Published on Jun 19, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
Greek party leaders are trying for a second time to form a coalition government.
Will Greece eventually continue with its international bailouts and impose the harsh austerity measures and budget cuts as required by its agreements with the EU and the IMF or will the Greek have to exit the Eurozone and watch what happens next to the bloc?
PressTV Report. 24 year old Andrey Pshenichnikov is in the French capital with a purpose that goes beyond tourism.
This is his passport, the one he wants to renounce. In the past, some Israelis have managed to get their citizenship revoked, but there are no known cases of these Israelis applying for Palestinian residency or a Palestinian passport.
Born in Tajikistan before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Andrey Pshenichnikov’s parents moved to Russia in search of a better life.
And then the family moved to Israel.
It took only a little while before he discovered the darker side of his new country.
This experience influenced his years as a soldier of the Israeli Defense Forces.
Instead, Andrey Pshenichnikov lived and worked at the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem, first in hotels and then in construction.
He is also open to the idea of settling down in Gaza.
Andrey Pshenichnikov says Israeli authorities have black listed him as a terrorist.
And he believes, it’s easier to give up his citizenship when he’s out of Israel.
He hopes, his decision will set an example and inspire others to follow.
The process to renounce his citizenship could be a lengthy one, one that Andrey Pshenichnikov says he is willing to face.
Rich Siegel’s six-year-old daughter Emily Gu Siegel created the cover art for her Poet, Musician, Activist and Spiritual Progressive Father’s CD “The Way to Peace”
Emily’s art work immediately put me in mind of John Lennon who was inspired to write “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by his son’s artwork- and also this John Lennon print that hangs above my bathtub:
The first listen through of Rich’s twelve songs also put me in mind of Jesus/AKA The Prince of Peace and THE WAY, who began a movement with twelve ordinary men with the message that the One God Loves All People Equally.
Rich’s religious views are “One God=One Love.”
Jesus was born lived and died a Palestinian Jew under a brutal military occupation.
Rich grew up in a Zionist home and lived in Israel before he learned he had been “lied to” about the “original sin” of national Zionism that continues to wreck havoc on the Holy Land.
Rich dedicates his most haunting song, “In Palestine” to the children of Gaza and in particular to Abir Aramin.
“In Palestine” as Rich pleads to God for all of US to STOP the killing, I imagined what a wonderful world it could be IF only this song were sung in every Christian Church throughout America as the faces of the children of Palestine flashed on a screen:
All because of a photo first published by The Florida Catholic in 2000, my life was irrevocably changed.
Photographer Debbie Hill captured three-year-old George [it is his photo that adorns the banner of my website] of Beit Jala, which is less than a five-minute car ride from downtown Bethlehem.
The photo was shot the morning after the Israeli military forces retaliated against a few hopeless militants who had infiltrated George’s neighborhood to snipe across the way into the illegal settlement/colony of Gilo, which lies about a mile as the crow flies from the top of the hill around the corner from George’s home.
The shrapnel that blew apart the wall of George’s bedroom read ‘Made in USA’ and was delivered via American made Apache helicopters.
The second I saw George’s eyes, in that photo, my heart said “DO SOMETHING!”
And that was the moment that I began to wake up from my comfortable Christianity to the brutal military occupation of Palestine and see ALL the children of that troubled land as my children too.
George’s face has adorned the banner of my website since I established it in 2005 after my first of seven trips to the State of Israel and Land of Palestine.
Abir’s face has adorned the left margin of my website ever since I learned that on 16 January 2007, the ten year old was walking with her sister and two friends to buy some sweet treats during a break between classes in the West Bank village of Anata, which is about four miles from Jerusalem.
While standing beside her sister at a kiosk, Abir was shot in the head with a rubber bullet fired from the rifle of a Border Guard soldier who was sitting in his well armored jeep.
After three days on life support Abir’s struggle ended- but not the struggle for justice her parents and all people of conscience seek-to STOP the KILLING in the Land of Palestine and State of Israel.
Israeli and Palestinian Children Killed September 29, 2000 – Present
126 Israeli childrenhave been killed by Palestinians and 1,476 Palestinian childrenhave been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)
In 2007, Avichay Sharon, of Combatants for Peace explained, “Over the past 2 years, the Israeli Border Police and IDF forces have been creating provocations near the school district of Anata [which] has become a part of the daily routine for the children. Ever since construction started on the separation barrier surrounding Anata, the jeeps have been roaming the streets especially near the schools and shooting grenades and tear gas along with rubber bullets.”
Bassam Aramin, Abir’s father and co-founder of Combatants for Peace said, “I’m not going to lose my common sense, my direction, only because I’ve lost my heart, my child. I will do all I can to protect her friends, both Palestinian and Israeli. They are all our children.”
In March of 2006, I visited Anata and have been tormented by my memories ever since. The thirty-foot high concrete Wall that surrounds the boys high school where 780 Palestinian adolescents, only ‘playground’ is a slab of cement about the square footage of a basket ball court.
A resident refugee informed me that on a daily basis, “The Israeli Occupation Forces show up when the children gather in the morning or after classes. They throw percussion bombs or gas bombs into the school nearly every day! The world is sleeping; the world is hibernating and is allowing this misery to continue.”
A moment later, a teenage boy approached me as I was taking photos and asked me my name and where I was from. I cringed admitting I was American, for “financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Jan/Feb. 2007]
On July 9, 2004, the International Court of Justice/ICJ, ruled 14-1 that The Wall was illegal and it must come down and also that compensation should be paid to all who had been affected.
The ICJ Judges also decided 13-2 that signatories to the Geneva Convention were obliged to enforce “compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law” and the U.N. General Assembly also passed a resolution 150-6 supporting the ICJ’s call to dismantle the wall.” [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2009]
Less than five minutes by car from Anata, one can enter into the Orwellian Disney Land of lush green grounds called the Pizgat Ze’ev settlement.
All the settlements/colonies in the West Bank are illegal under international law.
I was sick at heart as I traveled through the colony and counted three playgrounds and a swimming pool.
I wondered how many USA tax dollars helped to build them, and outraged over the injustices of Walls and military occupation that American money provides against the indigenous people of that land.
Within fifteen minutes after leaving Anata, as I stood next to a playground in Pizgat Ze’ev, a barrage of gunshots issued from the refugee camp and my guide informed me that the Israeli soldiers were showering the refugees with gunfire and terror- another normal daily occurrence for them.
I lost it completely then and sobbed uncontrollably, as I imagined the Magdalena when she could not find her Lord.
And then I thought of how Jesus cried buckets of tears over Jerusalem when he “saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you had only known what would bring you peace but it is hidden from your eyes.’”- Luke 19:42
Lady Justice, the Roman Goddess of Justice, an allegorical personification of the moral force in judicial systems, is depicted wearing a blindfold to indicate that justice should be meted out objectively, not based in favor of- or against- ethnicity, power, or weakness, but on blind impartiality.
How Do We Teach The Children- and ourselves- The Way to Peace?
“There is no way to peace-peace is the way”-A.J. Muste
But Rich Siegel’s CD offers us some wonderful ways to imagine it as we teach our children through music what a what a wonderful world it should and can be; and
“What a Wonderful World” with Gilad Atzom on sax will blow you away and is also another highlight on “The Way To Peace”
To order and learn more visit http://www.richsiegel.com/
Double Standards-06-16-2012 from PressTV. G20leaders prepare to meet in one of the most dangerous countries on earth dressed as a Mariachi band. And in the occasion of Queen of England’s birthday we look at the slave labor that worked on her Diamond Jubilee. We also talk to the man who broke into the Leveson Inquiry and called Tony Blair a war criminal, the filmmaker and activist, David Lawley Wakelin, about war crimes and JPMorgan Chase. These and much more are all reviewed in this edition of Double Standards with Afshin Rattansi.
Egypt’s neighbour, Israel is more than aware of the developments across the border. Relations between the two countries have been sinking since the toppling of Mubarak last year. And war-mongering rhetoric has been stepped up, as Paula Slier reports.
With apologies to Naseem Elissa of Cobham (The real bookseller) and Munther Fahmi of Jerusalem (the bookseller in the picture)
Take my friend Naseem for example. Naseem owns Joppa Books in Byfleet and I’m down there one Saturday morning, by appointment, to see him and his books. Not that an appointment was necessary since it quickly becomes obvious that Naseem spends most of his waking life amongst his books.
“Joppa?” he says in answer to my query, “Why Joppa? It’s the old name forJaffa.”
It turns out that it was in old Jaffa that Naseem was born and it was from the old Jaffa waterfront that Naseem, aged eleven, was passed down to a small boat with his parents as Zionist militia took the old town with mortars, gunshots and loudhailers. He can’t remember much of course, just the noise of the loudspeaker vans.
“They’d recorded sounds of screaming and sobbing. Women. Always of the women. I remember that…..…. Irgun” he tailed off trance-like.
“Irgun” he said “You know, Deir Yassin”
For Naseem and for the six million other Palestinians in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, America, Europe, South America and anywhere else these people have found themselves, no more need be said to explain the mad flight from towns and villages, the clearing of the land. For some it’s Lydda or Ramle or Haifa or five hundred odd villages. But for Naseem it’s Jaffa. Thousands, then with numbers swollen from the outlying villages long fallen to Zionist onslaught, tens of thousands, pouring down the boulevards leading to the sea. From every corner of the city, from the swish Ajami, and from the squalid Manshiyyeh they began their flight by sea and land, on wheels and on foot. Meanwhile in the smart city centre, young Irgunists ransacked stores of dresses and ornaments for their girlfriends till everything was carted off: furniture, carpets, pictures, crockery and cutlery. And what they could not carry, they smashed: pianos, lamps and window-panes.
Finally the most disgusting spectacle of all, as Jews of all classes poured into Jaffa from Tel Aviv to grab what was left.
“And now?” I ask
“Now?” Naseem answers, “So now you choose, Arab squalor or Hebrew chic”
He’s referring to the pride of new Jaffa’s old Ajami district, now crammed with espresso bars and bistros where Israelis come of a Saturday afternoon to sample the authentic middle-eastern flavour. The artists’ studios, the final vulgarity.
“….the New Israel Fund put some money in, mainly from rich, Los Angeles Jews,…. liberals. Something about renewing the city centre. So what did you get? Galleries and pizza bars, and Jaffa is gentrified by the very same people who had created the mess in the first place….Now they’ve done with rocketing prices what the Irgun did with guns and mortar bombs – the destruction of Arab Jaffa”
A few years back Nasseem visited.
“You know, you drive on the main highway andJaffaisn’t even marked as an exit. You have to know to get off at the exit marked Kibbutz Galiyot.”
Rejecting any ready-to-wear conspiracy theory, Nassem concludes that Kibbutz Galiyot is simply a more important feature on the Israeli map than is Jaffa. Then, once off the highway it’s just housing projects and industrial parks all the way. “I tell you, David, you’ve really got to want to get there to make it through that lot!”
Finally he made it to his old district, even to the site of his house.
“….There was nothing there, so I assumed the house was destroyed but I kept on hanging around, checking landmarks. I just had a feeling….Then it hit me. That horrible two-story pebble-brown Israeli building I was standing in front of is our house, or at least, was our house. Now it had a second storey and the whole thing had been coated with institution coloured pebbled-cement. David, they’d buried my house. Well, I was just too upset to even think of going inside so I just got back in the car. Then, emblazoned in Hebrew and English letters I saw its new identity, Beit Nurit – House of Light and ahead, a large electric gate which was now the front entrance. It was open and I just couldn’t resist so I walked in.”
“The inside was as confusing as the outside. Entrances had been switched, additions made, walls knocked down. And, just like the outside, the whole place had been coated with this anonymous institutional fascia. Then I saw these arches. It was like a sudden shock of recognition. You see, there’s this old family photograph from 1947, you know with that dream-like, slightly out-of-focus quality to it, of all of us standing in front of these same arches. When I was a boy I used to look at that photo and I always wondered at how innocent they all looked, you know, when you realise what was going to happen to them just one year later.”
“Well just then someone spoke to me in Hebrew and I was startled out of my dream. A woman, a large blonde Germanic looking matron in a white coat, a real Nurse Ratchet, saying things I didn’t understand. I looked around and realised that the house was full of retarded children. I answered in English. She asked me what I wanted and I said that this was once my house and I just wanted to look at it. She said I must be mistaken, that it couldn’t be true, and, anyway how could I know it was my house? I said I grew up in it, that’s how I know. Anyway, she said that before I looked around anymore she must ask the Director. So, after a bit I was ushered up to the Director whose reaction was completely different. He sat there at his desk with this aura of wisdom, of deep, expansive understanding, like a sage.”
‘Come in come in, yes, yes come in, here I want to show you something’ he said in that aggressive manner that seems to pass for warmth in Israelis.
I followed him to the landing where there was an odd coloured frieze on the wall. He asked me to look closely and then proceeded to explain to me that the frieze (which I was barely able to focus on as I heard his words) depicted the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israeland the creation of the Jewish state. He ended with words that I vaguely remember as something about the success of the Zionist dream. I really wasn’t sure what this was all about, perhaps he was just really wanting to gloat and make sure I was completely clear about who was in charge. It was very sick and unnecessary. ”
My reaction was, well, one of non-reaction. I was speechless. Anyway I left and walked round the neighbourhood. There was a small archaeological museum with placards narrating the history of Jaffa. But they had completely removed virtually anything Arab from the city. Look, I can show you.”
He got up and marched into a back room, returning with a small brochure which he slapped down on the desk.
“Look at this David” he taps impatiently with a forefinger.
Headed “Old Jaffa” and published by “The Old Jaffa Development Corporation”, on the front page was a potted history.
**1750 Establishment of Jaffa’s first Jewish hostel
**1799 Conquest of Jafa by Napoleon’s forces, outbreak of the bubonic plague
**1820 Revival ofJaffa’s Jewish Community with the establishment of a hostel and synagogue by Iaiah Ajiman
**1832 Conquest of Jaffa by the Egyptian forces
**1881 First Group of Jewish pioneers, belonging to the Bilu organization arrives inJaffa
**1903-1905 Jaffa suffers a crippling cholera epidemic
**1917 Expulsion of the Jewish communities ofJaffa and Tel Aviv by the Turkish Administration
**16 November, 1917Conquest of Jaffa by Allenby
**1936-39 Anti-Jewish Disturbances throughout the country [this is how the Great Palestine Rebellion against British rule is described]
**14 May 1948Jaffa is liberated during the passover festival by the Jewish underground
**24 April 1950Tel Aviv andJaffa is unified.
Accompanied by panels and etchings illustrating the history, there was not one Arab to be seen. Before I even got to the bottom Naseem reached over,
“No David, look, look at this.” He snatches the leaflet, turns it over and thrusts it back into my still open hands. “Look, look!”
“Towards the end of WWI the city was conquered by General Allenby, ushering in the period of the British Mandate. The port of Jaffa, (the sole port at the time) served as the point of entry for the increased Jewish immigration which came to the land. The Jews suffered from pogroms and persecution at the hand of the Arabs. The attacks reached a peak shortly before the declaration of the state of Israel in May 1948.
“Jewish defensive action led to the flight of most of the city’s Arabs, and shortly after that part of the city was settled by the impoverished Jewish families whom the war had left homeless.”
“So this is what we’re up against, David. Unbelievable….Anyway I’d had just about enough history so I left and went to the fish restaurant by the sea. A bit of a ritual this, for us old Jaffaites. After being slapped in the face by our gentrified, de-Arabized city, and after being treated to a laundered version of our own history, we then treat ourselves to a slap-up meal by the sea to forgive and forget….”
Still, Naseem’s made a good enough life for himself. For years he was inAbu Dhabi working as an engineer and then thought, “Shit, what’s life for?” So he came to Britain to work with his real love. Books.
Naseem has a lot of books. On shelves, in cupboards, on desks, filed and catalogued in his elaborate computer system. Just one glance at the Palestine-Israel section of his catalogue which he so promptly sent in answer to my telephone enquiry tells you all you need to know. Books onIsrael, onPalestineon the Israel/Palestine conflict catalogued with author, title, short description and an assessment of condition. Books on everything. The land, the people, the history, the archaeology, the culture, the wars, the treaties, Jerusalem, Arafat, Ben Gurion, the American Jewish lobby, the 1948 war, the Suez campaign, the Six-Day War the Yom Kippur war, the Lebanon war, Entebbe, travel guides, biographies, photo books, pre-state Zionism, post-state Zionism, Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Bedouin, Druze, pro-Zionism, anti-Zionism. Why, there’s something for everyone! So go into Naseem’s stock rooms at the back of the shop. I did, and I spent a good two hours there whilst Naseem sat in his office compiling his lists of old books a million miles from old Jaffa.
Neck aching from reading the spines, heart beating from this treasure-trove I pause only, when, at the end of one of the shelves, stacked neatly on the floor I come across a pile of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. Not believing what I am seeing, I go on, finally settling on a book on Palestinian village life. It was cheap. Naseem’s books, fascinating as they are, are outrageously expensive. Then to the front office to pay. As we go through the formalities we chat.
Naseem brushes off The Protocols. He just sends them to America. A middle-man. And he laughs and shows me a book so anti-Semitic that I can hardly put it down. “Is he mad?” I ask Naseem referring to the author who, Naseem assures me is a Jew.
Naseem likes England though not, he’s quick to add, the weather. But he is disenchanted with the peace process. Actually ‘disenchanted’ doesn’t do Naseem’s feelings justice. Like so many of the Palestinians I’m to meet in these post-Oslo days Naseem is bereft. Like a motherless child, he searches everywhere. Arafat? It’s as if his own father had upped and gone. And, like so many Palestinians I am to meet over the next few weeks, his spirits only really rise at the mention of Edward Said. “Did you see the article?” He booms, referring to the piece by Said in the Guardian a few days ago denouncing the Oslo sell-out. Only one other name receives a similar accolade. “Ah! Chomsky!” he beams, “Now there’s a man! A Jew who speaks out!” And Rabin? “A man to trust, a man to do business with.” Says Naseem. I’m not so sure.
“You know I sometimes I feel I ought to do something.” he says, “But what?” I have no answer for him.
On the way out I ask him if he lives nearby.
“Yes in Cobham”
“Cobham!” I say. “Weird place for a Palestinian.”
Sometimes I wish I was a dolphin…
Prosperity – Austerity
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In this edition of Reality Check weekly review, the upcoming talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Moscow. We will also look at the US being against peace in Syria, and Ahmed Shafiq raised trouble in Egypt. These and much more are all reviewed in this edition of Reality Check weekly review.
Remember Palestine-06-16-2012 from Press TV with Lauren Booth featuring Gilad Atzmon.
As convoys and flotillas are being increasingly blocked from entering Palestine, activists look increasingly to the Boycott Movement as a way to pressure Israel. Most recently, the Co-operative Group decided to no longer engage with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements. This was a great achievement for activists who have campaigned for this kind of boycott for years in the face of government’s refusal to act in compliance with international human rights norms.
This month campaigns were also held against the Habima Theatre Company performance as part of the Globe’s Shakespeare festival. This boycott was called in response to the Palestinian call to boycott all Israeli cultural institutions which “continue to serve the purposes of the Israeli colonial and apartheid regime”. The protest at Habima’s performance was covered by most of the UK’s major news outlets drawing attention to Israel’s human rights violations.
by Lawrence Britt Spring 2003
Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism (“Fascism Anyone?,” Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine’s policy.
The 14 characteristics are:
- Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
- Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
- Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc
- Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
- Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
- Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
- Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
- Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
- Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
- Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
- Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
- Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations
- Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
- Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Copyright © 2003 Free Inquiry magazine
Reprinted for Fair Use Only.
This article was based upon the article “The Hallmarks of Fascist Regime” by Skip Stone, at www.hippy.com/php/article-226.html.
Employing legalistic chicanery, blatant deceit and contemptible conspiracies, the remnants of the Mubarak regime seem hell-bent on aborting the Egyptian revolution.
On Thursday, 14 June, the so-called Constitutional Court, an entity that was utterly silent during 30 years of corruption, tyranny and repression under the previous regime, issued a hasty decision, dissolving the People’s Assembly or Parliament.
This parliament was elected only three months ago in perfectly transparent elections observed by the entire world and supervised by the Egyptian judicial system. None of the judges then questioned the legality and transparency of the elections. They all boasted about the democratic credentials of the ruling junta, saying that Egypt was entering a new era of human rights, political freedoms and civil liberties.
With the last round of parliamentary polls, it became clear that the Islamists were the winners. This infuriated the “Mubarak party” which began ranting and raving about “an Islamist takeover of Egypt” and the “monopoly of the Ikhwan” over the Egyptian scene.
Such disgusting canards and vociferous accusations were repeated so often that one would get the impression that the Islamist arrogated, not earned, their electoral victories.
Some of the small leftist and Nasserist parties went beyond the pale of decency and common sense in vilifying the Islamists for winning “more seats than they should” as if the Islamists were supposed to ask the voters to vote for them sparingly or parsimoniously.!!!
The discourse employed by the leftists and pseudo liberals in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections was so mendacious, so malicious, so repulsive and above all markedly preposterous that it portrayed the Islamists as “hijackers or stealers of the people’s will.” The utter depravity of these so-called “democratic forces” reached such a point that a casual listener to these hypocrites’ lies and vindictive falsification of the facts would think that the real problem lies with the Ikhwan, not with Zionist Mubarak regime.
More to the point, the de facto rejection of the democratic process by these pseudo liberals and pseudo-democrats underscore their hypocrisy and despotic impulses. In the final analysis, feeling gleeful and going into a state of ecstasy over the dissolution of a democratically-elected parliament, which exhausted the poor country and cost her hundreds of millions of dollars, shows the utter falsehood of their democratic claims.
I can’t understand what could justify the dissolution of a democratically-elected parliament only a few weeks after was elected? Indeed, if there were true legal gaps rendering the parliament unconstitutional as the mouthpieces of the regime keep parroting, such gaps should have been determined and tackled from the very inception, given the fact that the elections were held under the supervision of the justice system from A to Z.
However, the fact that the court said nothing and did nothing until the eve of the presidential elections suggests more than a foul play.
More to the point, one would wonder if the Constitutional court would have dissolved the parliament had secularist and liberal forces won the elections. The answer is left to each and everyone of us according to his or her honesty.
In every democratic country under the sun, the elected representatives of the people have the right to write the constitution or select a body of experts to do the job. However, according to Mubarak’s shipyard dogs, this right must be withdrawn from the elected representatives and given to losers that were ejected by the masses.
There is no doubt that the dissolution of the parliament represents a blatant rape of the will the Egyptian people by the military establishment along with the remnants of the judicial establishment, a body that was always at Mubarak’s beck and call.
Hence, it is imperative that the current judicial establishment be subjected to a process of thorough purification lest that establishment continues conniving and colluding with the tyrannical military establishment in order to reproduce the Mubarak regime and take Egypt back to American-Zionist bondage.
To put it simply and straightforwardly, the current judicial establishment can’t be entrusted or relied upon to uphold justice in Egypt.
Two weeks ago, the Egyptian justice system acquitted nearly all the pillars of the previous regime, including hundreds of murderers, thieves, and conspirers.
True, Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly were sentenced to life imprisonment, probably under public pressure.
But what is the fate of the murderers of more than 850 Egyptian protesters? Who killed them? Did the killers come from Mars or another galaxy? And why is it that the burden of proof lies with the victims’ families and lawyers, not the state.
Indeed, what is the state’s raison d’être if not to protect the lives of its citizens and uphold justice? The state can’t just tell the families of the victims, “sorry, we don’t know who killed your loved ones, and may God’s mercy be bestowed on them.” The state is guilty of breach of trust.
I don’t know how the Egyptian scene will evolve following the presidential elections now underway. Will the notorious Constitutional Court declare these elections null and void if the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Muhammed Mursi wins the polls?
Everything is possible and nothing can be taken for granted, because the orphans of Mubarak are alive and kicking and will not cease their treacherous and treasonous acts unless they are eliminated. But nothing other than the continuation and intensification of the revolution will guarantee their elimination.
Egypt is going through a crucial and difficult period. May God help Egypt.
Jihan Hafiz reports thousands of Egyptians hit the streets rejecting the disbanding of Parliament, as the Egyptian military is moving towards full dictatorship
I dislike sport a great deal but I thought this is not really a sport story. It is however a great example of cultural boycott of Israel, from some very enthusiastic Palestine activists, involving “shouting” and disruption of their game. The Habima Theatre protestors could have done with some help from these guys and gals, rather than their silent protest and hand-sewn banners. This is the kind of thing we want more of…
Happily this is not just the first protest at a sporting event in the UK, another is planned for June 20th in Wales.
The gathering on June 20 will see a huge protest against Israel regime’s apartheid, based on which the regime imprisons Palestinian athletes without charge and at the same time sends its own athletes to international events to win medals.
