zaterdag 26 januari 2008
'Ali Abunimah discusses US presidential candidates on Democracy Now!
Transcript, Democracy Now!, 25 January 2008
As the news out of Gaza makes international headlines, Democracy Now! took a look at where the Republican and Democratic presidential contenders stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Democracy Now! spoke with Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah on 24 January:
AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to Chicago to Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of the online publication The Electronic Intifada, author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.Welcome to Democracy Now!, Ali Abunimah. Your response to what's happening now in Gaza, from here in the United States?ALI ABUNIMAH: Well, I'd like to say that the suffering in Gaza has been so unremitting and so horrible and will continue. But I think we have to recognize and celebrate the resistance and the power of the people in Gaza. And we have to recognize that there has been a deliberate siege on them by Israel, a decision taken by the leaders of Israel to starve and inflict suffering on a million-and-a-half people.The government of Egypt has been complicit in this. They could have opened the borders months ago. Israel has been besieging Gaza for almost two years in this way. Egypt didn't have to wait until Palestinians took matters into their own hands to free themselves from this barbaric siege.The United States is complicit. And, by the way, Amy, this is another setback for the Bush Doctrine. The people of Gaza have been the victims of an experiment by the Bush administration and Israel, where, first of all, they had a democratic election. The US and Israel didn't like that result, so they tried to overthrow Hamas using Contra-style militias and using a starvation siege. Hamas turned the tables on them and got rid of those militias. So they decided to tighten the siege on the people of Gaza, and the people of Gaza decided to break out of it themselves.But the thing we have to absolutely focus on is the responsibility here. Israel, as the occupying power in the Gaza Strip, remains fully responsible for everything that happens there. Under Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, passed, by the way, after the horrors of World War II, Israel is legally required to provide as much food, water, medicine and fuel as the civilian population needs.And the excuse that the Israelis are using, that they're doing this in response to rocket fire, we know for a fact that Israel has rejected ceasefire after ceasefire put forward by Hamas and other Palestinian factions. We know for a fact that there are no rockets coming out of the West Bank. And yet Israel continues to carry out extrajudicial executions in the West Bank and military attacks on Nablus, on Balata refugee camp and all the other places in the West Bank.We have to be clear that what Israel is trying to do is a massive experiment in ethnic cleansing to get rid of a million-and-a-half people who do not fit its demographic desires and the desire to remain a state where one ethnic group has special and better rights by virtue of its religion. That's what's going on.'
Lees verder: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9254.shtml
Voor meer over Israelische oorlogsmisdadigers zie: http://www.kawther.info/
'Gaza scrambles for supplies as border forced open Rami Almeghari writing from Rafah, occupied Gaza Strip,
Live from Palestine,
25 January 2008
Three kids, their mother and their aunt hurried towards the Salah al-Din gate in southern Gaza on Wednesday.The mother, in her early thirties, explained in a rush, "We are heading to al-Arish [the Egypt border town] to follow my mom and brother who entered today after the borders were reopened."The family was not alone; thousands of other Palestinians thronged nearby, on their way to al-Arish, following the blasting through of the Israeli-built steel walls by Palestinian resistance fighters earlier that day. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians poured from Gaza into Egypt's Sinai peninsula, breathing a collective sigh of relief following a half-year of Israeli closure of all Gaza border crossings.Those returning to Gaza carried everything from food to livestock. Other Gazans were carrying on their shoulders boxes of another precious commodity in besieged Gaza -- cigarettes -- the price of which has at least doubled over the past several months."We are bringing cigarettes because its cheaper in Egypt," said one such individual.The Rafah crossing terminal -- the main point of entry into Gaza from Egypt -- has been permanently closed since June 2007. On 19 September 2007 Israel declared Gaza an "enemy entity" and began imposing an additional series of collective punishment measures against the population, including sharp reductions of imports, ostensibly in reaction to the firing of homemade rockets from Gaza. However, Israeli public figures have repeatedly stated that the intent of the siege is to put pressure on the civilian population and erode popular support of the elected Hamas government which took control of the Strip this summer.In a narrow muddy corridor near the fenced-off border, engineer and father of two Ramadan Said al-Na'ouq was heading towards the hole in the border wall in an attempt to get to Cairo to renew his Egyptian residency papers."I have been waiting for Israeli permission to travel to Cairo for the past three months; not only me, but 5,000 others are also waiting for the same," said al-Na'ouq. "What can I say, it's a golden opportunity for me to have my residence renewed. Otherwise, I will likely lose it in ten days. I only need a couple of days."'
Lees verder: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9256.shtml
On Wednesday, 19 September 2007, Israel's security cabinet unanimously declared the Gaza Strip an "enemy entity." The declaration, ostensibly in reaction to the firing of rockets from Gaza, was immediately backed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and followed by a series of collective punishment measures that have crippled Gaza's already suffering economy. Israel has denied the importing of basic needs including medicine, severely limited exports, cut fuel supplies to the impoverished strip, and halted the movement of people to and from Gaza -- including those in need of urgent medical care.The "enemy entity" declaration follows months of Israeli closure of the Egyptian-Gazan border crossing at Rafah, during which thousands of Palestinians were stranded in Egypt. Rafah crossing remains closed since 9 June 2007. With the Erez crossing into Israel open to only an exceptionally few number of Palestinians, Gazans feel as though their jailer has thrown away the key to their open-air prison.With the total closure of the Strip, whose residents are mainly food aid-dependent refugees, Palestinians fear a major disaster is imminent. Gaza Community Mental Health Programme Director Eyad Al Sarraj wrote before Gaza went dark following Israel's cutting of fuel supplies on 17 January 2008:
"[The] Israeli military establishment decided to stop power supply and fuel to Gaza. Since Thursday, food and humanitarian aid are not allowed in. Very soon life will come to a standstill. Water will not be pumped for a even drink. My step-son is on ventilator for asthma every night. What will happen to him when our generator is not running anymore? What will happen to hospitals, vaccines and blood banks? What will happen to patients on dialysis machines, and to babies in incubators?Before it is dark and when there is no communication with the world, I want to tell you that the current Israeli policy of squeezing [Gaza] has the aim of pushing Egypt to open its borders with Gaza and bring the situation to [Egyptian occupation as it was] prior 1967. Israel will then close its borders with Gaza, separate the Strip from the West bank, and destroy the peace proposals of one state or two states. In short, Israel is fulfilling the Sharon unilateral withdrawal strategy. If Egypt fails to open its borders with Gaza, Israel will push us through Rafah towards the Sinai desert. Wait for the exodus."'
Lees verder: http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/685.shtml
vrijdag 25 januari 2008
'Press release 25/1/2008
Army closes down hilltop site of planned Saturday rally at the conclusion of Gaza supply convoy; rally will take place instead outside Erez Checkpoint, after car convoy and protest march by foot
Parallel Palestinian demonstration due inside Strip
This morning police suddenly informed organizers of the countrywide Gaza Supply Convoy, due tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 26) that the army has forbidden the holding of the concluding rally on a hilltop overlooking the Gaza Strip (to which no objection was made earlier). The army even intends to surround the site with barbed wire to prevent access. There is no time to lodge a Supreme Court appeal, and organizers decided to have the rally at Erez Checkpoint, use of which is denied to Gazans.
