Gaza: life under blockade

Gaza: life under blockade In Gaza, much of the population is dependent on UNRWA for food aid and other basic services. This is a result of the economic devastation wrought by years of closure, the blockade imposed since June 2007, and the crisis in shelter and infrastructure caused by a series of Israeli incursions, culminating in the Gaza war that ended in January 2009.

The adjustment to the blockade announced by Israel in June 2010 has made only a minor improvement to the import of humanitarian supplies and reconstruction materials. It has had no overall effect on exports or, consequently, on the ability of Gaza’s economy to recover.

Our photo gallery documents everyday life of people struggling to make ends meet in the Gaza Strip.

Watch a video about the aftermath of the Gaza war

Check Out The Side Of The Gaza Strip The Media Never Shows


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Reham Ghazali‏

We here at BI’s Military and Defense section recently started looking for young Israeli and Palestinian bloggers to contribute to our site. Through our efforts we found Tamam Abusalama, who wrote an interesting piece about life in Gaza. 

We asked her if she could provide us some pictures of everyday life in Gaza. Unfortunately she couldn’t because she had no camera. But, she told us, she had a friend with a camera.

We sort of took for granted the prevalence of technology here in the U.S. when we asked her for photos—because of Gaza’s lack of power infrastructure, some of her posts have even been written straight from her cell phone (which isn’t the type that has a camera on it).

Eventually she got back to us with some photos. The following slideshow is photography from her friend, and descriptive sentences from her personal blog.

The blog samples have been edited for clarity and punctuation.

“This civilian home has been targeted by the Israeli warplanes. It was a place for safety and peace.”

“The beach is the only possible destination to escape away from the reality.”

“However, the beach can be a dangerous place too.”

“Huda Ghalyeh witnessed the danger of Gaza beach while she was sitting with her family peacefully and enjoying the beautiful waves hugging Gaza shores. Israeli shelled them, she was the only survivor.”

“Palestinians live in an open air prison with Israeli checkpoints and borders.”

“Palestinian children still achieve successes and try to draw smile in their lips despite all what they go through.”

“They smashed the Guinness World Record for the largest-ever hand print painting, most kites-flying and most dribbling soccer balls.”

“I’m walking on the street, staring at people as if they were strange creatures …”

“… thinking of everything that happens to me and us, shocked at how Palestinians live. “

“Everyone on this earth can tell you passionately about what freedom feels like but no Palestinian can do so.”

“Every Palestinian is sick from hearing the repeated phrase ‘YOU CAN’T.” Palestinians will keep fighting until they figure out what freedom means.”

“‘Freedom and Peace’ have been always names for a song or headlines in a newspaper no more and no less.”

“Hearing the drops of the rain falling in my room’s window under my heavy and warm blankets, making some wishes as I’m sure that God is going to make them true and thinking of the beautiful and crazy moments which are coming.”

“The Palestinian woman is unlike other women in this world. The Palestinian woman could be the daughter, wife, sister or mother of the prisoners, the dead, the injured. She is a stone thrower, a freedom fighter. She is an inspiration for every woman as she smiles, works hard, revolts, rebels and dreams despite all what all difficulties she does through.”

“I want my children to live in a fertile land where the wishes come true and to fill their lives with peace , safety and pureness.”

“I just want to create my own world!”

“Every Palestinian dreams of a beautiful Gaza and unlimited future, but I always say that we are dreamers!”

You’ve seen pictures of everyday Palestinian life. Now ..

( / 21.09.2012)

Qu’ran en Bijbel

  • Husainiyah Al zahra. Balistraat 63, 3531 PV Utrecht
  • In de naam van Allah, de Barmhartige, de Genadevolle

    Naar aanleiding van de succesvolle bijeenkomst ter gelegenheid van de geboorte van Imam Hassan Al Askari (as) en Sayyeda Zainab (sa) van 10 maart 2012 organiseert Ahlalbayt4iedereen wederom een bijeenkomst. Op zaterdag 13 oktober 2012 nodigt Ahlalbayt4iedereen u van harte uit voor de bijeenkomst met als thema: ‘‘Qu’ran en Bijbel.’’