Between 5pm to 6.30pm, outside Wrexham Stadium; supporters of human rights will come from all over Britain to protest that the Israeli Women’s football teams are allowed to play Wales in the Women’s European Championship qualifiers.
Currently, Mahmoud Sarsak, a member of the Palestinian national football team is in the 88th day of a hunger strike against his imprisonment without charge or trial since July 2009, when he was abducted while on the way to play in a match.
— Anna Andersson (@annaander) June 17, 2012
Watch the following animated cartoon concerning the collapse of the “American dream.” You’ll notice that at no point in its entire half-hour run time is there any mention of “Jews” or “AIPAC” or “Israel”—nor about the subservience to the Jewish state exhibited by our leaders in Washington, nor the wars or financial ruin brought upon us by this subservient, satellite alliance. BUT—the animation does give us a rather interesting depiction of the international bankers…as snakes with red shields.
In German, the words “red shield” translate to rot Schild, or Rothschild. Moreover, there can be no doubt the Jewish Rothschild family is the one being referred to, for the history of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815—as related at about 15 minutes into the video—is clearly the history of the Rothschild family. A Jewish family whose members are depicted as snakes. Is the cartoon therefore anti-Semitic? Or is it merely making a truthful observation?
What we have here is a video created by an obvious “non-anti-Semite,” but which at the same time possesses, shall we say, certain “anti-Semitic connotations” in its depiction of Jewish bankers as snakes. The lesson to be drawn would therefore be that even if you’re not an anti-Semite, or if you’re at any rate making a concerted effort to avoid sounding like one, “anti-Semitism” nonetheless is completely unavoidable if you’re to say anything of substance about the world we live in. That seems to be the nature of reality these days.
I mention all this because next year, 2013, will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. Presumably there will be some kind of protest. Ideally, this would be a massive demonstration outside the main Federal Reserve in Washington, with related protests at each of the 12 Federal Reserve regional banks. This could easily become a nationwide movement, and one thing it has going for it is that whether you’re a Tea Party-ist on the Right, or an antiwar activist on the Left, presumably we could all agree that the bankers have too much power and the Fed ought to be ended. Yet so far, at least as of now, there doesn’t seem to be much on the Web about a protest or even about the anniversary at all. On a Ron Paul site here you can find a brief acknowledgement that the anniversary is approaching, likewise here, or go here and here and read about the 100th anniversary of the Jekyll Island meeting (an anniversary that actually occurred two years ago). But that’s largely it, other than, of course, mentions by the Federal Reserve itself (which seem to be stated in a deliberately low key manner).
The Federal Reserve was created by act of Congress on December 23, 1913, so there’s plenty of time yet to organize something. But a key question, as the date approaches and people plan events, is to what extent organizers will feel themselves able to freely discuss the “anti-Semitic” aspects of the issue that could and should be addressed. My guess is there will be a huge reticence in this regard, but the fact is the Federal Reserve is Jewish at its very core. The Rothschild family was intimately involved in establishing the Fed, mainly through the efforts of its U.S. agents, Jacob Schiff and Paul Warburg, both of whom were connected to the Kuhn, Loeb, and Co. investment bank. Here is what I wrote about the Fed in an article I posted roughly a year ago:
Since its creation in 1913, the Federal Reserve has had 14 chairmen, five of whom have been Jewish, including Charles S. Hamlin, the very first Fed chairman, and Ben Bernanke, who holds the position today. This means slightly more than a third of all the chairmen have been Jewish. To put that into perspective, Jews make up roughly 2.2 percent of the U.S. population, while Asians, African-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos together comprise approximately 34.5 percent. There has never been a single Hispanic, African-American, or Asian-American Fed chairman. Last year, Obama appointed three new members to the Fed’s Board of Governors: Janet Yellen, Sarah Bloom Raskin, and Peter Diamond. Though such things are difficult to verify, it has been claimed that all three are Jewish. Yellen succeeded Donald Kohn as vice-chairman of the board.
So as I say, an “End-the-Fed” protest is very much in order, and of course such a protest could perhaps use a logo. The graphic you see at the top of this post is one I did myself. It’s a humble offering, and without a doubt better artists than I could improve upon the design, but if you so desire, feel free to copy and make use of it.
One thousand Brits were carefully selected by “People in power” to be honoured with gongs, merits and medals from the Queen. One woman on BBC Radio 2 eplained what it was like when she got her award from the Queen today.
At first when I got it I was terrified, the the envelope was so strange & frightening, but when I opened it up I realised it was an honour”
- T. S. Ashton, economic historian, Emeritus Professor of Economic History, University of London, 1957 New Year Honours
- Frank Auerbach, artist (in 2003)
- Norman H. Baynes, historian, Professor Emeritus of Byzantine History, University of London, 1951 Birthday Honours
- Alan Bennett, playwright (in 1996; had previously declined appointment as CBE in 1988)
- Arnold Bennett, novelist
- David Bowie, musician (in 2003)
- Lester Brain, aviator and airline executive (in late 1960s; later accepted appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1979)
- Francis Crick, physicist and Nobel Prize winner
- George Davies, declined offer from Prime Minister Gordon Brown
- Paul Dirac, Nobel Prize winner for physics in 1933, declined a knighthood in 1953 but accepted the OM in 1973.,
- Lionel Elvin, Principal, Ruskin College Oxford, Director of Institute of Education, University of London.
- Michael Faraday, scientist
- Harry Ferguson, businessman, engineer and inventor from Ulster
- Albert Finney, actor (in 2000, had previously declined appointment as CBE in 1980)
- E. M. Forster, author and essayist (in 1949; later accepted appointment as CH in 1953)
- Michael Frayn, FRSL, dramatist (in 2003; had previously declined appointment as CBE in 1989)
- John Galsworthy, playwright and novelist
- Graham Greene, novelist
- Calouste Gulbenkian, philanthropist, Hon KBE, 1951 New Year Honours
- Stanford G. Haughton, sound recordist (musician), 1952 New Year Honours
- Stephen Hawking, scientist
- Patrick Heron, artist, declined award of Knight Bachelor 1980s in protest at government policy on Art education.
- Keith Hill, Labour MP (2010 Dissolution Honours)
- David Hockney, CH, RA, artist (in 1990; accepted appointment as CH in 1997, and OM in 2012)
- Charles Holden, architect, declined twice, in 1944 and 1951.
- Trevor Howard, stage/film actor (in 1982)
- Aldous Huxley, author (in 1959)
- Eli Lobel, 1955 New Year Honours
- L. S. Lowry, artist (in 1968; had previously declined appointment as OBE in 1955 and CBE in 1961; later declined appointment as CH in 1972 and 1976; holds the record for the most honours declined)
- Humphrey Lytellton, jazz musician, broadcastor and author.
- Kingsley Martin journalist in 1965
- Malcolm McDowell, actor in 1993
- John Loudon McAdam, Scottish road builder
- Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum (in 1999); however, in 2010 he accepted appointment to the Order of Merit, which is in the personal gift of the British monarch
- James Meade, economist, 1969 New Years Honours
- Norman Miscampbell, Conservative MP (in 1989 Obituary The Guardian 2007)
- Henry Moore, sculptor, declined a knighthood in 1951, but accepted the Companion of Honour in 1955 and the Order of Merit in 1963.
- Stanley Morison, 1953 Coronation and Birthday Honours (later declined offer of CBE)
- Robert Morley, actor, 1975 Birthday Honours
- A.G.Norman biochemist (in 1969)
- Frank Pick, chief executive of London Transport (also declined a peerage).
- William Pember Reeves, New Zealand statesman, declined knighthood three times, including GCMG[
- J.B. Priestley, novelist and playwright.
- George Bernard Shaw, playwright and critic; also declined OM
- Paul Scofield, actor
- Alastair Sim, actor, declined a knighthood as did his father
- Quentin Skinner, historian (in 1996).
- Ralph Vaughan Williams composer
- Steven Watson historian Principal St Andrews University (in 1966)
Appointment to the Order of Merit
- A. E. Housman, poet and classical scholar (in 1929)
- George Bernard Shaw, playwright, critic, and polemicist (in 1946; Shaw replied that “merit” in authorship could only be determined by the posthumous verdict of history). Shaw had also wanted to decline a Nobel Prize for literature in 1925, but accepted it at his wife’s behest as honouring Ireland. He did reject the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of Swedish books into English.
Appointment as a Companion of Honour (CH)
- Francis Bacon, Irish artist (in 1977; had previously declined appointment as CBE in 1960)
- Robert Graves, poet and novelist (in 1984; had previously declined appointment as CBE in 1957)
- L. S. Lowry RA, artist (in 1972 and 1976; had previously declined appointment as OBE in 1955 and CBE in 1961 and a knighthood in 1968; holds the record for the most honours declined)
- Philip Noel-Baker, former Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, 1965 New Year Honours(accepted a life peerage in 1977)
- J. B. Priestley, declined in 1969.
Appointment to the Order of the Bath
As Knight Companion
- Admiral George Cranfield Berkeley in 1812, expecting a peerage; he settled for the KB in 1813, which was converted to a GCB in 1815.
- Colonel Allday V. Kerrison, 1955 New Year Honours
- Bernard O’Brien, scientist, 1956 New Years Honours
Appointment to the Royal Victorian Order
As a Commander
- Craig Murray, former United Kingdom Ambassador to Uzbekistan (had previously declined appointments as LVO and OBE
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
My new CD “The Way to Peace”, featuring amazing musicians Gilad Atzmon, Euguene Moye, Gary Ciuci, Cameron Brown, & Anthony Pinciotti, is getting GREAT REVIEWS! Here are a few of them:
Not only has Siegel achieved his aim of combining a message for peace with his spirituality but in the process he has come up with a gorgeous album that is more than compelling and that bristles with naked truth and beauty. A deeply haunting beauty that is most memorable.
-Rich Sharm, Rainlore’s World of Music (British Music Site)
Read the whole review here:
A great piano tickler” “Strong emotive voice” “Inspiring message of unity
-Jonathon Blakeley, “deLiberation”, (British political commentary)
Read the whole review here:
Warm and inviting vocal approach” ”12 songs that are designed to make the
world a better place.
-Chuck Dauphin, “Nashville Music News”
Read the whole review here:
But here’s a review that you won’t find on line any more:
Siegel is a gifted instrumentalist with rich vocals that glide along effortlessly with his playing.” ”Siegel presents us with an eloquently stated, musically pristine offering of himself and shares a piece of what is in his heart.” ”The Way to Peace is a stellar recording.”
-Brent Black, “Critical Jazz”
The reason you can’t read this review on line any more is that the reviewer pulled it after ten days, posting this remark on Facebook: “my humble apologies to my jewish friends for reviewing rich sigel (sic) an anti-zionist peace activist that supports the destruction of israel.” While I am indeed an Anti-Zionist peace activist I have NEVER made any statements supporting the destruction of Israel, and do not support the destruction of Israel- or of anything. I write about being “reviewed and then un-reviewed” in this op-ed piece on deLiberation:
AND THAT’S WHY I NEED YOUR HELP!!!
This CD is just too political to be promoted by conventional means. The songs weave together spirituality with peace activism. The project features songs for PEACE (the title track), a unique original song that makes an argument for RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE “One Truth Many Paths”, and yes, songs that very definitely and unapologetically support PALESTINE!
This CD has a MESSAGE, expressed in music. An important part of that message is that there are people like myself, who were raised in the Jewish/Zionist community, who have RE-THOUGHT Israel and Zionism. That message needs to GET OUT, because it removes a taboo, and gives others permission to re-examine this issue as well.
So- a few things you can do:
- Buy a copy.
- Recommend it to friends.
- Forward link to this piece.
- Book me for a concert/lecture.
- Radio hosts- Play songs from the CD.
- Singers- Perform/record my songs. (I will send lead sheets in your key on
- Reviewers, bloggers- Write about it.
- Promoters, publicists- Let’s talk about creative promotion ideas.
Thanks everybody! Links for CD purchase below.
Have a great summer!
In the last two weeks we have learned that one of central London’s abandoned houses has been reclaimed and transformed into a “radical” centre for “discussion, action, and education around the issue of Palestine.” The Palestine Place promised to become a “squatted hub of activity from the 2nd-17th June running everything from film screenings, lectures, workshops and trainings to cultural, musical and culinary events”. But it didn’t take more than a week for the ‘radical’ place to become yet another crypto-Zionist gathering engaged primarily in gatekeeping and even expulsion of some distinguished activists and thinkers.
I have learned yesterday that Ken O’Keefe, one of London’s most prominent activists, a man who spent many months of his life in Gaza, a man who is married to a Palestinian woman and is father to two Palestinian kids, a man who posses a Palestinian passport and a key to Gaza, given to him personally by Ismail Haniya – two days ago this man was rudely expelled from Palestine Place. Clearly a Palestinian Passport and a ‘key to Gaza’ were not sufficient for London’s Palestine Place’s radical committee.
As soon as Ken told me about his expulsion I spoke with two Palestinian grassroots activists, both of whom had participated in missions alongside Ken. They both repeated the same shocking line -
Palestine Place, forget about them, it is taken over by the PSC and the BDS gang.
The news about PSC and the ‘BDS gang’ being dominated by AZZ are now widely accepted amongst most commentators on Palestine but still, I was intrigued to know what happened there in this ‘radical’ Palestine Place that led to these ‘pro’ Palestinian squatters to behave like Israelis and evict KenO’Keefe.
Palestinian solidarity activist and writer Martin Iqbal was in Palestine Place when it all happened, he wrote about it yesterday.
“During an open discussion at Palestine Place in June 2012, one attendee brought up the subject of Gilad Atzmon’s alleged anti-Semitism. The gentleman proceeded to misrepresent Atzmon’s words in order to paint him as a racist who merely seeks to attack Judaism.
During this discussion the subject of holocaust denial and holocaust revisionism came up. At no point was the holocaust denied by anybody present, however this writer did make the point that we must make a distinction between ‘revisionism’ and ‘denial’. All historical events must be open to investigation and questioning; the very concept of history is based on revisionism. What legitimate reason could we possibly have for shielding any historical event from examination? We are constantly reminded that we must learn from history lest it repeat itself (reminiscent of the ‘never again’ mantra), yet we are prevented from examining these very elements of history!”
So it seems the people who run ‘Palestine Place’ are very concerned with the commemoration of the Shoa, and I wonder why didn’t they just call the house the Yad Vashem-London Branch. And we also might wonder, why are Palestinian solidarity activists so concerned with the protection of the Zionist Holocaust narrative? Don’t they know in the PSC and in the BDS that the Palestinaians are actually the last victims of Hitler?
Iqbal continues, “This particular discussion at Palestine Place continued for ten or fifteen minutes before the next scheduled discussion was due to begin. During this time, dedicated pro-Palestinian activist Ken O’Keefe came to Gilad Atzmon’s defence, drawing attention to Atzmon’s idea that Jewishness and Jewish culture must be part of our investigation of Israeli and Zionist ideology. Are Israel’s tanks, gunships and warplanes not adorned with the Jewish Star of David? Is ‘Israel’ not a self-professed Jewish State? The gentleman who had chosen to accuse Atzmon of anti-Semitism had misrepresented Atzmon’s views and launched into a baseless ad hominem attack.”
So here we are. In spite of the obvious fact that Palestinians refer to Israelis and the IDF as Yahud, in the London “radical” centre for “discussion, action, and education around the issue of Palestine, the visitors are not even allowed to make the obvious point that the Palestinian plight has something to do with the Jewish State and the Jewish nature of Israel.
Iqbal stresses that “Immediately before the next scheduled speaker, a spokesman for Palestine Place made an announcement to the following effect: some people have decided to air their views on the holocaust, we must remind you that at Palestine Place we do not tolerate anti-Semitism and we will not be discussing the holocaust any further.”
It is far from being clear why airing one’s views about history in general or the Holocaust in particular makes anyone into an anti – Semite or, more precisely a Jew hater. In fact what we see here is a desperate crypto-Zionist attempt to dominate the discourse and divert attention from the real issues. Israel is the Jewish State, its tanks are decorated with Jewish symbols, its lobbies are dominating American and British foreign affairs and it seems that its AZZ allies are desperately trying to censor the discourse of Palestinian solidarity.
I totally agree with Iqbl’s observation that “it is incredibly sad and disheartening to see that the Palestine Solidarity Movement is utterly beholden to Zionism’s biggest rhetorical weapon: false charges of anti-Semitism coupled with a religious observance of and adherence to the dogma of ‘the holocaust’.
Apparently Ken O’Keefe and Martin Iqbal returned to the Palestine Place two days ago to find out that they were not welcome in the house of ‘radical and open discussion’.
Ken was told that revisionism is not allowed in the radical pro-Palestinian premises. I guess that he was surprised to find out that revisionist historian Ilan Pappe was speaking in the house only last week. I guess that in AZZ-dominated Palestinian Place, revisiting Palestinian history is allowed but only as long as one doesn’t not touch the Jewish past. This is the current Talmudic state of institutional Palestinian solidarity discourse in the Britain.
It reminds me an old Jewish joke.
Q: How many synagogues do you need in a village with just one Jew
A: two apparently, one for the Jew to go to, and one for him to boycott.
Sadly enough, the AZZ solidarity-controlled zone has become one extended synagogue. We are held back by endless futile internal wars that lead nowhere.
A few months back we learned about leading Palestinian activists such as Nahida Izzat and Sami Ibrahem, both pushed out by the PSC. Intoxicated by its destructive powers, the PSC then kicked out distinguished British solidarity activists such as Ex PSC chairman Francis Clark-Lowes and Camden PSC secretary Gill Kafash.
I guess that the only encouraging news here is deLiberation, the new British online magazine. This magazine was formed six months ago by activists and writers who were pushed out by the PSC. Within just a few weeks it has become one of the most popular internet journals in Britain. If anyone in the solidarity movement is interested in becoming ‘mass movement’, it seems as if we in deLiberation know how to do it.
My speech and my own account of what happened at the Al-Quds manifestation in Stockholm on the 20th September 2009, with pictures to illustrate what went on.
It should be said that the police played a dubious role, as they did not stop those who tried to sabotage the manifestation. This ought to be a part of their duty to defend freedom of assembly.
Speech made on the Al Quds Day in Stockholm, Sergels torg (Sergel’s Plaza), Sunday September 20, 2009. Al Quds, which means Jerusalem in Arabic, is an international day of solidarity for the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine. They are the symbols of the oppressed peoples of the world who this day gather irrespective of their religious or ethnic affiliations. Large manifestations are held around the world commemorating this day. In London, for example, Muslims and religious Jews manifest together.
Enough is enough. Now Gaza, on top of everything else. The Palestinians symbolise the ongoing struggle worldwide against USrael’s neo-colonial wars. The Zionist goal for a Jewish state in Palestine cannot be achieved without genocide. To maintain a Jewish state it is necessary to commit crimes that are defined as genocide in The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide signed by the General Assembly on December 9th, 1948. It states:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
At least the demands a, b and c are fulfilled and just one would be enough to define genocide. Suffice it to mention here the extensive ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948, Al Nakba, the very carefully engineered so-called Plan Dalet, which was documented in detail by Ilan Pappe.
The Zionists” colonization project has existed over two turns of century. It is a myth that there could ever be a Jewish state in Palestine without genocide of the Palestinian people. Genocide is inherent in Zionism, its innermost core. A Jewish state must have a substantial Jewish majority and this cannot be achieved without the eviction of those who lived on the land. We see the result in a racist apartheid system that discriminates between Jews and non-Jews in Israel itself, in the erection of the Wall, in the nearby Palestinian refugee camps and in ”facts on the ground”, as illustrated by the four maps and now lately in Gaza.
Enough is enough. It is more than enough.
A so-called two-state solution involves legitimising genocide in retrospect, as it does not acknowledge the evicted Palestinian refugees” inalienable right to return, in accordance with UN resolutions.
There is only one solution. A democratic state between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan. Within such a framework, those most involved can discuss various transitional solutions and suggest a timetable for their implementation.
Some would say that this is unrealistic because of the hatred that has been created between Palestinians and Jews. But in that case, those who brought about colonisation, the theft of land and genocide can move somewhere else if they do not wish to live in peace and equality with their ”victims” in their own country. The French colonizers in Algeria returned home. In South Africa, the majority chose to stay.
Israel of today is an entity with precious little legitimacy, being a state in the country of Palestine, as shown in my and Snorre Lindquist’s article ”Revoking Israel’s UN membership”. For example, Israel is lacking a constitution and internationally recognized borders. Something that is normally required for being recognized as a state. There is little support for the statement that Israel is a creation of the UN. There is nothing to indicate that this entity will ever work in accordance with UN decisions and international human rights, or exist in peace with its neighbours. Quite the opposite.
Today Israel is the biggest threat to a world in peace and Zionism is an ideology whose main task is to justify USrael’s neo-colonial wars while referring to the ”Holocaust” and ”anti-Semitism”, as well as to homemade terrorism in the form of ”False Flag Operations”. The heroic victory of Hezbollah over the Israeli army lately in Lebanon is an example for all peoples. Together with Hamas they show the way towards the liberation of Palestine. Something which however also requires the dethronement of the Jewish Lobby organization AIPAC, as well as the Zionist power elite on Wall Street and in the U.S.’s private central bank, the Federal Reserve.
All resistance to USraeli war politics has our full support. Our support is unconditional. We don’t moralize concerning the political or religious views of our brothers and sisters. Nor over the methods they use. It’s their business to decide. Our support is founded on ethics, compassion and the principles of the equality of all peoples and their right to resist oppression and occupation.
Jerusalem and Palestine are the symbols of all oppressed peoples of the world. The Palestinians” struggle to free Palestine is part of the same struggle as the Afghans” struggle in Afghanistan and the Iraqi’s struggle in Iraq, and others.
Because of this we demand today that the Swedish troops should be brought home from Afghanistan, that the U.S. and their allies must leave Iraq and that Israel must be boycotted the same way as was previously done against South Africa.
Palestine, you are in our hearts. Free Palestine – All of Palestine!
My account of what happened to me in Sergels torg
When I arrived in Sergels torg (Sergel’s Plaza) there was an ongoing manifestation against the current regime of Iran. The manifestation was dominated by exile Iranians and Iranian flags carrying the symbol of the Shah, and members of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI) who handed out leaflets.
There were many Swedes who sold the Trotskyist newspaper Internationalen, and different autonomous, anarchist and syndicalist groups in their characteristic clothing. I recognized leading persons from Palestinagruppperna (PGS) (Solidarity Movement for Palestine) and from ISM (International Solidarity Movement) in Sweden. Both organizations had denounced the Al Quds Day manifestation and urged all friends of Palestine not to take part on the grounds that the speakers, namely Mohamed Omar and Lasse Wilhelmson, had made “statements” that they were unable to support. They did not specify what those “statements” where. There were also Jewish Zionists familiar to me who photographed the demonstrators for future identification. The groups mentioned stayed behind in order to protest against the ensuing Al Quds manifestation.
I arrived in Sergels torg on the “wrong” side, i.e. above the large and wide stairs towards Åhlen’s. Before I could walk around to the other side, where the speeches where to be made, a handful of young persons from ISM and possibly from the Swedish AFA (Anti Fascist Action) spotted me. They of course know who I am and what I look like. The biggest and most aggressive of them badmouthed me, violently pushed me and wrestled me down on the street. The others helped to squash the placards that I had brought with me. The placards said “Free Palestine”, “Boycott Israel”, “Shut down Israel”, “Long Live Hezbollah and Hamas”, “Warsaw and Gaza” (in a cross, in Swedish; ”Warszawa och Gaza”, with the Z as the common letter), “Zionism” (crossed over), “No to USrael’s War Politics – Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Somalia, the same occupation” and “Al Quds Jerusalem Day”.
I called for help from bystanders and especially one middle-aged Palestinian man resolutely and successfully interfered in my defense, but also a younger person. A band of boys in their lower teens discovered what was said on the placards, informed me that they where Palestinians, and that they wanted to “beat up” the hoodlums and asked me who they where. But I managed to dissuade this arguing that there were some really big guys there. They where, however, rather touching and warmed my old heart.
Shora Esmailian (Andreas Malm’s woman), who has for a long time been a leading person within ISM in Sweden and who is of Iranian family background, afterwards approached me when I was collecting the remains of my plackards. She said that “[people] such as yourself should not be allowed here” (I recognize her very well since many years and we have also previously worked together in the Boycott Israel Network, and taken part in public debates). Then she walked over to the person who had jumped on me – I know him from before, he was standing four meters away – and gave him a hug and kisses on his cheek. Shora later took part in the counterdemonstration.
I wasn’t hurt but I filed a police report on the assault and the infliction of damage, on the prompting of a police officer who overheard me telling the organizers what had happened to me. I did this because the organizers asked me what had happened to my placards as they were broken. The officer explained that this was important in principle since what had happened had political motives and can be viewed as a hate crime, which is an aggravating circumstance.
