Britain and United States condemn murder in Syria but condone murder in Palestine

Alan Hart views US and British hypocrisy in condemning Russia’s and China’s veto of the Security Council resolution to end the killing in Syria while at the same time supporting “Israel right or wrong – unending occupation, ongoing ethnic cleansing and all”.

Arising out the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who invented dynamite, the Nobel Prize is universally recognized as the most prestigious award in the fields of peace-making, economics, chemistry, physics, medicine and literature. How about an international award – without the gold medal, the diploma and the money – for hypocrisy?

Such an award could be called the Lebon Prize (reversing Nobel).

“…how do we explain the fact that all the governments of the Western world, led by America, are on the wrong side of it [Arab and international opinion] because of their support for the Zionist state of Israel right or wrong – unending occupation, ongoing ethnic cleansing and all? There is a one-word answer. Hypocrisy.”

If there was such an award, the statements of European and American leaders in the immediate aftermath of Russia and China’s veto of the Security Council resolution to end the killing in Syria suggest two most obvious nominees for it.

One is William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary.

In the House of Commons he pronounced Bashar al-Assad’s regime to be “doomed” because there is “no way it can recover its credibility”. That may very well be the case in the long term, but in my view that Hague statement was somewhat naive at the time he made it. For its short- to medium-term survival at the time of writing, and unless visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is seeking to engineer Bashar al-Assad’s departure from office in a face-saving way that will protect Russia’s interests, the Syrian regime doesn’t need credibility in the outside world. It needs only enough weapons and the will to go on killing its own people. (That said there can be no doubt that Bashar al-Assad and/or his Alawite generals took the Russian and Chinese vetoes as a green light to escalate the killing. Also to be noted is that Bashar al-Assad was not the only Arab leader to draw a particular conclusion from Mubarak’s downfall. “If our people take to the streets demanding regime change, shoot them!”)

But the particular Hague statement that prompts my suggestion that he be nominated for a Lebon Prize for hypocrisy was this one. By exercising their veto “Russia and China have placed themselves on the wrong side of Arab and international opinion.”

The obvious implication is that it’s not good politics and policy to be on the wrong side of that opinion. Really? Then how do we explain the fact that all the governments of the Western world, led by America, are on the wrong side of it because of their support for the Zionist state of Israel right or wrong – unending occupation, ongoing ethnic cleansing and all? There is a one-word answer. Hypocrisy.

Hague also condemned China and Russia for “betraying the Syrian people”. It apparently doesn’t matter that the British and all other Western governments have been betraying the Palestinians for decades. There really is no end and no limit to the hypocrisy.

The second most obvious nominee for a Lebon Prize for hypocrisy is Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN. In condemning the Russian and Chinese vetoes, she said, “For months this council has been held hostage by a couple of members.”

Given that for the Security Council has been held hostage for decades by American vetoes to protect Israel from being called to account for its crimes, that Rice statement is – what I can say without resorting to use of the “F” word? – hypocrisy most naked and taken to its highest level

( /07.02.2012)

Nasrallah Calls for Unconditional Dialogue in Syria

A supporter of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad holds a picture of him and Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah during a pro-regime rally in central Damascus on 5 February 2012.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah reiterated his party’s solidarity with the Assad regime on Tuesday, accusing Western-backed powers and Arab autocracies of using the protests to try to force President Bashar Assad out of power to undermine resistance forces in the region.

In a wide-ranging televised speech to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, Nasrallah also explicitly stated that his party receives financial support from Iran, without which, he said, the resistance in Lebanon would not have persisted and triumphed.

Nasrallah called for unity among Sunni and Shia Muslims in the face of US designs. The US, he pointed out, cares solely about the political loyalty of a leader, not their sect, citing the case of Iran’s Shah who was Shia.

“For America it is not about a sect which the leader belongs to, it is about his political orientation. The guilt of [the Iranian revolution] is that it overthrew America’s ally,” he said.

Speaking about the continued conflict in Syria, which has seen breakaway groups clash with government forces and over 5,000 people killed according to the UN, Nasrallah indirectly blamed the rebels for pushing for civil war when offered concessions by the governments.

