Trending Topics:

Palestinian Authority and Israel on an arresting spree, children and activists detained

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 4 Comments

Detainees and Other Prisoner News

Palestinians arrest 10 Islamic Jihad members
Palestinian security forces arrested 10 members of the Islamic Jihad in the Jenin refugee camp on Monday, a local leader of the radical movement said.

Islamic Jihad holds PA security responsible for assaults on its cadres

The Islamic Jihad said that the PA security men broke into houses of a number of the Islamic Jihad leaders and cadres, on Monday, in the Jenin refugee camp in Burkin town.

IOF soldiers nab ten Palestinians including three children in Jerusalem and Al Khalil

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up ten Palestinians in Al-Khalil and Jerusalem over the past 24 hours including three children.

In the past twenty-four hours, three male Palestinian children have been arrested in separate raids by Israeli soldiers in Beit Ommar. Jowad Muhammad Jameel Za’aqiq (15 years old) was arrested at around 5pm on Monday, 21 May, 2012. He was helping his father tend to his family land when the arrest took place. His father asked the soldiers present why his son was being taken. He was informed that Jowad (his son) had been seen throwing stones. Muhannad Mershad Awad (12 years old) and Alaa Yousef Mohammad Abu Maria (14 years old) were both arrested from their respective family homes in night raids at around 2am on Tuesday, 22 May, 2012. The reason for their arrests is unknown. Night raids are an almost daily occurrence in Beit Ommar. Night raids typically target Palestinian minors, activists and organizers involved in popular resistance initiatives against the Israeli occupation. Israeli soldiers often fail to explain why the ‘suspect’ is being arrested. The

IOF soldiers detain child, summons liberated prisoner
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained a 15-year-old child in Beit Ummar village, north of Al-Khalil, on Monday evening, local sources said.

Israeli police arrest six Jerusalemites
Israeli border police arrested six Jerusalemite youths in confrontations in Tur suburb in occupied Jerusalem on Monday after they tried to prevent the policemen from kidnapping a child.
Khaled Abu Qash, a student activist at Bir Zeit University, was seized by undercover occupation forces from his home in the town of Abu Qash, Ramallah district on Friday, May 18, 2012. Abu Qash is the secretary of the Progressive Student Action Front at Bir Zeit University and was active in events at Bir Zeit and mass demonstrations in Ramallah in solidarity with the prisoners over the past month. This arrest has come among a number of arrests that have taken place against youth and student activists in recent weeks, and Palestinian activists have noted that these arrests have specifically targeted students and youth who engaged in and led many of the protests and solidarity events supporting the 28-day hunger strike of over 2500 Palestinian prisoners.
PARIS, May 22, 2012 (WAFA) – Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned on Monday the arrest by Israeli troops of Baha Mousa, director of the Palestinian Prisoner Channel, which broadcast from the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The troops raided the station on May 17, arrested Mousa and seized broadcasting equipment, computers, video cameras and documents. “Such abuses aimed at stifling the Palestinian media must cease,” the press freedom organization said in a statement.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Gaza engineer kidnapped by Israel in the Ukraine last year is the last remaining prisoner held in solitary confinement, after the hunger-strike deal sought to end the practice, his lawyer said Tuesday. Dirar Abu Sisi is still being held in an isolation cell in Ashkelon prison, while all others have been returned to normal wards, lawyer Karim Karim Ajwah said, noting his case was “kept secret in an unusual way.”
VIDEO: “We are All Palestinian Prisoners” Exclusive Interview with Artist Hafez Omar
Hafez Omar, the young Tulkarm-based artist and activist, is the man behind many of the images we have come to associate with online Palestinian and Arab revolutionary campaigns–from the hunger striker Khader Adnan’s stencil with a lock for a mouth to the late Egyptian Azharite Sheikh Emad Effat killed by the military police in Cairo in December. His most recent design, that of a faceless, blindfolded Palestinian prisoner became a Facebook sensation as thousands adopted it and other variations of the image to raise awareness about the countless prisoners observing a hunger strike in Israeli jails in protest of harsh conditions and inhumane detention procedures. Within 24-hours of posting the image on his Facebook page Hitan, Omar’s design became a meme across the globe, prompting variations from Egypt and Syria to Ireland and the United States.
Ethnic Cleansing / Land Theft & Destruction / Apartheid / Refugees
Netanyahu: Israel will continue to build Jerusalem and keep it united
Marking Jerusalem Day, PM says ‘Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart’; thousands of religious-Zionist youths march through the city and Arab neighborhoods.

Fayyad: Water crisis due to Israel’s control of resources
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel’s control of Palestinian water resources in the West Bank is responsible for the water crisis, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Monday. Opening a conference on water and the prospects for agricultural development in Palestine, Fayyed said strategic vision and a long-term plan were needed to resolve the crisis.

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem sells Real Estate to Zionists
The Hebrew newspaper “Maariv” has revealed, on Monday, a new scandal about selling real estate in Jerusalem to the occupation by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The occupation escalates its siege on Jerusalem
The occupation authorities have imposed strict military measures since Sunday morning, around the city of Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Named for the crash site of an airforce plane shot down during the Six Day War in 1967, Givat HaMatos may yet prove the place where Palestinian hopes of a creating a capital in Jerusalem also plunge to earth. ’Airplane Hill’ lies on the southern fringes of Jerusalem’s city limits — rock-strewn land dotted with shabby, prefabricated bungalows and the occasional pine tree. 

Jerusalem Day in the Old City: The Conflict Marches On, Karl Vick
Sunday was Jerusalem Day in Israel, a holiday once again observed by thousands of young Jews who chanted as they marched through Arab neighborhoods conquered in the 1967 Six Day War. The tension is always highest in the narrow passages of the largely Palestinian Old City.

The IOF suppress counter-demonstration held in Jerusalem
The occupation forces suppressed hundreds of Jerusalemites who demonstrated in response to the Zionist settlers’ marches on the anniversary of what they call “Jerusalem Day”, on Sunday night.

Palestinians flee Syria for Jordan 
Violence in neighbouring Syria has driven increasing numbers of Palestinians into Jordan. But, the conditions at the former industrial complex where many of them are housed is only making the situation for the refugees increasingly difficult. Palestinian refugees from Syria held inside the Cyber City compound say the building resembles a detention facility. Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports.
Nahr al-Bared was the first official Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. It was then completely destroyed by the Lebanese army during clashes with Fatah al-Islam in 2007. Although the government designated the newly built camp as a military zone, residents insist that their return is a symbolic step towards return to Palestine.

The Meaning of the Nakba, Naseer Aruri
During the middle of May, Zionists celebrate an event that they call the War of Independence. The same occasion is observed by Palestinians, who call it al-Nakba, meaning the catastrophe, which began with the internal displacement of some 200,000 Palestinians, reaching 800,000 or two-thirds of the population by the armistice of 1949, plus the organized destruction of some 600 Palestinian villages.

