Republican candidates have been making their pitch to the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US.
|The American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US, is holding its biggest annual conference yet with around 13,000 delegates in Washington.
For all those bidding to become the next US president, it has become an essential campaign stop. The group has strong ties to the religious right and evangelical voters. And it is a very influential force in Washington politics.
Demonstrators from the occupy movement held a small protest outside the event urging no war on Iran and no US tax dollars for Israel.
On Sunday, Barack Obama, the US president, took to the stage and told the audience that Israel had never had a better friend in the White House. But he did not support Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities – at least not yet.
Three of the four Republican candidates bidding to unseat the US president addressed the conference on the biggest day of the nomination battle so far – ‘Super Tuesday’.
Rick Santorum flew in especially for the event before heading back to Ohio, while Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich appeared via satellite link.
A number of Republicans have sought to attack the US president over his administration’s relationship with Israel. And the Republican presidential candidates have all tried to paint Obama as an undependable partner for Israel who is weak on Iran.
Mitt Romney said: “We’ve heard a lot of words from the administration. Its clear message has been to warn Israel to consider the costs of military action against Iran. I don’t believe we should be issuing public warnings.”
And Newt Gingrich said: “If an Israeli prime minister decides that he has to avoid the threat of a second holocaust through pre-emptive measures that I would require no advance notice to understand why I would support the right of Israel to survive in a dangerous world.”
So what role do pro-Israel lobby groups, and AIPAC in particular, play in the US election and why are they courted by those competing to be the next US president? How do Barack Obama’s dealings with Israel compare with those of his predecessors, including Republicans?
To discuss these issues presenter Anand Naidoo is joined by: John Mearsheimer, the co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy; Larry Greenfield from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs; and Hillary Mann Leverett, a former White House and US state department official.
(www.aljazeera.com / 07.03.2012)
NEGEV, (PIC)– Bulldozers of the “Land of Israel” department destroyed wheat crops of Palestinian farmers in the Negev, occupied since 1948.
Radio Israel said that the bulldozing was made without prior notice, adding that the farmers have been cultivating their lands for many years.
The Israeli authorities have been systematically launching harassment campaigns against the Negev Bedouins in a bid to force them out of their ancestral land.
(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 07.03.2012)
‘Wij hebben te veel buitenlanders op ons grondgebied.’ Dit heeft de president van Frankrijk, Nicolas Sarkozy, vanavond gezegd tijdens een debat op de tv-zender France 2.
‘Ons integratiesysteem dreigt verstopt te raken. We moeten het aantal mensen dat we opnemen halveren om ze onder goede voorwaarden te kunnen opnemen.’
Sarkozy zei vandaag dat buitenlanders pas voor bijstand in aanmerking moeten komen als zij 10 jaar in Frankrijk hebben gewoond en 5 jaar hebben gewerkt.
Sarkozy hoopt aanstaand voorjaar herkozen te worden. Hij dreigt bij de gang naar de stembus stemmen te verliezen aan Marine Le Pen van de anti-immigratiepartij Front National. Hij ging de vraag van de presentator uit de weg of hij naar rechts richting Le Pen opschuift.
De problemen ‘moeten niet worden teruggebracht naar de tegenstelling links/rechts’, aldus Sarkozy. Het Front National weet al sinds 1984 miljoenen kiezers te trekken met zijn tegen immigratie gericht programma.
(www.parool.nl / 06.03.2012)
Hamza Zayed Jaradat, 12, and Zayed Juma Jaradat, 12, were killed in the blast in Wadi Reem, east of Hebron in the southern West Bank, medics told Ma’an.
Hebron police chief Ramadan Awad said the boys were killed when an old Israeli mortar exploded.
Natheer Juma Jaradat, 16, and, Yasser Muhammad Jaradat, 19 and Hisham Zayed Jaradat were injured in the explosion and taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital.
The group had been playing in a field filled with scrap metal in the nearby village of Sier, Awad said.
An Israeli military spokesman said an initial investigation indicated that the blast was caused by “unexploded ordnance that was ignited” but had no further details.
DUBAI: Embattled Argentine superstar coach Diego Maradona showed his support on Saturday for the Palestinian people and promised the national team to visit their country.
“I am the number one fan of the Palestinian people. I respect them and sympathize with them as they all need that we stand by them,” Maradona told dpa in Dubai, where he coaches the al-Wasl football team.
