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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

".........I am not a neocon ........."

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neocons.jpg image by NavyBlueWife

Michael Young's sorry piece of "Denial-mea-culpa" as he is pissed at Nick Noe's last piece in the Guardian

"..... I happened to welcome the war (on Iraq) because it overthrew a brutal regime responsible, directly or indirectly, for the death of some 1 million people. In 2005 I also approved of American and international efforts to end Syrian hegemony over Lebanon (read: rollback a regime that supported Israel's foes in the region!). Among “progressives” who identify with Arab issues, these positions earned me and other Arabs sharing my views a “neocon” label.

I am not a neocon, though I have found myself on their side on occasion.......

.... Take Lebanon’s emancipation movement against Syria, following the murder of the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri. The US played a key role in forcing the Syrians out by working multilaterally, through the United Nations. Even administration neocons endorsed this strategy, showing the discrepancy between theory and practice. The reality is that the legalistic, internationalist US response to the Lebanese crisis was a far cry from what neocons had earlier advocated. Nevertheless, those in Lebanon publicly lauding this conduct, by virtue of being with America, were still branded hawks, ideologues, and, yes, neocons.

Credit the neocons with one thing. After 9/11 they filled the gap of comprehension in the US when it came to the attacks. Left-liberals, old-line realists, and libertarians had little credible to say about why the crimes were committed. The neocons alone saw them as the consequence of a systemic problem deriving from a lack of Arab democracy. They were right. But the riposte was haphazard ...."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 5:02 PM

IDF jeep hits, kills Palestinian youth

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Posted on: October 1, 2009

Efrat Weiss YNet News

30 September 2009

A 17-year-old Palestinian high school student was injured after being hit by an IDF jeep in the village of Yabed near Jenin, and died shortly later of his wounds.

The IDF said the youth was injured during a riot in the area, but his relatives claim he was intentionally run over.

The IDF said the incident occurred during a routine tour of soldiers and representatives of the Mekorot water company, meant to improve the infrastructure in the village.

A violent riot reportedly broke out, and residents began throwing stones at the force. The military vehicle drove backwards and fatally hit the youth. He was evacuated to hospital in Jenin, where he died of his wounds.

The IDF is investigating the circumstances of the incident.

Meanwhile, Palestinian sources in Jenin said the youth, Fouad Naif Turkman was hit by the IDF jeep intentionally. The youth’s uncle, Muhammad Naif, told Ynet, “The students that were with him told me the jeep hit him once at the entrance to the school, drove forward and then backed up again to hit him and run him over a second time on purpose.”

Naif said the soldiers left his nephew to bleed for 20 minutes. “They didn’t let the body be removed, which attests to their intention to hurt the boy,” he said.

The family is preparing to lay the youth to rest later in the day.

Updated on October 1, 2009
Posted under: In the Media
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House measure on Qom facility ....

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A former senior US Intelligence Official said it so well: "the Iranians don't understand that we are not interested in 'chess games' ..."
In the Cable/ here

"One day ahead of talks between Iran and the Western powers, Congress is weighing in on the disclosure of Iran's newest secret nuclear facility near the city of Qom.

A bill was introduced Tuesday in the House that would call on Iran to allow "unfettered access" to the Qom enrichment facility and disclose the existence of any additional facilities under its control. The legislation is one of those non-binding items that doesn't actually force action, but its introduction with 33 cosponsors from both parties indicates the rising tide of congressional angst over the Iranian developments..."



Posted by G, Z, or B at 1:01 PM

The Lying Game

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Posted by realistic bird under Politics Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

by Habib Haddad

by Habib Haddad


By John Pilger

September 30, 2009 “Information Clearing House” – In 2001, the Observer in London published a series of reports that claimed an “Iraqi connection” to al-Qaeda, even describing the base in Iraq where the training of terrorists took place and a facility where anthrax was being manufactured as a weapon of mass destruction. It was all false. Supplied by US intelligence and Iraqi exiles, planted stories in the British and US media helped George Bush and Tony Blair to launch an illegal invasion which caused, according to the most recent study, 1.3 million deaths.

Something similar is happening over Iran: the same syncopation of government and media “revelations”, the same manufacture of a sense of crisis. “Showdown looms with Iran over secret nuclear plant”, declared the Guardian on 26 September. “Showdown” is the theme. High noon. The clock ticking. Good versus evil. Add a smooth new US president who has “put paid to the Bush years”. An immediate echo is the notorious Guardian front page of 22 May 2007: “Iran’s secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq”. Based on unsubstantiated claims by the Pentagon, the writer Simon Tisdall presented as fact an Iranian “plan” to wage war on, and defeat, US forces in Iraq by September of that year – a demonstrable falsehood for which there has been no retraction.

The official jargon for this kind of propaganda is “psy-ops”, the military term for psychological operations. In the Pentagon and Whitehall, it has become a critical component of a diplomatic and military campaign to blockade, isolate and weaken Iran by hyping its “nuclear threat”: a phrase now used incessantly by Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, and parroted by the BBC and other broadcasters as objective news. And it is fake.

On 16 September, Newsweek disclosed that the major US intelligence agencies had reported to the White House that Iran’s “nuclear status” had not changed since the National Intelligence Estimate of November 2007, which stated with “high confidence” that Iran had halted in 2003 the programme it was alleged to have developed. The International Atomic Energy Agency has backed this, time and again.

The current propaganda-as-news derives from Obama’s announcement that the US is scrapping missiles stationed on Russia’s border. This serves to cover the fact that the number of US missile sites is actually expanding in Europe and the “redundant” missiles are being redeployed on ships. The game is to mollify Russia into joining, or not obstructing, the US campaign against Iran. “President Bush was right,” said Obama, “that Iran’s ballistic missile programme poses a significant threat [to Europe and the US].” That Iran would contemplate a suicidal attack on the US is preposterous. The threat, as ever, is one-way, with the world’s superpower virtually ensconced on Iran’s borders.

Iran’s crime is its independence. Having thrown out America’s favourite tyrant, Shah Reza Pahlavi, Iran remains the only resource-rich Muslim state beyond US control. As only Israel has a “right to exist” in the Middle East, the US goal is to cripple the Islamic Republic. This will allow Israel to divide and dominate the region on Washington’s behalf, undeterred by a confident neighbour. If any country in the world has been handed urgent cause to develop a nuclear “deterrence”, it is Iran.

As one of the original signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has been a consistent advocate of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. In contrast, Israel has never agreed to an IAEA inspection, and its nuclear weapons plant at Dimona remains an open secret. Armed with as many as 200 active nuclear warheads, Israel “deplores” UN resolutions calling on it to sign the NPT, just as it deplored the recent UN report charging it with crimes against humanity in Gaza, just as it maintains a world record for violations of international law. It gets away with this because great power grants it immunity.