    Het programma zal bestaan uit:

    – Qur’an recitatie
    – Lezing over de Bijbel
    – Poëzie
    – Filmvertoning
    – Pauze (eventueel kennismaking)
    – Lezing over profeet Jezus (vzmh) uit de Qur’an
    – Discussiemoment over vooroordelen
    – Lezing over de overeenkomsten in de Qur’an en de Bijbel
    – Qur’an en Bijbel quiz
    – Gezamenlijke maaltijd

    Voertaal: Nederlands

    Datum: Zaterdag 13 oktober 2012
    Tijd: 12:30 – 16:00
    Plaats: Husainiyah Al Zahra
    Adres: Balistraat 63, 3531 PV Utrecht
    Telefoonnummer: 0624256421

    Wij verheugen ons op uw komst. Tot zaterdag 13 oktober Insha’Allah.

PA, Jordan in deal to export Palestinian produce

The minister concluded a 5-day visit on Thursday.

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Jordanian minister of agriculture wrapped up a 5-day visit to Ramallah on Thursday to strengthen cooperation in the field and facilitate the transfer of goods through Jordan.

Ahmad al-Khattab met with his counterpart Walid Assaf during the visit and the two agreed to create a technical committee on agriculture marketing, exchange of goods, and research.

The visit was intended to increase the amounts of agricultural exports to and through Jordan for international markets as well as bring in more income for Palestinian farmers.

Officials called the visit an opportunity for the Jordanian minister to observe in person the damage suffered by Palestinian farmers due to the occupation and settler vandalism against agricultural infrastructure.

( / 21.09.2012)

Statehood Bid One Year Later: No State, No Bid, No Freedom

[Palestinians wave flags during a rally in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition in the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Image by AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh][Palestinians wave flags during a rally in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition in the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Image by AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh]

In early August 2012, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed to renew the United Nations statehood bid in September:

“Even if this step conflicts with other parties’ interests … [W]e will not step back. . . . Israel neither halted settlement activities, nor recognized the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 as occupied territory. Thus, the only choice we have is to go to the UN equipped with a unitedArab mandate.”

Yet, only a few weeks later, the Palestinian foreign ministry announced that it would not submit an application to the UN General Assembly session set to begin in mid-September. Alternatively, it will make an informal call for recognition in a speech. Analysts say that the Palestinian leadership will wait until after the US presidential elections to resume a more forceful campaign at the United Nations. Be that as it may, the timing has become virtually irrelevant because the statehood bid as advanced by the current Palestinian leadership has proven to be fruitless.

September 2012 marks one year since the Palestinian leadership introduced its bid for membership and recognition at the United Nations. Then, an international community—comprised of UN member states, NGO’s, and Palestinians—watched the Palestinian leadership with apprehension and hope, eager that it would use the UN platform to embark on a new chapter of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. One year onwards, it is clear that this leadership is more committed to preserving its rule in a truncated statelet than achieving national liberation.

Withdrawing from Oslo’s Terms: A Prerequisite

Since establishing the terms of the Oslo peace process in the early and mid 1990s, the Palestinian Authority and Israel, together with the United States, have been managing a colonial reality rather than working towards its dissolution. The Oslo Accords suffer from three fundamental and enduring flaws: they deliberately omit the rights, enshrined in international law from the terms of reference aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict; they confine negotiations to bilateral talks brokered by the United States, an unwilling and unable agent of change; and they transform transitional Palestinian self-governance into a permanent arrangement. The terms of Oslo structurally prioritized Israeli security interests–as defined by Israel–above Palestinian rights–as codified by the international community–by making any progress towards Palestinian freedom dependent upon an Israeli certificate of good conduct that the Palestinians were never going to obtain.

Palestinians protested these terms well before January 2011, when the Palestine Papers revealed the deleterious course steered by the Palestinian leadership. In 2006, fifty-eight percent of the Palestinian electorate voted for Hamas in PA parliamentary polls, in what can be described as a triple referendum: on Fatah’s management of the Palestinian Authority and the national movement more broadly; on conditions of daily life in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; and on the Oslo peace process.

Consider that by 2006, almost a decade after the Oslo process was slated for completion, serious Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had all but collapsed and had yet to genuinely address the core issues separating the two sides. As it became increasingly clear that Israel had no intention to enable a genuine process of decolonization, the second Intifada raged between 2000 and 2005, resulting in the killing of thousands of Palestinian, many of them civilian non-combatants, as well as the destruction of no less than five thousand Palestinian homes. Furthermore, Israel in 2002 began construction of the West Bank Wall. In 2005, Israel had also unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, relocating its twelve thousand settlers to either side of the Green Line Finally, the number of Israeli settlements in the West Bank practically doubled during the decade after Oslo. The “peace process” enabled and facilitated, rather than deterred, these developments.

