Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 75 (since 2011-10-27 19:23:40)

Am passionate about the Palestinians seeing a fare end to their dilema

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  • Israeli embassy puts Mona Lisa in a hijab -- 'Israel now, Paris next'
  • How many would be alive today if Obama had not quashed Goldstone Report?
    • If Operation Protective Edge, does get a GoldstoneII (and I sure as hell hope it will), the brave people who have the task of "fact finding" will face an unholy propaganda war in an attempt to refute EVERY accusation made against Israel and the IDF. The CAMERA people blasted the Report in November 2009 mercilessly with accusations and video clips creating doubt and skepticism in their wake....And people who were confused, fearful or who knew no better were undoubtedly convinced...
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    • Goldstone was not alone in being arttacked. He was assisted in fact gathering and writing the Report by Irishman Colonel Desmond Travers, Hina Jilani, a prominent Pakistani human rights lawyer and Christine Chinkin, professor of international law at the London School of Economics. Subsequent to the Report's publishing, all of them were victims of character assassination. A scathing article appeared in the National Review:
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      This prompted a three part defense which appeared in The Guardian:
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  • Claim that Hamas killed 3 teens is turning out to be the WMD of Gaza onslaught
    • ....Not to mention the Israeli's conveniently adopted the British colonial
      "State of Emergency" quell Arab unrest.....(sic).....

  • The killing fields
    • ....yes perhaps guilty and also ill informed. The issue and answers seem to have been designed to confuse and discourage substantive action:

      We are now asking why R2P isn’t being applied to Palestine today. In reality, it never was –not at its inception and not since. The second (al Aqsa) Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation began in September 2000, while the original International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) report on R2P was published in December of that year. Throughout the second intifada, the invasion of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq, R2P supporters had nothing of consequence to say about any of this.
      Only 4 mentions of ‘Palestine’ are in Vols 1-3, 2009-11, of the journal "Global Responsibility to Protect" ‘the premier journal for the study and practice of the responsibility to protect (R2P)’.
      Can political activists or legal scholars, reluctant to see the world in terms of a democratic/non-democratic binary, and who seek to further justice and human rights, think and imagine a broader picture???
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  • PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel's assault on Gaza is 'state terrorism' and should be referred to the International Criminal Court
    • hinking about R2P from the Palestine angle also brings to mind Hilary Charlesworth’s thoughts on international law being merely a discipline of crisis (MLR 65.3, 2002). She wrote that international lawyers are preoccupied with great crises, rather than the politics of everyday life: ‘In this way international law steers clear of analysis of longer-term trends and structural problems’. This was also considered by David Koller, (EJIL 23.1, 2012) discussing how ‘accuracy in empirical description is sacrificed to advance normative prescriptions’ in order to support the dominant scholarly narrative of international law, whereby ‘historical events situated at particular coordinates in space and time are co-opted to tell a story of international law’s progressive development over time’. Thus, international law academics have created ‘and continue to create the metaphysical geography of international law, first as a linear field of progressive development and then in the circular counter-narrative’ i.e. ‘…and New York and The Hague and Tokyo and Geneva and Nuremberg and…’
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    • ....@Kalithea
      I couldn't agree more with what you have written...!!! Israel's ruse and the international community's silence/complicity is an outrage. Though it is natural for all of us who view the "simud" of Palestine and Palestinians remarkable, and admire their strength and fortitude in the face of overwhelming adversity, we might focus on the post-Operation Protective Edge consequences and the issue of redress for its victims. Is there such a thing?? Who will pay the bill??
      I am convinced that the aid provided by Hamas after past military operations in Gaza, is one of the reasons for its popularity. (See the Destruction of Risk Society and the Ascendancy of Hamas; Neve Gordon/Dani Flic in The Power of Inclusive Exclusion and also available on line in pdf format). I feel it would be of service to outline the"bare life" results of the IDF's incursions. Literally thousands of people are now without shelter. So many have injured relatives, some of them in critical condition not to mention the number of emotionally traumatized individuals rendered powerless and without hope. Is it cynicism that makes me think that such a result has been purpose driven so as to compel hundreds of Gazans to leave? And then, what in heavens name will become of those who stay...???

    • Why Do the Palestinians want to become a member of the International Criminal Court...???

      People forget: or don't realize that the Oslo Accords never gave the Palestinian Authority let alone Hamas any legal authority whatsoever. Thus all cases where citizens of the Jewish State (settlers, military personnel, bureaucrats ) are accused of crimes or misdemeanors, and objection to policies, (decrees, judicial rulings, resurrected Ottoman Law or racially biased adjudications) all cases are tried in the Israeli judicial system. Specific Courts handle related complaints: district courts, magistrate courts, labor courts, and military courts. Upon unfavorable verdicts, (in theory) individuals may petition and be heard by the Israeli Supreme Court. Unfortunately redress for Palestinians is rare, not to mention prohibitively costly. After Operation Cast Lead ( 2008-09) the Palestinian Center for Human Rights filed no less than 1046 court actions for plaintiffs in the Gaza Strip with paltry results as the Memorandum findings demonstrate: link to

      and concludes.... “it is evident that any meaningful justice including reparation is unavailable within the Israeli justice system...” Hopefully application and acceptance to the ICC will remedy the situation given the sure to be staggering list of Gaza litigants wanting justice after Operation Protective Edge.....

      Three years after the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) initiated legal action for civilian victims of Operation Cast Lead, it is evident that any meaningful justice, including reparations, is unavailable within the Israeli legal system. This reality is reflected in the status of both criminal and civil complaints— the latter being the subject of this memorandum submitted to Israeli authorities by Gaza claimants. In particular, the physical and monetary barriers imposed by Israeli authorities fundamentally deny victims their right to reparations.

      (11) The Israeli authorities impose two fees with respect to civil complaints. The first is a routine court fee which is applied in each case (approximately 1600NIS). The imposition of this fee can also prove an unsurpassable financial burden when a large number of complaints are being filed simultaneously. In this regard, PCHR was forced to return over 400 Operation Cast Lead compensation files to victims as PCHR was unable to cover the initial court expense due to resource constraints.

      (12) The second (fee) is a court guarantee or insurance fee imposed on a discretionary basis by the court. This guarantee must be paid before the case can proceed; previously, the amount stood at 10,000NIS per case.

      (13) With respect to those Cast Lead reparation cases in which a response has been received, however, Israeli courts have begun to impose a 20,000NIS (approximately 5,300 US dollars) per claimant in each case; as noted, previously, these guarantees related to the overall case and not the individual claimants. As a single expense, this guarantee is often prohibitively high bearing in mind that over 80% of the population of the Gaza strip is aid dependent.

      (14) The imposition of this guarantee per claimant represents an insurmountable barrier to justice. Significantly, the greater the alleged violation, the greater the monetary barrier. For example, in the case of the 'Abdul Bayem family, the 22 complainants were required to pay a total of 440,000 NIS (approximately 19461 USD) before the case could proceed. This claim related to an incident were a flechette shell was fired at a condolence tend near Izbat Beit Hanoun. Five people were killed including a child, and 17 others including 2 children and a woman were injured. Similarly, in the case of the Al-Samouni family, the court imposed a guarantee for all 62 victims claiming compensation of
      62x 20,000 =1, 240,000 NIS (approximately 329,800 USD).

      (15) Whenever a guarantee is requested, if it is not paid in 120 days, further proceedings are barred and the right to reparation is irredeemably lost.

