite.com/media/images/2009-07/photo_big_106184.jpg

Once upon a time in the West ,
somebody decided to incriminate Libya
for the Lockerbee bombing

It was difficult , because Libya was innocent
so they imposed a boycott for a decade
until a suspect was created , produced and indited.

I call this blackmail... .......
( or guilt by exclusion )

20 years later the Libyan-Regime
exchanged their Oil for that same "guilty-person "

I call this " paying a ransom for the hostage takers"


When hypocrisy is practised by governments,
it is called : " for humanitarian- reasons"


Sherlock Hommos
first day at the office !!!
31st of August 2009


Posted by Тлакскала at 1:14 PM

ISRAEL: REWRITING HISTORY IN THE MIDST OF NEW SCANDAL

Link

August 31, 2009 at 7:44 am (Censorship, Corrupt Politics, Education, History, Israel, Palestine, Uncategorized)


rewriting-history

Leave it to the zionists to rewrite history. It’s reminiscent of the final years of the Soviet Union when the name Stalin miraculously disappeared from history books.

Now, the term ‘Nakba’ will be removed from Israeli textbooks. Heaven forbid a new generation of Israeli schoolchildren should know the truth about the creation of their country….. and at whose expense it was at.

Just imagine the outroar if the holocaust was removed from German textbooks… but, we know that won’t happen….. Israel would find a way to stop such a move.

Education minister: Word ‘nakba’ taken out of lesson plans

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar briefed the cabinet on plans for the start of the school year, and announced that the word “nakba” will be taken out of lesson plans.

“It can be said with certainty that Arab Israelis experienced a tragedy in the war, but there will be no use of the word ‘nakba,’ whose meaning is similar to holocaust in this context,” said Sa’ar. “The education system in the Arab sector will revise its studies about the homeland, geography, and society in elementary schools.”


Meanwhile, Israel’s latest scandal has come to light, involving former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. I can predict that whatever the outcome of his trial will be the courts will be lenient as he is suffering from prostate cancer. Olmert’s fellow criminal on the other side of the ‘pond’, Bernard Madoff will most certainly be released from prison soon on compassionate grounds. He too is supposedly suffering from cancer. Zionism, the common cancer among these criminals seems to spread to other organs at opportune times.

Former Israeli Prime Minister to face trial on corruption charges

Ehud Olmert, who served as Israeli Prime Minister until March of this year, was indicted Sunday on charges of corruption, breach of trust, fraud, income tax evasion, accepting bribes, and a number of other charges.ehud_olmert
Ehud Olmert (photo from wikimedia)

Olmert oversaw a particularly brutal string of attacks by the Israeli military while he was Prime Minister, including the January 2009 invasion of the Gaza Strip that left 1400 Palestinians dead. He has not been charged or investigated for these attacks.Instead, the former Prime Minister is being charged with a massive corruption scandal that allegedly ran through all levels of government when he was at the helm.According to the indictment, Olmert violated his oath of office “in systematic and drawn out activities for financial benefits … in different ways and from different sources … all in manners that contravened the law, the norms and the rules that obligate a minister and a public servant.”Several other members of Olmert’s cabinet have already been indicted on a variety of charges, including President Moshe Katsav, who was found guilty of rape.Olmert allegedly carried out a variety of nefarious activities both before and during his term as Prime Minister. Some of these included lying about contributions from a US citizen, inflating travel costs in order to pocket reimbursement checks, and using campaign donations to pay for the debts of a non-profit which supported him politically.Olmert’s communication advisor told Israeli reporters Sunday, “Olmert is convinced that at the court he will be able, once and for all, to prove his innocence.”

