Acknowledge the Gaza Genocide

We must recognize the atrocities being committed in Gaza as Genocide.  Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is clear:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any [emphasis added]of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part [emphasis added], a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

There is little argument and ample evidence that Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza in particular, and Palestine as whole, constitute the term genocide.  Israel’s onslaught on Gaza over the years and the indiscriminate killings (Article 2a) and the terrorization of children, the young and the old (mental harm) with the constant bombardment, bulldozers, and drones (Article 2b), the media has been apt at hiding the horrific effects of the blockade – the deliberate infliction of condition of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part (Article 2c).

According to Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, persons committing genocide or complicity in genocide shall be punished “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

Sir, at every turn, genocide has been ignored only to be acknowledged after the fact.   As Secretary General of the United Nations, you are obliged to put a stop to the ongoing genocide and punish the perpetrators.  If the call to duty, the voice of conscience, and the voices of the signatories to this petition is not heeded, then it is incumbent upon you to resign from your post.

“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”

Go HERE to sign the Petition to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

Then we also have this one directed at the US

With the toll in Gaza surpassing 1,500 deaths, 8,200 wounded, and 180,300 civilians displaced, we are devastated– but more determined than ever to keep pressure on the US to end its unconditional support for Israel. 

If you’re sick of your tax dollars funding the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine, call on the US government to immediately end all arms shipments to Israel.

How can the US purport to be a fair mediator when we are sending billions of dollars worth of weapons to one side of the conflict? A report by Amnesty International shows that just between January and May of this year, the US has sent $62 million worth of munitions to Israel, including nearly $27 million for “rocket launchers”, $9.3 million in “parts of guided missiles” and nearly $762,000 for “bombs, grenades and munitions of war”. 

This is atrocious. We should be using that money for diplomacy and rebuilding the lives of Palestinians that have been shattered from decades of violence. The people of Gaza are in desperate need of clean water, healthcare, food, building materials for their homes, and other basic necessities. But unless the blockade of Gaza is lifted, access to these crucial items will continue to be restricted by Israel.  You can help by making a direct donation to Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) today.

“There isn’t a single family in Gaza which hasn’t been touched by direct loss,” said Pernille Ironside, the head of the Unicef office in Gaza. “The impact that has on the ability of children to cope cannot be overstated.”

It’s up to us to push our government to stop the cycle of bloodshed. Join us to call for an immediate arms embargo on Israel now.

 

And of course for Canadians

Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!

This is the Harper petition.

http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/intlcrimcourt-arrestharper-for-advocating-genocide

Anyone who supports Genocide/War Crimes  should never be a leader or any part of any government of any country. They are criminals. The worse kind. Mass Murder is a crime.

Related

The Truth about Gaza 2014

‘An Israel-free zone’: UK MP says Bradford doesn’t want Israeli goods, services or visitors

Pass this on to all your friends.

Let them know we will not tolerate Genocide any longer.

Never Ask Me About Peace Again

 

By Asmaa al-Ghoul
A first-hand account of the aftermath of an Israeli strike that killed nine members of the author’s family.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39350.htm
What if the Children Dying in Gaza were Jews?
By Robert Bonomo
Let’s do a thought experiment and imagine that the Arabs had gotten the better of the Israelis in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and after years of conflict, all that was left of Israel was the Gaza strip.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39348.htm
What Led Israel to Stop the Assault?
Norman Finkelstein
Hamas Needs to Be Recognised
By Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson

 

Unity between Fatah and Hamas is currently stronger than it has been for many years. As Elders, we believe this is one of the most encouraging developments in recent years and welcome it warmly.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39352.htm

 

Israel Flagged as Top Spy Threat to U.S. – Snowden/NSA Document
By Jeff Stein
Israel was identified by the NSA as a security threat in several areas, including “the threat of development of weapons of mass destruction” and “delivery methods”
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39342.htm

 Israeli court and state rule that children’s deaths too controversial to publicise

In other words, hide the truth from the citizens of Israel.

Recent

‘Secret serum’: Experimental Ebola drug used to treat 2 US aid workers

Lest we all forget this was done to an innocent child.

So as a reminder of just how low anyone can go this is the lowest.

Not one main stream media would touch this story.

Hundreds of us asked. Why was it, they would not respond to a unscrupulous thing like this?

So in the end we bloggers got the word out.

So in your wanderings if you see another child being used for this purpose take screen shots share with like minded people so you have loads of witnesses and after a week or two be sure to get the word out one way or the other.

US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

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Published in: on August 8, 2014 at 2:46 am  Comments (1)  
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Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!

Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians! Makes one proud to be a Canadian!! ‘Lose our reputation’ City man wants prime minister charged with advocating for genocide Andrew Abbass didn’t quite know what to expect when he walked in the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s Corner Brook headquarters on Monday morning. Abbass was there to file a complaint. Nothing unusual there for the police force, but the focus of his complaint was a little out of the ordinary. Abbass is seeking to have Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird charged with advocating for genocide. “They accepted it and filed the case,” he said shortly after leaving the RNC. His complaint, which also alleges creation and dissemination of propaganda, breach of public trust and uttering threats, stem from comments Harper and Baird have made about the ongoing Israeli conflict. “In painting Hamas and the people of Gaza as a terrorist organization they’re basically sanctioning the killing of civilians,” said Abbass. He’s put together a document that outlines the reasons for the requested charges that can be found via a link in an online petition athttp://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/rcmp-arrestharperandbaird4hatespeech-under-criminalcodesections318and319? – See more at: http://www.thetorontopost.net/2014/07/man-from-newfoundland-wants-prime.html#sthash.DxPMyc5I.dpuf

 

Newfoundland Man Wants Prime Minister Charged For Advocating Genocide Against Palestinians! Makes One Proud To Be A Canadian!

Yes, the cruel and inhuman attacks by the psychotic Israelis continues against the innocent people of Gaza.  As of this point, the reported number of innocent people that have been murdered by these monsters now exceeds the number that were killed in Operation Cast Lead some 4 years ago.  Now with the psychotic and insane Israeli leadership saying they will “escalate” the brutal assault on Gaza, the number of dead will increase significantly…. We are indeed watching the possible extermination of some 1.8 million people in what is properly called the largest open air concentration camp that has ever existed!What has truly disgusted me over the last few weeks has been how the insane Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, and his equally psychotic Foreign Minister, John Baird, were some of the first suck ups around the world to show their allegiance to the criminal state of Israel by supporting this onslaught against Gaza right from its launch….It has been shocking to watch as these two criminals and in fact the entire Federal Government here in Canada has given its undying support for genocide against a very innocent people… It has made me disgusted to call myself a Canadian…

But luckily there are other Canadians out there that are not blinded by the lies of our government or our own Jew spew media…. For according to this article, from the Toronto Post online news service, at http://www.torontopost.net, it appears that a brave and honest man from Newfoundland has launched a petition, and filed charges against the criminal Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, for his advocating genocide against the Palestinian people.    I want to present the link to that article and the online petition that EVERYONE can sign, especially those living here in Canada, right here, and I do have my usual thoughts and comments to follow:

NTS Notes:  This act of courage by Andrew Abbass does truly warm my own heart and shows that not all Canadians are fooled by the lies that we are indeed subjected to about the Gaza Strip.

It is so shocking that these two criminals, Baird and Harper, continue to parrot their full support for Israel, considering that the lame excuse for Israel’s slaughter of innocent people, namely the “3 Israeli youths” that the Israelis have falsely claimed to have been murdered by Hamas has fallen apart.  All the evidence now shows that Hamas had NOTHING to do with these deaths, and I am again smelling a rat and again am stating that these “murders” were conducted by the Israeli Mossad itself to anger the Israelis to the point that they would support their government’s genocidal attack on innocent people.  I know for a fact that Harper and his homosexual Foreign Minister, Baird, are well aware of the new evidence, and yet these two monsters are still supporting cold blooded murder?

I do want everyone from around the world, and especially ALL Canadians that see this article to sign this important petition..  I again will  present the link to that petition right HERE   The peoples’ voices must be heard and the people of Gaza do indeed need our support…

Compliments of
http://northerntruthseeker.blogspot.ca/2014/07/newfoundland-man-wants-prime-minister.html
I just had to repost this. Kudos to  Andrew.
Pass this on to all your Canadian friends.
If you do nothing else today sign the petition. Again here is the link.
http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/intlcrimcourt-s-rt-arrestharperandbaird4advocatinggenocide
Thee are also a few other things Canadians can do. All that information is at the petition site.
I think it is time for the Harper Government learns what it means, when Canadians say NOT IN MT NAME
I also suggest contacting  MP’s to say Not to war in Gaza, Say no to Genocide. Say no to any tax dollars going to Israel.
Israel should be Sanctioned.
Speak for those who cannot.
The Truth about Gaza 2014
The same truth as Cast Lead only much worse this time.
Check the Archives. Same Genocide just a different name is all.
History should never repeat.
Israel Targeting Children
http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israeli-palestinian-children.html
I guess Israel really wants The Naturel Gas that belongs to Gaza.
They also want all the land even the land in the West Bank.
The continuation of illegal settlements says it all.
Israel does not, nor ever has wanted Peace.
They want war and death.
They have proved that time and time again.

Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll tops 1,360 as school, mall hit
Dozens killed across Palestinian territory Wednesday, dimming hopes of a truce
delimited: Jul 30, 2014

Bolivia declares Israel ‘terrorist state’, scraps visa exemption agreement                             

US subsidizing Israel genocide of Gazans: Analyst

People residing in the besieged Gaza Strip are facing a crippling humanitarian crisis due to Israel’s merciless strikes on the blockaded enclave, Press TV reports.

According to the report, the blockaded area is now facing a life-threatening situation due to lack of crucial supplies including food, fuel, medicine and medical equipment.

“We are standing here for hours now for bread. We lost our homes and are staying with our relatives. This queue is endless,” a Gazan woman told Press TV.

Life is getting harder for Palestinians not only because of the recent offensive but also due to the ongoing crippling siege there.

“We have been here for more than six hours now just searching for food. It’s just not available. Neither is fuel, electricity or water,” a Gazan man said.

Despite having a fertile soil, Gazan farmers cannot access their farms, resulting in the shortage of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, there are concerns over the availability of other goods like flour due to the Israeli siege.

“There is no availability of goods in the market. Farmers can’t go to their farms and harvest fruits and vegetables because they fear they may get attacked,” another Gazan man said.

Israeli warplanes have been pounding numerous sites in the Gaza Strip since July 8, demolishing houses and burying families under the rubble. Israeli forces also began a ground offensive against the impoverished Palestinian land on July 17.

So far, more than 1,364 people have been killed and thousands others injured by the Israeli regime’s offensive against the coastal sliver despite pressure from the international community.

Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli regime since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights. Source

Published in: on July 31, 2014 at 6:55 am  Comments Off on Man from Newfoundland wants Prime Minister Charged for Advocating Genocide against The Palestinians!  
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The Truth about Gaza 2014

Blockading the Truth: Obama’s Big Lie About Gaza
By Chris Floyd
July 27, 2014 “ICH” –  (1) It is simply a lie that Israel’s slaughter in Gaza is a response to an “unprovoked attack” by Hamas. Not only is it a lie, it is a transparent, brazen lie, whose falsehood is glaringly apparent to anyone who had given even a cursory look at coverage of the Israeli government’s response to the murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.
At that time, we were told in many news reports about an Israeli “crackdown” in Gaza, including mass arrests, military operations and, finally, the killing of six Hamas members. It was after these operations and these killings — which were clear breaches of a ceasefire which Hamas had been honoring for 19 months — that Hamas began its retaliation against Israel’s unprovoked attacks.
(And no, the murder of the teenagers was not a “provocation” by Hamas, which disclaimed all connection to the crime. It was almost certainly carried out a rogue clan which has often — conveniently — staged provocations whenever it seems that some small movement toward peace might be made, and has been a thorn in Hamas’ side for a long time. What’s more, as Max Blumenthal reported, the Israeli government knew the teenagers had been murdered almost immediately, and who the likely culprits were; but the Netanyahu regime chose to wage a worldwide campaign of mendacity — and torment the boys’ parents — by claiming they might still be alive, and launching “search” missions for them.)
These are all undisputed facts. The narrative that dominates the Washington media and political discourse — “plucky Israel attacked without motive by demonic foes” — is, again, an obvious lie. But that has not stopped it from being repeated endlessly, all across the political spectrum and in every form of media, day after day after day.
It is impossible that Barack Obama does not know these undisputed facts. Standing at the apex of history’s most all-pervasive intelligence system — and receiving daily digests of news reports on volatile areas like the Middle East — he of all people knows that the Hamas rocket fire was a response to an Israeli military action, an Israeli violation of a long ceasefire.
It is also impossible that a majority, if not all, of the 100 U.S. Senators who voted to endorse the Israeli slaughter in Gaza — including stalwart “progressives” like Al Franken and “socialist” Bernie Sanders — did not know the truth when they cast their ballots. It is impossible that the editors and reporters of the nation’s leading media organizations do not know these facts — which they themselves reported only a few weeks ago.
Yet day after day after day, from the commanding heights of our “culture” (if the debased goon show of our public discourse deserves such a word), the Big Lie thunders forth. What’s more, Obama is putting his money (or rather, our money) where his mendacious mouth is, tacking $225 million for Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system into a bill ostensibly meant to deal with the influx of child immigrants. Obama and the Senate Democrats are making political pawns out of these children — most of whom are fleeing Central American hellholes created in no small part by decades of bipartisan military and political backing for repressive oligarchs. (Including, of course, Obama’s support for an oligarch-militarist “regime change” coup in Honduras early in his presidency.) With the new money for Israel’s military, the Democrats hope to sucker the Republicans into voting for the emergency immigration bill (from which they cut $1 billion — hey, you don’t want to coddle those kids!), or else put them in a political bind if the immigrant-hating GOP votes against the bill: “You aren’t supporting plucky little Israel!”
A very cynical ploy, yes, but no matter: even if it fails and the children are left to languish, some other way will be found to get the money to Israel and, most importantly, show the world that America fully supports the massacre — more than 800 Palestinians killed so far, including whole families, refugees at a UN shelter, patients in hospitals and other prime military targets.
Eight hundred dead — and Obama gives the IDF a $225 million bounty. Maybe when the death count reaches a thousand, he’ll buy Netanyahu a pony or something.
2. James Marc Leas lays out the timeline leading up to the operation in this succinct marshaling of the facts in CounterPunch. You should read the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts:

The July 8 ITIC report also divulged why Hamas launched its first rocket fire at Israel in more than 19 months on July 7: On that night Israeli forces had bombed and killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. The ITIC report includes a picture of the six Hamas members. Thus, a report from an authoritative Israeli source described the provocation for the resumption of rocket fire: Hamas rocket fire began only after Israeli forces had engaged in nearly a month of military operations in violation of the ceasefire agreement and had killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. …
The facts show that Israeli forces had to work quite hard to get Hamas to end its cease-fire. The killing of the six Hamas members was not an isolated event. Israeli forces and settlers had gone wild on the West Bank starting on June 12 after the kidnaping of three Israeli teens. Israeli forces had also attacked 60 targets in Gaza during those three weeks of June. Then, on the night of July 7, 2014, the Israeli Air Force had attacked approximately 50 more “terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip, as described in the ITIC report.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on July 3:

Israel’s military operations in the West Bank following the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers have amounted to collective punishment. The military operations included unlawful use of force, arbitrary arrests, and illegal home demolitions. … Giving more details, several of the weekly reports from the Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) indicate that Israeli forces and settlers killed 11 Palestinians and wounded 51 during 369 incursions into the West Bank between June 12 and July 2 and that Israeli forces raided hundreds of houses on the West Bank each week.

110 bombing raids, a military incursion, 17 killings, mass arrests — all before Hamas fired a single rocket. This is what Obama — and every single member of the United States Senate — call an “unprovoked attack.” They say it with a straight face — nay, with long, somber, pious faces — but they know it’s a lie.
3. But let us imagine, just for a moment, that their deceitful narrative was true. What if Hamas just woke up one fine, clear peaceful morning and said, “Hey, let’s start firing missiles at Israel, fellas! Won’t that be a hoot?” The fact is that even in that scenario, it would not be an “unprovoked attack,” but a legitimate act of self-defense.
How do we know this? Because one of Israel’s most honored statesmen told us so. As Jonathan Schwarz notes, Abba Eban, one of the founding fathers of Israel, used his renowned eloquence to defend Israel in the UN from charges of aggression for striking first in the 1967 Six-Day War. Rising to address the global body — where he had once served as vice-president of the General Assembly — Eban put forth his case. The surprise attack was justified, he said, because Egypt had blockaded an Israeli port:

The blockade is by definition an act of war, imposed and enforced through armed violence. Never in history have blockade and peace existed side by side. From May 24 onward, the question who started the war or who fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant. There is no difference in civil law between murdering a man by slow strangulation or killing him by a shot in the bead. From the moment at which the blockade was imposed, active hostilities had commenced and Israel owed Egypt nothing of her Charter rights. If a foreign power sought to close Odessa or Copenhagen or Marseilles or New York harbour by the use of force, what would happen? Would there be any discussion about who had fired the first shot? Would anyone ask whether aggression had begun?

As Schwarz points out — and which the entirety of the American political-media establishment perpetually fails to point out — Gaza has been subject to a stringent and ruinous blockade by Israel since 2007. As noted here the other day:

Israel has imprisoned the people of Gaza in a stateless limbo while carefully controlling almost every aspect of their lives, including what medicines they can have, what manufacturing and building materials they are allowed and even, at times, how much food they are allowed to eat to keep the population weakened but just above malnutrition levels. This brutal regimen in daily life is of course punctuated with regular night raids, bombings,  kidnappings, “disappearings” and almost weekly civilians deaths at the hands of Israeli overseers. This has gone on year after year.

Eban said Israel was justified in retaliating with military force when Egypt had blockaded a port for a few weeks. How much more justified would the Palestinians be in retaliating against a total blockade — by land, sea and air — that has lasted almost eight years?
I don’t agree with lobbing missiles into cities. I believe it’s wrong. But I also realize that I have the great luxury of pondering these moral and legal and philosophical questions at my leisure, in comfort and safety. I haven’t seen my family half-starved, my children’s growth stunted, my friends and relatives blown to bits. I haven’t been trapped in stateless limbo, with no passport, no freedom, no opportunity, under threat of violent death or arbitrary arrest every moment of my life. I don’t know what I would do if that was my reality. I don’t know what I’d do if I saw my loved ones suffer that way, year after year. I might somehow hold on to the ideal of non-violent resistance — or I very well might not.
But I do know that by the terms of the world’s great and good — who speak portentously of the “laws of war” and analyze in great detail the “justifications” for violent conflict — the Palestinians have a right to resist the “slow strangulation” of the blockade … and the “shot in the head” (and the missile in the crib) that they are now being subjected to. By Abba Eban’s own reasoning, from the very first day of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, “the question who started the war or who fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant.”

http://chris-floyd.com

See also

Hamas not complicit in teens’ kidnap: Israeli police: The Israeli Police Foreign Press Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, appears to have falsified the Israeli government’s claim that Hamas was responsible for the killing of three Israeli settler teens in June

Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked: Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied. Here’s what you need to know about these talking points and more. Source

 

As par usual Israel started war again.

They are responsible for the entire problem.

Then they and the US lie about it all.

Just like the lies in the Ukraine.

Killing people into submission is not the way to go.

It is called Extermination, Genocide etc.

And who supports them both???????

About the Ukraine and some truth there as well.

http://scgnews.com/flight-mh17-what-youre-not-being-told

Published in: on July 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm  Comments (1)  
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Deaths in Afghanistan 5.6 million due to war

The US killed 10 more civilians yesterday.
October 22 2011
A US rocket has struck a residential area in war-torn Afghanistan, claiming the lives of at least 10 Afghan civilians,

The fatal blast took place in a village in the northeastern Kunar Province.

The attack follows a surprise visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Kabul, to take part in a meeting aiming at finding a political solution to substitute the decade-long US-led war in Afghanistan.

The killing of civilians by foreign forces has dramatically intensified anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan.

Estimates put the number of the war-related deaths in Afghanistan at around 5.6 million. The fatalities have reportedly been caused, besides violence, by hunger, deprivation, and other instances of adversity generated by the US-led invasion and occupation of the country.

Just recently Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that the US-led NATO force provide an explanation for the killing of three members of a family in an operation in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday in the Chaki Wardak district of Wardak Province.

Insecurity continues to climb across Afghanistan despite the presence of nearly 150,000 US-led forces in the war-ravaged country. Source

‘Afghans will stand by Pakistan in war’

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that Afghanistan is strictly opposed to any US attack on Pakistan and will stand by Islamabad if Washington takes such an extreme step.

“God forbid, if a war erupts between Pakistan and the United States, we (Afghanistan) will stand by Pakistan,” Karzai told Pakistan’s Geo television network in an interview broadcast on Saturday, Reuters reported.

Karzai also said that if Pakistan is ever attacked by another country and needs help, “Afghanistan will be there with you. Afghanistan is a brother.”

The Afghan president stated, “Afghanistan will never forget the welcome, the hospitality, the respect, and the brotherhood showed by the Pakistani people towards the Afghan people.”

Karzai added, “Anybody that attacks Pakistan, Afghanistan will stand with Pakistan. Afghanistan will be a brother of Pakistan. Afghanistan will never betray a brother.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani recently urged US officials to stop accusing Islamabad and threatening it with unilateral military action.

During a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Islamabad on Thursday, October 20, Gilani raised the objection and stated that the United States must use the bilateral forum to voice any complaints.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has cautioned the United States against launching a unilateral ground operation in the North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan.

In a closed door briefing on Tuesday, October 18, Kayani told Pakistani lawmakers, “Any such attack by US forces from across the Afghan border would prove 10 times harder than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Reports that US troops are massing in Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan have raised concern in Pakistan that the US might be planning an attack on North Waziristan.

The US recently began pressing Pakistan to take military action in North Waziristan against the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.

The Haqqani group has been accused of attacking the US Embassy in Kabul and carrying out a truck bombing on a NATO outpost that injured over 70 US soldiers in September.

Some US officials have accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence, of supporting the Haqqani group, but Pakistan vehemently denies the charges.

US-Pakistan relations are already strained over the civilian casualties caused by the non-UN-sanctioned US drone attacks, which Pakistan has repeatedly condemned as violations of its sovereignty.

The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama’s administration.

Tension between Islamabad and Washington increased following a secret US attack in Pakistan that allegedly killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May. Source
Have to say however that Bin Laden died in December of 2001.

‘Pakistan blocking attacks against Iran’  

October 22 2001

Iran’s deputy interior minister for security affairs says Islamabad has assured Tehran that it will not allow terrorist groups to use its soil to launch attacks against the country.

“Due to the long border between Iran and Pakistan, enemies have constantly tried to take advantage of regional issues, but [their efforts] have been foiled because of the vigilance of the two countries,” Ali Abdollahi was quoted by IRNA as saying on Saturday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 7th Iran and Pakistan security session in Tehran, Abdollahi said the vigilance of both countries has prevented terrorist groups from attacking Iran from Pakistan in the past 11 months.

The seventh session of the special security committee of Iran and Pakistan was held in the Iranian Interior Ministry attended by the security and police officials of both countries on Saturday.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed expansion of security cooperation in fighting terrorism and organized crime, border security, drug trafficking, kidnapping, arms smuggling, human trafficking, illegal immigration, and police cooperation.

The Pakistani delegation, which arrived in Tehran on Friday, will meet with Iran’s Interior Minister Mohammad Mostafa Najjar Sunday.

The two sides are expected to sign a security agreement.  Source

Iran-Turkey trade volume increases.

The value of Iran-Turkey trade transactions hit $9.245bn during the first seven months of current Iranian year (started March 21).

The figure indicates a 70.19 percent increase compared to the same period the previous year.

The figure was $5.432bn in the first seven months of 2010 and the total value rose to $10.687bn in the same year.

Turkish Statistical Institute predicted the trade exchanges between the two countries would exceed $15bn this year. Source
Iran’s Relationship with Turkey and Pakistan are going  well.

The Problem for Pakistan and Iran is the US/Israeli  conflicts.

Pakistanis protest Clinton’s visit, They are protesting the Drone strikes.  They don’t want the US anywhere near them. They want like many of the US to mind their own business and stay home.

October 21 2011

They also protested the Drone strikes back in April 2011

They wee also out protesting in February 2011

The US is not wanted in Pakistan.

The US is not wanted in Afhghanistan

The US is not wanted in Iraq

Gee I guess when you kill millions of people no one wants you around. Genocide is what it is called. That is what the US/NATO did in Afghanistan and Iraq and now probably in Libya.

The DU left by all the bombs that were dropped will kill innocent people for many years to come.

The Legacy left by US/NATO is the death of millions.

The US and NATO are worse then Hitler.

Much worse the Gaddafi.

Definitely worse the Saddam.

When will the leaders be charged with war crimes, Genocide and crimes against humanity.

Where are the Nuremberg trials they all bragged about?

Are these crimes not large enough to prosecute.

They destroyed hospitals, schools, water, food, killed civilians by the millions.

Over a million and a half in Iraq and that doesn’t include those who died of hunger and those who are dieing from illness caused by DU etc.

Probably the total number who died would be about 5 or 6 million due to US/NATO intervention.

If these are not crimes, then the world has become a very sick place.

The gift of death that keeps on killing.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels

Criminal State – A Closer Look at Israel’s Role in Terrorism/NATO and US supporting the Rebels who are actually terrorist on the US/NATO Terrorist list. I thought the war was against terrorist not to help them. I guess they have been helping the Terrorists all along. Anything to keep the wars going for the profiteers.

The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated

Now the CIA also have all the Heroin they want as well.

The CIA loves drugs they war the world worst drug dealers.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

American Police State, The – David Wise
BoomerangMark Zepezauer
Blowback – Christopher Simpson
Blowback – Chalmers Johnson

Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI
Challenging the Secret GovernmentPost-Watergate Investigation of CIA & FBI
CIA Diary – Philip Agee
CIA’s Greatest Hits – Mark Zepezauer
Cocaine Politics – Peter Dale Scott
Covert Action – the Roots of Terrorism – ed. E. Ray & W. Schaap

Deadly Deceits – Ralph McGehee
In Search of Enemies – John Stockwell
JFK – The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy – L. Fletcher Prouty

Lawless State, The – Morton Halperin
Predatory States – Operation Condor in Latin America – J. Patrice McSherry

Safe For Democracy – the Secret Wars of the CIA – John Prados
Secret Government, The – Bill Moyers
Secrets – CIA’s war at home – Angus Mackenzie
Secret Team, The – the CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World – L. Fletcher Prouty

War At Home – Brian Glick
Challenging the Secret Government – K Olmsted

Who Killed JFK ?

The Secret Wars of the CIA – John Stockwell

The National Endowment for Democracy page

History of CIA tyranny

Articles

The CIA’s Worst Kept Secret – Gehlen Org (5/01)
CIA clears itself of drug charge
Project X, drugs and death squads
The CIA and the crack cocaine epidemic in America
Time to abolish the CIA
The CIA out of control — the Guatemala lesson
Admissions and omissions – the CIA in Guatemala
Former CIA operative talks about CIA in Latin America
CIA death squads in Latin America
Reagan’s legacy — 8 years of CIA covert action
CIA and Indonesian massacre in 1965
Believe it or not… the CIA answers some questions
CIA’s operating procedure
CIA’s Drug Connection
Still Seeing Red – CIA fosters death squads in Colombia
The Corruption of Covert Actions
Establishment Newspapers Do Damage Control for the CIA
CIA’s Drug Confession
The Chile Coup — The U.S. Hand
Inside U.S. Counterinsurgency: A Soldier Speaks
CIA, Cocaine, and Death Squads
Pulling Back the Veil on Condor
Organized Crime, The CIA and the Savings and Loan Scandal
CIA outrages in Chile
CIA Admits Tolerating Contra-Cocaine Trafficking in 1980s
The ClO without the CIA:Inside the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center
Secrets R US
CIA gave $10 million to Peru’s spymaster Montesinos
Jim Garrison, KGB, & CIA – by Oliver Stone
Official Reveals Budget for U.S. Intelligence (11/05)
U.S. Leaders are Using Pinochet’s Playbook (12/05)
The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack (11/06)

CIA-assisted plot to overthrow Laos foiled (6/07)
The CIA’s ‘Family Jewels’ – still evil after all these years (6/07)
The Life and Times of the CIA – review of the book – Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner by Chalmers Johnson, TomDispatch (7/07)
R.J. Hillhouse “Outsourced” – National Security Contracted to Private Firms – interviewed by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, July 26, 2007
“Thousands” Illegally Rendered By Bush Administration for Interrogation, Torture (11/07)
Ex-Italian President: 9/11 inside job run by CIA & Mossad (12/07)
“Operation Condor” Was No Mystery to Washington (1/08)
Gladio – Death Plan For Democracy (2/08)
The CIA Is More Active Than Ever In Venezuela (5/08)
The Assassination Bureau – Killing Hope, Sowing Terror (7/09)
The CIA’s Ghosts of Tegucigalpa [Honduras] (7/09)
The CIA, licensed to kill (8/09)
Are (US) Presidents Afraid of the CIA? (12/09)

The End Of History

By Paul Craig Roberts

October 20, 2011

Now that the CIA’s proxy army has murdered Gadhafi, what next for Libya?

If Washington’s plans succeed, Libya will become another American puppet state. Most of the cities, towns, and infrastructure have been destroyed by air strikes by the air forces of the US and Washington’s NATO puppets. US and European firms will now get juicy contracts, financed by US taxpayers, to rebuild Libya. The new real estate will be carefully allocated to lubricate a new ruling class picked by Washington. This will put Libya firmly under Washington’s thumb.

With Libya conquered, AFRICOM will start on the other African countries where China has energy and mineral investments. Obama has already sent US troops to Central Africa under the guise of defeating the Lord’s Resistance Army, a small insurgency against the ruling dictator-for-life. The Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, welcomed the prospect of yet another war by declaring that sending US troops into Central Africa “furthers US national security interests and foreign policy.” Republican Senator James Inhofe added a gallon of moral verbiage about saving “Ugandan children,” a concern the senator did not have for Libya’s children or Palestine’s, Iraq’s, Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s.

Washington has revived the Great Power Game and is vying with China. Whereas China brings Africa investment and gifts of infrastructure, Washington sends troops, bombs and military bases. Sooner or later Washington’s aggressiveness toward China and Russia is going to explode in our faces.

Where is the money going to come from to finance Washington’s African Empire? Not from Libya’s oil. Big chunks of that have been promised to the French and British for providing cover for Washington’s latest war of naked aggression. Not from tax revenues from a collapsing US economy where unemployment, if measured correctly, is 23 percent.

With Washington’s annual budget deficit as huge as it is, the money can only come from the printing press.

Washington has already run the printing press enough to raise the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) to 3.9% for the year (as of the end of September), the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W) to 4.4% for the year, and the producer price index (PPI) to 6.9% for the year.

As statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) has shown, the official inflation measures are rigged in order to hold down cost of living adjustments to Social Security recipients, thus saving money for Washington’s wars. When measured correctly, the current rate of inflation in the US is 11.5%.

What interest rate can savers get without taking massive risks on Greek bonds? US banks pay less than one-half of one percent on FDIC insured savings deposits. Short-term US government bond funds pay essentially zero.

Thus, according to official US government statistics American savers are losing between 3.9% and 4.4% of their capital yearly. According to John Williams’ estimate of the real rate of inflation, US savers are losing 11.5% of their accumulated savings.

As retired Americans receive no interest on their savings, they are having to spend down their capital. The ability of even the most prudent retirees to survive the negative rate of interest they are receiving and the erosion by inflation of any pensions that they receive will come to an end once their accumulated assets are exhausted.

Except for Washington’s favored mega-rich, the one percent that has captured all of the income gains of recent years, the rest of America has been assigned to the trash can. Nothing whatsoever has been done for them since the financial crisis hit in December 2007. Bush and Obama, Republican and Democrat, have focused on saving the 1 percent while giving the finger to the 99 percent.

Finally, some Americans, though not enough, have caught on to the flag-waving rah-rah “patriotism” that has consigned them to the trash bin of history. They are not going down without a fight and are in the streets. Occupy Wall Street has spread. What will be the fate of this movement?

Will the snow and ice of cold weather end the protests, or send them into public buildings? How long will the local authorities, subservient to Washington as they are, tolerate the obvious signal that the population lacks any confidence whatsoever in the government?

If the protests last, especially if they grow and don’t decline, the authorities will infiltrate the protestors with police provocateurs who will fire on the police. This will be the excuse to shoot down the protestors and to arrest the survivors as “terrorists” or “domestic extremists” and to send them to the $385 million dollar camps built under US government contract by Cheney’s Halliburton.

The Amerikan Police State will have taken its next step into the Amerikan Concentration Camp State.

Meanwhile, lost in their oblivion, conservatives will continue to bemoan the ruination of the country by homosexual marriage, abortion, and “the liberal media.” Liberal organizations committed to civil liberty, such as the ACLU, will continue to rank a woman’s right to an abortion with defense of the US Constitution. Amnesty International will assist Washington in demonizing its next target for military attack while turning a blind eye to the war crimes of President Obama.