      (17) Three years after the PCHR initiated legal actions on behalf of civilian victims of Operation Cast Lead, it is evident that any meaningful justice including reparation is unavailable within the Israeli justice system ; This reality is reflected in the status of both criminal and civil complaints--- the latter being the subject of this memorandum --- submitted to the Israeli authorities by Gaza claimants. In particular, the physical and monetary barriers imposed by Israeli authorities fundamentally deny victims their legitimate right to compensation.

      (18) This reality has recently been acknowledged by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights MS Navanethem Pillay in her 2012 report on the human rights situation in the OPT to the UN Human Rights Council, addressing the lack of accountability in the Gaza Strip and the physical and monetary obstructions to justice for Gazans (para 40) calling on Israel to duly investigate and compensate victims (para 54) without discrimination with regard to justice (para 56); Likewise, the UN Commission on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which has expressed “ concern at the monetary and physical obstacles faced by Palestinians seeking compensation before Israeli tribunals for loss suffered, in particular as a consequence of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip (Artilces 3,5, and 6 of the Convention)......

  • Which crowded cities can you fire into?
  • Controversial, illegal, and documented: Israeli military strategies in Gaza
    • Ramping up the question a little more, the testosterone-fuelled Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett harangued Sky News presenter Samantha Simmonds by asking how London would cope with 200 rockets fired daily on the capital. Well, quite simply, it would not happen, because Britain has not corralled 1.5m refugees into a tiny ghetto off the M25, depriving them daily of food, fresh water and life's other essentials. Nor is the UK refusing to let anyone enter the said ghetto with aid or trade. But that's what Israel has done, and is doing, to the people of Gaza.
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  • 'Israel is wrong by any moral standard' -- Robinson says, as US media pile up
    • “It must be intensely painful to have American reporters actually on the scene, being able to check many of these things out for themselves, rather than simply saying that it is Palestinian propaganda”.....
      And it must be excruciatingly painful to stand under the relative safe umbrella of a major Western news organization were the mandatory credo is to present a balanced view consisting of opposing narratives when the unarguable facts point to open season slaughter. In the face of such devastation, it's crazy that Israel's studied and well honed practice of ambivalence wins hand down and all that is retained are the litany of counter arguments: “human shields”, “stored rockets in domestic settings and schools” and we are the most ethical miliary out there as the civilians have been forewarned....

      The Beit Hanoun elementary school, which was being used as a shelter, had around 800 people - mostly women and children - inside when the attack took place at 2.30pm today. UN spokesman Adnan Abu Hassna told ITV News that the Israeli military attacked the school, despite having received the exact co-ordinates of the facility. Israel neither admittted or denied responsibility for the attack
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  • Israeli forces shell UN school where displaced Palestinians gathered, killing at least 9
    • Unbearable how the Jewish State manages to white wash its war crimes again and again.....
      On April 18, 1996, Israeli Armed Forces shelled a United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Compound in Qana, Lebanon killing 106 civilians and wounding hundreds of others. The shelling marked one of the bloodiest massacres in Lebanon’s modern history. Israeli and American pressures shelved a UN investigation, but legal actions are now being taken in an effort to redress this injustice.
      Israel claims that the shelling the U.N. compound was a mistake. ]Israeli officials also claim that they were targeting Hizbollah forces which had fired 6 Katyusha rockets from two separate targets—one 200 meters southwest of the compound and the other, 350 meters southeast of the compound. In its targeting of the Hizbollah forces, Israel claimed that “regrettably, a few rounds had overshot and hit the United Nations Compound.” However, according to UN special envoys findings, “the pattern of impacts is inconsistent with a normal overshooting of the declared target by a few rounds.” Moreover, the report found that “the distribution of point impact detonations and air bursts makes it improbable that impact fuses and proximity fuses were employed in random order, as stated by Israeli forces.”
      The strongest evidence refuting Israel’s claim that shelling the UN compound was a mistake is video footage revealing that a remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) hovered above the compound before, during, and after the shelling. The RPV, equipped with real-time data link capability, enabled the Israeli forces to observe the UN compound as well as the presence of approximately 800 civilians taking shelter there.

  • 'No food, no water to revive awaiting certain death...': Horrifying report from Khuza'a village following Israeli attack
    • Salon's Article on Israel Loosing the media war....
      One of its first instructions is that pro-Israeli propagandists need to show empathy. The manual insists that they should “show empathy for BOTH sides” (caps in original) as a way of gaining credibility and trust. To make sure that the point is understood, the manual repeats again (in bold, and underlined this time) the instruction “use Empathy”—the suggestion being that empathy is an important tool to be used in the propaganda war.

      When innocent Palestinian children and women are killed, the first response should be to show empathy; the next is to reframe the issue stating that Israel is not to blame and that it is only defending itself and further that it only wants peace. Even when it is raining death and destruction on Palestinians, the manual is clear: “Remind people—again and again—that Israel wants peace.”
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  • Palestinians build tunnel to attack Israeli kindergarten, Netanyahu says
    • Why the Tunnels....??

      The First Intifada, a genuine popular uprising (1987-1993) began in Gaza and spread throughout the West Bank. It was driven by economic discontent as Gazans were subjected to economic discrimination and control by means of the Civil Administration's permit requirement (1981) for all those intent on more lucrative jobs inside Israel. The people's revolt mirrored the discontent as
      the response consisted of general strikes, boycotts,civil disobedience, refusal to pay taxes, refusal to buy Israeli goods, graffiti, barricading neighborhoods, the widespread throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails by disaffected youth at the Israeli military and its infrastructure within Palestinian territories. IDF response was direct armed confrontation on street level and the infamous “breaking of bones” and live rounds. Over six years the Israeli Defense Forces killed an estimated 1,162-1,204 Palestinians while Palestinians killed 100 Israeli civilians and 60 Israeli security forces personnel and injured more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and 1,700 soldiers.

      The long, costly, and disastrous face off prompted a serious reappraisal of standard military procedure. By the time of the Second Intifada (2000-2003) the Israeli military had revamped its approach entirely as 0peration Defensive Shield demonstrated in both the Battle of Jenin and siege of Nablus. In each instance, Palestinian fighters had prepared for battle by booby trapping the geographic crossroads, main thoroughfares, alleyways and doorways of the cities, intent on destroying as many of the enemy using urban guerrilla warfare tactics. In JENIN, superior technology employed by the Israel troops thwarted this effort as the army relied on the relative safety and height of D-9 armored bulldozers to fire fired rocket propelled grenades , to clear out explosives laid inside the camp, and to tear down buildings where insurgents were hiding. AH-Cobra helicopters were deployed to fire missiles at Palestinian sniper positions on rooftops. The result in Jenin, were many civilian casualties and death in the rubble. NABLUS saw an entirely different innovation. Soldiers did not often use the streets, roads, alleys, or courtyards that define the exterior grid of the city, nor did they enter doors, stairwells, or the windows of buildings; Instead they moved horizontally through shared residential walls, and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. The idea s driving the change were surprise, subjugation, terror, and a reduction in military casualties. Had the overrunning of the urban environment been executed “normally” through frontal invasion IDF losses would no doubt have been much greater....It should become clear as to why the current “tunneling strategy” was planned as such with regard to Operation Protective Edge: as a countermeasure to both aerial attack and running street battles with IDF soldiers. The Palestinian fighters have mimicked Viet Cong and other resistance guerrillas in standoffs where small numbers of men manning missile launching sites and sniper outposts, have succeed in surprising the Israeli Defense Forces Central Command....

