Advocate ethnic cleansing, be a good Zionist
Posted: 26 May 2010

The charming Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz back in 2002, giving his ideas of how international law should be changed to suit Israel:

In light of the willingness of suicide bombers to die in the process of killing Israelis, the traditional methods of deterrence and retaliation seem insufficient. To succeed, Israel must turn the Palestinian leadership and people against the use of terrorism and the terrorists themselves. One way to do this is to make terrorists directly bear the responsibility for losses inflicted on the Palestinian cause as a direct result of their terrorism.
Following the end of the moratorium, Israel would institute the following new policy if Palestinian terrorism were to resume. It will announce precisely what it will do in response to the next act of terrorism. For example, it could announce the first act of terrorism following the moratorium will result in the destruction of a small village which has been used as a base for terrorist operations. The residents would be given 24 hours to leave, and then troops will come in and bulldoze all of the buildings.
Over time, the Palestinian residents of these villages will place the blame where it should be placed: directly on the Palestinian terrorists who engaged in terrorism against Israel with full knowledge the consequence would be the destruction of their homes. Those villagers whose homes were coming up on the list would have an incentive to pressure the terrorists to desist.

The West Bank is under complete Israeli control
Posted: 26 May 2010

This site has been following the case of Australian Bridget Chappel who was arrested, abducted and charged by Israel while living in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Here, in an article for Green Left Weekly, she outlines the reality of her situation and why Israel’s control over the West Bank is absolute:

Israel has exposed the extent of its crackdown on resistance to its occupation in an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court on April 29. It claimed the Israeli Shin Bet intelligence agency has been conducting surveillance on myself, a non-violent activist and Australian citizen, in Area A of the West Bank.
The affidavit claimed my arrest on February 7 and the ongoing surveillance of my activities was justified on account of various Israeli military orders. This highlights the Israel’s overall authority in the implementation of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories and its total disregard for the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority and the Oslo peace accords.
On May 2, the Israeli state submitted a response to our appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court regarding my illegal abduction from the West Bank, including a statement from the Shin Bet Israeli intelligence agency claiming that I had broken the conditions placed on me by the Israeli courts since my arrest.
A Shin Bet agent said: “The facts detailed are known to me due to my examination. From information in our possession, it appears that Ms. Chappell is at this time in Nablus.”
The question of what the Shin Bet was doing in Area A of the West Bank (under full Palestinian civilian and military control, as stipulated by the 1993 Oslo accords) is not even addressed: it is as though their presence in an area of Palestinian Authority control has simply been accepted and the Oslo Accords are simply as obsolete as they were following Israel’s re-occupation of the entire West Bank during the second intifada (uprising) that broke out in 2000.
Is it really possible that a 22-year old Australian activist working with a non-violent movement in the occupied West Bank could constitute such a threat to the Israeli state as to warrant such investigation?
Such draconian practices as military raids and undercover surveillance is behavior generally associated with states recognised and condemned for their intolerance of dissent, such as Iran. Israel’s media machine, however, continues to present itself as the region’s only democratic state.
In fact, my arrest from Ramallah and the Shin Bet’s new claim that I am under surveillance serves to further abolish the myth of Palestinian control in the West Bank.
It’s clear that Israel’s matrix of control in the occupied territories extends not only to the entire Palestinian population, but international activists involved in the popular resistance.
The extent of Israeli attempts to crack down on international participation in the struggle, however, only serves to focus the eyes of the world on what Israel has hoped to execute stealthily: the bantustanisation (division into separate ghettoes) of Palestine.
Israel’s brutal system of dealing with resistance, whatever form it takes, is the same. I recall a cultural celebration I took part in that resulted in the violent arrest of seven Palestinians and one international activist.
Their crime was simply engaging in what should have been a joyful assertion of Palestinian culture and history in a city, Al Quds (Jerusalem), which lies at the center of Israel’s current campaign of ethnic cleansing.
I witnessed the same brutal force employed against Palestinians during the olive harvest last year, when international and Israeli activists join forces with Palestinian farmers to reach their lands for the annual harvest — in the face of severe military repression.
Meanwhile, Israel has heightened its use of live ammunition as a crowd dispersal technique against the growing wave of non-violent demonstrations taking place across Gaza and the West Bank. This has resulted in the death of three Palestinian protesters in the last two months.
Israel’s intolerance of resistance is shown by the imprisonment of Palestinian activists, which has recently included several prominent figures in the resurgence of popular resistance, such as Nablus activist Wa’el Al-Faqeeh.
Wa’el and I coordinated non-violent actions in the Nablus region against the occupation, responding to settler violence and demonstrations against land annexation.
Wa’el was arrested in a military raid on his home on 9 December 2009 — yet while ISM activists were involved in the same activities, he remains imprisoned by Israel to this day, still without charge.
The veiled system of martial law in the West Bank that has enabled the arrest and imprisonment of more than 650,000 Palestinian political prisoners since 1967 now appears to have broadened its targets to include international activists as well.
In my legal council’s two latest appeals to the district and supreme courts, the state has argued on the grounds of my alleged violation of a 1970 military order prohibiting “infiltrators” from remaining in the occupied territories for longer than 48 hours without written permission from the military commander of the region.
The law appears to be a precursor to Military Order 1650, implemented one month ago, which denotes the military’s ability to deport civilians from the West Bank without documentation proving their residence or permission to be there, at their own expense.
This potentially includes thousands of West Bank residents with Gazan, Jerusalem or Jordanian addresses on their ID cards, as well as international activists.
If the PA held any sovereignty over the West Bank, my return to the area would not only have been of no relevance to the Israeli authorities, but a realisation of their demand for me to leave their borders.
The reality is that my court case only serves to further highlight the true nature of Israeli control over every inch of historic Palestine, be it within Israel proper or any area of the occupied territories.

