Israel releases prisoner after 34 months without charge

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel on Wednesday released a 60-year-old Palestinian after detaining him without charge for almost three years.

Omar al-Bargouthi, from Kubar village in Ramallah, spent 34 months in administrative detention, without charge or trial.

The Ahrar Prisoners Center said Israel detained al-Barghouthi on Oct. 2, 2010. He had previously spent 26 years in Israeli jails, center director Foad al-Khafsh said.

(Source / 08.08.2013)

In Israel’s “democracy,” protests by Palestinian citizens face police brutality

The writer, Jalal Abukhater, is arrested by Israeli police during the 1 August protest at Wadi Ara.

On 1 August, I was among 18 people arrested at a peaceful protest against the Prawer Plan – Israel’s latest scheme to forcibly remove 40,000 Bedouins from their homes in order to take their land in the Naqab (Negev) region.

The Israeli police violence against us sheds light once again on the real meaning of Israeli “democracy.”

Last week’s protests were only the latest actions, following large protests against the Prawer Plan on 15 July, which Israeli police also met with violence.

Indeed, in Israel, a citizen’s right to freedom of expression and protest depends on his or her ethnic and religious background. If those protesting happen to be non-Jews –Palestinian citizens of Israel – those rights simply vanish.

Tear gas and beatings

There were two major protests against the Prawer Plan on 1 August, one in the south, and one in Wadi Ara, in the north of the country. Both demonstrations aimed to reach major road intersections in order to gain maximum visibility.

I was present at the demonstration in Wadi Ara. The demonstration was meant to march from the entrance of the town of Arara and block the Ara-Arara intersection at Wadi Ara road (Road 65).

As soon as the protestors started marching towards Road 65, we were met with hundreds of riot police, a bunch of mounted units and a rain of stun grenades and tear gas. Beatings and arbitrary arrests followed.

Breaking out of “ghettos”

The Wadi Ara march had more than 750 people who had come from towns across the center of present-day Israel, the coast and the Galilee, as well as Jerusalem.

In recent years, demonstrations have been limited to the centers of these towns, where most Palestinian citizens of Israel are concentrated.

People believed it was necessary to demonstrate outside those towns – or ghettos as some organizers put it – for the protests to become more visible and effective.

The protests were perfectly legal and every demonstrator had the right to be there, yet the demonstration was violently suppressed by the Israeli police.

But, you might ask, wouldn’t police intervene in any protest that tried to block a public highway? Well, the depends on who the protestors are.

Israeli Jews block roads without interference

Less than a month ago in Tel Aviv, about four thousand “social justice” protestors took to the streets to mark the second anniversary of the overwhelmingly Israeli Jewish “J14” protest movement.

As Haggai Matar reported for +972, about a thousand demonstrators marched onto Ayalon highway in central Tel Aviv, where “For about an hour they marched on the southbound lanes, unstopped by police, and kept on chanting against the government’s austerity measures and neo-liberal capitalist agenda.”

In Wadi Ara, when about 50 protestors managed to get past the riot police and march onto the highway, they were met with mounted police units trampling over them, as well as riot police shoving them on the pavements, beating and arresting them.

Both groups are citizens of Israel, but the response to the protests depended on whether they were predominantly Jewish or Arab.

Bogus charges

As one of those arrested, I can say that we were arrested for either chanting anti-Prawer Plan slogans or for taking part in the demonstration on the highway.

Yet the charges varied between beating police, obstructing police work, and even throwing stones. Eight of us were released that night, but the other ten, including me, were held overnight for a court hearing the next morning.

Many of those held overnight were fasting for Ramadan, but were provided with nothing but a cup of water, which meant that they went two whole days without food.

The next morning, even though the police were insisting on the bogus charges, everyone was cleared by the court as evidence was put forward proving our innocence.

Some of the activists released from the 24-hour detention headed to hospital afterwards to receive treatment for the injuries they received during arrest.

Several showed the court bruises and even bloodstains caused by the police beatings.

A duty to protest

The police kept trying to argue, during individual interrogations and in court, that the protest was illegal.