The authorities’ move makes it impossible to have direct eye contact between the simultaneous Israeli and Palestinian rallies tomorrow, but there will still be phone contact and exchange of a message of peace and solidarity across the sealed border.
As noted in earlier messages, the humanitarian supply convoy will set out tomorrow morning, Saturday, 26 January 2008, from Nazareth, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beer Sheva and meet up at 12.00 noon at Yad Mordechai Junction. From Yad Mordechai the protest convoy will go southwards, a long line of trucks, buses and private cars all decked with “Lift the Blockade!”signs. About half a kilometre ahead of the checkpoint, participants will march on foot, carrying signs and personal packages of supplies prepared by Israeli families for the Gazans. At 13:00 the rally will take place outside the locked gates of Erez Checkpoint. Speakers will include Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avnery, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Issam Makhoul, Fatmeh el-Ajou, Rana Nashashibi, Suliman Al-Hatib and Jeff Halper. The convoy and rally will take place under all weather conditions.
As noted, there will be a phone link with the parallel demonstration due at the same hour in Gaza City at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the keynote speaker will psychiatrist and human rights activist Dr. Eyad Sarraj. A parallel Palestinian demonstration is also expected in Ramallah. Simultaneous demonstrations will take place in Rome, Modena, Bologna, Grosseto, Naples, Milan, Paris, Poitiers, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Nantes, Orleans, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, London, Montreal, Los Angeles, Chicago, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sydney, New York, Phoenix, Seattle, San Diego, Toronto, Cape Town and elsewhere across the globe – with a considerable participation of Jewish groups opposed to the policies of the Government of Israel.
You may go with us at 8.30 am from Reading Terminal in Tel Aviv, 8.45 a.m. from Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, or go independently to be at 12 noon to Yad Mordechai Junction, where the convoy will set out.
For further details: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom (0506-709603), Adi Dagan, Coalition of Women for Peace (0508-575730), Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, ICAHD (0547- 366393). Dr. Eyad Sarraj (Gaza), End the Siege on Gaza campaign, (0599-408438), Marwan Diab (Gaza), End the Siege on Gaza campaign, (0599-462037).
Participating organisations: Gush Shalom, Combatants for Peace, Coalition of Women for Peace, ICAHD – The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Bat Shalom, Bat Tzafon for Peace and Equality, Balad, Hadash, Adalah, Tarabut- Hithabrut, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, AIC – The Alternative Information Center, Psychoactive – Mental Health Workers for Human Rights, ActiveStills, The Students Coalition (Tel Aviv University), New Profile, MachsomWatch, PCATI – The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Yesh Gvul, Gisha, Local Television on the Internet, Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue, “On the Left Side”, and Faculty for Palestinian-Israeli Peace (Israel). '
Europa kijkt toe en steunt deze terreur financieel, diplomatiek, economisch en zelfs militair. Welk moreel recht bezitten wij nog om anderen terecht te wijzen wanneer we zelf dit terrorisme steunen? Kan iemand me dit uitleggen?
Met andere woorden: Israel bezit ook volgens zijn eigen logica het recht niet om Palestijns land te stelen, want ook het land dat te Palestijnen toegewezen kregen om een eigen staat te stichten, is onvervreemdbaar. Israel bezit nu 92 procent van Palestina, 38 procent meer dan het van de VN toegewezen heeft gekregen. Ook het recht op terugkeer is onvervreemdbaar, wat onder andere inhoudt dat het niet weg onderhandeld kan worden. Niet alleen is het een persoonsgebonden recht, geen enkele vluchteling kan dus worden uitgesloten, maar het is ook een collectief recht, het recht van alle Palestijnse vluchtelingen, aangezien zij als volk het recht op zelfbeschikking bezitten. Dit is de enige logica die ik kan verzinnen. Zou het CIDI de Nederlanders een andere logica kunnen geven? Ze kunnen mijn website daarvoor gebruiken. Ongecensureerd mogen ze hun eigen logica uitleggen. Kijken nu of ze het ook willen. Zelfs het CIDI bestuurslid wiens bedrijf meewerkt aan de bouw van de illegale Israelische muur op bezet gebied kan ongecensureerd hierop reageren.
Ondertussen heb ik nog 1 vraag: zou Anne Frank zich nu met de Israelische bezettingsmacht hebben geindentificeerd of met de onderdrukte Palestijnse burgerbevolking? Ik denk het laatste. Het is absurd om te claimen dat ze de kant van de wrede, blinde macht had gekozen, zoals het CIDI het liefs zou willen suggereren.
donderdag 24 januari 2008
'Wednesday, January 23, 2008.
Kevin Frayer / AP
Hamas Beats Israel's Gaza Siege
It took explosives to do what diplomacy couldn't: allow Palestinians to go on a shopping spree. The siege of Gaza, imposed by Israel and the international community after Hamas seized control of the Palestinian territory last July, ended abruptly before dawn on Wednesday when militants blew as many as 15 holes in the border wall separating the territory from Egypt. In the hours that followed, over 350,000 Palestinians swarmed across the frontier, nearly one fifth of Gaza's entire population.
Some Palestinians craved medicine and food — goats appeared to be a hot item — because Israel had cut off most supplies from entering Gaza as punishment for militants' firing rockets into southern Israel. Students and businessmen joined the throng heading for Egypt. There were scores of brides-to-be, stuck on the Egyptian side, who scurried across to be united with their future bridegrooms in Gaza. And some, like teacher Abu Bakr, stepped through a blast hole into Egypt simply "to enjoy the air of freedom."
The previous day, President Housni Mubarak faced the wrath of the Arab world when his riot police used clubs and water hoses to attack Palestinian women pleading for Egypt to open the Rafah crossing in Gaza. And despite pressure from Israel and the United States, Mubarak wasn't about to order his men to use force to restrain Palestinians rendered desperate by Israel's siege. The Egyptian President said he ordered his troops to "let them come to eat and buy food and go back, as long as they are not carrying weapons."
At 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Palestinian militants detonated explosive charges knocking out slabs in the 26-foot concrete border wall, and by dawn, Gazans were racing to the open border on donkey carts and tractors and in cars. Once through the holes, they trampled across barbed wire, vaulted over fences and picked their way gingerly through cactus. Many carried heavy suitcases and said that they were never coming back to captivity in Gaza.'
Lees verder: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1706252,00.html
2 minute glimpse into life in the Gaza Concentration camp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01hqVzViFTwA video by Al Jazeera on Rafah border breach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TocjkugWEEc
DEN HAAG - Boomerang, de verspreider van gratis kaarten, blijft de kaart 'Banned Frank' met Anne Frank in een Palestijnse sjaal verspreiden. Het bedrijf is verbaasd over de kritiek die het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël (CIDI) heeft geuit.CIDI riep woensdag bioscopen, cafés en universiteiten op de kaart niet langer te verspreiden. Het centrum sprak van ''stijlloze geschiedvervalsing''. De kaart zou de strijd van de Palestijnen ten onrechte gelijkstellen aan de jodenvervolging tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. De joden worden zo de vervolgers van vandaag en de Palestijnen weerloze vervolgden, zoals de joden in de oorlog.'
woensdag 23 januari 2008
'Europese beurs zakt na uitspraken ECB
Gepubliceerd: 23 januari 2008 14:36
Gewijzigd: 23 januari 2008 17:17
Door onze financiële redactie
Rotterdam, 23 jan. De aandelenbeurzen in Europa zakten vanmiddag weg na een toespraak van president Jean Claude Trichet van de Europese Centrale Bank voor het Europees Parlement.
