Palestinian Land Day is March 30!

Land Day poster
Above: Palestinian poster announcing Land Day, 1985.

What better time than next month to develop and showcase your boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns? This year, March will open with Israeli Apartheid Week and end with the year’s largest BDS Day of Action: Land Day on March 30th!

Palestinian Land Day, Yom al-Ard, commemorates the 1976 killing by Israeli security forces of six young Palestinians as they protested the Israeli government’s seizure of Palestinian land. The day has since become a symbol of Palestinian resistance to land theft, colonization, occupation and apartheid.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is calling on supporters around the world to unite in a March 30th Day of Action. The call to action, which can be read in full here, states:


“The BDS Global Day of Action is an opportunity to showcase the achievements of our diverse and global movement through visible and creative actions. The BNC calls on supporters of Palestinian rights to focus on developing thoroughly researched, broad based and strategic BDS campaigns that are based on the three operational principles of the movement:context-sensitivity, gradualness and sustainability. Developing such a long-term vision is essential for the growth and sustainable success of the movement.”

With that in mind, here are some specific ideas for taking action:

1.Use March 30th as a launch pad for new BDS campaign initiatives or organize a visible and creative protest, flash mob or action that promotes an existing long-term campaign to a new audience. Click here to see some great examples of actions and new campaigns launched on Land Day last year. And if you’re planning a flash mob, don’t forget about our BDS Flash Mob How-To Kit!

Click to download the flyer
Above: Click to download and customize the flyer.

2.Prepare outreachmeetings or events or media initiatives that seek to bring BDS to new audiences. Consider passing a resolutionendorsing BDS at your local #Occupy General Assembly! Check out ournew US Campaign flyercreated for that purpose, connecting the dots between #Occupy, the Arab Spring and Palestine. You can customize the flyer and fill in information specific to your location, which is easily accessible

3.Call on governments to implement incremental sanctionsagainst Israel, by heeding the call from Palestinian civil society for a military embargo on Israel or by suspending free trade agreements or other agreements.  One way you can do so is by organizing a campaign in your community to pass a city council resolution to end military aid to Israel and redirect the funds to unmet needs at home.

3.World Social Forum 2012Launch mobilization initiatives for theWorld Social Forum (WSF) Free Palestine, such as public and media outreach and the formation of national, regional, or sector mobilizing committees. The BDS Global Day of Action on March 30 was first launched at the World Social Forum in 2009. Now, three years later, with the ongoing surge of popular struggles for freedom from injustice and corporate greed around the world, the BNC is calling on organizers to use this day of action to mobilize for the first-ever WSF Free Palestine in late November in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where activists from around the world who support freedom, justice, and equality in Palestine-Israel will converge to share, develop and advance strategies and common visions. The next nine months leading up to the WSF Free Palestine are a tremendous opportunity for discussions of national and local strategies within the context of the global movement and our unique context in United States.

Click here for the full BNC call to action and other ideas. Send information about planned actions ahead of time to the BNC and be sure to keep the US Campaign posted so we can highlight your activities on our blog and in a Day of Action roundup. Send pictures!

On the day of action itself, activities will be highlighted on the BNC website. On Twitter, promote your actions with the Twitter hashtag #bds and follow @bdsmovement to watch the action as it unfolds!

Last year’s March 30 Day of Action was the largest to date and, according to the BNC, the United States hosted the most actions of any country in the world! Let’s live up to last year’s record by redoubling our BDS creative actions, publicity and mobilizing efforts for the 2012 Global BDS Day of Action!

( / 24.02.2012)

Hebron Demonstration to Open Shuhada Street Violently Repressed

On Friday, February 24, 2012, Palestinian activists in Hebron (or Al Khalil in Arabic) organized a protest to open Shuhada Street which is a main street in the old city of Hebron that has been closed by Israeli soldiers to Palestinians. Hundreds of Israeli settlers now illegally live off of Shuhada street and their movement is not impeded by Israeli Forces. Hundreds of people attended the demonstrations from Hebron, from Palestinian towns and cities including Beit Ommar, some Palestinians from 48, Israelis, as well as internationals. The demonstration started with marching and chanting down the street, but quickly ceased after the demonstrators were met with many soldiers perhaps twenty or so baring the road, and some soldiers on two roof tops. The soldiers threw sound bombs into the crowd, injuring one woman. She was evacuated and treated by the Red Cross.

