Iran is the enemy and must be stopped/destroyed/killed
Posted: 02 May 2010 06:22 PM PDT

A handy guide to neo-conservative thinking on Iran and Israel (bomb/suffocate the former and love to death the other):

The Israeli blockade is killing Gaza a little more every day
Posted: 02 May 2010 06:17 PM PDT

The people of Gaza are forgotten:

Local partners with Oxfam in Gaza organized a May Day event in Gaza to highlight the state of labor in the coastal enclave under the ongoing Israeli blockade.
The Democracy and Worker’s Rights Center, a Palestinian NGO focusing on worker’s rights across the occupied Palestinian territories, and Sawt Al Amel, an Palestinian-Israeli NGO, representing 500 Gaza workers suing their former Israeli employers for back wages and withheld pensions, arranged the rally in Gaza City to shed light on workers’ increasingly becoming dependent on aid, a statement read.
Adnan al-Alian, a father of eight who worked for nine years in the Erez Industrial Zone, says he now has no way to provide a decent life for his family, the statement read. “I’ve had no work except when I was given the opportunity to participate in a single three month cash-for-work program last year. I rely on food aid assistance to get by.”
According to the last labor force survey conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), overall unemployment in the Gaza Strip is 38.6 percent, although in some Gaza districts, such as Khan Younis in southern Gaza, unemployment has reached 49.3 percent, Oxfam quoted.


The Amman-based Arab Bank decided earlier this week to terminate the jobs of 70 percent of its employees in its three branches in the Gaza Strip, a step considered by Gaza economists on Tuesday as introduction to shut down these branches in the blockaded enclave.
The economists as well as observers in Gaza did not rule out that the Arab Bank’s measure “was an outcome of a deal reached between the Bank and Israel.”
On Sunday, the administrations of the three Gaza Strip branches held meetings with all their 103 employees in order to okay the exemption offers for the vast majority of the bank’s employees.
The employees said they were informed that the decision was made due to the Israeli blockade.

Thousands of Euro Jews are running out of patience with Israel
Posted: 02 May 2010 05:43 PM PDT

Although this is pretty weak and the signatories can’t bring themselves to utter the necessary criticisms – a state can’t be both Jewish and democratic – perhaps we shouldn’t be too harsh, it’s a welcome development:

More than 3,000 European Jews, including prominent intellectuals, have signed a petition speaking out against Israeli settlement policies and warning that systematic support for the Israeli government is dangerous.
The petition’s signatories include French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a Greens leader in the European Parliament.
Supporters, who compare their goals to those of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel Jewish lobbying group in the United States, plan to present their position at a news conference at the European Parliament in Brussels tomorrow.
They say they hope to build a European movement that is both “committed to the state of Israel and critical of the current choices of its government”.
Israeli columnist Yossi Sarid, a former Cabinet minister identified with Israel’s peace movement, praised the initiative in an comment piece published in the Haaretz daily today.
“These are people who seize every opportunity to defend Israel publicly and remain faithful to it,” he wrote. “But even their patience is running out and their hearts are filled with sincere concern.”
Israel’s foreign ministry declined to comment because the initiative is not government-sponsored.
Many signatories are from France, where the petition has received much press coverage. France’s Jewish community has hotly debated the petition, entitled Call for Reason.
But the president of France’s leading Jewish association, CRIF, declined to sign, saying he objected to some of its language and its tone.
“Do Israelis need the Jewish Diaspora to know what is ‘the right’ decision, what should be the borders of a country that their sons and daughters are protecting?” Richard Prasquier wrote in Le Figaro newspaper.
The petition says Israel faces a threat in the “occupation and the continuing pursuit of settlements in the West Bank and in the Arab districts of East Jerusalem”.
“These policies are morally and politically wrong and feed the unacceptable delegitimization process that Israel currently faces abroad,” it sayings, adding that “systematic support of Israeli government policy is dangerous and does not serve the true interests of the state of Israel”.

Fox knows close to nothing about environmental issues
Posted: 02 May 2010 12:54 AM PDT

A television network of mass disinformation:

In the wake of the catastrophic oil spill currently occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, Media Matters reviews Fox News’ fervent advocacy for offshore drilling. Its activism has including promoting Sarah Palin’s “drill, baby, drill” mantra and pushing myths suggesting that drilling is environmentally safe.

