US, Israel to jointly battle smuggling (SETTING THE OBAMA TRAP)

“the memorandum, that would bind the incoming US administration”

US, Israel to jointly battle smuggling

In a diplomatic race against the clock, Foreign Ministry Tzipi Livni was concurrently holding a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in order to arrive at an MOU – a memorandum of understanding – that would give it guarantees of cooperation against arms smuggling.

Some of the clauses in the memorandum, that would bind the incoming US administration as well, included measures against Iran, Hamas’s main backer as regards funding and armament.

During an interview to Channel 10 shortly after concluding her meeting with Rice, Livni hinted that some US forces, as well as NATO and other regional countries, will work directly with Israel “in land and at sea” to combat weapons smuggling.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s preference was to conclude a ceasefire “over Hamas’s head” regardless of the terror group’s position, working with Egypt and the US, the station reported.

“The MOU that Foreign Minister Livni and I will sign should be thought of as one of the elements of trying to bring into being a durable cease-fire, a cease-fire that can actually hold,” Rice told reporters.

“As you know, there are a number of conditions that need to be obtained if a cease-fire is to be durable. … And among them is to do something about the weapons smuggling and the potential for resupply of Hamas from other places, including from Iran,” she added.

“This we see as part of a broader international effort on the information sharing” on how to deal with weapons shipments,” she said.

Rice’s chief spokesman, Sean McCormack, said later that the memorandum is about two and a half pages and is “a very general framework, underpinned by a number of understandings.” Among the understandings, he said, is a US commitment of “resources, wherewithal and technology necessary in order to fulfill our part of the bargain. The essential element of this is to inhibit the ability of Hamas to rearm.”

McCormack added: “This is an enabling condition to get to a cease-fire.”

Diplomats said earlier that the text calls for enhanced intelligence cooperation and US technical and logistical support for border monitors.

Livni said at the press conference that “We do not make agreements with terror but find effective arrangements against it.”

Livni cautioned that a halt to Israel’s campaign must be based on enforceable guarantees that the situation on the ground must change and “will not come from a simple call for a ceasefire.”

US diplomats said the hope was that the agreement would satisfy Israeli concerns about reopening Gaza border crossings and will be an important piece of an Egyptian cease-fire initiative being negotiated in Cairo to end the fighting that has killed some 1,100 Palestinians since Israel launched the operation on Dec. 27. Thirteen Israelis have been killed, four by rocket fire, according to the military.

“Once this is signed, hopefully Israel will be comfortable enough to allow the border crossings to reopen,” one official said.

A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People

Written shortly after the Balfour Declaration, Winston Churchill shares his thoughts on the nature of Jewish intellectuals and their relation to key world events of the Twentieth Century.  His words were a warning about the devious nature of international Jews.  While singing the praises of the Zionist experiment, he overlooked the dangers of a merger between the two radical groups. His appeal to nationalist Jews who were fully assimilated patriots in all the countries of the earth to act as a counter-balance to their more radical cousins is particularly relevant to us today, in our quest to tame generations of bloodshed from Balfour.

Illustrated Sunday HeraldFebruary 8, 1920,

Zionism versus Bolshevism.

A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People

By the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill.

SOME people like Jews and some do not; but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world.

Disraeli, the Jew Prime Minister of England, and Leader of the Conservative Party, who was always true to his race and proud of his origin, said on a well-known occasion: “The Lord deals with the nations as the nations deal with the Jews.” Certainly when we look at the miserable state of Russia, where of all countries in the world the Jews were the most cruelly treated, and contrast it with the fortunes of our own country, which seems to have been so providentially preserved amid the awful perils of these times, we must admit that nothing that has since happened in the history of the world has falsified the truth of Disraeli’s confident assertion.

Good and Bad Jews

The conflict between good and evil which proceeds unceasingly in the breast of man nowhere reaches such an intensity as in the Jewish race. The dual nature of mankind is nowhere more strongly or more terribly exemplified. We owe to the Jews in the Christian revelation a system of ethics which, even if it were entirely separated from the supernatural, would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind, worth in fact the fruits of all other wisdom and learning put together. On that system and by that faith there has been built out of the wreck of the Roman Empire the whole of our existing civilization.

And it may well be that this same astounding race may at the present time be in the actual process of producing another system of morals and philosophy, as malevolent as Christianity was benevolent, which, if not arrested, would shatter irretrievably all that Christianity has rendered possible. It would almost seem as if the gospel of Christ and the gospel of Antichrist were destined to originate among the same people; and that this mystic and mysterious race had been chosen for the supreme manifestations, both of the divine and the diabolical.

‘National’ Jews

There can be no greater mistake than to attribute to each individual a recognizable share in the qualities which make up the national character. There are all sorts of men — good, bad and, for the most part, indifferent — in every country, and in every race. Nothing is more wrong than to deny to an individual, on account of race or origin, his right to be judged on his personal merits and conduct. In a people of peculiar genius like the Jews, contrasts are more vivid, the extremes are more widely separated, the resulting consequences are more decisive.

At the present fateful period there are three main lines of political conception among the Jews. two of which are helpful and hopeful in a very high degree to humanity, and the third absolutely destructive.

First there are the Jews who, dwelling in every country throughout the world, identify themselves with that country, enter into its national life and, while adhering faithfully to their own religion, regard themselves as citizens in the fullest sense of the State which has received them. Such a Jew living in England would say, “I am an English man practising the Jewish faith.” This is a worthy conception, and useful in the highest degree. We in Great Britain well know that during the great struggle the influence of what may be called the “National Jews” in many lands was cast preponderatingly on the side of the Allies; and in our own Army Jewish soldiers have played a most distinguished part, some rising to the command of armies, others winning the Victoria Cross for valour.

The National Russian Jews, in spite of the disabilities under which they have suffered, have managed to play an honorable and useful part in the national life even of Russia. As bankers and industrialists they have strenuously promoted the development of Russia’s economic resources, and they were foremost in the creation of those remarkable organizations, the Russian Co-operative Societies. In politics their support has been given, for the most part, to liberal and progressive movements, and they have been among the staunchest upholder of friendship with France and Great Britain.

International Jews

In violent opposition to all this sphere of Jewish effort rise the schemes of the International Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all, of them have forsaken the faith of their forefathers, and divorced from their minds all spiritual hopes of the next world. This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognizable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.

Terrorist Jews

There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution, by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews, it is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd) or of Krassin or Radek — all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.

‘Protector of the Jews’

Needless to say, the most intense passions of revenge have been excited in the breasts of the Russian people. Wherever General Denikin’s authority could reach, protection was always accorded to the Jewish population, and strenuous efforts were made by his officers to prevent reprisals and to punish those guilty of them. So much was this the case that the Petlurist propaganda against General Denikin denounced him as the Protector of the Jews. The Misses Healy, nieces of Mr. Tim Healy, in relating their personal experiences in Kieff, have declared that to their knowledge on more than one occasion officers who committed offenses against Jews were reduced to the ranks and sent out of the city to the front. But the hordes of brigands by whom the whole. vast expanse of the Russian Empire is becoming infested do not hesitate to gratify their lust for blood and for revenge at the expense of the innocent Jewish population whenever an opportunity occurs. The brigand Makhno, the hordes of Petlura and of Gregorieff, who signalized their every success by the most brutal massacres, everywhere found among the half-stupefied, half-infuriated population an eager response to anti-Semitism in its worst and foulest forms.

The fact that in many cases Jewish interests and Jewish places of worship are excepted by the Bolsheviks from their universal hostility has tended more and more to associate the Jewish race in Russia with the villainies, which are now being perpetrated. This is an injustice on millions of helpless people, most of whom are themselves sufferers from the revolutionary regime. It becomes, therefore, specially important to foster and develop any strongly-marked Jewish movement which leads directly away from these fatal associations. And it is here that Zionism has such a deep significance for the whole world at the present time.

A Home for the Jews

Zionism offers the third sphere to the political conceptions of the Jewish race. In violent contrast to international communism, it presents to the Jew a national idea of a commanding character. it has fallen to the British Government, as the result of the conquest of Palestine, to have the opportunity and the responsibility of securing for the Jewish race all over the world a home and centre of national life. The statesmanship and historic sense of Mr. Balfour were prompt to seize this opportunity. Declarations have now been made which have irrevocably decided the policy of Great Britain. The fiery energies of Dr. Weissmann, the leader, for practical purposes, of the Zionist project. backed by many of the most prominent British Jews, and supported by the full authority of Lord Allenby, are all directed to achieving the success of this inspiring movement.

Of course, Palestine is far too small to accommodate more than a fraction of the Jewish race, nor do the majority of national Jews wish to go there. But if, as may well happen, there should be created in our own lifetime by the banks of the Jordan a Jewish State under the protection of the British Crown, which might comprise three or four millions of Jews, an event would have occurred in the history of the world which would, from every point of view, be beneficial, and would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British Empire.

Zionism has already become a factor in the political convulsions of Russia, as a powerful competing influence in Bolshevik circles with the international communistic system. Nothing could be more significant than the fury with which Trotsky has attacked the Zionists generally, and Dr. Weissmann in particular. The cruel penetration of his mind leaves him in no doubt that his schemes of a world-wide communistic State under Jewish domination are directly thwarted and hindered by this new ideal, which directs the energies and the hopes of Jews in every land towards a simpler, a truer, and a far more attainable goal. The struggle which is now beginning between the Zionist and Bolshevik Jews is little less than a struggle for the soul of the Jewish people.

Duty of Loyal Jews

It is particularly important in these circumstances that the national Jews in every country who are loyal to the land of their adoption should come forward on every occasion, as many of them in England have already done, and take a prominent part in every measure for combating the Bolshevik conspiracy. In this way they will be able to vindicate the honor of the Jewish name and make it clear to all the world that the Bolshevik movement is not a Jewish movement, but is repudiated vehemently by the great mass of the Jewish race.

But a negative resistance to Bolshevism in any field is not enough. Positive and practicable alternatives are needed in the moral as well as in the social sphere; and in building up with the utmost possible rapidity a Jewish national centre in Palestine which may become not only a refuge to the oppressed from the unhappy lands of Central Europe, but which will also be a symbol of Jewish unity and the temple of Jewish glory, a task is presented on which many blessings rest.

Half of Europe Freezes While Parties Argue About Who Charges the Gas Lines

THE IDIOCY OF THE UKRAINIAN NEGOTIATING POSITION CAN BE SEEN IN THEIR DEMAND TO PAY COST OF “TRANSIT GAS” (THE AMOUNT OF GAS IT TAKES TO CHARGE THE PIPELINES AND COMPRESSORS) THREE TIMES, INSTEAD OF ONE INITIAL RESTART CHARGE.

