Feb 17, 2009

The ‘Bizarre News of the day Prize’ must of course go to the item about Tony Blair recieveinga million dollars from an Israeli foundation in Tel Aviv University, for his ‘extraordianry Leadership’… huh? So there is someone who thinks Tony has donea good job? Yeah. Israel thinks that by shutting up and keeping his nose clean, spending his time in the American Colony (in more than one way…) and basically doing nothing in a very big way, this war criminal of Iraq fame, who went to find weapons of mass destruction where they never existed, this genius who presided over the killing of more than half a million Iraqis, has obviously contributed to Israel’s ability to wage war unhindered.

Well, they are right! He has done all this, and a million bucks is cheap at the price. Congratulations, Tony, for assisting the spilling of more Arab blood, by standing fast by israel, both in the Summer of 2006 and also during the Gaza carnage. It is good to have good friends, and even better to pay them off! Should not one war criminal support another? Thumbs up for solidarity! Israel salutes Tony!

Blair wins $1m leadership prize: BBC

Former prime minister Tony Blair has won $1m (£697,000) for his leadership on the world stage.
Mr Blair, now a Middle East envoy, will receive the Dan David Prize at Tel Aviv University in Israel in May. It marks his “foresight”, “exceptional intelligence” and “steadfast determination” to end conflicts. Mr Blair’s spokesman said the money would be donated to the former Labour leader’s recently set up charity for religious understanding. ‘Morally courageous’ Mr Blair, prime minister from 1997 to 2007, is an envoy of the international Quartet (the US, EU, UN and Russia) on the Middle East peace process. His entry as a Dan David laureate on the prize’s website hails him as “one of the most outstanding statesmen of our era”. It praises his role in the Northern Ireland peace process and his “steadfast determination and morally courageous leadership” over Kosovo. There is no mention of the decision to support the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Not to mention his leadership over Lebann 2006 and Gaza 2008. A real leader of war criminals.

Blair awarded $1m for ‘exceptional leadership’: The Guardian

Former prime minister Tony Blair is to receive a $1m prize for his leadership skills. The prize will be awarded by the Dan David Foundation which gives three prizes annually in past, present and future categories. The foundation said yesterday that Blair will receive an award in the ‘present’ category “for his exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict”. Blair is the representative of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet. Scientist Robert Gallo, credited with co-discovering the Aids virus, will also receive $1m.

Israel resumes annual shipment of Golan apples to Syria: Ha’aretz

Israel resumed its export of Golan Heights-grown apples to Syria on Tuesday, after it last year halted the annual project due to a shortage in produce. The decision to begin the export again was made following a request by the Red Cross and at the directive of the political echelon. “This is a humanitarian action that helps Druze farmers economically,” said Yael Segev-Eitan of the Red Cross. “This year, both sides were eager to get the project going. We hope that this will create an atmosphere that will facilitate the promotion of other humanitarian ventures.”

Sounds like in Syria they have not yet heard of the BDS campaign… They buy their own apoples from the occupier of their land? Who is the scriptwriter? Surely this is going too far… Anyone listeening in Syria? Israel as humanitarian? With Apples? Normally it is bomblets, I seem to recall…

Is Israel assassinating Iran nuclear scientists?: Ha’aretz

Israel is assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists as part of a covert war against the Islamic Republic’s illicit weapons program, the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday quoted Western intelligence analysts as saying. The British daily said Israel’s Mossad espionage agency was rumored to be behind the death of Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear scientist at Iran’s Isfahan uranium plant, who died in mysterious circumstances from reported “gas poisoning” in 2007. Other recent deaths of important figures in the procurement and enrichment process in Iran and Europe have been the result of Israeli “hits”, intended to deprive Tehran of key technical skills at the head of the program, according to the analysts.

The cat is out of the bag, even in Israel, the ‘only democracy which doesn’t give a fuck’ in the Middle East.

Obama officials meet U.S. Jews to explain their Durban II policy: Ha’aretz

Officials from the Obama administration met with U.S. Jewish leaders on Monday to explain why the government has decided to participate in planning the controversial World Conference Against Racism, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. Jerusalem fears that the “Durban II” summit, set to be held in Geneva this April, will be used by Arab nations and others as a forum to criticize Israel as was its predecessor in 2001.