  • 'Telegenically Dead': Israel’s crumbling media war
    • Israeli government spokespersons almost always talk to points that are limited to the “immediate”. Rhetoric and accusations are abundant. “Self-defense” claims aim to deflect from the IDF F16s that drop bombs on people. “Hamas are using Human Shields” is thrown about to justify the heavy and obvious civilian casualty deaths resulting from Israel’s “self-defense”. But more importantly, this is done to demean and degrade Palestinians. By reducing the conversation to the immediate, Israeli spokespersons hope to restrict the narrative. A trap is set where the cycle of heavy Israeli airstrikes against Hamas rocket fire, reduces the discussion to a blame game. Who fired first?. Who must stop firing first? Any meaningful exploration of the events and circumstances that lead to this situation in the first place, falls at the wayside. Those points aside, perhaps the most important effect of reducing the discussion to the “immediate” is that it simplifies the discourse for an already news barraged public: the daily bloodshed that is spilled in Syria and Iraq; the brutal government crackdowns in Egypt; Hamas rocket fire. All of that is skillfully lumped together. The public is tired. They’ve heard so much about sectarian and state sanctioned violence in the region. By claiming “self-defense” and dehumanizing the Palestinians, Israeli spokespersons are hoping to feed into one of the cruelest and most racist meta-narratives of our era. “These Arabs and Muslims in general are all backwards and uncivilized” and we are surrounded by them.
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  • Netanyahu's latest 'cartoon evidence': racist image identifying Muslims with terror
    • Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini cover the house, mosque, school....“Israel uses weapon to protect its civilians. Hamas uses civilians to protect its weapons” accusation very well....
      The logic is straightforward: insofar as Hamas hides weapons in houses (illegitimate), Israel can bomb them as if they were military targets (legitimate). Within this framework, a single function (hiding weapons) out of many existing functions (home, shelter, intimacy, etc) determines the status of an urban site (in our case the house), so that the edifice’s form loses its traditional signification.

      The question “when does it become a legitimate military target?” is merely rhetorical. Its real meaning is: “All houses in Gaza are legitimate targets” since all houses are potentially non-homes.
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  • Finally, Israel is alienating the US mainstream media
    • This the latest in a series of Gaza massacres is certainly influencing the opinion of ordinary people world wide as the coverage has been remarkably "in your face" through images and an hour by hour body count. We have seen there are real people living in the impersonal spacial grid which is Gaza. Remember however, that the United States has followed/coauthored the IDF manuel, from missile launched targeted assasinations, to drone killings, to storming civilian neighborhoods, not to mention the use of chemical weapons (Fallujah) and disproportionate (aysemetrical) use of force (battalions of Marines stormng villages in Afghanistan). And along with Israel, the US has invented a very fluid/malable view of the International Conventions with regard to the Rules of War. Eventual incrimination before a human rights tribunal will be a dual affair, as the war crimes of one pertain to the other. It is of no wonder that Richard Goldstone went down in smoke....

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • Harvard's Sarah Roy weighs in in Boston Globe column...
      "Gaza’s deterioration, however, was not accidental or inadvertent. To the contrary, the devastation of Gaza’s economy (and environment) was deliberate and planned by Israel, imposed through separation and isolation and through a destructive economic blockade, which entered its eighth year last month. The blockade — which has been supported by the United States, the European Union, and Egypt in particular — virtually bans access to markets outside Gaza and confines the overwhelming majority of people to the Strip. This has ended all normal trade upon which Gaza’s tiny economy depends and has disabled the private sector and its capacity to generate jobs, preventing any viable recovery of Gaza’s productive sectors.

      Unemployment in Gaza stands at 40.8 percent, a dramatic increase from 18.7 percent in 2000; however, for those people between 15 and 29 years of age, the unemployment rate is almost 60 percent. Because of this, poverty has increased with almost 80 percent of Gazans made dependent on humanitarian aid to survive although they are able and desperate to work.

      Another way to understand the impact of the Israeli blockade is this: In 2000, UNRWA (the UN agency responsible for Palestine refugees) was feeding 80,000 people in the Gaza Strip; today it feeds over 830,000 people. Yet, UNRWA’s food aid to almost half the population is now under threat as some international donors such as Canada have inexplicably defunded UNRWA or fund at levels that do not meet Gaza’s burgeoning need. Without an increase in financial support to cover a $22 million shortfall, UNRWA may have to eliminate its food distributions by the end of 2014. If this happens there should be no doubt that Palestinians in Gaza will face starvation for the first time in their history, and the violence that will ensue from their deepened agony and abandonment will be calamitous......"
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    • Israeli logic has been carefully calibrated to sow confusion with the aim of absolving the IDF of war crimes...
      The distinction between civilians and combatants in the laws of war, alongside the principle of proportionality, is supposed to provide minimal protections to the civilians who are caught up in a “conflict” zone. Israeli military onslaughts on Lebanon in 2006 and on Gaza 2009 deliberately sought to erode the distinction by attacking the “civilian infrastructure” supporting the “combatants” and expanding the latter’s definition.
      . If the reference point of retaliation are the combatants rather than the civilians, then civilians are defined as a negation. They are an afterthought. Rather than being the norm, they become the exception. The expectation and fear thus lingers beneath the categories that define and represent the reality of the oppressed: they are against the invader and hence are suspected of being combatants until proven otherwise. The Israeli reaction to every report of civilian casualties is representative of this view by indicating that the fatal strike targeted a combatant. The international parties call for restraint and return to calm: i.e., to proportional civilian suffering, unattainable peace, and absence of freedom.
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    • Dr. Mads Gilbert has said that the type of injuries he is seeing at the Shi'fa hospital are eerily similar to those caused by white phosphorous in 2006 and 2008/9 during Operation Cast Lead....

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  • 'Washington Post' exhibits naked double standard in Israeli, Palestinian deaths (and injuries)
  • 'We are moving from Iron Dome to an iron fist': Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza
    • ...We'll be seeing more of this:
      During the attack, soldiers moved within the city across hundred-meter-long “over-ground-tunnels” carved out through a dense and contiguous urban fabric. Although several thousand soldiers and hundreds of Palestinian guerrilla fighters were maneuvering simultaneously in the city, they were saturated within its fabric to the degree that most would not have been visible from an aerial perspective at any given moment. Furthermore, soldiers did not often use the streets, roads, alleys, or courtyards that constitute the syntax of the city, as well as the external doors, internal stairwells, and windows that constitute the order of buildings, but rather moved horizontally through party walls, and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement is part of a tactics that the military refers to in metaphors it borrows from the world of aggregate animal formation as “swarming” and “infestation.” Moving through domestic interiors this maneuver turns inside to outside and private domains to thoroughfares. Fighting took place within half-demolished living rooms, bedrooms and corridors of poorly built refugee homes, where the television may still be operating and a pot may still on the stove.......
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  • 'Hamas... is putting their own people at risk' -- State Dep't on Israel killing 4 boys on Gaza beach
    • .....[The ongoing Israeli claim is that] all civilians in Gaza are being held hostage by Hamas, which is considered a war crime and a gross violation of international law governing armed conflict. This, then, provides legal and moral justification against the accusation that Israel is the one killing civilians. Presumed human rights violations carried out by Palestinians against Palestinians - taking hostages and human shielding - thus become the legitimisation of lethal and indiscriminate violence on the part of the occupying force.

      Hence, the use of human shields is not only a violation. In contemporary asymmetric urban wars, accusing the enemy of using human shields helps validate the claim that the death of "untargeted civilians" is merely collateral damage. When all civilians are potential human shields, when each and every civilian can become a hostage of the enemy, then all enemy civilians become killable.
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    • All civilians in Gaza are being held hostage by Hamas, which is considered a war crime and a gross violation of international law governing armed conflict. This, then, provides legal and moral justification against the accusation that Israel is the one killing civilians. Presumed human rights violations carried out by Palestinians against Palestinians - taking hostages and human shielding - thus become the legitimisation of lethal and indiscriminate violence on the part of the occupying force.