Source

The Grand-father of the Terrorism

Link


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/art/editorial/cartoon/2005/575/060105.jpg

Double standards

are no-standards .

and
No-standards

are Injustice.

and Injustice
breads more injustice
that then ,
it breads the Terrorism .


conclusion :
The Double Standards
are the grand-father of Terrorism



Sherlock Hommos
Back from the vacations !!
30.08.2009


Posted by Тлакскала at 1:16 PM

Bahar calls on resistance not to change their demands regarding swap deal


Bahar calls on resistance not to change their demands regarding swap deal

[ 31/08/2009 - 11:54 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy of the Palestinian speaker, appealed to the Palestinian resistance factions to uphold their demands for the release of prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

During his participation in the weekly protest held by prisoners’ families outside the Red Cross headquarters in Gaza, Dr. Bahar deplored Israel for prosecuting Palestinian children under age 18 and establishing special courts for them.

He said that these courts violate all international laws and the Geneva conventions, calling on the international community to intervene to terminate these courts.

In another related context, the family of prisoner Ra’ed Darabya, who is suffering from bone cancer, appealed on Monday to the Palestinian resistance factions and all officials in Gaza to include the name of their son in any prisoner swap deal.

The family said in a statement to the prisoners’ center for studies that their son Darabya told them on the phone that he underwent a surgery in March 2009 to remove two arteries around the spine, but now he feel paralyzed and cannot move the nerves of his feet.

The family confirmed that their son is now in a wheelchair and cannot move, adding that he had undergone six surgeries in his back before without any success which led to the emergence of his spinal bones and the erosion of his back.

BOYCOTT ISRAEL – Stopping the Apartheid State

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Posted on August 27, 2009 by Antievil



Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world. Not surprisingly, many Israelis — even peaceniks — aren’t signing on. A global boycott inevitably elicits charges – however specious – of anti-Semitism. It also brings up questions of a double standard (why not boycott China for its egregious violations of human rights?) and the seemingly contradictory position of approving a boycott of one’s own nation.


It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel. But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself.


I say this because Israel has reached a historic crossroads, and times of crisis call for dramatic measures. I say this as a Jew who has chosen to raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the Israeli peace camp for almost 30 years and who is deeply anxious about the country’s future.

The most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state. For more than 42 years, Israel has controlled the land between the Jordan Valley and the Mediterranean Sea. Within this region about 6 million Jews and close to 5 million Palestinians reside. Out of this population, 3.5 million Palestinians and almost half a million Jews live in the areas Israel occupied in 1967, and yet while these two groups live in the same area, they are subjected to totally different legal systems. The Palestinians are stateless and lack many of the most basic human rights. By sharp contrast, all Jews — whether they live in the occupied territories or in Israel — are citizens of the state of Israel.

The question that keeps me up at night, both as a parent and as a citizen, is how to ensure that my two children as well as the children of my Palestinian neighbors do not grow up in an apartheid regime.

There are only two moral ways of achieving this goal.

The first is the one-state solution: offering citizenship to all Palestinians and thus establishing a bi-national democracy within the entire area controlled by Israel. Given the demographics, this would amount to the demise of Israel as a Jewish state; for most Israeli Jews, it is anathema.

The second means of ending our apartheid is through the two-state solution, which entails Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders (with possible one-for-one land swaps), the division of Jerusalem, and a recognition of the Palestinian right of return with the stipulation that only a limited number of the 4.5 million Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to Israel, while the rest can return to the new Palestinian state.

Geographically, the one-state solution appears much more feasible because Jews and Palestinians are already totally enmeshed; indeed, “on the ground,” the one-state solution (in an apartheid manifestation) is a reality.

Ideologically, the two-state solution is more realistic because fewer than 1 per cent of Jews and only a minority of Palestinians support binationalism.
For now, despite the concrete difficulties, it makes more sense to alter the geographic realities than the ideological ones. If at some future date the two peoples decide to share a state, they can do so, but currently this is not something they want.

So if the two-state solution is the way to stop the apartheid state, then how does one achieve this goal?

I am convinced that outside pressure is the only answer. Over the last three decades, Jewish settlers in the occupied territories have dramatically increased their numbers. The myth of the united Jerusalem has led to the creation of an apartheid city where Palestinians aren’t citizens and lack basic services. The Israeli peace camp has gradually dwindled so that today it is almost nonexistent, and Israeli politics are moving more and more to the extreme right.