Ukraine wants $US 700 million worth of gas to resume transit

Ukraine’s Naftogaz has requested Gazprom to hand over 21 million cubic metres of gas daily if the Russian company wants transit to Europe resumed, RT’s sources in Ukraine say. In this quarter alone the demanded gas would cost at least $US 700 million.

Chronology of Russia-Ukraine gas warThe current gas cuts are the culmination of a long gas war between Russia and Ukraine, RT looks back at its latest chapter, starting back in October 2007 and the ongoing crisis, the effect of which is now being felt all around Europe.

Naftogaz has sent a draft agreement to Gazprom that would amend the contract between them. The clause says the Russian company would provide the so-called process gas that is used to power compressor stations that pump the fuel through the pipelines.

ПодписьVladimir Kremlev for RT. Click to enlarge.

The current contract makes Ukraine responsible for the supply of process gas, just like other transit countries like Belarus or Bulgaria do to fulfill their obligations. Ukraine claims Russia should be the party responsible for supplying the gas.

The Ukrainian proposition suggests that Gazprom provides 360 million cubic metres of gas in January and 600 million cubic metres in February and March. According to Naftogaz, it will ‘secure proper transit of the Russian natural gas to European consumers’.

According to Gazprom representative Sergey Kupriyanov, however, the necessary process gas should be provided by the transporting party and that Gazprom “does not have any obligations to provide the Ukrainian part with this gas.”

He said that if Ukraine cannot do it for any reason, it can purchase the gas from either Gazprom, or from a third party.

Earlier, when Slovakia offered Ukraine credit to pay for the process gas, the latter said that it did not need it as Russia had always delivered technical gas by itself.

The cost of the gas which Ukraine demands in January alone is about $US 160 million in market prices.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has demanded that Ukraine compensates $US 1.1 billion losses in export contracts Gazprom has born due to the halt in supplies.

Gaza & The ‘Psychology’ Of Zionist Jews

Gaza & The ‘Psychology’ Of Zionist Jews

Zionist Agenda Articles, IsraHell Articles

GAZA & THE ‘PSYCHOLOGY’
OF ZIONIST JEWS

By Brother Nathanael Kapner, Copyright 2008

Articles May Be Reproduced Only With Authorship of Br Nathanael Kapner
& Link To Real Jew News (SM)

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Source: The Riddle Of The Jew’s Success @ Noontide Press Here
For More Information On This Topic
Check Out The Website Of The Institute for Historical Review Here

For The Best ‘Gaza-Attack’ Coverage CLICK: Rense.com Here
___________________________________


MANY ARE WRITING TO ME expressing much consternation regarding Jewry’s response to Israel’s attacks on civilians in Gaza. “How is it that most Jews have no conscience in light of the atrocities committed by the Israelis against Palestinian children in Gaza?” many are asking me through various emails.

Having been raised as a Jew in an upper-middle class synagogue — and now a convert to the Russian Orthodox Christian Church — I am in a unique position to comprehend the “Jewish psyche.” This understanding comes from not only being a former “insider,” but also, from the moral vantage point of being a devoted follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Of course I run the risk of being called by my former co-religionists, a “self-hating Jew.” And needless to say, I will be hailed before Jewry’s tribunal as being a “rabid Anti-Semite.”

In answer to the first charge, I am no longer a Jew but rather a Christian. And followers of Christ are commanded to love God, not themselves. For the inverse of being a “self-hating” Jew is to be a “self-loving” Jew. I had eschewed this way of thinking when I embraced the teachings of Jesus Christ at the age of 21. (I am now 58.)

As for the second charge, no one buys into the “Anti-Semite” accusation any longer. The mandate to allow Jews to act in criminal ways with impunity has come to an end. Thus I begin my expose of the ‘psychology’ of Zionist Jews – much of which is drawn & quoted from the 1927 classic work, The Riddle Of The Jew’s Success, listed as my source above.

There is scarcely a field, from Art and Literature, to Academics and Political Economy, from Politics and Media, to the most secret domains of sensuality and criminality, in which the Jewish spirit cannot be clearly traced and has not imparted a peculiar warp to the affairs of life.

All the motives and activities of this Jewish spirit are directed towards obtaining an advantage over the “goyim.” Yet at the same time, the Jews imagine that with regard to ethics and morality, they are very exalted beings. No one speaks more effusively about ethical values than the Jews. But what the Jews are after in espousing “ethical values” is seeking their own advantage under the pretext that they are engaged in some praise-worthy and unselfish effort.

“We are protecting our right to exist!” insist the Jews in defense of their attacks on Gaza civilians. “We must wipe out the scourge of terrorism!” proclaim the Jews as their heroic mission in justifying the slaughter of Palestinian children. But in reality, it is the gain of “advantage” that the Jews are after when appealing to the Gentiles’ sense of right and wrong. And that “advantage” is to seize every inch of land owned by the Palestinians.

If one wished to sum up Jewish morality in one phrase, it would read as follows: “All is moral which brings advantage.” Owing to the Jewish denial of an afterlife and a hell to shun, Jews are simply incapable of applying a higher standard to the values of life than that of advantage and profit. This is why Zionist Jews can observe Israeli soldiers mutilating the tender bodies of Gazan children without any qualms of conscience.

The Zionist Jewish perception can be put in another way: “Morality is the art of over-reaching other people, and at the same time, creating the impression of a praise-worthy disposition — in fact — of representing what is in reality an offense against others, as an act of virtue.”

This is a twisted way of thinking. But Zionist Jews do not think in a straightforward manner. The Zionist Jew begins from a “defensive” posture – and like a boxer who is called a “spoiler” by means of weaves & bobs – the Zionist Jew is on a quest to exhaust, ruin, and finally, dismember his opponent. Gentiles are simply overwhelmed by this method of conquest, who in most cases, simply wish to live a life of uninterrupted peace.

We are now witnessing with regard to the massacres in Gaza, the continual strife caused by Jewry’s insistence of Israel’s “right to exist.” Chaos, conflict, and continual enmity between peoples and nations are all part of Zionist Jewry’s method to “exhaust” the Gentile world into a state of compliance with their criminal deeds.

But how long will the nations allow a small minority to dictate to them their criminal terms? Methinks that it will not be long, my friends. For it is written, “They who live by the sword must die by the sword.” Here is the patience and faith of the saints…

___________________________________
For More See: Neurotic Jews – Priests For A New World Order Click Here

And: Freud’s Jewish Subversion Of Christian Culture Click Here

And: How The Jews Think – Pts I, II, III Click Here

And: How The Jews Talk – Pt 1 Click Here

And: Jewry’s Crushing Silence On Gaza Click Here

And: Obama To Lead Fourth Reich Click Here


CLICK: Brother Nathanael! Street Evangelist!

Syria urges full Arab boycott of Israel as divisions deepen over Gaza

Syria urges full Arab boycott of Israel as

divisions deepen over Gaza

President Assad says 2002 Arab League initiative no longer valid and urges member states to sever ties with Tel Aviv

Arab divisions over the Gaza crisis were dramatically underlined again today when Syria, the chief backer of the Palestinian group Hamas, called a groundbreaking peace plan dead and urged Arab states to sever all ties with Israel.

Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, told like-minded leaders meeting in the Gulf state of Qatar that the 2002 Arab peace initiative, backed by the entire 22-member Arab League, was no longer valid. Syria had already announced an end to its own talks with Israel, brokered by Turkey and focusing on the Golan Heights.

The Arab initiative promises recognition of Israel in return for a withdrawal to the 1967 borders and a just settlement of the Palestinian problem. It is widely considered to be the only basis on which a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement could be reached and has already attracted the attention of US president-elect Barack Obama.

Assad’s unilateral announcement does not mean the plan has been formally withdrawn – that would require a full Arab summit. But his statement illustrates just how difficult it will be to rescue hopes for progress towards a wider regional peace once the immediate Gaza crisis is over.

The Syrian demand to cut links with Israel was directed primarily at Egypt and Jordan, both of which have had peace treaties and full diplomatic ties with Israel since 1979 and 1994 respectively.

Qatar and Mauritania have since announced they are suspending ties.

In addition to Assad, the Qatar meeting was attended by the presidents of Lebanon, Algeria and Sudan, as well as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is viscerally hostile to Israel. But western-backed heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Egypt and their allies were absent, sending their foreign ministers to a rival gathering in Kuwait instead.

Khaled Meshal, the de facto Hamas leader, along with the leaders of Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which are also fighting Israel in Gaza, flew to Doha from Damascus on the Emir of Qatar’s private plane.

Qatar, a tiny but super-wealthy Arab emirate, manages to have low-level ties with Israel as well as Hamas. It had called for an emergency Arab summit on Gaza but failed to secure the quorum of 15 states required. But it went ahead anyway as a “consultative meeting”. Complicating matters further, Saudi Arabia called its Gulf partners to a meeting in Riyadh late on Thursday, which was a clear attempt to both sideline and upstage the Qatari effort.

Saud al-Faisal, the veteran Saudi foreign minister, called for more support for Egyptian efforts to mediate a ceasefire and increase pressure on Israel to implement a UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to the violence in Gaza. As Amr Mussa, the Egyptian secretary general of the Arab League, said in Kuwait: “The Arab situation has been very chaotic and this is regrettable.”

Bulgaria PM: We Are Prepared to Reactivate One Kozloduy Unit

SIDE BENEFIT OF GAS WAR FOR THE EMPIRE

Bulgaria PM: We Are Prepared to Reactivate One Kozloduy Unit

Click to enlarge the photo
The Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev announced Friday that all necessary technology conditions for the reactivation of one of the Units of the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) “Kozloduy” were in place. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

The Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev announced Friday that all necessary technology conditions for the reactivation of one of the Units of the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) “Kozloduy” were in place.

Stanishev said that in case the gas crisis continued, one Unit could be reactivated in 45 days at the most, adding that unlike Slovakia, Bulgaria’s EU accession treaty gave the country the right to undertake such measure when there was a crisis situation.

“Our Cabinet is carefully examining this option. Even more, I have given them directions to begin the technological preparation to reactivate one of the Units from the “Kozloduy” NPP, should the gas crisis continue. Such actions have already been undertaken. Of course, we must carefully consider all possible political risks. We cannot act unilaterally; let our partners just face a done deal. There must be a dialogue and we are doing just that,” Stanishev explained.

Ukraine Insists, “technology agreement first, gas transit second”

Ukraine Rejects Once Again Russian Gas Transit

The Ukraine has once again refused to fulfill the request of the Russian energy monopoly “Gazprom” for the transit of 99,2 M cubic meter of gas, the Russian information agency “Novosti” reported Friday.

Novosti are quoting the spokesperson of the Ukrainian “Naftogaz” Valentin Zemlyansky.

Zemlyansky confirmed that the transit of Russian gas through the Ukrainian territory remains impossible.