The closed-door talks were led by the White House and the State Department, according to the JTA, and the content of the meeting was off-the-record. The meeting was held after the State Department sent a high-level team to an informal preparatory session in Geneva this week, but declared that a “change in direction” was required before it could commit to full participation in the April meeting.  “If you are not engaged, you don’t have a voice,” State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said on Tuesday.  “We wanted to put forward our view and see if there is some way we can make the document a better document than it appears it is going to be,” he said. “That does not mean, however, that we will take part in future meetings or indeed in the conference itself.”

AIPAC will sort Obamah out in no time at all…

Fearing anti-Semitism, Jews in Muslim lands distance themsleves from Israel’s actions: Ha’aretz

Outrage at the Israel war in the Gaza Strip has turned to intimidation and even violence against Jews living in some Muslim lands, raising questions about the stability of these often tiny communities. In Turkey, Yemen and Indonesia, Muslims have shut down a synagogue, stoned homes and used anti-Semitic slurs. Although the incidents have been isolated, the Jewish minorities in these lands are concerned. “Before the conflict broke out in Gaza, we were very involved in the community,” said Yusron Samba, whose family for years had operated a synagogue in Indonesia that shut down in fear over the war. “Of course we’re afraid following strong reaction recently from some Islamic groups questioning our presence here. “The fury over Gaza has centered around the hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed in the war, in which 13 Israelis also died. Israel says it could not avoid killing civilians because Gaza militants operate from residential areas, but critics accuse it of using disproportionate force in its war to halt rocket attacks on its territory.

Interesting… some of us are doing the same thing, even without being worried about anti-semitism… all the same, it is good to see more cracks in the edifice every day.

Report: Iran seeking Russian missiles to repel Israeli assault: Ha’aretz

Iran’s defense minister will seek to convince Russia on Tuesday to deliver air defense systems which could help repel possible Israel and U.S. air strikes, Russian media reported. Iran has long been interested in buying medium range Russian S-300 air defence systems from Russia but Israel has sought to convince Moscow not to deliver the systems. Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar met Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in Moscow on Tuesday.  “I hope this visit will lead to the further development of relations between our two countries in all areas, including in the sphere of military cooperation,” Najjar was quoted as saying by the Iranian embassy in Moscow. Russia’s Kommersant newspaper said Najjar will seek to get Russia to deliver the systems during his visit to Moscow, though the paper said Moscow was extremely wary of selling the systems to Tehran.

Ah, this is going to be such fun, with nuclear missliles flying there and back. I cannot wait… don’tsay I did not tell you, and keep digging that shelter. It will be the samson moment – the Israeli Goliath toppling the temple on its own head, in order to harm all around. Will make good hollywood disaster blockbuster, once the radiation goes down a little.

Tennis Channel boycotts Dubai event after Israel’s Peer barred: Ha’aretz

The American Tennis Channel will not televise the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week to protest the United Arab Emirates’ refusal to grant an entry visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Peer was scheduled to play Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze in the first round. The U.S. daily quoted Ken Solomon, the chairman and chief executive of the network, as saying on Monday from Utah that, “This is an easy decision to come by, based on what is right and wrong.” “Sports are about merit, absent of background, class, race, creed, color or religion,” he added. “They are simply about talent. This is a classic case, not about what country did what to another country. If the state of Israel were barring a citizen of an Arab nation, we would have made the same decision.”

As usual, it is USA and Israel standing side by side against the hordes. Only Micronesia is missing here… it normally makes up the team.

Israelis Clearly Oppose Two-State Solution: Global Monitor

A majority of Israli adults oppose the formation of a Palestinian state neighbouring their own country, according to a poll by Maagar Mochot released by Channel 2. 51 per cent of respondents are against the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, while 32 per cent support it. The former British mandate of Palestine was instituted at the end of World War I, to oversee a territory in the Middle East that formerly belonged to the Ottoman Empire. After the end of World War II and the Nazi holocaust, the Zionist movement succeeded in establishing an internationally recognized homeland. In November 1947, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the formation of a Jewish state. In 1948, the British government withdrew from the mandate and the state of Israel was created in roughly 15,000 square kilometres of the mandate’s land, with the remaining areas split under the control of Egypt and Transjordan. Since then, the region has seen constant disagreement between Israel and the Palestinians, represented for decades by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Wars broke out in the region in the second half of the 20th Century, involving Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Around 750,000 Palestinians fled or were forced to leave their territory during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The “right of return”—under which Palestinians aim to re-occupy their homes in Israel—has always been a questionable point in peace negotiations. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from the war and their descendants still live in shantytown camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), next to Gaza cities and towns. During the six-day war in 1967, Israel gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is currently heading the Palestinian Authority from the West Bank, endorsed by Israel and most of the Western international community. Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas has become the de-facto leader in the Gaza Strip.