It is therefore clear to me that the only way to counter the apartheid trend in Israel is through massive international pressure. The words and condemnations from the Obama administration and the European Union have yielded no results, not even a settlement freeze, let alone a decision to withdraw from the occupied territories.

I consequently have decided to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that was launched by Palestinian activists in July 2005 and has since garnered widespread support around the globe. The objective is to ensure that Israel respects its obligations under international law and that Palestinians are granted the right to self-determination.

In Bilbao, Spain, in 2008, a coalition of organizations from all over the world formulated the 10-point Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign meant to pressure Israel in a “gradual, sustainable manner that is sensitive to context and capacity.” For example, the effort begins with sanctions on and divestment from Israeli firms operating in the occupied territories, followed by actions against those that help sustain and reinforce the occupation in a visible manner. Along similar lines, artists who come to Israel in order to draw attention to the occupation are welcome, while those who just want to perform are not.

Nothing else has worked. Putting massive international pressure on Israel is the only way to guarantee that the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians — my two boys included — does not grow up in an apartheid regime.

Ref: counterpunch

Neve Gordon is chair of the department of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and author of Israel’s Occupation (University of California Press, 2008). He can be contacted through his website, www.israelsoccupation.info.


Resolving the Displaced Persons Problem

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By Dan Lieberman

Negotiators have continually debated the Middle East crisis without regarding the elephant in the room - the Palestinian displaced persons. Rather than being portrayed as victims, these dispossessed persons are often perceived as perpetrators, as if they caused their own ordeal and should shoulder the responsibility for their fate. It's time to pay attention. The solution of the Middle East crisis starts with those who have suffered the most, continue to suffer and should be relieved of their suffering. The solution of the Middle East crisis starts with the Palestinian displaced persons. No matter how far 'negotiations' go, the displaced person solution will be the show stopper. Overcoming the problem at the beginning permits the show to continue. Saving it to the euphoric 'end' predicts neglect or a severe compromise that will endanger all previous agreements.

Place the refugee situation in its proper context.

Israel did not permit Palestinians who left or were evicted during the 1948 and 1967 conflagrations to return to their homes and lands. Assets, businesses, property and household items were confiscated and the owners were not reimbursed.

Israeli historian Benny Morris summarized the evictions well:

"I feel sympathy for the Palestinian people, which truly underwent a hard tragedy. I feel sympathy for the refugees themselves. But if the desire to establish a Jewish state here is legitimate, there was no other choice. It was impossible to leave a large fifth column in the country. From the moment the Yishuv was attacked by the Palestinians and afterward by the Arab states, there was no choice but to expel the Palestinian population. To uproot it in the course of war."

Benny Morris used the correct phrase: ". if the desire to establish a Jewish state here is legitimate." It was not legitimate. The choice was not between "having a Jewish state and not dispossessing the Palestinians." The choice was between "not having the expanded state that Israel gained" and "dispossessing the Palestinians." Almost all the evicted Palestinians were in the territory granted to the Palestinians. Not since the days of American expansionism has a group of individuals (Israel was not even a declared nation when the confiscations began nor had Arab armies attacked at that time.) invaded another land, seized the territory and cleared the area of the indigenous people. Hasn't the world learned anything since Biblical times?

The exiled Palestinians are displaced persons and not refugees. The United Nations definition of a refugee is "a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country." Most of the Palestinians wanted to return to their homes, but they were denied entry. Some of them walked back to their villages from Ramallah or Bethlehem, after leaving for only two weeks, and found their homes occupied by Iraqis or other foreigners and were forced to leave again. Similar to situations during World Ware II, displaced persons fled the fighting. These were persons "forced from his or her country, esp. as a result of war, and left homeless elsewhere." After the world failed to repatriate the displaced Palestinians, they were identified as refugees, which permitted then to be relocated to any land except their own.

Other misconceptions need correction.