Obama’s “showdown” with Iran has another agenda. On both sides of the Atlantic the media have been tasked with preparing the public for endless war. The US/Nato commander General Stanley McChrystal says 500,000 troops will be required in Afghanistan over five years, according to America’s NBC. The goal is control of the “strategic prize” of the gas and oilfields of the Caspian Sea, central Asia, the Gulf and Iran – in other words, Eurasia. But the war is opposed by 69 per cent of the British public, 57 per cent of the US public and almost every other human being. Convincing “us” that Iran is the new demon will not be easy. McChrystal’s spurious claim that Iran “is reportedly training fighters for certain Taliban groups” is as desperate as Brown’s pathetic echo of “a line in the sand”.

During the Bush years, according to the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a military coup took place in the US, and the Pentagon is now ascendant in every area of American foreign policy. A measure of its control is the number of wars of aggression being waged simultaneously and the adoption of a “first-strike” doctrine that has lowered the threshold on nuclear weapons, together with the blurring of the distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons.

All this mocks Obama’s media rhetoric about “a world without nuclear weapons”. In fact, he is the Pentagon’s most important acquisition. His acquiescence with its demand that he keep on Bush’s secretary of “defence” and arch war-maker, Robert Gates, is unique in US history. He has proved his worth with escalated wars from south Asia to the Horn of Africa. Like Bush’s America, Obama’s America is run by some very dangerous people. We have a right to be warned. When will those paid to keep the record straight do their job?

Existence is Resistance!

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Posted by Bilal at 19:33

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"all Pls need in order to win is to survive." Gilad Atzmon - comment 27

Israeli Arabs to launch strike against discriminatory policies

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Posted by realistic bird under Politics Tags: , , , , , , , ,

By Jean Shaoul

WSWS - 30 September 2009

Israel’s 1.4 million Arab citizens are to stage a one-day general strike on October 1 to oppose the openly racist and discriminatory policies of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s government.

Jafar Farah, director of the Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, cited “ongoing police violence, cuts in the state budget that will detrimentally affect local Arab councils, the deepening of social and economic discrimination, the huge amount of bills introduced which would increase legal discrimination against the Arab community, political incitement against both the Arab community and its leaders and the atmosphere since the election of the new government.”

“Somebody has to say stop it, that’s it, it’s enough,” he warned. “Otherwise it could lead to civil war.”

The strike takes place on the anniversary of a general strike, or Intifada, in northern Israel in 2000, two days after Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and in response to the killing of six Arabs in the mosque in Jerusalem. The Israeli police responded with gunfire, killing 13 Arab demonstrators, some at point blank rage, and injuring hundreds more. It was the first time that the security forces had turned their firepower on Palestinians living within Israel.

Ministers in the ruing Labour coalition and the media denounced the demonstrations and strikes as an “uprising” and a “revolt.” This helped inflame the situation, leading to more killings and numerous attacks by Jewish zealots on Arab shops, homes and individuals, with little attempt on the part of the Israeli authorities to defend the Arab minority.

More than 1,000 Arab Israelis were arrested in the first few months of the Intifada. Israel’s Arab citizens were denounced as the “enemy within” and as a fifth column and Arab Knesset members as arch traitors. Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon described Israeli Arabs as a “cancerous manifestation.”

Since then, 27 Israeli Arab citizens have been killed by the police. There has been only one conviction with a token 15-month sentence handed out for the shooting of Mahmoud Ghanaim in the head at point blank range.

Under pressure, the government set up the Orr Commission to examine the events of October 1, 2000. It confirmed that the security forces had used live ammunition without warning and that this had been specifically authorised by the commander of Israel’s northern district.

The Orr Commission criticised the Israeli police for using excessive force. However, no one faced legal charges or even internal discipline. The commission exonerated the politicians who played a central role in creating the crisis, while blaming Arab leaders for inciting the protests. Internal Security Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, who was responsible for the police, later became foreign minister.

The Orr Commission did, however, officially admit for the first time that Arab Israelis are treated as second-class citizens. It concluded, “Government handling of the Arab sector has been primarily neglectful and discriminatory.” It criticised the government for failing to give fair and equal attention to the needs of Arabs, and concluded that frustration with their discriminatory treatment had led to the demonstrations.

Israeli Arabs are the descendents of those Palestinians who remained after the founding of Israel in 1948, when more than 750,000 Palestinians were driven out or fled. They have faced decades of discrimination and oppression under successive governments and lived under military rule until 1966. The land and homes of those who had left were confiscated. The state dispossessed those who remained, with the result that the Arab share of the land fell from nine percent to about three percent.

The 250,000 Arab residents of occupied East Jerusalem, illegally annexed to Israel after the 1967 war, do not have Israeli citizenship.

It has proved impossible for Israeli Arabs to lease land, as 93 percent of it is now owned by the state or quasi-state bodies that refuse to sell or lease it to Arabs. Driven off the land, they were forced to become labourers in Israeli industrial and agricultural enterprises at rates of pay well below their Jewish counterparts.

For years, Arab towns received half the subsidies and government grants of Jewish municipalities. Neither planning permission nor finance was ever sanctioned for new towns, although the population has grown sevenfold. New Jewish towns and facilities have been built around the Arab towns and villages in the Galilee, the Triangle and the Negev, blocking their development. A further 160,000 Bedu live in the Negev in southern Israel, more than half of them in “unrecognised settlements” lacking the most basic amenities. Public services are grossly inferior to those of even the most disadvantaged Jewish Israelis of Middle East and North African origin.

One out of every two Arab children in Israel lives below the poverty line. Half of all children living in poverty are Arabs, even though they represent 20 percent of the population. The gap between their conditions and those of Jewish Israelis is growing.

Excluded from compulsory military service, few Arabs are employed in the civil service and state industries. Discrimination is rife across all services and employment sectors. Arab Israelis also face overt political discrimination. One of the most egregious pieces of legislation is the 2003 Citizenship Law, which prevents Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza who marry an Israeli Arab from moving to Israel to live with their spouses.

The strike planned for October 1 is the first since 2005 and has been provoked in no small part by the measures proposed by Netanyahu’s coalition partner, Israel Beiteinu, a party that promotes the transfer of its Arab Israeli population.

In the last few months, Israel Beiteinu has attempted to introduce a raft of discriminatory and racist measures: a ban on demonstrations or commemorations of the “Nakba,” or catastrophe, the word used by Palestinians for their dispossession in 1948; the requirement to swear an oath of loyalty to Israel; and the outlawing of political demands for ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state.