In the occupied West Bank, almost all Palestinian demonstrations are “defined as ‘illegal’ under Israeli military law, which states that any gathering of 10 or more people requires a permit.”

Wadi Ara, however, is not in the occupied West Bank. The violent response of the Israeli police is one more piece of evidence that Israel doesn’t treat its Palestinians citizens the same way it treats Jewish citizens. Rather, it deals with them as enemies of the state even though they hold citizenship.

The Prawer ethnic cleansing plan is racist and vile. Tens of thousands are threatened with dispossession and expulsion from their homes.

This is a continuation of the Nakba and demonstrating against it is the duty of Palestinians all over Palestine, not least because the land grab will not stop there.

People must say ethnic cleansing will not pass, and they have every right to do so.

Amnesty, HRW tell Israel to respect right to protest

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned Israel’s “excessive force,” against the anti-Prawer Plan protests.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and Northern Africa director said, on 30 July, the day before the latest protests, “The use of excessive force by the police during the 15 July marches sent a dangerous signal about how little Israel respects the rights of its Palestinian citizens. The Israeli authorities must ensure that peaceful demonstrators are able to express their opposition to the plan free from intimidation or violence.”

As we learned first hand, Israel was not listening.

(Source / 08.08.2013)

Be positive about a two-state solution

It was almost surreal to witness how the recent announcement of the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which otherwise should be regarded as a positive development, has been met with so much negativity and cynicism.

Of course, it is easy to see why many observers are not excited about the prospects of such talks: Long years of disappointment and failed negotiations, the ongoing division between the two Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah, let alone the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party’s charter still rejects a Palestinian state.

Cynicism is the lazy option

Whilst one may agree with all the fair points presented by the peace-talks critics, it should be remembered that cynicism is the lazy option. It is far too easy to sit back and dismiss the peace talks before they have even begun. The real question is: Do these critics have an alternative?

With unresolved internal political divisions, a tarnished economy, traditional allies being engaged with their own issues and Israel continuing to dictate the situation on the ground, the situation can hardly get any worse for Palestinians.

In fact, one could say that these peace talks are already too late — but does that not mean that any more time wasted will imperil any possibility of conflict resolution?

Wasting time is certainly not in the interest of the Palestinian side. Critics of the peace talks should realise a very simple fact: Negotiations may succeed or fail to achieve peace; but the alternative (not having these negotiations) is guaranteed to fail.

…one could say that these peace talks are already too late — but does that not mean that any more time wasted will imperil any possibility of conflict resolution?

 

Faisal J. Abbas

 

As for U.S. involvement in this matter, many critics say that it is driven by self-interest, given the American administration’s tarnished credibility since the 2011 Arab Spring.

The U.S. approach in Syria is seen by many as hamfisted. In Egypt, it is seen as part of a conspiracy by both the supporters and detractors of deposed president Mohammad Mursi.

Also, with the increasing influence of Russia, the EU and even China, the Middle East is no longer America’s stomping ground. The $1.5 billion in aid which President Barack Obama was so careful to protect by refusing to label Egypt’s military ouster a “coup”, pales in comparison to the $12 billion donated to the interim government by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait together.

Sign on that dotted line

There is a theory that the possibility of a peace deal in the Middle East will restore the U.S.’s image. However, even if this was true and Washington did want to use the peace talks as a way to regain some credibility, what is the big deal? At the end of the day, what really matters is getting the Palestinians and the Israelis to finally sign on that dotted line and put years of hatred, occupation and injustice behind them.

Furthermore, just because the American position on Syria and Egypt is unclear and unpopular, it doesn’t mean that they should not engage in an area where they can actually make progress.

If anything, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the one Middle Eastern area that the U.S. has a long experience in dealing with. The Americans were the first to extend diplomatic recognition to Israel in 1948 after pushing for a solution to the conflict. Since then, they have been involved in many iterations of the peace process and although they were never successful, they sure came close to sealing a deal several times. Detractors have suggested that Israel may be in the talks to waste time. Certainly, comments like the recent statement by Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli military intelligence, are not encouraging.