When we consider what Israel has got away with, being as it is under Washington’s bought protection–the war crimes, the murders of children, the eviction in total disregard of international law of Palestinians from their ancestral homes, the bulldozing of their houses and uprooting of their olive groves in order to move in fanatical “settlers,” the murderous invasions of Lebanon and Gaza, the wholesale slaughter of civilians–we can only conclude that Washington, Israel’s enabler, can get away with far more.

In the few opening years of the 21st century, Washington has destroyed the US Constitution, the separation of powers, international law, the accountability of government, and has sacrificed every moral principle to achieving hegemony over the world. This ambitious agenda is being attempted while simultaneously Washington removed all regulation over Wall Street, the home of massive greed, permitting Wall Street’s short-term horizon to wreck the US economy, thus destroying the economic basis for Washington’s assault on the world.

Will the US collapse in economic chaos before it rules the world?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was appointed by President Reagan Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and confirmed by the US Senate. He was Associate Editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, and he served on the personal staffs of Representative Jack Kemp and Senator Orrin Hatch. He was staff associate of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, staff associate of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and Chief Economist, Republican Staff, House Budget Committee. He wrote the Kemp-Roth tax rate reduction bill, and was a leader in the supply-side revolution. He was professor of economics in six universities, and is the author of numerous books and scholarly contributions. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions. Source

The Son of Africa Claims a Continent’s Crown Jewels

By John Pilger

October 19, 2011

On 14 October, President Barack Obama announced he was sending United States special forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US combat troops will be sent to South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic. They will only “engage” for “self-defence”, says Obama, satirically. With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent is under way.

Obama’s decision is described in the press as “highly unusual” and “surprising”, even “weird”. It is none of these things. It is the logic of American foreign policy since 1945. Take Vietnam. The priority was to halt the influence of China, an imperial rival, and “protect” Indonesia, which President Nixon called “the region’s richest hoard of natural resources …the greatest prize”. Vietnam merely got in the way; and the slaughter of more than three million Vietnamese and the devastation and poisoning of their land was the price of America achieving its goal. Like all America’s subsequent invasions, a trail of blood from Latin America to Afghanistan and Iraq, the rationale was usually “self defence” or “humanitarian”, words long emptied of their dictionary meaning.
In Africa, says Obama, the “humanitarian mission” is to assist the government of Uganda defeat the Lord’s resistance Army (LRA), which “has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa”. This is an accurate description of the LRA, evoking multiple atrocities administered by the United States, such as the bloodbath in the 1960s following the CIA-arranged murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congolese independence leader and first legally elected prime minister, and the CIA coup that installed Mobutu Sese Seko, regarded as Africa’s most venal tyrant.

Obama’s other justification also invites satire. This is the “national security of the United States”. The LRA has been doing its nasty work for 24 years, of minimal interest to the United States. Today, it has few than 400 fighters and has never been weaker. However, US “national security” usually means buying a corrupt and thuggish regime that has something Washington wants. Uganda’s “president-for-life” Yoweri Museveni already receives the larger part of $45 million in US military “aid” – including Obama’s favourite drones. This is his bribe to fight a proxy war against America’s latest phantom Islamic enemy, the rag-tag al Shabaab group based in Somalia. The RTA will play a public relations role, distracting western journalists with its perennial horror stories.

However, the main reason the US is invading Africa is no different from that which ignited the Vietnam war. It is China. In the world of self-serving, institutionalised paranoia that justifies what General David Petraeus, the former US commander and now CIA director, implies is a state of perpetual war, China is replacing al-Qaeda as the official American “threat”. When I interviewed Bryan Whitman, an assistant secretary of defence at the Pentagon last year, I asked him to describe the current danger to America. Struggling visibly, he repeated, “Asymmetric threats … asymmetric threats”. These justify the money-laundering state-sponsored arms conglomerates and the biggest military and war budget in history. With Osama bin Laden airbrushed, China takes the mantle.

Africa is China’s success story. Where the Americans bring drones and destabilisation, the Chinese bring roads, bridges and dams. What they want is resources, especially fossil fuels. With Africa’s greatest oil reserves, Libya under Muammar Gaddafi was one of China’s most important sources of fuel. When the civil war broke out and Nato backed the “rebels” with a fabricated story about Gaddafi planning “genocide” in Benghazi, China evacuated its 30,000 workers in Libya. The subsequent UN security council resolution that allowed the west’s “humanitarian intervention” was explained succinctly in a proposal to the French government by the “rebel” National Transitional Council, disclosed last month in the newspaper Liberation, in which France was offered 35 per cent of Libya’s gross national oil production “in exchange” (the term used) for “total and permanent” French support for the NTC. Running up the Stars and Stripes in “liberated” Tripoli last month, US ambassador Gene Cretz blurted out: “We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources!”

The de facto conquest of Libya by the US and its imperial partners heralds a modern version of the “scramble for Africa” at the end of the 19th century.
Like the “victory” in Iraq, journalists have played a critical role in dividing Libyans into worthy and unworthy victims. A recent Guardian front page carried a photograph of a terrified “pro-Gaddafi” fighter and his wild-eyed captors who, says the caption, “celebrate”. According to General Petraeus, there is now a war “of perception … conducted continuously through the news media”.

For more than a decade the US has tried to establish a command on the continent of Africa, AFRICOM, but has been rebuffed by governments, fearful of the regional tensions this would cause. Libya, and now Uganda, South Sudan and Congo, provide the main chance. As WikiLeaks cables and the US National Strategy for Counter-terrorism reveal, American plans for Africa are part of a global design in which 60,000 special forces, including death squads, already operate in 75 countries, soon to be 120. As Dick Cheney pointed out in his 1990s “defence strategy” plan, America simply wishes to rule the world.

That this is now the gift of Barack Obama, the “Son of Africa”, is supremely ironic. Or is it? As Frantz Fanon explained in Black Skin, White Masks, what matters is not so much the colour of your skin as the power you serve and the millions you betray. Source

Transitional leader declares Libya ‘liberated’

Oct. 23, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya — Libya’s transitional leader has declared liberation of the country, three days after the death of its leader of four decades, Moammar Gadhafi.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil also told thousands of supporters at a ceremony on Sunday that Islamic Sharia law would be the “basic source” of legislation in the country and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified. In an address that set an Islamist tone for post-Gadhafi Libya, he said new banks would be set up to follow the Islamic banking system, which bans charging interest.

“This revolution was looked after by God to achieve victory,” he told the crowd. Source

Sharia law- There goes women rights

Recent

Violence erupts as general strike shuts down Greece

World Wide Occupy Wall Street Protests updated.

Pentagon Insider Says Green Light On Israel/USA To Strike Iran Within 2 Weeks

Wall Street and Greek protests spread to Brussels

We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former NYPD detective testifies

Wall Street/Washington Protesters an Inspiration to Behold

Cost of war to Libyans about $200 Billion


Published in: on October 23, 2011 at 4:11 am  Comments Off on Deaths in Afghanistan 5.6 million due to war  
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Netanyahu Takes His Siege Against Human Rights NGOs to the US

Day-long conference apparently encouraged by the Israeli government labels Israeli human rights workers as traitors.

By Max Blumenthal

March 17 2010

As the anti-Goldstone, human rights-bashing Lawfare Project’s opening event on March 11 wrapped up, I asked its chairman, Columbia University Law School Dean David Schizer, for an interview. Schizer, who had just attacked the Goldstone Report from the podium, pointedly refused to speak to me and looked for the exit. As Schizer was leaving, he was politely confronted by Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Franke, who heads the school’s Program in Gender and Sexuality Law.

“Why didn’t you invite any speakers with an alternative perspective?” Franke asked Schizer.

His reply was curt. “We invited one or two but they couldn’t make it,” Schizer claimed before hurrying away.

Schizer was understandably nervous about his exposure. After all, he had just presided over a day-long conference during which Israeli human rights workers were labeled as traitors while Judge Richard Goldstone and human rights groups were compared to “anti-Semitic street gangs.” After several speakers had harshly condemned legal efforts against the construction of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Schizer appeared beside them to lend his credibility to their views.

Columbia Law Dean David Schizer Attacks Goldstone, Human Rights NGO’s @Lawfare Conference

Schizer attacks Goldstone

Held in the ornate NY County Lawyers Association meeting room in downtown Manhattan, where the walls were adorned with portraits of the pioneers of international jurisprudence, the Lawfare Project’s conference had the look of a non-partisan academic conference. However, the event was organized by a network of American Zionist groups and conservative operatives with apparent encouragement from the Israeli government.

As Scott Horton noticed at Harper’s, the Lawfare Project’s rollout event followed a remarkably similar conference in Jerusalem two weeks earlier. Both conferences followed legislation in the Knesset designed to force NGO’s to disclose their foreign donors so they can be more easily branded as a fifth column and to strangle human rights groups in Israel and occupied Palestine.

The presence of high-level Israeli officials like UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev at the Lawfare Project conference suggested that the Netanyahu administration was the hidden hand behind the event. If so, the Israeli government has deployed its American Jewish allies to take the fight across the Atlantic to groups like Human Rights Watch and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Both groups were attacked at the event as anti-Israeli and anti-American.

I arrived late in the day but just in time for a panel moderated by Pat Robertson’s longtime legal counsel, Jay Sekulow. Sekulow, a convert from Judaism to evangelical Christianity who has spent his career representing anti-gay and anti-abortion clients, appears to be playing a key role in the Lawfare Project.

Through his American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Sekulow reaps millions of dollars each year from Christian conservative donors. He uses that money to pay himself upwards of $600,000, provide a lavish lifestyle for his family, and procure the services of the PR firm, 5WPR, which represents other upstanding clients like Girls Gone Wild and the pro-settler Hebron Fund.

5WPR was handling the press list for the Lawfare Project and shuttling its speakers to and from media appearances. 5W Senior Account Executive Maggie Davis told me that through the firm’s relationship with Sekulow, she was arranging media appearances for Brooke Goldstein, founder of the Children’s Rights Institute, which happens to share a domain address with the Lawfare Project. Both websites were registered by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which played a direct role in planning the conference. Goldstein is now the lead spokesperson for the Lawfare Project, according to 5W’s Davis.

NGO Monitor legal advisor Anne Herzberg was featured prominently at the conference. During a panel discussion, she accused the European Union of “pouring hundreds of millions into these NGO’s…that are actually in favor of a one-state solution.” Without naming those NGO’s or explaining why accepting foreign money was such a crime, Herzberg boasted of suing human rights groups to force them disclose their donors. She accused Israeli NGO’s like B’tselem of causing “a breach of sovereignty” against Israel by contributing data to the Goldstone Report — an insinuation that Israeli human rights workers were traitors.

An NGO Monitor report was distributed to conference attendees identifying groups supposedly promoting “post-colonial ideology” as “anti-state,” “anti-democracy” and “anti-American.” The report identified NGO Monitor’s top targets: the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Al-Haq. Al-Haq was singled out because, along with a staffer from the Israeli group B’Tselem, it filed an expert opinion in the case to move a section of the separation wall annexing thousands of acres of farmland from the Palestinian town of Bil’in to a nearby Jewish settlement.

The attack on Al Haq highlights part of NGO’s Monitor’s not-so-hidden agenda: to allow the settler movement to usurp land in the West Bank without limitations. As Didi Remez reported, NGO Monitor has partnered with the Institute for Zionist Strategies, led by Yisrael Harel, who helped to found the Gush Emunim settler movement and lives in the religious nationalist settlement of Ofra. Remez also pointed out that NGO Monitor has made no demand for financial transparency from pro-settler organizations which are also engaged in what it would call “lawfare.”

NGO Monitor has also targeted US-based human rights group. It has gone after Human Rights Watch on the basis of the group’s contribution of reporting to the Goldstone Report and because Goldstone was at one point a HRW board member. The Center for Constitutional Rights was singled out because its founder, Michael Ratner, went on the recent Viva Palestina mission with Code Pink. None of the factual documentation these groups released was challenged by the NGO Monitor report or in Herzberg’s presentation. Instead, the groups and their leadership are being targeted with a scattershot of accusations that recall McCarthyism in its crudest form.

As a consequence of his zeal, NGO Monitor director Gerald Steinberg was hauled into an Israeli court this month and forced to apologize for claiming a Palestinian human rights group “justified violence.” Yossi Alpher, a former advisor to Ehud Barak, has condemned Steinberg’s activities, writing that NGO Monitor “seems dead set on eliminating human rights monitoring of Israel entirely and smearing anyone who supports this vital activity.”

The NGO Monitor report and the speakers at the Lawfare Project event expressed alarm about the effectiveness of the global BDS movement and its success in exposing apartheid practices in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Speaker Richard Heidemann, the Honorary Chairman of B’nai Brith, said that the fight against BDS was essential to the Lawfare Project. “We have to stand up against slander, we have to stand up against boycott,” he proclaimed. “If you were accused of apartheid, wouldn’t you consider taking action?” However, he proposed no specific measures or tactics other than making vehement statements.

Francois-Henri Briard, a conservative French attorney, voiced his outrage that the BDS movement had successfully pressured the French company Veolia to pull out of an Israeli light rail project that would have connected illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank to Jerusalem. He called the initiative against the rail line “an attack on Israeli sovereignty” even though it specifically targeted the settlement enterprise across the Green Line.

Jeremy Rabkin, an outspoken neoconservative law professor, echoed Herzberg’s smearing of human rights groups as treasonous. “These human rights groups we keep hearing about are not loyal to their country or to democracy, but to some strange world order,” he declared.

Not to be outdone, David Matas, the senior legal counsel to B’nai Brith Canada, maintained that because the International Criminal Court represented the legacy of the Holocaust, it should always side with Israel. He went on to compare the Goldstone Report and efforts to invoke international law to prosecute Israeli officials to “anti-Semitism by gangs in the street.”

Matas’s invective against international law was ironic in light of the fact that his most notable court case called upon international legal bodies to prosecute China for supposedly harvesting the organs of Falun Gong practitioners. In September 2009, Matas hailed a Spanish court (the concept of “forum shopping” in Spanish courts was attacked repeatedly during the conference) for indicting former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Chinese officials for what he called “genocide and torture.”

Matas has defined genocide as merely stating “the intent to kill” a group of people. What’s more, he has justified prosecuting Jiang by invoking International Criminal Court statutes governing the prosecution of high government officials who did not directly commit crimes against humanity but may have allowed them to occur through specific administrative measures. Couldn’t these statutes also be applied against the Israeli government officials who oversaw the assault on Gaza?

Matas’s invocation of international law to prosecute Chinese officials while attacking it to protect Israeli officials highlighted the underlying cynicism of the Lawfare Project. Indeed, the project has nothing to do with combating the abuse of international law per se; it is an ideologically-driven effort to intimidate anyone who stands in the way of Israel’s human rights abuses.

According to 5W’s Davis, the Lawfare Project’s opening event was a strategy session designed to “raise awareness.” Though it is still unclear what actions the project will take, the demonization that human rights groups and other democratic elements in Israel have weathered foreshadows the attacks their American allies may soon face.

Source

The Lawfare Project was promoting hate against Human Rights organizations no less.  Really have to wonder about them as well NGO Monitor, which is nothing more then an organization to destroy Freedom of Speech.

Say anything about Israel and you are demonized.

With Israels Human Rights record, we should never loose our freedom to tell the world.  Hiding the truth is not to be tolerated.

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

Israeli Military Investigator Admits Failures in the Military Investigation of Rachel Corrie’s Killing

Egypt : 42 electoral candidates and 145 protestors arrested in one day

Children of Gaza are Suffering, Scarred, Trapped

Report: U.S. vows to halt Israeli building in East Jerusalem

Amir, ten years old, abducted by Israeli soldiers from his bed

“This Time We Went Too Far” Truth and Consequences in the Gaza Invasion

E-book on Jewish National Fund’s role in colonization of Palestine

Israel on Trial – The Russell Tribunal on Palestine

US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

China renews call for diplomacy on Iran

Food industry probe reveals abuse of foreign workers

Japan Report: Private Agreements Allowed US to Bring Nukes

Published in: on March 20, 2010 at 5:10 am  Comments Off on Netanyahu Takes His Siege Against Human Rights NGOs to the US  
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Israel and US were behind the Georgian Attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia

This is a rather long story. It began a few years ago.  Russian is not to blame for the problems caused by the US ans Israel.

October 26, 2009

Figured it was about time to get to this. Considering how the US ans Israel have been  using the media in bombarding you with Iran misinformation.  Iran is doing nothing wrong.  Just like Russia did nothing wrong. But that certainly was not what you were told by the main stream media.  So if you have the time and the inclination read all the stories provided and you will have an education on how the US and Israel manipulate and lie. How they use others to achieve their goals of domination over other countries and use the media to brainwash the public.

Education is one of the best weapons any of us can have.

Obama and the new administration are still using many of the same tactics against Iran.

Israel well that never changes.

So now to the Georgian Russia war

Yes Israel and the US were behind it all. I will try to put it all as simply as possible.
So once upon a time: Before Obama was elected

The Puppet Masters decided  Georgia’s  Leader should be President Saakashvili.
August 21, 2008

The controversy over the Georgian surprise military attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 8.8.08 makes a closer look at the controversial Georgian President and his puppet masters important. An examination shows 41 year old Mikhail Saakashvili to be a ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied to not only the US NATO establishment, but also to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. The famous ‘Rose Revolution of November 2003 that forced the ageing Edouard Shevardnadze from power and swept the then 36 year old US university graduate into power was run and financed by the US State Department, the Soros Foundations, and agencies tied to the Pentagon and US intelligence community.

Mihkail Saakashvili was deliberately placed in power in one of the most sophisticated US regime change operations, using ostensibly private NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) to create an atmosphere of popular protest against the existing regime of former Soviet Foreign Minister Edouard Shevardnadze, who was no longer useful to Washington when he began to make a deal with Moscow over energy pipelines and privatizations.
Saakashvili as mafioso President

Once he was in place in January 2004 as Georgia’s new President, Saakashvili proceeded to pack the regime with his cronies and kinsmen. The death of Zurab Zhvania, his prime minister in February, 2005, remains a mystery. The official version—poisoning by faulty gas heater—was adopted by American FBI investigators within two weeks of the killing. That has never seemed credible to those familiar with Georgia’s gangland slayings, crime, and other manifestations of social decay. Zhvania’s death was followed closely by a functionary of the Premier’s apparat, Georgi Khelashvili, who allegedly shot himself the day after his chief’s demise. The head of Zhvania’s research staff was later found dead as well.

This is how new Regimes are formed by the US in other countries.

This tactic has been used many times in many countries.  The above is just a small excerpt from the article. For the rest of the story, on how they do it,  go here.

Recently the same attempt, using the same tactics were  made in Iran.

Oh Gee what a shocker. Like anyone who knows a fragment of US/Israeli tactics would have figured that out from the onset. Most however believe the propaganda spoon fed to them by the  major Media.

The same media lashed out at Russia for stopping Georgia. Russia was the bad guy, ya right. Russia was anything but the bad guy. They did not start the war. They were actually defending South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia’s attack.

Israel ‘needs Georgia for Iran strike’
LONDON, August 26 2008

Columnist Ian Brockwell says the US is interested in Georgia because it borders Russia, has a pipeline that is intended to transfer oil to Israel, and most importantly is a country that can be used in an attack against Iran.

According to his article in the American Chronicle, the Bush Administration has been looking for an excuse to attack the Islamic Republic so that it can take possession of the country’s oil and give Israel a share in Iranian crude by transferring it through Georgia. Source

Well there is another Shocker they want the oil. Well that certainly isn’t anything new.

So now we know the How, Why and Who of a few things.

So now the US and Israel have Georgia in their slimy paws.

War With Russia Is On The Agenda

August 26, 2008

By Paul Craig Roberts

Russian peacekeepers, together with Georgian ones, had been stationed in South Ossetia since the early 1990s. On orders from Mikheil Saakashvili, the American puppet “president” of Georgia, the Georgian peacekeepers turned their weapons on the unsuspecting Russian peacekeepers and murdered them.

This action by Saakashvili, elected with money from the neoconservative National Endowment for Democracy, an election-rigging tool of US hegemony, was a war crime. In truth, the Russians should have hung Saakashvili, as he is far more guilty than was Saddam Hussein. But it is Russia, not Saakashvili, that the US media has demonized. Source

As we see Russia was defending itself. What else would you have them do?  The Media did demonize Russia as they demonize anyone they attack.

This covers their lies and sucks the public into believing the lie,  but fortunately the truth does in the end come out. Well most of the time. Sometimes years to late.

The US and Israel in this case are also  war criminals, as is the Georgia.

They all conspired to commit a crime.So now we have established who the real Criminals are.

Russia claims proof of genocide

August 26, 2008

RUSSIAN investigators say they have proof Georgian forces committed genocide in their attack on the rebel region of South Ossetia this month.

“It has been fully established that between August 7 and 12, Georgia’s armed forces invaded the territory of the unrecognised republic with the aim of fully annihilating the Ossetian ethnic group living in South Ossetia,” Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin.

“They spared no one. We found a woman who had been killed with a shot to the head. She was eight months’ pregnant. Her unborn child died too,” he said.

Mr Bastrykin was summarising the results of an ongoing investigation into the Georgian attack on the Moscow-backed rebel enclave, which prompted Russia to pour troops and armour into its southern neighbour.

Mr Bastrykin did not say how many South Ossetian civilians were killed, but a senior local prosecutor last week said 133 civilian deaths had been confirmed in South Ossetia and that the toll was likely to grow.

Russian officials earlier backed up the genocide accusations by saying up to 2000 of South Ossetia’s population of 70,000 had been killed.

Source

From August 29, 2008

Putin smells a US rat in Georgia crisis

What was a top national security aide to Vice President Dick Cheney doing in Georgia shortly before Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s troops engaged in what became a disastrous fight with South Ossetian rebels – and then Russian troops? Source

Seems to me there were quite a few Rats behind this. The infestation started long before the conflict. It started with the US/Israeli coup in Georgia.

War in South Ossetia: Georgia started it 

October 1 2009

The responsibility for a war between Georgia and Russia in August last year in which 850 people were killed and over 100,000 fled their homes turns on one key point. Was a Russian invasion of the breakaway province of South Ossetia already under way on the night of  August 7 when Georgia opened fire? Had Russian tank columns passed through the strategic Roki tunnel, between North and South Ossetia, as Tbilisi claimed? Or did Georgia fire first, with an artillery and rocket barrage on Tskhinvali, as Russia maintained?

In more than 1,000 pages of analysis, documentation and witness statements, an exhaustive investigation by the European Union yesterday found in Russia’s favour. It laced its judgment with caveats. It found that there had been an influx of volunteers and mercenaries through the tunnel in early August, and that the Russian air force attacked targets outside the disputed zone long before they admitted to doing so. But on the central issue the report found there was insufficient evidence for a large-scale Russian incursion before the morning of 8 August. Nor could it be verified whether Russia was on the verge of a major attack, and nor could Georgia’s actions be justified under international law.

The fact-finding mission, headed by the Swiss diplomat and old Caucasus hand Heidi Tagliavini, was not one-sided. It condemned Russia for its disproportionate response to the Georgian assault, for allowing the ethnic cleansing of Georgian villages, and for attacking another disputed territory well away from the conflict, the upper Kodori valley in Abkhazia. These findings are important, and not just because the conflict is still continuing: more than a year on, around 35,000 people have yet to return to their homes, and they probably never will. They are important because they chronicle an event that does not have a single cause, and therefore not a single solution. At the time, Russian military action was taken as exhibit A in the orthodoxy that an oil-rich Moscow could not accept retreat from empire and was destined to impose its will on its weaker neighbours by recreating a mini-USSR. Former victims of Soviet power such as Poland and the Baltic states argued then that Nato should stand up to a reassertive Russia, by accepting Georgia and Ukraine into the western military alliance. They still do.

The Caucasus is more complicated than that. The ability to jump in front of a CNN camera does not confer on the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, the gifts of a democrat. Nor is Russia the sole aggressor in a region of ancient disputes. This report should induce caution among those who come to premature judgments about Russia’s relationship with its near-abroad.

Source

The power of the Israel Lobby is an important component of keeping Americans in the dark. Recently I watched a documentary that demonstrates the control that the Israel Lobby exercises over Americans’ view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The documentary is available here:

Related Article

Fallout of US agression

Russia will place missiles in Baltic region a response to US missile defence plans

 

The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated


Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 11:17 pm  Comments Off on Israel and US were behind the Georgian Attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia  
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Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

Both wars were planned long before 9/11
October 10, 2009
The New American Century

This film goes in detail through the untold history of The Project for the New American Century with tons of archival footage and connects it right into the present.

The film provides solid evidence for the true reasons behind the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, whose unfolding is described in chilling detail in a document called “Project for the New American Century”, published in the year 2,000, that seems to have served as the actual blueprint for such dramatic events

This film exposes how every major war in US history was based on a complete fraud with video of insiders themselves admitting it.

This film shows how the first film theaters in the US were used over a hundred years ago to broadcast propaganda to rile the American people into the Spanish-American War.

This film shows the white papers of the oil company Unocal which called for the creation of a pipeline through Afghanistan and how their exact needs were fulfilled through the US invasion of Afghanistan.

This film shows how Halliburton under their “cost plus” exclusive contract with the US Government went on a mad dash spending spree akin to something out of the movie Brewster’s Millions, yet instead of blowing $30 million they blew through BILLIONS by literally burning millions of dollars worth of hundred thousand dollar cars and trucks if they had so much as a flat tire. “A stunning film.

It should be seen as widely as possible, in cinemas, bars, clubs, at meetings and, of course, through the internet. I’m sure the film will continue to be a source of debate and political education for many years.

Maybe until the war criminals have been brought to trial.” – Ken Loach While Massimo Mazzucco’s first political documentary, GLOBAL DECEIT (2006), focused on the long list of inconsistencies in the official version of the 9/11 attacks, THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY explores the historical, philosophical and economic background that suggests a matrix for such events that is much closer to home than the so-called “Islamic terrorism”.


Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence.

Al Qaeda not a terrorist group  –Just a  Database

‘Al Qaeda’: How the Pentagon/ CIA Made an ‘Enemy’

The Israeli Connection


War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity And Genocide In Iraq

Legal Case Filed Against 4 U.S. Presidents and 4 UK Prime Ministers
October 08, 2009

MADRID: Today the Spanish Senate, acting to confirm a decision already taken under pressure from powerful governments accused of grave crimes, will limit Spain’s laws of universal jurisdiction. Yesterday, ahead of the change of law, a legal case was filed at the Audiencia Nacional against four United States presidents and four United Kingdom prime ministers for commissioning, condoning and/or perpetuating multiple war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Iraq.

This case, naming George H W Bush, William J Clinton, George W Bush, Barack H Obama, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown, is brought by Iraqis and others who stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in defence of their rights and international law.

Iraq: 19 years of intended destruction

The intended destruction — or genocide — of Iraq as a state and nation has been ongoing for 19 years, combining the imposition of the most draconian sanctions regime ever designed and that led to 1.5 million Iraqi deaths, including 500,000 children, with a war of aggression that led to the violent deaths of over one million more.

* Destroying Iraq included the purposeful targeting of its water and sanitation system, attacking the health of the civilian population. Since 1990, thousands of tons of depleted uranium have been dropped on Iraq, leading in some places to a 600 per cent rise in cancer and leukaemia cases, especially among children. In both the first Gulf War and “Shock and Awe” in 2003, an air campaign that openly threatened “total destruction”, waves of disproportionate bombing made no distinction between military and civilian targets, with schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, and historical sites all destroyed.

* Destroying Iraq included promoting, funding and organizing sectarian and ethnic groups bent on dividing Iraq into three or more sectarian or ethnic entities, backed by armed militias that would terrorize the Iraqi people. Since 2003, some 4.7 million Iraqis — one fifth of the population — have been forcibly displaced. Under occupation, kidnappings, killings, extortion and mutilation became endemic, targeting men, women and even children and the elderly.

* Destroying Iraq included purposefully dismantling the state by refusing to stop or stem or by instigating mass looting, and by engaging in ideological persecution, entailing “manhunting”, extrajudicial assassinations, mass imprisonment and torture, of Baathists, the entire educated class of the state apparatus, religious and linguistic minorities and Arab Sunnis, resulting in the total collapse of all public services and other economic functions and promoting civil strife and systematic corruption.

* In parallel, Iraq’s rich heritage and unique cultural and archaeological patrimony has been wantonly destroyed.

In order to render Iraq dependent on US and UK strategic designs, successive US and UK governments have attempted to partition Iraq and to establish by military force a pro-occupation Iraqi government and political system. They have promoted and engaged in the massive plunder of Iraqi natural resources, attempting to privatize this property and wealth of the Iraqi nation.

Humanity at stake

This is but the barest summary of the horrors Iraq has endured, based on lies that nobody but cowed governments and complicit media believed. In 2003, millions worldwide were mobilized in opposition to US/UK plans. In going ahead, the US and UK launched an illegal war of aggression. Accountability has not been established.

The persons named in this case have each played a key role in Iraq’s intended destruction. They instigated, supported, condoned, rationalized, executed and/or perpetuated or excused this destruction based on lies and narrow strategic and economic interests, and against the will of their own people. Allowing those responsible to escape accountability means such actions could be repeated elsewhere.

It is imperative now to establish accountability for US and UK war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq because:

Every Iraqi victim deserves justice.

Everyone responsible should be accountable.

We are before immoral and unlawful acts, contrary to the basis on which the international order of state sovereignty and peace and security rests. Whereas the official international justice system is closed before the suffering of those that imperialism makes a target, through this case we try to open a channel whereby the conscience of humanity can express its solidarity with justice for victims of imperial crimes.

Ad Hoc Committee For Justice For Iraq

Press contacts:
Hana Al Bayaty, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal

34 657 52 70 77 or +20 10 027 7964 (English and French) hanaalbayaty@gmail.com
Dr Ian Douglas, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal, coordinator, International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq

+20 12 167 1660 (English) iandouglas@USgenocide.org

Amanda Nuredin, +34 657 52 70 77 (Spanish) justiciaparairak@gmail.com
Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal

+33 471 461 197 (Arabic) albayaty_abdul@hotmail.com
Web:
www.brusselstribunal.org
www.USgenocide.org
www.twitter.com/USgenocide
www.facebook.com/USgenocide

Source

‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

US-NATO Using Military Might To Control World Energy Resources

Has Usama Bin Ladin been dead for seven years – and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?

The New American Century

Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,

This is a very detailed report, absolutely amazing how many countries supply weapons to Israel.  Do check it out and please sign the petition of support.

Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel/Gaza and Petition to Support the Goldstone UN Mission Report

Pipelines in the Middle East Afghanistan included/ Maps as well

The so Called Drug Wars fuel the American Prison System. Profit, profit, profit.

You can’t in a million years tell me that the US could not stop the Heroin from coming out of Afghanistan. If the Taliban could irradiate it so to could the US.  The drugs fuel the CIA drug dealing.

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

 

 

To Israel Hamas is not al-Qaida

The two are radically different – the position of the democratically elected Hamas is about land, not religion, creed or race.

September 21 2009

By Anas Altikriti

The exiled Democratically elected Hamas leader, Khaled MeshalThe exiled Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, speaking at a press conference in Damascus in 2008. Photograph: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty

The New Statesman’s interview with Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader, was one of the most significant interviews with the leading figure in a movement that has been demonised and excommunicated by most of the western world and its media. The fact that Meshal realises that his words will be scrutinised by his allies and supporters as closely as his adversaries confirms that he speaks of the official position of Hamas on a number of crucial issues which the pro-Israel propaganda apparatus has managed to manipulate for so long.

Arguably, the most important assertion made in the interview, conducted by Ken Livingstone, is that in which Meshal clearly stated that the Palestinian struggle was anything but a conflict between Muslims and the Jewish people. He insisted that the Palestinians were fighting against the occupier who had dispossessed them of their homes and lands, regardless of religion, creed or race. He also went on to confirm that the concept of coexistence was largely present in the Palestinian psyche, and that genocide, as suffered by Jews in Europe (and which he described as “horrible and criminal”) was alien not only to the Palestinians but to the inhabitants of the region as a whole.

His statement that Jews, Muslims and Christians had for centuries lived side by side – implying there was nothing intrinsic to prevent this happening again in the future – is crucial. This mirrors Ismail Haniyeh’s response, after he became prime minister in 2006, to the question of whether the Palestinians wished to throw the Jews into the sea: “Does a besieged people that is waiting breathlessly for a ship to come from the sea want to throw the Jews into the ocean? Our conflict is not with the Jews, our problem is with the occupation.”

This unequivocal stand is one that ought to be welcomed by Jewish communities around the world. Rather than the fear-mongering tactics of the Israeli media machine, particularly during the Gaza attack earlier this year, warning Jews of imminent attacks against them and their facilities, Meshal was sending a clear message of assurance that the Palestinian struggle was political rather than religious and about real political grievances and not against the Jewish people per se. This comes after Meshal had himself publicly rejected any attack committed anywhere in the world which exploited the premise of the Palestinian struggle.

His comments on democracy were equally enlightening. He explained that since the Palestinian people included the entire political, religious and ideological spectrums, Hamas would abide by the outcome of their vote, respect the rights of different faiths and political views, and refrain from imposing Islamic law against the wishes of the people. This position has been condemned by al-Qaida and the leading Salafi-jihadi theologian Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi who stated that they and Hamas shared “neither ideology nor doctrine”.

