Israel attacks Gaza Flotilla in International Waters

June 4, 2010 updates added at bottom. Updates of upcoming protests and a petition to the United Nations have been added. Will be adding more as I find them.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region.

Reports on deaths of victims of the Israeli attack varies from 9 to 19 depending on which reports you read.

Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla, say released activists:

First eyewitness accounts of raid contradict version put out by Israeli officials

By Dorian Jones in Istanbul and Helena Smith

June 01, 2010

Survivors of the Israeli assault on a flotilla carrying relief supplies to Gaza returned to Greece and Turkey today, giving the first eyewitness accounts of the raid in which at least 10 people died.

Arriving at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport with her one-year-old baby, Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin said Israeli troops opened fire before boarding the Turkish-flagged ferry Mavi Marmara, which was the scene of the worst clashes and all the fatalities. Israeli officials have said that the use of armed force began when its boarding party was attacked.

“It was extremely bad and very tough clashes took place. The Mavi Marmara is filled with blood,” said Cetin, whose husband is the Mavi Marmara’s chief engineer.

She told reporters that she and her child hid in the bathroom of their cabin during the confrontation. “The operation started immediately with firing. First it was warning shots, but when the Mavi Marmara wouldn’t stop these warnings turned into an attack,” she said.

“There were sound and smoke bombs and later they used gas bombs. Following the bombings they started to come on board from helicopters.”

Cetin is among a handful of Turkish activists to be released; more than 300 remain in Israeli custody. She said she agreed to extradition from Israel after she was warned that conditions in jail would be too harsh for her child.

“I am one of the first passengers to be sent home, just because I have baby. When we arrived at the Israeli port of Ashdod we were met by the Israeli interior and foreign ministry officials and police; there were no soldiers. They asked me only a few questions. But they took everything – cameras, laptops, cellphones, personal belongings including our clothes,” she said.

Kutlu Tiryaki was a captain of another vessel in the flotilla. “We continuously told them we did not have weapons, we came here to bring humanitarian help and not to fight,” he said.

“The attack on the Mavi Marmara came in an instant: they attacked it with 12 or 13 attack boats and also with commandos from helicopters. We heard the gunshots over our portable radio handsets, which we used to communicate with the Mavi Marmara, because our ship communication system was disrupted. There were three or four helicopters also used in the attack. We were told by Mavi Marmara their crew and civilians were being shot at and windows and doors were being broken by Israelis.”

Six Greek activists who returned to Athens accused Israeli commandos of using electric shocks during the raid.

Dimitris Gielalis, who had been aboard the Sfendoni, told reporters: “Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat. They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used.”

Michalis Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free Mediterranean, said: “We were in international waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely out of the normal way that they conduct nautical exercises, and seized our ship. They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets. There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge were given electric shocks.”

Grigoropoulos, who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza “and nothing more”, said that, once detained, the human rights activists were not allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv. “They didn’t let us go to the toilet, eat or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us to keep our papers.”

Turkey said it was sending three ambulance planes to Israel to pick up 20 more Turkish activists injured in the operation.

Three Turkish Airlines planes were on standby, waiting to fly back other activists, the prime minister’s office said. “Source

Israeli Murders, NATO and Afghanistan

By Craig Murray

June 02, 2010

I was in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 20 years and a member of its senior management structure for six years, I served in five countries and took part in 13 formal international negotiations, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and a whole series of maritime boundary treaties. I headed the FCO section of a multidepartmental organisation monitoring the arms embargo on Iraq.

I am an instinctively friendly, open but unassuming person who always found it easy to get on with people, I think because I make fun of myself a lot. I have in consequence a great many friends among ex-colleagues in both British and foregin diplomatic services, security services and militaries.

I lost very few friends when I left the FCO over torture and rendition. In fact I seemed to gain several degrees of warmth with a great many acquantances still on the inside. And I have become known as a reliable outlet for grumbles, who as an ex-insider knows how to handle a discreet and unintercepted conversation.

What I was being told last night was very interesting indeed. NATO HQ in Brussels is today a very unhappy place. There is a strong understanding among the various national militaries that an attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged – legally obliged, as a matter of treaty – to react.

I must be plain – nobody wants or expects military action against Israel. But there is an uneasy recognition that in theory that ought to be on the table, and that NATO is obliged to do something robust to defend Turkey.

Mutual military support of each other is the entire raison d’etre of NATO. You must also remember that to the NATO military the freedom of the high seas guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a vital alliance interest which officers have been conditioned to uphold their whole career.

That is why Turkey was extremely shrewd in reacting immediately to the Israeli attack by calling an emergency NATO meeting. It is why, after the appalling US reaction to the attack with its refusal to name Israel, President Obama has now made a point of phoning President Erdogan to condole.

But the unhappiness in NATO HQ runs much deeper than that, I spoke separately to two friends there, from two different nations. One of them said NATO HQ was “a very unhappy place”. The other described the situation as “Tense – much more strained than at the invasion of Iraq”.

Why? There is a tendency of outsiders to regard the senior workings of governments and international organisations as monolithic. In fact there are plenty of highly intelligent – and competitive – people and diverse interests involved.

There are already deep misgivings, especially amongst the military, over the Afghan mission. There is no sign of a diminution in Afghan resistance attacks and no evidence of a clear gameplan. The military are not stupid and they can see that the Karzai government is deeply corrupt and the Afghan “national” army comprised almost exclusively of tribal enemies of the Pashtuns.

You might be surprised by just how high in Nato scepticism runs at the line that in some way occupying Afghanistan helps protect the west, as opposed to stoking dangerous Islamic anger worldwide.

So this is what is causing frost and stress inside NATO. The organisation is tied up in a massive, expensive and ill-defined mission in Afghanistan that many whisper is counter-productive in terms of the alliance aim of mutual defence. Every European military is facing financial problems as a public deficit financing crisis sweeps the continent. The only glue holding the Afghan mission together is loyalty to and support for the United States.

But what kind of mutual support organisation is NATO when members must make decades long commitments, at huge expense and some loss of life, to support the Unted States, but cannot make even a gesture to support Turkey when Turkey is attacked by a non-member?

Even the Eastern Europeans have not been backing the US line on the Israeli attack. The atmosphere in NATO on the issue has been very much the US against the rest, with the US attitude inside NATO described to me by a senior NATO officer as “amazingly arrogant – they don’t seem to think it matters what anybody else thinks”.

Therefore what is troubling the hearts and souls of non-Americans in NATO HQ is this fundamental question. Is NATO genuinely a mutual defence organisation, or is it just an instrument to carry out US foreign policy? With its unthinking defence of Israel and military occupation of Afghanistan, is US foreign policy really defending Europe, or is it making the World less safe by causing Islamic militancy?

I leave the last word to one of the senior NATO officers – who incidentally is not British:
“Nobody but the Americans doubts the US position on the Gaza attack is wrong and insensitve. But everyone already quietly thought the same about wider American policy. This incident has allowed people to start saying that now privately to each other.”

Craig Murray is a human rights activist, writer, former British Ambassador, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law. Visit his blog http://www.craigmurray.org.uk

Source

Israel‘s Moral Superiority?
Netanyahu: World ‘Hypocritical’ for Condemning Gaza Flotilla Raid

In first address to nation, Netanyahu says had Turkish-flagged ship breached blockade, so could hundreds of vessels carrying weapons.

By Barak Ravid

June 02, 2010

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended the Israel Navy’s raid of a pro-Palestinian convoy en route to the Gaza Strip earlier this week, in his first address to the nation regarding the botched operation which left nine people dead and several more wounded.

Netanyahu accused international critics of “hypocrisy” and declared that Israel would continue to blockade the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, saying that to lift the embargo would turn it into a base for Iranian missiles that would threaten both Israel and Europe.

“Iran is continuing to smuggle weapons into Gaza,” said Netanyahu in a televised address. “It is our obligation to prevent these weapons from being brought in by land and sea. The previous government understood this and imposed a closure.”

“The goal of the flotilla was to breach [the closure] and not to bring goods, as we would have allowed them to do,” said Netanyahu. “If the blockade had been broken, dozens and hundreds more ships carrying weapons could have come.”

Netanyahu, who canceled his trip to Washington and a meeting with President Barack Obama due to the raid, declared that Israel had no opposition to seeing humanitarian aid brought into the Gaza Strip.

But Hamas’ growing armament was a cause for concern and a crucial reason to leave the blockade in place, said the prime minister. Without a blockade and intense inspection of every ship nearing the area, said Netanyahu, “Gaza will turn into an Iranian port.”

Nanyahu told his political-security cabinet during a special session on Tuesday that international condemnation would not stop Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The raid of the Turkish-flagged ship awakened a storm of criticism among Israel’s friends and foes alike, leading many members of the United Nations Security Council – including Britain – to call on Israel to lift its years-long siege of the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.

At a special meeting convened in the wake of the raid, Netanyahu told his ministers that the blockade was still necessary to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

“We know from the experience of Operation Cast Lead that the weapons entering Gaza are being turned against our civilians,” Netanyahu said, referring to Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip that ended in January 2009.

“Gaza is a terror state funded by the Iranians, and therefore we must try to prevent any weapons from being brought into Gaza by air, sea and land,” he said.

Netanyahu acknowledged that militants were still capable of smuggling weapons in via tunnels from Egypt, but emphasized that the large amounts of weapons that could be brought by sea made the threat a completely different affair.

“On the Francop ship alone we confiscated some 200 tons of weapons being smuggled to Hezbollah,” the prime minister said, in reference to the Antiguan-flagged ship Israel intercepted off the coast of Cyprus in November 2009.

“Opening a naval route to Gaza will present an enormous danger to the security of our citizens,” said Netanyahu. “Therefore, we will stand firm on our policy of a naval blockade and of inspecting incoming ships.”

“It’s true that there is international pressure and criticism of this policy, but [the world] must understand that it is crucial to preserving Israel’s security and the right of the State of Israel to defend itself.”

Source
The Flotilla was not a threat to anyone in Israel.
What a BS. If anyone believes the Flotilla was a threat quick go find a Psychiatrist. You need one obviously.
Self defense against defenseless people delivering Humanitarian Aid??? Who is Netanyahu trying to kid?
Does he think everyone on the planet has “Complete Idiot” written across their foreheads. He is really pushing the Gullibility factor.

I for one am completely and utterly insulted, if thinks I am that stupid.

Israel is the perpetrator of the crimes in this case.

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast.

Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: “This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves.”

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after “demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs”.

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the convoy.

Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.

Before losing communication with our correspondent, a voice in Hebrew was clearly heard saying: “Everyone shut up”.

Israeli intervention

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.

They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.

“All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israeli police have been put on a heightened state of alert across the country to prevent any civil disturbances.

Sheikh Raed Salah, a leading member of the Islamic Movement who was on board the ship, was reported to have been seriously injured. He was being treated in Israel’s Tal Hasharon hospital.

In Um Al Faham, the stronghold of the Islamic movement in Israel and the birth place of Salah, preparations for mass demonstrations were under way.

Protests

Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning over Monday’s deaths.

Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassador’s in their respective countries to protest against the deadly assault.

Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted “Damn Israel” as police blocked them.

“(The interception on the convoy) is unacceptable … Israel will have to endure the consequences of this behaviour,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has also dubbed the Israeli action as “barbaric”.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and several European legislators, were with the flotilla, aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli embargo.

The convoy came from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, and was comprised of about 700 people from 50 nationalities.

But Israel had said it would not allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip and vowed to stop the six ships from reaching the coastal Palestinian territory.

The flotilla had set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and aimed to reach Gaza by Monday morning.

Israel said the boats were embarking on “an act of provocation” against the Israeli military, rather than providing aid, and that it had issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.

It asserted that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing in Gaza, a claim the organisers rejected. Source

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 2. LIMITS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

Article 3

Breadth of the territorial sea

Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km = over 35 nautical miles off the Gaza coast.

For all the Israeli’s knew the Flotilla could have been headed to Egypt to dock and have the goods transported to Gaza via the Egyptian boarder as well.

Either way what Israel did was a violation of International Law of the Sea. The Flotilla was under no obligation to stop for the Israelis as they were over the 12 Nautical miles out to sea at the time Israel attacked them..

Israel has no legal right to arrest anyone or hold any ships hostage. Israel committed an act of deliberate, premeditated, murder and piracy. Other crimes also include assault and battery, kidnapping and imprisonment of innocent civilians, and theft.

The people in the Flotilla  had committed absolutely no crime what so ever.

If I thought about it for a while I could come up with a few more charges that should be laid against the Israelis.

It could be a long list of violations. Murder, kidnapping, assault and battery,theft on land or sea are crimes and those responsible should be charged and imprisoned for their crimes, as any of us would be, if we committed these crimes.

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed this and he did, he is as guilty of these crimes as those who committed them. He is responsible and should be tried for these crimes as well, as any other Government Representative or other Official who ordered or allowed  these crimes to be committed.

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 86

Application of the provisions of this Part

The provisions of this Part apply to all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State. This article does not entail any abridgement of the freedoms enjoyed by all States in the exclusive economic zone in accordance with article 58.

Article 87

Freedom of the high seas

1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:

(a) freedom of navigation;

(b) freedom of overflight;

(c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, subject to Part VI;

(d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;

(e) freedom of fishing, subject to the conditions laid down in section 2;

(f) freedom of scientific research, subject to Parts VI and XIII.

2. These freedoms shall be exercised by all States with due regard for the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas, and also with due regard for the rights under this Convention with respect to activities in the Area.

Article 88

Reservation of the high seas for peaceful purposes

The high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes.

Article 89

Invalidity of claims of sovereignty over the high seas

No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty.

Article 90

Right of navigation

Every State, whether coastal or land-locked, has the right to sail ships flying its flag on the high seas.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Article 101

Definition of piracy

Piracy consists of any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:

(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;

(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;

(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;

(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

Article 102

Piracy by a warship, government ship or government aircraft

whose crew has mutinied

The acts of piracy, as defined in article 101, committed by a warship, government ship or government aircraft whose crew has mutinied and taken control of the ship or aircraft are assimilated to acts committed by a private ship or aircraft.

Article 103

Definition of a pirate ship or aircraft

A ship or aircraft is considered a pirate ship or aircraft if it is intended by the persons in dominant control to be used for the purpose of committing one of the acts referred to in article 101. The same applies if the ship or aircraft has been used to commit any such act, so long as it remains under the control of the persons guilty of that act.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip for an unlimited amount of time. Seems Egypt is not pleased with Israel over this attack.

Turkey is calling for Israel to be severely punished for it’s acts of violence against innocent civilians.

Protests have broken out in many countries over the incident.

Jordanians protest Israeli raid on Gaza-bound flotilla

Jordanians took to the streets in Amman on Monday, protesting the Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza Strip.

During a march from the Jordanian professional associations’ headquarters to the Prime Ministry, the demonstrators chanted slogans against Israel, calling for closing the Israeli embassy in Amman.

The demonstrators urged the government to expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and annul the Wadi Arabia peace treaty Jordan and Israel signed in 1994. Source

Thousands in Istanbul protest against Israeli attack on flotilla


East Bay Citizens Condemn Israel Attack on Gaza Aid Flotilla

Minneapolis Demonstration Against Israeli Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla

US citizen Emily Henochowicz was shot directly in the face with a tear gas canister as she non-violently demonstrated against the Flotilla massacre she lost her left eye. Source

Photos of Protests from: Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Cyprus, Britain, West Bank,  France, Indonesia, US, Lebanon

America Complicit In Israel’s Crimes

As I write at 5pm on Monday, May 31, all day has passed since the early morning reports of the Israeli commando attack on the unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and there has been no response from President Obama except to say that he needed to learn “all the facts about this morning’s tragic events” and that Israeli prime minister Netanyahu had canceled his plans to meet with him at the White House.

Obama’s 12-hour silence in the face of extreme barbarity is his signal to the controlled corporate media to remain on the sidelines until Israeli propaganda sets the story. Source

Related

Gaza Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity

Remember  to add this when you protests or write to a Government officials.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region. The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast. Israel had no legal right to stop them.

Keep up the pressure – End the siege of Gaza
Call on Canadian politicians to condemn the murder of the Gaza flotilla activists.
Global Day of Action – Saturday, June 5

International pressure is growing to end the siege of Gaza. The murder of the flotilla activists has thrust the issue into the mainstream, forcing governments around the world to speak out against the blockade.

Not surprisingly, Stephen Harper has not condemned the attacks and supported the U.S. initiative to water down the UN security council resolution on an investigation into the crimes. Both the U.S. and Canada have said that, rather than have the UN hold an independent investigation, Israel should investigate itself. This self-examination will be a smokescreen designed to hide the truth.

We in Canada have to speak out and demand that Harper stop being silent on war crimes, whether in Afghanistan or Palestine.

What can you do?

  • Join the events this week. Events are posed on the CPA website.

Palestinian groups are urging people to organize a global day of protest this Saturday, June 5. Many CPA members groups are already organizing events on Saturday and we are calling on peace activists to either join events already organized or, where there is no event, to try and organize one in your city. If you are organizing an event send the details to cpa@web.ca so we can post the information. Please feel free to contact the CPA for materials and information about the day of action.
To read the global call for action check the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) website.

There are also events each day in Canada condemning the attacks. Please keep checking the CPA website for the most up-to-date events listings for Canada. For global event listings check out the Gaza Freedom March website.

  • Send a letter to your MP

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East have put out a call for you to write letters to Canadian MP’s urging them to condemn the attacks. Click here to go to the website and send your letter.

Event Listings
Halifax
Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Aid Shipment
No to Israeli War Crimes! Support Gaza and the Palestinian People!
Join the Daily Mass Informational Pickets and Vigil

4 – 5 p.m. Wednesday (June 2), Thursday (June 3), Friday (June 4)

Maritime Mall (Aliant Bldg., where the passport office is)
Barrington Street and foot of Spring Garden Road

We call on everyone to join the people of the world in condemning the murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla

Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Palestine
e-mail: shunpike@shunpiking.com
Hamilton
Bring this Message to Harper:
Lift the Siege of Gaza NOW!
Stop the killing of innocents!
Demand the release of Canadian prisoners!

Friday, June 4th
Federal Government Building in Hamilton – 55 Bay St. North
Across the Street from Copps Colosseum – 5:00 p.m.

Ample parking is available

NO TO PIRACY!!!
NO TO WAR CRIMES!!
Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War

Montreal
Samedi 5 Juin 13h30
coin Peel et St-Catherine
Place Dorchester
métro Peel

Apportez vos drapeaux, vos pancartes originales, vos instruments de musique!

http://www.tadamon.ca/post/6961

Appel pour une action de solidarité à Montréal avec les victimes du massacre de la flottille humanitaire “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” et le peuple palestinien. Manifestons au centre-ville de Montréal pour appeler à la fin du siège israélien sur Gaza et la fin de la complicité du Canada dans l’apartheid israélien. Cette manifestation sera coordonnée avec plusieurs d’autres à travers le monde ce samedi, en réponse à l’appel de la société civile palestinien pour des manifestations globales.

Ottawa:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla Global Day of Action in Ottawa – Rally and March
3:00pm.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Human Rights Monument
Organized by the Ottawa Palestine Solidarity Network
http://notowarcrimes.blogspot.com | ottawa.palestine@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122130111158157

Penticton, BC
Rally at Stockwell Day’s Office

The Penticton Peace Groups believes that the Israeli government has committed new war crimes in an act of piracy and murder against the flotilla of small ships delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

We are calling on the people of the south Okanagan to take this message to MP Stockwell Day’s office, this Saturday, June 5, 2010 at noon, meeting at Nanaimo Square.
For more information contact: Brigid Kemp at: bridiekemp@gmail.com

Toronto:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Global Day of Action: Saturday, June 5

Rally and March
Date: Saturday, June 5
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor Street West

June 5 also marks the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Our action aims to draw the world’s attention to Israel’s continuing illegal occupation, its refusal to abide by international law, and its massacre of innocent humanitarian workers.

Organized by:
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Palestine House Community Centre, Canadian Arab Federation, Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, Canadian Peace Alliance

Find us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/dBPiGY
To endorse, please email endapartheid@riseup.net.

Waterloo
Protest: Israel`s Flotilla Raid, Tuesday June 8

We would like to invite you to join us at 1pm on Tuesday, June 8th in the SLC courtyard for a march around campus to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis involving Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla. We feel is is extremely important to bring as much awareness of this issue at this time and express our deepest disapproval of the actions committed by the Israeli Defense Forces. We hope to see you there! Should you have any questions, comments,or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information please see: Students for Palestinian Rights

Winnipeg
Peace Alliance Winnipeg, Independent Jewish Voices and CanPalNet, will be holding a demonstration to show our solidarity with the people of Gaza, to express our sorrow at the murder of peaceful activists, and to join hands with people around the world in expressing our outrage at Israel’s actions.

Please join us.

Friday, June 4, 2010
4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Broadway Avenue and Osborne Street in Winnipeg. For more information please see: Peace Alliance Winnipeg

From the Jewish Voice for Peace

When I got the news about Israel’s armed attack on the Gaza Flotilla at 2:30 am on the morning of May 31, I felt sick. I immediately called a dear friend in Jerusalem, one of the most committed activists I know.  Across the ocean, I could hear in her voice that she was in tears. “The worst part about it, ” she said, “is that nothing will change.”

“No,” I replied. “I can’t believe that can be true.  Things have to change.””Well,” she said, “then it is up to you, the internationals.”

She’s right. It is up to us, the internationals both here in the United States and abroad.

That is why I want you to send a message to US President Obama if you live outside of the United States, and to Obama and the US Congress if you are a U.S. resident, demanding the immediate release of the detained human rights activists, an end to the siege on Gaza, an impartial investigation of the attack on the flotilla, and a suspension of US aid until Israel abides by international law.We still don’t know a lot about what happened to the flotilla of boats carrying some 700 human rights activists from around the world and over 10 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza– Israel has kept the activists under a near total media blackout while sharing only its implausible narrative of events. What we do know is that Israeli commandos boarded a ship in international waters and killed at least ten activists, injuring dozens of others.

Israel insists that highly trained commandos were forced to lethally fire on activists, creating a new definition of self-defense. In the first alternative accounts to appear, an Israeli Knesset member and an Al Jazeera cameraman who were on board the ship at the time each described something different, a scene of chaos with civilians waving white flags and commandos using stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas. Regardless of what actually happened when armed soldiers landed, Israel’s wanton killing of civilians is unacceptable.

We still don’t know th
e names of those who were killed or injured, or where they are from. And we don’t know the whereabouts or well-being of more than 400 activists still being held by Israel.

These deaths, and the attacks on the boats, have hit all of us around the world particularly hard. There were people from 40 different countries on board the ships, including Israelis and Palestinians. Israel sent armed commandos onto a civilian ship in international waters, a brazenly illegal act to enforce Israel’s nearly 3-year illegal siege of Gaza – a siege that has left 1.5 million men, women and children living like prisoners on substandard diets, deprived of the simplest things like potato chips, musical instruments, and toys. The flotilla wasn’t just about this one delivery of aid. It was about the right of Palestinians to have sea, land and air routes to the rest of the world and for the need to end the blockade.

I know that there comes a point in one’s life when you simply have to take a stand. You cannot sit by silently and watch ongoing and wholly unjustified destruction of life, tacitly supported by governments around the world, and simply do nothing.

The flotilla was filled with people just like you and me who finally decided it was time to risk life and limb to take a stand, to break through those prison walls, and we thank them for it.

Now, as citizens of the world, we owe it to the people of Palestine, and the people of Israel who want to live in peace, and the brave people on that flotilla, to build the movement to make Israel accountable to international law and standards of simple human decency – especially because our governments have failed us.

he response of the U.S. government thus far has been wholly inadequate, with a mild statement “regretting the loss of life,” without assigning any blame for the fiasco, let alone applying any sanctions for Israel’s acts.  Please, join me in telling President Obama and Congress enough is enough

. US taxpayer dollars fund Israel’s occupation, and together with wall to wall uncritical diplomatic support have sent the message that any Israeli action, no matter how foolhardy, will be backed by the full might of the United States.

It’s time for that to stop.

We must also continue to build the already massive global people’s movement for justice, which has undeniably found its greatest impact in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. This is about all of the ways, big and small, people can bypass their often ineffective governments to use economic pressure to make the Israeli government accountable to international law. After launching our energetic support for campus efforts to divest from the occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace will let you know soon about our own divestment campaign to help bring pressure on Israel to reach a just solution.It is time for the United States, as Israel’s closest ally and most powerful nation in the world, to stop unconditional support for the Israeli government.Doing so will protect Israelis and Palestinians, American citizens, and internationals alike.

Click here to demand that President Obama and Congress call for an immediate lifting of the siege of Gaza,

An international and impartial investigation into the tragic killing of civilians in a humanitarian mission, and the suspension of military aid to Israel until he can assure the American public that our aid is not used to commit similar abuses.
Rebecca Vilkomerson,
Executive Director,
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS, We’ve prepared posters in PDF format that you can use at protests, in your car window or on bulletin boards. Download them here.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Also a Petition to the UN

Israel’s deadly raid on a flotilla of aid ships headed for Gaza has shocked the world.

Israel, like any other state, has the right to self-defence, but this was an outrageous use of lethal force to defend an outrageous and lethal policy — Israel’s blockade of Gaza, where two thirds of families don’t know where they’ll find their next meal.

The UN, EU, and nearly every other government and multilateral organization have called on Israel to lift the blockade and, now, launch a full investigation of the flotilla raid. But without massive pressure from their citizens, world leaders might limit their response to mere words — as they have so many times before.

Let’s make the world’s outcry too loud to ignore. Join the petition for an independent investigation into the raid, accountability for those responsible, and an immediate end to the blockade in Gaza — click to sign the petition, and then forward this message to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_flotilla_1/?vl

The petition will be delivered to the UN and world leaders, as soon as it reaches 200,000 names — and again at every opportunity as it grows and leaders choose their responses. A massive petition at a moment of crisis like this one can demonstrate to those in power that sound bites and press releases aren’t enough — that citizens are paying attention and demanding action.

