Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Headlines for February 10 - February 16

A Stand For Justice

Mubarak exit sets off celebrations across Mideast
In Gaza, hopes were rising that a nearly four–year–old blockade of the Hamas–ruled territory might be coming to an end. Egypt had helped Israel enforce the blockade, which has kept some 1.5 million people confined to the tiny territory.

Across Gaza, many thousands rushed into the streets late Friday. Gunmen fired in the air and women distributed candy. "God bless Egypt, it's a day of joy and God willing all corrupt leaders in the world will fall," said Radwa Abu Ali, 55, one of those handing out sweets.

WikiLeaks: Suleiman told Israel he would 'cleanse' Sinai of arms runners to Gaza

Turkey Gaza flotilla probe: Five shot dead at close range
The report said Israeli soldiers fired live bullets from helicopters, killing two of the activists, even before they had rappelled on board. Five of the victims were killed from close range, it added.

Furkan Dogan, the 19-year-old Turkish-American, was lying wounded after being shot in the leg when he was kicked by two soldiers, who then shot him from close range execution-style, according to the summary. This recent news was evidently not newsworthy in the mainstream American media as, I've not seen it mentioned anywhere.

Gaza celebrates Mubarak exit; Hamas demands change

Arrest of children – Violation of rights
In the four months between 18 October 2010 and 1 February 2011, DCI-Palestine has investigated 31 cases from Silwan, and collected 25 sworn affidavits, 22 of which were taken from children. In two out of the 22 cases, the children were not arrested. In one of these cases, the child was beaten and then immediately released by soldiers, and in the other case, an 11-year-old boy was struck in the head with a rubber coated steel bullet. The ages of the 22 children range from 7 to 17 years.

Israel watches Mubarak ouster with trepidation
Israel watched Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation with trepidation Friday, concerned the ouster of its staunchest Arab ally might endanger a peace treaty between the two countries and help boost Islamists already on the rise in the region.

Minister: Israel must move ahead toward peace

Palestinian Authority Cabinet resigns
The internationally backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has been trying to show that it's responsive to demands for reform, following the mass protests that have toppled the autocratic leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Over the weekend, the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced it will hold long–overdue elections by September.

Palestinians to hold elections by September

A JNF Drive To Make the Desert Bloom Means Destruction for a Bedouin Village
The village, until last summer a modest gathering of 45 homes in the desert, five miles north of Beersheba, was first demolished by the tractors and bulldozers of the Israel Land Administration, a government agency, last July, to lay the groundwork for the JNF forestation project. But the villagers have returned repeatedly to rebuild ramshackle structures symbolizing their claim to own the land, only to see the tractors and bulldozers return to destroy them again in what is now a cycle attracting international attention.

...F, whose charter specifies it may lease lands under its control only to Jews, was involved in the confiscation of properties from Arabs in the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan in the late 1990s

Israel urges U.S. to reaffirm support in light of Egypt unrest
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday stressed the importance of U.S. support for Israeli security in light of the political unrest in Egypt, while Ambassador Michael Oren urged the Obama administration to reaffirm its commitment to that regard.

....The U.S. officials stressed their country’s “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security, including through our continued support for Israel’s military, and the unprecedented security cooperation between our two governments,” the White House said in its statement.

....“I think [cutting aid to Israel is] unlikely to happen. When there are deficits, it’s very easy to start talking about cutting foreign aid, because most people don’t care about foreign aid, but there is strong bipartisan support for Israel at the Congress”, said Engel. Israel says to US: "Jump!". The US replies: "How high?"

Mullen: US depends on military ties with Israel
Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the instability in Egypt with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday. He said the American–Israeli alliance is "something we both depend on."


Israel Warns It Might Act on Iranian Warships Passing Through Suez Canal

Palestinians say vote Friday on settlements
Mansour, the Palestinian envoy, said the draft resolution used language from previous resolutions and statements by the Quartet, which includes the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia, in order to get maximum support.

The resolution says that "Israeli settlements established in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace."

Irvine faculty members seek dropping of student charges
During the Feb. 8, 2010 speech by Michael Oren, the 11 defendants stood one by one and shouted at the ambassador, calling him a “mass murderer” and a “war criminal,” among other insults. The disruptions, organized to protest Israeli actions in Gaza, prompted Oren to walk off the stage twice.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday commended the district attorney for charging the students. They were charged with a crime for heckling the Israeli ambassador? Is this not America? Look at the fascists applauding the charges.

In Budget-Cut Theater, Israel's a Prime Plot Device
Aid to Israel is seen in the political system as a given and is spared the debate that almost all other budget expenses are subject to.

Rand Paul has now put aid to Israel in the spotlight. And even though his call to cut the funding will not cause Israel to lose a penny from the assistance it receives from America, it will make people look again. Here’s an easy exercise: Try to remember, when was the last time the media reported on legislation providing aid to Israel? Hard to remember. The $3 billion package usually gets a couple of lines in the Congressional newspapers and a brief notice in the Jewish media.

Let’s Go to Plan B by Philip Giraldi
Apart from wanting to prop up a dubious arrangement whereby Israel’s most powerful neighbor is neutralized, the United States has no vital interest whatsoever in talking nice to Egypt. The claim that a hostile Egypt might close the Suez Canal is nonsensical as the country relies heavily on the income that it generates, whoever is in charge.

A Marc Too Far by Philip Giraldi
Hillary Clinton has appointed Marc Grossman her special AfPak representative to replace Richard Holbrooke. Readers of TAC might well recall the Grossman saga as related by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Per Edmonds, Grossman was involved in suspected illegal activity connected to the Turkish and Israeli governments and was under investigation by the FBI.

Knesset committee approves bill allowing Israel boycotters to be fined
The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved a bill on Tuesday that calls for heavy fines to be imposed on Israeli citizens who initiate or incite boycotts against Israel, despite the Foreign Ministry's objections.

Ahmadinejad: Egyptian protests herald new Mideast

US response to Egypt draws criticism in Israel

russia No New Iran Sanctions, No Attack
According to the Associated Press, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday in Europe that his country wouldn’t take part in more sanctions aimed solely at crippling Iran’s broader economy.

What’s more, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov swore off the “threat of” and the “use of force” as “effective tool(s)” against Iran.

Quartet urges Israel, Arabs to heed Egypt risk

U.S. Preparing Aid Package For Egypt Opposition

US can blame itself for anger in the Middle East, and start making peace
is it perhaps all about Israel? Yet why should that state constitute the seeming touchstone of everything that we do in the region? After all, Israel is overwhelmingly the most powerful military state in the Middle East, acts at will in the Middle East under the protection of American veto, manipulates our own domestic politics in its favor, and is now run by the most inflexible and ultra-right-wing government in Israeli history, while soaking up more American foreign aid per capita than any other state. The US still backs Israel against the Palestinians in an Israeli occupation now into its fifth decade.

Ron Paul seeks vote to end foreign aid to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Pakistan
"Borrowing money from China -- or printing it out of thin air -- to hand out overseas in [an] attempt to purchase friends has been a failing foreign policy, as we see most recently in Egypt where there is not even a government in place!" Paul wrote in his Dear Colleague letter. "We should seek friendly relations and trade overseas, but we cannot justify lavish gifts to foreign leaders when American taxpayers are increasingly feeling the pain of our economic crisis."

Lawsuit on Hamas slayings lingers in court in RI
It's been nearly 15 years since a machine–gun attack by Hamas militants killed U.S. citizen Yaron Ungar and his pregnant wife, Efrat, as they drove home from a wedding in Israel. Their relatives sued in American courts under a statute allowing U.S. citizens and their estates to seek damages for overseas acts of terrorism.