Trichet liet daarin doorschemeren dat de ECB niet dezelfde weg zal bewandelen als de Amerikaanse centrale bank, die gisteren een forse renteverlaging doorvoerde.
Trichet zei dat de ECB er is om de prijsstabiliteit te bewaken en niet, zoals de Amerikaanse centrale banken, om de economie te redden. Hij benadrukte dat het de verantwoordelijkheid is van de ECB met betrekking tot de inflatieverwachtingen, om een nog grotere onrust in de toch al zenuwachtige markten te vermijden.'
Lees verder: http://www.nrc.nl/economie/article904942.ece/Europese_beurs_zakt_na_uitspraken_ECB
By Edward Evans and Simon Kennedy
Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor George Soros said the fallout from the U.S. subprime crisis will bring about the end of the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency.
``The current crisis is not only the bust that follows the housing boom, it's basically the end of a 60-year period of continuing credit expansion based on the dollar as the reserve currency,'' Soros said in a debate today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. ``Now the rest of the world is increasingly unwilling to accumulate dollars.''
The dollar's share of global foreign-exchange reserves fell to a record low of 63.8 percent in the third quarter as demand for U.S. assets waned after the collapse of the U.S. housing market, according to International Monetary Fund data. It accounted for 65 percent three months earlier. The euro's share rose to 26.4 percent from 25.5 percent. IMF quarterly figures go back to 1999, the year the euro was introduced.
The U.S. currency has dropped 11 percent against the euro and 13 percent against the yen in the past year. It has declined in five of the past six years.
Soros made $1 billion in 1992 betting against the pound, forcing the British government to abandon a peg to a basket of European currencies. He was also the biggest financial backer of the failed effort to deny President George W. Bush a second term in office. The euro has gained 55 percent against the dollar since Bush entered the White House on Jan. 21, 2001.
`Gone Too Far'
``From the 1980s we had the belief in the magic of the marketplace, and the authorities were so successful that they started to believe in this market fundamentalism,'' he said. ``That's gone too far.'' In times of crisis, ``they suspended the rules and they bailed out the banks. That created an asymmetric incentive system, a moral hazard, that allowed the expansion of credit.'''
Soros: ''From the 1980s we had the belief in the magic of the marketplace, and the authorities were so successful that they started to believe in this market fundamentalism,'' he said. ``That's gone too far.'' Wie is 'we'? Not us, want wij geloofden niet in die nonsense. Wie erin geloofden waren en zijn nog steeds politici, van links zowel als rechts, managers van de grote concerns, bankiers en andere parasieten en uitvreters, kortom de mensen die al al dan niet democratisch boven ons gesteld zijn, kennelijk in de overtuiging dat ze slimmer zijn dan wij. Maar het enige dat ze zijn, is meedogenlozer dan een fatsoenlijk mens. Ze gedragen zich als schurken en asocialen. Ze verwoesten onze aarde met hun onverzadigbare begeerte, ze zijn pathologische gevallen, die eens per jaar bijeen komen in Davos. Ook journalisten mogen eraan meedoen, als ze door de cooptatierondes zijn gekomen. Dat betekent dat ze betrouwbaar zijn voor de hierboven beschreven boeven. Dat soort journalisten zijn niet meer dan lakeien. Ben benieuwd wie van mijn collega's er dit jaar bij mag zitten. Wanneer komt u nu eens in opstand? Als de geschiedenis uw voordeur binnenmarcheert? Maar dan is het te laat.
'Hard Times A-Coming
The Bush Dollar Trap
By DAVE LINDORFF
The first government response to America's sinking economy was denial. We were told as recently as a month ago by administration officials and Wall Street charlatans that the economy was robust and that there would not be a recession. Now we are told that the economy is in trouble, but that the government is taking decisive action to shore it up.
We saw how effective the first "decisive" proposal was. Bush announced a plan to give every adult taxpayer (no poor people, thank you) $800 in a tax rebate this April. The stock market responded to this idea by dropping a few percent. The idea, as I wrote in my last column, was stupid to begin with because, with the US no longer producing much of anything, all that bonus borrowed cash would end up getting spent on imported goods anyhow, doing next to nothing for the US economy.
So now the Federal Reserve has weighed in with a 3/4 percent cut in the Federal Funds rate. Even though commercial banks followed suit, lowering the prime lending rate by a similar 3/4 percent, the stock market showed how much good that move would do, dropping almost 300 points at the opening bell today--about what it had been expected to do even without an interest-rate cut.
There was one place where the Fed's action did have an impact though: the exchange value of the dollar in foreign currency markets. No sooner was word of the interest rate cut announced, than the dollar fell against major currencies like the British Pound, the Euro and the Japanese Yen.
And there's the rub. The Fed is in a trap. It cannot cut interest rates much more without causing a collapse in the dollar, which, because of the huge US trade imbalance, and all those consumer goods and raw materials--especially oil--that are imported--would lead to serious and politically dangerous inflation. And there is another constraint: with the current rate cut, the US now has the third lowest interest rates in the world. If the Fed makes another cut, as it has hinted it might in a week or so, only Japan would have a lower interest rate environment than the US. That makes the dollar a very undesirable currency for foreigner investors, which means they won't want to hold dollars, and they won't want to hold US stocks.
Yet if the Fed doesn't cut interest rates even further, the stock market will continue to plunge, which again discourages foreign investors from pouring their money into the U.S., which in turn puts downward pressure on the dollar.
This was all predictable.'
Lees verder: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19133.htm
First the Fed makes a big slash then the President's Working Committee on Markets - otherwise known as the Price Protection Team or PPT - sits back to see how the market takes it. The Fed and the PPT are totally focused on the equity markets and this morning's activity must be terribly disappointing to both. Anticipate more significant rate reductions with the Bush New Deal on the scheduled meeting day. The Fed will increase liquidity exponentially, taxes will be slashed, and wars will stimulate fiscal spending. The US legislature will create spending on a bi-partisan basis and the President will not veto it. This is all very bullish for gold.I believe all of the above will occur. Such actions simply strengthen the foundations of this generational bull market in gold heading into 2011.Maybe you should breathe deeply, drink some cold water and take a walk next time you want to panic. If you insist on being a client of a major internet broker it will be good as you will not be able to panic and throw away your shares because orders will not be executed. That is good news for gold and gold shares, a sector that has the highest number of weenies professing to be members.Everything discussed amongst us has happened. Now the consortium of US and European central banks will have to blast untold amounts of liquidity into the world market or witness a financial meltdown of hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of derelict OTC derivatives. I do not believe that this is the proper action but it is the only action that politicians and their Central Bank political flunkies can do. Expect a new deal "a la Roosevelt" to go along with it. It worked for the present Administration in 2002 so to expect the same thing along with other dramatic action is reasonable. This is what I anticipate.