Meshal’s interview was denounced by Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis on grounds that would equally exclude the government from talking to Israel were it not for the double standards applied to Palestine and the Middle East. Indeed, the very fact that Ivan Lewis should be made a minister with responsibility for the Middle East, given his clear bias as a former deputy leader of the Labour Friends of Israel, is a sad indication of how little interest it displays in convincing people of any kind of fairness in its approach to this part of the world.

The British government led the way in proscribing Hamas when the Islamic movement won the majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament in January 2006. More recently it is reported that the British government has been heavily involved in training and supporting the security forces of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which have been accused of imprisoning, torturing and physically abusing members of Hamas and other political factions. While finding time to condemn an interview in a weekly magazine, neither Ivan Lewis nor the British government as a whole has accepted the finding of the authoritative UN report on Gaza authored by a committee led by a South African judge well known for his support for Israel, which condemned Israel for war crimes and possibly even crimes against humanity in Gaza.

A few weeks ago in Oxford, the foreign secretary, David Miliband, spoke promisingly on the Palestinian issue, making clear that al-Qaida and Hamas were quite different. On that he was right. When the Twin Towers were attacked in September 2001, the Palestinian intifada was at its peak and people around the world were gripped by the resolve and tenacity of the Palestinian people. Visiting South Africa at the time, I found most universities had unions supporting the Palestinian struggle and comparing it to their own successful struggle against apartheid.

However, one immediate reaction to the collapse of the towers and the death of almost 3,000 Americans was the mobilisation of the Israeli propaganda machine which claimed that the fight it was engaged in on the streets of Palestinian towns and villages was the same as that which the US and its people had horrifically come face to face with. The message was that Hamas, which was in the forefront of the Palestinian struggle, was one and the same as al-Qaida, and that their persecution of Hamas was simply part of the global war on terror. The radical different policies and methods of Hamas and al-Qaida, not least the refusal of Hamas to take up arms outside Palestine, were dismissed.

Even the most superficial examination exposes these lies. Al-Qaida has four main features: it has called for a “global war on the Crusaders and Jews“; it sees any target anywhere around the world that serves its cause as legitimate; it dismisses democracy as an affront to Islam and a satanic system of rule; and it believes in enforcing Sharia law in all Muslim countries, if not beyond.

As Gideon Levy, a columnist for the popular Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, explains in the New Statesman, Hamas is totally different. In fact, Hamas supports democracy, is the democratically elected majority representative of the Palestinian people and takes up arms solely within Palestine because there is no alternative against an illegal occupying power that confiscates its people’s lands and destroys their livelihoods. In similar circumstances, as Israeli leaders have themselves admitted, any people in the world would do the same.

It is high time that we act assertively to resolve the 61-year Palestinian tragedy and end the ongoing crisis. It is time for the British government to stop discrediting itself by blatant double standards and to listen to many, including the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, and to recognise and speak directly to those whom the Palestinian people have chosen to represent them: Hamas.

Source

People should be allowed to elect who they want to represent them.

The West and Europe should be ashamed of themselves.

PA minister accuses Israel of neglecting prisoners’ health Plus two very good reports on the way Israel forces Palistinians to plead Guilty to crimes they didn’t commit

UN nuclear assembly has called for Israel to open its nuclear facilities to UN inspection

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 8:21 am  Comments Off on To Israel Hamas is not al-Qaida  
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Muntazer al-Zaidi tells us why he Threw the Shoe

Why I Threw the Shoe

I am no hero. I just acted as an Iraqi who witnessed the pain and bloodshed of too many innocents

By Muntazer al-Zaidi

September 19, 2009

I am free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.

Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.

We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ. This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.

Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents.

I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.

As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.

The opportunity came, and I took it.

I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.

I say to those who reproach me: do you know how many broken homes that shoe which I threw had entered? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.

When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I caused the establishment, I apologise. All that I meant to do was express with a living conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day. The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism needs to speak out, then professionalism should be allied with it.

I didn’t do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to defend my country.

Source

Population of Iraq in 2008  28,221,181

Year Unemployment rate (%)
2005 25
2006 25
2007 25
2008 18
Year Oil – proved reserves (bbl)
2003 113800000000
2004 113800000000
2005 112500000000
2006 112500000000
2007 112500000000
2008 115000000000
Year Natural gas – proved reserves (cubic meters)
2003 3149000000000
2004 3149000000000
2005 3149000000000
2006 3115000000000
2007 3115000000000
2008 3170000000000

No one can say  Bush and company wanted a war for any reason other then oil and gas.

The US should pay retribution to Iraq for all the damage that has been done in the name of theft, greed, control and profiteering.

The homeless need homes, the orphans need care. The maimed need support. The list goes on and on.

For the million who have died. And those who were tortured.

Prison is where Bush and company should be.

Over a million have died, that is a Crime against humanity.

That is genocide.

That is a war crime.

The war is illegal based on lies, propaganda and fraud. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Just the WMD the US used on the Iraqis.  They used things like White Phosphorus, Napalm, 240,000 cluster bombs, 10,000  unguided munitions, 20.000  precision bombs and missiles were dropped and I am pretty sure they also used Bunker Busters (type of nuclear bomb),  all by May 1, 2003.

That is definitely overkill. Excessive use of force against a country that had been under sanctions for about a decade. The US loves to attack the defenseless and weak.

Since then the killing has continued. The war wasn’t over as Bush declared, again he lied.  Bush is a criminal.

For that the criminals should be held responsible, to do less would be a crime against all of us.

  • Genocide
  • War crimes
  • Crimes against humanity
  • Crimes of aggression

The rest of the world cannot sit by and allow anything this horrendous to go unpunished.

It’s time for the US and other forces to get the hell out of their country.

Spanish judge resumes torture case against six senior Bush lawyers

Did You Know: About Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis

The Final Solution is a No-State Solution
By William Bowles

January 31, 2009

It was either in 1941 or maybe 1942 that the Nazis implemented the ‘Final Solution’, the extermination of all ‘non-Aryan’ peoples that included not only the Jews but also the Roma and the Serbs. So the term Holocaust is not copyright © the Jewish ‘race’ in spite of their appropriation of the Upper case.

The numbers are not important, let the historians and researchers argue over whether it was five or six million Jews or whether it was half-a-million or two million Roma who ‘went up the chimney’[1] (I don’t have a number for the Serbs, but perhaps a million died at the hands of the Croatian Ustase, the local Nazis in the then Yugoslavia, as well as at the hands of German Nazi occupiers).

What is important about the ‘Final Solution’ is that it was a state-sponsored project to not only entirely eradicate ‘non-Aryans’ but to erase all traces of their existence; their history, their cultures and languages, what today we call genocide. An apt lesson for the creation of the state of Israel, that for its creation, also required the total removal of all things non-Jewish.

The parallels with the Nazi state are so obvious yet not alluded to at all in the current tragedy of the Palestinian people, but Eretz (Greater) Israel flows from the same source, the imperial urge to expand and subdue, to exterminate all that is non ‘Jewish’ in the land that is Palestine.

And it doesn’t require much digging around in the history books to find that the Zionist founders of Israel drew much of their ‘inspiration’ from Nazi ideology in the 1930s.

“Zionism convicts itself. On June 21, 1933, the German Zionist Federation sent a secret memorandum to the Nazis:

“Zionism has no illusions about the difficulty of the Jewish condition, which consists above all in an abnormal occupational pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one’s own tradition. Zionism recognized decades ago that as a result of the assimilationist trend, symptoms of deterioration were bound to appear, which it seeks to overcome by carrying out its challenge to transform Jewish life completely.

“It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry–indeed, that such a national renewal must first create the decisive social and spiritual premises for all solutions.

“Zionism believes that a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group. For the Jew, too, origin, religion, community of fate and group consciousness must be of decisive significance in the shaping of his life. This means that the egotistic individualism which arose in the liberal era must be overcome by public spiritedness and by willingness to accept responsibility.”
Thus from the getgo we see the idea of ‘racial purity’ embedded in the Zionist project. Avraham Stern of the infamous Stern Gang and his followers announced that

“The National  Military  Organization (NMO), which is well-acquainted with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its authorities towards Zionist activity inside Germany and towards Zionist emigration plans, is of the opinion that:

1. Common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.

2. Cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed folkish-national Hebraium would be possible and,

3. The establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

Brenner concludes this section by saying,

“They hanged people all over Europe after WW II for notes to the Nazis like these. But these treasons against the Jews were virtually unknown in the run up to the creation of the Zionist state in May 1948.” — ‘51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis’ by LENNI BRENNER, Counterpunch 22 December, 2002

That such collaboration took place should not come as a surprise given the history of Zionism and the concept of ‘racial purity’ that Zionism and Nazism held in common (this not to say that Zionism and Nazism were the only exponents of the doctrine of ‘racial purity’).

In any case, is there such a thing as the Jewish race? After all, both Jews and Arabs from the Middle East and North Africa are all Semites. My mother used to quote a Jewish joke, ‘A Jew is just an Arab on horseback’. The same cannot be said for most of the European Jews who constitute the majority in Occupied Palestine.

The twists and turns of Zionism are a wonder to behold. Am I Jewish by ‘race’, religion or culture, for Zionism conflates the three to the point where it is impossible to disentangle them.

Defenders of Israel argue that Stern and co. do not represent the views of the majority of Jews who settled in Palestine a view which may or may not be true but frankly it’s neither here nor there as those who led the occupation were adherents to Stern’s view of Palestine as “the Jewish Nation Lawful Owner of the Land of Israel, and the Palestinian Arabs, its Unlawful Occupiers”, as a letter I received today, put it.

Thus the important point here is that from the day Israel was founded in 1948 its driving force has been the creation of a ‘racially pure’ state for the ‘Chosen People’ and as such, the removal by one means or another of the original inhabitants inevitably led to the slaughter we have witnessed in the Gaza Strip.

One can only come to the conclusion that the destruction of the physical infrastructure of the Gaza Strip, let alone the thousands of dead and injured, is intended to make the place uninhabitable leaving only the West Bank as the putative Palestinian state.

So Israel too, has its ‘Final Solution’ for the Palestinians of which the assault on Gaza was the coda, following sixty years of ‘softening up’, leaving only a ‘mopping up’ operation for the West Bank, of which around 66% is already in the hands of Israel’s frontline Fascist shock troops, the settlers, armed to the teeth and mostly immigrants from the US.

Two-state solution? How about a no-state Final Solution? The obscene destruction of Gaza, witnessed by the entire world (in spite of the BBC and other corporate/state media’s attempt to blank it out), was as brazen as anything undertaken by the Nazis, perhaps more so given that it was done in the name of all Jews, everywhere. Never again? Gimme a break!

But how did such a situation come to pass?

The dominant view in the West is that Israel, because of the history of the persecution of the Jews is entitled to ‘defend’ itself by whatever means it has at its disposal. The Jews (or Israel or the Zionists, take your pick) therefore, constitute a ‘special case’, whereas the Palestinians do not.

But how can there be one law for Israel and none for the Palestinians, best illustrated by the current furore surrounding the BBC’s refusal to air the aid appeal, for buried in the refusal is the idea that the Palestinians are less than human thus not entitled to humanitarian assistance.

And why are they less than human? Because they resist and thus must be bombed into submission. For proof we need only look at the language used by media outlets like the BBC which regularly describes Palestinians who resist as “terrorists” or “militants” and by implication all the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip are therefore not deserving of aid for they too are “terrorists” or “militants”. What other conclusion can be arrived at when the BBC decides that showing an appeal video would compromise their ‘impartiality’?

Is the Israeli ‘Defence’ Force ever described as an army of occupation or its actions as terroristic when it showers phosphorus or ‘flechette’ bombs on schools, hospitals and homes?

It appears then that the Palestinians got what they deserved for not submitting, for not surrendering and by implication, there are no innocent Palestinians.

Chris Hedges in a piece for Truth Dig, talking about US media coverage of the destruction of Gaza but it could equally well apply to the BBC, wrote,

“We retreated, as usual, into the moral void of American journalism, the void of balance and objectivity. The ridiculous notion of being unbiased, outside of the flow of human existence, impervious to grief or pain or anger or injustice, allows reporters to coolly give truth and lies equal space and airtime. Balance and objectivity are the antidote to facing unpleasant truths, a way of avoidance, a way to placate the powerful. We record the fury of a Palestinian who has lost his child in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza but make sure to mention Israel’s “security needs,” include statements by Israeli officials who insist there was firing from the home or the mosque or the school and of course note Israel’s right to defend itself. We do this throughout the Middle East.” — ‘With Gaza, Journalists Fail Again’.

This is the ‘balanced’ and ‘impartial’ journalism that the BBC speaks of when it tries to justify why it refuses to show the video.[2]

Note

1. The term ‘up the chimney’ was used by people who lived near Nazi death camps, in some instances as a threat to frighten children who misbehaved and is often cited as proof that ordinary Germans knew exactly what was going on in the concentration camps.

2. See Sarah Gillepsie: ‘The BBC and the transformation of suffering into propaganda’

Postscript:
A report in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz (26 January, 2009) illustrates the corrosive nature of the Zionist ideology masquerading it seems to me as being a message directly from God. Titled ‘IDF rabbinate publication during Gaza war: We will show no mercy on the cruel’, it contains the following quotes circulated to IDF troops involved in the destruction of Gaza, the first by Rabbi Aviner,

“Is it possible to compare today’s Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David? … A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land … They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country … Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence.” [my emph. Ed.]

Another is an excerpt from a publication entitled “Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead,” issued by the IDF rabbinate.

“[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it.”

In another, circulated amongst IDF troops but not an ‘official’ publication of the IDF’ rabbinate,

“In addition to the official publications, extreme right-wing groups managed to bring pamphlets with racist messages into IDF bases. One such flyer is attributed to “the pupils of Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg” – the former rabbi at Joseph’s Tomb and author of the article “Baruch the Man,” which praises Baruch Goldstein, who massacred unarmed Palestinians in Hebron. It calls on “soldiers of Israel to spare your lives and the lives of your friends and not to show concern for a population that surrounds us and harms us. We call on you … to function according to the law ‘kill the one who comes to kill you.’ As for the population, it is not innocent … We call on you to ignore any strange doctrines and orders that confuse the logical way of fighting the enemy.” [my emph. Ed.]

Visit Williams website http://www.creative-i.info/

Zyklon B insecticide

From 1929 onwards the U.S. used Zyklon B to disinfect the freight trains and clothes of Mexican immigrants entering the US.[2] Farm Securities Administration photographer Marion Post Wolcott recorded the use of cyanide gas and zyklon by the Public Health Service at the New Orleans Quarantine Station during the 1930s.

Zyklon B was originally developed as a cyanide-based insecticide in the 1920s by Dr. Fritz Haber was born in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland) to Jewish parents of one of the oldest families of the town, a world-renowned chemist and recipient of the 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of a method for the synthesis of ammonia (see Haber Process). Haber played a major role in the development of chemical warfare in World War I. Part of this work included the development of gas masks with absorbent filters. In addition to leading the teams developing chlorine gas and other deadly gases for use in trench warfare, Haber was on hand personally to aid in its release.

Gas warfare in WW I was, in a sense, the war of the chemists, with Haber pitted against French Nobel laureate chemist Victor Grignard.

His wife, Clara Immerwahr, a fellow chemist, opposed his work on poison gas and committed suicide with his service weapon in their garden, possibly in response to his having personally overseen the first successful use of chlorine at the Second Battle of Ypres on 22 April 1915.[1] She shot herself in the heart on 15 May, and died in the morning. That same morning, Haber left for the Eastern Front to oversee gas release against the Russians.

Haber was a patriotic German who was proud of his service during World War I, for which he was decorated. He was even given the rank of captain by the Kaiser, rare for a scientist too old to enlist in military service.

In his studies of the effects of poison gas, Haber noted that exposure to a low concentration of a poisonous gas for a long time often had the same effect (death) as exposure to a high concentration for a short time. He formulated a simple mathematical relationship between the gas concentration and the necessary exposure time. This relationship became known as Haber’s rule.

Haber defended gas warfare against accusations that it was inhumane, saying that death was death, by whatever means it was inflicted. During the 1920s, scientists working at his institute developed the cyanide gas formulation Zyklon B, which was used as an insecticide, especially as a fumigant in grain stores, and also later, after he left the program, in the Nazi extermination camps

Ironically, Haber fled Germany in 1933 due to his Jewish ancestry (he died of heart failure one year later).

By early 1942, Zyklon B had been selected by the Nazi Regime as the preferred extermination tool at both the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek extermination camps during the Holocaust. The chemical claimed the lives of roughly 1.2 million people at these camps.

What you create could kill your own people. He even got a prize for it.

I think this is what one would call Bad Karma. He had no qualms about killing however.


THE ROLE OF ZIONISM IN THE HOLOCAUST

Israel: “Did You Know?”

Interview: Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the ISM/UN Reports: Gaza  destruction/ US Aid to Israel 6. 5 million a day

Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims

Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are “Torture” “this desrves attention” Israel still Tortures people

Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between

Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats

Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

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

Israel killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction against Gaza

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims

Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza war crime claims

Spain’s Audiencia Nacional, or National Audience, is a senior court which considers charges related to terrorism and organised crime.

January 29 2009

Madrid,

A Spanish judge on Thursday began an official inquiry into seven former and current Israeli officials alleged to have committed war crimes after a 2002 attack in the Gaza Strip. A top Hamas militant and 14 civilians including nine children were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

A court document released by the judge, Fernando Andreu Merelles, outlined the charges to be considered by the Madrid court.

“As a consequence of the explosion caused by the bomb, 15 people died, mostly children and babies, 150 people were injured – some of them severely – with permanent after affects, eight houses were completely destroyed, nine houses were partially destroyed and 21 others had moderate damage,” said the document issued by the Audiencia Nacional court.

The Spanish lawsuit was brought by members of the families who lost relatives in the attack – the Mattar, al-Seadi, el-Houweit and al-Sahhwa families.

Merelles is expected to investigate former Israeli minister of defence and current minister of infrastructure Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, former Israel Defence Forces chief of staff Dan Halutz, Likud politician and former IDF chief of staff Moshe Yaalon, as well as Doron Almog, Giora Eiland and Michael Herzog.

In the attack, Hamas militant Salah Shehadeh was killed by an air strike in an extrajudicial assassination by Israeli forces.

“The day of 22 July 2002, between 23:30 and 24:00, an Israeli F16 warplane dropped a one-tonne bomb on the neighbourhood of al-Daraj in Gaza City,” said the report by the specialised court.

“The main target of the attack was the house of Salah Shehadeh, who was suspected to be a Hamas commander, thus the aim of the mission was to assassinate him. Shehadeh’s house was located in a residential area with one of the highest population densities in the world.”

“Near the house of Salah Shehadeh there was a house which belonged and was occupied by the Mattar family. There was less than two metres of distance between both houses. As a result of the bombing, his house was completely destroyed and seven members of his family were killed.”

Andreu is acting under a doctrine that allows prosecution in Spain of such an offence or crimes like terrorism or genocide even if they were allegedly committed in another country.

Referring to the fourth Geneva convention of 1949, the court said the accused could face from 10 to 15 years in jail.

Recently Israeli ministers publicly expressed concerns about the possibility of a wave of war crime lawsuits against Israeli military commanders and soldiers after the three-week long Operation Cast Lead which ended with separate ceasefires on 18 January.

Israel’s offensive against the coastal territory resulted in the death of 1,330 Palestinians, 400 of those were women and children. At least 5,400 others were injured, according to Palestinian medical sources and rights groups.

Source

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

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

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 9:04 am  Comments Off on Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims  
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Israel warns soldiers of prosecution abroad for Gaza ‘war crimes’/Israels Latin America “Trail of Terror”

Israel warns soldiers of prosecution abroad for Gaza ‘war crimes’
Israel has warned military officers and senior officials that a threat of prosecution for alleged war crimes in Gaza could hinder future travel abroad.

By Damien McElroy in Jerusalem
January 24 2009

Israel warns soldiers of prosecution abroad for Gaza 'war crimes'
Daniel Friedman, Israel’s justice minister, was appointed to head a special task force to defend individuals detained abroad and the military censor declared that names of officers from lieutenant to colonel must not be published Photo: AFP

At least four human rights groups are believed to be compiling suits alleging that Israelis perpetrated war crimes in planning or carrying out the three-week operation Cast Lead.

Daniel Friedman, Israel’s justice minister, was appointed to head a special task force to defend individuals detained abroad and the military censor declared that names of officers from lieutenant to colonel must not be published.

More than 1,300 Palestinian deaths were reported during the offensive in Gaza and the United Nations has led demands that Israel investigate high-profile incidents including the shelling of its facilities.

Private prosecutions are already being prepared. “We are building files on war crimes throughout the chain of command from the top to the local level,” said Raji Sourani of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. “We are convinced these have been the most bloody days for Gaza since the occupation and that war crimes were perpetrated against Palestinian civilians.”

Courts in six countries, including Britain, have accepted petitions to prosecute alleged war crimes in previous wars. Most notoriously, activists in Belgium used a clause, since removed from the statute, to target the former prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

Accusations of war crimes strike an especially sensitive chord in Israel, a nation founded in the wake of the Holocaust. Comparisons between the long siege of Gaza and the Jewish ghettoes of central Europe draw a vociferous denunciation from the government. Israel insists troops did their best to limit civilian casualties in heavily populated areas where Hamas gunmen were attacking from tunnels and had booby-trapped civilian homes.

While senior politicians travel with diplomatic immunity, retired officials have already faced problems travelling abroad.

A retired major general, Doron Almog, was forced to remain on an El Al plane at Heathrow in 2005 after the Israeli military attaché warned he would be arrested if he disembarked. Gen Almog commanded Israeli forces in Gaza when a bombing raid on an apartment block that killed a Hamas commander, Salah Shehadeh, resulted in the deaths of 14 others. The magistrates’ warrant was later quashed.

An unknown number of officials have been notified that they should submit future travel plans to the military for review. Avigdor Feldman, an Israeli lawyer, said that thousands of serving officers could be affected. “I would highly recommend any soldier or officer contemplating going to the UK to reconsider,” he told an Israeli newspaper.

According to Lt Col David Benjamin of the Military Advocate Corps, lawyers were deployed at divisional commands in operation Cast Lead. He said: “Approval of targets which can be attacked, methods of warfare – it all has gone through us.”

But ensuring that those involved in the Gaza Campaign are never sentenced is set to be a long-term challenge for Israel. “The government will stand like a fortified wall to protect each and every one of you from allegations,” said Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, at a military gathering after a ceasefire was called last week.

Source

How dare they scream  Holocaust, when in fact they have helped in the murder of millions.

Screaming Holocaust is there favorite pass time, but it doens’t cut it,  when you look at their history.

Israel was on the road, long before the Holocaust transpired at any rate anyway. Anyone who knows the history of the Jewish Community would know that.

Seems they always use that as a tactic. The rest of the world is suppose to feel guilty and forgive them for their terrorizing innocent people.

Well there have been numerous Holocausts. Like all the Aboriginal Indians in North and South America. In Africa  and other countries. There has even been a Holocaust in Palestine.  Perpetrated by the Israelis them selves. That being said lets move on.

Here are a few Facts about Israel, I had tucked away for prosperity.

They are not the sweet wonderful country, they pretend to be.

Israel’s Latin American trail of terror
By Jeremy Bigwood
June 5, 2003

“I learned an infinite amount of things in Israel, and to that country I owe part of my essence, my human and military achievements” said Colombian paramilitary leader and indicted drug trafficker Carlos Castao in his ghostwritten autobiography, Mi Confesin.

Castao, who leads the Colombian paramilitaries, known by their Spanish acronym AUC, the largest right-wing paramilitary force to ever exist in the western hemisphere reveals that he was trained in the arts of war in Israel as a young man of 18 in the 1980s.

He glowingly adds: “I copied the concept of paramilitary forces from the Israelis,” in his chapter-long account of his Israel experiences.

Castao’s right-wing Phalange-like AUC force is now by far the worst human rights violator in all of the Americas, and ties between that organisation and Israel are continually surfacing in the press.

Outside the law

The AUC paramilitaries are a fighting force that originally grew out of killers hired to protect drug-running operations and large landowners. They were organised into a cohesive force by Castao in 1997. It exists outside the law but often coordinates its actions with the Colombian military, in a way similar to the relationship of the Lebanese Phalange to the Israeli army throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

According to a 1989 Colombian Secret Police intelligence report, apart from training Carlos Castao in 1983, Israeli trainers arrived in Colombia in 1987 to train him and other paramilitaries who would later make up the AUC.

Fifty of the paramilitaries’ “best” students were then sent on scholarships to Israel for further training according to a Colombian police intelligence report, and the AUC became the most prominent paramilitary force in the hemisphere, with some 10,000-12,000 men in arms.

The Colombian AUC paramilitaries are always in need of arms, and it should come as no surprise that some of their major suppliers are Israeli. Israeli arms dealers have long had a presence in next-door Panama and especially in Guatemala.

In May of last year, GIRSA, an Israeli company associated with the Israeli Defence Forces and based in Guatemala was able to buy 3000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 2.5 million rounds of ammunition that were then handed over to AUC paramilitaries in Colombia.

Links with the continent

Israel’s military relations with right-wing groups and regimes spans Latin America from Mexico to the southernmost tip of Chile, starting just a few years after the Israeli state came into existence.

Since then, the list of countries Israel has supplied, trained and advised includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.
But it isn’t only the sales of planes, guns and weapons system deals that characterises the Israeli presence in Latin America.
Where Israel has excelled is in advising, training and running intelligence and counter-insurgency operations in the Latin American “dirty war” civil conflicts of Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and now Colombia.

In the case of the Salvadoran conflict – a civil war between the right-wing landowning class supported by a particularly violent military pitted against left-wing popular organisations – the Israelis were present from the beginning. Besides arms sales, they helped train ANSESAL, the secret police who were later to form the framework of the infamous death squads that would kill tens of thousands of mostly civilian activists.

From 1975 to 1979, 83% of El Salvador’s military imports came from Israel, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. By 1981, many of those in the civilian popular political movements who had survived the death squads headed for the hills to become guerrillas.

By 1981 there was an open civil war in El Salvador which took over a decade to resolve through negotiations.

Even though the US was openly backing the Salvadoran Army by 1981, as late as November 1983 it was asking for more Israeli “practical assistance” there, according to a declassified secret document obtained recently by Aljazeera.

Among the assistance asked for were helicopters, trucks, rifles, ammunition, and combat infantry advisors to work at both the “company and battalion level of the Salvadoran Army”.

One notable Salvadoran officer trained by the Israelis was Major Roberto D’Aubuisson, who always held a high opinion of the Israelis. It was Major D’Aubuisson who ordered the assassination of El Salvador’s archbishop amongst thousands of other murders.
Later he would organise the right-wing National Republican Alliance Party (ARENA) and send his son to study abroad in the relative safety of Israel.

Dirty war

Amazingly, while the Israelis were training the El Salvadoran “death squads” they were also supporting the anti-semitic Argentine military government of the late 1970s and early 1980s – at a time when that government was involved_in another “dirty war” of death squads and disappearances.

In 1978, Nicaragua’s dictator Somoza was making his last stand against a general uprising of the Sandinista-led population who were sick of his family’s dynasty which had ruled and monopolised the county for half a century. The Israelis and the US had been supplying Somoza with weapons for years. But when President Jimmy Carter came into office in 1976 he ordered a cessation of all US military assistance to Nicaragua.
Filling the void, the Israelis immediately increased their weapons supplies to Somoza until he fled the country when the Sandinistas took power.

Israeli operatives then helped train right-wing Nicaraguan Contras in Honduran and Costa Rican camps to fight the Sandinista government, according to Colombian police intelligence reports Aljazeera_has obtained.

At least some of the same Israeli operatives had also previously trained the nucleus of the paramilitary organisations that would become the AUC in Colombia.

But by far the bloodiest case of Israeli involvement in Latin America was its involvement in Guatemala from the 1970s to the 1990s. As in El Salvador, a civil war pitted a populist but, in this case, mainly Indian left against a mainly European oligarchy protected by a brutal Mestizo Army.

As Guatemalan President Carlos Arana said in 1971, “If it is necessary to turn the country into a cemetery in order to pacify it, I will not hesitate to do so.”

Active involvement

The Israelis supplied Guatemala with Galil rifles, and built an ammunition factory for them, as well as supplying armoured personnel carriers and Arava planes. Behind the scenes, they were actively involved in the bloodiest counter-insurgency campaign the hemisphere has known since the European conquest, in which at least 200,000 (mostly Indians) were killed.
Like Israel’s original occupation of Palestine, several entire Guatemalan Indian villages were razed and a million people displaced. “The guerrilla is the fish. The people are the sea. If you cannot catch the fish, you have to drain the sea,” said Guatemalan President Rios Montt in 1982.

Guatemalan army officers credit Israeli support with turning the tide against the uprising, not only in the countryside where Israeli counter-insurgency techniques and assistance set up strategic-hamlet-like “development poles” along the lines of the Israeli kibbutz, but also in the cities where “Israeli communication technicians and instructors” working through then-sophisticated computers were able to locate and then decimate guerrillas and their supporters in Guatemala City in 1981.

From the late 1970s until the 1990s, the US could not overtly support the Guatemalan army because of its horrendous human rights record (although there was some covert support), but many in the US government, especially in the CIA, supported Israel in taking up the slack.

Wrong

But the US grew to regret its actions. On 10 March 1999, US President Bill Clinton issued an apology for US involvement in the war: The “United States… support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression…was wrong.” No similar statement has ever been forthcoming from the Israelis.

At the present time, the only major insurgency war in Latin America is in Colombia, where Israel has an overt involvement.
Besides the dozen or so Kfir IAI C-7 jet fighters they have sold the Colombian government, and the Galil rifles produced in Bogota under licence, most of the Israeli ties to the government’s counter-insurgency war are closely-guarded secrets.

Aljazeera’s attempts to obtain clarification on these and other issues for this story were stonewalled by the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Why does Israel continue to provide arms and expertise to the pariahs of the world? Clearly, part of the reason is the revenues produced by arms sales, and part of it has do with keeping up with trends in counter-insurgent war across the globe.
But another factor is what is demanded of Israel by the world’s only superpower, the US, in partial exchange for the superpower’s continued support for Israeli dominance in the Middle East.

Assistance

This relationship can be best illustrated by recently declassified 1983 US government documents obtained by the Washington, DC-based National Security Archives through the Freedom of Information Act.

One such declassified document is a 1983 memo from the notorious Colonel Oliver North of the Reagan Administration’s National Security Council and reads: “As discussed with you yesterday, I asked CIA, Defense, and State to suggest practical assistance which the Israelis might offer in Guatemala and El Salvador.”

Another document, this time a 1983 cable from the US Ambassador in Guatemala to Washington Frederic Chapin shows the money trail.

He says that at a time when the US did not want to be seen directly assisting Guatemala, “we have reason to believe that our good friends the Israelis are prepared, or already have, offered substantial amounts of military equipment to the GOG (Government of Guatemala) on credit terms up to 20 years…(I pass over the importance of making huge concessionary loans to Israel so that it can make term loans in our own backyard).”
In other words, during civil wars in which the US does not want to be seen getting its hands dirty in Latin America, the superpower loans Israel money at a very good rate, and then Israel uses these funds to do the “dirty work”. In this regard, in Latin America at least, Israel has become the “hit-man” for the US.

Wars funded by American Tax Dollars.

Wars and funding to prop up Brutal governments or regimes.

Israel the, Money Laundering, “Funnel Tunnel” for the US.

They love extermination pure and simple. They were more, then willing to help other regimes exterminate innocent people.

Of course it doesn’t end there, they also supplied weapons etc to other countries as well. Africa is also on my list as well. It’s a pretty long list.

What has changed over the years, not much.

Why would anything change.

We will in the future find out who and how many.

The trail of cookie crumbs, is not all that hard to follow.

Have a cruel bloodthirsty regime and you will find both the US or Israeli involvement.

Most time they work together. All in the name of profit, power, control and death.

They call it Self Defense or I am rescuing you.

Iran is evil because thy want to help innocent victims rebuild.

Hamas is pure evil are they?  The Hamas they helped create.

Haitian’s are pure evil are they?

Indians are pure evil are they?

All the innocent people they had a hand, in murdering are all evil are they?

Death Squads are a good thing are they?

I can almost bet, the “Death Squads” in the Philippines, were trained by Israelis.

The Israeli Gov. and the US Gov. should mind their own business and clean up their, own moral bankruptcy.

They both should clean up their own Weapons of Mass Destruction.

They are two the most corrupt, countries in the world.

They blame everyone else of crimes, they themselves are actually committing.

Well like all criminals they will plead not guilty. They are no different from any other criminal.

Both countries lied to their people.

Both oppressed their own people.

Both are warmongering countries.

They could pass as twins, in their sins against humanity.

Those who are corrupt past and present should be rooted out and charged.

There is no statute of limitation on murder or war crimes.

They should be held responsible for the millions, they have murdered or helped murder. Directly or indirectly they are responsible.

Can or will Obama be able to clean up the US.

Maybe:  We will have to wait and see.