The counterdemonstrators were about 500 – somewhat more numerous than us. They had gathered in the wide stairs and on the “balcony” above the plaza, which was physically sealed off by a long line of police vehicles and by plastic ribbon fencing. They were chanting slogans against Islam and Arabs, so that it was difficult to hear our speeches. They even threw eggs and fruit at women and children, who were about half of the demonstrators.
The majority of the demonstrators where Muslim Arabs. Even so, the Al Quds manifestation was conducted as planned. Palestinian youths led the speech choirs.
I must confess that it was a rather strange experience to watch people from the organization for Palestinian solidarity in Sweden, and from the ISM and assorted leftists – who call themselves friends of the Palestinians –, together with Marxist and royalist Iranians hostile to the Islamic Republic disturbing a solemn manifestation for Palestine and booing when we chanted “Boycott Israel” and “Free Palestine”. What happened here will surely have far-reaching consequences for the anti-imperialistic work in Sweden, and especially for the solidarity work for the Palestinians.
It is only on the Al Quds Day that anti-Zionist manifestations are arranged in Sweden in support of Palestine, and so it is since several decades. On all other prior occasions the Zionist organization Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Sweden (JIPF) has been allowed to control the main slogans which therefore never have included the most basic demand of the Palestinians evicted in Al Nakba, namely their inalienable right to return — which the UN made a condition of its decision to grant Israel membership in 1948.
PS1 I wish to express my sincere gratitude to those people who assisted me when I was attacked and I feel great happiness and honour to have been allowed to be one of the two main speakers at the Al Quds Day manifestation in Stockholm in 2009. I will never forget the tears flowing down the old Palestinian man’s face when he embraced me and thanked me for my speech. He told me how he had personally experienced al-Nakba 1948.
PS2 While writing this I notice that the chairman of the magazine FiB Kulturfront (membership organisation and cultural review published monthly) has in Svenska Dagbladet’s editorial blog (second largest daily newspaper) now joined in with those who distribute lies and distort my political views. He falsely attributes to me the opinion that Judaism, that is the Jewish religion, is an important factor of power in world politics. Everyone who has read my articles knows that even though I’m critical of Judaism, Jewish identity, Jewish mentality and Zionism are my targets and my criticism of “Jews” is never categorical, since it is mainly directed against the Jewish mafia in the power elite and the fact is that this mafia is a factor of power in world politics.
Al Quds Day is a time to show broad unity in the struggle against Zionism and boundless solidarity with Palestine and the Palestinians as a symbol for the oppressed people of the world.
Al Quds Day in Stockholm on the 20th September 2009 was defined officially by the poster and by the advertised content of speeches to be held by two guest speakers, together with banners and placards that appeared among the demonstrators. Additionally, things were said in Arabic, which I do not understand; possibly less suitable things said in response to provocations endured from saboteurs. Of course we must be critical of this and discuss in a comradely fashion how to avoid the same thing happening next year, although it did not in any way detract from the overall direction of the demonstration. Nor should we judge too harshly, because tackling the situation that occurred correctly demanded considerable political experience of all the participants. It is easy to lose one’s cool in the heat of a situation.
There is every reason, on the other hand, to congratulate the Al Quds committee and the demonstrators on their courage in carrying out the demonstration despite violence and sabotage of freedom of expression and assembly. My thoughts go especially to women and children who were not spared from physical attacks.
I believe that Al Quds Day should avoid being a general tribute to Iran or any specific religious leader. Of course, on Al Quds Day we defend Iran’s independence against threats posed to the country as we do for Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. What we are celebrating is opposition to Zionism and this allows us to highlight Iran’s role as a NATION and its president as a HEAD of STATE, just as we – who are not Muslims – celebrate Hizbollah and Hamas, not for religious reasons but because they oppose Zionism and its Jewish state.
My understanding of Al Quds Day is that it is a broad manifestation for the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine as they are symbols for people worldwide and their struggle against Zionism; a day when Muslims invite non-Muslims to pay tribute to global solidarity. Those who wish to honour the current regime in Iran, or one of the branches of Islam, are of course free to do so, but not on Al Quds Day – the day we demonstrate together, regardless of ethnic, national or religious persuasion.
The Political Implications of Al Quds Day in Stockholm 2009
The chairman of the magazine FiB Kulturfront (Membership organisation and cultural review published monthly) has in Svenska Dagbladet (Second largest daily newspaper) denounced me as a member of this organisation, without mention of the content of my speech or of those who sabotaged the demonstration. Palestinagruppperna (PGS) (Solidarity Movement for Palestine) and The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) have urged all friends of Palestine not to take part in the demonstration with reference to the guest speakers’ previous “statements”, saying that the organisations cannot support these, but with no specification. It is obvious that the reason for this indecisiveness to take a stand against Zionism is the fear of being subjected to accusations of “anti-Semitism”.
You cannot, at the same time, defend freedom of expression, including the right to demonstrate, and avoid being drawn into these accusation campaigns, as their very aim is to strangle freedom of expression. FiB Kulturfront has chosen not only to sacrifice its main slogan – defence of freedom of expression – but also to voluntarily subject itself to the Zionified cultural elite’s hegemony in Swedish debate. In the same way that PGS and ISM did before the demonstration by urging friends of Palestine not to attend. This voluntary submission is, in fact, as deplorable as Swedish foreign policy’s caving in to illegal neo-colonial wars. Zionism powers these wars of aggression, and is currently the most significant expression of imperialism. Anti-war efforts are weakened generally because the Zionist power elite, mainly in the US, is granted exemption and permitted to operate undisturbed.
This breakdown is due to the fact that the left has not yet come to terms with its past history concerning Zionism. As long as the anti-imperialist (un)movement, including the Palestine solidarity movement, is controlled by some ten politically experienced Marxist-Leninists from the ´68 movement, and the “peace group” Jews for an Israeli/Palestinian Peace (JIPF), all cooperation with these organisations, which in fact defend the Jewish state, weighs heavily on anti-Zionists and should therefore, for the time being, be avoided.
Al Quds Day in Stockholm has already created a division between anti-Zionists and Zionists both to the left and to the right. The discussions now being held will lead to parts of the left positioning themselves against Zionism (the worst form of racism), and parts of the right will define their position against racism and their views on immigrants and immigration policy. We will also see closer cooperation between the Zionified sections of the political right and left, where the Trotskyites will take on a leading role together with the Zionist front organisation EXPO and the Jewish “peace organisation” JIPF.
These events will make it possible to create an anti-Zionist unified front in Sweden, free from party politics or religious convictions. This is necessary because of Zionism’s hegemony in the West. The crossroads is being approached all over the Western World and is a sign that contradictions are growing between the people of the world and the Zionist power elite’s efforts to create a new world order with a Big Brother state and national states that dissolve in ever-lasting wars.
Long Live Al Quds Day in Stockholm 2009, next year we will be tenfold more.
(2) Zionism – more than traditional colonialism and apartheid http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2004%20opinions/Jan/26%20o/Zionism%20%20more%20than%20traditional%20colonialism%20and%20apartheid%20By%20Lasse%20Wilhelmson.htm
(3) Maps of ”facts on the ground” http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/photos/maps/landloss.html
Photographs from Nationell.nu
Gone are the innocent times of open and joyous enjoyment of your wealth, of ego-boosting, happy and colorful ostentatiousness. Billionaires are living in fear now of the envious, thieving and greedy criminal hoi polloi.
Imagine you have a huge stash of money, so huge that you really can’t say how much you are ‘worth.’ In fact the size of your wealth is indirectly indicated by the no-man’s land between the minimum and the maximum of the estimation bracket. We have all seen such estimates: so-and-so is worth anywhere between 90 and 120 billion. Think of the size of the ditch in that bracket: 30 billion. You, your family, your town, perhaps your state could fall into it and not be seen for quite a while, busily patching the holes in your budgets and even splurging on food.
If someone asks me how much I am worth I would probably hesitate, not being sure if I should include the approximate resale value of my 6-year-old car. Small ditch in my bracket.
Now, be fair and try hard to empathize: imagine you are this rich and instead of being able to flaunt it like in the good, old days, all you can do is hint at it it behind closed doors to those in the same bracket with you.
It is the indignity of a raincoat flasher!
But it gets worse. Now you have to worry every time you step out of the compound or just want to go for a bit of cruising in your car. You may be spotted, pursued, carjacked, attacked, robbed.
No more. The solution has been found: up-armored cars, custom made by Texcalibur Armor in Houston, Tx, for “diplomats, SWAT teams, government contractors, business executives, celebrities and high-net-worth individuals.”
The idea behind the process is to take an SUV or another car, strip it apart, and add bullet-resistant steel, composite material and ballistic glass,” said Scott Newman of Texcalibur Armor. “The end game is to put the vehicle back together so it’s discreet and nobody knows it’s armored.”
Major features include:
- Reinforced body, doors, panels, and a rear door armored with ballistic 1/4-in.
- AR500 steel able to repel blasts from the standard 7.62 x 51mm M-80 NATO rounds.
- Electrically charged door handles that deliver a dose of incapacitating 160 volts of electricity into the uninvited hands.
- The roof is covered with a 1/4-in. rigid Kevlar, and the flooring protected by a Kevlar bomb blanket.
- You are safe even from the simultaneous explosion of two DM-51 German ordinance hand grenades.
- If you are pursued, you can engage the smoke-screen dispenser, dispensing a large cloud of white smoke behind you
- Or you may opt to use the tack in the rear bumper, releasing 2-inch-long tacks to puncture the tires of the cars pursuing you.
These cars are not mass-produced, naturally; only 90 are made each year. It is a niche market. It is a sad world we live in, one in which people who diligently amassed billions of dollars live in fear of their miserable, greedy inferiors.
The US and Israel are engaged in extensive strategic, political and military cooperation. This cooperation is broad and includes American aid, intelligence sharing, and joint military exercises. American military aid to Israel comes in different forms, including grants, special project allocations and loans. According to ifamericansknew.org, Israel receives about $3 billion from the U.S. in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America’s foreign aid budget. According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operations against the U.S. of any ally.” Antiwar.com. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s “Greenbook,” which reports “overseas loans and grants,” Israel has received $140,142,800 (in constant 2003 dollars) from the United States through 2003.
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Jeffrey D. Feltman of the United States as the top United Nations political issues official. Jeffrey D. Feltman was at the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, where he served first as Deputy (August 2001-November 2002) and then as Acting Principal Officer (November 2002 to December 2003). Feltman’s attitude to Middle East issues may best be summed up by his comment in a written statement that, “We do know, however, that it will be vital that the United States establish and maintain the types of partnerships that help us protect and promote our interests and that give us the ability to help shape and influence outcomes.”
On 9 May 2012, Feltman, in his capacity as Assistant Secretary of State for near-eastern affairs, produced the statement called “Assessing US Foreign Policy Priorities and Needs amidst Economic Challenges in the Middle East”. In the statement, regarding Middle East peace, Feltman wrote: “The region’s dramatic changes present both risks and opportunities, and we understand Israel is concerned about the implications these changes may have on its security. As the President has made clear, our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad. The United States and Israel are working together at an unprecedented level of policy co-ordination to ensure we understand each other’s perspectives and concerns, and fully support each other as we consider the implications of change in the region.” The Palestinian people’s need for security is never mentioned in the statement. Complicity with the aim of maintaining Israeli hegemony in the region is clearly of paramount concern to the US as the statement goes on to say: “My colleagues throughout the US government and I are working to ensure that security assistance and arms sales to the Middle East are appropriate, and we remain absolutely committed to maintaining Israel’s ability to defend itself and its Qualitative Military Edge (QME).” Feltman’s statement does not concern itself with the Palestinian people’s right to defence against belligerent Israeli military occupation. What is made plain is that the sole strategic concern of the US is an “ironclad” military alliance with Israel.
Feltman also wrote in his statement that “we remain committed to realising a comprehensive peace in the Middle East that includes a secure Israel side-by-side with a viable Palestinian state.” There is no mention of commitment to a secure Palestine in the statement. Indeed, Israel has made plain its demand that any Palestinian State would have to remain defenceless or, as the Zionist spin puts it, “demilitarised”. The statement refers to continued US support for a future Palestinian state that would be a “responsible neighbour to Israel, and a source of stability and moderation in the region.” No such requirement is made of Israel, which presumably would be permitted to remain a source of instability and aggression. The one-sided statement refers to the need for “an effective Palestinian Authority (PA) government that remains committed to the Quartet’s foundational principles for peace, including the . . . renunciation of violence . . . “ The statement does not require the Israeli state to renounce violence and the subject of Israeli violence in international waters and against its neighbours is avoided. The May 9 statement refers to the requirement for Middle East regimes to “respect and protect fundamental human rights for all citizens, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or gender.” The statement even goes on to insist that these standards will be used by the US “to judge which political actors are credible, and which are not.” Yet the US chooses to support the principle of “Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge” and remain complicit with Israel in its establishment of Jewish-only roads imposed upon Palestinian land and the ethnically disproportionate allocation of water resources in Occupied Palestine.
The statement is full of rhetoric regarding the need for a “strong role for inclusive economic growth”. Feltman writes: “We must support equitable, transparent, and predictable access to economic resources and opportunity.” Meanwhile, Israel continues, with US complicity, to blockade the Gaza economy, impose a three-mile fishing limit on a collapsing domestic fishing fleet and backs this up by frequently using its Navy to attack Palestinian fishing boats. The Israeli Army and illegal Occupation settlers continue to commit intolerable daily acts of agricultural and economic sabotage, bulldozing and setting fire to crops and olive trees, destroying wells, irrigation infrastructure and farm buildings. Israel continues to build its annexation Wall on Palestinian land, separating Palestinian communities from each other and from their farmland.
The US and Israel continue to demand that the Palestinians ‘negotiate’, under incredible duress, with their oppressor while the two powers studiously ignore the only legitimate basis for the restoration of peace and justice in the region, namely international law and, in particular, the Fourth Geneva convention. Failing this, the US must stand condemned for its complicity in the Zionist state’s continual ideologically-driven war crimes and the UN for allowing the US/Israel axis to direct policy at the international body. – Leslie Bravery 15 June 2012
British Palestine Solidarity outfit ‘Palestine Place’ provides a platform for anti-Syrian speakers, while ostracising and banning activists who choose to discuss topics designated as ‘no-go’ by Zionist ideology. This is symptomatic of a wider disease prevalent in the ‘Palestine Solidarity Movement’.
The Palestine Solidarity Movement, not only within the UK but across nations worldwide, is becoming increasingly fractured and impotent. The movement is characterised by swathes of different groups squabbling amongst themselves, and ostracising members(1) who cross certain red lines – red lines which have been drawn by Zionism.
‘Palestine Place’: Symptoms of a Wider Disease
During my own recent experiences at ‘Palestine Place’ in London, I was unfortunate enough to witness acute symptoms of the disease afflicting the Palestine Solidarity Movement. The disease is not unique to Palestine Place; it afflicts the wider Palestine Solidarity Movement and the liberal ‘left’ in the UK. Not only is the Palestine Solidarity Movement paralysed with fear of being branded with the anti-Semitism epithet, but it routinely falls prey to Zionist and imperialist deception, manipulation, and propaganda. The carnal fear of being branded an ‘anti-Semite’ prevents any level of open and honest discussion on anything pertaining to Israel and the Zionist project – especially its founding myths which must be openly discussed and debated in order for truth to see light.
Outlawing Thoughtcrime in the Service of Zionism
During an open discussion at Palestine Place in June 2012, one attendee brought up the subject of Gilad Atzmon’s alleged anti-Semitism. The gentleman proceeded to misrepresent Atzmon’s words in order to paint him as a racist who merely seeks to attack Judaism.
During this discussion the subject of holocaust denial and holocaust revisionism came up. At no point was the holocaust denied by anybody present, however this writer did make the point that we must make a distinction between ‘revisionism’ and ‘denial’. All historical events must be open to investigation and questioning; the very concept of history is based on revisionism. What legitimate reason could we possibly have for shielding any historical event from examination? We are constantly reminded that we must learn from history lest it repeat itself (reminiscent of the ‘never again’ mantra), yet we are prevented from examining these very elements of history!
This particular discussion at Palestine Place continued for ten or fifteen minutes before the next scheduled discussion was due to begin. During this time, dedicated pro-Palestinian activist Ken O’Keefe came to Gilad Atzmon’s defence, drawing attention to Atzmon’s idea that Jewishness and Jewish culture must be part of our investigation of Israeli and Zionist ideology. Are Israel’s tanks, gunships and warplanes not adorned with the Jewish Star of David? Is ‘Israel’ not a self-professed Jewish State? The gentleman who had chosen to accuse Atzmon of anti-Semitism had misrepresented Atzmon’s views and launched into a baseless ad hominem attack.
Immediately before the next scheduled speaker, a spokesman for Palestine Place made an announcement to the following effect: some people have decided to air their views on the holocaust, we must remind you that at Palestine Place we do not tolerate anti-Semitism and we will not be discussing the holocaust any further.
It must be noted that this was after the same spokesperson had emphatically stated that day, that Palestine Place was not affiliated with any solidarity organisation (such as the UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign), purely to avoid the politicisation and control of discussion!
This relatively small incident demonstrates how the Palestine Solidarity Movement is not only subject to Zionist bullying, infiltration, and lobbying, but more importantly cultural indoctrination. We are instilled with a cardinal fear of discussing the holocaust outside of the officially accepted narrative – a ‘thoughtcrime’ in this democracy and beacon of free speech known as Great Britain.
The knee-jerk ‘we do not tolerate anti-Semitism‘ emotional reaction is sadly typical, and it is trotted out before one iota of thought has been given to the content and substance of the discussion.
It is incredibly sad and disheartening to see that the Palestine Solidarity Movement is utterly beholden to Zionism’s biggest rhetorical weapon: false charges of anti-Semitism coupled with a religious observance of and adherence to the dogma of ‘the holocaust’.
As activists and truth seekers, are we actually going to conflate historical revisionism (the practice of investigating and revising our understanding of history based on facts and free debate) with racism? This logic is completely lost on those who have an immediate emotional reaction to this question.
Palestine Place Bars Prominent Pro-Palestine Activist, Backs Foreign Insurrection in Syria
On June 13, 2012, Palestine Place hosted a talk on the subject of Syria. Several guests were invited to speak – all of whom were anti-Assad and pro-’revolution’. Without exception, all of the speakers represented the viewpoint of the corrupt Gulf dictatorships, the USA and Israel, who are jointly seeking the dissolution of all bastions of Arab resistance to Zionism and Western neocolonialism.
Shortly before the talk, I witnessed Ken O’Keefe being asked to leave the premises by organisers who cited a ‘group decision’ that had been made. Hypocritically, not one of the attendees to the talk was consulted about this decision – the decision was made by Palestine Place’s organisers and had no ‘grassroots’ input whatsoever.
After Ken had left the premises the talks continued and the speakers dictated their opinion to the almost exclusively young (18-23) and impressionable crowd. One after another the anti-Assad guests expounded their mythical idea that the ‘revolution’ in Syria was at all indigenous, as opposed to being a foreign-led insurrection, which is now a clearly established reality.
The speakers were Simon Assaf, UK-based Syrian activist Shiar Youssef, activist Dan Gorman, and ‘internet researcher and activist’ Miriyam Asfar.
Simon Assaf’s previous writings shed light on his ideological position. He is a commentator who claims to oppose western intervention in Libya and Syria, while breathlessly parroting the lies and propaganda that enable it. He saw the NATO-appointed NTC’s calls for a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya as “genuine calls for help”,(2) and he mindlessly repeats the long-discredited claims that Gaddafi bombarded civilian demonstrations from the air. He even claimed that the case for the intervention in Libya was “very powerful”.(3)
At Palestine Place, Assaf continued with his delusional and romantic narrative wherein he painted the foreign-led counter-revolution in Syria as an indigenous people’s and workers’ revolution. He smugly dismissed ‘al Qaeda’ involvement in Syria as paranoid conspiracy theory.
No reasonable person would debate the CIA’s use of what would become ‘al Qaeda’ in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s to achieve its strategic objectives. This is not the stuff of ‘conspiracy theory’, rather it is established historical fact.
Assaf chose to ignore the deeply sectarian, thuggish, and terroristic inclinations of the ‘revolutionaries’ in Syria. Even the mainstream press has been forced to admit(4) that Abdelhakim Belhaj, former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), is providing fighters and assistance to the so-called Free Syrian Army.
The LIFG, still listed as a terrorist group by the US State Department,(5) is a paradigmatic example of one of the CIA’s many proxy armies of brainwashed sectarian drones – commonly referred to collectively as ‘al Qaeda’.
Assaf, as well as the other speakers, reminded the audience that the ‘revolution’ started in Daraa, Syria, in March 2011. What they didn’t draw attention to was the fact that Daraa, like the majority of the hotspots in the Syrian unrest, is on Syria’s border. As a result of calls from short-sighted, hateful and poisonously sectarian-minded Sunni religious leaders (including our new ‘al Qaeda’ boogeyman Ayman al-Zawahiri), ‘jihadists’ in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have flocked to Syria to fight against the Assad regime(6) (Assad is an Alawi and non-sectarian leader who allows 18 different sects to live in harmony). These ‘jihadists’ include Abdelhakim Belhaj’s men, who were shipped to Turkey in order to allow them to infiltrate Syria’s borders(7) from there. Further to this, the United States and Jordanian militaries began a joint military exercise known as Eager Lion in the summer of 2011.(8) What is the significance of this, and why is the majority of the unrest in border regions?
The Houla Killings – Fruit of the ‘FSA’
Predictably, Assaf and the other speakers accused the Assad regime of committing brutal massacres against the Syrian people. The Houla massacre – an event which is held as the ‘trump card’ by the ‘opposition’ in Syria, is deserving of inspection here.
In the immediate aftermath of the Houla massacre, the Syrian ‘opposition’ and media outlets across the spectrum attempted to blame the killings on artillery attacks by the Syrian Army. When it became clear that most of the victims were killed at close range, many with stab wounds, the narrative became ‘pro-regime militia’. Now however, after the dust has settled, it is clear that pro-Assad elements had nothing to do with the Houla massacre, and in fact it was the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ and ‘opposition’ that is most likely responsible.
The Assad regime would have nothing to gain but everything to lose by perpetrating the Houla killings. These murders have played right into the hands of Syria’s enemies – those who seek regime change under the barrel of a ‘humanitarian’ gun. Initial reports from the opposition contradicted the physical manner in which the victims were killed. Three days after the event, Human Rights Watch joined the chorus blaming Assad and ‘pro-government forces’.(9)
However, the facts betray this speculation from the Syrian ‘opposition’ and so-called human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch.
Those killed were nearly exclusively families from the Alawi and Shia minorities in Sunni-majority Houla (while HRW and the ‘opposition’ try to suggest that the victims were Sunni). This included several dozen members of one extended family, which had converted from Sunni to Shia Islam. Also killed was the family of a Sunni member of parliament who was considered a government collaborator by the rebels.
Considering these points(10) and the fact that the massacre occurred as three Syrian Army checkpoints were being attacked by armed gangs around the town, the idea that the Syrian Army was responsible for the Houla killings is asinine. It is now evident that the sectarian terrorists whom people such as Simon Assaf refer to as ‘revolutionaries’, were responsible for this heinous crime.
Another notable moment during Palestine Place’s decidedly anti-Syrian evening was when ‘activist’ Dan Gorman showed the audience a video of an opposition-produced puppet show which ridiculed Bashar al-Assad and his father, Hafez. During the few-minute sequence, the puppets of Bashar and Hafez joked about killing Syrians, and bemoaned the propaganda peddled by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. The entire audience smugly nodded, laughed and clapped as this ‘Two Minutes Hate’ played out before them.
When UK-based Syrian activist Shiar Youssef took the stage, he forged another memorable moment. “This is just how we work in Syria“, he said. He was referring to how Syrian activists work, compared to the way in which the Palestine Place activists were sat around on the floor of the room, gazing at the speaker. I have to confess, this reminded me of when UK Foreign Secretary William Hague admitted that the UK government is training Syrian activists.(11)
Conclusion: Solidarity Demands Intellectual Courage, not Servility & Herd Mentality
Palestine Place is, in every way, a microcosm of the international Palestine Solidarity Movement. Toothless, pseudo-enlightened know-it-alls who are intellectually servile, exclusivist, drowned in ego, and utterly impotent.
Ostensibly it has no individual leaders and is purely democratic, but this is meaningless since it religiously adheres to specific pre-defined boundaries of discussion. Freedom of speech and discussion exists only on paper; ‘thought criminals’ are barred and ostracised. It claims to present the opportunity for “radical change“. It ‘occupies’ a building with the full cooperation of the landowner (this writer confirmed this by speaking to activists on-site).
Frank Barat, a London-based human rights activist tells Mondoweiss about the ins and outs of Palestine Place. Barat, who this writer suspects plays a role in the Palestine Place project, promotes the organisation(12) as a movement that will mean the West will “never be the same again“.