As the EU decides whether to expand its special trade relationship with Israel, as Obama and the US Congress set next year’s budget for Israeli military aid, and as neighbours like Turkey and Egypt decide their next diplomatic steps — let’s make the world’s voice unignorable: it’s time for truth and accountability on the flotilla raid, and it’s time for Israel to comply with international law and end the siege of Gaza. Sign now and pass this message along:

Recent

Most Jerusalem Palestinians Live in Poverty

Why won’t Israel allow Gazan’s to import coriander?

What I Learned in Afghanistan – About the United States

Total number of suspected Mossad agents involved in Dubai assassination reaches 32

Advertisements

Pilot cleared of 9/11 accusations, gets compensation

April 28 2010

An airline pilot wrongfully imprisoned and accused of training hijackers in the 9/11 terrorist attacks finally won his battle for compensation this week.

Lotfi Raissi, and Algerian-born commercial airline pilot who was trained in the US and living in Britain, was the first person to be arrested after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was held for five months at the Belmarsh High Security Prison in London, but later released due to lack of evidence. An extradition request by the FBI lead to his re-arrest for four and a half months, still without any formal charges. Meanwhile, the media were naming him as the flight instructor who had trained the 9/11 hijackers.

A district judge residing over the case eventually released Raissi in 2002 on the grounds that “the court has received no evidence at all.” Four years after his unlawful detention, Raissi was still seeking compensation, as the government failed to act. Raissi’s legal team had to threaten the government with contempt proceedings until last week the justice secretary, Jack Straw, finally admitted Raissi was “completely exonerated.” However, according to Raissi’s lawyer, Jules Carey, the decision to compensate Raissi on the grounds of exoneration rather than a serious default means that mistakes made by the CPS and Metropolitan police in the case would not be investigated.

But after “nine years of hell,” he is eligible for up to £2m. “I have suffered such a great injustice, I’m grateful for this verdict. They took almost 10 years of my life and now I’m starting to breathe again,” he said.  Source

Lotfi Raissi case: How false link to al-Qaida kept innocent Algerian in jail

Even the  hijackers on 9/11  could have been anyone. Seems some of the so called hijackers  were actually still alive after 9/11. Seems some of them were fakes as well. Now isn’t that special.  So who created the fake hijackers? So again right from the beginning they were accusing innocent people of crime they didn’t commit. They were all From Arabia as well. Not one of them was from Afghanistan. So those in Afghanistan are suffering because of lies and fabrications. The lies are adding up. The truth is slowly emerging and all the 9/11 truth seekers are finding out what they thought is correct. 9/11 was an inside job.

Lotfi Raissi is innocent, yet another bit if evidence that the official story was bogus.

If the hijackers were faked/falsely accused, then one needs consider much  other information was fabricated, as well as how many others have been falsely accused. Any information derived from torture and they have been tortured is not acceptable, information or confessions..

Did you know that a Full Israeli El Al flight also took off on 9/11 from JFK to Tel Aviv

Recent

Testing the Limits of Freedom of Speech: Ernst Zundel Speaks Out

Israeli troops attack protesters injuring and killing Again!

Khadr legal team turns down plea offer from U.S

The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Canada unfairly blocked British MP George Galloway, court hears

Ukrainian Government in Action: Egg Throwing? Smoke Bombs? Wrestling?

A Book: “The Shepherd’s Granddaughter” to remain in Toronto schools

Blowout: BP’s deadly oil rig disaster

Haitians worry free food distribution halted too soon

Goldman Sachs profited from market crash

UK: AWOL soldier, Joe Glenton loses sentence appeal

Israel threatens Syria with war

Philippines: Arrests, Torture, and the Presidential Election

War Veteran Jesse Huff Commits suicide outside VA Hospital

The 2nd Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in south Iceland

Arrest of Israeli officer leading organ trafficking ring

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm  Comments Off on Pilot cleared of 9/11 accusations, gets compensation  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UK: AWOL soldier, Joe Glenton loses sentence appeal

By Joe Sinclair

April 21 2010

A soldier who went absent without leave as he was about to be deployed to Afghanistan lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his nine-month sentence today.

Joe Glenton, from York, who was handed the custodial term and demoted to private from lance corporal after admitting the Awol charge at a court martial last month, was present for the ruling by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges in London.

The military court in Colchester, Essex, heard Glenton was discovered missing on June 11 2007 and was absent for 737 days before handing himself in.

The 27-year-old had performed a seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006, serving with the Royal Logistic Corps. The judges heard that he was promoted to lance coroporal because of the “exemplary” way he carried out his duties during that operation.

Glenton, who has so far served 75 days of his sentence, said he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his first stint in the war zone.

It was argued on his behalf today that because of a diagnosis of PTSD it had been “wrong in principle” to have imposed an immediate custodial sentence on him. The court was urged to either suspend it or reduce it to allow for his release.

But the judges, sitting in London, ruled that his sentence was neither excessive nor wrong in principle. Source

How sad the Judges are so foolish as to jail a man with PTSD.

This is not a person you want in a war zone under any circumstances either.

Seems to me the judges need to get their act together if this is the way they treat a sick man.

This is how soldiers get treated.  No compassion.

Governments have no problem sending them to kill people, but when soldiers have a problem, just throw them, to the wolves..

When Joe Glenton went Awol, so did compassion

‘Lucky’ Lance Corporal Glenton refused to return to Afghanistan and was branded a coward and a malingerer

By Barbara Ellen

March 7 2010

The word I keep coming across in relation to Lance Corporal Joe Glenton is “lucky”. Glenton, 27, who refused to return to Afghanistan, and went absent without leave for two years, speaking out against the war, has been demoted and sentenced to nine months.

Nine months was also the amount of time between Glenton’s first tour of Afghanistan and when he was ordered back, despite government guidelines of an 18-month gap. Despite also Glenton admitting to losing faith in the conflict, feeling “guilty and useless”, having nightmares about dead serviceman in coffins and generally showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. After this, Glenton was intimidated, bullied, branded a “coward” and “malingerer”, which, strangely enough, is the point when he went Awol.

The “lucky” bit? That’s because, as related with lip-smacking relish all over the internet, in the olden days Glenton would have been shot for desertion. No namby-pamby concern for a soldier’s state of mind then – just a blindfold and a volley of bullets from a firing squad. “Lucky” Joe Glenton indeed!

Is this the best we can do when our soldiers fall to pieces and run away – not shoot them any more, as we did in their hundreds during the First World War? Indeed, while Glenton’s loss of faith in the conflict doubtless contributed to his distress, this was not the whole story. Even if Glenton had been pro-war, surely his mental fragility would have remained a concern? So would a pro-war Glenton have received a more sympathetic hearing? Does “cowardice” conveniently transform into PTSD when the sufferer is on-message?

The army has to be tough on soldiers going Awol and no one is forced to sign up. However, could young men such as Glenton seriously be expected to know how they are going to handle war? And, if they can’t, even if not on the frontline, how are they “cowards”? My grandfather survived Dunkirk, but did he? PTSD was not diagnosed then, but he returned, by all accounts, “a changed man” with what were then termed “bad nerves” and died in his 40s of a heart attack. Bloody malingerer, eh? And, you wonder, has battle shock changed so much since then? Or do we have sympathy for the distress of servicemen only when the footage is soaked in sepia and broadcast on the History channel?

Certainly it is unjust that, in some quarters, Glenton seems to have been cast almost as a joke figure – the British services answer to Mash‘s Corporal Klinger, who donned dresses and feigned madness to get himself discharged. Or a born-again hippie, placing flowers in the ends of rifles. What a crock. Pro-war, anti-war, the fact is that Glenton felt himself unravelling, appealed for help and received insults and a bollocking instead.

Are we in danger of regressing to a culture of white feathers – with nothing but scorn and judgment for those who “can’t hack it”, for whatever reason, in the war zone? Are our “brave boys” only adored when they are brave by military criteria? Indeed, while the outpourings of grief at Wootton Bassett for the fallen heroes are undeniably moving, one has to wonder, what is the point if people who don’t die physically, but who fall mentally and emotionally, are treated so shabbily?

This is the tragedy of Glenton’s sentencing. Some feel that he has been made an example of because of his anti-war beliefs. However, isn’t he also an example to other servicemen, of what to expect if they dare to succumb to mental fragility? So, sure, Glenton was “luckier” than those deserters who used to be stood against walls and shot, but, by allegedly enlightened 21st century standards, is this anywhere near “lucky” enough? Source

The US is no better.  Those who suffer from war injuries do not get the help they need either

War Veteran Jesse Huff Commits suicide outside VA Hospital

Joe is so far fortunate enough to still be alive to tell his story.

He speaks out against the war.

Well when I look back in time a few things comes to mind.

In Afghanistan, filmmaker Jamie Doran  uncovered evidence of a massacre: Taliban prisoners of war suffocated in containers, shot in the desert and buried in mass graves.  Watch video

The Pentagon’s Fantasy Numbers on Afghan Civilian Deaths

NATO Smears a Truth-Teller in Afghanistan

Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalised, Study Finds

British officer leaked 8,000 Civilians killed in Afghanistan

(Afghanistan 8) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Fallen Canadian and British Soldiers Come Home

Afghanistan’s hidden toll: Injured Troops

Afghanistan: US Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

That is just the tip of the iceburg.

Both wars were based on lies.

Recent

Israel threatens Syria with war

Philippines: Arrests, Torture, and the Presidential Election

Paulson and Co. made a $3.7 billion profit on collapse of subprime mortgage market

The 2nd Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in south Iceland

Arrest of Israeli officer leading organ trafficking ring

Experts fear human trafficking more widespread

ElBaradei: Gaza, world’s largest jail

US violates UN law by threatening Iran

Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm  Comments Off on UK: AWOL soldier, Joe Glenton loses sentence appeal  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Experts fear human trafficking more widespread

Official figures show 54 foreign women were trafficked into prostitution last year, but true figures could be higher

April 14 2010

New figures from the Danish Centre against Human Trafficking show that 54 foreign prostitutes were identified as victims of human trafficking last year, but experts fear the true figures are much higher.

Systematic registration of human trafficking first began in 2008 and the centre contacted 1,067 foreign prostitutes last year to see if they had been victims.

Almost half of the 54 victims identified last year stem from Nigeria, with others coming from countries such as Thailand, Lithuania and Russia.

But anthropologist Trine Mygind Korsby from the Centre against Human Trafficking told Berlingske Tidende newspaper that the figures could be much higher as it’s difficult to get in touch with the women and get them to admit that they have been trafficked.

‘They’re afraid of the pimps, of being sent home and they’re not always interested in cooperating with authorities because of negative experiences with them in their homeland,’ Korsby said.

Organisations such as HopeNow and Reden International offer assistance to foreign prostitutes in Denmark and they also believe that the human trafficking figures are much higher.

‘It’s incredibly hard to identify them because they are physically and emotionally threatened by their pimps. Most of the women suffer from a form of Stockholm syndrome and feel a kind of loyalty to their pimps,’ said founder of HopeNow Michelle Mildwater to Berlingske Tidende. Source

Related

Slavery and Human Trafficking Crimes/Numerous other stories of slavery/Sex slavery  from around the world. That wonderful job offer may be  sex slavery/prostitution.Thousands have been kidnapped or conned and forced into prostitution/Sex Slavery.

Victim escapes from human trafficking ring Amira Agarib

April 15 2010,

DUBAI — The Dubai Police recently nabbed five Arabs, including a couple, for allegedly bringing a woman to the country with a job offer and forcing her into prostitution.

All five have been referred to the prosecution mainly on the charge of running an international human trafficking ring, Dr Sultan Abdul Hameed Al Jamal, Director of the Human Trafficking Monitoring Centre of the police, said on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old Arab woman, who arrived in the country recently, called the police and said she was forced into prostitution but had managed to escape from the gang holding her up.

The police met the woman who said that she had meetings with some people who promised to find her a job in a hotel in the UAE. She gave them a cheque for Dh50,000 as demanded by them and they sent her a visa taken by a hotel. When she arrived in the country, a man and a woman met her at the airport and took her to their residence and took away her passport. A few days later, the woman explained to her that her job was to have sex with men but she refused. Enraged, the woman beat her up for days and threatened her that she would lodge a complaint against her for issuing a dud cheque.

The victim told the police that she agreed to work as a sex worker after this blackmail. But she managed to escape on the way to meet a member of the prostitution ring and called the police.

Officers of the CID asked the woman to contact the gang and return to their flat to round them all up at one go.

The police raided the flat as soon as the woman entered it and arrested the couple who are also from the complainant’s country and three others.

Al Jamal said the police have found a house for the woman to live and they would find her a job if she wished to stay in the country till the court procedures are completed.

He said they would issue a certificate showing that the complainant was forced to issue a dud cheque due to blackmail so that other members of the gang do not trap her by submitting the cheque in her country. They would also coordinate with police authorities of her country to nab the others involved.  Source

Nine arrested in city human trafficking raids

April 14, 2010

NINE people have been arrested in Nottingham on suspicion of human trafficking, tax credit fraud and money laundering.

The six men and three women, from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, were arrested in a series of raids carried out at addresses in the city last night and earlier today.

The investigation carried out by Notts Police, HM Revenue & Customs, the UK Border Agency and the Department of Work and Pensions.

The men and women are alleged to have illegally claimed over £1 million in tax credits.

Six addresses were searched and the men and women were arrested on suspicion of tax credit fraud and money laundering offences. One of the men was also arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.

Detective Chief Superintendant Ian Waterfield, head of the Force Crime and Intelligence Directorate, said: “The inquiry has taken many months and the investigation will continue, starting with the search of a number of addresses and interviews with those detained.”

Anyone with information relating to Tax Credit fraud is encouraged to call the Benefits Anti Fraud Helpline on 0800 854 440.

NINE people have been arrested in Nottingham on suspicion of human trafficking, tax credit fraud and money laundering.

The six men and three women, from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, were arrested in a series of raids carried out at addresses in the city last night and earlier today.

The investigation carried out by Notts Police, HM Revenue & Customs, the UK Border Agency and the Department of Work and Pensions.

The men and women are alleged to have illegally claimed over £1 million in tax credits.

Six addresses were searched and the men and women were arrested on suspicion of tax credit fraud and money laundering offences. One of the men was also arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.

Detective Chief Superintendant Ian Waterfield, head of the Force Crime and Intelligence Directorate, said: “The inquiry has taken many months and the investigation will continue, starting with the search of a number of addresses and interviews with those detained.”

Anyone with information relating to Tax Credit fraud is encouraged to call the Benefits Anti Fraud Helpline on 0800 854 440.  Source

Rethink human-trafficking reports Sound alarm … take action In a recent sentencing by the Criminal court, “an unidentified Asian man” was given “10 years imprisonment for trafficking in human beings.” The court also sentenced “two other men to five years, another to seven years and an Asian woman to three years.” The suspects were charged “with kidnapping an Asian maid, forcing her into prostitution and premeditatedly murdering her.” During the interrogation with the accused, the Asian suspect “admitted….forcing [the Asian maid] into prostitution and that she died in an attempt to escape.” Previously he sold her to a brothel in Jleeb Al-Shuyukh for KD 100.(Arab Times April 11, 2010).
I suggested in earlier articles published in the Arab Times that the Interior Ministry should do more raids on prostitution and criminal dens in Al-Jleeb. Our security forces already know the whereabouts and perhaps identities of would-be criminals.

What we need today is the use of more media exposure coverage of human trafficking committed by foreigners on our Kuwaiti soil.
Such media coverage of human trafficking crimes accompanied by reports on the efforts of the Interior Ministry to fight such phenomena will improve our standing in future international human rights reports.
At least we can clarify and throw light on some of the exaggerated accusations against our country.

Moreover, currently there seems to be a half-hearted media effort by some local agencies to shed more light on human trafficking committed by some expats against their own compatriots or those from other Asian nationalities.  It is, of course, ironic that such cases of expat-expat human trafficking and sexual exploitations do not seem to stand clear in international human rights reports. What we need to do is to sound the alarm louder than before and perhaps accompany such calls with security action against perpetrators.

A tiny number of foreigners in Kuwait do actually engage in the “flesh trade” and their crimes seem to have far greater consequences on our society. The Kuwaiti government has already established fully-equipped shelters for runaway maids who do not necessarily runaway from their Kuwaiti sponsors. In other words, we do not have to accept some human right reports on their face value, but point out the reality of the situations.
Strangely enough, such international reports seem to ignore the particulars of incidents and crimes committed by some expats against other expats victims. We will be silent no more! Source

Govt must tackle trafficking – HSRC

March 24 2010Johannesburg – Government and civil society need to take serious action against human trafficking in South Africa, according to a Human Sciences Research Council report released on Wednesday.

“Human trafficking in South Africa is a serious problem and warrants intervention on all fronts”, said the study released at a National Prosecuting Authority conference on the subject.

Victims are mostly women, girls and boys, and they are trafficked for a variety of purposes, including prostitution, pornography, domestic servitude, forced labour, begging, criminal activity, and trafficking for the removal of body parts, or muthi.

Young boys are trafficked to smuggle drugs and for other criminal activities.

Destination country

South Africa is a destination country for long-distance flows of mainly women from Thailand, Philippines, India, China, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and the Ukraine, who enter the country at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

From within Africa, people are trafficked across the extensive land borders of South Africa, mostly from Mozambique and Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho.

Longer-distance trafficking involves victims trafficked from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Somalia.

“All documented cases in this last category are women trafficked for both sexual and labour exploitation,” according to a summary of the report.

The albino community was also identified as vulnerable to human traffickers for the harvesting of body parts, due the belief that a white skin had potent powers, the report claimed.

Trafficking out of SA

Trafficking of South Africans out of the country was less of a problem, but eight cases were identified between January 2004 and January 2008.

Destination countries included Ireland, Zimbabwe, Israel, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Macau.

In all cases, the victims were women trafficked for either sexual exploitation, labour exploitation or forced marriage.

Perpetrators and intermediaries included large, organised crime networks and South African men with ex-military backgrounds working together with these syndicates.

The researchers said they experienced serious difficulties in conducting the study.

“South Africa is not collecting even basic national-level data which will allow sound estimates about the scale of the problem. They also had difficulty accessing key informants in government departments, because government databases of contacts were not made available.” Source

Victims of Human Trafficking need protection in the event they manage to escape and contact authorities. This does not always happen for the victims.

They many times are treated like illegal immigrants and jailed or just deported. They need a safe heaven.  They are also threatened by those who have bought them or sold into the sex slave trade. Victims should always be protected. They also need a lot of time to heal and will need therapy.

Recent

ElBaradei: Gaza, world’s largest jail

US violates UN law by threatening Iran

Thailand: Over 800 injured and 21 deaths during protests

IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank

Poland mourns dead president

Thailand protests claim first lives

Russian urges adoption freeze after boy age 7 returned alone

Kyrgyzstan: The nepotism that sparked a revolution

Haaretz Threatened for Exposing Israeli Assassination Cover-Up

Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, rules sheriff

Thailand protesters defy government decree

Australia: Locals do their block as big gas moves into Queensland

Kyrgyzstan: Thousands of protesters furious over corruption 40 deaths over 400 injured

Iran: International Nuclear disarmament summit widely welcomed

Rachel Corrie Civil Lawsuit: Bulldozer operator told not to cooperate with investigation

Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid

Fake Al Qaeda, Fake Passports, Fake planes

Japan Tokunoshima islanders reject US Marines base

Aafia Siddiqui: Victimized by American Depravity

Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalised, Study Finds

Israel bombards Gaza – and threatens worse

Israel Gags News on Extra-Judicial Killings

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 8:39 pm  Comments Off on Experts fear human trafficking more widespread  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Iran complains to U.N. over U.S. nuclear “threat”

Iran complains to U.N. over U.S. nuclear “threat”

(Reuters) – Iran complained to the United Nations on Tuesday over what it called a U.S. threat to attack it with atomic weapons, accusing Washington of nuclear blackmail in violation of the U.N. charter.

President Barack Obama made clear last week that Iran and North Korea, both involved in nuclear disputes with the West, were excluded from new limits on the use of U.S. atomic weapons.

A letter from Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council and General Assembly presidents called on the United Nations to “strongly oppose the threat of use of nuclear weapons and to reject it.”

Statements by Obama and other U.S. officials were “tantamount to nuclear blackmail against a non-nuclear-weapon state” and breached U.S. obligations under the U.N. charter to refrain from the threat or use of force, Khazaee said.

“Such remarks by the U.S. officials display once again the reliance of the U.S. government on (a) militarized approach to various issues, to which the threats of use of nuclear weapons are not a solution at all,” he added.

They also posed “a real threat to international peace and security and undermine the credibility” of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the envoy said.

Obama is urging other global powers to agree to a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt nuclear work that the West suspects is aimed at making bombs, a charge Iran denies.

He pressed the case for sanctions at a 47-nation nuclear summit in Washington on Tuesday, at which he won pledges from world leaders to take joint action to prevent terrorist groups from getting nuclear weapons.

But Khazaee said that Iran, as a victim of weapons of mass destruction — a reference to Iraq’s use of poison gas against it in a 1980-88 war — was firmly committed to a world free from such weapons.

The United States, the only country to have used nuclear weapons — against Japan in World War Two — “continues to illegitimately designate a non-nuclear weapon state as target of its nuclear weapons and contemplates military plans accordingly,” he said.

U.N. members “should not condone or tolerate such nuclear blackmail in (the) 21st century,” the Iranian envoy said.

(Editing by Vicki Allen) Source

Well since the brought up the subject of the Summit. Here is some information.

Factbox: China’s civilian and military nuclear activities

April  2010

(Reuters) – Chinese President Hu Jintao is among the prominent leaders attending a two-day nuclear security summit opening on Monday in Washington D.C.

The meeting hosted by President Barack Obama will focus on making atomic facilities and materials safer from theft and terrorist attack, not broader questions about arms controls and cuts.

Here are some facts about China’s civilian and military nuclear activities:

GROWING NUCLEAR POWER SECTOR

China has 11 working nuclear reactors producing 9.1 gigawatts of power, but wants to raise capacity to 60 GW by 2020, over 5 percent of the total installed power generating capacity.

To reach that goal, China has 17 reactors under construction, and 124 more on the drawing boards, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA) industry group.

The expansion will cause Chinese demand for uranium to rise ten fold by 2030, making it the world’s second biggest consumer after the United States, according the WNA forecasts.

MODEST BUT MODERNISING NUCLEAR ARSENAL

China staged its first nuclear test explosion in October 1964. It joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992, and is one of the five powers under that treaty with the right to have nuclear weapons.

Like all the nuclear weapons states, China is secretive about its arsenal. Foreign intelligence and expert estimates of its total stockpile of nuclear warheads vary from about 200 to 240 warheads.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has estimated that by 2009 China had 186 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, compared to 2,202 for the United States and 2,787 for Russia.

The other Reuters story

Factbox: Who are the world’s nuclear powers? April 13 2010

says.

CHINA: China is estimated to have about 250 strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and sufficient stocks of fissile material to produce a much larger arsenal. It acceded to the NPT in 1992 as a nuclear weapon state. China has pledged not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states.

According to the START counting rules, as of January 2009 the United States had an estimated 5,200 nuclear warheads and 2,700 operationally deployed warheads (2,200 strategic and 500 nonstrategic).

The 2002 Treaty of Moscow (the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, or SORT) between the United States and Russia, states that each country must reduce their deployed strategic nuclear forces to 1,700-2,200 warheads by 2012.

RUSSIA: Russia is estimated to have around 14,000 nuclear weapons, although the total is uncertain because there is no accurate count of tactical weapons. Under provisions of START I, the Russian nuclear arsenal has been reduced to around 3,909 strategic nuclear warheads as of January 2009. Source

Both stories are from Reuters but the numbers changed. So which is the truth your guess is as good as mine. It’s no wonder readers get confused. One doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out the press isn’t always truthful.

There are 9 Nuclear powers in the world. US, Russia, China, Britain, Israel, France, India, Pakistan, and recently North Korea.

The United States has also provided nuclear weapons for Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey to deploy and store, that I know of, there may be more.

Japan just discovered recently.

Japan Report: Private Agreements Allowed US to Bring Nukes


“There are no indications that China is designing, testing, or producing new nuclear weapons designs,” according to Jeffrey Lewis of the New America Foundation, a thinktank in Washington D.C., in an overview of Chinese nuclear arms policy.

But China is modernizing the means to deliver its nuclear warheads. It is gradually replacing its older, liquid-fueled ballistic nuclear-capable missiles with solid-fuel missiles, which will make launching them faster and less cumbersome.

China is also building new “Jin-class” ballistic missile submarines, capable of launching nuclear warheads while at sea.

These will replace China’s one “Xia-class” ballistic missile submarine, which experts say is in mothballs.

(Sources: Reuters; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); Jeffrey Lewis, “Chinese Nuclear Posture and Force Modernization”; Robert Norris and Hans Kristensen, “Chinese nuclear forces, 2008,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist)

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by David Fox) Source

Obama hails progress at nuclear safety summit

April 13 2010

The steps taken at the nuclear safety summit in Washington D.C. will make the world a safer place, U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

“Today’s progress was possible because these leaders came not simply to talk but to take action, not simply to make pledges of future action but to commit to meaningful steps that they are prepared to implement right now,” Obama said as he wrapped up the two-day conference.

Obama said the participants all agreed to the seriousness of the threat of nuclear attacks, a change from the beginning of the summit when there was a range of views on the issue.

“Today we are declaring that nuclear terrorism is one of the most challenging threats to international security,” Obama said.

He said all nations also endorsed the goal to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years time.

Obama said some important achievements were reached during the summit. Canada said it would return its stockpile of enriched uranium to the United States, while Ukraine announced it will give up its entire stockpile of weapons-grade uranium by 2012 — most of it this year.

He said Chile and Mexico also announced they would give up their entire stockpile of enriched uranium, and that nations such as Argentina and Pakistan had announced steps to strengthen port security and prevent nuclear smuggling.

Co-operation questioned

Obama was asked by a reporter how countries that have been at odds over different issues will co-operate since everything to be done is on a voluntary basis without any binding commitment.

