Hundreds Protest Barak’s Visit To Greece

Hundreds of Greeks, Palestinian and Arabs held a protest in front of the Greek Parliament to protest the visiting Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, and demanding his arrest for war crimes against the Palestinian people. Greek, Palestinian and other Arab protesters behind a huge Palestinian flag (photo: INTIFADA Association & Palestinian Workers Union)

Greek, Palestinian and other Arab protesters behind a huge Palestinian flag

Several leftist political groups and coalitions also participated in the protest that was held in front of the parliament despite the cold weather conditions.

The protest was organized by several antiwar groups and solidarity movements including the Al-Awda Committee (The Right To Return), the Antiwar Internationalist Movement, the Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Deport Racism Movement, Inclusive Democracy, the Strop the War Coalition, Palestinian Workers Union, and Solidarity Network to the Palestinian Resistance.

It is worth mentioning that the “Ship To Gaza – Greece” demanded the apprehension of Ehud Barak for war crimes, and for the attack Israeli commandos carried out against the Freedom Flotilla in 2010, killing nine Turkish activists.

The protestors also demanded the government in Greece to oblige Israel to return the Greek boats that were boarded and illegally commandeered by the Israeli Navy.

They also carried posters and huge banners that read “Ehud Barak, butcher, out!”, “Freedom To Palestine”, and other banners calling for “ending the occupation and acts of genocide against the Palestinian people”.

The banner of the (Greek) Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People - INTIFADA. It says: “Ehud Barak, butcher, out!” (photo: INTIFADA Association & Palestinian Workers Union)

The banner of the (Greek) Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People – INTIFADA. It says: “Ehud Barak, butcher, out!” The banners of Solidarity Network to the Palestinian Resistance, in Greek and Arabic. "E. Barak, butcher, out of Greece!" (photo: Eleutheria Dimokratia)

The banners of Solidarity Network to the Palestinian Resistance, in Greek and Arabic. “E. Barak, butcher, out of Greece!”

(www.imemc.org / 11.01.2012)

News of Syria 11.01.2012

Assad brings his shabbihas to #Damascus & force public sector workers to rally with them so that he can fool the world with his lies. #Syria

Assad is becoming more and more Gaddafi-fied by the day.

( ) #DeirEzzor death of Imad Dreibi Ahmar from an injury he suffered yesterday

#DeirEzzor Qouriyah Heavy random gunfire from the checkpoints that are spread in the city towards houses

====== The charlatan speaks filth again. ==== #Syria #SyriaBleeds

1st western journalist was killed in #Syria-n upraising by 1st attack on pro #Assad rally in #Homs was in 1st media group allowed by regime!

Aleppo A demo in Marjeh area got out as a condemnation to Assad speech Protestors chanted for freedom and regime’s ouster

#DeirEzzor Many snipers centered on high buildings in Takaya street and curfew deployed in the city

French journalist killed in Syria

PARIS (AP) – A reporter for France 2 TV was killed Wednesday in an attack while covering violence in the restive Syrian city of Homs, the French Foreign Minister and the network said.

Gilles Jacquier was on a rare Western reporting trip authorized by Syria’s embattled government amid a 10-month uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad. Another France-2 reporter was uninjured.

News director Thierry Thullier of France Televisions, the parent station of France-2, told French TV BFM that Jacquier appeared to have been killed by a mortar or rocket as part of a series of attacks.

It was the first known instance of a Western journalist dying in Syria amid the unrest. Syrian authorities have denied many efforts by Western journalists to enter the country since the uprising began.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, in a statement, said Jacquier had been killed “in an attack” in Homs, calling it an “odious act” and demanding an investigation into the killing.

“It’s up to Syrian authorities to ensure the security of international journalists on their territory, and to protect this fundamental liberty which is the freedom of information.”

The U.N. estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed in the uprising.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Wednesday reported fresh violence in Syria. The group said soldiers and army defectors were fighting in central Hama province. The full casualty count was unclear.