Currently many rebel leaders have refused to meet with government figures without an explicit promise that Assad step down but Nasrallah called on all sides to negotiate without delay.

“The opposition in Syria has refused reforms and dialogue which triggered a civil war, not a sectarian one,” he said. “Those who are keen on Syria should engage in dialogue without conditions.”

Nasrallah also accused the Western media of deliberately overestimating the scale of the violence to try and help foreign powers influence the agenda in Syria.

On Saturday there were widespread reports of a military barrage in Homs shortly before Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning President Assad and calling on him to step down.

Nasrallah said that the international media had aired misleading reports about the alleged attacks on the city in order to put pressure on the Council.

“On the day of the meeting of the Security Council…they said that Homs was under fire with up to 400 killed and 39 buildings brought down. I was touched by this,” he said.

“We have our friends in Homs who have nothing to do with the regime. We called them and said ‘what is going on?’ But they said nothing is going on,” he added.

“However [with] the timing of this news, anyone who sees this will be affected. Is this based on facts or is this part of a battle to achieve certain goals?”

“Nobody could deny that there is an American-Israeli plan for regime change in Syria,” he added.

Responding to accusations that Hezbollah forces had been involved in fighting in Syria to support the regime, Nasrallah denied the claims had any basis.

“They say Hezbollah is targeting Zabadani [in eastern Syria] with katyusha rockets. Oh my god. How is Hezbollah bombing with katyusha rockets?…Where are the bodies of the Hezbollah fighters? You couldn’t hide this,” he said.

Iranian funds

Nasrallah also confirmed that the movement has received Iranian financial support since they were formed in 1982.

In recent months a string of reports in Western media have claimed that the party is involved in drug trafficking and money laundering across the world.

Nasrallah categorically denied the accusations, saying that such practices go against the party’s principles and that there was no need for such support as long as the Islamic Republic of Iran is present.

“Time and again they speak about the drug networks in Latin America and Europe and they say Hezbollah is financing these activities. This is forbidden for us,” he said.

“God, with the Islamic Republic of Iran, has enabled us not to resort to others. We are enriched, not poor, we don’t need money,” he added.

Islamic unity

Nasrallah also used the religious occasion as an opportunity to call on Sunni and Shia Muslims to put their differences aside and unite against the common enemy of Western imperialism.

He denied accusations that Hezbollah are a sectarian organization and reiterated that he did not want Lebanon to be an Islamic state.

There has been increasing sectarian tension in Lebanon, with divides over Syria being reinforced by media reports.

“For all Muslims who worship different sects we don’t want them to be one sect. Nobody before [the Iranian Revolution] of 1979 claimed that unity means Sunni becomes Shia or Shia becomes Sunni.”

“We don’t want anyone to abandon their ideas or make concessions on Islamic ideology. Any sane person will tell you it is in the interests of the Muslims and the Christians in the East to cooperate with each other,” he said.

( / 07.02.2012)

Lavrov says Assad open to expanded Arab mission; GCC calls for tougher measures

Russia said on Tuesday that embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was ready to accept an expanded Arab League mission that he plans to call for a referendum on a reformed constitution, Russian news agencies reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov qwas quoted by the agency as saying that Assad had assured him he was “completely committed” to seeking an end to violence by all sides, 11 months into a revolt against his rule, and was ready to seek dialogue with all political groups.

Lavrov said that “Syria is informing the Arab League it is interested in the League’s mission continuing its work and being increased in terms of quantity,” Interfax reported.

“Russia is convinced of the need to preserve and expand (the mission), which is a serious stabilizing factor in Syria,” he said.

But Arab states appeared on Tuesday heading more toward the adoption of tougher measures against the Assad’s regime.

The six Gulf Cooperation Council states decided to expel Syria’s envoys and withdraw their own from Damascus over the “mass slaughter” of civilians in Syria, a joint statement said on Tuesday.

The statement added that there was “no point in them staying after the Syrian regime rejected all attempts and aborted all honest Arab efforts to solve this crisis and end the bloodshed.”