Will the corruption in Israel, get cleaned up, not flippin likely.

Will the corruption in the International Agency’s get cleaned up, we will have to wait and see.

The less they do to stop those in the US Gov. and Israeli Gov. the more obvious it is, they are corrupted.

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

Israel Accused of Executing Parents in Front of Children

White Phosphorus Victims in Gaza

What Types of Gruesome Weapons Did Israel Use in Lebanon?

UN: Israel should pay for Humanitarian Aid they Destoyed

Father: ‘I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls’

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

Outrage as Israel bombs UN and Hospital

Israel Navy ships turn back “Spirit of Humanity” carrying Gaza humanitarian aid

President of the United Nations General Assembly: Israel violating International Law

Israel Hits another “United Nations” Building in Gaza

Israel Violating Egyptian Airspace to attack Gaza

Israel continues to attack Hospitals, Clinics and Public Buildings in Gaza

Red Cross slams Israel over 4 day wait to access wounded

The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

Samouni family recounts Gaza horror

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

Gaza War Why?: Natural Gas valued at over $4 billion MAYBE?

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Shoot Then Ask, Israeli Soldiers Told

Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Will the world do nothing to stop Genocide in Gaza?

Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

President of the United Nations General Assembly: Israel violating International Law

Israel ‘breaking law’ with Gaza war
January 16 2009

The president of the United Nations General Assembly has accused Israel of violating international law with its war on Gaza in which almost 1,100 Palestinians have been killed, nearly half of them civilians.

“Gaza is ablaze. It has been turned into a burning hell,” Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann told an emergency session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

He said Israel’s offensive was “a war against a helpless, defenceless and imprisoned people” and accused Israel of carrying out attacks on civilian targets.

“The violations of international law inherent in the Gaza assault have been well documented: collective punishment, disproportionate military force [and] attacks on civilian targets, including homes, mosques, universities, schools,” he said.

He also rebuked UN member-states for their lack of action over the crisis, saying: “The [UN Security Council] may have found itself unable or unwilling to take the necessary steps to impose an immediate ceasefire, but outsourcing that effort to one or two governments, or through the quartet, does not relieve the council of its own responsibilities under the UN charter.

“The council cannot disavow its collective responsibility. It cannot continue to fiddle while Gaza burns.”

Ryad Mansour, the Palestinian observer at the UN, called for an independent investigation of Israel’s “grave breaches and systematic violations of international law”.

“Since this crisis began, it is without a doubt that a multitude of war crimes have been perpetrated by the occupying power [Israel],” he said while also calling for “measures for the protection of the defenceless Palestinian civilian population.”

Gaza war ‘genocide’

The emergency meeting had been requested by the 118-member UN member states making up the non-aligned movement.An Israeli delegate had sought to block the session on procedural grounds by arguing that under the UN charter the 192-member assembly could not rule on a matter already being tackled by the Security Council, but the move was dismissed.

D’Escoto noted that the Security Council last week had called for a Gaza ceasefire leading to the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

“Prime Minister Olmert’s recent statement disavowing the authority of Resolution 1860 [the Security Council resolution] clearly places Israel as a state in contempt of international law and the United Nations,” d’Escoto added.

He urged the assembly to agree its own non-binding assembly resolution reflecting “the urgency of our commitment to end this slaughter” in Gaza.

Israel has continued its offensive regardless of the resolution which was also rejected by Hamas.

D’Escoto, a former Nicaraguan foreign minister, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that Israel’s killings of Palestinians in Gaza amounted to “genocide”.

Almost 1,100 Palestinians have been killed during Israel’s Gaza offensive, which Israel says is to stop Palestinian rocketfire coming from Gaza.

Source

They have just figured this out. Many of us knew this years ago.

What will they do about it. Well absolutely nothing it seems. They are all talk no action.

At least some countries are going to place an embargo on Israel.

Everyone country should.

All relations with Israel should be cut, trade etc  and all weapons should be prevented from entering Israel.

Israel Hits another “United Nations” Building in Gaza

Shoot Then Ask, Israeli Soldiers Told

Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm  Comments Off on President of the United Nations General Assembly: Israel violating International Law  
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US Senate Endorses Israel’s War on Gaza

The Ceasefire was broken by Israel, when their armed forces carried out several attacks on November the 4th 2008,  resulting in the death of 6 Palestinians.

Hamas had not fired a rocket since June 19 2008 ( when the Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was finalized) and only resumed after the Israeli attacks.

Senate Endorses Israel’s War on Gaza

By Jeremy R. Hammond

January 09, 2009

The US Senate on Thursday passed a non-binding resolution promoted by the influential Israeli lobby AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee), effectively endorsing Israel’s war on Gaza. The resolution, entitled “A resolution expressing solidarity with Israel in Israel’s defense against terrorism in the Gaza Strip” recognizes “the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza” and reaffirms “the United States’ strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas”.

The resolution does not recognize the right to self-defense of the Palestinian people.

The resolution criticizes Hamas for refusing “to comply with the requirements of the Quartet”, which include to “recognize Israel’s right to exist” and to “renounce violence”.

It makes no mention of Israel’s continuing settlement expansion in the West Bank, also in violation of the Quartet requirements. Nor does it call upon Israel, which illegally occupies the West Bank and has held Gaza under siege for three years, to recognize the “right to exist” of a Palestinian state or to renounce violence.

The resolution condemns the use of “human shields” by Hamas, but says nothing of the indiscriminate killing by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) that is taking a devastating toll upon civilians in Gaza.

The resolution, quoting from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, blames Hamas “for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence there”.

It makes no mention of the fact that Hamas had strictly observed the cease-fire until it was violated by Israel on November 4, when Israel launched an airstrike into Gaza that killed 5 and injured several others.

The resolution notes that “the humanitarian situation in Gaza, including shortages of food, water, electricity, and adequate medical care, is becoming more acute”.

It neglects to point out that this is the direct result of Israel’s policy of blockading Gaza, and that the humanitarian crisis has been greatly exacerbated by Israel’s aerial bombardment and invasion of Gaza, instead praising the minimal amount of humanitarian aid Israel has allowed into the territory.

The resolution also states that “a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will allow for a viable and independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel … will not be possible as long as Israeli civilians are under threat from within Gaza”.

It says nothing about the impossibility of such a two-state solution so long as Palestinians live under occupation and threat from Israel.

Members of Congress Voice Support for Israel

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) voiced her support for the resolution by saying that Israel’s war on Gaza was “a phase in a war against Iranian terror”. She said she looked forward to being able to visit Israel when its citizens were no longer under threat, presumably from rockets fired from Gaza.

She said nothing about wanting to visit Gaza or looking forward to its citizens living no longer under threat from Israel.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) characterized Israel’s war as “self-defense” and said it was well within its rights to engage in such action. He said he supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but added that such a solution would only be tenable if Israel is “secure”. He added that “Israel can always look to the United States for support and that this will continue to be true “when Barack Obama becomes President”.

He said nothing about the security of any future Palestinian state, or of the security of the territories at present that are illegally occupied by Israel. He offered no suggestions as to where the Palestinian people could look to for support.

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) expressed having “every confidence that the incoming administration would continue the unwavering support of the United States of America for the state of Israel. She said her own opinion, “as a Jewish member of Congress” is that Israel has “every right to defend itself” and that Israelis “have been too patient” in responding to rocket attacks from Gaza. She expressed that it was unacceptable for tunnels to be used to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

She failed to note that it was Israel, not Hamas, that first violated the cease-fire. She expressed no similar empathy for the Palestinian people, who have lived under oppression and terror on a much greater scale, and who have been killed in far higher numbers by Israeli military actions. She made no mention of the fact that tunnels are also used to avert a complete humanitarian catastrophe, to bring in food, fuel, medical supplies, and other humanitarian goods because Israel’s blockade has prevented such basic necessities from being delivered into Gaza.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) condemned Hamas’ firing of rockets into Israel because they were intended to kill civilians even though only a small number had been killed. He said the US looks forward to “supporting Israel through its difficult time now”.

He did not condemn the Israeli killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians or express any empathy difficult time the Palestinians are going through.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NV) said “if you don’t want to be hit back, don’t hit. That’s really the message” of Israel’s war on Gaza. He blamed criticism of Israel on “anti-Semitism” and called it “blaming the victim”. He said “Israel has that right, to protect itself”.

He neglected to mention that it was “Israel”, not Hamas, which broke the cease-fire. Nor did he offer any indication that this standard applied equally to both Israelis and Palestinians. He expressed no support for the right of Palestinians to protect themselves.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) expressed that weapons should not be made available to Hamas.

He offered no similar comments about weapons being made available to Israel.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was a lone voice in the Congress expressing any kind of empathy for the plight of the Palestinians. In remarks from the floor of the House, he said:

“Wake up America. We have trillions for a war machine and the banks while our government stands by and sniffs at the slaughter of innocents in Gaza, where Israel is blocking aid for wounded Palestinians. Here’s today’s Washington Post. It says, ‘The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday that it found at least 15 bodies and several children emaciated but alive in a row of shattered houses in the Gaza Strip and accused the Israeli military of preventing ambulances from reaching the site for 4 days. 12 corpses lying on mattresses in one home, along with 4 young children lying next to their dead mothers.’ That’s a quote. Today, US tax dollars, US jets, and US helicopters provided to Israel are enabling the slaughter in Gaza. The administration enables Israel to press forward with the attack against defenseless civilians, blocks efforts at promoting a cease-fire at the UN, and refuses to make Israel compliant with conditions that arms shipments will not be used for aggression. Israel is going to receive $30 billion in a ten year period for military assistance, without having to abide by any humanitarian principles, international laws, or standards of basic human decency. Wake up America.”

Jeremy R. HammondJeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website dedicated to providing news, critical analysis, and opinion commentary on U.S. foreign policy
Source

If you wonder why the UN has done little or nothing to stop the violence in Gaza the US is behind Israel all the way. Of course they have been behind the take over of as was Britain, the Palestinian land for a very long time.

The UN will do nothing to actually stop the violence in Gaza. They will pretend and they will put out news releases but in actuality they are just  a puppet for the US as par usual.Just like when Hamas was  elected by the people of Palestine, western governments and Israel cut off aid and imposed an embargo on Gaza.  Seem the Hamas government wanted to look out for the interests of the people of Gaza by protecting the Natural Gas.

Now in the so called UN resolution they want to put The government back in power, that will comply and give them access to the Natural Gas.

It doesn’t matter that Israel is committing war crimes, nor the fact they have stolen massive amounts of land from the Palestinians over the years. It doesn’t matter how many will die as long as like in Iraq they get access to the Natural Gas.

The Self Defense issue is just a lie to cover up mass murder. Gaza had been under occupation for about 48 years.

Israel must be stopped and the US must stop supporting them. The American people are the ones, who must stop their government from giving weapons and aid to Israel.

The rest of the World must not stand idly by, an allow this Genocide to continue. It has gone on for far to long.

The rest of the world must Defend those in Gaza from the profiteering, power hungry, land grabbing,  murders.

Israel is not the innocent victim they pretend to be.

Gaza: international plan hatched to bring back Fatah

plan to create a new foothold in Gaza for the Palestinian Authority and to bring in international monitors was being drawn up by diplomats yesterday as a UN ceasefire call was dismissed by both sides.

The plan would allow a return of the authority, led by the secular Fatah faction, to the territory 18 months after it was expelled by the Islamist Hamas. Diplomats are considering taking a triangle at the southern end of Gaza, including the Rafah crossing to Egypt and the Kerem Shalom crossing to Israel, to be policed by Turkish and French military monitors to stop arms smuggling into Gaza.

The zone would nominally be controlled by the authority, the internationally recognised Government. Such a plan would allow the crossings to reopen for the first time since Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007.

((Sept. 11, 2005:  The last Israeli soldiers and settlers leave Gaza, completing Israel’s withdrawal after 38 years of military occupation.  Fatah was in power until July of 2006 when Hamas was elected, they did not, seize power exactly in 2007, (they took back the government they had been elected too and forced out of), with a majority of votes I might add- Jan. 25, 2006: In the election of a West Bank-Gaza parliament, Hamas wins 76 of 132 seats, most of them in Gaza.
“Western powers then proceeded to cut off aid to the Palestinians. Israel withheld tax revenues. They also set up the embargo. Because they dislike the election results, did not give them the right to manipulate Hamas  or remove them from power.”

This was over the “Natural Gas”  among other things, of course. Hamas also want the boarders of 1967 back. Can’t have that now can we? Of course the US and others are very good at toppling governments that have been elected by their people, if they do not comply with their wishes. As they did in Haiti.  So says history. Any way the plan now is to give back the control of Gaza to Fatah))

The plan is being negotiated as part of the Egyptian peace initiative, announced by President Mubarak after talks with President Sarkozy of France, which calls for an immediate ceasefire to be followed by talks on securing the Gaza-Egypt border and reopening the crossings.

It faces formidable obstacles. Diplomats said yesterday that the Egyptian efforts were getting bogged down because of disagreements over how to secure the border. Hamas has said it would consider allowing observers at the border crossings with Egypt but opposes an international force. It also claimed yesterday that a delegation of three Hamas leaders had crossed the border into Egypt to join talks.

Israel, however, is insisting on a robust international force to destroy smuggling tunnels under the border.

Egypt, for its part, does not want international troops on its territory. Instead, Cairo wants to revive the 2005 agreement on movement and access, under which EU monitors oversaw the passage of people through the Rafah crossing and vehicles through Kerem Shalom, a deal that fell through when Hamas came to power. The new plan came as the UN ceasefire proposal was flatly rejected almost as soon as the Security Council backed it 14-0, with the US abstaining.

The US had been expected to back the UN resolution but abstained at the last minute. Diplomats said Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, changed her position after a call from President Bush.

Yesterday F16s continued to fire missiles at houses and apartment blocks in Gaza City, and the air reverberated with artillery fire. The fire was not all one way, though. Rockets repeatedly streaked out of Gaza towards the settlements of Sderot, Beersheba and Ashkelon just across the border.

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, said: “Israel has never agreed for any outside influence to decide on its right to defend its citizens. The firing of rockets this morning only goes to show that the UN decision is unworkable and will not be adhered to by the murderous Palestinian organisations.”

Israel’s rejection of the resolution was no surprise. The offensive against Hamas is hugely popular: a poll in the Maariv newspaper showed 91 per cent of Israelis supporting it. “This is the time to back the commanders, soldiers and pilots working day and night to conduct a difficult, complex and entirely just war,” Ari Shavit, of the left-of-centre Haaretz newspaper, said.

Source

This was planned for some time by Israel, with the help of the  US. The US still helping them as we know,  as are others who will profit and gain power from the “Demise of Gaza”.

Hebrew U. students scuffle during demonstration

Jewish students briefly scuffled Tuesday at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, during a small protest against Israel’s Gaza offensive, police said.

There were no injuries reported in the incident at the university’s Mount Scopus campus, and the melee was broken up by campus security guards even before police arrived on the scene, Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

The early afternoon clash erupted during the anti-Israel protest, held by dozens of Arab and a few leftist Jewish students at the main entrance to the campus. During the gathering, a Palestinian flag was unfurled.

The demonstrators were confronted by other students who were offended by the protest, and a scuffle ensued.

But within 20 minutes or so, the students had dispersed, and were nearly outnumbered by forces who had rushed to the scene.

The demonstration was the second such protest at held on the campus in the past week.

The previous protest, which was larger, ended without incident.

A separate demonstration Tuesday at Haifa University was forcibly broken up because it was not approved by the university. Ten protesters were arrested, including the chair of the Arab student union.

The Arab student group said in response that the university was engaging in intimidation.

A demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem, organized by the Israeli Arab human rights organization Adallah, turned violent when a protester pelted a motorist with a stone after he shouted insults at them, police said.

The stone missed the driver and hit a police officer in the head.

The protester was arrested, while the police officer was treated by Magen David Adom medics, police said.

Source

Those who refuse fight for Israel in Gaza are jailed. Numerous people teenagers included have been jailed.

So if you do not comply with Israels wishes you have problems. Not everyone in Israel is for the war.  Many are against it, but you will never the truth as to how many. They will not publish the truth whatever it may be.

When is came to the war with Lebanon it was reported about 20,000 protesters  were against the war. That is only those who went to the rally, many who did not go were against it as well. You will of course never get the entire truth from the mainstream media. Just like we are not getting the entire truth now. Those who are against the war are also called leftist,  like in the US.

Not much difference between the two in the use of demonizing, bigoted, tactics. Two peas in a pod I must say the similarities are uncanny.

Like the US they also have a relatively high poverty rate as well. It is more important to spend money on weapons to wage war,  then on their people. Even those who were survivors of the Holocaust, are treated poorly by their own Government in Israel. Many of them live in poverty as well.

Here is something very interesting.

Israel is suppressing a secret it must face

May 1 2008 But I can’t do it. Whenever I try to mouth these words, a remembered smell fills my nostrils. It is the smell of shit. Across the occupied West Bank, raw untreated sewage is pumped every day out of the Jewish settlements, along large metal pipes, straight onto Palestinian land. From there, it can enter the groundwater and the reservoirs, and become a poison.

Standing near one of these long, stinking brown-and-yellow rivers of waste recently, the local chief medical officer, Dr Bassam Said Nadi, explained to me: “Recently there were very heavy rains, and the shit started to flow into the reservoir that provides water for this whole area. I knew that if we didn’t act, people would die. We had to alert everyone not to drink the water for over a week, and distribute bottles. We were lucky it was spotted. Next time…” He shook his head in fear. This is no freak: a 2004 report by Friends of the Earth found that only six per cent of Israeli settlements adequately treat their sewage.

Meanwhile, in order to punish the population of Gaza for voting “the wrong way”, the Israeli army are not allowing past the checkpoints any replacements for the pipes and cement needed to keep the sewage system working. The result? Vast stagnant pools of waste are being held within fragile dykes across the strip, and rotting. Last March, one of them burst, drowning a nine-month-old baby and his elderly grandmother in a tsunami of human waste. The Centre on Housing Rights warns that one heavy rainfall could send 1.5m cubic metres of faeces flowing all over Gaza, causing “a humanitarian and environmental disaster of epic proportions”. Source

A couple of other tid bits.

Israel ‘needs Georgia for Iran strike’

August 26 2008 A recent report suggests that the US and Israel had plans to use Georgia as a launchpad for aerial strikes on Iranian nuclear sites.

Columnist Ian Brockwell says the US is interested in Georgia because it borders Russia, has a pipeline that is intended to transfer oil to Israel, and most importantly is a country that can be used in an attack against Iran.

Source

The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili

August 21 2008 The controversy over the Georgian surprise military attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 8.8.08 makes a closer look at the controversial Georgian President and his puppet masters important. An examination shows 41 year old Mikhail Saakashvili to be a ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied to not only the US, NATO establishment, but also to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. Source

Israel is not the “victim”  it pretends to be They are warmongers like their American counter parts.

You can also bet there is more then $4 billion in Natural Gas to be had as well. There is more there is always more.

How typical, steal from the poor and give it to the rich. That is a world wide epidemic. This is “Fostered”  by the “Rich”, powerful, countries, with the most “Weapons of Mass Destruction” of course.

  1. Give us you resources or we will kill you is their motto.
  2. We will say the war against you is “Self Defense”
  3. We will sanction you.
  4. We will make you ill.
  5. We will deprive you of medical aid.
  6. We will starve you.
  7. We will steal your land
  8. We will get what we want, no matter how many of you die.
  9. We will kill you to get what we want says the “superior race” of war mongers and thieves.
  10. We will use you as slaves.
  11. We will torture you.
  12. We will imprison you.
  13. We will rape you women and children.
  14. We will lie to everyone.
  15. We will demonize you.
  16. We will poison your land……
  17. We will watch you die, from the poison, we bomb you with for years to come.
  18. We will make you the evil demons.
  19. We will destroy your hospitals
  20. We will destroy your schools
  21. We will destroy your roads.
  22. We will destroy homes
  23. We will never let you be free.
  24. We will brainwash you
  25. We will destroy,  your means, of making a living.
  26. We will destroy your places of worship, of whatever religion you may be.
  27. We will even pretend to rescue you.
  28. We will pretend to help you.
  29. We would kill every man woman and child given the opportunity.
  30. We will exterminate you.
  31. We let our our poor fight our wars.
  32. We will let our own die because, we use tax dollars, for war instead of our people
  33. We enlist our “poor”, to fight our wars for us, they are expendable and serve not other purpose.
  34. We will wage war on you with,  fabricated lies and propaganda.
  35. Comply or Die.
  36. We will see to it, you will be blamed for everything.  Just watch and see.
  37. Now comply or else?????????????
  38. We control you government forever.
  39. We will never let you be Free of our grasp.
  40. We will rule the entire planet.
  41. We will never stop our quest toward “world  domination”.
  42. We are the “Superior Race”

That is what they do  and how they think.

Time and time again they crawl out of their burning,  pits of hell, to wage war against the weak, in their thirst for power and control.

They are the “real terrorists” of the world.

They will even kill their own, when  they deem it necessary (“False Flags”). Then of course they blame the event on whom ever ,they want to wage war with. False Flags  sway public opinion in their favor however. The public at large usually do not find out until years later unfortunately. It has been done  many times,  as we all well know and if you don’t then you should. Even in the Days of J. F. Kennedy they wanted him to use a “False Flag” to wage war on Cuba. He fortunately refused to allow it. It was not the first time and certainly wasn’t the last.

Any so called Terrorist Attack, could be a” False Flag”.  It only becomes a False Flag, if they are caught, you see. What most fail to see is they don’t care who or how many die. This of course is what they count on. No one could ever imagine, they would deliberately kill their own people.  No Government would do that to their own would they? The answer to that is yes they most certainly would. Just like the USS Liberty. Co-Conspirators the “US” and “Israel”.

The UN and NATO are guilty of this as well. It is becoming more obvious every day. They help the power hungry profiteers.

The World Bank and IMF have played a great role in this as well.

History says it all.

The US wants this war in Gaza as much as Israel wants it. Make no mistke about that one. They encourage Genocide and Extermination. They have exterminated  over a million people in Iraq. It too is another illegal war built on lies and propaganda as we all well know.

Of course this so called “Superior Race” as they think themselves to be is killing everyone on the Planet due to their Weapons which are extremely toxic. So toxic the remnants, left behind, will kill for a billion odd years to come.

They are not, intelligent, wise let alone “Superior”, they are in fact ignorant, fools.

They poison the food, the water, the air and the earth.

Only an utter fool would do such a thing.

The Ceasefire was broken by Israel, when their armed forces carried out several attacks on November the 4th 2008,  resulting in the death of 6 Palestinians.

Hamas had not fired a rocket since June 19 2008 ( when the Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was finalized) and only resumed after the Israeli attacks.

US delivering more “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to Israel

Jewish Voices Against the Israeli Attacks

Gaza War Why?: Natural Gas valued at over $4 billion MAYBE?

War in Gaza: Israel accused of killing 30 after shelling safe house

Israel killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction against Gaza

Israel kills UN driver causing halt to UN Relief Aid in Gaza

Red Cross slams Israel over 4 day wait to access  wounded

The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm  Comments Off on US Senate Endorses Israel’s War on Gaza  
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Gaza War Why?: Natural Gas valued at over $4 billion MAYBE?

So to date are we all with the Program? Are we getting the Truth of it all yet.

Lets see now

  1. Afghanistan: “Caspian Sea”  Oil,  Natural Gas ,””Pipe Line”
  2. Iraq: Oil
  3. Gaza: Natural Gas

Well isn’t that all so interesting?

All  wars started in the Name of “Self Defense”.

British prospectors have found a substantial field of natural gas, holding an estimated 1.5 trillion cubic feet, off the coast of Gaza which Israel is coveting.

January 5 2009
Two factors that are not being talked about much, but have figured prominently in the Israeli calculus are: natural gas and the upcoming elections to the Israeli Knesset, their parliament.

Gaza is a small strip of land on the Mediterranean Sea. Its territorial waters extend to about 35km off the coast. In 1999, the oil firm BG International discovered a huge deposit of natural gas 32km from the Gaza coast. The Gaza Marine gas field contains 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas valued at over $4 billion. As per the Oslo peace accords, which created Gaza, Israel has security control over air and water around Gaza. So, it wrangled a deal with BG to get access to Gaza Marine gas at cheap rates.

But before the deal could go through, Hamas won the elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006. This sparked off a bitter power struggle between Hamas and the pro-west Fatah. Ultimately, the Palestinian Authority split in 2007, with Hamas taking control of Gaza and Fatah taking control of West Bank. One of the first things that Hamas did after getting elected was to declare that the natural gas deal would have to be renegotiated.

Then began the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which prevented much required food and medicines from reaching the hapless Gazans. Crammed into about 360 sq km, 1.5 million Gazans saw their lives crumble into dust. To get food and medicines, Gazans built tunnels under the Israeli barriers, and once even broke through on the Egyptian side. But the Israeli and Egyptian army tamped them down.

It appears that the current Israeli move is to try and turn the Gazans against Hamas, paving the way for a more pliable administration, so that the gas deal will go through. Reports from Israel indicate that preparations for this attack were underway since several months ago, with the ceasefire offered by Israel being just a ploy to lull Hamas.

In addition, the coming elections in Israel are predicted to see a tough challenge to the Kadima party-led government of Ehud Olmert by the hardline Likud party, led by Benjamin Netahnyu. Even within Kadima, Olmert is facing a challenge from foreign minister Tzipi Livni. Olmert has come under much criticism for the botched invasion of Lebanon in 2006. Many see the Gaza attack as an attempt by Olmert to revitalize his position within Israel.

Source

Gaza and the World: Will Things Ever Change?
One has to wonder: if Israel kills a thousand more, ten thousand, or half of Gaza, will the US still blame Palestinians?

By Ramzy Baroud
January 8, 2009
In times of crisis, most Arabs tune in to Aljazeera television. Sometimes it’s comforting for the truth to be stated the way it is, with all of its gory and unsettling details, without blemishes and without censorship. When Israel carried out massive air strikes against Gaza on Saturday, December 27, terrorizing an already hostage and malnourished population, I too tuned in to Aljazeera.

Within seconds I learned of the tally: 290 deaths and climbing, with 700 more wounded, all in one day. But as dramatic as this event may have seemed – the highest Israeli inflicted death toll in one day in Palestine since Israel’s establishment in 1948 – there was nothing new to learn.

Tragedies anywhere, natural or man made, tend to lead to social, cultural, economic and political upheavals, revolutions even, that somehow alter the social, cultural, economic and ultimately political landscapes in the affected regions, save in Palestine.

I gazed pointlessly at the screen. Learning of the aftermath of such tragedies seems more of a ritual than a purposeful habit. The Arab and international responses to the killings can only serve as a reminder of how ineffectual and irrelevant, if not complacent their timid mutterings are.

Once again the US blamed Palestinians, and the Hamas “thugs” using words that defy logic, such as “Israel has the right to defend itself.” The statement remains as ludicrous as ever, for a country like Israel with an army that possesses the world’s most lethal weapons, including nuclear arms, cannot possibly feel threatened by an imprisoned population whose only defense mechanism are fertilizer-based homemade rockets.

While Israel has killed and wounded thousands of Palestinians in Gaza (one thousand on Saturday alone) a handful of Israelis have reportedly died as a direct result of the Palestinian rockets in years. Do numbers matter at all?

European governments chose their words carefully, “expressing concern”, “calling on Israel to use restraint” and so on. Arab governments were, as usual, distracted with trivialities, protocols and easily lost sight of the crisis at hand.

Then, the same, ever predictable outbursts began. Passionate callers from all over the world called various TV and radio stations in the Middle East and shouted, yelled, cried, vented, called on God, called on Arab leaders, called on all of those with “living conscience” to do something.

In turn, audiences too cried at home as they listened to the heated commentary and watched footage of heaps of Palestinian bodies throughout the Gaza Strip.

The passion soon spilled to the streets of Arab capitals, of course under the ever-vigilant eyes of Arab police and secret services. Flags of US and Israel, and in some cases Egypt were sat ablaze along with effigies of Bush and Israeli leaders.

‘Rising up to the occasion’ some Arab governments declared, with much hype their intention to send an airplane or two of medicine and food to Gaza, a few boxes clad with the donor country’s flag, flashed endlessly on local media. Meanwhile, news reports spoke of Palestinians attempting to flee the Gaza prison into the Sinai desert. They were met with decisive Egyptian security presence at the border.

Strangely enough, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas remained faithful to the script, despite Gaza’s unprecedented tragedy. On Sunday, he blamed Hamas for the bloodbath. “We talked to them (Hamas) and we told them, ‘please, we ask you, do not end the truce. Let the truce continue and not stop”, so that we could have avoided what happened.”

Was Mr. Abbas informed of the fact that Hamas hasn’t carried out one suicide bombing since 2005? Or that the ‘truce’ never compelled Israel to allow Palestinians in Gaza access to basic necessities and medicine? Or that it was Israel that attacked Gaza in November, killing several people, claiming that it obtained information of a secret Hamas plot?

Even stranger that while Abbas has chosen such a position, many Israelis are not convinced that the war on Gaza was at all related to the Hamas’ rockets, and is in fact an election ploy for desperate politicians vying for Israel’s dominating right wing vote in the upcoming February elections. In fact, the Israeli design against Gaza had little to do with the ‘escalation’ of the rocket attacks of mid December.

“Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public – all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip,” wrote the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz on December 28, which also revealed that the plan had been in effect for six months.

“Like the US assault on Iraq and the Israeli response to the abduction of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser at the outset of the Second Lebanon War, little to no weight was apparently devoted to the question of harming innocent civilians,” said Haaretz.

And why should Israel devote a moment to the question of harming civilians or violating international law or any such seemingly irrelevant notions – as far as Israel is concerned – as long as their “Palestinian partners”, the Arab League, or the international community continue to teeter between silence, complacency, rhetoric and inaction?

By Thursday, January 1, the death toll climbed to 420, according to Palestinian medics and news reports, and over 2000 wounded.

A doctor from a Khan Yunis clinic in Gaza told me on the phone:

Scores of the wounded are clinically dead. Others are so badly disfigured; I felt that death is of greater mercy for them than living. We had no more room at the Qarara Clinic. Body parts cluttered the hallways. People screamed in endless agony and we had not enough medicine or pain killers. So we had to choose which ones to treat and which not to. In that moment I genuinely wished I was killed in the Israeli strikes myself, but I kept running trying to do something, anything.

Until Arab countries and nations translate their chants and condemnations into a practical and meaningful political action that can bring an end to the Israeli onslaughts against Palestinians, all that is likely to change are the numbers of dead and wounded.

But still, one has to wonder: if Israel kills a thousand more, ten thousand, or half of Gaza, will the US still blame Palestinians? Will Egypt open its Gaza border? Will Europe express the same “deep concern”? Will the Arabs issue the same redundant statements? Will things ever change? Ever?

War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves.

This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.

British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon’s Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.

The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). : Haaretz, October 21,  2007.

The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline.(Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).

The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. (See Map below). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.

The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine’s gas reserves could be much larger.

Map 1

Map 2

Who Owns the Gas Fields

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza’s gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves.

British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.

The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine’s sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that “Israel would never buy gas from Palestine” intimating that Gaza’s offshore gas reserves belong to Israel.

In 2003, Ariel Sharon, vetoed an initial deal, which would allow British Gas to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza’s offshore wells. : The Independent, August 19, 2003

The election victory of Hamas in 2006 was conducive to the demise of the Palestinian Authority, which became confined to the West Bank, under the proxy regime of Mahmoud Abbas.

In 2006, British Gas “was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt.” (Times, May, 23, 2007). According to reports, British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened on behalf of Israel with a view to shunting the agreement with Egypt.

The following year, in May 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert  “to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority.” The proposed contract was for $4 billion, with profits of the order of $2 billion of which one billion was to go the Palestinians.

Tel Aviv, however, had no intention on sharing the revenues with Palestine. An Israeli team of negotiators was set up by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a deal with the BG Group, bypassing both the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority:

Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government.” (Ibid, emphasis added)

The objective was essentially to nullify the contract signed in 1999 between the BG Group and the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat.

Under the proposed 2007 agreement with BG, Palestinian gas from Gaza’s offshore wells was to be channeled by an undersea pipeline to the Israeli seaport of Ashkelon, thereby transferring control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel.

The deal fell through. The negotiations were suspended:

“Mossad Chief Meir Dagan opposed the transaction on security grounds, that the proceeds would fund terror”. (Member of Knesset Gilad Erdan, Address to the Knesset on “The Intention of Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Purchase Gas from the Palestinians When Payment Will Serve Hamas,” March 1, 2006, quoted in Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza’s Coastal Waters Threaten Israel’s National Security? Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, October 2007)

Israel’s intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. In December 2007, The BG Group withdrew from the negotiations with Israel and in January 2008 they closed their office in Israel. (BG website).

Invasion Plan on The Drawing Board

The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under “Operation Cast Lead” was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources:

“Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago [June or before June] , even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”(Barak Ravid, Operation “Cast Lead”: Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, Haaretz, December 27, 2008

That very same month, the Israeli authorities contacted British Gas, with a view to resuming crucial negotiations pertaining to the purchase of Gaza’s natural gas:

“Both Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler agreed to inform BG of Israel’s wish to renew the talks.