A Palestinian approach to the United Nations would therefore have been meaningful only if it simultaneously consisted of a clear withdrawal from Oslo and its terms. To be successful, the statehood bid would have needed to clearly challenge continued Israeli colonialism and apartheid along with the international economic and political relationships that sustained them. Such a strategy would have included the termination of security cooperation with Israel, removing the conflict and its resolution from the purview of bilateral negotiations, and engaging in tactics designed to isolate Israel and expose its settler-colonialist structure and policies. Yet, as various international analysts and Palestinian organizations observed, the statehood bid was designed in a manner to improve the Palestinian leadership’s position within the terms of Oslo, rather than one aimed at shifting decisively away from it.

Failure to Change Course in the Intervening Twelve Months

If this latter criticism was not entirely obvious in 2011, the Palestinian leadership has confirmed its validity many times over in the intervening twelve months. Consider first that the bid–for full membership status–died a quiet death in the Security Council. Full UN membership requires a positive Security Council recommendation to the General Assembly, which the United States adamantly opposed. To save face, the US and Palestinian leaderships agreed to spare the statehood application from a vote and the US veto it would have entailed. The standoff would have embarrassed the United States, which proclaims support for a two-state settlement, as well as the Palestinian leadership because it has not disavowed the US-brokered peace process. What has survived this process, and what remains at stake, is recognition within the General Assembly, which would upgrade Palestine from its “observer mission” status at the United Nations to an “observer state” one. In order to break away from Oslo’s framework, the Palestinian leadership could and should have used this opportunity to confront the United States’ intransigent support of Israel. Instead, it chose not to and continued to pursue a political program under American tutelage in the hope that a global superpower would deliver independence.

Since leaving United Nations Headquarters, the Palestinian leadership has done little to indicate a move away from Oslo’s debilitating terms. Even its most significant achievement of earning acceptance as amember state within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) became another opportunity to reify Oslo’s structure. Palestinian diplomats used its state status within UNESCO to add the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to the list of endangered world heritage sites. While recognition of the Church as a Palestinian site is indeed positive, doing so also marks a missed opportunity for Palestinians to use their UNESCO membership to add other sites that are under graver threat within the West Bank. For example, as Ryvka Barnard highlights, it would have been optimal for Palestinians had their leadership used the opportunity to add Battir, a village in the Bethlehem district that sits in Area C, to the list of World Heritage Sites. Most of Battir is now under threat because it is about to be consumed by the route of the annexation wall. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has also designated lands alienated from the village by the Israeli state as a green park for exclusive use by Israeli citizens – in effect Jewish settlers and their fellow travelers.  By contrast, the Nativity Church is located within Area A, which is under full Palestinian civilian and security jurisdiction and not in imminent danger.

The Palestinian leadership also lobbied the International Criminal Court (ICC) to approve its application, submitted in January 2009, requesting to be recognized as a state within its jurisdiction. This would have enabled Palestinians to bring lawsuits for war crimes against Israel for its Winter 2008/9 onslaught on the Gaza Strip. Not surprisingly, the ICC rejected the application and did not admit Palestine as a state even for jurisdictional purposes. This marked the end of the Palestinian leadership’s pursuit for accountability. Its paralysis was unnecessary as it had other available options to pursue accountability for Israeli war crimes committed in Gaza. These included advocacy to make actionable the recommendations of the 2009Goldstone Report. Despite Judge Richard Goldstone’s subsequent attempt at disavowal of elements of his own work, the Report is and remains an official Human Rights Council document. Therefore, it can be legitimately supported. However, even this small measure within the United Nations has not been pursued, indicating a myopic quest for self-rule by the Palestinian leadership.

Strengthening Security, Entrenching the Occupation

In addition to the missed and neglected opportunities at recognition as a state, the Palestinian leadership has strengthened its Oslo-engendered security apparatus. In early July 2012, the Palestinian Authority invited then-Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz—who as Chief of Staff in 2002 was responsible for the pummeling of Jenin refugee camp—to visit Ramallah. Palestinian youth, organized under the banner of Palestinians for Dignity, launched protests against this invitation. In response, PA security forces beat youth activists, and journalists covering them, with repressive force.

More recently, the Palestinian Authority has extended its detention of Zakaria Zubeidi, the Freedom Theater co-founder, for nineteen more days. The Palestinian security forces detained Zubeidi on 13 May 2012, but have yet to charge him with any crime. Zubeidi, who is on hunger strike and has vowed to continue until the end, proclaimed: “This decision is unjust and means you want to kill me, but I want to choose how I will die. In four days, there will be a funeral from Jericho to Jenin.” In non-ironic? protest, onlookers screamed “shame” and accused the Palestinian leadership of being “no better than the Israelis.”