The GCC urged other Arab states to use an Arab League meeting next week to adopt “all decisive measures in response to this dangerous escalation against the Syrian people.”

GCC states “follow with sorrow and anger, the increase in killing and violence in Syria, which has not spared children, old people or women with heinous acts that at best can be described as mass slaughter,” the statement said.

The Russian foreign minister said President Bashar al-Assad was “completely committed to the task of stopping violence regardless of where it may come from.”

Opposition activists have dismissed similar pledges made by Assad in the past because he continued trying to eliminate unrest with tanks and troops and branded his adversaries “terrorists” and “armed gangs.”

Russia, one of Syria’s last remaining allies, and China on Saturday vetoed an Western- and Arab-drafted resolution in the U.N. Security Council that supported an Arab League call for Assad to step down.

Moscow said the draft would have put too little pressure on armed opponents of the government, which Moscow says must share responsibility for nearly a year of bloodshed that has killed thousands of people.

On the referendum, Lavrov said: “President Assad informed (me) that he will meet in the coming days with the commission that prepared a draft of the new constitution,” state-run Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported.

“The work is finished, and now a date will be announced for a referendum on this important document for Syria.”

There are now only about 110 monitors in the sprawling country of 23 million, following the departure last month of Gulf Arabs from the mission in despair at continued bloodletting despite their presence.

Lavrov also affirmed Russia’s “readiness to help foster the swiftest exit from the crisis on the basis of positions set out in the Arab League initiative”, Interfax reported.

Russia has supported an Arab League peace proposal for Syria floated last November, but there was no indication from Lavrov’s quoted remarks that Russia had come around to specifically backing the League’s call on Assad to leave office.

( / 07.02.2012)

IOF soldiers arrest 15 Palestinians mostly in Nablus

NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested 15 Palestinian citizens in the West Bank at dawn Tuesday mostly in Nablus province, local sources said.

The Tadamun foundation for human rights said that the IOF troops rounded up six Palestinians in Nablus and its villages including two ex-prisoners.

Ahmed Al-Beitawi, a researcher with the foundation, said that the first ex-prisoner spent 16 years in Israeli jails while the second served 10 years.

He lashed out at the Israeli occupation authority for escalating the targeting of liberated prisoners, noting that they were mostly held in administrative detention, without trial or charge, which meant that they were not taken for security or legal reason but only to punish them.

Local sources in Al-Khalil had said that the IOF soldiers arrested a Palestinian in Beit Ummar village on Monday two weeks after arresting his brother.

( / 07.02.2012)

Why Did Palestinian Refugees Come to Lebanon?

Palestinian RefugeesShatila Camp, Beirut

During a workshop at the American University of Beirut last year on the subject of the right to  work and to purchase a home for Palestinian refugees, a young business major from the Christian village of  Bikerki posed a question that surprised some in the audience: “Why if Palestinian don’t like it in Lebanon do they not go home? Why did they even bother coming here in the first place?”

“Caroline” was not being antagonistic. Many of the younger Lebanese population are taught in private and religious schools by the various sects using a curriculum including subjects that are heavily politicized and skewed, none more than modern Lebanese history.

Talking with Caroline during a tea break, she explained that she feels very politically oriented,  but admitted that she really doesn’t know much about Lebanese history and only vaguely why there are Palestinians in Lebanon. What she does know, she explained, came from her parents and family members and not from schools in her Christian hamlet which happens to be the seat of Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch, for whom she is a part time volunteer working with orphaned children.

In most private and public schools in Lebanon, sensitive political subjects have long been culled from textbooks by polarized confessional watchdog committees seeking a proper education for their children. UNWRA schools are forbidden to teach Palestinian history in Lebanon or even their history in Palestine lest the US Congress cut UNWRA funding.

This has prevented the development of a unified history curriculum. Most history lessons end in 1946, three years after Lebanon’s independence from French colonial rule. Many schools avoid teaching Lebanese history in order to prevent sectarian and political fervor.