(www.usatoday.com / 11.01.2012)

Israel uses risky ‘hits’ in deadly shadow war

Policemen gather at a bomb blast site outside a university in northern Tehran Jan. 11, 2012.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — If Mossad assassins were behind the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist on Wednesday, it would be the latest chapter in a long history of Israeli covert action against foes best not confronted with full force.

As always, Israeli officials declined any comment on the death of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who was blown up in his car, while Iran itself immediately pinned the blame on Israel.

Cold-eyed calculus guides what Israeli officials call “precision thwarting,” a euphemism that strives to focus blame on those marked for death while conveying reluctance to escalate the shadow war.

Critics condemn all such attacks on moral grounds, and also question the long-term efficiency of targeted killings, but Israeli officials, drawing on years of experience in the murky practice, believe they play a vital role in defending the state.

When it comes to Iran, whose uranium enrichment and ballistic missile projects have suffered a surge of spectacular and often bloody mishaps in recent months, Israel measures the gains in terms of the delays they cause.

“They are not keeping to the schedules they would like to keep to,” former Mossad spymaster Meir Dagan said in a recent television interview, smilingly crediting the apparent sabotage spree to “God, who controls everything”.

The daylight killings of atomic technicians such as Ahmadi-Roshan — who, like others before him, fell victim to an explosive device attached to his car by a passing motorcyclist — obviously deplete Iran’s pool of nuclear experts.

It also provokes panic in surviving colleagues, said an Israel official, generating a phenomenon that Mossad veterans dub “virtual defection”.

“It’s not that we’ve been seeing mass resignations, but rather a sense of spreading paranoia given the degree to which their security has been compromised,” the official, who has extensive Iran expertise, told Reuters.

“It means they have to take more precautions, including, perhaps, being a little less keen to stand out for excellence in their nuclear work. That slows things down.”

History of hits

The activation this week of an Iranian enrichment plant deep in a mountain drew condemnation from world powers which, along with many Gulf Arabs, see bomb-making potential in a nuclear program that Tehran insists is for peaceful energy needs.

Ahmadi-Roshan was at least the third expert linked to Iran’s nuclear program to be killed in the last two years.

“I don’t know who settled the score with the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding any tears,” Israel’s army spokesman Yoav Mordechai said on his Facebook page.

Happy to deflect the blame, Israeli officials say many people have an interest in sabotaging Iranian operations.

“I think several players, not only Israel, are active (in Iran),” former Mossad deputy director Ilan Mizrahi said on Wednesday. “It’s not only countries, it is movements. You have the Iranian opposition, which is very strong. They have their own capabilities inside Iran.”

Yet Israel has an admitted history of state-sponsored assassination and intimidation, from letter-bombs it sent German scientists serving Egypt’s missile program in the 1960s to the Mossad hunt, using guns and booby-traps, for Palestinians involved in killing 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

More recently, Israeli air-launched missiles and special forces picked off Palestinian uprising leaders. In 1995, motorbike-borne gunmen killed Islamic Jihad chief Fathi Shiqaqi in Malta, and another suspected Mossad team smothered Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his Dubai hotel in 2010.

Proponents of such tactics say they stave off more ruinous open war and few voices are raised in Israel in condemnation. Mabhouh had helped smuggle rockets to Palestinians, a threat Israel cited in justifying its 2008-2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip, amid international outcry at the high civilian toll.

“When you are fighting terror, targeting the heads of terror organizations is positive,” Mizrahi said, justifying killings.

Back fire

Against Iran’s nuclear program, Israel – like the United States – has hinted it could resort to military force.

But neither is keen to further destabilize the region by opening a new Muslim front, and military experts say Israel alone does not have the firepower to kill off Iran’s nuclear program in a single swoop.