Additionally, soldiers sprayed demonstrators with skunk water which makes those affected smell of sewer water and induces nausea. Israeli Forces also used a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), which relies on high-pitched frequency waves to immobilize crowds.

Solidarity actions demanding the opening of Shuhada street took place all over the world today, in Chicago, France, New York City, London, and elsewhere.

( / 24.02.2012)

Deadliest day in Afghanistan’s Quran protests

At least 11 protesters killed on fourth day of widespread protests against burning of Quran at US airbase.

The fourth straight day of protests over the burning of Qurans at a US-led base in Afghanistan have led to the death of 11 Afghans, including a protester who was shot dead in the capital Kabul.

Friday’s deaths, the most since protests began on Tuesday, bring the four day total to 25 dead, including two US soldiers.

Seven protesters were killed on Friday in the western city of Herat, where protesters tried to storm the US consulate. Another protester died in the Pol-e-Khomri area of northern Baghlan province. Two deaths were also reported in the eastern province of Khost.


Hundreds of demonstrators marched toward the palace of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, chanting “Death to America!”, prompting security forces to fire into the air in an attempt to disperse them.

Demonstrations have been reported in several locations across the country, including Ghazni, Nangarhar, Paktia, Kunar, Bamiyan and Khost.

“Although peaceful demonstrations are the right of people, we strongly urge our countrymen to fully avoid turning them into violent ones,” Sediqqi said earlier in the day.

Security has been beefed up around major mosques, and police in armed pick-up trucks are guarding streets and buildings around such locations.

‘Irresponsible actors’

Speaking to Al Jazeera in Kabul, Afghan political analyst Haseeb Humayoon said the rising death count in the protests show “the room for error is reducing” for international forces in the country.

Humayoon also said “some very irresponsible actors in the political arena do actually use this for very minor, very small political ends of their own”.

US President Barack Obama has sent a letter to Karzai, apologising for the unintentional burning of the Quransat the Bagram air base. Afghan labourers found charred copies of the Muslim holy book while collecting rubbish at the base.


Political analyst Haseeb Humayoon says room for error waning for international forces

Two US soldiers were also killed on Thursday when an “individual wearing the Afghan army uniform” opened fire on them at a military base in Khogyani, in eastern Nangarhar province.

In a speech to ISAFsoldiers at that same base, John Allen, commander of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan, told the soldiers they must move beyond the deaths to continue on their mission in the central-Asian nation.

“We’re here for our friends. We’re here for our partners. We’re here for the Afghan people … Now is how we show the Afghan people that as bad as that act was at Bagram, it was unintentional and Americans and ISAF soldiers do not stand for this” Allen said.

On Thursday, the Taliban had called on Afghans to “turn their guns on the foreign infidel invaders”, but went on to say that negotiations with the US in Qatar would not be affected by the call to arms against foreign forces.

The Afghan government says that it wants those responsible for the burning to be tried publicly.

On Friday, US General John Allen, NATO’s top military commander, called for restraint and patience from Afghans, saying that NATO and Afghan leaders were working together to insure the incident was not repeated.

Desecration of the Quran, considered to be the literal word of God by Muslims, is highly controversial in Muslim-majority nations.

Appeal for calm

An Afghan government delegation investigating the burning described the incident as “shameful”, but issued an overnight appeal for calm from the protesters.

“In view of the particular security situation in the country, we call on all our Muslim citizens of Afghanistan to exercise self-restraint and extra vigilance in dealing with the issue,” the delegation said in a statement.

In central Kabul, elite riot police in protective jackets and helmets secured intersections after complaints that security forces had not protected citizens adequately during the previous days protests.

The US embassy in Kabul has been on a heightened state of alert over the last two days, and movement restrictions for US citizens have been expanded to the relatively peaceful northern provinces, where large demonstrations took place on Thursday. At one such demonstration, protesters attempted to storm a Norwegian military base.

US citizens have been advised to “avoid any unnecessary movement” by the embassy.

Demonstrations in the last three days have drawn thousands of angry protesters to the streets, chanting “Death to America!” and smashing shops and windows.

( / 24.02.2012)

Hamas ditches Assad, backs Syrian revolt

Feb 24 (Reuters) – Leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas turned publicly against their long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad ofSyria on Friday, endorsing the revolt aimed at overthrowing his dynastic rule.