Siege of Gaza

The Arab Doctors Union calls to immediately support Gaza
The Emergency Relief Committee of the Arab Doctors Union has called for urgent support for Gaza and supplying it with necessary medications in order to meet the large deficit in hospitals.

Freed Palestinians find Gaza exile a challenge
“Gaza is a big prison, but some prisons are better than others,” admits Nihad Abu Kishk, a former detainee from the West Bank who was exiled by Israel to the Gaza Strip.

Falling between the cracks in the paperwork: What a single form can reveal
Bureaucracy isn’t photogenic. A clerk’s signature doesn’t film well. For that matter, writing about it isn’t easy either. A description of it can lead even the most determined reader to despair, but bureaucracy controls the lives of thousands of people and a single form might be the only distance separating an individual from her family. In a world such as this, one form can provide a lot of insight into the lives of hundreds of thousands if you look at it closely enough.

The Ministry of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip has launched the opening of the melon harvest season for 2012. At a ceremony conducted in the southern district of Rafah, it was confirmed that self-sufficiency targets set by the government have been attained. A number of senior officials from the ministry, engineers and farmers participated in the ceremony.
Israeli Violence and Aggression

From the start of the second intifada in September 2000 through December 2011, the human rights group B’Tselem filed 57 complaints over soldiers who allegedly did not stop violence such attacks.

IOF soldiers break into Aqsa mosque
Israeli occupation forces and border police broke into the Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem in their uniform on Monday.

Jewish settlers assault woman, lawyer in Yatta
A Palestinian human rights lawyer and a woman were assaulted by Jewish settlers to the east of Yatta town in Al-Khalil province at noon Monday.

Palestinian teen injured in West Bank
A Palestinian teenager has been seriously injured in a clash with Israeli soldiers in north of the city of al-Khalil in the occupied West Bank.

Where’s the Palestinian Gandhi? Soaking in Blood Shed by Settlers, Richard Silverstein
Yesterday, in the northern West Bank, outside the village of Aserra, a Jewish settler shot a Palestinian boy who was participating in a demonstration.  Here is the picture of the assassin aiming his rifle and there is the picture of the boy after the bullet has hit its target.

B’Tslem appeals closing of investigation into death of Firas Qasqas
On 15 May 2012, on behalf of B’Tselem, Attorney Gabi Lasky, filed an appeal to the State Attorney against the decision by the Central District Attorney’s office to close the investigation into the fatal shooting of Firas Qasqas by reserve-duty soldiers on 2 December 2007. The appeal was submitted after an examination of the material from the investigation into this case revealed that there is concrete evidence that necessitates an indictment for the negligent shooting of Qasqas, and that the decision to close the case is patently unreasonable and should be reversed.

Campaign: A message from Moira Jilani, Moira Jilani
My beloved husband, Ziad Jilani, was executed by Israeli Border Policeman, Maxim Vinogradov on June 11, 2010. There is undeniable evidence that my husband was lying unarmed and wounded on the ground, posing no threat when Israeli Border Policeman Maxim Vinogradov shot him point blank in the head. Despite the multiple contradictions, revisions and blatant lies in the testimony of the soldier who killed him, exposed by the autopsy, the Israeli authorities have closed the case against Maxim Vinogradov and his commander Shadi Kheir Al-Din.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Islamic bloc’s students in Birzeit threaten open hunger strike
The Islamic bloc’s students, who remain in sit-in at Birzeit University campus, threatened to go on an open hunger strike if the PA arrest and persecution campaigns against them does not stop.

UK student union to support campus divestment initiatives, Ben White
The National Union of Student’s (NUS) National Executive Council has unanimously adopted a proposal mandating the body to work with local Student Unions to lobby universities to cancel contracts with Eden Springs.

Pressure increases to deny Dutch bus contract to Israeli settlement profiteer Veolia, Adri Nieuwhof
Pressure to deny a public transport contract to Veolia because of its role in Israel’s violations of international law increases in the Netherlands.

UK Community split over JNF Invitation to Avigdor Lieberman
In the UK, the Jewish National Fund and more than 280 “concerned” Jews, including the religious head of the Reform Movement, clashed this week over the charity’s invitation to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman, the Head of the far right Yisrael Beiteinu Party, is due in the UK next week to give a talk to JNF members and meet Foreign Secretary William Hague.
How did I, who carefully checks every item on the supermarket shelves to avoid buying products made in the settlements, miss the fact that the halva I eat is made in northern Samaria?
Israel blasts foreign proposal on settlement goods
The Palestinian campaign to boycott goods produced in Jewish settlements in the West Bank has received a boost from abroad with an unprecedented South African proposal to have the name of Israel dropped from labels on merchandise made in the settlements.

Israeli Racism / Discrimination 

“Civil Rights”: 84% of Palestinian Children in Jerusalem Live Below the Poverty Line
The Israeli Association for Civil Rights stated in a report published on Sunday that 84% percent of the Palestinian children of Jerusalem live below the poverty line.

Israelis sling racial epithets to mark 45 years of a Jerusalem ‘unification’, Allison Deger
Meanwhile en route to the Western Wall, by way of the Damascus Gate, extremist Israelis shouted, “the Temple will be rebuilt, the mosque will be burned,” “Mohammed is dead,” “sons of whores,” and “death to the leftists”. When the right-wing marchers entered Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter, protests were sparked amongst the Palestinian residents of the city and left-wing Israelis. Police on horseback then suppressed the demonstrators, arresting five. Ten Israelis were also arrested. 
Netanyahu: Israel could be overrun by African infiltrators
Netanyahu praises border fence being built in the south as a means of preventing infiltrations, but added that it is also important ‘to physically remove the infiltrators.’

Israeli MKs engage in stormy debate over African asylum seekers
Israel Police commander tells Knesset committee that increase in violent and sex crimes can be curbed by letting asylum seekers work.

The Interior Minister’s call to expel African immigrants, in context, Paul Mutter
Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s most recent remarks on African immigrants, calling for their expulsion and painting all of them (both refugees and migrant workers) as a criminal element in Israeli society, don’t seen to be drawing much censure. Yishai is getting criticism from the Israeli police, but not for his bombast: Yediot Ahronot reports that the police inspector-general and one of Netanyahu’s confidants are criticizing Yishai over the crime rate in South Tel Aviv – often blamed on African residents – and the two men promised that the government would devote more money to enforcing border controls and enforcing laws that prohibit hiring undocumented workers.