“We have to submit a proposal to the Palestinians, a decent proposal, a fair proposal,” Yadlin told a group of foreign reporters in February. “If the Palestinians will accept it, it’s a win for peace. If they refuse — as we think they will — then at least we win the blame game and we can continue to shape our borders by ourselves without the need to wait for the Palestinians to agree.”

However, there are those in the political establishment and in the Israeli public, who want to achieve peace. It makes sense to do it now because of instability elsewhere in the Arab world. Of course, the Palestinians’ usual allies are distracted. But for Israel, it is also a time of uncertainty given its rapidly changing surroundings since 2011; it must have realised that the Palestinians are at least an ‘enemy they know’.

It also makes sense for Israel to sign a peace pact with the Palestinians given that its alliances in the region are changing.

However, there is also the idea that being more conservative and right-leaning might be a good idea for Netanyahu domestically. Allying with the hardline Jewish Home party was done out of political necessity, and the Israeli public largely no longer cares about a permanent solution because military occupation now appears sustainable. However, status quo is a disaster for Netanyahu’s international image. The timing of the peace talks and the EU sanctions against products from Israeli colonies in the West Bank may be a coincidence, but the sanctions are a reminder of the turning tides of international public opinion against Israel. They may be going in with the intention of marking time, but the international community is getting impatient and will no longer let this behaviour slide.

Keep at it

Furthermore, many things in the region hang on the Palestinian issue, and this makes it a good time for everyone. The Palestinian issue is often exploited by other Arab leaders like Bashar al-Assad to talk about a greater U.S. Israel conspiracy and to distract from their own failings. It is possible that sorting out Palestine/Israel, as well as the U.S. reasserting itself through the talks, will have a knock-on stabilising effect in the region.

Of course, we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions. Certainly, it makes sense for all three parties to have the talks right now, but such talks have happened before. The Middle East peace process has frequently been more process than peace.

Yet, prior dismissal will get us nowhere, and if the slim possibility of success becomes a reality, there will be people pretending that they knew what was going to happen all along. However, as George Mitchell, who brokered the peace deal in Northern Ireland, knows, the path to peace is by its very nature unpredictable.

“Until it happens, you can’t predict with certainty …You can’t take ‘no’ for an answer…You just have to keep at it until peace is achieved,” he said.

(Source / 08.08.2013)

Video: Egypt’s Brotherhood protest turns into dance party

Thousands of pro-Mursi Islamists celebrated the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday in Cairo’s Rabia al-Adawiyya Square, not heeding government calls to end the six-week vigil or face security action.

A protest by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood at their main sit-in camp in Cairo turned into a party of music and dance, a video published by Egyptian media showed on Thursday.

Thousands of pro-Mursi Islamists celebrated the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday in Cairo’s Rabia al-Adawiyya Square, not heeding government calls to end the six-week vigil or face security action.

A similar dance party was held in the square on July 13, prompting hardline Salafists to pull out from the sit-in, saying the event contradicts their beliefs and does not serve their goal to reinstate ousted President Mohammad Mursi.

The government has urged the Islamists to end their sit-in or that security forces would use force to do so. International mediators from the United States, the European Union, the UAE and Qatar have travelled to Cairo seeking to convince both parties to reach a political settlement and avoid what could be a bloody violence should the security forces move in to end the sit-in by force.

Interim President Adly Mansour announced on Wednesday that all international mediations have failed, raising fears that a security action is near.

(Source / 08.08.2013)

Israel briefly closes Red Sea resort airport over security concerns

  • IsraelAirportClosed.jpg
  • A crater left by a rocket is seen on the side of the road near the airport of southern Israel’s resort town of Eilat.

JERUSALEM –  Israel briefly prevented landings at an airport in the Red Sea resort of Eilat on Thursday, as Egyptian officials warned of possible rocket attacks coming from its territory on the Sinai Peninsula.

The partial closure was in effect for about two hours before being lifted Thursday evening, said a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

Lerner said the decision to close the Eilat airport was made as a result of a security assessment, but did not elaborate.

Eilat, on Israel’s southern tip, is a major destination for domestic and international tourists. It is close to the Sinai, where Islamic militants and tribesmen engaged in smuggling and other criminal activity have defied Egyptian security forces for years.