The policy shift deprives Assad of one of his few remaining Sunni Muslim supporters in the Arab world and deepens his international isolation. It was announced in Hamas speeches at Friday prayers in Cairo and a rally in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas went public after nearly a year of equivocating as Assad’s army, largely led by fellow members of the president’s Alawite sect, has crushed mainly Sunni protesters and rebels.

In a Middle East split along sectarian lines between Shi’ite and Sunni Islam, the public abandonment of Assad casts immediate questions over Hamas’s future ties with its principal backer Iran, which has stuck by its ally Assad, as well as with Iran’s fellow Shi’ite allies in Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

“I salute all the nations of the Arab Spring and I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, visiting Egypt from the Gaza Strip, told thousands of Friday worshippers at Cairo’s al-Azhar mosque.

“We are marching towards Syria, with millions of martyrs,” chanted worshippers at al-Azhar, home to one of the Sunni world’s highest seats of learning. “No Hezbollah and no Iran.

“The Syrian revolution is an Arab revolution.”

Contemporary political rivalries have exacerbated tensions that date back centuries between Sunnis – the vast majority of Arabs – and Shi’ites, who form substantial Arab populations, notably in Lebanon and Iraq, and who dominate in non-Arab Iran.

Hamas and Hezbollah, confronting Israel on its southwestern and northern borders, have long had a strategic alliance against the Jewish state, despite opposing positions on the sectarian divide. Both have fought wars with Israel in the past six years.

But as the Sunni-Shi’ite split in the Middle East deepens, Hamas appears to have cast its lot with the powerful, Egypt-based Sunni Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose star has been in the ascendant since the Arab Spring revolts last year.


“This is considered a big step in the direction of cutting ties with Syria,” said Hany al-Masri, a Palestinian political commentator. Damascus might now opt to formally expel Hamas’s exile headquarters from Syria, he told Reuters.

Banned by deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood has moved to the centre of public life. It is the ideological parent of Hamas, which was founded 25 years ago among the Palestinians, the majority of whom are Sunni Muslims.

Shi’ite Hezbollah still supports the Assad family, from the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, which has maintained authoritarian rule over Syria’s Sunni majority for four decades but now may have its back to the wall.

Hamas, however, has been deeply embarrassed among Palestinians by its association with Assad, as the death toll in his crackdown on opponents has risen into the thousands.

In Gaza, senior Hamas member Salah al-Bardaweel addressed thousands of supporters at a rally in Khan Younis refugee camp, sending “a message to the peoples who have not been liberated yet, those free peoples who are still bleeding every day.”

“The hearts of the Palestinian people bleed with every drop of bloodshed in Syria,” Bardaweel said. “No political considerations will make us turn a blind eye to what is happening on the soil of Syria.”


The divorce between Hamas and Damascus had been coming for months. The Palestinian group had angered Assad last year when it refused a request to hold public rallies in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria in support of his government.

Hamas’s exile political leader Khaled Meshaal and his associates quietly quit their headquarters in Damascus and have stayed away from Syria for months now, although Hamas tried to deny their absence had anything to do with the revolt.

Haniyeh visited Iran earlier this month on a mission to shore up ties with the power that has provided Hamas with money and weapons to fight Israel. It is not clear what the outcome of his visit has been, though the tone of the latest Hamas comments is hardly compatible with continued warm relations with Tehran.

Rallies in favor of Syria’s Sunni majority have been rare in the coastal enclave but on Friday it seemed the Islamist rulers of the territory had decided to break the silence.

“Nations do not get defeated. They do not retreat and they do not get broken. We are on your side and on the side of all free peoples,” said Bardaweel.

“God is Greatest,” the crowd chanted. “Victory to the people of Syria.”

Hamas-Hezbollah relations have been good in the past. But Hamas did not attack Israel when it was fighting Hezbollah in 2006 and Hezbollah did not join in when Israel mounted a major offensive against Hamas in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009.

Anything that divides Hamas and Hezbollah is likely to be welcomed by Israel, which has been watching warily recent moves by Hamas to reconcile differences with its Palestinian rivals in Fatah, the movement of President Mahmoud Abbas.

There was no immediate Israeli comment on Friday’s speeches.