The sources added that BG has not yet officially responded to Israel’s request, but that company executives would probably come to Israel in a few weeks to hold talks with government officials.” : Globes online- Israel’s Business Arena, June 23, 2008

The decision to speed up negotiations with British Gas (BG Group) coincided, chronologically, with the planning of the invasion of Gaza initiated in June. It would appear that Israel was anxious to reach an agreement with the BG Group prior to the invasion, which was already in an advanced planning stage.

Moreover, these negotiations with British Gas were conducted by the Ehud Olmert government with the knowledge that a military invasion was on the drawing board. In all likelihood, a new “post war” political-territorial arrangement for the Gaza strip was also being contemplated by the Israeli government.

In fact, negotiations between British Gas and Israeli officials were ongoing in October 2008, 2-3 months prior to the commencement of the bombings on December 27th.

In November 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Infrastructures instructed Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to enter into negotiations with British Gas, on the purchase of natural gas from the BG’s offshore concession in Gaza.  : Globes, November 13, 2008

“Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler wrote to IEC CEO Amos Lasker recently, informing him of the government’s decision to allow negotiations to go forward, in line with the framework proposal it approved earlier this year.

The IEC board, headed by chairman Moti Friedman, approved the principles of the framework proposal a few weeks ago. The talks with BG Group will begin once the board approves the exemption from a tender.” : Globes Nov. 13, 2008

Gaza and Energy Geopolitics

The military occupation of Gaza is intent upon transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel in violation of international law.

What can we expect in the wake of the invasion?

What is the intent of Israel with regard to Palestine’s Natural Gas reserves?

A new territorial arrangement, with the stationing of Israeli and/or “peacekeeping” troops?

The militarization of the entire Gaza coastline, which is strategic for Israel?

The outright confiscation of Palestinian gas fields and the unilateral declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Gaza’s maritime areas?

If this were to occur, the Gaza gas fields would be integrated into Israel’s offshore installations, which are contiguous to those of the Gaza Strip. (See Map 1 above).

proposed Israeli-Turkish pipeline with the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Ceyhan is the terminal of the Baku, Tblisi Ceyhan Trans Caspian pipeline. “What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel’s Tipline.” (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, : Global Research, July 23, 2006

Map 3

Source

Israel killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction again Gaza

Gaza (4): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words This links to 4 other pages with pictures -all devastating As a matter of fact the farther you go the worse they get.

Israel kills UN driver causing halt to UN Relief Aid in Gaza

Red Cross slams Israel over 4 day wait to access  wounded

The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

Egypt floats truce plan after 42 killed in Gaza School and Bars Doctors from Gaza

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives


Published in: on January 10, 2009 at 1:16 am  Comments Off on Gaza War Why?: Natural Gas valued at over $4 billion MAYBE?  
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Red Cross slams Israel over 4 day wait to access wounded

January 8 2009

The international Red Cross accuses Israeli forces today of failing to assist wounded Palestinians and of  “unacceptable” delays in letting rescue workers reach a Gaza home where four small children were found alive next to their mothers’ bodies.

Rescuers had been refused permission by the Israeli army to reach the site in the Zaytun neighborhood of Gaza City for days, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

The neutral aid group’s head of delegation for the region described the incident as “shocking.”

“The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded,” Pierre Wettach said in a statement. “Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded.”

Rescuers eventually received permission to go to the site Wednesday, “four days” after it was hit by Israeli shells.

They found 15 dead and 18 wounded in three houses, including the children who were too weak to stand.

The ICRC said requests to be allowed to reach other destroyed houses in this neighborhood, reportedly containing more wounded, were refused by the Israeli army.

“The ICRC believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded,” the Geneva-based group said in a statement.

“It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable.”

A spokeswoman for the Israeli mission in Geneva said she was unable to comment on the incident at this time.

Source

Israel never complies with the Geneva Convention. This is typical of their behavior. Making anyone wait for medical aid for  4 days is a crime. I would even call it “torture”.  No, this is beyond torture. Especially when you consider terrified, children were waiting for someone, anyone to help them.

All alone with their dead parents must have been a horrifying experience.  I can’t even begin to fathom,  how those terrified, children must have felt and what they were going through…….This is far beyond criminal.

If help had gotten there sooner, others may have lived as well.

This is part of Israels terrorizing, cruel tactics.

Just like leaving those in Gaza without homes, heat, hydro, food, water and medical supplies.

Next there will by things like Cholera outbreaks and numerous other illnesses associated with starvation and lack of clean drinking water.

How much longer are the talk a lot, no action leaders going to wait.

They too are the great pretenders. They are doing nothing but babbling on and on. I see no real incentive to help those in Gaza, just putting it off until more die. As a matter of fact many of them have enabled Israel to exterminate may Palestinians over the years.  Some even foot the bill so they can.  They have had ample time to stop the killings. They choose not too. Especially the US. The US has condoned this type of behavior for years. Of course they do the same thing themselves as we all well know from their actions in Iraq and Haiti. Well there are many other countries I could add to the list but it is rather long.

People around the world are angry and with good reason. They want this stopped.

Israel is doing this all on purpose, not because they are defending themselves. They are lieing. Their actions speak for themselves.

I see it and so do others. It is obvious to us all, who know Israel’s history and and terroristic behavior.

If anyone is a terrorist, it is Israel’s Government.

If you don’t serve in their army for them and murder innocent people they send you to jail. They even  terrorized their own. Teenagers at that. Just kids themselves. What you have is a Dictatorship so to speak.  They just pretend to be a democracy. Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in army”

I can bet anyone who has been taken to their prisons are being tortured as well.

All the while pretending to be nice. Who is Israeli Government trying to kid?

These are the earmarks of Genocide.”Apartheid”

Now who needs to be defended? Israel continually cry’s “wolf” when in actuality they are the ones deliberately, systematically,  murdering innocent people on purpose.

Latest Report States: The Israeli military operation in Gaza has killed at least 680 people and injured more than 3,000,  Palestinian medical sources said Wednesday. Thirty percent of the deaths are women and children, according to the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The History of Israels treatment of Palestinians. The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

Gaza (3): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (2): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

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

Egypt floats truce plan after 42 killed in Gaza School and Bars Doctors from Gaza

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 11:05 am  Comments Off on Red Cross slams Israel over 4 day wait to access wounded  
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Diplomats say U.S. blocks UN statement on Gaza

Jean-Maurice Ripert, French ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to reporters at UN headquarters after an emergency meeting on the situation in Gaza on Sat., Jan. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/ David Karp)
Jean-Maurice Ripert, French ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to reporters at UN headquarters after an emergency meeting on the situation in Gaza on Sat., Jan. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/ David Karp)

Diplomats say U.S. blocks UN statement on Gaza
January 4 2009

UNITED NATIONS
The United States has blocked approval of a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, diplomats said.

French UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, the council president, said the 15 council members could not agree on a statement in closed discussions held after Israel launched a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip on Saturday. But he said there were “strong convergences” among the members to express concern about the deteriorating situation in Gaza and the need for “an immediate, permanent and fully respected cease-fire.”

Libyan Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi said the United States during the discussions late Saturday objected to “any outcome” on the proposed statement. He said efforts were made to compromise on a weaker press statement but there was no consensus.

Several other council members, speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations were closed, also said the U.S. was responsible for the council’s failure to issue a statement.

The U.S., Israel’s closest ally, has designated Hamas a terrorist organization. U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff said the United States saw no prospect of Hamas abiding by last week’s council call for an immediate end to the violence. Therefore, he said, a new statement “would not be adhered to and would have no underpinning for success, (and) would not do credit to the council.”

Libya, the only Arab nation on the council, called the emergency meeting after Israel sent tanks and infantry across the border into Gaza on the eighth day of its offensive against Hamas militants. The ground attack followed a week of air strikes, which Hamas responded to with salvos of rocket fired into southern Israel.

Arab nations demanded that the council adopt a statement calling for an immediate cease fire and expressing “serious concern at the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the situation in Gaza and southern Israel,” a view echoed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

If it had been approved, the statement would have become part of the council’s official record but would not have the weight of a Security Council resolution, which is legally binding.

Egypt’s UN Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz said it was regrettable that one permanent council member — a clear reference to the U.S. — refused to accept any statement at a time when “the aggression is escalating and more people are dying and the military attack on the ground is at its full scale.”

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN observer, said: “We have war. We have aggression against the Palestinian people, and it is a sad and tragic moment when the Security Council cannot address this issue by at least demanding from Israel … to stop this aggression immediately.”

More than 480 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 3,000 injured in Gaza, and four people have been killed in Israel.

Israel maintains the offensive is aimed at stopping the rocket attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza that have traumatized southern Israel.

Though the Security Council took no action on Saturday night, an Arab draft resolution circulated by Libya on Wednesday night that would condemn Israel and halt its military attacks on Gaza remains on the table. It would have to be revised, however, since the United States has already called it “unacceptable” and “unbalanced” because it doesn’t call for an end to the Hamas rocketing of Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected in New York on Tuesday, along with half a dozen Arab foreign ministers who will be at the UN on Monday, to press for a cease-fire resolution.

Mansour said he hopes Abbas and the ministers will succeed in pushing through a resolution “so that we will have a durable and sustainable cease fire between us and the Israelis.”

Asked what kind of resolution would be acceptable to the United States, Wolff said: “The important point to focus on here is establishing the understanding of what type of cease fire we’re talking about and to ensure that it’s lasting, and to ensure that we don’t return to a situation that led to the current situation.”

Source

The US makes a habit of this. They have blocked UN Resolutions 40 times previous to this one as well. Just because the US says anything doesn’t make it true, except in their own minds.   They said Saddam had “weapons of mass destruction” too and that was a lie. What Israel is doing I consider premeditated, mass, murder as they planed this  over six months ago.  This is the second time in as many weeks the US has interfered with the UN as noted below.

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

December 28, 2008

The UN Security Council has been unable to force an end to Israeli attacks against Gaza due to the intervention of the United States.

Israel wouldn’t  let the UN in to deliver food back in November.

November 14 2008
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip
A U.N. official says Israel is holding up planned food aid shipments to Gaza.

You know letting people starve is a crime. If Hamas did do something, it was in reaction to premeditated,  death by  starvation. Of course Israel has done numerous things to terrorize the Palestinians.

Building of the Wall for example.  Kind of reminded me of the Berlin wall.

Of course I am not alone in thinking much of what the Israelis are doing is similar to what Nazis did to the Jews. This opinion is growing.

Where is the shock and horror towards the over 420 Palestinian men, women and children have been killed by Israeli bombs in the streets of Gaza? Where is the urgent reaction by world leaders, and not just those from the Arab league?

There are a lot of Questions this writer asks and I have asked myself many of the same questions. You should too.

Through out all of this everyone around the world will see the cruelty of Israel and the determination of the US to make absolutely sure nothing is done to help the Palestinians. In recent weeks up to the invasion of Gaza Israel had done numerous things to push Hamas into a corner.

They have been doing this for years not just because of  Hamas,  but anyone who leads in Gaza.

I guess we will have to dig up a nice long list of some of their nasty deeds. There are many.

These are just the recent few:

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

Israeli troops bisect Gaza, clash with Hamas fighters

Palestinians carry people injured during an Israeli army operation in Gaza, into Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. (AP / Fadi Adwan)

A Palestinian girl cries during the funeral of a relative that was killed in an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. (AP / Fadi Adwan)

January 4 2009

Israeli troops clashed with Hamas militants early Sunday, leading to a number of casualties on both sides, as an Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip gained momentum.

After moving into Gaza after nightfall, Israeli tanks and troops bisected the narrow strip of land and surrounded Gaza City.

The Israeli military says that soldiers have killed or wounded dozens of militants, but according to Gaza officials, at least 31 civilians have been killed in the ground offensive.

However, Palestinian medical officials could not confirm the exact number of casualties, as they are unable to move around Gaza due to the fighting. According to Hamas, four of its fighters have been killed.

The Israeli military reports that one soldier has been killed and 30 wounded, two seriously, as television news images show army ambulances bringing soldiers to a hospital in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

The ground invasion came after a week of air strikes launched by Israel against Hamas targets in Gaza in an effort to stem the rocket attacks launched into Israel from within the territory.

The air strikes have killed more than 500 people in Gaza since the latest conflict began on Dec. 27, and Palestinian and UN officials say at least 100 of those killed were civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel would protect its civilians from rocket attacks, which continued throughout the air assault.

“This morning I can look every one of you in the eyes and say the government did everything before deciding to go ahead with the operation,” Olmert said.

Israeli officials have said they do not intend to occupy the Gaza Strip and have been clear that the goal is to stop rocket attacks.

However, the ground offensive would not be “a rapid one that would end in hours or a few days,” warned one senior military officer, who asked not be named.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the ground offensive “brutal aggression,” and reached out to his rivals in Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

In response to the troop movement, Hamas officials said Gaza would become a “graveyard” for Israeli soldiers.

“You entered like rats,” Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said in a statement on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV. “Gaza will be a graveyard for you, God willing.”

Offensive widens

The Israeli army has called up tens of thousands of reserve soldiers in advance of a potential third phase that could include a wider ground offensive.

Defence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the troops could be called in should militants in the West Bank or Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon launch attacks of their own.

But early Sunday, the Israeli offensive targeted the northern Gaza Strip, cutting off Gaza City’s 400,000 residents from the rest of the region to the south.

It is from northern Gaza that most rockets are fired into Israel.

In an interview Sunday morning on Newsnet, CTV News correspondent Janis Mackey Frayer said that partitioning Gaza is an attempt by the Israeli army to “impede the movement of Hamas and other militant groups. They believe it disables fighters from being able to move around, it disables rocket squads, it’s trying to effectively take control of movement within the Gaza Strip.”

The heaviest fighting Sunday occurred in the town of Beit Lahiya, where an artillery shell killed eight civilians as they ran to a nearby school to take cover, according to local paramedics.

Earlier this week, Beit Lahiya was hit by at least two air strikes, which also killed civilians.

Israeli troops were also reportedly searching houses in the northern town of al-Attatra. However, many residents had already fled in advance of the soldiers’ arrival.

Humanitarian disaster looms

The week-long air offensive has knocked out power to many homes and businesses in the Gaza Strip, leaving many families without heat and many shops unable to store food supplies.

“They’re traumatized, they’re terrorized and they’re trapped,” John Ging of the UN Relief and Work Agency, which has 10,000 Palestinian volunteers in Gaza, told CTV Newsnet on Sunday. “The population is without water, food is critically low, there’s no electricity.”

Ging also said that the dead and injured have left Gaza hospitals “completely and utterly overburdened.”

According to Ging, one Palestinian UN aid worker volunteering at a local hospital has been killed. He did not elaborate on exactly how the worker died.

The Israeli army dropped leaflets on Gaza Saturday, warning residents to take cover in advance of the ground offensive.

“The problem of course is that Gaza is a sealed place. It is confined, it is densely populated,” Mackey Frayer said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit the region Monday in an attempt to broker a cease fire and encourage the resumption of peace talks.

Source

Israel prepares for possible ground offensive

Palestinian nurses treat Ihab Alhrzyn who was wounded in a recent Israeli airstrike, at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. (AP / Hatem Moussa)

A Palestinian inspects damage at the Hamas Interior Ministry building, following Israeli missile strikes in Gaza City, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. (AP / Hatem Moussa)

December 31 2008

Israel ramped up preparations Wednesday for a possible ground assault of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, amassing more troops at the border after it rebuffed a possible ceasefire.

Soldiers gathered at the edge of the densely-populated strip of land, along with dozens of tanks. Israel’s government also approved the call-up of 9,000 reservists.

Overnight, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had discussed a 48-hour truce proposal put forth by France with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The meeting ended with a rejection of the proposal.

Israel has rebuffed international pressure to impose a temporary halt of its offensive in Gaza, promising not to stop until Hamas guarantees they will no longer shoot rockets across the border.

Overnight, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert discussed a 48-hour truce proposal put forth by France with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The meeting ended with a rejection of the proposal.

“Giving Hamas a respite just to regroup, rearm is a mistake,” Olmert spokesperson Mark Regev said. “The pressure on the Hamas military machine must continue.”

CTV Middle East Bureau Chief Janis Mackey Frayer sat down with Livni in Sderot, a town in southern Israel hit hard by Hamas rockets, and asked her about Israel’s objectives for the current military operation.

“When Israel is under attack we are going to retaliate, we are going to act back,” Livni said. “I’m not going to exist as a government and say to my citizens, ‘This is something you need to get used to’ — to be under attacks, even sporadic attacks, from the Gaza strip.”

She said Israel wants to “change realities” in the Gaza Strip, meaning a regime change. However, she also said removing Hamas from power is not the purpose of the current military campaign, but that Israel hopes Palestinians will vote out the group.

“Now (Hamas) knows that when they target Israel, Israel will act back, and I mean with forces that are not a proportionate answer to rocket attacks,” she said. “This should work once. And if they don’t understand it, it’s going to work in the future until they understand, and the population in Gaza understands, that Hamas is a problem for everybody.”

Livni also dismissed criticism that Israeli’s air strikes were carefully timed to coincide with the country’s upcoming election to draw support from voters, and before Barack Obama — who may be less supportive of Israel’s tactics than George Bush — takes office in the United States.

“It’s not connected to elections or to timing, it’s a question of a moment in which we can say, ‘OK, reality has changed,'” she said.

Livni also said Israel is “not the aggressor in the conflict.”

‘Far away’ from peace

Samah Sabawi, a spokesperson for the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations, said she was dismayed by that assertion.

“Israel has held, for 40 years, an illegal occupation of Palestinian land,” Sabawi, who was born in the Gaza Strip, told CTV Newsnet on Wednesday. “That occupation itself is a form of aggression against the Palestinians.

She said the way Israel has treated the Palestinians — building settlements in the territories, erecting walls — is also a “great form of aggression, and until Israel starts to understand that, we’re really far away from any kind of peaceful resolution.”

The campaign, which will enter its sixth day, has so far killed about 400 people in the Gaza Strip and injured 1,600. Of the dead, at least 200 were uniformed Hamas members. According to the UN, 60 Palestinian civilians have also been killed.

Hamas is protesting a blockade enforced by Israel that has reduced the amount of food and medical supplies entering the country. Sabawi said her sister, a doctor working in Gaza, told her the hospitals have been flooded with casualties but lack enough resources to treat them.

“The situation is very dire,” said Sabawi. “There is no hot water in the hospital. There is still no electricity, so the hospital is having to rely on generators to keep the lights on and keep the life-support machines running.”

She also said that while some supplies are still reaching the hospital, staff have run out of medication to help burn victims.

“Because Israel destroyed the infrastructure and the fire department, there’s a lot of fires going on from the bombings, and from people trying to find heat by burning wood and coal inside their homes,” said Sabawi.

Attacks continue

Gabriella Shalev, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said the bombing campaign is the only way for Israel to bring about peace and security for Israelis targeted by rockets in the south.

“This is the right and the duty of every sovereign state to defend its own people so unless we get assurances and guarantees that Hamas will stop rocketing Israel, there will be no ceasefire,” Shalev told CTV Newsnet on Wednesday.

By midday Wednesday, more than two dozen rockets and mortar shells had been fired on Israel, including five that struck Beersheba, a major southern Israeli city.

Militants have been able to extend their reach with better rockets, putting more than one-tenth of the Israeli population in danger.

Since the conflict began, four Israelis, including three civilians, have been killed by militant rocket fire.

Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu said Wednesday that the Gaza government is still functioning.

“What our people want is clear: an immediate stop to all kinds of aggression, the end of the siege by all means, the opening of all border crossings, and international guarantees that the occupation will not renew this terrorist war again,” Nunu said in a statement.

The current crisis began roughly a week after a six-month truce between Israel and Hamas ended with a barrage of Hamas rocket fire. On Christmas day, 80 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae said Wednesday that Hamas needs to change the way it operates.

“Hamas has refused to recognize Israel and has rejected a ceasefire,” Rae told CTV Newsnet. “It’s absolutely crucial that Hamas change the way it behaves.”

At the same time, Rae said everyone has to work with the Israelis to achieve a real ceasefire that Hamas will respect.

“We all have to be working with the Israeli government to make sure that the long term efforts at finding a peaceful solution are not lost sight of,” he said.

Calls for an immediate ceasefire have also come from the Quartet — the U.S., E.U., UN and Russia — who joined together to attempt to broker a peace agreement in 2002.

“Israel says that at this stage there’s no use in exploring band aid solutions to what they still see as a grave problem — Hamas is still firing rockets from the Gaza Strip,” Mackey Frayer said.

Although it has rejected the temporary ceasefire, Israel has agreed to allow 2,000 tons of food and medical supplies into Gaza Wednesday.

Shalev said Israel’s borders were open all the time to allow aid into Gaza.

Source

Shalev said Israel’s borders were open all the time to allow aid into Gaza.

This is a blatant lie. What BS. They wouldn’t even let the UN in with food .

U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

How stupid are people if they believe this type of lie?

So I am guessing Israel is saying  the UN lied ?

Israel is the lier. If they lie about that they will lie about anything.

Published in: on January 5, 2009 at 1:26 am  Comments Off on Diplomats say U.S. blocks UN statement on Gaza  
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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  
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National Demonstration: London UK Saturday 3 January

Just added Jan 5

Reports on protests

Sunday Report: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

Just added Jan 4th 2009

A few reports about the protests

Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris Etc

Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

Posted Jan 2 2009

National Demonstration: To be held in London Saturday 3 January

Child victim of Israeli raid

Child arrives at Shifa hospital in Gaza after Israeli air strike

“Israel is committing a shocking series of atrocities by using modern weaponry against a defenceless population – attacking a population that has been enduring a severe blockade for many months.”
The UN Human Rights Council
Stop Gaza Massacre
Hands Off Gaza: Stop the Bombing: Free Palestine
Assemble 12:30pm Embankment, WC2
Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, CND and more than 30 organisations.
Help steward the demonstration. Call or text 07958 745802
Join the demonstration – message from Tony Benn
Tony Benn

The Israeli Government, armed and supported by President Bush, with its savage attack on the people of Gaza now represents the greatest threat to security in the Middle East and the world peace movement is mobilizing on a massive scale to defeat this aggression.
I appeal to everyone who can possibly do so to attend the many demonstrations that are being held here so that the British government is left in no doubt as to the strength of opposition there is to this war.

Mass protest at Israeli Embassy, Saturday  January 3 2009 , 4-6pm

Following Saturday’s national demonstration, there will be a mass protest outside the Israeli Embassy from 4.00 – 6.00 pm.

Please join if you are attending the national demonstration.
Saturday  January 3 2009  4 – 6pm
Kensington High Street
(Nearest tube High Street Kensington)

Source

Other UK Protests around the Country

If you can’t make it to a protests or rally be sure to sign petitions on page below.

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza

Toronto: January 3, demonstrating against Israeli assault In Gaza

Pro-Gaza protest, march set for Saturday Jan 3, in St. Petersburg

Sat, Jan 3rd, NYC GAZA ACTIONS CONTINUE – MARCH & RALLY

Other Protests across the US

Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 4:31 am  Comments Off on National Demonstration: London UK Saturday 3 January  
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Toronto: January 3, demonstrating against Israeli assault In Gaza

Added Jan 5

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.

Added Jan 4th 2009

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

Saturday Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris etc

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

Posted Jan 2 2008

DEMONSTRATE AGAINST THE ISRAELI ASSAULT ON GAZA!

WHEN: 2pm on Saturday January 3rd, 2009

WHERE: Yonge-Dundas Square (buses leave Palestine House 1:15pm sharp)
Meet under the OCAP banner.

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON  M5A 1R6
416-925-6939  ocap@tao.ca http://www.ocap.ca

Join in demonstrating against the latest Israeli assault on the people of
Gaza.
At least 400 Palestinians have been killed and at least 1600 have been
injured in the on-going assault on the Gaza Strip that began on Saturday.

This is the single largest massacre in Gaza since Israel illegally
occupied the area in 1967. The numbers of dead are mounting, especially as the already limited medical supplies are running out due to the brutal siege of Gaza since 2005.

While the Western media reports that the raids targeted Hamas ‘operatives,’ the dead include women, children and men in all areas of life in Gaza. “Operation  Cast Lead” has echoes of previous Israeli raids into Gaza that have been characterized by indiscriminate attacks on civilian population centers, mass detentions, violent house demolitions and other forms of collective punishment.

Such actions need to be strongly and unconditionally condemned.

This attack comes just days after the so-called ‘ceasefire’ between Hamas
and Israel expired. During this alleged ceasefire, Israel continued to
impose its brutal siege on Gaza, restricting the flow of aid, medical
supplies, fuel and other necessities of life into the territory. For the
past two years Gaza has been undergoing the daily violence of a
wide-ranging humanitarian catastrophe triggered by severely reduced
access to energy, food, and medicines. In effect, Gaza is the world’s
largest open air prison. The UN and others in the international community condemned the humanitarian disaster created by Israel’s siege during the time of this ‘ceasefire’. Israel now claims that this operation is in response to Hamas refusing to renew this sham of a ceasefire. Once again, Israel is imposing collective punishment on the people of Gaza for electing a Hamas government.

Organizers are particularly angered by the Canadian government’s on-going support for the Israeli apartheid regime – including the intensification of bilateral military, political and economic links between Canada and Israel.
These latest war crimes occur in the context of official Canadian complicity with and support for Israel’s illegal siege and starvation of the civilian population in Gaza.

At this moment, we can only reaffirm our commitment in the strongest
possible terms to continue mobilizing to respond to the call by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations for a comprehensive campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) to end Israeli Apartheid. As H.E. Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockman, President of the United Nations General Assembly state in a recent speech: “More than twenty years ago we in the United Nations took the lead from civil society when we agreed that sanctions were required to provide a nonviolent means of pressuring South Africa to end its violations. Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its violations.”

CONTACT:
Palestine House
info@palestinehouse.com

Demonstration Organized By:

Palestine House
Canadian Arab Federation
Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP)
Not In Our Name (NION): Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism
Muslim Association of Hamilton
International Jewish anti-Zionist Network – Toronto
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
Muslim Unity
Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
Canadian Druze Society
Canadian Syrian Social Club
Al Huda
Islamic Relief
Steel Workers Union
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Ontario)
Educators for Peace and Justice

Please send further organizational endorsements to: info@palestinehouse.com

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza

Pro-Gaza protest, march set for Saturday Jan 3, in St. Petersburg

Sat, Jan 3rd, NYC GAZA ACTIONS CONTINUE – MARCH & RALLY

Other Protests across the US

Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 3:03 am  Comments Off on Toronto: January 3, demonstrating against Israeli assault In Gaza  
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Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

New Reports of Saturday and Sundays Protests at the bottom of the page

Iranian protestors attend an anti-Israel rally, after Friday prayers in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. Iran is warning Israel not to launch a ground offensive into Gaza as protests against the Israeli bombings of the Hamas-run area continue. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Egyptian security face protestors , who attempted to take to the streets after Friday prayers in Cairo, Egypt, Friday Jan. 2, 2009. Riot police and security vehicles peppered the surrounding streets preventing many worshippers and journalists from getting to Al Azhar mosque. At least two were injured during a scuffle. (AP Photo)

Kenyan Muslim protesters in Nairobi, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, burn a representation of Israel’s national flag during a rally against Israeli military strikes on Gaza. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

Indian paramilitary soldiers and policemen beat Kashmiri Muslim protesters during a protest against the ongoing bombing raids in Gaza, in Srinagar, India, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

A Tanzanian Muslim demonstrator shout slogans, during a protest, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to protest against the Israeli military strikes in the Gaza strip. The Muslims said they will not rest until Israel stops striking to the Gaza strip. (AP Photo/Khalfan Said)

Palestinian woman protest against Israel’s military operation in Gaza, in the center of the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. About 3,000 Hamas supporters protested in Nablus against the Israeli offensive, singing songs and calling for an attack against Israelis in Jerusalem. Thousands demonstrated throughout the West Bank in solidarity with the people of Gaza.(AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

Nicaragua born human rights activist Bianca Jagger, right, reacts with singer Annie Lennox, left, before the start of the press conference in London to announce the mass demonstration in central London on Saturday to demonstrate against the ongoing Israeli military action against Gaza, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. British comedian Alexei Sayle is seen at centre. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

January 2 2008

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Thousands protested Friday against Israel’s air offensive targeting Hamas at demonstrations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America.

Similar protests have been held daily across the Middle East since Israel launched the bombing campaign last Saturday. But these gatherings held mostly after Friday prayers were larger — mainly because Friday prayers are a traditional gathering opportunity for Muslims — and seemed to be more far-reaching in the number of countries where protests occurred.

The Israeli offensive has killed more than 400 Palestinians and sparked outrage among the Arab public. Israel says its offensive is aimed at silencing Hamas rockets.

In Tehran, a crowd of about 6,000 stretching for a half-mile (kilometer) marched from prayers at Tehran University to Palestine Square, chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” and burning Israeli flags.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki warned Israel that entering Gaza “by land will be the biggest mistake of the Zionist regime.”

Iran is a major backer of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, giving it millions of dollars. The U.S. and Israel accuse Iran of giving weapons and rockets to Hamas, though Tehran denies arming Hamas.

In Egypt, authorities clamped down hard to prevent protests Friday. Hundreds of riot police surrounded Cairo’s main Al-Azhar Mosque, where a rally had been called, and scuffled with would-be protesters, keeping most from approaching.

Police also arrested 40 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood that called for protests.

More than 3,000 people marched in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish.

Many governments in the Arab world such as Egypt have been wary about protests at home over Israel’s Gaza assault lest the protests spiral out of control.

In Jordan, police fired volleys of tear gas and scuffled with protesters who tried to reach the Israeli Embassy in Amman. A few of the protesters threw stones at police, but the security forces dispersed the group, arresting several.

About 30,000 Jordanians gathered at a stadium in Amman shouting their support for Gaza and calling for the abolition of the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty signed in 1994.

More than 10,000 Muslims marched through Indonesia’s capital Jakarta to protest the ongoing bombing raids in Gaza, aiming fake missiles labeled “Target: Tel Aviv, Israel” at the U.S. Embassy.

Protests were also held after Friday prayers in other cities in the world’s most populous Muslim country, in what was the largest turnout since Israel began the operation.

In the Afghan capital of Kabul, about 3,000 people gathered outside a prominent mosque, according to police estimates. Men in the crowd threw stones and shoes at an effigy of President George W. Bush.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in the Philippines capital Manila, carrying placards saying Israel is a “butcher of children.”

In Turkey, Israel’s closest ally in the region, some 5,000 people denounced the Israeli raids outside a mosque in Istanbul, burning Israeli and U.S. flags and reciting funeral prayers for the victims.

In Syria, some 2,000 marched in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, carrying Palestinian flags and chanting “jihad will unite us.”

Syrian President Bashar Assad talked with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday and called on the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution forcing Israel to immediately halt its Gaza offensive, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

In Sudan, thousands marched in downtown Khartoum, urging Muslims to jihad and denouncing Israel and America.

Protests erupted as well in the Palestinian territories.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, thousands demonstrated in solidarity with Gazans, calling for Palestinian unity and accusing Arab leaders of silence over Israel’s bombardment.

Ex-Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox and other celebrities, including activist Bianca Jagger, comedian Alexei Sayle and former London mayor Ken Livingstone, held a news conference in London demanding Israel halt the onslaught.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil almost 200 people led by local Muslim leaders gathered outside the Sao Paulo Art Museum to protest the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Several demonstrators carried Palestinian flags, and banners reading “End the Genocide in Gaza.”

In Bern, Switzerland, hundreds of people marched, calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and demanding the international community impose sanctions against Israel.

Russian authorities detained about 37 people after a small protest outside the Israeli Embassy in Moscow demanding an end to attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of Muslims held a rally at the main mosque in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, hoisting banners that said “Palestinian Blood Is Human Blood” and shouting for Kenya to sever ties with Israel.

Meanwhile, Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the leader of al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, an offshoot of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, has issued a message urging Muslims to attack Jews everywhere, according to the SITE Intelligence, a group which monitors extremist Web sites.

Source

Just Added January 5 2009

Sunday Report: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

Saturday Jan 4  Reports on protests

Saturday Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

SaturdayJan 3 Reports: US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Saturday Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris etc

December Reports

December 29 Reports:Global protests against Israel

***********************************************************

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza

Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

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

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 1:28 am  Comments Off on Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault  
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Pro-Gaza protest, march set for Saturday Jan 3, in St. Petersburg

Added Jan 5

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

Added Jan 4th 2009

A few reports about the protests

Saturday Jan 3  Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

Saturday Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris Etc

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

Posted Jan 2 2009

Pro-Gaza protest, march set for Saturday in St. Petersburg

January 3, 2009

By Wayne Garcia

This in from Rise Up Tampa Bay:
St. Petersburg — Peace groups and concerned citizens will be gathering outside of the Baywalk facility in support of the victims in Gaza during the most recent military actions.

“Regardless of where one stands on the conflict, we can all agree that war is not the answer, and the horiffically one-sided casualty counts are a travesty”, said Mike Fox, Rise Up Tampa Bay member and Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of Progressive Democrats Of America.  “We ask that all who see the Palestinian people as the “Davids” in this “David vs Goliath” struggle join us as we ask that the US government and our fellow citizens support a free Palestine and an end to the slaughter.”
Saturday, Jan. 3,7:30pm

On sidewalks outside of Baywalk
2nd Avenue and 2nd Street, N
Downtown St. Petersburg

Rise Up Tampa Bay

Source

Petitions can also be signed at page below.