Israel rejects William Hague's 'belligerent' claim
While there is broad acceptance that President Hosni Mubarak could remain in office until September as a transition to democracy is engineered, there is little sympathy with Israel's view that he must be shored up at all costs.

Our Fallen
In the Jewish community, there is often more focus on those Americans who enlist in the Israel Defense Forces than those who have chosen to fight under the stars and stripes. It’s an unspoken, uncomfortable truth: the IDF is the Jewish military. About 650 of the “lone soldiers” currently serving in the IDF are dual American-Israeli citizens, and there are untold numbers of foreign volunteers.

By contrast, of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, only 1,500 are Jewish, 1% of the total currently deployed there.

Wikileaks: The economic reasons behind the siege on Gaza
This document demonstrates that the Israeli government is in fact strangling the Gazan economy in order to turn Gaza into a captive market for Israeli products and maintain demand for the Israeli shekel -- all in the name of "fighting terrorism." It also demonstrates that the international community -- and especially the US -- have allowed this policy to continue.

Barely a Minyan For Allies of Israel
Israel has many friends in Congress. In fact, any pro-Israel letter or resolution easily gains hundreds of supporters in the House and a large majority in Senate.

But on Wednesday night, supporters of Israel managed to fill only half a room in one of the congressional office buildings at the Allies of Israel Caucus reception on Capitol Hill.

..“Israel is yet to find a partner for peace,” said Rep. Engel at the event. “We cannot want peace more than anyone else.” The new Republican co-chair of the caucus, Trent Franks of Arizona — who is also the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties — stressed that “when America stands with Israel, it blesses America and it blesses Israel.”

Why the Palestinian Authority Is Worried About Egypt
Three times in the last two weeks, PA security forces have dispersed young Palestinians gathering to demonstrate solidarity with the crowds in Cairo and Tunis. The last crackdown came Wednesday night, when a small group organized through Facebook assembled near the lion sculptures of Ramallah's central square, only to be shoved back by police batons. The next day a police spokesman warned that "unlicensed gatherings" could bring chaos.

Bravo, Egypt
The first question of many Americans is “what does it mean for Israel?” Well, I’m pretty sure Egypt won’t cooperate too much longer in Israel’s ugly siege of Gaza, and that has to be good for the Palestinians. Since Israel is now in a self-defeating downward spiral, based on the belief that it can get away, forever, with crushing the aspirations of Palestinians, what the Egyptians have achieved is likely to be good for Israel too.

Mubarak’s Departure May Offer Face Saving Solution for Israel’s Iran-Hawks
While some hawks have warned that the Egyptian revolution could be co-opted by the Muslim Brotherhood, Benn sees the revolution as a largely secular movement. But that doesn’t mean that the new Egyptian leadership will be helpful in backing Israeli attempts to pressure Iran or supportive of a military strike.

Joint Chiefs chairman to reassure Jordan, Israel

Israeli FM Threatens War With Iran Over Suez Warship Claim
Though the threat appeared to be taken all too seriously in financial circles, it should be pointed out that Lieberman tends to make idle threats and his influence on Israeli foreign policy appears to be extremely minimal. Likewise, it doesn’t seem the two warships could even theoretically pose an offensive threat to Israel, though they might well be offered as defensive backup if, as is often threatened, Israel starts new wars in the region.

Mubarak's departure thwarted Israeli strike on Iran

Iranians Support Egypt During Celebration of Their Revolution
"The sword will bring you down from your palaces of oppression with the help of God," Ahmadinejad told the crowd. "Very soon, the new Middle East will have no Israel and no America. The new Middle East will have no superpowers." (

Egypt-inspired protests gain pace across region

BBC Persian report on “Iranium” «
BBC Persian has an excellent report on another piece of propaganda: the neoconservative-dominated “Iranium” documentary from the Clarion Fund.

The BBC Persian piece notes that the film’s writer and director, Alex Traiman, is an ideological Israeli settler who lives in the West Bank; it is critical of many of the facts and figures in the film.

Watching unrest in Egypt, US Jews voice many concerns, some hopes
“We don’t feel they should be rushing into elections because it’s likely they would get the same results that Hamas got in Gaza,” Klein says. “They won fair and square but is that good for the world and the region? We must say, no.”

APN’s Friedman on AJC’s Harris Linkage-denial
Lara Friedman, of Americans for Peace Now, has a great post up on Huffington in which she debunks the many claims of American Jewish Committee Chief David Harris.

Friedman takes on Harris’s attempt to debunk ‘linkage,’ the concept that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a burden on U.S. policy-making in the Middle East. This has been a neoconservative effort of late, which has been mostly absurd, and sometimes from Israel itself, on the dime of a pretty far right-wing Israel lobby group.

Muslims and Christians Protest as One

Where's outrage for other abuses
As long as the American government turns a blind eye to the human and civil rights violations being committed in the name of Americans and with the tax dollars of all Americans in Israel's occupied territories, we should, at the very least, remain silent about the abuses committed by others.

Read more:

Overkill in Orange County
he decision last week by Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas to bring criminal conspiracy charges against the students now, a year after the fact, is completely disproportionate. There is no good reason to take these college students to court, threaten them with as much as six months in jail and jeopardize their futures and careers over a nonviolent protest that didn't, ultimately, prevent the ambassador from speaking. Fascist pro-Israelis win again.

U.S. Embassy to Jordan reiterates U.S. support of King Abdullah amidst regional unrest
This endorsement comes mere days after Abdullah swore in a new government led by Marouf Bakhit, who has promised to widen public freedoms in response to the anti-government protests that have swept the region.

WikiLeaks: Suleiman vowed to prevent Hamas rule in Gaza
According to the memo, the then-Egyptian intelligence minister told Israeli defense official Amos Gilad during a meeting six years ago that he would "do all in his power to sabotage the Gaza elections in order to prevent a Hamas victory.

Fireworks in Beirut over Mubarak's resignation

Politics and Nonsense on Egypt
There was no doubt that the events in Cairo were momentous and, therefore, deserving of response. In the case of most US political leaders, however, struggling to come up with the right TV sound bite didn't require actually knowing anything about Egypt. All that was needed was to frame the issue through either the prism of partisanship or that of unbending loyalty to Israel. The result was a string of comments, some bizarre, others dangerous.

Egypt army commits to power transfer, Israel peace

The US as Israel's Enabler in the Middle East

Sunday, February 20, 2011

US uses veto again to block UN Resolution against Israeli settlements

Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations was on the Meet the Press this morning defending the recent use of our UN Security Council veto against the UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements.

Rice suggested that the reason for the veto was due to the 'language' within the Resolution, specifically the use of the word 'illegal' with regard to Israeli settlements. She suggested that the US uses instead the word 'illegitimate' and therefore the US felt it necessary to veto this UN resolution. The US routinely uses its UN Security Council veto to block UN resolutions condemning Israel.

Ms. Rice might want to read the following excerpt from p. 10, paragraph 4 of the July 9, 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice, entitled "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (Request for advisory opinion":

The information provided to the Court shows that, since 1977, Israel has conducted a policy and developed practices involving the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, contrary to the terms of Article 49,paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention which provides: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The Security Council has taken the view that such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention. The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.

The only one of the 15 members of the court to dissent was the one from the United States, not surprisingly.

But that doesn't change the fact that the court ruled: the Israeli settlements are ILLEGAL.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Headlines for February 3 - February 9

A Stand For Justice

How About a Clean Break – with Israel? by Philip Giraldi
That Israel is able to control many aspects of America’s relationship with foreign nations is clear and the hubristic Israel Lobby makes virtually no effort to hide what it is doing. On January 18th, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on the United States to veto any resolution in the United Nations condemning the Israeli settlements policy......Joined by 15 other senators as cosignatories, Gillibrand maintains fatuously and falsely that any criticism of the settlements "hurts the prospects for a peace agreement and is not in the interest of the United States." In reality, as she well knows, it is US acquiescence in the settlements that damages the US standing in the world.