“The point is that we’ve got world leaders who have just announced that, in fact, this is a commitment that they’re making. I believe they take their commitments very seriously,” Obama said. “If what you’re asking is, do we have a international one-world law-enforcement mechanism, we don’t. We never have.”

Shortly after the opening of the conference, Canada, the United States and Mexico announced a plan to convert Mexico’s research reactor to low-enriched uranium from highly enriched uranium. About 11 kilograms of highly enriched uranium will be shipped from the Mexican reactor to the U.S.

Canada will contribute about $5 million to the conversion project.

Obama also announced that the U.S. is joining with Canada in calling on nations to commit $10 billion to extend a global partnership that would strengthen nuclear security around the world.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was among 47 world leaders gathered at the meeting said that Canada has not made that request, but there have been discussions among G8 partners about the initiative.

“Canada is not the originator of the request but obviously we’re going to be looking at this request very seriously and I know all our G8 partners will do the same,” Harper said.

China may join Iran sanctions

The G8 signed on to the program at its 2002 summit in Kananaskis, Alta. Since then, the group has spent more than $600 million helping other countries decommission and secure their nuclear material.

Obama also said he is confident China will join other nations in pressing for tough new sanctions on Iran for continuing to seek nuclear weapons in defiance of the international community.

“Words have to mean something,” Obama said. “There have to be some consequences.”

Hu and Obama met for 90 minutes on Monday after which U.S. officials said the two agreed to tell their aides to work on a tough new sanctions program. However, a Chinese spokesman did not mention sanctions in his description of the meeting. Source

So who is going to disarm the US, and why should they be in control of all Uranium? Seems they are the ones making more bombs then any one.

They above all cannot be trusted with it. They are threatening a Nuclear strike and also have in the past plus all the DU they have left in every country they have invaded in recent years. They leave a trail of cancer and other illness behind everywhere they go. To trust them is like letting the fox guard the hen house. Just a really stupid thing to do.

I for one do not trust the US as far as I could throw them. Even their own citizens do not trust them.

Obama said the participants all agreed to the seriousness of the threat of nuclear attacks, a change from the beginning of the summit when there was a range of views on the issue.

He is the one doing the threatening. DUHHHHHHHHHH

This summit was nothing more then a sham, to get more on side to go after Iran. It is also a way to suck money and Uranium out of other countries.

So what is this blackmail, give me all your Uranium or I will start Nuking countries?

The fall out from any Nuclear attack not only affects the country bombed, but all the neighboring countries.  It also affects the entire world. The wind blows it goes. So when the US threatens a Nuclear attack on any country in the world it is everyone’s business.

It would also affect those living in Israel. But I guess that is OK with the Israelis they have a death wish right?  Their government is all for Nuking Iran. All intelligent citizens should however be concerned. Will they do anything?  Probably not. They will sit idly by and get radiated instead.

It would also affect China who of course does not have a death wish and would be very displeased at the thought.

The rest of the Middle East will not be impressed either. It would also affect them as well.

Obama should stop threatening,  it is illegal under International Law, no exceptions.  The US has more weapons of mass destruction then any other country in the world. They really should be monitored. Sanctioned even.

Seems the US thinks it is OK to be above the Law, the rest of us must live by.

Will the UN do anything probably not, it is run by the US watch and see?

Point of Interest

Iran needs the 20 percent-enriched uranium to fuel the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces radio medicine for cancer patients.

The country has been promised nuclear fuel for over 30 years now. Despite being a 10-percent shareholder and hence entitled to the European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium (Eurodif)’s output, Iran has never received enriched uranium from France.

Tehran and Paris have also signed a deal, under which France is obliged to deliver 50 tons of uranium hexafluoride to Iran — another obligation France has failed to meet. Source

Related

US violates UN law by threatening Iran

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Recent

Thailand: Over 800 injured and 21 deaths during protests

IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank

Poland mourns dead president

Thailand protests claim first lives

Russian urges adoption freeze after boy age 7 returned alone

Kyrgyzstan: The nepotism that sparked a revolution

Haaretz Threatened for Exposing Israeli Assassination Cover-Up

Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, rules sheriff

Australia: Locals do their block as big gas moves into Queensland

Iran: International Nuclear disarmament summit widely welcomed

British MPs call for review of arms export to Israel

March 29 2010

A group of British lawmakers will call on Tuesday for a review of the way arms deals to Israel are approved, after the government admitted British equipment was “almost certainly” used during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, British media reported.

The British daily The Guardian quoted a House of Commons report on strategic exports controls, which stated, “it is regrettable that arms exports to Israel were almost certainly used in Operation Cast Lead [the attack on Gaza].

“This is in direct contravention to the UK government’s policy that UK arms exports to Israel should not be used in the occupied territories,” the report read.

Those MPs making the call for a review said they welcomed the British government’s decision to revoke five export licenses for equipment “destined to the Israeli navy,” the daily wrote, with lawmakers adding that “broader lessons” must be learned from such a review to “ensure British arms exports to Israel are not used in the occupied territories in the future.”

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the House of Commons following Israel’s devastating assault on the Gaza Strip between December 2008 and January 2009 that left some 1,400 Palestinians dead, that all future arms exports to Israel “will be assessed taking into account the recent conflict,” adding that Israeli equipment used during its war on the coastal enclave likely used British-supplied parts such as cockpit displays in US F16 combat aircraft, fire control and radar systems, navigation and engine assemblies for US Apache helicopters, the daily reported.

Additionally, arms sold to Israel included parts for guns and radar in Israeli Sa’ar-class corvettes which took part in the operation, and armored personnel carriers adapted from Centurion tanks sold to Israel in the 1950s.

The government-approved exports to Israel are estimated to be over 27.5 million British pounds for 2008, the House of Common’s report said, with various governmental departments approving nearly 4 million British pounds worth of export licenses for weapons and equipments with both military and civil use in the nine months following the attack on Gaza, The Guardian reported.

“Though this suggests a significant drop, the figures show Britain was continuing to sell Israel a wide range of military equipment, including small-arms ammunition and parts for sniper rifles,” the daily added.

Approved exports include remote ground-sensors, electronic warfare equipment “components for snipers,” “small arms ammunition” and “test equipment for recognition/identification equipment,” the report said.

The report further revealed that the British government decided to revoke a number of arms sales’ licenses to Sri Lanka, saying it regreted that British arms were sold during the ceasefire periods in the conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The call for a review on the way the British government approves arms deals with Israel follows their decision to expel an Israeli diplomat over the use of forged UK passports in an alleged Israeli hit of a Hamas leader in Dubai in January.

Source

Related

Gaza war fuels UK arms review call

Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel/Gaza

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Obama blocks delivery of bunker-busters to Israel

Recent

Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

Tony Blair’s attempt to keep his Iraqi Oil Profits a secret

Women in Iraq Miss Saddam

Israel condemned at Arab summit over Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land

NATO Smears a Truth-Teller in Afghanistan

Soldiers, Mental illness, Drugs and Suicide

Destroying Educational Institutions or Using Them For Military Purposes Is A War Crime

Cheap Food Imports destroyed Haitian agriculture

Warning Facebook Strikes again, this time a Virus

American Civil Rights Org Fights Against Israeli Desecration of Ancient Cemetery

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

Published in: on March 31, 2010 at 2:48 am  Comments Off on British MPs call for review of arms export to Israel  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats

March  29 2010

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has called on the Federal Government to expel Israeli diplomats from Australia.
Four Australians apparently had their passports forged and used as part of the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai.
It is believed the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, is responsible for the murder.

Mr Fraser says the Government must protect the rights and identities of Australians overseas and take action against the Israeli government.

Mr Fraser says Australia must follow Britain’s lead and expel diplomats.

“I believe that is totally and absolutely unforgivable and Australia’s disapproval should be registered by an action not less than that which the British took,” he said.

“I think there’s been a long history, if you like, of double standards. People will not do, in relation to Israel, what they would do if the same action was conducted by some other country,” he told ABC Radio’s Jon Faine.

The Zionist Council of Victoria says the Government needs to wait for the results of an inquiry into the passport scandal before taking action. Council president Danny Lamm says Mr Fraser has overreacted.

“I think Malcolm Fraser has shown an unhealthy obsession with attacking Israel,” he said.
“It’s got worse and worse and worse. And at the same time he wants to indicate that Hamas is almost pure.”

Source

Related

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest

Added Bonus

Half Members of US Congress Scramble to Express Allegiance to Israel in the First Day of AIPAC’s Conference

They should be supporting their own country not Israel.

Recent

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

Tony Blair’s attempt to keep his Iraqi Oil Profits a secret

Women in Iraq Miss Saddam

Israel condemned at Arab summit over Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land

Full Israeli  El Al flight took off on 9/11 from JFK to Tel Aviv

American Civil Rights Org Fights Against Israeli Desecration of Ancient Cemetery/ With Petition Please take the time to sign

NATO Smears a Truth-Teller in Afghanistan

Soldiers, Mental illness, Drugs and Suicide

Destroying Educational Institutions or Using Them For Military Purposes Is A War Crime

Cheap Food Imports destroyed Haitian agriculture

Canada: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy

Attempted Citizen’s Arrest of Alleged War Criminal George W. Bush in a Canadian Court

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 4:09 am  Comments Off on Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Britain expelled Israeli diplomat over fake passports used in Dubai

Israeli diplomat expelled in fake passports row

By Sam Marsden

March 23  2010

(Independent) Britain has expelled an Israeli diplomat over the use of fake UK passports by suspected Mossad agents in the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai, it was announced today.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said an investigation had discovered “compelling” evidence that Tel Aviv’s secret service was responsible for cloning the ID documents.

He told MPs it was “intolerable” for a foreign country to behave in such a way, and the fact that Israel was a close ally added “insult to injury”.

“Given that this was a very sophisticated operation, in which high-quality forgeries were made, the Government judges it is highly likely that the forgeries were made by a state intelligence service.

“Taking this together with other inquiries, and the link with Israel established by Soca (the Serious and Organised Crime Agency), we have concluded that there are compelling reasons to believe that Israel was responsible for the misuse of the British passports.

“The Government takes this matter extremely seriously. Such misuse of British passports is intolerable.”

He added: “I have asked that a member of the embassy of Israel be withdrawn, and this is taking place.”

Mr Miliband said the misuse of passports presented a “hazard for the safety of British nationals in the region”.

“It also represents a profound disregard for the sovereignty of the United Kingdom,” he said. “The fact that this was done by a country which is a friend, with significant diplomatic, cultural, business and personal ties to the UK, only adds insult to injury.

“No country or government could stand by in such a situation.”

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the founder of Hamas’s military wing, was assassinated in his luxury hotel room in Dubai on January 19 by a team of killers wearing fake beards, wigs and other disguises.

Dubai officials said they were “99% certain” that Mossad agents were behind the murder but Israel has refused to confirm or deny the link.

At the time Mr Miliband branded the abuse of British passports “outrageous” and demanded that Tel Aviv co-operate fully with the UK’s investigation.

Israel’s ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, was summoned to the Foreign Office last month to discuss the situation, but he flatly denied there was any “additional information” to give.

Investigators from Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) looked into the use of cloned passports of innocent British citizens in the attack.

Mr Miliband said 11 of the 12 had now been given biometric passports which would be harder to counterfeit.

He also said the Foreign Office’s travel advice for Israel would be amended to highlight the risk of papers being cloned, and how it can be minimised.

Other members of the hit squad travelled on fake Irish, French and Australian travel documents.

Gordon Brown’s spokesman told reporters: “The Prime Minister was consulted on this decision and supports it.”

The spokesman said the diplomat had technically been “asked to withdraw” from the UK, rather than expelled, and was being given two weeks to leave the country.

Mr Miliband met Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday and handed him a letter seeking formal assurance that in future Israel will never be party to the misuse of British passports, said the spokesman.

Also yesterday, the head of the UK diplomatic service, Sir Peter Ricketts, met Israeli Ambassador to London Ron Prosor.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/israeli-diplomat-expelled-in-fake-passports-row-1925653.html

UK expels Israeli diplomat over Dubai passports

By Adrian Croft

March 23 2010
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Tuesday it was expelling an Israeli diplomat from London after concluding that Israel had forged British passports used by the suspected killers of a Hamas commander in Dubai.”I’ve asked that a member of the Embassy of Israel be withdrawn from the UK as a result of this affair and this is taking place,” Foreign Secretary David Miliband told parliament.

Miliband said there were “compelling reasons” to believe Israel was responsible for the misuse of British passports in the case and said he had sought assurances from Israel that it would not misuse them again.

“Such misuse of British passports is intolerable … It also represents a profound disregard for the sovereignty of the United Kingdom,” he said.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied a role in the January killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a military commander from the Palestinian organization Hamas, in a Dubai hotel room.

Dubai authorities have given names for 27 alleged members of the team that tracked and killed the Palestinian, and said they used fraudulent British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports to enter and depart from Dubai.

Dubai’s police chief says he is almost certain Israeli agents were involved and has accused the intelligence agency Mossad of insulting Dubai.

“COMPELLING REASONS”

After an investigation by a specialized police unit, Miliband said Britain had concluded “there are compelling reasons to believe Israel was responsible for the misuse” of the 12 British passports involved.

“Given that this was a very sophisticated operation in which high-quality forgeries were made, the government judges it is highly likely the forgeries were made by a state intelligence service,” he said.

Miliband did not accuse Israel of being responsible for the killing.

Israeli Ambassador to London Ron Prosor said he was disappointed by the British decision.

“It is our clear intention to strengthen the firm foundation of our relationship which is both vital and beneficiary to both our countries,” he told reporters.

Britain expelled an Israeli diplomat in 1988 in an espionage row. The man, Arie Regev, was described at the time by informed British sources as a Mossad agent.

Relations between Britain and Israel have been strained recently by a number of issues, including the threat of arrest for alleged war crimes faced by senior Israeli officials visiting Britain.

The latest spat comes at a time of friction between Israel and its key ally, the United States, since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government announced plans to build 1,600 homes for Jews near East Jerusalem.

(Additional reporting by Estelle Shirbon, Kylie Maclellan, Keith Weir and Tim Castle in London and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

Source

Related

Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest

Assassination latest act in nightmare without end

UK police meet passport victims connected to assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Recent

American Civil Rights Org Fights Against Israeli Desecration of Ancient Cemetery

Israel refuses to restrict building in OPT

Obama blocks delivery of bunker-busters to Israel

Full Israeli El Al flight took off on 9/11 from JFK to Tel Aviv

Farm Groups Want Action On Monsanto

Canada: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy

Attempted Citizen’s Arrest of Alleged War Criminal George W. Bush in a Canadian Court

Netanyahu Takes His Siege Against Human Rights NGOs to the US

March 11-17 2010 Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Published in: on March 23, 2010 at 7:32 pm  Comments Off on Britain expelled Israeli diplomat over fake passports used in Dubai  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest

Update March 13 2010

Interpol issued red notices for 16 suspects, bringing the total number in the case to 27. The notices enable arrest warrants to be circulated to other countries to help with arrests and extradition.

Also this is rather interesting.

Israeli named Yuval Tal owns Payoneer—which offers prepaid cards, mostly as a way for employers to compensate foreign workers without checks and wire transfers—had been linked to this year’s cinematically brash Hamas assassination in Dubai.

For the rest Go HERE

Alternative reading of the al-Mabhouh murder

Update March 12 2010

When medical examiners inspected Mabhouh’s corpse, they found an injection mark on his thigh. Toxicology tests showed that he had been dosed with succinylcholine, a paralyzing agent. The cops concluded that after sedating Mabhouh, the killers smothered him with a pillow. But by the time the results had come in, police say the suspects had fled to Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong–and possibly Iran. For the rest Go HERE

March 2 2010

DUBAI

Dubai’s police chief plans to seek the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of Israel’s spy agency over the killing of a Hamas leader in the emirate, Al Jazeera television reported.

Dahi Khalfan Tamim “said he would ask the Dubai prosecutor to issue arrest warrants for … Netanyahu and the head of Mossad,” the television said. It did not give details.

Tamim has said he is “almost certain” Israeli agents were involved in the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a Dubai hotel in January, calling for Mossad’s boss, Meir Dagan, to be arrested if it is proved responsible. Tamim said on Monday Mossad had “insulted” Dubai and Western countries whose fraudulent passports were used by suspects in the assassination.

Dubai has asked the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into prepaid cards issued by the Meta Financial Group’s MetaBank which the suspects used, a United Arab Emirates newspaper said.

Citing an FBI source, The National newspaper said the investigation would look into any Israeli involvement in the killing.

“Thirteen of the 26 suspects used prepaid MasterCards issued by MetaBank, a regional American bank, to purchase plane tickets and book hotel rooms,” the newspaper said, quoting Dubai police.

MetaBank said it followed proper procedures when it issued the cards.

Authorities told the bank that the suspects appeared to have used stolen passports to get employment with U.S. companies, MetaBank said in a statement on Tuesday. The companies paid the employees with prepaid cards issued by MetaBank and other banks.

MetaBank said it had launched its own review of the matter, and had so far found that it followed all bank and regulatory requirements.

The suspects authorities had identified were not on any list that would indicate their identities were fraudulent, it said.

The UAE, a U.S.-allied Arab state that backs the Palestinian drive for an independent state and an end to Israeli occupation, has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

But it has established low-level political and trade links in recent years, with some Israeli officials attending events in the Gulf Arab state. Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer competed in the Dubai Championships last month.

Members of the hit squad used fraudulent passports from Britain, Ireland, Germany, France and Australia. Residents of Israel with the same names as the suspects, holding dual nationalities, have said their identities appear to have been stolen.

The passport abuse has drawn criticism from the European Union, and some of the governments involved have summoned the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest.

(Reporting by Tamara Walid and Firouz Sedarat; additional reporting by Dan Wilchins in New York; editing by Andrew Roche)

Source

That is now 28 suspects wanted by Dubai police.

They should be also checking those U.S. companies the frauds/assassins had a job with.

I wonder who owns the places they were employed. Are those places even real or  were they as fake as the passports?

I sure would like to know.

To get a job they would also need a work visa from the US  as well.

A bit more information I came across today March 5 2010

The CIA

Also, why was not a single agent out of the 27 identified to be holders of foreign passports a US passport holder?

Israel has a large number of dual-national Jewish-Americans living in the country, many of whom serve in the Israeli military and various government related jobs. Was this deliberate so as not to draw the wrath of the United States? Or was it simply that this operation was coordinated with the CIA?

The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and numerous foreign press outlets have reported that two men linked to the assassination of al-Mabhouh entered the U.S. on specific dates after the killing. According to the reports, someone using an Irish passport with the name Evan Dennings entered the U.S. on Jan. 21, and someone using a British passport with the name Roy Allan Cannon entered the U.S. on Feb. 14.

A sayan in the US?

According to Dubai’s Chief of Police, the MasterCards used by some of the assassins were branded by US-based Meta Bank, but issued by another small company called Payoneer. The company specializes in prepaid debit cards that can be used as credit card alternatives for online shoppers. Payoneer, which is registered in the US, has most of its employees based in Petah Tikva, Israel and is headed by Yuval Tal, who in a 2006 Fox News interview was identified as a former member of the Israeli Special Forces. Is there a relationship between Mr. Tal and the Mossad?

Many of these questions can be easily answered by the US government, but then again the term sayan has a much broader meaning when it comes to Israel and the United States. Source

Related

Assassination latest act in nightmare without end

UK police meet passport victims connected to assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Recent

Israel “blackmails Gaza’s patients to turn them into collaborators”

Hiba Al-Shamaree Iraqi Female Blogger Trial set for March 3 2010

Canadian students participate in Israeli Apartheid Week

8.8-magnitude Earthquake in Chile

Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court

Obama Embraces Afghanistan, Time for Citizen Opposition to Escalate/End the Afghanistan War!

August 19 2009

Today Afghanistan votes in elections that many view as a fraud. The candidates are all approved by the U.S., there are no political parties, the Taliban cannot run candidates, and the vote takes place under U.S. bayonets. There have reports of the presidential election sparking violence, corruption, vote buying, and alliances between Karzai and war lords.

One Member of Parliament, a woman who is the youngest Member, wrote that Afghans have “no hope” in this election. A fake election will not bring peace and stability.

This weekend President Obama fully embraced the Afghanistan War and has done so at a time when generals and DoD officials are acknowledging the U.S. is losing, deaths are mounting, and that it is going to be a very long haul – measured in years not in months, one general saying four decades.

Those who oppose this war need to organize. We need more people informed about the facts and more people involved in ending the war. Please forward this email to people you know and urge them to take action.

And, take action yourself. Urge President Obama to end the Afghanistan War. The U.S. cannot succeed in the graveyard of Empires and cannot afford to continue this war. Take action at http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1312/t/9050/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27796

The Pentagon is spending nearly $5 billion per month in Iraq and Afghanistan, a pace that would bring yearly costs to almost $60 billion.

Military fatalities are consistently rising. And civilian deaths are rapidly rising as the result of drones and air attacks. These deaths are undermining support for the U.S.

Military leaders in both the United States and Britain are saying troops will be needed for years in Afghanistan. State Department officials are describing a lengthy occupation lasting many years. The U.S. is showing its intention by building very large bases in Afghanistan. And there are calls for a vast increase in troops.

The U.S. is repeating mistakes of the Iraq war with very high civilian deaths and abusive prison camps. The Afghan insurgents are winning and holding land. They are a very difficult enemy for U.S. troops. The Taliban is stronger than any time since the war began. Afghanis are increasingly angry with the U.S. presence in their country. In some cases, overcoming Afghan resistance seems insurmountable and the U.S. is considering pulling troops from some regions.

It seems as if the United States can neither define victory nor measure success, nor does it have a clear objective in the Afghan War.

Not only is the Afghan war increasingly unpopular at home with only 41% supporting the war, but throughout the world opposition to the war is increasing. Even soldiers see the war as futile.

The Obama administration is at a critical crossroads regarding Afghanistan policy. Please write the president and urge him to end the Afghanistan War. And, urge everyone you know to do so. Take action at http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1312/t/9050/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27796

Source

America’s Most Wanted The Top 50 US War Criminals

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 5:20 am  Comments Off on Obama Embraces Afghanistan, Time for Citizen Opposition to Escalate/End the Afghanistan War!  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Remarkable Courage of “Brian Haw” Anti War protester in Britain

3,000 days and counting… the lonely life of Brian

His body is weak, but Brian Haw’s spirit is still willing – even after eight years of protesting

By Jerome Taylor

August 18 2009

Brian Haw at his makeshift peace camp in Parliament Square

DAVID ASHDOWN

Brian Haw at his makeshift peace camp in Parliament Square

Brian Haw is definitely not a morning person. Today was the veteran activist’s 2,999th day camped out on the pavements of Parliament Square and the cantakerous 60-year-old was in no mood for small talk.

“I don’t do talk about the weather,” he grumbled, stirring a fifth spoonful of sugar into a milky cup of coffee which had just been boiled on a small gas burner behind his tent. “I hate it when people ask me all those silly questions, like ‘How’s it going? Did you sleep well?’ or ‘How long are you staying here?’ It’s meaningless.”

And he is equally nonplussed at the thought that tomorrow will mark the 3,000th day of a world-famous protest that defied an entire government and remains the most permanent symbol of free speech in a country which has suffered increasingly autocratic legislation curbing the right to free assembly.

“I’m not into this Guinness Book of Records rubbish,” he says, tipping back his pin-badge littered helmet to reveal a weathered face and two piercing blue eyes. “Three thousand bloody days, sleeping here and watching the politicians lie while children continue to die and people walk by. And each one of us is responsible. Each one of us, responsible.”

Eight years of living in a tent opposite the Houses of Parliament, railing against the country’s political elite through two bitterly controversial wars, has made Mr Haw an irritable man. Any of the friends, passers by, tourists and journalists who have come across him will be more than aware the deep seated anger he feels towards the British government, which he accuses of anything from “murder, to torture and genocide”.

When the former carpenter-turned-peace-activist first appeared outside the Houses of Parliament on the 2 June 2001 to begin his one man protest few could have guessed that he would stay there for what has already the best part of a decade. He began by demonstrating against Britain’s support for the UN sanctions in Iraq, but the ongoing wars in that country and Afghanistan have since given him plenty more opportunity to consolidate his contempt for British foreign policy.

Since then council chiefs, police and the Government have all tried and failed to evict him. Tired of his non-stop megaphone vigils, MPs even passed a specific piece of legislation aimed at ridding Parliament Square of his presence which – for the first time in over 350 years – effectively made it illegal to protest outside the Houses of Parliament without permission (a promise by Gordon Brown to repeal that law has so far failed to materialise). Undeterred, Mr Haw has fought and eventually won every attempt to have him removed.

The sheer logistics of his continued protest are remarkable. For the past 3,000 days Mr Haw has called the pavement opposite the Houses of Parliament his home. His bed is nestled under a leaking and weather beaten tent whilst the few possessions he has beyond the limited remaining placards he is allowed to display by Westminster City Council lie under a tarpaulin sheet which crawls with mice.

A modern day ascetic, he survives purely on the kindness of strangers and a small contingent of sympathisers who donate food and tobacco, which has lent him a thick bronchial cough that splutters throughout much of his sentences.

Daily washes, meanwhile, are made in a bucket but once a week he has the luxury of being able to take a shower at the home of an anonymous supporter. To stay in contact with the outside world he beckons all and sundry to his makeshift shrine or calls friends on his mobile phone, which is charged by a sympathetic toilet attendant in Westminster tube station.

But eight years of living on the streets have clearly taken their toll. Mr Haw’s weathered skin and viciously tanned arms are testament to the days on end spent out in the elements and his frame is visibly skeletal.

Leaning forward on two crutches and sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with anti-war slogans, Mr Haw cuts a lonely figure among the thronging crowds of scantily clad tourists who stop to take pictures of Parliament’s most eccentric resident.

A year into his protest, his wife Kay filed for divorce and he rarely sees any of their seven children who now range from 16-30-years-old. Although he has previously insisted his family support his vigil, births, weddings and birthdays have all gone by leaving the father of seven deeply embittered.