Gaza is a paradise filled with luxury (if you’re deaf, dumb and blind)
Posted: 26 May 2010

An article of stunning ignorance and stupidity. Ideology run wild.
Here’s Tom Gross in Canada’s National Post (a writer who regularly appears in the Murdoch press down under) with a piece headlined, “Fancy restaurants and Olympic-size pools: What the media won’t report about Gaza“:

In recent days, the international media, particularly in Europe and the Mideast, has been full of stories about “activist boats sailing to Gaza carrying desperately-needed humanitarian aid and building materials.”
The BBC World Service even led its world news broadcasts with this story at one point over the weekend. (The BBC yesterday boasted that its global news audience has now risen to 220 million persons a week, making it by far the biggest news broadcaster in the world.)
Indeed the BBC and other prominent Western media regularly lead their viewers and readers astray with accounts of a non-existent “mass humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.
What they won’t tell you about are the fancy new restaurants and swimming pools of Gaza, or about the wind surfing competitions on Gaza beaches, or the Strip’s crowded shops and markets. Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live a middle class (and in some cases an upper class) lifestyle that western journalists refuse to report on because it doesn’t fit with the simplistic story they were sent to write.
Here, courtesy of the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, is a report on Gaza’s new Olympic-sized swimming pool . (Most Israeli towns don’t have Olympic-size swimming pools. One wonders how an area that claims to be starved of water and building materials and depends on humanitarian aid builds an Olympic size swimming pool and creates a luxury lifestyle for some while others are forced to live in abject poverty as political pawn refugees?)
If you pop into the Roots Club in Gaza, according to the Lonely Planet guidebook, you can “dine on steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu”.
The restaurant’s website in Arabic gives a window into middle class dining and the lifestyle of Hamas officials in Gaza. And here it is in English, for all the journalists, UN types and NGO staff who regularly frequent this and other nice Gaza restaurants (but don’t tell their readers about them).
And here is a promotional video of the club restaurant . In case anyone doubts the authenticity of this video, I just called the club in Gaza City and had a nice chat with the manager who proudly confirmed business is booming and many Palestinians and international guests are dining there.
In a piece for The Wall Street Journal last year, I documented the “after effects” of a previous “emergency Gaza boat flotilla,” when the arrivals were seen afterwards purchasing souvenirs in well-stocked shops. (You can also scroll down here for more pictures of Gaza’s “impoverished” shops.)
But the mainstream liberal international media won’t report on any of this. Playing the manipulative game of the BBC is easy: if we had their vast taxpayer funded resources, we too could produce reports about parts of London, Manchester and Glasgow and make it look as though there is a humanitarian catastrophe throughout the UK. We could produce the same effect by selectively filming seedy parts of Paris and Rome and New York and Los Angeles too.
Of course there is poverty in Gaza. There is poverty in parts of Israel too. (When was the last time a foreign journalist based in Israel left the pampered lounge bars and restaurants of the King David and American Colony hotels in Jerusalem and went to check out the slum-like areas of southern Tel Aviv? Or the hard-hit Negev towns of Netivot or Rahat?)
But the way that many prominent Western news media are deliberately misleading global audiences and systematically creating the false impression that people are somehow starving in Gaza, and that it is all Israel’s fault, can only serve to increase hatred for the Jewish state – which one suspects was the goal of many of the editors and reporters involved in the first place.