.....Senator Gillibrand’s excursion into fantasy, Rand Paul’s experience in opening Pandora’s box, and the developing situation in Egypt together illustrate how Israel is a United States national security liability and always has been.

Its leading politicians have even bragged about how the United States does its bidding. This has done extreme damage to the United States, which has initiated at least one war as a result, and has been engaged in what must be described as a nearly continuous and escalating conflict with the entire Muslim world on behalf of Israel. This has trashed America’s reputation and has come at a real cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. The benefit to the American people has been zero.

In accomplishing its strategic objective of making the United States its permanent protector, Israel and its lobby have also corrupted both Congress and the White House and have created a permanent distortion in how Washington sees the world and responds to it. Israel’s enemies, even if they do not threaten the United States in any way, have become America’s enemies.

That Washington will define its own interests in the Middle East largely in terms of whether they are compatible with those of Israel is nothing short of betrayal of the Constitution, which established a national government that would benefit the American people and make them both safe and prosperous. One hesitates to borrow rhetoric from the neoconservatives, but sometimes even they get something right. It is indeed time for a clean break, but this time with Israel. Another great article by former CIA counterterrorism officer, Philip Giraldi.

PA bans anti-Mubarak protest
The Palestinian Authority has broken up a demonstration supporting anti-government protesters in Egypt, while permitting a smaller protest backing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak - drawing accusations it is picking sides in the Egyptian unrest.

Hamas allows anti-Mubarak protest in Gaza
Hamas security officials allowed hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza to demonstrate Thursday against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in the first such public gathering in the seaside strip since turmoil erupted in neighboring Egypt last week.

Again there's that sentence 'In 2007 Hamas wrested control of the Gaza from the Palestinian Authority. '. This is patently false; a lie. Hamas was democratically elected as the ruling party. These elections were verified by Jimmy Carter who deemed them free and fair.

Masked Israeli settlers chase schoolchil
On the afternoon of 7 February 2011, three Israeli settlers from Havat Ma'on outpost chased a group of 12 Palestinian schoolchildren who were walking home from school. The Israeli military had failed to arrive to escort the schoolchildren, forcing the children to take a longer path without the army's escort.

‘We know that Netanyahu cannot sleep now’
“We know the revolution will change this and that’s that, we see every day what Israel is doing with the Palestinians.”

US to Jewish Leaders: We Won't Recognize Muslim Brotherhod
The White House is seeking to reassure Jewish leaders concerned about the turmoil in Egypt, telling them in a conference call late Wednesday that US policy is not to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Many in the pro-Israel community have been concerned that the waning position of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his regime will empower the Muslim Brotherhood and are fearful that the US could contribute to its rise by viewing the Islamic group as a legitimate Egyptian political player. We don't support freedom or democracy if it displeases Israel or her supporters. This is not lost on the Arab world (and beyond).

Israel's Barak in U.S. for talks amid Egypt crisis
Barak's visit is expected to focus on Egypt, where unprecedented protests against the 30–year rule of President Hosni Mubarak have raised fears the unrest may lead to Islamist radicalization that could threaten Cairo's 1979 peace agreement with Israel and its role in Middle East peace efforts.

Controversy at Rutgers as Activists Attempt To Disrupt Pro-Palestinian Event
“There were many, many rowdy and unruly protesters,” said Daniel Heitner, a Rutgers sophomore and a member of the Rutgers Hillel who volunteered to help with security at the event. Heitner said that he saw a man whom he recognized as a member of the Hillel call the women working at the registration table, who wore hijabs, “terrorists and suicide bombers.”

Mideast allies: 'US go easy on Egypt'

Israeli prime minister says peace can come apart
Israel's prime minister is warning that peace treaties can be canceled, hinting at his concern over the turmoil in Egypt over anti–government protests.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is a democratic partner, not Islamist threat -
The Muslim Brothers began in the 1930s as a legalist, anti-colonialist, and nonviolent movement that claimed legitimacy for armed resistance in Palestine against Zionist expansionism during the period before World War II. The writings from between 1930 and 1945 of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Brotherhood, show that he opposed colonialism and strongly criticized the fascist governments in Germany and Italy. He rejected use of violence in Egypt, even though he considered it legitimate in Palestine, in resistance to the Zionist Stern and Irgun terror gangs.

$5 million lawsuit targets Jimmy Carter for ‘attacking Israel’
The plaintiffs alleged in a press release that the 39th US president and Nobel Peace Prize winner "violated the law and, thus, harmed those who purchased the book" by unfairly "attacking Israel." Wow.

Cables: Israel favored Egypt's VP Suleiman
A U.S. diplomat who classified the cable, Luis Moreno, wrote that although he deferred to the Embassy in Cairo for Egyptian succession scenario analysis, "there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of" Suleiman.

Police issue arrest warrant for rabbi that supported book which justifies killing non-Jews

Egypt holds gas supply to Israel and Jordan after pipeline explosion
Saboteurs blew up a pipeline that runs through Egypt's Northern Sinai, state television reported on Saturday, disrupting flows to Israel and Jordan after Islamist groups called on militants to exploit the unrest that has rocked the government.

Egypt protests draw biggest crowd yet
"Yesterday, one man in his 60s said: 'We were cowards. We kept quiet all these years, but you've done it.' It's inspiring. It's a rebirth," he said. "I never thought I'd sleep on asphalt with rain on my face and feel happy."

U.S. reexamining its relationship with Muslim Brotherhood opposition group
U.S. officials have acknowledged the political reality that the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to assume at least a share of power should Egypt hold free and fair elections in the coming months.

Ackerman Breaks With J Street – A Sign of Trouble Ahead for Dovish Lobby?
J Street has lost one of its key supporters in Congress, as New York Democrat Gary Ackerman announced he is disassociating himself from the group because of their stance on condemning Israel’s settlement activity in the UN General Assembly.

...Gary Ackerman is one of the top authorities in the House on all things relating to Israel. He chaired the subcommittee on Middle East (and will now be the ranking Democrat on it) and has strong ties with leaders from Israel and Arab countries.

US hatches Mubarak exit strategy as Egypt death toll mounts

WikiLeaks: Israel Long Viewed Egypt VP as Preferred Mubarak Successor
According to an August 2008 cable released by WikiLeaks and published by the Daily Telegraph newspaper on its website, a senior adviser from the Israeli Ministry of Defense told U.S. diplomats in Tel Aviv that the Israelis believe Suleiman would likely serve as "at least an interim president if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated."

HRW: Egypt-Inspired Protests Across Middle East Meet Violent Clampdown
The security forces' clampdown is part and parcel of regular prohibitions on public gatherings in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, the West Bank, and Yemen. These governments curtail free expression and assembly despite the fact that almost all of the region's countries have signed international agreements protecting both rights, Human Rights Watch said.

Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me…
Mike Huckabee is on FOX, speaking from Israel, lamenting Mubarak’s–and Israel’s–betrayal by the US.

Mubarak deserves a defense and we would do well to hear one, if only to temper the giddy rush to celebrate Egypt’s impending chaos; but the Reverend Huck? Here he is now an apologist for Arab despotism. I didn’t hear him mention the plight of Egypt’s Christians, already under siege before the present uprising.

Ideology vs. the National Interest by Patrick J. Buchanan
if free and fair elections are held and the new government of Egypt, in Bush’s words, responds “to the will of the people, and not the will of an elite,” Egypt will become more Islamic, more hostile to us and Israel, and more supportive of Iran. That's really none of our business, that's the business of the Egyptian people. Americans would never stand for anyone meddling in our affairs. Well, they wouldn't provided they knew about it (Israel's overwhelming influence over Capitol Hill. I'm trying to change the fact that most Americans are completely clueless so that maybe we can do something about that).