Assassinations carry their own incalculable risks, as the Mossad learned in 1997 when the men it sent to poison Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal in Amman bungled the job and were caught.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then in his first term, had ordered the hit under pressure to retaliate for Hamas suicide bombings. He ended up having to repair ties with Jordan by freeing Hamas’s spiritual mentor, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, from prison — an unexpected boon for Hamas.

Despite widespread speculation, Iran denied Israeli sabotage was to blame for a blast last November that killed a Revolutionary Guards general. On Wednesday it was swift not only to blame Israel, but also to publish the sensitive nature of the victim’s work at the uranium enrichment facility of Natanz.

“The Iranians are exposing this in order, ultimately, to provide a large degree of rationale and justification, both domestically and abroad, for what they will eventually consider as a reprisal,” said Uzi Rabi, a Middle East expert at Tel Aviv University.

He predicted an “unavoidable showdown”, most likely in the Gulf, where Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, with a possible spillover in the form of Israeli and Western air strikes on Iran.

(www.maannews.net / 11.01.2012)

Jordanian Convoy Readies To Send Aid To Gaza

Head of the Artery of Life Committee, Engineer, Wael Al-Saqqa, stated that Jordanian figures and popular institutions are ongoing with the preparations for the “Ansar 2” convoy to break the Israeli siege on Gaza, and deliver urgently needed humanitarian and medical supplies.Ansar Convoy - Image Plestine-Info

Ansar Convoy

In a press release, Al-Saqqa said that the committee is holding talks with the Egyptian Authorities in order to facilitate the travel of the convoy ,and to ensure its passage to Gaza.

He further stated that the convoy will be carrying aid supplies, mainly medical equipment and medications.

The convoy will be leaving Jordan soon; it will be leaving Amman to the Aqaba Jordanian Port before sailing to Gaza via the Nweibe’ Egyptian Port.

Al-Saqqa said that he hopes that the Egyptian Authorities will cooperate will the convoy and ensure its arrival in Gaza.

(www.imemc.org / 11.01.2012)

Visiting Catholic Bishops Decide: “Gaza is a Prison”

Eight Catholic bishops from Europe and North America have just visited the Christian community in Gaza.

The Vatican high profile delegation included Patrick Kelly, archbishop of Liverpool; Richard Smith, archbishop of Edmonton, Canada; Gerald Kicanas, bishop of Tucson, US; Michel Dubost, bishop of Evry, France; and Riccardo Fontana, bishop of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, Italy.

French Bishop Dubost’s comment was, “Last week, I asked prisoners in the largest prison in Europe (in Evry) to pray for you”.

The inference is clear: Gaza’s Christians are living in a big prison and terrified by Israel.

News.va, the Roman Catholic Church news agency, published a report on the event, writing, “The signs of the 2009 conflict and the continuing Israeli air strikes are all around…”.

Not a word about the Islamic repression of that tiny Christian community in Gaza – and Bethlehem and the rest of the PA.

The prison comparison was reiterated by another bishop. “I have just returned from visiting two of the largest ‘open prisons’ in the world – Bethlehem and the Gaza strip”, wrote William Kenney, auxiliary bishop in Birmingham who led the Catholic delegation. Bishop Kelly said that “violence is evil especially when it blocks humanitarian relief desperately needed”.

Raymond Field, auxiliary bishop of Dublin, also defined the Gaza Strip as “a large prison”.

Last December, Palestinian Hamas leader, Mahmoud al Zahar, met with with Father Manuel Musalam, head of the Latin Church in Gaza, who is known for having a radical anti-Jewish stance (in 2006 Musalam met also with Khader Habib, a senior Islamic Jihad official in the Gaza Strip). “Christians are not threatened by Muslims” – Musalam said – everyone faces the same problem, that of Israel’s “humiliation”.

This Catholic head of Gaza once told the Palestinian Authority television: “The Jew has a principle from which we suffer and which he tries to impose on people: the principle of the ‘gentiles’. ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ are based on this principle, and anyone who reads the ‘Protocols’ feels that we are in this period with the Jews …”.