The proposals were dropped or watered down after widespread protests. But now Education Minister Gideon Saar plans to drop the word “Nakba” from Arab textbooks, while introducing classes on Jewish heritage and Zionism. Future budgets for schools will be linked to the percentage of students going on to perform military service. This would adversely affect Arab schools. As it is, Jewish schools currently receive nine times more funding per child than Arab schools.

Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister and leader of Israel Beiteinu, announced that training for the diplomatic service would only be open to those who had completed military service. The housing minister, Ariel Atias, has demanded segregation between Jews and Arabs and has launched a drive to “Judaicize” the Galilee where most Arabs live, to prevent any land swap in a peace deal with the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Eli Yishai has approved a wave of house demolitions in Arab towns.

Transport Minister Israel Katz has demanded that road signs, which currently show place names in Hebrew, Arabic and English, should be in Hebrew alone.

Government ministers have made provocative verbal attacks on Arab Knesset members, suggesting that they would be legitimate targets for political assassination. Lieberman said, “Our central problems is not the Palestinians, but Ahmed Tibi [an Arab MK] and his ilk—they are more dangerous than Hamas or the [Islamic] Jihad combined.”

The worsening pogromist atmosphere and demands for ethnic cleansing are ultimately the product of the creation of Israel as a Jewish state, based upon the continuing dispossession and oppression of the country’s original inhabitants.

So long as the Arabs were a distinct, oppressed minority, they could be tolerated by the ruling elite. But today they are perceived as a demographic threat to Israel’s existence. The birth rate is higher among the Palestinians than it is among Israeli Jews. Whereas in 2000, there were 8.2 million people in Israel and the Occupied Territories, 40 percent of whom were Palestinians, by 2015 this will rise to 50 percent. At the same time, Israel’s Arab citizens will comprise 25 percent of the country’s population.

Under conditions where Jewish Israelis will soon be a minority in Israel/Palestine, as far as the ruling class is concerned it is becoming untenable to maintain any distinction between the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and Israeli Arabs.

Insofar as a two-state solution was ever acceptable to Israel’s financial elite, this was because it would provide a solution to the “demographic problem.” Implicit in the “land for peace” proposals of the Oslo Accords advanced by the Labour Party was the eventual “transfer” of Israel’s Arab citizens. This is now not only the explicit policy of the Netanyahu’s far right coalition partners, but finds its echo across the official political spectrum.

In last year’s election campaign, opposition Kadima leader Tzipi Livni declared publicly that a Palestinian state would provide “a national solution” for Israel’s Arabs. She was forced to deny any intention of “forcing them to leave” the “Jewish and democratic state” of Israel.

" ... Obama has blinked ..."

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WPR's Judah Grunstein, here

"Let's face it, the meme that's currently taking shape is that President Barack Obama is weak and vascillating....

Is it a fair characterization? It leaves out a number of policy positions where he has taken bold initiatives and followed them up well. His nuclear nonproliferation agenda, for instance, which I initially dismissed but have since come to appreciate, offers promising openings on a number of fronts. His handling of the much-needed U.S. image makeover, too, has been effective. His initial handling of China and India have been quietly consistent with precedent, if not without some (unavoidable) bumpy patches. His reset of the Russia relationship was necessary, and the concessions made -- inevitable because it entailed walking back previous overreach -- were kept to a minimum.

But on Israel-Palestine, Afghanistan and Iran -- that is, the inherited conflicts, as opposed to the inherited engagements -- there definitely seems to be a hesitation on following through on initial convictions and openings. To be fair, in the latter two cases, the ground shifted under the stated policy's feet. And in all three cases, the reality is that there are no good options. All the possible approaches carry great risks -- whether immediate or deferred -- and limited chances of optimal outcomes. They're all also politically perilous domestically.

But even if it's understandable why, Obama has blinked. And that will certainly have effects down the road. The logic behind the "Nixon in China" axiom isn't that a hawk can sell engagement to domestic hawks. ... The logic behind the axiom is that a hawk can sell engagement as strength to both the interested party and to third-party observers, whether adversaries or rivals, thereby minimizing the risk of collateral damage on other conflicts, whether active or potential.

I had initially interpreted Obama's immediate decision to deploy 21,000 troops to Afghanistan in this light: a show of strength that would provide cover for subsequently drawing down the military footprint there. That effect has now been muddied, and the resulting image of a modern-day Hamlet could very well limit Obama's hands in the subsequent rounds of what are all multi-round affairs.
The alternate danger is that Obama might feel the need to give another, more dramatic demonstration of force to dispel any lingering image of weakness. And that could fatally wound his campaign to re-brand the U.S. as a more benign superpower...."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 11:41 AM

Lebanon's cluster bomb lessons

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Posted by realistic bird under Politics Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Cluster bomb victim

Cluster bomb victim


By Andrew Wander in southern Lebanon, Al Jazeera


September 30, 2009

“He was picking grapes when he died,” says Khalil Kassem Terkiya, glancing at his wife as he recalls the day their son was killed by a cluster bomb in southern Lebanon.

Greying and slight, Terkiya looks older than his 46 years: “A cluster bomb was caught in the vine and it exploded. It was the day after the war finished. He was 19.”

His wife walks away without speaking, her head bowed. The couple’s son, Ali, was one of the first post-war victims of the estimated one million cluster bombs fired by Israel into southern Lebanon during a month-long conflict with Hezbollah in 2006.

Because so many of them failed to detonate on impact, Ali was not to be the last victim.

Since the end of the war, more than 350 people in Lebanon have been killed or injured by unexploded cluster bombs acting as de facto land mines, and every month that figure slowly increases.

Terkiya lives in the village of West Zawtar, at the heart of a swathe of land south of the town of Nabatiyeh that was badly hit during the war.

Large areas of southern Lebanon became a no-go area as a result of the cluster bomb-strikes; farmers were cut off from their land and schools forced to close their playgrounds.

‘Yesterday’s war’

While more than half of this land has now been declared safe, de-mining progress is stalling.

The crucial donations that pay for cluster bomb clearance are drying up as new crises deflect attention away from what has become “yesterday’s war” and the global recession puts pressure on foreign aid budgets.
The result has been a dramatic cut in de-mining capacity in the country.

“In 2007 there were 114 clearance teams working here,” says Lt Col Mohamed el Cheikh of the Lebanese Mine Action Centre (LMAC), a military body set up to co-ordinate the clearance with the various civilian de-mining agencies that work in the country.

“At the beginning of this year we had 46 teams left. Now there are just 20.”

At current capacity, LMAC estimates that it will take at least another three-and-a-half years to finish the job, although that time could be cut to just 18 months if new donations are made.