      Hence, the use of human shields is not only a violation. In contemporary asymmetric urban wars, accusing the enemy of using human shields helps validate the claim that the death of "untargeted civilians" is merely collateral damage. When all civilians are potential human shields, when each and every civilian can become a hostage of the enemy, then all enemy civilians become killable.
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  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • The IDF responds:
      The IDF Spokesperson unit had difficulty coming up with an explanation for the explosions which killed the four children and wounded others and it took a few hours for them to begin to respond. Toward 8 P.M they began briefing reporters that the first explosion was most likely caused by an attack on a "legitimate" Hamas target and the second the result of misidentification of the fleeing children as Hamas fighters. The incident is still under investigation, said IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Moti Almoz. He said on Channel One that "we understand there was a target which was hit after suspects were identified. ....
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    • If this new killing of four young Palestinian children the beach and the wounding of several other people in front of the Deira hotel arouses the international indignation it should, we can be sure that Israel’s IDF will mount a rabid disinformation Blitzkrieg as it did over the collective slaughter of Amneh Ghaliya and the seven members of her family back on June 9, 2006. However, providence would have it that The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont along with other journalists saw the incident first hand. As a cautionary note, let us not forget the smear campaign and character assassination that befell HRW’s Marc Garlasco which ended his career as a weapons expert. Forensic evidence he unearthed on Israel’s use of white phosphorous and DIME munitions were discredited after allegations were raised on his collection of Nazi memorabilia…..

  • Violence outside Paris synagogue falsely attributed to anti-Semitism (Updated)
    • Michele Sibony responds to the alleged anti-Semitic attacks Rue de la Roquette (in French) and states:
      1)The focus on the riots in the French press purposely shifted the conversation away from Gaza and what is taking place there.
      2)Made no mention of the French public's solidarity with the people of Gaza.
      3)Transformed the question of current crimes committed in Gaza into a question of Anti-Semitism.
      4)Enabled an already prepared court order Prohibiting pro-Palestinian demonstrations to take affect....(One had been called for Saturday July 19th)
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  • Israel viciously bombs Gaza, that's the only truth
    • A post at the Guardian’s Live Blog ( July 10) on the war dismissed as ineffective Israeli measures to warn Palestinians in Gaza before launching attacks on terror targets.
      "Knock on the roof" warnings do not help save civilians lives as the Israeli military claims, according to the University of London's Forensic Architecture centre at Goldsmiths which carried out a UN study into how the tactic operated during Operation Cast Lead in 2009.
      Eyal Weizman, director of the centre, said:
      The Israeli Defence Forces are again using a tactic in their attack on Gaza that they claim is aimed at saving lives—despite it having a track record of leading to the death of civilians, including women and children. So called “roof knock” strikes involve a drone firing a low- or none-explosive missile at the roof of a building that is to be destroyed. The missile is followed a short time later by a bomb that flattens the house—but exactly how long after is not known by the inhabitants.
      The tactic first came to light after the 2008/9 offensive on Gaza. One of the case studies that we at Forensic Architecture produced for the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism’s inquiry into drone strikes focused on an attack on the Salha family in Beit Lahiya on 9 January 2009. A missile was fired at the roof of the family’s home, but they did not know that this constituted a warning. After moments of terrified confusion, the family began to leave the house. However, before they could all safely leave, a bomb was dropped, and six women and children were killed.
      At a time when most attacks in Gaza are on houses, the Israeli military is anxious to present themselves as trying to avoid civilian casualties. Yesterday it released a video showing a warning missile being fired at a house that it then deciding not to strike. However, in the attack on the home of Odeh Ahmad Mohammed Kaware, Defence for Children International Palestine reported that a warning missile was followed by a bomb that killed seven people, including five children. This should be taken as further confirmation that the use of this tactic should be stopped immediately.
      Not only is it illegal to fire a missile at a civilian to warn them, the missiles also frequently penetrate the roofs they are intended to bounce off, further endangering civilian lives. Israeli military lawyers argue that after residents of a building have been warned, they can be considered as combatants and legitimately targeted. This is a gross misuse of international law that enables the Israeli military to justify attacks on buildings in built up areas, populated by civilians, that they would otherwise be unable to legally carry out. link to
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  • Gaza under attack again
  • 'NYT' casts Israelis as victims of Palestinians who complain bitterly about oppression
    • Maybe the NYTs is taking the current play book strategy of the French government' in its efforts to ban performances by the comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, accused by officialdom of anti-semitic incitement and deriding the Holocaust. It has worked like a charm.....

  • Stop the Nonsense: Nobody is proposing a boycott of 'the Jews'
  • Former AIPAC official warns against US 'retreat' from Israel's 'permanent reality'-- conflict
    • The British had no fear of opening challenging the Israeli lobby nor its past usage of white phosphorous ( definitely a chemical weapon) during their own Parliamentary debate.....

  • American teacher denied entry to Palestine calls on Obama to address Israel's Jim Crow policies
    • Given that this brave young woman is a Palestinian American marks her for harassment by the Israeli authorities. A background check would have confirm Nour Joudah’s heritage. Could she have been singled out for her participation in campaigns thought to be too pro-Palestinian during her academic career in the US which a simple Google search would indicate? Or is her case simply a random selection done to intimidate a teacher responsible for young Palestinian minds in what have become intentional acts where the goal is to create a publicized spectacle with the intention of discouraging protest and encouraging quiescence. The more attention these cases receive, the more embarrassing Israeli policy becomes….
      Keep up the good fight Nour Joudah. Your case is far from being unique….

  • Israeli claims of West Bank 'terror cells' fly from Jerusalem to D.C. and back again
    • Elections are over in done with and the governing coalition is falling into place tidily. I would argue that these simultaneous panic buttons are being pushed in coordination with President Obama’s visit scheduled for next week , nor would I be surprised if a few false flag explosions took place here and there along with free fire by the IDF at protesting Palestinians. The Netanyahu will round up the usual “Hezbollah linked perpetrators (sic)”, then turn to Obama with that steely look, and exclaim, “You see what a dangerous neighborhood the Jewish people live in”. Back in Washington, the Lobby friendlies will clap, cheer and ramp up the bomb bomb Iran chorus another notch or two….

  • Israeli strike on Syria followed violations of Lebanon's airspace and movement of missile defense system to north
    • According to Al Jazeera's guest analyst Michael Eisenstadt in Washington, there were two airstrikes; one on a convoy suspeced of transporting weapons and another on the Jamraya scientific research facility outside Damascus ..If true, it would clarify conflicting reports.....
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  • Neocons, wearing jackboots, are suddenly on the defensive over Hagel
    • ......"Iran more than any other single issue is at the core of the opposition to Hagel, and that issue is closely linked to the question of the extent to which the US should be allied with the aggressive policies of the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toward Iran, as well as other issues, such as the settlements and a Palestinian state. And Iran has been among the policy differences Hagel has had over the years with the strongly pro-Israel organizations that are trying to influence US policy, the most politically powerful one being, of course, AIPAC. While still a senator, Hagel spoke out against using military force against Iran, was more circumspect about imposing sanctions, and refused to sign some of the more robust letters that AIPAC circulated on Capitol Hill, an extra-legislative way of trying to impose policy. The most vocal opponent to Hagel is Bill Kristol, an architect of the neocon policy that led to the Iraq war. Kristol set the tone for the opposition to Hagel by equating his criticism of some Israeli policies to “a record of consistent hostility to Israel,” and his caution about a possible military strike on Iran as “anti-Israel-pro-appeasement-of-Iran.” Hagel has been labeled “anti-Israel” by his opponents, and even “anti-semitic,” a monstrous and preposterous charge."

