Feb 16, 2009

If any of you thought that the carnage is over, either because of a ceasefire, or the Israeli election, you were wrong! What the people of Gaza, and the whole of Palestine can look forward to, is more murder, mayhem and destruction, whoever of the current lot of war criminals will head the Israeli governemnt. I hope there are not many confused people left out there, especially on Capitol Hill.

Fresh violence shakes Gaza Strip: BBC

Israeli jets have bombed tunnels on Gaza’s border with Egypt, after two rockets were fired at southern Israel. The Israeli military said the air attack targeted a tunnel used for smuggling arms into Gaza. A little-known militant group called Hezbollah Brigades Palestine claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks, which caused no casualties. The violence came amid moves to turn ceasefires that ended Israel’s 22-day offensive in Gaza into a lasting truce.
Two rockets fired from Gaza landed in Israel on Monday morning, the Israeli military said. Several hours later, Israeli jets bombed a border area in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

Unexploded munitions
Palestinian officials said a 25-year-old Gaza man was killed and five people were injured in an explosion in northern Gaza near the border with Israel. The explosion was apparently caused when an unexploded munition was thrown into a fire being used to melt down scrap metal.
Sporadic violence has continued between Israel and Gaza since Israel ended its offensive on 18 January and the Hamas movement declared a ceasefire. Egypt has been trying to mediate a long-term truce. About 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the 22 days of violence.

Liberman Video Clip: Avaaz

A short clip exposing the pleasures awaiting us all with Lieberamn near the nuclear switch in Israel. Makes you shudder.

Key to who will govern Israel: Avigdor Lieberman: Christian Science Monitor

JERUSALEM – Israel is in a political bind. The nation voted Tuesday, but Wednesday two leaders claimed victory and a third-party newcomer found himself anointed the new Israeli “kingmaker.”

Centrist Tzipi Livni’s Kadima won 28 seats in the Knesset, or parliament, while right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud took 27 – so slim a margin that neither can claim a governing majority. Enter Avigdor Lieberman. The third-largest vote-getter was his far-right Yisrael Beytenu party that wants a “national, right-wing government.” Common wisdom suggests an alliance with Mr. Netanyahu’s party. But some analysts say that Mr. Lieberman might find common ground with Ms. Livni. Either way, Lieberman will have great sway over the makeup of Israel’s next governing coalition, potentially winning control of key ministries. Many observers – right and left – now worry that Israel is headed toward years of political gridlock and dysfunction, potentially putting any Middle East peacemaking in limbo. “They’re saying we hold the keys to Israel’s next government, and I’m very glad to say we do,” Lieberman said in a speech at his campaign headquarters. “We have our own path and our own principles, and we are not going to compromise on them.” Among his goals, he said was the “elimination of Hamas,” the Palestinian group that Israel battered in a 22-day war in Gaza that ended with an unofficial pair of cease-fires last month.

This is writing for the politically-naive… after all, Lieberman was not a minister in the ‘liberal’ government which destroyed Beirut and Gaza, killing more than 3,000 in both cities, in 2006 and 2008/9. Who exactly are those liberal Israeli politicians pundits are talking about,when they discuss Lieberamn as if he was the real problem? The real problem is Zionism and its barbarous claim for the whole land of Palestine,a claim based on colonial racism. Lieberamn is just one facet of that criminal project. He will of course help to continue the destruction, but no one waited for him to come through – Olmert, Livni and Barak have done their bit well before the elections. For this – they should sit in the ICHR and ICJ and answer the accusations of war crimes.

Rebuilding the Islamic University of Gaza: Akram Habeeb and Marcy Newman, The Electronic Intifada

Since Israel’s bombing of the buildings housing scientific laboratories at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) on 28 December, the rubble that remains debunks Israeli claims that those labs were used to manufacture weapons. Of course such allegations are preposterous; indeed it would be quite foolish for IUG to even entertain the notion of producing weapons given the way in which Palestinian universities have been under constant Israeli attack since the founding of Birzeit University in the West Bank in 1975.