( / 24.02.2012)

The IDF Abuse of #Palestinian Children

Originally posted by The Red Phoenix at
Israel’s system of military law for Palestinian children has become a major issue, as our Middle East correspondent John Lyons reported in The Weekend Australian Magazine. Here he continues his investigation of the military court system, looking at the effect detention can have.
Fadia Saleh runs eleven rehabilitation centres in the Palestinian territories, or West Bank, on behalf of the YMCA which deal with the effects of detention on children.
“Usually the children isolate themselves, they become very angry for the simplest reasons, they have nightmares,” she says.
“They have usually lost trust in others. Usually they don’t have friends any more because they think their friends will betray them.
“There is also a stigma about them other children and parents say ‘Be careful being seen with him, because the Israeli soldiers will target you.”‘
The brutality of some recent cases has surprised even professionals.
Fadia Saleh said: “Last week one boy described to me how dogs were present in the army jeep. In those jeeps you have chairs on each side and an empty space in the middle the children are put there, on the floor. Sometimes soldiers step on them.
“Every time the child moved, one of the dogs would bite him. When he arrived at the interrogation centre, his arm was bleeding. It was a short trip but he felt like (it was) a year.”
Human rights group Defence of Children International (DCI) has documented three cases where children being interrogated by Israeli officers were given electric shocks by hand-held devices to force them to confess.
The head of DCI Palestine, Australian lawyer Gerard Horton, has claimed there is one interrogator in the Jewish settlement of Gush Etzion “who specialises in threatening children with rape.”
The Weekend Australian Magazine reported that there are many other allegations: a boy being kept in solitary confinement for 65 days; other boys being kept in solitary confinement with the lights on 24 hours a day; a seven-year-old boy taken for interrogation in Jerusalem who says he was hit during questioning.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) told The Weekend Australian Magazine that there had been 2766 incidents of rock throwing in the West Bank, which is under Israeli military occupation, in the first 11 months of 2011 against either IDF soldiers or passing cars.
Israeli police also say a crash in September which killed a man and his infant son may have been caused by a rock hitting their car.
Israel’s international spokesman Yigal Palmor said: “There are many things that need to be improved. This is a general problem which derives from the fact that the West Bank is under military jurisdiction and military law and there is obviously a discrepancy between the civil code in Israel and the military law in the West Bank.
“That’s the root of the problem. But extending fully Israeli law to the West Bank would be tantamount to annexation.”
Fadia Saleh, from the YMCA’s rehabilitation program, says both physical and psychological torture are used.
The trauma, she says, is caused by the arrest and because children realize that their parents are powerless to do anything.
Solitary confinement complicates the child’s problems.
Fadia Saleh says occasionally in her line of work something makes her smile.
“One child was being interrogated and was asked for names of other children who had thrown stones and he gave some names,” she says.
“The soldiers kept saying ‘That’s not enough, give us more.’ The child began inventing names. The soldiers went around Silwan (East Jerusalem) looking for the children and couldn’t find them. Then they began looking for the boy to ask where all these children lived.
“So the boy had to go from house to house so the soldiers would not find him.”
A recent British delegation which visited the West Bank asked the children about a legal right to remain silent.
“The children asked ‘What do you mean?”‘ says Fadia Saleh.
“I tried to explain and their view was ‘Come on, what are you talking about? They (the Israeli soldiers) didn’t have the time, they were hitting us”‘.
Head counsellor at the YMCA rehabilitation centres, Mona Zaghrout Hodali, says on some days in Jerusalem up to 20 children are detained.
“Many children in the Jerusalem area are under house arrest,” she says.
One 13- year-old child would not talk to his parents because his father and mother had told him ‘You are safe, they cannot get you in the house’ but they did come into the house and took him. He said to his parents ‘you cannot protect me’. The boy began defecating without warning, from the trauma.