Lieberman and the JNF – a racist among racists
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, is paying a visit to the racist Jewish National Fund in London tonight.  That the racist JNF and the racist Lieberman support each other shouldn’t surprise anyone.  I am however surprised that the JNF is so open about it. There is a bright side to this.  The meeting should help those of us who have been trying to expose the inappropriateness of the JNF’s charitable status since hosting a foreign politician can hardly be deemed non-political. 
‘Non-Jews are brainless thieves’
Rabbi Shteinman, leader of Lithuanian branch of ultra orthodox Jewry claims world was created for righteous, says nations have no principles,7340,L-4232004,00.html
Other Developments and News

Israel set to impose further limits on privacy
The Israeli Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is proposing a new law that would allow a small number of official organizations to access public telephone calls, emails, and the contents of personal computers. This law would open the way for the Israel Antiquities Authority and the National Parks Authority to use what is known as “Confidential Eavesdropping,” a system used by Israeli police and military intelligence  to track emails and access the content of personal computers. For Palestinians, this law is another example of the violation of the democratic principles that Israel claims to uphold. This law is racially biased targeting Palestinians while helping settlers’ organizations take over Palestinian lands, using “democracy”  as a catchword to justify the law.  In the opinion of Palestinians, there is no need to create such a law because police and military intelligence are loyal to settlers’ organizations, and the same settlers control the Antiquities and National Parks Authorities. Settlers’ organizations are the sole source of information for these authorities. A local Palestinian said that Israel is the country that most often violates the public’s right to privacy especially for Palestinians. For example, cameras have previously been planted inside Palestinians’ houses so the settlers can monitor their movements. 

The Obama administration is trying to convince the US Congress to approve the sale of spy drones to Turkey for its campaign against Kurdish rebels, the Turkish president was quoted as saying on Tuesday. However it is expected that powerful pro-Israeli lobbying groups will try to scupper any potential deal to punish Turkey for its hostile stance towards the Jewish state. ”Actually the administration has a positive stance (over the sale),” President Abdullah Gul was quoted as telling the Anatolia news agency in Chicago where he was attending a NATO summit. 

Austria minister: Lieberman’s presence in Israeli cabinet ‘unbearable’
In an interview to Die Presse daily, Norbert Darabos says Israel directing attention at enemies such as Iran, Palestinians in order to avoid internal social issues.
Qatar’s ruler says Israel is more isolated by the Arab uprisings and will face increasing pressures over issues such as its nuclear arsenal. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani urged Israel’s leaders to view the Middle East uprisings as an opportunity for serious peace talks with Palestinians. The fall of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak last year wiped away Israel’s main Arab ally, and Qatar’s emir predicts the region’s new governments will press Israel harder over its policies, including a widely suspected nuclear arms program.

Israel denies planning troops in Cyprus
Israel denied Monday reports in the Turkish press that it planned to deploy thousands of troops in Cyprus to protect oil and gas interests in the sensitive region.

Occupation Inc.: Exporting Israeli Occupation to Cyprus, Richard Silverstein
Israel figures it can’t have too much of a good thing with its Occupation of Palestine.  Now it proposes to expand it to Cyprus as well, under slightly different terms.  Occupation by any other name would be just as sweet.


Suspicion: Israelis harvested organs from the needy
Police suspect organ-harvesting network operated mainly in Kosovo, Azerbaijan; probe was launched after Turkish man told authorities in Kosov he was ‘thrown out to the street’ following operation.,7340,L-4232706,00.html

Some 65,000 attend mass rally calling for kosher web; spokesman says event aimed at learning how to use the Internet responsibly.
Analysis / Op-ed
Monumental Dutch exhibit: Zionism built ‘a house, a cage, a UN shelter… a zoo’, Annie Robbins
ZOO, or the letter Z, just after Zionism
 is a far-out exhibit at an architecture center NAIM /Bureau Europa in the city of Maastricht, The Netherlands . It’s also an adventure, an exploration into an unexpected world of architecture in conflict. First conceived by Israeli architect Malkit Shoshan, the founder and director of the Amsterdam based architectural thinktank FAST (the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory), “ZOO, or the letter Z, just after Zionism” was an extension of her award winning book Atlas of the Conflict. Israel-Palestine.
In response to questions rating which country ‘… is having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world?’ Israel was tie with N Korea for third place with highest negative influence on the global stage. The 2012 BBC Country Ratings Poll was conducted jointly by GlobeScan, an international opinion research consultancy, and The Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, USA. Respondents were asked to rate 16 countries for their “mostly positive” or “mostly negative” influence on the world. A total of 24,090 citizens in 22 countries were interviewed in late 2011 and early 2012. People’s perception was based on the world’s view of the country’s foreign and domestic policies.

Interview: racism of Britain’s rulers in Palestine explored in major new exhibition, Sarah Irving
Unearthed photographs shed new light on the British army’s Mandate of Palestine which paved the way for Zionist colonization.

Nazism, Zionism, and the Arab World, Annette Herskovits
The intricate, sprawling architecture of deception that shapes understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict in America is probably unique in history. For over six decades, the U.S. Congress, successive presidents, media, public opinion, all have supported a story which portrays Israel as wholly good and innocent, while painting those resisting its violence and injustice as anti-Semites, Nazis, and terrorists. The myth that Israel is the victim of unprovoked attacks by uncivilized Arabs persists, even in the face of Israel’s brutality and violations of international law in its 44-year long occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

Al-Jazeera’s (R)Evolution?
In March of 2011, an unusually forthright editorial by an anonymous writer made its way into the Peninsula Qatar, an English language daily bankrolled by a member of the emirate’s ruling family. At the time of publication, protesters had already toppled the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, uprisings were in full swing in Libya and Yemen, and in the Persian Gulf, Bahrainis were gearing up for what would prove a bloody battle only days after the op-ed ran.

The Melancholia of a Generation
Mohammed Achaari is not new to Morocco’s literary scene; though The Arch and the Butterfly (al-Qaws wa-al-farashah) is only his second novel, he is the author of nine collections of poetry, a collection of short stories, and has served as both Minister of Culture and president of the Moroccan Writer’s Union. The brief synopses thataccompanied the announcement of his selection as one of two recipients of the 2011 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (popularly known as the Arabic Booker) for his most recent work inevitably focused on the novel’s connection to terrorism. The text’s opening line shows the narrator reading a compressed letter, presumably sent by an al-Qaida affiliate in Morocco, informing him in a single sentence that the son he had believed was studying engineering in Paris has been killed as a martyr in Afghanistan. The astuteness of Edward Said’s point that “the designation of a beginning generally involves also the designation of a consequent intention” remains, but the interpretation that the intention of The Arch and the Butterfly is of the same nature as that of novels like Yasmina Khadra’s Wolf Dreams and John Updike’s The Terrorist rests on a significant misreading.[1] There is little doubt that Achaari’s beginning is purposefully engaged in the production of meaning, but it is not precisely the meaning that has been widely asserted.