An Egyptian security official told The Associated Press that the country received intelligence suggesting terrorist groups planned to fire missiles Friday at Israel, as well as at locations in northern Sinai and the Suez Canal. The official said Egypt informed Israel about the risk, sparking the airport closure.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak with journalists. He also said that Egyptian authorities planned to start air patrols Thursday night over the Naqab desert in the Egyptian Sinai, where officials believe the militants are based.

Militants have fired rockets from the Sinai toward Eilat in the past.

Egyptian airports in the Sinai operated normally into Thursday night despite the warning, including those in the resort cities of Sharm el-Sheikh and Taba, said Gad el-Karim Nasr, the head of state-owned Egyptian Airports Co. Taba is only six miles from Eilat.

(Source / 08.08.2013)

Manieren van shaitaan om de mens te verleiden

By Marianna Laarif

Een van de manieren van shaitaan om de mens te misleiden is, om wat slecht is schijnbaar goed te laten lijken. Over deze zaak schreef imaam Ibn al-Qayyim als volgt:

Een van de manieren van shaitaan is, om de gedachten van de mens te betoveren totdat hij die mens kan misleiden. Niemand is veilig voor deze betoveringen, influisteringen, behalve wie Allah wil. Hij, shaitaan, geeft de mens een goede inbeelding over een daad die helemaal niet goed is, maar juist slecht. Dan is de mens er zeker van dat deze slechte daad juist heel goed voor hem is. En de shaitaan laat de mens ver wegrennen van de goede daad, totdat hij denkt dat de goede daad iets slechts voor hem is.
Er is zeker geen god dan Allah! Hoeveel mensen werden en worden beïnvloed door zulke influisteringen, betoveringen. Hoeveel harten zijn weggedraaid van islaam, van geloof en goede daden [door zulke betoveringen]. En hoeveel mensen volgen die misleidingen en betuigen openlijk hoe fantastisch goed dit soort daden zijn. En zij haten de waarheid en doen de waarheid overkomen op andere mensen op de meest afschuwelijke wijzen [omdat ze die afwijzen]. En hoeveel misleidingen worden aanbeden en tentoongesteld als interessante daden voor wie wil. En hoe zijn de geleerden al misleid.
Het is shaitaan die de gedachten van de mensen betovert, totdat ze een andere weg, die van lusten en verlangens inslaan en overtuigd raken van hun gelijk. Hij laat hen kiezen om de wegen van slechte en verderfelijke daden op te gaan. Hij misleidt hen om dingen te doen die hen een voor een tot de ondergang brengen. Hij maakt het voor hun aantrekkelijk om afgoden te aanbidden, om familiebanden kapot te maken, om dochters te vermoorden, om met de eigen moeder te slapen enz. En hij belooft hun dan het succes in het paradijs, door hun ontrouw, gemeenheid en ongehoorzame daden. Hij maakt voor hen polytheïsme – aanbidding van meerdere goden – aantrekkelijk, heel aantrekkelijk zelfs. En hij geeft hun de overtuiging dat Allah’s Eigenschappen, of Zijn Grootheid en Zijn Woorden niet bestaan. Hij laat de mensen ophouden om tot het goede aan te sporen en het kwade te vermijden, en ze noemen dat dan ‘genade hebben met elkaar’, hij laat ze ophouden om zich netjes te gedragen tegenover anderen en om zich niet meer bezig te houden met de Qur’aan:
Allah heeft gezegd:
“O gelovigen, aan jullie (de hoede) over jullie zelf.” Qs al-Maidah 105]
Shaitaan laat mensen zich afwenden van de Sunnah van RassoelAllah, en ze volgen dan blindelings de Imaams (taqlied) en vinden het genoeg om alleen een van hen te volgen, een die meer kennis heeft. En shaitaan geeft het idee dat huichelarij en het sluiten van compromissen over de islaam goed is, omdat het zogenaamd ‘flexibel’ is en een manier om ‘wijs met de mensen om te gaan’.
Shaytaan – de verdoemde – houdt de dienaar tegen om goede daden te doen, door hem te laten uitstellen en hem lui te laten zijn.
Om dit te bereiken heeft de shaitaan vele mogelijkheden.
De Profeet SallaAlah ‘Aleyhie Wassalam heeft gezegd: “Tijdens jullie slaap legt shaitaan drie knopen achter in jullie nekken. Dan ademt hij dit erin: ‘De nacht is lang, dus blijf fijn slapen. ‘ Als je opstaat en Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’Ala) prijst, dan raakt een van die knopen los. En als hij woedoe [kleine wassing voor het gebed] verricht, dan raakt de tweede knoop los. En als hij het gebed doet, dan zijn alle knopen los. Hierna zal hij zich actief en gelukkig voelen ‘s morgens. Zo niet, dan staat hij lusteloos op en ontevreden. “