“I promised the Palestinian football team to visit Palestine. I support this nation’s cause as I grew up on struggle and standing against injustice,” he said.
In August, the Argentine star accepted the Palestinian black-and-white scarf from a fan. He hugged the fan and thanked him, before flashing a victory sign and telling the camera “Viva Palestina.”
Maradona also expressed his happiness after his team won 4-3 against their rivals Al Jazira team, reaching the semi-finals in the Pro League in the United Arab Emirates.
“The players followed my instructions and won this match after several failures,” he said.
Maradona has been coaching Al Wasl since May under a two-year contract.
He will travel with his team to Oman on Monday for their first match in the Gulf Champions League.
He has faced a bit of controversy in recent months, with speculation he could take over the UAE national team in the near future.
(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 06.03.2012)
Indonesian authorities detained 67 allegedly illegal asylum seekers from Palestine as they headed to Australia’s Christmas Island on Tuesday morning.
Police arrested the immigrants, 35 men, 17 women, nine children and six infants, in Cisancang village in Garut, West Java.
They arrived on a bus at the village’s Pamengpeuk beach, not far off which a suspicious cargo ship was anchored.
“Garut Water Police and Garut District Police made the arrest,” National Police spokesman Saud Usman Nasution said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
He added police were investigating Indonesians’ likely involvement in the alleged smuggling of the asylum seekers.
Saud explained that police were tipped off after a report from villagers saying they saw a suspicious cargo ship anchored in the waters off the beach, which faces the Indian Ocean.
Huge waves prevented police from checking the ship, but then the bus carrying the 67 Palestinian passengers arrived.
“There was someone yesterday asking around if he could rent a boat to carry some passengers to the cargo ship. Our officers investigated the report and this morning the group of Palestinians arrived,” Saud said.
He added it was not yet clear where the Palestinians came from, but said they were now in the detention center at the Garut Police station.
Police have contacted the immigration office and the International Organization for Migration to address the problem.
(www.thejakartaglobe.com / 06.03.2012)
Palestinians are under increasing attacks from Israeli settlers, especially in the last few years, reports have found.
Fadi Quran is little different from any other Palestinian living in the West Bank, where violence from Israeli settlers is part of daily life. Hailing from the town of Al-Bireh, less than one kilometre from the settlement of Psagot, the 23-year-old Master’s degree student has been forced to deal with attacks and harassment for years.
“Settler violence is a daily occurrence,” he told Al Jazeera. On one occasion, he was playing football with friends when they came under fire from settlers with machine guns. In another altercation, settlers threw stones at him while he was driving. Their guns discouraged him from stopping. “I’m telling you my story, but there are literally hundreds of thousands of other cases that are much worse.”
Last week, Quran was arrested after attending a non-violent protest in Hebron which demanded the re-opening of a street in the centre of the city. The Israeli army had made it a settler-only road 11 years previously, despite the presence of Palestinian families still living there.
Following a verbal dispute, Israeli soldiers pepper-sprayed him, beat him, arrested him, blindfolded him and took him to an interrogation centre at a nearby settlement. Once there, he discovered the arresting soldiers were actually from one of the area’s settlements.
“I asked where they were from and they told me: ‘Kiryat Arba’,” he said. “One of them then asked me if I knewBaruch Goldstein [an Israeli settler who, in 1994, opened fire inside a mosque in the West Bank, killing 29 and wounding over 125 others]. They said he was a hero and they would do the same thing.”
Quran was charged with attacking ten soldiers. In court a few days later, the judge stated there was no proof that Quran did not attack them. The hearing was postponed until the following day, by which point a video capturing the events leading up to Quran’s arrest had gone viral. After the video was presented to the judge (which clearly showed Quran had not attacked troops), he was released on bail.
Settler violence has been forcing people to significantly change their lives, Quran said: “There are communities who don’t use main roads because they are afraid they will be murdered. Many farmers can’t farm anymore because their lands are being burned or vandalised, so they have to find another job.”
A report published in January by the Washington-based Palestine Center revealed a 39 per cent increase in the number of settler attacks – from stone-throwing to arson and shootings – between 2010 and 2011.
Furthermore, in the five-year period between 2007 and 2011, the occupied West Bank has witnessed a 315 per cent increase in settler attacks – while, over the same period, there has been a 95 per cent decrease in Palestinian violence against Israeli settlements and settlers.