Yes, Israel and Egypt should really maintain the siege on Gaza because life is clearly booming. With every human rights group in the world condemning the situation in the Strip – and I saw the issues myself during a visit last year – I think it’s clear where the writer is coming from; the land of shameless propaganda.

Why are so many reporters so keen to use the language of the US military?
Posted: 26 May 2010

Robert Fisk gave the following speech at the Al-Jazeera annual forum in Doha a few days ago:

Power and the media are not just about cosy relationships between journalists and political leaders, between editors and presidents. They are not just about the parasitic-osmotic relationship between supposedly honourable reporters and the nexus of power that runs between White House and state department and Pentagon, between Downing Street and the foreign office and the ministry of defence. In the western context, power and the media is about words – and the use of words.
It is about semantics.
It is about the employment of phrases and clauses and their origins. And it is about the misuse of history; and about our ignorance of history.
More and more today, we journalists have become prisoners of the language of power.
Is this because we no longer care about linguistics? Is this because lap-tops ‘correct’  our spelling, ‘trim’ our grammar so that our sentences so often turn out to be identical to those of our rulers? Is this why newspaper editorials today often sound like political speeches?
Let me show you what I mean.
For two decades now, the US and British – and Israeli and Palestinian – leaderships have used the words ‘peace process’ to define the hopeless, inadequate, dishonourable agreement that allowed the US and Israel to dominate whatever slivers of land would be given to an occupied people.
I first queried this expression, and its provenance, at the time of Oslo – although how easily we forget that the secret surrenders at Oslo were themselves a conspiracy without any legal basis. Poor old Oslo, I always think! What did Oslo ever do to deserve this? It was the White House agreement that sealed this preposterous and dubious treaty – in which refugees, borders, Israeli colonies – even timetables – were to be delayed until they could no longer be negotiated.
And how easily we forget the White House lawn – though, yes, we remember the images – upon which it was Clinton who quoted from the Qur’an, and Arafat who chose to say: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. President.” And what did we call this nonsense afterwards? Yes, it was ‘a moment of history’! Was it? Was it so?
Do you remember what Arafat called it? “The peace of the brave.” But I don’t remember any of us pointing out that “the peace of the brave” was used originally by General de Gaulle about the end of the Algerian war. The French lost the war in Algeria. We did not spot this extraordinary irony.
Same again today. We western journalists – used yet again by our masters – have been reporting our jolly generals in Afghanistan as saying that their war can only be won with a “hearts and minds” campaign. No-one asked them the obvious question:  Wasn’t this the very same phrase used about Vietnamese civilians in the Vietnam war? And didn’t we – didn’t the West – lose the war in Vietnam?
Yet now we western journalists are actually using – about Afghanistan – the phrase ‘hearts and minds’ in our reports as if it is a new dictionary definition rather than a symbol of defeat for the second time in four decades, in some cases used by the very same soldiers who peddled this nonsense – at a younger age – in Vietnam.
Just look at the individual words which we have recently co-opted from the US military.
When we westerners find that ‘our’ enemies – al-Qaeda, for example, or the Taliban -have set off more bombs and staged more attacks than usual, we call it ‘a spike in violence’. Ah yes, a ’spike’!
A ’spike’ in violence, ladies and gentlemen is a word first used, according to my files, by a brigadier general in the Baghdad Green Zone in 2004. Yet now we use that phrase, we extemporise on it, we relay it on the air as our phrase. We are using, quite literally, an expression created for us by the Pentagon. A spike, of course, goes sharply up, then sharply downwards. A ’spike’ therefore avoids the ominous use of the words ‘increase in violence’ – for an increase, ladies and gentlemen, might not go down again afterwards.