Contrary to the intensive propaganda that describes the Arab nations as failing to assist the Palestinians, almost all Arab states opened their lands to them. Jordan and Syria eventually allowed the massive number of displaced persons to share in the social benefits and engage themselves in the economy. In Jordan, almost all Palestinians became citizens. Syria granted the Palestinians social and economic privileges normal to its citizens. Palestinians trained and worked in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Arab Emirates and Egypt. Only Lebanon, to where Palestinians were forced after a conflict erupted between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Jordan's King Hussein, denied the Palestinians access to normal public life. All this was done by impoverished Arab nations, who did not have sufficient resources for their own people and were politically unstable.

The nation that has refused to assist the dispossessed Palestinians has been Israel - the principal perpetrator of the refugee's condition. Israel boasts of assisting Jewish refugees from Arab nations, but fails to mention that Israel's policies made Arab nations suspicious of their Jewish citizens and Israeli intelligence forces instigated their emigration, which Israel sought. The Mizrahi served to occupy vacated Arab homes, boost the military and swell the Israeli population.

Another bit of propaganda exclaims that Arab nation leaders urged against citizenship for the displaced Palestinians. Naturally. The Arab nations felt the Palestinians would forfeit the Right of Return if granted citizenship and they would relieve Israel of its own obligations to the dispossessed persons.

Resettlement of these 'refugees is not the only consideration. Most of them are without passports or attachment to any nation. The Right of Return, a right usually available to anyone driven from a land, deserves to be implemented. Displaced persons have severely overpopulated Gaza, making it one of the most densely populated regions in the world and a tinderbox for social and economic upheavals. Gaza's population needs to be severely reduced for the entire population to live comfortably.

Because the displaced persons are not a constituency and are powerless, their grievances remain at the bottom of the priority list. Some nations refuse to permanently accommodate them, which extends the problem to perpetuity, Due to insufficient space and resources in the West Bank (which has its own displaced persons camps) it will de difficult to relocate all of the displaced persons to a forecasted Palestinian state. Nevertheless, what does the world expect to happen to these long suffering persons; just continue to suffer for millennia and stir up terrorism? Rather than being an afterthought, the refugees should be the primary thought - where they stay, where they go, and how they are they are brought from their deprivation to take a deserved place in the world.

Naturally this will create problems for Israel, but didn't Israel cause the problem? UN Resolution 194 clearly stated:



"... that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."

Refugees have always been allowed to return to their homes. Here again, the western world shows its bias towards Israel, even when faced with Israel's contradictory policies.

Israeli courts have ruled that any person can petition the court to claim land, even after 100 years, and, if ruled in the claimants favor, evict the dweller. Jews have won many cases. Although it's documented that Palestinians owned about 90 per cent of the land before partition, no Arab citizen has been able to exercise that right.

The Zionists promoted an unproven and historically disputable claim that all Jews are refugees from the land of their forefathers and have the 'Right of Return' after 2000 years. Why don't Palestinians, all with historically proven claims, have the same right?

Can the Palestinian displaced persons problem be conveniently resolved?

Start with the number of Palestinian displaced persons.

According to BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, the displaced Palestinian and their descendents are estimated to number about 7.1 million plus 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) in Israel and the Occupied Palestine Territories (OPT). The latter IDP's were forced from their villages but still live in Israel and the OPT. Figures are debatable but the information below from Badil categorizes the refugees in an approximate and accepted manner.

Lebanon - 460,490 in refugee camps.
Syria - 488, 656 listed refugees.
Jordan - 2,478,424 listed refugee of whom 2,200,000 are Jordanian citizens.
West Bank - 754,000 in refugee camps
Gaza - 1,059,584 in refugee camps
Egypt - 75,706 displaced persons
Saudi Arabia - 341,770 displaced persons
Kuwait - 43,718 displaced persons
Europe - 200,000 displaced persons
Other - 1,200,000 displaced persons



Note: Not all displaced persons are in refugee camps.

In Jordan, most Palestinian citizens are still registered as refugees. In the occupied territories, the populations have an undefined citizenship. In Syria, Palestinian refuges have access to most social services and economic opportunities but cannot obtain citizenship. Other category is not exaggerated. Chile has 300,000 Palestinians and many other Palestinians are unregistered and scattered around the world.