Danish Church Aid (DCA), one of the clearance agencies working in Lebanon, predicted earlier this month that the delay would lead to “many more” civilian casualties.

As clearance organisations pack up their equipment and pull out, LMAC is expanding its efforts to educate the civilian population, particularly children, about the risks posed by the deadly devices.

Officials say mine risk education and bomb-clearance go hand in hand- they are the two most essential components of efforts to avoid further casualties. But with clearance work faltering, the education programmes have taken on a new significance; people are going to have to live the bombs for longer than they thought.

“Since we don’t have enough money for clearance, we have to increase the mine risk education campaigns,” Cheikh says. “It’s logical. We have to keep reminding people of the danger – particularly children.”
Children at risk

Almost a third of the post-war cluster bomb casualties have been under the age of 18.

Children are particularly at risk, experts say, because they often play in remote areas and are curious about strange objects they come across. In August alone, six children were hurt in cluster bomb explosions in Lebanon, according to DCA.

The mine-risk education programme has been devised to maximise children’s exposure to mine safety messages while providing incentives for them to pay attention.

Soldiers give presentations in community halls and schools across southern villages, distributing school bags and stationery emblazoned with the “golden rules” for dealing with unexploded ordnance: “Don’t approach, don’t touch, telephone immediately.”

For younger children there are colouring books with cluster bombs in the pictures, stickers featuring their favourite cartoon characters warning them to take care and even a game based on Monopoly, all aimed at driving home safety messages.

The gifts are popular with children in the south.

Soldiers educate children

In Yohmor, a small village perched on a hillside near Beaufort Castle, they seem to be educating as well as entertaining.

“I’ve never seen a cluster bomb,” says eight-year-old Aya, as she watches a soldier carrying a display case filled with inert explosives in preparation for an education session.

“If I did, I wouldn’t touch it. I would tell my parents about it.”

She is clutching a copy of the colouring book. Other children are busy swapping stickers. At the back of the room, parents look on as the soldiers prepare to distribute more stationary items, drawing names out of a basket to see who gets what. There are not enough supplies for everyone.

“These are poor people,” Cheikh explains. “If you give the children school bags and pencil cases, it saves the family money and it spreads the message to the children.”

This month more than 10,000 children from southern Lebanon will have attended LMAC’s mine-awareness presentations and the programme is to be expanded in coming years, as the Lebanese army look to take on more dedicated de-mining staff.

Back in West Zawtar, Khalil Terkiya looks on as the hall fills up with chattering children who have come to the village’s LMAC presentation.

He believes the education sessions are important, but he knows the only way the children will be truly safe is if the cluster bombs are cleared.

“The olive groves here are still polluted with cluster-bombs,” he says. “They are still a threat to all of us.”

Andrew Wander, a media fellow with legal charity Reprieve, works on Al Jazeera’s Public Liberties and Human Rights Desk.


Our Intelligence, and Theirs: Iran, nukes, and geography

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Posted by realistic bird under Politics Tags: , , , , , , ,
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by Justin Raimondo, September 30, 2009, source

Ron Rosenbaum, journalist (the New York Observer, Slate.com), author, and one of the few liberals to sign on to the ill-fated Pajamas Media fiasco, is damned mad:

“Will all the pundits who relied on the discredited 2007 NIE on Iran now admit that they were wrong? That they bought into and kept citing, without any serious questioning, the now clearly politically skewed analysis in the so-called National Intelligence Estimate of that year? You remember: the considered consensus wisdom of the entire U.S. intelligence community, which misled the world into believing there was nothing to worry about Iran’s nuclear program, that it had virtually ceased.”

Bring in the “congressional intelligence committees”! Heads must roll! Someone call 911 – because those shifty-eyed spooks who gave us the NIE [.pdf] knew, knew about this “secret facility” and still they insisted the Iranians had given up their nuclear weapons program in 2003. Has Tehran infiltrated and taken over the CIA?

Well, uh, no. It’s just that, unlike Rosenbaum, the spooks operate in a world where logic rules and what’s required before reaching a conclusion is something we call “evidence.” This is a matter Rosenbaum and the “bomb-bomb-bomb Iran” crowd couldn’t care less about: Iran is evil, the Qom facility is (or was) secret, so what else do we need to know in order to start World War III? Surely not something so pedestrian and wimpy as solid evidence. After all, it’s only lives – many thousands of lives lost to murderous sanctions, as well as the inevitable war to follow – that are at stake.

The mere fact that the CIA issued their NIE – averring “with high confidence” that the Iranians had ceased their previously undisclosed nuclear weapons program “in the fall of 2003″ – with full knowledge of this sinister, secret facility should tell Rosenbaum something: not that our CIA is a front for the Iranian Republican Guard, but that he knows less than they do about what is really going on in Qom. After all, they’ve had years to conduct surveillance and analysis. Is it possible they know more about Qom than Rosenbaum does?

But of course not. According to Rosenbaum, the NIE was a “lie,” deliberate “disinformation” planted by those traitors in the CIA who ought to be brought up before a congressional committee and grilled until they’re as overdone as Rosenbaum’s histrionics. Yes, and all those pundits, too, who took the NIE as gospel and were “had” – when are they going to “fess up”?

Coming from someone who supported the Iraq war – a war based on completely made-up “intelligence” – Rosenbaum’s posturing takes the cake. But then again, as someone who sees Hitler under every bed, it wasn’t hard for Rosenbaum to be “had,” as he puts it: he and his pro-war confreres on what today passes for the Left – Christopher Hitchens, Paul Berman, and the rest of that Legion of Lost Souls – were ready, willing, and perfectly able to be let themselves be deceived, because they didn’t care one whit for the truth.
They still don’t. The accusation that Iran is going nuclear in order to make a bomb that it plans to drop on Israel is nonsense, and they know it. It is enough for them that Iran exists, and, for some, that it opposes Israel.

The one word these people don’t want to hear is “Dimona” – the site of Israel’s nuclear weapons research facility. As Juan Cole puts it:

“There is no good evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. It has offered to allow regular International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of the newly announced facility near Qom, which would effectively prevent it from being used for weapons production.

“There is a secret nuclear facility in the Middle East, however, producing plutonium and not just enriched uranium, which has the capacity to make 10 nuclear warheads a year.”

The idea that Israel could indefinitely maintain a nuclear monopoly in the region – enforced by the U.S. military – was never a very practical one. Israel’s attorneys in this country who argue that Iranian success in joining the nuclear club would set off a regional arms race are a bit late: the race started the moment Israel stole the technology from the West and made its own nukes with French assistance and over U.S. opposition. Israel has been threatening to attack Iran for years, and who is to say they wouldn’t nuke Tehran? Indeed, one prominent Israeli writer, Benny Morris, made the case for just that, no doubt with the encouragement of his government. It could be a bluff – but why take the risk?

