March 2009

March 28, 2009

ADC Files Complaints with Treasury Department against US Tax Exempt Organizations Raising Funds for West Bank Settlements: ADC

Washington, D.C. | March 27, 2009 | | Today, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed multiple administrative complaints with the US Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), requesting investigations into the activities of organizations claiming tax-exempt status under section 501(C)3 of the US Tax Code yet allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Among other allegations, the ADC complaints allege that these organizations are using assets and income in direct violation of their addressed purpose, and to support illegal and terrorist activities abroad.
The construction of settlements in occupied territory is illegal under international humanitarian law. The use of tax-exempt status to raise funds for these types of activities is also illegal under US law. Further, it is a central part of stated US policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict that settlement expansion and construction must stop. In filing its complaints, ADC seeks to ensure that US tax laws are not being exploited, and violated, by certain organizations which are allegedly using their tax-exempt status contradictory to stated US policies on this issue.
Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including the system of segregation roads, walls and checkpoints which surround them, continue to debilitate life for Palestinians in the occupied territory. Every American administration since the Carter Administration has been critical of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Most recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Israeli government initiatives to expand these settlements. More information on the challenges associated with Israeli settlement construction and detailed information on the settlement enterprise can be read in the recently-released ADC-Research Institute’s issue paper on this subject.

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March 27, 2009

By Pat Oliphant

By Pat Oliphant

Jewish group denounces political cartoon: The Independent

A Jewish human rights group has denounced a political cartoon as anti-Semitic, comparing it to Nazi imagery of the 1930s that led up to the Holocaust. The syndicated cartoon published by Pat Oliphant yesterday in newspapers across the US depicts a goose-stepping uniformed figure wheeling a fanged Star of David that menaces a small female figure labelled “Gaza.” The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights group with more than 400,000 members in the United States, said the cartoon is meant to denigrate and demonise Israel. “The imagery in this cartoon mimics the venomous anti-Semitic propaganda of the Nazi and Soviet eras,” Wiesenthal Center officials said in a statement. “It is cartoons like this that inspired millions of people to hate in the 1930s and help set the stage for the Nazi genocide.”
The centre called on the New York Times and other online outlets to remove the cartoon from their websites. A New York Times spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a phone or e-mail message left after office hours. Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Oliphant’s cartoons, did not immediately return messages left late last night.

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March 26, 2009

Steve Bell in The Guardian

Steve Bell in The Guardian

Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza: The Guardian

Human Rights Watch report claims Israel committed war crimes in its use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells

Israel’s military fired white phosphorus over crowded areas of Gaza repeatedly and indiscriminately in its three-week war, killing and injuring civilians and committing war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. In a 71-page report, the rights group said the repeated use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells in populated areas of Gaza was not incidental or accidental, but revealed “a pattern or policy of conduct”.
It said the Israeli military used white phosphorus in a “deliberate or reckless” way. The report says:
• Israel was aware of the dangers of white phosphorus.
• It chose not to use alternative and less dangerous smoke shells.
• In one case, Israel even ignored repeated warnings from UN staff before hitting the main UN compound in Gaza with white phosphorus shells on 15 January.
“In Gaza, the Israeli military didn’t just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops,” said Fred Abrahams, a senior Human Rights Watch researcher. “It fired white phosphorus repeatedly over densely populated areas, even when its troops weren’t in the area and safe smoke shells were available. As a result, civilians needlessly suffered and died.” He said senior commanders should be held to account.
Human Rights Watch called on the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, to launch an international commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of violations of international law in the Gaza war by the Israeli military and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that controls Gaza.

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March 23, 2009

Since last week, with the publication of IOF soldiers’ accounts of wide-spread and systemic brutalities committed in Gaza, the Israeli government and military authorities have done their best to contain the leak, an counter it with ‘an inquiry’ and with claims that those events were localised and isolated. The lie machine is working full time, like it did during the carnage itself. An onslaught of Israeli academics and artists, always ready to make Kosher every atrocity, is about to hit the west… This means that our action on BDS is all the more urgent and crucial. Expose the lies wherever you meet them! Support those courageous Israelis who are prepared to tell the truth and attack this muerderous regime! Support Gaza and Palestine!