After validating the number and authenticity of the displaced persons, they will be presented with several choices:

1. During a five year period, nations where they reside will permit a portion of the displaced persons to become citizens. Almost all nations where Palestinians presently reside will probably offer citizenship, except for Lebanon, which fears another radicalized minority in its midst. Lebanon might allow a fraction, possibly about 100,000 persons to become citizens. Due to the Palestinians approaching a majority, Jordan might deny 200,000 Palestinians from receiving citizenship. In the other nations, Palestinians have become well established in the societies and contribute economically. Once the issue shows resolution and Israel concedes to meet its obligations, there will be no reason for these nations not to grant citizenship.

2. Over a five year period, western nations will offer to receive 1,500,000 Palestinians as immigrants. This is actually an obligation. Consider that the Partition Plan was doomed to failure and could only lead to what happened; the expulsions of the Palestinians to enable a predominant Jewish population in a Jewish state. The partitioned Jewish state had 495,000 Jews and 325,000 Palestinians and limited arable area for expanding the Jewish community. The immediate seizure of territory and expulsion of Palestinians were predictable, necessary to allow the Mizrahi from North Africa and the Middle East to emigrate and have suitable housing. Iraqi families were immediately placed in homes vacated by Palestinian families. Israel is most responsible for the dispossessions and planned destructions of Palestinian villages, but the nations that voted for partition without care and without thought of the consequences (except for the U.S. State Department who expressed doubts about the success of the partition plan) must share the blame and make amends.

In the United States, the Palestinian communities have proven to be the best citizens, exhibiting exemplary behavior - quiet, diligent, cooperative, moral, studious, educated, and with little attachment to crime or need for welfare. The Palestinians will integrate and contribute well in all nations.

3. Israel will vacate all areas in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that are in violation of the UN Resolutions. Except for Israelis or their descendants who can prove ownership of property in the West Bank and East Jerusalem before 1948, all other properties, installations, institutions and homes will revert to Palestinians. Being as Palestinian families are large and generally have been able to exist with less square feet of space, the vacated housing should accommodate about 750,000Palestinians. This is the least the state of Israel can do for the illegal seizure of Palestinian lands and the oppressed conditions in which subsequent generations have been forced to live.

4. Israel will admit 300,000 Palestinians who can show prior ownership of seized land. This requirement has several purposes: It provides a token resolution to a great injustice.
It informs the world that 'human rights' is not an empty phrase. It makes certain that a precedent no longer exists that allows the more powerful to seize possessions from the weaker. It removes a stain that would forever afflict the Jewish community. It presents the Arab world with a more satisfying perspective of western nations..

How does this work out?

Let's use the BADIL figure of 7.1 million externally displaced Palestinians and 4.6 million offers to permit them to remain and acquire citizenship. The latter includes the 2.2 million who are already citizens in Jordan, the 456,000 who are quasi citizens in Syria, all other areas where Palestinians have already been integrated, and Lebanon permitting at least 100,000 to remain. Those in the West Bank and Gaza are not included in the offers. Consider that 10%, or 460,000, will refuse the offers and we still have 3.0 million displaced persons to rehabilitate. Certainly out of that figure there will be 1.5 million persons, many from Gaza and the West Bank, willing to immigrate to the western nations and situate among Palestinian communities that already exist in the western world. That leaves 1.5 million DPs. We then have 750,000 in the West Bank and Gaza moving to new home in the West Bank and 300,000 from all DPs moving back to Israel. That leaves only 450,000 displaced persons to find new accommodations in Gaza and the West Bank.

The population in Gaza and the West Bank will shrink by about 500,000, hopefully mostly from Gaza, which is now too overcrowded. Israel's population within the Green line will increase by about 500,000 settlers and 300,000 repatriated Palestinians for a total of 800,000.