Rather, it is Israeli universities that contain the laboratories where the weaponry used to destroy Palestinian lives in Gaza and elsewhere is developed. In the 14 June 2007 issue of The Nation, US journalist Naomi Klein makes it clear that the relationship between the State of Israel, its academic institutions and its military are intertwined:
“Thirty homeland security companies were launched in Israel in the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country’s universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups (something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott).”
The way that Israel binds together its universities (all of which are state-run and funded) and its military can be gleaned from any number of Israeli universities and their laboratories, which serve as incubators of destruction while the Palestinian people inevitably become its guinea pigs. In a recent article in the Tel Aviv University Review (Winter 2008-2009) entitled “Lifting the Veil of Secrecy,” Gil Zohar lays out the collaboration between Israeli universities and Israel’s colonial military project quite clearly:
“… Tel Aviv University [TAU] is at the front line of the critical work to maintain Israel’s military and technological edge. While much of that research remains classified, several facts illuminate the role of the university. MAFAT, a Hebrew acronym meaning the [Research and Development] Directorate of the Israel Ministry of Defense, is currently funding 55 projects at TAU. Nine projects are being funded by DARPA — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense.”

Support Palestinian universities – spread the BDS campaign – this is what people under the Israeli jackboot are asking you to do!

Tennis tournament at risk after UAE bars Israeli player: The Guardian

• Gaza conflict blamed for decision to refuse visa
• Women’s governing body considers cancellation

Israel’s leading female tennis player, Shahar Peer, was refused a visa for entry into the United Arab Emirates yesterday, as politics threatened the future of one of the world’s richest tennis tournaments. The UAE does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and tournament organisers believe the decision to refuse entry to Peer was a reaction to the recent conflict in Gaza. Last year, Peer became the first Israeli tennis player to take part in a tournament in an Arab country at an event in Doha, Qatar. “I really got a warm welcome from the tournament,” she said at the time. “When you go on the court you don’t think about politics. You just want to play your tennis.” Peer’s participation in last year’s event in Qatar was considered a diplomatic breakthrough as she had not long completed national service in the Israeli army. But tensions have been high between Israel and Arab countries since the three-week invasion of Gaza started on 27 December. About 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the offensive, which sparked mass anti-Israeli protests across the Middle East.

The BDS campaign is on! It now arises everywhere! Let Israelis feel what people everywhere feel about their war crimes. Read on below on her deep and enaging arguments (“Politics and Sports don’t mix”…) Let us mix politics with everything, exactly like Israel has done for years in Palestine!

‘Politics and sports don’t mix,’ Israeli tennis player says after UAE ban: Ha’aretz

Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer said Monday that politics and sports should not be mixed after the United Arab Emirates denied her a visa into the countru, ostensibly banning her from playing in Dubai’s premier tournament. Peer said she was upset, both personally and professionally, over Dubai’s decision, but said she felt buoyed by the support of her fellow players. “I am very disappointed that I have been prevented from playing in the Dubai tournament,” she told the Associated Press in a statement. “I think a red line has been crossed here that could harm the purity of the sport and other sports. I have always believed that politics and sports should not be mixed.”

Bismarckian board games: The Guardian

The partition of Cyprus resulted from the lazy certainty that, time and again, separation works

The question – from Gaza to Pristina – is whether peace arrives top down or bottom up, whether it’s ordinary folk or diplomatic men in suits who do the business. And from an island of strife 45 long years ago is the beginning of a surprising answer. Can we find friendship and understanding between warring communities? Perhaps we can. The presidents of Greek and Turkish Cyprus met again top down last week. It was the 19th encounter of this negotiating round, and the third stuck in argument over property rights to the land seized when the Turkish army invaded. These talks remain the best chance of settlement since intercommunal life first soured a decade before Ankara sent in its troops; but they lumber on. Finish as promised by Christmas 2008, chaps? Make that autumn 2009. You’re still hopeful because the ordinary people want to draw a line under tragedy. But need it ever have come to this? Martin Packard (Commander RN, retired) never believed in the inevitability of Cyprus partition. Through the first six months of 1964, for the British army and then for the UN, he led a tiny trouble-shooting team – a Greek, a Turk, two Brits – who believed that a countryside of split, frightened villages could live in harmony again. He drank endless coffees with village chiefs, he sorted out disputes, he liaised with both sets of Cypriot leaders who, in turn, liaised with each other through him.