Indeed, Zubeidi’s protest emulates the campaign waged by thousands of Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody earlier this year. Political prisoners, beginning with Khader Adnan, launched hunger strikes to protest their “administrative detention.” A euphemism for indefinite incarceration, this draconian measure allows Israel to arrest a Palestinian without charge or trial for up to six months, renewable indefinitely. Adnan was on hunger strike for sixty-six days before Israel agreed to release him. Several other Palestinian prisoners followed his example and in April 2012, 2,500 Palestinian prisoners engaged in a mass, collective hunger strike. On its own, it threatened to severely disrupt and (if strikers had died) sever the state of normalcy prevailing in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Only months later, and days before the purported resumption of the UN statehood bid, the Palestinian Authority is faced with its own hunger striker.

Restoring Agency 

By initiating the statehood bid, the Palestinian leadership was able to extend its shelf-life by another year. It does not have another life preserve available to it today. In light of its adamant pursuit of a self-defeating and harmful “peace process,” the Palestinian leadership has proven itself irresponsible and inadequate. If it does not find the means to mitigate the economic brunt of its austerity measures, it will surely lose all remaining favor amongst even a majority-patron West Bank population. In which case, it will assert its control by authoritarian rule and continue to vie for swaths of land that it can dutifully govern.

Moving beyond this impasse is the responsibility first and foremost of the Palestinians themselves, who have the agency both to deny the Palestinian leadership’s legitimacy as well as to insist upon alternative paths forward. The most promising of these are rights-based approaches aimed at achieving the human and national rights enshrined by norms and law, and which cannot be truncated by the imbalance of power, dutifully preserved by unconditional US support for Israeli colonialism. Beyond the shade of US-afforded impunity, and under the scrutinizing eye of a universalist discourse, Israel cannot withstand the demand for equality of its non-Jewish citizens, of civilians under military occupation, and of an exiled indigenous population. Even if it could maintain its institutionalized discriminatory practices, it will be forced to do so without legitimacy of being the “only democracy in the Middle East,” and with the stigma of an apartheid regime instead. Admittedly, this is not a plan or a liberation strategy. It is, however, a vision, which is much more than the current Palestinian leadership has to offer.

( / 21.09.2012)

In Lebanon, anti-film protests underscore divide

BAALBEK, Lebanon — The urge to defend Islam’s most unifying figure, the Prophet Muhammad, wasn’t enough to bring together Lebanon’s divided Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The two sects, which have been locked for years in a sometimes violent political rivalry, held separate protests Friday against an anti-Islam movie.

Tens of thousands of supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah movement held a raucous protest in the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek. Soon after, a few thousand supporters of a hardline Sunni cleric held gathered in the capital, Beirut.

The rallying cry for both demonstrations was the same: Outrage directed at America and Israel over what they believed was a grave insult to Islam’s prophet.

But participants in the two demonstrations could not be further apart, underscoring a years-old divide that has been exacerbated by the crisis in Syria, where the overwhelmingly Sunni opposition is struggling to oust a regime dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Islam. The 18-month armed rebellion against President Bashar Assad has claimed nearly 30,000 lives, according to activists.

Hezbollah’s Sunni opponents accuse the group of using the protests against the movie to distract from the group’s support for its ally Assad in the civil war.

“They are doing this so they will move the eyes from what is happening in Syria,” said Ahmed Honeneh, a 37-year-old toolmaker among a few thousand at the Beirut rally Friday called by a Sunni firebrand preacher, Sheik Ahmad Assir.

Sitting with friends in a row of white plastic chairs lined up in Beirut’s Martyrs Square, Honeneh said he expects Hezbollah’s popularity to drop further because of its backing to Assad. He hopes that will offer a chance for Lebanon’s Sunnis in Lebanon to gain some of the ground they have lost.

Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, has called for a series of massive protests this week over the amateurish movie produced in the United States, which depicts Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a child-molester. Nasrallah has called the video an “unprecedented” affront to Muslim people all over the world.

Two Hezbollah-led protests took place earlier this week, and they are expected to continue through the weekend. But Hezbollah appears to be trying to ensure the gatherings don’t descend into violence, planning them only in areas where the group has control. None of the rallies targets the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy in the hills outside Beirut.