Instead, what we need is, yes, sanctions! Backed up with a UN resolution, of course; these things have to be done properly. And when we’ve degraded life in Israel to an almost unbearable degree, embargoing such military-related items as incubators, toilet paper, and toothbrushes – just as we did in Iraq – then we can move in for the kill. Just as we did in Iraq, and just as Rosenbaum and his war-crazed cohorts would like to do in Iran.

The propaganda blitz is starting right on schedule, with Obama in the Israelis’ pocket and sanctions a nearly foregone conclusion. The shooting war may be a bit down the road, but it’s coming. Be patient. There will be a lot of palaver about “intelligence,” with the Israelis and our European allies feeding us their own interpretations of what little real information they can glean about Iran’s capabilities – views skewed (indeed, determined) by simple geography.

Check out this New York Times piece, which has the Germans saying the Iranians never gave up their nuclear weapons program and the French saying the IAEA is covering for Tehran. The Israelis, naturally enough, are the most hysterical. The Americans, on the other hand, are sticking to their guns – in spite of Rosenbaum – and offering the most conservative estimate, which is that the Iranians gave up on nukes six years ago and haven’t restarted their program. Roughly speaking, the closer one is to Iran, physically, the more one tends to interpret the intelligence to reflect one’s deepest fears, editing out facts that don’t fit.

The facts are these: Iran has revealed the existence of the Qom facility and opened it up to international inspection. Which means it can’t be used to make a nuclear weapon. In a rational world, that would be the end of the story. In the world we live in, however – a world in which the Israel lobby wields inordinate power in Washington and every other Western capital – it is just the beginning.

Never mind the facts: they can be spun this way and that. Our own intelligence community, with America’s interests in mind, may hold out for quite a while, but, in the end – just like last time – they’ll be inundated by their rivals among our allies, principally (but not limited to) the Israelis, who are quite good at feeding disinformation into the intelligence pipeline without leaving too many fingerprints. That’s one of the disadvantages of being an empire: we are held hostage by our own satraps, who depend on us for their very survival – and are therefore passionately committed to shaping our decisions any way they can.

Iran is challenging both the U.S. and Israel in a region of the world that we and our allies have long dominated. If they are allowed to get away with it, other “rogue” nations will get ideas, and then there’s no stopping the unraveling of the “world order” we have worked so long and hard to maintain. We may bankrupt ourselves in the process, drive the price of oil up to $200 a barrel, and start World War III – but confront them we will, of that you can rest assured. It’s only a matter of time. The pro-war ads have already begun, and the “liberal” media is lining up behind its commander in chief. All the actors are in their places, and now the drama – an all-too-familiar drama – begins. “Weapons of mass destruction,” phony intelligence, a compliant media: all the ingredients are there. All that’s needed is a spark that sets off the conflagration…

.....to throw the First-Stone !!!

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http://www.bauckmanfinearts.com/photos/religious1.jpg
Jesus ,the Palestinian, allowed
"those without a sin , to throw the first stone"


Iran has missiles
Iran might have ,also,
long range missiles.


but
Cyprus has no missiles
Panama has no missiles

while
Israel has a multitude of missiles
and
the USA, France and UK
have all kind of long range missiles.


So ,why
Cyprus and Panama are not complaining about Iran ??
while
the UK,USA and France do complain !!!


If having a missile is a sin
why are those sinners louder
than the innocents ??


Sherlock Hommos


Posted by Тлакскала at 8:32 PM

IOA to build 14,000 housing units in OJ, threatens more demolitions in WB



IOA to build 14,000 housing units in OJ, threatens more demolitions in WB

[ 30/09/2009 - 10:22 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSSALEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is planning to build 14,000 new housing units in occupied Jerusalem, a Hebrew paper reported.

Ma'ariv said that the IOA is to endorse the project in Walaja village south of occupied Jerusalem within the few coming weeks.

It noted that the new suburb would stretch over 3,000 dunums and is expected to accommodate 40,000 settlers to serve as one of the biggest settlement projects in the holy city similar to Gilo, Pisgat Ze'ev and Har Homa.

The daily pointed out that the new suburb would extend outside the municipal border of occupied Jerusalem into the West Bank, and claimed that a group of investors had bought the land around Walaja village a few years ago.

In the West Bank, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday handed memos to eight Palestinian citizens in Azun village, Qalqilia district, notifying them that their homes would be demolished for lack of construction licenses.

The IOF soldiers also confiscated a licensed tractor in Jericho village of Fasayel on Tuesday.

Israel’s propagandists shoot themselves in the foot as they shoot off their mouths

Link

By Guest Post • Sep 30th, 2009 at 7:27 • Category: Hasbara Deconstruction Site, Israel, Newswire, Palestine, Zionism

hasbaraWRITTEN BY GREG FELTON
Canadian Arab News
September 30, 2009

If you have ever visited a blog or on-line discussion group on the Middle East you have doubtless had the misfortune to run into them.

They are known by the language they use: depraved sexual insults, bile, bigotry, threats, disinformation and character assassination. That’s right: I’m talking about “hasbarats,” Zionist trolls who infect the Internet with hasbara, pro-Israel propaganda. Of course, mainstream media hasbarats have been around for decades, as have “hasbaratchiks,” fifth-columns in foreign governments who subvert national policies to serve Israel. The Internet, though, is the latest, some might say the greatest, propaganda playground, and Israel cannot cope with factual, passionate, well-documented stories that expose its war crimes and unrepentant criminality.

If you’ve come across a hasbarat, on-line or otherwise, you have learned that no amount of reasoned argument or intellectual maturity has any effect. That’s because hasbarats don’t care if they come across as ignorant, obnoxious, nasty or inane. All that matters for them is sabotaging criticism of Israel and support for Muslims. They're like anti-intellectual stink bombs: designed to cause maximum discomfort but have little if any real power.

This deliberate proliferation of on-line hasbarats raises two points. The first concerns why anyone would spend hours a day to prostitute themselves for Israel. Money, of course. Ilan Shturman, deputy director of the Israeli foreign ministry’s hasbara department (!), told an Israeli business newspaper in July that US$150,000 had been allocated for the first stage of a campaign to seed the Internet with hasbarats:

“Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the hasbara department of the Israeli foreign ministry and I want to tell you the following.’ Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis. They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the foreign ministry developed.”

The second point is why Israel felt it had to resort to intellectual fraud on an international scale. The Internet has shown that Israel is a failed oppressor state that commits crimes against humanity as a matter of policy. The last straw for many was “Operation Cast Lead,” an act of such unspeakable unapologetic sadism that allusions to Nazi Germany are entirely appropriate.