According to Ohaness Goktchian, professor of political science at the American University in Beirut, “We are raising another generation of children who identify themselves only with their communities and not their nation… history is what unities people. Without history we can’t have unity.”

Sari Hanafi, a Palestinian professor of sociology at the American University of Beirut, says a unified history curriculum is necessary. “I think in terms of social identity it’s important for the Lebanese to have a shared history which also highlights their differences. We hold absolutely different visions of Lebanon. We should admit this, and admit our own limitations.” Hanafi continues, “There should be no vote (the content of history textbooks) by the council of ministers or the parliament… It should be defined and approved by a committee of historians and that’s it.”

All sects, get involved is checking what is being taught.  One of the Hezbollah officials this observer most admires is MP Mohammad Fneish, former Labor Minister and currently Minister of Agriculture. Fneish raised an issue with the Ministry of Education last week concerning the use of an American text book called Modern World History that is used at Beirut’s International College (IC), a popular private school.  What the Hezbollah MP and others found disturbing was that the US book states that “Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are terrorist organizations.”

A solution was quickly agreed upon by the Ministry of Education, the International College administration and Hezbollah. The offending passage was simply covered over in each of the books with a sticker and everyone seems more or less satisfied for now.

As a consequence of this impasse in education, which often sees 1946, three years after the end of the French occupation, as the end of the period of history taught in Lebanon, Caroline honestly did not know why Palestinians came to Lebanon. When it comes to the second half of the 20th century, what happened during the Palestinian Nakba and its effects here in Lebanon are largely unknown among youth.

Caroline and I became friends and I gave her some articles from different scholars to read on the Nakba as I sensed she was becoming interested in this subject.  Partly as a dare, she agreed to do research and get back to me with what she discovered about the Nakba and its effects on Lebanon.  She wanted to write from the perspective of a Lebanese student and I in turn would try to help her get college credit for her thesis and maybe even published.

Frankly I had not thought much about our research arrangement for months, and was very happy and surprised when she contacted me the other day to say that she needed me to read her manuscript.

And quite a manuscript it is.

Why, Caroline asked her readers, did more than 129,000 Palestinians come to Lebanon during 1948 while a similar number arrived next door to Syria?

Then she laid out what she had learned and her conclusions:

The current fate of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, living for decades in inhumane conditions worse that any refugees on earth, is primarily the fault and responsibility of those who stole their lands and ethnically cleaned them during the 1948 Nakba. Additionally, the Palestinian refugees’ abject existence is the responsibility of those who have egregiously nurtured the nineteenth century Zionist colonial enterprise with aid and weapons while averting their eyes from the Palestinians Right of Return and the international responsibility to implement international law including many UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and UNGAR 194. In addition to the United States and Europe, responsibility attaches to much of the World community.

They were forced out of 531 villages and 11 cities in Palestine as part of a series of detailed and meticulous ethnic cleansing campaigns rarely witnessed since Germany’s Third Reich.  Indeed, many of the same methods used to transfer the population of Palestine through terror and intimidation experienced under the Nazi administration of Germany were employed by the Zionist organizers of the Nakba.

“For more than six decades”, she wrote:  “the Zionist colonial enterprise that still occupies Palestine, falsely claimed that the Palestinians left their farms and homes because they were ordered to do so by Arab governments in order to clear the way for a massive Arab army that would soon throw the Jews into the sea.  It was nonsense of course, since the so-called Arab “army” was ten percent of the Zionist forces, had no such plan, and in the case of Syrian forces ran out of ammunition early on and the Jordanian did not want to fight at all and left after the fall  of Lod and  Ramle.”

But, according to Caroline, “the Zionist lobby in the USA and Europe repeated this and many other lies for more than half a century.” Caroline wrote that relatively recently, Walid Khalidi (1988), Zionist historian Benny Morris, the eminent Palestinian scholar Salman Abu Sitta and others exposed this lingering fraud.

Yet, during the 2012 American presidential campaigns in Florida, New York and elsewhere this shibboleth surfaced again without challenge or rebuttal by the main stream media, debate sponsors or claimed debate “fact checkers.”

A summary of Caroline’s research instructs us about the reasons Palestinians left their homes and land seeking sanctuary in Lebanon.