“My kids are an off limit topic,””he says, angered by the question of whether they still stay in touch with him. “But I have effectively lost my family because our nation doesn’t care enough. I love my wife and children so much. But I blame the Government for losing them because I shouldn’t have been here eight years. I didn’t want to be here eight bloody years but while the killing and murder continues, I’m staying.”

Despite living his life so publicly, Mr Haw remains a deeply private person. Personal questions inevitably receive replies that wind their way back to his raison d’etre – the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan or the war in Iraq.

For instance, in answer to a question about whether he prays (Mr Haw is an evangelical Christian) he replies: “People get so organised don’t they? They think that prayer is something you do on your knees. Well I bet there are a few soldiers praying on the other side of the world right now. And who is going to answer their prayers? I would suggest that you are the answer to your own prayers, if you get off your arse and do something.”

One of the few times he breaks into a smile is remembering how he was voted Most Inspiring Political Figure at the 2007 Channel 4 Political Awards. “Yeah, that felt damn good,” he recalls. “Ordinary Joe Bloggs on the street being voted ahead of Blair, Cameron and General “Donut” Dannatt. That felt great.”

But while Mr Haw remains an angry individual who feels he is a long way from achieving his goal of “peace, love and justice for all”, his days of fighting the law over his pitch are largely over.

If anything, his peace campaign has grown. There are now anywhere between three and five regular campaigners who join Mr Haw in Parliament Square and local officials appear to have largely abandoned trying to evict them.

Barbara Tucker – or “Babs” as she is known among the campers – is the square’s longest squatting resident after Mr Haw. Barring her 33 arrests, the half Australian half English protestor, who is campaigning for peace in the Middle East, has herself camped out for more than 1,000 days now.

“”t was Brian that inspired me,” she says. “I had the complete capitalist lifestyle before all this but I gave it up when my two sons reached adulthood. Brian showed me that a single man can make a difference. Everyday we meet so many people from around the world who have heard what he has done and want to meet him when they are in London, it’s amazing.”

As a busload of tourists pass by and all shout out “Hi Brian!” at the behest of a tour operator with a microphone, it is clear that Mr Haw’s

protest is now as much part of Parliament’s landscape as Churchill or Cromwell’s statue. And it’s clear he’s not going anywhere fast.

“I’m not leaving because we haven’t finished the job,” he says. “We are all responsible for what our Government does in our name. When our country does good we can be proud of that, and when it does wrong we must hold the liars to account. And we have to keep doing that.”

Source

Brian’s courage and dedication is amazing.  Beyond astonishing.

If everyone were more like Brian bless his heart,  maybe war could be ended.

My endless admiration goes out to you Brian. Very few could ever do what you are doing.

Bless those who help you in your quest for Peace.

To the rest of the people around the world. One person can make a difference. Everyone in their own way can evoke change.

Brian is like a guiding light on the horizon.  He sees hope where most do not.  If one man can dedicate so much to a cause, imagine what we all could do if we joined him in his quest.

Published in: on August 18, 2009 at 8:55 pm  Comments Off on The Remarkable Courage of “Brian Haw” Anti War protester in Britain  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Interview: Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the ISM/UN Reports Gaza/ US Aid to Israel

January 29, 2009
By Kourosh Ziabari

Adam Shapiro, the symbol of a courageous, pure peace advocate, has long been under fire for his unconditional and categorical criticism of Israeli occupying state.

Photo from Palestine Think Tank

Photo from Palestine Think Tank

Born in 1972, the perseverant and steadfast anti-Zionist campaigner and co-founder of International Solidarity Movement vigorously makes efforts to broadcast the voice of subjugated and downtrodden nation of Palestine.

Following his meeting with Yasser Arafat in his Mukataa (government center) in Ramallah while it was besieged during the March 2002 Israeli military operation in the West Bank and Gaza, Adam Shapiro attained an international popularity and was put under the spotlight of Zionist media thereafter.

Despite enduring a stack of insults and invectives from the side of Zionist campaign in the past years, Adam Shapiro neither has relinquished nor alleviated his stance so far; rather intensified his anti-Zionist statements in the particular situations such as the horrendous 22 days of Israeli incursion into Gaza.

This interview has been done in the midst of Israeli genocide in Gaza as it’s apparent in some points of the conversation; nevertheless, it contains some informative and revealing information which are prone to be read and reflected thoughtfully.

Would you please elucidate about the salient and prominent activities which you usually carry out in the International Solidarity Movement? What are your agenda, modus operandi and plans to help the survivors of recent offensive in Gaza?

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) started off in 2001 as an effort to join international solidarity to the Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and oppression. This was through the joining of foreign activists with Palestinian activists in civilian-based non-violent active resistance in the west bank and Gaza. this kind of popular resistance has always been part of the Palestinian movement, and we felt that adding the international component would force the world to recognize that the conflict was not about Jew vs. Arab or Jew vs. Muslim, but rather a situation of oppression and discrimination based on ethnicity and religion in a sense similar to the anti-apartheid movement in south Africa.

Nowadays, the ISM role continues in this way, but is also more and more involved with being an eyewitness and reporting on the atrocities of what is happening to the Palestinian people. ISM volunteers spend longer periods of time in the territories and get to know the situation in depth.

Currently ISM has 5 volunteers in the Gaza Strip, who are responding during this assault on the people of Gaza – they are escorting ambulances and medical personnel who are responding to emergency calls; they are documenting what is happening and reporting out to the world, even as the Zionist government bars foreign journalists; they are assisting in the distribution of food and water as they can and to areas that are under major threat; and they are documenting evidence of war crimes, such as the use of white phosphorous artillery shells.

According to what you said, one effective and impressive choice that could help the progressive flow of Palestinians’ extrication and release from the harsh situation is to promote the notion of imposing sanctions, embargo on Israel. How is it possible to boycott and isolate the terrorist regime in the international stage?

There is a call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israel, and it is for this reason that we are compelled to adhere to this call. That said, sanctions will most likely be symbolic at best, given the penetration of businesses in Israel and the difficulty to render such an impact. Symbolically, however the boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) campaign is very useful, particularly in the west, where it enables us to alter the debate away from spurious charges of anti-Semitism towards pointing out specifically why such measures are necessary. Additionally, the academic and cultural boycott can have tangible results, forcing Israeli academics, artists and intellectuals to confront the reality of their own position and force them to take a stand. There are very credible and valuable efforts in this regard, including a recent determination by a UK-based teachers union. However, in a sense, we need to remember that far more dramatic action is required, given that this situation for the Palestinians has been going on for 60 years, and the scale of the devastation and oppression of the entire Palestinian people is at such a level that symbolic actions – while good – do not meet the urgency of the situation.

Nevertheless, US and its European allies flagrantly veto any anti-Israeli resolution which comes on the top of UNSC agenda and don’t allow the international community to express its unequivocal and clear condemnation of Israeli massacre freely. What’s the reason, in your view, and how can that be opposed?

The reason has to do with domestic factors for the US more than anything else. I think for the European nations it is connected to the lingering guilt over the holocaust, a situation that is exploited by Israel and some of the Jewish organizations in those countries to maintain a code of silence when it comes to clearly calling out Israel for what has been a 60-year effort of crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. For the US, there really is no organized constituency willing to vote or donate to politicians campaigns based on this issue. Those who would are small in number and largely ineffective. the pro-Israel lobby in the US is not only among the organized Jewish community, but includes Christian Zionists, the military-industrial complex in the US, the information technology industry, the biotech industry, the medical community and others, all of which have significant relationships with Israel from a business perspective. This all has repercussions in the US political system and set the parameters of the debate in the US around us support for Israel.

That said, I also think the Palestinian leadership has missed opportunities over the years, but most importantly it accepted the framework of peace as a means of addressing the conflict, which helped set up a false sense of parity between the two parties. Instead of maintaining a position of national liberation, or creating a movement based on equal rights or ending oppression/discrimination, the choice for 2 states in the framework of peacemaking has helped allow the us and others to ‘blame both sides’.

All of these inconsistencies aside, neither the American double standards about the Israel’s nuclear case are bearable. They are folding their arms and sitting back relaxed while everybody, even ex-President Carter has confessed that Israel deposits 200 nuclear warheads!

Indeed, on this point in particular the hypocrisy reaches the level of absurd. Add to the points you raise in the question to the fact that Israel has been at war more than any other state in the region and almost always as the initiator and aggressor; not only in the formal wars, but also in the cross-border skirmishes, as occurred with Egypt and Lebanon in the past. If any regime in the region was volatile and prone to use military force it is Israel. A s such, there should be great world concern about its weapons of mass destruction, also since we have seen that Israel is willing to use dubious weapons and disproportionate force such as we witnessed in Lebanon in 2006 (cluster bombs) and Gaza today (white phosphorous artillery).

Accordingly, it seems that the mainstream media are pusillanimously afraid of the Israeli tyrannical lobby which rules the global corporate media. They censor any kind of news reflecting demonstrations, condemnations and anti-Israeli remarks by the world’s statesmen. How can they justify this unilateral and hostile approach in conveying the information?

I think many of the same factors that influence how the US and European governments act also influence the media’s role. But there is also an element of having a media strategy that requires examination. Israel and its allies around the world have a clear, organized and effective media strategy to promote the messaging and images that they want. Sure, there is media bias, but it would be false to think that that bias is the beginning and the end. After all, I know many journalists who cover the conflict and who seek to promote different perspectives in their newspapers and broadcasts. On the Palestinian side, there really is not an effective media strategy, and certainly not one that is organized. Some of these very practical details can make a very big difference in the coverage of the issue. While I don’t think this can fully overcome the bias that does exist, it can start making changes in the overall system.

I also think with the advent of new media, including Al-Jazeera and Press TV in particular, mainstream western media outlets are being challenged and being forced to change. Even the BBC’s own Arabic service has forced a certain change in BBC’s English service, which while subtle, nonetheless has important consequences.

Finally, I think it is also somewhat easy to overcount the media, in that worldwide, the Palestinian position of justice and ending occupation and oppression is the majority opinion, despite the media coverage. It is not world opinion that necessarily needs to change; it is the actions of governments.

So what actions are needed to administer justice about Israel? How could the world’s countries prevent it from committing further, predictable atrocities and seeking adventurous war-games in the region?

There needs to be unequivocal action in the international community to force Israel to end is aggression in Gaza. This should entail full suspension of diplomatic relations (as we have seen in Venezuela and Bolivia); full arms embargo on Israel; and the establishment of a criminal court under the ICC (mandated by the Security Council) to bring forward war crimes charges. while these maybe long-shots, we have to remember that the Palestinian people, unlike virtually any other people in the world, are wholly dependent on the international community to act to help, both because it is the international community that is responsible for the original partitioning and displacement of the Palestinians and because Palestinians do not have a state, an army or any means of self-defense. The UN General Assembly can also act and take dramatic action, and it should – and this would be a way to overcome a us veto.

And what about an international investigation on the illegal employment of unconventional weapons, mass killing of women and children, beleaguering the densely-populated strip for a long time and killing journalists, media correspondents and representatives of international communities?

There needs to be a tribunal established to try these crimes committed in Gaza. But this is truly not sufficient. The crimes of 60 years need to be addressed. Because of the impunity Israel has enjoyed since 1948, the lesson it learned is that there are no consequences for its actions and no limits. The Palestinians have borne the brunt of that ‘freedom to act’ for 60 years. It is not enough to say what Israel is doing in Gaza today is too much. What was done in Deir Yassin, in Tantoura, in Lid, in the Jenin refugee camp, in Israeli prisons, and hundreds of other places and over the course of years, has been beyond the limit of international law and human rights. Of course, I would welcome justice for the crimes committed in Gaza, but this should just be the beginning.

Source

Roughly every second Palestinian in the world is a recipient of UNRWA services.

Around 47% of Palestine refugees are under 20 years of age, and 64% of Palestine refugees are under 30 years of age.

In 1948

British Mandate ends on  May 15. Israel proclaims independence one day before.

Between April and August, more than 700,000 people flee their homes in Palestine and become refugees.

By 1966

Registered refugee population surpasses 1.3 million. UNRWA schools accommodate 175,900 pupils and health centres register 4.5 million patient visits during the year.

By 1981

Registered refugee population reaches 1.9 million, with 321,000 pupils enrolled in UNRWA schools and 4.5 million patient visits at UNRWA clinics.

By 1986

Heavy fighting in and around Beirut camps. Israeli air raids on camps in south Lebanon.

Refugee population surpasses 2 million, enrolment at UNRWA’s 635 schools reaches 349,200 pupils, training centres accommodate 4,808 students, and clinics handle over 4 million patient visits during the year.

By 1992

Refugee population reaches 2.7 million with UNRWA providing education to 392,000 pupils and vocational and technical training to 5,100 students; Agency health centres handle 6.1 million patient visits.

By 1995

UNRWA marks 45 years of service to Palestine refugees. Number of Palestine refugees reaches 3.2 million.
As of June 30 2008 Total number of Refugees 4,618,141
As Israel Bulldozes and takes their homes the numbers grow. . Every Red Dot is an Israeli Settlement.

israeli-settlements-ocupation-1967-on

west-bank-fragmentation-checkpoints-etc

International Humanitarian Law requires all medical personnel and facilities be protected at all times, even during armed conflict. Attacks on them are grave violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights laws. Access to heath is a fundamental human right.

CASUALTIES and AFFECTED
According to the MoH on 19 January at 16:00, the number of people killed in the Gaza Strip since 27 December was approximately 1300, including 410 children and 104 women. Approximately 5300 people have been injured, including 1855 children and 795 women*.
(*The reason for the high increase in the death count is the identification of many bodies that were previously not identified or found under the rubble or in areas previously not accessible.)

UNRWA reports that 44 out of the 50 emergency shelters established to accommodate the displaced people are still in place for 46 000 displaced people.
HEALTH PERSONNEL
Since 27 December 2008, 16 health personnel have been killed and 22 injured while on duty, according to the MoH health information centre in Gaza.

Since the cease-fire, most health personnel have been reporting to work regularly and working for one ore two continuous shifts, each shift for 12 hours.
DAMAGE TO HEALTH FACILITIES
Since 27 December, 34 health facilities (8 hospitals and 26 PHC clinics) have been damaged or destroyed in direct or indirect shelling.

Of the 8 damaged hospitals, two were not functioning as of January 20. The 8 are:

  • Al Dorah Hospital – damaged on 3 occasions – 3, 12, 13 January (functioning only for emergency cases)
  • Gaza Pediatrics Hospital – damaged 3 January
  • Al Awda Hospital – damaged 5 January
  • Gaza European Hospital – damaged 10 January
  • El Nasser Pediatrics Hospital – damaged 10 January
  • Al-Quds PRCS Hospital – damaged twice 4, 15 January (not functioning)
  • Al Wafa Hospital – damaged 15 January
  • Al-Fata Hospital – damaged 15 January (not functioning)
  • Of the damaged PHC clinics, 20 were identified between 17 and 19 January after staff were able to inspect areas previously inaccessible due to insecurity. The number may increase as all sites are visited.

    WHO is investigating the extent of damages to these health facilities.

    Map of Damages to Gaza Jan 2009

    The Terror that begot Israel

    By Khalid Amayreh

    “We committed Nazi acts.” Aharon Zisling, Israel’s first Agriculture Minister


    “There is no doubt that many sexual atrocities were committed by the attacking Jews. Many young (Arab) girls were raped and later slaughtered. Old women were also molested.”
    General Richard Catling, British Army Assistant Inspector after interrogating several female survivors (The Palestinian Catastrophe, Michael Palumbo, 1987)

    As the state of Israel is celebrating sixty years of ethnic cleansing and atrocities against the native Palestinians, many people around the world, especially  young generations,  will not be fully aware of the manner in which Israel came into existence. Similarly,  the younger Zionist generations who don’t stop calling their Palestinian victims “terrorists” should have a clearer idea about Israel’s manifestly criminal past which Zionist school textbooks  shamelessly glamorize and glorify

    Prior to “Jewish” statehood, three main Jewish terror organizations operated in Palestine, primarily against Palestinian civilians and British mandate targets. The three were: The Haganah, the Zvei Leumi or Irgun and the Stern Gang. The Haganah (Defence) had a field army of up to 160,000 well-trained and well-armed men and a unit called the Palmach, with more than 6,000 terrorists. The Irgun included as many as 5,000 terrorists, while the Stern Gang included 200-300 dangerous terrorists.

    The following are merely some  examples of Zionist terrorism prior to the creation of the Zionist state in 1948:  The list doesn’t include the bigger massacres such as Dir Yasin, Dawaymeh, Tantura and others.

    1937-1939

    During this period, Zionist terrorists carried out a series of terror attacks against Palestinian buses resulting in the death of 24 persons and the wounding of 25 others.

    1939

    Haganah blew up the Iraqi oil pipeline near Haifa/Palestine. Moshe Dayan was one of the participants in this act. The technique was used in 1947 at least four times.

    1940

    On 6 November, 1940 , Zionist terrorists of the Stern Gang assassinated the British Minister resident in the Middle East , Lord Moyne, in Cairo .

    1940

    On  25 November, S.S. Patria was blown up by Jewish terrorists in Haifa harbour, killing 268 illegal Jewish immigrants. The explosion, carried out by the Haganah terrorist group, was only meant to prevent the ship from sailing. However, it seemed that the terrorists had miscalculated the amount of explosives needed to disable the vessel.  Other sources reported that this was no miscalculation and was a deliberate  mass murder of Jews by Jews aimed at drawing sympathy and influencing British immigration policy to Palestine .

    1946

    Zionist terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which housed the civilian administration of the government of Palestine, killing and injuring more than 200 persons. The Irgun gang claimed responsibility for this criminal act, but subsequent evidence indicated that both the Haganah and the Jewish Agency were involved.

    1946

    On 1 October, the British Embassy in Rome was badly damaged by a bomb explosion for which Irgun claimed responsibility.

    1947

    In June 1947, a postal bomb addressed to the British war office exploded in the post office sorting room in London, injuring 2 persons. It was attributed to Irgun or Stern Gangs (The Sunday Times, Sept. 24, 1972), p. 8.

    1947

    In December 1947, six Palestinians were killed and 30 wounded when bombs were thrown from Jewish trucks at Arab houses in Haifa; 12 Palestinians were killed and another injured in an attack by armed Zionists at an Arab coastal village near Haifa.

    1947

    On 13 December 1947 , Zionist terrorists believed to be members of Irgun Zevi Leumi murdered 18 Palestinian civilians and wounded 60 others in Jerusalem , Jaffa and Lud areas. In Jerusalem , bombs were thrown in an Arab market-place near the Damascus Gate; in Jaffa bombs were thrown into an Arab café; and in the Arab village near Lud, 12 Arabs were killed in an attack with mortars and automatic weapons.

    1947

    On 9 December, Haganah terrorists attacked an Arab village near Safad, blowing up two houses, in the ruins of which were found the bodies of 10 Arabs, including 5 children. Haganah admitted responsibility for the attack.

    December 13, 1947- February 10, 1948

    Seven bombing attacks by Jewish terrorists took place and the targets were innocent Arab civilians in cafés and markets, killing 138 and wounding 271 others. During this period, there were 9 attacks on Arab buses. Moreover, Jewish terrorists attacked passenger trains on at least four occasions, killing 93 persons and wounding 161 others.

    1947

    On 29 December, two British constables and 11 Palestinians were killed and 32 others were injured at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem when Irgun terrorists threw a bomb from a taxi.

    1948

    On 1 January,  Haganah terrorists attacked a village on the slope of Mount Carmel , killing 17 Palestinian civilians and wounding 33 others.

    1948

    On 4 January, Haganah terrorists wearing British Army uniforms penetrated into the centre of Jaffa and blew up the Sarai, which was used as headquarters of the Arab National Committee, killing more than 40 persons and wounding 98 others.

    1948

    On 5 January, the Arab-owned Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem was blown up, killing 20 civilians, among them Viscount De Tapia, the Spanish Consul. Haganah admitted responsibility for this outrage.

    1948

    On 7 January , seventeen Arab civilians were killed by a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem , 3 of them while trying to escape. Further casualties, including the murder of a British officer near Hebron, were reported from different parts of the country.
    1948

    On 16 January, Jewish terrorists blew up three Arab buildings, killing 8 children between the age of 18 months and 12 years.

    1948

    On 15 February , Haganah terrorists attacked an Arab village near Safad and blew up several houses, killing 11 civilians, including four children.

    1948

    On  3 March, heavy damage was done to the Arab-owned Salam building in Haifa (a seven-story block of flats and shops) by Jewish terrorists who drove an army truck to the building and escaped before detonation of 400 pounds of explosives, killing 11 Arab civilians and 3 Americans. The Stern Gang claimed responsibility.

    1948

    On 22 March, Jewish terrorists from the Stern Gang blew up a housing block in Iraq Street in Haifa , killing 17 and injuring 100 others. Four members of the Stern Gang drove two truckloads of explosives into the street and abandoned the vehicles before the explosives went off.

    1948

    On 31 March, Jewish terrorists mined the Cairo-Haifa Express, killing 40 people and wounding 60 others.

    1948

    On 16 April, Jewish terrorists attacked the former British army camp at Tel Litvvinsky, killing 90 Palestinians.

    1948

    On 19 April, fourteen Palestinian civilians were killed in a house in Tiberias, which was blown up by Zionist terrorists.

    April 25, 1948- May 13, 1948

    Wholesale looting of Jaffa was carried out following armed attacks by Irgun and Haganah terrorists. They plundered and carried away everything they could, destroying what they could not take with them.

    1948

    On  11 May, a letter bomb addressed to Evelyn Baker, former commanding officer in Palestine , was detected in the nick of time by his wife.

    1948

    On 17 September, Count Folke Berndadotte, UN Mediator in Palestine was assassinated by members of the Stern Gang in the Zionist-controlled sector of Jerusalem . Bernadotte’s aide Col. Serot was also killed and murdered by Jewish terrorists.

    1948

    In November, the Christian Arab villages of Igrit and Birim were attacked and destroyed, killing and injuring many unarmed civilians, including women and children. All the Christian Arab inhabitants were forcibly expelled from their homes. The State of Israel still refuses to allow them to return to their villages despite several court orders.

    1948-1949

    The greatest acts of Jewish terror took place when Jewish terrorists, now called Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), uprooted 700,000 Palestinians from their ancestral homeland in Palestine . Since then the refugees have consistently been denied the right to return home. After the expulsion, the Zionist terrorist army razed to the ground hundreds of Arab towns, villages and hamlets and obliterated their remains. Eventually, Israeli villages, Kibbutzim and towns were built on the remaining rubble.

    Source

    1945 Land ownership

    land-ownership-1945

    The question of Palestine was brought before the United Nations shortly after the end of the Second World War.

    The origins of the Palestine problem as an international issue, however, lie in events occurring towards the end of the First World War. These events led to a League of Nations decision to place Palestine under the administration of Great Britain as the Mandatory Power under the Mandates System adopted by the League. In principle, the Mandate was meant to be in the nature of a transitory phase until Palestine attained the status of a fully independent nation, a status provisionally recognized in the League’s Covenant, but in fact the Mandate’s historical evolution did not result in the emergence of Palestine as an independent nation.

    The decision on the Mandate did not take into account the wishes of the people of Palestine, despite the Covenant’s requirements that “the wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory”. This assumed special significance because, almost five years before receiving the mandate from the League of Nations, the British Government had given commitments to the Zionist Organization regarding the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, for which Zionist leaders had pressed a claim of “historical connection” since their ancestors had lived in Palestine two thousand years earlier before dispersing in the “Diaspora”.

    During the period of the Mandate, the Zionist Organization worked to secure the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. The indigenous people of Palestine, whose forefathers had inhabited the land for virtually the two preceding millennia felt this design to be a violation of their natural and inalienable rights. They also viewed it as an infringement of assurances of independence given by the Allied Powers to Arab leaders in return for their support during the war. The result was mounting resistance to the Mandate by Palestinian Arabs, followed by resort to violence by the Jewish community as the Second World War drew to a close.

    After a quarter of a century of the Mandate, Great Britain submitted what had become “the Palestine problem” to the United Nations on the ground that the Mandatory Power was faced with conflicting obligations that had proved irreconcilable. At this point, when the United Nations itself was hardly two years old, violence ravaged Palestine. After investigating various alternatives the United Nations proposed the partitioning of Palestine into two independent States, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish, with Jerusalem internationalized. The partition plan did not bring peace to Palestine, and the prevailing violence spread into a Middle East war halted only by United Nations action. One of the two States envisaged in the partition plan proclaimed its independence as Israel and, in a series of successive wars, its territorial control expanded to occupy all of Palestine. The Palestinian Arab State envisaged in the partition plan never appeared on the world’s map and, over the following 30 years, the Palestinian people have struggled for their lost rights.

    The Palestine problem quickly widened into the Middle East dispute between the Arab States and Israel. From 1948 there have been wars and destruction, forcing millions of Palestinians into exile, and engaging the United Nations in a continuing search for a solution to a problem which came to possess the potential of a major source of danger for world peace.

    In the course of this search, a large majority of States Members of the United Nations have recognized that the Palestine issue continues to lie at the heart of the Middle East problem, the most serious threat to peace with which the United Nations must contend. Recognition is spreading in world opinion that the Palestinian people must be assured its inherent inalienable right of national self-determination for peace to be restored.

    In 1947 the United Nations accepted the responsibility of finding a just solution for the Palestine issue, and still grapples with this task today. Decades of strife and politico-legal arguments have clouded the basic issues and have obscured the origins and evolution of the Palestine problem, which this study attempts to clarify.

    The US took over by providing Israel, with billions in Aid.