Peter Preston is speaking of the folly of big politics’ by those who are both biased and lacking in understanding on the conflicts they offer to resolve. Let us not wait for Obamah, like we did not wait for other Clinton or Bush… BDS NOW!

Museums should cancel these Israel Days of Science: The Guardian

Quite extraordinarily, the Science Museum in London and the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry have both been made available (on 3 and 5 March respectively) for an event called “Israel Day of Science”. The museums argue they are not sponsoring the event, but have merely hired out their premises. This subtle distinction is unlikely to be appreciated by the many thousands of all ages and faiths who have repeatedly taken to the streets round the country to protest against Israeli war crimes in Gaza. The event is promoted by the Zionist Federation and is designed to showcase the scientific achievements of seven Israeli universities. But all of these are complicit in the Israeli occupation and in the policies and weaponry so recently deployed to such disastrous effect in Gaza. To take just one example, Tel Aviv University, in its most recent annual review, states that “the Israel ministry of defence is currently funding 55 projects at TAU”, which “is playing a major role in enhancing Israel’s security capabilities and military edge”. The head of TAU’s security studies programme was a former director of the R&D directorate of the Israel ministry of defence. He holds the rank of major-general in the Israel Defence Forces and is a member of the Knesset. Israel Day of Science is aimed particularly at sixth-form students, who can be expected to come in parties from schools across the country. What reaction can be expected from the many young people, already disaffected from science, who will associate the science museums with this Israeli public relations exercise? The event is being billed as a celebration of science. In fact it is an attempted celebration of Israel. In the immediate aftermath of the indiscriminate slaughter and attempted annihilation of all the infrastructure of organised society in Gaza, how can this “celebration” be allowed to borrow some respectability from the use of these distinguished institutions? The museums should cancel these unseemly events.

Charles Jencks, Mairead Maguire, Dr Ian Gibson MP, Walter Hain, Ahdaf Soueif, Professor RS MacKay (Warwick), Reem Kelani (Singer), Karl Sabbagh, Professor Steven Rose (Open University), Sabah Al-Mukhtar (Arab Lawyers Association), Professor Jonathan Rosenhead (LSE), Dr Sue Blackwell (Birmingham), Professor Jim Al-Khalili (Surrey) and 368 others

Bruce Anderson: Israel is trapped, and the chance of peace is ever more remote: The Independent

A crass failure of moral sensitivity has led to equally crass strategic misjudgment
While the West is preoccupied with a crisis, a tragedy is unfolding. The world’s financial system will recover. On the Israel/Palestine peace process, there can be no comparable optimism, for it is not clear whether such a process still exists. No process, no peace; a settlement is further away now than at any time since 1967. Israel seems bent on a course which will lead to its eventual destruction. There is a hideous irony. The way that events are unfolding is a posthumous triumph for Adolf Hitler. With the winding-up of the Soviet Union, the last of the poisons created by the Second World War could be eliminated from the European bloodstream. Not the Middle Eastern one. It is easy to understand why the Israelis reacted as they did. Once you have suffered a Holocaust at the hands of the race which produced Beethoven, Goethe and Mozart, you lose trust in mankind’s benevolence: lose faith in everything except your own soldiers and weaponry. It is equally easy to understand why the Palestinians reacted as they did. Those who are driven into exile and refugeedom do not feel well-disposed towards their oppressors. The Palestinians felt no linguistic inhibitions, and why should they? They bore no guilt for the Holocaust. In the grip of – understandable – rage, some Palestinian rhetoric developed Nazi resonances. That was a mistake. It aroused every Israeli trauma. We have been here before, many Israelis concluded. This time, no one is going to herd us to our death like cattle. This time, we will get our retaliation in first. Because of the circumstances in which their Jewish state was created, most Israelis believe that they have two existential necessities, and entitlements. They want to enjoy security and they insist that their neighbours recognise their rights to do so. That does not seem unreasonable. But it is. It fails the highest test of political rationality. It is not realistic. This does not mean that Israelis should have to live in bomb shelters under constant risk of attack. But they have chosen to live in a dangerous neighbourhood, so there must be compromises. Instead of the delusion of absolute security by imposing a humiliating peace on crushed opponents, Israel should understand the need for a modus vivendi. Israelis are proud of their achievements over the past 60 years, and rightly so. But most of them are guilty of a crass failure of moral sensitivity leading to an equally crass strategic misjudgment. They fail to understand that their security will always be under threat from their neighbours’ misery. Above all, their leaders lack the political wisdom and the moral courage to tell Israelis something which most probably know in their hearts: that to make peace, they will have to take risks.

