• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 2 februari 2008

Iran 193

'Bush's Iran/Argentina Terror Frame-Up
Gareth Porter

Research for this article was supported by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute.

Although nukes and Iraq have been the main focus of the Bush Administration's pressure campaign against Iran, US officials also seek to tar Iran as the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. And Team Bush's latest tactic is to play up a thirteen-year-old accusation that Iran was responsible for the notorious Buenos Aires bombing that destroyed the city's Jewish Community Center, known as AMIA, killing eighty-six and injuring 300, in 1994. Unnamed senior Administration officials told the Wall Street Journal January 15 that the bombing in Argentina "serves as a model for how Tehran has used its overseas embassies and relationship with foreign militant groups, in particular Hezbollah, to strike at its enemies."
This propaganda campaign depends heavily on a decision last November by the General Assembly of Interpol, which voted to put five former Iranian officials and a Hezbollah leader on the international police organization's "red list" for allegedly having planned the July 1994 bombing. But the Wall Street Journal reports that it was pressure from the Bush Administration, along with Israeli and Argentine diplomats, that secured the Interpol vote. In fact, the Bush Administration's manipulation of the Argentine bombing case is perfectly in line with its long practice of using distorting and manufactured evidence to build a case against its geopolitical enemies.
After spending several months interviewing officials at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires familiar with the Argentine investigation, the head of the FBI team that assisted it and the most knowledgeable independent Argentine investigator of the case, I found that no real evidence has ever been found to implicate Iran in the bombing. Based on these interviews and the documentary record of the investigation, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the case against Iran over the AMIA bombing has been driven from the beginning by US enmity toward Iran, not by a desire to find the real perpetrators.
A 'Wall of Assumptions''

Lees verder: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080204/porter

De Volkskrant 62

Op haar weblog fileert Anja Meulenbelt de analyse van de pro-Israel lobby bij de Volkskrant:

'Neem het redactionele commentaar in de Volkskrant van gisteren. Over wat al in een nieuw cliché de Gaza-crisis heet. Lees eerst zelf, voordat ik het ga fileren.

Oplossing Gaza-crisis vergt durf alle partijen…

Okee? Gaan we.

Toen Ariel Sharon drie jaar geleden aanstuurde op eenzijdige ontruiming van Gaza, gloorde de hoop dat de anderhalf miljoen bewoners van de verpauperde landstrook eindelijk uitzicht op een beter leven zouden krijgen. Of in elk geval een leven dat ze goeddeels in eigen handen zouden kunnen nemen.

Bij wie gloorde die hoop? Niet bij de Palestijnen, want die wisten wel beter. Dit is wat Sharon het westen wijsmaakte: ‘we zijn Gaza aan het ontruimen, we geven Gaza terug aan de Palestijnen’. Dit was de werkelijkheid: de nederzettingen, die te veel kostten, werden ontruimd, het leger werd in plaats van binnen de grens net buiten de grens gestationeerd. Voordeel voor de Gazanen: een beetje meer ruimte binnen de gevangenis, en geen checkpoints meer binnen de strook zelf. Tegelijkertijd werd de toegang tot Gaza meer belemmerd, arbeiders werden niet meer doorgelaten, en de infrastruktuur die had kunnen maken dat Gaza in eigen onderhoud had kunnen voorzien werd voor zover niet al vernield verder vernietigd. De grenzen, de zee, het luchtruim, het bevolkingsregister, het toezicht op wie er in en uit mochten bleven in handen van Israel, dat doorging met invasies, liquidaties, verwoesting van huizen in het zuiden en noorden dus dichtbij de grens. Hoe de Gazanen onder die omstandigheden hun leven ‘goeddeels in eigen handen’ hadden kunnen nemen mag iemand zeggen.

Maar die hoop vervloog snel. In plaats van Palestijns bestuur kwam er Palestijnse machtsstrijd, die vorig jaar door Hamas in zijn voordeel werd beslecht.

Die machtstrijd kwam dus kennelijk zomaar uit de lucht vallen. Zeker een Palestijnse gewoonte. Niet vermeld wordt dat er democratische verkiezingen werden gehouden, waarbij Hamas won. Niet vermeld wordt dat dit niet naar de smaak van de VS en Israel was, die meteen begonnen met een fikse boycot, mede ondersteund door Europa, waardoor de situatie binnen de strook verslechterde. Niet vermeld wordt dat Israel en de VS er alles aan deden om Abbas van wapens en geld te voorzien om binnenshuis Hamas te verslaan. En dus is ook niet duidelijk waarom Hamas op een gegeven ogenblik besloot om het niet af te wachten tot Fatah zou proberen hen met een coup onschadelijk te maken, maar zelf het initiatief nam. Fatah werd verslagen. Vervolgens werd de boycot verscherpt, en het wapen van collectieve straffen ingezet, naast de opgevoerde liquidaties, in een poging Hamas op de knieen te dwingen. Die daarop reageerde met ongeveer het enige wapen dat ze in handen hadden: de ongeleide projectielen die richting Israel werden afgeschoten.

De Israelische afzijdigheid duurde ook niet lang. Palestijnse beschietingen leidden tot forse vergeldingsacties. De overval op een Israelische grenspost, waarbij soldaat Gilad Shalit werd ontvoerd, werd beantwoord met een grootscheepse aanval.

Er is nooit sprake geweest van Israelische afzijdigheid. De Palestijnse beschietingen waren een reactie op de boycot en de verslechterde levensomstandigheden plus de liquidaties. Inderdaad werd er in een gewaagde actie een Israelische soldaat ontvoerd die nog steeds gevangen gehouden wordt. Wat in het verhaal niet voorkomt zijn de ongeveer honderdduizend Palestijnen die in Israel gevangen worden gehouden, waaronder veel mensen die er zitten zonder proces, waaronder kinderen, en waaronder Hamas parlementariers.

De afgelopen tien dagen hebben een verdere escalatie te zien gegeven. Vanwege aanhoudende raketaanvallen grendelde Israel, dat de doorvoer van diverse goederen naar Gaza de afgelopen drie maanden sterk beperkte het gebied bijna geheel af. Als gevolg daarvan kon de plaatselijke elekrticiteitscentrale niet in bedrijf blijven.

De Palestijnse raketaanvallen zijn een mooi excuus om door te gaan met de akties om Hamas op de knieen te dwingen. Zoals Avnery al stelde, hier, wanneer Israel een einde had willen maken aan de raketaanvallen hadden ze alleen maar in hoeven te gaan op het staakt-het-vuren aanbod van Hamas. Maar dat was de bedoeling niet. Ook wordt niet vermeld dat de elekriticiteitscentrale in Gaza eerst kapot gebombardeerd werd, om er voor te zorgen dat Gaza grotendeels van brandstof en elekrticiteit afhankelijk zou worden, om vervolgens het er uit trekken van de stekker als middel in de strijd in te kunnen zetten.

In deze penibele situatie deden de Hamas-leiders wat ze vermoedelijk al veel langer van plan waren: ze forceerden een opening in de enige grensovergang met Egypte. De zwak uitgeruste Egyptische grenspolitie had het nakijken. Vele tienduizenden Gazanen trokken de grens over om levensmiddelen, brandstof en andere benodigdheden in te slaan. Ook gisteren was er nog druk grensverkeer.

Inderdaad. Natuurlijk waren ze dat al langer van plan, net zoals het tunnelbouwen een kunst op zich is geworden en Gaza zich bewapent, en ze leren om betere raketten af te vuren. Wat ze hebben laten zien is dat het niet mogelijk is, zelfs niet met de meest geavanceerde militaire macht, om anderhalf miljoen mensen permanent van de wereld af te sluiten, zonder dat ze van alles zullen verzinnen om uit te breken.

Lees verder: http://anjameulenbelt.sp.nl/weblog/2008/01/30/een-paradigma-tweetje/

vrijdag 1 februari 2008

Iran 192


'Iran and Bush's crisis of truth Iran may not be run by saints. But Iran has never threatened the U.S. Nor has Iran ever invaded another country.
By Peter Dyer
“Iran is a threat to world peace.” Iran is “the world’s leading sponsor of terror.” So declared President Bush in his recent trip to the Middle East. Iran, he said, is seeking to “intimidate its neighbors with ballistic missiles and bellicose rhetoric.”
By now most of us are familiar with the President’s feelings and rhetoric concerning Iran. They have a familiar ring. They sound a lot like the buildup to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Recently the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative reporting institution, published a report: “Iraq: the War Card.” The report documented 935 false statements made by President Bush and seven top administration officials in the two years following September 11, 2001 concerning the national security threat posed by Iraq to the U.S.
The top liar was the President. He made, according to the report, 232 false statements about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and 28 false statements about Iraq’s links with al-Qaeda.
In this light we should examine carefully any statement the President makes concerning Iranian threats to world peace.
A look at a map of the region helps put things in perspective. We see that Iran has 13 “next-door neighbors.” Seven share land borders with Iran while six countries lie directly across the Persian Gulf.
Of these 13 all but five (Oman, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan) contain U.S. military bases. Of these five, Oman and the U.S. negotiated a 10-year agreement in 2000 which gives the U.S. access to three Omani air fields.
The other four neighbors are all recipients of U.S. aid. Pending congressional approval, this will include President Bush’s recent offer to Saudi Arabia of a $20 billion arms package.
Two of Iran’s neighbors, Afghanistan and Iraq, have recently been invaded and occupied by the U.S. Another neighbor, Pakistan, is a nuclear power and a U.S. ally in the “Global War on Terror.” Another nuclear power and U.S. ally, Israel, lies within striking distance of Iran.
In the Persian Gulf, according to the U.S. Navy Times, the U.S. is currently deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and two expeditionary strike groups.'