Three Years Old, J Street Still Struggles For Acceptance
As J Street approaches two significant milestones — the third anniversary of its launch and its second national conference — the group is still spending time and energy defending itself from critics who say that it isn’t sufficiently pro-Israel.

...Asked in a February 1 interview with the Forward whether he still views J Street as pro-Israel, Ackerman responded: “They have done many things that are pro-Israel, but asking to refrain from vetoing a condemnation of Israel is not a pro-Israel action.” He expressed hope that J Street would reconsider its position on the issue.

Why It Makes Sense To Single Out Glenn Beck
In a letter to The Wall Street Journal, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld reminds us that Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch are responsible for News Corporation’s financial support of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the Anti-Defamation League. These are good men, I’ve been told repeatedly. Friends of the Jews.

Israel's Stakes, Egypt's Streets
Hawks in Netanyahu’s government will almost certainly argue that Jerusalem is wise not to get too deeply involved in a peace process which could require it to make territorial concessions that it might regret tomorrow, in a very different Middle East. Others — myself included — would counter that the very absence of a peace process could encourage the next rulers of Egypt and possibly Jordan to turn their backs on Israel tomorrow.

The Gipper’s Gift: A Pro-Israel GOP
Reagan gave pro-Israel neoconservatives, such as Jeane Kirkpatrick and Elliott Abrams, prominent roles in his administration. Kirkpatrick, in particular, defended Israel from her perch as American ambassador to the United Nations.

...A visit to Israel is now a rite of passage for prospective GOP presidential candidates (which is remarkable given that so few Jews vote in the Republican primaries), with Mitt Romney recently undertaking such a pilgrimage.

Did this Forward author ever get a gander at these 2 recent polls? I guess it doesn't matter what most Americans want as long as Congress is staunchly pro-Israel?

Jewish Groups Clash Over Response to Fox Host’s On-Air Holocaust Rhetoric

Blood and fear in Cairo's streets as Mubarak's men crack down on protests

The American Way of Abandonment by Patrick J. Buchanan
A dictator, yes, but also our man in the Arab world. Yet a few hundred thousand demonstrators in Cairo’s streets caused us to abandon him.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Headlines for January 27 - February 2

A Stand For Justice

Palestinian killed after settlers open fire in West Bank village
One Palestinians youth was killed and another wounded early Friday after settlers reportedly opened fire at a village north of the West Bank city of Hebron, only a day after a Palestinian youth was shot and killed by an unidentified Israeli citizen near Nablus.

Settler kills West Bank Palestinian: security official
The man's cousin, Omar Qadous, told AFP that the shooting came as he and Uday were working farmland near their village.

He said one of a group of four settlers standing on a nearby hilltop opened fire, hitting Uday in the chest

Officials lay cornerstone for new Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood
The cornerstone for a new East Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood was placed on Monday, in a ceremony attended by Knesset members, Jerusalem councilmen, as well as former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Somebody hand Huckabee a tissue to wipe the Israeli feces from his nose. Settlements are illegal under international law. Huckabee is basically supporting war crimes.

Huckabee says no Palestinian state in West Bank
Huckabee makes frequent trips to Israel to voice support for Jewish settlements.

He's currently being hosted by The Jerusalem Reclamation Project, a group that promotes settlements in an attempt to bolster a Jewish presence in mostly Arab areas. Joined by actor Jon Voight on the three–day visit, Huckabee's itinerary includes tours of Jewish settlements and meetings with Israeli leaders.

Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian territory are a violation of article 39 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions; war crimes. Huckabee supports war crimes.

'NATO must probe cyber attack on Iran'
Dmitry Rogozin said the Stuxnet virus could have sparked a new "Chernobyl tragedy," by causing the centrifuges producing enriched uranium at the Bushehr power plant to spin out of control.

Palestinians to hold municipal vote
Further complicating matters, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip by force in 2007 and set up a rival government. This is a bald-faced lie. Hamas won the elections in Gaza, under the auspices of former president Jimmy Carter who deemed them free and fair.

Rand Paul Speaks by Philip Giraldi
For his audacity, Senator Paul has been attacked by the Israel Lobby and by both Democrats and Republicans.

Palestinians say Cyprus backs state on 1967 lines

video Rand Paul Wants Cut Foreign Aid to Everyone

U.S. presidential hopefuls hit the campaign trail in Israel
Because they know THAT'S who they'll be answering to.

Report: Cyprus recognizes Palestinian states within 1967 borders
Last week, the Foreign Ministry reprimanded Ireland's ambassador to Israel Breifne O'Reilly for the nation's decision to upgrade the Palestinian mission, saying Israel was "very disappointed" and that "this does not contribute to the peace process in any way."

US Democrats and pro-Israel lobbies slam Republican Senator's call to halt Israel aid
"You have to ask yourself, are we funding an arms race on both sides? I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation, as, you know, a fountain of peace and a fountain of democracy within the Middle East. But at the same time, I don't think funding both sides of the arm race, particularly when we have to borrow the money from China to send it to someone else. We just can't do it anymore. The debt is all- consuming and it threatens our well-being as a country,” Paul said.

Egyptian protesters are conflicted over US role
"The Americans believe in democracy. Now they have to show us,"

Egyptians dream of future freedom and opportunity

Face of Mideast unrest: young and hungry for jobs
The pledges–under–siege have something else in common: an acknowledgment that the unprecedented anger on Arab streets is at its core a long–brewing rage against decades of economic imbalances that have rewarded the political elite and left many others on the margins.

Hmm.. that sounds vaguely familiar...

Egypt's Crisis: Israel Has Faith Mubarak Will Prevail

Israel agrees to some Egyptian troops in Sinai

Israeli intolerance shows up on Internet, in Knesset, on the street
The intent of the anonymous Internet video was unambiguous: "This person should be killed — and soon," read a message underneath a photo of Israel's deputy state prosecutor, Shai Nitzan.

His alleged offense? "Betraying" his Jewish roots by opening a criminal inquiry into racist threats and hate speech expressed on two Israel-based Facebook pages with statements in Hebrew such as "Death to Arabs."

Israel watches Egypt uprising with fear
They will lose a key puppet regime (not ours).

Israel worried about Islamic takeover in Egypt
Merkel and nine of her Cabinet ministers were in Israel for a special joint session, highlighting the two nations' strong bond six decades after the Holocaust, when Nazi Germany killed 6 million Jews.

GOP senator favors cutting US aid to Israel
The steadfast support for Israel is widespread in Congress and Paul's proposal is certain to face strong opposition. In a fresh example of that support, six senior members of the House sent a letter to President Barack Obama imploring him to promise a veto of a pending U.N. resolution that condemns Israel and urging him to pressure Palestinian leaders to negotiate directly with Israel.

God forbid Capitol Hill puts our interests first.

Dutch Jews want fast punishment for anti-Semitism
Rising anti–Semitism "can be attributed to the rise of influence of Islam in the Netherlands," said Freedom party member of parliament Joram van Klaveren during the debate. "The more Islam, the more anti–Semitism."

Davos panel sees huge Iranian response to attack
A diverse panel of decision–makers and experts from the United States, Europe and the Middle East found common ground on just one thing when it comes to dealing with the Iranian nuclear program Friday: A military strike could well spark a devastating counterattack.

In the debate at the World Economic Forum, former top U.S. diplomat Richard Haass said there were no good options should diplomacy fail, but stood apart from the others in advocating force as a viable option. He sparred repeatedly with Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki al–Faisal, who urged the United States to instead pressure Israel to quit its own reported nuclear weapons as a way of coaxing Iran to drop its suspected weapons program as well.

