Hands up who believes anything the JPost says about occupation?
Posted: 06 Jan 2011 10:48 PM PST

The recent Australian, Zionist junket to Israel – get a bunch of gullible journalists and politicians to swoon over glorious Israeli democracy – included a talk from a senior editor who couldn’t even admit the colonies are illegal under international law (nobody accepts their legitimacy).
As for BDS, it’s not a real threat, hey? So why does the Israeli government and its proxies spend a growing amount of time opposing any criticism of its behaviour?
Seriously, who buys this bollocks anymore?

Those committing time and effort to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel are wasting their time.
This it the view of David Horovitz, editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, who said the Israeli Government is aware of the global movement, but remains unconcerned.
The only “tangible impact” of BDS being felt is cultural boycotts, he said, explaining that some pop stars’ decisions to cross Israel off their tour schedules had resulted in negative publicity.
“That’s probably the area that has had the most public resonance,” he told an Australian delegation in Israel.
“There is no overwhelming pressure on [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu to act strongly against the [Jewish] settlements.”
The respected commentator said the reasons behind the BDS campaign are shallow and unconvincing.
“When the international community says to us, ‘if it wasn’t for settlements everything would be fine’, we don’t believe it,” he said.
He called on those who take part in the boycotts, including most recently the NSW branch of The Greens, to spend time trying to understand the situation.
“This is disputed territory,” he said, emphasising the West Bank area is not obviously Palestinian land, as many people think. “Yet we are willing to concede.
“You can boycott us, but you don’t tell the truth of your sentiments.”


State Department uses media to issue caution/threat over Wikileaks
Posted: 06 Jan 2011 09:14 PM PST

This is a curious story in the New York Times. Low on details and high on insinuation, it’s difficult to truly know the reality behind the article so here it is:

The State Department is warning hundreds of human rights activists, foreign government officials and businesspeople identified in leaked diplomatic cables of potential threats to their safety and has moved a handful of them to safer locations, administration officials said Thursday.
The operation, which involves a team of 30 in Washington and embassies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, reflects the administration’s fear that the disclosure of cables obtained by the organization WikiLeaks has damaged American interests by exposing foreigners who supply valuable information to the United States.
Administration officials said they were not aware of anyone who has been attacked or imprisoned as a direct result of information in the 2,700 cables that have been made public to date by WikiLeaks, The New York Times and several other publications, many with some names removed. But they caution that many dissidents are under constant harassment from their governments, so it is difficult to be certain of the cause of actions against them.
The officials declined to discuss details about people contacted by the State Department in recent weeks, saying only that a few were relocated within their home countries and that a few others were moved abroad.
The State Department is mainly concerned about the cables that have yet to be published or posted on Web sites — nearly 99 percent of the archive of 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks. With cables continuing to trickle out, they said, protecting those identified will be a complex, delicate and long-term undertaking. The State Department said it had combed through a majority of the quarter-million cables and distributed many to embassies for review by diplomats there.
“We feel responsible for doing everything possible to protect these people,” said Michael H. Posner, the assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, who is overseeing the effort. “We’re taking it extremely seriously.”
Contrary to the administration’s initial fears, the fallout from the cables on the diplomatic corps itself has been manageable. The most visible casualty so far could be Gene A. Cretz, the ambassador to Libya, who was recalled from his post last month after his name appeared on a cable describing peculiar personal habits of the Libyan leader, Col.Muammar el-Qaddafi. While no decision has been made on Mr. Cretz’s future, officials said he was unlikely to return to Tripoli. In addition, one midlevel diplomat has been moved from his post in an undisclosed country.


Assange and Mugabe aren’t sharing drinks at sunset
Posted: 06 Jan 2011 06:03 PM PST

Oh the irony. A former Bush administration official – didn’t their democracy work bring so much happiness to the world? – slams Wikileaks and Julian Assange for allegedly helping Robert Mugabe cement his dictatorship in Zimbabwe by the release of some sensitive cables.
Michael Gerson seems to misunderstand the process here. Wikileaks didn’t recklessly release documents. And furthermore, who is truly responsible for the woeful state of play in Zimbabwe? Gerson:

On some occasions, foreign policy involves a binary, moral choice. Assange has chosen the side of Mugabe, apparently without regret. He has provided ammunition to a tyrant as surely as if he were an arms dealer. And he calls America an enemy of democracy.