At first glance, this all seems improbable. It isn't. Examining it carefully, if the displaced persons are granted citizenship in lands where they live, it comes down to only about 300,000 displaced persons from Lebanon and 200,000 from Jordan who are presently in UNWRA run refugee camps and another 460,000 from other nations who might refuse citizenship. The other displaced persons from the West Bank and Gaza warrant consideration, but they are presently on Palestinian territory and can be easily addressed.

The problem is not forecasted to be with the Arab nations. They will cooperate if they definitely know the western nations and Israel will cooperate. The problem is with the western nations and Israel, who have been delinquent in recognizing their participation in the tragedy and the violence that has developed.

Can anyone believe that Israel is not directly responsible for the Palestinian exodus? Did these people voluntarily decide to leave their homes, face starvation, have entire families commit suicide because of their desperation and then be willing to sit quietly in refugee camps? Are these verified reports of forced removals, terrorizing, killings and destruction of more than 400 Palestinian villages only stories? Why were the villages destroyed? Why weren't the villagers allowed to return? Why were vacant homes instantly occupied? In Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo and elsewhere, the western nations have been firm in demanding prompt return of refugees and have fought to achieve that demand. The Palestinian situation is more insidious. In other situations, refugees had been created, but wanton property and asset seizures were not a rule. In Palestine, Israel seized all properties and assets and allowed newly arrived foreigners to occupy vacant homes. No precedent for these illegal operations exists in the post World War II western civilized world.



If western leaders stop behaving cowardly and do what they must do to resolve an unjust situation that can paralyze the world for perpetuity, the world will breathe more easily. The road to Middle East peace starts with the resolution of the Palestinian involuntary displaced persons and not with what least harms the East European voluntary displaced persons of Avigdor Lieberman and his crowd.

- Dan Lieberman is the editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter.
Dan's many articles on the Middle East conflict have circulated on websites and media throughout the world. Contact him at:
alternativeinsight@earthlink.net.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gilad Atzmon - Organ Donation and Theft in Contemporary Jewish Folklore

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By Gilad Atzmon • Aug 30th, 2009 at 21:59 • Category: Analysis, Culture and Heritage, Gilad Atzmon, Gilad's Choice, Israel, Newswire, Our Authors, Palestine, Religion, Zionism

Donation According to Larry David


In his highly acclaimed TV satire ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, LA screen writer and comedian Larry David engages courageously with subjects to do with American Jewish identity. In his fifth season (2005) David tackles the subject of organ donation (1). Performing an American eccentric and egotistical Jew David is confronted with a serious dilemma. His best friend Richard Lewis (another Jewish comedian) happens to suffer an acute kidney failure. His survival is dependent on an urgent kidney donation and as one may expect Larry David is the perfect donor. David, who comes across as the ultimate selfish persona in American popular culture is obviously reluctant to donate his Kidney. He procrastinates, finds excuses and plays games. He even tries to make friends with a wealthy Orthodox Jew who is in a position to ‘sort things out’ as far as kidneys are concerned. He does it all just to avoid donating his own kidney to his best and closest friend.


As the plot develops, David has hired a Private Detective to discover who his real parents are, David learns from this private detective that he is actually an adopted child. Once meeting with his genetic parents David also finds out that he is not exactly a Jew. He is actually a proper Christian of Scottish descent. David is very excited about his new ethnic identity and faith. Instantly, without giving it too much of a thought, he becomes an empathetic person. His egotistic attitude disappears without leaving any traces. He suddenly cares about others. He evolves into a sympathetic boring compassionate ordinary human being. It doesn’t take more than a few scenes before we see David attending Sunday service with his new ‘parents’ in their local Church. It is there where he learns from the priest that ‘to give’ is actually ‘to receive’.