At Friday’s rally in the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek in the eastern Bekaa Valley, tens of thousands of people marched peacefully, shouting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”

“We are all, Sunnis and Shiites, united against our common enemies,” said Batoul al-Bazzal, an 18-year-old student. “The Sunni-Shiite divide has been created by politicians and the media to serve the U.S. and Israel,” she claimed. Al-Bazzal stood among thousands of overwhelmingly Shiite protesters carrying a yellow Hezbollah flag in one hand.

Backed by Syria and Iran, Hezbollah is Lebanon’s dominant political faction and, with its well-armed guerrillas, the most powerful armed force. But as the Syria war rages, it is treading carefully to retain the power it has built up over the past 30 years in Lebanon, a deeply divided country where its strength is resented by Sunnis and some in the Christian community.

Its main strategy for doing so appears to avoid aggravating the volatile fault line between the Sunni and Shiite communities, which each make up about a third of Lebanon’s population of 4 million.

It is to Hezbollah’s advantage that the crisis over the film has reinvigorated militant rhetoric that U.S. and Israel are the real enemies of Muslims, taking the heat off of both Assad and his loyal and powerful ally in lebanon.

But Hezbollah’s flagrant support for Assad’s regime which stands accused by much of the international community of war crimes has angered many Arabs.

The presenter of a political show on Future TV, owned by Sunni Lebanese leader Saad Hariri, went on a 15-minute rant against Hezbollah this week, accusing its leader of “hypocrisy” in calling for the anti-film protests while remaining silent over Assad’s deliberate destruction of mosques in Syria and killings of his Muslim countrymen.

Sheik Assir, speaking at the rally Friday, took a jibe at the Hezbollah protests without naming the group, saying it was shameful that posters of the “butcher” Assad were held up during Lebanese protests against the anti-Islam movie.

In remarks earlier this week, he accused Hezbollah “exploiting” the movie to recover some of the group’s lost popularity and accused Nasrallah of trying to “snatch” leadership of the Islamic world.

“Why didn’t Sheikh Nasrallah do anything when the prophets of freedom were martyred in Syria?” he asked.

Assir’s rapid rise and growing following are symptoms of the deep frustration among Lebanon’s Sunnis who resent the Hezbollah-led Shiite ascendancy in Lebanon.

The 44-year-old, bespectacled, skinny cleric with a long beard typical of hardline Sunnis was previously little known, a preacher at the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque in Sidon. Now he is openly challenging and taunting Hezbollah like few have dared before, even taking aim at Nasrallah, a revered figure usually considered a red line in Lebanon.

Sunni bitterness still runs deep over clashes in May 2008, when Hezbollah gunmen swept through Sunni neighborhoods in Beirut after the pro-Western government of that time tried to dismantle the group’s crucial telecommunications network. More than 80 people were killed in those clashes.

Moreover, a U.N.-backed special tribunal has accused four Hezbollah members in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanon’s most powerful Sunni leader. Hezbollah says the tribunal is a tool of Israel and the West.

Hezbollah still is Lebanon’s single most influential player with considerable support among Shiites and unprecedented political clout. It holds a dominant role in Beirut’s government and the prime minister is an ally, after the fall of the previous government sidelined Hezbollah’s opponents, the U.S.- and Western-backed factions led by Hariri’s son, Saad. As a result, its extensive arsenal of weapons and rockets is virtually untouchable for the moment.

Jihad Bahlo, a 23-year-old salesman in a Beirut clothing shop, said differences between Shiites and Sunnis are largely over politics, and that followers of the two sects often get on well on a personal level. A Sunni, he said his co-workers included Shiites and Christians, and no one discussed politics at work “because we are sick of it.”

However, Sunnis tend to be fearful of Hezbollah’s military might, said Bahlo, who is from a Sunni village in the predominantly Shiite Bekaa Valley.

( / 21.09.2012)

Libyans march against Islamist militias in Benghazi

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) — Thousands of Libyans marched in Benghazi on Friday in support of democracy and against the Islamist militias that Washington blames for an attack on the US consulate last week that killed four Americans including the ambassador.

The “Rescue Benghazi day” demonstration called for the government to disband armed groups that have refused to give up their weapons since the NATO-backed revolution that toppled Moammar Gadhafi last year.

Marchers headed for a main square where a much smaller counter demonstration of hundreds of supporters of hardline Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia were waiting.

“It’s obvious that this protest is against the militias. All of them should join the army or security forces as individuals, not as groups,” medical student Ahmed Sanallah, 27, said. “Without that there will be no prosperity and no success for the new Libya.”