Blijven doorademen! En ook al verliest u alles, zolang u gezond bent is er niets aan de hand. Al dat geld kunt u straks toch niet meenemen.
Why the Debt Crisis Is Now the Greatest Threat to the American Republic
By Chalmers Johnson
The military adventurers of the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups of men thought that they were the "smartest guys in the room," the title of Alex Gibney's prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron. The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination.
As a result, going into 2008, the United States finds itself in the anomalous position of being unable to pay for its own elevated living standards or its wasteful, overly large military establishment. Its government no longer even attempts to reduce the ruinous expenses of maintaining huge standing armies, replacing the equipment that seven years of wars have destroyed or worn out, or preparing for a war in outer space against unknown adversaries. Instead, the Bush administration puts off these costs for future generations to pay -- or repudiate. This utter fiscal irresponsibility has been disguised through many manipulative financial schemes (such as causing poorer countries to lend us unprecedented sums of money), but the time of reckoning is fast approaching.
There are three broad aspects to our debt crisis. First, in the current fiscal year (2008) we are spending insane amounts of money on "defense" projects that bear no relationship to the national security of the United States. Simultaneously, we are keeping the income tax burdens on the richest segments of the American population at strikingly low levels.
Second, we continue to believe that we can compensate for the accelerating erosion of our manufacturing base and our loss of jobs to foreign countries through massive military expenditures -- so-called "military Keynesianism," which I discuss in detail in my book Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic. By military Keynesianism, I mean the mistaken belief that public policies focused on frequent wars, huge expenditures on weapons and munitions, and large standing armies can indefinitely sustain a wealthy capitalist economy. The opposite is actually true.
Third, in our devotion to militarism (despite our limited resources), we are failing to invest in our social infrastructure and other requirements for the long-term health of our country. These are what economists call "opportunity costs," things not done because we spent our money on something else. Our public education system has deteriorated alarmingly. We have failed to provide health care to all our citizens and neglected our responsibilities as the world's number one polluter. Most important, we have lost our competitiveness as a manufacturer for civilian needs -- an infinitely more efficient use of scarce resources than arms manufacturing. Let me discuss each of these.
The Current Fiscal Disaster
Lees verder: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174884/Tomgram%3A%20%20Chalmers%20Johnson%2C%20How%20to%20Sink%20America
During this year’s forum a unique study on dialogue between Islam and the West will be released. The results present empirical proof demonstrating the disastrous stage of distrust between both cultures. The research team for the study consisted of Media Tenor, Gallup and Georgetown-University. Mediachannel has published parts of the study in a three-part series. You can view Part I here and Part II here.
UPDATE 1: January 23, 2008By Roland Schatz, Media Tenor
Desire For Death or On Media’s Hunger For Catastrophe
Davos, Switzerland: Driving up to Davos one still had in mind the TV news on the breakdown of the financial markets. Journalists couldn’t be fast enough in comparing the fall of stocks to other historical peaks like 9/11 or the moment when the Internet bubble was understood as a bubble. On German public service network ZDF their correspondent from Frankfurt stock exchange was recommending on air to the audience of ZDF to sell shares as the current situation would be worse than 9/11. Driving up to Davos to the World Economic Forum one was bombarded on radio with the same horror scenarios. Journalists refused to be contacted on concrete unique projects presented in the forefront of Davos, “We have no time – the collapse of the stock markets is the only story of interest to us.” Did anybody explain to them the “self-fulfilling-prophecy” effects done by selective news reporting? Didn’t they read their own reports a few weeks ago when they were praising the ongoing strength of the BRIC States and the so-called next 11? Didn’t they hear last week in DC the official politicians declaring huge support for US economy – as no government on earth is not tempted to through extra budgets to voters valets? Didn’t they listen to their colleagues from the business section who permanently report on companies like Boeing, Airbus or the whole machine industry, who are booked out for complete 2008 and far into 2009? So, arriving in Davos and remembering the other stories written and published on the state of the economy one feels better informed than just following the stock-markets prophets.
More to come tomorrow when the CEO’s from all continents arrive here in the sunny and snowy Swiss Alps meeting heads of states, NGO leaders and scholars from all over the world – exchanging their thoughts on the state of the world and not only on stock markets…'
Lees verder: http://www.mediachannel.org/wordpress/2008/01/23/world-economic-forum-coverage-update-1/
dinsdag 22 januari 2008
Dan maar een deskundige aan het woord:
Worst financial crisis since WWII: Soros
* January 22, 2008 - 2:18PM
Billionaire investor George Soros said the world was facing the worst financial crisis since World War II and the United States was threatened with recession, according to an interview with the Austrian daily Standard.
"The situation is much more serious than any other financial crisis since the end of World War II,'' Soros was quoted as saying.
He said over the past few years politics had been guided by some basic misunderstandings stemming from something that he called "market fundamentalism'' - the belief financial markets tended to act as a balance.
"This is the wrong idea,'' he said.
"We really do have a serious financial crisis now.''
Asked whether he thought the United States was headed for a recession, he
said: "Yes, this is a threat in the United States.''
He added he was surprised how little understanding there had been on how recession was also a threat to Europe.
European shares fell nearly 6 percent on Monday, their biggest one-day slide since the attacks of September 11, 2001, as fears of a US recession and more writedowns in the financial sector sparked a broad-based sell-off.
Within the next month, the Pentagon will submit its 2009 budget to Congress and it's a fair bet that it will be even larger than the staggering 2008 one. Like the Army and the Marines, the Pentagon itself is overstretched and under strain -- and like the two services, which are expected to add 92,000 new troops over the next five years (at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion per 10,000), the Pentagon's response is never to cut back, but always to expand, always to demand more.
After all, there are those disastrous Afghan and Iraqi wars still eating taxpayer dollars as if there were no tomorrow. Then there's what enthusiasts like to call "the next war" to think about, which means all those big-ticket weapons, all those jets, ships, and armored vehicles for the future. And don't forget the still-popular, Rumsfeld-style "netcentric warfare" systems (robots, drones, communications satellites, and the like), not to speak of the killer space toys being developed; and then there's all that ruined equipment out of Iraq and Afghanistan to be massively replaced -- and all those ruined human beings to take care of.
You'll get the gist of this from a recent editorial in the trade magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology:
"The fact Washington must face is that nearly five years of war have left U.S. forces worse off than they have been in a generation, yes, since Vietnam, and restoring them will take budget-building unlike any in the past."
Even on the rare occasion when -- as in the case of Boeing's C-17 cargo plane -- the Pentagon decides to cancel a project, there's Congress to remember. Contracts and subcontracts for weapons systems, carefully doled out to as many states as possible, mean jobs, and so Congress often balks at such cuts. (Fifty-five House members recently warned the Pentagon of a "strong negative response" if funding for the C-17 is excised from the 2009 budget.) All in all, it adds up to a defense menu for a glutton.