The Bishops’ official visit in Gaza is part of a recent Vatican course of action with the Palestinian Authority. Last September, Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, named by Pope Benedict XVI, was at the White House for a meeting with the American administration as well as to support the PA statehood bid at the UN.

On December 1st, several Christian and Muslim dignitaries met in Beit Sahour for a conference on “How to live together in a future Palestinian state?”. Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah and Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, attended the event, organized by Al Liqa, a Vatican ecumenical center based in Bethlehem.

Several days ago the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales compared the Palestinians to the Jesus’ passion. “We are to be freshly attentive to the needs of those who, like Jesus himself, are displaced and in discomfort”, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said during his Christmas Mass sermon at Westminster Cathedral. “A shadow falls particularly heavily on the town of Bethlehem tonight … We pray for them tonight”.

At the Al Liqa center Christmas’ celebration Muslim Palestinians presented a Qur’anic recitation of the birth of ‘Isa.  Isa is the Islamic name for Jesus.

(nmen.org /11.01.2012)

Together to End Military Trials and the Power of Murderers and Thieves

Click here to download the original.

Together to End Military Trials and the Power of Murderers and Thieves

More than ten months after the overthrow of the deposed dictator Mubarak, who authorized his Military Council to rule the country after him, this Council has not relented in committing many cruel crimes and massacres against the general populace. Since its first day in power, this Council has been at the forefront of the counter-revolution, despite its mendacious claims to be protecting the revolution. This Council is the organic extension of Mubarak’s regime. It represents the same ruling class he represented—a class that came to the seat of power only to protect its own interests and safeguard its political regime based on political tyranny, barbaric repression, looting the homeland’s riches, and impoverishing its citizens. The savage, bloody massacre that the Military Council and its Interior Ministry are perpetrating in Tahrir Square [illegible] from Egyptian cities—a massacre that aimed to kill Egyptians and gouge out their eyes—exposes beyond any shred of a doubt the [illegible] policies inimical to the revolution and the people that this Council is undertaking.

The Democratic Workers’ Party strongly condemns this massacre and these fascist practices of military rule. We wish to make known that we stand among the ranks of the masses who have struggled from the twenty-fifth of January until now, and we have been part of the Tahrir Square sit-in since its first day. We also wish to make known that we have completely adopted the revolutionary demands that the popular masses are making in Tahrir Square and all the other squares of the country. We invite the working-class masses to join the current revolutionary [illegible] ranks that are playing their part in the struggle by using the weapon of the strike, which played the most important role in achieving the Egyptian revolution’s first victory: overthrowing Mubarak. This revolution’s aim will only be realized through the continuous struggle of the poor, popular classes—those primarily tasked with ousting all of Mubarak’s regime, starting at its roots, and creating a popular replacement power to lead the country towards a process of fundamental democratic transformation and true social justice. May our revolutionary struggle continue until it achieves:

–          The immediate return of the Military Council to their barracks, keeping them from playing any political role or participating in governance.

–          The immediate resignation of Sharaf’s government and the formation of a revolutionary government to manage the transitional period. Together with the revolutionary forces, this government would propose new programs to the masses packed into the squares, with a guarantee for [illegible] complete popular oversight of its practices through elected popular committees. This government would also be given all the necessary powers of legitimate, political management appropriate for uprooting the corrupt and [illegible] of Mubarak’s regime and to return the country to a process of democratic transition, achieving the pressing goals of social justice, such as minimum and maximum wage limits.

–          Bringing those leaders of the Interior Ministry and the police who are responsible for the current [illegible] before an immediate revolutionary tribunal and granting fair recompense to the martyrs and the wounded.

–          A restructuring of the Interior Ministry to purge it of the corrupt, murderous, blood-hungry leaders, because a civilian political minister must be put in charge of it.

–          The immediate release of all those arrested in the Tahrir sit-in and all political prisoners.