Barak tells IDF: Iran nukes are an existential threat to Israel: Ha’aretz

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told senior military leaders on Monday that Iran’s development of nuclear weapons was likely to “threaten the existence of the State of Israel.”  Barak told the top Israel Defense Forces commanders that should Iran achieve nuclear capability, it would enormously strengthen the immunity of groups aided by Tehran and dramatically boost the efforts of enemy regional elements to develop the same capabilities. “It will be very difficult to stop the trickling if nuclear capabilities, even if primitive, to terrorist organizations,” he said. “We have already received our first sign of such from Pakistan. Barak added that once the Obama administration began to negotiate with Iran, any efforts to use military offense against the nuclear program would become more difficult. “We’ll see Iranian gestures and steps aimed at pushing off the issue,” he said. The defense minister said it was of utmost importance that U.S.-Iran dialogue be relatively short, and followed by deep sanctions.

Here the preparation for the next part of the seellout drama: ‘How Israel controls the Middle East’ is quite advanced. Not satisfied with the destruction of Beirut, last time in 2006, and Gaza just recently, Israel’s ‘socialist’ leader of its ‘Labour Party’ is preparing the destruction of iran now. Much fun to follow. Watch this space, or, if you prepare safety, start digginga nuclear shelter… One might indeed ask – is there anything, anything at all, that Israel might do, which will lead to the international community finding its collective brain? No sign at all.

Livni: Israel must give up land to remain Jewish and democratic: Ha’aretz

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told visiting American Jewish leaders on Monday that Israel must give up part of its land “in order to remain a Jewish and democratic state.”  “I do believe Israel is fighting for existence not only because it’s the only democracy in the Middle East, but also because it’s the only Jewish state in the world,” Livni told a delegation of about 100 leaders from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, currently holding its annual leadership mission in Israel. “No refugee can enter Israel as part of the peace process,” Livni said. “Their [Palestinian] national aspiration gets an answer in a different place,” she added, reiterating comments she has made at least twice in the past few months. She also told the delegation that Israel must take the initiative and come forward with its own peace plan to head off international programs. “Any plan put on the table will not be in our interest,” she said. During her address, Livni also appealed to the United States not to participate in the UN-sponsored Durban II anti-racism conference, set to be held in Geneva this April.

Jewish AND democratic? Either it is Jewish, or it is democratic, but otherwise we are taliking ofan oxymoron. Surely she means ‘without Arabs’? Arabrein, in German, as they used to put it in the 1930’s when they spoke of a ‘Judenrein’ Germany. Livni is just applying this to ‘Arabs’, as she does not like to speak of Palestinians. None of them does, of course. It reminds one that they are not just ‘Arabs’, but havea country called Palestine. How unfortunatre language can be sometimes... It is about time to choose between ‘Jewish’ and ‘democratic’! To choose between the law and breaking it, between humanity and barbarity. Well, looking at the election results, we are quite clear what Israeli has chosen!

Israeli Arab MK: Livni is 90% Lieberman, 10% Netanyahu: Ha’aretz

“Livni is 90% Lieberman and 10% Netanyahu”, Israeli-Arab MK Ahmed Tibi said Monday, hours after Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party released a statement saying they accept the stipulations made by Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party for joining a coalition. Hadash party head Mohammed Barakeh also issued a harsh attack on Livni, saying “according to the document, Kadima’s response to the requests made by Yvet Lieberman (Lieberman’s nickname) show that Livni intends to form a government headed by Lieberman.” Barakeh added that Kadima’s response “validates the racist beliefs of this Yvet. Livni and [Kadima MK] Haim Ramon announced today a list that is 100% Lieberman.”