In sahih al-Bukhari is ook verzameld:
De Profeet SallaAlah ‘Aleyhie Wassalam heeft gezegd: Als een van jullie wakker wordt en opstaat, laat hem woedoe verrichten. Hij hoort zijn neus drie keer te spoelen, want shaitaan verblijft boven in de neus van de mens, terwijl hij slaapt. “
Al-Bukhari verzamelde ook het volgende, dat er aan de profeet gevraagd werd over de mens die de hele nacht slaapt, totdat de ochtend is aangebroken, na de tijd van het fadjr-gebed. Hij SallaAlah ‘Aleyhie Wassalam antwoordde: “Shaitaan heeft in de oren van zo ‘n persoon geplast.”
We hebben voorbeelden gegeven van hoe shaitaan de mens ervan afhoudt om te handelen, om dingen te doen. Ook fluistert hij de mens een liefde voor luiheid en uitstellen van daden in; en de gedachten dat je nog zo één en zo één lange tijd hebt om dit en dat te doen Ibn al-Djawzie schreef over dit onderwerp het volgende: (uit ‘Talbees Iblies’ de manieren van Iblies en de redding van degene die daartegen bescherming zoekt. P .458 )
Hoeveel Joden en Christenen hebben in hun hart liefde voor islaam gevoeld. Maar Iblies -shaitaan – houdt hen altijd tegen. Hij zegt tegen hen: ‘Haast je niet. Bekijk alles eerst eens zorgvuldiger.” En zo stellen ze hun bekering naar de islaam uit, totdat ze uiteindelijk sterven als ongelovigen.
Zo is het ook met degene die ongehoorzaam is aan Allah, en die het tonen van berouw maar voor zich uitschuift. Hij is alleen geïnteresseerd in zijn lusten en hoopt wel dat hij later eens berouw zal tonen. Maar, zoals de dichter zegt: ‘Haast je niet om de slechte daden die je wenst, te verrichten, maar denk eerst na over het moment waarop je je spijt zult tonen.’
Hoevelen besluiten om een goede daad te verrichten en stellen die dan weer uit. Iemand die kennis op wil doen bijvoorbeeld besluit om verder te studeren. Shaitaan zegt dan: ‘Neem nog even rust.’ Of een dienaar wil het nachtgebed gaan bidden en shaitaan zegt hem dan: ‘Je hebt nog tijd genoeg.’ Shaitaan zal niet ophouden om mensen te laten genieten van het lekkere luieren. Hij houdt niet op om de mensen tot uitstellen van daden over te halen en hij laat hen leven met allerlei hopen en dromen.
De energieke mens moet beslist de zaken zelf in de hand houden en met zijn wilskracht meteen daden verrichten. Zo een energieke persoon vindt de tijd wel om dingen te doen en stelt niets uit en hij houdt niet van zomaar wat dromen. Degene die werkelijk Allah vreest, heeft nooit het gevoel dat hij veilig is voor Zijn straf. De ziel blijft altijd bezig met het redeneren over wat slecht is en over het kiezen van het goede. Maar de ziel verwacht altijd dat het voldoende tijd over heeft om af te maken wat het aan goede daden wil doen. Een van de vroegere geleerden zei: ‘Bescherm jezelf tegen het uitstellen. Dit is de grootste van al de soldaten van shaitaan.’ De serieuze persoon die niets uitstelt en de persoon die hangt aan zijn dromen en het werken maar uitstelt, zijn als twee personen die, tijdens hun reis, in een stad verblijven. De serieuze, actieve persoon koopt zijn voorraad op tijd en wacht dan om uit de stad verder te gaan. Degene die steeds uitstelt zegt: ‘Ik wacht beter nog even, want misschien blijven we hier wel een maand lang.’ En zijn inkopen van proviand stelt hij nog langer uit, totdat hij op het laatste moment gehaast alles moet regelen en zo makkelijk fouten maakt.
Zo zijn de verschillende mensen in deze wereld. Sommigen van hen zijn voorbereid en op hun hoede. Als de engel van de dood komt, heeft hij geen verdriet. Anderen worden misleid door de gedachte dat ze nog uit kunnen stellen en ze zullen wanhopen wanneer de tijd om te sterven komt. Het hoort bij de aard van een mens om van luiheid en dromen te houden; maar dan komt Iblies en hij gaat hiermee aan de slag, hij maakt het nog erger. Hierdoor is het moeilijk om wat deze zaak betreft tegen shaitaan te vechten. Maar degene die op zijn hoede is, weet dat hij bezig is met een gevecht. Hij weet dat zijn vijand geen pauze neemt. En als het lijkt alsof die even wat rust, dan is dat ook een onderdeel van zijn plan…
Door: Imam Ibn al Qayyim al Djawziyyah
Bron: Talbees Iblies, p.458.