The Most Unpopular Arab Uprising, Asad AbuKhalil
Certainly, Tunisia and Egypt have been the most popular Arab uprisings at the pan-Arab level. Certainly, the momentum of the counter-revolution has dashed the enthusiasm and excitement that followed the fall of Mubarak and Ben Ali. But Arab excitement and optimism gradually gave way to caution, pessimism, and dismay.

Bahrain activist attends retrial
Leading Bahraini political and human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja appears in court in the capital, Manama, for his retrial.
United Nations member states should scrutinize Bahrain’s deplorable human rights record during the country’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council on May 21, 2012. The international community should push Bahrain to adopt specific measures to ensure free expression and peaceful assembly, end torture, free political prisoners, and establish credible accountability mechanisms for continuing abuses.

Lawyer: Jailed Bahrain activist granted bail
A court in Bahrain granted bail Sunday for a jailed rights activist, but he remained in detention to await another court hearing later this week, a defense lawyer said.

Despite Being Granted Bill, Nabeel Rajab Still Detained
Although he was granted bill, prominent Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab remained in jail of Al-Khalifa regime.

Bahrain in UN spotlight over political prisoners
Bahrain faced calls at the United Nations on Monday to release its political prisoners, including prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab who is charged with tweeting insults against the government.

Leading Bahraini human rights activists, including hunger striker Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, recalled their torture at the hands of the security forces on Tuesday. Al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike since February 8 but has recently been force-fed, appeared in court in a wheelchair as he is too weak to walk. The prominent activist, who is being retried at a civil court after a military tribunal had sentenced him to life in prison, looked frail but moved his chair forward without medical assistance.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today released a report that details the impact of the ongoing militarization of Bahrain’s public health system on the country’s citizens especially the sick and wounded. The report, Under the Gun: Ongoing Assaults on Bahrain’s Health System, is based on 102 interviews, the examination of medical records and radiographic images, and site visits by PHR investigators in April 2012.
Secret Clinics Tend to Bahrain’s Wounded, Kareem Fahim
Amid an uprising, “no one goes to the hospital,” one protester said. The police are there.
Mohammed Al-Sheikh won his first prize for his photography in Austria back in 2008 for a photo of a small Bahraini child holding a rock in the middle of a chaotic scene on a street in Manama. The boy of no more than 7 years had his entire face, except for his eyes, covered. It was only years later that Mohammed learned who this child of the Bahraini resistance with, a mysteriously strong, determined look in his eyes, was. Mohammed was more eager to show me his work than to talk about himself. Very modest, every time my friend or I would compliment one of his photos or something he had done, he would find a way to pass on the credit to the fortunate light conditions, the strength of the subject in the photo, or to the Bahraini people in general.

Bahraini Prince Should Not be Welcomed in UK, Petition Asserts
The petition drawn up by Avaaz, the world’s largest and most effective online campaigning community for change, will call on the British Prime Minster David Cameron and Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prevent Sheikh Nasser’s entry to the UK, declaring him as “persona non grata”, the Ahlul Bayt News Agency reported. 

Opposition to the grand prix was fuelled by anger towards the excesses of prestige projects and the squandering of resources. In the Gulf Arab states, opulent hotels with gold-plated toilet handles, shopping malls larger than several football pitches, cloud-reaching skyscrapers, artificial islands visible from space and almost racially segregated gated communities have all been hailed as “miracles” in the scorching deserts. These are the visible signs of unregulated capitalism: political systems that are in many ways still very traditional are chasing each other along the road to urban ultra-modernity.
Egypt: Widespread Military Torture of Protesters Arrested in May
Military soldiers beat and tortured protesters they arrested at a demonstration near the Defense Ministry on May 4, 2012, Human Rights Watch said today, after interviews with numerous victims and lawyers. The military also failed to protect the protesters from attacks by armed groups in the early morning hours of May 2, at the same demonstration, which began on April 27 in Cairo’s Abbasiyya neighborhood.
An Egyptian court sentenced five policemen on Tuesday to 10 years each in prison for their role in killing protesters in the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, the first such convictions against a force that was blamed for hundreds of deaths. One of the driving forces behind demonstrations that have erupted since Mubarak was ousted in February last year has been anger that no officials or police have been held accountable for the deaths of more than 850 people during the uprising. 

Blood money, see below: Saudi finalizes Egypt aid package
Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf said in a speech on Tuesday that the OPEC country was in the process of finalizing its US$2.7 billion aid package for Egypt. The funds are aimed at helping Cairo secure a US$3.2-billion IMF loan following the uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power in February 2011. After the transfer of US$1 billion to Egypt’s central bank earlier this month, the Saudi package also includes US$500 million of support for development projects, US$250 million to finance purchases of petroleum products and US$200 million for small- and mid-sized firms.
Egypt’s top cleric: Shias bring instability
Egypt’s top Islamic cleric on Monday denounced Shia houses of worship in an outburst against the Muslim sect, telling Iran’s envoy in Cairo that the husseiniyas promoted “instability.” Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the imam of the prestigious Sunni Al-Azhar institute, met with the envoy a day after scholars from Al-Azhar and Islamist groups issued a statement condemning what they said were attempts to spread Shiism in Egypt.

Egypt vote: The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty
Unpopular neighbour, But one foreign policy issue does bubble away beneath the bread and butter business of electoral politics here; what should newly-democratic Egypt do about the peace treaty with Israel signed more than 30 years ago back in the days of authoritarian military rule?, It is a campaign issue, although it has not dominated campaigning., The truth is that the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was a deal between leaderships, not a deal between peoples, and it is now deeply unpopular with the Egyptian street.

Israeli expert: Moussa a rival, but Abouel Fotouh hostile to Israel
Presidential candidate Amr Moussa sees Israel as a rival that should be fought through diplomatic and political means, as opposed to rival candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, who is hostile to the Jewish state, according to an Israeli expert on Egypt quoted in Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. The report highlighted Moussa’s campaign statements about his foreign policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians. The former foreign minister and former Arab League chief has said he would call for a Palestinian state in accordance with the borders as they were before the end of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, with East Jerusalem as its capital. He has also called for a nuclear-free Middle East.

Voting results from Egyptian expatriates in Qatar, announced Saturday evening, showed Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh won the race in the Gulf country. A diplomatic source from the Egyptian Embassy in Doha said there was a turnout of 19673. Abouel Fotouh garnered 6134 votes to win, and was followed by Mohamed Morsy with 5975 votes. Hamdeen Sabbahi came in third with 3274 votes, Amr Moussa fourth with 2143 votes, Ahmed Shafiq fifth with 1191 votes, and Mohamed Selim al-Awa sixth with 299 votes. Khaled Ali received 121 votes, the diplomatic source said.
I recently interviewed Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fettouh. In three short parts below, Mr. Abul Fettouh discusses the most important aspects of his electoral platform, covering a variety of economic and political issues.