David doesn’t waste a second. He understands it all. He instantly leaves the Church and takes the first plane to LA where he rushes to the Hospital with one thing in his mind; giving his kidney to his best friend Richard Lewis. In the hospital while in his final preparation for the transplant operation the nurse is overwhelmed by David’s devotion kindness and conviction. Throughout this transition into Christianity, the Larry David that we meet is very different to the selfish Larry David we knew. However, David’s heavenly inspired humanist metamorphosis doesn’t last long. On his way to the theatre, as he is lying on the trolley already under some heavy anesthetic, the private detective is seen rushing towards David along the hospital corridor. “Larry I made a mistake” he shouts, “you are not an adopted child.” In spite of the anesthetic, the penny drops instantly. David realises that he is a Jew. His Christian compassionate conviction fades immediately. His reaction is rather simultaneous: he is a Jew after all and Jews do not give their organs to others, not even to their best and closest friends. David, who is now heavily anesthetized tries to resist, he wants to run away and never to give his kidney but under the influence of heavy narcotics he happens to be too weak. Dragged into the theater he happens to be a victim of his own temporary non-Jewish kindness.

The immediate message posed by Larry David in the above episode is clear. Being a Jew is merely a state of mind. It is neither biological nor genetic. The transformation between (Christian) compassion and (Jewish) narcissism is rather cultural. It is almost a matter of choice. However, one thing is clear as far as Larry David is concerned: once transforming back into a Jew, ‘giving’ is simply out of the question. The Jew, as far as David is concerned, does not like to share, donate or give.

Harvesting Human Organs

In the last few weeks we have been following some interesting developments to do with Israeli organ theft and Jewish organ trafficking. Back in July Kidney trafficker Levy Izhak Rosenbaum from Brooklyn was arrested in New Jersey. The Federal complaint suggested that he was involved in the illegal sale of kidneys for 10 years(2). A US Attorney explained: "His business was to entice vulnerable people to give up a kidney for $10,000 which he would turn around and sell for $160,000." Also in July another group of 30 Israelis were arrested in Romania, this time it was for human Egg trafficking. They were suspected of recruiting Romanian women aged between 18 and 30 and paying them around $300 for their eggs”. They would then resale the eggs for 40 times that amount to women


Earlier this week Alison Weir published a shocking yet comprehensive and detailed review of Israeli human organ trafficking and theft. Weir brings to light some staggering cases of organ theft. She starts with an alleged case of a heart being pulled out of a living person without the consent of the family (2). She also brings to light continuous reports of organs being robbed from Palestinian’s bodies (3)

The increasing attention to Israeli organ theft was fuelled a week ago by Swedish veteran journalist Donald Bostrom’s publication of an exposé of Israeli alleged organ harvesting in Sweden’s biggest paper Aftonbladet. Palestinians, he says, “harbor strong suspicions against Israel for seizing young men and having them serve as the country’s organ reserve”

From Venice to Tel Aviv

One may ask why it is that organ trafficking has become a ‘Jewish thing’. How is it that the Jewish state and Jewish people are so involved in such a repugnant and non ethical trade. One answer is probably obvious: it is a good business and there is hardly any competition, not many people are willing to make a living out of the trafficking or the theft of livers and kidneys.


Without being a Marxist, I may try to offer a materialist interpretation of the above. As it happens, some people out there are willing to pay a lot of money to stay amongst the living. At the same time some others are ready to give their body parts just to put bread on their tables. Naturally those two distinct groups of people (the selfish wealthiest and the penniless) have very little in common except biological similarity. They never meet and hardly mix. A broker is needed. A merchant that doesn’t belong to any class whatsoever, a person that is not part of the economic chain of production, a person that is ethically detached, a person that is foreign to humanity as well as humanism. As we learn above the perfect candidates have been found. And they are not alone, their Jewish state is there to facilitate it all. It is there to provide the necessary means in terms of technology and knowledge. The Jewish broker can deal with the rich, he can easily handle the poor, he can do it all as long as there is some money to be made: once a merchant always a merchant whether it is Venice, Tel Aviv, Bucharest, New Jersey or Brooklyn.