Support student Palestine activists against campus repression: Letter from SAIA York

Samidoun is a signatory to the following letter from Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University in Toronto. SAIA York instituted a successful BDS campaign at the university, which culminated in the endorsement of the York Federation of Students (YFS) for university divestment from corporations complicit in the occupation of Palestine. They have faced a series of events of administrative sanction and repression following their successful campaign. This protest letter, to York University Vice President Janet Morrison, was initiated by SAIA York and signed by US, Canadian and international organizations:

View Letter on Scribd

(Source / 08.08.2013)

News from The Free Samer Issawi Campaign

When the Israeli occupation military on Sunday at 2 am invaded Mohammed’s house with five jeeps and two armed vehicles, it took him and his family completely by surprise. The entire family – Mohammed, his wife and their six children – were woken up by 30 soldiers, and told to gather in the house of Mohammed’s brother. Mohammed was then told to say goodbye for he was being arrested. The kids criedand said: “daddy don’t go tomorrow is Eid Al-Fitr”. Mohammed was then taken to Ashkelon Prison at around 4am.
The family spent Eid wondering about their father and husband, whom they have not been able to talk to since the 4th of August. The family has not yet been able to talk to him or give him the medicine that he needs.

(Facebook / 08.08.2013)

US; the real global terror alert

A man stands in a sea of rubble in Hiroshima on September 8, 1945

A man stands in a sea of rubble in Hiroshima on September 8, 1945

Sixty-eight years ago this week, the United States wiped out more than 200,000 people when it dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Tens of thousands more victims were to die over the ensuing years due to slow, painful deaths from cancers and birth defects.

Yet the US – the only state to have ever used atomic weapons – has never apologized or made any atonement for this singularly horrific crime. Officially, the US justifies it as a legitimate attack during war even though many historical sources show that there was absolutely no military necessity for the bombings.

Even former president and top military commander Dwight Eisenhower would later go on record as saying that the A-bomb attacks on Japan in August 1945 were completely unnecessary.

The unleashing of the atomic infernos on mostly civilian populations was simply this: an act of supreme terrorism. It was an act of barbarity callously calculated by the US planners to demonstrate their country’s demonic power to the rest of the world – and the Soviet Union in particular. This premeditated rationale makes it an unpardonable crime of the highest order.

Fast-forward sixty-eight years on, the US government has this week issued a global terror alert, closing down more than 20 diplomatic sites across the world and vacating staff from various countries. Following suit are the British and French governments who have shut their embassies in Yemen on the basis of an unspecified, secret terror alert issued by Washington.

The rest of the world is thus obliged to believe the word of Washington over this unverifiable warning.