      The opponents of Hagel weren’t content to fight his nomination in the Senate, where they were expected to lose, so they have tried something different, with long-term significance to the power of the presidency. They have been attempting to dissuade the President from nominating Hagel, which he was on the verge of doing before this fight broke out. These forces counted on Obama’s caution, his oft-displayed lack of stomach for a fight, and set out to convince him that Hagel was “controversial”—that if he were nominated there would be a difficult set of confirmation hearings, so it wasn’t worth it.

      In Washington it’s quite simple to get someone labeled “controversial.” All it takes is an attack by a prominent person, followed up by similar arguments by allies; throw in a couple of senators whom the press loves because they make controversial statements—John McCain has been the reigning champ for years—and, voila! someone is seen to have “a lot of opposition.” In the absence of a statement of support by the president, some elected politicians hide under their desks. Before you knew it the word in Washington was that Hagel was controversial and his nomination faced strong opposition.
      link to

  • 'NYT' equates Palestinian suicide-bombers to CT school-killer
  • Updated: Report: Obama will travel to Israel
  • Israel rejects truce and escalates fighting in Gaza with assassination of Hamas leader; 10 killed, 90 wounded in Israeli attacks
  • Blacklist: 4 Israel critics have now been purged from Democratic Party-linked orgs
    • More under belly dirt...
      "Anti-Islam groups in America have provided financial support to Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an anti-immigration campaigner who is seeking re-election to the Dutch parliament this week"
      .... And who might that be? Noneother than Daniel Pipes and his sidekick David Horowitz
      link to

  • Iran/Palestine (keep your eye on the ball)
  • New report documents 'war crime of pillage' by BDS target Ahava
    • An important 2007 essay by Professor Neve Gordon succeeds in
      clarifying the stealing of natural resources out from under the Palestinians feet…

      link to

      By the colonisation principle I mean a form of government whereby the
      coloniser attempts to manage the lives of the colonised inhabitants while
      exploiting the captured territory’s resources. Colonial powers do not
      conquer for the sake of imposing administrative rule on the indigenous
      population, but they end up managing the conquered inhabitants in order to
      facilitate the extraction of resources….. The colonisation principle thus incorporates some type of separation principle, which one might call the first separation principle. Levi Eshkol,
      Israel’s prime minister in 1967, clearly articulated this separation principle
      during a Labor Party meeting that took place three months after the war and
      in which he discussed the consequences of Israel’s military victory. He turned
      to Golda Meir, who was then the party’s general secretary, and said: ‘I
      understand . . . you covet the dowry, but not the bride’. The dowry was the
      land that Israel occupied in June 1967, and the bride was the Palestinian

      If one reads the eight different Oslo agreements the Israelis and
      Palestinians signed over the years, not as part of a peace process (ie the
      way they were presented to the public), but rather as texts that depict the
      modification or replacement of existing controlling technologies, in an
      attempt to outsource responsibility for the occupied population to a
      Palestinian Authority (PA), the strategy Israel adopted becomes clear.
      Instead of reaching a settlement about the withdrawal of Israeli power, the
      Oslo agreements actually stipulated, in unambiguous language, how Israel’s
      power would be reorganised in three distinct spheres—the civil institutions,
      the economy and law enforcement. In exchange for providing Israel an array
      of services, Israel offered the fledgling PA some sort of truncated sovereignty
      over the occupied people, while it, in turn, continued to control most of the
      occupied land. The overarching logic informing the different agreements is
      straightforward: transfer all responsibilities relating to the management of
      the population to the Palestinians themselves while preserving control of
      Palestinian space.

      The partition of space and the reorganisation of power were intricately
      tied. Oslo divided the West Bank into Areas A, B and C, as well as H1 and
      H2 in Hebron and Yellow and White Areas in Gaza.35 Areas A, B and C
      determined the distribution of power in the West Bank by creating internal
      boundaries. These boundaries produced a series of new ‘insides’ and
      ‘outsides’ within the Occupied Territories, each one with its own specific
      laws and regulations. While in all three areas the PA assumed full
      responsibility over the civil institutions, in Area A, which in 1995 amounted

      The partition of space and the reorganisation of power were intricately
      tied. Oslo divided the West Bank into Areas A, B and C, as well as H1 and
      H2 in Hebron and Yellow and White Areas in Gaza.35 Areas A, B and C
      determined the distribution of power in the West Bank by creating internal
      boundaries. These boundaries produced a series of new ‘insides’ and
      ‘outsides’ within the Occupied Territories, each one with its own specific
      laws and regulations. While in all three areas the PA assumed full
      responsibility over the civil institutions, in Area A, which in 1995 amounted to 3% of the West Bank’s land and 26% of its population, the PA was given
      full responsibility for maintaining law and order. In Area B, which amounted
      to 24% of the land and 70% of the population, the PA was handed
      responsibility for public order, but Israel maintained overriding responsibility
      for security and in Area C, which comprised 73% of the land and 4%
      of the population, Israel retained full responsibility for security and public
      order as well as for civil issues relating to territory (planning and zoning,
      archaeology, etc). Thus in 1995 the PA was responsible for managing all of
      the Palestinian inhabitants, but had full control of only 3% of the West
      Bank’s land (ie the cities Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Ramallah,
      Bethlehem and Jericho). By 2000, following a series of agreements, the
      18%, Area B 22% and Area C 64%.36 Area A was divided into 11 separate
      clusters, Area B was made up of 120 clusters, while the 64% that constituted
      Area C was contiguous. The areas in which the Palestinians had full control
      were like an archipelago of sorts, while the areas controlled by Israel were strategic corridors that interrupted the territorial contiguity of the West Bank. Thus the division of space within the Occupied Territories not only determined the distribution of certain powers, but also allowed Israel to maintain the distinction between the Palestinian population and their land.

      Wittingly or unwittingly the specific organisation of space and the transfer
      of authority over civil institutions to the PA reflects the beginning of a
      transformation from the principle of colonisation to the principle of
      separation, where the latter does not mean the termination of control but
      rather its alteration from a system based on managing the lives of the
      occupied inhabitants to a system which is no longer interested in the lives of
      the Palestinian residents. Consequently Israel no longer provides any kind of
      ‘account’ of the conditions under which the Palestinians are living. One
      important manifestation of this change is that the Israeli Bureau of Statistics
      has stopped monitoring any development pertaining to the Palestinian
      population in the Occupied Territories. Another manifestation involves
      Israel’s relation to the law. If up until September 2000 Israel controlled the
      occupied inhabitants primarily through the application of multiple legal
      frameworks—including, to be sure, the enforcement of draconian laws that
      both legalised the incarceration of thousands of political prisoners and
      permitted deportations, house demolitions, torture, extended curfews and
      other forms of collective punishment—one of the most striking characteristics
      of the second intifada, alongside the separation principle, is the
      extensive suspension of the law.