The report found “over 90 per cent of all the Palestinian villages which have experienced multiple instances of Israeli settler violence are in areas which fall under Israeli security jurisdiction”.
The report revealed a geographical shift in violent acts; previously settler violence was concentrated in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and its environs. Over the past few years, the Nablus governorate, in the northern West Bank, has also been on the receiving end of a large proportion of the documented settler violence.
This shift to the north, “where rural villages are predominantly targets, suggested that settlers are exploiting unfettered access to isolated Palestinian villages to perpetrate violence more than ever before”.
‘Open hunting season’
“What we have here is a complete failure to enforce the law and uphold the obligations to protect Palestinians,” Yousef Munayyer, director of the Palestine Center, told Al Jazeera.
“The Israelis really need to uphold their own obligations, otherwise we will continue to see violence and it will be open hunting season for settlers to attack Palestinians.”
International law states that occupying powers have a duty to protect local populations, while maintaining security and ensuring public order.
Issa Amro, a Palestinian from Hebron who heads the Youth Against Settlements activist movement, was forced with his family to leave his home – now designated a “closed military area” – after years of attacks from settlers.
“Every time settlers attack a Palestinian house, they are escorted by the army who protect them,” he explained. “I have filed dozens of cases and complaints, and not one time has anyone gone to court.”
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 90 per cent of monitored complaints filed by Palestinians have been closed without indictment.
“I have death threats against me, and I’ve been attacked many times by settlers,” said Amro. “[The settlers] say to me ‘I hope God erases your name’, and they say this to me in front of the army and the police, who stand by and do nothing.”
‘They are there to protect the settlers’
Ezra Nawi, an Israeli activist who has been working with Palestinians against settler violence for the past decade, said the Israeli military in the West Bank was complicit through inaction.
“Settlers attack Palestinians, but the army has orders preventing them from arresting or stopping them,” he said. “They are simply there to protect the settlers.”
Nawi is no stranger to settler violence, with his work frequently making him a target. He said the attacks “serve the state’s interests”.
“The violence scares the Palestinians into not moving around or using their land for farming and agriculture,” he said.
The UN group also found that “80 communities with a combined population of nearly 250,000 Palestinians are vulnerable to settler violence, including 76,000 who are at high-risk”.Further OCHA statistics also state approximately 10,000 Palestinian-owned trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers in 2011, while 139 Palestinians were displaced due to settler attacks.
“Every day there are attacks by settlers,” said Amro. “What is new is that they have started burning mosques.”
Sarit Michaeli, spokesperson for B’Tselem, an Israeli group which documents violence in the West Bank, told Al Jazeera that increasing violence was a result of a lack of law enforcement.
“The Israeli authorities have an obligation under international law to protect both settlers and Palestinians,” she said. “While they fulfill their obligation to protect the settlers, with the Palestinians, we see a systematic failure to protect them from attacks.”
“It is worth noting that Palestinians who are arrested by the Israeli army are prosecuted and charged through the military court system, which is very low in terms of protection of their rights, while settlers, if they get arrested, are held and tried in the civilian court system, which offers greater protection of their rights,” she added.
‘It’s actually calmer now’
Yet not everyone agrees with the assertions made. David Ha’ivri, spokesperson for the settlement council covering the northern West Bank region, told Al Jazeera he felt the area “is over-exposed in the media in comparison to other areas in the world”.
“I’ve lived here for many years and we have experienced violence, but that is not the situation currently,” he said. “It is strange that someone is saying that there is an increase, while we’ve experienced a decrease in the violence. It’s actually calmer now than in the past.”
Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, reiterated Ha’ivri’s assertion, saying the levels of violence had decreased in the past two years, and that media had a tendency to “inflate and exaggerate things like the price-tag attacks“.
“Life in Judea and Samaria [the Biblical term for the West Bank] is normal,” he told Al Jazeera. “I don’t think violence during the last year has been a crucial problem, not for Jews and not for Arabs.
“Let’s not forget that the numbers provided are actually the other way around,” he added. “There have been at least 12 settlers who were murdered by Arabs in the last 24 months.”
According to B’Tselem statistics 13 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the West Bank over the past two years, while four Palestinians were killed by Israeli civilians, and a further 22 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army. In Gaza, 173 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military during the past two years.
Both Ha’ivri and Dayan state the Israeli authorities were doing what was required of them in terms of protecting civilians and arresting perpetrators.