CNN’s Cooper describes attack in Egypt ‘pandemonium’
CNN's Anderson Cooper, who was attacked by pro-Mubarak protesters Wednesday, described his crew's experience on CNN's "American Morning"

Israeli PM says Iran wants 'another Gaza' in Egypt
Israel's prime minister on Wednesday said Iran wants to take advantage of the chaos in Egypt to create "another Gaza" there, run by Islamic fundamentalists.

A Model of Middle East Democracy, Turkey Calls for Change in Egypt
As unrest spreads across the Middle East, many have pointed to Turkey's successful melding of a largely Muslim population with an officially secular and working democracy as a role model for what might come next

Rahm Emanuel's Father specialized in bus bombings in Palestine
British MI-6 files contain information on the elder Emanuel's participation in the terrorist activities of Irgun Zvai Leumi, a Jewish terrorist organization that targeted British forces, UN officials, and Palestinian Arabs in the lead up to Israeli independence in 1948.

Jewish Lobbyists Still Skeptical of Palestinian Offers Of Concessions
Looks like the Wikileaks Palestine Papers scandal has put to bed a huge piece of propaganda put forth by Israeli lobbyists for years: that Israel had no partner for peace. The Israeli lobby never lets the truth get in the way of its bullshit.

Hebron: A Normal Day in the Lives of My Palestinian Neighbors

What if Jared Loughner Were a Muslim Arab Immigrant?
What if the alleged gunman were named Ali Mohammed instead of Jared Lee Loughner? What if he had been a mentally ill Muslim Arab immigrant instead of a mentally ill white, Christian-Jewish, native-born U.S. citizen? He'd be labeled a terrorist as only a Muslim/Arab would be in this situation.

The Stuttgart Declaration for a One-State Solution in Palestine

Threats to academic freedom surround pro-Palestinian college professors
The case was taken up by the Brooklyn College administration after a student enrolled in his course raised concerns that Mr. Petersen-Overton’s alleged pro-Palestinian bias would prevent him from conducting a balanced seminar. The student expressed these concerns with the political science department but agreed not to pursue further action until after the course actually began. However, this student contacted state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who then characterized Mr. Petersen-Overton as “pro-suicide bomber” in a letter to the college President.

Israeli Journalist Reports Death Threats Over Gaza War Film -
The commander said that before his unit went into Gaza, the soldiers were told: “We needed to cleanse the neighborhoods, the buildings, the area. It sounds really terrible to say ‘cleanse,’ but those were the orders.”

Good riddance, 'peace process'
The illegality of its settlements has no consideration whatsoever in Israel's negotiating posture on the issue, because, as then-Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declared in a 2007 bilateral meeting, "I am a lawyer.... But I am against law —international law in particular. Law in general. If we want to make the agreement smaller, can we just drop some of these issues? Like international law, this will make the agreements easier."

As Egypt Clashes Continue, Fear of Islamists Paralyzes the U.S.

Why Washington Clings to a Failed Middle East Strategy

The Chinese Discover Jews and Israel and Can’t Seem To Get Enough
A few days after the academics returned home, it was announced that China Central Television has just produced, in cooperation with Israel’s embassy in Beijing, a 12-part series intended to introduce Chinese audiences to the history of Israel and the Jewish people.

The Israel Project, a Washington-based advocacy group, has proposed building on this interest to create a strong base of support for Israel in China. Last year it conducted a focus group on opinions toward Israel in Shanghai.

Now that the US has gone broke fighting wars in the Middle East (which are thanks in part to our support for Israel, the number one motivation for 911 given by the mastermind, Khaled S. Mohammed), Israel seeks a new host and benefactor, naturally the next rising superpower: China.

Winners and Losers From a Pharaoh’s Fall by Patrick J. Buchanan
No, the United States is not hated across the region because of the freedoms we enjoy or even because of the lectures on democracy we do not cease to deliver. We are hated because we are perceived as hypocrites who say one thing and do another.

Eyeless in Gaza (and Elsewhere) by Philip Giraldi

The Middle East’s New Normal
The days of the Middle Eastern autocrats, allied with the U.S. and open to some sort of co-existence with Israel — in fact, of the entire American hegemonic project in the Middle East — may be numbered.

Could US abandon Israel too?
"In addition, the American public opinion is on our side – some two thirds of the public supports Israel, and in the congress the biggest agreement is over issues revolving Israel," he concluded. Wow. That's a complete lie. 2/3 of Americans actually want our government to take NO SIDE in that conflict, according to 2 recent polls.

Israel shocked by Obama's "betrayal" of Mubarak
Oh dear.

Former President Carter guesses Egypt's Mubarak 'will have to leave'
“The United States wants Mubarak to stay in power, but the people have decided,” Carter said.

Jordan's King Abdullah Sacks Cabinet, PM Quits Amid Street Protests
King Abdullah's move comes after thousands of Jordanians took to the streets, inspired by widespread riots in Tunisia and Egypt, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai. Pro-Western Arab governments are falling all over the place, or are in danger of falling.

Inequality Drives Egyptians to Streets, But Ours Worse
While 22 million were searching for jobs in the US this week, Goldman Sachs tripled Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein's base salary and awarded him $12.6 million of stock, a 42 percent increase from '09. The billionaire Koch brothers threw a lavish secret party for their looter cronies, to talk about their election plans.

Muslim dignitaries pay their respects at Auschwitz

Groton Guard detachment is heading to Egypt
Connecticut National Guard Detachment 2, Company I, 185th Aviation Regiment of Groton has mobilized and will deploy to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, to support the Multinational Force and Observers.

WikiLeaks cables show close US relationship with Egyptian president

Bay Area Rapid Transit removes anti-Palestinian ad

Protesters across US offer support to Egyptians

Senate Dems reject call to cut Israel aid
Capitol Hill is Israeli-occupied territory.

Thousands Protest Against Jordanian Govt
The pro-democracy protests spreading across the Middle East have found some eager supporters in Jordan, where thousands took to the street of Amman to demand that Prime Minister Samir Rifal step down and that a new, elected government be allowed to take its place.

WikiLeaks Cables Detail Egyptian Repression, Torture

YouTube - Ron Paul U.S foreign Policy AIPAC Israel greatest obstacle no respect for the constitution

Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in Mideast
From now on, it will be hard for Israel to trust an Egyptian government torn apart by internal strife. Israel's increasing isolation in the region, coupled with a weakening United States, will force the government to court new potential allies.

US reported 'routine' police brutality in Egypt, WikiLeaks cables show
The batch of US embassy cables paint a despairing portrait of a police force and security service in Egypt wholly out of control. They suggest torture is routinely used against ordinary criminals, Islamist detainees, opposition activists and bloggers.

Egypt's Day of Reckoning
you don't need to read the papers to see what has gone wrong. The filth and the slums, the open sewers and the corruption of every government official, the bulging prisons, the laughable elections, the whole vast, sclerotic edifice of power has at last brought Egyptians on to their streets.

Egypt protests: America's secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising
The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But the leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East.

Israel Urges World to Curb Criticism of Egypt's Mubarak
Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.

Couple Branded Troublemakers for Sitting Together on Israeli Bus
From this incendiary exchange, passengers came to the conclusion that they were obviously dealing with agent provocateurs. “Realizing with whom they were dealing the [young man who informed them it was a segregated bus] made sure to warn all passengers as they boarded the bus not to say anything to this couple, as their intent was to cause trouble.”

Crunch Time Coming for America in the Middle East?
If more and more Arabs breach the wall of fear that has prevented them for decades from demanding their rights, expressing their rage at the corruption and repression of their governments and at regime impotence in the face of Israel’s arrogance of power, there’s one question above all others America’s policy makers will have to ask themselves. Who do we need most if America’s own real interests are to be best protected – the Arabs or Israel? Israel's minions on Capitol Hill won't allow us to do what's in our own best interests, not when it comes to Israel.