Zionist lobby in Australia? What’s that, a soft drink?
Posted: 26 May 2010

Just in case anybody was wondering, here’s a “progressive” Australian politician being asked about the independence of his party’s position towards Israel. Don’t believe a word he says:

Federal Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull, whose Sydney seat of Wentworth includes a large Jewish constituency, yesterday told the Herald intelligence agencies often arrive at views that are not forensically proven and the police investigation in Dubai was still ongoing.
“The allegations are not yet proven, let alone admitted,” Mr Turnbull said.
Mr Turnbull said he did not think Australian Liberal politicians were being cautious not to criticise Israel because they were conscious of not offending a vocal Jewish lobby in their electorates.
“Israel is a very good friend of Australia and we recognise Israel is in a unique situation as a state. It has a number of neighbours who are committed to its destruction. It faces an existential threat,” he said.
“Having regard to the close relationship between the two countries, it would have been a better judgment not to have taken any further steps,” said Mr Turnbull of the expulsion.

What was Ban Ki Moon doing while Sri Lanka died?
Posted: 25 May 2010

The rights and responsibilities of the UN is constantly under scrutiny, as it should be. Its role in Sri Lanka last year, during the government massacres against Tamil civilians, is rightly challenged:

Louise Arbour, the head of the International Crisis Group, called for an internal review of the U.N.’s conduct during Sri Lanka’s bloody 2009 civil war, telling Turtle Bay that the organization’s abandonment of national staff in a conflict zone and its failure to speak up more forcefully about abuses made it “close to complicit” in government atrocities.
Arbour said the United Nations compromised its principles for a lofty goal: to preserve the ability of aid workers to provide humanitarian assistance to those in desperate need of it. But she faulted the U.N.’s acceptance of “absolutely unacceptable” visa limitations on international staff and the U.N.’s decision to withdraw foreign staff from the northern Sri Lanka province of Vanni in September 2008, on the eve of government forces’ final offensive against the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, leaving behind “very exposed” local Sri Lankan employees.
Arbour said that the failure to confront the excesses of the Sri Lankan conflict now may lead to further abuses later. The so-called Sri Lanka option — brutal military counterinsurgency combined with a total disregard for the laws of wars or international condemnation — has been gaining currency in countries faced with threats from insurgencies or militants.
Her agency cited reports that the Sri Lanka option has seeped into the political debates in countries dealing with militants or insurgents, including Burma, Colombia, India, Israel, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Blumenthal on Tea Parties, guns and Jesus
Posted: 25 May 2010

American, Jewish writer and film-maker Max Blumenthal – we like him, see why here – has produced a documentary on the Tea Party movement in the US and its extensive ties to the Republican Party. Ignoring these millions, however, is a mistake in my view. Their anger and pain must be addressed or America will pay a very high price.

Remind me how Gaza’s isolation is weakening Hamas?
Posted: 25 May 2010

How the ongoing siege of Gaza is forcing separated families to use the dangerous tunnels from Egypt to reunite with loved ones.

A “gay” Saddam was still Saddam
Posted: 25 May 2010

This would have been just a little cheaper in lives and treasure than destroying a country:

A little-noticed blog post by a veteran intelligence reporter averred Tuesday that the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group weighed a plan prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion that sought to discredit Saddam Hussein by portraying him as gay.
According to Jeff Stein, a longtime intelligence reporter who first revealed that FBI officials had eavesdropped on a sitting Democratic congresswoman, the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group considered creating a video that would the then-Iraqi leader having intercourse with a teenage boy.
“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” a former CIA official purportedly told Stein. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”
The CIA would have then “flood[ed] Iraq with the videos,” the official added.
A third former CIA official said that the plan was shot down, in part, because others in the agency thought that claiming Saddam had sex with boys would do little to undermine him.
Stein notes, however, that the CIA did make a video in which a fake Osama Bin Laden enjoys a campfire and the company of his associates while bragging about their juvenile paramours.

Yes, Israel needs more weaponry to protect itself from dirty Arabs
Posted: 25 May 2010

How the US Congress “debates” whether to give yet more military aid to Israel. A nice lesson in loving Israel to death:

See: www.antonyloewenstein.com

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