Below you can read about a provocation by the Fascist right in Umm al Fahm, allowed to proceed by the police and the High Court, despite the clear evidence that it will lead to violence. It did!

28 hurt in clashes over rightist march in Arab town: Ha’aretz

28 people were wounded on Tuesday during clashes between police and demonstrators protesting a march by far-rightists near the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. The far-rightists began the march at 10:00 A.M. and ended it about 45 minutes later. The clashes, however, continued for some two hours after the march had been concluded. Deputy police commissioner Shahar Ayalon and fourteen other policemen were wounded by stone-throwing demonstrators; twelve Umm al-Fahm residents were hurt in scuffles with police, according to Magen David Adom emergency services.

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March 21, 2009

Since last week, when the first major crack in the edifice of Israeli lies have shown, the deluge of information about the brutalities in Gaza, this time coming from IOF soldiers themselves, has not stopped, but intensified; it is no longer possible for Israelis to continue denying that which the rest of the world has realised a long time ago – that the Gaza war, like that in Lebanon in 2006, has been a conglomeration of war crimes, brutality, extreme cruelty, and the terrifying banality of evil; that Israel as a society is doomed; that Zionism as a racist and colonial project belong in the dustbin of history; that this latest episode of bestiality is but a reminder of what Israel has become – a racialised, undemocratic, apartheid state, being increasingly nazified by its continued occupation of various Arab lands, by its increasing militarism, and by its undying complicity and commitment to the project of subjugating the Middle East, so eagerly undertaken by the old empire, Britain, and the new but bedraggled empire of the USA. Israel’s role as the guard dog of western imperialism in the region has transformed it into an inhuman, fascistic military colony, refusing to admit and face its historical and current vices. Blow I have collected the various revelation by IOF soldiers, and the continued Israeli denial of Palestinian realities and identity. There is not even the slightest sign of recognition of the grave nature of the crisis facing Zionism within the political and cultural elites of Israel, who continue to uncritically and unfailingly back the atrocities, as do the rest of the western nations, playing on behalf of Israel; a sepially disgusting example of this servility is the case of Canada’s denying entry to George Galloway, a well known British MP, leader of the Respect party, and a long term opponenet of UK involvement in the criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the Israeli atrocities in Gaza:

Testimonies on IDF misconduct in Gaza keep rolling in: Ha’aretz

Further testimonies emerged this weekend of army units adopting lax rules of engagement during Operation Cast Lead. The reports followed Thursday’s publication in Haaretz of soldiers’ accounts of ethical violations in the Gaza offensive. On Saturday, Channel 10 showed a documentary that included a security briefing by a company commander on the eve of the Gaza invasion.
“We’re going to war,” he told his soldiers. “We’re not doing routine security work or anything like that. I want aggressiveness – if there’s someone suspicious on the upper floor of a house, we’ll shell it. If we have suspicions about a house, we’ll take it down.”

“There will be no hesitation,” the commander continued. “If it’s us or them, it’ll be them. If someone approaches us unarmed, shoot in the air. If he keeps going, that man is dead. Nobody will deliberate – let the mistakes be over their lives, not ours.”
A number of officers told Haaretz this weekend that the testimonies did not surprise them, as “anyone with eyes in his head knows that these things happened during the fighting in Gaza.”
The soldiers who testified about misconduct “placed a very unpleasant mirror before us,” said one officer.
“The chief of staff is deflecting discussion now,” said another. “It’s much easier to find the rotten apples, but there are many much more basic and deeper questions. It’s not just an ethical issue, it’s also a question of professionalism. The soldiers’ accounts show there are professional difficulties in fighting in such complex territory – that we’re just not doing it all that well.”