Egypt Islamist warns against vote fraud ahead of election
The powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Mursi warned Sunday against any attempt to tamper with Egypt’s presidential poll this week as thousands of supporters rallied across the country on the last day of campaigning.


Khalid Ali. Egypt presidential candidate joins hunger strike
Several hundred Egyptians including a presidential candidate began a 24-hour hunger strike on Sunday to protest the continued detention of around 300 people rounded up in a mass arrest who face possible military prosecution.


Hamdeen Sabbahi: Egypt’s underdog presidential candidate?
Egyptian presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi rolls into the village of Dakarnas with a retinue of enthusiastic young supporters who are convinced their underdog candidate can surprise the nation.

Hamdin Sabbahi, As’ad AbuKhalil
Hamdin Sabbahi is a cultural-political phenomenon in Egypt and yet there is not a single article about him in the Western press, perhaps because he is neither an Islamist nor a pro-Saudi (fake) liberal, a la Amr Musa.  He is a staunch secularist Arab nationalist opposed to the very existence of Israel.  The bulk of Egyptian cultural elite is supporting Sabbahi but you would not know it from the coverage of the Western (and Saudi and Qatari) media.

`Umar Sulayman: the new Egypt, As’ad AbuKhalil

It is hilarious.  `Umar Sulayman gives his first interview to Jihad Al-Khazin of Al-Hayat (the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan).  He is worried about the new Egypt and worries about a war with Israel.  Mubarak’s proteges are always worried about Israel.

In Al-Akhbar’s fourth interview with Egypt’s presidential candidates, Mubarak’s former prime minister talks about Saudi Arabia, the US and his hope for economic revival.

Egypt presidential race gets new twist: Mubarak-era figure surges
Presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafik, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, rises in the polls days before the election. He may not win but could become a spoiler.,0,5329955.story

Cairo Journal: In Streets and Online, Campaign Fever in Egypt
Three days before Egypt’s presidential elections, a combination of high stakes, suspense and confusion has made for a heady atmosphere.

Egypt’s Choice
In Egypt, no one knows what comes next. In a moment as fretful as any in decades, Egyptians are preparing to freely vote for a president, trading the certainties of rigged rule for a future with no guarantees. After the election, the malfunctioning state awaits an overhaul. Yet the moment is more hopeful, and more vibrant, than any in recent memory. Since last year’s revolt, Egyptians have repeatedly humbled their critics, including their deposed president, who called them unfit to choose their leaders. Now, Egypt’s once-opaque politics are a rich public spectacle, bubbling with talk of candidates, their missteps and their plans, as Egyptians recover something they had lost. “They feel they are citizens now,” said Hani Shukrallah, a journalist and author. “They have rights. And they have the ability, and the willingness, to fight for those rights.”

The Making of Egypt’s President, Esam Al-Amin
Ever since the toppling of Egypt’s former dictator Hosni Mubarak, the United States has been very nervous with regard to its former client state. Likewise, most Israeli leaders have been sounding the alarms, warning that the peace treaty with Egypt is in danger and that its relationship with its western neighbor has never been more fragile. Last month, Egyptian authorities, under intense pressure from the public and revolutionary groups, abruptly ended all natural gas shipments to Israel. In addition, the parliamentary elections late last year, which resulted in the overwhelming victory of Islamic candidates, gave early warning signs that Egypt might chart a new independent course to the detriment of U.S. and Israeli policies in the region.



Deal with Iran reached on probe: U.N. nuclear chief
Despite some differences, a deal has been reached with Iran that will allow the U.N. nuclear agency to restart a long-stalled probe into suspicions that Tehran has secretly worked on developing nuclear arms, the U.N. nuclear chief said Tuesday.
Israeli warmongering at its finest: Israeli premier says Iran wants to destroy Israel
Iran is seeking atomic weapons to destroy Israel and world powers should not make any concessions over its nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday.

Neocons in Washington Post: Military strike on Iran would ‘calm nerves in the region’,  Philip Weiss
The Washington Post seems to think that the United States is not in enough overseas wars. It runs a piece by Matthew Kroenig and Jamie Fly urging us to pursue the military option with Iran. “On Iran, it’s time for Obama to set clear lines for military action.” The excerpt below includes the shocking claim in my headline. Jamie Fly is at the neoconservative Foreign Policy Initiative. Its board consists of four directors, Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol, Dan Senor and Eric Edelman. A lot of robust diversity there! Looks like a front organization. Kroenig is at the Council on Foreign Relations and worked in the Obama Defense Department– so much for change you can believe in. Probably a Lester Crown play, the Obama supporter who is militant on Iran. Steve Walt took Kroenig’s argument for war apart last December as a “textbook example of war-mongering disguised as ‘analysis'”

Iraq bombings kill six, including four children
Bombings in the centre of the ethnically-mixed city of Baquba, north of Baghdad, killed six people including four children on Tuesday, an army officer and a doctor said.
Iraq attacks kill three
Shootings and bombings killed three people and wounded nine in central Iraq on Monday, security officials said.

Iraq buying US drones to protect oil
Iraq is buying unmanned drones from the United States to help protect its southern oil platforms as the OPEC nation ramps up production after the withdrawal of the last American troops, US and Iraqi officials said on Monday. Protecting the vital infrastructure around its oil reserves, the world’s fourth largest, is crucial as Iraq rebuilds an industry battered by years of war and sanctions against former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Kurdish oil deal stirs Iraqi tensions
Autonomous region’s oil minister outlines plans to export oil and gas to Turkey, increasing tensions with Baghdad.

Lawyers for fugitive Iraqi VP quit case in protest
Lawyers for Iraq’s fugitive Sunni vice president charged with running death squads quit the case on Sunday in protest after judges rejected their request for evidence for his defense.

Ankara and Baghdad on Sunday both condemned the burning of a Turkish flag at a rally in south Iraq at which protesters decried Turkey’s refusal to hand over Iraq’s fugitive vice president. The remarks were a rare show of unity amid cooling ties between the two countries in recent weeks as Turkey has accused Iraq’s government of stoking sectarian tensions and Baghdad has responded that Ankara was becoming a “hostile state.”

Inside Baghdad’s Sharaf Prison
The Iraqi government organized a trip for journalists to Sharaf Prison in the capital Baghdad, following a report by Human Rights Watch about prisoners being beaten up and electrocuted.