    A Conservative Estimate of Total Direct U.S. Aid to Israel: Almost $114 Billion

    By Shirl McArthur

    November 2008

    TABLE 1: Direct U.S. Aid to Israel (millions of dollars)

    Year
    (Total
    (Military
    Grant
    (Economic
    Grant
    (Immigrant
    (ASHA
    (All Other
    1949-1996
    ***
    (68,030.9
    (29,014.9
    (23,122.4
    (868.9
    (121.4
    (14,903.3
    1997
    (3,132.1
    (1,800.0
    (1,200.0
    (80.0
    (2.1
    (50.0
    1998
    (3,080.0
    (1,800.0
    (1,200.0
    (80.0
    (?
    (?
    1999
    (3,010.0
    (1,860.0
    (1,080.0
    (70.0
    (?
    (?
    2000
    (4,131.85
    (3,120.0
    (949.1
    (60.0
    (2.75
    (?
    2001
    (2,876.05
    (1,975.6
    (838.2
    (60.0
    (2.25
    (?
    2002
    (2,850.65
    (2,040.0
    (720.0
    (60.0
    (2.65
    (28.0
    2003
    (3,745.15
    (3,086.4
    (596.1
    (59.6
    (3.05
    (?
    2004
    (2,687.25
    (2,147.3
    (477.2
    (49.7
    (3.15
    (9.9
    2005
    (2,612.15
    (2,202.2
    (357.0
    (50.0
    (2.95
    (?
    2006
    (2,534.53
    (2,257.0
    (237.0
    (40.0
    (?
    (.53
    2007
    (2,500.24
    (2,340.0
    (120.0
    (40.0
    (?
    (.24
    2008
    (2,423.8
    (2,380.6
    (0.0
    (39.7
    (3.0
    (.5
    Total
    (103,614.67
    (56,024.0
    (30,897.0
    (1,557.9
    (143.3
    (14,992.47
    Notes: FY 2000 military grants include $1.2 billion for the Wye agreement and $1.92 billion in annual military aid. FY 2003 military aid included $1 billion from the supplemental appropriations bill. The economic grant was earmarked for $960 million for FY 2000 but was reduced to meet the 0.38% rescission. Final amounts for FY 2003 are reduced by 0.65% mandated rescission, the amounts for FY 2004 are reduced by 0.59%, and the amounts for FY 2008 are reduced by .81%.
    Sources: CRS Report RL33222: U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, updated Jan. 2, 2008, plus the FY ’08 omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 2764.

    Shirl McArthur, a retired U.S. foreign service officer, is a consultant based in the Washington, DC area.

    This estimate of total U.S. direct aid to Israel updates the estimate given in the July 2006 issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. It is an estimate because arriving at an exact figure is not possible, since parts of U.S. aid to Israel are a) buried in the budgets of various U.S. agencies, mostly that of the Defense Department (DOD), or b) in a form not easily quantifiable, such as the early disbursement of aid, giving Israel a direct benefit in interest income and the U.S. Treasury a corresponding loss. Given these caveats, our current estimate of cumulative total direct aid to Israel is $113.8554 billion.

    It must be emphasized that this analysis is a conservative, defensible accounting of U.S. direct aid to Israel, NOT of Israel’s cost to the U.S. or the American taxpayer, nor of the benefits to Israel of U.S. aid. The distinction is important, because the indirect or consequential costs suffered by the U.S. as a result of its blind support for Israel exceed by many times the substantial amount of direct aid to Israel. (See, for example, the late Thomas R. Stauffer’s article in the June 2003 Washington Report, “The Costs to American Taxpayers of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: $3 Trillion.”)

    Especially, this computation does not include the costs resulting from the invasion and occupation of Iraq—hundreds of billions of dollars, 4,000-plus U.S. and allied fatalities, untold tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths, and many thousands of other U.S., allied, and Iraqi casualties—which is almost universally believed in the Arab world to have been undertaken for the benefit of Israel. Among other “indirect or consequential” costs would be the costs of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions on Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria, the costs to U.S. manufacturers of the Arab boycott, and the costs to U.S. companies and consumers of the 1973 Arab oil embargo and consequent and subsequent soaring oil prices partially as a result of U.S. support for Israel.

    Among the real benefits to Israel that are not direct costs to the U.S. taxpayer are the early cash transfer of economic and military aid, in-country spending of a portion of military aid, and loan guarantees. The U.S. gives Israel all of its economic and military aid directly in cash during the first month of the fiscal year, with no accounting required of how the funds are used. Also, in contrast with other countries receiving military aid, who must purchase through the DOD, Israel deals directly with the U.S. companies, with no DOD review. Furthermore, Israel is allowed to spend 26.3 percent of each year’s military aid in Israel (no other recipient of U.S. military aid gets this benefit), which has resulted in an increasingly sophisticated Israeli defense industry. As a result, Israel has become a major world arms exporter; the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that in 2006 Israel was the world’s ninth leading supplier of arms worldwide, earning $4.4 billion from defense sales.

    Another benefit to Israel are U.S. government loan guarantees. The major loan guarantees have been $600 million for housing between 1972 and 1990; $9.2 billion for Soviet Jewish resettlement between 1992 and 1997; about $5 billion for refinancing military loans commercially; and $9 billion in loan guarantees authorized in FY ’03 and extended to FY ’10. Of that $9 billion, CRS reports that Israel has drawn $4.1 billion through FY ’07. These loans have not—yet—cost the U.S. any money; they are listed on the Treasury Department’s books as “contingent liabilities,” which would be liabilities to the U.S. should Israel default. However, they have been of substantial, tangible benefit to Israel, because they enable Israel to borrow commercially at special terms and favorable interest rates.
    Components of Israel Aid

    Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. aid since World War II (not counting the huge sums being spent in Iraq). The $3 billion or so per year that Israel receives from the U.S. amounts to about $500 per Israeli. Most of this money is earmarked in the annual Foreign Operations (foreign aid) appropriations bills, with the three major items being military grants (Foreign Military Financing, or FMF), economic grants (Economic Support Funds, or ESF), and “migration and refugee assistance.” (Refugee assistance originally was intended to help Israel absorb Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union, but this was expanded in 1985 to include all refugees resettling in Israel. In fact, Israel doesn’t differentiate between refugees and other immigrants, so this money is used for all immigrants to Israel.)

    Not earmarked but also included in congressional appropriations bills is Israel’s portion of grants for American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) and monies buried in the appropriations for other departments or agencies. These are mostly for so-called “U.S.-Israeli cooperative programs” in defense, agriculture, science, and hi-tech industries.

    Before 1998, Israel received annually $1.8 billion in military grants and $1.2 billion in economic grants. Then, beginning in FY ‘99, the two countries agreed to reduce economic grants to Israel by $120 million and increase military grants by $60 million annually over 10 years. FY ’08 is the last year of that agreement, with military grants reaching $2.4 billion (reduced by an across-the-board rescission), and zero economic grants. Then, in August 2007, U.S. and Israeli officials signed a memorandum of understanding for a new 10-year, $30 billion aid package whereby FMF will gradually increase, beginning with $2.55 billion in FY ’09, and average $3 billion per year over the 10-year period.
    Methodology
    TABLE 2: Foreign Aid and DOD Appropriations
    Legislation Since FY 2004

    Basic Documents Conference Report Public Law
    FY ’04 Defense H.R. 2658 H.Rept. 108-283 P.L. 108-87
    Omnibus H.R. 2673 H.Rept. 108-401 P.L. 108-199
    FY ’05 Defense H.R. 4613 H.Rept. 108-662 P.L. 108-287
    Omnibus H.R. 4818 H.Rept. 108-792 P.L. 108-447
    FY ’06 Defense H.R. 2863 H.Rept. 109-359 P.L. 109-148
    Foreign Aid H.R. 3057 H.Rept. 109-265 P.L. 109-102
    FY ’07 Defense H.R. 5631 H.Rept. 109-676 P.L. 109-289
    Foreign Aid H.J.Res. 20 P.L. 110-5
    FY ’08 Defense H.R. 3222 H.Rept. 110-434 P.L. 110-116
    Omnibus H.R. 2764 H.Rept. 110-497 P.L. 110-161
    Notes: H.R.=House Resolution; S.=Senate Resolution; H.Rept.=House Report; the “public law” is the final, binding version, as signed by the president. In FY ’04, ’05, and ’08 defense was passed separately and foreign aid was included in the consolidated or “omnibus” bill. In FY ’07 defense was passed separately and foreign aid was included in the continuing resolution, H.J. Res. 20, which continued ’07 appropriations at the ’06 level with some exceptions—including, of course, for Israel.

    As with previous Washington Report estimates of U.S. aid to Israel, this analysis is based on the annual CRS report, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, which uses available and verifiable numbers, primarily from the foreign operations appropriations bills. Although the CRS report does include such things as the old food for peace program, the $1.2 billion from the Wye agreement, the $1 billion in FMF included in the FY ’03 Emergency Supplemental appropriations bill, the subsidy for “refugee resettlement,” and money from the ASHA account, it does not include money from the DOD and other agencies. Nor does it include estimated interest on the early disbursement of aid.

    The January 2008 CRS report on aid to Israel shows a total of $101.1908 billion through FY ’07. Table 1, on the previous page, is drawn from the summary table of that report, plus $2.4238 billion from the FY ’08 omnibus appropriations bill and estimates for ASHA and “other” amounts in FY ’08, for a total of $103.6147 billion through FY ’08.

    To that has been added $10.2407 billion, as detailed below, for a grand total of $113.8554 billion.

    Estimated Amounts Not Included in Table 1:
    $10.2407 Billion

    Defense Department Funds: $7.694 Billion. For previous estimates, a search going back several years was able to identify $6.794 billion from the DOD to Israel through FY ‘06. Adding $450 million from the FY ’07 DOD appropriations and $450 million from the ’08 appropriations gives a total of $7.694 billion. (The FY ’08 appropriations bill earmarks $155.6 million for Israel. However, AIPAC’s Web site reported that the total for earmarked and non-earmarked programs was $450 million—and who would know better than the Israel lobby itself?)

    The military aid from the DOD budget is mostly for specific projects. The largest items have been the canceled Lavi attack fighter project, the completed Merkava tank, the ongoing Arrow anti-missile missile project, and several other anti-missile systems, most recently the “David’s Sling” short-range missile defense system. Haaretz reported in June that a senior U.S. defense official has said the U.S. will support and help Israel’s development of the advanced Arrow 3 designed to intercept advanced ballistic missiles. The fact that the U.S. military was not interested in the Lavi or the Merkava for its own use and has said the same thing about the Arrow and the other anti-missile projects would seem to jettison the argument that these are “joint defense projects.” The FY ‘01 appropriations bill also gave Israel a grant of $700 million worth of military equipment, to be drawn down from stocks in Western Europe, and the FY ’05 defense appropriations bill includes a provision authorizing the DOD to transfer an unspecified amount of “surplus” military items from inventory to Israel. In addition, since 1988 Israel has been designated a “major non-NATO ally,” giving it access to U.S. weapons systems at lower prices, and preferential treatment in bidding for U.S. defense contracts.

    Interest: $2.089 Billion. Israel receives its U.S. economic and military aid in a lump sum within one month of the new fiscal year or the passage of the appropriations act. Applying one-half of the prevailing interest rate to the aid for each year (on the assumption that the aid monies are drawn down over the course of the year), the July 2006 estimate arrived at a total of $1.991 billion through FY ’06. To that, using an interest rate of 4 percent, is added $50 million for FY ’07 and $48 million for FY ’08, for a cumulative total of $2.089 billion through FY ’08.

    Other Grants and Endowments: $457.7 Million. The July 2006 report included $456.7 million in U.S. grants and endowments to U.S.-Israeli scientific and business cooperation organizations. The two largest are the BIRD (Israel-U.S. Binational Research & Development) Foundation and the BARD (Binational Agriculture and Research and Development) Fund. While these are mostly self-sustaining, the BARD Fund gets about $500,000 a year from the Agriculture Department. Adding $0.5 million for each of FY ’07 and ‘08 to the ’06 total gives a new total of $0.457.7 billion.

    For the convenience of those who wish to look up more details, citations for the foreign aid and DOD appropriations bills for the past five years are given in Table 2 above.

    Source

    On average Israel got or gets about “6.5 million dollars a day” from the US. The tax payers are however the ones who pay for it.

    US puts up $20 million for Gaza relief. Now isn’t that just so generous. Like WOW

    Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims

    Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are Torture

    Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between Israel and Palestinians

    Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

    Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats

    Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

    Illegal Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank increased sharply in 2008

    Aid Workers Protest Restricted Access to Gaza

    Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’,Israel: ’We Could Destroy All European Capitals’

    Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

    The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

    Indexed List of all Stories in Archives


    Published in: on January 31, 2009 at 12:58 pm  Comments Off on Interview: Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the ISM/UN Reports Gaza/ US Aid to Israel  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are Torture

    European Diplomats thought they had a problem at the border? They only got a couple of warning shots. They should have had to go through this like others had too. Then they would really  have something to whine about.

    Seems they got off rather easy.

    They should take a look at what was done to this young photojournalist. and others. Things that never made it to the mainstream media.

    Letting AP in on the Secret:
    Israeli Strip Searches

    By Alison Weir

    July 29, 2008

    On June 26th a young Palestinian photojournalist named Mohammed Omer was returning home from a triumphant European tour.

    In London he had been awarded the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for journalism – the youngest recipient ever and one of the few non-Britons ever to receive the prestigious prize.

    In Greece he had been given the 2008 journalism award for courage by the Union of Greek Journalists and had been invited to speak before the Greek parliament.

    In Britain, the Netherlands, Greece, and Sweden he had met with Parliament Members and been interviewed on major radio and TV stations.

    In the US several years before, he had been named the first recipient of the New America Media’s Best Youth Voice award.

    In an Israeli border facility he was violently strip-searched at gunpoint, forced to do a grotesque sort of dance while completely naked, assaulted, taunted about his awards and his ethnicity, and finally, when Israeli officials feared he might have been fatally injured, taken by ambulance to a Palestinian hospital; if he died, it would not be while in Israeli custody.

    As readers may have already guessed, Israel was not part of Omer’s speaking tour.

    AP, in its over 60 reports from the region in the following week never mentioned any of this.

    The reason Omer was even in ‘Israel’ (actually, an “immigration terminal” controlled by Israel on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank) is a simple one: He was simply trying to go from Jordan to his home in the Gaza Strip. Gaza is basically a large concentration camp to which Israel holds the keys. It is extremely difficult for Palestinians to get out. It is just as difficult to get back in.

    Despite Omer’s journalism credentials (Gaza correspondent for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and IPS, stringer for AFP, occasionally appears on BBC, etc.) and despite being invited to receive an international award, Omer was only able to exit Gaza through the considerable efforts of Dutch diplomats.

    When the 24-year-old journalist tried to return to Gaza, it again required intercession by the Dutch Embassy. After being forced by Israel to wait in Jordan for five days (and therefore missing his brother’s wedding), Omer finally received word that he would be allowed to go home.

    However, when he arrived at the Israeli immigration terminal, an Israel official told him that there was no entry permit for him in the computer and he was told to wait. Three hours later an official came out and took Omer’s cell phone away from him. While Omer’s Dutch Embassy escort waited outside, unaware of what was going on, Omer’s ordeal began.

    “He then asked me to leave my belongings and follow him. I recognized we were entering the Shin Bet [Israeli internal security service] offices at Allenby. Upon entering, he motioned for me to sit in a chair within a closed corridor…

    “After what seemed to be one hour and thirty minutes, both doors at the end of the corridor opened. I watched as one of the Palestinian passengers exited securing his belt to his trousers. A second man followed behind and was struggling to put on his T-shirt. Immediately I realized I was not in a good place. The rooms from which they exited must be used for strip searching…

    A uniformed intelligence officer and two others began rifling through all of Omer’s possessions.

    “They were looking for something specific but I wouldn’t know what until green eyes demanded, ‘Where is the money, Mohammed?’

    “What money I thought. Of course I had money on me. I was traveling… For a moment I was relieved, thinking this was just a typical shakedown. I’d lose the cash with me, but that would be about it…

    “However, my traveling money failed to suffice. Dissatisfied, he pressed, ‘Where is the money from the prize?’

    “I realized he was after the award stipend for the Martha Gellhorn Prize from the UK and I told him I did not have it with me. I’d arranged for a bank transfer rather than carry it with me. Visibly irritated the intelligence agent continued to press for money.

    “The room filled with more intelligence officers, bringing the total Israeli personnel, most well armed, in the room to eight: eight Israelis and me…

    “Dissatisfied that larger sums of money failed to materialize, green eyes accused me of lying. I again repeated the prize money went to bank draft and I already had shown him all the cash I had on me. Avi interjected, ordering me to empty my pockets, which I already had. Seeing they had tapped out, he escorted me into another room, this one empty.

    “’OK take off your clothes’ Avi the intelligence officer ordered.

    “I asked why. A simple pat-down would have disclosed any money belts or weapons; besides, I had already gone through an x-ray machine before entering the passport holding area.

    “He repeated the order.

    “Removing all but my underwear, I stood before Avi. In an increasingly belligerent tone he ordered, ‘take off everything’.

    “’I am not taking off my underwear,’ I stated. Again he ordered me to remove my underwear.

    “At this point I informed him that an escort from the Dutch embassy was currently waiting for me on the other side of the interrogation center and that I was under diplomatic transit.

    “He replied he knew that, thus indicating he didn’t care, and again insisted I strip. Again I refused. There was no reason for me to do so.

    Omer asked:  ‘Why are you treating me this way? I am human being.’

    “For a moment I flashed on the scene in the Oscar winning film, The Pianist where the Jewish man, being humiliated by a Nazi quoted Shakespeare, invoking his faith in place of written words, ‘Doth a Jew not have eyes?’ the old man queried, attempting to appeal to the humanity buried somewhere in the soul of his oppressor. Finding myself confronting the same racism and disdain I wanted to ask Avi, ‘Doth a Palestinian not have eyes?’

    Would his indoctrination inoculate him from empathy as well? Likely, I reasoned, it would.

    “Avi smirked, half chuckling as he informed me, ‘This is nothing compared to what you will see now.’

    “With that the intelligence officer unholstered his weapon, pressing it to my head and with his full body weight pinning me on my side, he forcibly removed my underwear. Completely naked, I stood before him as he proceeded to feel me up one side and down the other…

    “Avi then proceeded to demand I do a concocted sort of dance, ordering me to move to the right and the side. When I refused, he forced me under his own power to move side to side…”

    After awhile Omer was allowed to put his clothes back on, but the interrogation continued. His eight, mostly armed interrogators taunted him over his awards, his appearance on BBC, and the misery he was returning to in what they termed “dirty” Gaza. Finally, after hours in Israeli custody and a total of 12 hours without food or water, Omer collapsed.

    “….without warning I began to vomit all over the room. At the same time I felt my legs buckled from the strain of standing and I passed out… I awoke on the floor to someone screaming, repeating my name over and over…

    “As he screamed in my ears I felt his fingernails puncturing my skin, gouging, scraping and clawing at the tender flesh beneath my eyes. This was the intelligence officer’s method for gauging my level of consciousness. No smelling salts as is the civilized manner for reviving a person. Clawing at my eyes and tearing the skin on my face proved his manner of rendering aid.

    “Realizing I was again conscious, though barely, the Israeli broadened his assault, scooping my head and digging his nails in near the auditory nerves between my head and ear drum. Rather then render first aid, which is the protocol and international law in instances whether prisoners of war or civilians, the soldier broadened his assault. The pain became sharper as he dug his nails, two fingers at a time into my neck, grazing my carotid artery and again challenging my consciousness before pummeling my chest with his full weight and strength.

    “I estimate I lay on the floor approximately one hour and twenty minutes and I continued to vomit for what seemed like a half hour. Severely dehydrated, focusing took flight and the room became a menagerie of pain, sound and terror. The stench further exasperated and seemed to inflame my captors further…

    “All around me I heard Israeli voices and then one placed his combat boot on my neck pressing into the hard floor. I remember choking, feeling the outline of his shoe and in my increasing delirium thought for a moment perhaps someone was rendering aid. Reality destroyed that hope. Around me, like men watching a sporting match I heard laughing and goading, a gang rape of verbal and physical violence meted by men entrenched in hatred and rage… I again lost consciousness and awoke to find myself being dragged by my feet on my back through my vomit on the floor, my head bouncing on the pavement and body sweeping to-and-fro like a mop…

    Eventually, Omer was transferred to a Palestinian hospital, but only after Israeli officials tried to force him to sign a paper absolving them from responsibility.

    “In other words, if I died or was permanently disabled as a result of Israel’s actions, Israel could not be held accountable. One would think I was in a third world dictatorship rather than the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’. One would think.”

    Where is AP?

    One would also think that such treatment of a journalist by America’s “special ally” would be news.

    Since journalists tend to be particularly concerned when fellow journalists are victimized, it would be expected that Omer’s abuse would receive considerable press attention – especially since he had just received international recognition from the journalism community. One can only imagine the multitude of headlines that would result if an Israeli journalist, perhaps even one who had not just been feted internationally, had been similarly treated by the Palestinian Authority.

    Oddly, however, despite the fact that Reuters, BBC, the UK Guardian, Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper, and others issued news reports, the Associated Press, which serves virtually every daily newspaper in the U.S., sent out nothing on it.

    Astounded, I finally phoned AP headquarters in New York to find out how they had missed it.

    I asked for the international desk, told them I had a news tip, and briefly described the incident. I was told, “Oh yes, we know about it.”

    I asked them when they were going to report it and was told: “The Jerusalem bureau is looking into it.” The Jerusalem bureau is located in Israel; many of its editors and their wives/husbands/children have Israeli citizenship. It is not the most unbiased of bureaus. Yet, it is the control bureau for the region – the filter through which virtually all AP reports, photos, video footage from Palestine and Israel must pass.

    A day or two later there was still no story. I phoned the international desk in New York again and was told that the Jerusalem bureau had decided not to cover the incident. There was no explanation.

    I tried phoning higher-ups, including CEO Tom Curley, who goes about the country lecturing about the “public’s right to know” and Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor, to learn on what basis AP had determined this incident was not newsworthy. Neither returned my call. I kept trying, hoping to find somewhere in the AP hierarchy at least a semblance of a journalist committed to AP’s alleged mission of reporting the news “accurately and honestly.”

    Finally, I found one. I reached the managing editor in charge of international reporting, and asked him why AP was refusing to cover the case of a prize-winning journalist being strip-searched at gunpoint and physically abused by Israeli officials when he returned to Gaza from receiving the Martha Gellhorn award in London.

    The editor admitted that he hadn’t heard of the incident and was interested in the details. I told him what I knew, referred him to the UK Guardian article and others, and he said he’d look into it.

    As a result, two weeks after Omer’s ordeal, and after Israel had solidified its denial narrative, AP finally sent out a report.

    The belated story, datelined Jerusalem and carrying a byline by Karin Laub, left a great deal to be desired.

    It depicted the incident as a “he said/she said” dispute, in which it termed Omer’s statements as “claims,” while never using this verb for Israeli statements. In every case Israeli statements are placed in the rebuttal position.

    The lengthy article places Omer’s strongest descriptions in the second half of the story, where they would typically be cut by the averaged-sized print newspaper, and leaves out a great deal of important information.

    For example, while AP reports that Omer was discharged from one hospital, it neglects to report that Omer was admitted to a second one where he was hospitalized for four or five days. It does not name the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, neglects any mention of other awards, and omits entirely Omer’s meetings with Parliament Members in multiple countries. It fails to report the statement by the former ambassador from The Netherlands:

    “This is by no means an isolated incident, but part of a long-term strategy to demolish Palestinian social, economic and cultural life … I am aware of the possibility that Mohammed Omer might be murdered by Israeli snipers or bomb attack in the near future.”

    The international organization Reporters Without Borders reported issued a condemnation of the attack, stating that in the ten days preceding Omer’s incident alone, it had recorded five incidents of “wrongful arrest” of journalists by Israel, and that one journalist was still being held. None of this was in Laub’s article.

    All of the missing material, of course, would serve to add credibility to Omer’s statements. Perhaps this pattern of omission was a coincidence.

    Early in the story, while admitting that Palestinians complain about “rough” treatment at the border (a considerable understatement), Laub seems to go out of her way to discredit Omer’s description of being forcibly strip-searched, by writing: “However, Omer’s allegation of being forced to strip naked appeared unusual.”

    The Strip-Searching “Secret”

    This is a bizarre statement.

    As Dion Nissenbaum, Jerusalem bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers,  wrote last year, “While Israeli security won’t admit it, it is a widely accepted secret that Palestinians and Arabs…are routinely subjected to intense, hours-long questioning that can include strip searches.”

    Is it possible that AP is not in on this secret?

    The reality is that frequent, random humiliation by Israeli soldiers and officials is part of the Palestinian experience. Numerous degrading strip searches – some of them particularly grotesque – have been forced on Palestinian men, women, and children of all ages for decades.

    In addition, Israeli officials periodically strip search others whenever, it appears, they wish, including:
    The British Consul General  (Israeli media reported that her search was “prolonged, needless and humiliating” and that she was “visibly upset)

    An American holocaust survivor (she was treated to a “cavity search”)

    Sixteen Christian evangelicals rounded up at gunpoint;

    Journalists from around the world (an Argentinian journalist wrote: “… they made me go to another office and strip naked. An official came in stands next to me, while I’m naked, with a machine gun in his hand…” A Swiss reporter was forced to remove her pants in public and stand in her underwear, hands raised, in front of an x-ray machine);

    A wheel-chair bound New Jersey woman with cerebral palsy whose sanitary pad was confiscated, humiliating her publicly;

    An American doctoral student, who was also subjected to a cavity search…  and the list goes on and on.

    Yet, somehow, AP missed all of these. In fact, amazingly, a LexisNexis search of Associated Press stories over the past 10 years, using the search terms “Israel” and “strip search,” turns up only one result – a few stories on a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners protesting against, among other things, their daily strip searches by Israeli guards.

    Since we think it’s unfair for AP to be excluded from what others in the region know, we compiled a very partial list of reports about Israeli strip-searches, with excerpts from each, and emailed AP the 25-page document. We asked for a correction and received the following response: “This acknowledges receipt of your e-mail. We have no further comment at this time.” Our request for an interview was “respectfully declined.”

    Following are just a few of the stories on this topic that AP never reported to the thousands of newspapers, radio and television stations that rely on it for their foreign news.  The entire document is available on the If Americans Knew website.