What is the role of the state when “secrets” are revealed?
Posted: 06 Jan 2011 05:49 PM PST

Leakers pay a price in American culture. The greatest fear of Washington is thinking individuals inside government who know some things are simply wrong; a moral conscience is the only way forward:

A former CIA officer has been indicted on charges of disclosing national security secrets after being accused of leaking classified information about Iran to a New York Times reporter.
Federal prosecutors charged Jeffrey Sterling with 10 counts related to improperly keeping and disclosing national security information.
The indictment did not say specifically what was leaked but, from the dates and other details, it is clear that case centers on leaks to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen for his 2006 book, “State of War.” The book revealed details about the CIA’s covert spy war with Iran.
Sterling, of O’Fallon, Mo., was arrested Thursday and was to make his initial appearance later in the day before U.S. Magistrate Judge Terry I. Adelman in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.
Sterling served on the Iranian desk at the CIA and handled Iranian spies who had defected to the United States. In the book, Risen detailed how a CIA officer mistakenly revealed the CIA’s network in Iran.
Iranian security officials were able to “roll up” the CIA’s agent network in the country.
The Justice Department had twice subpoenaed Risen to force him to reveal his sources but he refused. After the book was published in 2006, the FBI focused on Sterling whom Risen had written about in 2003 for the newspaper.
The Dec. 22, 2010, indictment was unsealed Thursday in Alexandria, Va.
“The CIA deplores the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” the CIA said in a statement issued Thursday. The New York Times declined to comment.
Risen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The indictment is the latest move in an aggressive Obama administration campaign to crack down on leaks, even as the administration has supported proposed legislation that would shield reporters from having to identify their sources.


If you’re Iranian and don’t love Israel, watch out
Posted: 06 Jan 2011 05:28 PM PST

This is all too comical and pathetic and yet this is what has happened to some of my people. Outright hatred and bigotry in the service of Zionism:

Here’s something curious, via the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).
It seems Stanford professor Jeffrey Ullman harbors some antipathy toward Iranian students as evinced by his negative views of their government and its politics (specifically vis-à-vis Israel).  Doesn’t he know that Iranian students have long stood at the vanguard of the reform and Green movements — at the risk of great personal danger?
Apparently not. When an Iranian student wrote Ullman asking for some help with admissions, Ullman, according to aNIAC letter to Stanford, replied:

You need to read http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/pub/formresponse.html
And even if I were in a position to help, I will not help Iranian students until Iran recognizes and respects Israel as the land of the Jewish people. I know that you may not hold the same insane position as the mullahs that run your country, but it is a matter of principle.
If Iranians want the benefits of Stanford and other institutions in the US, they have to respect the values we hold in the US, including freedom of religion and respect for human rights.

NIAC has alleged that Ullman’s views — particularly his refusal to help Iranian students based on the political positions of their government — amount to “racial and political discrimination.”


Gaza isolation all about money?
Posted: 06 Jan 2011 05:17 PM PST


A key Israeli cargo crossing for goods entering the Gaza Strip was rife with corruption, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks on Thursday
The June 14, 2006, cable, published Thursday by Norway’s Aftenposten daily, says companies told U.S. diplomats they were forced to pay hefty bribes to get goods into Gaza. It was unclear whether the practice still continues.
There was no immediate comment from Israel.
The document quoted a local Coca-Cola distributor as saying he was asked to pay more than $3,000 to get a truckload of merchandise through the Karni Crossing. The executive claimed an unidentified high-level official at the crossing headed the corruption ring.
“Corruption extends to Karni management and involves logistics companies working as middlemen for military and civilian officials at the terminal,” the document says.
The executive was identified as Joerg Hartmann, with Coca-Cola’s distributor in the West Bank. The company did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Other companies, including Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, Philip Morris, Westinghouse, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Aramex and Dell, had complained of corruption at the crossing, according to the cable.
It was not clear which companies had actually paid the bribes, though the document said Caterpillar executives refused to pay.

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