Bush and Blair’s pre-Iraq conversation must be disclosed, tribunal rules
Foreign Office loses appeal against release of extracts from phone call that took place a few days before invasion. Extracts of a phone conversation between Tony Blair and George Bush a few days before the invasion of Iraq must be disclosed, a tribunal has ruled. The Foreign Office lost an appeal against an order by the information commissioner, Christopher Graham, to disclose records of the conversation between the two leaders on 12 March 2003. Graham’s order was made in response to a freedom of information request by Stephen Plowden, a private individual who demanded disclosure of the entire record of the conversation. “Accountability for the decision to take military action against another country is paramount,” Graham had said in his original order.

Anti-Assad Lebanese cleric bailed
An anti-Syrian Sunni cleric whose arrest sparked sectarian clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli is released on bail.
The Lede Blog: Video of Street Fighting in Beirut
A Lebanese broadcaster captured harrowing footage of the fighting between rival Sunni factions that support opposite sides of the Syrian conflict, including armed men squeezing off rounds and darting through darkened streets.

Beirut Battle: One Night, One Street, Photo Blog by Haitham Moussawi
Street battles between pro and anti Syrian groups in Beirut overnight left two people dead, a security official said on Monday, however the Lebanese capital was largely quiet on Monday morning. “During the night, groups of young men cut off the road in the Tariq al-Jdideh district and street battles followed,” the official said, requesting anonymity. “Two people were killed and 18 were wounded,” he said, adding that machineguns had been fired.

Two dead after overnight street battles but Beirut calm
Street battles between pro and anti Syrian groups in Beirut overnight left two people dead, a security official said on Monday, however the Lebanese capital was largely quiet on Monday morning. “During the night, groups of young men cut off the road in the Tariq al-Jdideh district and street battles followed,” the official said, requesting anonymity. “Two people were killed and 18 were wounded,” he said, adding that machineguns had been fired. Supporters of the anti-Syrian Future Movement clashed with members of the pro-Assad Arab Movement, with fighting continuing until 3.00am.

Qahwaji: We won’t Allow Sedition in any Area in Lebanon
Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji stressed Monday that what happened in Akkar in North Lebanon after the killing of Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Wahid and his bodyguard was the result of political tension in the region. Lebanese armyIn an interview with Al-Jomhouriya newspaper, he urged Lebanese to put an end to sedition in the country, because people adhere to the state and army.

High Tension in Lebanon after Death of Sheikh Abdul Wahid
Several areas in Lebanon are witnessing high tension with roads being cut and gunshots heard after the Lebanese army fired at a convoy of cars which declined to stop at an army checkpoint in the town of Alkwykhat in Akkar.
link to
Protests after Lebanese sheikh killed in Akkar
A Lebanese sheikh was shot and killed by the country’s army in the northern district of Akkar on Sunday, in circumstances that were initially unclear. Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahed and his companion Muhammad Hussein Merheb were killed in the town of Halba, the state run National News Agency (NNA) said.  The article claimed Wahed had been heading to a sit-in protest organized by the Future Movement but had failed to stop at a military checkpoint.
link to

US and Russia concerned by Lebanon security situation
The United States and Russia on Monday voiced concern about security in Lebanon after two clerics were shot and killed amid violence between between pro and anti Syrian groups. US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner issued a statement welcoming a pledge by the Lebanese authorities to probe the shootings and urged all sides to show restraint amid fears the violence in Syria was spilling into Lebanon.

Russia Urges Lebanon to Take Stabilization Measures
Lebanon has largely managed to remain neutral in the conflict that began in neighboring Syria last March, but violence has recently spread to the country’s northern region, which saw frequent clashes between rival Sunni groups in the past two weeks.On Sunday, Lebanese troops shot dead a Sunni cleric at a checkpoint in northern Lebanon. At least two people were killed and 18 injured in Beirut in clashes overnight. “Moscow is seriously concerned over the rise of public discontent in Lebanon…we are calling on Lebanese politicians to show restraint and high patriotic responsibility in this uneasy moment both for the country and for the region,” the Foreign Ministry said urging Lebanese authorities to restore order in the country. The ministry also said that “forces that are unable to implement their destabilization plans in Syria have turned their attention to Lebanon.”
Lies of the US government, As’ad AbuKhalil
The recent clashes in Tripoli started with the arrest of Shadi Al-Mawlawi, a man with Al-Qa`idah connection.  The arrest was widely condemned by the “pro-Western”–according to Western media–coalition of March 14.  The other side revealed that the arrest was at the behest of the CIA.  That embarrassed the sponsors of the March 14, so pro-Saudi/US media in Lebanon, LBC TV and An-Nahar, quoted US officials as denying that they were behind the arrest.  Now, Sulayman Franjiyyah, revealed on New TV that the CIA was behind the arrest of the Jordanian suspect, and that led to the arrest of Al-Mawlawi.  So the US government was being too cute in its propaganda through March 14 media in Lebanon.
link to

“Armed kids on scooters were using the anarchy to try to assassinate soldiers from behind”

“The Shiites have [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah and [Amal leader Nabih] Berri to tell them when to fight and when to stop, and their people listen,” one frustrated Beirut Sunni told me late in the evening as he checked the casualty reports on his phone. “The Sunnis? We have a poster of a dead man.”
A day after an all night battle in the Future Movement’s stronghold of Tariq al-Jdideh in the Lebanese capital, residents of the neighborhood have mixed feelings that range from the thrill of “victory” to the fear of what’s next.

America’s favorite Salafites, As’ad AbuKhalil
The Hariri Salafites in Lebanon are of the Jihadi-Bin Ladenite type.  Those were the folks who recruited fighters in Iraq.  They have been burning Lebanon in the last few days and yet not a word against them from the US government.  They are those allies: this is one of the most unreported stories.  Western journalists who were going to Lebanon on media junkets paid for by Hariri family were introduced to the Whiskey sipping members of the Hariri media office and they were not introduced to the muscle on the street.  Can you imagine if the culprits were from Hizbullah? The UN Security Council would have met in an emergency session and sanctions would have been ordered against Lebanon.

The Salafi monster in Lebanon and Jeffrey Feltman, As’ad AbuKhalil
I will write about that later but make no mistake about it: Jeffrey Feltman and US policies in Lebanon during the Bush administration are responsible for the rise of the Jihadi-Salafi monster in Lebanon.  They wanted a sectarian counter to Hizbullah and found one.  I hope that they are enjoying it.  Hariri camp has been speaking about “a civil state” in Lebanon (this is very much a code word by the Muslim Brotherhood to mask their aim at Islamization of society and state): I believe them but we did not know that they wanted Ayman Adh-Dhawahiri as its head.