    * In 2007 the Palestinian Minister of Women’s Affairs issued a statement protesting the policy of Israeli soldiers taking Palestinian women “to separate rooms in the checkpoint and being forced to remove all clothes, to become fully naked.” The minister demanded that the UN and the international community provide security for Palestinian women.

    * Even the New York Times (which justified it) reported about the Allenby border in 1987: “Before any visitor gets in, however, he must go through a stringent security check at the Israeli terminal. Besides being examined by metal detectors, each visitor must undergo a private strip search…”

    * A University of Utah law student describes a PhD student conducting research in the region who was detained at the border crossing for six hours, “Then a female guard conducted a strip/cavity search while two male guards observed.”

    * A British researcher reports: “While men have also reported forms of sexual torture in jail, women prisoners are particularly vulnerable to this as a form of humiliation by their captors. Women are forced to strip naked in front of guards, many of whom are male, and subjected to brutal body searches. Many women prisoners have detailed sexual assault by Israeli military and prison staff. On some occasions women are detained as a way of threatening or putting pressure on a male member of the family.

    * A woman trying to reach a hospital reports: “…the labour pains grew stronger. I saw a lot of soldiers in front of me. I called out at them using the word “baby” which I think some understood. They started to talk to me in Hebrew as they pointed the guns towards me. They used signs and gestures. I understood that they wanted me to show them how pregnant I was which I did. One soldier asked me to take off my robe, which I did. But it was not sufficient and he asked me to remove the T-shirt and the trousers. I had no choice and I was ready to go as far as that in order to get to the hospital before it was late. He asked me to take off my underwear which I did. After this humiliation, they fetched a stretcher from one of the tanks. I was naked. I was carried to a tank and was given intravenous glucose into my arm. A few minutes later, they brought my father-in-law inside the tank. They drove for almost half an hour. I was thinking they were taking me to a nearby hospital but it turns out they were taking us back to the Huwwara checkpoint. We were taken out of the tank and were laid nude on the stretchers for almost one hour…”

    * Reuters reported: “Three Israeli soldiers forced a Palestinian man to strip naked at gunpoint and walk like a dog in a West Bank city under curfew…A Reuters photographer snapped Yasser Sharaf, 25, standing naked in a cold, muddy street in Nablus on Sunday as two men were handing him clothes to put on and two Israeli armoured vehicles were pulling away from the scene.”

    * Reporters who entered Nablus after the Israeli invasion of 2002 quoted from an interview with one of the inhabitants: “The men were then driven to a nearby yard, ordered to strip naked, and made to lie face down in the dirt. While my neighbor Jamal Sabar was taking off his pants, they shot him dead…”

    *  “A soldier inside the jeep ordered me to raise my hands and get out of the car and said, ‘take off your shirt.’ I did; then he said, ‘and the pants.’ I did; then he said, ‘the undershirt and underwear.’ I begged him not to force me; and he said, ‘I’ll shoot you.’ And all the soldiers pointed their guns at me. I took off my underclothes and stood naked in front of everybody. He ordered, ‘proceed with your hands up.’ I came up to him and he gave me a transparent plastic bag to cover myself. He blindfolded me and made me sit 20 meters away. Then the soldier shouted at a passenger called Islam ‘Abed al-Sheikh Ibrahim, 18, who was sitting in the front seat, and ordered him to get out of the car. He told the soldier that his leg was broken, but the soldier insisted. He Islam got out and stood on his crutches. The soldier ordered him to take off his clothes. He tried by failed. The soldier came to me and removed the binding off my eyes and told me at gunpoint to go and help him take off his clothes. I went and helped the passenger take off all his clothes. The soldier told me to help him walk to the soldier. We walked up and he gave me another nylon bag for Islam. Then, he told us to sit on the ground. Soon after, the soldier ordered another passenger, Yasser Rasheed al-Sheikh Ibrahim,60, to get out of the car and take off his clothes like us…”

    * The Guardian described an incident in which a commander was “awaiting a court martial on several charges, including ordering the boy to strip naked, holding a burning paper under his testicles, threatening to ram a bottle into his anus and threatening to shoot him…”

    * “We were mostly older people, sick and wounded. We had nine handicapped people with us, three were from the same family, sons of Abu Ibrahim. Some of us were too old, they were senile. When they told them ‘go left’ they would go right, but they stripped them naked anyway. I tried to help them as much as I could. I was the only one who spoke Hebrew…Close to us was a group of young men. They were handcuffed, naked and lying on their stomachs. The Israeli tanks would pass by them so fast, only forty centimeters away from their heads.”

    *  “Other residents described how young men were stripped naked and then shot. Yusuf Shalabi, a young man from the camp explained how the Israeli soldiers denied medical treatment to the wounded, ‘…I remember this nightmare very well. It is very difficult to talk about it. I remember them stripping the people naked, they would handcuff them and blindfold them. I remember seeing two wounded men, one was wounded in the shoulder and the other in the leg. They were screaming in pain and the soldiers would not allow them to be treated.’”

    Incredibly, AP seems to have missed all of these, and more. As a result, Americans have little idea of the life is like for Paleestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

    Moreover, strip searches are just the tip of the iceberg. According to an Israeli government report released in 2000 (five years after it had been written) Shin Bet “used systematic torture against Palestinians and regularly lied about it.” An Israeli human rights organization estimated that 85 percent of Palestinian detainees had been subjected to torture.  In 2002 Foreign Service Journal carried a major expose on Israel torturing American citizens.  AP missed this Foreign Service Journal expose – as did, therefore, every newspaper in the country.

    AP’s Ownership

    AP is a cooperative. That means that every single newspaper, radio station, and television station that uses AP news stories is an owner of AP. This includes Democracy Now, which apart from a report on Mohammed Omer also seems to have covered this subject minimally, if at all.

    It is time for all these news media, and for their readers, listeners, and viewers, to demand that AP provide the full story.

    Americans have long given Israel, the size of New Jersey, far more of our tax money than to any other nation on earth. It is time to end the cover up. Americans need to know how Israel is using our money.

    Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew (which found in a statistical study that in 2004 AP had covered Israeli children’s deaths at rates 7 times greater than they had reported Palestinian deaths). The full document listing Israeli strip searches can be viewed at http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/strip-searches.htmlDVDs containing a short video about Israeli strip searching of women and children are available for readers wishing to educate their local media and community on the information that AP is choosing not to report. The Washington Report has created a petition on the incident for people to sign.
    Omer’s complete statement can be read at:

    “British consul strip searched at Israeli PM’s office,” Rory, The Guardian, March 28, 2007

    “Humiliation and Child Abuse at Israeli Checkpoints: Strip-Searching Children,” Alison Weir, CounterPunch, March 15, 2007; Video interview: The Easiest Targets: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/easiesttargets.html

    “Israelis arrest 16 from US in roundup of Christians,” Charles M. Sennott, The Boston Globe, October 26, 1999, Pg. A2

    http://peoplesgeography.com/

    http://www.fpa.org.il/?categoryId=422

    “Humiliation and Child Abuse at Israeli Checkpoints: Strip-Searching Children,” Alison Weir, CounterPunch, March 15, 2007; Video interview: The Easiest Targets: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/easiesttargets.html

    http://www.law.utah.edu/blogs/show-entry.asp?EntryID=252

    http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=23480

    “ALLENBY BRIDGE JOURNAL; A 15-Yard Span Over a Great Divide,” Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, July 18, 1987

    http://www.law.utah.edu/blogs/show-entry.asp?EntryID=252

    “Israel’s Palestinian Prisoners: The Forgotten Facts,” Isabelle Humphries, Researcher – Nazareth http://www.islamonline.net/

    “Israel’s Implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), May, 2005, Al-Haq: Law in the Service of Man, the Palestinian Centre for Human rights (PCHR), and the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)
    http://www.pchrgaza.org/special/OPT%20CEDAW%20Main%20Review.pdf

    “Israelis Make Palestinian Strip Naked,” Reuters, Nov. 25, 2002

    “Jenin: Lying Down On Broken Glass, Crushing Bones,” April 16, 2002 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) http://www.islamonline.net/english/News/2002-04/16/article40.shtml

    “Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian    Territory,” 01 – 07 September 2005, http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/W_report/English/2005/08-09-2005.htm

    “Commander charged with torturing Palestinian boy,” Chris McGreal, The Guardian, October 22, 2002

    “Stripping Palestinians has Become Common Practice: Eyewitness Accounts,” Suzanne Russ, Palestine Chronicle, November 26, 2002, http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/strippingcommon.html

    “Stripping Palestinians has Become Common Practice: Eyewitness Accounts,” By Suzanne Russ, Palestine Chronicle, November 26, 2002, http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/strippingcommon.html

    “Report: Palestinian suspects mistreated by Israeli captors,” Joel Greenberg, Chicago Tribune, May 6, 2007

    “Arab-Americans in Israel: What ‘Special Relationship’?” Jerri Bird, Foreign Service Journal, June, 2002

    Source

    In case you don’t get it Mohammed Omer was “tortured” just trying to go home.

    Also see:

    Israeli Strip Searches: A Partial List

    Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between Israel and Palestinians

    Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

    Israeli troops fire warning shots at European Diplomats

    Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

    Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

    Banks begging for Bailouts Again Third times is a charm

    UK plans new bank bailout measures

    An earlier recapitalisation scheme has failed to restore confidence in UK’s banking sector Photo: AFP

    Britain will unveil a package of measures in the next day or two to try to get banks to resume lending, Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, has said.

    It marks a second bailout of British banks, following the 37bn pound ($54.5bn, €41bn) recapitalisation scheme in October, which has largely failed to restore confidence in the banking sector.

    Speaking in Egypt on Sunday, on the sidelines of a summit on the conflict in the Gaza Strip, Brown said: “We know the essential problem is the resumption of lending.”

    The package is designed to “get lending moving in the economy” to help families and businesses hit by a freeze in the global credit markets, he said.

    Government officials and bank chiefs have spent the weekend in talks to try to reach a deal.

    A key part of the bailout will be a huge state insurance scheme to guarantee billions of pounds of banks’ bad assets, according to local media reports.

    The Sunday Times newspaper said that among the measures, up to 100bn pounds of new lending could be guaranteed.

    It said the taxpayer’s stake in banks like HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland could rise further.

    Brown’s remarks

    “We have recapitalised the banks, we have injected money into the economy, at the same time we know that the essential problem that has been holding back banks internationally is the resumption of lending,” Brown said.

    “That’s what we’re going to be doing tomorrow and that is what the package is about.

    Brown said ‘what we want to do now is to get the resumption of lending’ Photo: AFP
    “My first priority is hard-working families worried about whether they can get a mortgage, businesses who work hard every day. They need the banks to do the job they say they’re there for.”What we want to do now is to get the resumption of lending and you will see tomorrow there are measures taken that will ensure that banks and non-bank institutions are able to resume lending or expand lending and in some cases to start lending.

    “What we want to do is see businesses get the money that they need to be able to create jobs and secure investment for the future.

    “What I want to see is people who are mortgage holders having access to mortgages at prices they can afford.”

    International exposure

    The bailout announcement came a day after Brown told British banks that they must own up to the extent of their bad assets.

    He said on Saturday in London that British banks’ exposure to international losses was the largest problem they faced and called for an internationally agreed solution.

    “The international community has got to modernise and change and  reform and get to the roots of the problem that make us angry about  the way that the system is operating,” he said.

    Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays plunged on Friday after US giant Citigroup announced a $8.29bn fourth-quarter loss and Bank of America got a $20bn state bailout.

    And recession is likely to become official in Britain this week when data is expected to show that the economy contracted for a second straight quarter in the final three months of 2008.

    Source

    Top U.S. banks post huge losses as Bank of America  gets aid Again

    Jan 16, 2009

    By Jonathan Stempel and Dan Wilchins

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government extended $20 billion of new aid to Bank of America Corp hours before both the largest U.S. bank, and the country’s third largest, Citigroup, reported multibillion-dollar losses from the ongoing global credit crisis.

    Bank of America posted its first quarterly loss in 17 years on the heels of the government’s midnight announcement that it would help the bank absorb its January 1 purchase of troubled brokerage Merrill Lynch & Co.

    The U.S. Treasury will provide the new aid in exchange for preferred stock, and along with the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, agreed to limit Bank of America’s potential losses on $118 billion in tainted assets.

    Also scrambling to survive huge new losses triggered by the credit crunch was Citigroup, which unveiled plans to split in two and shed troubled assets.

    The announcements came before a U.S. holiday weekend that ends on Tuesday when President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn in. Obama again said that even with a wide range of measures to pull the United States out of recession, the U.S. economy will likely worsen before it improves.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, on his last full day in office, said a substantial portion of the second half of the government’s $700 billion financial rescue fund should be reserved for bank capital programs.

    Top U.S. policy-makers said they are discussing setting up a government bank that would use federal funds to buy troubled assets from financial institutions to try to stem the crisis.

    Paulson and FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair both said an “aggregator bank” was one of several ideas U.S. regulators had discussed.

    The Treasury said it will lend Chrysler LLC’s finance arm $1.5 billion to help it make new car loans as part of a broader program to revive the U.S. auto industry.

    The Treasury earlier extended a $4 billion loan to Chrysler for its automotive operations and had granted $13.4 billion in operating loans to General Motors Corp.

    Shares in Bank of America and Citigroup rose in early trade after tumbling sharply on Thursday, as investors believe the government will not let the two banks fail.

    But the size of the losses and need for fresh aid unsettled Wall Street. The two banks’ stocks fell and pulled down shares of their two large rivals, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co.

    “Now it’s clear that there could be more big banks coming back to the well, asking the government for money,” said Matt McCall, president of Penn Financial Group in Ridgewood, New Jersey. “When does this end and when do they say no? They just keep writing checks.”

    Influential bond investor Bill Gross of Pacific Investment Management Co told Reuters that the worst harm to banks’ balance sheets may be over.

    Fear of more bank losses spread to London, where shares in Barclays fell 25 percent and other bank stocks tumbled as worries about capital and write-downs resurfaced. Dealers said there was no single reason for their sharp slide.

    After the market closed, Barclays reported it expects to report pre-tax year profit well ahead of analysts’ estimates of 5.3 billion pounds ($7.91 billion), and said it knows of no justification for the stock slide.

    The Bank of England and Downing Street confirmed a meeting took place among Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Bank of England governor, finance minister and securities regulator, but neither would comment on the talks.

    British ministers aim to announce yet another bank lending package, a Treasury source told Reuters, while Ireland nationalized Anglo Irish Bank, its third-largest lender, to avoid a collapse.

    Bank of America, Citigroup post huge losses

    Citigroup, once the world’s largest bank, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $8.29 billion and recorded $28.3 billion of write-downs and credit losses. Over the past 15 months Citigroup has amassed $92 billion in losses and write-downs.

    Bank of America reported a $1.79 billion quarterly loss, while losses at Merrill Lynch were a record $15.31 billion.

    Citigroup stock fell more than 8.0 percent to a session low of $3.44 after Moody’s Investors Service said it may cut the bank’s credit rating.

    Moody’s cut the credit ratings of Bank of America, whose shares tumbled 13.7 percent.

    After the bell, Credit Suisse cut Citigroup’s price target and earnings outlook, and almost doubled its loss estimate for the bank in 2009 to 90 cents from 50 cents per share.

    The news of massive new bank losses and more aid came after the U.S. Senate on Thursday cleared the release of the remaining $350 billion of emergency funds to tackle the crisis. The Bank of America aid will come from the first $350 billion package.

    With economies and credit markets worldwide yet to respond to massive bailouts and deep interest rate cuts, Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said financial conditions in the world’s second-biggest economy were tightening rapidly.

    Conditions in France were also on the slide. The Bank of France estimated the French economy contracted sharply in the fourth quarter and its monthly survey of business managers showed they expect the downturn to deepen.

    The euro zone trade balance swung from a surplus to a deficit in November as exports plunged twice as much as imports, data showed, underlining the fast pace at which the region’s economy was sliding deeper into recession.

    New U.S. economic data raised the possibility of deflation. The pace of U.S. inflation slowed to a half-century low last year and industrial output fell for the first time since 2002.

    The reports suggested the economy could take longer to pull out of a downturn that is on track to be the longest and possibly deepest since World War Two.

    (Additional reporting by Joseph Giannone and Ellis Mnyandu in New York and Patrick Rucker, David Lawder and Lucia Mutikani in Washington, Steve Slater and Dominic Lau in London, Jan Strupczewski in Brussels; Writing by Herbert Lash; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

    Source

    I guess we are going on this roller coaster ride again.

    All Banks should be audited, by outside professionals and find out exactly where all the money they got i the first Bailout went.

    Seems to me there is a whole lot of fraud happening or something else.

    Every penny should be accounted for. Tax payers are paying for the Banks BS. Why should they. I am really wondering how long this BS will continue on for. It certainly is one way of sending people into a panic however.

    Maybe they are just stealing, tax dollars to line their own pockets with or line someone else’s…….

    This is all to fishy at this point in time. Could be they are creating crisis after crisis just to mess with everyone’s mind, so we all live in fear.

    Create a crisis and well it has been done before many times.

    Create a Crisis , fix the crisis, become a hero, a  savior whatever..

    What a scam.

    Whatever the case these banks need someone running them, that is honest and actually knows how to run a bank. The ones who run these ones begging for money again obviously can’t do the job. They aren’t worth rescuing either.Just because your big doesn’t make you worth saving.

    Seems to me Banks should only be owned and operated, by people within their own country anyway. Bank owned by anyone from another country shouldn’t even be allowed.

    So where has all the money  GONE?  Did they ever  look.

    Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

    The State of Israel: Since its Creation

    Lots of posting on this subject in the Archives.

    Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

    Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 3:09 am  Comments Off on Banks begging for Bailouts Again Third times is a charm  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Saturday Jan 3 Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009

    New Reports on Sundays protests at bottom of the page

    Demonstrators hurl shoes at Downing Street in day of global protest against Israeli attacks
    January 3 2009

    Demonstrators demanding an end to Israeli airstrikes on Gaza hurled their shoes at the gates of Downing Street today during a wave of global protests.

    Around 12,000 people took to the streets of the London, including singer Annie Lennox, former model Bianca Jagger and former mayor Ken Livingstone.

    Elsewhere in Britain, 2,000 demonstrators marched through Manchester and 500 braved the cold in Edinburgh.

    London protest

    London: 1,000 pairs of shoes litter the protest route near Downing Street

    Paris held the world’s biggest protest, with 25,000 people showing up to condemn the Israeli offensive, which has killed at least 436 Palestinians since December 27th.

    The death toll includes 75 children, according to Gaza medics. And almost 2,300 people have been wounded inside the territory.

    Four Israelis have been killed by rocket attacks by Hamas, Islamist militants who took over Gaza three years ago.

    In Britain, many people were angry at Gordon Brown refusal to condemn Israel’s attacks.

    Hundreds of protesters threw shoes at the iron gates of Downing Street residence, in the spirit of an Iraqi journalist who hurled his footware President George Bush with his shoes last year.

    Protest

    Crowds: at least 12,000 people marched up Whitehall

    Around 1,000 pairs littered the streets outside Number 10 with demonstrating singing: ‘Shame on you, have my shoe.’

    Zac Sommer, an 18-year-old British-Palestinian student from Essex, said: ‘Britain is quick to condemn Robert Mugabe, but where is the condemnation of Israel? Israel is killing hundreds of people.’

    Also outside Downing Street, a firework exploded yards from the gates.

    The Metropolitan Police later said they had been forced to contain one group of around 5,000 protesters who left the agreed route between protest between Embankment and Trafalgar Square to the march to head for the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.

    Many clashed with officers wearing riot hear and armed with truncheons and gas canisters.

    London

    Clash: Riot police deal with protesters trying to raid the Israeli Embassy in London

    London

    Focus point: Around 5,000 people went to the embassy after the march

    The demonstrators were kept at a distance of about 20 yards from the entrance of the Embassy but several hurdled the barriers and attempted to make for the entrance.

    The atmosphere as darkness fell was noticeably more heated, vocal, and aggressive than the earlier march through central London.

    The demonstration in the capital was the biggest of at least 18 organised across the country.

    Other rallies were taking place in Glasgow, Exeter, Bristol, Liverpool, Norwich, Hull, Tunbridge Wells, Leeds, Newcastle, Swansea, York, Caernarfon, Bradford and Sheffield.

    London

    Anger: Protesters gather in Trafalgar Square at the end of the march

    London

    Support: Annie Lennox, centre, is flanked by George Galloway and Bianca Jagger

    Brian Eno

    Condemnation: Musician Brian Eno speaks out against the Israeli attacks

    Former model Bianca Jagger and singer Lennox have backed the protests, calling on American president-elect Barack Obama to speak up against the bombardment.

    Speaking at a press conference in central London, Ms Jagger said: ‘I would like to make an appeal to president-elect Obama to speak up.

    ‘People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.’

    Lennox spoke of her shock at watching scenes of the bombing on television.

    She said: ‘A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on, and saw smoke pyres coming from buildings and I was shocked to the core because I was thinking as a mother and as a human being.

    Madrid

    Madrid: Protesters burn an Israeli flag in the Spanish capital

    Paris

    Paris: Demonstrators burned cars after a march by 25,000 people

    Berlin

    Berlin: Some 7000 Palestinian supporters outside the city’s cathedral

    ‘How was this going to be the solution to peace?’

    She said the intervention from Bush blaming Hamas for starting the violence, had not helped the situation.

    ‘The problem is, from my perspective, they are pouring petrol onto the fire,’ she said.

    ‘They have to sit down. This is a small window of opportunity just before things kick off.

    ‘For every one person killed in Gaza, they are creating 100 suicide bombers. It’s not just about Gaza, it’s about all of us.’

    Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather said Israel’s military response to the firing of Hamas rockets had been ‘disproportionate’.

    Amsterdam

    Amsterdam: A man holds up a blood smeared doll

    Milan

    Milan: Demonstrators carry a simulated body of a Palestinian

    ‘Anyway, what Israel is doing is counter-productive. No terrorist organisation has ever been bombed into submission,’ the Liberal Democrat MP said.

    Police said 8,000 people demonstrated in the central French city of Lyon, 3,000 people protested in the southern city of Nice and 3,800 in Mulhouse in the east.

    Two people were arrested as more than 1,000 marched through Amsterdam, condemning the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and calling for a boycott of Israeli goods, police said.

    Hundreds protested in Madrid, carrying signs saying ‘This is not a war but a genocide’.

    More than 2,000 people also demonstrated in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

    Athens Athens: A woman walks in front of burning barricades during riots after a rally

    Source
    Photos: ‘Britain – Gaza Siege Demoonstation’
    By James Wray
    January 3, 2009,

    Singer Annie Lennox (C), social and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger (formerly married to Mick Jagger) (2nd R) and British politician George Galloway (L) march through London with thousands of protestors in London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

    Singer Annie Lennox (C), social and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger (formerly married to Mick Jagger) (2nd R) and British politician George Galloway (L) march through London with thousands of protestors in London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN
    epa01589872 Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally  in central London,   03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,.  EPA/ANDY RAIN  EPA/ANDY RAIN

    epa01589872 Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally in central London, 03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,. EPA/ANDY RAIN EPA/ANDY RAIN
    Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally  in central London,   03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

    Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally in central London, 03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,. EPA/ANDY RAIN
    Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrate in central London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

    Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrate in central London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN
    Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.  The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben  EPA/ANDY RAIN

    Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben EPA/ANDY RAIN
    Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.  The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben  EPA/ANDY RAIN

    Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben EPA/ANDY RAIN
    Thousands of protestors bathed in bright sunshine, march through central London,   03 January 2009 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country to protest against  Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

    Thousands of protestors bathed in bright sunshine, march through central London, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country to protest against Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN

    Thousands in Europe Protest Gaza Offensive

    January 3 2008

    LONDON—Thousands of chanting, banner-waving demonstrators marched in cities across Europe on Saturday to demand a halt to Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip.

    Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain as the Israeli offensive entered its second week.

    Israeli Arabs held a protest march and Kuwaitis also took to the streets, a day after bigger Middle East rallies.

    In Paris, police said more than 20,000 demonstrators, many wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, marched through the city centre chanting slogans like “Israel murderer!” and waving banners demanding an end to the air attacks.

    Similar protests were planned in some 30 other towns.

    London police said more than 10,000 people staged a noisy march and rally to urge an end to an Israeli offensive against Hamas militants that has killed at least 435 Palestinians.

    In many European cities people waved shoes—recalling the action of an Iraqi journalist who hurled footwear at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad last month in a symbolic insult.

    British demonstrators threw dozens of shoes into the street as they passed the gated entrance to Downing Street, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown lives, and shouted angrily at a line of 40 police officers on guard there.

    “Come to get your shoes Gordon,” one woman shouted as other marchers directed chants of “Shame on you” at Brown.

    A spokesman said Brown had spoken again to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday and was pressing hard for an immediate ceasefire.

    Leading the march were singer Annie Lennox, politicians Tony Benn and George Galloway and comic Alexei Sayle. Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and placards with slogans such as “End the siege on Gaza” and “Stop the massacre”.

    Israel says rocket attacks from Gaza by Hamas Islamists must stop before it halts operations, but the attacks continued on Saturday. Four Israelis have been killed by Hamas rockets since the offensive began.

    Anger at Western Reaction

    Paul Mukerji, 42, from Birmingham, acknowledged Israel had security reasons but called its action disproportionate.

    “The best way for peace for Palestinians and Israelis is to end the occupation,” said Mukerji, who said he had spent six months working with Jewish and Palestinian peace groups.

    Ali Saeed, 24, from Luton, said Western governments had failed to condemn Israel’s actions.

    “What’s going on in Gaza is not right … It’s not a coincidence that it’s going on Iraq, in Chechnya, in Kashmir. It’s just about going on everywhere. It’s almost a direct insult to every single Muslim,” he said.

    Protests were scheduled in a score of other British cities.

    Greek police said they fired teargas at protesters outside the Israeli embassy in Athens. Protesters burnt flags and effigies, hurled stones at the embassy and clashed with police during a march by about 5,000 people, they said.