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza

There is also a March in New York and Toronto Canada

Sat, Jan 3rd, NYC GAZA ACTIONS CONTINUE – MARCH & RALLY

Toronto: January 3, demonstrating against Israeli assault In Gaza

Other Protests across the US

Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 12:56 am  Comments Off on Pro-Gaza protest, march set for Saturday Jan 3, in St. Petersburg  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sat, Jan 3rd, NYC GAZA ACTIONS CONTINUE – MARCH & RALLY

Added Jan 5

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

Added Jan 4th 2009

A few reports about the protests

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

Saturday Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris Etc

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

Posted Jan 2 2009

WHEN:  Saturday January 3 2009, 1:00 PM

WHERE:  New York City, Rally at Times Square, 42nd and 7th Avenue,

MARCH & RALLY

STOP THE MASSACRE
BOYCOTT ISRAEL
NYC Actions for Gaza Continue
Death toll in Gaza has reached 390!
We urge all of our members and friends to come out and participate in the Rally and March on Saturday January 3, 2009.

Rally at Times Square, 42nd and 7th Avenue, 1:00 PM
March to the Israeli mission on 42nd and 2nd Avenue.

Adalah-NY and friends will gather 12:40 PM at the North East corner of 39th St and 7th Ave.  At 1:10 PM, we will join the protest and try to be near 41st St. and 7th Ave. Join us!

BRING FLAGS & MAKE YOUR OWN SIGN.
Here are some of the the slogans we will be using:

  • STOP THE MASSACRE – BOYCOTT ISRAEL
  • BOYCOTT OCCUPATION & MASS STARVATION
  • STOP ISRAELI WAR CRIMES
  • STOP THE GENOCIDE
  • STOP THE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE! – OR WE’LL HAVE TO THROW OUR SHOES!
  • YES, WE CAN! STOP ISRAELI AGGRESSION!
  • YES, WE CAN! STOP THE GENOCIDE IN GAZA!
  • YES, WE CAN! STOP US MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL!
  • YES, WE CAN! BOYCOTT ISRAEL!
  • NOT IN OUR NAMES, NOT WITH OUR MONEY!
  • ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES = WAR CRIMINALS
  • ISRAELI ATTACK ON GAZA = GENOCIDE
  • YES, WE CAN! STOP THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE!
  • ZIONISM = RACISM
  • ISRAEL = APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA
  • WAR IS TERRORISM WITH BIGGER BUDGET – STOP ISRAEL’S WAR ON PALESTINIANS
  • SAY NO TO RACISM – SAY NO TO CARNAGE
  • ACT AGAINST ISRAEL’S WAR CRIMES

Call for the March:

We must act now, before the massacres continue! Over 360 people were killed in Gaza since Saturday, December 27 in a series of Israeli attacks – with US-made and paid for weaponry – upon the Palestinian people. These cold-blooded killings come on top of a siege on Gaza that has killed hundreds by depriving them of medical care, electricity, power and fuel and attempted to strangle the life of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The people of Gaza are standing steadfast in the face of these massacres but our voices must be heard to demand an immediate end to the massacres and an end to US aid to Israel! The Israeli military is promising more massacres – we must say no NOW!
—–
Endorsed by:
Al-Awda: Palestine Right to Return Coalition-NY, Arab Muslim American Federation, MAS-NY(Youth Center), National, Queens, NJ, Yonkers, The General Union of Palestine Students, Bayan-USA, Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, Salam Church, International Action Center, Brooklyn Cultural Center, Hudson Valley Islamic Center, December 12 Movement, New York City Labor Against the War, DRUM, Troops Out Now Coalition, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum, International League of Peoples Struggle, Dawoud Mosque, Muslim Alliance in North America, Masjid Al-Taqwa, Islamic Circle of North America, F.I.S.T

TRAINS:
#1, 2, 3, 7, S, N, Q, R, W to Times Sq.-42d St.; B, D, F, V to 42d St.-Bryant Park (at 6th Av. & walk a block west); A, C, E to 42d St.-Port Authority (at 8th Av. & walk a block east); no weekend B, V or W service;

BUSES:
M6, M7, both via 6th & 7th Aves.; M10, M20, M104 all via Broadway; M27 crosstown via 49th & Broadway; M42 or M104 both crosstown via 42d St.; M10, M16, M20 via 8th Ave.;

Source

Pro-Gaza protest, march set for Saturday Jan 3, in St. Petersburg

Toronto: January 3, demonstrating against Israeli assault In Gaza

Other Protests across the US

If you can’t make it to the Rally/March, you can send letters and sign the petitions at the page below. Become part of the Solution.  Every Voice counts.

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza

Published in: on January 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm  Comments Off on Sat, Jan 3rd, NYC GAZA ACTIONS CONTINUE – MARCH & RALLY  
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Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza

Nehad Al-Hajsale, the London, Ont. man who has been trapped in Gaza since early November, is seen with his daughter in this undated family handout photo.

Nehad Al-Hajsale, the London, Ont. man who has been trapped in Gaza since early November, is seen with his daughter in this undated family handout photo.

Dalia Salim, the wife of Nehad Al-Hajsale, who has been trapped in Gaza since early November, appears on CTV's Canada AM from 'A' studios in London, Ont., Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008.

Dalia Salim, the wife of Nehad Al-Hajsale, who has been trapped in Gaza since early November, appears on CTV’s Canada AM from ‘A’ studios in London, Ont., Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008.

Nehad Al-Hajsale, the London, Ont. man who has been trapped in Gaza since early November, is seen with his wife, Dalia Salim, and their daughter in this undated family handout photo.

Nehad Al-Hajsale, the London, Ont. man who has been trapped in Gaza since early November, is seen with his wife, Dalia Salim, and their daughter in this undated family handout photo.


Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare

December 31 2008

A London, Ont. man’s trip to the Gaza Strip to visit his ailing father has turned into an extended nightmare.

Nehad Al-Hajsalem has been trapped in Gaza since early November, and his family is growing increasingly desperate to bring him home safely.

An Israeli aerial bombing campaign on Gaza is now in its fifth day, with close to 400 people killed in the attacks.

Al-Hajsalem’s wife, Dalia Salim, told CTV’s Canada AM she worries for her husband’s safety, saying just getting through by phone is a challenge.

“It’s quite hard,” Salim said. “You have to call at least 10 times for the phone to pick up. But I do talk to him and it’s pretty scary. I can hear all the bombs, I can hear emergency sirens going by, I can hear helicopters, the loud zooming sound of them. It’s all so frightening.”

Al-Hajsalem, a permanent resident of Canada, travelled to Gaza when he learned the border with Egypt would be opened for several days in early November.

He had planned to visit his father who was dying from liver cancer, then return to Canada.

Al-Hajsalem’s father died on Nov. 23, but the Gaza border has once again been closed and Al-Hajsalem hasn’t been allowed to leave the territory.

Salim said her husband’s status as a permanent resident means Foreign Affairs can do little to help him.

Her final hope — of securing passage for Al-Hajsalem aboard an aid ship making trips from Cyprus to Gaza — fell apart yesterday.

The ship, which had made several recent trips to Gaza, had agreed to take Al-Hajsalem as a passenger back to Cyprus.

However, the ship wasn’t allowed to land in Gaza.

“That was basically our last hope, but that boat never made it to Gaza. Israeli navy ships hit it from the side and made it go back to Lebanon, so basically my only hope is gone,” Salim said.

According to a report from The Associated Press, the SS Dignity, a ship carrying international peace activists and medical supplies, was damaged by the Israeli navy Tuesday, and forced to head to Lebanon.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the ship ignored an Israeli radio order to turn back as it approached Gaza early Tuesday.

According to Palmor, the vessel tried to outmaneuver the Israeli navy ship and crashed into it, lightly damaging both vessels, before the Dignity was turned back.

Crew and passengers aboard the ship dispute the account, however, claiming it was rammed by the navy ship.

The ship was carrying close to four tons of medical supplies organized by Free Gaza, a group that has made five aid trips to Gaza, despite a blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza.

Source

The entire population is being held hostage by Israel.

Nothing can get in and no one can get out. Israel has everyone trapped and is killing them systematically.  What is wrong with this picture?

These people have nothing to fight back with. They just wait until they are killed. Death is the only way out of Gaza.

Don’t be fooled by reports that the US is asking for a halt in the bombing that is pure BS. Then again most Americans will believe the propaganda they usually do. The Bush Administration as par usual are lieing. They actually blocked the UN plan to stop the bombing.  So that in it self tells me they are full of #%$@.

Seems Israel is having an election soon and they want to win so killing hundreds of innocent people is the way to get “Re-Elected”.  How sick can a bunch of murderers get?

This much like What Hitler did except instead of using the Gas Chambers they are just bombing them. These people are trapped. They can’t escape. So the difference is what?

Palestinians  have been cut off food and supplies for weeks. Anyone who thinks Israel has justification is dead wrong. They have done everything imaginable to kill Palestinians in the past and now it’s just Genocide as Hitler did.

This blockade is nothing new it is old and it is cruelty beyond comprehension.

Even the UN seems to un- able to do anything. So what the hell good are they if they can’t stop the murders?  Meanwhile the US who is pretending to do something are in fact the ones who are stopping them.

Well the US needs a good slap up the side of the head as does Israel.

  1. Both are guilty of war crimes.
  2. Both are guilty of Genocide.
  3. Both are guilty of crimes against humanity.
  4. Both are  guilty of murder.
  5. Both are liers.
  6. Both are Terrorist nations as far as I am concerned.

They terrorize everyone in their path.

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

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

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

Israel and the US have lied  many times this is just one example of it. Anything that will create a good war is what they both do? The profiteers love the Warmongers.

‘The USS Liberty’: America’s Most Shameful Secret
by Eric S. Margolis

May 2, 2001

NEW YORK – On the fourth day of the 1967 Arab Israeli War, the intelligence ship ‘USS Liberty’ was steaming slowly in international waters, 14 miles off the Sinai Peninsula. Israeli armored forces were racing deep into Sinai in hot pursuit of the retreating Egyptian army.

‘Liberty,’ a World War II freighter, had been converted into an intelligence vessel by the top-secret US National Security Agency, and packed with the latest signals and electronic interception equipment. The ship bristled with antennas and electronic ‘ears’ including TRSSCOMM, a system that delivered real-time intercepts to Washington by bouncing a stream of microwaves off the moon.

‘Liberty’ had been rushed to Sinai to monitor communications of the belligerents in the Third Arab Israeli War: Israel and her foes, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

At 0800 hrs, 8 June, 1967, eight Israeli recon flights flew over ‘Liberty,’ which was flying a large American flag. At 1400 hrs, waves of low-flying Israeli Mystere and Mirage-III fighter-bombers repeatedly attacked the American vessel with rockets, napalm, and cannon. The air attacks lasted 20 minutes, concentrating on the ship’s electronic antennas and dishes. The ‘Liberty’ was left afire, listing sharply. Eight of her crew lay dead, a hundred seriously wounded, including the captain, Commander William McGonagle.

At 1424 hrs, three Israeli torpedo boats attacked, raking the burning ‘Liberty’ with 20mm and 40mm shells. At 1431hrs an Israeli torpedo hit the ‘Liberty’ midship, precisely where the signals intelligence systems were located. Twenty-five more Americans died.

Israeli gunboats circled the wounded ‘Liberty,’ firing at crewmen trying to fight the fires. At 1515, the crew were ordered to abandon ship. The Israeli warships closed and poured machine gun fire into the crowded life rafts, sinking two. As American sailors were being massacred in cold blood, a rescue mission by US Sixth Fleet carrier aircraft was mysteriously aborted on orders from the White House.

An hour after the attack, Israeli warships and planes returned. Commander McGonagle gave the order. ‘prepare to repel borders.’ But the Israelis, probably fearful of intervention by the US Sixth Fleet, departed. ‘Liberty’ was left shattered but still defiant, her flag flying.

The Israeli attacks killed 34 US seamen and wounded 171 out of a crew of 297, the worst loss of American naval personnel from hostile action since World War II.

Less than an hour after the attack, Israel told Washington its forces had committed a ‘tragic error.’ Later, Israel claimed it had mistaken ‘Liberty’ for an ancient Egyptian horse transport. US Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, and Joint Chiefs of Staff head, Admiral Thomas Moorer, insisted the Israeli attack was deliberate and designed to sink ‘Liberty.’ So did three CIA reports; one asserted Israel’s Defense Minister, Gen. Moshe Dayan, had personally ordered the attack.

In contrast to American outrage over North Korea’s assault on the intelligence ship ‘Pueblo,’ Iraq’s mistaken missile strike on the USS ‘Stark,’ last fall’s bombing of the USS ‘Cole’ in Aden, and the recent US-China air incident, the savaging of ‘Liberty’ was quickly hushed up by President Lyndon Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

The White House and Congress immediately accepted Israel’s explanation and let the matter drop. Israel later paid a token reparation of US $6 million. There were reports two Israeli pilots who had refused to attack ‘Liberty’ were jailed for 18 years.

Surviving ‘Liberty’ crew members would not be silenced. They kept demanding an open inquiry and tried to tell their story of deliberate attack to the media. Israel’s government worked behind the scenes to thwart these efforts, going so far as having American pro-Israel groups accuse ‘Liberty’s’ survivors of being ‘anti-Semites’ and ‘Israel-haters.’ Major TV networks cancelled interviews with the crew. A book about the ‘Liberty’ by crewman James Ennes’ was dropped from distribution. The Israel lobby branded him ‘an Arab propagandist.’

The attack on ‘Liberty’ was fading into obscurity until last week, when intelligence expert James Bamford came out with Body of Secrets, his latest book about the National Security Agency. In a stunning revelation, Bamford writes that unknown to Israel, a US Navy EC-121 intelligence aircraft was flying high overhead the ‘Liberty,’ electronically recorded the attack. The US aircraft crew provides evidence that the Israeli pilots knew full well that they were attacking a US Navy ship flying the American flag.

Why did Israel try to sink a naval vessel of its benefactor and ally? Most likely because ‘Liberty’s’ intercepts flatly contradicted Israel’s claim, made at the war’s beginning on 5 June, that Egypt had attacked Israel, and that Israel’s massive air assault on three Arab nations was in retaliation. In fact, Israel began the war by a devastating, Pearl-Harbor style surprise attack that caught the Arabs in bed and destroyed their entire air forces.

Israel was also preparing to attack Syria to seize its strategic Golan Heights. Washington warned Israel not to invade Syria, which had remained inactive while Israel fought Egypt. Bamford says Israel’s offensive against Syria was abruptly postponed when ‘Liberty’ appeared off Sinai, then launched once it was knocked out of action. Israel’s claim that Syria had attacked it could have been disproved by ‘Liberty.’

Most significant, ‘Liberty’s’ intercepts may have shown that Israel seized upon sharply rising Arab-Israeli tensions in May-June 1967 to launch a long-planned war to invade and annex the West Bank, Jerusalem, Golan and Sinai.

Far more shocking was Washington’s response. Writes Bamford: ‘Despite the overwhelming evidence that Israel attacked the ship and killed American servicemen deliberately, the Johnson Administration and Congress covered up the entire incident.’ Why?

Domestic politics. Johnson, a man never noted for high moral values, preferred to cover up the attack rather than anger a key constituency and major financial backer of the Democratic Party. Congress was even less eager to touch this ‘third rail’ issue.

Commander McGonagle was quietly awarded the Medal of Honor for his and his men’s heroism – not in the White House, as is usual, but in an obscure ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard. Crew member’s graves were inscribed, ‘died in the Eastern Mediterranean..’ as if they had be killed by disease, rather than hostile action.

A member of President Johnson’s staff believed there was a more complex reason for the cover-up: Johnson offered Jewish liberals unconditional backing of Israel, and a cover-up of the ‘Liberty’ attack, in exchange for the liberal toning down their strident criticism of his policies in the then raging Vietnam War.

Israel, which claims it fought a war of self defense in 1967 and had no prior territorial ambitions, will be much displeased by Bamford’s revelations. Those who believe Israel illegally occupies the West Bank and Golan will be emboldened.

Much more important, the US government’s long, disgraceful cover-up of the premeditated attack on ‘Liberty’ has now burst into the open and demands full-scale investigation. After 34 years, the voices of ‘Liberty’s’ dead and wounded seamen must finally be heard.

Source

Many years ago thing were much different then they are now.

palistine-19461

First List Releast Of Palestinian Victims In “Cast Lead Massacre”
December 31 2008

By Hiyam Noir

GAZA – On Wednesday the Palestinian Health Ministry released a list of 187 Palestinians killed during the first two days of the Israelis Cast Lead Massacre across Gaza Strip

The director of the Health Ministry’s Public Relations department in Gaza,Dr Omar Nasr, reveal that the death toll through out Wednesday after noon,have exceeded 390 including 31 children,the health ministry are collecting all the names of the slain and the many wounded.

In the coming days details of how many civilians were killed and injured ,will be presented to international humanitarian organizations,these files are evidence when judical legal proceedings will begin against the Israelis.

The following list identified the first 187 victims of the Israeli onslaught as:

Ibrahim Al-Jamaj
Isma’il Al-Husari
Isma’il Salem
Isma’il Ghneim
Eyman Natour
Eyhab Ash-Shaer
Ibrahim Mahfoudh
Abu Ali Ar-Rahhal
Ahmad Al-Halabi
Ahmad Al-Kurd
Ahmad Al-Lahham
Ahmad Al-Hums
Ahmad At-Talouli
Ahmad Zu’rub
Ahmad Abu Jazar
Ahmad Radwan
Ahmad ‘Udah
Ahmad Abu Mousa
Ahmad Tbeil
Adham Al-Areini
Osama Abu Ar-Rus
Osama Abu Ar-Reish
Osama Darweish
Ashraf Ash-Sharabasi
Ashraf Abu Suhweil
Amjad Abu Jazar
Ameen Az-Zarbatli
Anas Hamad
Anwar Al-Bardini
Anwar Al-Kurd
Ayman Abu Ammouna
Ayman An-Nahhal
Ibrahim Abu Ar-Rus
Basil Dababish
Bassam Makkawi
Bilal Omar
Bahaa Abu Zuhri
Tamir Qreinawi
Tamir Abu Afsha
Tawfiq Al-Fallit
Tawfiq Jabir
Thaer Madi
Jabir Jarbu’
Hatim Abu Sha’ira
Hamid Yasin
Husam Ayyash
Hasan Baraka
Hasan Abid Rabbo
Hasan Al-Majayda
Hussein Al-A’raj
Hussein Dawood
Hussein ‘Uroq
Hakam Abu Mansi
Hamada Abu Duqqa
Hamada Safi
Hamdan Abu Nu’eira
Haydar Hassuna
Khalid Zu’rub
Khalid Abu Hasna
Khalid An-Nashasi
Khalid Shaheen
Raed Dughmush
Rami Ash-Sheikh
Raafat Shamiyya
Riziq Salman
Rif’at Sa’da
Rafiq Na’im
Ramzi Al-Haddad
Ziyad Abu ‘Ubada
Sarah Al-Hawajiri
Salim Abu Shamla
Salim Qreinawi
Sa’id Hamada
Salim Al-Gharir
Suheil Tambura
Shadi Sbakhi
Shahada Quffa
Shahada Abd ar-Rahman
Sabir Al-Mabhouh
Suhayb Abu ‘Iffat
Suhayb Abd al-‘aal
Tal’at Salman
Tal’at Basal
‘Aasim Ash-Shaer
‘Aasim Abu Kamil
Abid Ad-Dahshan
Abd ar-Raziq Shahtu
Abd as-Sami’ An-Nashar
Abdul-Fattah Abu ‘Uteiwi
Abdul-Fattah Fadil
Abdullah Juneid
Abdullah Al-Ghafari
Abdullah Rantisi
Abdullah Wahbi
Arafat Farajallah
Azmi Abu Dalal
Isam Al-Ghirbawi
‘Alaa Al-Qatrawi
‘Alaa Al-Kahlout
‘Alaa ‘Uqeilan
‘Alaa Nasr Ar-Ra’i
Ali Awad
Imab Abu Al-Hajj
Omar Darawsha
Omran Ar-ran
Anan Ghaliya
Gharib Al-Assar
Fayiz Riyad Al-Madhoun
Fayiz Ayada Al-Madhoun
Fayiz Abu Al-Qumsan
Camellia Al-Bardini
Ma’moun Sleim
Mazin ‘Ulayyan
Muhammad Al-Ghimri
Muhammad Al-Halabi
Muhammad Asaliyya
Muhammad Az-Zatma
Muhammad Az-ahra
Muhammad Gaza
Muhammad An-Nuri
Muhammad Abu Sabra
Muhammad Abu ‘Amir
Muhammad Abu Libda
Muhammad Hboush
Muhammad Al-Mabhouh
Muhammad Sha’ban
Muhammad Abu ‘Abdo
Muhammad Salih
Muhammad Tabasha
Muhammad Al-Habeil
Muhammad Abdullah Aziz
Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab Aziz
Muhammad Awad
Muhammad Abd An-Nabi
Muhammad Salih
Muhammad An-Najari
Muhammad Hamad
Muhammad Barakat
Muhammad Muhanna
Mahmoud Al-Khalidi
Mahmoud Abu Harbeid
Mahmoud Abu Matar
Mahmoud Abu Tabour
Mahmoud Abu Nahla
Mustafa Al-Khateib
Mustafa As-Sabbak
Mu’ein Hamada
Mu’ein Al-Hasan
Mumtaz An- Najjar
Mansour Al-Gharra
Nasser Al-Gharra
Nahidh Abu Namous
Nabil Al-Breim
Nathir Al-Louqa
Ni’ma Al-Maghari
Na’im Kheit
Na’im Al-Kafarna
Na’im Al-Anzi
Nimir Amoum
Hisham Rantisi
Hisham Al-Masdar
Hisham Abu ‘Uda
Hisham ‘Uweida
Humam An-Najjar
Hanaa Al-Mabhouh
Haytham Hamdan
Haytham Ash-Sher
Wadei’ Al-Muzayyin
Wasim Azaza
Walid Abu Hein
Walid Jabir Abu Hein
Yasser Ash-Shaer
Yasser Al-Lahham
Yahya Al-Hayik
Yahya Sheikha
Yahya Mahmoud Sheikha
Yousif Thabit
Yousif Al-Jallad
Yousif Sha’ban
Yousif Diab
Yousif Al-Anani
Yousif An-Najjar
Younis Ad-Deiri

Source

Palestinian History, A Chronology

In 1882 Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Paris starts financial backing for Jewish settlement in Palestine.

They even had a Rothschild involved in it. Same with the Federal Reserve in the US. How special is that? And of course Britain was in it up to their ears, as is the US now.

There is along history behind the take over of Palestine.

Published in: on December 31, 2008 at 8:01 pm  Comments Off on Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza  
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Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Hiyam Noir reports from the war zone in Gaza. We thank her and her colleague, photographer Fady Adwan, for risking their lives to report the truth from Gaza.

photo by Fady Adwan, December 27, 2008

photo by Fady Adwan, December 27, 2008

December 27 2008

GAZA
On Saturday noon in the first wave of air strikes, the Israelis targeted Gaza City government buildings. Casualties are confirmed and include the Commander of Gaza Police Force Tawfiq Jabir, the Commander of Security and Protection Services in Gaza police, Ismail Al-Ja’bari and the Governor of the Al-Wusta (central) Districts Ahmad Abu Aashur. Islam Shahwan, a Hamas police spokesman, said that the Israeli attacks have destroyed most of the Gaza Strip police headquarters and that a police graduation ceremony was being held during the Israeli assault.

Following the first wave of Israeli air strikes, that killed at least 156 and injured over 200 Palestinians (Ed. note: updated numbers since Hiyam wrote this, reported in some western media: at least 200 dead and 300 injured – end note), Palestinian medical sources said in a press statement during Saturday afternoon that at least 80 of the wounded has arrived to hospital in “bits and parts” and the Head of the Gaza Emergency and ambulance department in the Ministry of Health, Mu’awieyah Hasaneen confirm that medical crews and rescue workers are still pulling dozens of people from underneath rubble. Hasaneen have pledged to all Arab governments, to send medications and operating supplies to Gaza, saying most of the injured were too badly injured to be moved outside the Gaza Strip. Hospital corridors are filled with bodies and gourneys, and in the local morgues there is no space to for all the bodies.

Leaders and citizens of Arab countries condemned Israeli air strike on Saturday. A few minutes after the first 30 Israeli air strikes at noon on Saturday, an Egyptian official said that the Israeli missile attacks was “an unprecedented massacre.” Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president condemned the attacks, demanded that the ceasefire between the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the Israeli army to be renewed. “Egypt will forge ahead with its contacts to create a favorable atmosphere in renewing the truce and attaining inter-Palestinian reconciliation in a bid to end the suffering of the Palestinian people”, a statement from the Mubarak’s office said.

Fouad Seniora, the Lebanese prime minister called the Israeli operations “tragic and criminal”. A statement from the Seniora’s office “strongly denounces and rejects the criminal operation in the Gaza Strip.” The Lebanese prime minister called on the Arab League and other heads of state to immediately convene in an emergency session to adopt a “united Arab stand to face the Israeli aggression.” Seniora also called upon United Nations security council to adopt “deterring and necessary measures against Israel for its continuous violations of Palestinian and Arab human rights”.

The Gaza operation plan was architectured on Wednesday. Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert ordered the air strikes on Gaza, Saturday morning, the assaults on Gaza Strip are intended to last throughout Saturday and perhaps into Sunday. The two Zionist leaders asserted that Israel has prepared for an operation that could take several weeks. Preparations have also been taken to contain any expected response in the West Bank. Ehud Barak and his chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, are supervising the air strikes, which they say – will “continue until the Israel has achieved its goals”. Israeli sources asserted that the operation does not aim to topple Hamas, but “we will stop homemade projectiles,” the statement said, warning for ” tougher images” in the Gaza Strip in the coming days.

A member of the executive committee in the PLO Taysir Khaled, accused Israel of using weapons in Gaza that are banned internationally and condemned the Israeli attack. He called for immediate intervention to stop the Israelis military actions, which he said have been in performance for months. In Jenin Al-Aqsa Brigades ( Fatah) said in a statement that their fighters are in a state of high alert and “would not be handcuffed,” and would retaliate “in the right place at the right time.”

The Al-Quds Brigades ( Islamic Jihad) asserted that they are in high alert and that the Israelis will pay a severe toll for their heavy handed attacks. The Islamic Jihad leader, Khaled Al-Batsh, said that the Israeli attack is a declaration to “open war” against the Palestinian people, intended “to repress the Palestinian resistance.” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum asked the Palestinian people to “remain patient in the light of Israeli crimes ” – he called for a massive response to the Israelis air strikes that have killed at least 200 Gaza residents, and wounded over 200. Barhoum stated that there will be a renewal of Palestinian operations within Israel.

Source

Israel needs to stop these attacks. This is murder. What Israel is doing is a crime. Not everyone in the world agrees with what they are doing.  There are many who believe they are committing criminal acts of genocide. These are crimes against humanity and war crimes.  The United Nations should find a way to stop this.

All aid to Israel should be stopped. They only use it to kill.

There are a Number of Videos Here not for the faint of heart.

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in army

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 5:15 am  Comments Off on Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip  
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Will the world do nothing to stop Genocide in Gaza?

Israel’s settlement on Capital Hill
By Robert Weitzel

December 3 2008

Soon after the sand settled following the Six Day War in 1967, Jewish settlements began dotting the hills in the occupied territories. These settlements are typically located on the high ground to better control the surrounding landscape. Today there are 127 Jewish settlements with a population exceeding 468,000 in the West Bank, the Golan Heights and in the suburbs of East Jerusalem (Beit-ul-Moqaddas) — the last of nearly 8,000 settlers were removed from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

According to a recent Amnesty International report, “”In the first six months of 2008 Israel has expanded settlements in the West Bank/East Jerusalem (Beit-ul-Moqaddas) at a faster rate than in the previous seven years.””

Unbeknownst to most Americans, Israel’s westernmost settlement is not located in Palestine-Israel, but is 6000 miles away on the high ground overlooking Foggy Bottom in Washington D.C.

This Capital Hill settlement of pro-Israel lobbies and think tanks strategically controls the high ground overlooking the United States’ Middle East policy landscape by having made kibbutzniks of most members of the executive and legislative branches of the government — including President-elect Obama, Vice President-elect Biden (a wannabe Zionist), and future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (a born Zionist).

While Israel’s hilltop settlements in the occupied territories –violating over 30 UN Security Council resolutions since 1968 — are “”facts on the ground”” that make the two state peace solution unlikely, their hilltop settlement in the center of the world’s only superpower makes it equally unlikely that Israel’s right-wing government will feel compelled to end their “”self defensive”” brutalization of the Palestinian people, which has been condemned by the international community (UN, EU) as crimes against humanity.

John Holmes, UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that Israel’s blockade of vital supplies to the Gaza Strip in retaliation for rocket attacks “”amounts to collective punishment and is contrary to international humanitarian law.””

Collective punishment is forbidden by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states, “”No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed.”” A “”protected person”” is someone who is under the control of an “”Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.”” Only the most ideologically blinkered individual would fail to recognize the Gaza Strip as occupied territory.

Israel’s current blockade of Gaza, which began on November 4, is resulting in what the UN Relief and Works Agency is calling a humanitarian catastrophe. Before the blockade, 1000 truckloads of food, fuel and essential supplies per day were necessary to sustain the 1.5 million Palestinians imprisoned behind the concrete and barbed wire of the 25-mile long border. Eighty percent of Gazans live on two dollars a day and depend on international aid to survive. Since the border crossings were sealed, less than 100 truckloads have been permitted through.

The imprisoned Palestinians — 50 percent of whom are younger than 15 — are slowly starving. They lack the fuel to generate electricity for lighting, water purification, and sewage treatment. The erratic, intermittent electrical power puts the lives of patients in intensive care wards and those who are connected to live-sustaining equipment in grave peril. The lack of basic medicines such as antibiotics and insulin pose an equally fatal threat.

Twenty human rights organizations and all Israeli and international journalists have been barred from entering the Gaza Strip since the blockade began. A letter of protest signed by most major news organizations was sent to Prime Minister Olmert. Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror responded to the letter by saying that Israel was afraid journalists would inflate the Palestinians’ suffering. No one is allow to speak out on behalf of this beleaguered population.

President-elect Obama has been speaking out “”swiftly and boldly”” about the economic catastrophe threatening our 401Ks, but his silence regarding the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe threatening the lives of Palestinians is both deafening and telling of the price he’s willing to pay to maintain his status as kibbutznik-in-good-standing in Israel’s westernmost hilltop settlement.

Obama’s unconditional support for Israel’s policy of “”self defense,”” preemptive attacks, and repressive occupations is not one iota different from that of George W. Bush, an internationally recognized war criminal. This is not an encouraging beginning for a man whose battle cry was “”change we can believe in.””

By any rational, humanitarian standard, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians amounts to collective punishment and crimes against humanity. Perpetrators of such crimes, whether they are individuals or governments or willing allies, are criminals who should one day sit in the dock of the International Court of Justice in The Hague — just as defendants sat in a Nuremberg court 60 years ago — and be held accountable for their crimes.

Until Israel’s hilltop settlement in our nation’s capital is dismantled, allowing for the possibility of a just and lasting peace in Palestine-Israel, its influence on both branches of our government and its insidious affect on U.S. Middle East policy will continue to make willing — or unwitting — kibbutzniks of all Americans. We will be held as complicit, and as culpable, as the citizens of the country whose leaders sat in the dock at Nuremberg.

The world will ask, “”Why didn’t you do something to stop it?”” The majority of us will reply, “”We didn’t know!””

Source

By Paul J. Balles

30 November 2008

Paul J. Balles considers the “irony of Jews … denying food to hundreds of thousands of children [in Gaza] in order, allegedly, to insure their own security”, with US and European connivance and Arab regime silence.

While Americans concentrate on the cost of rescuing the US financial system, and Europeans worry about how the worldwide financial crisis will affect them, Israel blithely, with US government and European community approval, deprives Gaza’s entire civilian population of food, medicine and clean drinking water.

When pushed to explain their behaviour, they claim self-defence. Defence against whom? More than 50 per cent of the population in Gaza is comprised of children under the age of 15. Few people outside of Gaza even notice this slow genocide.

Israel always manages to commit its worst deeds when no one else is looking. If they happen to be caught, they blame it on the Palestinians – on a few resistance fighters lobbing rockets into Israel in retaliation for a broken cease-fire. To the Israeli, the actions of a few violent Palestinians are justifiable cause for genocide of the entire Palestinian population in Gaza. Joe Mowrey writes:

As conditions in the Gaza Strip approach a catastrophic level of deprivation, the world media, and in particular the US media, remain largely silent. The United Nations, whose truckloads of food and medical supplies continue to be denied entry into Gaza by Israel, appears to be one of the few international voices of dissent concerning the collective punishment of 1.5 million human beings.