Muhammad Ra`d: Hizbullah’s second thoughts on Syria, As’ad AbuKhalil
On the sinking Syrian regime ship.  People did not notice the speech by Muhammad Ra`d (the head of Hizbullah parliamentary bloc who has a unique way of expressing his political views–he was a teacher of Arabic).  Ra`d spoke about Syria in a tone that can be contrasted with the rest of Hizbullah’s rhetoric about Syria.  He spoke about the right of the Syrian people to determine their future, and spoke about the freedom of the Syrian people to chose.  The party must have realized how much fodder he has provided to his enemies in Saudi/Hariri media by his unconditional and unlimited support for the lousy regime.

Kuwait warns residents not to visit Lebanon
Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry has told its citizens to leave Lebanon and avoid traveling to the country because of increasing violence fueled by the revolt in neighboring Syria, state-run news agency KUNA reported on Monday, citing a ministry source. “Kuwaitis…should not travel to Lebanon under any circumstances,” KUNA quoted the source as saying. The decision follows similar announcements by Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE on Sunday. At least two people were killed in Beirut in heavy clashes between rival Sunni Muslim gunmen early on Monday.

Tripoli: Salafis Make Their Move
The repeated security breaches in the Northern Lebanese city of Tripoli raise questions about who’s in control of the security situation on the ground. There are no definitive answers to these questions, but the growing influence of Salafi forces is visible.

Don’t blame Syria – Lebanon’s leaders are fuelling the fighting in Tripoli, Patrick Galey
The resulting flare-ups have been carefully managed by sectarian leaders and have helped maintain the real reason why Tripoli is such a hotbed for hostility. For behind all of Syria’s influence in Lebanon, and underneath a past of political manipulation, the true cause of Tripoli’s violent present lies in the city’s appalling neglect. The figures speak for themselves. Close to 40% of all Lebanon’s poor live in Tripoli or the surrounding areas. More than half of Tripoli residents are classed as either “poor” or “extremely poor.” Of those families who live in the trouble hotspots of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, 82% live on less than the equivalent of £336 per month. Illiteracy and unemployment rates in the city are way above the national average.  While it is true that all areas of Lebanon have suffered in recent decades as the country attempts to recover from its civil war and subsequent conflicts, Tripoli residents have endured special hardship. Compared for example to parts of southern Beirut and the south, where inhabitants worst affected by Hezbollah’s 2006 war with Israel have had their homes rebuilt and infrastructure improved, the people of Tripoli receive precious little by way of financial support from either state or private sponsors.

About Last Night
Last night the sound of gunfire punctuated the Beirut soundscape. Supporters of the anti-Syrian and majority Sunni Future Movement clashed with members of the pro-Assad and Sunni Majority Arab Movement. The fighting, which was most intense around the Beirut Arab University, continued until the early hours of the morning.

The Number One Sunni in Lebanon, Qifa Nabki

The Future Movement has seized on these events to make a typically hamfisted play, pressuring Miqati to resign. I don’t see that succeeding unless the situation in Tripoli becomes far worse. And even in such a case, I continue to believe that Hariri has no desire to return to the limelight so soon. He is biding his time abroad not because of security threats but because the position of the Lebanese Prime Minister — the Number One Sunni in Lebanon — is precisely where he doesn’t want to be right now.
Bomb kills 5 in Syrian capital
A bomb that apparently struck a restaurant in the Syrian capital killed at least five people, the state-run news agency said Tuesday, as activists reported intense clashes between army defectors and soldiers in the restive north.
Syria forces kill deserters as NATO rejects action
Syrian forces ambushed and killed nine army deserters in a north Damascus suburb on Monday, a human rights watchdog said, as NATO ruled out military action against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Ex-detainee: Syrian prisons are ‘slaughterhouses’
A prominent Palestinian writer who was jailed in Syria for nearly three weeks described the facilities as “human slaughterhouses,” saying security agents beat detainees with batons, crammed them into stinking cells and tied them to beds at night.
NATO chief says ‘no intention’ to intervene in Syria
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Sunday voiced concern about violence in Syria, but said the alliance has “no intention” of taking military action against the regime.
Bomb detonates near UN observers in Syria
No casualties reported in blast in Damascus suburb, as UN peacekeeping chief urges all parties to exercise restraint.
Opposition groups report clashes in Syrian capital
A restive district of the Syrian capital that has been a hotbed of dissent against President Bashar Assad was rocked by fighting overnight between government forces and army defectors, opposition groups said Sunday.
High-ranking Syrian officials deny reports of their own assassinations
Two high-ranking Syrian officials denied in interviews with state television on Sunday reports by pan-Arab channels that they, along with four other regime stalwarts, had been assassinated. 

This photo of an opposition banner hung on a dormitory at the University of Aleppo shows the growing reach of the opposition in Aleppo. Another sign of the growing capability of the opposition is its ability to set off car bombs with growing regularity near intelligence offices and in Syria’s major cities, such as this one: Car bomb hits Syrian city of Deir al-Zour, killing 9 instantly and wounding 100. An intelligence headquarters was the target. 

Syrian opposition to announce new leader
Syria’s opposition group, the Syrian National Council says it’s almost ready to announce a new leader. The group’s been in disarray, increasingly accused of being ineffective and out of touch with the armed struggle. Laurence Lee looks at whether a new chief might restore some of its legitimacy.
Inside Syria: An opposition divided 
The Syrian opposition appears to have come apart at the seams as different factions vie for leadership roles. James Bays discusses with Bassma Kodmani in Paris, Dr. Kamal al-Labwani in Cairo and Josh Landis in Oklahoma.

Syria: Losing Its Youth
The newly-politicized generation of young Syrians are constantly facing fresh challenges and bleak prospects. As employment opportunities dwindle, it becomes even harder to stay in their country.

The US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, is to leave his post this summer, the embassy in Kabul confirmed on Tuesday. ”Amb Crocker has confirmed with regret that he will be leaving Kabul this summer,” the embassy said on its Twitter feed, a day after the conclusion of a NATO summit in Chicago in which leaders charted a path out of the Afghan war. The veteran diplomat, who was appointed to Kabul 10 months ago, previously served as the US envoy to Iraq, Pakistan and Syria.

US protesters condemn NATO
Protesters gathering in Chicago for the NATO summit geared up on Sunday for the largest demonstration of the weekend, as thousands are expected to march from a downtown park to the lakeside convention center where President Barack Obama and other world leaders were meeting. Hours before the main demonstration was set to start, protesters – including peace activists, war veterans and those more focused on the economy – began arriving at Grant Park, holding signs denouncing NATO, including ones that read: “War(equals)Debt” and “NATO, Go Home.”

“No NATO, No War”: U.S. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Return War Medals at NATO Summit
We broadcast from Chicago, site of the largest NATO summit in the organization’s six-decade history. On Sunday, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as members of Afghans For Peace, led a peace march of thousands of people. Iraq Veterans Against the War held a ceremony where nearly 50 veterans discarded their war medals by hurling them down the street in the direction of the NATO summit. We hear the soldiers’ voices as they return their medals one by one from the stage. “I am giving back my global war on terror service medal in solidarity with the people of Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Jason Heard, a former combat medic who spent 10 years in the U.S. Army. “I am deeply sorry for the destruction that we have caused in these countries and around the globe.”