Barakeh said that “Anyone who thought that the fate of the Palestinian population weighs on such racist decisions is mistaken. We have long experience in fighting for justice, we will continue to struggle against all racist policies like we did in the past, and will do so after Lieberman.”

Does Zionism legitimize every act of violence?: Ha’aretz

The Israeli left died in 2000. Since then its corpse has been lying around unburied until finally its death certificate was issued, signed, sealed and delivered on Tuesday. The hangman of 2000 was also the gravedigger of 2009: Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The man who succeeded in spreading the lie about there being no partner has reaped the fruit of his deeds in this election. The funeral was held two days ago.  The Israeli left is dead. For the past nine years it took the name of the peace camp in vain. The Labor Party, Meretz and Kadima had pretensions of speaking in its name, but that was trickery and deceit. Labor and Kadima made two wars and continued to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank; Meretz supported both wars. Peace has been left an orphan. The Israeli voters, who have been misled into thinking that there is no one to talk to and that the only answer to this is force – wars, targeted killings and settlements – have had their say clearly in the election: a closing sale for Labor and Meretz. It was only the force of inertia that gave these parties the few votes they won.

There was no reason for it to be otherwise. After many long years when hardly any protest came from the left, and the city square, the same square that raged after Sabra and Chatila, was silent, this lack of protest has been reflected at the ballot box as well. Lebanon, Gaza, the killed children, cluster bombs, white phosphorus and all the atrocities of occupation – none of this drove the indifferent, cowardly left onto the street. Though ideas of the left have found a toehold in the center and sometimes even on the right, everyone from former prime minister Ariel Sharon to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has spoken in a language that once was considered radical. But the voice was the voice of the left while the hands were the hands of the right.

It seems that good old Gideon is lurching, slowly and painfully, into an anti-Zionist position.

Ha’aretz seems to be mis-traslating its own articles… and not by error: by Moshe Machover

Page of the Ha'aretz article

Page of the Ha'aretz article

The rendering in Haaretz of the graffiti left in Gaza by Israeli soldiers went through curious mutations. The straightforward translation is “We came to exterminate you”. At first the online English version of Ha’aretz rendered this as “We came to slaughter you!”. But when I last looked at it the translation has been amended to “We came to annihilate you” — nearer to the correct translation but not near enough, because the Hebrew “lehashmid” is regularly translated as “to exterminate”.
Curiouser still: the visual evidence, a photo of the graffiti, has been removed from the online Hebrew version (it never appeared in the English
online version). But attached herewith is the evidence, taken from the English *print* version. The photo is faint, but the graffiti are legible.
And even here, in the caption under the photo, the graffiti is mistranslated as “we came to destroy you”. Apparently, “exterminate” (as in: “extermination of Jews during the Holocaust”…) is a word the Haaretz translator wished (or was told) to avoid at all costs — even at the cost of falsifying the translation.

And to the article in question:

Under a white Flag, darkly

By Amira Hass
At 1 P.M. on Monday, January 5, 2009, near Rajab Mughrabi’s garage on
Saladin Street, in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, a man of about
60 was pushing an elderly woman in a wheelbarrow. A 15-year-old boy walked
at their side, waving a white cloth. Behind them, some 80 people were
walking northward, their hands in the air. The day before, during Israel
Defense Forces advances under cover of heavy fire, Palestinian inhabitants
began their great flight westward, inward, into the Strip’s urban centers.
If they thought they were in the soldiers’ line of sight, they waved white
flags and raised their hands aloft.

How neat is the self-censorship of the Israeli intellectual… Not all that we are allowed to read in Hebrew (for the time being…) is also stuff to publish in English. After all, those bastards reading it abroad are not even Jewish…

US activists urge boycott of Israeli companies – 15 Feb 09

BDS message is contagious! It is spreading around the globe like a ray of new hope – keep spreading the message! See the clip below! This is an excellent report, and very well researched.

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