“Our answer is the same as the one from yesterday: a technology agreement first, gas transit second,” the spokesperson declared.

In the mean time there is growing frustration with both countries among European officials.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is due to meet Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Germany on Friday, warned that Russia could damage its reputation as a reliable energy supplier if the dispute continued.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has further warned Russian and Ukrainian gas companies that they could be sued for failing to meet their obligations.

The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed Wednesday that Moscow hosts a Saturday meeting of all countries using Russian gas and all transit countries. Initially, the Ukrainian Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulya Timoshenko stated that she supported the idea, but the Ukraine would attend such meeting only if it would be held in a neutral country.

Timoshenko and her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin negotiated the meeting during a late night phone call. On Thursday Russian and Ukrainian Cabinets confirmed that they will hold talks in Moscow on Saturday.

Some are skeptical that the meeting will bring a solution to the problem. After high-level talks in both Moscow and Kiev, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said he could not see how the two sides could be reconciled any time soon.

Top EU officials, such as EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Czech Energy Minister Martin Riman, also plan to join Russia and Ukraine in high-level talks in Moscow to resolve the gas crisis.

“Gaza Plan” Intended to Bind Obama’s Hands

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO CALL FOR NAVAL BLOCKADE OF IRAN, THE “IRAN WAR PLAN” RESURRECTED.

US and Israel to sign Memorandum of Understanding Friday to call for international effort to cut Hamas off from Iranian weapons

Israel’s Livni flies to Washington over Gaza plan

JERUSALEM, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Israel said on Thursday Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni would travel to Washington to finalise an accord designed to prevent Hamas from rearming, a key Israeli condition for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

“Prime Minister Ehud Olmert authorised this evening the trip of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to the United States in order to promote an American-Israeli outlined agreement intended to deal with weapons smuggling,” Olmert’s office said in a statement.

Press, Banned from War Zone, Reports Growing Evidence of Israel Using White Phosphorus in Gaza

Press, Banned from War Zone, Reports Growing Evidence of Israel Using White Phosphorus in Gaza

By Greg Mitchell

Published: January 15, 2009 1:45 PM ET
NEW YORK For several days, charges that Israel has been using white phosphorus in its Gaza bombing have spread, unconfirmed but gaining some credibility as some human rights groups have weighed in. But today the charges are reaching critical mass in the wake of the bombing of the main United Nations compound in Gaza City.

And newspapers are in the lead in reporting it — despite the Israeli ban on reporters entering the war zone.

This just in from Reuters:

“A warehouse in a U.N. compound in Gaza that came under Israeli fire on Thursday was apparently hit by white-phosphorus shells, U.N. humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes said. ‘The main warehouse was badly damaged by what appeared to be white-phosphorus shells,’ Holmes told reporters at a news briefing in New York. ‘Those on the ground don’t have any doubt that’s what they were. If you were looking for confirmation, that looks like it to me.'”

The Times of London reports today:

“The Israeli military has denied using white phosphorus shells in the Gaza offensive, although an investigation by The Times has revealed that dozens of Palestinians in Gaza have sustained serious injuries from the substance, which burns at extremely high temperatures. The Geneva Convention of 1980 proscribes the use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war in civilian areas, although it can be used to create a smokescreen. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said today that all weapons used in Gaza were ‘within the scope of international law.'”

In fact, the International Red Cross has stated that Israel is certainly using it and Israel’s response was a non-denial, a spokesman explaining that the military “wishes to reiterate that it uses weapons in compliance with international law, while strictly observing that they be used in accordance with the type of combat and its characteristics.”

The use of white phosphorus as an illuminating device only is okayed by international law but such use is extremely risky and dangerous to civilians. The fires it sets cannot be put out with the usual water or fire extinguishers.

Today, at least two United Nations officials have flatly declared that three or more white phosphorous shells were part of the attack today that set a UN building and compound ablaze in Gaza City. Here is just one of many press reports, just posted by The New York Times:

“A spokesman for the Relief and Works Agency, Christopher Gunness, said that the Israelis had been provided with the GPS coordinates of all United Nations facilities in Gaza. He said that two buildings were ablaze and that there were five fully laden fuel vehicles at the site….

“In the attack on Thursday, Mr. Gunness said, the Israelis used phosphorous shells, according to Bloomberg. The Israelis have shot three phosphorus shells against the compound, where hundreds of civilians are being sheltered,’ he was quoted as saying.”

Earlier this week The New York Times reported on growing civilian charges of white phosphorus use:

“Luay Suboh, 10, from Beit Lahiya, lost his eyesight and some skin on his face Saturday when, his mother said, a fiery substance clung to him as he darted home from a shelter where his family was staying to pick up clothes. The substance smelled like burned trash, said Ms. Jaawanah, the mother who fled her home in Zeitoun, who had experienced it too. She had no affection for Hamas, but her sufferings were changing that. ‘Do you think I’m against them firing rockets now?’ she asked, referring to Hamas. ‘No. I was against it before. Not anymore.'”

Also this week, Agence France Presse reported:

“Medics in Gaza say they have treated more than 50 people suffering burns caused by controversial white phosphorus shells, a claim backed up by a report of the New York-based Human Rights Watch. And two Norwegian doctors, recently returned from working in the Gaza Strip, accused Israel of using the territory as a testing ground for a new ‘extremely nasty’ type of explosive.”

Then there is today’s report. also by The Times of London, from correspondent Sheera Franklin in Jerusalem:

“Remnants of an Israeli white phosphorus shell, identified by the marking on the outer casing — M825A1 — have been found in the village of Sheikh Ajilin in western Gaza. Witnesses in Gaza said that the shell was fired on January 9 and was taken indoors as evidence. They recalled seeing thick smoke and smelling a strong odour in keeping with the garlic-like smell associated with white phosphorus.

“Hebrew writing on the shell casing reads ‘exploding smoke’ — the term the Israeli army uses for white phosphorus. Doctors who examined the shell said that it appeared to include phosphorus residue. Residents said that they suffered burns on their feet when they walked where the shelling had taken place.”


Greg Mitchell (gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com) is editor of E&P and his new book on the 2008 campaign, “Why Obama Won,” will be published next week. His current book on Iraq and the Media is “So Wrong for So Long.”

Allegedly “Christian” Fear-mongers Whip-out Sharia Bogeyman

Hammas Crucifying Christians?

Right-wing “Christian” fundamentalist website makes ridiculous claims, based on Uncle Sam’s pretend Arabist site Al-Arabiya and Saudi monarchy sell-out site, Al-Hayat.

Obama’s envoy to UN says Israel ‘treated unfairly’

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO STILL THINK OBAMA WILL “CHANGE” ANYTHING, HIS CHOICE FOR UN REP PROVES THAT HE IS OWNED BY ISRAEL, JUST LIKE BUSH.  IT IS UNLIKELY THAT OLMERT WILL HAVE TO SUMMON OBAMA TO CHANGE HER VOTE.

© All Rights Reserved


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Obama’s envoy to UN says Israel ‘treated unfairly’

Susan Rice tells US Senate committee United Nations often used to ‘willfully, unfairly condemn Israel’

President-elect Barack Obama’s choice as US envoy to the United Nations told lawmakers Thursday that the UN is often used to “willfully and unfairly condemn Israel.”

Susan Rice added that she will work to strengthen “an indispensable if imperfect” institution so that it can better meet international challenges.

She said at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that she realizes that many Americans are deeply frustrated by the organization.

Martial Law In California

Martial Law In California

BART serves nine Bay-Area counties in Northern California that together comprise the fourth largest population center in this country. People in these nine counties are now under Martial Law; at least when they board a BART train. The Bay Area Rapid Transit District is not a transportation agency it is a commuter service, owned and operated by the federal government. Consequently BART’s rules for keeping order do not come from city or county officials, but from the State and from the Federal government. Bart Police have modeled themselves on the worst components of the thugs that work for HOMELAND Security. Peace officers are not “Troops.” Bart police have copied the Nazi SS in manner, in demeanor and now in their public behavior toward the American people.

The federal connection here is important: “It should be noted that on March 17, 2003 Bush hired “the former head of the KGB (the secret police of the former Soviet Union), General Yevgeni Primakov,” as a consultant to the US Department of Homeland Security.

Primakov joined another Russian, Oleg Kalugin, KGB (Ret) with the Department of State Security, also as a part of Homeland Security. On January 1, 2005 Kalugin was replaced with the infamous and sinister Silver Fox himself (his former CIA code name), Gen. Markus Wolf. “Wolf was the head of the international intelligence gathering arm (HVA) of East Germany’s Ministry for State Security, or Stasi.” This went a long way toward perfecting the spying and wiretapping of the entire USA, and insured that Americans would become the next victims of State Terrorism ala the USSR and Communist East Germany.” (1)

It’s been twelve days now since one of Bart’s thugs murdered someone that had not even been arrested. The entire event was captured on video, without an audio capability. There were a number of other people detained but not charged, held on the same platform for six full hours in handcuffs, who were just feet away from the callous execution. The actions of the uniformed thug were clearly shown on this tape: http://rense.com/general84/govv.htm .
Before the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, there were clear procedures in place for peace officers to follow in the execution of their duties. No officer was allowed to become judge, jury and executioner; much less without first arresting the individual that might be suspected of a crime. Also, when a murder was committed, and witnessed, an arrest warrant was issued: there was simply no-way that a suspected murderer would or could be given an option as to whether or not he or she would answer questions. The accused had to be offered the services of an attorney, but the police always had the right to arrest the person with the weapon, after that weapon had been shown to be the murder weapon.
BART officials, the local District Attorney’s and now the State Attorney General have all weighed in-yet there has still not been an arrest made in this case. All of the time-honored mythology surrounding the behavior of police; has in this case been shattered. When crimes are committed by civilians they are summarily arrested and charged, often within hours. But when an “officer” kills someone whether with bullets or by Taser (400 known instances- so far)-no action against the police is taken for an extended period of time. That practice compounds the original crime and is far more serious because it means that those who are responsible for enforcement do not face the same consequences as do the citizens. that these ‘officers’ are supposedly charged with protecting the public from, but also from the government as well! Where is the US Attorney for Northern California in all of this or for that matter Barack Obama ? This crime is about the latest death of only one man, but how any society treats the least among themselves can cast a giant shadow over the whole nation.
Every official that has obstructed the resolution of this case needs to be fired and then charged as a co-conspirator in this execution. To do less is to admit that the citizens in the nine Bay Area Counties are living under a form of Martial Law. There should be an ‘All Points Bulletin’ issued for the immediate arrest of Johannes Mehserle, before another day passes. Bush never found Osama bin Laden, but will it take Obama’s AG to find one lone BART thug? This is an intolerable outrage against us all! (2)
Since The Bush Doctrine of 2002 went into effect, America has been living as a nation without laws. Those wearing a uniform in this country have become a major part in a lawless society unto themselves, and this must be ended if we are to have a country that has any authority to function as a nation of laws instead of as the outlaw State that the USA has now become.
This behavior is part of what sponsored an open letter to Rouge Officers written in February, 2008.”Your numbers may be growing among the millions of people wearing some kind of badge in the United States, but your days are numbered. Not because of any direct threat from people like me; no what I’m talking about here is the threat that you are creating all by yourselves. If you had been paying attention you would have seen this coming on your own.
What the military and the mercenaries are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan each of you is now doing here, in your own tiny little world so full of arrogance and basic brutality. Every time you beat a man senseless, or shame a woman to tears in front of her loved ones, or randomly kill someone either by accident or by design it happens just because you can – so you make more than enemies – you plant the seeds of your own violent end.” (3)
Thirty years ago I did the art for “The Forgotten Victims of Violent Crime.” This was a California effort to protect those without a voice who were being victimized twice by violent crime. First by the criminals that committed these crimes and then by the uncaring State, that had not responded to these victims as they needed to, under the laws at that time. The project led to The California Victims Bill of Rights in 1980. This criminal act makes a travesty of that effort.(4)
The execution of an unarmed and thoroughly contained individual on the Fruitvale BART platform on New Years day constituted a crime against society, as well as being a murder. Wanted posters for the officer on that video ought to be posted on all BART trains, in every car, right after everyone that has not acted thus far, has been summarily fired!
kirwanstudios@sbcglobal.net