  • Must Read -- Medea Benjamin's Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control
    • (First source is from an article by Ashley Goetz March 04, 2008 for written the Saint Paul Minnesota Daily)

    • Israel has been involved in drone technology from the beginnings of IAF research and development to the whiz and blur of their deployment as a "preemptive" measure to kill "terrorists" before the said terrorists take action. From 2008:

      Israel is at the forefront of the drone technology that is increasingly being used in hotspots around the world. The unmanned craft provide a deadly and cost-effective alternative for armies to target enemies, without risking their own pilots' lives and reducing civilian casualties in heavily populated areas.
      They are guided by remote control from the ground. Because of their small size and relatively low speed, their low-yield missiles can be aimed precisely. The use of drones is shrouded in secrecy, and Israeli defense officials refuse to comment publicly on whether they are being used in airstrikes in Gaza. However, Israeli officers in private conversations have confirmed use of the weapons.
      link to

      Droes have been easily sold to Congress and the Pentagon, because they do not put troops in harm’s way:

      UAVs are ideal systems to support the emerging joint character and the asymmetric nature of warfare.”17 Unmanned systems can operate in environments contaminated by chemical, biological, or radioactive agents. They can also operate in other environments denied to manned systems, such as altitudes both lower and higher than those typically traversed by manned aircraft. The long endurance of some RPAs and UAVs provides sustained support for more efficient time-critical targeting and other missions requiring greater persistence than that provided by manned aircraft or passing space systems.18 Small UAVs provide a unique capability to get close to a target and provide the “bird’s eye view.” Their small size, quiet propulsion systems, and ability to feed information directly to Battlefield Airmen enhance the combat effectiveness of our forces. ...

      However, the legal issue of drone use remains a thorny one in international law, but here too Israel led the way with a High Court ruling in 2006 condoning “targeted killing” as a legal means of self defense
      link to
      From targeted assassinations by helicopter gunship pilots to missiles fired from an unmanned drone was unfortunately an easy hop skip and jump…
      For a brief history of done use:
      link to

  • Trapped
    • After 10 annual trips to Israel/Palestine, my own feelings dovetail with those of Philip Weiss and yet I keep hoping for a miraculous change to the status quo. Despite the spring protests in Tel Aviv focused on Jewish economic inequality, the government has fulfilled its promise of providing security to average Israelis. The Palestinians are sequestrated behind what it really is, a “Separation barrier” (Mikhshol HaHafrada) and not a security barrier, controlled by a internal police force trained by the Americans and inhibited from moving freely by ID controls at hundreds of check points. Jeff Halper uses the term “warehousing” and borrowing from Niaomi Kline’s concept of “corralling surplus humanity” he elaborates further:
      Warehousing is permanent. Apartheid recognizes that there is another side. With warehousing it’s like prison. There is no other side. There is us, and then there are these people that we control, they have no rights, they have no identity, they’re inmates. It’s not political, it’s permanent, static. Apartheid you can resist. The whole brilliance of warehousing is that you can’t resist because you’re a prisoner……Prisoners can rise up in the prison yards but prison guards have all the rights in the world to put them down. That’s what Israel has come to. They are terrorists and we have the right to put them down. In a sense Israel has succeeded with the international community, and the US especially, in taking out of this situation the political. It’s now solely an issue of security, just like in prisons. It’s another concept that does not have any legal reference today but we’d like to put that in because warehousing is not only in Israel. Warehousing exists all over the capitalist world. Two-thirds of the people have been warehoused….. I’m saying that Palestine is a microcosm of what’s happening around the world. (link to
      Like the Egyptians, Tunisians Bahrainis, Palestinians desire basic human freedoms and a fair say in shaping their own destiny. As Israel’s has complete control of media and messaging, even the passive resistance efforts are met with IDF retaliation and the BDS campaign portrayed in a negative light.
      Halper’s conclusion to his May2, 2012 interview with British Ceasefire Magazine gives encouragement to the disheartened, including myself:
      There is [cause for optimism]; simply because the present situation is completely unsustainable. It is no longer a localised issue. It impacts the global system and is so disruptive that we know it isn’t going to last forever. “Collapse with agency” (the PA) is something we should put into the equation, and that will happen sometime in the near future. We must organize and create stronger relationships with the young Palestinian leadership. Our role is to hasten the end of occupation, but the problem is not ‘67, it’s ‘48….So we mustn’t just talk about occupation, we must end the oppression, the Apartheid system. We need to hasten its end, truly make it unsustainable through our organizing with churches, trade unions, the UN. The BDS campaign is very good because it keeps people involved at a local level. We have to continue to keep the issue alive and eventually Israel will lose the moral war……

  • NY Times 'confirms' Hezbollah/Iran connection to Bulgaria attack by quoting unnamed American 'officials'
    • The next thing you know, “unnamed official” will be dredging up the story of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who attempted to assassinate Pope Jean Paul II as “proof” of the Bulgarian hotbed/haven for “international terrorism”…..

  • 7 dead in terrorist attack in Bulgaria
    • Gareth Porter wrote a piece for the nation and found Hezbollah's link to the Buenos Aires bombing more than "inconclusive".....
      link to

    • I find the timing of the bombing more than coincidental. Could this attack on young Israeli tourists in a fairly obscure place in Bulgaria be the " 1914 Sarajevo moment" the warmongers have been waiting for? And if Israel does carry out a retaliatory move, what will the Iranians do? My heart goes out to the families of the victims, ordinary people on holiday.....

  • Israeli gov't study declares West Bank not occupied, Earth flat
    • ...."The impasse of the Israeli settlement enterprise revolves around territorial claims
      derived from interpretations of its legal underpinning, political interests and social
      constructions anchored in mythical and symbolic claims often contravening accepted
      legal standards. The resulting blurriness of the legality and the pretexts for settlement
      construction are, according to Newman, best understood through the lens of territorial
      claims and the settlements are, effectively, multifold manifestations of claims to
      territory deployed as strategies of legitimisation with varying intensity and success.
      These multifold manifestations consist of territory seen as: 1) an economic resource
      (access to more/better agriculture, water, the construction of new ‘neighbourhoods’
      pertaining to a mercantilist strategy); 2) a strategic asset (purportedly optimising
      security requirements and military strategic options and to employ ‘realities on the
      ground’ as point of departure in bilateral negotiations); 3) a demographic container
      (a container of people through which the state attempts to transform sovereignty
      de jure into de facto control encompassed in the dual dimensions of the conflict, the
      territorial control and demographic superiority) and, entering the scene of territorial
      symbolism; 4) territory as historic and religious homeland (attachment to territory
      based on identification of symbols and signs in the landscape, in the case of the West
      Bank and East Jerusalem epitomised in the use of the biblical term ‘Judea and Samaria’
      or as expressed in the Israeli Declaration of Independence: ‘Eretz Israel’26 (literally
      meaning ‘Greater Israel’ referring to the entire West Bank and, in some versions,
      even including part of other states of the region such as Jordan and Egypt). Lastly;
      5) territory as an exclusive entity (the exclusive claim to land through which others
      peoples’/nations’ claims to the territory are delegitimised and alienated).27 More
      concretely in relation to the settlement enterprise, Israel’s main argumentative pillar
      has evolved around a mixture of Jewish history, security and autonomy ……
      link to

    • Interesting interview of Israeli lawyer Talia Sasson who elaborates on legal questions surrounding the settlement policy:
      link to

  • Sam Harris, uncovered
    • Sam Harris got a lot of media attention as an advocate of “rational thought” during the last year of Christopher Hitchens’s battle with cancer. Both were purveyors of the idea that science and scientific minds were an anecdote to the emotionalism of the Teabaggers and Religious Right’s mindless acceptance of Creationism. An atheist friend of mind thought Harris the next best thing to buttered bread and sent one of his hour long screeds for me to watch, one of the ones filled with slides of lots of angry Muslims without any contextual information and for all I know, maybe they had a right to be angry. Nonetheless, it is shocking that Harris has such a wide following mainly due to debates with credible intellectuals and religious leaders, many of whom he makes look ridiculous and thereby discredits them in a show of arrogant browbeating and disparagement….