“I don’t think there is less accountability, the state and the police are very serious about enforcing the law on both sides,” said Ha’ivri. “For example, there are individuals in some communities in Samaria who have been arrested, or banished from living in this area.”
“If the Arabs feel there is less accountability then they are not aware of the facts.”
While Dayan agreed the authorities were performing their duties, he acknowledged flaws in the judicial system.
“There are very few indictments, if at all, presented to the courts,” he said. “I do not have an explanation as to why there are so few indictments, and it is not my place to provide an explanation, but it does create problems, leading some to believe one side has a sense of immunity and can get off without punishment.”
“I do know the government and police have a high interest in the public opinion, so I don’t think they lack the motivation,” said Dayan. “It’s not a question of leniency, but maybe one of capability.”
‘They want Palestine’
The analysis of the Palestine Center’s Munayyer focused on causes of settler violence and whether it was responsorial (a reaction to either Palestinian violence and/or Israeli government actions), or structural (a product of demographics and security arrangements).
“What we found actually is that instances of Palestinian violence trigger a decrease in settler violence,” said Munayyer. “Palestinian violence tends to receive an official response from the Israeli army, so in these instances the settlers don’t intervene.
“We also found that some of it is motivated by Israeli government actions, but … it doesn’t necessarily have to be provoked by anything. As settlers can get away with it at any given time, they will continue.
“The message the settlers are receiving is that ‘this is okay, and the state is not going to stop them’.”
B’Tselem’s Michaeli, however, was keen to emphasise that violence was not something the majority of the settler community participated in. “The mainstream leaders in settler politics have denounced these attacks,” she said, adding that settler violence and clashes with local Palestinians dated back to the 1970s.
“Having said that, the settlement community as a whole in an occupied area is violent,” she said, referring to the illegal nature of the expanding settlements in the West Bank, frequently condemned by the international community.
Ha’ivri said that in most cases, when there is violence, it happens as a response to attacks on settlers. “I don’t think it happens on a daily basis. All acts of violence that have occurred are isolated on both sides,” he said. “I don’t think either side is going out and actively looking for targets.”
For Israeli activist Nawi, the motivations of settlers are much more straightforward.
“Most of the settlers are motivated by religious ideas; that the Arabs are unwelcome people and they need to leave,” he said. “It is not an argument you can reason with.”
“They want Palestine.”
(www.aljazeera.com / 06.03.2012)
The state of ‘Israel’ was conceived by the Zionist Lobby at the end of the 19th Century .Agreed by the British with the Balfour Declaration during the first world war born in violence in 1948 and brought into being by the United Nations a shameful betrayal of the people of Palestine.
A State that until then had never existed and was described by British Parliamentarians as a Loyal Little Ulster in the Middle East. ‘Israel’ claims its existence as a matter of Divine Right, The Promised Land for the chosen people. Promised to them by God? The people of Britain threw out divine right with Oliver Cromwell but that’s another story altogether and not a pleasant one for the people of Ireland.
There is no physical evidence that ‘Israel’ ever existed Archaeologists have been trying desperately to prove the ‘Israeli’ nation existed by excavating in the places the Torah or Old Testament says the Jewish nation lived but has even today no proof.
They are digging under the Al-Aqsa Mosque desecrating one of the most holy shrines in Islam in their frantic search to prove to the world they have every right to steal the land of Palestine as their own. Which of course they do not.
The Zionist movement was established in 1881 with a congress of likeminded Jews who expressed a wish to have a homeland of their own. They claim the Jewish diaspora needed a safe region of the world free from the rampant anti-Semitism practiced at that time by European Christians. So the first call for a Jewish only nation (is that racist like whites only or a Christian only society) was in fact in response to state sponsored, endorsed and encouraged anti-Semitism in Europe.
In the middle ages the Christians and the Muslims were forbidden by their religions to be money lenders. Neither a lender nor a borrower be. So in stepped the Jews and became the money lenders Earning interest and derision in equal measure from those who borrowed from them and unfortunately the ire of those in important places who wished not to repay their loans.
Is this how the Rothschild’s and other Jewish banking monopolies became a modern day reality? So we have Europe as a cold house for Jews with violence programs and insecurity as their daily diet. So yes i understand the desire for a safe place to live?
The congress considered several already occupied countries with their own customs traditions and history for their new motherland. No Palestine was not the only option for the Zionists for those in favour of a Zionist (Jewish only) homeland. Ethiopia was also considered as was South America.