1) Stealing the Dream

http://www.rense.com/general63/steal.htm

2) Government to the People ­ Drop Dead

http://www.kirwanesque.com/politics/articles/2009/art5.htm

3) Open letter to the Tens of Thousands of Rogue Cops

http://www.rense.com/general80/oplet.htm

4) The Forgotten Victims of Violent Crime

http://www.kirwanesque.com/politics/california/cal11.htm

The Language of Death

The Language of Death

By Chris Hedges

AP photo by Abdel Kareem Hana

The incursion into Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel. It is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use the lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase of the decades-long campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestinians.

The assault on Gaza is about creating squalid, lawless and impoverished ghettos where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable. It is about building ringed Palestinian enclaves where Israel will always have the ability to shut off movement, food, medicine and goods to perpetuate misery. The Israeli attack on Gaza is about building a hell on earth.

This attack is the final Israeli push to extinguish a Palestinian state and crush or expel the Palestinian people. The images of dead Palestinian children, lined up as if asleep on the floor of the main hospital in Gaza, are a metaphor for the future. Israel will, from now on, speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. And the language of death is all the Palestinians will be able to speak back. The slaughter—let’s stop pretending this is a war—is empowering an array of radical Islamists inside and outside of Gaza. It is ominously demolishing the shaky foundations of the corrupt secular Arab regimes on Israel’s borders, from Egypt to Jordan to Syria to Lebanon. It is about creating a new Middle East, one ruled by enraged Islamic radicals.

Hamas cannot lose this conflict. Militant movements feed off martyrs, and Israel is delivering the maimed and the dead by the truckload. Hamas fighters, armed with little more than light weapons, a few rockets and small mortars, are battling one of the most sophisticated military machines on the planet. And the determined resistance by these doomed fighters exposes, throughout the Arab world, the gutlessness of dictators like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, who refuses to open Egypt’s common border with Gaza despite the slaughter. Israel, when it bombed Lebanon two years ago, sought to destroy Hezbollah. By the time it withdrew it had swelled Hezbollah’s power base and handed it heroic status throughout the Arab world. Israel is now doing the same for Hamas.

The refusal by political leaders from Barack Obama to nearly every member of the U.S. Congress to speak out in the major media in defense of the rule of law and fundamental human rights exposes our cowardice and hypocrisy. Those who openly condemn the Israeli crimes, including Israelis such as Yuri Avnery, Tom Segev, Ilan Pappe, Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, as well as American stalwarts Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, Norman Finkelstein and Richard Falk, are ignored or treated like lepers. They are denied a platform in the press. They are rendered nearly voiceless. Falk, the U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied territories and a former professor of international law at Princeton, was refused entry into Israel in December, detained for 20 hours and deported. Never mind that nearly all these voices are Jewish.

I called Avnery at his home in Israel. He is Israel’s conscience. Avnery was born in Germany. He moved to Palestine as a young boy with his parents. He left school at the age of 14 and a year later joined the underground paramilitary group known as the Irgun. Four years afterward, disgusted with its use of violence, he walked away from the clandestine organization, which carried out armed attacks on British occupation authorities and Arabs. “You can’t talk to me about terrorism, I was a terrorist,” he says when confronted with his persistent calls for peace with the Palestinians. Avnery was a fighter in the Samson’s Foxes commando unit during the 1948 war. He wrote the elite unit’s anthem. He became, after the war, a force for left-wing politics in Israel and one of the country’s most prominent journalists, running the alternative HaOlam HaZeh magazine. He served in the Israeli Knesset. During the 1982 siege of Beirut he met, in open defiance of Israeli law, with PLO leader Yasser Arafat. He has joined Arab protesters in Israel the past few days and denounces what he calls Israel’s “instinct of using force” with the Palestinians and the “moral insanity” of the attack on Gaza. Avnery, now 85, was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in 1975 by an Israeli opponent, and in 2006 the right-wing activist Baruch Marzel called on the Israeli military to carry out a targeted assassination of Avnery.

“The state of Israel, like any other state,” Avnery said, “cannot tolerate having its citizens shelled, bombed or rocketed, but there has been no thought as to how to solve the problem through political means or to analyze where this phenomenon has come from, what has caused it. Israelis, as a whole, cannot put themselves in the shoes of others. We are too self-centered. We cannot stand in the shoes of Palestinians or Arabs to ask how we would react in the same situation. Sometimes, very rarely, it happens. Years ago when Ehud Barak was asked how he would behave if were a Palestinian, he said, ‘I would join a terrorist organization.’ If you do not understand Hamas, if you do not understand why Hamas does what it does, if you don’t understand Palestinians, you take recourse in brute force.”

The public debate about the Gaza attack engages in the absurd pretense that it is Israel, not the Palestinians, whose security and dignity are being threatened. This blind defense of Israeli brutality toward the Palestinians betrays the memory of those killed in other genocides, from the Holocaust to Cambodia to Rwanda to Bosnia. The lesson of the Holocaust is not that Jews are special. It is not that Jews are unique. It is not that Jews are eternal victims. The lesson of the Holocaust is that when you have the capacity to halt genocide, and you do not—no matter who carries out that genocide or who it is directed against—you are culpable. And we are very culpable. The F-16 jet fighters, the Apache attack helicopters, the 250-pound “smart” GBU-39 bombs are all part of the annual $2.4 billion in military aid the U.S. gives to Israel. Palestinians are being slaughtered with American-made weapons. They are being slaughtered by an Israeli military we lavishly bankroll. But perhaps our callous indifference to human suffering is to be expected. We, after all, kill women and children on an even vaster scale in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bloody hands of Israel mirror our own.

There will be more dead Palestinian children. There will be more cases like that of the U.N. school, used as a sanctuary by terrified families, that was blown to bits by Israeli shells, with more than 40 killed, half of them women and children. There will be more emaciated, orphaned children. There will be more screaming or comatose wounded in the corridors of Gaza’s glutted hospital corridors. And there will be more absurd news reports, like the one on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, titled “A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery.” In this story, unnamed Israeli intelligence officials gave us a spin on the war worthy of the White House fabrications made on the eve of the Iraq war. We learned about the perfidious and dirty tactics of Hamas fighters. Foreign journalists, barred from Gaza and unable to check the veracity of the Israeli version of the war, have abandoned their trade as reporters to become stenographers. The cynicism of conveying propaganda as truth, as long as it is well sourced, is the poison of American journalism. If this is all journalism has become, if moral outrage, the courage to defy the powerful, the commitment to tell the truth and to give a voice to those who without us would have no voice, no longer matters, our journalism schools should focus exclusively on shorthand. It seems to be the skill most ardently coveted by most senior editors and news producers.

There have always been powerful Israeli leaders, since the inception of the state in 1948, who have called for the total physical removal of the Palestinians. The ethnic cleansing of some 800,000 Palestinians by Jewish militias in 1948 was, for them, only the start. But there were also a few Israeli leaders, including the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who argued that Israel could not pick itself up and move to another geographical spot on the globe. Israel, Rabin believed, would have to make peace with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors to survive. Rabin’s vision of two states, however, appears to have died with him. The embrace of wholesale ethnic cleansing by the Israeli leadership and military now appears to be unquestioned.

“It seems,” the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe wrote recently, “that even the most horrendous crimes, such as the genocide in Gaza, are treated as discrete events, unconnected to anything that happened in the past and not associated with any ideology or system. … Very much as the apartheid ideology explained the oppressive policies of the South African government, this ideology—in its most consensual and simplistic variety—has allowed all the Israeli governments in the past and the present to dehumanize the Palestinians wherever they are and strive to destroy them. The means altered from period to period, from location to location, as did the narrative covering up these atrocities. But there is a clear pattern [of genocide]. …”

Gaza has descended into chaos. Hamas, which despite Israeli propaganda has never mustered the sustained resistance Hezbollah carried out during the Israeli incursion into southern Lebanon, will be ruled in the future by antagonistic bands of warlords, clans and mafias. Gaza will resemble Somalia. And out of that power vacuum will rise a new generation of angry jihadists, many of whom may spurn Hamas for more radical organizations. Al-Qaida, which has been working to gain a foothold in Gaza, may now have found its opening.

“Hamas will win the war, no matter what happens,” Avnery said. “They will be considered by hundreds of millions of Arabs heroes who have recovered the dignity and pride of Arab nations. If at the end of the war they are still standing in Gaza this will be a huge victory for them, to hold out against this huge Israeli army and firepower will be an incredible achievement. They will gain even more than Hezbollah did during the last war.”

Israel operates under the illusion that it can crush Hamas and install a quisling Palestinian government in Gaza and the West Bank. This puppet government will be led, Israel believes, by the discredited Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, now cowering in the West Bank after being driven out of Gaza. Abbas, like most of the corrupt Fatah leadership, is a detested figure. He is dismissed as the Marshal Pétain of the Palestinian people, or perhaps the Hamid Karzai or the Nouri al-Maliki. He is as loathed as he is powerless.

Israel’s destruction of Hamas and reoccupation of Gaza will not bring peace or security to Israel. It will merely obliterate the only internal organization with enough stature and authority in Gaza to maintain order. The Israeli assault, by destroying Hamas as a governing force, has opened a Pandora’s box of ills. Life will become a nightmare for most Palestinians and, in the years ahead, for most Israelis.