In approximately 90 per cent of the 531 villages, direct Zionist military attacks emptied the Palestinian population.  This took the forms of expulsion by Jewish forces (approximately 15 per cent), direct military assault by Zionist gangs and militia (60 per cent) and approximately 18 per cent as a result of an imminent attack following the destruction of a near-by village sometimes in view of neighboring villages.

Other villages were emptied by insidious “whispering campaigns” whereby Zionist agents, posing as “friendly Jewish neighbors” would whisper to Palestinian villagers that a horrible bombardment of their village was imminent and they must, at risk of their lives, leave for a week or so until ‘the situation’ returned to normal. Another 38 villages were ethnically cleansed because of “fear of Jewish attack” and five villages were emptied on orders of a local leader or Muktar.

Palestinian refugees who were forced into Lebanon more than six decades ago were all part of the Zionist creation of the so-called “refugee problem.”  They came as a direct result of a fanatical genocidal war waged against them by European colonial Zionists before, during and subsequent to the League of Nations British Mandate. Zionist tactics included military and psychological projects and both allowed for hasbara which generated some credence for the fake Zionist slogan: “Palestine is a land without people for a people without land”.

The myth that the Israelis were few and fought with sparse weapons against many well equipped Arab armies was only true in Hollywood’s “Exodus Fantasy.” The number of Arab armies participating went down during the war. The only ones who remained to the last rounds in October, November, and December were the Palestinians and Egyptians, according to Caroline. The Zionist plan from the very beginning emphasized the urgency of building a large army and out of a population of approximately 650,000. More than 100,000, or roughly 16 per cent of the colonial population were under arms.

Caroline is a credit to her religion, village, country and generation, in that she is determined to learn what Lebanon’s confessionalized education does not allow. She has pledged to send her research to all Member of Parliament and to support the intensifying campaign here in Lebanon to secure the right to work and home ownership for the ethnically cleansed Palestinian refugees.

( / 07.02.2012)

News from Gaza 07.02.2012

#KhaderAdnan is on hunger strike & bombs are dropping over#Gaza. Palestinians are #Dying2Live while the world remains silent

Watch some pictures of recent attackcrimes by #israel: Collective punishment on worlds largest open air prison

Reminder: #Gaza under attack while the world is asleep about the crimes, now anyone sits with wide open windows for own safety (in cold)

The night is getting started. Another explosion #Gaza

#BREAKING #GAZA | Several tweeps in Gaza reporting loud explosions details to follow

Dear ignorants: In case u brag about #Israel being the only#democracy in the region, please check out #KhaderAdnan‘s case who’s #Dying2Live

#Gaza everyone to join the hunger-strike that started by many in solidarity with #KhaderAdnan on Thursday be at 2pm at ICRC tent in Gaza! RT

Passing by ICRC tent in solidarity w #KhaderAdnan a friend expressed his sympathy. Me: He IS strong & We’re pathetic if u ask me #Dying2Live

Britain and United States condemn murder in #Syria but condone murder in #Palestine

News from Palestine / Khader Adnan 07.02.2012

END THIS FACISM! █▌ Action Alert ▶ #dying2live Hungerstrike since Dec 17 – #KhaderAdnan Petition:!

Wake up, act immediately! KhaderAdnan is entering his 53rd day of Hunger Strike! Fight for justice, get his voice heard! #Dying2live

How many crimes has Israel committed with no accountability? It will continue to do so unless you SPEAK OUT! #KhaderAdnan#Dying2Live

#Dying2Live Tell Khader’s daughter your father is dying because Israel said so, and the world is not human anymore

Khader Adnan,54 days on hunger strike. No one knows how much longer he has to live.He is in his hospital bed, shackled @AJStream#Dying2Live

Action Alert 2ALL ▶ #dying2live on Hungerstrike since Dec 17 –#KhaderAdnan on Hungerstrike Petition:!