De Israelische Terreur 313


' Gagged while Gaza is crushed

Is there an Israeli influence over the British gov't that prevents it from taking a stand on Israeli rights violations?
By Stuart Littlewood
The British government has maintained a strict silence on the cruel blockade of Gaza and efforts by Israel and its Western allies to crush the civilian population and eliminate their democratic choice, Hamas.
Not a word of criticism has been heard from the great and the good about this wickedness.
In the meantime, some 20 surgeons, academics and others, with knowledge of Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories, have written urging Britain’s corruption watchdog, the Committee on Standards in Public Life, to examine whether there is undue Israeli influence at the heart of the British government.
One of these, David Halpin of http://www.doveanddolphin.co.uk/, is a trauma surgeon who has advised the Hamas government on how they should investigate the use of illegal weapons by Israel and last year led a team of seven UK doctors into Gaza. The Dove and Dolphin Medical Centre, named after David's charity, was opened then.
The Israel lobby's deep penetration of our political system, many feel, is preventing Britain from taking a principled stand on Middle East matters, including the long catalogue of violations of Palestinian human rights, the Gaza siege being a particularly nasty example.
Our minister with responsibility for Middle East affairs is a former chairman of Labour Friends of Israel. His shadow is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel. Indeed, a large majority of Conservative MPs and MEPs are Friends of Israel. The lobby also claims a considerable number of Labour MPs and ministers. The Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel website brazenly states that its first aim is to maximize support for the State of Israel within the party and Parliament.
All MPs (and many parliamentary candidates) are exposed to the lobby's influence and a large number apparently carry its message into their parliamentary work, causing damage to our democracy and harm to Britain's interests and reputation abroad.
The regime's tentacles reach into the Standards Committee itself, where the three political party appointees are top-ranking Friends of Israel or closely connected to Friends of Israel. The committee, as everyone knows, is there to uphold the famous Seven Principles of Public Life. The presence at the heart of government of people pledged to promote the interests of another country – and not declaring their dual allegiance – undermines at least five of these sacred principles.
What will the public, already sick of our politicians, make of this, bearing in mind that for 60 years Muslim and Christian Palestinians have been terrorized, murdered and dispossessed by a regime so warmly embraced in our name?'


donderdag 31 januari 2008

The Empire 349

'America’s middle classes are no longer coping
By Robert Reich

It is an election year and the US economy is in peril of falling into recession or worse. Not surprisingly, Washington is abuzz with plans to prevent it. President George W. Bush has proposed a $150bn stimulus package and all the main presidential candidates are offering similar measures, including middle-class tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure.
Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve have reduced interest rates another three-quarters of a point. But none of these fixes will help much because they do not deal with the underlying anxieties now gripping American voters. The problem lies deeper than the current slowdown and transcends the business cycle.
The fact is, middle-class families have exhausted the coping mechanisms they have used for more than three decades to get by on median wages that are barely higher than they were in 1970, adjusted for inflation. Male wages today are in fact lower than they were then: the income of a young man in his 30s is now 12 per cent below that of a man his age three decades ago. Yet for years now, America’s middle class has lived beyond its pay cheque. Middle-class lifestyles have flourished even though median wages have barely budged. That is ending and Americans are beginning to feel the consequences.
The first coping mechanism was moving more women into paid work. The percentage of American working mothers with school-age children has almost doubled since 1970 – from 38 per cent to close to 70 per cent. Some parents are now even doing 24-hour shifts, one on child duty while the other works. These families are known as Dins: double income, no sex.
But we reached the limit to how many mothers could maintain paying jobs. What to do? We turned to a second coping mechanism. When families could not paddle any harder, they started paddling longer. The typical American now works two weeks more each year than 30 years ago. Compared with any other advanced nation we are veritable workaholics, putting in 350 more hours a year than the average European, more even than the notoriously industrious Japanese.
But there is also a limit to how long we can work. As the tide of economic necessity continued to rise, we turned to the third coping mechanism. We began to borrow, big time. With housing prices rising briskly through the 1990s and even faster between 2002 and 2006, we turned our homes into piggy banks through home equity loans. Americans got nearly $250bn worth of home equity every quarter in second mortgages and refinancings. That is nearly 10 per cent of disposable income. With credit cards raining down like manna, we bought plasma tele­vision sets, new appliances, vacations.
With dollars artificially high because foreigners continued to hold them even as the nation sank deeper into debt, we summoned inexpensive goods and services from the rest of the world.
But this final coping mechanism can no longer keep us going, either. The era of easy money is over. With the bursting of the housing bubble, home equity is drying up. As Moody’s reported recently, defaults on home equity loans have surged to the highest level this decade. Car and credit card debt is next. Personal bankruptcies rose 48 per cent in first half of 2007, probably even more in the second half, which means a wave of defaults on consumer loans. Meanwhile, as foreigners begin shifting out of dollars, we will no longer have access to cheap foreign goods and services.
In short, the anxiety gripping the middle class is not simply a product of the current economic slowdown. The underlying problem began around 1970. Any presidential candidate seeking to address it will have to think bigger than bailing out lenders and borrowers, or stimulating the economy with tax cuts and spending increases.'


Hillary Clinton 3

'Eight More Years?

By Ralph Nader
30/01/08 "Commondreams" -- -- For Bill and Hillary Clinton, the ultimate American dream is eight more years. Yet how do you think they would react to having dozens of partisans at their rallies sporting large signs calling for EIGHT MORE YEARS, EIGHT MORE YEARS?
Don’t you have the feeling that they would cringe at such public displays of their fervent ambition which the New York Times described as a “truly two-for-the-price-of-one” presidential race? It might remind voters to remember or examine the real Clinton record in that peaceful decade of missed opportunities and not be swayed by the sugarcoating version that the glib former president emits at many campaign stops.
The 1990’s were the first decade without the spectre of the Soviet Union. There was supposed to be a “peace dividend” that would reduce the vast, bloated military budget and redirect public funds to repair or expand our public works or infrastructure.
Inaugurated in January 1993, with a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party, Bill Clinton sent a small job-creating proposal to upgrade public facilities. He also made some motions for campaign finance reform which he promised during his campaign when running against incumbent George H.W. Bush and candidate Ross Perot.
A double withdrawal followed when the Congressional Republicans started roaring about big spending Democrats and after House Speaker Tom Foley and Senate Majority Leader, George Mitchell, told Clinton at a White House meeting to forget about legislation to diminish the power of organized money in elections.
That set the stage for how Washington politicians sized up Clinton. He was seen as devoid of modest political courage, a blurrer of differences with the Republican opposition party and anything but the decisive transforming leader he promised to be was he to win the election.He proceeded, instead, to take credit for developments with which he had very little to do with such as the economic growth propelled by the huge technology dot.com boom.
Bragging about millions of jobs his Administration created, he neglected to note that incomes stagnated for 80% of the workers in the country and ended in 2000, under the level of 1973, adjusted for inflation.
A brainy White House assistant to Mr. Clinton told me in 1997 that the only real achievement his boss could take credit for was passage of legislation allowing 12 weeks family leave, without pay.
There are changes both the Clinton Administration actively championed that further entrenched corporate power over our economy and government during the decade. He pushed through Congress the NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements that represented the greatest surrender in our history of local, state and national sovereignty to an autocratic, secretive system of transnational governance. This system subordinated workers, consumers and the environment to the supremacy of globalized commerce.
That was just for starters. Between 1996 and 2000, he drove legislation through Congress that concentrated more power in the hands of giant agribusiness, large telecommunications companies and the biggest jackpot-opening the doors to gigantic mergers in the financial industry. The latter so-called “financial modernization law” sowed the permissive seeds for taking vast financial risks with other peoples’ money (ie. pensioners and investors) that is now shaking the economy to recession.
The man who pulled off this demolition of regulatory experience from the lessons of the Great Depression was Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, who went to work for Citigroup-the main pusher of this oligopolistic coup-just before the bill passed and made himself $40 million for a few months of consulting in that same year.
Bill Clinton’s presidential resume was full of favors for the rich and powerful. Corporate welfare subsidies, handouts and giveaways flourished, including subsidizing the Big Three Auto companies for a phony research partnership while indicating there would be no new fuel efficiency regulations while he was President.'