Every day, it seems, the mythic foundations of Israel’s legitimacy—the holocaust, Jewish victimhood, Jewish “people,” Israeli “democracy,” “evil” Muslims—are exposed for all to see.

In January, Amir Gissin, Israel’s consul-general in Toronto, sent out a hasbara recruitment letter, which read in part: “If you are frustrated or concerned with the portrayal of Israel in Canadian News and with biased [sic] depictions, your voice can be heard. Now, think that you’re not alone 10,000 voices like yours can respond every day: praise, protest, inform, correct on leading Canadian news websites, in real time, effectively.”

The weakness with this tactic, as you probably figured out, is that hasbarats will inevitably shout and whine themselves into irrelevance. Eventually, intelligent people will tune out the Zionist boilerplate, the anti-Muslim smears, and the interminable drone about the holocaust. Already, the once-dreaded epithet “anti-Semite” has lost all significance, as if it ever had any, and the person who hurled it is more likely to be mocked than feared.

Two recent events demonstrate the growing desperation and ineptitude of Israel’s propaganda industry. Today, we look at an example of “positive hasbara.”


Toronto International Film Festival

A major tactic of hasbarats is to project the illusion that Israel is a normal Western democracy, thereby taking focus away from Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians. Also, countries that buy into the deceit will be unwilling to criticize Israel for fear of calling into question their role in covering up Zionist war crimes.

This tactic was tried at the recent Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as Tel Aviv was spotlighted in a City-to-City program with Toronto. The ostensible purpose was to use an apolitical, cultural event to obscure the tyranny that Tel Aviv represents, but more than 1,000 filmmakers and performers, weren’t fooled. They put their names to The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation, an open letter to the TIFF that protested the co-optation of the festival by the Israeli propaganda machine.

The protest accomplished precisely what the hasbarats tried to prevent. “Rather than talking about Israel’s rich cinematic culture, the buzz this week in Toronto has centered on the one thing Israeli officials had sought to avoid: the conflict with the Palestinians,” reported the Jewish Telegraph Agency.

Branding Israel at the TIFF

The hasbara campaign to ‘re-brand’ Israel during the Toronto International Film Festival failed miserably. So much attention was paid to the protest that it overshadowed the political objectives of Israel’s propaganda machine.

Another major defeat for Israel came courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert. After offering a knee-jerk condemnation of the City-to-City protests, he reversed himself the next day:

“I wasn't prepared with enough facts about the events leading up to the Festival's decision to showcase Tel Aviv in the City-to-City section. I [initially] thought of it as an innocent goodwill gesture, but now realize it was part of a deliberate plan to ‘re-brand’ Israel in Toronto, as a pilot for a larger such program. The Festival should never have agreed to be used like this. It was naïve for the plan’s supporters to believe it would have the effect they hoped for.”

Speaking of naïve, how about Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv! Whether out of overconfidence or stupidity, he publicly admitted the underlying hasbara in an interview with the JTA: “While the City to City program was initiated by the festival, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs was involved as part of its Brand Israel media and advertising campaign, which was launched last year.”

Quite obviously, Israel would have been better off if the hasbarats had not tried to manipulate the festival. Even the predictable pro-Israel counterprotest merely added to the protest’s notoriety and detracted from the cultural propaganda. Moreover the standard claim that the protest was an attack on Israel and artistic freedom was demonstrably false. If anything, the protest highlighted Israel’s active suppression of Palestinian culture.

According to the authors of the Toronto Declaration:

“Many Palestinian artists and filmmakers, denied freedom of movement by Israel’s Occupation and pass system, are de facto boycotted, unable to communicate with their communities or travel freely. The double standard is mind-boggling and, slowly, these are the issues we are helping to put under a spotlight.”

Finally, it is important to note that the Declaration’s authors succeeded without any media help. They had no money to place ads, and no newspaper would publish their open letter. On the other hand, hasbarats had the full support (read: “obedience”) of Canada’s national media, and lost.

If a modest, unfunded, popular protest can effectively defeat an orchestrated propaganda campaign, what does that say about Israel’s ability to pose as a legitimate, democratic state? Even though hasbarats get their disinformation out with relative ease, it is not clear that is generally accepted.

Visit : http://www.gregfelton.com/media/2009_09_30.htm

Breakthrough in prisoners exchange deal


Breakthrough in prisoners exchange deal

30-09-2009,11:38

Al Qassam Website – Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, confirmed that in the framework of the Egyptian & the German efforts to release the Palestinian prisoners from all the Palestinian factions, an agreement was done to release 20 Palestinian female prisoners from the Zionist jails in the next few days in exchange to clarify the status of Shalit.

The Brigades indicated at a press conference for Abu Obeida, the spokesman of Al Qassam Brigades, on Wednesday in the courtyard of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City that the prisoners will be as the following:

  • Four prisoners from Hamas.
  • Five prisoners from Fatah.
  • Three prisoners from the Islamic Jihad.
  • One prisoner of the Popular Front.
According to the geographical distribution, they are:

  • Three prisoners from Hebron.
  • Eight prisoners from Nablus.
  • Four prisoners from Ramallah.
  • Three prisoners from Bethlehem.
  • A captive and one of the Jenin.
  • Seven independent prisoners.
  • A captive and her child from the Gaza Strip.
Hamas movement declared the names of the female prisones whom will be released; they are:

Ayat qaysi
Rugena Riad Jnazra
Rima Abu Aisha
Heba As'ad Al-Natsha
Maymouna Jibreen
Jihad Abu Turki
Bara'a Milki
Laila Mohamed Bukhari
Fatma Zak, her baby Joseph
Nadine Dweik
Kefah Al Buhs
Linan Abu Ghalama
Shirin Hassan
Sana Saleh Hajajra
Manal Saba'na
Zuhoor Hamdan
Hiam Al Bayed
Naheda Al De'ra
Najwa Abdul-Jani

Abu Obaida said "The Palestinian factions which completed this step is confirming the steadfastness of its position and its commitment to make its best effort to complete the deal to release our prisoners from the Zionist jails.”

Al Qassam Brigades and other Palestinian factions captured the Zionist soldier Gilad Shalit almost three years ago in an operation as a response to the Zionist aggression on the Palestinian civilians in Gaza strip and the West Bank.