Already, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said that 2009 funding is "largely locked into place." The giant military-industrial combines -- Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon -- have been watching their stocks rise in otherwise treacherous times. They are hopeful. As Ronald Sugar, Northrop CEO, put it: "A great global power like the United States needs a great navy and a great navy needs an adequate number of ships, and they have to be modern and capable" -- and guess which company is the Navy's largest shipbuilder?
There should be nothing surprising in all this, especially for those of us who have read Chalmers Johnson's Nemesis, The Last Days of the American Republic, the final volume of his Blowback Trilogy. Published in 2007, it is already a classic on what imperial overstretch means for the rest of us. The paperback of Nemesis is officially out today, just as global stock markets tumble. It is simply a must-read (and if you've already read it, then get a copy for a friend). In the meantime, hunker in for Johnson's latest magisterial account of how the mightiest guns the Pentagon can muster threaten to sink our own country. (For those interested, click here to view a clip from a new film, "Chalmers Johnson on American Hegemony," in Cinema Libre Studios' Speaking Freely ser! ies in which he discusses military Keynesianism and imperial bankruptcy.) Tom
Lees verder: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174884/chalmers_johnson_how_to_sink_america
21 January 2008
Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: Israel must allow basic necessities into Gaza Israel’s decision to block all fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip constitutes collective punishment and is likely to lead to a public health emergency, Amnesty International said today. The organization called for an immediate lifting of the fuel blockade and of other restrictions which have effectively prevented entry or exit of people and goods from the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control in the territory, in which 1.5 million Palestinians live, in June 2007."More than 40 seriously ill patients have died since the Israeli authorities closed Gaza's borders, so denying them access to hospital treatment abroad," said Malcolm Smart,, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa programme director, "but now the entire Gaza population is being out at risk as electricity and fuel supplies run out."Amnesty International acknowledged Israel’s right to take measures to protect its population from rocket and other attacks by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, but condemned the Israeli authorities' decision to cut off the already tightly restricted supplies of fuel, electricity and humanitarian assistance to Gaza's inhabitants."This action appears calculated to make an already dire humanitarian situation worse, one in which the most vulnerable - the sick, the elderly, women and children - will bear the brunt, not the men of violence who carry out attacks against Israel," said Malcolm Smart. "The rocket attacks should cease, and immediately, but the entire population of Gaza should not be put at risk to bring this about."Electricity and fuel, which have already been in short supply in Gaza for some time due to the Israeli blockades, are used to pump water and shortages have disastrous consequences for the health and well-being of a population already facing insufficient supplies of clean water for drinking and personal hygiene and inadequate sewage treatment and waste disposal. Already scarce food and medicines are getting spoilt as they cannot be refrigerated without power. Critically ill patients in urgent need of medical treatment which is not available in Gaza are prohibited from leaving Gaza and some 40 have died as a result. The Israeli authorities cite unspecified “security” reasons but have proposed no alternative, proportionate means of addressing security concerns. The closure by Israel since early June of Gaza’s border with Egypt, Gaza’s only border crossing, has left the population effectively trapped and cut off from the outside world. Patients are prevented from travelling to other countries for medical care and traders and students are denied the possibility to leave Gaza to take advantage of employment and education opportunities elsewhere. The further tightening of the already stringent Israeli blockade imposed on the passage of goods into and out of Gaza will only prolong and worsen the paralysis of Gaza’s economy, which has already forced most of Gaza's population to live below the poverty line and depend on international aid. “Now, even crucial aid is not allowed to reach those that need it most in Gaza. These measures must be stopped and the passage of aid, fuel and electricity and other basic necessities must be allowed to resume immediately”, said Malcolm Smart.'
It is clear that Bush went to the Middle East to talk with Arab leaders about war against Iran.
President Bush's visit to the Middle East, in my candid opinion, was not aimed at bolstering alliances or promoting democracy in the region. It was mainly aimed at preparing for a possible war against Iran in the coming months.
It is clear that Bush went to the Middle East to talk with Arab leaders about war against Iran.
Consider this: All ME states Bush visited are against Tehran’s rising influence and nuclear program. They all have purchased billions worth of U.S. weapons in recent years.
I would advise those who watch the news about Iran and America not to be deceived.
Bush's time in office is running out, and to stop Iran‘s nuclear program, he’s going to attack it - possibly before June - leading to another catastrophe that would have disastrous consequences in the Middle East and the whole world.
Adebisi from USA'
Ik heb een vraag aan u. Ik wil de SP Tweede Kamerfractie vragen om de minister van Binnenlandse Zaken onder druk te zetten. De nogal pedante mevrouw Guusje Ter Horst heeft namelijke geen serieus onderzoek ingesteld naar het feit dat de, volgens Haaretz pro-zionistische lobbygroep CIDI, over geheime informatie beschikt van een Nederlandse inlichtingendienst, terwijl die informatie niet beschikbaar mag worden gesteld aan Nederlandse volksvertegenwooridgers. Ik zou graag willen weten wie in het ambtenarenapparaat of de politiek deze geheime informatie naar het CIDI heeft gelekt en waarom. Ik wil de SP verzoeken dit uit te zoeken, middels het stellen van vragen. Wie van u zou zijn naam onder mijn verzoek willen zetten? Hoe meer hoe beter.