On Feb. 10, Israel held a legislative election. The outcome was too close to call, with the ruling Kadima and the rightist Likud party garnering roughly the same amount of votes. Israeli president Shimon Peres will ask either Kadima leader Tzipi Livni or Likud leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government.

Following the election, David Makovsky—director of the Washington Institute’s Project on the Middle East Peace Process—commented on the way a new government would deal with current situation, saying, “Livni deeply believes that a two-state solution is in Israel’s national interest based on the democratic threats of holding onto the West Bank. You don’t sense that with Bibi [Netanyahu].”
Polling Data
In light of the experience with disengagement, the Second Lebanon War and the war against Hamas in Gaza, do you support or oppose the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria?
Support            32%
Oppose             51%
Neither               8%
Not sure             9%

So now we know. Most Israelis are against the two-states solution, defunct anyway, due to their own policy of combining illegal occupation with illegal settlements. They are also even more strongly against the one-state solution, so that is out as well. We are left with the final solution – the Lieberman/Netanyahu/Livni/Barak solution – ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I am sure that is one most Israelis can support… for those of you forever waiting for Israel to change its mind, wait no more – Israel has decided clearly. Have you? Palestine cannot wait for those murderous racists to see the light, neither can the rest of us.

Israel launches covert war against Iran: Daily Telegraph

Israel has launched a covert war against Iran as an alternative to direct military strikes against Tehran’s nuclear programme, US intelligence sources have revealed.

It is using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime’s illicit weapons project, the experts say. The most dramatic element of the “decapitation” programme is the planned assassination of top figures involved in Iran’s atomic operations. Despite fears in Israel and the US that Iran is approaching the point of no return in its ability to build atom bomb, Israeli officials are aware of the change in mood in Washington since President Barack Obama took office. They privately acknowledge the new US administration is unlikely to sanction an air attack on Iran’s nuclear installations and Mr Obama’s offer to extend a hand of peace to Tehran puts any direct military action beyond reach for now. The aim is to slow down or interrupt Iran’s research programme, without the gamble of a direct confrontation that could lead to a wider war.
A former CIA officer on Iran told The Daily Telegraph: “Disruption is designed to slow progress on the programme, done in such a way that they don’t realise what’s happening. You are never going to stop it. “The goal is delay, delay, delay until you can come up with some other solution or approach. We certainly don’t want the current Iranian government to have those weapons. It’s a good policy, short of taking them out militarily, which probably carries unacceptable risks.” Reva Bhalla, a senior analyst with Stratfor, the US private intelligence company with strong government security connections, said the strategy was to take out key people.

If you did not believe this when us leftists said it is going on, maybe you prefer to believe the CIA and the Daily Telegraph? Digging that atomic shelter yet? Of course, there are those that will never believe anything critical about Israel, until the missile will hit them personally…

Resolution of The Israeli–Palestinian conflict: A socialist viewpoint: A socialist viewpoint

By Moshe Machover

This article is not written as a polemic against Zionists, social-imperialists and purveyors of similar reactionary ideologies; nor is it aimed at a broad liberal or progressive audience. It is addressed specifically to genuine socialists. I can therefore take certain things for granted. I will take for granted the analysis of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict I have expounded elsewhere: especially in my 2006 Amiel and Melburn Trust lecture.1
But I would like to elaborate on the second part of that lecture, which dealt all too briefly with resolution of the conflict.
I will also take it for granted that we, socialists, reject not only any ideology of colonization and oppression, but also all nationalism, including the
nationalist ideology of an oppressed people struggling for national liberation. This latter precept, while accepted in principle by all genuine socialists, is not always adhered to in political practice. It is all too easy to slide from support for a national liberation struggle – which is our unwavering duty as socialists – into accommodation with the bourgeois or petty-bourgeois nationalist ideology of the leadership of that struggle.
Wishing – quite correctly – not to appear patronizing by preaching from afar to the oppressed masses how to conduct their struggle and resenting them with a prepacked programme, socialists often forego an independent critical socialist viewpoint and are content to tail behind this or that brand of radical nationalism. Independent positions such as those advocated in the present article, which were formerly held and defended by
significant sections of the revolutionary left, have been abandoned or simply forgotten. They need to be reaffirmed.