Returning to Moscow, Where Jews Are Building, Not Fleeing
We encountered no evidence of the “distancing” from Israel that one sees in Europe and hears about in the United States. Indeed, according to Mikhail Chlenov who spoke to our group, support for Israel is stronger and anti-Semitism weaker in contemporary Russia than it is in most of Europe. While there continues to be a pervasive fear of Russian nationalists, who consider Jews outsiders, nationalist hatred is focused today mostly on migrants from the Caucuses and dark-skinned immigrants.

Oh, that's ok then.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Goes After Richard Falk

In Solidarity With the Egyptian People and the Soldiers Refusing to Repress Them
As veterans and friends and families of veterans and active-duty members of the US military, we stand in solidarity with the courageous Egyptian people and the brave members of the Egyptian military who have refused to repress the people, and in some cases, joined them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Headlines for January 20 - January 26

A Stand For Justice

Palestinians: Gaza explosion near security fence kills Palestinian man

Palestinians wait for answers on Israeli war in Gaza
A striking example is the case of Majdi Abed Rabbo whose account of being used as a human shield was independently corroborated in one of the Breaking Silence testimonies from an experienced reservist who served in Gaza with a special forces unit and was briefed by his officers on what was broadly the same story as that of Mr Abed Rabbo. He also spoke of the use of other "johnnies" or human shields in a practice that violates international law, the IDF's own regulations and a decision of the Israeli Supreme Court

....Military police are still investigating one of the most lethal single incidents during Operation Cast Lead, the air strike on a house in the Zeitoun district of Gaza City owned by Wael Samouni in which 21 of the 100 members of his extended family sheltering there were killed early on 5 January. In October, Amos Harel, Haaretz's respected military correspondent, reported that air force officers had testified that they had warned former Givati Brigade commander Colonel Ilan Malka that there were civilians in the area

.....Military police investigated the case of Khaled Abed Rabbo, who had described how his family was ordered by the Israeli military out of their home on 7 January. After they left, carrying white flags, a soldier climbed out of the tank and fired a machine gun at them, killing his daughters Suad, 9, and Amal, 3, severely wounding the third, Samar, 5, and injuring the girls' grandmother Suad, 54. The Military Advocate General judged there was "insufficient" evidence for criminal proceedings.

....During the morning the Israeli military broke into radio broadcasts to announce that those in border areas should leave their homes, holding white flags. Ahmed al–Safadi, 23, carrying his two–year–old son, and Majda Hajaj, 35, tied makeshift white flags to sticks and led the group of at least 26 out towards the west. As they walked they were fired on, fatally in the case of Majda Abu Hajaj and her mother Raya, 65

Israeli settlers attack international
Episodes like this are frequent in the South Hebron Hills, where the national-religious settlers from the settlements and the outposts attack both internationals, Palestinian shepherds and farmers to intimidate and force them to leave their lands. These kinds of illegal actions are usually left unpunished and many of them occur with army and police complicity.

Palestinian negotiators accept Jewish state, papers reveal
throughout the 2007-08 negotiations, the papers show, Livni and other Israeli negotiators emphasised that the Jewish character of Israel meant all Palestinians should look to a future Palestinian state to fulfil their national aspirations.

In several areas, Livni pressed for Israeli Arab citizens to be moved into a Palestinian state in a land-swap deal, raising the spectre of "transfer" - in other words, moving Palestinians from one state to another without consent. The issue is controversial in Israel and backed in its wholesale form by rightwing nationalists such as the Yisrael Beiteinu party of the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Israeli supremacism for all to see.

Tony Blair criticised for 'Israeli bias'

Gaza War Report Was Stalled by Palestinian Authority on US Request
The papers also reveal new evidence of contact between Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, the Palestinian president, and Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defence ministry official and senior negotiator, before the the launch of Israel's assault in late 2008. It remains unclear whether he had advance warning of the impending assault, which he has always denied.

Palestinians condemn US plan to settle refugees in South America
Palestinians have expressed shock and dismay at the US suggestion to settle Palestinian refugees in Argentina and Chile rather than let them return to ancestral land in Israel.

Israel asked Palestinian Authority to kill al-Aqsa commander

Palestine Papers Are Distortion of Truth, Say Palestinian Officials
Further documents in the cache that will be released over coming days will also reveal:

• The scale of confidential concessions offered by Palestinian negotiators, including on the highly sensitive issue of the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

• How Israeli leaders privately asked for some Arab citizens to be transferred to a new Palestinian state.

Hebron: Israeli Military Arrests Two Young Palestinians
Later, CPT heard from the boy himself that he was simply asking the soldiers over and over to let his father get to the hospital for a shot of medicine. The boy said, after the soldiers arrested him, they blindfolded him, made him kneel, tied his hands behind him and hit him with full force on the head.

Israeli settlers lay in front of tractors
An international delegation with four British MPs, was present for part of the incident and spoke with Palestinian farmers, Israeli forces, and an Israeli settler.

Time short for Israel-Palestinian deal: UN chief
Ban highlighted that the United Nations, European Union, United States and the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East had all criticized Israel's refusal to freeze its building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

"Settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law, contravene the Road Map obligations of Israel, undermine confidence, prejudge the outcome of the permanent status negotiations and hamper efforts at bringing the parties back to the negotiating table," he said.

It's too bad nobody can do anything to uphold that international law - the US blocks it every time with the abuse of its UN Security Council veto.

Armed man kills two animals near Maghayi
The two teenage shepherds, Mohammed Mahmoud Mukahmri, 15, and 'Awli 'Ali Mukhamri, 13, ascended the hill, following the assailant from a distance, in time to see the man enter the grouping of trees which surrounds Ma'on settlement and Havat Ma'on outpost. They reported the man had a dark brown beard and was wearing black pants, a black shirt, and a yarmulke.

Abbas: We will not make unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood
Abbas warned however, that there would be dangerous repercussions if there was no progress made on the matter by September. "The results could be devastating," Abbas said, adding that "it could lead to an Intifada or a popular Palestinian uprising."

The Phony Peace Process by Philip Giraldi
If the Palestinian people believe they have been betrayed by their leadership that is something they will have to deal with themselves. But the American people have also been betrayed by a phony process that has dragged on for years at great cost to the taxpayer while inflicting terrible damage on the international standing of the United States. Israel continues to receive $7 million a day directly from the US Treasury plus much more in earmarks and tax deductible donations used to fund illegal settlements. Throw in the billions that have gone to Egypt and Jordan to keep the peace with Israel and the total costs to the United States have been staggering. Another great article by former CIA, Philip Giraldi.

US calls Israeli probe of flotilla raid ‘impartial'
The United States has described as “credible and impartial and transparent” an Israeli inquiry that cleared the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and government of any wrongdoing in a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound international flotilla. The Turkish president lambasted the report as having “no value or credibility.” Laughable.

A Bipartisan Crowd, Helped by Bibi, Pleas for Pollard, the Convicted Spy
A recent series of public statements and letters has landed the campaign for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard its greatest achievement in 25 years: a powerful bipartisan roster demanding clemency for Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel and sentenced to a life term.

...the slate of Jewish organizations represented in a January 3 letter to Obama included leaders of all Jewish denominations, alongside hundreds of rabbis from across the nation.
THis is a testament to the power of the Israeli lobby over our Congress. For, it cannot be underestimated the damage Pollard did to the US by passing secrets to the Russians. Anyone that advocates for his release is putting the interests of Israel first.

Reaction to the Leaked Palestine Papers

Secret papers reveal slow death of Middle East peace process
All settlements built on territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 war are illegal under international law, but the Jerusalem homes are routinely described, and perceived, by Israel as municipal "neighbourhoods". Israeli governments have consistently sought to annex the largest settlements as part of a peace deal – and came close to doing so at Camp David.