Scott Olsen, U.S. Vet Who Nearly Lost Life at Occupy Protest, Brings Antiwar Message to NATO Summit
We’re joined at the NATO summit in Chicago by Scott Olsen, who survived two tours in Iraq but almost died when he was hit with a police projectile at an Occupy Oakland protest last year. Olsen returned four of his medals at Sunday’s antiwar march. When asked why he’s joined the Occupy movement and is protesting against the heavily-policed NATO summit, Olsen says, “I am going to make every effort I can to show them that we’re doing the right thing. No matter what they do to any of us, we’ve got each other’s backs and we’re going forward.”

U.S. Army Vets Join With Afghans For Peace to Lead Antiwar March at Chicago NATO Summit
Sunday’s antiwar march at the NATO summit in Chicago was led by members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and Afghans For Peace. “We’re here to protest NATO and call on all NATO representatives to end this inhumane, illegal and barbaric war against our home country and our people,” says Suraia Sahar, a member of Afghans For Peace who marched alongside Afghan war veteran Graham Clumpner during anti-NATO protest in Chicago. “I feel honored standing next to this veteran because in my opinion they are doing the right thing by speaking out against the occupation and war alongside us.” Clumpner says, “I reject any affiliation with this war.”

Chicago Police Face Accusations of Entrapment, Brutality in Crackdown on NATO Protesters
Dozens of anti-NATO protesters have been arrested in Chicago over the past several days including five men who were jailed on domestic terrorism charges. Three of the men were accused of plotting to attack President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home and other targets. Their lawyers say they were entrapped by government informants. The Chicago police have also been criticized by activist groups for using violent force to break up protests and accused of targeting independent media activists who have been streaming the protests live over the Internet. On Saturday night three helping to live stream video of the protests were detained at gunpoint.

Imagine the reaction if a Muslim cleric in the U.S. said this: North Carolina pastor: Send LGBT people to concentration camps to die
Pastor Charles Worley of the Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina recently told his congregation that LGBT individuals should be rounded up and detained in camps until they’re all dead. During a sermon on May 13, Worley berated President Barack Obama for claiming that same sex couples should be allowed to marry. “The Bible is against it, God is against it, I’m against it and if you’ve got any sense you’re against it,” he said. “I figured a way out to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. But it isn’t going to pass in Congress. Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out, feed em, and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce!” “I am not going to vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover,” Worley added. “God have mercy, it makes me puking sick.”

UAE ruler cancels debts of defaulting borrowers
Citizens of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates who defaulted on hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans could soon see their debts wiped away.

Kuwaiti Shiite tweeter ‘denies insulting prophet’
A Kuwaiti Shiite tweeter on Monday denied in court charges that he insulted Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, his wife Aisha and some companions, his lawyer Khaled al-Shatti said.
Suicide bombing kills nearly 100 soldiers in Yemen
A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military parade rehearsal Monday in Yemen’s capital, killing 96 soldiers in one of the deadliest attacks in the city in years, officials said.

Robert Fisk: Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is dead. Now we’ll never know the truth about Lockerbie
So the old scoundrel has died. Midday Tripoli time, at his home, peacefully, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, after a long struggle with cancer, “bravely borne” no doubt. But “scoundrel”, nonetheless, not because he arranged the Lockerbie bombing – many have the gravest doubts he ever did – but because he was a member of Gaddafi’s intelligence services and no-one who served the Great Leader as a “mukhabarat” agent had clean hands. If he was wrongly convicted, what did he do in the service of his master? Cliché time: his secret dies with him.


4 Responses

  1. Bumblebye
    May 22, 2012, 11:18 am

    sub head “Ethic cleansing/” etc –
    Are there any ethics left to be cleansed?
    Isn’t Israel an ethic free zone already?

  2. piotr
    May 22, 2012, 9:24 pm

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Gaza engineer kidnapped by Israel in the Ukraine last year is the last remaining prisoner held in solitary confinement, after the hunger-strike deal sought to end the practice, his lawyer said Tuesday. Dirar Abu Sisi is still being held in an isolation cell in Ashkelon prison, while all others have been returned to normal wards, lawyer Karim Karim Ajwah said, noting his case was “kept secret in an unusual way.”

    This is a very interesting/disturbing case. As far as journalists could figure out, Abu-Sisi is guilty of absolutely nothing, although a preposterous confession was tortured out of him. On the basis of the confession he is indicted, and for a while it seemed that Israel will have a show trial perhaps matching Eichmann case. Abu-Sisi is not a member of any Palestinian movement, he was managing Gaza power station, managed to make some improvements, then he perhaps decided to get a better life for his family and moved to Ukraine, his wife is a Ukrainian. Apparently he was “purchased” from corrupt Ukrainian secret service.

    The indictment is that he organized something like “Hamas Academy of Rocket Sciences”. However, education in electrical engineering, with specialization in power generation hardly prepares for such an endeavor. There were no stories of any “technologies” being applied to Qassam rockets, Gaza militants got hold on some better smuggled rockets. No trace that this alleged school existed. Indictment listed courses on missile design that Abu-Sisi took in a non-existent school from a non-existent professors — something that journalists in Ukraine checked with ease.

    Abu-Sisi is the proof of cruelty of Israeli secret services, something that they can be proud of (with some winks) and also of tremendous stupidity, something that they will never admit. He is a mistake to be buried. While other inmates were on hunger strike, Abu-Sisi was not, he simply lost more than 50 pounds because of mistreatment. I think they try to kill him or drive insane through extreme isolation.

  3. Samuel T
    Samuel T
    May 23, 2012, 4:30 am


    Although, information about a civil case may be gathered by a member of the public, criminal cases and the evidence that guides a conviction is not often shared with the public. The exception being the grandiose media coverage of the O.J. Simpson Trial and most recently 20/20 type murder mystery segments.

    Still, Abu Sisi, from your information appears to be someone who perpetrated a threat towards Israel, not just an individual and those matters that are relevant to his conviction, even the evidence used to convict him may have a privilege of limited disclosure because it may, for instance pose a threat to National Security or Outing Agents in the field.

    Israel is not under any legal obligation to disclose evidence used to convict a person who may be considered; committing an act of aggression or war against the Country.

    A similar jurisdictional loophole exists for the United States and those imprisoned at Git-mo. Under an Act of War, the legal rules change dramatically.

    I’m very happy to read that you do not see a correlation between an electrical engineer and rockets or weaponry in general. One exists, However, I’m glad you are not aware of it.

Leave a Reply