No to administrative detention, no to illegal detainment, no to humiliation. #KhaderAdnan u inspire awe in each & every 1of us#Dying2Live

Would you go 53 days without food bcause your back is against the wall & you have no other way to resist injustice? #KhaderAdnan#Dying2Live

RT @bzu_fil_hudson@JalalAK_jojo #KhaderAdnan is now in a critical condition, he told his wife Rand that he has hours to live#Dying2Live

I do not recognize the authorities holding #KhaderAdnan illegally.#Dying2Live

After 53 days without food, Amnesty and the international community comes to help #KhaderAdnan in the final hours of his life.#Dying2Live

Support KhaderAdnan on his 52 day of hunger strike protesting Illegal administrative detention! Hashtag #Dying2live

#Dying2Live Khader Adnan is one of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons who have no rights at all

Where were we for 53 days? I’m sorry, #KhaderAdnan, we are all to blame

Who can tell me why #KhaderAdnan was arrested? #OWAIT#Dying2Live

#Dying2Live KhaderAdnan is not the first one, and he wont be the last! the fight for justice, rights and equality shall go for ever!

#Dying2live Palestinian prisoner KhaderAdnan is on hunger strike for 52 days protesting his illegal detention by the Israeli occupation

ATTENTION: Adminstrative detention without charge or trial is ILLEGAL! Free KhaderAdnan (53 days of hunger strike) & 300+ others #Dying2live

Khader Adnan has been held in administrative detention since 17 Dec without trial or knowing the reasons for his arrest #dying2live

#Dying2live Palestinian prisoner KhaderAdnan is on hunger strike for 52 days protesting his illegal detention by the Israeli occupation

Why is Israel refusing to release #KhaderAdnan? He has not been charged with anything at all. Only being Palestinian. #Dying2Live

Israeli settlers ‘put new homes on Beit Ummar land’

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers have set up two new homes on land owned by Palestinians in the Hebron district, a popular committee spokesman said on Tuesday.

Under the protection of Israeli soldiers, they set up two caravans on land belonging to late Beit Ummar resident Muhammad al-Zaqiq, the local spokesman Yousef Abu Maria said.

The settlement Karmi Zur is established on 600 dunams of Beit Ummar land, he added.

Also on Tuesday settlers uprooted more than 25 olive trees planted last week by solidarity campaigners in Beit Ummar, he told Pa news agency Wafa.

On Monday, settlers razed newly-planted trees in Qaryut village north of Ramallah, aided by security guards, villagers said.

( / 07.02.2012)

Gaza tomatoes banned from Israel and West Bank

Israel allowed export of three truckloads of tomatoes from Gaza to Saudi Arabia on Monday but banned the trucks from unloading in Israel and the West Bank, where their natural markets are. Despite the fact that on their way to Saudi Arabia, the trucks will pass through Israel and the West Bank, Israel continues to ban sale of goods from Gaza in these areas as part of its “Separation Policy”.


Do tomatoes pose a security threat to Israel? Unlikely. Still, Israel will not allow Gazan tomatoes to be unloaded in Israel or the West Bank. They can, however, pass through Israel and the occupied West Bank. 

The policy has kept export from Gaza at minimal levels – one truckload per day on average last year – because of high shipping costs and low demand abroad. In the months prior to the June 2007 ban on selling goods to Israel and the West Bank, Gaza residents exported 90 truckloads per day on average.

The tomatoes belong to Abed Al Rauf Abu Safar, a resident of Gaza who owns the Abu Safar Company for export of fruits and vegetables. Before 2007, Abu Safar sold hundreds of truckloads of vegetables each year, mostly to Israel and the West Bank.  Because of the high costs of shipping to Saudi Arabia and long delays at the Kerem Shalom Crossing, Abu Safar says it is likely he will lose money on the venture, his first attempt since the 2007 ban.

As we wrote two weeks ago when a truckload of furniture was permitted to reach Jordan, Gisha welcomes the development of new markets for Gaza’s products. We remind, however, that Gaza’s products already have established markets and customers in Israel and the West Bank, where more than 85% of outgoing products from Gaza were sold prior to 2007. Economic recovery in Gaza depends on access to markets in Israel and the West Bank.

( /07.02.2012)