Gazans flee burning hospital

Gazans flee burning hospital
Fri, 16 Jan 2009 01:34:50 GMT

Israel has continued its attacks on Gaza for the 20th day despite worldwide condemnations

Desperate patients have tried to flee a Gaza hospital as it became engulfed in flames after a Israeli tank fire had set it on fire.

In scenes of utter panic, patients who had been wounded in the ongoing war in the territory could be seen trying to struggle from their beds, medics and witnesses said.

Three patients relying on life-support machines and at least three prematurely-born babies were wheeled out of the hospital in their incubators.

The sound of gunfire could also be heard in the southern neighborhood of Gaza’s main city where Al-Quds Hospital is situated.

Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive against Gaza on Dec. 27, more than 1,100 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 4,700 others have been injured.

Gaza: Not a War of Self-Defense

Gaza: Not a War of Self-Defense


JURIST Guest Columnist Victor Kattan of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, says that Israel’s Gaza offensive cannot be legally excused by any right of self-defense and instead constitutes aggression and a forcible deprivation of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination…


The images speak for themselves. For two weeks the scenes of carnage, mutilated body parts, and dead children have haunted our television screens and appeared in pictures in newspapers and on the internet. Israel has used all the sophisticated military paraphernalia at its disposal to destroy Hamas. And Hamas has in turn continued to fire rockets into Israel. Since Israel launched its offensive in Gaza on 27 December 2008, 1,010 Palestinians and thirteen Israelis have been killed. Of the Israeli dead 10 have been soldiers and three are civilians. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, one third of the dead are children. Almost 5,000 Palestinians have been injured. We do not know the exact proportion of Hamas fighters amongst the figures for Palestinian dead. Israel is not allowing any foreign journalists to enter the Strip to independently verify the facts.

In resolution 1860, the UN Security Council stressed the urgency of the situation and called for “an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.” The resolution has been ignored by both sides and Israeli troops are reported to have entered Gaza City. But was this war necessary? And is it lawful?

On the very morning Israel launched its offensive in Gaza, the day it killed 225 Palestinians, Gabriela Shalev, its UN Ambassador, sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General announcing that “after a long period of utmost restraint, the Government of Israel has decided to exercise, as of this morning, its right to self-defence.” Two weeks into the conflict, the US House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza” by a majority of 390-5. On 6 January, when an Israeli tank shell killed 40 Palestinians at a UN school, Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said: “Australia recognizes Israel’s right to self-defence.” And in his last press conference at the White House, President George W. Bush said that Israel had the right to defend itself, but should be mindful of “innocent folks.”

It may therefore come as a surprise to some that, despite these statements, many international lawyers argue that Israel cannot rely on the right of self-defence to justify its actions in Gaza. In a letter published in the Sunday Times Israel’s plea of self-defence was rejected by over two dozen international lawyers. They argued that Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip amount to aggression, not self-defence.

Self-defence: what is an armed attack?

Article 51 of the UN Charter provides that UN members have the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs. The question then is, what is an armed attack?

To the non-specialist, the word “armed attack” might signify any attack. But under international law the issue is not so straightforward. If, for example, it were the case that a single shot fired across a border amounted to an armed attack for the purposes of Article 51 of the UN Charter then states could invoke their “inherent” right to self-defence and go to war. This could cause endless instability in international affairs. It could also lead to accidental wars. One has only to think of the tensions between India and Pakistan, China and Taiwan, North and South Korea, Greece and Turkey, Russia and Georgia to realise the danger. Moreover, if the threshold for an armed attack is low then states could effectively manufacture a war. All they would need to do is provoke a border incident, allege that they had been attacked first, and then send in the troops.

In the Nicaragua case the International Court of Justice drew a distinction between the “scale and effects” of a particular military operation that could be classified as an armed attack as opposed to “a mere frontier incident.” An armed attack carried out by “armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries” the Court said, would have to be “of such gravity as to amount to an actual armed attack conducted by regular forces.” The Court’s jurisprudence in Nicaragua was upheld in the case concerning Oil Platforms where it said that in ascertaining whether an armed attack had taken place it was necessary to distinguish “the most grave forms of the use of force from other less grave forms.” Even cumulative attacks, the Court said, might not necessarily amount to an armed attack for the purposes of Article 51 of the UN Charter.

As regards the Israel-Palestine conflict we are not dealing with a single shot fired across a border. We are faced with a decades-old territorial dispute. Assuming that the right of self-defence for the purpose of Article 51 of the UN Charter can apply to attacks initiated by non-state actors like Hamas, are the rockets fired by its military wing into southern Israel of such a “scale and effect” that they amount to an armed attack as opposed to a border incident? And are they of “such gravity” that they amount to an armed attack conducted by a regular army? If so, how is one to quantify rockets attacks for the purposes of an armed attack? By the numbers fired? Or by the number of deaths they cause? Does a rocket fired into an open field or into an empty building amount to an armed attack? What if it causes damage or injures or kills someone?

Whilst it would not be possible or even desirable to quantify precisely what amounts to an armed attack, as it will depend on the individual facts of each case, the deaths of a dozen civilians, over a one-year period, deplorable as that is, would probably not qualify as an armed attack for the purposes of Article 51 of the UN Charter. Moreover, one cannot ignore the conduct of Israel’s armed forces in the occupied territories and examine the Hamas rocket attacks in isolation. After all, there are two parties to this conflict. In the three years after Israel’s redeployment from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire. And yet between 12 September 2005, the day Israel completed its “disengagement” from Gaza, and the 27 December 2008, the day Israel launched its air strikes, the Israeli army had killed approximately 1,250 Palestinians in Gaza according to data collected by the United Nations Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

According to a fact sheet produced by the Israeli consulate in New York City, after the ceasefire began in June 2008, the rate of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza dropped to almost zero, and stayed there for four straight months. As Nancy Kanwisher, Johannes Haushofer and Anat Biletzki point out in the Huffington Post, the ceasefire ended on 4 November 2008 “when Israel first killed Palestinians, and Palestinians then fired rockets into Israel.” For the purposes of the law of self-defence, however, it is not always a question of who attacks first—although Article 2 of the UN General Assembly’s 1974 Definition of Aggression stipulates that: “The first use of armed force by a State in contravention of the Charter shall constitute prima facie evidence of an act of aggression.” As Professor Yoram Dinstein of Tel Aviv University argues in his book War, Aggression and Self-Defence (Cambridge University Press 2005) p. 191, it “is not who fired the first shot but who embarked upon an apparently irreversible course of action, thereby crossing the legal Rubicon. The casting of the die, rather than the actual opening of fire, is what starts the armed attack.” But without doubt, it was Israel’s 27 December attack on Gaza, the biggest air assault on the Strip since 1967, that, to use Dinstein’s phrase, constituted the crossing of the “legal Rubicon.” Although, according to the Israeli Government, Hamas had fired hundreds of rockets into southern Israel in the week prior to its 27 December attack, only one Israeli civilian had been killed by a rocket in his apartment building in Netivot. Importantly, these rockets were fired as retaliatory action for the 4 November 2008 assassinations carried out by Israel in Gaza.

Proportionality: the bigger picture

Of course one could argue that Israel cannot invoke self-defence because its response was not necessary or proportionate and not because the rocket attacks fired by Hamas do not amount to an armed attack. In its Nuclear Weapons advisory opinion the International Court of Justice stipulated that “a use of force that is proportionate under the law of self-defence, must, in order to be lawful, also meet the requirements of the law applicable in armed conflict which comprise in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law.” In other words, any use of force in self-defence to repel an armed attack must be necessary, proportionate, and in conformity with international humanitarian law.

In any assessment of proportionality one must take into account all the facts of a particular claim of self-defence. An attack cannot be examined in isolation to the incidents which were alleged to have provoked it. This was the approach to proportionality adopted by the International Court of Justice in the Oil Platforms case. In assessing the proportionality of an Iranian attack, the Court said it could not “assess in isolation the proportionality of that action to the attack to which it was said to be a response; it cannot close its eyes to the scale of the whole operation.”

In other words, when assessing Israel’s claim to self-defence and related questions of proportionality one must be mindful of the deaths caused by Israel’s own actions in the Gaza Strip prior to the escalation of hostilities. Even during the so-called “ceasefire” Israel assassinated Palestinians in Gaza such as its attack on 4 November which killed six people. It also blockaded Gaza for 18 months prior to its 27 December assault on the Strip. In any assessment of proportionality one cannot ignore the sheer scale of Palestinian dead in the three years prior to Israel’s 27 December assault which included 222 children. Nor can one ignore the number of civilians killed during the current hostilities. Is the death of one Israeli civilian in the week prior to Israel’s air assault proportionate to the deaths of over 1,000 Palestinians?

Occupied territory and belligerent occupation

Although Israel relocated its troops from Gaza in August-September 2005, many international lawyers, such as Professor Iain Scobbie of the School of Oriental and African Studies, have argued that the Gaza Strip remains occupied territory under international law. (See Iain Scobbie, “An Intimate Disengagement: Israel’s Withdrawal from Gaza, the Law of Occupation and of Self-Determination” in Victor Kattan (ed.), The Palestine Question in International Law (London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2008), p. 637). This is because Israel controls all of Gaza’s entry and exit points, its airspace, its territorial waters, and population registry. The capacity of the Israeli army to invade the Gaza Strip at its time and choosing, to block humanitarian access, to close the border crossings at will, to control the supply of food, fuel and electricity, as well as its ability to bar all foreign correspondents from entering the Strip which it had enforced prior to the latest conflagration, all point to the conclusion that Gaza has always been under effective Israeli control. As the preamble to UN Security Council resolution 1860 stresses: “the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will be a part of the Palestinian state.”

According to the Chatham House Principles of International Law on the Use of Force in Self-Defence, an armed attack is an attack directed from outside the territory controlled by the state. Recalling the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion in Wall, the authors of these Principles noted that “unless an attack is directed from outside territory under the control of the defending State, the question of self-defence in the sense of Article 51 does not normally arise.” Thus, in principle, a state cannot invoke self-defence in relation to an attack which originates within territory it occupies.

It is important to note that not all defensive measures are measures taken in self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter. This is because self-defence is an exculpatory plea regarding resort to force in the first place, and not for an offensive taken during an armed conflict. In the Targeted Killings case, Judge Barak accepted that the Israel-Palestine conflict is an international armed conflict where the laws of belligerent occupation are applicable. Under the law of belligerent occupation the appropriate legal framework is the jus in bello and not the jus ad bellum. Self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter is only relevant to the jus ad bellum.