    Tens of thousands of people marched in the town of Sakhnin, northern Israel, on Saturday in one of the biggest rallies held by Israeli Arabs in recent years, Israeli media reported. Calling Israeli leaders “war criminals”, the demonstrators demanded an end to the onslaught on Gaza, they said.

    Around 3,500 people marched in Berlin and 4,000 in the western city of Duesseldorf, police said.

    In the German capital, demonstrators carried pictures of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and one small girl cradled a doll smeared in blood.

    Hundreds joined a protest in central Dublin.

    “I just thought the fact that 300-400 people would’ve been bombed, would’ve been killed, was extremely wrong,” said Andy Defaoite, a 27-year-old teacher in the Irish capital.

    More than 1,000 demonstrators marched through Kuwait City, with banners reading “Gaza will not die” and “We want a free Gaza”.

    Another 1,000 marched in Madrid, some calling for sanctions against Israel, equating Zionism with Nazism and chanting slogans like “Israel kills, the world just stands by”.

    Police said about 1,500 people marched through Amsterdam.

    About 1,000 demonstrators marched through the Italian city of Milan on Saturday, some burning Israeli flags, with a smaller rally in Turin.

    People destroy a French policeman’s car, during a demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009, in Paris. (Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images)

    Protestors stand behind an over-turned car during a demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009, in Paris. (Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images)

    Some of the thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters fight to get to the Israeli embassy in Athens as Greek riot police stand guard on January 3, 2009, during a demonstration against the Israeli attacks in Gaza. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

    Protesters opposed to Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip gather near the Israeli Embassy following a demonstration in Trafalgar Square in London, on January 3, 2009. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

    Source

    Another excellent report on the Demonstration in London Here the estimated turnout is 50-60 thousand people.

    Israeli ground-forces finally invade Gaza strip after day of increased air strikes

    PETER HITCHENS: Will Israel never learn? Each bomb is a gift to its enemies

    The World Demonstrated in protest against the war in Iraq and the politicians did not listen.  The War in Iraq is in fact illegal, based on lies.  Will they listen to us now as we say NO AGAIN to Israel killing innocent people in Gaza?

    Israel is committing many crimes and we Say NO MORE.

    Are they still deaf?

    Defending the criminals in the US and Israel who kill innocent people has gone on far to long.

    We are fed up with war mongering,  murdering, power hungry, profiteers.

    There are a large number of Demonstrations in the US and I will post them if they magically appear anywhere. I can only hope to have a busy evening.
    Reports on protests

    Sunday Jan 4 Reports: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

    Sunday Jan 4 Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

    Sunday Jan 4  Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

    Reports on Canadian protests below. Approximately  3000 came out to protest in Toronto.

    Just added Jan 4th 2009

    Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

    Saturday Jan 3 Reports:US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

    Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

    December Reports

    December 29 Reports:Global protests against Israel

    Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza


    Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm  Comments Off on Saturday Jan 3 Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

    The crew of the vessel SS Dignity along with journalists, raise their hands before a press conference at the Lebanese journalist syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008. (AP / Mahmoud Tawil)

    The crew of the vessel SS Dignity along with journalists, raise their hands before a press conference at the Lebanese journalist syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008. (AP / Mahmoud Tawil)

    Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza
    December 30 2008

    BEIRUT, Lebanon
    A boat carrying international peace activists and medical supplies to the embattled Gaza Strip was turned back and damaged by the Israeli navy on Tuesday, Israel and organizers of the trip said.

    The vessel, called SS Dignity, was greeted by a small cheering crowd as it pulled into the southern Lebanese port of Tyre with clear marks of damage near the prow. Its foiled aid trip came as Israel was waging a major bombardment of Gaza on that has killed more than 360 people since Saturday, aiming to halt Hamas rocket attacks into Israel.

    Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said an Israeli navy ship intercepted the boat, which he said ignored an Israeli radio order to turn back as it approached Gaza early Tuesday.

    Palmor saids the boat tried to outmaneuver an Israeli navy ship and crashed into it, lightly damaging both vessels. The navy then escorted the boat out into the territorial waters of Cyprus.

    But passengers and crew aboard the SS Dignity disputed the Israeli account, saying the Israeli vessel rammed the ship.

    “We were prevented from entering Gaza … by Israeli patrol boats that tracked us for about 30 minutes. They shone their spotlight on us and then all of a sudden they rammed us approximately three times, twice in the front and once in the side,” said former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney who was aboard the boat.

    “Communications from the Israelis indicated that we were involved in terrorist activities … I presume that’s why they rammed our boat,” she added.

    The boat’s British captain, Denis Healey, said the Israeli action came “without any warning, or any provocation.” Organizers said the boat was in international waters — 90 miles off the coast of Gaza –when the Israeli navy intercepted it.

    The 66-foot (20-meter) yacht Dignity set off from Cyprus on Monday with almost 4 tons of Cypriot-donated medical supplies, including surgical equipment and antibiotics, as well as 16 passengers from the U.S., Cyprus, Britain, Australia, Ireland and elsehwhere, organizers said.

    The trip was organized by the Free Gaza group, which has made five deliveries of aid by boat to Gaza since August, defying a blockade imposed by Israel when Hamas won control of the territory in June 2007.

    Source

    So the people aboard the ship trying desperately to deliver much  needed medical supplies to Gaza are “Terrorists” are they?

    Israel is crying wolf yet again. This is very typical of the Israeli mind set however. Rather reminds me of George Bushes wolf cry’s.

    Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

    US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

    Global protests against Israel

    Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

    Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

    Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 11:02 pm  Comments Off on Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Did being part of the EU protect them from the Financial Crisis

    Turmoil Spurs US Plant Closures, EU Layoffs At ArcelorMittal

    December 10th, 2008

    By Alex MacDonald

    In a sign of the severity of the economic downturn, ArcelorMittal (MT), the world’s largest steelmaker, announced plans to close two U.S. steel processing plants and lay off several hundred workers in the European Union.

    ArcelorMittal plans to close its finished steel processing plant in Lackawanna, N.Y., by the end of April and plans to close its finished steel processing plant in Hennepin, Ill., sometime in the future, although no date was disclosed. The two closures will result in 545 job losses, 260 of which are located at the N.Y. plant and 285 of which are located at the Illinois plant.

    Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal rolled out voluntary redundancy programs in Europe over the past week or so that would eliminate 3,550 mostly white-collar jobs through voluntary layoffs. The company is eyeing 6,000 job cuts in Europe out of 9,000 job cuts globally.

    The closures and layoffs are in line with the company’s plans to cut 35% of its global steel production capacity during the fourth quarter and saving $1 billion annually by cutting 3% of its global workforce.

    Both steel plants supply the auto market, where demand has slumped so dramatically that the U.S.’s three largest car manufacturers are now seeking federal government funds to avert bankruptcy.

    The closures are part of ArcelorMittal’s global restructuring program to weather the economic downturn.

    The decision to close ArcelorMittal Lackawanna was “purely an economic business decision based on the extraordinary economic conditions we face today,” the company said in a statement.

    The Lackawanna plant has inherent disadvantages due to its location that lead to higher costs, longer customer lead times, and higher inventory levels than other ArcelorMittal finishing facilities in the US, the company said.

    Meanwhile, at Hennepin, “the company had to make the tough decision to close the…facility, consolidate operations and move production to other ArcelorMittal facilities in the U.S.” in order to remain competitive.

    ArcelorMittal now has announced plans to lay off 19% of its U.S. salaried workforce of 15,543 people and has announced more than half of its planned job cuts in Europe.

    The United Steelworkers union and other relevant stakeholders were notified about the plant closures and job layoffs. They are now negotiating with the Luxembourg-based company to arrive at a compromise.

    Jim Robinson, the director of USW’s District 7 said the union was aware that ArcelorMittal faced operational issues at the two plants but was surprised by the company’s decision to close the plants.

    “They called us before they announced but we did not know this specifically” beforehand, he said.

    Robinson dismissed views that ArcelorMittal has underinvested in the plants. “I don’t think the issue is lack of investment over time, I think it’s an issue of the company’s overall strategy.” He declined to elaborate further.

    ArcelorMittal is one of many steelmakers globally that have announced production cuts and layoffs. U.S. Steel Corporation (X), the world’s tenth-largest steelmaker by volume, announced last week it would temporarily idle an iron ore mining facility and two steel works. The move will affect 3,500 employees.

    Corus, Europe’s second largest steelmaker by volume and the European arm of India-based Tata Steel Ltd (500470.BY) has cut production by 30% and has shed about 500 jobs from the U.K.

    In Europe, ArcelorMittal is seeking voluntary redundancies equal to 1,400 jobs in France, 800 in Belgium, 750 in Germany, and 600 in Spain. Most of them are white collar jobs. ArcelorMittal’s American depositary shares recently traded up 8.9% to $25.99 on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Company Web site: http://www.arcelormittal.com

    Source

    EU businesses expect 1 million job losses in 2009

    Brussels – European Union businesses called Monday for a cut in interest rates amid predictions that the bloc’s economic slowdown could lead to more than 1 million jobs being lost in 2009.

    BusinessEurope, which groups national business federations from 34 European countries, also called on governments to ensure a continued flow of credit and to approve structural reforms aimed at improving the continent’s competitiveness.

    According to its latest Economic Outlook, EU gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted to grow by just 0.4 per cent in 2009, compared to 1.4 per cent this year, with exports, imports and private consumption levels all slowing.

    Unemployment is predicted to increase from 7 per cent to 7.8 per cent, with the loss of 1.1 million jobs, compared to a net job creation of more than 2 million in 2008.

    “The most fundamental preoccupation of the business community is obviously the way in which the impact of the financial market turmoil will play out,” the paper said.

    “Even though a fully-fledged credit crunch has not yet appeared in Europe, uncertainty about the impact for companies and consumer markets has increased tremendously.”

    Source

    SEMI Europe calls for investment to avoid mass job losses in semiconductor industry

    December 10 2008

    During the third SEMI Brussels forum, SEMI Europe declared that the decline in the European semiconductor industry could potentially put half a million European jobs at risk. SEMI Europe presented its White Paper to EU officials and urgently appealed for the EU and national policymakers to invest to support the European semiconductor industry citing the industries importance to the health and global competitiveness of the EU economy.

    The equipment/materials producers and the semiconductor device manufacturers contribute around €29 billion to the EU economy and provide around 215,000 jobs. The European semiconductor industry is also a significant contributor to the GDP in EU countries such as France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK.

    “If semiconductor manufacturers leave Europe, indigenous equipment & materials producers will face an uncertain future”, said Franz Richter, Chairman of the SEMI European Advisory Board. “The current economic crisis and rising unemployment underscore the urgent need to safeguard jobs in the European semiconductor industry. Supporting a robust and competitive semiconductor industry in Europe is critical to keeping jobs in Europe across all industries and supporting key European economies.”

    The decline of the market share even during the increase in total volumes sold reflects that manufacturing is changing and moving away from Europe because of the unfavourable global level playing field conditions. The European equipment and materials manufacturers that supply the semiconductor industry with machinery and parts are for the most part small or medium-sized European businesses that heavily rely on the future European semiconductor industry to guarantee their own future and the 105,000 jobs they embody.

    Further information on the Brussels forum is available here.

    Source

    Spanish auto sector highly exposed to global crisis

    December 11 2008

    By Robert Hetz

    MADRID,

    Spain’s car industry, which became Europe’s third largest, thanks to a cheap workforce, has lost cost advantage and could shrink as companies slash costs at foreign plants and save politically-sensitive jobs at home.

    As executives at multinational manufacturers weigh up Spain’s ageing factories, relatively high wage costs and weak competitiveness against their own domestic markets and cheaper alternatives, the country’s plants are clear targets as the credit crunch saps demand all over the world.

    “The big decisions are being taken abroad, not here, and managers in London, Paris and Detroit prefer to close a plant here and not in their home market,” said the director of one Spanish parts plant, who asked not to be named.

    Unlike Germany, France or Italy, Spain’s auto industry has no nationally-owned car maker and little control over decisions on the future of its 18 foreign-owned plants, which employ around 70,000 people.

    And unlike the case of Britain, Spain’s plants are older and less productive, and the country lacks a more skilled workforce or much tradition of home-grown research and development.

    Global car makers, also including Peugeot, Opel and Volkswagen, built most of their Spanish plants in the 1970s when Spain was a low-cost backwater, well placed to serve Northern European markets.

    Since the 70s, Spain has lost its price advantage as living standards have caught up with the European average. In 2007, per capita income overtook that of Italy. At the same time, new competitors have emerged as low-cost manufacturing centres.

    Spain’s auto-sector salaries averaged 22.83 euros ($29.64) an hour last year, above the European average and around three times the 6.93 euros in Poland and 8.83 euros in the Czech Republic, Europe’s new manufacturing hubs, alongside North Africa.

    NORTH AFRICA PASSES SPAIN FOR RENAULT

    Renault plans to make 200,000 cars at its plants in North Africa in 2010 and double that within a couple of years, overtaking production from its Spanish operations.

    The global credit crunch has hurt demand for new cars across Europe, with new car registrations in November falling 36.8 percent in the UK, 18 percent in Germany, 30 percent in Italy and 50 percent in Spain.

    With some 84 percent of cars built in Spanish plants for export, manufacturers are finding fewer financial or political reasons for remaining in the country as international competition rises.

    Spanish plants are ideal candidates for the inevitable cuts across Europe, head of Ford Espana Jose Manuel Machado said, as salaries rise and productivity fails to rise at a similar rate.

    Machado’s comments came before the U.S. company announced production cuts of 120,000 units at its Almussafes plant in Valencia, and the temporary layoff of 5,200 workers.

    Job cuts are expected from most of the major manufacturers, with more than 60 filings listing potential layoffs by private companies made to the government, which may affect up to 40,000 workers, Spain’s main union UGT said.

    As Spain’s unemployment rate soars to the highest in the European Union and the economy nears recession, the government is keen to keep the industry, which accounts for around 5 percent of gross domestic product, in the country.

    Spain has earmarked 800 million euros for the sector as part of measures worth a total of around 50 billion euros to stimulate the economy.

    But this aid may not be enough.

    “It’s a good gesture from the government, but obviously the amount of money is insufficient. It would be less than 80 million euros per manufacturer,” said Jose Antonio Bueno of consultancy Europraxis.

    The sharp fall in new car sales in Spain has also affected the manufacturers’ showrooms and spare parts centres throughout the country.

    Concessions for new and second-hand cars and garages employ around 278,000 people in Spain, and 16,000 of those jobs are at risk, the association for the sector, Ganvam, estimates.

    “Four years ago we sold two or three cars a day, but now its not even two a week,” said Adela Benito, who has worked in a Madrid-based Renault showroom for 20 years. (Reporting by Robert Hetz; Additional reporting by Tomas Gonzalez; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Rupert Winchester)

    Source

    Swedes want government bailout for Volvo

    In a new survey just released, 68 percent of Swedes want to see the Swedish government bail out its beleaguered carmaker Volvo. Although Volvo is owned by US carmaker Ford, Swedes would like its government to temporarily take control of the nation’s iconic firm, as many residents fear Volvo may disappear entirely from Sweden in the near future.

    The Local newspaper reports that support for government intervention is piling in from all sides of the political arena. Some 65 percent of those polled who support the bailout side with one of the governing Alliance parties, and 73 percent of all left bloc voters approve of a government bailout.

    Peter Larsson of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers points out that Volvo’s current crisis is not minor. “One thing is certain, there are no dollars on their way over the Atlantic,” Larsson said, referring to the massive problems currently faced by the “Big Three” US carmakers – Ford, Chrysler, and (Saab-owner) General Motors.

    Rolf Wolff, dean of the school of business at Gothenburg University, told The Local: “If Volvo Cars disappears as a base for industrial knowledge and skills, then Sweden will never again be a part of the auto industry. All the knowledge and skills would be lost, and with it all future associated development potential would be gone.”

    Maud Olofsson, Sweden’s minister of trade and industry, has expressed doubts whether the government would be able to better manage Volvo than the car firm itself. For now, the issue has been placed on the political back burner, but the crisis at Volvo and Ford goes on.

    Source

    This is just the tip of the iceburg.  Seems no one is safe from the Financial Crisis. Not even EU members.

    There are 27 member of the European Union.

    austria 1. Austria
    belgium 2. Belgium
    UK 3. UK
    denmark 4. Denmark
    germany 5. Germany
    greece 6. Greece
    ireland 7. Ireland
    spain 8. Spain
    italy 9. Italy
    luxembourg 10. Luxembourg
    netherlands 11. Netherlands
    portugal 12. Portugal
    finland 13. Finland
    france 14. France
    sweden 15. Sweden
    cyprus 16. Cyprus
    czech 17. Czech Republic
    estonia 18. Estonia
    hungary 19. Hungary
    latvia 20. Latvia
    lithuania 21. Lithuania
    malta 22. Malta
    poland 23. Poland
    slovakia 24. Slovakia
    slovenia 25. Slovenia
    bulgaria 26. Bulgaria
    romania 27. Romania

    EU members and when they joined.

    1952 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands

    1973 Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom

    1981 Greece

    1986 Portugal, Spain

    1995 Austria, Finland, Sweden

    2004 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia

    2007 Bulgaria, Romania

    Source

    Hungary’s Letter of Intent to the IMF

    World Bank lends to Bulgaria to tackle poverty, jobless

    Latvia mulling IMF loan as crisis sweeps Nordic region

    EU, Iceland, Canada Suffering Fall Out, Caused By US Crisis

    Europeans Angry at their Money being Used for Bailouts

    The £2trillion question for British economy

    Europe catches America’s financial disease

    How Britain’s banks will never be the same again

    Economist, deregulation and loose fiscal policies lead to Meltdown

    World Leaders Must Roll Back Radical WTO Financial Service Deregulation

    Ryanair to appeal EU’s ‘corrupt’ support of Alitalia takeover

    Ashley Mote Revealing European Union Corruption

    The EU budget is necessarily corrupt

    EU leaders tear up rules of Eurozone

    Starting to remind me of the Corruption in the US where the Crisis started.

    Landmine Treaty Ignored, 5,400 killed or injured in 2007

    November 21 2008
    15 countries including Britain will miss their 2009 landmine clearance targets
    Greece, Turkey and Belarus continue to violate an international treaty by not destroying their stock of landmines, according to a report that says more than 5,400 people were killed or maimed by landmines last year.

    The Landmine Monitor Report released by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) says that 15 other countries including Britain will miss their 2009 clearance targets.

    According to Stuart Casey-Maslen, editor of the Landmine Monitor, “It is not acceptable that [these] countries have failed to clear a single mined area in the last nine years and expect to be granted extensions,” he told reporters ahead of a meeting of the treaty’s 156 signatory states to be held in Geneva next week.

    The ICBL report says that anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions and other ordnance can lie dormant for decades before exploding.

    While trade in landmines is now virtually non-existent, many countries are moving too slowly to get rid of the crippling weapons, the 1,155-page report said.

    The ICBL, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, said that while Denmark, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, Britain and Venezuela, are seeking more time to clear their mined areas, de-mining operations should have been finished by now.

    But Britain has not even begun mine-sweeping in the Falkland Islands, where it fought a war with Argentina in 1982, while Venezuela has said it gains some benefit from mines that keep Colombian guerrillas off its territory, Casey-Maslen said.

    Greece and Turkey have a combined stockpile of 4.2 million anti-personnel mines, and Belarus has 3.4 million yet to be destroyed under the Ottawa Convention, which regulates the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and monitors their destruction.

    Source

    A lesson in landmines

    IN DEPTH: Landmines


    Sad Plight of Landmine Blast Survivors

    Uganda, Africa

    November 21 2008

    Government pledging to help victims, often shunned by friends, families and employers.

    By Gloria Laker Aciro in Gulu (AR No. 193, 20-Nov-08)

    Irene Laker said she’d had a restless night because her village near Gulu had just been attacked by members of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, LRA.

    In the morning, she walked out the back of her house. “As I moved, [there was] a big bang. I had stepped on a landmine the rebels had planted at night,” she said, recalling the incident in May 2001 that wrecked her life.

    Laker was taken to the local Lacor Hospital, where her leg was amputated. After two months, she was fitted with an artificial limb donated by an Italian organisation.

    Over the years, thousands of people in northern Uganda have either been maimed or killed by landmines and other forms of unexploded ordnance such as hand grenades and mortars.

    Laker, now 29, said her life was devastated by her injury. The man she was set to marry called off the wedding when he saw her condition in hospital.

    Then she said all her good friends deserted her and finally she lost her job.

    “Before the accident, I had got a job as secretary in the office of the resident district commissioner. But when I reported for work one day, I was told to leave because I had become disabled,” she said.

    Women have been particularly hard hit by the landmine problem, say experts, because they generally are the ones who gather firewood and cultivate gardens.

    William Odong, a Gulu district councillor who represents people with disabilities, said women constitute 70 per cent of landmine cases in the north.

    “The fact that … women are more engaged in agricultural work, collecting fire wood, and fetching water [puts] them [more] at risk of being hurt,” he told IWPR.

    Women with amputated limbs are often shunned by family and friends.

    “Most of the women who are victims of landmines have been abandoned by their husbands, who either marry another woman or send them away,” he said.

    Small children are also victims of landmines, says Odong, because they accompany their mothers to collect firewood, work in gardens or go to fetch water.

    He adds that landmine survivors can also face workplace discrimination because some jobs can’t be performed by the disabled, and some are disqualified simply because of discrimination against amputees.

    “People see landmine survivors as a [undesirables] and try not to get close or give them support,” continued Odong. “Unless we move away from this kind of behaviour, the survivors will never be happy.”

    Odong was also critical of demining operations which he said wait for people to report suspected landmines rather than go out searching for them.

    He says it’s risky to have villagers look for landmines and other unexploded devices – something that should only be handled by experts.

    Mark Livingstone, a landmine expert with a Danish de-mining group, said progress has been made to remove these hazards from northern Uganda during the past couple of years.

    “We have deployed more men on the ground lately in smaller teams so that they can identify, respond and clear larger areas a lot faster,” he said.

    “However, the main threat in northern Uganda is unexploded ordnance, [as] people move back to their villages and start to clear the ground for agriculture.”

    More is being done to warn locals of the dangers of landmines and other unexploded devices, he says, through school programmes and local radio.

    “We teach them that if they see an object like a landmine, they should mark the area … and quickly report [it], [so we can] move to verify and detonate,” he said.

    But, said Livingston, the de-miners fear that in the next year more casualties are likely as people clear more land for cultivation.

    Despite the setbacks, life has begun to improve for some landmine victims.

    Laker, for example, joined the Gulu-Amuru Association of Landmine Survivors and now works with the organisation as a secretary, helping to set up support projects for victims.

    One such project provides small solar panels to victims who live in villages where there is no electricity. The survivors earn money by using the panels to recharge mobile phone batteries.

    Association coordinator Stephen Okello, who is also a landmine victim, said others are engaged in bricklaying, pig-raising and poultry projects.

    In addition, homes are being built for some victims in Gulu and Amuru – and the first 15 are almost complete, says Okello.

    More help may also be coming from the Ugandan government.

    Gulu resident district commissioner Walter Ochora says documentation of victims of war who have lost limbs or been mutilated began last year.

    “Victims of war including landmine survivors are faced with a number of challenges,” said Ochora. “They are categorised as persons with special needs, and soon all will be compensated by government of Uganda.”

    Gloria Laker Aciro is an IWPR-trained reporter.

    Source

    The Ottawa Treaty (also known as the Convention On The Prohibition Of The Use, Stockpiling, Production And Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines And On Their Destruction) bans the use of anti-personnel mines around the world.

    In 1992, Handicap International and five other NGOs, completely appalled by the suffering and the horrifying consequences of the use of anti-personnel mines on civilians, decided to create the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). For Handicap International, the decision to take part in the creation of ICBL was motivated by the fact that our staff saw daily victims of landmines in countries such as Cambodia or Kosovo.

    Three years later, in March 1995, Belgium became the first country to ban anti-personnel landmines. This brave move bya small country was the result of a fruitful cooperation between Handicap International and two visionary members of the Parliament.

    By March 1997, 53 countries had announced their support for a total ban on landmines, 28 countries had renounced of suspended the use of mines, and 16 began destroying some of their stockpiles.

    By September 16, 1998, the Treaty to Ban Landmines, which had been opened for signature in December 1997, had been ratified by the 40 countries required to make it a binding international convention. The treaty entered into force on 1st March 1999, faster than any international treaty in history. The Treaty:

    • prohibits the manufacture, trade and use of anti-personnel mines
    • obliges countries to destroy stockpiles within 4 years and clear their own territory within 10 years
    • urges governments to help poorer countries clear land and assist landmine victims

    The Treaty to Ban Landmines has already had some tangible effects on the production and trade of landmines, even among countries that have not yet signed the treaty. By 1999, only 16 of the original 54 mine-producing countries continued to manufacture anti-personnel landmines or their components, and all traditional exporters of mines, except Iraq, have officially ceased their activities.

    As of 20 March 2006, there are 154 signatories/accessions to the Treaty more than two-thirds of the world’s nations. Those who have still not signed include the US, Russia, China, Pakistan, Finland and India.

    Map of the countries that signed the Treaty to Ban Landmines


    A landmine victim every hour in the world

    1. • Indiscriminate: landmines kill and maim civilians, soldiers, peacekeepers and aid workers alike. Landmines lie dormant in the ground and become a permanent threat to civilians in peacetime.
    2. • Inhumane: It is estimated that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 new casualties every year. Many people die in the fields from lack of emergency care. Those who survive will most likely suffer from amputations, will face long hospital stays and require extensive rehabilitation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed or injured in the last decades.
    3. • Development disaster: landmines deprive people in some of the poorest countries of land and infrastructure. Landmines also hold up the return of refugees and displaced people. They hamper reconstruction and the delivery of aid, whilst killing livestock and wrecking the environment.
    4. • Landmines are everywhere: 84 countries and 8 territories are affected in the world. Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia, Chechnya and Iraq are some of the worst affected countries.
    5. • Still work to be done: Landmines are still being planted today and minefields dating back decades continue to lie in wait of innocent victims. Over 10 countries are still producing landmines.