The late afternoon demonstration had a cheerful atmosphere as families marched with small children on their shoulders.

Fighter jets and helicopters roared overhead in a show of official support for the demonstration, which has been enthusiastically promoted by the city’s authorities.

“Those military battalions that want to impose their ideology on the people of Libya will be confronted,” Saleh Gaouda, a member of new ruling national congress, said.

“This city wants to go back to stability and participate in building the state.”

In a sign of the cheerful atmosphere, one car had a giant cardboard model of Benghazi’s landmark lighthouse strapped to the roof. As the sun set and the crowd began to disperse, someone shot fireworks into the air.

‘Defend Benghazi

Although the main demands of the marchers did not mention the attack on the US consulate, it seems to have provided a strong impetus for the authorities to rally support behind the country’s weak government.

US ambassador Christopher Stevens was well liked in Libya, and many people who were angered by an anti-Islamic film made in the United States consider the attack on the embassy to have been excessive. Some placards in English, intended for international news cameras, read: “We demand justice for Stevens” and “Libya lost a friend”.

“I am out today to defend Benghazi. Killing the ambassador is a completely separate thing,” 26-year-old Amjad Mohammed Hassan, a network engineer, said. “I don’t give a damn about the killing of the ambassador because the Americans offended the Prophet. I am just here for Benghazi.”

Benghazi, 600 miles from Tripoli across largely empty desert, is controlled by various armed groups, including some comprised of Islamists who openly proclaim their hostility to democratic government and the West.

Some of these have been identified by local people as being among those who were at the consulate protest last week. US officials have described the violence as a “terrorist attack”.

One group linked to the attack is Ansar al-Sharia, which has denied involvement in the violence.

Abu Al-Qaa, a demonstrator at the Ansar al-Sharia counter demonstration, said Stevens “was preparing for the entry of American troops into Libya”.

“The will of the Prophet was to expel infidels from Muslim lands so that Muslims prevail. Terrorizing your enemy is one of Islam’s tenets.”

He said he had fought against American troops in Iraq where he was arrested and sent back to Gadhafi’s Libya and jailed for three years.

One banner at that demonstration read: “Day to rescue Benghazi or day to rescue America?”

In southern Libya, at least six people were killed and 12 injured in clashes between security forces and a local group, a security official and a resident said on Friday.

Security forces were sent to the town of Brak, 400 miles south of Tripoli, on Wednesday to stop a group broadcasting songs about Gaddafi on the radio, the official said. The security forces, made up of former rebel fighters, came under attack upon arrival.

( / 21.09.2012)

Who gains from anti-Islam film?

ZIONISTS and right wing Christian evangelists exploit US freedom of speech by fuelling sedition and hate between two great religions.

On the other hand, right wing religious elements are manipulating Muslims’ righteous indignation by turning lawful protests into demented violence.

In the US, it is argued that inflammatory speech is protected in the first amendment.

Yet I know of eight people who were unjustly dragged through Los Angeles federal courts for 15 years, accused of distributing less than 50 copies of a news magazine, which highlights the hypocrisy.

It seems the latest Islamophobic film Innocence of Muslims is part of a trend designed to deceptively turn the memories of 9/11 into a lasting conflict between Islam and the West, just one facet in a calculated Zionist crusade to discredit anyone challenging Israel.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it emerged producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was only a front for a pro-Israeli US group.

Nakoula, a bankrupt felon who spent 21 months in jail and was fined more than half a million dollars, lacked financial resources to make the movie. His earlier assertions that he collected millions from Jewish donors provide possible clues about the real culprits.

The unsubstantiated pro-Israeli media spin, which suggested his wife’s family in Egypt financed the film, is most likely a diversionary smokescreen to inflame sectarian rift in Egypt.

Israeli pundits have been trying to divide Egypt for 30 years. In 1982, the journal for the World Zionist Organisation Kivunim published a treatise declaring that: “Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel.”

In addition, the timing of the film’s release was undoubtedly aimed to coincide with the US presidential election.

It couldn’t be just a coincidence that four years ago Clarion Fund – a shadowy American, pro-Israel, non-profit, tax-exempt organisation – produced a similar anti-Muslim movie called Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.

As with this latest movie’s timing, seven weeks before the 2008 presidential election, the fund, along with the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), spent more than $17 million to distribute 28m DVDs in a major mail campaign and inserting copies in more than 100 newspapers and magazines in swing voter states.