Those in influence in the Zionist movement and with sway over European monarchies politicians and governments tried earnestly to be allowed to settle, colonise or invade a land which they could control dominate and eventually cultivate.
These dreams were just that; unfilled wishful thinking.
But dreams can come true or nightmares if you’re a Palestinian living in the West Bank Gaza the Negev Desert East Jerusalem or indeed one of the 5 million refugees in exile living in Lebanon Jordan Egypt or Syria.
The First World War brought Britain to its knees with its imminent destruction and invasion by Germany.
The British needed America to enter the war and Lord Rothschild boldly stated in secret talks with the British government he could get America to enter the war and save Britain; if Britain gave Palestine to the Zionist.
And so a pact was made and Lord Balfour declared in a secret letter to Rothschild that the pact was agreed and the persecution demise and disentrancement of the people of Palestine was sealed a terrible beauty was born.
The people of Palestine were encouraged to rise up against their occupiers (then the Turkish Ottoman Empire part of the German axis in the First World War) and promised their freedom, Arise Lawrence of Arabia.
Then when the war was won Britain reneged on its promise of self-determination (home rule) for Palestine and allowed Zionist Jews to travel to Palestine from Europe and further afield. So, essentially the Jews bought Palestine from the British by encouraging America to come to the aid of the British during ww1.
At first the Jews were welcomed to Palestine but they did not come as migrant workers nor immigrating and assimilating to their new host country they came with the sole purpose of destroying the right of the indigenous population to continue to live on the land of their fathers and ancestral homes for thousands of years and to usurp power and the land.
Jews had always coexisted peacefully side by side with their Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters and represented 2% of the population but this was to change dramatically in the coming years. After all both Arab and Jew are Semite! They are biblical cousins.
Eventually when the Second World War started and ended, the exodus from anti sematic Europe rose to huge proportions. Again the people were welcomed to Palestine by the indigenous population. After all, look what the Europeans had done to so many Jews, gypsies, communists and socialists and trade unionists; tens of millions died.
This huge influx into Palestine of masses of Jewish refugees from Europe, many with Zionist designs on stealing Palestine from the indigenous peoples, upset the balance of power .There are parallels here of the war against the indigenous populations of America and Canada by the white Christian European settlers and as with the Maori Aboriginals and the even the Irish. From the Wild West to the Middle East. The only good Indian (Palestinian) is a dead Indian (Palestinian).
And so we come to partition in Palestine by the British 1948 (sound familiar) Palestine under the British Mandate was handed over to the UN who then gave half of Palestine to the Zionists Settlers.
The exodus from Europe was mirrored by the exodus from Palestine at the point of a gun. Ethnic cleansing by the stern gangs triggered; massacres in 1947/48 by Zionist Jews on mainly unarmed Palestinian civilians many still leading semi nomadic lives. With no army or police force of their own as they were under British protection! THEY HAD NO DEFENCE. The people ran for their lives or were forced onto boats and made to leave.
Then we had the 6 day war in 1967 which was a result of Egypt’s attempt to prevent gas going to ‘Israel’ .An Arab Boycott. So America and ‘Israel’ attacked Egypt Syria and Jordan and in the process stole more land from the Palestinians and created the green line; separating ‘Israeli’ occupied Palestine from the West Bank Gaza and East Jerusalem.
From 1967 to the present day 50 % of the West Bank has been illegally stolen from the people of Palestine, by illegal ‘Israel’ settlements. 80% of the water supply is diverted to settlers swimming pools and agriculture land while some west Bank Palestinian farmers must travel several hours to locate water while they are banned from using their own water wells by ‘Israeli’ military decree.
The call from civil society in Palestine to civil society in the rest of the world is being answered by humanitarians, civil rights activists and global peace activists from Canada to Ireland from Africa to Malaysia. The call is for justice .Will you answer their call?
Support the bid for Palestine to have a seat at the UN before the Israeli master plan (final solution) for Palestine is to steal as much land water and resources as possible eventually leaving two refugee camps administered by the United Nations using our tax revenues, in Gaza and the remnants of the West Bank.
Secure Palestine’s 1967 borders, allow the right of return to ‘Israel’/Palestine under UN Resolution 194; the inalienable right of return to all those forced out of Palestine by the Zionist in 1948 as refugees and displaced persons.