As soon as someone takes notice of what Mowrey is talking about, the Israelis open the gates to allow a smattering of fuel or food into Gaza. Ironically, Khaled Meshaal has noted even Arab and Islamic regimes have remained silent about the tragedy resulting from the “criminal blockade” of Gaza. Andrea Becker, head of advocacy for Medical Aid for Palestinians, has written about how the blockade has affected the hospitals and medical facilities. These are hardly resistance fighters:

…a child on life support doesn’t have the oxygen of a mechanical ventilator. A nurse on a neo-natal ward rushes between patients, battling the random schedule of power cuts. A hospital worker tries to keep a few kidney dialysis machines from breaking down, by farming spare parts from those that already have. The surgeon operates without a bulb in the surgery lamp, across from the anaesthetist who can no longer prevent patient pain. The hospital administrator updates lists of essential drugs and medical supplies that have run out, which vaccines from medical fridges are now unusable because they can’t be kept cold, and which procedures must be cancelled altogether. The ambulance driver decides whether to respond to an emergency call, based on dwindling petrol in the tank.

Joe Mowrey reflects on the most bitter irony of all:

Has the sense of exclusivity and entitlement created by the Zionist experiment in Israel become so great that people there no longer see themselves in the mirror of their own history? The irony of Jews … denying food to hundreds of thousands of children in order, allegedly, to insure their own security, is breathtaking. Who could ever have imagined such a thing?

The Jewish Studies Global Directory of Holocaust Museums lists 61 memorial sites, including four in Israel and 24 in the United States. Reminders to the world? But not to Israelis? Not to Jews in America? Is it conceivable that Jews who remember the Holocaust only recognize genocide when they are the victims? Rabbi Meir Hirsh, Neturei Karta Palestine, provides an answer:

How long will Jewish and non-Jewish leaders who claim the mantle of civilization and morality remain silent in the face of the ongoing state terrorism practised by the Zionist state against the Palestinian People, most visibly today in Gaza, where the Zionists believe they can starve the Palestinians into submission in violation of all tenets of international law, all religious values in general, including the values of the Jewish faith?

Source

Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza

The Financial System Implodes: The 10 Worst Corporations of 2008

November 22 2008

The System Implodes: The 10 Worst Corporations of 2008

by Robert Weissman

2008 marks the 20th anniversary of Multinational Monitor’s annual list of the 10 Worst Corporations of the year.

In the 20 years that we’ve published our annual list, we’ve covered corporate villains, scoundrels, criminals and miscreants. We’ve reported on some really bad stuff — from Exxon’s Valdez spill to Union Carbide and Dow’s effort to avoid responsibility for the Bhopal disaster; from oil companies coddling dictators (including Chevron and CNPC, both profiled this year) to a bank (Riggs) providing financial services for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet; from oil and auto companies threatening the future of the planet by blocking efforts to address climate change to duplicitous tobacco companies marketing cigarettes around the world by associating their product with images of freedom, sports, youthful energy and good health.

But we’ve never had a year like 2008.

The financial crisis first gripping Wall Street and now spreading rapidly throughout the world is, in many ways, emblematic of the worst of the corporate-dominated political and economic system that we aim to expose with our annual 10 Worst list. Here is how.

Improper political influence: Corporations dominate the policy-making process, from city councils to global institutions like the World Trade Organization. Over the last 30 years, and especially in the last decade, Wall Street interests leveraged their political power to remove many of the regulations that had restricted their activities. There are at least a dozen separate and significant examples of this, including the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which permitted the merger of banks and investment banks. In a form of corporate civil disobedience, Citibank and Travelers Group merged in 1998 — a move that was illegal at the time, but for which they were given a two-year forbearance — on the assumption that they would be able to force a change in the relevant law. They did, with the help of just-retired (at the time) Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who went on to an executive position at the newly created Citigroup.

Deregulation and non-enforcement: Non-enforcement of rules against predatory lending helped the housing bubble balloon. While some regulators had sought to exert authority over financial derivatives, they were stopped by finance-friendly figures in the Clinton administration and Congress — enabling the creation of the credit default swap market. Even Alan Greenspan concedes that that market — worth $55 trillion in what is called notional value — is imploding in significant part because it was not regulated.

Short-term thinking: It was obvious to anyone who cared to look at historical trends that the United States was experiencing a housing bubble. Many in the financial sector seemed to have convinced themselves that there was no bubble. But others must have been more clear-eyed. In any case, all the Wall Street players had an incentive not to pay attention to the bubble. They were making stratospheric annual bonuses based on annual results. Even if they were certain the bubble would pop sometime in the future, they had every incentive to keep making money on the upside.

Financialization: Profits in the financial sector were more than 35 percent of overall U.S. corporate profits in each year from 2005 to 2007, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Instead of serving the real economy, the financial sector was taking over the real economy.

Profit over social use: Relatedly, the corporate-driven economy was being driven by what could make a profit, rather than what would serve a social purpose. Although Wall Street hucksters offered elaborate rationalizations for why exotic financial derivatives, private equity takeovers of firms, securitization and other so-called financial innovations helped improve economic efficiency, by and large these financial schemes served no socially useful purpose.

Externalized costs: Worse, the financial schemes didn’t just create money for Wall Street movers and shakers and their investors. They made money at the expense of others. The costs of these schemes were foisted onto workers who lost jobs at firms gutted by private equity operators, unpayable loans acquired by homeowners who bought into a bubble market (often made worse by unconscionable lending terms), and now the public.

What is most revealing about the financial meltdown and economic crisis, however, is that it illustrates that corporations — if left to their own worst instincts — will destroy themselves and the system that nurtures them. It is rare that this lesson is so graphically illustrated. It is one the world must quickly learn, if we are to avoid the most serious existential threat we have yet faced: climate change.

Of course, the rest of the corporate sector was not on good behavior during 2008 either, and we do not want them to escape justified scrutiny. In keeping with our tradition of highlighting diverse forms of corporate wrongdoing, we include only one financial company on the 10 Worst list. Here, presented in alphabetical order, are the 10 Worst Corporations of 2008.

AIG: Money for Nothing

There’s surely no one party responsible for the ongoing global financial crisis.

But if you had to pick a single responsible corporation, there’s a very strong case to make for American International Group (AIG).

In September, the Federal Reserve poured $85 billion into the distressed global financial services company. It followed up with $38 billion in October.

The government drove a hard bargain for its support. It allocated its billions to the company as high-interest loans; it demanded just short of an 80 percent share of the company in exchange for the loans; and it insisted on the firing of the company’s CEO (even though he had only been on the job for three months).

Why did AIG — primarily an insurance company powerhouse, with more than 100,000 employees around the world and $1 trillion in assets — require more than $100 billion ($100 billion!) in government funds? The company’s traditional insurance business continues to go strong, but its gigantic exposure to the world of “credit default swaps” left it teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Government officials then intervened, because they feared that an AIG bankruptcy would crash the world’s financial system.

Credit default swaps are effectively a kind of insurance policy on debt securities. Companies contracted with AIG to provide insurance on a wide range of securities. The insurance policy provided that, if a bond didn’t pay, AIG would make up the loss.

AIG’s eventual problem was rooted in its entering a very risky business but treating it as safe. First, AIG Financial Products, the small London-based unit handling credit default swaps, decided to insure “collateralized debt obligations” (CDOs). CDOs are pools of mortgage loans, but often only a portion of the underlying loans — perhaps involving the most risky part of each loan. Ratings agencies graded many of these CDOs as highest quality, though subsequent events would show these ratings to have been profoundly flawed. Based on the blue-chip ratings, AIG treated its insurance on the CDOs as low risk. Then, because AIG was highly rated, it did not have to post collateral.

Through credit default swaps, AIG was basically collecting insurance premiums and assuming it would never pay out on a failure — let alone a collapse of the entire market it was insuring. It was a scheme that couldn’t be beat: money for nothing.

In September, the New York Times’ Gretchen Morgenson reported on the operations of AIG’s small London unit, and the profile of its former chief, Joseph Cassano. In 2007, the Times reported, Cassano “described the credit default swaps as almost a sure thing.” “It is hard to get this message across, but these are very much handpicked,” he said in a call with analysts.

“It is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing one dollar in any of those transactions,” he said.

Cassano assured investors that AIG’s operations were nearly fail safe. Following earlier accounting problems, the company’s risk management was stellar, he said: “That’s a committee that I sit on, along with many of the senior managers at AIG, and we look at a whole variety of transactions that come in to make sure that they are maintaining the quality that we need to. And so I think the things that have been put in at our level and the things that have been put in at the parent level will ensure that there won’t be any of those kinds of mistakes again.”

Cassano turned out to be spectacularly wrong. The credit default swaps were not a sure thing. AIG somehow did not notice that the United States was experiencing a housing bubble, and that it was essentially insuring that the bubble would not pop. It made an ill-formed judgment that positive credit ratings meant CDOs were high quality — even when the underlying mortgages were of poor quality.

But before the bubble popped, Cassano’s operation was minting money. It wasn’t hard work, since AIG Financial Products was taking in premiums in exchange for nothing. In 2005, the unit’s profit margin was 83 percent, according to the Times. By 2007, its credit default swap portfolio was more than $500 billion.

Then things started to go bad. Suddenly, AIG had to start paying out on some of the securities it had insured. As it started recording losses, its credit default swap contracts require that it begin putting up more and more collateral. AIG found it couldn’t raise enough money fast enough — over the course of a weekend in September, the amount of money AIG owed shot up from $20 billion to more than $80 billion.

With no private creditors stepping forward, it fell to the government to provide the needed capital or let AIG enter bankruptcy. Top federal officials deemed bankruptcy too high a risk to the overall financial system.

After the bailout, it emerged that AIG did not even know all of the CDOs it had ensured.

In September, less than a week after the bailout was announced, the Orange County Register reported on a posh retreat for company executives and insurance agents at the exclusive St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California. Rooms at the resort can cost over $1,000 per night.

After the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee highlighted the retreat, AIG explained that the retreat was primarily for well-performing independent insurance agents. Only 10 of the 100 participants were from AIG (and they from a successful AIG subsidiary), the company said, and the event was planned long in advance of the federal bailout. In an apology letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, CEO Edward Liddy wrote that AIG now faces very different challenges, and “that we owe our employees and the American public new standards and approaches.”

New standards and approaches, indeed.

Cargill: Food Profiteers

The world’s food system is broken.
Or, more accurately, the giant food companies and their allies in the U.S. and other rich country governments, and at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, broke it.

Thirty years ago, most developing countries produced enough food to feed themselves [CHECK]. Now, 70 percent are net food importers.

Thirty years ago, most developing countries had in place mechanisms aimed at maintaining a relatively constant price for food commodities. Tariffs on imports protected local farmers from fluctuations in global food prices. Government-run grain purchasing boards paid above-market prices for farm goods when prices were low, and required farmers to sell below-market when prices were high. The idea was to give farmers some certainty over price, and to keep food affordable for consumers. Governments also provided a wide set of support services for farmers, giving them advice on new crop and growing technologies and, in some countries, helping set up cooperative structures.

This was not a perfect system by any means, but it looks pretty good in retrospect.

Over the last three decades, the system was completely abandoned, in country after country. It was replaced by a multinational-dominated, globally integrated food system, in which the World Bank and other institutions coerced countries into opening their markets to cheap food imports from rich countries and re-orienting their agricultural systems to grow food for rich consumers abroad. Proponents said the new system was a “free market” approach, but in reality it traded one set of government interventions for another — a new set of rules that gave enhanced power to a handful of global grain trading companies like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, as well as to seed and fertilizer corporations.

“For this food regime to work,” Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved, told the U.S. House Financial Services Committee at a May hearing, “existing marketing boards and support structures needed to be dismantled. In a range of countries, this meant that the state bodies that had been supported and built by the World Bank were dismantled by the World Bank. The rationale behind the dismantling of these institutions was to clear the path for private sector involvement in these sectors, on the understanding that the private sector would be more efficient and less wasteful than the public sector.”

“The result of these interventions and conditions,” explained Patel, “was to accelerate the decline of developing country agriculture. One of the most striking consequences of liberalization has been the phenomenon of ‘import surges.’ These happen when tariffs on cheaper, and often subsidized, agricultural products are lowered, and a host country is then flooded with those goods. There is often a corresponding decline in domestic production. In Senegal, for example, tariff reduction led to an import surge in tomato paste, with a 15-fold increase in imports, and a halving of domestic production. Similar stories might be told of Chile, which saw a three-fold surge in imports of vegetable oil, and a halving of domestic production. In Ghana in 1998, local rice production accounted for over 80 percent of domestic consumption. By 2003, that figure was less than 20 percent.”

The decline of developing country agriculture means that developing countries are dependent on the vagaries of the global market. When prices spike — as they did in late 2007 and through the beginning of 2008 — countries and poor consumers are at the mercy of the global market and the giant trading companies that dominate it. In the first quarter of 2008, the price of rice in Asia doubled, and commodity prices overall rose 40 percent. People in rich countries felt this pinch, but the problem was much more severe in the developing world. Not only do consumers in poor countries have less money, they spend a much higher proportion of their household budget on food — often half or more — and they buy much less processed food, so commodity increases affect them much more directly. In poor countries, higher prices don’t just pinch, they mean people go hungry. Food riots broke out around the world in early 2008.

But not everyone was feeling pain. For Cargill, spiking prices was an opportunity to get rich. In the second quarter of 2008, the company reported profits of more than $1 billion, with profits from continuing operations soaring 18 percent from the previous year. Cargill’s 2007 profits totaled more than $2.3 billion, up more than a third from 2006.

In a competitive market, would a grain-trading middleman make super-profits? Or would rising prices crimp the middleman’s profit margin?

Well, the global grain trade is not competitive.

In an August speech, Cargill CEO Greg Page posed the question, “So, isn’t Cargill exploiting the food situation to make money?” Here is how he responded:

“I would give you four pieces of information about why our earnings have gone up dramatically.

  1. The demand for food has gone up. The demand for our facilities has gone up, and we are running virtually all of our facilities worldwide at total capacity. As we utilize our capacity more effectively, clearly we do better.
  2. Fertilizer prices rose, and we are owners of a large fertilizer company. That has been the single largest factor in Cargill’s earnings.
  3. The volatility in the grain industry — much of it created by governments — was an opportunity for a trading company like Cargill to make money.
  4. Finally, in this era of high prices, Cargill over the last two years has invested $15.5 billion additional dollars into the world food system. Some was to carry all these high-priced inventories. We also wanted to be sure that we were there for farmers who needed the working capital to operate in this much more expensive environment. Clearly, our owners expected some return on that $15.5 billion. Cargill had an opportunity to make more money in this environment, and I think that is something that we need to be very forthright about.”

OK, Mr. Page, that’s all very interesting. The question was, “So, isn’t Cargill exploiting the food situation to make money?” It sounds like your answer is, “yes.”

Chevron: “We can’t let little countries screw around with big companies”

The world has witnessed a stunning consolidation of the multinational oil companies over the last decade.

One of the big winners was Chevron. It swallowed up Texaco and Unocal, among others. It was happy to absorb their revenue streams. It has been less willing to take responsibility for ecological and human rights abuses perpetrated by these companies.

One of the inherited legacies from Chevron’s 2001 acquisition of Texaco is litigation in Ecuador over the company’s alleged decimation of the Ecuadorian Amazon over a 20-year period of operation. In 1993, 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorians filed a class action suit in U.S. courts, alleging that Texaco had poisoned the land where they live and the waterways on which they rely, allowing billions of gallons of oil to spill and leaving hundreds of waste pits unlined and uncovered. They sought billions in compensation for the harm to their land and livelihood, and for alleged health harms. The Ecuadorians and their lawyers filed the case in U.S. courts because U.S. courts have more capacity to handle complex litigation, and procedures (including jury trials) that offer plaintiffs a better chance to challenge big corporations. Texaco, and later Chevron, deployed massive legal resources to defeat the lawsuit. Ultimately, a Chevron legal maneuver prevailed: At Chevron’s instigation, U.S. courts held that the case should be litigated in Ecuador, closer to where the alleged harms occurred.

Having argued vociferously that Ecuadorian courts were fair and impartial, Chevron is now unhappy with how the litigation has proceeded in that country. So unhappy, in fact, that it is lobbying the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to impose trade sanctions on Ecuador if the Ecuadorian government does not make the case go away.

“We can’t let little countries screw around with big companies like this — companies that have made big investments around the world,” a Chevron lobbyist said to Newsweek in August. (Chevron subsequently stated that “the comments attributed to an unnamed lobbyist working for Chevron do not reflect our company’s views regarding the Ecuador case. They were not approved by the company and will not be tolerated.”)

Chevron is worried because a court-appointed special master found in March that the company was liable to plaintiffs for between $7 billion and $16 billion. The special master has made other findings that Chevron’s clean-up operations in Ecuador have been inadequate.

Another of Chevron’s inherited legacies is the Yadana natural gas pipeline in Burma, operated by a consortium in which Unocal was one of the lead partners. Human rights organizations have documented that the Yadana pipeline was constructed with forced labor, and associated with brutal human rights abuses by the Burmese military.

EarthRights International, a human rights group with offices in Washington, D.C. and Bangkok, has carefully tracked human rights abuses connected to the Yadana pipeline, and led a successful lawsuit against Unocal/Chevron. In an April 2008 report, the group states that “Chevron and its consortium partners continue to rely on the Burmese army for pipeline security, and those forces continue to conscript thousands of villagers for forced labor, and to commit torture, rape, murder and other serious abuses in the course of their operations.”

Money from the Yadana pipeline plays a crucial role in enabling the Burmese junta to maintain its grip on power. EarthRights International estimates the pipeline funneled roughly $1 billion to the military regime in 2007. The group also notes that, in late 2007, when the Burmese military violently suppressed political protests led by Buddhist monks, Chevron sat idly by.

Chevron has trouble in the United States, as well. In September, Earl Devaney, the inspector general for the Department of Interior, released an explosive report documenting “a culture of ethical failure” and a “culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” in the U.S. government program handling oil lease contracts on U.S. government lands and property. Government employees, Devaney found, accepted a stream of small gifts and favors from oil company representatives, and maintained sexual relations with them. (In one memorable passage, the inspector general report states that “sexual relationships with prohibited sources cannot, by definition, be arms-length.”) The report showed that Chevron had conferred the largest number of gifts on federal employees. It also complained that Chevron refused to cooperate with the investigation, a claim Chevron subsequently disputed.

Constellation Energy: Nuclear Operators

Although it is too dangerous, too expensive and too centralized to make sense as an energy source, nuclear power won’t go away, thanks to equipment makers and utilities that find ways to make the public pay and pay.

Case in point: Constellation Energy Group, the operator of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Maryland. When Maryland deregulated its electricity market in 1999, Constellation — like other energy generators in other states — was able to cut a deal to recover its “stranded costs” and nuclear decommissioning fees. The idea was that competition would bring multiple suppliers into the market, and these new competitors would have an unfair advantage over old-time monopoly suppliers. Those former monopolists, the argument went, had built expensive nuclear reactors with the approval of state regulators, and it would be unfair if they could not charge consumers to recover their costs. It would also be unfair, according to this line of reasoning, if the former monopolists were unable to recover the costs of decommissioning nuclear facilities.

In Maryland, the “stranded cost” deal gave Constellation (through its affiliate Baltimore Gas & Electric, BGE) the right to charge ratepayers $975 million in 1993 dollars (almost $1.5 billion in present dollars).

Deregulation meant that Constellation’s energy generating assets — including its nuclear facility at Calvert Cliffs — were free from price regulation. As a result, instead of costing Constellation, Calvert Cliffs’ market value increased.

Deregulation also meant that, after an agreed-upon freeze period, BGE was free to raise its rates as it chose. In 2006, it announced a 72 percent rate increase. For residential consumers, this meant they would pay an average of $743 more per year for electricity.

The sudden price hike sparked a rebellion. The Maryland legislature passed a law requiring BGE to credit consumers $386 million over a 10-year period. At the time, Constellation was very pleased with the deal, which let it keep most of its price-gouging profits — a spokesperson for the then-governor said that Constellation and BGE were “doing a victory lap around the statehouse” after the bill passed.

In February 2008, however, Constellation announced that it intended to sue the state for unconstitutionally “taking” its assets via the mandatory consumer credit. In March, following a preemptive lawsuit by the state, the matter was settled. BGE agreed to make a one-time rebate of $170 million to residential ratepayers, and 90 percent of the credits to ratepayers (totaling $346 million) were left in place. The deal also relieved ratepayers of the obligation to pay for decommissioning — an expense that had been expected to total $1.5 billion (or possibly much more) from 2016 to 2036.

The deal also included regulatory changes making it easier for outside companies to invest in Constellation — a move of greater import than initially apparent. In September, with utility stock prices plummeting, Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy announced it would purchase Constellation for $4.7 billion, less than a quarter of the company’s market value in January.

Meanwhile, Constellation plans to build a new reactor at Calvert Cliffs, potentially the first new reactor built in the United States since the near-meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979.

“There are substantial clean air benefits associated with nuclear power, benefits that we recognize as the operator of three plants in two states,” says Constellation spokesperson Maureen Brown.

It has lined up to take advantage of U.S. government-guaranteed loans for new nuclear construction, available under the terms of the 2005 Energy Act [see “Nuclear’s Power Play: Give Us Subsidies or Give Us Death,” Multinational Monitor, September/October 2008]. “We can’t go forward unless we have federal loan guarantees,” says Brown.

Building nuclear plants is extraordinarily expensive (Constellation’s planned construction is estimated at $9.6 billion) and takes a long time; construction plans face massive political risks; and the value of electric utilities is small relative to the huge costs of nuclear construction. For banks and investors, this amounts to too much uncertainty — but if the government guarantees loans will be paid back, then there’s no risk.

Or, stated better, the risk is absorbed entirely by the public. That’s the financial risk. The nuclear safety risk is always absorbed, involuntarily, by the public.

CNPC: Fueling Violence in Darfur

Many of the world’s most brutal regimes have a common characteristic: Although subject to economic sanctions and politically isolated, they are able to maintain power thanks to multinational oil company enablers. Case in point: Sudan, and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

In July, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo charged the President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, with committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The charges claim that Al Bashir is the mastermind of crimes against ethnic groups in Darfur, aimed at removing the black population from Sudan. Sudanese armed forces and government-authorized militias known as the Janjaweed have carried out massive attacks against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa communities of Darfur, according to the ICC allegations. Following bombing raids, “ground forces would then enter the village or town and attack civilian inhabitants. They kill men, children, elderly, women; they subject women and girls to massive rapes. They burn and loot the villages.” The ICC says 35,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million displaced.

The ICC reports one victim saying: “When we see them, we run. Some of us succeed in getting away, and some are caught and taken to be raped — gang-raped. Maybe around 20 men rape one woman. … These things are normal for us here in Darfur. These things happen all the time. I have seen rapes, too. It does not matter who sees them raping the women — they don’t care. They rape girls in front of their mothers and fathers.”

Governments around the world have imposed various sanctions on Sudan, with human rights groups demanding much more aggressive action.

But there is little doubt that Sudan has been able to laugh off existing and threatened sanctions because of the huge support it receives from China, channeled above all through the Sudanese relationship with CNPC.

“The relationship between CNPC and Sudan is symbiotic,” notes the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights First, in a March 2008 report, “Investing in Tragedy.” “Not only is CNPC the largest investor in the Sudanese oil sector, but Sudan is CNPC’s largest market for overseas investment.”

China receives three quarters of Sudan’s exports, and Chinese companies hold the majority share in almost all of the key oil-rich areas in Sudan. Explains Human Rights First: “Beijing’s companies pump oil from numerous key fields, which then courses through Chinese-made pipelines to Chinese-made storage tanks to await a voyage to buyers, most of them Chinese.” CNPC is the largest oil investor in Sudan; the other key Chinese company is the Sinopec Group (also known as the China Petrochemical Corporation).

Oil money has fueled violence in Darfur. “The profitability of Sudan’s oil sector has developed in close chronological step with the violence in Darfur,” notes Human Rights First. “In 2000, before the crisis, Sudan’s oil revenue was $1.2 billion. By 2006, with the crisis well underway, that total had shot up by 291 percent, to $4.7 billion. How does Sudan use that windfall? Its finance minister has said that at least 70 percent of the oil profits go to the Sudanese armed forces, linked with its militia allies to the crimes in Darfur.”

There are other nefarious components of the CNPC relationship with the Sudanese government. China ships substantial amounts of small arms to Sudan and has helped Sudan build its own small arms factories. China has also worked at the United Nations to undermine more effective multilateral action to protect Darfur. Human rights organizations charge a key Chinese motivation is to lubricate its relationship with the Khartoum government so the oil continues to flow.

CNPC did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Dole: The Sour Taste of Pineapple

Starting in 1988, the Philippines undertook what was to be a bold initiative to redress the historically high concentration of land ownership that has impoverished millions of rural Filipinos and undermined the country’s development. The Comprehensive Agricultural Reform Program (CARP) promised to deliver land to the landless.

It didn’t work out that way.

Plantation owners helped draft the law and invented ways to circumvent its purported purpose.

Dole pineapple workers are among those paying the price.

Under CARP, Dole’s land was divided among its workers and others who had claims on the land prior to the pineapple giant. However, under the terms of the law, as the Washington, D.C.-based International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) explains in an October report, “The Sour Taste of Pineapple,” the workers received only nominal title. They were required to form labor cooperatives. Intended to give workers — now the new land owners — a means to collectively manage their land, the cooperatives were instead controlled by wealthy landlords.

“Through its dealings with these cooperatives,” ILRF found, Dole and Del Monte, (the world’s other leading pineapple grower) “have been able to take advantage of a number of worker abuses. Dole has outsourced its labor force to contract labor and replaced its full-time regular employment system that existed before CARP.” Dole employs 12,000 contract workers. Meanwhile, from 1989 to 1998, Dole reduced its regular workforce by 3,500.

Under current arrangements, Dole now leases its land from its workers, on extremely cheap terms — in one example cited by ILRF, Dole pays in rent one-fifteenth of its net profits from a plantation. Most workers continue to work the land they purportedly own, but as contract workers for Dole.

The Philippine Supreme Court has ordered Dole to convert its contract workers into regular employees, but the company has not done so. In 2006, the Court upheld a Department of Labor and Employment decision requiring Dole to stop using illegal contract labor. Under Philippine law, contract workers should be regularized after six months.

Dole emphasizes that it pays its workers $10 a day, more than the country’s $5.60 minimum wage. It also says that its workers are organized into unions. The company responded angrily to a 2007 nomination for most irresponsible corporations from a Swiss organization, the Berne Declaration. “We must also say that those fallacious attacks created incredulity and some anger among our Dolefil workers, their representatives, our growers, their cooperatives and more generally speaking among the entire community where we operate.” The company thanked “hundreds of people who spontaneously expressed their support to Dolefil, by taking the initiative to sign manifestos,” including seven cooperatives.

The problem with Dole’s position, as ILRF points out, is that “Dole’s contract workers are denied the same rights afforded to Dole’s regular workers. They are refused the right to organize or benefits gained by the regular union, and are consequently left with poor wages and permanent job insecurity.” Contract workers are paid under a quota system, and earn about $1.85 a day, according to ILRF.

Conditions are not perfect for unionized workers, either. In 2006, when a union leader complained about pesticide and chemical exposures (apparently misreported in local media as a complaint about Dole’s waste disposal practices), the management of Dole Philippines (Dolefil) pressed criminal libel charges against him. Two years later, these criminal charges remain pending.

Dole says it cannot respond to the allegations in the ILRF report, because the U.S. Trade Representative is considering acting on a petition by ILRF to deny some trade benefits to Dole pineapples imported into the United States from the Philippines.

Concludes Bama Atheya, executive director of ILRF, “In both Costa Rica and the Philippines, Dole has deliberately obstructed workers’ right to organize, has failed to pay a living wage and has polluted workers’ communities.”

GE: Creative Accounting

General Electric (GE) has appeared on Multinational Monitor’s annual 10 Worst Corporations list for defense contractor fraud, labor rights abuses, toxic and radioactive pollution, manufacturing nuclear weaponry, workplace safety violations and media conflicts of interest (GE owns television network NBC).

This year, the company returns to the list for new reasons: alleged tax cheating and the firing of a whistleblower.

In June, former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston reported on internal GE documents that appeared to show the company had engaged in long-running effort to evade taxes in Brazil. In a lengthy report in Tax Notes International, Johnston cited a GE subsidiary manager’s powerpoint presentation that showed “suspicious” invoices as “an indication of possible tax evasion.” The invoices showed suspiciously high sales volume for lighting equipment in lightly populated Amazon regions of the country. These sales would avoid higher value added taxes (VAT) in urban states, where sales would be expected to be greater.

Johnston wrote that the state-level VAT at issue, based on the internal documents he reviewed, appeared to be less than $100 million. But, “since the VAT scheme appears to have gone on long before the period covered in the Moreira [the company manager] report, the total sum could be much larger and could involve other countries supplied by the Brazil subsidiary.”

A senior GE spokesperson, Gary Sheffer, told Johnston that the VAT and related issues were so small relative to GE’s size that the company was surprised a reporter would spend time looking at them. “No company has perfect compliance,” Sheffer said. “We do not believe we owe the tax.”

Johnston did not identify the source that gave him the internal GE documents, but GE has alleged it was a former company attorney, Adriana Koeck. GE fired Koeck in January 2007 for what it says were “performance reasons.” GE sued Koeck in June 2008, alleging that she wrongfully maintained privileged and confidential information, and improperly shared the information with third parties. In a court filing, GE said that it “considers its professional reputation to be its greatest asset and it has worked tirelessly to develop and preserve an unparalleled reputation of ‘unyielding integrity.’”

GE’s suit followed a whistleblower defense claim filed by Koeck in 2007. In April 2007, Koeck filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor under the Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protections (rules put in place following the Enron scandal).

In her filing, Koeck alleges that she was fired not for poor performance, but because she called attention to improper activities by GE. After being hired in January 2006, Koeck’s complaint asserts, she “soon discovered that GE C&I [consumer and industrial] operations in Latin America were engaged in a variety of irregular practices. But when she tried to address the problems, both Mr. Burse and Mr. Jones [her superiors in the general counsel’s office] interfered with her efforts, took certain matters away from her, repeatedly became enraged with her when she insisted that failing to address the problems would harm GE, and eventually had her terminated.”

Koeck’s whistleblower filing details the state VAT-avoidance scheme discussed in Johnston’s article. It also indicates that several GE employees in Brazil were blackmailing the company to keep quiet about the scheme.

Koeck’s whistleblower filing also discusses reports in the Brazilian media that GE had participated in a “bribing club” with other major corporations. Members of the club allegedly met to divide up public contracts in Brazil, as well as to agree on the amounts that would be paid in bribes. Koeck discovered evidence of GE subsidiaries engaging in behavior compatible with the “bribing club” stories and reported this information to her superior. Koeck alleges that her efforts to get higher level attorneys to review the situation failed.

In a statement, GE responds to the substance of Koeck’s allegations of wrongdoing: “These were relatively minor and routine commercial and tax issues in Brazil. Our employees proactively identified, investigated and resolved these issues in the appropriate manner. We are confident we have met all of our tax and compliance obligations in Brazil.GE has a strong and rigorous compliance process that dealt effectively with these issues.”

Koeck’s Sarbanes-Oxley complaint was thrown out in June, on the grounds that it had not been filed in a timely matter.

The substance of her claims, however, are now under investigation by the Department of Justice Fraud Section, according to Corporate Crime Reporter.

Imperial Sugar: 13 Dead

On February 7, an explosion rocked the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia, near Savannah.

Tony Holmes, a forklift operator at the plant, was in the break room when the blast occurred.

“I heard the explosion,” he told the Savannah Morning News. “The building shook, and the lights went out. I thought the roof was falling in. … I saw people running. I saw some horrific injuries. … People had clothes burning. Their skin was hanging off. Some were bleeding.”

Days later, when the fire was finally extinguished and search-and-rescue operations completed, the horrible human toll was finally known: 13 dead, dozens badly burned and injured.

As with almost every industrial disaster, it turns out the tragedy was preventable. The cause was accumulated sugar dust, which like other forms of dust, is highly combustible.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the government workplace safety regulator, had not visited Imperial Sugar’s Port Wentworth facility since 2000. When inspectors examined the blast site after the fact, they found rampant violations of the agency’s already inadequate standards. They proposed a more than $5 million fine, and issuance of citations for 61 egregious willful violations, eight willful violations and 51 serious violations. Under OSHA’s rules, a “serious” citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to occur, a “willful” violation is a violation committed with plain indifference to employee safety and health, and “egregious” citations are issued for particularly flagrant violations.

A month later, OSHA inspectors investigated Imperial Sugar’s plant in Gramercy, Louisiana. They found 1/4- to 2-inch accumulations of dust on electrical wiring and machinery. They found 6- to 8-inch accumulations on wall ledges and piping. They found 1/2- to 1-inch accumulations on mechanical equipment and motors. They found 3- to 48-inch accumulations on workroom floors. OSHA posted an “imminent danger” notice at the plant, because of the high likelihood of another explosion.

Imperial Sugar obviously knew of the conditions in its plants. It had in fact taken some measures to clean up operations prior to the explosion.