The fund was founded by two Israeli-Canadian brothers, movie producer Raphael Shore and Rabbi Ephraim Shore of the Aish Hatorah, another tax-exempt, pro-Israel organisation.

EMET’s advisory board includes leading Islamophobic figures such as Daniel Pipes, Frank Gaffney and former Israeli ambassador Yoram Ettinger.

Sadly, while Christian evangelists were coalescing with Zionists to mock the Prophet of Islam, Jewish settlers were vilifying Christ in his native land.

Earlier this month, Jewish settlers, empowered financially by the same tax-exempt US organisations, attempted to set fire to a Christian church in Jerusalem after writing on the walls “Jesus is a monkey”.

It is critical to recognise that this latest repulsive movie is part of a growing Islamophobic industry, promoted and financed by one-issue, tax-exempt Zionist organisations.

The West must deal firmly with this irrational yet measured phenomenon intended to incite and cause harm.

In the east, Muslims must be circumspect when rejecting hate-inspired provocations. Violence only plays into the hands of those attempting to divide followers of religions who share the same reverence for Jesus and God.

( / 21.09.2012)

Israel seeks war on Iran to keep lid on 9/11

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“Iran’s open commitment to principled anti-Zionism represents the nearly unanimous position of the people of the Middle East, who have never accepted the genocidal Zionist entity as a legitimate state. Israel has been able to bully every other government in the region into shameful silence. The Islamic Republic of Iran will not be silenced. Threats to level Iran with bombs seeks to send a message to future Middle Eastern governments: Do not give a voice to your people’s resistance to Zionism, or else!”

Almost every politically-aware person on the planet is puzzled by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bizarre obsession with Iran. Netanyahu is risking his political career, his reputation, and Israel’s future by intervening in the US presidential elections.

He is using all of Zionism’s considerable might – including organized crime assets like “Las Vegas Godfather” Sheldon Adelson – to force Obama to attack Iran; or, failing that, to make sure that Obama is defeated by the Zionist puppet Romney. There are even rumors of Israeli-sponsored assassination attempts on Obama.

Even the rabidly pro-Zionist Jewish Daily Forward has editorialized:

“It’s difficult to recall a time when an Israeli prime minister has inserted himself into a presidential election campaign in the way that Benjamin Netanyahu has. It’s even harder to recall a time when a trusted ally openly urged the American president to undertake a questionable, unpopular and highly risky war. We sure hope Netanyahu knows what he’s doing, because the stakes for him – and for the two nations he professes to care about the most – could not be higher.”

The Jewish Daily Forward has good reasons to wonder whether Netanyahu knows what he’s doing. The editorialist cites polls showing that the American people strongly oppose attacking Iran, even if war breaks out between Iran and Israel and only US intervention could save Israel! These polls show that American voters no longer give a damn whether Israel, which has chosen to live by the sword, finally dies by the sword. As Dave Lindorff observes, Netanyahu’s mad obsession with pushing the US into yet another unwanted war for Israel “may have fundamentally undermined the long-standing ‘special relationship’ between the US and Israel.”

And still Netanyahu continues on this seemingly suicidal course. He even orders the Mossad and its CIA assets including Gladio veteran Terry Jones to unleash a rabidly anti-Islam film, spammed into the faces of every Muslim on the planet via millions of dollars of computer server time and intelligence agency expertise – an obvious attempt to fan the flames of Islamophobia and pave the way to a US war on Iran for Israel. Obama, who is on record saying he hates Netanyahu and that Netanyahu is a liar, and who knows that Netanyahu manufactured the “Innocence of Muslims” crisis to try to get Romney elected, responded by refusing to meet with Netanyahu in New York, and going on the David Letterman Show instead. A more blatant snub could hardly be imagined.

So, what in the world is Netanyahu really up to? Does he actually believe that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, even though the CIA has certified that it does not?

Of course, he doesn’t really believe such nonsense. Even hard-line Israeli strategists admit that Iran appears to be only developing nuclear expertise, not actual weapons. Furthermore, Iran has not attacked another nation in centuries.

Since the “nuclear crisis” is a hoax (like alleged Iraqi WMD in 2003), then what is the real reason for Netanyahu’s Iran obsession? Is it the Iranian government’s support for anti-Zionist resistance groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and its calls for an end to Zionism through free and fair elections?