He also insists that Palestine Place is “open to everyone and belongs to everyone“, and that it is a “hub of creativity, discussions and possibility for radical change“.
Palestine Place completely betrays these ideals.
Discussion of historical events intimately linked to Palestine and the history of Zionism, has been stifled. Attendees are banned and ostracised for having a different opinion; discussion outside of the mainstream is prohibited at this ‘radical’ outfit – whether this concerns the attendees or the opinionated, one-sided speakers who are invited to talk.
Palestine Place’s official ‘Safe Spaces Policy’ bars holocaust revisionism(13) (the act of enriching our understanding of history on an ongoing basis by examining and documenting the facts). I must reiterate: what legitimate reason could we possibly have for shielding any historical event from examination? What are they afraid of? What is there to hide? We are constantly reminded that we must learn from history lest it repeat itself (reminiscent of the ‘never again’ mantra), yet Palestine Place chooses to protect this aspect of history from scrutiny!
Interestingly, Palestine Place’s Safe Spaces Policy calls for (emphasis mine) “An end to the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied since 1967“. Does the land ethnically cleansed and occupied in 1948 not count? Did Israel’s crimes start in 1967? Palestine Place attempts to normalise the Nakba here, accepting the legitimacy of the 1948 land thefts and only referring to the 1967 occupation.
The following passage from the same policy statement is simply staggering in its dishonesty, keeping in mind the practices of Palestine Place:
Palestine Place will not be dogmatic nor prescriptive about attitudes, opinions or beliefs that relate to the political debate around Palestine.
Palestine Place is not an environment that encourages any level of independent or critical thought. Youngsters, keen to learn about the Palestinian cause (and the geopolitical landscape surrounding it – i.e. Syria) are being corralled into adopting a kosher ‘anti-Zionist’ viewpoint that will pose zero threat to Zionism.
Outspoken and dedicated pro-Palestinian voices are banned and ostracised. Guest speakers are invited who are exclusively representing a one-sided point of view. Discussion of Zionism’s founding myths are prevented. This supposed ‘solidarity’ outfit has demonstrably positioned itself into an anti-Palestinian standpoint, either wittingly or unwittingly.
The Palestine Solidarity Movement is terminally afraid of discussing subjects that are designated ‘no-go’ areas by Zionist ideology. The incessant false charges of ‘anti-Semitism’ is Zionism’s biggest ideological weapon – and we all know it – but our movement has no defence.
Only with real independent thought and intellectual courage will our movement proceed.
When we are held emotionally hostage by certain ideas, we must ask why.
We must never stop the pursuit of truth, regardless of the level of ‘herd mentality’ around us. We must take a step back and think objectively.
Exposing any and all deceptions which alter perceptions about Israel, anti-Semitism, and Palestine, is our place.
(1) ‘Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon’ – US Palestinian Community Network
(2) ‘Libya: at the crossroads’ by Simon Assaf
(3) ‘How Western Powers Blackmailed the Libyan Revolution’ by Simon Assaf
(4) ‘Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group’ – The UK Telegraph
(5) ‘Foreign Terrorist Organizations’ – US Department of State
(6) ‘Jihadists Declare Holy War Against Assad Regime’ – Spiegel Online
(7) ‘Al-Qaeda Terrorists Airlifted From Libya to Aid Syrian Opposition’ by Paul Joseph Watson
(8) ‘US, 18 other nations, wrap up Eager Lion military exercise in Jordan’ – The Christian Science Monitor
(9) ‘Syria: UN Inquiry Should Investigate Houla Killings’ – Human Rights Watch
(10) ‘Leading German Daily: Houla Massacre Committed by Syrian Rebels’ – EmpireStrikesBlack.com
(11) ‘US fears fresh massacre in Syria’ – The UK Telegraph
(12) ‘‘Palestine Place’ comes to London, and the west will never be the same’ by Frank Barat
(13) ‘Safe Spaces Policy’ – Palestine Place
clear signs of a Cold War against the European currency
Certain wars cannot be formally declared. Pakistan and Israel do not recognize each other. The escalating arms race between them may turn violent in the foreseeable future, but a formal declaration of war between entities that do not recognize each other is unlikely to happen. Other wars are never formally declared. The term Cold War was coined by George Orwell in 1945, and was used to describe the long conflict between the USA and the USSR, which continued until the dissolution of the latter in 1991. Considering the millions that died in it, defining this war as “cold” is difficult; yet, this war never existed formally. Moreover, the two sides never fought directly. All the combats took place among pawn-states; the Vietnam War is probably the best example of that. The difficult reality faced in 2012 by the European currency—the euro—seems to be related to an ongoing currency war.
Yesterday, June 13, 2012, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Spain’s bond rating, placing it just a notch above being defined as junk-bond. This came days after a massive bailout of Spanish banks by Europe, which secured over 100 billion euros for them as guarantees. Before this, Spain concentrated all its failed loans in a few banks, and then asked for a banks’ bailout, claiming that except for these banks, its economy is sound. This was different from the done in the other European state-bailouts of the last year only in style. Portugal, Ireland and Greece were helped by the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank when they gave up hope of market funding. That turned out not being a good solution, as the ongoing troubles in Greece prove. Moody’s downgrading of Spain clearly shows that the international markets didn’t buy the Spanish thinly-disguised bailout. Following Moody’s decision, Spanish 10-year bond yields hit the 7 percent level; this was the level that triggered full international bailouts of the other euro zone members. In other words, the Spanish economy may soon collapse. If looking closely at the details, it looks that a Cold War was declared on the euro. As with the former Cold War, nothing was declared openly; yet, the odd combats at the European flanks hint at a violent reality.
Spain tried everything before accepting the bailout. In February, I reported in Spain as Western China, how European leaders asked help from China. On February 14, 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered co-operation to help stabilize debt-ridden EU nations, but made no specific promise to invest in the proposed European bailout fund. This was especially meaningful considering that China owns much of Spain. During the first week of January 2011, Li Keqiang, China’s Vice Premier visited Spain and was welcomed by then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The visitor announced that his country would buy $7.9 billion in Spanish bonds, when China already owned 10% of Spain’s foreign debt. China bought debt also from other troubled countries of the EU. The Spanish El País newspaper dubbed Li Keqiang the new “Mr. Marshall,” in a reference to America’s post-World War II Marshall Plan. Yet, just one year later, China refused to help the failing economies of the European Union. This unexpected step indicates that China considers its former investments in Spain almost as lost. Other indicators support this. Spain is important in the current crisis because it is not like Greece, Portugal, Ireland or—still un-bailed—Italy. Spain played by the EU rules, and yet it is collapsing. When it joined the euro in 1999, Spain broke the EU debt rule, with a debt/GDP ratio of 62.3%. However, since then the Spanish government had a balanced budget on average—that means its borrowing was zero—every year until the 2008 financial crisis. Yet, Spain is failing. If Spain fails, it may mean the euro is not viable, and that Germany and France may also collapse.
On April 16, 2012, Spain was hit hard. Argentinean President began then the expropriation of 51% of Class D YPF shares from Repsol, a Spanish oil company operating also in Argentina (see Argentina Endangers Euro). This move transferred the ownership of the oil company from Repsol to the Argentinean government. The Argentinean government took over the administration of the confiscated company, through a government minister overseeing its activities until the ownership transfer is completed. Spain was fast to declare the move was illegitimate and that it will react harshly in the near future. “This is a hostile step by Argentina,” said Mariano Rajoy, the recently elected Spanish Prime Minister. Argentina completed the expropriation and Spain began a judicial process in international courts that will take years. That doesn’t matter anymore; the damage has already been done. Shortly afterwards, a tiny Spanish company in the business of electricity-transport was confiscated by Bolivia, which got envious of its southern neighbor success in the theft of Repsol. Spain probably was relieved by this latter expropriation; a mountainous country, Bolivia is not a profitable location for such companies. Yet, both events sent a message to the markets: Spanish companies operating in Spain’s former colonies may be expropriated without notice at any time. This additional instability may have had an important role in the current troubles.
Few would guess the importance of the companies involved. Moreover, after reading a short summary of Argentinean history, few would be brave enough to invest in the country’s economy. Thus, one cannot help but define Spaniards as the bravest people on earth, since they are the largest foreign investor in Argentina. Over the years, major Spanish corporations had invested major sums in their former colony. Spanish Telefonica—the third largest phone provider in the world—is active in Argentina (see Spain as Western China). Santander Group is a Spanish banking group and the 6th largest company in the world, operates banks in Argentina. The same goes for BBVA, the 7th largest financial institution in the Western world. Overall, more than 400 Spanish companies have substantial investments in what turned out to be nothing more than a robbers den. Two large Spanish companies are involved in the Argentinean energy market: Gas Natural and Repsol. The first is still untouched, the other-which is the 15th largest petroleum refining company-was robbed yesterday by the Argentinean government. After the confiscation of Repsol, Argentina may confiscate the Spanish banks; given this, the reaction of the markets towards Spain is understood, even after the informal bailout of this week. If there is a war on the euro, it hit at Spain’s flank. Given the abovementioned importance of this country one can only applaud Europe’s hidden enemy for its choice. Destroy Spain’s economy and the euro will probably fall.
During the second American attack on Iraq, I was fascinated by the American administration’s rhetoric. We all remember the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lies, but there was much more than that. “Financing the war” was also a key phrase said by frenzied politicians while looking for juice to run their toys of mass destruction. There was no better testimony than this mantra to the fact this was a war of choice—and thus unacceptable—aimed to create financial profits through cheap oil and the revival of American military industries. The phrase also reflected the American mindset as a world financial center and the main printer of a fiat money known as American dollar, the world’s main reserve currency at that moment in time. A very different future awaits America.
The USA won’t disappear from the international arena as a significant player as a result of a military defeat. Granada won’t retaliate for the American crimes; neither would Afghanistan or Iraq. Attacking the weak is another characteristic of America. By the end of 2010, the media was full with articles announcing China having become the second largest economy, after bypassing Japan. The same number of articles tried to predict when China would bypass America. Some said 2020, others 2015. All of them ignored a rapidly changing financial situation which would control the economic development in the near future. Most economists use linear models in their predictions, while reality is often non-linear and non-derivative; this is due to the low-level mathematics learned at financial faculties. The result of this overlook will be dramatic; probably all predictions will fail.
America is #1 only because economic output is measured in the current reserve money, i.e. American dollars. There is a simple but excellent way of describing the problematic of these statistics. Bolivia is a producer of coffee. A pound of average coffee in Bolivia costs around one American dollar. In the US, a coffee of similar quality would probably cost around $4. Let’s say that both economies sell just one pound of coffee per year. If measuring the production of each economy in dollars, then the US economy could be claimed as being four times larger than the Bolivian one; however, if measuring by weight, both economies would be the same size. The world’s economy is measured in US dollars and thus it is highly biased toward the American economy, presenting it as much larger than it is.
In order to keep this illusion of economic size, a key goal of the US government is to keep its currency as the global monetary measurement unit. However, this won’t last. It makes no sense calculating the trade between China and India in US dollars; the distortions in such a case are multiple. In the case of Thai products reaching Nepal via India, measuring the events in American dollars is ridiculous. One solution would be adopting a basket of carefully balanced measurements methods; this would probably happen in the next decades. Measuring under a more accurate system, the US would probably rate as the third largest economy in the world. If measuring the EU as one economic unit, then the US would be just fourth. Moreover, not everyone is happy with the ongoing situation. In 2010, Russia and China scrapped the dollar in their mutual transactions. The same applies for a few other countries, mainly in Asia. At the beginning of February 2011, the IMF issued a report on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The report recommends using Special Drawing Rights that could help stabilize the global financial system. Simply, heavily indebted America cannot provide a stable currency anymore. Roughly at the same time, the Asian Development Bank said in a joint study with Columbia University’s Earth Institute, that the Chinese Yuan could rapidly become an internationally used currency and serve as an alternative to the US dollar in central bank reserves. In fact, China owns not only a substantial part of the American debt, but also the debt of European countries as Spain, forcing a future in which the Yuan would grow in importance. As such, the opening of the Yuan as a floating currency that can be traded everywhere is almost inevitable. Despite some decentralization in its trading during recent years, Yuan is still heavily controlled by the Chinese government. America and Europe are waiting and pushing for this moment; vulture bankers will pray on the new reserve currency and speculate on its future.
The USA is interested in keeping its status as main reserve currency for as long as possible. In 2012, the euro is the second largest reserve currency and the second most traded currency in the world after the dollar. Yet, there are signs the euro was about to take over the dollar in popularity. In February 2012—roughly at the time of the European visit to china abovementioned—the euro surpassed the dollar as the currency with the highest combined value of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world. Alarms shook Washington.
The Pirates Attack
Many years ago, the IDF published a thin but important book. Oddly enough it came out of the Galei Tzahal—Israel Military Radio—prints. The book deals with methods used by the USA to control South American regimes. Apparently I was one of its few readers; years later—when I found myself a refugee in that obscure part of the world—I could appreciate the frightening exactitude of that little book. There were two levels to the American control of their “backyard,” as South America is nicknamed in the book. The first was political and was best defined by the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. Monroe—then Secretary of State of the USA—defined an American position regarding the Americas: European powers are to be kept out at all costs. This has been strictly kept: French and Spaniards were ruthlessly sent away with the exception of a small failure at the French Guyana, which is still part of Metropolitan France. The second level is military; the book deals mainly with the situation in Argentina, but it applies also to what is known as the “Southern Cone” (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay). Interestingly, the last is also a dark star in Phillip Agee’s INSIDE THE COMPANY: CIA DIARY. Other South American countries are essentially similar and experienced some of the most ruthless military-terror dictatorships during the 20th century; ignoring human rights, torturing and assassinating citizens were their credentials. This military-terror machinery had been trained by the USA and was designed to perform exactly that: civil terror for the profit of Empire (see Netanyahu: Between Uganda and Argentina for more details on the military characteristics).
Despite the isolationist rhetoric of South American presidents, the Monroe Doctrine is still well and alive. Bolivian Evo Morales may have kicked the American ambassador out in 2008, but that was done for propagandistic goals. The relations and commerce between the countries continued, and a new ambassador was appointed when everybody forgot about the issue. Skirmishes between the countries may happen from time to time, but they all stick to that 19th Century doctrine. Seeing the success of the euro in the international arena, America may have panicked, and quietly asked for help from the South-American puppet-regimes. “Stick a nail on Spain’s flank,” Obama may have said to its Argentinean counterpart in a secret meeting. Argentina lacks the proper technology for oil-extraction; the ongoing talks about the replacement of Repsol by an American oil company further support this view. Considering all these, it is hard not to conclude that America is conducting a quiet Cold War against the euro, in a desperate—and eventually futile—attempt to keep its monetary hegemony.
The release of radioactivity from Fukushima is at least as great as from Chernobyl, and a humanitarian disaster on the scale of Chernobyl needs to be averted by acknowledging the truth and taking responsibility for mitigating measures.
Regulators seriously economical with the truth
“Few people will develop cancer as a consequence of being exposed to the radioactive material that spewed from Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant…and those who do will never know for sure what caused their disease.” These conclusions, published in the journal Nature  are based on two “comprehensive, independent assessments” from UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) and WHO (World Health Organisation), both notorious for downplaying and denying the devastating health impacts of the Chernobyl accident  (see Chernobyl Deaths Top a Million Based on Real Evidence, SiS 55). They are now using the same tactics to rule out, a priori, potential health impacts from Fukushima radioactive releases.
According to the draft UNSCEAR report seen by Nature , 167 workers at the plant received radiation doses that “slightly raise their risk of developing cancer.” Actually, six former reactor workers have died since the catastrophe, but UNSCEAR ruled they were unrelated to the accident .
“There may be some increase in cancer risk that may not be detectable statistically,” Kiuohiko Mabuchi, head of Chernobyl studies at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, told Nature. He said that in Chernobyl, where clean-up workers were exposed to much higher dose, 0.1 % of the 110 000 workers surveyed have so far developed leukaemia, although not all of those cases resulted from the accident. In fact, the death rate of the “clean-up workers” at Chernobyl remained high even four years after the accident, and 20 years later, 115 000 (out of 830 000) are dead .
WHO, for its part, estimates that most residents of Fukushima and neighbouring Japanese prefectures received absorbed doses below 10 mSv . Residents of Namie town and Iitate village, not evacuated until months after the accident, received 10-50 mSv, though infants in Namie may have been exposed to enough I-131 to have received 100-200 mSv. The government aims to keep public exposure from the accident below 20 mSv, but in the longer term, it wants to decontaminate the region so residents will receive no more than 1 mSv per year from the accident. Thus, people have been exposed within a matter of weeks, 10 to 200 times the legal limit dose for a whole year.
Yet, WHO’s conclusion for Fukushima is the same as for Chernobyl : “A greater health risk may come from the psychological stress created.”
A day later..
A day later, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced that the amount of radioactive material released during the first days of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was almost two and a half times the initial estimate by Japanese safety regulators . The operator said the meltdowns at the three reactors released about 900 000 Terabecquerels (1012 Bq) of radioactive substances into the air during March 2011.
The later estimate was based on measurements suggesting the amount of radioactive iodine I-131 released was much larger than previous estimates. TEPCO said it had initially been unable to accurately judge the amount of radioactive materials released because radiation sensors closest to the plant were disabled in the disaster.
Several days later, ex-Prime Minister Naoto Ken apologized for his role in the Fukushima nuclear crisis . His government’s push for nuclear energy was largely to blame. Ken had stepped down in September 2011 when the government faced fierce criticism over its handling of the crisis and for providing too little information to the public. It was Ken, however, who ordered TEPCO to keep the men on site; otherwise Fukushima would have spiralled out of control, according to a private panel probing the accident.
But the threat remains. Experts are now worried about the state of the spent fuel pool in unit 4, which is unlikely to withstand another earthquake . The severely damaged unit 4 building houses a spent nuclear fuel pool that contains 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released at Chernobyl. Nearly all of the 10 893 spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima Daiichi plant sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with altogether 85 times the long-lived radioactivity released at Chernobyl. A letter was sent by 72 Japanese NGOs to the United Nations with an urgent request for immediate action to stabilize unit 4’s spent nuclear fuel. The letter was endorsed by nuclear experts from both Japan and abroad.
Andrew DeWit, professor of political economy at Rikkyo University told Al Jazeera that transparency on the issues of nuclear energy was paramount. And that is precisely what’s lacking, in Japan, and in the world at large.
“We heard it first from the internet”
Miwa Chiwaki from Kodomo Fukushima (Fukushima network to protect children from radiation) said  it was in a BBC programme via the internet that people first saw pictures of the explosions at the power station. The Japanese government had information from SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environment Emergency Dose Information) and they passed the information first to the US government on 14 March and to the Japanese people only on 23 March.
The day after the tsunami struck the Fukushima nuclear plant, thousands of residents at the nearby town of Namie gathered to evacuate. In the absence of guidance from Tokyo, the town officials led the residents north, in the belief that the winter winds would blow south and carry away the radioactive plume. They stayed in the Tsushima district for three nights where the children played outside and some parents used the water from a mountain stream to cook rice . But the ill winds from Fukushima had been blowing directly towards them in Tsushima, as it would transpire two months later. SPEEDI had predicted that. But bureaucrats in Tokyo had not seen it their responsibility to make that information public. Japan’s political leaders did not know about the system, and later downplayed the data, fearful of having to enlarge the evacuation zone and acknowledge the severity of the accident.
Tamotsu Baba, the mayor of Namie, now living with thousands in temporary housing in another town, condemned the withholding of information as being akin to “murder”.
The true level of contamination is also hidden from people, Chiwaki said . Many mothers queued up with their children in the rain for several hours to receive water rations (while radioactivity was being washed down over them with the rain), in Iitate, villagers were left in very high levels of contamination for a whole month.
“Advisers on radiation control from Fukushima prefecture flocked to the villages,” Chiwaki said, “and, with broad smiles on their faces, told the people that “there is nothing to worry about, you can let your children play outside.”” Three days later, the village was classified “planned evacuation zone”.
The circumstances of the accident and the real levels of contamination were only revealed piecemeal. A “safety campaign” was initiated on 20 March. Professor Shunichi Yamashita of Nagasaki University was sent around the country, smiling and say things like: “100 mSv? No problem!” “Radiation is only a threat to people who worry about it.” “Smile and you won’t be affected by the radiation.”
Radioactivity, dose and general exposure limits
A great deal of confusion and anxiety is created by the different units used in announcements to the popular media. The unit of radioactivity is a Becquerel, Bq, equal to 1 radioactive disintegration per second, coming directly from a source, a radionuclide in contaminated food or drink, soil or air. Larger units are the kBq (1 000), MBq (106), (GBq (109), TBq (1012), PBq (1015), and EBq (1018).
The unit of absorbed dose (amount of energy absorbed by a unit of material) is the Gray, Gy, equal to 1 Joule/kg. The equivalent or effective dose is the Sievert, Sv (also in units of Joule/kg) is the absorbed dose modified to represent the presumed biological effect. Note that 1 Joule is a very small amount of energy. But unlike ordinary chemical energy, where typically kJ quantities are needed before anything can happen, the energy in ionizing radiation exists in extremely concentrated quanta or packets; hence 1 J of energy would already contain many of these energetic missiles (typically a billion) that target atoms and molecules. This is the major difference between ionizing radiation and ordinary chemical energy.
The Becquerel and the Sievert are not directly convertible, because it depends on the radionuclide involved, which particles or photons it produces per disintegration, and how much energy each of the photons or particles carries. There is a website that tells you how the calculation is done and actually does it for you  (http://www.radprocalculator.com/Gamma.aspx). Some useful approximate correspondences are:
1 mSv of I-131 = 2.06525 x 106 Bq
1 mSv of Cs-137 = 1.30878 x 106 Bq
Radiation exposure considers how long a period over which the dose is absorbed, usually in mSv/year.
The exposure limit in Europe is 1 mSv/year for the public, and the occupational exposure, 20 mSv/year . For USA, the occupational exposure limit is 50 mSv, reduced to 10 % for pregnant women. Dose limit for the public is 1 mSv/year, in addition to a background of o.3 mSv and 0.05 mSv from sources such as medical X-ray .
To put these exposure limits in perspective, it is generally recognized that a dose of 1 000 mSi will kill an adult. A whole body dose of 400 mSi will kill about 50 % of people within 60 days of the exposure, mostly from infection, as their immune systems are destroyed . At very low doses, such as what most of us receive every day from background radiation, the cells are able to repair the damage, though the recent discovery of bystander effects indicate that doses as low as tens of mSi are harmful . At higher doses (up to 100 mSi), the cells may not be able to repair the damage, and may either be changed permanently, or die. Most cells that die are replaced with few consequences. Cells changed permanently may give rise to diseases, they may go on to produce abnormal cells when they divide, and may become cancerous.
A comment submitted to the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) by the Sierra Club in 2006 stated : “Numerous academic researchers, independent scholars, and governmental bodies, such as the U.S. National Academies of Science and National Research Council, have now concluded that the linear no-threshold hypothesis is valid and that there is no “safe” level of radiation exposure.”
Exposure limits and exposure levels in Japan post-Fukushima
The pre-Fukushima legal exposure limit for the public in Japan was 10 mSi/y and 50 mSi/y for occupational exposure . The occupational legal limits were soon scrapped after the accident. At the end of April 2011, the Japanese government released a map based on air surveys done by MEXT (Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), which revealed that people living in areas not being evacuated will receive radiation doses up to 23.5 times their annual legal limit over the course of the next year .
It is important to note that all the exposure limits and projected exposure mentioned so far are for external sources. As the French expert body, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) pointed out, they take no account of [15, p. 4] “exposure from other pathways such as immersion within the plume and inhalation of particles in the plume during the accident nor the doses already received or to be received from ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs. The total effective doses to be received (external + internal) could be much higher according to the type of deposit (dry or wet), diet and source of food.”
In addition, as Director of the Medical Institute of Environment at Gifu in Japan Matsui Eisuke pointed out , the government and its professional advisors in measuring exposure have relied mainly on g-rays that are easy to detect. But, in terms of internal radiation exposure, b and a- particles have a far more serious effect. “The government and TEPCO hardly measure such isotopes as b-emitting strontium-90 or a-emitting plutonium-239.”
Exposure due to ingested or inhaled radionuclide is a major problem in radioactive fallout, particularly when prompt evacuation, radioactive monitoring, and remediation have all failed to be carried out, as was the case for both Chernobyl and Fukushima.
IRSN’s assessment of projected doses based on the Japanese map released (see Figure 1), estimated that some 70 000 people including 9 500 children are living in the most contaminated areas outside the initial 20 km evacuation zone projected to receive further doses up to 200 mSv or more. This clearly calls for further evacuation beyond the initial 20 km zone. Under Japanese Food Sanitation Law, 5 000 Bq/kg of radioactive Cs is considered the safe limit in soil . Consequently, large areas of Japan may no longer be suitable for agriculture.