Zie: Zoals bekend kwalificeert de Israelische kwaliteitskrant Haaretz het CIDI als een 'pro-Zionistische lobbygroep,' waarvan het bedrijf van een bestuurslid, iin strijd met het internationaal recht, de uitspraken van de Verenigde Naties en de Nederlandse regering, aan de illegale bouw van de Israelische Apartheidsmuur meewerkt. Desondanks treedt de Volkskrant-correspondent in Israel, Alex Burghoorn, voor deze lobbygroep op. Daarnaast organiseert het CIDI in samenwerking met de Leidse Universiteit 'colleges over het zionisme'. Bovendien is bekend dat op het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken hoge pro-Israel ambtenaren actief zijn, die het beleide mede bepalen, waardoor Nederland in internationaal verband meer dan bijna alle andere landen de Israelische terreur diplomatiek steunt. Het sterke vermoeden bestaat nu ook dat de AIVD nauwe banden met deze 'pro-Zionistische lobbygroep' heeft. Bij Johnito las ik dit:20.1.08Lijntje tussen CIDI en AIVD?Via het Zapruder-artikel over de cinematografische aspiraties van onze nationale ziocon-provocateur Geert Wilders kwam ik terecht bij Stan van Houcke. In zijn blog over Wilders linkte hij naar artikelen op de website van het CIDI, het "Centrum Documentatie en Informatie Israël."Na enig verder klikken kwam ik op een nogal curieus bericht terecht:Artikel - 06 november 2007SP-Kamervragen over dossierkennis CIDIOnder de taken van CIDI behoort het doen van onderzoek naar en het bijhouden van dossiers over manifestaties van antisemitisme en andere (mogelijke) bedreigingen van de Joodse gemeenschap en Israel, en uiteraard het rapporteren daarover. In dat kader publiceerde CIDI eind september een artikel over de radicalisering van moslimjongeren, door toedoen van rondreizende salafistische predikers.De publicatie, gebaseerd op eigen onderzoek, bevatte informatie die ook te vinden was in het ruim een week later (op 9 oktober) verschenen AIVD-rapport over islamitisch radicalisme. Het feit dat de Tweede Kamer niet over die informatie kon beschikken -- omdat het volgens minister van Binnenlandse Zaken Ter Horst om operationele informatie ging -- en CIDI blijkbaar wel van de hoed en de rand wist, schoot de SP in het verkeerde keelgat. SP-Kamerlid Ronald van Raak stelde op 8 oktober de volgende vragen aan de ministers van Binnenlandse Zaken en van Justitie:1. Kent u het artikel van het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israel («Salafistische predikers steeds actiever in Nederland, Israel Nieuwsbrief, 30 september 2007), waarin wordt bericht dat volgens de Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst en volgens de Nationaal Coordinator Terrorismebestrijding in Nederland zo’n twintig salafistische jongerenpredikers actief zijn? Kunt u dit aantal bevestigen?2. Waarom was u tijdens het algemeen overleg op 5 september 2007 over het Jaarverslag van de AIVD over 2006 niet bereid om de Kamer te informeren over het aantal salafistische jongerenpredikers dat in Nederland actief is?3. Hoe verklaart u dat genoemde informatie, die volgens u te gevoelig is om in de openbaarheid in de Kamer te bespreken, w?l bekend is bij het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israel (CIDI)? Hoe beoordeelt u dat het CIDI beschikt over informatie waarover de commissie voor Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties niet mag beschikken?Begrijp ik nu goed dat er een lijntje van de AIVD naar het CIDI loopt?'Zie: http://johnito.blogspot.com/2008/01/lijntje-tussen-cidi-en-aivd.htmlWordt het niet tijd dat de Nederlandse politiek een serieus onderzoek instelt naar de activiteiten van deze lobbygroep?'Sonja emailde me de antwoorden van deze PVDA-minister op de vragen van de SP. Let u vooral ook op het antwoord op de vraag hoe het CIDI geheime informatie in handen kan krijgen, en dus ook de Israelische geheime dienst, die de Nederlandse volksvertegenwoordigers niet mochten hebben. Het geeft een aardig beeld van hoe deze sociaaldemocrate over democratie denkt. Er wordt niet gezegd dat er een onderzoek wordt ingesteld, nee, gewoon, het is nu eenmaal zo. En ook niet als minister opstappen nu blijkt dat geheime informatie van haar department ten onrechte terechtkomt bij buitenlandse regeringen. Dat kan alleen wanneer de AIVD op een andere manier heeft gelekt. Waarom? Waarom mag het CIDI, dat voor een vreemde mogendheid werkt, geheime Nederlandse informatie bezitten, terwijl de eigen volksvertegenwoordigers dit niet mogen? En als dit niet mag, waarom volgen er dan geen consequenties? Waarom geen onderzoek naar de contacten en actiteiten van het CIDI? Of is de AIVD daar te pro-CIDI voor?
Sonja zei...De antwoorden van minister Ter Horst (12 november 2007)Antwoorden op kamervragen over salafistische jongerenpredikers9 november 2007Antwoorden op kamervragen van het lid Van Raak over salafistische jongerenpredikers.Vraag 1 Kent u het artikel van het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël, waarin wordt bericht dat volgens de Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst én volgens de Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding in Nederland zo’n twintig salafistische jongerenpredikers actief zijn? Kunt u dit aantal bevestigen?Antwoord 1 Nadat u mij op het artikel opmerkzaam had gemaakt, heb ik kennis genomen van het bedoelde artikel. In Nederland zijn in ieder geval rond de 15 ervaren (jongeren)salafistische predikers actief die op verschillende manieren verbonden zijn aan de vier grote salafistische moskeeën en stichtingen in Nederland en die in het land lezingen houden voor jongeren. Daarnaast zijn er momenteel ongeveer 10 salafistische (jongeren)predikers in opleiding. Deze cijfers zijn door de AIVD vastgesteld en genoemd in de meest recente openbare AIVD-publicatie ‘Radicale dawa in verandering’ die ik op 9 oktober aan de Tweede Kamer heb aangeboden.Wanneer de termen ‘(jongeren)predikers’, ‘lezingen houden’ en ‘opleiding’ ruim worden geïnterpreteerd en wanneer er rekening wordt gehouden met (jongeren)predikers en lezingen die de AIVD niet als zodanig heeft onderkend, gaat het naar schatting om mogelijkerwijs 15 à 20 ervaren predikers en om 10 à 20 (jongeren)predikers in opleiding. Deze getallen zijn in de publiciteit rondom de AIVD-publicatie genoemd.Vraag 2 Waarom was u tijdens het Algemeen Overleg op 5 september 2007 over het Jaarverslag van de AIVD over 2006 niet bereid om de Kamer te informeren over het aantal salafistische jongerenpredikers dat in Nederland actief is?Antwoord 2 Op 5 september jongstleden was ik nog in beraad over de vraag of in het onderhavige geval de Wet op de inlichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten 2002 mij de ruimte bood om de cijfers te noemen. Vandaar dat ik tijdens het Algemeen Overleg heb toegezegd dat ik in de AIVD-publicatie 'Radicale dawa in verandering' zo mogelijk concretere cijfers zou noemen. Nadien ben ik tot de conclusie gekomen dat de WIV 2002 mij deze ruimte biedt en heb ik de cijfers in voornoemde AIVD-publicatie gemeld. Uiteraard ben ik altijd bereid de Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten van uw Kamer uitgebreider te informeren.Vraag 3 Hoe verklaart u dat genoemde informatie, die volgens u te gevoelig is om in de openbaarheid in de Kamer te bespreken, wél gekend is bij het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël (CIDI)? Hoe beoordeelt u dat het CIDI beschikt over informatie waarover de commissie voor Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties niet mag beschikken?Antwoord 3 Ik weet niet hoe het CIDI aan zijn informatie is gekomen. Bron: AIVD Kastje dicht, poppetje gezien.'
'Verhagen wil bijdragen aan troepen Israël
HERZLIYA - Minister Maxime Verhagen (Buitenlandse Zaken) zal zijn uiterste best doen om Nederland te laten bijdragen aan een internationale troepenmacht, mocht deze nodig zijn om na een Israëlisch-Palestijns vredesakkoord het vacuüm van het teruggetrokken Israëlische leger op te vullen. Dat zei de minister gisteravond in een toespraak op de Herzliyaconferentie in Israël. Volgens Verhagen is een sterke internationale troepenmacht de beste manier om, na de eventuele terugtrekking tot overeengekomen grenzen, Israëls veiligheid te garanderen.'