“I remember the case of a child from Jerusalem,” says Ms Hodali.
“To torture him they put him behind a door and then people would come into the room and hit him on purpose.
“Another boy, 15 from Hebron, was with his mother picking olives in a field. Soldiers came and pushed him to the ground and started beating him.
“They kept him for one week without a claim (charge.) When he came out his mother said ‘I don’t know him he doesn’t want to go to school, he can’t sleep, he walks around the house at nights.’
“We have children who have spent two years or three years, in prison. The Israeli army have things called administrative detention orders and they can keep rolling these over.
“I still deal with one case in Jenin where the boy was shot in the spinal cord. They ( the soldiers) took him to the hospital where he was in a coma for five days . He woke up in hospital, cuffed and paralysed.
“They knew he was paralysed because he’d been shot in the spinal cord. They took him straight from hospital to jail in a wheelchair.
“He spent more than six years in jail. He went in when he was 19 and came out when he was 25.”
Ms Hodali said when he got out of jail he said he wanted to go to a doctor and the doctor said he had came too late if he had come earlier he could have helped him walk, at least on crutches.
Ten-year-old Mahmoud A is a case study of the treatment of some Palestinian children by the Israeli military. He lives on the frontline of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His home is in the Palestinian village Beit Ummar, in the West bank. On February 18, Mahmoud, then nine, was playing with other children in front of his house.
Suddenly, according to his family, Israeli soldiers began chasing the children they grabbed Mahmoud but several of the other children ran away.
One soldier told Mahmoud’s parents that a boy in a blue shirt had thrown stones at an army jeep and they believed he had been with the group.
The soldiers began taking Mahmoud away when his father grabbed his arm. The father says a soldier got him in a headlock which made him let go of his son. The soldier then put the boy onto his back and took him away.
Mahmoud’s mother, Rana, said one of the soldiers told her : “We are capturing him until you bring us the other boy (in the blue shirt)”.
One of Mahmoud’s relatives drove by and saw him in the vehicle. He stopped to argue for his release.
Rana says the four soldiers made the relative get out of his car before beating him with sticks. The boy was blindfolded and driven away. “I was crying and saying in Arabic that I want to go home but I don’t know if he knew what I was saying,” Mahmoud said.
Mahmoud says he was made to sit in the sun, blindfolded, and a soldier told him: “You threw stones and you know people who threw stones give us their names.”
Mahmoud says when he said this was not true the soldier hit him in the face “four or five times”.
The interrogation lasted for hours.
We saw the boy’s situation first hand. The day The Australian visited his village recently the army had closed off the entrance which meant we could not drive in.
So Mahmoud walked to meet us but as we were walking past the checkpoint one soldier shouted “Mahmoud!” He moved towards, Mahmoud who broke into tears. The locals told the soldiers he has been doing nothing wrong.
“He threw stones,” one of the soldiers replied. In the rough justice of these parts, it appears Mahmoud has been tried and convicted for something he did not do.
It appears that between locals arguing with the soldiers and our presence the soldiers decided to let him go.
His mother says that since he was taken away Mahmoud will not go outside the house after dark. She says his younger brother, Nour, is worried the soldiers will take him away too.
As we sat talking on the family’s balcony, Nour frequently looked towards the soldiers in the guard tower which looks down over the village.
It is not uncommon for Israeli soldiers to fire tear gas into the village in response to stone throwing.
Rana says she closes her windows to try and prevent gas coming in.
But the women in the village told us that after years of tear gas they fear it maybe affecting some women in the village who are finding it difficult to become pregnant.
The village is also a flashpoint between Palestinians and Jewish settlers. Villagers say the settlers recently went to a Palestinian shop and smashed the pots being displayed outside.
The horror of this small village is being replicated across the West Bank.
( / 24.02.2012)