Figure 1 Map of caesium 137 + 134 deposits (Figure 7) superimposed on the map of projected doses for the 1st year (Figure 4) for 3 dose levels only (5, 10 and 20 mSv)
The Japanese government at first raised the legal exposure limit to 20 mSi a year for the public, including children, thereby leaving them in areas from which they would have been barred under the old standard . The limit for children was later scaled back to 1 mSi/y but only applies while they are inside school buildings.
In March 2012, the Japanese government announced a new standard limit for radionuclides in foods to 1 mSv/y, reducing from a previous provisional limit of 5 mSv/y. This translates into a maximum of 100 Bq/kg for regular food items such as meat, vegetables and fish (revised down from 500 Bq just after the Fukushima meltdown), 50 Bq/l for milk and infant food and 10 Bq for drinking water (revised down from 200) . As shown above, this still means an accumulation of internal exposure up to 1 million Bq a year, depending on how fast the radionuclides are cleared from the body. We already know that much lower levels have proven deadly for the children of Belarus (see  Apple Pectin for Radioprotection, SiS 55).
According to the German Society for Radiation Protection, a person is normally exposed to about 0.3 mSv per year through ingestion of food and drink; and this should be considered the permissible level of ingested radioactivity. In order not to go beyond this level, the amount of radioactive caesium-137 should not exceed 8 Bq/kg in milk and baby formula and 16 Bq/kg in all other foodstuff. Radioactive iodine with its short half-life should not be permitted in food at all .
How much radioactivity was released by the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant?
Although a picture of the radioactivity deposited on land is emerging, the actual levels of radioactivity to which people have been exposed are impossible to tell because there is a lot of uncertainty as to how much radioactivity has been released in the series of explosions in the Fukushima nuclear plant thus far.
TEPCO’s latest press release  gave the amounts of radionuclides released between 12 and 31 March 2011 as follows.
Releases into the air:
Noble gas: Approx. 5×1017 Bq
Iodine 131: Approx. 5×1017 Bq
Caesium 134: Approx. 1×1016 Bq
Caesium 137: Approx. 1×1016 Bq
Releases into the ocean:
Iodine-131: Approx. 1.1×1016 Bq
Cesium-134: Approx. 3.5×1015 Bq
Cesium-137: Approx. 3.6×1015 Bq
These add up to a total of 1 038.1 x 1015Bq or 1 038.1 PBq released.
TEPCO admits that the radioactivity measuring equipment were “unavailable due to the accident,” so “further data still need to be collected to review the validity of the evaluation result.” These reported radioactive releases from Fukushima are less than one-tenth those from the Chernobyl accident, a total of some 14 EBq (14 x 1018 Bq), over half of it in noble gases .
How reliable are the latest TEPCO results?
Using data from radioactivity measuring posts set up under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) gave estimates of between 360-390 PBq iodine-131 and about 50 PBq of caesium-137 for the period of 12-14 March . According to their calculations, the iodine-131 emissions from Fukushima in those three days amounted to 20 % of the total iodine-131 emissions from Chernobyl (1 760 PBq), while the emissions of caesium-137 in those three days amounted to about 60 % of the total caesium-137 emissions from Chernobyl (85 PBq).
A study led by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) found about 16 700 PBq of xenon-133 (250% of the amount released at Chernobyl) emitted by the Fukushima power plant between 12 and 19 March 2011, the largest release of radioactive Xenon in history . In addition, 35.8 PBq of caesium-137 (42% of the amount released at Chernobyl) was emitted in the same period. The study found that radioactive emissions were first measured right after the earthquake and before the tsunami struck the plant, indicating that the quake itself had already caused substantial damage to the reactors. The NILU report also suggests that the fire in the spent fuel pond of reactor 4 may have been the major contributor to airborne emissions, as emissions decreased significantly after the fire had been brought under control.
The same team of researchers updated their estimates in a paper published online giving estimates of 15 300 PBq of Xenon-133 and 36.6 PBq Cs-137 released into the atmosphere , not counting iodine-131 or Cs-134 (which was as much as Cs-137), nor releases into the ocean. But already, this is nearly 15 times the latest TEPCO estimate for total releases. I shall report separately in detail on this latest independent estimate, which gives a global picture of contamination from the fallout (see  Fukushima Fallout Rivals Chernobyl, SiS 55).
Contamination of soil 
MEXT conducted soil surveys in 100 locations within 80 km of the Fukushima power plant in June and July of 2011. They found contamination with various radionuclides; the main ones were strontium-90, iodine-131, and caesium-137. Strontium-90, with a half-life of 28 years, is similar to calcium, and is therefore incorporated into bone where it can remain for decades, emitting b-particles and irradiating the bone-marrow, causing leukaemia and other cancers. Strontium-90 was found at concentrations of 1.8-32 Bq/kg at sites outside the 30 kM evacuation zone in Nishigou, Motomiya, Ootama and Ono.
Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days. When ingested, it is incorporated like ordinary iodine in the thyroid gland, where it emits b- and g-radiation, causing thyroid cancer especially in children. I-131 was found in milk, drinking water, vegetables and water around Northern Japan. According to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), iodine-131 deposition in Tokyo reached 36 000 Bq/m2 between 22 and 23 March 2011. Soil samples in the municipalities of Nishigou, Izumizaki, Ootama, Shirakawa, Nihonmatsu, Date, Iwaki, Iitate, Ono, Minamisoma and Tamura showed concentrations of I-131 between 2 000 and 1 170 000 Bq/kg. In the municipality of Ono, 40 km southwest of the Fukushima plant, MEXT scientists found up to 7 440 Bq/kg of I-131 in rainwater samples. In August 2011, MEXT scientists still found I-131 concentrations of more than 200 Bq/kg in most of the municipalities, with maximum in Namie and Iitate of 1 300 and 1 100 Bq/kg respectively. Given its short half-life, this high level detected 145 days after the initial fallout on 15 March suggests extremely high initial contamination of the soil > 288 MBq/kg, or additional contamination of the area after the initial fallout. To convert from Bq/kg to Bq/m2, the convention is to multiply by 20 or 65, depending on the depth to which the soil is sampled. A conservative multiplier of 20 would give a value of > 5760 MBq/kg, going way off the top of the scale shown in the map of Fig. 1, which only gives radioactivity due to Cs-137 and Cs-134.
Cs-137 has a half-life of 30 years. It is similar to potassium, so its distribution is fairly even throughout the body if ingested. It is mainly a b-emitter, but its decay product barium-137 also produces g-radiation. It can cause solid tumours in virtually all organs. Cs-137 has a biological half-life of 70 days and is excreted through urine like potassium. It therefore accumulates in the bladder and irradiates the adjacent uterus and foetus in pregnant women. IRSN states that around 874 km2 of the area outside the 20 km evacuation zone must be considered highly contaminated with Cs-137, to an estimated concentration >6MBq/m2, similar to the evacuation zone around the Chernobyl power plant  (see Figure 1). In fact, Cs-137 in the Fukushima prefecture even reached up to 30 MBq/m2 north-west of the plant, and up to 10 MBq/m2 in neighbouring prefectures. Soil sample with Cs-137 between 20 000 and 220 000 Bq/kg were found by MEXT scientists in the municipalities of Iitate, Kawamata, Name, Katsurao and Nihonmatsu in April 2011. Even higher values up to 420 000 Bq/kg were recorded later in August 2011. According to IAEA, Cs-137 deposition in Tokyo reached 340 Bq/m2 22-23 March 2011. Radioactive caesium was also found in large quantities in beef, rice, milk, fish, drinking water and other foodstuff.
Contamination of the marine environment
Massive amounts of radioactive waste water used in cooling the reactors and spent fuel ponds were discharged into the sea, seeped into the soil or ground water or evaporated into the atmosphere . Between 4 and 10 April 2011, TEPCO deliberately released 10 393 tonnes of radioactive water. It constituted the single largest radioactive discharge into the oceans in history. A 1-2 week pulse of radioactivity peaked in the water around the Fukushima plant on 6 April 2011, with ocean concentrations of 68 MBq/m3, and an estimated total release of up to 22 PBq [28, 29]; TEPCO admits 18.1 PBq . After considerable dilution 2-3 months following the peak, surface concentrations were still higher than previously existing by as much as 10 000-fold in coastal waters and as much as 1 000-fold over a 150 000 km2 area of the Pacific up to 600 k east of Japan. Radioactive Cs was detected in all species of marine organisms ranging from phytoplankton to fish.
The waters northeast of the Fukushima plant are among the major fishing zones in the world, responsible for half of Japan’s seafood. But catch from the Ibaraki prefecture showed such high levels of radioactive isotopes that it had to be discarded as radioactive waste . Radioactive contamination in the ocean does not get diluted away, like other pollutants it gets accumulated in the marine food chain, up to fish consumed by humans. Radioactive caesium in sea bass caught in the North Pacific continually rose from March till September, with a maximum found on 15 September of 670Bq/kg. Radioactivity not only disperses passively in the ocean by currents and mixing, but is also spread by fish and mammals. The Pacific Bluefin tuna was found to transport Fukushima-derived radionuclides from Japan to California. Fifteen Pacific Bluefin tuna sampled in August 2011 had elevated levels of Cs- 134 (4.0 + 1.4 Bq/kg) and Cs-137 (6.3 + 1.5 Bq/kg).
Contamination of food and drinking water
Extensive contamination of food and drinking water was documented in the months after the disaster .
Outside the evacuation zone in Fukushima prefecture, MEXT survey one week after the earthquake found contaminated vegetables in the municipalities of Iitate, Kawamata, Tamua, Ono, Minamisoma, Iwaki, Tshukidate, Nihonmatsu, Sirakawa, Sukagawa, Ootama, Izumizaki and Saigou. I-131 concentrations were as high as 2.54 MBq/kg and Cs-137 up to 2.65 MBq/kg. One month after meltdown, radioactivity was still above 100 000 Bq/kg for I-131, and 900 000 Bq/kg for Cs-137 in some regions. In Ibaraki prefecture ~100 km south of the Fukushima plant, spinach was found with I-131 up to 54 100 Bq/kg and Cs-137 up to 1 931 Bq/kg. Other highly contaminated vegetables included mustard, parsley, and Shitake mushrooms, and lesser amounts of radiation were detected in lettuce, onions, tomatoes, strawberries, wheat and barley.
Milk, beef, rice and drinking water were also contaminated. The IAEA warned that levels of I-131 exceeded permissible limits between 17 and 23 March. Even in the northern district of Tokyo, tap water contained 210 Bq/l of I-131.
Seafood and fish caught close to the nuclear plant reached 500 – 1 000 Bq/kg. In April 2011, the Japanese Fishing Ministry found radioactive iodine and caesium in sand lance from Fukushima prefecture each with an activity up to 12 000 Bq/kg. The independent French radioactivity laboratory ACRO found readings of more than 10 000 Bq/kg in algae harvested outside the 20 km evacuation zone. One sample showed levels of 127 000 Bq/kg of I-131, 800 Bq/kg of Cs-134 and 840 Bq/kg of Cs-137.
In the prefecture of Shizuoka ~400 km from Fukushima, local tea leaves were found contaminated with 670 Bq/kg Cs-137, and radioactive Japanese green tea was discovered in France in June 2011.
Emerging health impacts 
Employees of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, rescue- and clean-up workers are the most acutely exposed group. According to the Japanese Atomic Information Forum, radiation levels inside the plant peaked at around 1 000 mSi/h, a dose fatal to humans exposed for more than an hour. While airborne emissions decreased gradually, massive amounts of radiation still remained on site through wash-out in water continually pumped into the plant to cool the reactors. By 1 August 2011, radiation of 10 Sv/h was still detected around the premises. A total of 8 300 workers have been deployed in rescue and clean-up since March. In July, TEPCO announced that 111 workers had been exposed to radiation of more than 100 mSv, some as high as 678 mSv. That did not take into account effects of internal radiation through ingested or inhaled radioisotopes.
An under-cover report broadcast on 4 October 2011 on German TV ZDF revealed radiation levels as high as 10 Sv/h, and new hotspots were still being discovered . The exposure badges given to the workers routinely registered an error message as the radioactivity went way off-scale. The workers, paid €80-100 a day, were forbidden by contract to talk to reporters and given little information on the radiation levels in the plant. They only discovered that on TV. Some 18 000 workers had gone through the plant by then.
Following the nuclear meltdowns, the Japanese government ordered the evacuation of 200 000 people in an area of about 600 km2. As mentioned above, 70 000 people including 9 500 children were still living in highly contaminated areas outside this evacuation zone 2 months after the accident . IAEA measured radiation levels 16-115 mSv/h (i.e., up to 140-1 007 mSv/y) outside the 20 km evacuation zone. MEXT scientists confirmed these levels in their soil surveys of April 2011. Dose rates recorded in several cities outside the evacuation zone were 2 mSv/h in Nihonmatsu, Tamura, Souma, Minamisoma and Date; more than 5 mSv/h in Namie, and more than 100 mSv/h in Iitate. Four months later in August 2011, MEXT scientists still detected radiation doses up to 34 mSv/h in Namie, up to 16 mSv/h in Iitate, and up to 17.5 mSv/h in Katsurao.
IRSN projected the external exposure of the 70 000 living in the highly contaminated areas outside the 20 km evacuation zone to reach 200 mSv/y or more in the first year . The external collective dose over 4 years of this population was calculated to be 4 400 person-Sv, amounting to 60 % of the collective dose received by the population in the highly contaminated regions around Chernobyl.
MEXT’s calculations confirm those exposure levels. The estimated doses over the
course of a year are up to 235.4 mSv in the town of Namie, 61.7 mSv in Iitate, 24.2 mSv in
Kawamata, 21.2 mSv in Date, 18 mSv in Katsurao, 15.6 mSv in Minamisoma and more than 10 mSv in Fukushima city and Koriyama – both more than 55 km away from the plant. The natural (pre-existing) background radiation level in Japan is 1.48 mSv/y.
These high external sources of exposure have been and will continue to be internalized in food and drink. The devastating impacts of chronic exposure have been documented especially in the multiple diseases and deaths of hundreds of thousands of children as the result of the Chernobyl catastrophe, exacerbated by official denial, suppression, and disinformation .
I-131 is one of the most acute causes of cancer in children after a nuclear meltdown. Uptake of radioactive iodine can be prevented by a timely supply of iodine tablets. While such iodine tablets were supplied to the municipalities and evacuation centres during the first few days of the disaster, the order to distribute them was never issued, and hence, with very few exceptions, no iodine tablets were taken by people exposed to radioactive iodine . The may lead to a large number of cases of thyroid cancer, as in the case of Chernobyl . And the signs are ominous.
At the end of March 2011, a group of researchers around Hiroshima professor Satoshi Tashiro tested 1 149 children aged 0 to 15 from Iwaki city Kawamata town and Iitate village. Some 44.5 % showed radioactive contamination of up to 35 mSv in their thyroid gland. In October 2011, the University of Fukushima began with thyroid-examinations on 360 000 children living in the regions affected by radioactive contamination. Matsui Eisuke reported some of the results so far . Between October 2011 and 31 March 2012, 38 114 children 1-18 y in Fukushima prefecture were examined by ultrasonography of the thyroid gland. Cysts were found in more than 35 % of the children. In comparison, in Nagaski where 250 children 7-14 y had been examined since 2000, only 2 (0.8 %) had cysts in their thyroid gland.
Chiwaki reports that today, centres for measuring levels of radioactivity in food are opening one after another all over Japan, and not just in Fukushima . Parents have banded together to set up organic cafes to stock non-contaminated organic vegetables, and also to demand that school canteens use only uncontaminated ingredients. “It is mainly thanks to independent networks that people have been able to go somewhere else temporarily to take care of their health.”
Evacuation from highly contaminated areas still refused
The government still refuses to evacuate people from the highly contaminated regions . The city of Fukushima organized a planning meeting in the Ônami district that had been recommended for evacuation, and the opening words were:“Evacuation reduces economic activity, so we would opt for decontamination,” in other words, “We won’t let you leave.” The city has designated zones measuring >2 mSv/h for decontamination, and wanted volunteers; but when asked about their decontamination plans, said they have none. In February 2012, an estimated 62 000 people left Fukushima prefecture to seek refuge elsewhere.
In June 2011, pupils from 14 primary and secondary schools from the town of Kôriyama formally demanded that the local authority respect their right to be evacuated and to continue their education in a less contaminated area. But six months later, the demand has been refused.
“We have launched an appeal.” Chiwaki said. Refugees from the evacuation zones leave however they can, sometimes the whole family and sometimes the mother leaves with the children, and the husband stays behind to work and look after the house. Sharp divisions of opinion end in divorce and break up families.
“We have learnt lessons from the experience of Chernobyl and will never give up in our efforts to protect the lives of our children and everyone else. We ask the whole world to give us their support.”
For more information and especially if you can offer help, please contact http://fukushima-evacuation-e.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/take-action-to-help-children-in.html
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Quantum Jazz Biology Lecture – Why Beauty is Truth & Truth Beauty
by Mae-Wan Ho: – from Celebrating ISIS Event 26-27 March 2011, London.
Mae-Wan Ho, ‘quantum jazz biologist’, regarded by some as “the most influential scientist alive today”, shows how her science and art bear out the poet John Keat’s enigmatic lines, Beauty is truth, and truth beauty, and why that is important for reclaiming science (and art) for the public good.
Mae-Wan Ho is Director of the Institute of Science in Society (i-sis.org.uk), best known for original work on the physics of organisms and sustainable system and as a strong critic of genetic modification.
See her full biography here i-sis.org.uk/Quantum_Jazz_Biology_biographies.php#MaeWanHo.
Today, June 13, 2012, Israel State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss published his report on the Israeli government behavior in the events related to Gaza’s Freedom Flotilla of May 2010. The publication timing was not casual, Mr. Lindenstrauss delayed the report as much as he could since there was no way he could portray Netanyahu positively. As reported in America Pays for Netanyahu’s Luxury Trips, the comptroller must release his last reports before he leaves office. The report released today doesn’t look into the unjustifiable violence of the IDF during the raid, but into Netanyahu’s handling of the event. The Prime Minister turned out being rather clumsy and incompetent to the extent of causing an unnecessary disaster. In the words of the comptroller: “The decision making process regarding the dealings with the Turkish flotilla led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and under his responsibility was found to include essential and significant flaws.”
This report was published after that, on May 24, criminal charges were placed by Turkey against several IDF officers, demanding life sentences for their actions during the Flotilla events. Among them was former IDF Chief of Staff, General Gaby Ashkenazi (see Criminal Charges Placed against IDF General Ashkenazi), who plays an important role also in the State Comptroller report. General Ashkenazy behaved like a brute during the event, but before it, he issued a severe warning to Netanyahu. He was so confident that he would be ignored, that he sent the warning in an official letter to Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The document was posted weeks before the sailing date; the general claimed in it that the flotilla should be thwarted by diplomatic means before resorting to use of force. A characteristic of military mail is that it gets over-registered; neither Netanyahu nor Barak could claim not to have received it. Netanyahu didn’t even try to deny that, the comptroller found that Netanyahu held four work meetings with Ashkenazi on the issue. Yet, Netanyahu said to the comptroller “the Chief of Staff didn’t raise the issue of the threat that flotilla members posed nor did he voice any concern that violence would erupt. In the meeting at the Defense Minister’s office, the possibility that the flotilla was dangerous because of its size or the probability that shots would be fired was assessed as negligible.” Netanyahu strengthened this apparent contradiction by adding “in no place, in no discussion, not with anyone, not with the Defense Minister, not with the Chief of Sstaff, not with the Navy Commander… nowhere there was a problem with the operation raised.” These contradictions are typical of Netanyahu; in the Bibi Tours Affair he recognized the facts but claimed everything was legal (including double-billing!).
Who are Netanyahu’s friends?
Yet, the issue of the IDF early warnings seems secondary when compared to the decision making process used by Netanyahu. As after the 1973, 1982, and 2006 wars, the process was found tremendously flawed. Every time, the same errors were repeated by the political system, and the same criticism was made afterwards by the judiciary system; the Israeli Administration has successfully proved that it has the learning power of an amoeba. The comptroller’s report shows that Benjamin Netanyahu runs the Israeli government as if it were a tiny neighborhood shop, ignoring all legal procedures. The comptroller reports of awareness at all levels that the event was about to turn violent, as opposed to previous flotillas, which were thwarted peacefully. Five days before the flotilla’s arrival to Gaza, in the only relevant meeting held by the seven senior ministers, General Ashkenazi warned that a military takeover of the Mavi Marmara ship would lead to a violent confrontation. “I want to clarify that it isn’t easy, but we will do it. It is no-two minute operation,” he said and added “If anyone wants to make a drama out of it – there’s enough fuel for two or three days – not an hour… I have no doubt that there will be violence there. Let it be made clear. The people will confront us. I think it’s an illusion to think that if 20 people descend onto a ship with 400 people aboard they will be met with applause. They will fight them.” Three of the ministers—including Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor and Benny Begin—raised concerns over the IDF’s plans, inquired about the details but were silenced by Netanyahu. The comptroller claims “the meeting’s participants were unaware of the purpose of the debate and its content, and, on any account, did not have enough time to prepare for it;” thus the decision making process was centralized by Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The comptroller emphasized that the ministers received only a general overview of the flotilla, without any complete discussion as to the operation’s consequences, and didn’t hear of any alternative paths.
Netanyahu and Barak were both found at fault. “Despite the fact that information concerning the Turkish flotilla began accumulating at the beginning of 2010, and despite the recognition by the prime minister that it represented an irregular event, the decision-making process was done without proper coordination,” the comptroller wrote. The report discloses that the working meetings between Netanyahu and Barak were held without any preparation or documentation on the event. “It wasn’t clear which decisions were made during, decisions that were, on any account, not summed in writing.” In other words, nobody knows what was decided. Yet, it was obvious that Netanyahu’s government didn’t take any diplomatic steps and relied entirely on the military option. This happened while the military warned of unnecessary violence. “The decision making process regarding the dealings with the Turkish flotilla led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and under his responsibility was found to include essential and significant flaws,” the comptroller summarized the event. Sadly, no matter how serious this report is, it probably wouldn’t bring to Netanyahu’s resignation or to the placing of criminal charges against him.
Netanyahu proved being inept, causing an unnecessary massacre of civilians bringing humanitarian aid to refugees. Interestingly, the report went beyond this point, providing a collateral allusion to a point I made in the past in Is Netanyahu an Iranian Spy? State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said in his official report “in reality, the Prime Minister made the decision as to the way to deal with the Turkish Flotilla based on the discussion held in this forum, and based on the recommendations of his friends.” “Netanyahu’s Friends” do not appear in this form for the first time in the Hebrew media, but this is probably the first time they appear in an official document issued by the state. The allusion is to friends who are outside the government and its related organizations; it has been explained in such a way by the major Hebrew newspapers. If we accept the report—and there is no reason to reject it, after all Israel finally admitted its error—then we must ask Mr. Netanyahu who are his secret friends. Probably he won’t answer, or will provide yet another r example of double-answering and double-billing. Yet, this is such an irresistible riddle! Should we ask CIA Director David Petreus?
On Thursday June 14, the High Constitutional Court in Egypt will rule on two pending motions that may radically change the future course of Egypt and determine the fate of its remarkable – but unfinished- revolution. The two motions are the constitutionality of the political ban on the former regime senior officials, such as Gen. Ahmad Shafiq, the undeclared military’s candidate for president, and the constitutionality of last winter’s parliamentary elections. Each decision might drastically alter the power structure in the country, and possibly propel another revolution whose fate remains unclear.
But how did we get to this point of complete uncertainty?
History will show that the unity displayed by the Egyptian people during the eighteen revolutionary days in early 2011 was decisive in convincing the Egyptian military to dump Mubarak and side with the people. Although the revolution was initially called for and led by the youth groups on January 25, soon after most political and social movements, religious and secular, and civil society groups including labor unions, professional syndicates, students, as well as the common man and woman in the street were demonstrating across Egypt by the millions, demanding the ouster of their dictator and the end of his corrupt regime.
By the time Mubarak was overthrown on February 11, 2011, the Egyptian people were divided into two camps: an overwhelming majority that celebrated the triumph of the revolution, and a tiny minority that comprised the remnants of the old regime, which included party bosses of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), his sons’ corrupt businessmen and cronies who looted billions of dollars from Egypt’s economy, and the resilient structure of the deep state that, for decades, ruled Egyptians through fear, intimidation, and propaganda including the top echelons of the military, intelligence services, state security apparatuses, as well as state media conglomerates.