Under the law of belligerent occupation Israel could use the justification of belligerent reprisals to justify pin-point attacks against Hamas. But the sheer scale of Operation Cast Lead goes well beyond the proportionality requirement inherent in the law of belligerent reprisals. Most importantly, the law of armed conflict prohibits belligerent reprisals against civilians, civilian populations and certain civilian objects. This is confirmed in Articles 51, paragraph 6 and Article 54, paragraph 4 of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It also goes beyond the proportionality requirement in the law of self-defence. This is because in the Caroline formulation, the test of proportionality was stated to require “nothing unreasonable or excessive, since the act, justified by the necessity of self-defence, must be limited by that necessity, and kept clearly within it.”

Under the law of belligerent occupation Israel has the duty to ensure law and order in the occupied territory. Article 43 of the Hague Regulations respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907 provides that the Occupying Power “shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.” Article 64 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 further provides that the Occupying Power may subject the population of the occupied territory to provisions which are essential to enable it to fulfill its functions, to maintain orderly government, and to ensure its security. Because Israel has failed to fulfill these obligations, it allowed the situation to develop where Hamas could prepare and launch offensives against southern Israel. The deaths, injuries and damage caused by Operation Cast Lead is retribution inflicted on Gaza as a response to activities which Israel had the responsibility to prevent.

Aggression

So if Israel’s actions do not amount to self-defence then what is it? The answer must be that it is an act of aggression, which the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg referred to as “the supreme international crime.” When a state uses massive force, such as bombardment, blocking access to ports, and a ground invasion which has not been authorized by the Security Council of the United Nations, and cannot be justified under any other ground such as self-defence or “humanitarian intervention” then there is a prima facie case that its actions amount to aggression.

Article 1 of the UN Definition of Aggression annexed to General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 1974 provides that: “Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, as set out in this Definition.” One of the purposes of the UN according to Article 1 (2) UN Charter is “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.” To this end Article 1 of the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations provides that: “Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to above in the elaboration of the present principle of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence.”

Under Article 3 (c) of the Definition of Aggression, any blockade is an act of aggression. The Gaza Strip had been subject to a blockade prior to Israel’s attack on 27 December for almost 18 months. In the Nicaragua case, the International Court of Justice recognised the Definition of Aggression as a source of international law. According to 3 (a) of the Definition of Aggression “any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack” is an act of aggression. It is not necessary for the occupied territory to belong to another state. Therefore, even if one took the view that Gaza is no longer occupied territory, which happens to be the perspective of the present Israeli Government, then the military occupation that has arisen as a result of the current hostilities could still qualify as an act of aggression. Otherwise, Israel’s four-decade long occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and its annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights amount to a continuing act of aggression.

Self-determination

By attacking Gaza, and maintaining an occupation that has lasted for almost 42 years, Israel is forcibly depriving the Palestinian people from exercising their right of self-determination. As an aspect of that right the Palestinian people must be allowed to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. They have a right to choose their own form of government. It is not for Israel to determine the political leadership of the Palestinian people.

In 1970, the UN General Assembly in resolution 2649 (XXV) affirmed “the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right of self-determination to restore to them that right by any means at their disposal.”

Article 7 of the Definition of Aggression provides that none of the acts enumerated in Article 3 “could in any way prejudice the right to self-determination, freedom and independence, as derived from the Charter, of peoples forcibly deprived of that right.” They have the right to struggle to that end and to seek and receive support from the international community. In this connection, Article 1 (4) of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts provides that it applies to “armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”

This conflict can only be solved by diplomacy. The use of force must always be a last resort. The rockets fired by Hamas into Israel in retaliation for the 4 November assassination of six Palestinians was not an armed attack of “such gravity” that, in the words of the Caroline formulation, was “instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” And even if one was to argue that the Hamas rocket attacks did amount to an armed attack, that Gaza is not occupied territory, and therefore that the law of belligerent occupation is not applicable, Israel’s bombardment and re-invasion of the Strip is grossly disproportionate. Israel could have negotiated with Hamas instead of deliberating isolating and denigrating them, and lobbying other states to collectively boycott the people of Gaza for exercising their democrat right to chose their own form of government in what must amount to one of the most cynical and depressing sanctions in modern history. As a member of the United Nations, Israel is required to settle its “international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.” One day, someone is going to have to talk to Hamas. The movement is still going to be around long after this war is over.

Victor Kattan teaches international law to students of diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He is also the author of two books on Palestine.

“Hamas is using illegal weapons,” White Phosphorous, Claims Zionist Shill

[Whether it is true or not, there is no limit to how low Zionist apologists will go to defend Israel's exclusive right to use terror, while claiming that it is not "terrorism."]


Gaza Terrorists Fire Phosphorus Shell

by Maayana Miskin

(IsraelNN.com) A phosphorus mortar shell was among the 16 rockets and shells fired at Israel by early Wednesday afternoon. Gaza terrorists fired the shell at the Eshkol region. The shell hit an open area and did not cause injury.

Local officials expressed concern over the use of a new, more deadly weapon. “The potential danger is enormous,” one warned. The phosphorus shell is more dangerous than the usual rockets and mortar shells fired at the region, he explained.

Phosphorus bombs and shells scatter burning phosphorus on impact. A phosphorus head makes a rocket more likely to cause a serious fire or to burn anyone in proximity of a strike. Eshkol Council head Chaim Yelin said the attack showed that Hamas is using illegal weapons.

While expressing concern over the attack, Yelin said he was more concerned by the frequency of rocket attacks on the region. While the frequency of attacks on large cities has dropped, the Eshkol region adjacent to Gaza is still hit by several rockets each day, he said. Israel must continue to fight until the region is quiet, he said, adding, “We must not forget that we went to war in order to bring quiet to communities on the front line.”

Earlier this week Hamas accused Israel of using phosphorus in Gaza. Several foreign officials working with Gaza humanitarian groups have echoed the claim while taking care to state that the allegations have not been proven. IDF officials have rejected the allegations.

Israel’s Dirty Secret: Hamas Was Creation Of Zionist Intriguers

Israel’s Dirty Secret: Hamas Was Creation Of Zionist Intriguers

By Michael Collins Piper

The Washington Post has finally acknowledged—albeit buried in an “analysis” on its back pages—the explosive and little-known point first made by American Free Press as long ago as Oct. 29, 2001 (and later on July 8, 2002 and Feb. 13, 2006): that Israel had a secret agenda vis-�-vis Islamic fundamentalist groups such as Hamas, that Israel had a long, well-documented history of propping up Islamic fundamentalism (including terrorist organizations) for its own purposes.

Writing in the Post on January 7, 2009, the newspaper’s foreign correspondent Glenn Kessler revealed:

In the 1980s . . . the Israeli government decided to weaken the secular Fatah movement headed by Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] Chairman Yasser Arafat by promoting the rise of Islamic parties as a counterweight, on the theory that Islamic groups would not have the same nationalistic impulses. So Fatah’s social networks were dismantled by the Israeli government, but it went easy on Islamic charitable networks. This decision fueled the rise of Hamas as a political force, with its network of health clinics and social services that far exceeded the abilities of the often-corrupt Fatah movement. . . .

Israel now wants to make a peace deal with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian authority president who heads Fatah but has no control over Gaza. So one of the Israeli aims in Gaza today is to weaken Hamas enough that it can no longer be a political rival to Fatah in Gaza—the opposite of what Israel hoped to achieve decades ago with its efforts to encourage the rise of Islamic groups.

In short, behind-the-scenes schemers in Israel saw Hamas in its earliest days as a counter-balance against any Palestinian moves for peace. In other words, as long as Hamas had enough influence, it might prevent the peace process with the “moderate” forces of secular Palestinian statesman Yasser Arafat (leader of Fatah) from going forward.

While many good people do not understand why Israel would not want peace, Israel’s intrigues serve at least three purposes: 1) preserving internal conflict within the Palestinian movement; 2) giving Israel the opportunity to claim that the peace process could not go forward because “Arafat and the PLO control the extremist elements” and 3) perpetuating overall Middle East conflict, which has always been Israel’s motivation, preferring to see its Arab neighbors divided—quarreling with one another—thereby unable to check Israel’s regional desires.

All of this is not to suggest that Hamas is somehow a secret “tool” of Israel—as some na�ve folks have suggested. Far from it. In fact, Hamas clearly captured the support of many Palestinians (Muslim and Christian alike) who do not necessarily share Hamas’ Islamic focus. And after Hamas won a democratic election in taking control of the Palestinian Authority in 2002, Israel saw the proverbial “blowback.”

On June 28, 2002, veteran UPI correspondent Richard Sale confirmed what AFP had already reported regarding Israel’s manipulation of Islamic fundamentalist forces.

Sale focused on Israel’s intrigues regarding Hamas. Sale cited not only a variety of named and un-named past and present U.S. government officials but also documents obtained by UPI from the Israel-based Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

Noting that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was vowing to fight “Palestinian terror” and declaring Hamas as “the deadliest terrorist group that we have ever had to face,” Sale noted wryly that “Sharon left something out.”

That “something,” according to Sale, was that while Israel and Hamas were then currently locked in deadly combat, “according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.”

So the fact is that Israel’s activities laid the groundwork for the crisis that now rages in Gaza. Sale pointed out that Hamas was actually legally registered as an Islamic social and religious entity in Israel in 1978 and that U.S. administration officials said that funding for Hamas came from not just the oil-producing Arab states but “directly and indirectly from Israel.”

While the PLO itself was secular, promoting Palestinian nationalism, Hamas was intent upon setting up a transnational state ruled by the tenets of Islam. Sale also cited an unnamed former senior CIA official saying that Israel’s support for Hamas “was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative.”

Sale cited Tony Cordesman, a respected veteran Mideast analyst associated with the Center for Strategic Studies, who said that Israel “aided Hamas directly—the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO.”

Then, when the PLO moved its base of operations to Beirut, Hamas began growing in influence in the Israeli occupied West Bank.

All of these elements converged at exactly the time when Israel was funding Hamas. However, even the growing strength and independence of Hamas did not deter the Israelis from supporting them.

A U.S. government official—who asked not to be named—told Sale that “The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place. Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the U.S. to deal with.”

In other words, Israel wanted to prop up and promote Hamas as a means of undermining the influence of Yasser Arafat and the PLO and thereby disrupting the very real peace initiatives being made by Arafat.

Israel wanted an unending state of war in order to be able to continue to justify its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and—inevitably—expand Israel’s borders into what is known as “Greater Israel.”

Thus, the Israelis sponsored—as they soon discovered—a movement that quickly grew out of control. Although the Israelis sought to manipulate Hamas from within—penetrating it with Israeli spies—independent-minded Hamas leaders weeded out Israeli collaborators. Hamas thus became a self-sustaining, popularly backed movement that emerged as a very real threat to Israel, to the extent that any such movement could be a threat to the well-armed and U.S.-backed Zionist state.