Secret files 'reveal British plan to weaken Hamas'
British intelligence services helped draw up a secret plan to weaken the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, the Guardian reported on Wednesday.

The documents, shared with the newspaper by Al–Jazeera television, called for the internment of leaders and activists in the Islamist group, the closure of radio stations and the replacement of imams in mosques.

Possible source of Palestine papers leak
On Monday evening, Israel's Channel 10 television news named a former NSU staffer as the source of documents describing Palestinian willingness to make concessions on Jerusalem, the borders of a future Palestinian state, and the rights of Palestinian refugees.

Papers reveal how Palestinian leaders gave up fight over refugees
Palestinian negotiators privately agreed that only 10,000 refugees and their families, out of a total refugee population exceeding 5 million, could return to Israel as part of a peace settlement, leaked confidential documents reveal. PLO leaders also accepted Israel's demand to define itself as an explicitly Jewish state, in sharp contrast to their public position.

Palestinians vent anger at Qatar, Al-Jazeera
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Monday the documents "reveal the close collaboration with (Israel), and reflects its role in trying to kill off the Palestinian cause."

Palestinians defy US with Security Council request
It's not clear when the resolution would be put to a vote. Council members might hold off until after the main Mideast mediators – the U.S., the U.N., Europe and Russia – meet in Germany in early February to talk about the Mideast quagmire.

Leaked documents who was serious about a deal to end the conflict
the documents also show the Palestinians were serious about negotiating, and were willing to make big and painful concessions for peace and to secure their dream of a state.

Leaked documents show Palestinian Jerusalem offer

Israel probe okays flotilla raid, Turkey 'stunned'
"How can a report ordered and prepared in the same country have any value?" the Turkish premier told journalists in Ankara. "This report has no credibility."

Israel inquiry clears government and navy in Gaza ship raid
Big shocker there. Maybe the case should be brought to the International Court of Justice.

Concerns over Israel inquiry into Gaza flotilla raid
Amnesty International has questioned the findings of an Israeli inquiry into last year's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla after it cleared the Israeli armed forces of wrongdoing.

US Threat to Palestinians: Change Leadership And We Cut Funds
The US government's private determination to use its financial and military leverage to keep the existing regime in place — while publicly continuing to maintain that Palestinians are free to choose their own leaders — echoes the Bush administration's veto on attempts to create a Palestinian national unity administration after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.

Tony Blair urges West to take action on Iran
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a passionate plea on Friday for the West to use force if necessary against Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

Speaking at a London inquiry into the Iraq War where he was having to explain his decision to join the U.S.–led invasion in 2003, Blair said the time had now come to "get our heads out of the sand" and take action against Iran.
Wow. These people never stop. Someone needs to pass Tony a tissue to wipe the Israeli feces off of his nose.

Some in Israel weigh idea of provisional Palestine
"That's a public relations stunt – to throw the ball in our (side)," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said of Lieberman's plan, which, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz, has been given to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Peru recognizes Palestinian state
Peru said on Monday it had recognized a Palestinian state, joining a growing number of Latin American countries in making an endorsement the United States has called premature.

Israel FM confirms interim Palestinian state plan
Israel's foreign minister confirmed Monday that he has drawn up a plan for the creation of an interim Palestinian state with temporary borders in the absence of a full peace agreement.

....A government official said Sunday that the plan would turn over up to 50 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinians. When did Israel become a body of international law, capable of drawing up the borders of other nations? Oh that's right, it happened when we, the United States, allowed them to draw up their own - at the expense of others. In fact, that very thing led us to attack Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait during Persian Gulf War number 1.

'U.K. to consider UN censure of Israel's West Bank settlements'
Arab nations on Wednesday submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank, with diplomats saying that a vote on it is not expected any time soon because of a likely U.S. veto.

Greybeards Urge U.S. Not to Veto U.N. Anti-Settlement Resolution
In a letter released here Wednesday, former U.S. ambassadors to Israel, as well as other former senior Middle East policy-makers, warned that "America's credibility" in the region will be at stake when the resolution is finally presented for a vote, probably some time next month.

Serving Up Palestine One Slice at a Time by Philip Giraldi
In fact, the United States is completely in lock step with Israel on the prospects for a Palestinian state. The White House and State Department have condemned every move to obtain independent recognition of statehood. The US position is summed up by House Resolution 1765, drafted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, "Supporting a negotiated solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict and condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state, and for other purposes," which had 54 co-sponsors. It declares that "any attempt to establish Palestinian statehood outside the negotiating process will invoke the strongest congressional opposition" and condemns any attempt to "establish or seek recognition of a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians." Two recent polls (one by Brookings Institute and one by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs) show that 2/3 of the American people want the US to take NO SIDE in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Yet our Congress is almost totally and staunchly pro-Israel (thanks to the efforts of the Israeli Lobby).

Our representatives do not represent us. And it has cost us dearly - in more ways than one.

US warns Palestinians over Security Council resolution
The United States is alone among the five permanent veto–wielding members of the Security Council in opposing the resolution.

The other four –– Britain, China, France and Russia –– have all indicated they would probably vote for the resolution, diplomats said.

On this issue, the United States, at the behest of Israel, stands in the way of justice. It's the number 1 reason why America is reviled by the Arab world. This stance is also not reflected in American public opinion according to the polls I cited in this news batch. 2/3 of Americans want the US to take NO SIDE in this conflict.

U.N. Resolution on Israeli Settlements Puts Obama in Bind
A bipartisan group of 16 U.S. Senators, led by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, has urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to veto the resolution: "Attempts to use a venue such as the United Nations, which you know has a long history of hostility toward Israel, to deal with just one issue in the negotiations, will not move the two sides closer to a two–state solution, but rather damage the fragile trust between them."

I'd like to once again remind you of the polls cited in this news batch. Our representatives do not represent us, on this issue and likely more. The ramifications of this support for Israel cost us Americans dearly - in more ways than one.

The Palestine papers let Israel's battle for hearts and minds begin today
Was this the dark heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict? The zero sum game laid bare: for Israeli children to have the undeniable human right not to huddle terrified under the seats of their school bus, Palestinian children will be blown to bits.

Clinton warns Hezbollah-backed government may alter U.S. ties with Lebanon
U.S. officials said earlier this month that Lebanon's political turmoil would not trigger an immediate cut in U.S. aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces, but suggested that the ties would come under speedy review.

Mubarak Faces Historic Challenge
The government, which controls all communications here, started blocking websites in the afternoon as events on the ground heated up and it became clear that many protesters were using the Internet for information.

A New Truth Dawns on the Arab World by Robert Fisk
The Palestine Papers are as damning as the Balfour Declaration. The Palestinian "Authority" - one has to put this word in quotation marks - was prepared, and is prepared to give up the "right of return" of perhaps seven million refugees to what is now Israel for a "state" that may be only 10 per cent (at most) of British mandate Palestine.

....And so where are we going? Could it be, perhaps, that the Arab world is going to choose its own leaders? Could it be that we are going to see a new Arab world which is not controlled by the West?

....This is the end of the Democrats' world in the Arab Middle East. We do not know what comes next. Perhaps only history can answer this question.

Our Fight on Mount Soledad
The involvement of the Jewish War Veterans as a plaintiff in the Mount Soledad case is part of our ongoing fight for the rights of Jewish service members and veterans and on behalf of the values enshrined in the Constitution.

Back in 1986, JWV filed suit to remove or relocate a brightly lit, 65-foot-high memorial cross at Camp H.L. Smith, a Marine Corps base in Hawaii.

....Take, for example, last year’s Supreme Court ruling regarding a cross in California’s Mojave National Preserve. JWV filed an amicus brief in that case, which involved an 8-foot-tall cross honoring American service members who died in World War I.