It was also abundantly clear that, by the second week of the massive demonstrations across the country, the U.S. government encouraged the Egyptian military leaders to take matters into their hands after reaching the conclusion that the best way to keep Egypt in the U.S. orbit was to abandon Mubarak. Ever since that fateful day, the plan by the counter-revolutionary forces -internally and externally- has been to break up the unity of the revolutionary groups and gradually restore the old regime minus its most corrupt public faces.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took the reign of power from Mubarak, recognized early on that the most powerful organized group within the revolutionary forces was the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). As a cautious social and religious movement, the MB is more reformist in nature than revolutionary. For decades, its objective has been to gradually reform the society towards an Islamically-oriented system of government based on its interpretation of Shari’a or Islamic law.
Realizing that it has a huge organizational advantage over other political parties especially the nascent revolutionary youth movements, the MB quickly broke ranks from these groups and reached a tacit understanding with SCAF to push for parliamentary elections ahead of rewriting the constitution or cleansing the state institutions from the loyal remnants of the old regime or the fulool. By March 2011, Egyptians were split almost 3 to 1 in favor of the Islamist position to hold elections before writing the constitution.
Throughout last summer and fall most of the youth revolutionary groups were in the streets protesting the excesses of SCAF, including holding over 12,000 military trials for civilians, carrying out several bloody crackdowns against the protesters, protecting the fulool of the old regime from accountability, and appointing a government made up of many Mubarak loyalists.
But by the end of the year, Egyptians went again to the polls to elect 678 representatives in the upper and lower chambers of Parliament. Once again, the electorate chose Islamic candidates over their liberal and leftist counterparts by a margin of 3 to 1.
Feeling empowered the Islamic parties led by the MB’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) ignored most other political parties and formed a tacit alliance with the more conservative Salafi Al-Noor party to form the constitution-writing committee. Soon after, the FJP reneged on its one-year old promise not to field a presidential candidate, thus creating a major distrust between the revolution’s Islamic and secular followers.
As the religious and secular revolutionary groups were quarreling over the discourse of the revolution and the nature of the state, the fulool, supported by SCAF and the deep security state, were quietly regrouping behind the scenes. Meanwhile, the SCAF-appointed government created many hardships that disrupted the daily life of common Egyptians while the state-run media, still controlled by Mubarak loyalists, as well as other private media outlets run by corrupt businesspeople, blamed the newly elected Parliament for the country’s deterioration in security and the near-collapse of the economy.
When the FJP demanded to form a coalition government to deal with the struggling economy, SCAF not only scoffed at the request, but also humiliated and threatened the group in public. Soon after, its preferred candidate, Mubarak’s last Prime Minster, Shafiq, was propped up throughout the country and promoted as the next president by the fulool and the former NDP machinery, as well as by the operatives of the intelligence services. Initially, no one took his candidacy seriously, believing that Shafiq could not be elected by the same people who overwhelmingly overthrew his boss just a year earlier.
At first, the fulool hoped that if they only elevated their candidate to reach the second round they would then have a strong chance to win the election one-on-one. In their view their best chance was to face the MB’s divisive candidate, Dr. Muhammad Mursi, in the runoff since it would be easier to attack him as the candidate of “the religious state,” rather than a candidate representing the revolutionary groups. They knew that if they face any of the other viable revolutionary candidates, such as Dr. Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh or Hamdein Sabahi, their candidate would be easily routed. So in the final two weeks of the first round in May every effort was made to promote Sabahi at the expense of Abol Fotouh, who was ahead in most credible polls, so as to force the split of the pro-revolution votes and defeat both candidates who were preferred by the revolutionary groups. Combined Abol Futouh and Sabahi gained 39 percent of the total vote in the first round, while Mursi and Shafiq garnered 25 and 24 percent, respectively.
In effect, the state’s scheme to sell Shafiq as Egypt’s savior was quietly in motion since at least last February. Hundreds of millions of pounds were spent on his campaign (although officially the total allowed budget for each campaign was 10 million or $1.7M). His signposts alone cost 22 million pounds, while dozens of ads ran on TV with each costing 200 thousand pounds or more. Furthermore, credible reports have surfaced that demonstrated the payments of millions of pounds to local officials in the delta region to secure the votes of the peasants. In one poor village, all of its more than 5000 votes were cast for Shafiq. In one scene circulating on the Internet and clandestinely videotaped by a cell phone, a former NDP official was boasting how the banned party machinery turned out the votes for Shafiq in upper Egypt by reviving their old methods of “convincing” the people to vote for their preferred candidate (read intimidation and bribery.)
Meanwhile, the campaign to attack Shafiq’s opponents was in full swing. Independent and nationalist, Abdel Halim Kandil, who is a newspaper editor and columnist, has recently exposed the extent of the scheme. Kandil, also well-known for being not only anti-Mubarak, but also very critical of the MB, revealed that he was told by a senior intelligence officer that soon the MB would not only be defeated and ousted from power, but that the group would also be on the run. He further stated that a division within the intelligence service called the “Rumor Spreading” section was in charge of the latest vicious attacks against the MB and its candidate, Mursi. For over a month, relentless attacks against the Islamic group have been in full force in the media spearheaded by public figures and propagated by “anonymous sources.”
Lately, Shafiq and the state’s propaganda machine have even accused the MB of orchestrating the battle of the Camel where dozens of the revolutionary youth were killed on Feb. 2 in Tahrir Square. Not only have all the former senior and junior security officials been acquitted in court, as demonstrated on June 2 by the Mubarak verdicts, but astonishingly the victims have now been turned into villains. Although all revolutionary groups, including those who despise the MB, have declared that it was in fact the youth of the MB that saved the revolution that day by standing their ground and fending off the vicious attacks by the goons of the former regime, the accusations by Shafiq and the fulool have intensified in recent days and the fabricated lies spread.
Similarly, the MB realized before the first round of elections that their candidate would have a tough time beating the other revolutionary candidates had any of them gotten to the second round. In fact, several reports from the field have recently surfaced that showed the MB field workers tacitly hoping on elections day to face either Shafiq or Amr Mousa (Mubarak’s former foreign minister). When Shafiq came in second the MB was initially confident that it could defeat him. But when the margin between the two candidates was declared few days later to be less than one percent the MB was stunned.
Unfortunately, the mistrust among the religious and secular pro-revolution groups is so deep that all attempts to unite behind Mursi have so far not succeeded. The antagonism of many secular groups toward political Islam seems to be deeper than their desire to see the revolution and its ideals realized. Equally, the partisanship and self-interest of the main Islamic group appears to be stronger than its commitment to the objectives of the revolution. Some of the demands by the secularists, such as the voluntary dissolution of the MB, were so ridiculous as to deem them frivolous. Similarly, the MB was slow and reluctant in giving assurances to the secular and other revolutionary groups, casting major doubts on its sincerity.
Hence, the revolutionary forces were once again split. Some, such as the Islamic and moderate parties of Al-Noor and Al-Wasat endorsed Mursi. Abol Fotouh and the April 6 movement also gave their support to Mursi, arguing that the main objective is now to defeat the fulool candidate (the far worse of two bad options as Abol Fotouh put it). But other revolutionary groups led by Sabahi and several liberal and leftist parties called for elections’ boycott or the invalidation of the votes since in their view both options are equally bad. They claim that Shafiq would attempt to resurrect the old regime, while they unconvincingly argue that Mursi would create a religious-based state. Unfortunately, the net result of this division is to permit the apparatus of the deep state to engineer a Shafiq victory.
According to a well-informed Egyptian political analyst, when SCAF allowed for free and fair parliamentary elections last winter, its plan was to allow the groups associated with political Islam to get elected, since their popularity was indisputable. But more importantly SCAF never intended to transfer any meaningful executive or governmental power to the FJP or their allies so as to demonstrate to the electorate their impotence once in Parliament. In due course as the revolutionary spirit starts to wane and the support to the Islamic groups weakens, the plan was to invalidate last winter’s parliamentary elections and call for new ones in order to restore some of the power back to the fulool and other secular forces, thus substantially reducing the support and power of the Islamic groups.
So shortly after the elections, several lawsuits by the fulool and secular groups were filed challenging the constitutionality of the elections’ law based on the fact that the parties were allowed to contest with independents the one-third parliamentary seats reserved for individuals. Although there was a near-consensus on this law by all the political parties at the time, it has been used by the adversaries of the winners of the elections as a back-up plan that could be utilized to dissolve parliament at the appropriate time. According to Parliament’s speaker and senior FJP official, Dr. Saad Katatni, SCAF deputy commander Gen. Sami Anan and Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri told him last March that if the MB persists on its demand of forming the government, the dissolution of parliament was a distinct possibility that could be set in motion at any moment.
Realizing this grave threat, instead of uniting the revolutionary groups to stand up to SCAF, the MB responded by fielding its own candidate in order to seriously challenge SCAF’s threat, albeit for the first time since the triumph of the revolution. Furthermore, the parliament (dominated by the FJP and its allies) immediately passed a law to ban from any political activity any candidate affiliated with the old regime. After massive popular demonstrations that compelled SCAF to sign the law, the Elections Committee refused to apply it and disqualify Shafiq. Instead it referred the law to the High Constitutional Court (HCC) in order to decide on its constitutionality. Furthermore, although the lawsuit against the parliamentary elections has been pending for months, the HCC chose to schedule a hearing and rule on both motions this Thursday, two days before the runoff elections.
On the first issue, a report submitted this week to the HCC by legal experts was issued that concluded that the Elections Committee had no jurisdiction to refer the law to the HCC since it is an administrative body and not a judicial one. If adopted the ruling would result in forcing the Elections Committee to disqualify Shafiq from running in the second round next week. Such decision would then compel the runoff elections to be cancelled and the first round elections to be held again.
On the other hand, the experts committee also said in its report that if the HCC accepts jurisdiction, then its recommendation was to deem the political banning law unconstitutional, and thus to hold the runoff elections next week between Mursi and Shafiq, the top two contenders of the first round. On the second motion the committee recommended that the parliamentary elections law be deemed unconstitutional, and thus the HCC must decide to either dissolve the Parliament or hold new elections for a third of its members. In either case, the Parliament would no longer be functional.
In short, there are four possible scenarios with regard to the outcome of the HCC rulings this week. Each one would most likely benefit a distinct and different political faction. They are:
Scenario 1: The HCC rules that it has jurisdiction over the banning law and deems it unconstitutional. In addition, it rules that the parliamentary elections law was constitutional. In this instance, which is the status quo, the MB and their presidential candidate would be the beneficiaries since such outcome would favor them as they keep their majority in the Parliament. Furthermore, absent massive elections’ fraud by the security agencies, the MB believes its candidate will win the presidential elections against Shafiq with the group’s adept organizational machine and massive mobilization efforts across the country.
Scenario 2: The HCC asserts jurisdiction and upholds Shafiq’s candidacy by ruling the banning law as unconstitutional. It also decides to dissolve Parliament or invalidate the elections of one-third of its members. This ruling would clearly be favored by SCAF and the fulool since the power of the MB and the other Islamic parties would immediately be curtailed, which in their view would be very difficult to regain in new parliamentary elections (this time it may or may not be free and fair.) The fulool also believe that with such a ruling they would have the momentum to get Shafiq elected by this Sunday’s presidential runoff and thus completely defeat and obliterate the revolution and roll back its most significant gains.
Scenario 3: The HCC bans Shafiq, and dissolves parliament. This scenario is favored by the secular revolutionary groups. Having clipped the wings of the Islamic parties by dissolving the Parliament, the secular groups hope to have another opportunity to challenge them at the polls. They also think that by repeating the first round elections their candidate (whether Sabahi or even Mousa) would defeat the MB candidate in the runoff, as he would be supported not only by the secular revolutionary groups but also by Shafiq’s and Mousa’s supporters.
Scenario 4: The HCC bans Shafiq but keeps the Parliament. This scenario is favored by the moderate and liberal Islamic and pro-revolutionary groups, the majority of which supported Abol Fotouh for president in the first round. In this scenario, the only political institution established by the revolution, namely the Parliament, would remain viable and strong. The supporters of this outcome also hope to unite the revolutionary forces behind Abol Fotouh or even form a single ticket that would include Abol Fotouh and Sabahi in order to defeat the MB candidate in a potential runoff election.
It is evident that SCAF has for over a year outfoxed all revolutionary groups, Islamic or secular. Depending on what scenario prevails on Thursday, it is equally clear that SCAF will have to either force their candidate on the Egyptians using all the tools of the “democratic process”, or take the country back to square one through a clever judicial ruse.
No matter what the military decides, the youth this time are determined not to put their trust in either the military or the political class but on their capacity to stay the revolutionary course until all their objectives are achieved. Hundreds of their pioneers, led by dozens of women including Asmaa Mahfouz and Nawwara Nagm, among the first to call for the January 25 demonstration that sparked the revolution, have been on hunger strike and continuous sit-in for over a week in the middle of Tahrir Square.
But now they are determined not to leave until their revolution is revived, the fulool are defeated, and the military return to their barracks.
Press TV talks with Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and historian in Washington, to further shed light on the issue.
Israel is apparently laying the groundwork for a possible military attack on Syria by alleging that Damascus could be using chemical weapons against the Syrian people. Tel Aviv has recently expressed concern about what it calls the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Israel says the weapons could fall into the wrong hands and that they may even be used by Syria to carry out an attack against Israeli forces. The pretext is being used to justify a possible military assault on Syria even if it means triggering a broader conflict across the region. Ayoob Kara, a senior member of the Israeli Likud Party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed in an interview with Israel Radio on June 9 that the Syrian government has used “chemical weapons against men, women, and children” during the past months of unrest in the country.
Any fool knows that Jews find Israel and Zionism beautiful. But does anyone else? And is this only because they’ve been brainwashed by Jews?
Or….does it have some kind of inherent beauty?
Does such a thing exist? And if it does exist, does it exist in Zionism and Israel?
And does this mean that Israel and Zionism just aren’t as bad as everyone makes out?
Or is it that there can be “No ethnic cleansing without poetry” ………and “if you want to understand barbarism you better learn to see the beauty that is entangled with it..”
News Analysis 06-12-2012 from Press TV. Saudi Arabia’s Crown prince is nowhere to be seen! Questions about Prince Nayef’s worsening health condition have once again sparked a debate about the future successor to the Saudi throne.
Is Riyadh headed to a political crisis?
On this edition of News Analysis, we’re also asking has Saudi Arabia focused too much on regional developments to notice the power of the popular protests at home as the country is widely accused of implementing a counter-revolutionary strategy against popular revolutions in the Arab world.
The Government is pushing ahead with it’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage despite broad opposition from the UK public. Today a petition against Gay Marriage with over 550 000 names was delivered to Downing Street. Also today, 15 Imams from Scotland’s largest Mosques protested against same-sex marriage and supported Catholics and Anglicans in denouncing the Government’s plans.
Muslims claim Gay Marriage is Islamophobic and an assault on Islam in Scotland and Great Britain.
15 Imams from Scotland’s largest Mosques protest against same-sex marriage.
To be fair and balanced I should add – that “71 percent of Britons back equal marriage rights for gay couples” ~ according to report released by Stonewall today.
(*YouGov poll has found 71 percent of people approve of the government’s plans to allow gay couples to marry, and the same number want faiths to be able to perform gay weddings ceremonies if they choose. YouGov surveyed 2,074 adults in England, Scotland and Wales online between 25th November and 5th December last year.)
The Church’s view is simple – Marriage is a ritual between a man and woman. To undermine that would undermine a core ritual of the Church. The Church has stated that whilst not being against same sex civil partnerships they feel that re-defining marriage to suit homosexuals is a step too far. The Church of England’s full and considered response can be found here.
The Church of England cannot support the proposal to enable ―all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony.
Such a move would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history. Marriage benefits society in many ways, not only by promoting mutuality and fidelity, but also by acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity which, for many, includes the possibility of procreation.
I myself, am not anti-gay or religious (*in an organised sense), neither am I married. Despite this, I sympathize with the Church or England’s views. To me, marriage is the union of a Man and Woman. I also don’t think this issue is about Gay rights as the European convention of Human rights does not recognize the rights of same sex to marry, but it does for heterosexuals.
This is not, I would venture, about Gay rights or about what the people of Britain themselves want. The people, the Church of England and the Muslim community are largely opposed to Gay Marriage. Despite this we are going to get it for our own good. What this is about, is a small powerful ‘Pink Lobby”, it is they and pretty much they alone who wish these changes, despite what the majority thinks and feels.
Benjamin Cohen of Channel 4 News has campaigned a great deal in the UK for LGBT rights and gay marriage. Benjamin shot to fame on deliberation some months ago thanks to Paul Eisen’s discovery of the Twice blessed video. Benjamin is the Technology reporter for Channel 4 News in the UK and founder of Pink News.
Lately, it seems that criticism of Gay-issues & culture from straight people is not tolerated, and is often denounced as homophobic or gay-bashing. Not unlike the way criticism of Jewish culture instantly brings that cry of “anti-semite”. Odd that… But seriously folks …everyone should be up for criticism from all quarters not just from selected approved critics. Hate and condemnation is never acceptable, criticism and evolution is though in fact very needed. Criticizing Gay culture, Pakistani culture, Jewish culture, White culture, Bankers whoever, it’s all ok and should be encouraged, it’s not necessarily racist or homophobic or hateful, it is part of an open self-reflective society. So what gives, why all the fuss, does it really matter and is it really important? Surely we should be campaigning against World War III, not should or should we not have Gay Marriage? Well then all the Gay debate has served its purpose.
Whilst it does seem like a big pink fluffy distraction from much more important matters, 550 000 people’s signatures is no small matter. So clearly people in Britain wish to preserve some of their traditions such as heterosexual marriage. No one has bothered to protest the potential Iran war here yet they have about Gay marriage and the people don’t want it. Is that wrong, or is it an indication of the power of the Pink lobby that this issue has become so important an issue that it has eclipsed the much more pressing dilemmas of Fukushima, Iran, Israel, Tibet and Palestine. There is nothing wrong with being gay if that is what people choose and they can get legally hitched through civil partnerships. So why do Homosexuals need a marriage – when marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman?
Marriage – the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
Marriage, despite being defined in the European convention on Human rights as the union of a man and woman, I would say is not a right, it’s a choice. What is wrong is that the LGBT(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) lobby is trying to push their policies through against the wishes of others. They have turned what is a choice into a gay rights issue to push through their agenda and distract the public, politicians and media from more pressing concerns. One might ask whose interests the ‘Gay Marriage’ debate really serves?
Here is a selection of Tweets regarding the subject.
My view is, if the Bible is against gay marriage, then its offensive to get married in a church. You can always get married in a registry
— Faith Child (@FaithChildMusic) June 12, 2012
If Jesus were alive, surely he would be fighting for the poor & disadvantaged, who are having a bad time, not banging on about gay marriage?
— Marcus Chown (@marcuschown) June 12, 2012
I don’t understand why people are against gay marriage because it’s the same as a man and a woman getting married…
— Jess (@hollowbonesss) June 12, 2012
List of Richest Rabbis in Israel Exposes Corruption
In June 2012, Forbes Israel published the list of the richest rabbis in Israel. Inadvertently, it touched one of the most disturbing aspects of Judaism; one that crosses frontiers between Sephardim and Ashkenazim. These are less obvious than often portrayed. In Israel, there are almost one hundred Jewish groups—call them tribes if you want—and several of them cannot be categorized as either Sephardic or Ashkenazi. The Mountain Jews are probably the best known group in this category, while Bulgarian Jews are on the cultural borderline between Sephardim and Ashkenazim. Other complexities exist; take, for example, Moroccan Jews, some of them arrived there after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, others after the expulsion from Spain in 1492. They intermarried, creating further intricacies. The same happens in Israel where mixed marriages have created a new reality. We are speaking here of a cultural continuum with no sharp delimitations. The creation of the Ashkenazi-ruled State of Israel polarized the fringes, but a common cultural denominator exists as Forbes kindly reminded us this week. While counting coins, Forbes looked into the Jewish heart.
I won’t keep the readers in suspense since this article is not about the list itself; the following rabbis’ titles refer to the towns in which their congregations originated in. The fourth place, with a fortune of over $50 million, belongs to Belz Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach. Right above him is Gur Rabbi Yaakov Arie Altar with over $90 million in his vaults. The first two places belong to members of the Abuhatzeira clan. Rabbi Pinchas Abuhatzeira owns about $400 million; his uncle, Rabbi David Hai Abuhatzeira, has just below $200 million. Forbes Israel collected information from Israel Police, Israel Tax Authority, and sources in the ultra-orthodox communities. However, it must be said that many of the rabbinical activities are hard to monitor by tax authorities and take place in the realm of the black market (see Rabbi accused of bribery appointed Head of Jerusalem Rabbinical Court); it is safe to assume that the actual fortunes are much larger. How come the performers of religious rites have amassed such fortunes?
The Jewish ultra-Orthodox world is divided into hundreds of courts; the main division is between the Haredim and the much smaller Hasidim. For the sake of this article, it is enough to know that Hasidim are led by charismatic leaders, while Haredim stick to the Talmud. An important characteristic of Hasidim is that they create dynasties of charismatic leaders, allowing the accumulation of wealth through several generations. Usually, this is not the case for Haredim; yet, when a Haredi leader—Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira—managed to create a charismatic dynasty, he easily conquered the list’s first place. The first two places in Forbes list belong to Haredim, the third and four places to Hasidim.
One would love to say that these respectable fortunes were achieved through hard work and personal merit, but that is not possible. These charismatic rabbis are notorious for having transformed religion into a rentable business. This behavior is not limited to the names in the shortlist; recently, Rabbi Yisrael Yifrah was appointed Head the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court despite being accused of bribery, extortion, and refusing to compel abusive husbands to grant their wives a divorce. Since Jewish law requires the consent of both spouses before granting a divorce by a rabbi, the latter have enormous weight in divorce cases; bribery cases thrive. This could be seen as a modern rendering of Esau selling his Birth Right to Jacob, who later became Israel. Esau renounced eternal glory for a lentil stew, while Jacob mercilessly stole his twin brother. Another infamous case of trading on religious rights and rites is the selling of indulgences by the Catholic Church; this led to the Protestant Reformation of Martin Luther in 1517. Yet, modern rabbis have improved on these; taking the selling of charms, blessings and prayers to new levels of glory. They created a money machine almost unmatched in size in the Israeli market, with a formal annual turnover of over NIS 1 billion, and unknown black market revenues.
Recently, a secular Jew who openly committed a technology theft reached global headlines after a disappointing NASDAQ IPO (see Facebook IPO Fails Mossad). Mark Zuckerberg set another example on Jewish morals, but he didn’t invent anything, he just adapted old crimes to the internet revolution. The same is true for Baba Sali, the popular name of Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira. “Baba Sali” means “Praying Father,” a name that refers to his alleged ability to perform miracles through his prayers. He was the grandson of Yaakov Abuhatzeira, a prominent Moroccan-Jewish rabbi of the 19th century. The Baba Sali transformed a regular family of rabbis into a rich dynasty by the clever transformation of their activities into a trade. After his death in 1984, his empire was inherited by his grandson Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, who was murdered in 2011. The inheritor of the latter—Rabbi Pinchas Abuhatzeira— leads now the Forbes list of richest rabbis in Israel.
Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira became notorious for failing to evade publicity of the frauds practiced by the clan. In 1997, journalist Yossi Bar-Moha from Haaretz disclosed several incidents of corruption by Abuhatzeira, claiming that Abuhatzeira persuaded people in exchange for a blessing, and threatened them with a curse if they refused. This is usually known as “extortion,” and is not part of any religion. It was disclosed that the rabbi was evading property tax and that his bank account contained NIS 250 million in gifts and contributions. In 2003, following a police investigation, Abuhatzeira was ordered to pay NIS 100 million to the Income Tax Authority, but a settlement to pay NIS 20 million to charitable organizations was reached. In 2009, a man was indicted for threatening to kill Abuhatzeira, claiming that the rabbi made him a medical promise that hadn’t come true. In 2010, Rabbi Abuhatzeira was accused by New York Jews of charging hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange promised miracles that never came to fruition. He was murdered in July 2011, by a man that was unhappy with marital advice the rabbi had given him. This sad saga disclosed how old cultural practices, which undermined religion even in the days of Prophet Isaiah, had been adapted in Israel to the era of ATMs.
The Abuhatzeira clan is not the only one to have corrupted religion, but certainly is the greediest, has no scruples, and is the most charismatic, at least if you are a fan of black-felt hats. This is typical of the ultra-Orthodox Judaism, Haredi or Hasidic. The Sephardic-Ashkenazi boundary is inexistent here. The first and second place in the list belongs to Sephardic-Haredim; the third and four to Ashkenazi-Hasidim. All of them are more than happy to sell amulets and charms.
The man in the fourth place—Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach—is famous for his sharp statements. In 1990, he said: “But even when Jews do not behave quite as they should, then the Holy One, Blessed be He, compares His nation with the nations of the world. And when viewed together, He finds that the Jewish people are the acme of perfection. … For the Jewish people, when measured against the nations of the world, are absolutely flawless.”