Nederland en Afghanistan 157

Et voila:

'(30 januari 2008 - Bericht van Advocatenkantoor Steijnen, Olof & Stelling)
P E R S B E R I C H T

OM wijst aangifte tegen Nederlandse schending humanitair oorlogsrecht af
Zeist/Den Haag, 30 januari 2008 -

Alsof hem de gifbeker werd toegediend, zo snel heeft het OM
de ingediende aangifte, tegen de Nederlandse militaire en
politiek-ambtelijke top wegens hun verantwoordelijkheid voor
ernstige schendingen van het humanitair oorlogsrecht in
Afghanistan meteen weer uitgespuwd! Deze aangifte was
ingediend door een tweetal advocaten, mr. M.J.F. Stelling en
mr.N.M.P. Steijnen, gespecialiseerd in het internationaal
humanitair recht.
Reeds vandaag, 30 januari 2008, kwam de mededeling
binnen het dat hun aangifte wegens
1. het onvoldoende inachtnemen van de
internationaalrechtelijke beschermingsverplichtingen jegens
de Afghaanse burgerbevolking,
2. de schending van het Anti-Folterverdrag vanwege de
overdracht van Afghaanse krijgsgevangen aan de Afghaanse
autoriteiten, en
3. de schending van het verbod tot buitengerechtelijke
executie door commitment aan de NAVO-policy van een
doelgerichte liquidatie van 'hogere' Taliban-leiders,
door het OM is afgewezen.
Het OM stelt zich hierbij allereerst op het standpunt dat er
van strafbare feiten 'noch hier te lande, noch ingevolge de
Wet Internationale Misdrijven (WIM)' sprake zou zijn.
Punt uit, geen gram verdere motivering!
Nimmer in de Nederlandse rechtsgeschiedenis zal 'een
onderzoek' door het OM in zo'n razende vaart zijn uitgevoerd!
Welke kwaliteit en diepgang dit zogenaamde 'onderzoek' zal
hebben gehad, laat zich daarmee raden.
De situatie is duidelijk: deze hete aardappel moest men weer
kwijt. Het OM heeft zich hier simpelweg gevoegd naar de wens
van de Minister van justitie om deze zaak met de grootste
spoed 'af te doen'. Het OM heeft hier dan ook louter
gefungeerd als de lakei van het ministerie van justitie.
Nadere stappen
Zoals door ons al aangekondigd wordt nu tegen deze afwijzing
van het OM meteen beroep ingesteld bij het Gerechtshof in Den
Haag. De tekst van dit beroepschrift, dat vandaag nog zal
worden ingediend, kunt u lezen op:
http://www.omslag.nl/artikel/hofa/
--- Nadere toelichting op de afwijzende beslissing van het
OM ---
Het OM komt ook nog met een tweede argument voor zijn
afwijzing. Dat argument is zo mogelijk nog bedenkelijker dan
het, volstrekt nietszeggende, eerste argument. En dat is een
geheel aan de eigen fantasie ontsproten voorstelling van
zaken dat vervolging van de generaals Dick Berlijn en Ton van
Loon, kolonel Hans van Griensven, secretaris-generaal van de
NAVO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, en de secretarissen-generaal van
Defensie en van Buitenlandse zaken, repectievelijk A. Annink
en Ph. de Heer, door het OM bovendien onmogelijk zou zijn.
Want het OM mag immers geen ministers vervolgen. Daarover mag
alleen de Tweede Kamer of de Kroon beslissen. En dus, zo
knoopt het OM hier de eigen ongebreidelde fantasie aan vast,
mag het OM ook geen mensen vervolgen die onder de
verantwoordelijkheid van een minister vallen.
Dit vormt een volstrekte ontkenning van de zelfstandige
verantwoordelijkheid in strafrechtelijke zin van ambtenaren
die in ondergeschiktheid van een minister handelen, een
zelfstandige verantwoordelijkheid die behoort tot de essentie
van het internationaal humanitair recht en van de Wet
Internationale Misdrijven (WIM).
Wat vormt de achtergrond van deze 'hersenkronkel' waarmee
het OM hier komt om zich maar zo snel en definitief mogelijk
uit de voeten te kunnen maken? Dat is een recent arrest van
de Hoge Raad, waarin ons hoogste rechtscollege meende te
moeten bepalen dat, ook als het om mogelijke ernstige
schendingen gaat van het internationaal humanitair recht,
zoals bijvoorbeeld schendingen van het Anti-Folterverdrag,
eventueel daarvoor verantwoordelijk te achten Nederlandse
ministers niet vervolgd zouden kunnen worden dan op voorslag
van de Kroon - dat zijn ze dus zelf - of van de Tweede
Kamermeerderheid - hun politieke vrienden dus -. (Arrest Hoge
Raad 19 oktober 2007 LJN: BA8485)
Waarmee ons hoogste rechtscollege in Nederland, als enig
'beschaafd' land, zijn politieke top dus een hoge mate van
immuniteit van strafvervolging meent te moeten - en te
kunnen! - voorzien voor wat betreft eventuele
(mede)aansprakelijkheid voor eventuele misdrijven tegen het
internationaal humanitair recht. En dit terwijl het
internationaal humanitair recht nu juist tot esssentie heeft
dat iedereen, ongeacht diens maatschappelijke positie - tot
zelfs staatshoofden toe - voor misdrijven van dit kaliber
vervolgbaar en strafbaar zijn.
Wat het OM hier nu dus meent te kunnen doen, is deze hier
door de Hoge Raad ingezette kwalijke lijn simpelweg
doortrekken: gisteren decreteerde de Hoge Raad het
verderfelijke standpunt dat ministers alleen vervolgbaar zijn
met instemming van henzelf of van hun politieke vrienden in
de Kamer voor eventuele misdrijven tegen het internationaal
humanitair recht waarvoor zij (mede)aansprakelijk zouden
kunnen worden gehouden en vandaag kondigt het OM, in vervolg
daarop, simpelweg af als de juridische waarheid dat dit 'dus'
ook heeft te gelden voor alles wat tot 'de hofhouding' van de
ministers kan worden gerekend.
Voor het Gerechtshof, waar inmiddels door ons bijgaand
beroepschrift wordt ingediend, zal een ander nog uitvoerig
aan de orde worden gesteld.
Zodra de openbare zitting van het Hof over deze kwestie
bekend is, zal daarvan door ons kennis worden gegeven.
Ook latere verdere beroepsmogelijkheden, zoals aangifte bij
het Anti-Foltercomite en bij het Internationaal Strafhof,
zullen door ons, indien nodig, in een later stadium benut
worden.'

De Pro-Israel Lobby 65


En ook bij de Republikeinen staan de Pro-Israel lobbyisten bovenaan. Zodra het over Israel gaat is er in de westerse democratie geen andere keuze dan Pro-Israel. Haaretz bericht:

'Why lovers of Israel should vote for McCain
(according to Joe Lieberman) In an interview with Haaretz, Lieberman says he believes McCain is the candidate most likely to thwart a nuclear Iran. By Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondent 30/01/08 "Haaretz." -- -- FORT LAUDERDALE - Joe Lieberman was a busy man this week, and the week before, and the one before that. Almost as busy as a candidate for the 2008 election. So busy that he did not even have the time to go back to Washington for the State of the Union address. So busy that he was trying to squeeze some interviews while driving from one event to another. One of them was with Haaretz. He has a horse in this race. Not the horse Barack Obama was talking about yesterday. Lieberman's is a Republican horse: Senator John McCain. Last week he was working for him in the Jewish community of Florida that will go to the polls today. This week it is mostly the Hispanic community. When I spoke to him he was getting ready for the event that prevented him from getting back to DC in time for President Bush's last annual address, an event with mostly Venezuelan-Americans So why McCain? We started with Iran. McCain, Lieberman says, is the candidate to be trusted on this crucial matter. Every candidate states that he does not want Iran to become a nuclear power. The question is, Lieberman says, "how far will they go." And off course, McCain, like everybody else, wants to solve the problem peacefully, by diplomatic means, and sanctions when necessary. But "there's no question in my mind," Lieberman says, that McCain is a leader with "very strong views" when it comes to a nuclear Iran. He does not believe that talks with Iran will make the difference. Lieberman calls this approach "just naive". You can't expect that "words" will do the trick. The Iranians will react to "strength." And in McCain Lieberman found the "principled leader in time of war" that will not be swayed by public opinion. "He is fearless" when it comes to "political popularity," Lieberman reminds the voters, and "does not change with the wind." He was fighting for the surge in Iraq when it was unpopular, which "speaks volumes to me." And Lieberman also says that McCain understands how significant the establishment of the state of Israel was. He is an avid reader of history and also has "a sense of history." He is familiar with the story of the country. He will not do anything that will "compromise Israel's security." Lieberman has real confidence in McCain, a "total comfort level" because "I know this man." Yes, Lieberman is familiar with this quote people are talking about, as if McCain said that he will be sending James Baker of Brent Scowcroft to be the Middle East envoy for his administration, even thought Israel would probably not like it. But he says he only heard about it recently, and is also somewhat skeptical about it. I know McCain appreciates Scowcroft, Lieberman says. But the two disagree on so many things that are fundamental to McCain's way of thinking, like the war in Iraq, that he finds it strange. Lieberman is also skeptical about the efforts of the Bush administration to achieve something on the Israeli-Palestinian front in the last year of the administration. "The real obstacle," he says, is that Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and that Abbas can not deliver. Not that he doesn't want to. He just can't. Peace will be "very hard to achieve" this year, he says. But he also suggests cutting the president some slack. After all, Bush was one of the friendliest presidents ever when it comes to Israel, maybe even "the strongest" supporter of all presidents. So Lieberman listens, and hears some things that are "worrisome" from the administration. But he does not yet feel alarmed. Last week, when the president came back from the trip to the Middle East, Lieberman met him with other legislators and gathered that all the president wants to do it to have some kind of "understanding," not an agreement that will be implemented. He thinks that Bush is well aware that even this task might not be practical.'


Nederland en Afghanistan 156

'NATO Genocide in Afghanistan
By Ali Khan

30/01/08 "ICH" -- --


Ali Khan argues that the internationally recognized crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that NATO troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban. Sloganeers, propagandists and politicians often use the word "genocide" in ways that the law does not permit. But rarely is the crime of genocide invoked when Western militaries murder Muslim groups. This essay argues that the internationally recognized crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that NATO troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban, a puritanical Islamic group. NATO combat troops bombard and kill people in Taliban enclaves and meeting places. They also murder defenseless Afghan civilians. The dehumanized label of "Taliban" is used to cloak the nameless victims of NATO operations. Some political opposition to this practice is building in NATO countries, such as Canada, where calls are heard to withdraw troops from Afghanistan or divert them to non-combat tasks. DehumanizationIn almost all NATO nations, the Taliban have been completely dehumanized — a historically-tested signal that perpetrators of the crime of genocide carry unmitigated intentions to eradicate the dehumanized group. Politicians, the armed forces, the media, and even the general public associate in the West the Taliban with irrational fanatics, intolerant fundamentalists, brutal assassins, beheaders of women, bearded extremists, and terrorists. This luminescent negativity paves the way for aggression, military operations, and genocide. Promoting the predatory doctrine of collective self-defense, killing the Taliban is celebrated as a legal virtue. To leave the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, says NATO, is to leave a haven for terrorism.A similar dehumanization took place in the 16th and 17th centuries when NATO precursors occupied the Americas to purloin land and resources. The killings of native inhabitants were extensive and heartless. Thomas Jefferson, the noble author of the Declaration of Independence, labeled Indians as "merciless savages." President Andrew Jackson pontificated: "What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms." Promoting the predatory doctrine of discovery, the United States Supreme Court later ratified the pilgrims' crimes, holding that "discovery gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title (to land). ([T]he Indians were fierce savages...To leave them in possession of their country was to leave the country a wilderness." The predators have not changed their stripes a bit. They come, they demonize, they obliterate. They do all this in the name of superior civilization. The Facts...'


Nederland en Afghanistan 155


'West will never beat Taliban, Rudd warned
By Matt Wade Herald Correspondent in Islamabad and agencies
30/01/08 "SMH" -- -
A FORMER head of Pakistan's military intelligence says Australia's troop deployment in Afghanistan is doomed to failure and has urged the Government to withdraw its forces as quickly as possible.Hamid Gul, the retired general who was the director-general of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate when it supported Afghan militias against the Soviet occupation of their country, believes Western troops will be forced to leave Afghanistan by the end of next year."There comes a time in every war when the scales start tilting," Mr Gul said. "I think the foreign presence in Afghanistan is at a tipping point now. Even if they are able to stretch it out, next year will be the last campaign year of the occupying forces. Then they will go - they will have to go."Mr Gul said it was not "wise" for Australia to maintain its troop commitment. "Of course it's very difficult to say no to America, but [Australia should] find a way out like Japan … and many others."More than six years after the US-led invasion, the issue of security came to a head this week when the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, threatened to pull out Canada's 2500 troops early next year unless NATO sent in more soldiers.The US said it would press its European NATO allies to send more troops to Afghanistan's violent south, but the Pentagon has said it will not commit any more of its own forces there.The Taliban were toppled by the invasion in late 2001 but have recently made an explosive comeback, despite the presence of 50,000 foreign troops under the command of NATO and the US military, backed by 120,000 Afghan security forces.Australia has about 1000 troops stationed mainly in the south, making it the largest non-NATO contributor. The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has pledged to keep Australian troops in Afghanistan.But Mr Gul says Western forces face a determined opposition that will not give up."As a soldier I can tell you there is no army, no matter how strong, that can prevail against a nation that decides to fight. You will never, never prevail," he said.Since retirement Mr Gul has been involved with Jamaat-i-Islami, a relatively moderate Islamic political party in Pakistan, and was among a group of retired army officers who last week called on the President, Pervez Musharraf, to stand down.Mr Gul concedes that a withdrawal from Afghanistan by the US and its allies would probably hand control of much of the country to the Taliban. But he said the security situation in his own country would improve significantly if US forces were to depart Pakistan.The Afghan Defence Minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, has said Kabul expects its allies to help expand Afghanistan's security forces. "The only sustainable way to secure this country in an enduring way is to enable the Afghans themselves to be able to defend this country," he said.'

Copyright © 2008. The Sydney Morning Herald.

Wijsheid 19

"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

="A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming." - Ralph Waldo Emerson:

="He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, science for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable an ignorable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." Albert Einstein

=During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism: Howard Thurman:

=Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. Bertrand Russell:

=When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? : Eleanor Roosevelt

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Read this newsletter online http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ZMzBX_k7vCiKWGMtgGAFrRqU9EyWJFN7qtw5MexwRqcfvQRe7NOZUkg90_xlVBvN21Qr0HjgwGPaWsaL3znw4ovINHtjr317HpKfC6k90kS5_SUEXW85Lg==

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Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq "1,168,058"http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ZMzBX_k7vCjK0yLNba5ExnWvVJjST09D1zcjXYoXyUrnnJtozaNcuB2H4LUd0bv-HJ0FXAwSg1ADpYcz65G9wHCjbBdzsLrtAm-46zhCJ5mZc7RLx-Rgvn_cU9p859XGn3D1DydScJOqEUK4FlgdpJhEVt_7CmmH === Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America'sWar On Iraq 3,941http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ZMzBX_k7vCgwdlneSLp-MJniwPrB6jlEeHcuKaLde8iOURZqeUi0Ka79Tj-lL187gX5VmSRoADt8_VoQMDIydPHrzYOc4oplUj50u-Fw3yhiW9RMJa88ng== The War in Iraq Costs $490,171,701,658 See the cost in your communityhttp://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ZMzBX_k7vCgeu3YUvq1BvGwv-dhY8I0kHgk-CdLZhf8JUlzZ96-YVFLSdVvP2FVLMG66k4kNM74_9zebBDQwgJcWSQ55uqIq8MEohRHs-F0TcCO9hYnOHMKxqre_LcwHuv5saELD3QTTSBxZ6yoYoeSPf7xzlQlGDE05HvLMbamPKOlEeSFpnw==

Irak 237

'Iraq's Anatomy—Triage at a Baghdad Hospital

Interview: An Iraqi doctor-turned-journalist takes us into a rarely glimpsed Iraqi war zone—the ER.
By Casey Miner
January 28, 2008
If you need a blood transfunsion at Baghdad’s Al Yarmouk hospital, you can get one—so long as someone's there to donate blood on your behalf. If you need an operation, you can have one of those too—though your only anesthetic might be your friends and family holding you down. One big explosion can dry up the hospital's saline supplies for a week, leaving the next explosion's victims without the necessary treatment. And where triage is within a war zone doctors and ambulance drivers are regularly threatened and harassed.
Instead of respites from the chaos outside, hospitals in Baghdad are some of the city's most dangerous places. They have also been mostly closed to journalists. Until now. Iraqi filmmaker and former doctor Omer Salih Mahdi spent six weeks filming life inside Al Yarmouk and out on the streets with the hospital's ambulances. His documentary "Baghdad Hospital: Inside the Red Zone," premiering tomorrow night on HBO, offers a rare and raw glimpse into the day-to-day workings of what he calls "a field hospital in a civil war," far from American soldiers and at the mercy of the warring forces that cause chaos both inside and outside its walls.
"You won't see a film like this again," warns Dr. Mahdi. Stymied by aggressive militiamen, nervous doctors, and the threat of insurgents, the filmmaker braved beatings, interrogations, and death threats. His safety in the hospital was so precarious, he says, that in the end he chose to stop filming altogether because the director of security—the man who approved the project and allowed him in the hospital each day—was shot and killed. "Several times I thought the film would never happen," he says.
What is most evident from the footage Madhi did manage to capture is the chaos. From ambulances and hospital beds, injured Iraqis wonder aloud why their countrymen are fighting one another. Far from harboring radical sectarian views, these civilians seem overwhelmed and bewildered, not only by the violence but by the sheer number of perpetrators. Towards the end of the film, the camera stays for several minutes with three people in an ambulance, all yelling and very angry, saying they want Saddam back. "It's how Iraqis think now," says Dr. Mahdi. "They say that they wish they could go back to Saddam's days. They weren't good days. They were bad in different ways, but at least people had security."'

Lees verder: http://www.motherjones.com/interview/2008/01/iraq-anatomy-triage-at-a-baghdad-hospital.html

The Empire 348


'Dear Friend,
Last week, the Center for Public Integrity announced the release of its latest investigative report, Iraq: The War Card - Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War.
The Center's analysis showed that top Bush administration officials — by making false statements about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq — were part of a calculated campaign to galvanize public opinion that ultimately led to the war in Iraq under false pretenses.
The Center for Public Integrity relies on the support of friends like you to help fully realize this project and others in the works like The Buying of the President 2008. Please support the Center today with a generous gift of $50 or more and receive the Iraq: The War Card exclusive, limited-edition poster.
S
ee what others are saying about the project:
The New York Times: the Center's Iraq project is "remarkable for its scope..."
AFP: "Top U.S. Officials Declared War on Truth When It Came to Iraq: Report"
AP: “Study: Bush Led U.S. to War on ’False Pretenses’”
The Center will continue our work to deliver transparent and comprehensive reporting on issues and stories that matter — but we need your help. Please make a generous donation to the Center today!
Thanks for your support, Bill BuzenbergExecutive Director
P.S. Want additional posters? Please contact Regina Russell at rrussell@publicintegrity.org.

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De Israelische Terreur 312


'Security Council Loses Credibility Over Iran, Israel
by Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS - The 15-member U.N. Security Council (UNSC) is set to lose its credibility once again as it prepares to impose a third set of sanctions on Iran while failing to pass any
strictures on Israel for its continued heavy-handed repression of Palestinians in Gaza “Many ask whether the UNSC still has any credibility left,” says Mouin Rabbani, contributing editor to the Washington-based Middle East Report.
But the more pertinent question, he pointed out, “is whether it should have any — after its consistent failure to ensure either peace or security, and of turning a malignantly blind eye to so many threats to peace and security and the basic rights of many millions.”
“Indeed, the UNSC’s continued obsession with Iran’s apparently non-existent nuclear weapons programme, and its dogged determination to do nothing of consequence to address Israel’s very real occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip — to the point of currently failing to issue even the lamest of statements on the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip — speaks volumes,” Rabbani said.
“And this is in a conflict the United Nations played a direct role in creating in 1947,” he added.
After four days of intense closed-door negotiations last week, the UNSC failed to come up either with a resolution against Israel or a unanimous non-binding presidential statement.
With the United States demanding a stronger text critical of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, the UNSC lacked consensus for a collective statement condemning Israel’s decision to choke Palestinians in Gaza and cutting off electricity and humanitarian supplies.
The decision-makers in the UNSC, which also has 10 rotating non-permanent members, are the five veto-wielding permanent members, namely the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.
In a strong statement issued last week, John Dugard, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights, said that Israeli action violates the strict prohibition on collective punishment contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention governing conflicts.
“It also violates one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law that military action must distinguish between military targets and civilian targets,” he said.
Dugard singled out the killing of some 40 Palestinians in Gaza and the targeting of a government office near a wedding party venue resulting in the loss of civilian lives.
“The closure of crossings into Gaza raises very serious questions about Israel’s respect for international law and its commitment to the (Middle East) peace process,” he added.'

11 september 2001 (37)

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful . . . and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell, 1946

'Commission Confidential
By Max Holland

In a revelation bound to cast a pall over the 9/11 Commission, Philip Shenon will report in a forthcoming book that the panel’s executive director, Philip Zelikow, engaged in “surreptitious” communications with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials during the commission’s 20-month investigation into the 9/11 attacks.

Shenon, who led The New York Times’ coverage of the 9/11 panel, reveals the Zelikow-Rove connection in a new book entitled The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, to be published next month by Twelve Books. The Commission is under an embargo until its February 5 publication, but Washington DeCoded managed to purchase a copy of the abridged audio version from a New York bookstore.

In what’s termed an “investigation of the investigation,” Shenon purports to tell the story of the commission from start to finish. The book’s critical revelations, however, revolve almost entirely around the figure of Philip Zelikow, a University of Virginia professor and director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs prior to his service as the commission’s executive director. Shenon delivers a blistering account of Zelikow’s role and leadership, and an implicit criticism of the commissioners for appointing Zelikow in the first place—and then allowing him to stay on after his myriad conflicts-of-interest were revealed under oath.

Shenon’s narrative is built from extensive interviews with staff members and several, if not all, the commissioners. He depicts Zelikow as exploiting his central position to negate or neutralize criticism of the Bush administration so that the White House would not bear, in November 2004, the political burden of failing to prevent the attacks.

The Commission includes these specific revelations:

• Kean and Hamilton appreciated that Zelikow was a friend and former colleague of then-national security adviser Condoleeza Rice, one of the principal officials whose conduct would be scrutinized. Zelikow had served with her on the National Security Council (NSC) during the presidency of Bush’s father, and they had written a book together about German reunification. The commission co-chairmen also knew of Zelikow’s October 2001 appointment to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. According to Shenon, however, Zelikow failed to disclose several additional and egregious conflicts-of-interest, among them, the fact that he had been a member of Rice’s NSC transition team in 2000-01. In that capacity, Zelikow had been the “architect” responsible for demoting Richard Clarke and his counter-terrorism team within the NSC. As Shenon puts it, Zelikow “had laid the groundwork for much of went wrong at the White House in the weeks and months before September 11. Would he want people to know that?”

• Karen Heitkotter, the commission’s executive secretary, was taken aback on June 23, 2003 when she answered the telephone for Zelikow at 4:40 PM and heard a voice intone, “This is Karl Rove. I’m looking for Philip.” Heitkotter knew that Zelikow had promised the commissioners he would cut off all contact with senior officials in the Bush administration. Nonetheless, she gave Zelikow’s cell phone number to Rove. The next day there was another call from Rove at 11:35 AM. Subsequently, Zelikow would claim that these calls pertained to his “old job” at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

• The full extent of Zelikow’s involvement with the incumbent administration administration only became evident within the commission on October 8, 2003, almost halfway into the panel’s term. Determined to blunt the Jersey Girls’ call for his resignation or recusal, Zelikow proposed that he be questioned under oath about his activities. General counsel Daniel Marcus, who conducted the sworn interview, brought a copy of the résumé Zelikow had provided to Kean and Hamilton. None of the activities Zelikow now detailed—his role on Rice’s transition team, his instrumental role in Clarke’s demotion, his authorship of a post-9/11 pre-emptive attack doctrine—were mentioned in the résumé. Zelikow blandly asserted to Marcus that he did not see “any of this as a major conflict of interest.” Marcus’s conclusion was that Zelikow “should never have been hired” as executive director. But the only upshot from these shocking disclosures was that Zelikow was involuntarily recused from that part of the investigation which involved the presidential transition, and barred from participating in subsequent interviews of senior Bush administration officials.'

Lees verder: http://www.washingtondecoded.com/site/2008/01/commission-conf.html

The Empire 347

'BIG MUDDY THERE, FANTASY & DENIAL HERE

Across the Middle East Bush's "war on terror" has led to a rolling catastrophe.

The administration is settling in to permanent occupation of Iraq while one-third of Iraqis need humanitarian aid and four million have been forced to flee their homes. Washington sends 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan as civilian deaths from U.S. bombs turn Afghans against the West. Top officials of the U.S.-backed dictatorship in Pakistan admit that their secret service has "lost control" of insurgents it trained and financed. In response to Israel's "collective punishment" residents of Gaza blew up and surged across the Gaza/Egypt border wall in the largest prison break in world history. Arab newspapers - including mouthpieces of pro-U.S. regimes - call Bush's warmongering against Iran "sad and depressing" while Arab governments normalize relations with Tehran.

It's a reprise of Pete Seeger's anthem from Vietnam days: Washington is knee-deep in the big muddy, and the big fool says to push on.

But almost none of this registers in mainstream U.S. politics. Occasionally a symptom of these disasters gets newspaper coverage or is mentioned in a TV spot before Britney Spears' latest scandal. But for the most part, the U.S. media operate as if "the surge is a success" or what's happening in Israel-Palestine is a "peace process."

On the electoral front, Republican presidential hopefuls prattle on about "victory" (and Mike Huckabee threatens to stick a pole up the butt of anyone who wants to take down a Confederate flag). The main Democratic hopefuls tone down their criticism of the Iraq disaster for fear of being seen as "weak on national defense." The latest example of this fantasyland dance comes from this week's Republican frontrunner, John McCain. McCain (who wants to stay in Iraq for 1,000 years) proclaimed (Jan. 24) that Hillary Clinton (who wants to stay in Iraq at least through
2012) "has called for surrender and waving the white flag."

It's not new for there to be a disconnect between what's really happening in most of the world and the illusions, denial and elite-driven misinformation that prevails inside this country. But rarely has that gap been as wide - or as dangerous - as it is today.

The challenge before the antiwar movement in 2008 is to narrow that gap.

THE SURGE: "PURE FANTASY"

Veteran military officer Andrew Bacevich (whose son was killed in Iraq) exploded the myth of the surge's "success" in the Washington Post Jan. 20:

"As the violence in Baghdad and Anbar province abates, the political and economic dysfunction enveloping Iraq has become all the more apparent... A nation-building project launched in the confident expectation that the U.S. would repeat in Iraq the successes it had achieved in Germany and Japan after 1945 instead compares unfavorably with the response to Hurricane Katrina. Baghdad households receive power an average of six hours fewer a day than under Saddam Hussein. Oil production still has not returned to pre-invasion levels. Reports of widespread fraud, waste and sheer ineptitude in the administration of U.S. aid have become so commonplace that they barely last a news cycle... '

ABC Treehouse

'THE ABC TREEHOUSE GALLERY PRESENTS - RAMALLAH UNDERGROUND

The American Book Center is pleased to invite you to the Opening Reception, with artists in attendance, of: Palestine: the Art of Survival, ”Hunger and Work in a Savage Tribe” Collected works of Ramallah Underground Opening: February 3, 4-6PMThe exhibit runs February 01 to 24, 2008 How does art survive in a land that suffers under occupation , in a conflict situation already lasting a half century? How does art help people survive violence? How do Palistinian artists use art to hold on to their own culture and identity? Although Ramallah Underground is a musical group it actively strives to promote Palestinian visual artists through their website and now for the first time in an exhibition, with the intention of exposing the current voices giving expression to the complexities of the Palestinian condition and experience.The body of work presented is a collection of pieces from these different artists who each in their distinct way and through various mediums share the need to visually expose, represent and investigate both their personal and the collective experiences of Palestinians to date. In doing so the show reveals the commonalties, contradictions and difficulties of the present condition in Palestine, with work exploring such themes as time and place, exile and memory, and occupation and resistance. For this exhibition, the ABC Treehouse is open Thursdays through Sundays, 1-6PM, beginning February 1, 2008.

visit the exhibition website

ABC Treehouse Voetboogstraat 11, 1012 XK Amsterdam tel:020-4230967 email: treehouse@abc.nl website: www.treehouse.abc.nlYou can "Unsubscribe" via www.treehouse.abc.nl to stop receiving this newsletter

woensdag 30 januari 2008

Irak 236


'Bombs Away Over Iraq By Tom Engelhardt TomDispatch.com

Looking Up: Normalizing air war from Guernica to Arab Jabour.
A January 21st Los Angeles Times Iraq piece by Ned Parker and Saif Rasheed led with an inter-tribal suicide bombing at a gathering in Fallujah in which members of the pro-American Anbar Awakening Council were killed. ("Asked why one member of his Albu Issa tribe would kill another, Aftan compared it to school shootings that happen in the United States.") Twenty-six paragraphs later, the story ended this way:
"The U.S. military also said in a statement that it had dropped 19,000 pounds of explosives on the farmland of Arab Jabour south of Baghdad. The strikes targeted buried bombs and weapons caches. "In the last 10 days, the military has dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of explosives on the area, which has been a gateway for Sunni militants into Baghdad."
And here's paragraph 22 of a 34-paragraph January 22nd story by Stephen Farrell of the New York Times:
"The threat from buried bombs was well known before the [Arab Jabour] operation. To help clear the ground, the military had dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of bombs to destroy weapons caches and I.E.D.'s."
Farrell led his piece with news that an American soldier had died in Arab Jabour from an IED that blew up "an MRAP, the new Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected armored vehicle that the American military is counting on to reduce casualties from roadside bombs in Iraq."
Note that both pieces started with bombing news - in one case a suicide bombing that killed several Iraqis; in another a roadside bombing that killed an American soldier and wounded others. But the major bombing story of these last days - those 100,000 pounds of explosives that U.S. planes dropped in a small area south of Baghdad - simply dangled unexplained off the far end of the Los Angeles Times piece; while, in the New York Times, it was buried inside a single sentence.
Neither paper has (as far as I know) returned to the subject, though this is undoubtedly the most extensive use of air power in Iraq since the Bush administration's invasion of 2003 and probably represents a genuine shifting of American military strategy in that country. Despite, a few humdrum wire service pieces, no place else in the mainstream has bothered to cover the story adequately either.
For those who know something about the history of air power, which, since World War II, has been lodged at the heart of the American Way of War, that 100,000 figure might have rung a small bell.
On April 27, 1937, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War (a prelude to World War II), the planes of the German Condor Legion attacked the ancient Basque town of Guernica. They came in waves, first carpet bombing, then dropping thermite incendiaries. It was a market day and there may have been as many as 7,000-10,000 people, including refugees, in the town which was largely destroyed in the ensuing fire storm. More than 1,600 people may have died there (though some estimates are lower). The Germans reputedly dropped about 50 tons or 100,000 pounds of explosives on the town. In the seven decades between those two 100,000 figures lies a sad history of our age.
Arab Jabour, the Sunni farming community about 10 miles south of the Iraqi capital that was the target of the latest 100,000-pound barrage has recently been largely off-limits to American troops and their Iraqi allies. The American military now refers generically to all Sunni insurgents who resist them as "al Qaeda," so in situations like this it's hard to tell exactly who has held this territory.
At Guernica, as in Arab Jabour 71 years later, no reporters were present when the explosives rained down. In the Spanish situation, however, four reporters in the nearby city of Bilbao, including George Steer of the Times of London, promptly rushed to the scene of destruction. Steer's first piece for the Times (also printed in the New York Times) was headlined "The Tragedy of Guernica" and called the assault "unparalleled in military history." (Obviously, no such claims could be made for Arab Jabour today.) Steer made clear in his report that this had been an attack on a civilian population, essentially a terror bombing.
The self-evident barbarism of the event - the first massively publicized bombing of a civilian population - caused international horror. It was news across the planet. From it came perhaps the most famous painting of the last century, Picasso's Guernica, as well as innumerable novels, plays, poems, and other works of art.
As Ian Patterson writes in his book, Guernica and Total War:
"Many attacks since then, including the ones we have grown used to seeing in Iraq and the Middle East in recent years, have been on such a scale that Guernica's fate seems almost insignificant by comparison. But it's almost impossible to overestimate the outrage it caused in 1937. Accounts of the bombing were widely printed in the American press, and provoked a great deal of anger and indignation in most quarters."'

De Israelische Terreur 311




Waarom zou de Independent wel grote artikelen van de Israelische historicus Ilan Pappe plaatsen en de Volkskrant of NRC niet?
'Genocide In Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing In The West Bank
By Ilan Pappe
The Indypendent
Not long ago, I claimed that Israel is employing genocidal policies in the Gaza Strip. I hesitated before using this very charged term and yet decided to adopt it. The responses I received indicated unease in using such a term. I rethought the term for a while, but concluded with even stronger conviction: it is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip.On Dec. 28, 2006, the Israeli human rights organization Betzelem published its annual report on Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories. In 2006, Israeli forces killed 660 citizens, triple the number of the previous year (around 200). Most of the dead are from the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces demolished almost 300 houses and have slain entire families. Since 2000, almost 4,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, half of them children, and more than 20,000 wounded.The point is not just about escalating intentional killings but the strategy.AnnexationIsraeli policy makers are facing two very different realities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the former, they are finishing construction of their eastern border. Their internal ideological debate is over, and their master plan for annexing half of the West Bank is gaining speed.The last phase was delayed due to the promises made by Israel, under the Road Map, not to build new settlements. Israel found two ways of circumventing this. First, it defined a third of the West Bank as Greater Jerusalem, which allowed it to build towns and community centers within this new annexed area. Second, it expanded old settlements to such proportions that there was no need to build new ones.Creeping TransferThe settlements, army bases, roads and the wall will allow Israel to annex almost half of the West Bank by 2010. Within these territories, Israeli authorities will continue to implement creeping transfer policies against the considerable number of Palestinians who remain.There is no rush. As far as the Israeli are concerned they have the upper hand there; the daily abusive and dehumanizing combination of army and bureaucracy effectively adds to the dispossession process.All governing parties from Labor to Kadima accept Ariel Sharon’s strategic thinking that this policy is far better than the one offered by the blunt “transferists” or ethnic cleansers, such as Avigdor Liberman. In the Gaza Strip there is no clear Israeli strategy, but there is a daily experiment with one. The Israelis see the Strip as a distinct geo-political entity from the West Bank. Hamas controls Gaza, while Mahmoud Abbas seems to run the fragmented West Bank with Israeli and American blessing.There is no land in the Strip that Israel covets and there is no hinterland, like Jordan, to which the Palestinians can be expelled.Ethnic cleansing is ineffective here. The earlier strategy in the Strip was ghettoizing the Palestinians there, but this is not working. The Jews know it best from their history. In the past, the next stage against such communities was even more barbaric. It is difficult to tell what does the future hold for the Gaza community: ghettoized, quarantined, unwanted and demonized.Throwing Away the KeyCreating the prison and throwing the key to the sea, as South African law professor John Dugard has put it, was an option the Palestinians in the Strip reacted against with force in September 2005. Determined to show that they were still part of the West Bank and Palestine, they launched the first significant number of missiles into the Western Negev. The shelling was a response to an Israeli campaign of massive arrests of Hamas and Jihad people in the Tul Karim area.Israel responded with operation “First Rain.” Supersonic flights were flown over Gaza to terrorize the entire population, succeeded by heavy bombardment of vast areas from the sea, sky and land. The logic, the Israeli army explained, was to weaken the community’s support for the rocket launchers. As was expected, by the Israelis as well, the operation only increased the support for the rocket launchers.The real purpose was experimental. The Israeli generals wished to know how such operations would be received at home, in the region and in the world. And it seems the answer was “very well;” no one took interest in the scores of dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians.Following operations were modeled on First Rain. The difference was more firepower, more casualties and more collateral damage and, as expected, more Qassam missiles in response. Accompanying measures ensured full imprisonment of Gazans through boycott and blockade, with which the European Union is shamefully collaborating.The capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in June 2006 was irrelevant in the general scheme, but it provided an opportunity for the Israelis to escalate even more. After all, there was no strategy that followed the decision of Sharon to remove 8,000 settlers from Gaza whose presence complicated “punitive” missions. Since then, the “punitive” actions continue and have become a strategy.First Rain was replaced by “Summer Rains.” In a country where there is no rain in the summer, one can expect only showers of F-16 bombs and artillery shells hitting the people of the Strip.Summer Rains brought a novel component: the land invasion into parts of the Gaza Strip. This enabled the army to kill citizens and present it as an inevitable result of heavy fighting within densely populated areas and not of Israeli policies.Summer Rains, Autumn CloudsWhen the summer was over came the even more efficient “Autumn Clouds:” beginning on Nov. 1, 2006, the Israelis killed 70 civilians in less than 48 hours. By the end of that month, almost 200 were killed, half of them children and women.Some of the activity was parallelled the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, making it easier to complete the operations without much external attention, let alone criticism. From First Rain to Autumn Clouds there is escalation in every parameter. The first is erasing the distinction between “civilian” and “non-civilian” targets: the population is the main target for the army’s operation. Second is the escalation in the means: employment of every possible killing machine the Israeli army possesses. Third is escalation in the number of casualties: with each future operation, a much larger number of people are likely to be killed and wounded. Finally, and most importantly, the operations have become a strategy — the way Israel intends to solve the problem of the Gaza Strip.'


De Pro-Israel Lobby 64

Daar rechts bovenaan, black and beautiful, all dressed up and nowhere to go.
Zo dat levert veel geld en steun op van de pro-Israel lobby, en ook mevrouw Clinton staat op de betalingslijst van deze lobby, zodat de democratische stemmers geen alternatief hebben behalve een kandidaat kiezen die de Israelische terreur zal steunen. Van de democratie is een farce gemaakt, presidenten worden gekocht in de VS, de hoogste bieder wint. AIPAC dus, het Amerikaanse CIDI als het ware.

'Obama: Israel was forced to close Gaza

The letter from the Senator to the Ambassador speaks for itself:

Dear Ambassador Khalilzad,

I understand that today the UN Security Council met regarding the situation in Gaza, and that a resolution or statement could be forthcoming from the Council in short order.

I urge you to ensure that the Security Council issue no statement and pass no resolution on this matter that does not fully condenm the rocket assault Hamas has been conducting on civilians in southern Israel...

All of us are concerned about the impact of closed border crossings on Palestinian families. However, we have to understand why Israel is forced to do this... Israel has the right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians.

The Security Council should clearly and unequivocally condemn the rocket attacks... If it cannot bring itself to make these common sense points, I urge you to ensure that it does not speak at all.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama
United States Senator'

Lees verder: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerBlog.jhtml?itemNo=865078

De Israelische Terreur 310

Ik kreeg deze oproep van Vrouwen in het Zwart: 'lees ook onze nieuwsbrief onder de oproep houden een wake op vrijdag 1 februari 2008 vanaf 12.45 uur op het SPUI in AMSTERDAM (Lieverdje) 40 jaar bezetting is meer dan genoeg! ISRAEL: Stop de invasies in Gaza en landconfiscaties in Palestijns gebied. The wall must fall - Weg met de annexatie muur Beindig de bezetting van de Westoever, omsingeling en uithongering van Gaza Ontruim alle sinds 1967 gestichte nederzettingen Jeruzalem, hoofdstad voor twee volken
‘ Wij lijden aan een ongeneeslijke ziekte: Hoop ’ Mahmoud Darwish

De afgelopen dagen kregen we op onze beeldschermen iets te zien, waar we allemaal broodnodig aan toe waren, maar niet meer in geloofden en wat de bekende Palestijnse dichter Mahmoud Darwish zo goed verwoordde: hoop !

Uit de grootste openlucht gevangenis ter wereld zien we de grootste uitbraak aller tijden. De gevangenen zijn vrij, maar we weten niet voor hoe lang.

De Muur kwam naar beneden, omdat de toestand zo onhoudbaar werd, dat de bevolking van Gaza, -de meeste zijn vluchtelingen sinds 1948- het heft in eigen handen heeft genomen en de muur aan de Egyptische grens bij Rafah omver heeft gehaald. Net als de honderdduizenden opgetogen Gazanen, die in Egypte op zoek gaan naar de meest basale levensbehoeften, zal iedereen met een beetje menselijke solidariteit, dit ongewone evene-ment met vreugde hebben begroet.

We zien enthousiaste mensen, die weer kunnen ademen, elkaar in de armen vallen, even de vrijheid proeven en dan zo snel mogelijk op pad gaan om zoveel mogelijk inkopen te gaan doen:eten, medicijnen, olie, en familie en vrienden in Egypte bezoeken. Iedereen heeft haast, want niemand weet wanneer de Egyptische grens politie, nu met de handen in het haar, met de duim het gat in de dijk/muur gaan proberen te dichten.
Wel duidelijk weten we wie verantwoordelijk zijn voor de blokkade: Israël, Egypte en Europa [die het open houden van de grens garandeerde] samen met de begripvolle Amerikaanse president Bush, die, bij zijn recente bezoek aan Israël, de uithongering van anderhalf miljoen Palestijnen als Israëlische zelfverdediging omschreef.

Verantwoordelijk voor de dood van 70 mensen en 165 gewonden, alleen al in de eerste weken van januari, en de 60 doodzieke mensen, die van de zomer bij de grens stierven, omdat ze er niet in of uit mochten. Schandalige zogeheten ‘security checks’, waar zwaar zieke hart patiënten aan worden onderworpen en die daarna meestal weer worden teruggestuurd, zorgen voor nog tientallen meer doden. Maar ook gezonde mensen: studenten die hun studiejaar in het buitenland missen, pelgrims, zakenmensen, kinderen en ouden van dagen, iedereen wordt hier collectief gestraft. [verboden volgens artikel 33 van de 4de Conventie van Genève]
Verantwoordelijk voor de steeds verdergaande verstikking in Gaza: eerst wordt de in -of export van goederen verboden, zodat de laatste landbouw en industrie het loodje legt, daarna mag er geen voedsel en medicijnen meer geïmporteerd worden. Dan valt de electriciteit regelmatig uit. In de uitgemergelde en verwoeste Gaza Strip kunnen de al uitgeklede ziekenhuizen medische voorraden[als die er nog zijn] niet meer koelen, functioneren de riolen niet, werken koelkasten en waterpompen niet. En dan wordt tenslotte de olieaanvoer gestopt, en dus ook de enige electriciteits centrale stilgelegd, en komt het hele gebied in het donker te staan; het normale leven houdt dan op. Buiten is het ‘s nachts 4 graden en zonder verwarming komt vooral het leven van baby’s en kinderen in gevaar. [Het opzettelijk belemmeren van de civiele infrastructuur is illegaal, De bezettende macht moet te allen tijde de bezette bevolking menselijk behandelen. Artikel 27 van de 4de conventie van Genève].

Maar dan probeert Israël het weer over een andere boeg te gooien: Er is helemaal geen humanitaire ramp, Hamas houdt zelf brandstof achter om een crisis te forceren en het westen om de tuin te leiden. De slachtoffers zijn weer tot dader gemaakt, een bekende Israëlische tactiek. We moeten dus onze eigen ogen niet geloven. Die duizenden zwoegende, sjouwende mensen zijn allemaal goed gecaste acteurs in een peperdure film, die de wereld aan het bedonderen zijn.Karen Konig Abu Zayd, hoofd van de VN hulporganisatie UNWRA voor Palestina is verontwaardigd: “ We hebben vanaf het begin van de blokkade in juni de voorraden bijgehouden; er is niets meer. Israël duwt de mensen in Gaza telkens tot op het randje, om op het laatste moment dan te voorkomen dat ze struikelen. We moeten nu zogenaamd dankbaar zijn dat er weer iets wordt doorgelaten, maar in werkelijkheid gaan we 5 stappen achteruit en één stap vooruit." Meer dan tweederde van de Gaza bevolking leeft van de voedselpakketten van de UNRWA. Maar soms moet de hulporganisatie de leveringen staken, omdat er geen nylon zakken meer worden geleverd, om de rijst, bloem en suiker in te verpakken.

Nog sterkere uitspraken komen van een organisatie, die bekend staat om haar grote zwijgzaamheid: het strikt neutrale Internationale Rode Kruis, dat een rapport publiceerde Dignity Denied, [Waardigheid Ontzegd]. ‘ Sinds juni 07 zijn 80.000 Gazanen hun baan kwijtgeraakt, zodat het al zo hoge werkeloosheidspercentage nu op 44% komt [rapport is van Dec.07]. De boeren herinneren zich hoe groen en vruchtbaar hun land kortgeleden nog was: de oogsten van citrus- en olijfbomen werden naar de West Bank en Israël geëxporteerd; nu is het land voor een groot deel platgewalst met ontwortelde bomen door de voortdurende militaire invallen.” Tenslotte roept Het Rode Kruis op onmiddellijke creatieve en moedige politieke actie te ondernemen om de wrede werkelijkheid van de zeer langdurige bezetting om te buigen, zodat de Palestijnen hun normale, sociale en economische leven kunnen herstellen en weer in staat zijn een waardig bestaan te leiden.” zie Rode Kruis [klik hier voor meer informatie]

De beschamende blokkade, die het Israëlische leger al sinds juni 2007 aan de bewoners van Gaza heeft opgelegd, toen Hamas de macht overnam, heeft niet zoveel te maken met de raket beschietingen op het zuiden van Israël als wel met de zo gewenste ‘regime change’. De meest democratische verkiezingen in het Midden Oosten in januari 06 brachten niet het gewenste resultaat en dan is het oude recept [net als in Nicaragua, Irak, Iran] om te proberen de regering te isoleren en het vertrouwen van de bevolking in hun gekozen leiders te ondermijnen.
Op een conferentie in Gaza stad vorige week werd het zo geformuleerd: “ We hebben hun olie niet nodig, als ze ons het gas uit de zee vlakbij Gaza lieten halen, we hoeven niet naar hun ziekenhuizen, maar ze beletten onze patiënten om in Arabische landen behandeld te worden. Door Gaza op de rand van de hongersnood te houden, proberen ze onze bevolking duidelijk te maken: verzet heeft geen zin; het beste is om je maar over te geven.”

Maar de gebeurtenissen van de laatste week bewijzen het tegendeel. Het verzet is springlevend.
Genoeg redenen, lieve vriendinnen en vrienden om vrijdag 1 februari [trek s.v.p. iets zwarts aan] massaal op het Spui bij onze wake te komen staan.
Graag al uw mails, reacties en sympathiebetuigingen sturen naar:
info@vrouweninhetzwart.nl

Kijk op onze vernieuwde website, gemaakt door sympathisanten: www.vrouweninhetzwart.nl.
We zijn haast klaar met onze verbeterde site, met nieuwe foto's en binnenkort al onze nieuwsbrieven en achtergrondsartikelen. Nog niet helemaal af dus we hebben uw gift nog echt nodig; svp uw donatie op: Postbank: 9399562 t.n.v. Stichting Vrouwen in het Zwart Amsterdam. Met dank voor de gulle gevers in januari.
We waren op de Multiculturele TV Nederland en op de NMO-TV. Beide goed gemaakte programma's.Voor tapes: mail info@vrouweninhetzwart.nl + uw tel.no. vermelden

Het Internationale Netwerk Vrouwen in het Zwart, i.s.m. met Coalition of Women for a Just Peace, bestaat sinds 1990, maar is als beweging begonnen in Israël toen een aantal Israëlische vrouwen samen met de Palestijnse Vrouwen Vredesbeweging het initiatief namen om te protesteren.
In januari 1988, een maand na het uitbreken van de eerste Intifada, stonden de eerste vrouwen al in Jeruzalem te demonstreren tegen de Israelische bezetting van Gaza en de Westoever: De eerste wake tegen de Israëlische bezetting van de Westoever en Gaza was een feit.
In Nederland waren de eerste vrouwen al in januaril 1990 op het Spui aanwezig. 18 jaar nu al, op een periode na, toen de Oslo Akkoorden ons ten onrechte hoop gaven, houden we in Amsterdam wakes.
In ons land worden nu al in 6 steden maandelijks wakes gehouden.
[voor adressen zie hieronder]
In de hele wereld vinden wekelijks / maandelijks Vrouwen in het Zwart wakes en solidariteits-acties plaats. kijk op site: www.womeninblack.org voor de geschiedenis van Vrouwen in het Zwart internationaal
Organisatie Amsterdam:
Lily van den Bergh tel: 020- 62 23 661
e-mail:info@vrouweninhetzwart.nl
Iedere 1ste vrijdag van de maand.
Tijd: 12.45- 13.45 uur Spui bij beeld Lieverdje

Organisatie Groningen en voorlopig ook voor Leeuwarden:
Janny Beekman tel: 0595 - 57 25 95
e-mail: Groningen@vrouweninhetzwart.nl
Zaterdag om de veertien dagen:
Tijd: 13 - 14 uur verzamelen op de Grote Markt in Groningen

Organisatie Haarlem:
Heleen Witte: tel: 023- 532 50 25
e-mail: Haarlem@vrouweninhetzwart.nl
Eerste zondag van de maand
Tijd: 14-15 uur op de Grote Markt Verzamelen voor het Stadhuis.

Organisatie Leeuwarden:
voorlopig Janny Beekman tel: 0595 - 57 25 95
e-mail: Groningen@vrouweninhetzwart.nl
Komende wake: Zaterdag 30 juni
Tijd: 13:00-14:00 uur op De Nieuwstad bij De Waag in Leeuwarden

Organisatie Maastricht:
Frances Scarrott: tel: 06-11 30 74 10
e-mail: maastricht@vrouweninhetzwart.nl
Iedere laatste donderdag van de maand
Tijd: 18.15-19.15 uur Op de Markt Geef je op: fescarrott@netscape.net

Organisatie Utrecht:
Tienta Verlegh tel: 030 - 241 36 46
e-mail: Utrecht@vrouweninhetzwart.nlIedere laatste zaterdag van de maand
Tijd: 13- 14 uur Op Stadhuis brug

Informatie over mensenrechten in Israel en de Palestijnse Gebieden:

Vrouwen in het Zwart: www.vrouweninhetzwart.nl
Amnesty Nederland: www.amnesty.nl
Nederlands Palestina Komitee: www.palestina-komitee.nl
Coalition of Women for a Just Peace: www.coalitionofwomen4peace.org
Vrouwen voor Vrede: www.vrouwenvoorvrede.nl
Sivmo: www.xs4all.nl/~sivmo
Een Ander Joods Geluid: www.eajg.nl

Weblinks:
YMCA Nederland
YWCA Nederland
The East Jerusalem YMCA
YWCA in Palestina

En teken de petitie: www.stopthewall.org'


Zie: http://www.vrouweninhetzwart.nl/structuur.php?resolutie=568&menu=0

De Israelische Terreur 309


Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews in London, New York and Washington DC demonstrated in protest of the atrocities in Gaza.....

URGENT LETTER TO THE ESTEEMED SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS, THE HONORABLE BAN-KI MOON FROM ORTHODOX JEWS IN JERUSALEM AND WORLDWIDE ABOUT THE CURRENT ZIONIST ONSLAUGHT AGAINST THE PALESTINIANS IN GAZADear Hon. Secretary-General:It is with a heavy heart that we write you from the city of Jerusalem. For sixty years the authorities of what is mischaracterized as the "Jewish State" have been undertaking a vicious campaign of oppression and ethnic cleansing against millions of Palestinians who currently still live in historic Palestine and who are refugees from Palestine in other countries. And they have been committing all these crimes in the name of the ancient and holy Jewish religion! For sixty years the State of Israel been desecrating and violating our sacred religion! For sixty years the State of Israel has been flaunting international law and United Nation General Assembly and Security Council resolutions! For sixty years they have been bringing Mankind to the edge of world war, claiming to do so in the name of Judaism!Even today, as we write this letter, the Zionist regime is waging an unrelenting war of starvation and suffering against the people of Gaza. In the name of the sacred values of the Jewish religion we cry out to the international community and especially the great powers and the United Nations: Please use your skills to finally stop the vicious and insane campaigns of the State of Israel against the Palestinians whose suffering worsens from one day to the next under the heavy hand of occupation and oppression, ethnic cleansing and discrimination! Mr. Secretary-General, we beseech you to use your offices to work with world leaders to stop this mad campaign of collective punishment and oppression! Our holy religion teaches us values that are the utter opposite of those of the State of Israel: we are taught by our Torah to live in harmony and brotherhood, friendship and neighborliness.The State of Israel is trying to use its military power to preserve its ethnocracy and is demanding that the world community watch silently as they continue to hammer the Palestinian People year after year with the most sophisticated weapons of war. This cannot go on any longer! The state-sponsored terrorism and collective punishment practiced by the State of Israel must be condemned and stopped!We fervently pray that G-d guide world leaders to take the necessary action to stop the suffering of the Palestinian People, rein in the State of Israel, restore the full rights of the Palestinians throughout their homeland in historic Palestine, and thereby create peace not only in the Holy Land, but also throughout the world. The world cannot stand by and watch the State of Israel commit these terrible crimes!Thank you kindly for your attention to this urgent matter,
Yours truly,
Rabbi Meir Hirsh
Neturei Karta Palestine
Jan. 16/08
To: Honorable Doctor Mahmud Al-Zahar As Orthodox Anti-Zionist Jews we harshly condemned the brutal acts of terrorism committed by the Zionist thug regime against the Palestinian People. We wish to express our most sincere sympathies to all suffering Palestinians, especially following the latest vicious attack of the Zionists in Gaza. We also wish to express our most sincere sympathies to you personally, Dr. Al-Zahar, for the death of your son, Hussam, at the hands of the Zionists following on the tragic murder of your other son, Khalid, several years ago at the hands of the Zionists. We pray fervently to God to stop the vicious crimes of the Zionist regime and to dismantle that absurd Zionist state and restore all the rights to the Palestinian People, both those living inside Zionistoccupied Palestine and in other countries as refugees.
RABBI MEIR HIRSH
Neturei Karta
Jerusalem, Palestine'