    Source

    War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

    Published in: on November 24, 2008 at 1:44 am  Comments Off on Landmine Treaty Ignored, 5,400 killed or injured in 2007  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Germany to provide a 308-million euro loan to Iceland

    November 22 2008

    BERLIN,

    Germany said on Saturday it would provide a 308-million euro loan to Iceland’s deposit guarantee fund so it could pay back savings of German clients of Kaupthing bank, which was taken over by the Icelandic state last month.

    The International Monetary Fund this week approved a $2.1 billion loan for Iceland. The loan had been held up due to a dispute between Iceland, Britain and the Netherlands over how to repay savers with deposits in frozen Icelandic accounts.

    German savers also had money locked up.

    German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck told Tagesspiegel daily the German savers would get their money back in full.

    The German loan would total 308 million euros, the amount savers in Germany had held at Kaupthing

    Iceland was caught in the global financial crisis as its currency plunged and its financial system crashed last month under the weight of tens of billions of dollars of foreign debts incurred by its banks, three of which failed.

    Britain, the Netherlands and Germany issued a statement last week saying they would provide “pre-financing” to help Iceland meet foreign deposit obligations. The IMF, in a conference call on Thursday, estimated those obligations at $5-6 billion.

    A British finance ministry source said Britain would lend Iceland 2.2 billion pounds ($3.27 billion). The Netherlands said it was working on aid to help cover 1.2 billion ($2.63 billion) to 1.3 billion euros of Dutch deposits held in Icelandic accounts.

    Kaupthing said last week it hoped to pay back customers of German operations in the next few days or weeks.

    Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin has implemented a temporary moratorium for the German unit of Kaupthing and the bank said it had been working on an agreement with the German government in recent weeks.

    (Reporting by Andreas Moeser; Writing by Kerstin Gehmlich)

    Source

    BREAKING NEWS: Iceland IMF loan approved

    Iceland’s Economic Meltdown is a big Flashing Warning Sign

    Published in: on November 23, 2008 at 6:47 am  Comments Off on Germany to provide a 308-million euro loan to Iceland  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    Dutch, British block IMF loan to Iceland – NRC


    November 7 2008

    The Netherlands and Britain are blocking a €2.1bn loan from the International Monetary Fund to Iceland pending agreement on compensation for Dutch and British savers, the NRC reports on Friday.

    The paper says Icelandic MPs were told at a meeting in Brussels that the loan would not be approved until the financial aspects of compensating hundreds of thousands of savers has been worked out.

    Sources at the Dutch finance ministry have confirmed the veto off the record but refuse to comment officially. Nor would British officials comment, the paper says.

    Yesterday, Iceland’s prime minister Geir Haarde said that the IMF loan and the repayment agreement were ‘two separate issues which should not be linked,’ the paper said.

    Dutch savers have some €1.6bn on deposit at Icesave which they cannot access.

    Meanwhile, the conflict between the government, the province of Noord-Holland and 22 local councils over their claims against Iceland escalated on Friday. In total, local governments have some €400m in Icesave.

    Finance mnister Wouter Bos and the queen’s commissioner in Noord-Holland have been embroiled in a public spat over the province’s determination to go it alone in trying to recover its money.

    On Friday home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst said the government had used a royal decree to annul local government claims to Landsbanki property abroad. ‘Their behaviour is hindering the difficult and complex discussions with the Icelandic government,’ she said.

    Source

    Maybe Iceland should just declare bankruptcy.

    Seems all the way around things just are getting more ridiculous.

    All the banks have being going through the same thing but it seems Iceland is really being hung out to dry.

    Of course I have little or no trust when it comes to the IMF at any rate.

    Maybe not getting a loan from them is a “good thing”.

    There certainly seems to be a lot of manipulation going on when it comes to Iceland.

    A few tid bits.

    Iceland to Receive Unexpected Loan from Poland

    Norwegian loan to Iceland confirmed

    Iceland lifts interest rates to record 18% to secure IMF $2bn loan

    Iceland Registers Complaint about Britain to NATO

    Unbowed Icelandic PM sends a strong message to UK

    Iceland ‘working day and night’

    UK Government ‘ignored Iceland warning’/ Charities may lose

    The worst of all was being treated as a Terrorist country.

    Browns actions have not helped in any way.

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown has condemned Iceland’

    Published in: on November 10, 2008 at 5:17 am  Comments Off on Dutch, British block IMF loan to Iceland – NRC  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    On this Remembrance Sunday In Britain

    White crosses bearing poppies and personal messages to the fallen fill the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey, London, yesterday

    JASON ALDEN

    White crosses bearing poppies and personal messages to the fallen fill the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey, London, yesterday

    So, what are we fighting for today?
    By Cole Moreton

    November 9 2008

    On this Remembrance Sunday, British soldiers standing in dusty battle fatigues in Afghanistan will remember a friend whose death was so recent that the feelings are still raw.

    Yubraj Rai was shot during an ambush by the Taliban. Medics tried to save him, but they couldn’t. The 28-year-old died in a land where the poppy does not mean remembrance. It means opium, money and power. And death.

    His mates have spoken about a man with a ready smile that hid how “brave, strong and hard” he was. Yubraj used his pay from the Royal Gurkha Rifles to support a mother, sister and three brothers back home in Nepal. “We are proud of you,” said one of his closest comrades, “and what you did for us, your family and for the Queen.”

    His death in a skirmish south of the town of Musa Qala may well have passed you by. It wasn’t much of a news event. A kind of media battle weariness has set in, as the number of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan has continued to rise. Rifleman Rai was the 228th British Army soldier to die in those countries since 2001. It happened on Tuesday, as the world watched America vote for a new president.

    Barack Obama has already said that Afghanistan will be his number one foreign policy priority, and it needs to be. As Americans prepared to vote, their missiles were killing 40 people at a wedding party in southern Kandahar. Seven years after the attack on New York, the US is fighting an indefatigable enemy in Afghanistan. But why? That is the question Barack Obama needs to answer, and that British leaders also face today.

    The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in London this morning, in the company of the Queen and more than 8,000 veterans. It is 90 years since the end of the First World War. But as the casualties are remembered, and the folly of Iraq seems to be coming to an end with talk of withdrawals by the US and Britain, there is mounting anxiety within the military about the potentially deadly lack of focus in Afghanistan.

    The operation is seen as “half-cocked”, “overstretched” and “confused”. Senior military figures and soldiers recently returned from the field speak of a “failure of leadership” that amounts to “a betrayal”. The strongest words come today from a major who lost men in some of the fiercest fighting of modern times, and who uses an exclusive interview with the IoS to launch a scathing attack on the command structure he describes as “farcical” and political decision-makers he sees as “irresponsible”. Major Will Pike says soldiers need to be given a much clearer sense of who is in charge and what they are supposed to be trying to achieve – as well as the resources to do the job, instead of just fighting for their own survival.

    Major Pike led a company of the Parachute Regiment’s third battalion during the vicious battle of Sangin in 2006, but resigned from the army altogether last year after a spell in Whitehall. Rare as it is for a commander to criticise his masters on the record so soon after leaving the battlefield, distinguished military figures have lined up behind his attack. “There has been a failure of leadership in Afghanistan,” agreed Colonel Bob Stewart, former UN commander of British troops in Bosnia. “We’ve forgotten the lessons of British military history. When we were in Malaya we created safe areas and held them. We are not doing that in Afghanistan. We go into a town but we don’t have the resources to hold it so the Taliban come back.”

    The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, writing in the IoS today, also agrees. He describes the lack of a clear strategy in both Iraq and Afghanistan as “a betrayal” of the soldiers there.

    British casualties have slowed in Iraq, with only two this year, but there have been 36 deaths in Afghanistan. Barack Obama has spoken of winding down the US presence in Iraq and sending 7,000 more troops to Afghanistan instead. He must also decide whether or not to negotiate with the Taliban. Yesterday Douglas Alexander, the Secretary for International Development, said Britain also intended a “significant drawdown” of its 4,000 troops in Iraq. Military experts hope that will at last give the overtaxed military a chance to finish what it started in Afghanistan, if command structures can be put right.

    Major-General Patrick Cordingley, leader of the Desert Rats in the first Gulf War, said: “At the low level, the Army is doing well and fighting bravely in a difficult war. What we’re not getting right is co-ordinating the Foreign Office, NGOs and the military in a way that can create a sense of security – and that’s to do with so few troops on the ground.” Patrick Mercer, Conservative MP and former commander of the Sherwood Foresters, said a very senior serving officer had “expressed grave doubts” to him about progress, for the same reasons: a lack of resources, co-ordination and planning. “There is no point in building a school and then pulling out so the Taliban come and burn the school down.”

    Major Will Pike said the command structure during his action in southern Afghanistan in 2006 was “farcical”, with the military and British government agencies following “rival agendas” that left troops isolated and overstretched. Resources were “pathetic”, with not nearly enough troops, helicopters or radio training and Land-Rovers that were “disgraceful”.

    A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said the Armed Forces were working “incredibly hard in difficult and challenging circumstances but we are making progress. UK Commanders in Afghanistan have said that deployed brigades are now the best equipped they have ever been”.

    However, an SAS commander quit last week over kit issues. And Major Pike said the biggest continuing problem was a command failure at the top. “Who is in charge of the campaign? Is it the Secretary of State for Defence? Is it the Foreign Secretary? Is it the Minister for International Development? Who is it? That’s not clear.”

    Nor was the mission. Soldiers had been told they were preparing the way for the country to be rebuilt, but NGOs were reluctant to work with them. “We go into these things half-cocked, relying on the military to do it all. That is never going to work.”

    Afghanistan’s nightmare: Taliban resurgent, opium booming and famine stalking the land

    Civilian casualties At least 1,000 non-combatant Afghans have been killed this year.

    Kabul in chaos Suicide bombers and assassins are increasingly active, spreading terror among government and aid workers.

    Taliban on the march Large parts of the south and east again under control of those “defeated” seven years ago.

    Soldiers dying 70,000 troops from 40 nations have now poured in, but the risks rise as resistance stiffens.

    Conflict spreading Over the border, more than 100 people have been killed by US drones, stretching relations with Pakistan to breaking point.

    Bumper opium crops UK-occupied Helmand has become world’s heroin hub.

    Spectre of famine More than eight million Afghans face severe hunger this winter.

    Civil liberties Things seem to be slipping backwards in tribal areas.

    Source

    The Road to Peace is needed.

    In Flanders Fields
    By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

    In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.


    Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 11:02 am  Comments Off on On this Remembrance Sunday In Britain  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Search for peace ‘doomed’ by scramble for minerals in Congo

    Rebels reject ceasefire until demands are met

    November 8, 2008

    By

    Efforts to avert all-out war in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo are doomed as long as negotiators ignore the role of the area’s lucrative mineral trade in fuelling the violence, according to anticorruption advocates and development officials.

    They say that the deployment of thousands more United Nations peace-keepers to the region would be fruitless if armed groups continue to profit from the illegal trade with the connivance of international corporations.

    Armed groups, including the Congolese Army and Tutsi rebels led by General Laurent Nkunda, have profited from the illegal trade of minerals such as coltan and tin ore for years, with British, Canadian, American and Belgian companies among their best clients.

    Efforts to break that link have been stymied by Western governments unwilling to loosen their grip on the trade and made more difficult by the emergence of China as a big economic player on the continent. Rebels under General Nkunda’s control dismissed ceasefire calls made at yesterday’s emergency regional summit in Nairobi because, they said, it failed to address any of their demands – including the cancellation of a $9 billion (£6 billion) mining and infrastructure deal between China and the Congolese Government in Kinshasa.

    The European Union said it regretted that the summit did not adopt measures to curb illegal mining. The Chinese deal gives China access to vast reserves of copper and cobalt in return for a project to link eastern Congo to Kinshasa by rail for the first time. General Nkunda complained that the deal would “line the pockets of a few politicians while the Congolese people would see no benefit”.

    But advocates say that a host of foreign companies and governments are complicit in fuelling the violence by continuing to profit from the trade.

    A 2002 UN investigation to name and shame companies involved, and consider sanctions until the trade could be cleaned up, foundered on international reluctance to lose a foothold in the trade. “Governments have been ignoring the issue and doing their best to paper over the war economy, to dampen down criticism of their companies and keep the minerals flowing,” Patricia Feeney, of the British-based lobby group Rights and Accountability in Development, said. “Unless we are willing to disrupt the supply chains, this remains a self-perpetuating illegal war economy.”

    Britain is the only country to have censured companies – Afrimex and DAS Air – for unethical conduct in breach of international guidelines after intense pressure from the anticorruption group Global Witness and concerned MPs. At least another dozen identified by the UN have gone unrebuked.

    The US has refused to examine any of its cases, while Belgium has exonerated its companies. German and Austrian companies, among others, remain accused of continuing to source minerals from mines in eastern Congo controlled by armed groups. China, the most recent entrant to the scramble for Africa, remains outside international guidelines on ethical trade.

    Source

    Seems the Corporations are in part responsible for much of the war doesn’t it?

    And for What profit. When people are being killed for minerals and the Corporations buy them illegally they should be punished and stopped. Minerals of any type should only be purchased from any country legally.

    I guess we have more corporate criminals. They should be treated as war criminals. Charged with crimes against humanity. They are in fact contributing to the deaths of many. They are in essence funding the war.  Maybe they should do some jail time as well. Murder is against the law. Conspiracy to commit murder is as well.

    Cause and affect.

    Take away the funding that pays for the war and the war could be brought under control. It could and should be ended.

    Corporate profiteers such as this deserve to be in jail.

    Someone should get out a roto router, ferret out these companies and find a way to stop them.

    Published in: on November 8, 2008 at 8:11 am  Comments Off on Search for peace ‘doomed’ by scramble for minerals in Congo  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    CIA officers could face trial in Britain over torture allegations

    Attorney General to investigate abuse claims

    By Robert Verkaik

    October 31 2008

    Senior CIA officers could be put on trial in Britain after it emerged last night that the Attorney General is to investigate allegations that a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay was brutally tortured, after being arrested and questioned by American forces following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.

    The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has asked Baroness Scotland to consider bringing criminal proceedings against Americans allegedly responsible for the rendition and abuse of Binyam Mohamed, when he was held in prisons in Morocco and Afghanistan.

    The development follows criticism of US prosecutors by British judges who have seen secret evidence of torture committed against Mr Mohamed, including allegations his torturers used a razor blade to repeatedly cut his penis. The Attorney’s investigation is expected to include allegations that MI5 colluded in Mr Mohamed’s rendition. Mr Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian national and British resident, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, when he was questioned by an MI5 officer.

    On Tuesday, Government lawyers wrote to the judges hearing Mr Mohamed’s case against the UK government in the High Court. In the letter they said “the question of possible criminal wrongdoing to which these proceedings has given rise has been referred by the Home Secretary to the Attorney general for consideration as an independent minister of justice”. Baroness Scotland has been sent secret witness statements given to the court and public interest immunity certificates for the proceedings.

    Mr Mohamed, 30, accuses MI5 agents of lying about what they knew of CIA plans to transfer him to a prison in north Africa, where he claims he was subjected to horrendous torture. Mr Mohamed, who won asylum in the UK in 1994, has been charged with terrorism-related offences. He awaits a decision on whether he is to face trial at the US naval base. He is officially the last Briton at Guantanamo. Last night his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, said: “This is a welcome recognition that the CIA cannot just go rendering British residents to secret torture chambers without consequences, and British agents cannot take part in US crimes without facing the music. Reprieve will be making submissions to the Attorney General to ensure those involved, from the US, Pakistan, Morocco, Britain, are held responsible.”

    Richard Stein, of Leigh Day, representing Mr Mohamed in the High Court proceedings, said: “Ultimately the British Government had little choice once they conceded that a case had been made that Binyam Mohamed was tortured. The Convention Against Torture imposes an obligation on signatory states to investigate torture.”

    In August two judges ruled allegations of torture were at least arguable and that MI5 had information relating to Mr Mohamed that was “not only necessary but essential for his defence”.

    The judges have read statements and interviews with Mr Mohamed between 28 and 31 July, 2004 when he says he was forced to confess to terrorism. The judges said: “This was after a period of over two-and-a-half years of incommunicado detention during which Binyam Mohamed alleges he was tortured.”

    He was first held in Pakistan in 2002, where a British agent interrogated him; he was then sent to Morocco by the CIA and allegedly tortured for 18 months. He was rendered to the secret “Dark Prison” in Afghanistan, where his torture is alleged to have continued. Since September 2004, he has been in Guantanamo Bay.

    Source

    Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 9:10 am  Comments Off on CIA officers could face trial in Britain over torture allegations  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Iceland’s Kaupthing Prepares Lawsuit against Britain


    October 16 2008

    Representatives of Iceland’s largest bank, Kaupthing, are preparing a lawsuit against British authorities because of the harsh measures the UK took last week—seizing Kaupthing’s assets in the UK—which, Kaupthing claims, drove the bank into bankruptcy.

    Kaupthing Bank will demand ISK 100 billion (USD 1.0 billion, EUR 0.7 billion, GBP 0.5 billion) in compensation, RÚV reports.

    A group of lawyers from an international law firm are currently in Iceland working with Kaupthing Bank’s representatives to prepare the bank’s case against the British authorities. One of these lawyers is John Jarvis, a highly-respected lawyer in the UK.

    “I think it’s safe to say we have formed some initial views. We are surprised that the order that was made, was made pursuant to an act which is commonly known now as the Northern Rock Act 2008,” Jarvis said in an interview with RÚV.

    “It seems to be, to us at the moment, outside the purpose of that act that the order was made and there is a possible remedy there for a gain to the English court to have that order declared unlawful,” Jarvis continued.

    “We are also looking to see whether there are the civil remedies for damages for such torts under English law as misfeasance in public office and negligence,” Jarvis concluded.

    The team of lawyers is hopeful that Kaupthing Bank can win the case. “One can see from the use of the anti-terrorist legislation by the British government against Landsbanki that there was a degree of desperation in their actions last week,” said lawyer Richard Beresford.

    “And certainly the language of the British government in relation to Icelandic banks was unfortunate and perhaps betrayed something underneath which was more than one would have thought should be proper behavior by the British government towards one of the major financial institutes in the UK,” Beresford added.

    Click here to watch the news item on RÚV and listen to the interviews with Jarvis and Beresford (only available for two weeks from this date) and here to read about a potential lawsuit by Icelandic authorities against the British government.

    Source

    Published in: on October 16, 2008 at 7:39 pm  Comments Off on Iceland’s Kaupthing Prepares Lawsuit against Britain  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Iceland Registers Complaint about Britain to NATO


    October 16 2008

    Icelandic authorities have filed a complaint with NATO because of Britain’s action to invoke anti-terrorism legislation in an effort to freeze the assets of Icelandic banks in the UK. The formal complaint was submitted at the meeting of the NATO Council yesterday.

    Iceland’s Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde said at the Althingi parliament yesterday that it would have been “unthinkable” that Britain had treated a larger nation in such a way.

    According to Morgunbladid’s sources, Iceland’s permanent representative at NATO, Thorsteinn Ingólfsson, cited public safety in Iceland in a broad context at the meeting, including an economical context, and said that Iceland was being threatened under the current circumstances, among other things because of one-sided actions taken by one NATO member state, Britain.

    Icelandic authorities claim British authorities abused their anti-terrorism legislation, which is at odds with the joint fight of NATO member states against terrorism and does in fact jeopardize the credibility of that fight.

    The NATO Council’s meeting was closed and only attended by the permanent representatives of the member states and the NATO Secretary General, but not by other officials. That kind of arrangement is unusual and only takes place when very serious matters are discussed.

    After the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called Iceland’s Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and they discussed the matter. Haarde also discussed the matter with President of the European Commission José Manual Barroso.

    Barroso said at a press conference yesterday that the European Union could not be involved in a debate between Iceland and Britain.

    According to historian Gudni Th. Jóhannesson, Iceland has not complained to NATO about the actions of another NATO member state since the Cod Wars against Britain, 1975-1976, when Iceland fought for extending its fishing limits to 200 nautical miles.

    Click here to read about Icelandic authorities preparing a lawsuit against Britain.

    Source

    Published in: on October 16, 2008 at 7:31 pm  Comments Off on Iceland Registers Complaint about Britain to NATO  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Stock Markets Recovering

    Oct 13 2008

    Japan’s stock market soared in early trading Tuesday, leading a second-day rally in Asian stocks after Wall Street staged a dramatic comeback from its worst week ever.

    Sparked by global efforts to fix the world’s crippled financial system, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 1,079 points, or 13 per cent, to 9,355. The Japanese financial markets were playing catch-up because they were closed Monday for a public holiday.

    In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 index traded more than five per cent higher after the government announced plans to inject $10.4 billion Australian ($8.4 billion Cdn) to strengthen the country’s economy.

    Markets in South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and Taiwan also climbed five per cent or more.

    The advance came after the Dow Jones industrial averages on Monday jumped more than 930 points, its biggest single-day point gain yet.

    Traders reacted with relief to moves by the U.S. government to inject capital into major banks and get lending flowing again among companies. That followed signals that European governments were putting up nearly $2 trillion to safeguard their own banks.

    “The governments are ensuring that no matter what happens, they’re not going to allow another major institution to fail,” said Nicole Sze, an investment analyst at asset manager Bank Julius Baer & Co. in Singapore. “…You’re seeing a reversal of the panic selling, and we think a temporary bottom has been found.”

    Source

    U.S. stock indexes closed up more than 11 per cent Monday as governments around the world committed trillions to easing the global credit freeze.

    The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 936.42 points, or 11.1 per cent, at 9,387.61

    It was the Dow’s biggest single-day point gain yet, a stunning turnaround after its worst week on record. The blue-chip index recovered nearly half of the 1,874 points it lost last week.

    The Nasdaq composite closed up 11.8 per cent and the S&P 500 advanced 11.6 per cent.

    Canadian markets were closed Monday for Thanksgiving.

    The U.S. markets were responding to injections of billions of taxpayer dollars, pounds and euros into the Western world’s leading banks.

    European governments — Britain, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria and Portugal — have committed up to $2.3 trillion to support banks.

    The British government said Monday it will inject nearly $75 billion into three of the country’s largest banks to prevent the institutions from collapsing. The move means the government is effectively taking over the Royal Bank of Scotland and will also hold a large share of Lloyds/TSB and the Halifax Bank of Scotland, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

    A German government spokesman said Monday that Berlin had put together a package worth $780 billion to provide fresh capital for banks, guarantee loans between banks and cover potential losses.

    In the U.S., the government is working on its $700-billion US financial rescue plan, consulting with six private law firms to determine the best way to buy stakes in a number of banks.

    The plan to buy shares, announced by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson late Friday, is intended to get capital quickly into financial institutions. It’s seen as a faster way to do that than the original plan, which involved buying bad mortgage-related derivatives.

    The European countries and the U.S. are trying to get capital into banks quickly so they will start lending again, providing credit to people and companies on which the economy depends. The freeze in lending, the result of banks’ fears that they won’t be repaid, could tip the Western economies — and the world — into a recession.

    Stock prices also rebounded in Europe and Asia on Monday after a week that saw huge losses on markets all over the world.

    Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 10.2 per cent Monday. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 8.3 per cent, Germany’s DAX 11.4 per cent and France’s CAC-40 11.2 per cent.

    Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

    Source

    Markets fight back around the world

    October14 2008

    London’s leading share index jumped more than 4 per cent today as markets continued to rally in the wake of efforts to shore up the global financial system.

    The FTSE 100 Index was up more than 190 point after an hour, with the banks taking part in the Government’s £37 billion rescue plan clawing back some hefty losses seen yesterday.

    Royal Bank of Scotland, which is in line to receive £20 billion, was up 12 per cent, while merger partners HBOS and Lloyds TSB were up 11 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

    Trading was boosted by surging global markets overnight as investors cheered co-ordinated efforts to stabilise the financial sector.

    Japan’s Nikkei 225 soared 14 per cent, its biggest one day rise, while New York’s Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 11 per cent, the index’s biggest daily jump since the Great Depression.

    Australian shares finished up 3.7 per cent in the wake of a government package was announced to boost the economy via one-off cash hand-outs to families and pensioners.

    In Hong Kong, shares rose 3.2 per cent. The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed 520 points higher at 16,832, after earlier soaring to 17,141.

    In London, energy-facing stocks were making good progress as oil prices ticked up on commodity markets. BP was nearly 7 per cent up, with rival Royal Dutch Shell 6 per cent higher.

    Retailers were also edging ahead despite data from the high street showing like-for-like sales fell 1.5 per cent in September.

    Marks & Spencer was up more than 1 per cent, with Sainsbury’s enjoying a 3 per cent rise.

    There were mixed fortunes for Barclays and HSBC, two banks not turning to the Government for extra funds. Barclays was 6 per cent higher while First Direct owner HSBC was steady.

    ETX Capital broker Manoj Ladwa said: “Everyone is relieved that the market is up.

    “We have probably seen the short-term lows in the market, with some of the volatility also calming down.

    “After the recent falls, some of the stocks out there do look fairly interesting now.”

    European indices were also firmly on the front foot, with Germany’s Dax up nearly 4 per cent, and France’s CAC 40 also up 4.6 per cent.

    European governments have said they are allocating more than 1 trillion euro (£780bn) to protect the region’s banks through guarantees and other emergency measures.

    So far Germany has approved a bank rescue plan worth up to 500 billion euro (£391bn), with France spending about 350 billion euros (£273bn).

    The US is also expected to unveil details of a plan to take stakes in banks, following steps by the UK and European leaders.

    Yesterday executives from leading US banks were summoned by the Bush administration to Washington to work out a plan to get loans moving again

    London’s Footsie leapt more than 8 per cent yesterday, its second biggest one-day gain, as investors digested the banking rescue package.

    Shares in RBS, HBOS and Lloyds TSB – in which the Government is set to be a major shareholder – fell heavily despite the surge as investors faced the prospect of seeing their stakes diluted. The banks will also not be paying any dividends until their taxpayer loans are repaid.

    Source

    Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 7:04 am  Comments Off on Stock Markets Recovering  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,