Injured protester ‘dies in surgery’

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Medics say a Palestinian protester died Friday during surgery after being shot during clashes with the Israeli army near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Talat Ramia, 25, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and five others were injured, medics at the Palestine Medical Complex said. Ramia died during surgery, they said.

Israeli forces were firing tear gas and both live and rubber bullets at protesters gathering near the Qalandia checkpoint after hearing rumors of a raid on a holy site in Jerusalem.

An Israeli army spokesman said the incident was under investigation.

The official said initial indications showed that one of the protesters had “fired fireworks at IDF soldiers from several meters away, putting the soldiers’ lives in danger”.

The soldiers “responded by firing, injuring the Palestinian in his shoulder.”

The shooting came amid a violent riot, he added.

( / 24.02.2012)

Actualité Mondiale : Conférence des Amis de la Syrie : Le président syrien Bachar Al- Assad peut choisir de sauver son peuple selon Hilary Clinton

Le président de la Syrie Bachar Al- Assad “peut opter pour le choix de sauver son peuple et son pays de tomber dans les ruines”, a souligné vendredi la secrétaire d’Etat américain Hilary Clinton lors d’une conférence de presse à l’issue des travaux de la conférence des”Amis de la Syrie” de Tunis.

Les actuels efforts de la communauté internationale réunie à Tunis sur l’affaire syrienne s’articulent autour de trois principaux objectifs dont la pression sur le régime de Damas, l’acheminement d’aides humanitaires urgentes aux Syriens ainsi que la préparation d’une transition démocratique en Syrie.

Les travaux de la conférence de Tunis sur la crise syrienne ont abouti, selon Mme Clinton, à un consensus concernant l’importance de renforcer la pression sur le régime d’Al-Assad et “appuyer son isolement” mais aussi d’engager “des mesures en urgence absolue” portant essentiellement sur l’envoi d’aides humanitaires au profit du peuple syrien.

La secrétaire d’Etat américain a également souligné l’importance d’imposer des sanctions contre Damas à travers l’interdiction de voyage des responsables du régime syrien, le gel des investissements en sa faveur ainsi que la fermeture des différentes ambassades à Damas.

Evoquant l’opposition syrienne, la chef de la diplomatie américaine a déclaré que le groupe des “Amis de la Syrie” espèrent que le Conseil national syrien réussit à représenter le peuple syrien. “Dans les jours qui viennent, les différents groupes de l’opposition syrienne seront appelés à se rassembler, faire entendre leurs voix et exprimer leur vision de l’avenir”.

( / 24.02.2012)

The claim that Palestinians are the aggressors

The claims portraying Israelis as victims are empty claims because we have evidence from Zionists who confirmed that they took part in the ethnic cleansing and the massacres that were committed against Palestinians..

Look at some of the quotes from Israel’s founding fathers and prominent figures in Israeli history:

“If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?”David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister), quoted by Nahum Goldmann in “Le Paraddoxe Juif” (“The Jewish Paradox”), pp121.

We must do everything to insure they (the Palestinians) never do return.” Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. “The old will die and the young will forget.”David Ben Gurion, 1948

11. “We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.”Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983. 12. “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.”- Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, October 3, 2001, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio. (Certainly the FBI’s cover-up of the Israeli spy ring/phone tap scandal suggests that Mr. Sharon may not have been joking.) 13. “We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel… Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours.” – Rafael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot 13 April 1983; New York Times 14 April 1983. 14. “We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return”David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar’s “Ben-Gurion: The Armed Prophet,” Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157

16. “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”Israel Koenig, “The Koenig Memorandum”

17. “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, Haaretz, April 4, 1969.

18. “We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out!’”Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, New York Times, 23 October 1979.

19. “We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters”Rabin’s description of the conquest of Lydda, after the completion of Plan Dalet. Uri Lubrani, PM Ben-Gurion’s special adviser on Arab Affairs, 1960. quoted in “The Arabs in Israel” by Sabri Jiryas.

20. “There are some who believe that the non-Jewish population, even in a high percentage, within our borders will be more effectively under our surveillance; and there are some who believe the contrary, i.e., that it is easier to carry out surveillance over the activities of a neighbor than over those of a tenant. [I] tend to support the latter view and have an additional argument:… the need to sustain the character of the state which will henceforth be Jewish…with a non-Jewish minority limited to 15 percent. I had already reached this fundamental position as early as 1940 [and] it is entered in my diary.”Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department. From “Israel: an Apartheid State” by Uri Davis, p.5.

21. “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours… Everything we don’t grab will go to them.”Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

22. “It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.”Yoram Bar Porath, Yediot Aahronot, 14 July 1972.

23. “Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, “Complete Diaries,” June 12, 1895 entry.

24. “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, Feb. 27, 1994 New York Times, Feb. 28, 1994, p. 1

Even Einstein who is Jewish opposed the massacres and brutality of Zionism

(Ahmed Zack / Facebook / 24.02.2012 )

Roep om harder ingrijpen in Syrië – desnoods met troepenmacht – neemt toe

De roep om een harder optreden tegen het regime van Bashar al-Assad in Syrië wordt luider. Qatar pleitte vandaag tijdens een internationale conferentie van de ‘Vrienden van Syrië’ in Tunis voor de vorming van een Arabische troepenmacht die vrede aan het Arabische land moet opleggen.