But it goes further. As we learn from Larry David’s kidney episode, once rediscovering he is a Jew, his willingness to donate his organ fades into total refusal. David’s behavior is supported by some devastating statistics. Apparently, Israel is the world's leading procurer of vital organs from other countries, at least for its size. “Just 3.5% of Israelis are registered organ donors. Israel’s donor rate is one-fifth that of Europe so they acquire vital organs from other cultures. The Israeli government helps by paying up to $80,000 each to those visiting other countries to purchase an organ. Brokers openly advertise their services on Israeli radio stations and in newspapers.” (4)

Kvod Hamet

Judaism may throw some light over the abnormal situation. In principle, the Judaic law poses strong objections to any interference with the body after death. Out of respect to the dead (kvod hamet), Judaism requires an immediate burial of the complete body. However, this humanist and respectful approach applies to Jewish dead only. Things get slightly more complicated because Judaism also encourages organ donation in order to save a ‘Jewish life’ (pikuach nefesh).

The solution of what seems as an opposing dualism is far from being too complicated. While Judaism leads its followers towards reluctance to donate their organs it approves or even encourages the usage of other people’s organs. Bearing in mind Israel is a prosperous state in terms of medical science, it is just natural that the Jewish state would harbor all those shady practices to do with organ trafficking and theft. More interestingly, in spite of much of Israel regarding itself as a secular society, when it comes to organ donation it seems as if the Jews prefer to follow God collectively. Larry David’s reluctance to donate his kidney once realizing that he is a Jew by origin is there to emphasize that unique Jewish ‘choose and pick’ attitude towards their religious code. Secular Jews are becoming orthodox when it is convenient.

Israeli Folklore

Back in the 1980’s Israel’s all time leading cabaret act, namely ‘Ha- Gashash Ha-chiver’ elaborated on the subject of organ donation by means of a satire. In their comedy act, an Ashkenazi transplant master insisted to plant a goose’s liver in an (Jewish) Iraqi boy’s body just to gain some publicity. The Sepharadi father was rather devastated, he was concerned that the donated liver would come from an Ashkenazi person or even a goy. Needless to say he wasn’t too happy with the goose either. As time goes by, it seems as if the Jews as a collective have passed that stage. As much as some Jews may be very ‘picky’ in regard to what they put in their mouth (kosher diet) or even very concerned with the racial identity of those whom their kids mix with, they seem to be far less concerned with the origin of the organs that are planted in their bodies. They are concerned with one thing, staying amongst the living regardless of any ethical concern.

The current organ theft scandal proves once again that as far as Israel is concerned, loving yourself as much as you hate your neighbor, is the manifestation of contemporary Jewish philosophy. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t take us by a complete surprise. This is what you would expect from a people who live on other people’s land and eat other people’s grapes and figs.


(1) Season 5 episodes 2,5 and 10


Synopsis can be found here:


http://www.tvsquad.com/2005/12/05/curb-your-enthusiasm-the-end/


(2) In December 1968 a man named Avraham Sadegat (the New York Times seems to give his name as A Savgat) died two days after a stroke, even though his family had been told he was “doing well.”


After initially refusing to release his body, the Israeli hospital where he was being treated finally turned the man’s body over to his family. They discovered that his upper body was wrapped in bandages; an odd situation, they felt, for someone who had suffered a stroke.


When they removed the bandages, they discovered that the chest cavity was stuffed with bandages, and the heart was missing.


During this time, the headline-making Israeli heart transplant had occurred. After their initial shock, the man’s wife and brother began to put the two events together and demanded answers.


The hospital at first denied that Sadegat’s heart had been used in the headline-making transplant, but the family raised a media storm and eventually applied to three cabinet ministers. Finally, weeks later and after the family had signed a document promising not to sue, the hospital admitted that Sadagat’s heart had been used.


(3) “"There are indications that for one reason or another, organs, especially eyes and kidneys, were removed from the bodies during the first year or year and a half. There were just too many reports by credible people for there to be nothing happening. If someone is shot in the head and comes home in a plastic bag without internal organs, what will people assume?”


Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 1990, Page 21, The Intifada: Autopsies and Executions


http://www.jweekly.com/


(4) http://www.geocities.com/organdonate/organsellingorgantheft.html

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Gilad Atzmon is a jazz musician, composer, producer and writer.
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