–          The immediate termination of military trials for civilians and the release of those held in custody while awaiting trial. Their sentences should be overturned, and those convicted should be re-tried before regular civilian judges.

–          The termination of the undemocratic legislation that the Military Council has passed, such as the laws criminalizing strikes and the political parties’ law.

The continuous co-presence of the struggling masses in their battle against the forces of oppression, cruelty, looting, and impoverishment is the only way to continue on the path toward revolution… Together to end military trials and the power of murderers and thieves.

Our revolution lives on, continuous until victory.

Glory to the martyrs.

The Democratic Workers’ Party

21 November 2011

(www.tahrirdocuments.org / 11.01.2012)

Arab observer calls Syria mission a ‘farce’

Arab League monitor resigns over what he calls a “humanitarian disaster” in which shootings and kidnappings are common.

A former Arab League observer in Syria has decried the organisation’s monitoring mission to the country as a “farce”, as the UN Security Council heard security forces had stepped up the killing of protesters after the observers’ arrival.

Anwar Malek, an Algerian member of the monitoring team, told Al Jazeera he resigned because of what he saw, and said that the mission was falling apart.

“What I saw was a humanitarian disaster. The regime is not just committing one war crime, but a series of crimes against its people,” he said.

 

“The snipers are everywhere shooting at civilians. People are being kidnapped. Prisoners are being tortured and none were released.”

He said that security forces did not withdraw their tanks from the streets, but just hid them and then redeployed them after the observers left.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has addressed a large gathering of his supporters in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Assad, in his second speech in as many days, reiterated his accusations that the “homeland was reeling under the brunt of conspiracy”.

The president also said: “We will triumph over this conspiracy. It is dying; it’s end of their plot.”

In a speech on Tuesday, his first public address since June, the Syrian President made some promises of reform, but no sweeping concessions that might placate an opposition determined to end more than four decades of domination by the Assad family.

French journalist killed

In the central city of Homs, a French journalist was among several people killed on Wednesday, becoming the first Western reporter to have died in 10 months of unrest in the country.

French journalist Gilles Jacquier is the first Western reporter to have died in Syria since the uprising bagan 

Syria’s state-sponsored Addounia TV, which gave a total death toll of eight, said a Dutch journalist was among 25 people wounded.

France 2 television confirmed its journalists had been killed.

“France 2 television has just learned with a great deal of sorrow the death of reporter Gilles Jacquier in Homs,” the channel said in a statement, adding it did not have details of the circumstances of his death.

According to an AFP news agency reporter at the scene, a shell exploded amid a group of journalists covering demonstrations in the city.

The United Nations has said more than 5,000 civilians have been killed since protests against Assad began last March. Assad says “terrorists” have killed 2,000 members of his security forces.

Killing ‘accelerated’

A senior UN official told the Security Council on Tuesday that Syria had accelerated its killing of pro-democracy demonstrators after Arab League monitors arrived, according to Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations.

“The under-secretary-general noted that in the days since the Arab League monitoring mission has been on the ground, an estimated 400 additional people have been killed, an average of 40 a day, a rate much higher than was the case before their deployment,” Rice said.

Rice was speaking after Lynn Pascoe, UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, briefed the 15-nation Security Council behind closed doors on Syria and other major crises.

“That is a clear indication that the government of Syria, rather than using the opportunity … to end the violence and fulfil all of its commitments [to the Arab League], is instead stepping up the violence,” Rice said.

Assad made scathing remarks about the Arab League, which suspended Syria in November and whose monitors are trying to check Syria’s compliance with an Arab peace plan.

“The Arab League has failed for six decades to take a position in the Arab interest,” he said.

Attacks condemned

The League condemned an attack on Monday in which 11 of its monitors were hurt by demonstrators in the port city of Latakia, saying Syria had breached its obligation to protect them.

Syria said it was continuing to provide security for the observers and condemned any act that obstructed their work.

But Malek told Al Jazeera that the government was not assisting observers with their requests.