It is not Muslims that are trying to remove crosses from veteran's memorials, folks.

Make Worms, Not War?
Despite the public drama of statements and snubs, disagreements and delays, the relationship between America and Israel has been extraordinarily tight and trusting for this operation to have succeeded as the Times describes. While begun in the waning days of the Bush administration, the collaboration accelerated when President Obama took office, a pattern seen in other forms of military and defense cooperation between Jerusalem and Washington.

Somehow Israel's problems become OUR problems, and we have paid dearly for that fact - in more ways than one.

Sunday morning
I just returned from an eleven day trip to Israel, Palestine and Egypt. I hope to write about it at greater length: the situation is tremendously depressing, as Israel is carrying on a kind of slow motion ethnic cleansing, severing the Palestinians from Jerusalem but various bureaucratic measures and home demolitions

Palestinian protesters confront French FM in Gaza
France, a former colonial power in the Mideast and North Africa, traditionally has had strong ties with the Arab world. But French President Nicolas Sarkozy has demonstrated greater sympathy for Israel and its analysis of Mideast geopolitics than his predecessor, Jacques Chirac.

'Remarkable scenes' at Cairo protests
Anti-government protests have broken out in Egypt after an internet campaign inspired by the uprising in Tunisia.

Palestinian charged with insulting leader online
Abbas' security forces have previously mined social networks to catch dissenters. In November, an atheist blogger was arrested after posting incendiary comments about Islam on Facebook.

....In another development, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she "deplores" the continued imprisonment of prominent Palestinian activist Abdullah Abu Rahmeh by Israel. Since 2005, Abu Rahmeh has been a key figure in weekly protests against Israel's separation barrier which cuts into West Bank land.

In Friday's statement, she said the Palestinians have the right to engage in peaceful demonstrations.

Mavi Marmara survivors speak out against Israeli whitewash

Egypt accuses Gaza militants in Coptic church bomb
The Army of Islam dismissed Sunday's accusations on an extremist website, and the Hamas militants who control Gaza and have themselves battled with the smaller group was also skeptical of the Egyptian claim.

Censorship Prevents ‘Deranged Individuals’ from Seeing Ads on Israeli War Crimes
Why so much censorship when trying to present the facts about our complicity in Israeli occupation and apartheid?

A DREAM Deferred
Despite the more conservative Congress, as well as the previous Senate’s failure to pass the DREAM Act, many Jewish organizations involved with domestic policy vowed to continue making immigrant rights a top priority. Groups including the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA), American Jewish Committee (AJC), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), had formally endorsed the act and encouraged their members to call politicians asking for their votes in favor of it.

The View on the Ground of the Palestine Papers

Boycott vote in Sydney suburb sparks media furor, death threats
On 15 December 2010, the councilors of Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney, Australia voted by a 10-2 majority to support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). A month later, they have belatedly become the subjects of vilification in the press owned by international media proprietor Rupert Murdoch and death threats from Australia's lunatic fringe.

Witness for Gaza's victims of conflict - audio slideshow
Photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer talks about his compelling photographs documenting the damage left after Israel's assault on Gaza in 2009, published in The Book of Destruction.

Bias Feared in Public School Proposal To Absorb Yiddish Special Ed Program
The proposal for the East Ramapo Central School District in Rockland County, N.Y., to take over the financially troubled Rockland Institute for Special Education (RISE) is drawing complaints from local activists and minority communities in the ethnically diverse district, which is home to a large Orthodox Jewish community. The Yiddish and Hebrew bilingual special education program, currently run under Orthodox auspices, would be the only bilingual program offered by the district.

....“It’s mystifying how an apparent deal has been made before the board has even discussed or voted on it,” said Oscar Cohen, an area resident and member of a local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who had seen the memo.

....Activists say the board allowed no time for public comment on the proposal. The plan was announced after registration for the public comment segment of the board meeting on January 5 was closed, and the vote at the school board’s January 19 meeting is expected to occur before the public comment period for that meeting takes place.

Some raised concerns about RISE’s current building being used exclusively for Yiddish- and Hebrew-speaking students. “If the district has a school for only white, Jewish special education kids, they’re still segregated from the rest of the system,” said Cohen. “Will this be a form of segregation, and in essence apartheid? That’s our fear.”

There's that philosemitism again.

The Right To Return to a Home
In adapting this story for the Israeli stage, journalist and writer Boaz Gaon added a Solomonic conundrum: One mother, Safiyya, left behind her infant son in the chaos of the Jewish takeover of Haifa in 1948, while the survivors, Miriam and her husband, Ephraim, who lost their own child in the Holocaust, are given the abandoned house on the condition that they raise the forgotten infant

Key Obama aide on Iran sanctions steps down
The departure of Stuart Levey from his role as the Treasury Department's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence comes as the United States and its allies appear likely to make a push for stiffer sanctions on Iran.

....Obama nominated Levey's deputy, David Cohen, to replace him. Cohen will need to be confirmed by the Senate.

US: Recognize State of Palestine In 2011
The United States should either lay a plan on the table and demand its implementation, or the Palestinians should declare full independence, with negotiations with Israel to follow. And the United States should support them.

Forty-four years of occupation is enough, for both Palestinians and Israelis. And it's time for America to keep its promises.

State of the Union: Why the Middle East Won't Be the Focus
The Western-backed regimes surrounding Israel are falling, and in their place perhaps may be more pro-Iran governments. Not looking good for Israel.

Israel's new top spy: Iran bomb possible in 2 years
The remarks by Major–General Aviv Kochavi, chief of military intelligence, also appeared aimed at asserting authority over the rival Israeli espionage agency Mossad, whose departing chief said this month Iran might not have nuclear arms before 2015.

Chicken Little Israel can't seem to make up its mind.

Palestine Papers Confirm Israeli Rejectionism
For more than a decade, since the collapse of the Camp David talks in 2000, the mantra of Israeli politics has been the same: "There is no Palestinian partner for peace."

This week, the first of hundreds of leaked confidential Palestinian documents confirmed the suspicions of a growing number of observers that the rejectionists in the peace process are to be found on the Israeli, not Palestinian, side. What more do these people have to give up?

Arab Leaders Warn of More Revolts Amid Growing Anger

Iran has boosted atomic bomb ability: US scientists
it follows claims by US and Israeli officials that international efforts have slowed Iran's nuclear drive.

A piece of propaganda if I've ever seen one.

Iran not working on bomb: Israel intelligence head
Recently, several senior Israeli officials, including the former head of the Mossad overseas intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, have said that Iran is unlikely to acquire nuclear weapons before 2015.

Hezbollah wins enough support to name new Lebanon PM

Rice: US Army Presence In Iraq Protects Israel
Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice reassured Israel that the US military presence in Iraq should calm any Israeli security concerns "from the east," minutes from a 2008 trilateral meeting between Rice and the Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams reveal.

U.S. says U.N. expert should be fired for Sept 11 remarks
A U.N. expert on Palestinian human rights who suggested there was a cover–up over the September 11 attacks should be fired, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said on Tuesday.

Britain's foreign minister in Syria for talks
Hague is also expected to discuss the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program and risks of broader proliferation in the Middle East. He's also scheduled to meet with business leaders and prominent Syrian women.

Lebanon faction urges sit-ins against Hezbollah

Israelis target Macy Gray with racist diatribes AFTER she agrees to play Tel Aviv (and who are the “assholes”)
Several internet forums, including one called “Don’t Betray,” have sprouted up to incite public anger at artists such as Gray who have criticized Israel — even if they agree to perform in the country. Meanwhile, the talkback sections of articles in the Hebrew media about Gray’s Tel Aviv shows have provided a forum for the most extreme screeds about the singer.

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Lebanon Hariri says he will seek premiership again