De Saudische minister van Buitenlandse Zaken noemde het een ‘uitstekend idee’ om de oppositie tegen Assad te bewapenen. Qatar was een van de drijvende krachten achter de internationale militaire interventie die vorig jaar leidde tot de val van het bewind van dictator Muammar Kaddafi in Libië.

De Franse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Alain Juppé maakte bekend dat de Europese Unie zijn sancties tegen het Syrische regime uitbreidt. Alle tegoeden van de Syrische centrale bank in EU-lidstaten worden vanaf maandag bevroren. Eerder besloot de unie al de import van Syrische olie te verbieden. Juppés Nederlandse collega Uri Rosenthal zei ook dat de druk op Assad moet worden opgevoerd.

De Tunesische president Moncef Marzouki sprak zich ook uit voor de vorming van een Arabische vredesmacht. ‘De huidige situatie vereist een Arabische interventie binnen het raamwerk van de Liga, een Arabische troepenmacht om de vrede en veiligheid te bewaren en om diplomatieke initiatieven te begeleiden waarin Bashar ervan moet worden overtuigd dat hij moet vertrekken’, zei hij.

Verzet Rusland

De topman van de Arabische Liga, Nabil Elaraby ging minder ver. Hij riep de VN-Veiligheidsraad op snel een resolutie aan te nemen waarin het Syrische regime ertoe wordt opgeroepen de wapens neer te leggen. Tot nu toe zijn alle pogingen in de raad om tot een veroordeling van het gewelddadig optreden van het regime te komen, mislukt door verzet van vooral Rusland. Dat land was niet in Tunis vertegenwoordigd.

De deelnemers aan de conferentie zeiden de Syrische Nationale Raad te beschouwen als de ‘legitieme vertegenwoordiging van Syriërs die naar een vreedzame democratische verandering streven’.

Het Syrische leger ging de oppositie vrijdag opnieuw hard te lijf. Zeker 90 mensen verloren volgens de oppositie het leven, onder wie 12 kinderen. In een dorp in de centrale provincie Hama zijn volgens activisten zeker 18 mensen geëxecuteerd, onder wie zeven leven van één boerenfamilie.

In de stad Homs, die al dagen door het regeringsleger wordt aangevallen, zouden zeker 16 doden zijn gevallen. Het Rode Kruis is vrijdag begonnen met de evacuatie van gewonden uit de stad. De hulpverlening richt zich vooral op de wijk Baba Amro, die al weken wordt belegerd. In Homs zou het geweld al aan zeker 465 mensen het leven hebben gekost.

( / 24.02.2012)

AIPAC Declares War

The American people don’t particularly want a new war in the Middle East, but apparently Congress and Washington’s most powerful lobby do. Thirty-two senators have co-sponsored a resolution that will constrain the White House from adopting any policy vis-à-vis Iran’s “nuclear weapons capability” that amounts to “containment.” The senators include the familiar figures of Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, both of whom have persistently called for military action. They and the other senators have presented their proposal in a particularly deceptive fashion, asserting that they are actually supporting the White House position, which they are not. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta repeated on Feb. 16 that Iran does not have and is not currently building a nuclear device. Before Christmas, he stated clearly that the “red line” for the United States is actual Iranian possession of a nuclear weapon. Even Israel’s intelligence services agree that Iran is not building a bomb. What we are seeing play out in Congress is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) position, which is that Iran has already crossed a “red line.”The AIPAC argument will no doubt be spelled out in more detail next month at the group’s annual convention in the nation’s capital, a meeting that will be addressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will attract nearly all of Washington’s power brokers.

Rejection of containment in this context and as spelled out in the resolution means that the United States will be forced to go to war if Iran attains the capability to put together a nuclear weapon. Indeed, one might argue that the United States should be at war already, based on the resolution. “Capability” is one of those particularly useful expressions that is extremely elastic and can be interpreted subjectively. By most standards, Iran already has the technical know-how to make a nuclear bomb and has most of the materials on hand to put one together, assuming it can enrich the uranium it possesses to the required level. The Iranians may not, in fact, have the engineering skills to do so, and the task of creating a small, sophisticated device that can be mounted on a ballistic missile is certainly far beyond their current capabilities and probably unachievable given the costs involved and the poor state of their economy.

There are about 50 countries in the world that have the capability to produce a nuclear weapon if they chose to do so, making Iran far from unique but for its persistence as a thorn in the side of Israel and Israel’s powerful lobby in the United States. In other words, Iran does not have to actually produce a nuclear weapon for it to be subject to attack by either Israel or the United States. It only has to continue to be an irritant for Israel.