  • Latest demographic threat: 43 million Arabs on Facebook
    • Indeed, it’s the availability of articles, essays, journalism, reporting think-tank documents and ever increasing Youtube clips and television network footage. An important point one author mentions is annotated in a footnote which leads to an elaboration from another author quoting a different source verifying the same material. Furthermore, since the neoconservative public relations Iraq War disaster, perhaps the public at large are more likely to be mistrustful of what passes for the truth when it comes from the mouths of media icons such as Richard Ross, Shimon Peres, David Aaron Miller or Niall Ferguson. The hasbara talking points, formally issued to American Zionist bloggers several years ago, have bypassed their shelf life end date, but continued to be bandied forth ad nauseam. The no nonsense Facebook generation is more than Arab demographics its everybody…..

  • Who knew! Hummus and falafel are 'Israeli foods'
    • Nice riff on chickpeas Taxi....!!!!

    • The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) (also ceci bean, garbanzo bean, chana, sanagalu Indian pea, Bengal gram). Its seeds are high in protein and it is one of the earliest cultivated vegetables; 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East. Domesticated chickpeas have been found in the aceramic levels of Jericho along with Cayönü in Turkey and in Neolithic pottery at Hacilar, Turkey. Early Neolithic peoples cultivated and ate variations of chickpea dishes, but it was the Roman Imperium which spread the sowing and harvesting of this variety of pulse throughout the Mediterranean basin territories it ruled over as a source of food (soups, bread, flour)high in protein (meat spoiled easily) for billeted troops beyond supply lines and because the plant’s water demands was minimal. It is the most heat and drought-resistant crop and is suitable for production in low moisture and fertility soils. India, Pakistan and Turkey are the top leaders in chickpea production.( link to
      In Israel, chickpea is the main pulse crop and is grown on about 7 500 ha across the country, from the Negev in the south to the Galilee in the north, with average yields of 2-4 T ha. Chickpea in Israel is mainly cooked and mashed into a paste (hummus) or deep-fried into falafel balls, both favorite dishes in the Israeli kitchen.( Influence of Sowing Date on Yields of Fresh-harvested Chickpea
      The” chickpea war” is ongoing, with local restaurant owners in various middle eastern cities claiming to offer the best humus and falafel, and disparaging similar Israeli claims….. (link to

  • How do we make Zionism 101 an everyday reality? Yeah, how?
    • "3.Develop a “great books” list that makes up the core of Zionist thinking. Disenchanted with university courses on Zionism and Israel? Craft your own and use the democratizing power of the Internet to disseminate them. (Hell, start a virtual reading club.)"
      I wonder what the top ten books would be....?????

  • 'New York Review of Books' calls it 'apartheid' and prepares Americans for the end of the Jewish state
    • David Shulman writes, ""The new cabinet will continue to entrench the occupation and to legalize the massive theft of Palestinian lands while loudly complaining that the Palestinians are responsible for the collapse of negotiations." And of course in view of Israeli front page news manipulations, subversions and reverse psychology this is likely to come to pass over time. However, under the cover of an attack on Iran (as all options still remain on the table) the fate of thousands of Palestinians could get a lot worse should the Jewish state begin to accuse them collectively of being potential fifth column. Notwithstanding unsubstantiated evidence and/or false flag attacks, the Jewish state will finally have the ideal excuse to initiate the long dreamed of “Transfer process” in a final step to rid Eretz Israel of its unwanted inhabitants…..Has anybody else had this nightmare…????

  • Rep. Pitts in damage control mode following call for Arafat-Sharon negotiations
    • Or it could be that Representative Pitts is marching, albeit with great confusion, in tune with the information AIPAC’s junior lobbyists are telling him…..

  • Tail has stopped wagging, so dog can stop talking about war with Iran
    • Perhaps Yuval Diskin's recent statement that Benjamin Netanyahu had a latent "messianic complex" frightened the more rational minds in Washington. The article appeared in Ha’aretz (link to "I don't believe in either the prime minister or the defense minister. I don't believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings") and made the front page of the Huffington Post ( Yuval Diskin said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak – who have been saber-rattling for months – have their judgment clouded by "messianic feelings" and should not be trusted to lead policy on Iran.....) link to
      Messianism is the belief in a messiah, a savior or redeemer. For decades, the Jewish intelligentsia has fought a long hard public relations campaign to vilify Muslims and largely succeeded. The state of the world is seen as hopelessly flawed and unmanageable (primarily due to radical Islam, Communism’s convenient replacement) far beyond normal human powers of correction, and intervention through a specially chosen and divinely supported human is deemed necessary. Jews received benevolent treatment in ancient Persia (as the Vetran’s Today article points out), until the 16th Century Savavids and late 19th century Qajars. Both later day kingdoms initiated pogroms on par with those of the Russian Tsars.
      Plucky little Israel as a country, claims to have defeated its Arab neighbors in 1948 and again in 1967 by way of tactical military and intelligence superiority, still has a strange inferiority complex even though it’s nuclear stockpile and vast compendium of weapons and surveillance technology are cutting edge.
      This being said, imagine the consequences of an Israeli total eradication of the remnants of the ancient Persian Empire. Does Netanyahu’s messianic obsession ( with the support of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,now deceased link to with Iranian nuclear capabilities have roots in the annals of history?

  • How to win friends and influence people -- to bomb Iran
    • ...Yes the Oded Yinon stategy for Israel
      link to
      mentioned in the French overview of the current situation in Syria
      link to

    • Actuall, there may be more to this than meets the eye. Ever since Azerbaidjan gained its statehood status after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, strong cultural, economic and regional links have tied it to Iran. Religious affinities have encouraged the process. The Muslim population is approximately 85% Shi'a and 15% Sunni; differences traditionally have not been defined sharply. Most Shias are adherents of orthodox Ithna Ashari school of Shi'a Islam (twelver). But very recently, relations between Iran and its neighbor have soured significantly over allegations that the Azeri government provided assistance to Israel in the attacks and deaths of several of their nuclear scientists. One must question the timely convenience of such a rift between two regional entities, once so friendly, in light of the ongoing hysterical call to bomb Iran’s nuclear plants….
      "Someone counts on using the Iranian Azerbaijanis against the Islamic republic. However, these attempts have had and will have little success. The Azeri factor in Iran became a state issue. The Iranian Azeris simply have no reasons for any serious discontent. The spiritual leader of the Islamic Republic is their representative. Moreover, half of the Iran's elite is Azerbaijanis who strongly support the leadership of their country....."

      link to

  • Latest expulsion from the occupied territories: 55 Harvard students
    • As we retreated, an officer pushed several students toward the bus. They seized identification from Palestinians traveling with us, and placed Shireen and the bus driver under arrest. We were told we would be taken to a nearby checkpoint to be searched. Two officers boarded the bus as the police vehicles escorted us to the checkpoint. When asked why we were being detained, one responded, “I don’t know,” and later refused to answer. At the checkpoint, Shireen was driven from the premises and later released. No Harvard students were searched or arrested.
      Harvard Crimson op-ed piece
      link to

  • MSM jailbreak: Chris Hayes devotes 2 hours to conflict with panel of 2 Zionists and 2 Palestinians
    • Perhaps Chris Hayes had the blinders lifted on a trip to Israel and the West Bank with a group of American journalists on a trip sponsored by the New America Foundation during the summer of 2010. He wrote a heartfelt article for The Nation, filled with his personal impressions. There is something about an eye witness encounter that really changes how one responds to the accusations and rhetoric of pro-Zionist commentary after a confrontation with facts on the ground.
      link to