Honorable rabbis, let me summarize this article by saying that the only perfection I have seen until now in your extraordinary noble and selfless activities is the perfection of theft. May God reach you.
Press TV News Review for week ending Friday June 08-06-09-2012. I have started watching PressTV, it is sad when one has to watch media in another country to get some kind of balance, but that is what it has come to in Britain. The BBC and Chanel 4 Stations are a disgrace to journalism. So I am going to start featuring PressTV more and more especially since they are banned in the JUK, that just shows that the content that PressTV is offering up, is far more controversial and potentially critical of the UK regime than anything we could find elsewhere. Bring it on.!
PS I highly recommend subscribing to PressTV Youtube channel, it’s an eye opener.
While the UK media focused on bunting, NATO announced the substantial deepening of its most shameful alliance with the vicious Uzbek dictatorship. As long prefigured in this blog, NATO is forced to retreat from Afghanistan through Uzbekistan, after cutting yet more deals to support the World’s most vicious torture and slave labour regime. The irony of this when the Afghan “Mission” still pretends to be about bringing democracy and human rights to Afghanistan, is apparently lost on the entire western media. I cannot find a single article critical of the NATO deal.
NATO have not announced what specific sweeteners the governments of Uzbekistan, Kirghizstan and Kazakhstan are going to get. It is worth noting that they will have to pass through either Uzbekistan or Kirghizstan first to reach Kazakhstan, and the transport logistics are such over 80% of this will have to be through Uzbekistan.
Doubtless large official payments are being made to the governments for transit rights, while in both Uzbekistan and Kirgizhstan there is a track record of using transport, fuel etc suppliers owned by the ruling families, and I have no doubt that will be a major continuing part of the operation. Other intrinsic parts of the deal have officially been conducted outside of NATO, such as the lifting of EU and US arms embargoes imposed after the 2005 Andijan massacre by the Uzbek government of over 800 pro-democracy demonstrators. The UK and USA have resumed military training of Karimov’s soldiers and the USA has resumed large subsidies to his notorious secret police.
Less tangible but more prized still by Karimov is the political support, the ending of pressure over Uzbekistan’s appalling human rights record and the high level visits in both directions with major capitals to pander to Karimov’s thirst for official acclaim. I heard again today from an Uzbek source that part of the deal is for Gulnara Karimova to become Uzbek Ambassador in London. The FCO continues to deny this; but take my word for it, by the end of next year we will have seen both Karimov and his daughter parading the streets of London.
I would like to hope that this will backfire, that the transit of NATO past 12,000 political prisoners in gulags will not be silently passed over by the western media and political class. But I fear I am wrong.
I highly recommend this series of videos compiled thematically from clips of the various speakers at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights‘ High Level Hearing on Uzbekistan in Berlin. It is all the more powerful as it juxtaposes without comment the official German government (and NATO) view with that of human rights and democracy campaigners
The State of Human Rights in Uzbekistan
State-sponsored Child Labor in the Uzbek Cotton Fields
The Responsibility of Economic Actors
The Role of Germany and the EU
Termez, NATO and the Conflict of Democratic Values
Karimov Regime: The World’s Largest Family-Owned Business
What Should the West Do?
Whistleblowers want the sun and the moon — or at least they want to get their information out there, they want to make a difference, they want a fair hearing, and they don’t want to pay too high a personal price for doing so.
But why the hell shouldn’t they? The decision to expose criminality and bad practice for the public good has serious, life-changing implications.
By going public about serious concerns they have about their workplace, they are jeopardising their whole way of life: not just their professional reputation and career, but all that goes with it, such as the ability to pay the mortgage, their social circle, their family life, their relationship… Plus, the whistleblower can potentially risk prison or worse.
So, with these risks in mind, they are certainly looking for an avenue to blow the whistle that will offer a degree of protection and allow them to retain a degree of control over their own lives. In the old days, this meant trying to identify an honourable, campaigning journalist and a media organisation that had the clout to protect its source. While not impossible, that could certainly be difficult, and becomes increasingly so in this era of endemic electronic surveillance.
Today the other option is the secure, high-tech publishing conduit, as trail-blazed by Wikileaks. While this does not provide the potential benefits of working with a campaigning journalist, it does provide anonymity and a certain degree of control to the modern whistleblower, plus it allows their information to reach a wide audience without either being filtered by the media or blocked by government or corporate injunctions.
As someone who has a nodding acquaintance with the repercussions of blowing the whistle on a secret government agency, I have liked the Wikileaks model since I first stumbled across it in 2009.
Never before has this been technically possible — the idea that a whistleblower’s information could be made freely available to the citizens of the world, in order to inform their democratic choices, with no blockage, not censorship, no filtering or “interpretation” by the corporate media.
This is particularly relevant in an age when the global media has been consolidated in the hands of a few multinationals, and when these multinationals have a certain, shall we say “cosy”, relationship with many of top our politicians and power elites.
The control of the mainstream media by the spooks and governments has been the focus of many of my recent talks. These corrupt inter-relationships have also been recently laid bare with the News International phone-hacking scandals.
The days of garnering news from one favoured paper or TV bulletin are long gone. Few people now trust just one media outlet — they skip across a variety of news sources, trying to evaluate the truth for themselves. But even that can be problematic when something big occurs, such as the “justification” for the invasion of Iraq or Libya, and the current beat of war drums against Iran, when the corporate media mysteriously achieves a consensus.
Hence the democratic disconnect, hence the distrust, and hence (in part) the plummeting profits of the old media.
Wikileaks is based on a simple concept - it allows the people to read the source material for themselves and make up their own minds based on real information. This led to exposure of all kinds of global nasties way before the massive 2010 US data-dump.
Despite this approach, the impact was initially subdued until Wikileaks collaborated with the old media. This, as we all know, did indeed produce the coverage and awareness of those issues deemed important as it was filtered through the MSM. This has also inevitably lead to tensions between the new model hacktivists and the old-school journalists.
No government, least of all the USA, likes to have demands for justice and transparency forced upon it, and the push back since 2010 has been massive across the world in terms of an apparently illegal financial blockade, opaque legal cases and a media backlash. Certain of Wikileaks’s erstwhile media partners have collaborated in this, turning on one of their richest sources of information in history.
However, Wikileaks is more than a media source. It is a whole new model — a high-tech publisher that offers a safe conduit for whistleblowers to cache and publicise their information without immediately having to overturn (and in some cases risk) their lives.
For this work, Wikileaks has over the years won a number of internationally prestigious journalism awards.
Inevitably, critics in the mainstream media seem to want to have their cake and eat it too: one early partner, the New York Times, has written that it doesn’t recognise Wikileaks as a journalist organisation or a publisher — it is a source, pure and simple.
Either way, by saying this the media are surely shooting themselves in the corporate feet with both barrels. If Wikileaks is indeed “just” a source (the NYT seems to be blithely forgetting that good journalism is entirely dependent on its sources), then the media are breaking their prime directive: protect a source at all costs.
However, if Wikileaks is a journalism or publishing organisation and as such is being targeted by the US government, then all other media are surely equally at risk in the future?
By not standing up for Wikileaks in either capacity, it appears that the old media have a death wish.
Over the years whistleblowers around the world have demonstrated their trust in Wikileaks, as it was set up by someone emerging from the original bona fide hacker community. And rightly so — let’s not forget that no source has been exposed through the failure of the organisation’s technology.
Many media organisations rushed to emulate its success by trying to set up their own “secure” whistleblowing repositories. What the media execs failed to understand was the hacker ethos, the open source mentality: they went to their techie department or commercial IT service providers and said “we want one”, but failed to understand both the ethos and the security concerns around closed, proprietary software systems, often channelled through the post–Patriot Act, post–CISPA USA.
Other, apparently well-meaning organisations, also tried to emulate the Wikileaks model, but most have died a quiet death over the last year. Perhaps, again, for want of real trust in their origin or tech security?
Why on earth would any security-conscious whistleblower, emerging out of a government, military or intelligence organisation, trust such a set-up? If someone comes out of such an environment they will know all-too-well the scale of the push-back, the possible entrapments, and the state-level resources that will used to track them down. They either need an über-secure whistleblowing platform, or they need journalists and lawyers with fire in their belly to fight the fight, no matter what.
So now to OpenLeaks — apparently the brainchild of Wikileaks defector Daniel Domsheit-Berg. He and the shadowy “Architect” famously fell out with Julian Assange in late 2010, just when the political heat was ramping up on the organisation. They left, reportedly taking some of the crucial coding and a tranche of files with them, and Domsheit-Berg decided to set up a rival organisation called OpenLeaks. As a result of his actions, Domsheit-Berg was uniquely cast out of the international hacker group, the CCC in Berlin.
He now seems to have been welcomed back into the fold and OpenLeaks appears, finally, to be ready to receive whistleblower information.
However, there is a crucial difference between the two organisations. Where Wikileaks wants to lay the information out there for public evaluation, OpenLeaks will merely act as a repository for certain approved mainstream media organisations to access. We are back to the original blockage of the corporate media deciding what information we, the people, should be allowed to ingest.
I would not wish to comment on Domsheit-Berg’s motivation, but to me this seems to be an even worse option for a whistleblower than directly contacting a campaigning journalist with a proven track record of covering hard-core stories and fighting for the cause.
With OpenLeaks, the whistleblower loses not only the automatic widespread dissemination of their information, but also any semblance of control over which journalists will be working on their story. Their information will be parked on the website and anyone from pre-selected media organisations will be able to access, use and potentially abuse it.
One could say that OpenLeaks operates as a secure staging platform where a whistleblower can safely store sensitive documents and information.… but the founder allegedly removed and destroyed sensitive files from Wikileaks when he jumped ship in 2010. Could any whistleblower really trust that OpenLeaks would not similarly “disappear” shit-hot information in the future?
Plus, there is the added worry for any rightly-paranoid whistleblower that the founder of OpenLeaks so easily abandoned Wikileaks when under pressure. Who’s to say that this would not happen again, if the full might of the Pentagon were brought to bear on OpenLeaks?
OpenLeaks offers neither the personal support of working with a trusted journalist and a media organisation with the clout to fight back, nor does it provide full disclosure to the wider public to side-step potential media self-censorship and government law suits, as the original Wikileaks model does.
As such OpenLeaks seems, at least to this particular whistleblower, to be an evolutionary blip — a retrograde step — in the quest for justice and accountability.
The Moscow City Court upheld last Thursday a district court’s decision to ban gay parades in the Russian Capital for the next 100 years. Not just one year, two years or even ten years, the court was pretty clear about it all-a century with no gay parades. Pretty sinister I would say.
As it seems Homosexuality is not very popular amongst Russia’s political establishment. In 2007, Former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov described attempts to hold a gay parade in the capital as “satanic.” In fact, no gay Parade has ever been officially permitted in Russia. Russian gays are heavily discriminated. But they should never lose hope. In the last few days I have come up with a simple and creative solution that would calm this rift down and may even bring peace to what is left of occupied Palestine.
As we all know, Israel opens its arms to Russians and East Europeans Goyim who are happy enough to live in the ‘Jews Only State’ and even pretend to be Zionist Jews and hate Arabs accordingly. But Israel is also ‘the only democracy in Middle east’- it is open, liberal and tolerant. Tel Aviv is famous for being ‘The World’s Gay Capital’.
If Russian gays are unhappy with their meshigine Goyim homophobic leaders, they should simply make Aliya and join more than one million of their expatriates who already live happily in Israel. I believe that that such a wave of something between three to twenty million pride-seeking Russian immigrants would make Israel into a really nice place. Living in the rapidly expanding shore-city Gay Aviv, the new Russians will enjoy the sun, the beach and the famous hospitality of the Israelis. Considering Israel being an open, inclusive society, dynamic, liberal, democratic State, it won’t take long before the indigenous Hebrews amend their national narrative, they will probably name their reforming state IsraGay. They may even introduce some new rainbow colours to their precious Star of David. Believe me, it won’t take long before GDF’s (the newly formed Gay Defence Force) generals launch a peace dialogue with IsraGay’s neighbouring country and even some leading Palestinian One Gay Solution advocates. Let’s leave bigotry behind, together we cross the divide, peace may prevail after all.
The Wandering Who? Reading Group invited the author of the book we are studying, Gilad Atzmon, to attend our gathering on Monday 28th May.
We all agree that it is Atzmon’s swashbuckling personality which enables him to say things which others would shy away from. But there was some difference of opinion about both his style of debate and his views.
On the one hand he was seen as someone who thought on his feet, and needed to because of the malevolent forces out to get him. One member of the group liked his style and found his focus on power particularly useful at a time of false, complacent and moralistic political discourse.
On the other hand there was some worry about Atzmon’s intensive naval gazing on Jewish identity coupled with a lack of concrete proposals on how to delegitimize Israel. Also Atzmon’s style of delivery made it difficult to challenge him on particular points, and at least one member of the group had questions about Chapters 6 and 7 which didn’t get to be put.
Atzmon’s dismissal of Chomsky as simply an accessory to Jewish Power, even if this was one aspect of the man, seemed too sweeping for some. Neither were we unanimous in rejecting the boycotting of Israeli sponsored cultural events. Although Atzmon made it clear he supports most forms of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) we were left unsure of his exact position.
Much of the power of Atzmon’s rhetoric comes from his interest in philosophy and psychology. However, the use of technical language from these disciplines, such as praxis, matrix of negation, dialectic, organimus, projection and so on seemed to some of us to add little to the argument.
Nevertheless a fruitful discussion took place in the second half of our meeting about the use of ‘the Holocaust’ to validate academics, the responsibility members of a collective have for actions by that collective, the probable Israeli involvement in Syria as a preparation for a war on Iran, and the simplistic Western tendency to classify the leaders of non-Western countries as either with us or against us.
The critical note sounded in some of this report does not detract from our interest in The Wandering Who? and our intention to continue to study this brave book. We are very grateful to Gilad Atzmon for coming down from London to meet with us.
This is from November 2011 when I accompanied Gilad to Stratford-Upon-Avon.
4.30 p.m.: Teacher
It’s 4.30 on a Wednesday afternoon in a jazz club in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Gilad Atzmon is taking a master-class. The first of three scheduled events here, it will be followed by a talk at seven and a concert at eight. At midnight, after the last encore (Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” done as Armstrong might have done it if he hadn’t been chasing a world-wide hit) he’ll pack up, arrive home at 2.00 a.m., sleep, get up for a meeting at 10 and then drive on for the same again in Bath. And of course, for the permanently plugged-in Atzmon, all this is punctuated with feverish internet activity, phone calls etc. Atzmon hates sleep. It’s a waste of time, he says.
He does a lot of these classes up and down the country – this one is for twenty A-level music students. Trouble is, these kids haven’t bothered to bring their instruments and worse, they suffer from that peculiarly English-kid ailment BCS (Battery Child Syndrome). Twelve years National Curriculum has left them pretty much incapable of doing anything much, not actively and certainly not for themselves. Targets unmet, goals unreached, they still hope that boxes will be ticked and they’ll make it to ‘Uni’ or whatever next-stage they go to to keep them off the jobs-market. But now, they want ‘input’. After all, we all know that no input equals no output.
Atzmon’s seen it before and Yaron, OHE bass player, has already remarked to me that it’s only here, in this country, that they encounter this particular condition. And it’s no good these young people looking to their parents for some relief because they’ve suffered from the same – no, for any alternative, it’s to their grandparents they have to look. Irony is, that these kids are the age Atzmon was when he first heard ‘April in Paris’ and bought his first saxophone.
So he talks about consonance and dissonance, illustrating his remarks with both saxophone and voice. Of course, it’s all about balance – too much consonance and your audience falls asleep, too much dissonance and it just goes out the window. But still, from his young and, by now, wondering-what-the-hell-this-is-all-about, audience – still nothing.
So he tries some community singing – no words, just sounds and rhythms – but still they won’t do it. He fixes on Jasmine, a freaked-out 17 year-old. “Come out to the front” he asks. But Jasmine just clings to her mobile. “Wanna pee” she pleads. He tries again, this time with Hayley who just giggles. “Why don’t you speak?” he asks. ‘Dunno’, she says. He tries Jasmine again who this time flees the room. Five minutes later she’s back (She really did want to pee) and blow me if, in the end, he doesn’t get the whole lot of them going and none louder than Jasmine and Hayley.
Now he tears up the rule-book and for any half-decent teacher, sick of force-fed, over-fed, half-dead battery kids, government targets and climbing league tables, this is refreshing stuff indeed. So he tells them ”If you do not now, immediately and completely defy your teachers, your parents, the lot. If you do not remove all restraints on creativity, all inhibition, both without and within – you will, in your lives, produce nothing of worth. (Next day I email him to ask him what it’s all about. But ‘Consciousness is the enemy of beauty’ is all he’ll say. Later I learn that Atzmon has only ever had one formal teacher “He was very good teacher. I only had about four or five lessons but he was a very good teacher…… I’m still trying to work out what he was talking about.”
7.00 p.m.: Talker
Now the club’s full. Some are jazz-fans come to see the ‘award-winning’ jazz musician, some are locals having a mid-week night-out and some are just plain curious to see the beast.
This, the other side of Atzmon’s other exercise in tonal breath-control – words. For nearly an hour he talks. Initially full of good intentions, he treads carefully describing his own musical, philosophical, political and spiritual journey. From the sabra child with the Irgunist grandfather “I loved him a lot” to the jazz-obsessed teenager – the blast of Charlie Parker (it was ‘April in Paris’) from his radio, the raid on Jerusalem’s only jazz store and then the revelation “Charlie Parker was black and Dizzy Gillespie was black and Sonny Rollins was black…and Ron Carter and Miles and John Coltrane…they were all black. I thought to myself ‘They’re all black. This is impossible. The Jews are the best at everything so how come they’re all black” Two days later the very first meeting with his one-and-only-love, his saxophone. “The saxophone is really easy to play. I practised 1,2,3,4,8,12 hours a day – in four weeks I was gigging”.
Then the army and the Lebanon war: “20,000 civilians wiped out by the army of Israel”. He just makes it into the Air Force Military Band and his army problems could be over – except that the band visits the south Lebanon concentration camp at Ansar and, for the first time, he sees Palestinians who are prepared to fight back “I looked at one, he looked back at me. I looked at another, he looked back at me. They all looked at us and we knew that they knew that one day they would win”. He also sees the concrete bunkers – concrete cubes, kennels for naughty Palestinian dogs. “Two days in one of those and you’ll also become a devoted Zionist”. That was it. It was simple. The Palestinians were the Jews and he was the Nazi. No other interpretation was possible and no doubt. No matter how long it took to leave, he was done with Israel “…‘enough is enough’. I took my saxophone and decided I was going to live somewhere else” But it was Oslo that did for him. “I knew there was no chance in a million years for the Jewish state to encompass the concept of peace.” And here he takes a moment to make that distinction between ‘peace’ and ‘shalom’. For those in Christian or Muslim environments ‘peace’ means peace and reconciliation but for Jews ‘shalom’ means security – but only for Jews. “The Oslo ‘shalom’ process was to secure for the Jews the land they had stolen.” That was it. Finished. He left Israel for ever. Only to a free Palestine would he ever return.
It was in London that he begins to experiment with Arabic music and here begins what he sees as his lifelong struggle – to listen. “When it came to Arabic music, I was lost. I tried to play it – it was a disaster”. He tries to listen, but really listen – first to the music and then to the Arab himself. He elaborates and here, he grabs his saxophone and gives the audience a quick taste of what is to come (Even to me, it’s breathtaking in its dexterity and wildness). The westerner can play a jazz phrase in a few seconds and he thinks he can win a war in the same time, But in the Eastern world it’s not like that. It takes time, the time of the desert. For Atzmon this difference also came to define a new concept of beauty.
But how to get at it? When I tried to reproduce this beauty, I couldn’t get at it – it was very frustrating.” Then he hits on it. He begins to use his voice. “Only when I sung it, I somehow managed to get closer to the authentic spirit.” And through this process he begins to understand and to refine his music – and also his political philosophy.
Because we must listen. Watching just will not do. Speaking will not do. Marching will not do. Leafleting will not do. Slogans will not do. We must listen – to the other, to the Palestinian. We must listen because it is then, and only then, when we have heard what the other has to say, what the other feels, only then can one know the other. It is only then that, rather than tell the Palestinian what he needs – one-state, two-state, secular state, democratic state, socialist state – we should listen, listen to what he thinks he needs. Only then can we know what the Palestinian wants for himself, only then can we truly be in solidarity. And, for Atzmon this is where ethics starts – and also the beauty. The Primacy of the Ear.
But then it comes, slowly at first, then faster and faster. It’s not just Israel and it’s not just Zionism. Jews. Jewish-ness. Identity. Secular Jewish identity. What is it? If you ask a secular Jew what he is, he will tell you he is not a Christian, he is not a Muslim, he is not a Buddhist, he is not religious, he is not this and he is not that. What is he? Is he just someone who likes chicken soup and chopped liver? No, he cannot tell you what he is – he can only tell you what he is not. And to be real, to feel truly authentic, between what he is and what he is not there must be distance – there must be conflict. So to find himself he must have conflict, he must fear and he must hate. Wars ….wars for Israel. Jewish wars. How many British dead? How many Americans? One and a half million Iraqis. Lord Levy the fundraiser, Lord Goldstone the fixer, and Aaronovitch, Cohen, Freedland,– warmongers to a man.
Jews, Judaism, Jewish-ness. Time and time again he addresses the ever-present charge of racism. That critical distinction: “In my writing, I differentiate between Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion) and Jewish-ness (the ideology) and again and again he makes it clear that it is the third, and only the third, with which he is concerned.: So,“those who are searching for blood or race-related interpretations of Zionism will have to look for it in someone else’s work.
But as the words spill out of him, doors are kicked down, taboos fall away and, for these gentle, middle-English folk, nodding in modest agreement, wryly noting the jokes, hearing what they always knew but never dared say, even to themselves – for them, the shackles simply slip away. The simple truth is that Gilad’s words lie just below the level of consciousness. Too conscious and they know it already, too unconscious and they just can’t hear it. Too much consonance and your audience will fall asleep, too much dissonance and it’s just out the window.
8.00 p.m.: Café Jihad
Atzmon turns his back to the audience and hunches over his saxophone. A tentative phrase, quite mellow but then grows more insistent it becomes a wail. He raises the stakes higher – more insistent. The rim-shot and the band comes in. It’s jazz. Paul Eisen trying to write about the music of Gilad Atzmon.
I don’t know much about music and pretty much nothing about jazz. (Truth is, it goes right over my head), so to write about Gilad Atzmon in performance presents something of a problem. How to get into the music? I search around for an Atzmon album and find one: “In Loving Memory of America” – Gilad’s love letter to an America now long gone, This is the America he dreamed off in his bedroom in Jerusalem. I dig it out and glance at the tracklist. There it is, track 9 “April in Paris”. Feverishly now I send off for ‘Charlie Parker with Strings’. It arrives in a day, and there it is, Track 3: ‘April in Paris’, the piece the young Atzmon first heard, the piece that made him skip school and head for Jerusalem’s one and only jazz store. “It was by far more organic, poetic, sentimental and yet wilder than anything I had heard before. Bird was a fierce libidinal extravaganza of wit and energy”
Surely if there’s a way into his music, this must be it.
I start to listen. Well, it’s nice – it’s more than nice and I can imagine why people love it but I’m damned if I can see what he sees.
For me it’s all very visual. He’s a big man and lately he’s given up on the IDF-style fatigues for jackets, tee-shirts and jeans – but he’s no snappy dresser that’s for sure. And boy, if ever there was a Khazarian then this, surely, must be it. Solid and Slavic in head and burly in body, he dominates the stage.
Him and his saxophone, that is. It’s some contraption - a deep, deep gold with lots of moving parts like some kind of hand-held Spinning Jenny – quite refreshing in this digital age which boasts “No moving parts” And when he plays, the valves and levers at the bottom open and close as if by magic It reminds me of a Monty Python cartoon or a gently-throbbing pulse in the neck. Between bursts he holds it like a Kalashnikov – and with the same devastating effect – spray everything and take no prisoners. ..
He wanders around a lot, strolling off and leaving the band to get on with it. And they do. Yaron Stavi on bass, Frank Harrison on keyboards and the astonishing Eddie Hick on drums. “I’m playing with the same people now for many years and it’s a great experience because you see people around you developing and you try to keep up with them. It’s a challenge.” That pride – you see it in him and in the band. I saw it that night atStratford-Upon-Avon in the nod Atzmon gave to the young and immensely talented Eddie Hick – it said “Go on boy, now’s your time. Let’s see what you can do. Oh, and good luck!” Sometimes he dances.
Then back he comes, slings up the Kalashnikov and starts spraying.
And it does not take one minute to see that the class, the talk, the jazz, they’re really all one. “We shut our eyes and concentrate on one thing: Delivering beauty’.
Beauty is truth; truth beauty. Keats would have loved it.