The new threat of war takes the Bush doctrine of preemption to a whole new level. Some sources in the Obama administration are anonymously warningthat war with Iran is nearly certain and are predicting it to break out in late summer. That would be just before the presidential election, a time in which Obama will be seeking desperately to seize the high ground on Israel’s security from whomever the Republicans nominate. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not even have to mimic Colin Powell by going to the United Nations to seek authorization for an attack using false and fabricated information. Everyone can agree that the mullahs do not actually have a weapon and may not even want to acquire one, but it’s fine to bomb them anyway. The U.S. Senate approves, so off we go to another misadventure in the Middle East

Without a doubt, President Obama is to blame for this shameful state of affairs for showing every sign of weakness whenever confronted by Netanyahu and AIPAC. We should almost certainly expect nothing less than a personal and presidential kowtow at the AIPAC conference next month, a complete surrender that Netanyahu will no doubt receive in his usual ungracious fashion. Even President George W. Bush was able to stand up to the Israelis and forbid an attack on Iran, but now the United States has boxed itself into a corner diplomatically speaking, without any real ability to influence Tel Aviv to cease and desist.

Israel’s prime minister is continuously ramping up the rhetoric, callingIran a threat to the entire world and suggesting that his country will soon retaliate against recent Iranian-directed terrorist attacks. The bombing in New Delhi and attempted bombings in Tbilisi and Thailand targeting Israelis are a major escalation of the tit-for-tat terrorism between Israel and Iran. Israel has killed four Iranian scientists using Mujahedin-e Khalq agents and possibly relying on intelligence provided by Washington. Israel’s involvement in recruiting Jundallah-Balochi militants using officers pretending to be American CIA, referred to as a false-flag operation, was recently revealed in the U.S. media, though the story quickly disappeared from sight, as is almost invariably the case when dealing with Israel.

But Iran is now signaling that it too has surrogates and is willing to respond in kind. An interesting subplot is the location of two of the attacks in India and Georgia. Iran certainly has covert resources among India’s large Muslim population and also within the significant Azeri minority in Georgia. Israel has been courting India and sees a strategic relationship developing, with the two united against Muslim insurgency. Israel also has a not-so-secret military and intelligence base in Georgia and has recently expanded into nearby Azerbaijan, where it has established an intelligence listening post at an airbase. Iran is surrounded by Israeli operational initiatives and is now signaling that it has had enough and is prepared to strike back. A back-and-forth series of assassinations is particularly dangerous, as it could produce the type of incident that Israel could exploit to preemptively attack, not unlike the fallout from the assassination of a certain archduke in Serbia in 1914. The conflict would undoubtedly ignite the region and inevitably involve the United States, particularly if Congress and the media have any say in the matter.

The United States is powerless to prevent such an outcome in spite of a clear national interest to do so. President Obama has insisted, probably sincerely, that he doesn’t want a war and maintains that he is willing to talk to Iran. But he has nevertheless refused to do so despite several overtures from Tehran to start a dialogue, preferring to deal through surrogates. He has told the Israelis repeatedly that they should not attack Iran, but he keeps insisting that “all options are on the table” in dealing with the mullahs, completely confusing the issue for most observers. What is needed is a clear signal from the White House that the U.S. interest is that there should not be a war and that Washington will not get involved no matter who starts it. If the Israelis know they will have to go it alone, they will not attack. Unfortunately, in an election year, such a position is unlikely because the White House will want to present itself as a close friend of Israel and tough against “rogue” states like Iran.

You might well ask how the United States wound up in such a pickle. Many Americans are beginning to wake up to the fact that it is disgraceful that a small country like Israel should be able to dictate U.S. foreign policy in a key part of the world, but the current situation is actually far worse than that. This is the case of a foreign government’s lobby consisting largely of American citizens using its clout to avoid registering as a foreign agent while narrowing the policy options through its friends in Congress and the media in such a way as to make war inevitable. Some might call it treason. Such people should be denounced and marginalized before they send off another wave of young Americans to die on their behalf while beggaring the rest of us, but instead, senators and representatives will be lining up to cheer them in a month’s time. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison must be spinning in their graves.

( / 24.02.2012)