Guess what, students aren’t that keen on celebrating apartheid
Posted: 02 May 2010 12:24 AM PDT

A revealing editorial in the New York Forward that indicates some, and the accent on “some” within the Zionist Diaspora, are starting to realise that growing numbers of young Americans are turning against Israel for reasons other than anti-Semitism:

Grumbling about a commencement speaker is almost a rite of passage on many a college campus, the choice so inevitably drawing complaints from one aggrieved group or another that it is best not to make too much of it. But the criticism directed at Brandeis University for selecting Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, for this year’s graduation cannot be so easily dismissed.
Brandeis is not Berkeley, where a student divestment resolution targeting Israel was recently debated. It is not the University of California, Irvine, where Oren’s address in February was repeatedly disrupted. It is not a hotbed of anti-Israel radicalism. It is Brandeis, for goodness sake, named for the first Jewish Supreme Court justice (an ardent Zionist), a secular university with such a strong Jewish personality that it shuts down for all of Passover.
It is not clear how many of its 3,000 undergraduates object to Oren’s keynote role, nor whether the editorial in the college newspaper reflected a general sentiment when it called the ambassador “a divisive and inappropriate choice.” The university seems in no mood to back down, nor should it. As a noted historian, Oren deserves to be respected for both his academic contributions and his diplomatic position, and not shunned in advance with the expectation that his appearance will be polarizing. Let him speak. Then decide.
But the fact that this outcry is occurring at a university with proud Jewish credentials ought to give us pause. The rabid critics of Israel can be dismissed, but not the more worrying undertone that also carries this protest — the worry of students who believe that placing a representative of the current, controversial Israeli government in so prominent a seat on the commencement stage will alienate and divide a campus that should, by all rights, be effortlessly in Israel’s corner.
Jewish communal leaders wring their hands at the studies showing a diminishing interest in and affection toward Israel among younger American Jews, and then respond by calling for more free trips to Israel, more identity programs, more and better advocacy. But they should also listen. It’s possible that the policies of the Netanyahu government, which Oren represents, also contribute to this alienation.
“Hear my words that I might teach you,” sings Paul Simon, the singer-songwriter who will, along with Oren, receive an honorary degree from Brandeis on May 23. Maybe the students are teaching us something.

Some Jews see the Zionist credentials of Palin and praise the Lord
Posted: 02 May 2010 12:16 AM PDT

Benyamin Korn, founder of the website Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin, on when he first discovered her insights:

I was captivated — not by her looks, for goodness sake — but by her charisma, her brilliance, her grasp not just of the issues, but of the moment. Which is a very different thing in politics, to understand the moment. And it is because of my understanding of the moment that we hurried to launch this organization. I have been an admirer of hers since then.

Arizona channels the friendly country known as…
Posted: 01 May 2010 09:31 PM PDT

What country does this remind us of (hint: it’s in the Middle East, funded and armed by the US and calls itself a “democracy”)?

Arizona’s purging of brown-skinned residents continues apace with two new moves: It has decided to remove any teachers whose spoken English is heavily accented or ungrammatical – almost half the teachers in some school districts are native Spanish speakers – and to curb a popular ethnic studies program in Tucson by banning any courses advocating ethnic solidarity or designed primarily for one ethnic group.

Palestinian killed in Gaza and Israel blinks
Posted: 01 May 2010 09:21 PM PDT

Maybe one day, when thousands more Palestinians have been murdered by Israel, the Zionist Diaspora will realise what they’ve backed for decades. And people will not forget:
 The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has released video footage showing an unarmed Palestinian protester in Gaza being shot by an Israeli soldier on Wednesday.

Ahmad Sliman Salem Dib, 19, later died from wounds at Gaza City’s Shifaa Hospital.
In video footage filmed by B’Tselem’s Gaza field research officer Muhammad Sabah, a group of Palestinian and foreign protesters can be seen walking from the al-Shaj’iya neighbourhood, east of Gaza, towards the double wire fence that separates Gaza from Israel.
Israeli security forces have declared a 300-metre ”no-go” zone inside the fence.
In the video demonstrators are seen a few dozen meters from the border, facing an Israeli military post. A soldier is seen near the post. None of the protesters are armed.
Some in the crowd are seen throwing stones at the military post. Then there is the sound of a single gunshot. Mr Dib is seen being evacuated to receive medical treatment.
B’Tselem says a previous shot, fired approximately 10 minutes earlier, was not captured on film.
The organisation says it is in no doubt that the shot was fired by Israeli security forces.
In response to questions posed by The Age, IDF spokesmen refused to confirm or deny whether a shot was fired, or who might have been responsible. ”The matter is being investigated by the IDF Southern Command,” the IDF said.
”The area adjacent to the security fence is considered a combat zone and the presence of terrorist elements in the area endangers the citizens of the state of Israel as well as the security forces operating in the area.”

The growing movement for Palestine at US universities
Posted: 01 May 2010 09:12 PM PDT

A Democracy Now! video on the latest developments at UC Berkeley in the US on the issue of boycott, divestment and sanctions against multinationals doing business in Palestine. Soon successes will flourish across America:

See: www.antonyloewenstein.con

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