Perhaps. Iran’s open commitment to principled anti-Zionism represents the nearly unanimous position of the people of the Middle East, who have never accepted the genocidal Zionist entity as a legitimate state. Israel has been able to bully every other government in the region into shameful silence. The Islamic Republic of Iran will not be silenced. Threats to level Iran with bombs seeks to send a message to future Middle Eastern governments: Do not give a voice to your people’s resistance to Zionism, or else!

But while starting a war might seek to punish Iran for its anti-Zionism, such a war would carry terrible risks for Israel. In the impossible event that all goes well for Israel on the battlefield, the suffering of the people of Iran would probably shame the world into turning against Zionism even more sharply than the world turned against apartheid in the 1980s.

But there is no guarantee that things would go well for Israel on the battlefield. Iran has the capability to riddle Israel with rocket attacks, or even to take out Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility and perhaps render Israel and much of the surrounding region permanently uninhabitable. And Israel does not have the capability to seriously damage Iran’s nuclear energy program without US help. If the US intervened on the side of Israel, Iran could shut the Straits of Hormuz, and possibly sink many, if not all, of the ships there with Sunburn missiles, driving gasoline prices over USD 10 a gallon and paralyzing the world economy. Additionally, Iran has the capability to massively attack the US bases that surround it, killing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of US soldiers. A US president, especially one who dislikes Netanyahu and puts America’s interests ahead of Israel’s, would be very unlikely to help Netanyahu attack Iran.

Given that a war on Iran is an all-loss proposition for Israel, why is Netanyahu fanatically fanning the flames of war, to the extent that even his American Zionist cheering section is baffled and embarrassed by his behavior?

Some question Netanyahu’s intelligence, arguing that he is just a furniture salesman who has been promoted far beyond his level of competence. While there may be some truth to this – I certainly wouldn’t want to overestimate Netanyahu’s intelligence – I don’t think he’s quite that stupid. I think Netanyahu has a very good reason to prefer war with Iran, despite all its risks, to peace. I think he does know what he’s doing.

Netanyahu needs the 9/11-triggered 100-years-war on Islam to continue for the very good reason that if it does not, the State of Emergency still in place in the US will be lifted, and Americans, unencumbered by the National Security restrictions of wartime, will quickly learn what really happened on September 11th, 2001. That possibility poses a very real existential threat to Israel – and to Netanyahu.

As Alan Sabrosky, former Director of Strategic Studies at the US Army War College, told Press TV: “I have had long conversations over the past two weeks with contacts at the Army War College, at the Headquarters Marine Corps, and I have made it absolutely clear in both cases that it is 100 percent certain that 9/11 was a Mossad operation. Period. If Americans ever know that Israel did this, they are going to scrub them off the earth.” And even if Israel were “scrubbed off the earth” peacefully through a one-state solution, Netanyahu would certainly hang for his role in the 9/11 attacks.

Unfortunately for Netanyahu and Zionism, Dr. Sabrosky isn’t the only US National Security insider leaking the truth about 9/11. A very large number of military and intelligence people have come forward.The two biggest recent leaks are revelations by CIA asset Susan Lindauer that the CIA had detailed foreknowledge of 9/11 and attributed the controlled demolitions of the three NYC skyscrapers to “those goddamned Israelis”; and the assertion by Gwenyth Todd, who worked beside Richard Clarke on the National Security Council, that Clarke (who was publicly fired from an earlier job for being an Israeli spy) is the top suspect as hands-on controller of 9/11 from the US end. Yes, you heard that right: Richard Clarke’s colleague on the National Security Council, Gwenyth Todd, suspects Clarke of masterminding and running the 9/11 attacks. If Todd and other high-level sources are right about this, Clarke’s book title Your Government Failed You is an understatement.

Some of the same high-level sources who point to Richard Clarke as the US boss of the Israeli-instigated 9/11 false flag operation also claim that President Obama, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Dempsey, and other powerful Americans are considering exposing the truth about 9/11 during a second Obama term. In other words, Obama’s re-election could put Israel out of business, and get Netanyahu hanged from the nearest lamp-post.

No wonder Netanyahu is “overplaying his hand” by doing everything he can to get rid of Obama. And no wonder Netanyahu is desperately trying to throw gasoline on the “clash of civilizations” fire and trigger war with Iran. A huge Middle East war, no matter how destructive, would maintain the wartime State of Emergency in the US and impeded the inexorable revelation of America’s biggest state secret: That American traitors, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Richard Myers, and others, helped Israel blow up the World Trade Center, bomb the Pentagon, and kill 3000 Americans on 9/11.

( / 21.09.2012)