Sale pointed out that Israel’s posturing and manipulation “disgusts” U.S. analysts who have watched Israel’s initial nurturing of the very groups that Israel now demands that the United States and the world wage war against on Israel’s behalf.

Now Israel is crying that “we are under siege and fighting back to protect our people,” the fact is that it is the Palestinian Christians and Muslims who are under siege. The truth is that three times as many Palestinians as Israelis have died during the past ten years.

And while many Americans somehow have been convinced that Hamas are “the bad guys” and that its rival, Fatah, are “the good guys who want peace with Israel,” some of Israel’s leading publicists on American soil are
not so subtly saying that even Fatah is a possible danger to Israel.

For example, “neo-conservative” propagandist Clifford May, writing in the Washington Times on Jan. 11, asserted that even though Fatah may be hoping—even helping—Israel in its campaign against Hamas, “it doesn’t mean Fatah will henceforth [have] good will and a spirit of compromise toward Israel.”

In other words: Israel will deal with Fatah after it is done wiping Hamas off the map.

After the holocaust, is Israel the worst thing to happen to the Jewish people?

After the holocaust, is Israel the worst thing to happen to the Jewish people?

by Alan Goodman / Revolution
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 12:52 PM

The following is the text of a speech given by Alan Goodman, correspondent for Revolution newspaper, at the Emergency Town Hall Meeting in New York City on January 13, 2009. The theme of the town hall meeting was: A Call To Act: Stop The Israeli Massacre in Gaza. We Condemn the U.S. Role in this War Crime.

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A couple weeks ago, I toured the Holocaust Museum in Manhattan. One of the displays that jolted me, was the exhibit on the Warsaw Ghetto. In Warsaw, Poland, by 1940, over 400,000 Jews—nearly 40% of the population—were literally walled into an area less than 5% of Warsaw.

The Jews in the Warsaw ghetto were systematically starved—they received only about a quarter of the amount of food of the Polish population in Warsaw, and less than a tenth of food rations provided for Germans. They had to smuggle in food and fuel, and smuggle out products from their illegal workshops to survive. Within the ghetto, they organized cultural activities, schools, and social services, most of which were linked to organizations banned by the Nazis. By late 1942, hundreds of thousands of Jews had died of starvation in the Warsaw ghetto, or been sent off to Nazi death camps. When Jews rebelled in the famous Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, they were brutally slaughtered, and accused of starting the violence. As a matter of fact, they did “start it” in terms of the uprising itself, but who, today, would say that the Nazis were justified in suppressing it?

The parallels between the Warsaw Ghetto, then, and Gaza now, are stark and sobering.

A million and a half people are crammed into the walled-off, impoverished, tiny strip of land that is Gaza. When Israel ended occupation and direct military rule over Gaza in 2005, it kept complete control of the land, sea and air borders. Israel sent armored bulldozers to destroy Gaza’s fruit orchards, blockaded the fishing port, cut off supplies to factories and other businesses. Most Gaza residents are denied the right to work elsewhere or even to leave. At the time of the current Israeli invasion, a million people in Gaza were dependent on UN food distribution, along with food and supplies smuggled in through tunnels from Egypt. A partially leaked but still-secret report by the International Red Cross reported in 2007 that a “dramatic fall in living standards has triggered a shift in diet that will damage the long-term health of those living in Gaza.”

This leads me to the theme I want to focus on here. Last Sunday, myself and another person stood outside the Holocaust Museum with a banner that read, “After the Holocaust, the worst thing that has happened to Jewish people is the state of Israel.” As some of you know, we were issued citations from the New York City Parks police for – and I quote – “displaying a banner criticizing Israel,” and for over two hours, we were surrounded by as many as 28 NYPD and Parks Dept squad cars with their lights flashing.

The message on that banner was a quote from Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. It is counter-intuitive, to say the least. The state of Israel has clearly been the worst thing that has happened to Palestinian people. But this quote is saying that after the holocaust, the state of Israel was the worst thing that happened to Jewish people.

To help get at this, let me share an experience I had back in Hebrew school that I have written about in Revolution. This took place back in the mid 1960s, when there was protest and rebellion in the air. This was also a time when the connection between the United States and Israel was emerging as the strategic relationship that it is today, and this was all reflected in things going on at our Hebrew school.

We had a teacher, who was very popular, who was an overall enlightened guy, who supported the Civil Rights movement as many Jewish people at the time did. One day, the issue of Israel’s alliance with South Africa came up. To me, at that time, Israel’s support for South Africa seemed to be a gross betrayal of the ideals that I had been taught Israel stood for – that it was an outpost of freedom, and symbol of the struggle against discrimination not just for Jews, but as an example for the world. We continued to discuss and debate Israel’s support for South Africa for a couple of weeks, until at one point, the teacher’s demeanor changed, and he spoke to us in a very serious tone of someone letting young people in on a “fact of life.” And what he explained was that the South African regime was not only racist, but that the South African rulers were ideologically close to, and had been politically aligned with the Nazis in World War II. He further explained that South Africa had a whole structured caste system, where not only were black, African people kept at the bottom of society with no rights at all, but that mixed-race people, Indians and others who were classified as “Colored,” occupied lower positions in society than whites – sort of in-between whites and blacks. And, our teacher explained that if Israel didn’t maintain its relationship with the apartheid regime, then the South African government would likely reclassify Jews from the whites category, to the colored category.

I was really stunned, and taken aback by this explanation. And I remember blurting out something along the lines of “why would we want to be white?!” This was a heavy moment for me personally that had something to do with where I ended up politically, but more to the point, there was something about this experience that is very revealing about the role of Israel, and the kind of moral tradeoff involved in the alignment of Jewish people with the state of Israel.

Jews were viciously persecuted in Europe even before the Nazis. Jews, especially in Eastern Europe and pre-revolutionary Russia, were targets of violent pogroms — pogroms ended in Russia after the socialist revolution there. But these pogroms were not dissimilar from the kind of terror Black people faced in the rural, post-Slavery South. But among Jews in Europe, and around the world, there were essentially two trends with two different views on how to respond to anti-Semitism. Many Jews were aligned with radical, socialist, anarchist, and communist movements, and saw their oppression in light of, and as a component of the struggle against all exploitation and oppression. At the same time, the other main trend among Jews, viewed the solution to the oppression of Jewish people in establishing a Jewish state in what was, after World War I, British-occupied Palestine. Explicit in the Zionist outlook and agenda, was that this Jewish state would serve the interests of the colonial powers. Zionist leader Theodore Herzl put it this way: “England with her possessions in Asia should be most interested in Zionism…. I believe in England that the idea of Zionism, which is a colonial idea, should easily be understood.”

After World War II, the British sponsored the Zionist project on a large scale, and enabled Jewish migration to Palestine, while turning their backs on massacres carried out by Zionist gangs like the Irgun to establish Israel on the basis of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The packet of reprints from Revolution that is available here includes articles that document this process – based on Israeli sources.

By the late 1960s, the U.S. replaced Britain as the main financial, political, and military sponsor of Israel. What did that relationship bring to the world? Throughout the “cold war,” Israel was the U.S. bulwark in America’s contention with the Soviet Union in the Middle East. During that period, Israel provided large scale, strategic military assistance to U.S. allies — I mentioned South Africa earlier. But this aid went to U.S. allies and puppet dictators around the world, including training the notorious Iranian secret police, the SAVAK, who enforced the brutal rule of the Shah of Iran. Israel provided arms and helped form the government death squads of the Christian-fundamentalist Rios Mott regime that systematically killed off entire villages of indigenous peasants in Guatemala. And Israel provided assistance to the Nicaraguan Contras, who carried out attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure to overthrow the elected government of Nicaragua.

The establishment of Israel has been a disaster for the Palestinian people, and beyond that, a key prop in the world of pain and poverty that we live in today. But it also came at a terrible moral cost for Jewish people who – forgive the Biblical reference — accepted a mess of pottage in exchange for their souls and consciences. And as part of what we are doing, we need to challenge that very sharply, in the spirit of the quote from Avakian. Let’s tell it like it is: Jewish people were enlisted to set up an illegitimate settler outpost in the service of imperialism, and their persecution is Europe is used, without any moral or logical justification, to legitimize that.

Finally, I want to very briefly identify and speak to one other factor that keeps people from protesting the current massacre in Gaza with the kind of passion and commitment that is really demanded. And that is the fact that people raise that Hamas, and Islamic fundamentalism more generally, is not an enlightened progressive force. And that the conflict with Hamas involves a proxy war against Iran, which itself is a reactionary Islamic theocracy. This is true, and a topic explored in articles in Revolution newspaper. But two things must be said here: First, between the two reactionary forces, it is the United States that has brought far, far more suffering to the people of the world. And, second, these Islamic fundamentalist forces would be largely dormant if it were not for the whole so-called war on terror, which is in reality aimed at tearing up the fabric of the Middle East and radically restructuring it in the interests of U.S. empire.

But if YOU do not want to see the choices of the people of the world confined to picking between U.S. imperialism on the one hand, or Islamic fundamentalism on the other hand, then YOU have to – right here and now in the United States – oppose “your own” side of this deadly equation. The more we do so, the more the people of the world see that there are people in this country who are not going along with the crimes of “our government” as it sponsors Israel’s massacre in Gaza, the more basis there is for the people of the world to see the potential for another way – a really liberating, radical, revolutionary way to get beyond a world divided into oppressed and oppressors, with all that goes with that.

There is a challenge to everyone in this country to be part of the struggle to bring forward another way, a force in the world – including in this country – that does not look at the world from the perspective of “Americans,” but instead starts from, and struggles for the interests of humanity. Enough already with the outlook of “me and my people” first, above everybody else – especially when that outlook is being invoked to align people with terrible crimes. Right now, and right here, what is required from all of us is passionate and committed struggle against Israel’s massacre in Gaza, and condemnation of the U.S. role in this war crime.

And, there is a challenge to not just act, but to follow the logic of your convictions. To struggle to understand the root causes behind Israel’s massacre in Gaza, and the U.S. role in this. And there is a challenge to learn more, and to go where what you learn takes you, including grappling seriously with what it is really going to take to get to a whole better world.

India asked to exploit FATA, Balochistan situations

India asked to exploit FATA, Balochistan situations

* Idea to build pressure on Pakistan floated by Indian publication house after Mumbai attacks
* Report prepared as part of efforts to prevent future attacks

Staff Report

PESHAWAR: The Indian government has been advised to exploit the situation in the Tribal Areas and the insurgency-hit Balochistan in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, according to a 72-page white paper handed over to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.

“Exploit the divisions within Pakistan and expose its weaknesses in Balochistan, FATA and Azad Kashmir,” says the white paper – titled ‘War on Terror: The Agenda for Action’ and posted on the website of India Today – but does not elaborate. The Balochistan government already believes India is fuelling militancy in the province.