“The regime didn’t meet any of our requests, in fact they were trying to deceive us and steer us away from what was really happening, towards insignificant things.”

He said that those who were supposedly freed and were shown on TV, were actually people who had been randomly grabbed off the street.

“They were detained for four or five days in tough conditions and later released as if they had been real prisoners.”

Malek also said that he had seen snipers on top of buildings: “On one, there were even army officers in front of the building, while snipers were on the roof.

“Some on our team preferred to maintain good relations with the regime and denied that there were snipers.”

He said that Assad’s government “has gained a lot of time that has helped it implement its plan … Therefore I’ve decided to withdraw from this mission.”

The Arab League has not responded to Al Jazeera’s requests for a reaction to Malek’s comments.

(www.aljazeera.com / 11.01.2012)

Israel Plans More Walls

Instead of peace, reconciliation, equity and justice, Israel plans settlement expansions and more Walls. More on them below.

At the same time, Abbas broke his pledge about no peace talks unless settlement expansions stop. Chief negotiators Saeb Erekat and Yitzhak Molcho are meeting in Amman, Jordan. They’re joined by Quartet representatives.

Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev claims “talks are intended to move forward to negotiations.”

PLO spokesman Xavier Abu Eid said, “We are just trying to create the right environment for talks.” Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat sidestepped controversy, saying “I would not make a big deal out of it.”

According to Abbas:

The meeting “was a response to a noble initiative by the brothers in Jordan in an attempt to push forward the peace process and to bridge gaps.”

“God willing, results of this meeting will be revealed in the coming two days, and based on that we will set the suitable grounds for resuming negotiations. This would be positive, and we hope Jordan will succeed.”

In fact, Abbas and other PLO leaders know decades of peace talks proved fruitless. Israel doesn’t negotiate. It demands. Settlement construction won’t stop. Neither will Israel’s Separation Wall and others on three borders – Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. More on them below.

Claiming meeting in Amman doesn’t begin new talks is duplicitous, even though what follows is uncertain. Hamas denounced them. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri wants them boycotted, saying they replicate a “failed policy.”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) calls them an affront, a clear setback, and “severe political mistake,” benefitting Israel alone. The Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) opposes them while land theft, home demolitions, and settlement expansions continue.

They benefit Israel at the expense of Palestine. Notably, as talks began, Israel’s Housing Ministry announced 300 new East Jerusalem housing units on stolen Palestinian land. They’re part of 500 units announced in mid-December.

At the time, Housing Minister Ariel Atias said it’s “clear that in any future agreement, these neighborhoods will stay under Israel’s sovereignty,” as well as others yet to be announced.

According to the NGO Ir Amim:

“By releasing (tenders) at this time, Israel is slapping the face of King Abdullah and the entire international community, morbidly injuring the already low chances of peace talks to be renewed,” and eliminating success if initiated.

Israel’s Agenda: Settlement Construction and Walls, not Peace

Stop the Wall.org (STW) is a “Palestinian movement against the (Separation) Wall.” It wants it dismantled and Palestine liberated.

“The Wall is an integral part of the Zionist project to remove Palestinians from Palestine.”

“The Palestinian struggle is, at its core, a basic human instinct and drive for self-determination. It is a fight against expulsion and subjugation under Occupation.”

It wants Wall construction stopped, portions built dismantled, all confiscated lands returned, and compensation paid victims for lost homes, businesses, farmland, orchards, olive groves, and other property.

Projected to exceed 800 km when completed, its route is largely within the Green Line. It’s not for security. It’s land theft plain and simple, around 12% of Palestine, with:

  • 34 fortified checkpoints, including three main terminals, nine commercial ones, and 22 others for cars and workers to control Palestinian movement;
  • 44 tunnels, connecting 22 “small ghettos inside 3 main ghettos (West Bank’s north, central and south);”
  • 634 checkpoints or other military obstructions, including trenches, roadblocks, and metal gates; and
  • 1,661 km of Jews-only roads, connecting settlements and accompanying blocs, complementing the Wall.