Lees verder: http://www.parool.nl/nieuws/2008/JAN/22/bin3.html
De Palestijnen en de Nederlandse politici moeten er alles aan doen om minister Verhagen te beletten dit plan uit te voeren. Er zit in de top van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken een pro-Israel lobby groep, waardoor Nederland tesamen met Duitsland bij stemmingen de meest fervente supporter is van Israel. Bovendien gaan veel wapens via Nederland naar Israel en steunt Nederland de Israelische terreur tegen de Palestijnse burgerbevolking ook nog eens op economisch gebied. Nederlandse militairen zijn ook niet opgewassen tegen de terreur van het Israelische leger. Bovendien: waarom zou Nederland zo graag militairen willen leveren? Waarom wil Nederland de onderdrukking van de Palestijnen voor zijn rekening nemen? Want dit conflict gaat gewoon door. Er komt geen rechtvaardige vrede, want die vrede zal het einde van Israel als joodse staat betekenen. Dat begrijpt de Israelische regering maar al te goed, vandaar dat men al jaren spreekt over een 'demografische tijdbom'. Israel is nu bezig zijn eigen Palestijnse bevolking aan te pakken. Er is een wet in de maak die van de Palestijnse Israeli's eist dat ze een eed van trouw aan de joodse staat afleggen. Het gevolg is dat geen enkele Palestijnse ingezetene van Israel nog kan strijden voor 'een staat voor al zijn onderdanen,' de politieke leus van de Palestijnen in een poging gelijkberechtiging te krijgen. Israel is geen democratische staat, de Palestijnen worden op alle niveau's gediscrimineerd. In Israel bestaat alleen democratie voor joden, niet voor Palestijnen. Nederland is de enige staat die ik ken waarvan de regering niets onderneemt tegen het feit dat hun eigen geheime informatie via de pro-zionistische lobbygroep CIDI ook bij de Israelische geheime diensten kan belanden. Dat lijkt me geen juiste houding om Palestijnen te gaan bewaken.
'Buying Palestinian National Rights
By Dr. Abdul Sattar Qasim
Often Western officials and academics explain the enrollment of the young in militant organization to social and economical reasons. They believe that since the heads of the family are busy trying to put food on the table, that causes many young to develop psychological and social problems, which explains why many turn to violence and seeking revenge from others, or turn to drug dealing and becoming members of criminal gangs that steals and kills. Therefore, they often concluded that improving the economic situation is the key to solving the problems of resorting to violence.
As the Palestinian suffering continues for decades, it has become increasingly difficult for Western politicians to address Palestinians rights, and often they focus on finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict without addressing the core issues (such as right of return, ethnic cleansing, dispossession, ...etc.).
Sometimes we hear Western officials talk about the suffering of the Palestinian people, and about the bad living conditions in the refugee camps, even sometimes we hear them talk about Palestinian human rights for those who live under Israeli occupation. However, you will rarely hear any of them talk about Palestinian national rights.
Since Palestinians are exhibiting this "violent" phenomena, the West have focused its energy to solve this conflict by improving the economic or living conditions for Palestinians in the occupied territories.
From the beginning, Israel decided to confront Palestinian resistance with an overwhelming reprisal violence, however, it did not succeed despite of its destructive power. Resistance have increased in quantity and quality to a degree that it is currently scaring many Israelis.
Beside confronting Palestinian resistance, Israel and the Western Governments found it necessary to work also on the economic and financial fronts as well.
Taming The Palestinian People
The enemies of the Palestinian people resorted to two policies to defeat them: The first aimed to frustrate and depress them by physically defeating their will to resist, and the second policy aimed to entice them with financial gains, and leadership positions within their community.
I am not going to explain these policies in details, the reader
· can link defeating the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon 1982,
· the policies that ruined the first Intifada,
· how Israel allowed the flow of money from outside, and
· how alternate Palestinian leadership was created that does not advocate arm resistance.
The first phase aimed to find a financial solution to the Palestinian cause by encouraging Palestinian academics to open centers and organizations that believes in the economic solution to the Palestinian cause, and to show the "civilized" face of the Palestinian people.
In the early 1980s, silently and carefully there was a search for Palestinian academics who could support such a policy. At the beginning, the environment in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip was not suitable to such activities yet.
Some educated Palestinians surfaced who called for talking to the West in a language that they can understand, which was focused mainly on exposing the suffering of the Palestinian people and exposing Israeli atrocities against them.
In the 1980s, they did not speak against resistance, and they did not disclose their intentions to recognize Israel, but they focused on
improving the economic conditions as the tool to help the occupied Palestinians, and
they focused their attention on establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
I was one of those who were approached to support this policy; even the American consular in Jerusalem offered his cooperation in this regards in 1983, and the Israelis offered to make me a Palestinian leader in 1989.
At the time, American and Israeli policies aimed to refocus the attention of the Palestinian people from their Right of Return and from their right of self-determination to establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian suffering in the occupied territories was used as the tool to
shrink Palestinian demands, and to
shrink the Palestinian people to a people who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In return, these Palestinian academic received many benefits from the Israeli occupation, such as traveling abroad, freedom of movement, lecturing abroad, attending conferences, and even financial support in some cases.
To be specific, I mention the Palestinian Media Center which enjoyed wide range of activities including financial support from the PLO without any objections or restrictions from the Israeli occupation. The people who headed this media center were exposed as Palestinian leaders, and the occupation even harassed them to enhance their political legitimacy among the Palestinian people.
Slowly since 1988, Palestinians started to accept what used to be forbidden, and they even crossed the red lines which they imposed upon themselves earlier. They
recognized the State of Israel,
recognized UN resolutions 242 & 338,
collaborated with the Israeli occupation on many security related issues, and even
they arrested many Palestinians for their resistance to the Israeli occupation.
The Policy of buying Palestinian Rights
After executing the policies of frustrating and financially enticing the Palestinian people, America and Israel turned to restricting Palestinians even more by controlling their sources of income directly or through the Western donor governments.
The goal was and still is to make the Palestinian people a hostage to the loaf of bread they need to survive; which will turn them away from demanding their national rights and from resisting the Israeli occupation. In other words, the goal is to keep them busy just to survive from day to day, and not even think of their rights of returning or liberating Jerusalem.
These policies intensified after signing the Oslo Agreement and after the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). These policies are rooted on three primary principles:
America and Israel linked Palestinian financing to the Western donor countries. It should be noted that this financial assistance was linked to how much Palestinians implemented the signed agreements with Israel, especially regarding the security issues.America and Israel were determined to exclude Arab countries from financing Palestinians directly (such as financing from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE), and made sure this financial support comes from the Western donor countries in way that they totally control. It should be noted that some Arab countries provided some financial support, however, this support was provided as a donor country, and not from a sister country who has no security and normalization pre-conditions with Israel.Therefore, PNA resorted to inflating the number of its employees, where it employed tens of thousands who provided no qualitative services to the Palestinian people.Tens of thousands received official jobs, especially in PNA's security services, who had no real job but receiving their monthly salary at the end of the month.The donor countries did not object to this unwise policy, and continued financing these salaries for years. It was clear that the real purpose behind this assistance was not to serve the Palestinian people, but rather to create a dependency relationship between the Palestinian employee and his salary which comes from the donor Western countries at the end of the month. Since the salaries were conditional on PNA's security cooperation with Israel, salaries were paid so long resistance to Israelis ceased, and so long negotiation with it continued.It should be noted that salaries were not paid to PNA in a lump sum, but rather they were paid on monthly basis which was conditional on PNA cracking down on groups linked to resisting the Israeli occupation.The whole world saw how Palestinians allowed themselves to fall into this trap soon after Hamas won the election early 2006, especially when the donor countries cut paying the monthly salaries. Overnight, the Palestinian cause was converted to a cause for paying the salaries of employees who did not work to begin with!For the salaries to return, Palestinian leaderships found themselves accepting American-Israeli dictation. Consequently, Americans and Israelis effectively control PNA's public policy.
Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) mostly receive their funding from Western donor countries such as Italy, USA, Holland, Norway, France, ... etc. with the exception of few who receive their funding locally or from Arab sources.Some of these NGOs have normalized the relationship with Israel, and some did not and some even refused to denounce what the Americans calls "terror". Despite the discrepancies between these NGOs, the employees of these NGOs (who number in the tens of thousands) received their salaries from the Western donor countries, and they have no choice but to think about receiving that salary.Stability for these people was critical to continuing the social and human projects they are working on, and any resistance to the Israeli occupation may jeopardize their projects.In other words, these employees worked in an environment that is under the influence of the Western countries that aims to abolish any resistance to the Israeli occupation. It should be noted that some of those NGOs spoke against resisting the Israeli occupation, and their leaders openly normalized relationships with the Zionist enemy.The employees in these NGOs found themselves in a difficult situation trying to balance between their Palestinian national rights and putting food on the table. Just by having the average Palestinian think in such a way, America and Israel have achieved one of their biggest objectives.
Paris Economical Conference in 1994 placed the Palestinian economy completely under Israeli control, which as a result made the Palestinian economy completely dependent on the Israeli economy. For example, no goods may enter the occupied territories without passing first through an Israeli business man. On top of that, Israel has the right to withhold and determine the levied taxes on all goods entering the occupied territories.At will, Israel controls the Palestinian economy. Similarly, Israel withholds Palestinian taxes. All of this became clear to the whole world when Israel refused to give back the withheld taxes once Palestinians elected Hamas for office.Moreover, the Paris Economical Conference connected the Palestinian economy to the world economy especially when it comes to the freedom of movement of goods, and to monitoring all financial transactions.Consequently, Palestinians imported more on the expense of locally produced goods and services, and as a result Palestinian farmers, carpenters, craftsmen,... etc. became unemployed, and Israelis and Americans controlled the entry of all funds.In the past, the average Palestinian used to manage his financial situation, however, all that changed after the Paris Economical Conference which controlled the flow of funds, and connected the Palestinian economy with the world's economic and financial systems.
Now a day, if anybody visits the West Bank, he will hear how the cost of living has sky rocketed, however, he hears little about the Israeli colonization policies, usurpation of Palestinian lands, arrests, and assassinations.
It is not fair to blame the average Palestinian, Israeli and American policies were accepted by many in the Palestinians elite (especially among the academic class), which forced the average Palestinian to care about feeding his family on the expense of Palestinian national rights.
If the economical pressure on Palestinians continues, and the daily life in the West Bank continues to be connected with Western financial sources, then priorities for the average Palestinian will switch from national to personal. Instead of holding on to right of return, the average Palestinian will become obsessed with holding on to his salary.
In an nutshell, the real goal is to buy Palestinian national rights at a fixed price set according to Israeli and American dictation. Therefore, any talk about any "peaceful solutions" is meant only to gain time until they completely convert the Palestinian cause into a monthly salary cause. Ironically, this is exactly what Za'ev Jabotinsky advocated as early as 1923 in his famous Iron Wall article, he said:
".... Settlement can thus develop under the protection of a force that is not dependent on the local population, behind an IRON WALL which they will be powerless to break down. ....a voluntary agreement is just not possible. As long as the Arabs preserve a gleam of hope that they will succeed in getting rid of us, nothing in the world can cause them to relinquish this hope, precisely because they are not a rubble but a living people. And a living people will be ready to yield on such fateful issues only when they give up all hope of getting rid of the Alien Settlers. Only then will extremist groups with their slogan 'No, never' lose their influence, and only then their influence be transferred to more moderate groups. And only then will the moderates offer suggestions for compromise. Then only will they begin bargaining with us on practical matters, such as guarantees against PUSHING THEM OUT, and equality of civil, and national rights."
Could this policy work at the end? There is no doubt about it that it is working now, however, not all the Palestinian people earn salaries, and not all the Palestinian people are willing to give up their national rights in return for the salary.'
* This article was translated from Arabic which first appeared at AlJazeera.net.
maandag 21 januari 2008
40 years after the death of Martin Luther King Jr., new studies emphasize his economic and social philosophy
By CHRISTOPHER PHELPS
We forget so much. We forget that he was hanging by a thread in 1968 at the time of his death, whose 40th anniversary we will mark in April. We forget that his moral authority had frayed, leaving his fund raising in free fall. We forget that in his final years, he faced not only a rising "white backlash" — the media term for white obduracy in the suburbs and working-class neighborhoods, North as well as South — but resentment from establishment liberals who thought he had executed too radical a turn by opposing a Democratic president and the Vietnam War. We forget that although blacks still looked to him more than any other leader, he was increasingly viewed with cynicism by young militants who derided him as "De Lawd" and thought his nonviolence too tepid for the times. We forget that police agencies from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to military intelligence viewed him as a dangerous subversive, listened in on his conversations, and spread both true and false rumors about him in a concerted campaign to discredit him. We forget that between major addresses he was prone to depression, afflicted by insomnia so severe that he slept only a few hours each night, even when popping sleeping pills. We forget that his close associates were concerned by his anxiety and fatigue, and taken aback by his fixation on his own mortality. We forget the critics who accused him of harboring a "Messiah complex."'
Lees verder: http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i19/19b00701.htm
Never against! European collusion in Israel's slow genocide Omar Barghouti, The Electronic Intifada, 21 January 2008
The European Union, Israel's largest trade partner in the world, is watching by as Israel tightens its barbaric siege on Gaza, collectively punishing 1.5 million Palestinian civilians, condemning them to devastation, and visiting imminent death upon hundreds of kidney dialysis and heart patients, prematurely born babies, and all others dependent on electric power for their very survival.By freezing fuel and electric power supplies to Gaza, Israel, the occupying power, is essentially guaranteeing that "clean" water -- only by name, as Gaza's water is perhaps the most polluted in the whole region, after decades of Israeli theft and abuse -- will not be pumped out and properly distributed to homes and institutions; hospitals will not be able to function adequately, leading to the eventual death of many, particularly the most vulnerable; whatever factories that are still working despite the siege will now be forced to close, pushing the already extremely high unemployment rate even higher; sewage treatment will come to a halt, further polluting Gaza's precious little water supply; academic institutions and schools will not be able to provide their usual services; and the lives of all civilians will be severely disrupted, if not irreversibly damaged. And Europe is apathetically watching.Princeton academic Richard Falk considered Israel's siege a "prelude to genocide," even before this latest crime of altogether cutting off energy supplies. Now, Israel's crimes in Gaza can accurately be categorized as acts of genocide, albeit slow. According to Article II of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the term is defined as:
"[A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, 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; ..."
Clearly, Israel's hermetic siege of Gaza, designed to kill, cause serious bodily and mental harm, and deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about partial and gradual physical destruction, qualifies as an act of genocide, if not all-out genocide yet. And the EU is suspiciously silent.'
Lees verder: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9241.shtml
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