Of course, it is a propaganda stunt, aimed at renewing the whole fraudulent ‘war on terror’ charade and distracting from recent politically embarrassing developments, such as the vast scope of illegal surveillance against US citizens and the rest of the world; or the increasing public awareness of the collusion between American and Western intelligence and regime-change terrorism in Syria.

This is the same American political establishment that launched wars on Afghanistan and Iraq on the back of spurious and outright mendacious claims over the alleged 9/11 terror attacks and weapons of mass destruction.

This is the same government, along with Britain and France, that secretly claims the Syrian armed forces of President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons – when the hard evidence is that it is actually the US-backed foreign mercenaries who have launched these weapons to kill civilians.

This week, the US military killed more people in Yemen with its assassination drones under presidential executive orders, just as it has done every week over the past 10 years as it wages covert and overt criminal wars in several countries simultaneously.

These US-led wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and Syria have caused as many as two million, mainly civilian, deaths.

And yet ludicrously, the US government is putting the world on alert against terrorism. Even more ludicrously, the Western news media are amplifying this warning from the world’s biggest terrorist state as if it is a benign service to international public safety.

In this awful anniversary week of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it is rather astounding that the perpetrator of that genocide is still strutting the globe as if it is God almighty. On a global terrorist offender list, the United States is the paramount offender without compare.

In a saner world, the US should be a pariah state, shunned and sanctioned, its government leaders past and present locked away for life.

Perhaps, the world is finally beginning to wake up from the illusory spell that it has been kept under till now, to realize that humanity’s security is threatened not by states such as Iran or North Korea, but by the one whose president is a Nobel Peace laureate.

The US terror state slaps sanctions on Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Zimbabwe and others, causing women and children to die from medial and other basic deprivations. But what we should realize is that this is not depraved double standards or hypocrisy. No, such criminality is simply consistent with the actions of American state terrorism.

Iran does not have any nuclear weapons, yet it is being strangled with illegal trade sanctions by the world’s number-one nuclear terrorist – the US – and its rogue partners, Britain, France and Israel.

Today, there are some 17,000 total nuclear weapons in the world. About half of them are possessed by the US. The other major holder of such weapons is Russia.

In Russia’s defense, it would most likely not have this atomic stockpile if it were not for the fact that the US embarked on the Cold War with its act of genocide at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Stalin knew that that act of terror by US President Truman was aimed at Moscow by way of demarcating the post-war lines of global hegemony. By 1948, the Soviet Union had acquired the A-bomb and the world was then well on the road to mutually assured destruction – in direct consequence of the US original act of nuclear terrorism on Japan.

Perhaps more frightening than the planet-destroying power of US-held nuclear weapons is the monstrous mentality of the American ruling class that wields them, including its mass media propaganda system.

In the same week that the world should be mourning the dead of Hiroshima,
Nagasaki and many other victims of US state terrorism, we are instead expected to pander to the “terror warnings” of American politicians and their media as if they should be taken seriously and virtuously.

These American leaders should be in prison, not promulgating to the rest of the world.

The truly appalling thing is that the world’s number-one terror state is still at large.

(Source / 08.08.2013)

Israelis push settlement plans despite peace talks

A Palestinian protester argues with Israeli troops at a demo against settlements in al-Massara.

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli authorities have moved forward on giving final approval on plans to build nearly 1,000 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, an official told AFP on Thursday.

He said initial approval had been granted by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon several months ago and plans were now being made public so that any objections could be raised before the process moves to the next stage.

Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said the move applied to 920 new homes, while 166 units that had already been built without going through the necessary procedure were given the preliminary approval retroactively.

The total of 1,086 homes was spread across seven settlements, the NGO’s Lior Amihai said.

This comes as US-brokered preparatory talks are under way between Israel and the PLO on resuming direct peace negotiations that have been stalled for nearly three years.

The PLO has demanded that Israel freeze settlement construction before returning to talks, but Israel has rejected any preconditions.

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said on Thursday that settlement building was “the willful destruction of any chances of peace”.

“If the US really wants peace they have to intervene immediately and effectively,” she told AFP.

Peace Now’s Amihai said the latest batch of approvals “showed the true intention of the government, putting a very heavy question mark on their intentions”.

(Source / 08.08.2013)