Combined with settlements, military zones, parks, commercial developments, other closed areas, and open spaces, nearly half the West Bank will be annexed. Perhaps more eventually as land theft continues unabated.

Villages are being destroyed. Others are isolated. Israel’s scheme involves cantonizing and ghettoizing the territory, imprisoning its people, denying them basic services, controlling its water and other resources, restricting free movement, and preventing a viable two-state solution.

At an estimated $2.1 billion cost, construction involves eight meter-high Wall sections (double the Berlin Wall’s height), watchtowers, and a 30 – 100 meter-wide buffer zone for electric fences, trenches, cameras, sensors, and military patrols.

Other portions consist of razor wire topped fences, patrol roads, sand paths to trace footprints, ditches, and surveillance cameras. Communities are being encircled. Others are between the Wall and Green Line in the so-called Seam Zone. Landowners and residents need permits to access homes and farmland.

The effect is devastating. Thousands are separated from property and means of subsistence. Others lose out altogether, dispossessed to facilitate construction.

Hundreds of thousands in dozens communities are affected, including over 200,000 East Jerusalemites. They’ll be totally isolated from other West Bank communities.

At issue is lost homes, land, and livelihoods. Also the ability to access health care, education, religious sites, and other West Bank communities easily or at all.

It’s a massive land grab, a settlement expansion scheme, and plan to seize all valued land, dispossess tens of thousands, entirely Judaize East Jerusalem, and enforce police state harshness.

Through summer 2010, nearly two-thirds of construction was completed. Through December, Jerusalem projects took precedence. In Bethlehem, construction resumed in Walaja village and remains ongoing in Beit Jala.

Nearly the entire Jordan Valley is isolated as a closed military zone.

Given Wall protection, settlement expansions continue unimpeded. More than 500,000 settlers occupy confiscated land, including over 200,000 in East Jerusalem. Many more will follow. Thousands more Palestinians will lose land, homes, livelihoods and futures.

Gaza’s already surrounded by walls and razor wire. It extends 55 km from northwest Beit Lahia to Rafah. It includes 300 – 600 meter buffer zones. They prohibit Palestinians from accessing valued farmlands. Around 25% of Gaza’s most fertile areas are affected and 15% of farmers unable to work. Anyone trying to use it is shot, including children.

Israel confronts anti-Wall resisters with violence. Since 2002, thousands were injured, others killed. Thousands more were arrested, including an estimated 750 in East Jerusalem in 2010 alone. At issue is defending their villages, land and rights.

More Walls, Less Peace

Reports suggest new Israeli Walls along three borders – Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

Along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, a five-meter high/one km Wall will be equipped with alarms and surveillance cameras. It will separate Israel’s al-Matala kibbutz from Lebanon’s Kafr Kala village. Construction’s expected to start early in 2012.

Currently underway is a 240 km Wall from Rafah to Ein Netafim along Egypt’s border. It will end 14 km north of Eilat. It’s five meters high, equipped with radar, surveillance cameras, and watch towers. Allegedly, it’s to deter security threats and stop infiltrators, including migrants wanting work and asylum seekers.

When completed around end of 2012, another along Jordan’s border will follow for the same purpose. Fortress Israel is walling itself in along three borders.

Ilan Pappe believes the Zionist project involves constructing, then defending “a Western/’white’ fortress in the Arab/’dark’ world.”

It resembles Crusaders in Islamic lands. They’re encircling themselves within Walls and electric fences. “Most important, the Zionist belief in Fortress Israel guarantees the perpetuation of the conflict with the Palestinians, their Arab neighbors and Muslim societies as far away as South-East Asia.”

Like America, Israel needs conflict and violence to defend belligerence, repression and occupation.

At issue is how much longer by policies creating more enemies than friends and Palestinians determined to live free.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

(www.uruknet.info / 11.01.2012)