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March 15, 2009

Below is an article in the Jerusalem Post which you may have missed. It is of great interest – to read the whole article the JP demands money. I would rather burn my money than give it to the JP:

Rabbi orders a new Commandment: The Jerusalem Post

Embrace commandment of war, Hesder students told. Precedent-setting ceremony hails young national-religious men soon to be in uniform * ‘We long for peace, but until then we cannot lay down our sword,’ says TA chief rabbi

“King David taught the people of [Judah Maccabee] how to use the bow and arrow… Jacob our patriarch blessed his son Judah and told him to fight Israel’s enemies, to attack them and not fight defensively… The descendants of the tribe of Judah will do the same,” [Yisrael Meir Lau] said.
Rabbi Haim Druckman, who heads Bnei Akiva, said that “fighting our enemies is a commandment. To serve in the IDF is a commandment. We must remember that we could not carry out this commandment for 2,000 years. How happy we must be that we live in this great and special time, a time in which we have returned to our land, seen the founding of our state, the ingathering of exiles.”
Citing the Torah, [Dov Lior] noted that “200,000 Israelites and 10,000 Judahites fought Amalek. Why are the Judahites counted separately from the others? Because the Israelite army pitied Amalek. Today this is called being humanitarian.”

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March 14, 2009

The CIA seem to have been reading this blog, and are now joining us in predicting the end of Zionism is nigh… read below:

CIA Report: Israel Will Fall In 20 Years: Press TV

A study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has cast doubt over Israel’s survival beyond the next 20 years.
The CIA report predicts “an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region.”
The study, which has been made available only to a certain number of individuals, further forecasts the return of all Palestinian refugees to the occupied territories, and the exodus of two million Israeli – who would move to the US in the next fifteen years.
“There is over 500,000 Israelis with American passports and more than 300,000 living in the area of just California,” International lawyer Franklin Lamb said in an interview with Press TV on Friday, adding that those who do not have American or western passport, have already applied for them. “So I think the handwriting at least among the public in Israel is on the wall…[which] suggests history will reject the colonial enterprise sooner or later,” Lamb stressed. He said CIA, in its report, alludes to the unexpectedly quick fall of the apartheid government in South Africa and recalls the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, suggesting the end to the dream of an ‘Israeli land’ would happen ‘way sooner’ than later. The study further predicts the return of over one and a half million Israelis to Russia and other parts of Europe, and denotes a decline in Israeli births whereas a rise in the Palestinian population. Lamb said given the Israeli conduct toward the Palestinians and the Gaza strip in particular, the American public — which has been voicing its protest against Tel Aviv’s measures in the last 25 years — may ‘not take it anymore’. Some members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee have been informed of the report.

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March 13, 2009

By Carlos Latuff

By Carlos Latuff

Letters of the law: Ha’aretz

By Amira Hass
GAZA – During the past 10 days, the Defense Ministry’s claims and insurance division received a registered letter including an official document describing the damages suffered during Operation Cast Lead by Sabbah Abu Halima. Also in the envelope were 12 similar notices, detailing the damage sustained by members of her family (seven of whom were killed and six wounded). According to the short letter accompanying the forms, they were sent as per “the Civil Damages Regulations (State Responsibility) 2003.” “Please fax us confirmation of receipt,” added (in Hebrew) the signatory: Iyad al-Alami, attorney, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza. The center has to date sent about 500 such registered letters with forms enclosed to the claims and insurance unit in the last month, detailing the damage done during the Israel Defense Forces offensive from December 27, 2008 until January 10, 2009. Another 300 letters are expected to be sent in the coming weeks, referring to the period of January 11-18.
The letters are just the first step in a process being undertaken by the PCHR and various Palestinian, Israeli and foreign organizations, lawyers and civil rights advocates. Their aim: to put an end to what they see as the impunity Israel enjoys after it attacks the Palestinians.
The law demands that a detailed notification of damages be sent to the Defense Ministry within 60 days of the reported event. Accordingly, since January 18, nearly all the staff of the PCHR have been involved in the process of preparing the notifications. Twenty-five field workers collected testimonies and took photographs in all the areas that were affected. People who wanted to have reports submitted went to the center’s offices, where each of the staff’s 10 young lawyers heard 10-20 complainants a day, took detailed affidavits and received power-of-attorney. The affidavits were then entered into a computer and a full report of the event was compiled (involving cross-checking of testimonies, field visits, drawing of maps, etc.). Later, an abstract was prepared and the “notification forms” were filled out with the aid of senior lawyers

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