Read the whole article on the link above

Palestinian Campus Looks to East Bank (of Hudson): New York Times

Students at Al Quds University of Jerusalem

Students at Al Quds University of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — It would be hard to find two institutions of higher learning that seem more different than Bard College, an upscale, bucolic college in Dutchess County, N.Y., and Al Quds University, a struggling, sprawling Palestinian institution in and near this disputed capital.

Yet the two schools have decided to join forces in an unusual venture aimed at injecting American educational values and expertise into Palestinian society, in hopes of contributing to a future democratic State of Palestine. Although the effort has been many months in the planning, those involved say the recent war in Gaza and a political turn rightward in Israel make it more important and urgent. The plan, relying largely on outside financing, includes a liberal arts honors college and a master’s degree program in teaching, both located at Al Quds and granting joint degrees, as well as a model high school to serve as an educational laboratory. The starting date for the first two is September; the high school is to open in 2010. Nothing like this has ever been tried in Palestinian education, and controversy is expected. Bard anticipates complaints from some American Jews unhappy because Al Quds is a Palestinian institution partly in Jerusalem — which many Jews consider the indivisible capital of Israel — and because Al Quds is no stranger to radical Palestinian politics. Meanwhile, Al Quds expects some Palestinians to resent the endeavor as vaguely colonialist. And the collaboration by two such disparate institutions is bound to be complicated.

Joint call for impartial investigation of war crimes / violations during Gaza offensive: Kibush Magazine

Press release from Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network
re Gaza / Czech EU Presidency
High profile mission in Prague
On 18/19 February 2009, the Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) is organizing a high profile mission to Prague in order to discuss with the Czech authorities the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed during the Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip, codenamed ג€œOperation Cast Leadג€. The mission will be accompanied by Amnesty International Czech Republic.
The mission will urge the Czech presidency of the EU to support an impartial, international investigation into all alleged war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law committed by all those involved in the conflict.
It will also urge the Czech presidency to condition advanced status of Israel with the EU to progress made in the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.
Among other meetings with Czech officials, the mission will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Karel Schwarzenberg on Thursday the 19th of February at 2pm . You will be able, if you wish, to meet the members of the mission after this meeting.

The clock is ticking for the war criminals! No longer can they assume impunity!

Obama’s Caterpillar Visit a Thumb in the Eye for Human Rights Activists: Stephen Zunes in Alternet

Caterpillar’s equipment has been used to level homes, build Israel’s illegal separation wall and, in some cases, kill innocent civilians.

Over the objections of church groups, peace organizations and human rights activists, President Barack Obama decided to return to Illinois to visit the headquarters of the Caterpillar company, which for years has violated international law, U.S. law and its own code of conduct by selling its D9 and D10 bulldozers to Israel.  In his speech on Thursday, Obama praised Caterpillar, saying, “Your machines plow the farms that feed our families; build the towers that shape our skylines; lay the roads that connect our communities; power the trucks that deliver our goods.”  He failed to mention that Caterpillar machines have been used to level Palestinian homes, uproot olive orchards, build the illegal separation wall and, in some cases, kill innocent civilians, including a 23-year old American peace activist.  Given the slump in sales that forced Caterpillar to lay off thousands of workers, the company is emblematic of the problems facing industrial towns of the Midwest in the face of the worse recession in decades and was therefore seen as an appropriate place for Obama to make an appearance.  Yet surely there were other heavy equipment manufacturers, or other industries, he could have chosen to visit — one which doesn’t provide its wares for what have been widely recognized as crimes against humanity and is not the subject of an international boycott by the human rights community.

This is for those nice guys waiting for Obamah, the US president, to bring peace and tranquility. Keep waiting…

I want to tell the world a story

This is a moving, sad and terrifying presentation, sent from Palestine. I have no name attached to it, which isa pity, as I would have liked to credit this effort. Havea look at what is a unique visual argument! This is very large file and may take some time loading up. You have to download it first, as it will not play on the website.


The Right to Education Campaign and the students of Birzeit University would like to commend and express support for students worldwide who have taken a principled stance against the ferocious Israeli bombardment of the Gaza strip for 22 days between December 2008 and January 2009. More than 1,300 Palestinians were killed, including 400 children, and over 4,000 Palestinians were injured. As students, we have been particularly concerned with the attacks on educational institutions, which include the Islamic University of Gaza and more than 70 schools, including a number of UNRWA schools, which were destroyed or damaged throughout the Gaza Strip. As a result of the destruction of educational institutions, students have been forced to study at other schools which are operating in two or three shifts due to the reduced amount of classroom space. In some cases, class sizes have been raised to 120 students per class.
In response to the Israeli attacks on Gaza, students at more than 20 universities in the UK and so far 1 university in the U.S, have taken non-violent action in the form of sit-ins or ‘occupations’ of rooms in university buildings, with the aim of pressuring their universities to take action by cutting financial and commercial links with Israel, issuing statements in condemnation of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, and providing scholarships for Gaza students.
As students, you are best able to understand the struggle that we as Palestinian students living under occupation go through daily in our basic pursuit of education. Through the stance you have taken against the attacks on Gaza, you have showed us that we are not alone in our struggle for freedom and justice. You have broken the sense of isolation we feel when governments have remained silent as we are harassed and delayed at a checkpoint on the way to university, arrested for exercising our right to freedom of expression or mourn fellow students who were taken from us by the bullets of the Occupation.
We greatly appreciate your efforts and request that students worldwide take action in this way or in whichever way they can, to put pressure on their universities to take a stand for the universal values of education and to push towards the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel until it stops depriving us of our rights. Such non-violent campaigns on campus are the only way forward and they say to us and to the world that Israel’s policies of apartheid are not welcome in the world we want to live – a world which we, as students, will inherit, and also have the power to shape.

Birzeit University students would like to express particular solidarity with students of SOAS, who began this movement, Edinburgh University, and Leeds University, all of whom are twinned with our Student Council. We deeply appreciate your ongoing efforts in refusing to be silent in face of the ongoing barbarities and crimes carried out by the Israeli occupation against Palestinian students and teachers.
In solidarity,
Birzeit University Right to Education Student Volunteers

Explosives haul missing in Gaza: BBC

Israeli aircraft dropped hundreds of tons of explosives on Gaza, not all of which exploded

Israeli aircraft dropped hundreds of tons of explosives on Gaza, not all of which exploded

A large stockpile of unexploded weapons has disappeared in Gaza, before United Nations experts were able to dispose of it safely, the BBC has learned. The explosives, including aircraft bombs and white phosphorus shells, were fired by the Israeli military during its recent offensive in the Gaza Strip. UN officials said they were urgently trying to establish where the arms had gone and have called for their return. Israel has accused Hamas of taking the stockpile, which was under Hamas guard. ‘Extremely dangerous’ Richard Miron, the senior UN spokesman in Jerusalem, said: “We are anxious to get the return of this ordnance. It’s clearly extremely dangerous and needs to be disposed of in a safe manner. “This is our primary concern.” A UN Mines Action Team has been in Gaza since the end of the war, last month, its job to locate unexploded Israeli ordnance and to organise its safe disposal. Two weeks ago, on 2 February, the UN team was given access to a storage site in Gaza City where more than 7,000kg of explosives was being housed. It included three 2,000-pound bombs and eight 500-pound bombs, which had all been dropped from aircraft but failed to explode. There was also a large number of 155mm shells for delivering the incendiary chemical white phosphorus.

Please help the Israeli Army of Occupation! Anyone finding the explosives and boombs, please be so kind as toi send them to:

General Ehud Barak

Ministry of Defence

Tel Aviv, Israel.

Israeli Ram wants action on Dubai: BBC

Tennis’s governing bodies should take action when players are refused visas to play in Arab countries, says Israeli doubles specialist Andy Ram.
Shahar Peer is not in the women’s event because she was not allowed into Dubai and Ram is waiting to hear if he will get a visa for next week’s tournament. Ram said: “It’s one of the biggest events on the calendar so they have to find a way to have Israelis play there. “The governing bodies, the ATP and the WTA, have to take responsibility.”
Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Tensions are high after last month’s hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israeli citizens are usually only let in if they have dual nationality or there are exceptional circumstances. The 28-year-old Ram, the doubles world number 11, said: “I don’t know what should be done.

The BDS agenda seems to be spreading daily!

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