Force ‘Israel’ to end its apartheid regime policy and demand peace security justice equality and freedom for Jew and Arab alike in a one state solution with parity of esteem a bill of rights and democratic constitution for all. No wall, no discrimination, no Jewish only settlements. Freedom Riders rode the Jewish only busses from the settlements into Jerusalem on Jewish only roads and were arrested and imprisoned; this was on November 15 2011.
Cry Freedom, Justice for all; end Apartheid ‘Israeli’ Practices, Boycott Divest and Sanction ‘Israel’, Start by refusing to buy ‘Israeli’ Products sold in your area. These are made from stolen Palestinian Natural Resources.
80% of Gazan’s are dependent on international food aid, Unemployment rate is 39%, one of the highest in the world. 60% of the population has running water once every 4-5 days and that is for only 6 hrs.; Daily power outages that last for 6 hrs, sometimes last for days.
Be the difference you want to see in the world.
(saebpress.com / 06.03.2012)
Marwa Munir said the campaign supporting the former intelligence chief – who was named vice president by ousted president Hosni Mubarak days before the regime collapsed – is gaining more support on Facebook. His expected nomination, she said, would change the opinion polls as present an election surprise.
The Facebook page supporting Suleiman, which has over 33,000 fans, has called for a conference on Friday to be attended by his supporters and Egyptian public figures.
Munir said Suleiman has maintained good relations with everyone and it is not unlikely that even the Muslim Brotherhood will support him, especially, she said, that the Islamist movement had said it would back a “nationalist , faithful candidate.”
“Suleiman has good relations [also] with the Copts, and previously attended the opening of the Abbasiya Cathedral; the republic’s former vice president enjoys the respect and appreciation of liberal and leftist parties, and of some national and revolutionary forces,” Munir told Al Arabiya.
Suleiman also “has great popularity in the governorate of Qena, his birthplace, as well as in Cairo, Alexandria, and some provinces of the Delta,” she added.
Munir said Suleiman will run in the election as an independent and will not represent any political party or force.
Veteran Egyptian writer and columnist Farrag Ismael, however, said Suleiman is unlikely to run for presidency despite the announcement of his supporters.
“We are facing a sign that Omar Suleiman will run for the presidency, and he could do so under pressure from a campaign that volunteered for that end and which he did not appoint.”
“I think, and according to my knowledge, Omar Suleiman – a man of intelligence known for firm resolve – will not run in the presidential elections; he will not take this step,” Ismael told Al Arabiya.
“Suleiman told those close to him that he wants to devote his time to his grandchildren,” he added.
Ismail said the man at the helm of Egypt intelligence for more than two decades “knows that his appointment by Mubarak as vice president prior to the collapse of the regime last year burned his popularity in the country.”
“Besides, his shuttle movements as head of intelligence between Cairo and Tel Aviv and his role mediating between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and in which he appeared biased in favor of the authority cost him popularity, especially among the Muslim Brotherhood, a popular force whose support is essential for any candidate wishing to be elected as president” Ismail said.
“The Muslim Brotherhood are unlikely to strike a deal with the military council on supporting Suleiman for the presidential office because he is seen a long-time Mubarak ally and an enemy of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.”
Suleiman, 76, occupied the vice presidency post for less than two weeks between Jan. 29 and Feb. 11, 2011, the day when Mubarak was forced to resign. Previously, he was deputy head of military intelligence in 1986, and its director in 1991. In 1993, he became the chief of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service (EGIS).
He studied in Egypt’s prestigious Military Academy and received additional military training in the Soviet Union at Moscow’s Frunze Military Academy.
Suleiman became close to Mubarak after 1995 when he, reportedly, saved his life from an assignation attempt.
Suleiman allegedly insisted that Mubarak ride on an armored vehicle during a visit to Ethiopia. Bullets were fired on the president’s car and Mubarak escaped death due to the added security Suleiman had recommended.
(english.alarabiya.net / 06.03.2012)
During the week of 20th to 27th February the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other groups marked the 8th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week with a series of actions and awareness raising events in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast.
Dublin, Thur 23: Première of ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’
The IPSC was proud to present the Irish Premiere of the brand new film ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’, by film-makers Ana Nogueira & Eron Davidson, a 90 minute documentary film looking at the current situation in Palestine through the lens of South African Apartheid; comparing the two regimes in a manner not flattering for the Israeli state. Narrated by US Civil Rights icon Alice Walker, and featuring interviews with many Palestinian, Israeli, South African and international activists, journalists and academics, the film was watched by over 60 people and received an ovation at the end.