The suggestion is one of several proposals to prevent future attacks against India. The white paper was prepared as part of the Indian civil society’s effort to bring to the public domain an agenda for action, and “not to apportion blame for the failures that led to the Mumbai attacks”, according to the publication house – linked to India Today – that floated the idea to press the government to declare war on terror.

The white paper also asks the government: “Mount a sustained diplomatic campaign to build international pressure, especially from the US, with the message that if such efforts fail, India is ready for war. Set a timeline for Pakistan to dismantle terror infrastructure.”

The report refers to the Kashmir issue as a cause for attacks like the ones in Mumbai, and suggests, “India needs to tackle the (Indian-held Kashmir) valley discontent by deciding how much autonomy Kashmir requires and working out a way to negotiate with Pakistan.”

India blames Pakistan for the Mumbai terror attacks, but Islamabad and certain Western countries such as Britain deny the charge.

The Indian prime minister recently alleged that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were involved in the attack, and India has handed over Pakistan a so-called “dossier of evidence linking elements in Pakistan to the Mumbai attacks”.

But Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says the dossier contains information, not evidence.

Germany could hold key to gas deal

Gas pressure guage showing zero

As Germany prepares to welcome Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the BBC’s Berlin correspondent Steven Rosenberg considers how Germany could broker a deal to end the energy dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

Of all the countries in the European Union, it is Germany which has the best relations with Russia. And which, perhaps, is best placed to help negotiate an end to the gas crisis.

The two countries are major trading partners. They are even building a pipeline together – North Stream – which will bring Russian gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine.

Moscow claims this route will ensure there are no further interruptions to Europe’s energy supplies.

Vladimir Putin is best friends with the German chairman of the pipeline consortium – former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

What is more, Mr Putin speaks fluent German from his days as a KGB spy based in Dresden. (Angela Merkel speaks fluent Russian – so no language barrier there.)

But as the energy dispute between Moscow and Kiev drags on, the Germans are growing increasingly frustrated with the Russians.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin’s actions have raised the question of Europe’s energy security

Prior to Mr Putin’s visit to Berlin, Chancellor Merkel warned the Kremlin its credibility as an energy supplier was on the line. She promised to pass that message on personally to Mr Putin during his visit to Germany.

Embarrassed and annoyed by the images of Europeans shivering without Russian gas, the Germans have been threatening to diversify their energy sources.

“Within the European Union, the subject of energy security is now very important,” Guenter Gloser, Germany’s minister for Europe, said.

“We need to be independent of those supplying our energy – so we need more energy efficiency, we need more renewable energies like solar projects and we need a range of energy partners – not just Russia.”

That is easy to say – and it has been said many times before, not only by Germany, but by other EU countries.

History repeating itself

The last time Russia turned off the gas taps to Ukraine in 2006, causing temporary gas shortages further west, European leaders vowed that never again would they allow energy disputes to the east to leave Europe freezing.

The phrase “energy security” became the rallying cry of the EU.

There were calls to boost solar energy, wind power, and make plans to import liquid gas by sea. Anything to ensure that Europe would not be too dependant on the Russians and get caught out twice.

We didn’t learn much from the crisis of 2006
Michael Stuermer

But three years on, it has happened all over the again.

Another dispute between Russia and Ukraine – and once again Europe is freezing. The EU is facing accusations it was too complacent and too divided over European energy policy.

“The usefulness of a crisis is that it forces you to look into the mirror,” chief correspondent of Die Welt newspaper Michael Stuermer said.

“That didn’t happen. This present crisis could be seen on the radar over the last three months. The signals were coming all the time. I don’t think the German government or the EU Commission took note of the seriousness. We didn’t learn much from the crisis of 2006.”

Micahel Stuermer believes the latest row could nudge the EU to come up with a “coherent energy strategy”.

Considering that the European Union currently gets a quarter of its gas from Russia, it is difficult to imagine such a strategy excluding Russia.

Reported shortages Wider gas network

Gas pipelines affected

Obama’s pro-Israel congressional welcome

Obama’s pro-Israel congressional welcome

By Rami G. Khouri

If the Israeli attack on Gaza that started 18 days ago was designed partly to send a message to the incoming Barack Obama, the United States Congress in the past week seems to have joined the battle to handcuff the new president and lay down the law for him, even before he takes office.

Obama has tried to remain aloof and stay out of the political battle over the Gaza war by making no substantive statements about it. Israel and its supporters in Washington have different plans. Obama has stayed away from the war, but they brought the war to him – shoving it down his throat as his first pre-incumbency lesson in how American presidents must behave with respect to Israel’s desires, if they wish to remain in power.

The House of Representatives voted last Friday by 390-5 for a resolution that backed Israel in its Gaza onslaught, affirming “Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza.” A day earlier, the Senate overwhelmingly supported Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism.

Such extraordinary one-sided support for Israel by Congress mirrors the same position taken by the administration. Both President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared on Monday that Hamas was to blame for the current war and for the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza, and that any ceasefire had to guarantee that Hamas stopped attacking Israel. They seemed incomprehensibly blind to Israel’s combined strangulation of and assault on Gaza.

This almost irrational absolute support for Israel in both the legislative and executive branches of the US government occurs amid a chorus of international condemnation of Israel for using excessive force. This includes calls by some United Nations officials and respectable non-governmental organizations to investigate whether Israel has committed war crimes.

Israel is using the two arsenals it is most comfortable with – military force to kill, injure, terrorize and displace thousands of Palestinian civilians; and the equivalent political overkill to bludgeon the American political establishment into total submission. After six decades of trying, Israel has been unable to turn Palestinians into vassals and subservient slaves – but it has succeeded in transforming an otherwise impressive American political governance system into a herd of castrated cattle who cower before the threats that Israel’s Washington-based henchmen and hit men direct at them. Gaza will get its ceasefire soon, but will Washington ever find relief from the stranglehold of Israel’s political thugs?

These Congressional votes in the past few days were not an unusual event, sadly, but rather a routine reaffirmation of the chokehold that Israel enjoys over the elected representatives of an otherwise healthy democracy. For example, two years ago, when Israel attacked Lebanon with similar ferocity, the House of Representatives voted 410-8 to support the Israeli onslaught and to condemn Hamas and Hizbullah for “unprovoked and reprehensible armed attacks against Israel.” Two years before that, in 2004, the House voted 407-9 to support Bush’s position that it was “unrealistic” for Israel to return completely to its pre-June 1967 borders in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

On no other foreign policy issue does Congress collectively stick its head in its back pocket, turn off its power of independent judgment, and disregard the impact of its decisions on how the US is perceived around the world. On no other issue does Congress vote according to the interests of a foreign country, rather than according to the US national interest. This kind of blind, wholehearted plunge into a maelstrom of pro-Israeli fanaticism and zealotry reflects precisely how strong the pro-Israeli lobby is in the United States, and how weak are the voices of reason, balance and justice as drivers of American foreign policy.

This is the distorted reality that Obama will inherit in one week’s time, and what an ugly thing it is. It captures the worst of all worlds all rolled into one: the vicious force of the pro-Israel lobby in the US that buys and terrorizes politicians as easily as buying peanuts at a circus; the anemic, mindless and spineless Arab governments who stand naked before Israel and the US, and shameless before their own people; and the American political establishment that behaves on the Palestinian issue – with a handful of brave and decent exceptions – in a most un-American manner in the face of the pro-Israeli forces that decide if they live or die politically.

None of this is surprising or new. It only amazes me that Americans expect us to take them seriously and not to laugh – or throw up – when they preach to us about promoting democracy.

Rami G. Khouri

US denies any role in 26/11 witness mystery disappearance

US denies any role in 26/11 witness mystery


Sheela Bhatt

The United States has denied any involvement in the disappearance of Anita Uddaiya, the star witness in the November 26 Mumbai [Images] attacks case.

Denying that the US had anything to do with her disappearance, a embassy spokesperson said: “No American agency have been involved.”

Asked where she could have been taken for interrogation and by whom, the spokesperson said: “You should ask her where she went.”

PTI adds:

Anita Uddaiya, the woman who saw the six terrorists involved in the November 26 terror attacks arrive in the city, claims she was taken to the United States and questioned by investigating agencies there.

“I was informed that the (US) officers who questioned me about the Mumbai attacks here earlier would take me to America. They came on Sunday morning and took me to America,” Uddaiya told PTI.

“I had lied to the police when I returned home stating that I went to Satara district as the officers told me not to disclose anything about my visit to America,” Uddaiya said.

Uddaiya went missing on Sunday morning and returned to Mumbai on Wednesday at around 1.30 am.

She had seen the terrorists land in a rubber dinghy on the beach at the colony. But when she asked them where they had come from, she was told to mind her own business.

Giving details, she said on Saturday at around 10.00 pm, the investigating officers were supposed to come to her home.
“Since we were informed about Uddaiya’s America visit, we sat with her throughout the night waiting for the American investigators. Nobody turned up till morning 5 am. At that time, Uddaiya went to toilet from where she was whisked away by the investigators,” said Madhusudhan Nair, president of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Nagar slum area.

Uddaiya said four officers were inside the posh vehicle and one of them knew Hindi.

“First, I was taken to St George Hospital to see my husband Rajendra. I told him that I would return home in a couple of days. From the hospital I was taken to airport,” Uddaiya said.

“I was sitting in the airport while they (officers) were showing documents to the officials at the airport. I had no luggage with me. After sometime, I boarded the flight but I was feeling uncomfortable,” Uddaiya recalled.

Uddaiya, who spent 17-18 hours in her flight to the US, said she was told they were heading to America.

“I could not eat in the flight properly as they were serving chocolates, sandwiches and some other stuff. I don’t know how I managed to eat that food.”

“I was taken to a posh hotel in a car soon after I landed in America. After a couple of hours, we all went to a building where I was asked several questions about the terrorists and Mumbai attacks,” she said.

She said she was asked about the terrorists whom she had seen landing at Mumbai.

“The questions were translated in Hindi by one of them and whatever answers I had given were also explained to them in English. Everything was over in two to three hours. I even called Hamid Qureshi (a scrap dealer where she works in Mumbai) telling him I am safe,” she said, adding that she was taken to the hotel subsequently and then to the airport to board a flight back to Mumbai.

On returning home in a taxi from Mumbai airport, Uddaiya said she was confused and surprised at what was happening around her.  She said she was taken to the Cuffe Parade police station for recording her statement.

After the Mumbai attacks, Uddaiya had also been shown pictures of ten terrorists but she was not taken to J J Hospital to identify the bodies of the terrorists, she said.

“Since I was unwilling to do so, the Mumbai police did not take me to J J hospital,” she said.

Uddaiya, who deals in scrap, had been living with her husband, daughter and son in the colony of Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai.