What is perpetuating the crimes against people in Syria is the misinformation about what is really happening, in addition to the altering of news, ‘the hiding of facts and the lying. All this dubious behavior on behalf of the corporate media and the multiple human rights organizations, is covering for the real criminal on the ground and allowing him to perpetrate his crimes
There is nothing that will encourage a criminal to escalate his criminal actions more than accusing another of the crime he is committing. It is for this reason the crimes against the Syrians are continuing, because most of the media, governments and organizations are attributing the crimes to the ones who did not commit them so as to allow the real criminals to resume their hateful actions.
Nothing prevents organizations like Amnesty International from knowing the truth. The truth is obvious and is not hiding; but organizations like Amnesty, and media outlets like CNN and BBC and others are hiding it. Why are journals like the Independent, for example, publishing the facts as they are? Why does the Independent say that the rebels are coming from neighbouring countries and are being supplied with all sorts of weapons from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Qatar and helped on the ground by the Turkish secret services of Milli Istihbarat Teskilati (MIT)? Why is it that the Independent knows and others do not know? The answer is simple – the others want these crimes to continue and to protect the criminal.
These organizations are very dangerous and are doing the greatest mischief on the ground, playing a game that is very dirty and very threatening. Beneath the garb of humanity and human rights, there is nothing humane in their endeavour, it is all dirty politics and in the great powers’ interests, using the suffering of the people to implement agendas specific to the World Order, which is worst of all.
Today Amnesty is calling for a chat on line concerning Syria. What a shame! As if people’s lives could be argued and debated on line by the ones covering for the criminals and catering for their crimes! They will bring democracy and freedom to Syria the same way they were brought to Palestine, Iraq and Libya. As if anything good could come from the UN or Amnesty or NGOs!
The UN is a warmonger! One only need look at what it did to Libya and to Kaddhafi, and before that to Iraq and Palestine. The observers sent to Syria are walking hand in hand with the armed rebels; some of them are there on a spying mission, trying to track down Syrian army headquarters. Not long ago, the UNIFIL was sent to south Lebanon in order to spy on the Resistance, not to forget the famous Special Tribunal For Lebanon, of the infamous international court, that is accusing Hizbullah of killing Hariri when the primary suspects, who are the Israelis, have not even been questioned or investigated.
I don’t think I will ever know whether or not the massacre of September 11th 2001 was carried out by, or with the knowledge of, the authorities. But I think the overwhelming balance of probability lies on the side of the view than the crime was the work of an Islamic extremist group, working against the US government, not for it. I explain why in this article.
The movement which argues that ’9/11 was an inside job’ modestly dubs itself ‘the 9/11 truth movement’, so I will refer to its collection of explanations as ’9/11 truth’.
This truth comes in two varieties
- Theories whose predictions have been falsified
- Pseudo-theories which do not make falsifiable predictions
An example of a 9/11 pseudo-theory is the explanation of the varied reactions of members of the Bush government to the attacks. Suppose there are two possible behaviors. One is what one would expect from someone who was surprised by the plane crashes, and one is not. 9/11 truth says that if the politician behaved as if he knew something, well, that shows he knew something. If he behaved the other way, he was covering something up. A ‘theory’ which predicts two incompatible consequences equally well is a pseudo-theory.
An example of a falsified 9/11 theory is the idea that the government organized the attacks as a pretext to invade Afghanistan. Shortly after September 11th, US forces set up shop in the north of Afghanistan. Conspiracy believers muttered about an oil pipeline. After much pleading from the Taliban government’s opponents, the US airforce bombed the Taliban, who ran away. The Northern Alliance advanced, and president Bush asked them not to take Kabul. They ignored him. After ten years, the USA has achieved nothing. The contrast between the US government’s purported diabolical brilliance, and its actual incompetence in Afghanistan, is falsification – unless you argue that the incompetence itself is fake, in which case you have a pseudo-theory.
If it is unlikely that the administration planned to occupy Afghanistan, were the 9/11 events a ‘false flag operation’ designed to produce a pretext for the occupation of Iraq in 2003? Three considerations make this unlikely.
- The official report (1) does not say that Iraq was involved in the hijackings.
- It was unnecessary for the official report to blame Iraq. The government simply said it, and the majority of Americans believed it.
- The USA had a better pretext for occupying Iraq back in 1991 – Saddam’s attack on Kuwait, followed by a US invasion, backed by most of the world.
This theory says, in effect, that in 2001, the administration thought
We failed to occupy Iraq when we had a chance. Let’s murder thousands of Americans and blame it on fifteen Saudis, a Lebanese, an Egyptian, and two guys from the UAE! That’ll give us a great excuse to invade Iraq in two years’ time
It’s true that many Americans can’t tell the difference between Saudis and Iraqis. Exactly. Because much of the US public is so ignorant, bellicose, and servile, the government didn’t need 9/11. Most Americans were peace-lovers in 1914 and 1941, but it was no longer true in 2001. Even if it were so, a lesser tragedy, in which Iraq appeared to be involved, would have done the trick. If the official report is a cover-up, as the truthers allege, why does it explicitly deny evidence of co-operation between the alleged perpetrators and Saddam’s regime (1, pages 61 and 66)?
Prior false flag incidents directly implicated nations the USA wanted to fight. The government at various times had Spain, Germany, and North Vietnam attack, or appear to attack, American ships, because it wanted to wage war against them.
If the authorities could carry out an operation of this size and complexity, they could have more easily effected a lesser incident, which made Saddam Hussein look responsible. But they didn’t. They didn’t need a false flag incident at all.
Real theories apply Occam’s razor, selecting the hypotheses with fewest assumptions. In contrast, pseudo-theories need to add ever more complex sub-pseudo-theories to prop them up. An economical explanation of the success of the hijackers is that they took advantage of the policy – staff and passengers should co-operate with hijackers. Previous hijackers had not crashed planes, but flown them to Cuba. The faithful averred that the military was ‘stood down’ on the day. Then it became apparent that the airforce is not normally ‘stood up’ for a hijacking anyway. Believers then claimed pilots were told there was to be a ‘practice run’ for a real hijacking.
The need for complexity is also evident in the truthers’ attempt to explain the collapse of the two towers and the neighboring World Trade Center Seven building. The latter was not hit by a plane, so, they reason, it must have been brought down by explosives planted beforehand. Further, these Einsteins figure, the way the twin towers fell down shows that aircraft fuel alone could not have been responsible.
In their sincere efforts to oppose war, Zionism and Islamophobia, some of the truthers try to implicate Israel. A recent article on deliberation.info claims “the only individuals arrested on 9/11 were Israeli Mossad agents that just so happened to specialize in explosives and electronic intercepts” (2). But this is circular: the ‘controlled demolition’ argument depends partly on the significance of the agents’ alleged specialities, and vice-versa.
Some of the devotees seem to be as sure that the Jewish state had something to do with September 11th, as they are of Israel’s actual, proven crimes. They want to make this theory central to Palestine solidarity – but it’s already weak, and that would make it weaker. They make much of the claim that a few Israeli citizens welcomed the attacks – the famous ‘dancing Israelis’ hypothesis – and ignore the continuing celebration of September 11th by some Muslims, which I’ve seen with my own eyes. When a French terrorist murdered several Jewish children recently, Gilad Atzmon speculated that maybe Israel was involved. Pointless, tasteless comments like this divert attention from his genuine insights, and alienate rational people.
It is assumed by many 9/11 truthers that Israel gained a lot from 9/11. How much support did the USA give to Israel before 9/11? Pretty close to unconditional. Was it necessary to carry out the biggest terrorist attack in American history, and blame it on Muslims, in order to head off an unwonted upsurge of American independence from Israel? It was not. Since 9/11, US subservience has continued, just like before. Another prediction bites the dust.
One of the reasons the 9/11 truth movement continues unchallenged is because more logical people regard its beliefs as too obviously unlikely to waste energy rebutting them. Moreover, the zeal with which truthers defend their faith, and their concerns about the motives of unbelievers, do not encourage contradiction. I don’t doubt the disciples’ good intentions, though, disturbingly, they doubt mine, and those of anyone who is deaf to their earnest exhortations. A draft of a documentary by ‘Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’ asked psychologists to explain
why so many people, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, still cling to the official version of 9/11
The answer was ‘cognitive dissonance’ (2). It’s difficult to debate with people who use psychoanalysis to explain why you disagree with them. Like Freud’s pseudo-theory, it’s circular, reinforcing itself by explaining away attempts at falsification.
Where does one start? Why did the authorities ‘have to’ destroy three major office buildings in New York? Having arranged for planes to crash into two of them, did they know this would not actually destroy the buildings, so they ‘had to’ blow them up, because ‘they needed the spectacle’? I understand George Monbiot’s question – “why do I bother with these morons?” (3) – but I resist it. As with other religions, there are intelligent people who believe in the 9/11 articles of faith.
I also reject Alexander Cockburn’s claim on Counterpunch that ‘many’ of the truthers have ‘racist’ views. When Iran’s president claimed that ‘most’ Americans believe 9/11 was an inside job, his US counterpart dismissed the statement as ‘hateful’
These are not effective arguments against 9/11 truth.
JoAnn Wypijewski struck a better tone, also on Counterpunch (4). She explained the demoralizing effect of the 9/11 truth movement.
After that first September 11, though, New Yorkers did talk, and they talked about US foreign policy, and the place of America in the world across the past 50 years, and Israel-Palestine, and why the hell people ‘hate us’ so much.
But five years later, she regrets, these discussions have been replaced by 9/11 truth.
It was like religion, and profoundly sad,
Wypijewski remarks of her discussions with the devotees hanging around the hole where the World Trade Center used to be.
It’s sad because it’s demoralizing. It’s demoralizing because it makes the powerful sound almost invincible, rendering us helpless.
In spite of the efforts of some of the contributors to deliberation.info and elsewhere, it defies reason to blame all the crimes attributed to Sunni Muslim extremists, from September 11th, to the frequent murders of Shi’ite pilgrims in Iraq, via the London Underground bombings, and hundreds of others around the world, on Mossad, MI5 or the CIA. Of course, I know the Western governments are the biggest terrorists, and their crimes are recruiting sergeants for Islamic terrorism. But they don’t control it.
Much of the public seems blind to the truth of major events and issues that have long needed to be addressed openly.
- The injustice of the occupation suffered by the Palestinians
- The doubts about the 9/11 commission findings
- The under-reporting of child sexual abuse
- The cover-up of Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty
- The lies about who holds power in a democracy
Does anyone care? The blind wear blinders.
Palestinians have been subjected to Israeli terrorism and colonial rule for more than six decades.
Israeli historian Ilan Pappe briefly describes what the victims suffer while the rulers rejoice:
Beginning with the ethnic cleansing of 80 percent of Palestine in 1948, and Israel’s occupation of the remaining 20 percent of the land in 1967, Palestinians in Israel are now enclaved in mega-prisons, bantustans, and besieged cantons, and singled out through discriminatory policies.”
Pappe reminds us that the peace process “has only increased the number of Israeli settlements in Palestine, from less than 10 percent of Palestine in 1936 to over 90 per cent of the country today.”
Does anyone care? The blind wear blinders.
Almost 11 years ago, the events now referred to as 9/11 shook America and most of the rest of the world. On November 27, 2002 the 9/11 Commission was set up.
When the commission’s report was released in 2004 Richard Posner of the New York Times observed that “the commission’s analysis and recommendations are unimpressive.” Part of the delay was due to the administration’s hold on documents.
Since that time, organizations like 9/11 Truth.Org have amassed an incredible collection of evidence challenging both the media and the commission’s reports.
Dozens of books, cover everything from tales of brave “first responder” to conspiracy theories and many unanswered questions like those posed by David Ray Griffin in The New Pearl Harbor.
None of the doubt and challenging questions posed by the books and alternative media has awakened the public enough to demand answers from the mainstream media. Meanwhile the media engages in repetitious trifling about presidential political candidates
Does anyone care? The blind wear blinders.
Sexual abuse of children has long been either unreported or under-reported. In a current trial in America, 15 years of child abuse went unreported until 2011.
A case now in America involves a former Penn State coaching assistant who faces charges that he sexually abused 10 boys over a 15-year period.
A number of people who worked with the coach revealed that they knew of instances of reported abuse. It took 15 years for the truth to see some daylight?
Does anyone care? The blind wear blinders.
One of the most duplicitous acts is the pretence of patriotism when a country celebrates its servicemen while sacrificing them for political gain.
On Memorial Day, America pays tribute to those who serve in the military and honours those who lost their lives in combat.
In a criminal attack 45 years ago, Israeli planes and torpedoes attempted to destroy the USS Liberty murdering 34 of the sailors. Those serving on the ship attempted to get help but were denied it by President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara.
It was “one of the classic all-American cover-ups,” said retired former Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer.
Despite regular efforts to expose the truth on the internet, the mainstream media and the US government continue to refuse to expose the culprits.
Does anyone care? The blind wear blinders.
Chris Hayes, an MSNBC anchor, regularly spouts the line that democracy “forces those in power to listen to those without power”
That statement is unadulterated rubbish. If there was any truth to the comment, it would apply equally to absolute monarchs who habitually listen to their subjects.
Hayes’s statement, however, is simply untrue as applied to democracy. In America, power rests in the hands of powerful corporations and lobbies who completely ignore those outside of their privileged circles.
Does anyone care? The blind wear blinders.
The second after I hit ‘submit’ my comment at: Obama aims to shore up Jewish support – Washington Times
The screen read: “Comment hidden due to abuse reports.”
Since I went online as a matter of conscience and in service to the American public in 2005, I have been incessantly cyber-slandered, censored, blocked, deleted and deactivated by many; but now that I am a candidate for US HOUSE the cyber battle has heated up even more so.
As all I have ever fought with are my WORDS, I repeat again my open invitation to all who accuse me of “abuse” and in particular those who claim I am an “Anti-Semite, Holocaust denier, Nazi, Commie” to READ me and cite proof to back up the slander.
In seven years, three books and over a thousand articles-NOT one has ever taken up that offer and my conscience remains clear that all I have ever done is speak the brutal truth; and thus the impotents resort to censoring/deleting/blocking and deactivating me instead.
My Comment at Washington Times that was denied the right to be read because particular people deemed me abusive was:
Peres is the Daddy of the Dimona and Obama is NOT acting in the best interests of THIS republic!
On 2 October 2009, The Washington Times reported that Obama agreed to keep Israel’s nukes ‘secret’ and reaffirmed a 4-decade-old understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections!
In 2009 from Prague, Obama promised, “As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. When we fail to pursue peace, then it stays forever beyond our grasp. We know the path when we choose fear over hope. To denounce or shrug off a call for cooperation is an easy but also cowardly thing to do. That’s how wars begin. That’s where human progress ends..The voices of peace and progress must be raised together…Human destiny will be what we make of it…Words must mean something.”
In 1963, when Mordechachi Vanunu was nine years old the Zionists came to his home town of Marrakesh and convinced his Orthodox father to abandon his general store and pack up the first seven of his eleven children for the land of milk and honey.
Instead, the Vanunu’s were banished to the desert of Beesheva, an ethnically cleansed Palestinian village.
A few months later, Shimon Peres, then Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense met with President John Kennedy, inside the White House.
Kennedy told Peres, “You know that we follow very closely the discovery of any nuclear development in the region. This could create a very dangerous situation. For this reason we monitor your nuclear effort. What could you tell me about this?”
Peres replied, “I can tell you most clearly that we will not introduce nuclear weapons to the region, and certainly we will not be the first.”
By September of 1986, Peres was convulsing over Vanunu, who had been employed as a lowly tech in his progeny; Israel’s clandestine underground nuclear weapons centre in the Negev called the Dimona.
Peres ordered the Mossad, to “Bring the son of a bitch back here.”
Peres ordered Vanunu’s kidnapping that included a clubbing, drugging and being flung upon an Israeli cargo boat back to Israel for a closed-door trial, 18 years in jail and ever since 24/7 surveillance, as well as another 78 days in solitary confinement in 2010, the outcome of his FREEDOM OF SPEECH Trial and punishment for speaking to foreign media in 2004.
To THIS day Vanunu is still waiting for his right to leave Israel!
When he was nominated in 2009, Vanunu wrote the Nobel Committee:
“I am asking the committee to remove my name from the nominations. I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Simon Peres. Peres established and developed the atomic weapon program in Dimona in Israel. Peres was the man who ordered [my] kidnapping and he continues to oppose my freedom and release. WHAT I WANT IS FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM I NEED NOW.”
In 2005, I began a series of interviews with Vanunu and he told me what every American needs to know:
“President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’
“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.” 
On 18 March 2012, Vanunu wrote, “the way to prevent any war with Iran is By demanding, making many programs about Vanunu’s Freedom now struggle, and publishing again all the interviews, Videos, and Dimona Photos. Telling Israel the first step in the Path for M.E. disarmament is let Vanunu go NOW!!”
According to the book “Israel and the Bomb” by Avner Cohen, Peres played a key role in the Israeli nuclear weapons.
According to declassified documents published by scholar Sasha Polakow-Suransky in 2010, Peres even offered to sell nuclear-tipped Jericho missiles to Apartheid South Africa.
According to the book “Divert” by Grant Smith, part of the clandestine Israel nuclear program even involved stealing US government-owned nuclear material from the NUMEC plant in Pennsylvania. This occurred while Peres was in charge.
Americans have been given the right to address their grievances to elected officials, but the only way to address the hypocrisy in high places is to persist to expose it every chance one gets.
Although Bill Nelson is one of my senators, he does not represent me and on Wednesday, Bill emailed:
Dear Mrs. Fleming:
This afternoon, Israeli President Shimon Peres receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. I have had the privilege of knowing President Peres for many years. His courage, faith, and commitment to peace is unmatched. As one of Israel’s founding fathers, President Peres has done so much to forge the steadfast U.S. – Israeli relationship that both our great countries enjoy today. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating and honoring President Peres today.
In good conscience I cannot!
Two More Cases in Point Regarding Zionist Trolls:
Mordechai Vanunu, Mainstream Media, Wikipedia and a PS: To the Book Publishing World
On 6 June 2012, I updated Vanunu’s WIKI page under Arrests and hearings:
On 6 June 2012, Mordechai Vanunu’s petition to renounce his citizenship was denied by Israel’s High Court of Justice due to the fact it wasn’t submitted to the appropriate channels.
Vanunu responded: “The High Court of ‘Justice’ denied My petition to renounce Israel citizenship due to the fact it wasn’t submitted to the appropriate channels. It take over a year before The ‘Justice’ system informed Me and my lawyers of the ‘appropriate channels’ so now my lawyer will follow these instructions and will submit new petition.” <78>
For a few hours footnote 78 linked to my article at <salem-news.com>
When that disappeared I tried again to link it to THE SOURCE:
Vanunu himself and more on this can be read here.
WIKI now reads:
On 6 June 2012, the High Court of Justice denied Vanunu’s petition to renounce his Israeli citizenship. Vanunu said, “I want them to revoke my citizenship so that I can begin my life.” 
Footnote 78 now leads to YNET, but only those that follow it will learn the rest and most important part of the ongoing abuses against Vanunu:
“The High Court of Justice has denied nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu’s petition to renounce his citizenship due to the fact it wasn’t submitted to the appropriate channels.”
A few other attempts to silence me that also FAILED:
Eileen Fleming is NOT on Facebook since she was Deactivated: Read more…
Censoring Gravitas, Blowing Out Doors and Tearing Down Walls
It Sure Smells Like a Right Wing Zionist Cabal at The Daily Kos
Message to Rep. Corrine Brown and My Time to be a Voice of Conscience for Christ
1. BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010
Eileen Fleming and former White House correspondent Helen Thomas, 25 May 2011.
Yesterday, Ynet reported that a recent exam question at the Bichat Hospital Faculty of Medicine in Paris’ Diderot University has caused quite a controversy. The question asked student to determine whether operation Cast Lead was a genocide.
According to the Zionist umbrella organization of French Jewry, CRIF, the question, drafted by Diderot’s Professor Christophe Oberlin wondered “To what extent does it constitute a perpetual crime (war crime, crime against humanity, genocide crime)?” – The question specifically referred to the cold blooded murder, during Operation Cast Lead, of 48 members of the Samouni family.
The notorious French Jewish Lobby is already poised to round on this academic institution and to block even the most elementary intellectual exchange. Arch-Zionist Richard Prasquier, CRIF President, maintained that “as it stands, this question constitutes an absolute incitement to hate Israel…It has no place in medical education, much less in a university, and amounts to a violation of the neutrality (demanded of) professor Oberlin.” Here, Jewish-ethnic activist Prasquier is obviously wrong. Facing the truth and understanding its ethical implications is actually what academia is for and Israel must be held accountable for its murderous actions.
However, until that time, all Zionist lobbies including CRIF must be regarded as extensions of Israeli criminality. The time is ripe to move forward and to identify every element within the matrix of global Zionism and Jewish political power.
originally published in Al-Ahram Weekly
Hamas and Fatah are slowly edging towards a national reconciliation pact that would end more than five years of rift and division between the two largest political camps in occupied Palestine.
Thanks to strong public pressure, the two groups began consultations to form a mutually accepted government, comprising “independent” ministers. A “reservoir of names” has been suggested to fill various portfolios.
However, it seems the task of forming a government is not going as smoothly as one might hope. Observers in the occupied territories suggest it is difficult to find truly independent and capable figures that would be accepted by both Fatah and Hamas, especially when Palestinians are highly polarised and politicised.
Second, it is uncertain if the Israeli occupation authorities, that have the de facto final say with regard to the formation of any Palestinian Authority (PA) government, will consent to any new political arrangements in the West Bank involving Hamas.
Israel, which views Hamas as a terrorist organisation due to the Islamist liberation movement’s refusal to recognise the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian homeland, has been hounding supporters of Hamas ever since the resistance group won general elections held under international observation in 2006.
Moreover, Israeli leaders have vowed to prevent Hamas from taking part in any new elections.
The Israeli threat should be taken seriously as Israel completely controls the West Bank, including areas run by the PA and nominally controlled by the PA security agencies.
Israel also continues to detain dozens of elected Hamas political leaders in open-ended captivity, including many since 2006.
Detainees include Parliament Speaker Aziz Deweik (an American educated professor of urban planning) and some 26 other MPs representing the West Bank. Israeli leaders argue that Hamas has no legitimacy as long as it refuses to recognise Israel. Hamas says Israel has no legitimacy as long as it refuses to recognise a viable Palestinian state.
The PA promised Hamas’s leadership it would ask influential world powers to pressure Israel to allow free and unfettered Palestinian elections to take place in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
However, it is unlikely that the PA would succeed given the extremist nature of the current Israeli government.
Hamas and Fatah are aware of the Israeli veto over the issue of elections. The two sides reportedly agreed to seek “an alternative mechanism” in case the organisation of elections proved impossible thanks to Israeli objections.
Apart from the elections issue, Hamas and Fatah are still divided over the political process. Fatah, through Palestine Liberation Organisation/PA President Mahmoud Abbas, seems willing to utilise every conceivable opportunity to resume what most observers view as a bankrupt peace process under whose rubric Israel has been expanding its settlement enterprise at a phenomenal rate.
Last week, Abbas implored Israel to release Palestinian prisoners in order to enable the resumption of the peace process.
Abbas’s remarks drew negative and angry reactions among most Palestinians, who interpreted them as a de facto abandonment of the erstwhile central Palestinian condition for the resumption of the stalled peace process: namely, a halt to all settlement expansion in the occupied territories.
Abbas said putting an end to settlement expansion was not merely a Palestinian demand. “It is rather an Israeli commitment; we are only asking Israel to honour its own commitment,” said Abbas.
Israel denies it has ever made such commitments, insisting it has every right to build in the “fatherland”.
Far from halting settlement expansion, the Israel government this week announced plans to build more than 2500 settler units in the West Bank as “compensation” to settlers for a tentative decision by the Israeli High Court to remove five apartment buildings built on private Palestinian land near Ramallah.
Eager to appease settlers, who enjoy strong clout within the government and military establishment, the government said it would transfer the settlers living in the five building to live in mobile homes or fixed structures to be built on nearby Palestinian property. The settlers declined the offer, made by none other than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, saying they won’t accept anything less than 3000 additional settler apartments.
For its part, Hamas views the current peace process as “utterly futile” and that has no chance of succeeding, especially in light of the right-wing extremist trends prevailing in Israel and also the unwillingness — if not inability — of the United States and major Western powers to force Israel to end its 45-year-long occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
The reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas is taking place in less than an idealistic atmosphere. Hamas accuses PA security agencies of continuing to round up members and supporters of Hamas in the West Bank, under the rubric of security coordination with Israel.
This week, the Obama administration announced the appointment of Admiral Paul Bushong as the new security coordinator between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He is set to replace Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Mueller in that post.
Like his predecessor, Bushong, previously a commander in Guam, will be responsible for beefing up the PA’s security infrastructure, overseeing the training of the PA’s security forces and security coordination between Israel and PA security.
Hamas strongly denounced the step, calling it “a new measure to suppress the Palestinians” in the West Bank.
Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum said the appointment of Bushong didn’t augur well for the cause of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation. “The PA can’t claim to be sincere about national reconciliation at a time when it keeps coordinating with Israel against Hamas.”
The PA has sought to downplay the Bushong appointment, saying it won’t have any practical impact on the Palestinian reconciliation process. One Fatah leader in the West Bank, Ziyad Abu Ein, described Hamas’s fears as “highly exaggerated”.
Meanwhile, both Hamas and Fatah are awaiting the run-off round of Egypt’s presidential elections on 16 June.
Hamas openly supports Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, while Fatah at least tacitly supports Mursi’s opponent, ex-President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik.
A possible win by Mursi would lend Hamas an important psychological victory, as it would consolidate the ascendancy of the Islamic current throughout the Arab region.
On the other hand, a victory by Shafik could embolden Fatah, especially vis-³-vis Hamas, and might even complicate the cause of Palestinian reconciliation.
Both Hamas and Fatah say they don’t intervene in the internal affairs of Egypt and that they will work with whomever the Egyptian people elect as their next president.
Bukra il-mishmish” they say…
On Thursday, June 14, 2012, Egypt’s highest court dissolved Parliament and martial law was reimposed by the country’s military rulers. On June 16-17 the second round in Egypt’s first free presidential polls will take place. The two events are closely related, being an attempt of the military to manipulate the judicial system in order to reinstate the deposed Mubarak regime with a different head.
The complex parliamentary elections to the People’s Assembly of Egypt began in late November 2011, and continued until the following January. To the horror of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) running the country since Mubarak was deposed, the Muslim Brothers won a significant percentage of the vote; their party Freedom and Justice got 48%. Al-Nour—another Islamist party—got 28%. In their first free parliamentary elections, Egyptians said “no!” to the despotic rule of the military which has run the republic since its foundation in 1953. Shortly afterwards, the new parliament began cementing the revolution that ousted Mubarak. In April, it passed a law intended to ban top officials who served under Mubarak in the last decade from becoming president; this became a major obstacle in the way of the SCAF. By definition, all the candidates they could support were banned by this law. The military had no chance of nullifying it; instead they decided to nullify parliament. Time Time was of the essence, as presidential elections were to take place in May.
Candidate Ahmed Shafiq
In late May, the first round of the presidential elections took place; to the shock of the SCAF, the military was again defeated. The Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Mursi, got a slight lead on former PM Ahmed Shafiq, with 25.3% of votes against 24.9%, forcing the upcoming second round. Concentrating all their remaining forces in a single strategic attack, the SCAF won an important victory yesterday when the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt ruled that the parliamentary elections had been unconstitutional and dissolved the parliament.
“These are false accusations!” Egyptians army officers would exclaim at this point if they bothered reading my articles. On a very technical level, it is not possible to claim the SCAF is openly attempting to place a figurehead as the next president of the country. Yet, looking at the details it is not possible to deny that. Candidate Ahmed Shafiq had not been formally placed by the army, but he was as close to that as possible. Like Mubarak, Shafiq is a former fighter pilot; he served as commander of the Egyptian air force from 1996 to 2002. He was selected to be Egypt’s Prime Minister on 29 January 2011, during the last days of the Mubarak presidency and was forced to resign a few months later because of his links to Mubarak. Ever since, he has been widely considered a remnant of the old and corrupt military regime.
The other center of power in this saga is also highly questionable. All the judges in the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt had been appointed by Mubarak. Proving loyal to their former master, they ruled that the parliamentary elections had been unconstitutional, claiming that one third of the winners were illegitimate. Two things make this ruling highly suspicious, to say the least. First, the Muslim Brotherhood held the majority of the seats ruled unconstitutional. Second, the timing of the publication, just days before the second and final round of the presidential elections, is a clear attempt to change the result, since the nullification of the parliament and the laws it passed, cleared the way for Mr. Shafiq to become president.
One of the best testimonies of Mr. Shafiq’s unfitness for the position of president was provided during his short service as Prime Minister. On a television talk show with author Alaa al-Aswany, he said: “I fought in wars, I killed and was killed.” Dead candidates should not be allowed to run non-zombie countries.
On June 2, I published Mubarak Sentenced to Life in Prison; Is Netanyahu Next? One of the readers claimed that this won’t happen since “Israel is centuries ahead of Egypt.” He wasn’t kind enough to educate me regarding the reasons for his surprising judgment; “ahead” in which sense? Did he mean in the state’s technical capability to commit mass-murders? After all, nobody can claim that the State of Israel is ahead of anybody on moral terms. Oddly enough, recent events in both countries show that Israel and Egypt are very similar in their oddly outdated approach to the rule of law. Both regimes use a judiciary system which is clearly dependent on the political system in order to advance the political agendas of the ruling oligarchies. The events surrounding the ongoing Egyptian elections prove that for Egypt. Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took great pains to appoint as president of the Supreme Court a right-wing candidate (see Netanyahu buys Justice). The Israeli courts may be a bit more aware of media repercussions of their rulings and thus are a bit more cautious, but eventually, they also rule as per the wishes of their political masters (see Netanyahu, Snow White, and Ulpana). This violates the separation of powers to be expected in a modern state, rendering both regimes void of value, as the ongoing popular protests in both countries show. Go away Mubarak! Go away Netanyahu! General Tantawi and Rabbi Rothschild, General Ashkenazi and General Shafik, you represent nobody. You promote violence and oppression; crimes and oligarchies. You belong to the past; and there, you’ll be relinquished. “Bukra il-mishmish” is an Egyptian peasant proverb that literally means “tomorrow the apricot,” meaning that today they will not enjoy this luxurious fruit, but maybe tomorrow they will. It is a touching reminder of their poverty and a lifestyle that has not changed much since the days of the pharaohs. “Bukra il-mishmish” they say; “tomorrow democracy,” we answer.
Bukra il-mishmish | Tomorrow the apricot