Youngest prisoner in the world - Yousif, 17 months

Yousif Rizq was born in an Israeli jail, to his incarcerated Palestinian mother, Fatima Rizq. Fatima had accompanied her niece who travelled to Israel for treatment in May 2007. Whilst they were waiting to cross into Israel in Beit Hanoun checkpoint in Gaza, they were arrested. She had thought that it was a mistake on behalf of the Israelis because of her name but to no avail. She was surprised to find out she was pregnant but the Israelis did not take this into consideration when sentencing her. Yousif's father, Mohammad Rizq, is still unable to visit his son because the Israelis did not allow him due to him being a resident of Gaza. He has only seen pictures of his son from the Red Cross. The source of this information is an article in Al-Akhbar, a Lebanese newspaper (in Arabic). Every time I think Ive heard it all, I get surprised by the level of Israel's oppression. Its worse than you think. Always.


Posted by Bilal at 00:30

'We Will Continue to Seek Legal Action against Israeli Officials'


'We Will Continue to Seek Legal Action against Israeli Officials'
30/09/2009 Attorney Ali Tayeb, who orchestrated the court petition asking British authorities to arrest Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak for war crimes allegedly perpetrated during the Gaza war, said Tuesday he will continue to pursue legal action against any Israeli official who arrives in the UK.

Earlier, the London Court rejected the petition, saying Barak enjoys diplomatic immunity and therefore cannot be prosecuted.

Tayeb, a British-Pakistani, prepared the motion which Attorney Michel Massiah then filed with the court. He told Ynet that Israeli officials "must realize that we will be relentless in pursuing legal action against them."

His office, which specializes in human rights, will continue to try and have the British court issue arrest warrants against any Israeli official arriving in the UK, he said.

"I have nothing against Israel personally. My political views have nothing to do with this case," Tayeb told Ynet, adding that he does not exclude the possibility of one day representing an Israeli settler against Hamas – if the case has merit.


Ehud Barak avoids war crimes charges on technicality

This is strange. Ok, the UK allowing an Israeli war crimes suspect to evade justice isn't strange at all but the reasoning this time is very strange. Look at this Guardian article by Ian Black and Ian Cobain:

Israel received an uncomfortable reminder of international anger over the Gaza war today when lawyers representing 16 Palestinians asked a London court to issue an arrest warrant for its defence minister, Ehud Barak, who is visiting Britain.

After a day of delays and legal wrangling the bid failed on the grounds that Barak enjoyed diplomatic immunity from prosecution. But the episode triggered a brief storm that is likely to give Israeli officials second thoughts about the risk of prosecution in foreign courts.

Barak was last night addressing a fringe meeting at the Labour party conference in Brighton, and is due to meet Gordon Brown and David Miliband, the foreign secretary‑— triggering new protests.

Furious Israeli officials insisted all day that he was protected by diplomatic immunity and could not be legally detained.

The action related to alleged war crimes and breaches of the Geneva conventions during the Gaza offensive, launched by Israel last December in response to Palestinian rocket attacks and widely criticised. The death toll is disputed, but the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem says 1,387 Palestinians died, including 773 people not taking part in hostilities.

Solicitors asked a district judge at the City of Westminster magistrates court to issue a warrant for the minister's arrest under the 1988 Criminal Justice Act, which gives courts in England and Wales universal jurisdiction in war crimes cases.

The hearing was postponed while the court asked the Foreign Office to clarify Barak's status in the UK. The lawyers making the application said they believed a warrant could be issued even if he was in Britain in an official capacity.

Intensive contacts were understood to have taken place throughout the day between London and Jerusalem. Barak is also deputy prime minister of Israel and leader of the country's Labour party.

Lawyers from Irvine Thanvi Natas and Imran Khan & Partners said they believed the warrant that the international criminal court issued in May last year for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, offered a precedent. Bashir is accused of committing war crimes in Darfur.

Now there are a couple of strange things here. The first is that the article claims that in addition to being a war criminal, Ehud Barak is also Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Israeli Labour Party. The thing is, I don't think there has ever been a Deputy Prime Minister of Israel that wasn't a war criminal. Can anyone think of one? How about Labour Party leaders? There was one, wasn't there? He had been the Mayor of Haifa. When Arabs rioted in Haifa over Sharon's visit to Temple Mount, when Barak had lots of Israeli Palestinians killed, the Mayor of Haifa (whose name I can't remember) stopped the police from coming into Haifa and doing the same thing there. But by and large being a war criminal is a prerequisite for holding high office in the Israeli government.

But that isn't the strangest thing. The strangest thing is the reasoning being used by the court to allow yet another Israeli war criminal to get away with mass murder. See what the judge said:

Deputy district judge Daphne Wickham said allegations of war crimes had been well documented, but added: "I am satisfied that under customary international law Mr Barak has immunity from prosecution as he would not be able to perform his functions efficiently if he were the subject of criminal proceedings in this jurisdiction."
But other holders of similar offices in other countries have been sought, caught, prosecuted and punished.

It's almost as if the powers that be in this country want Israel's officialdom to get away with war crimes. But then given the sheer illegality of the Anglo-American assaults on Iraq over recent decades, perhaps the powers that be here in the UK have a stake in watering down international humanitarian law.

But something has been gained here. The judge could not deny that war crimes have been committed by Israel so the best thing to do was to dream up this immunity scam. Fine. The moral case is clear. Israel is a thoroughly illegitimate state whose existence is predicated on its on-going war crimes. This is actually a point scored for BDS because now Israeli officials, war criminals one and all, are on the receiving end of smart sanctions. Of course they can travel to many, most, western countries, but these humiliations will follow them around. Their war criminal status now means that for Israel's war criminals, highly publicised diplomatic immunity is the only way to travel. But (I know I know, too many buts) what about when the people bringing the prosecutions lower their sights to those pulling the triggers or giving orders on the ground? How many diplomatic passports can Israel issue to a population with a disproportionate number of racist war criminals in its midst?

Posted by Levi9909 @ 7:17 AM


From the Jerusalem Post (sic for the scare quotes around war crimes; my emphasis in red):

"After a tense day that included intensive consultations between the foreign ministries in Jerusalem and London, a British court on Tuesday rejected a petition urging an arrest warrant for Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the grounds that he committed "war crimes" during the IDF offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.

The court accepted arguments submitted by the British Foreign Office, which said the defense minister was a state guest, and therefore was not subject to such lawsuits. Barak was in Britain for talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth and Foreign Secretary David Miliband."
So presumably those Israeli war criminals who are not 'state guests' would be subject to be guests of the British penal system. Since nearly all adult Jewish Israelis have been in the IDF, and the IDF does nothing but commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, it would be prudent for all adult Jewish Israelis to avoid travel to Britain or any other state that recognizes international law (anyone who had anything to do with the Gaza slaughter is already permanently ruined). It is going to be increasingly difficult to be a Jewish Israeli, and the rate of difficulty is just starting to accelerate. Wise people would be leaving Israel now.