Oh, and by the way, those kids – they came back, six or seven of them led by Jasmine and Hayley. What did they make of it all? The stilted lesson with its embarrassing silences. The harangue from the front – Defy all! The talk: Jews …Judaism…Jewishness…..Then the jihad of the music
But it’s at the every end of the evening that the true meaning of the day is revealed. After the last tune he starts once more to speak to the audience. Now it’s earnest, almost pleading. It’s about universalism and brotherly love. About “our Muslim brothers and sisters, our Palestinian brothers and sisters, our Christian brothers and sisters and ……’ And then it comes – for me, the surprise. It’s obviously unplanned and I wonder if he’s ever said it, or even thought it before. Because he stumbles, perhaps he can’t quite believe what he hears himself say, perhaps like the music itself, it’s only ever really made up in performance. But he says it, and all the celebrity, the humour the Israeli swagger, even the talent, all simply falls away ‘…..and our Jewish brothers and sisters too. I phone him next day and ask him what he meant. Again, all he’ll say is “They are our brothers and sisters and we’re responsible for them too”.
But now it really is late, time for just one more. It has to be “What a Wonderful World” The band plays.
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledges facts and defines them “legal”
The affair known in Israel as “Bibi-Tours” is nearing its end. Netanyahu was formally interrogated in March; this was the final stage of the formal investigation. Now everything is ready for issuing a decision. Israel State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is expected to retire before October 2012, the date being subject to the nomination of his successor by the Knesset. Before retiring, he must issue a final report on the most important probe of his career. If he concludes that Netanyahu committed criminal offenses, he will pass his findings on to the Attorney General and Netanyahu may find himself facing criminal charges. This is bound to happen in August. In June, his report is already being prepared; Benjamin Netanyahu has already seen its draft. Netanyahu’s ominous silence announces an imminent storm.
“Bibi-Tours” is the name given to several luxury trips abroad that Benjamin Netanyahu and his family made in the last decade, during his terms as finance minister and opposition leader. Netanyahu’s attorneys provided the comptroller’s office with documents, receipts and invoices related in a bid to prove that nothing improper was done; yet, even Netanyahu confirms the basic facts. These are very odd, to say the least. The events were first exposed by Raviv Drucker on Israel’s Channel 10; in 2011, Netanyahu filed against them a libel suit that is still underway. Following these minor fights, the comptroller decided to probe the funding for Netanyahu’s trips abroad, and his campaign in the Likud primary.
Drucker claimed that Netanyahu had accepted funding from private American businessmen for trips for himself and his family while in public office. In August 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife, and one of their sons traveled to London on a trip funded by both the Knesset and Israel Bonds. Encouraged by their success, the following month they traveled to the USA, while the trip was fully paid by two different organizations. The comptroller added to these events the private campaign donations that Netanyahu received for the 2005 Likud Primaries; sadly, he had forgotten to report them to the state comptroller, as required by law.
Thank You, America!
It is easy to read about Bibi-Tours and dismiss the entire event as another minor-corruption case of a politician. Yet, it is deeply related to the USA support of Israel. The banality of evil: in order to function it needs to supply its servants with food and resources. How does this work for the State of Israel, which was defined as a terror inflicting organization? Many will shout now “Rothschild!” and forget the entire issue. It is true that rich Jews—so rich that nobody knows how much money they have or where they have hidden their assets—contribute generously to the State of Israel, but that’s a secondary source. Most contributors are unsuspecting gentiles. Fortunately for Israel, the Talmud doesn’t recognize their right to property.
The State of Israel Bonds are debt securities issued by the Government of Israel through a company known as the Development Corporation for Israel (DCI), which is located in New York. Since its first issue of bonds in 1951, the company collected over thirty billion dollars (non-amortized value). Since the Persian Gulf War of 1991, it has been collecting funds at a rate of over a billion dollars per year. For a small country like Israel this is big money. Where does this money go? The vast majority of it is used for strategic installations. The list includes: the National Water Carrier, the ports of Haifa, Eilat and Ashdod, the railway network, the Hadera Power Plant, the Ben Gurion International Airport, the Dead Sea Works and more. In fact, the bonds have been used to construct much of the country. This list is so impressive that is easy to forget its latest addition: Bibi-Tours. Some of Benjamin Netanyahu’s luxurious trips abroad before he became Prime Minister were funded by Israel Bonds.
Where does the money for the bonds come from? Half of the American states are invested in these bonds. The U.S. government already funds Israel generously through civilian and military help given every year. The parallel funding by the states creates a second level of support. None of these was ever put to vote. The American people are not asked if they want their money to fund wars and violence. The U.S. government downplays the whole issue; try getting accurate data and you’ll see what I mean. May I ask President Obama, why the American government allows its states to finance the luxurious trips of an Israeli politician?
I failed to obtain an answer from Benjamin Netanyahu on the issue. Yet, reliable sources related to this website have confirmed having heard him summarizing these events during a private conversation: “Thank you, America!” Netanyahu said with a charming smile and an impressive baritone, while gently tapping on his always expanding belly.
The Dollar Account Affair
“Bibi-Tours” strikes a chord within Israel’s collective memory. The current political map (see Shaul Mofaz Walks to Canossa) is the result of a similar affair known as the “Dollar Account Affair.” In 1977, the exposure of an illegal US Dollar bank account held by Israeli Prime Minister’s wife Leah Rabin, led to Rabin’s resignation from the government and his replacement by Shimon Peres. The Labor Party never recovered from the event, to the extent that nowadays it faces imminent disappearance.
On March 15, 1977, Haaretz journalist Dan Margalit revealed that a joint dollar account in the names of Yitzhak and Leah Rabin, had been opened in a Washington, D.C., bank during Rabin’s stay there as Israel’s ambassador (1968-73). The account was never closed following Rabin’s return to Israel. At the time, this was not allowed by Israeli law. Instead of imposing a minor fine, Attorney-General Aharon Barak—later to become Justice—announced that he would prosecute the Prime Minister, coining the phrase “Buzaglo Test.” This meant that a leader must be held to the same judicial standards as an ordinary citizen. Leah Rabin explained that she alone had operated the account, but Yitzhak Rabin accepted joint moral and legal responsibility. At first, it was thought that the sum in the account was $2,000, below the allowed $5,000 limit. Yet, after an investigation, it was found that the maximum deposit in the account had been around $20,000. Following Rabin’s resignation, he was not tried, but he and his wife paid hefty fines.
Since then, Rabin’s resignation is seen in Israel as the epitome of public responsibility. Nowadays, a similar behavior by Benjamin Netanyahu is inconceivable. Netanyahu has a very expensive house to take care of in exclusive Caesarea; he can’t allow himself to stick to nonsense Buzaglo Tests.
Can the looming decision of State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss be predicted? In the wild reality of Israel, where several oligarchic gangs literally fight one against the other, this is difficult. Nobody—except Shimon Peres and the Shin Beth—imagined that the Attorney General would force the Prime Minister Rabin to face trial for a minor offence. Yet, it has happened. Is there anything in Micha Lindenstrauss past that can hint regarding his attitude towards the Bibi-Tours Affair?
The career of this former judge turned state comptroller is rather dull. Do you want to read about a Traffic Court Judge? No? I thought so. Yet, his name is well known for a scandal in his past. When he was President of the Haifa District Court, he acquitted the suspects in the gang rape of a fourteen year-old girl in Kibbutz Shimrat; that happened despite existing clear evidence, and that some of the culprits had admitted to the rape during their initial interrogation by the police. His rather questionable decision was reversed by the Supreme Court. Would such a man—oblivious to the pain and misery of a girl—care about illegitimately used funds, when the source of the money was mainly American and not Israeli? “Thank you, America! Thank you, America!” Netanyahu keeps saying, a wide Cheshire-cat smile on his face, and one fat hand tapping his ever expanding belly. “Thank you, America!”
Mubarak’s Egypt backed Fatah against Hamas. Now, the shoe is on the other foot as Egypt goes to the polls to choose a president
writes Khaled Amayreh in Hebron…
The trial and conviction of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his interior minister, Habib El-Adli, earlier this week have reverberated through the Palestinian political street, drawing conflicting reactions from Palestinian factions, each according to its ideological and political orientation.
Palestinians have been following up rather closely on developments in Egypt ever since the start of the 25 January Revolution that toppled the Mubarak regime, which was widely considered at Israel and America’s beck and call.
A clear polarisation is noticed between the Islamist and secular nationalist camps, particularly Hamas and Fatah.
Other smaller Palestinian factions, such as the leftists and liberals, are displaying marked ambivalence, having to choose between erstwhile historical and ideological foes on the one hand and a resurgent regime in the style of ex- president Mubarak on the other.
Hamas, the Islamic liberation movement, is the ideological daughter of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak’s long- standing foe that now stands at the forefront of post-Mubarak forces and effectively controls the first parliament after the revolution.
Moreover, Hamas doesn’t hide its preference for Mohamed Mursi, the presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood who will contest a run-off election with Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, on 16-17 June.
Hamas and most Palestinians view as a gigantic disaster the possible success of Shafik, “snatching” the presidency in Cairo from revolutionary hands.
“God forbid this would send us backward to the Mubarak era; it would be depressing to even entertain the idea. The election of Shafik would be good news for Israel and the Jews, and bad, I would say very bad news to every patriotic Arab and Muslim, not only in Palestine and the Middle East but all over the world,” said Fathi Imran, a prominent Islamist leader in the Bethlehem region.
Imran, who spent over 10 years in Israeli jails for his political activities against the Israeli occupation, said the rectification of the revolution’s course in Egypt is not only a matter of concern only for Egyptians, but for the entire Arab and Muslim world.
“When Egypt is down, we are all down and we will all suffer, but when Egypt is prosperous and strong, so will we be. The fact that Israel has been visibly disappointed by the dramatic collapse of the Mubarak regime speaks volumes. In a nutshell, Mubarak was an ally and servant of Israel and the United States.”
This is not how Fatah, the ruling party in the West Bank, views the former Egyptian regime and the man who was at its helm for over 30 years.
Officially, Fatah stands neutral between Shafik and Mursi. However, it is clear that Fatah’s heart lies with anti- Ikhwan (Brotherhood) forces. The reason for this somewhat strange attitude has nothing to do with any special infatuation on Fatah’s part with the symbols of the former Egyptian regime.
Fatah and the Palestinian Authority [PA] leadership are calculating that Mursi might well win the upcoming elections and do not want to alienate in earnest the Muslim Brotherhood, as this would harm Fatah,
argued Talal Okal, a prominent political analyst.
“On the other hand, most Fatah leaders believe that if Mursi became president of Egypt, that would not auger well for Fatah, especially its power struggle with Hamas.
“Hamas is highly likely to benefit, politically and psychologically, from the presence of its ideological colleagues at the helm of power in the most important Arab capital.”
A MAJORITY FOR MURSI: Despite the sharp polarisation between Fatah and Hamas, it seems that a comfortable majority of Palestinians favour Mursi over Shafik.
An Internet poll of some 17,500 web- surfers by the Maan News Agency showed that 53.5 per cent would vote for Mursi while 39.5 per cent would cast their votes for Shafik. About seven per cent said they were undecided.
The informal but probably indicative poll shows that most Palestinians are hopeful that the Palestinian cause would stand to benefit from an Islamist or quasi-Islamist government in Egypt.
It is likely though that a united front against Shafik, including Mursi, the Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi and the moderate Islamist candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, would significantly reduce support for Shafik and could put an end to his election chances.
Meanwhile, reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is effectively awaiting the outcome of the run-off round between Shafik and Mursi on 16 June. The two parties are not saying so openly, but scrutiny of the Palestinian political scene reveals that the elections will certainly impact the reconciliation process between the secular Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Islamist Hamas.
The two groups reached a series of agreements and understandings of late, creating a general impression that a final reconciliation was in the offing, if not readily at hand.
However, mutual suspicions, and even accusations and recriminations, continue to prevail over the Palestinian political arena.
What is more is that a solid majority of Palestinians no longer believe optimistic statements about the nearness of reconciliation from Hamas and Fatah leaders.
Some Palestinian analysts believe that the next Egyptian president will not be able to do much in terms of reuniting Fatah and Hamas or delivering the Palestinians and their just cause from the tentacles of the Israeli occupation. Such analysts argue that the president-to-be will be too busy dealing with complex domestic issues in Egypt.
However, there are those who think that no Egyptian leadership — especially in revolutionary Egypt — can afford to treat the Palestinian issue as secondary. One of the factors that tainted Mubarak’s rule and hastened its demise was its obsequious stance vis-à-vis Israel during the Zionist state’s all-out blitzkrieg against the Gaza Strip in 2008-09.
Many Egyptians, Arabs and Muslims link wanton Israeli massacres of Palestinian civilians, using the latest weapons of death, such as white phosphorus to the times of the Mubarak regime, not criminalising Israeli violence.
Source: ahram weekly
An interview with the family of detained Palestinian footballer and hunger striker Mahmoud Al-Sarsak:
On July, 22, 2009, Palestinian National Team soccer player, Mahmoud Al Sarsak, bid farewell to his family as he had finally obtained an Israeli permit allowing him to cross Erez checkpoint in the north of Gaza and enter the West Bank. The 22-year-old player, at the time, was heading to Balata Refugee Camp to join the Palestinian National Soccer Team and to train there. The overwhelming happiness that overcame the young Palestinian athlete as he was issued the permit, describes his mother Khaldiya Shalabi, has turned into a curse of misery for him and his family.
Mahmoud was detained and has imprisoned without charge or trial since the. In protest Mahmoud joined the recent prisoner’s hunger strike, and has now gone over 80 days without food.
According to Ma’an:
After 80 days on hunger strike, Mahmoud al-Sarsak is at immediate risk of death and must be hospitalized immediately, an independent doctor said Wednesday.
Until Wednesday, Israel’s prison service had refused to allow independent doctors to visit al-Sarsak, who is being held at Ramle prison clinic.
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel were able to send a doctor to visit al-Sarsak on Wednesday after petitioning an Israeli court for access…..
Al-Sarsak, a professional soccer player, has experienced extreme loss of muscle tissue and drastic weight loss. The 25-year-old is frequently losing consciousness and suffers memory lapses, the doctor said. He is also at risk of pulse disruptions that are endangering his life.
Whilst Ramzy Baroud notes that:
Palestine’s soccer ranking at 164th in the world is testament not to any lack of passion for the game, but to the constant Israeli attempts at destroying even that national aspiration.
The examples of Israeli war on Palestinian soccer are too many to count, although most of them receive little or no media coverage whatsoever.
On June 8th a solidarity demo was held outside the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in London to try and raise Mahmoud’s profile.
The Evening Standard newspaper last Friday published what is truly a very alarming story. The following headline is sure to cause maximum panic just weeks ahead of the Olympic Games.
Mosque near Olympics site in ‘terror link’ investigation
The same story by the B.B.C. with a headline slightly more in touch with the reality of the situation but with only slightly less of the sensationalism contained in the Evening Standard
‘Mosque’s terror links’ investigated by Charity Commission
The Mosque being accused here of having “terror links” is Masjid al Tawhid in Leyton, East London. The Mosque is literally overlooking the Olympic site and therefore the person who made these allegations knew very well the panic and fear that his allegations would produce.
Residents of London are already nervous after it was revealed that thousands of military, security and police officers with a massive array of weaponry will be surrounding the Olympic site – read here a Sky News analysis on the war ships, helicopters, drones, missile launchers on rooftops etc that will ensure we are “free from danger” during the Olympics.
I personally do not feel safe at all, being a resident of London I am only too aware of the devastating results that armed police can have on unarmed civilians. For example the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes and Mark Duggan which sparked last summer’s riots or the shootings at Forest Gate. If our police and military have been sharing training with the Israelis again we could all be doomed. Actually a good question is, just how did the justice system become so corrupt that our police enjoy the same impunity and zero accountability for killing civilians as the Israelis do?
The man who made the serious terrorism allegations is Dr Usama Hasan, you can watch him being interviewed by the B.B.C. here. I have previously written about Usama Hasan and how he deviated from mainstream Sunni Islam setting himself on a trajectory which now sees him working against Muslims and Islam read my article here. Usama Hasan is now fully Zionised and conversant in the typical Zionist tactic of scaremongering about potential terror attacks to create fear of Muslims and Islam. I think I might have been slightly wrong to previously accuse Usama Hasan of taking the Queen’s shilling to become a soldier in the “War On Islam” – I was wrong, in my opininon these days he is probably paid in Shekels.
For non Muslim readers I feel it is necessary to explain some background on how mosques in the U.K. function. My own local mosque in Finchley is a prime example of how Muslims import the concept of dictatorship and corruption from “back home”. Once in possesion of positions on the committee or board of trustees men will do almost anything to stay there. I say men since mosque committees remain a purely male domain. We all followed the Arab revolutions on T.V. but if you think Hosni Mubarak was difficult to shift you cannot imagine how deep the roots under the thrones of “elected” mosque officials in Britain go. In cities with large Asian populations leadership runs on tribal lines but in Finchley according to our President at our recent A.G.M. we are “better educated” and mosque membership consists of mostly professional Muslims. Democratic dictatorship by the educated – and with a smile. Our President is proud and confident that with so many accountants on the committee we can be sure that the mosque accounts will be kept well balanced. We were instructed that they are very worthy of this trust by the President himself. I do wonder though about the bigger trust which is to carry the message of Islam and provide guidance to the community somehow I doubt they are up to it.
This rise to the professional classes is mostly down to the hard work and dedication of parents who came to this country and worked extremely hard running Asian restaurants or similar businesses and who were rightly so proud when their offspring went to university. Many of these offspring managed to absorb the worst of cultural practices from “back home” and adopt some of the worst of our culture as well. Islam is the only path that we should be treading yet the evidence of confusion is apparent in the actions of mosque committees up and down the country. Inviting Mike Freer our local openly pro Israel, pro Gay Marriage and therefore anti Islam M.P. to come and advise us in the mosque against the will of many in the community and beyond is just such an action. Finchley Mosque and Mike Freer saga here here and here .
In Leyton Mosque dictatorship and corruption manifested itself in the previously very respected Sheik Suhaib Hasan father of Usama stubbornly defending his son’s right to continue imposing himself on the congregation as Imam. With Usama Hasan’s deviant views which were unacceptable to the majority of Muslims inevitably a growing movement against him was established. The end result of mosque committees who insist on going against the will of the community – both in Finchley (read here) and Leyton (read here) were headline grabbing “Death threat” headline news – such “washing of dirty linen in public” is something particularly hated by our community. But would our leaders ever learn to listen?
The only tried and trusted method of silencing dissenting voices in U.K. mosques is exactly the same method as kept Mubarak et al in position for decades elsewhere. First get into place, possibly by staging a coup then impose a “democracy” on your own terms. Reduce the community’s ability to vote you out by restricting membership to those who you personally accept after a long probationary period or even better invite only those to join who you can be sure will vote for you. Secondly change the Constitution to narrow opportunities for any further coups or takeovers. If you can stifle discussion in the mosque, restrict membership and voting rights you should be able to stay “President for Life”! Out of the 800 or so people who pray in our mosque on Fridays there are perhaps 60 who are members of the association and only half of those turned up to the A.G.M. this gives an indication of the lack of real democratic practice and community involvement in how a mosque is run.
One of the highlights for me of the recent A.G.M. in Finchley was the accounts for the previous year being explained in detail and which we were told now contain no expenditure for the rather ominous category of “security”. I take that as a good indictation that any dissenting voices to the will of the committee have now been dealt with permanently! Persistant dissenters can be banned, the more faint hearted just give up and go to another mosque but the sad result is a “pray and go” mosque. People come at prayer time and leave quickly afterwards, not the true function of a mosque which should be run as a community centre. As if we did not have many problems in our community like youth crime and other issues to deal with, but you will find the mosque door locked during the day just like the church over the road and we know very well how many empty churches are being sold up and down the country.
To cut short what could be a very long story, Masjid al Tawhid in Leyton has been paralysed for years by a power struggle among the trustees over the deviated beliefs of Usama Hasan and the wish of the majority in the community to have him removed as Imam and trustee. Where you find an Imam or leader who preaches what is to mainstream Muslims considered deviation from the true message you will get increasing complaints, when they are not listened to which is often the case, then you get loud and angry complaints which after some time escalate into protests and very angry scenes. Mosques run along tribal or dictatorship lines are very bad at listening to complaints, with many elected representatives forgetting that they are there to serve the community.
Years of paralysis in the trusteeship of Masjid al Tawhid was finally resolved recently by outside arbitration where Usama Hasan stepping down from any role in the mosque was part of the agreement. However, and here is the massive sting in the tail – whilst Usama Hasan agreed to step down and really he must have known that his departure was innevitable, he was already very nastily sending a letter to the Charity Commission claiming that the mosque was a place for potential terror plots. As if that was not bad enough he foolishly implicated Sheik Haitham al Haddad in this, despite the fact that Sheik Haitham had been a mediator in the long dispute over mosque trusteeship, his role as arbitrator agreed by both sides. Just to make Usama Hasan’s claims even more ridiculous Sheik Haitham al Haddad sits on the Shariah Council with Usama Hasan’s father. Is Usama Hasan implying that his own father is a trustee of a terrorist mosque?
The Zionist methodology of “guilt by association” is how Usama Hasan implicated Sheik Haitham into this so called potential terror scenario by saying that the underwear bomber Abdulmatallab had listened to talks by Sheik Haitham. So what about the thousands of Muslims who also listened to Sheik Haitham and didn’t allegedly try and blow up airplanes? Abdulmatallab’s own notes give no hint that anything he might have heard spoken by Sheik Haitham had radicalised him in any way. Evidently Usama Hasan realised the ridiculousness of his claims as by the time he was interviewed by the B.B.C. he had dropped his allegations against any individuals.
Finally to cap it all Usama Hasan has now dropped his request for an enquiry, probably realising that it was very evident to everyone that it was an act of pure spite and vindictivness on his part, but to save face the so called “extremism think tank” called the Quilliam foundation that Hasan works for have taken up the request for Masjid al Tawhid to be investigated. Read all about it on Islamophobia Watch website here. But for the public who have already read the sensationalist headlines, the damage to the reputation of Leyton Mosque and of the Muslims who pray in it, is already done.
A very sad episode indeed which can only serve to take away any shred of credibility, not as an Imam because he had already lost that, but perhaps as a person with even an ounce of integrity that Usama Hasan might have had left.
I really hope these claims by Usama Hasan and the Quilliam foundation are not laying the foundations of a cover story for a huge Olympic False Flag Operation.
some form of violent resistance is to be expected
Medea Benjamin, writing in the Information Clearing House asks “Will Americans Speak Out Against Obama’s Drone Warfare?”
Since that warfare involves only the Obama administration and military plus the people of targeted countries, the chances of critical Americans are slim.
Drones have been used to target supposed terrorists and militants in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan, as well as for surveillance over other countries.
The Predator Drone has been in use longer than most people realize. It was first deployed to the Balkans in 1995, Iraq in 1996 and proved very effective in Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as Afghanistan.
Seumas Milne, writing in The Guardian, says “The undeclared drone war that has already killed thousands is now being relentlessly escalated.”
According to Milne, “At least 15 drone strikes have been launched in Yemen this month, as many as in the whole of the past decade, killing dozens.”
Such “summary executions” have been even greater in Pakistan:
Since 2004, between 2,464 and 3,145 people are reported to have been killed by US drone attacks in Pakistan, of whom up to 828 were civilians (535 under Obama) and 175 children.”
As long ago as May 2002 Richard Muller wrote “I sense that there is movement toward making assassination of ‘evil’ leaders into an acceptable part of U.S. foreign policy. That prospect is horrifying. Yet — if the alternative is war?”
In other words, in order to save American lives, it’s acceptable to murder perceived enemies with flying robots rather than capturing and trying them.
“If the U.S. does turn to the Predator and other weapons of precise destruction as the perfect assassination machines…then we had better be prepared to defend ourselves against the same kind of attack, argues Muller.
Advances in technology may one day bring Predator-like weapons into the arsenals of rogue nations and terrorists, endangering in yet a new way our vulnerable homeland. Are we, to paraphrase Macbeth, teaching bloody instructions, which, being taught will return to plague the inventor? From Macbeth:
If only this blow / Could be the be-all and the end-all right here,/ Only here, upon this bank and shallows of time,/ We’d risk it for the life to come. Only in these things,/ We are always punished here because we teach others / How to murder, and once they learn, they come back / To murder us.
We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards.
Wright concluded, somewhat famously, that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
The lesson? “Violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred and terrorism begets terrorism.” http://youtu.be/Qf3SNOmvxi0 for the audio of Rev. Wright’s sermon.
Concluded Muller, “The drone war is a predatory war on the Muslim world, which is feeding hatred of the US – and fuelling terror, not fighting it.”
Obama criticized Reverend Wright and finally left Wright’s church. He should now listen.