Graham H. Graham was hired as vice president of operations of Imperial Sugar in November 2007. In July 2008, he told a Senate subcommittee that he first walked through the Port Wentworth facility in December 2007. “The conditions were shocking,” he testified. “Port Wentworth was a dirty and dangerous facility. The refinery was littered with discarded materials, piles of sugar dust, puddles of sugar liquid and airborne sugar dust. Electrical motors and controls were encrusted with solidified sugar, while safety covers and doors were missing from live electrical switchgear and panels. A combustible environment existed.”

Graham recommended that the plant manager be fired, and he was. Graham ordered a housekeeping blitz, and by the end of January, he testified to the Senate subcommittee, conditions had improved significantly, but still were hazardous.

But Graham also testified that he was told to tone down his demands for immediate action. In a meeting with John Sheptor, then Imperial Sugar’s chief operating officer and now its CEO, and Kay Hastings, senior vice president of human resources, Graham testified, “I was also informed that I was excessively eager in addressing the refinery’s problems.”

Sheptor, who was nearly killed in the refinery explosion, and Hastings both deny Graham’s account.

The company says that it respected safety concerns before the explosion, but has since redoubled efforts, hiring expert consultants on combustible hazards, refocusing on housekeeping efforts and purchasing industrial vacuums to minimize airborne disbursement.

In March, the House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on the hazards posed by combustible dust. The head of the Chemical Safety Board testified about a 2006 study that identified hundreds of combustible dust incidents that had killed more than 100 workers during the previous 25 years. The report recommended that OSHA issue rules to control the risk of dust explosions.

Instead of acting on this recommendation, said Committee Chair George Miller, D-California, “OSHA chose to rely on compliance assistance and voluntary programs, such as industry ‘alliances,’ web pages, fact sheets, speeches and booths at industry conferences.”

The House of Representatives then passed legislation to require OSHA to issue combustible dust standards, but the proposal was not able to pass the Senate.

Remarkably, even after the tragedy at Port Wentworth, and while Imperial Sugar said it welcomed the effort for a new dust rule, OSHA head Edwin Foulke indicated he believed no new rule was necessary.

“We believe,” he told the House Education and Labor Committee in March, “that [OSHA] has taken strong measures to prevent combustible dust hazards, and that our multi-pronged approach, which includes effective enforcement of  existing standards, combined with education for employers and employees, is effective in addressing combustible dust hazards. We would like to emphasize that the existence of a standard does not ensure that explosions will be eliminated.”

Philip Morris International: Unshackled

The old Philip Morris no longer exists. In March, the company formally divided itself into two separate entities: Philip Morris USA, which remains a part of the parent company Altria, and Philip Morris International.

Philip Morris USA sells Marlboro and other cigarettes in the United States. Philip Morris International tramples over the rest of the world.

The world is just starting to come to grips with a Philip Morris International even more predatory in pushing its toxic products worldwide.

The new Philip Morris International is unconstrained by public opinion in the United States — the home country and largest market of the old, unified Philip Morris —and will no longer fear lawsuits in the United States.

As a result, Thomas Russo of the investment fund Gardner Russo & Gardner told Bloomberg, the company “won’t have to worry about getting pre-approval from the U.S. for things that are perfectly acceptable in foreign markets.” Russo’s firm owns 5.7 million shares of Altria and now Philip Morris International.

A commentator for The Motley Fool investment advice service wrote, “The Marlboro Man is finally free to roam the globe unfettered by the legal and marketing shackles of the U.S. domestic market.”

In February, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a new report on the global tobacco epidemic. WHO estimates the Big Tobacco-fueled epidemic now kills more than 5 million people every year.

Five million people.

By 2030, WHO estimates 8 million will die a year from tobacco-related disease, 80 percent in the developing world.

The WHO report emphasizes that known and proven public health policies can dramatically reduce smoking rates. These policies include indoor smoke-free policies; bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; heightened taxes; effective warnings; and cessation programs. These “strategies are within the reach of every country, rich or poor and, when combined as a package, offer us the best chance of reversing this growing epidemic,” says WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.

Most countries have failed to adopt these policies, thanks in no small part to decades-long efforts by Philip Morris and the rest of Big Tobacco to deploy political power to block public health initiatives. Thanks to the momentum surrounding a global tobacco treaty, known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, adopted in 2005, this is starting to change. There’s a long way to go, but countries are increasingly adopting sound public health measures to combat Big Tobacco.

Now Philip Morris International has signaled its initial plans to subvert these policies.

The company has announced plans to inflict on the world an array of new products, packages and marketing efforts. These are designed to undermine smoke-free workplace rules, defeat tobacco taxes, segment markets with specially flavored products, offer flavored cigarettes sure to appeal to youth and overcome marketing restrictions.

The Chief Operating Officer of Philip Morris International, Andre Calantzopoulos, detailed in a March investor presentation two new products, Marlboro Wides, “a shorter cigarette with a wider diameter,” and Marlboro Intense, “a rich, flavorful, shorter cigarette.”

Sounds innocent enough, as far as these things go.

That’s only to the innocent mind.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Philip Morris International’s underlying objective: “The idea behind Intense is to appeal to customers who, due to indoor smoking bans, want to dash outside for a quick nicotine hit but don’t always finish a full-size cigarette.”

Workplace and indoor smoke-free rules protect people from second-hand smoke, but also make it harder for smokers to smoke. The inconvenience (and stigma of needing to leave the office or restaurant to smoke) helps smokers smoke less and, often, quit. Subverting smoke-free bans will damage an important tool to reduce smoking.

Philip Morris International says it can adapt to high taxes. If applied per pack (or per cigarette), rather than as a percentage of price, high taxes more severely impact low-priced brands (and can help shift smokers to premium brands like Marlboro). But taxes based on price hurt Philip Morris International.

Philip Morris International’s response? “Other Tobacco Products,” which Calantzopoulos describes as “tax-driven substitutes for low-price cigarettes.” These include, says Calantzopoulos, “the ‘tobacco block,’ which I would describe as the perfect make-your-own cigarette device.” In Germany, roll-your-own cigarettes are taxed far less than manufactured cigarettes, and Philip Morris International’s “tobacco block” is rapidly gaining market share.

One of the great industry deceptions over the last several decades is selling cigarettes called “lights” (as in Marlboro Lights), “low” or “mild” — all designed to deceive smokers into thinking they are safer.

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control says these inherently misleading terms should be barred. Like other companies in this regard, Philip Morris has been moving to replace the names with color coding — aiming to convey the same ideas, without the now-controversial terms.

Calantzopoulos says Philip Morris International will work to more clearly differentiate Marlboro Gold (lights) from Marlboro Red (traditional) to “increase their appeal to consumer groups and segments that Marlboro has not traditionally addressed.”

Philip Morris International also is rolling out a range of new Marlboro products with obvious attraction for youth. These include Marlboro Ice Mint, Marlboro Crisp Mint and Marlboro Fresh Mint, introduced into Japan and Hong Kong last year. It is exporting clove products from Indonesia.

The company has also renewed efforts to sponsor youth-oriented music concerts. In July, activist pressure forced Philip Morris International to withdraw sponsorship of an Alicia Keys concert in Indonesia (Keys called for an end to the sponsorship deal); and in August, the company was forced to withdraw from sponsorship in the Philippines of a reunion concert of the Eraserheads, a band sometimes considered “the Beatles of the Philippines.”

Responding to increasing advertising restrictions and large, pictorial warnings required on packs, Marlboro is focusing increased attention on packaging. Fancy slide packs make the package more of a marketing device than ever before, and may be able to obscure warning labels.

Most worrisome of all may be the company’s forays into China, the biggest cigarette market in the world, which has largely been closed to foreign multinationals. Philip Morris International has hooked up with the China National Tobacco Company, which controls sales in China. Philip Morris International will sell Chinese brands in Europe. Much more importantly, the company is starting to sell licensed versions of Marlboro in China. The Chinese aren’t letting Philip Morris International in quickly — Calantzopoulos says, “We do not foresee a material impact on our volume and profitability in the near future.” But, he adds, “we believe this long-term strategic cooperation will prove to be mutually beneficial and form the foundation for strong long-term growth.”

What does long-term growth mean? In part, it means gaining market share among China’s 350 million smokers. But it also means expanding the market, by selling to girls and women. About 60 percent of men in China smoke; only 2 or 3 percent of women do so.

Roche: Saving Lives is Not Our Business

Monopoly control over life-saving medicines gives enormous power to drug companies. And, to paraphrase Lord Acton, enormous power corrupts enormously.

The Swiss company Roche makes a range of HIV-related drugs. One of them is enfuvirtid, sold under the brand-name Fuzeon. Fuzeon is the first of a new class of AIDS drugs, working through a novel mechanism. It is primarily used as a “salvage” therapy — a treatment for people for whom other therapies no longer work. Fuzeon brought in $266 million to Roche in 2007, though sales are declining.

Roche charges $25,000 a year for Fuzeon. It does not offer a discount price for developing countries.

Like most industrialized countries, Korea maintains a form of price controls — the national health insurance program sets prices for medicines. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs listed Fuzeon at $18,000 a year. Korea’s per capita income is roughly half that of the United States. Instead of providing Fuzeon, for a profit, at Korea’s listed level, Roche refuses to make the drug available in Korea.

Korea is not a developing country, emphasizes Roche spokesperson Martina Rupp. “South Korea is a developed country like the U.S. or like Switzerland.”

Roche insists that Fuzeon is uniquely expensive to manufacture, and so that it cannot reduce prices. According to a statement from Roche, “the offered price represents the lowest sustainable price at which Roche can provide Fuzeon to South Korea, considering that the production process for this medication requires more than 100 steps — 10 times more than other antiretrovirals. A single vial takes six months to produce, and 45 kilograms of raw materials are necessary to produce one kilogram of Fuzeon.”

The head of Roche Korea was reportedly less diplomatic. According to Korean activists, he told them, “We are not in business to save lives, but to make money. Saving lives is not our business.”

Says Roche spokesperson Rupp: “I don’t know why he would say that, and I cannot imagine that this is really something that this person said.”

Another AIDS-related drug made by Roche is valganciclovir. Valganciclovir treats a common AIDS-related infection called cytomegalovirus (CMV) that causes blindness or death. Roche charges $10,000 for a four-month course of valganciclovir. In December 2006, it negotiated with Médicins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and agreed on a price of $1,899. According to MSF, this still-price-gouging price is only available for poor and very high incidence countries, however, and only for nonprofit organizations — not national treatment programs.

Roche’s Rupp says that “Currently, MSF is the only organization requesting purchase of Valcyte [Roche’s brand name for valganciclovir] for such use in these countries. To date, MSF are the only AIDS treatment provider treating CMV for their patients.  They told us themselves this is because no-one else has the high level of skilled medical staff they have.”

Dr. David Wilson, former MSF medical coordinator in Thailand, says he remembers the first person that MSF treated with life-saving antiretrovirals. “I remember everyone was feeling really great that we were going to start treating people with antiretrovirals, with the hope of bringing people back to normal life.” The first person MSF treated, Wilson says, lived but became blind from CMV. “She became strong and she lived for a long time, but the antiretroviral treatment doesn’t treat the CMV.”

“I’ve been working in MSF projects and treating people with AIDS with antiretrovirals for seven years now,” he says, “and along with many colleagues we’ve been frustrated because we don’t have treatment for this particular disease. We now think we have a strategy to diagnose it effectively and what we really need is the medicine to treat the patients.”

Source

Sierra Leone: A mission for MSF(Doctors Without Borders)

Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza

By Omar Karmi,

November 19 2008

AMALLAH, WEST BANK

Israel rebuffed a plea by the UN to open crossings into Gaza for humanitarian supplies yesterday and continued barring international media from reaching the impoverished strip of land.

Asked yesterday whether Israel intended to reopen crossings, Ehud Barak, the defence minister, told Israel Army Radio: “No. There needs to be calm in order for the crossings to be opened.”

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, telephoned Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister on Tuesday, urging him to facilitate the movement of urgently needed humanitarian supplies into Gaza, where relief agencies have had to halt food distribution and the only power station is running out of fuel.

Israel closed the crossings two weeks ago when Palestinians responded with a salvo of rockets to a Nov 4 Israeli army raid into Gaza that resulted in the killings of six Gazans.

The tit-for-tat violence has continued since, with Israeli air raids causing at least a dozen Palestinian fatalities and one Israeli wounded by a Palestinian mortar.

Hamas is understood to be trying to persuade some of the smaller Palestinian factions, including the Popular Resistance Committees and the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine who have claimed responsibility for firing rockets in the past two weeks, to desist.

Nevertheless, Hamas’s military wing yesterday also warned that it was prepared to end a five-month-old ceasefire should crossings remain closed.

It would appear to be in neither Israel’s nor Hamas’s interests to end the ceasefire, however. Israeli politicians are facing general elections in early February and although taking a tough posture with Palestinians is an oft-tried campaign strategy, barring a full-scale – and unpredictable – invasion of the Strip, Israel would seem unable to ensure calm around Gaza without the ceasefire in place.

Hamas, for its part, will be eager for the ceasefire, which officially runs out on Dec 19, to be extended to continue to consolidate its rule over Gaza and strengthen its hand in internal Palestinian negotiations over reconciliation. Nevertheless, Hamas cannot afford to be seen to have abandoned the option of armed struggle and will probably enter the fray should crossings into Gaza remain shut.

Several international relief agencies have warned of a full-scale humanitarian disaster should food and medicine continue being blocked from entering the strip. On Sunday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency announced that it had to stop distributing food to the about 750,000 Palestinians who rely on it for their immediate needs.

On Monday, Israel allowed a limited shipment of food and medicine to reach the strip, but the army shut the border again after three rockets were fired across the border on Tuesday, and yesterday it was reported that Gaza’s biggest mill had closed because of a lack of wheat. Gazans are also suffering regular electricity blackouts as a result of the scarcity of fuel.

Foreign journalists, meanwhile, are protesting against a ban on international media entering the Gaza Strip, also in effect since Nov 4.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists working for international media in the region, has slammed the decision by the Israeli government as a “serious violation” of press freedom.

In an open letter published on Tuesday, the FPA said the decision to bar journalists from Gaza was an “unprecedented restriction of press freedom” and said its protests to the Israeli government had gone unheeded.

“Never before have journalists been prevented from doing their work in this way. We believe it is vital that journalists be allowed to find out for themselves what is going on in Gaza. Israel controls access to Gaza. Israel must allow professional journalists access to this important story.”

In spite of repeated requests, the Israeli ministry of defence was not available for comment. Israeli officials had said no official decision has been made to stop journalists from reaching Gaza, but that preventing them from doing so in the past two weeks was consistent with army policy only to allow passage for essential humanitarian staff.

In Gaza, officials and human rights activists said Israel was trying to prevent foreign journalists from revealing the reality there.

“Israel doesn’t want journalists to report on the conditions in Gaza that have resulted from the Israeli siege,” said Eyad Sarraj, a psychiatrist with the Gaza Community Mental Health Project and a human-rights activist. “Israel doesn’t want journalists from all over the world to bear evidence to what they are doing here.”

Mr Sarraj also suggested that Israel was preparing a major military operation, a suspicion echoed by Ahmad Yousef, a senior Hamas official.

“Israel might be planning something. For this, they don’t want any journalists here to cover their brutality against Palestinians… Journalists are those that can open the eyes of the world by showing them what is really going on in Gaza.”

Source

The Real Goal of Israel’s Blockade

By Jonathan Cook

November 17, 2008

The latest tightening of Israel’s chokehold on Gaza – ending all supplies into the Strip for more than a week – has produced immediate and shocking consequences for Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants.

The refusal to allow in fuel has forced the shutting down of Gaza’s only power station, creating a blackout that pushed Palestinians bearing candles on to the streets in protest last week. A water and sanitation crisis are expected to follow.

And on Thursday, the United Nations announced it had run out of the food essentials it supplies to 750,000 desperately needy Gazans. “This has become a blockade against the United Nations itself,” a spokesman said.

In a further blow, Israel’s large Bank Hapoalim said it would refuse all transactions with Gaza by the end of the month, effectively imposing a financial blockade on an economy dependent on the Israeli shekel. Other banks are planning to follow suit, forced into a corner by Israel’s declaration in Sept 2007 of Gaza as an “enemy entity”.

There are likely to be few witnesses to Gaza’s descent into a dark and hungry winter. In the past week, all journalists were refused access to Gaza, as were a group of senior European diplomats. Days earlier, dozens of academics and doctors due to attend a conference to assess the damage done to Gazans’ mental health were also turned back.

Israel has blamed the latest restrictions of aid and fuel to Gaza on Hamas’s violation of a five-month ceasefire by launching rockets out of the Strip. But Israel had a hand in shattering the agreement: as the world was distracted by the US presidential elections, the army invaded Gaza, killing six Palestinians and provoking the rocket fire.

The humanitarian catastrophe gripping Gaza is largely unrelated to the latest tit-for-tat strikes between Hamas and Israel. Nearly a year ago, Karen Koning AbuZayd, commissioner-general of the UN’s refugee agency, warned: “Gaza is on the threshold of becoming the first territory to be intentionally reduced to a state of abject destitution”.

She blamed Gaza’s strangulation directly on Israel, but also cited the international community as accomplice. Together they began blocking aid in early 2006, following the election of Hamas to head the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The US and Europe agreed to the measure on the principle that it would force the people of Gaza to rethink their support for Hamas. The logic was supposedly similar to the one that drove the sanctions applied to Iraq under Saddam Hussein through the 1990s: if Gaza’s civilians suffered enough, they would rise up against Hamas and install new leaders acceptable to Israel and the West.

As Ms AbuZayd said, that moment marked the beginning of the international community’s complicity in a policy of collective punishment of Gaza, despite the fact that the Fourth Geneva Convention classifies such treatment of civilians as a war crime.

The blockade has been pursued relentlessly since, even if the desired outcome has been no more achieved in Gaza than it was in Iraq. Instead, Hamas entrenched its control and cemented the Strip’s physical separation from the Fatah-dominated West Bank.

Far from reconsidering its policy, Israel’s leadership has responded by turning the screw ever tighter – to the point where Gazan society is now on the verge of collapse.

In truth, however, the growing catastrophe being unleashed on Gaza is only indirectly related to Hamas’s rise to power and the rocket attacks.

Of more concern to Israel is what each of these developments represents: a refusal on the part of Gazans to abandon their resistance to Israel’s continuing occupation. Both provide Israel with a pretext for casting aside the protections offered to Gaza’s civilians under international law to make them submit.

With embarrassing timing, the Israeli media revealed at the weekend that one of the first acts of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister elected in 2006, was to send a message to the Bush White House offering a long-term truce in return for an end to Israeli occupation. His offer was not even acknowledged.

Instead, according to the daily Jerusalem Post, Israeli policymakers have sought to reinforce the impression that “it would be pointless for Israel to topple Hamas because the population [of Gaza] is Hamas”. On this thinking, collective punishment is warranted because there are no true civilians in Gaza. Israel is at war with every single man, woman and child.

In an indication of how widely this view is shared, the cabinet discussed last week a new strategy to obliterate Gazan villages in an attempt to stop the rocket launches, in an echo of discredited Israeli tactics used in south Lebanon in its war of 2006. The inhabitants would be given warning before indiscriminate shelling began.

In fact, Israel’s desire to seal off Gaza and terrorise its civilian population predates even Hamas’s election victory. It can be dated to Ariel Sharon’s disengagement of summer 2005, when Fatah’s rule of the PA was unchallenged.

An indication of the kind of isolation Mr Sharon preferred for Gaza was revealed shortly after the pull-out, in Dec 2005, when his officials first proposed cutting off electricity to the Strip.

The policy was not implemented, the local media pointed out at the time, both because officials suspected the violation of international law would be rejected by other nations and because it was feared that such a move would damage Fatah’s chances of winning the elections the following month.

With the vote over, however, Israel had the excuse it needed to begin severing its responsibility for the civilian population. It recast its relationship with Gaza from one of occupation to one of hostile parties at war. A policy of collective punishment that was considered transparently illegal in late 2005 has today become Israel’s standard operating procedure.

Increasingly strident talk from officials, culminating in February in the deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai’s infamous remark about creating a “shoah”, or Holocaust, in Gaza, has been matched by Israeli measures. The military bombed Gaza’s electricity plant in June 2006, and has been incrementally cutting fuel supplies ever since. In January, Mr Vilnai argued that Israel should cut off “all responsibility” for Gaza and two months later Israel signed a deal with Egypt for it to build a power station for Gaza in Sinai.

All of these moves are designed with the same purpose in mind: persuading the world that Israel’s occupation of Gaza is over and that Israel can therefore ignore the laws of occupation and use unremitting force against Gaza.

Cabinet ministers have been queuing up to express such sentiments. Ehud Olmert, for example, has declared that Gazans should not be allowed to “live normal lives”; Avi Dichter believes punishment should be inflicted “irrespective of the cost to the Palestinians”; Meir Sheetrit has urged that Israel should “decide on a neighbourhood in Gaza and level it” – the policy discussed by ministers last week. (Criminals they are)

In concert, Israel has turned a relative blind eye to the growing smuggling trade through Gaza’s tunnels to Egypt. Gazans’ material welfare is falling more heavily on Egyptian shoulders by the day.

The question remains: what does Israel expect the response of Gazans to be to their immiseration and ever greater insecurity in the face of Israeli military reprisals?

Eyal Sarraj, the head of Gaza’s Community Mental Health Programme, said this year that Israel’s long-term goal was to force Egypt to end the controls along its short border with the Strip. Once the border was open, he warned, “Wait for the exodus.”

Source

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza


U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

These are War Crimes.

Innocent Civilians are being murdered by Starvation.

This includes Children just in case we have forgotten.

What Israel is doing is in fact Illegal.

They are murdering innocent people.

That is a crime.

All “Aid” should be cut off, that is going to Israel and no one should be selling them “Weapons of Mass Destruction”.

The US does both.  American tax dollars hard at work.
Israel is not to be trusted with any “Weapon of Mass Destruction”.

US Aid: The Lifeblood of Occupation

US Aid to Israel  January 2008

Israel is one of the 50 richest countries in the World. They don’t need any more aid.

Petition to End Israel’s Restrictions on Freedom of Movement and the Press

To: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

We, the undersigned, condemn Israel’s appalling treatment of Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Gaza correspondent and author of the magazine’s regular feature, “Gaza on the Ground.” The 24-year-old Palestinian journalist was brutally assaulted by Israeli Shin Bet security officials at the Allenby Bridge border crossing on his way home to Gaza on June 26. He had just received the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, which he shared with independent American journalist Dahr Jamail. Omer’s award citation reads, “Every day, he reports from a war zone, where he is also a prisoner. His homeland, Gaza, is surrounded, starved, attacked, forgotten. He is a profoundly humane witness to one of the great injustices of our time. He is the voice of the voiceless.” (see John Pilger’s July 2 article, “From Triumph to Torture,” in the Guardian:

This is not an isolated incident, Pilger points out, but part of a terrible pattern. Israel gives its border guards and Shin Bet agents free rein to regularly harass Palestinians (as well as Palestinian Americans and American peace activists and academics) traveling to and from the occupied territories. Israel randomly abuses, searches, interrogates and humiliates travelers of every age—men and women—and frequently refuses to let them pass through Israeli-controlled borders to their homes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. We just don’t hear their voices.

Israel simply doesn’t want Palestinian voices to be heard abroad. Palestinians are routinely prevented from accepting invitations to speak in Europe or North America. Students with scholarships to study overseas are not permitted to leave. Israel is now preventing Palestinians from returning home, even for a visit, once they have left to work or study abroad. (Israel recently revoked Zeina Ashrawi Hutchison’s travel documents, and will not renew her Jerusalem ID card. She is not allowed to return home to visit her father and mother, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi.)

We, the undersigned, also urge the Israeli government to end its efforts to censor international reports from the occupied territories. The government prefers stories to be filed from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, where they are subject to censorship, and allows few, if any, international journalists to enter the West Bank and Gaza. Israel censors, harasses and even kills Palestinian journalists who are trying to report on conditions in the occupied territories.

We call on the Israeli government to protect journalists who are trying to work in the occupied territories. At least eight journalists have been killed in the West Bank and Gaza since 2001, seven of them in attacks by Israel Defense Forces, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists research.*

We call on the Israeli government to end its harassment of travelers and journalists. When Israel targets journalists it infringes on a basic pillar of democracy, freedom of the press. Human beings, even those ruled for decades by an occupying power, have the right to leave home and return safely, without interference, and the right to freedom of speech.

To Sign Petition

Published in: on November 19, 2008 at 11:28 pm  Comments Off on Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza  
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Congo rebel backs U.N. peace plan, fighting persists

November 16, 2008
By Finbarr O’Reilly
JOMBA, Congo

Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda agreed on Sunday to support a U.N. peace plan for eastern Congo, including a body to oversee a ceasefire, but fighting between the army and rebels raged on in one zone.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo (L) stands with rebel leader Laurent Nkunda as they meet in the village of Jnomba in eastern Congo, November 16, 2008. (REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly)

After talks with United Nations special envoy Olusegun Obasanjo at Jomba in Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province, Nkunda said he had agreed to three requests from him — to respect a ceasefire, open a humanitarian corridor to aid refugees, and support the U.N. peace initiative.

“We agree,” Nkunda told reporters in French.

But he had asked Obasanjo, a former Nigerian head of state, to tell Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s government to also respect a suspension of military hostilities.

“We support his mission … he has got support from the international community … we are behind him and we are going to do our part so we can get on with this peace,” Nkunda, wearing a grey suit and carrying a cane topped with a silver eagle’s head, said in other comments in English.

Obasanjo met Nkunda at his home village in the foothills of the Virunga mountains, close to the Rwandan and Ugandan borders. After their talks, the two briefly danced with rebel fighters and children outside the church compound where they met.

But as they met, U.N. peacekeepers reported heavy fighting on Sunday between Nkunda’s National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) rebels and Congo’s army near the village of Ndeko, 110 km (70 miles) north of the provincial capital Goma.

The U.N. troubleshooter, who held talks on Saturday with Congolese President Joseph Kabila, is seeking to prevent the fighting in North Kivu from escalating into a repeat of a wider 1998-2003 Congo war that sucked in six neighbouring states.

Obasanjo, who flew back to the North Kivu provincial capital Goma, said the talks with Nkunda went “extremely well”.

“Nkunda wants to maintain a ceasefire but it’s like dancing the tango. You can’t do it alone,” Obasanjo said.

He said later in Goma Nkunda had agreed to a tripartite committee to monitor ceasefire violations, but on the condition that the U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo was not involved. Nkunda says the U.N. peacekeepers are biased against him.

Weeks of combat between Nkunda’s Tutsi rebels and government troops and their militia allies have displaced around a quarter of a million civilians, creating what aid agencies call a “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in east Congo.

ROCKET AND MORTAR BATTLE

U.N. military spokesman Lt-Col Jean-Paul Dietrich said the Ndeko combat did not help the peace process: “The army is firing rockets. The CNDP is using mortars. It’s not a good sign if they continue to fight while the special envoy is holding talks”.

Nkunda played down the latest fighting, saying it was “not a problem” and he had contacted the government to try to end it.

The United Nations said it was impossible to say who had started the clashes and at least six government soldiers had been wounded.

The roots of the North Kivu conflict stem from Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, when extremist Hutu militias killed about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus before fleeing into Congo.

That led to two wars and a humanitarian crisis that killed more than five million people, mostly from hunger and disease.

In 2004, Nkunda rejected peace deals that ended the last war. He accuses Kabila of arming and using a Rwandan Hutu rebel group, the FDLR, which includes perpetrators of the 1994 genocide, to fight with the weak and chaotic Congolese army.

The Congolese president accuses Rwanda, whose soldiers fought in Congo’s last war, ostensibly to hunt down the Hutu militia, of supporting Nkunda’s rebellion.

Nkunda spokesman Bertrand Bisimwa blamed the government for Sunday’s fighting. “The army attacked us this morning,” he said.

But he insisted this would not derail the peace talks. “He (Obasanjo) is not blind. He will see who is responsible for the clashes. While he talks peace, the government attacks us.”

The Congolese army was not available for comment.

Nkunda initially took up arms saying he was fighting to defend fellow Tutsis in Congo from attack by the Rwandan Hutu FDLR. But, after marching to the gates of Goma last month, he is now calling for unconditional direct talks with the president.

Kabila has so far rejected negotiations.

(Additional reporting by David Lewis in Kinshasa, Emmanuel Braun in Jomba and Hereward Holland in Goma)

Source

Search for peace ‘doomed’ by scramble for minerals in Congo

Doctors Without Boarders Providing Assistance in North Kivu, DRC


Published in: on November 16, 2008 at 7:29 pm  Comments Off on Congo rebel backs U.N. peace plan, fighting persists  
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Congo ‘worst place’ to be woman or child

An displaced woman receive a bucket from the Red Cross as they distribute non food items  in Kibati, just north of Goma, in eastern Congo, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. (AP / Karel Prinsloo)

An displaced woman receive a bucket from the Red Cross

as they distribute non food items in Kibati, just north of Goma,

in eastern Congo, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. (AP / Karel Prinsloo)

People carrying their belongings flee fighting in Kiwanja, 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Goma, eastern Congo, Friday, Nov. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

People carrying their belongings flee fighting in Kiwanja,

90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Goma, eastern Congo,

Friday, Nov. 7, 2008. (AP / Karel Prinsloo)

November 12 2008

Government officials in Angola say they’re mobilizing troops to send to Congo, a country one aid worker is calling “the worst place” in the world to be a woman or child.

The mobilization is raising fears that violence in that country would spread through the region.

Angolan Deputy Foreign Minister Georges Chicoty said the troops will support the Congo government in its fight against rebels led by a former Tutsi general. Congo had asked Angola for political and military assistance last month.

However, there are concerns that neighbouring Rwanda may see the presence of Angolan troops, which will not act as a peacekeeping force, as a provocation.

There are also worries that tensions between Tutsis and Hutus — who escaped to the Congo from Rwanda during an ethnic genocide in the 1990s — will increase. The current conflict is fuelled by concerns by Tutsi leaders in Congo that they’ll be targeted by Hutus who participated in the genocide and then fled to the country.

Earlier this week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said 3,000 more UN peacekeeping soldiers were needed in Congo to bolster a 17,000-member UN force.

Ban also called for a ceasefire so aid workers could get help to at “at least 100,000 refugees” cut off in rebel-controlled areas.

“The conditions in (the refugee camps) are as bad as I have seen them anywhere in Africa,” World Vision spokesperson Kevin Cook told CTV’s Canada AM on Wednesday morning.

Displaced people are in urgent need of water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and other supplies and protection from escalating violence.”

Cook said aid workers are also concerned about the spread of diseases such as malaria, cholera, measles and diarrhea. He also noted that he is not sure how long relief workers would be able to stay in the country if the situation worsens.

UN officials have noted that both sides in the dispute have committed crimes against civilians, including rapes.

“This is probably the worst place in the world to be a woman or a child,” Cook said.

Source


open cast mining in the DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most volatile parts of the world and also one of the most mineral-rich.

That provides an explosive combination.

The United Nations says illegal mining operations are providing funding for the rebel groups behind the renewed conflict, including the forces of the rebel general Laurent Nkunda.

Many people have died in the latest eruption of violence, and over 250,000 people have fled their homes.

Blessing or curse

International efforts to bring peace to the region are increasingly focussed on the way that factions in the region have been using its mineral wealth to buy arms.

Workers toil to extract diamonds, gold, copper and cassiterite in the thousands of open mines which litter the contested eastern region.

The untapped wealth of the forested landscape is worth billions of dollars but only a tiny fraction of that reaches the pockets of ordinary citizens.

The recent battles in the eastern Kivu region partly stem from the same Hutu-Tutsi rivalry which prompted the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s but crucially, the fighting is financed by Kivu’s buried treasure.

Many people complain that the natural riches of the region are the main cause of their misery.

Blood money

Rebel groups, as well as the Congolese army, trade in the minerals and that provides the money to enable them to keep fighting.

For some armed groups the war has become little more than a private racket with the minerals themselves providing the motive for carrying on the fighting, according to Carina Tertsakian of the international campaign organisation Global Witness.

The region accounts for 5% of the global supply of cassiterite, the primary ore of tin and a crucial element of all kinds of electronic circuitry, and is worth $70 million a year.

“To reach the world market the ore is flown to the regional capital of Goma and then, via Rwanda and Uganda, it reaches to east African ports of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania,” says Harrison Mitchell of the Resource Consulting Service.

The ore is then shipped to smelters who buy tin on the open market.

Located predominantly in India, China, Malaysia and Thailand, these smelters sell tin to component manufacturers.

Provenance required

Public pressure has forced the diamond trade to monitor sources and Mr Mitchell says the same should now apply to the trade in cassiterite.

“We talked to some high profile electronic companies and we found that the final end-users of tin were generally unaware of where the product was coming from,” he says.

There are many legal mining operations within the Democratic Republic of Congo but in the contested Eastern region, there are now proposals to limit the illegal trade.

These range from calls for a total ban, to the idea of chemically identifying the varieties of tin coming out of each area, which would allow exporters to filter out the worst sources.

Campaigners say that any indiscriminate ban will severely hurt the long-suffering and impoverished local population.

Source

Also see

Search for peace ‘doomed’ by scramble for minerals in Congo

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 11:47 pm  Comments Off on Congo ‘worst place’ to be woman or child  
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