Aqsa Foundation: IOA accuses Sheikh Salah of rioting


Palestinian gov't : The Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem are both a red line

[ 30/09/2009 - 06:15 PM ]


GAZA, (PIC)-- The Palestinian government headed by premier Ismail Haneyya warned Tuesday that the Aqsa Mosque and the occupied city of Jerusalem are both a red line and any harm inflicted on them may generate unprecedented reactions.

In a statement following the government’s weekly cabinet meeting, its spokesman Taher Al-Nunu called on the countries which love security and stability to immediately intervene to stop the aggressive Zionist policies against the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem, or else Israel has to bear the consequences of its own actions.

Spokesman Nunu described what is happening in Jerusalem as a well-prepared Zionist scheme to control the Mosque and Judaize the holy city and an attempt to get the Arab and Muslim mentality accustomed to such break-ins in order to impose them as a fait accompli as happened in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil.

The spokesman reiterated the call on Al-Quds committee of the organization of the Islamic conference to hold an emergency meeting to make decisions and find mechanisms to protect the Aqsa Mosque and the holy city of Jerusalem from the growing dangers.

In another related context, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, the preacher of the Aqsa Mosque, said that summoning him by the Israeli police for questioning was aimed to muzzle the mouths of Palestinians and intimidate them so they could not defend the Aqsa Mosque.

In a press statement to the PIC, Sheikh Sabri noted that the Israeli occupation wants to control the courtyards of the holy Mosque.

For his part, Sheikh Hamed Al-Ali, the former secretary-general of the Salafi movement in Kuwait, said Tuesday that the organization of the Islamic conference, in light of the Zionist escalation against the Aqsa Mosque, has to develop a plan to break the siege on the Gaza Strip and open offices for the Palestinian resistance factions in all Arab and Muslim countries.

Sheikh Ali stressed the need for supporting the Palestinian resistance spiritually and financially to help launch the third intifada in Jerusalem.





Link

[ 30/09/2009 - 09:51 AM ]

NAZARETH, (PIC)-- The Aqsa Foundation for endowment and heritage has said that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) was accusing Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in the 1948 Palestine, of participating in riots.

The Foundation said in a press release on Tuesday that an Israeli court also charged Sheikh Salah and Dr. Suleiman Eghbariye with assaulting the Israeli security men during the Bab Al-Maghreba incidents in February 2007.

It said that Sheikh Salah, for his part, accused the IOA of implementing the crime of demolishing part of the Aqsa Mosque when it knocked down the road leading to Bab Al-Maghreba gate in the holy site.

Lawyers of the Sheikh said that he categorically denied the charges.



Ministry of prisoners deplores Abbas’s militia for kidnapping Hamas spokesman


Ministry of prisoners deplores Abbas’s militia for kidnapping Hamas spokesman

[ 29/09/2009 - 08:16 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs on Tuesday strongly denounced Mahmoud Abbas’s militias for kidnapping ex-detainee Abdelbasit Al-Haj, a Hamas spokesman in Jenin, only few days after his release from Israeli jails.

The ministry said that Al-Haj spent in Israeli jails more than nine years, mostly in administrative detention without any charge or trial, noting that one of his brothers died eight months ago in the preventive security’s jails as a result of his exposure to severe torture at the hands of Abbas’s militias.

The ministry called on Abbas to release all political prisoners especially the ex-detainees from his jails and stop all forms of coordination with the Israeli occupation, as this would help to achieve the national reconciliation.

In another context, Hamas lawmaker Huda Naim said in a press release on Tuesday that her Movement dealt positively with the new Egyptian overture and showed great flexibility and keenness on its success.

MP Naim added that this keenness stems from her Movement’s realization that the intenal division became a fertile ground for those who have personal projects beyond the interest of the Palestinian people and their national cause.

The lawmaker pointed out that the ball now is in the court of Fatah faction, linking any success of the reconciliation efforts to Fatah leadership’s genuine willingness to end the division.

Racism - scourge of the Arab world

Link


Tribalism and nationalism still plague the Arab world, 1400 years after the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) message of unity to the world through Islam. This time its in Iraq, where Black people are being discriminated against:
"Black Iraqis are still seen as slaves although engaged in different sectors of the society and there isn't a law that guarantee our rights as citizens," Salah Hashimi, 38, told IslamOnline.net. "The government says that they don't discriminate and that we are all Iraqis, however, those of us who face daily discrimination know otherwise."
The article is interesting in that it reveals new information to me, for example I didn't know there were 2 million black people in Iraq and I didn't know that the term 'zenji' was a racist word, then again in Palestine we used to call this desert here......'raas el-abd' which means 'head of the slave'. So the issue of racism in the Arab world has no borders, some say Gulf countries are more racist or Lebanon is more racist but its clear that we have a problem in ALL Arab countries with racism towards those who have dark skin. Why is this? Is this because of colonialism in the beginning of the 20th Century? Did we learn to love our white masters so much that we have acquired the love of the colour of their skin?! Or is it because of the phenomena of slavery in the Arab world? We need to learn that racism is totally against the teachings of Islam and anyone who works to eradicate racism in Arab countries needs to be supported. Istighfara Allah.


Posted by Bilal at 13:23

Labels: , ,

Hamas: Britain should apologize to Palestinians

Hamas: Britain should apologize to Palestinians

[ 30/09/2009 - 10:05 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Britain was directly responsible for the events that led to the Palestinian refugees' problem and should apologize for its role, the head of the refugees department in Hamas Movement Hussam Ahmed said.

He said in a press release on Tuesday that the British foreign secretary David Miliband's statement that the Palestinians should offer concessions in the issue of the refugees raised anew his country's role in creating this problem through supporting the establishment of the "Zionist entity (Israel)" on the land of Palestine and in the resultant expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homeland.

Ahmed expressed surprise at the fact that Miliband described Israel as a "peace loving country" in absolute disregard of its use of internationally banned weapons in targeting unarmed Palestinian civilians.

The Hamas official said that the British government should apologize for what it caused for the Palestinians whether during the occupation or mandate of Palestine due to its collusion with the "Zionist gangs" that committed massacres against the Palestinian people.

The United Kingdom's continued bias to the Zionist project, which it had created on the land of Palestine, is a continuation of its hostile policy towards the Palestinian people, Ahmed concluded.

Photo history of Abbas's collaboration



Link

Courtesy of Tony Karon:




UPDATE: Looks like Abbas has capitulated to US pressure on settlements:
According to Haaretz, the meeting signaled that Abbas has significantly weakened his negotiating stance. The newspaper states that under massive US pressure, Abbas has dropped the demand for a settlement freeze as a precondition for talks.

Posted by Bilal
at 13:12