Dublin, Thur 23: Discussion with International Solidarity Movement founders
The screening of ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’ was followed by a wide ranging discussion with Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, two of the founders of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) which promotes non-violent resistance to Israeli Apartheid.
Read a full report, watch the film trailer and listen to audio of the discussion by clicking here.
During the talk, we received a message informing us that the Technical, Engineering & Electrical Union (TEEU) had just unanimously voted to endorse Apartheid Week, becoming the 19th Irish organisation to do so. The full list of endorsers is available at the end of this report.
Belfast, Tue 21 – Thur 23: Apartheid Week Information Stall
The Queen’s University Belfast Palestine Solidarity Society held information stalls in the Students’ Union building on upcoming campaigns as well as information on Israeli Apartheid policies, recent events and the BDS campaign. According to one of those present at the stall, “over 400 [people] stopped by our stall to pick up materials and have a chat with us about what we were doing and whether we have any upcoming events which gave us the opportunity to engage in positive dialogue with those interested in the [situation with] Apartheid Israel”. More info here.
Dublin, Fri 24: “End EU facilitation of Israeli Apartheid” Lunchtime demo
Between 1 and 2pm, the IPSC staged a small symbolic picket outside the offices of the European Union in Dublin. The protest was calling for an end to the EU’s disgraceful collusion with the Israeli Apartheid regime. Under the Euro-Med agreement, Israeli enjoys trade tariff benefits (the EU is Israel’s main export market), despite being in constant violation of that Agreement’s human rights clause. Furthermore, the IPSC was highlighting the role of Irish EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who, under the aegis of the FP7/Horizon 2020 program, is responsible for administering “scientific grants” to Israeli arms manufacturing companies and other Israeli businesses and institutions (including settlement-based Ahava), effectively amounting to rewarding Israeli for its terrorisation of the Palestinian people.
As this event was coming to a close, IPSC activists were approached by a group of people who said they were from a “US PR firm”, who began questioning those present as to their motives for being there. However, it soon became clear that these people were the hasbara [propaganda] delegation sent to Ireland by the Israeli Ministry for Public Diplomacy. The mission, which saw 100 Israelis travel abroad as the “Many Faces of Israel”, aimed to counteract the growing effectiveness of Israeli Apartheid Week.
Despite their protestations to the contrary, their ruse was rumbled when one of the activists present was able to identify by name one of the Israelis, Sari Diskind, who works in the office of the Israeli Prime Minister. Adam Briscoe, an Irish-US dual citizen, who was interviewed in the Sunday Times about the mission, was also identified. After about 15 minutes of pointless engagement with the Israeli propagandists, they left. Despite our offer to return the favour and turn up at one of their public events and debate them, they refused to tell us where they “appointment only” events were taking place.
Nationwide, Sat 25: Boycott Israeli Goods actions
Limerick: Limerick IPSC activists held an information stall for three hours, calling for a boycott of Israeli goods, with specific reference to Israeli Blood Diamonds. According to one of those who took part, “we received a very positive response generally from people. Everyone took leaflets and were interested in what Israeli goods to boycott. Some people noted the amount of Israeli goods on sale in the supermarkets with disgust and were also very interested in the blood diamonds angle as they weren’t aware of their importance to the Israeli economy.”
Galway: Members of the IPSC in Galway held a day long BDS awareness stall on Galway’s Shop Street, distributing leaflets with information about the boycott campaign and Israeli apartheid. According to one of the activists who manned that stall, “apart from one argumentative pro-Israeli man, who refused to recognise the Palestinians as a people, the response our stall received was overwhelmingly positive”.
Cork: The Cork branch of the IPSC held their monthly street awareness campaign and march to call on members of the public to boycott Israeli products until Israel ends its occupation of Palestinian lands and abides by its obligations under International law. The march began at Daunt Square and from there headed to Patrick Street. Tesco, Dunnes Stores and Marks &Spencer all of which supply Israeli products were targeted. One member of the campaign spoke about Israel’s crimes against Palestinians and informed the public on the reasons why we should take a stand and join in the global BDS campaign. Participants on the march handed out information leaflets and considerable numbers of the public approached campaigners requesting information leaflets to give to their friends.