  • The end of the 'two-state solution' is the beginning of a more just future
    • As Jeff Halper notes, time is of critical importance in devising a solution to the Israel/Palestine problem. Indeed at the current rate of settler expansion there will be very little territory left to negotiate a two state solution and life under one unitary government is filled with thorns. This leaves a sort of federated entity, the shape of which remains to be seen. The Israeli demands would be such to crush it before finishing the mission statement.
      Lately I have found myself getting exceedingly cross as the awareness of Israeli injustice has never been as high and growing. Many hopeful people bought in to Oslo, convinced that President Clinton’s Whitehouse lawn extravaganza would solve the conflict, eventually iron out all the snags and because of blind optimism, many advocates for an equitable solution sat on the sidelines. Of course life for the Palestinians only got worse as the bombs went off and the Wall went up. The American tragedy of September 11 was pie in the sky for counter terrorism in all its shapes and forms coopting as it did a Cold War attitude towards Muslims.
      It is imperative that the American public wakes up. Thanks to campus action, paneled discussions, outspoken activists, trips to Israel, questioning church congregations, and an instant electronic news feed, more Americans are coming around which gives me some hope. Jamil Toubbeh has posted an interesting, albeit somewhat disheartening article on the Palestine Chronicle website “Obsession with Israel: Variegated Trojan Horse” calibrating many of the abysmal potholes in the rough road ahead.
      link to

  • Would you buy a used metaphor from this warmonger? (Niall Ferguson's 'creative destruction' echoes Rice's 'birth-pangs')
    • Niall Ferguson is a nervy sort of Brit who still regrets the end of the British Empire’s civilizing mission. He has taken it upon himself in the circles of punditry, to endorse the United States’ necessity to fill the gap and be the new “enlightened” beacon of civilization”. This stance did not exactly endear him to Pankaj Mishra whose demeaning review of Ferguson’s “Civilization: The West and the Rest” in the London Review of Books (November 3, 2011) struck a blow to the man’s ego. A rancorous flow of commentary ensued in the Review’s pages that spilled over onto the pages of The Guardian and beyond, culminating in the threat of a law suit on Ferguson’s part.
      It seems to have been a bluff as there has been no further word of pending legal action that I am aware of…
      link to

  • Israel is trying to hook us into a war with Iran-- Matthews and Baer speculate
    • Most likely, Chris Mathews is playing coy because he doesn't want to get slammed as anti-Semetic if and when the higher-ups make that call in response to complaints by "offended viewers". Nothing could be worse for one of CNN's star hosts than to be put on "probation" during an election year.... Stop squabbling....The Iran escalation is serious......

  • Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone to discuss 'On History' in NYC
  • A Jewish voice left silent: Trying to articulate 'The Levantine Option'
    • As with food, scholarship and literature, the same kind of overriding Ashkenazi dominance is prevalent in music where Klezmer has obfuscated the rich contribution of Sephardic Jews in both instrumental and lyric traditions. For this, one must salute the initiative among others, of Spanish early music icon Jordi Savall and his wife Montserrat Figueras. Following in the footsteps of Spanish soprano Victoria de los Angeles, who was the first mainstream classical artist to record Sephardic repertory, specifically, two songs in her 1962 release, “Spanish Song of the Renaissance”, Savall’s ensemble Hespérion XX et XXI (since 2001) has provided enthusiasts with a selection of early music by Ladino composers and lyricists, often anonymous, and made them come alive to modern listeners….

  • Expendables of a waning empire
    • As the military tactician he was, Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) recognized the importance of strategic overview. If you really want to dominate anything, it pays to hold the
      high ground… and hang on to it. ). From a military perspective, domination boiled down to one simple thing: keeping the heights. In Chapter 17 he states, “. First, every height may be regarded as an obstacle to approach; secondly, although the range is not perceptibly greater in shooting down from a height, yet, all geometrical relations being taken into consideration, we have a better chance of hitting than in the opposite case; thirdly, an elevation gives a better command of view. How all these advantages unite themselves together in battle we are not concerned with here; we collect the sum total of the advantages which tactics derives from elevation of position and combine them in one whole which we regard as the first strategic advantage.”

      The Israelis recognized the importance of “the heights” as a means of defense early on and used to their advantage. When it came to settlement building Ariel Sharon superseded the Allon Plan with one of his own whereby new construction would be built on the tops of ridges in a double parallel. Aerial surveillance soon became an adjunct to watching over a restive Palestinian population. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Syrian missile batteries in Lebanon caused heavy damage to Israeli fighter jets. As a result, Israel developed the first modern UAV. for real-time surveillance, electronic warfare and decoys. The images and radar decoying provided by these UAVs helped Israel to completely neutralize the Syrian air defenses at the start of the 1982 Lebanon War, resulting in no pilots downed
      The earliest “extra-judicial killing” from the air were carried out by Israeli helicopter gunships firing missiles. But then on July 22, 2002, in what was referred to by Sharon as "one of our greatest successes," Israel ascended another rung in the ladder of escalation aerial warfare , using a one-ton bomb dropped from an F-16 fighter jet to kill Salah Shihada, the leader and founder of Hamas' military wing, killing fifteen civilians, including nine children . The IDF was exempt from combat operations on the ground.
      The United States has a long history in the development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) dating back to WWII. Precursors of today’s models were widely used in the by the US military in Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina for surveillance purposes. The first extra judicial killing in a foreign country came in 2002, a suspected al-Qaeda operative Qaed Salim Sinanal-Harethi, who was allegedly involved in killing 17 US sailors on the USS Cole, was killed in a drone attack while traveling in a car with six other people in Yemen.

      Although astronomically expensive to produce at first, drone technology has come way down in cost. It is touted as a lifesaving innovation as the collateral damage on the ground is “contained” and Western troops spared unnecessary death and casualties. The plans for bigger more sophisticated RPAs and UAVs is ongoing at a rapid pace. Although the Gorgon Stare is reported to have serious glitches, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (Darpa) Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance – Imaging System (ARGUS-IS) is in the pipeline. Rest assured that futures drone technology will be on the market before myriad of legal quandaries are codified into an acceptable human rights doctrine. In view of the unlawful and growing number of civilian deaths and the undeniable blowback they cause, we have no choice but to demand a freeze on drone technology.

  • Two revealing headlines
  • Now he tells us (Jeffrey Goldberg says 'many' American Jews regard occupation as 'moral disaster')
    • On a deeper level, Israel’s campaign of acceptable “Jewishness” interfered with the very core values of the modern American family: the freedom to choose one’s life partner beyond the confines of religion, a choice based on affinities, the ability to compromise, shared life goals and mutual respect. Of course Judaism might and does play an important role in personal selection of one’s spouse, but not exclusively. That the State should decide, that the religious apparatus on which the State has built its identity should interfere with the institution of marriage went beyond the pale for many American Jews as does the Haredim treatment of women
      Furthermore, the prohibition to marry “ undesirable persons” or outsiders, or condemn parents for instilling in their children a liberal worldview which values the universality of all customs and friendships goes against the grain of American egalitarianism and equality, already in short supply in the United States….

  • Welcome Annie Robbins as Writer at Large
  • A point for the Israel lobby theory, from Panetta
    • Pamela, I have wondered about this too. What is it that Israel holds over Washington's head that makes an American dissenting view impossible? Isn't it true that the Israeli tech industry is the security gate-keeper at many US airports and has provided spyware/software to the Pentagon and intelligence gathering branches of the government...???

  • The case for invading Iran
    • Don't forget Norman Podhoretz's cold war rant "The Case for Bombing Iran
      I hope and pray that President Bush will do it. " in the May 30, 2007 issue of Commentary Magazine

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