Dublin:The Dublin branch of the IPSC, supported by the Irish Anti War Movement and ICTU Trade Union Friends of Palestine, took to the Henry Street shopping district with a stall and a merry band of leafletters.
Setting up outside Dunnes Stores (infamous for its role in the 1984-87 South African Anti-Apartheid strike by Dunnes’ workers), for over two hours they distributed thousands of leaflets with information about boycotting Israeli goods, and engaged with countless shoppers. You can read the leaflet here. During the action, which also saw a couple of speeches to the public and some chanting, the IPSC Chairperson Martin O’Quigley and Consumer Boycott Officer Conall Ó Dufaigh handed a letter of protest into the management of Dunnes Stores.
For the second day in a row, the IPSC was shadowed by the Israeli hasbara delegation, whose mission seemed to be to “lie, argue and fudge”. Unfortunately for the hasbaroids, they have no arguments of substance with which to actually argue. Lies, distortions, slander, putting words in peoples’ mouths and “what about-ery” were the order of the day as they read from the hasbara playbook. Clearly well trained (not to mention well groomed), they were called out by IPSC Cultural Liaison Officer Raymond Deane (video below).
Unbelievably, one of the hasbaroids even tried, unsuccessfully, to get the manager of Dunnes Stores to have the IPSC stall moved. It seems that they believe that – like the state they were here representing – they had the right to evict whomsoever they pleased. Eventually, after losing many arguments and being largely ignored by passersby, Team Hasbara left the area, while the IPSC continued engaging with a very receptive public. Indeed, it seemed as if the very presence of the hasbaroids was so off-putting to punters that they were making a point of coming up to the stall and signing the petition calling on CRH to divest from its Israeli interests that are involved in building the illegal Apartheid wall in Palestine (you can sign the petition online by clicking here).
Dublin, Mon 27: Ruining a hasbara happening
The Day of Action events marked the official end of Israeli Apartheid Week 2012 in Ireland. However, some members and supporters of the IPSC in University College Dublin (UCD) received an email from the International Students Society stating that students “interested in understanding and learning more about the non-political aspects of Israel, its culture and population to join us to meet them and talk [the hasbaroids], as well as exchange some of your own experiences with them”. We thought it only fair to go along to the event and “engage” with them. The event itself was sparsely attended: of the 30-odd people in the room, about 9 were hasbaroids and their entourage; several ISS organisers; over a dozen pro-Palestinian human rights activists; and around 6 ‘neutrals’.
Despite the attempts to paint the event as ‘non-political’, it was quite clearly an attempt at whitewashing Israeli apartheid. As such, the discussion was dominated by questions from the pro-Palestinian audience members, and as on the streets in the days previous, the hasbaroids were unable to argue in any substantive manner, relying on falsehoods and half-truths. The IPSC was pleased to note that UCD was the only college in Ireland that had taken up their offer to “dialogue” with students. Indeed the rest of the hasbara tour was preaching to the converted with engagements hosted by Northern Ireland Friends of Israel and the Irish Christian Friends of Israel. Interestingly, the latter is an organisation that believes that “the Biblical truth that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people forever”, which under the Israeli government’s logic would place them well within the “one-state extremist” camp!
Should you wish to subject yourself to it, a recording of the talk and intervention can be heard online here (mp3, courtesy of theCitizen Partridge blog).
Speaking at the end of the Israeli Apartheid Week activities, IPSC Chairperson Martin O’Quigley said: “The IPSC is proud to have once again taken part in Apartheid Week. We would like to thank all our members and supporters for mobilising to highlight the Israel’s ongoing policies of Apartheid and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, who continue to heroically resist these actions. We would also like to thank all the organisations who endorsed Apartheid Week.”
Endorsing organisations and groups for Israeli Apartheid Week 2012 include:
Afri – Action From Ireland
Boycott National Committee (Palestine)
Centre For Global Education
Derry Anti War Coalition
Derry Friends of Palestine
ICTU Trade Union Friends of Palestine
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Irish Anti War Movement
Irish Ship To Gaza Campaign
Free Gaza Movement Ireland
Galway Alliance Against War
Gaza TV News
Global Palestine Solidarity
Peace and Neutrality Alliance
Progressive Film Club
Sadaka – The Ireland Palestine Alliance
Technical, Engineering & Electrical Union
Trade Union TV
Tyrone to Gaza
(www.ipsc.ie / 06.03.2012)