Israeli ‘phosphorous shells’ incinerate 1,000s of tons of UN food as Gaza starves

Israeli ‘phosphorous shells’ incinerate

1,000s of tons of UN food as Gaza starves

Ben Lynfield and Ibrahim Barzak

15 January 2009

ISRAELI shells set ablaze a food warehouse at UN headquarters in Gaza yesterday, destroying tons of emergency rations intended for needy Gaza civilians, a senior UN official said.

A pall of black smoke rose from the UN compound, visible across Gaza City. Flour spilled on the ground and mixed with soot as Palestinian firefighters tried to douse the flames.

“The main warehouse was badly damaged by what appeared to be white phosphorus shells,” UN humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes said 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 compound belongs to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (Unwra).

The rights group Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using white phosphorus, which can create smoke screens or mark targets but also makes a devastating incendiary weapon.

Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said the military fired artillery shells at the UN compound after Hamas militants opened fire from the location, a version of events John Ging, director of Unwra in Gaza, rejected as “nonsense”

Mr Ging said Israeli shells first hit a courtyard filled with refugees, then struck garages and the UN’s main warehouse, sending thousands of tons of food aid up in flames. Later, fuel supplies ignited, sending a thick plume of smoke into the air.

“It’s a total disaster for us,” said Mr Ging, adding that the UN had warned the Israeli its shelling put the compound in danger.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, who is in the region to encourage a ceasefire, demanded a “full explanation” and said the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, had told him there had been a “grave mistake”.

Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, called the attack “indefensible”, saying the UN’s mission in Gaza “is purely humanitarian, bringing relief to civilians suffering in appalling conditions as a result of the ongoing military actions and restrictions on food and medical supplies entering Gaza”.

Even as a top Israeli envoy went to Egypt to discuss a cease-fire proposal, the military pushed further into Gaza in an apparent effort to step up pressure on Hamas. Ground forces thrust deep into a crowded neighbourhood for the first time, as terrified residents fled.

The compound of al-Quds hospital, in the Tel Huwa area of Gaza City, where Israeli troops advanced yesterday, also came under Israeli shelling. A shell hit a building connected to the hospital belonging to the Red Crescent Society and another crashed into the pharmacy on the second floor of the hospital building. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire reaching the main hospital building, paramedic Adil al-Azbat told The Scotsman.

“We put the patients on the underground floor where the surgical department is. There was great fear, great terror, an inability to concentrate. We felt at this moment that the hospital is on the brink of destruction,” he added.

Meanwhile, an air strike in Gaza City killed a senior Hamas leader, Sayyid Siyam, interior minister in Gaza’s government. Mr Siyam was a key figure in Hamas, and oversaw the militiamen who seized control of the Gaza Strip during the June 2006 armed takeover from forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.

A total of 1,076 Palestinians have died in the Israeli offensive, which began to prevent rocket fire from the Strip into Israel.

At least 670 of them are civilians, according to Palestinian rights groups.

A total of 13 Israelis have died either from missile strikes on southern Israel or in the fighting in Gaza.

List Of Israel’s Child Victims In Gaza

List Of Israel’s Child Victims In Gaza


Jan 15, 2009

At least 300 children are among the more than 1,000 Palestinians who have died since Israel began to bombard the Gaza Strip on December 27.

Al Jazeera has obtained the names of 210 of the young victims, 44 of which were under five years old. 

Date Name Gender Age
27/12/2008 Ibtihal Kechko Girl 10
Ahmed Riad Mohammed Al-Sinwar Boy 3
Ahmed Al-Homs Boy 18
Ahmed Rasmi Abu Jazar Boy 16
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Halabi Boy 18
Tamer Hassan Al-Akhrass Boy 5
Hassan Ali Al-Akhrass Boy 3
Haneen Wael Mohammed Daban Girl 15
Khaled Sami Al-Astal Boy 15
alaat Mokhless Bassal Boy 18
Aaed Imad Kheera Boy 14
Abdullah Al-Rayess Boy 17
Odai Hakeem Al-Mansi Boy 4
Allam Nehrou Idriss Boy 18
Ali Marwan Abu Rabih Boy 18
Anan Saber Atiyah Boy 13
Camelia Al-Bardini Girl 10
Lama Talal Hamdan Girl 10
Mohammed Jaber Howeij Boy 17
Nimr Mustafa Amoom Boy 10
29/12/2008 Ismail Talal Hamdan Boy 10
Ahmed Ziad Al-Absi Boy 14
Ahmed Youssef Khello Boy 18
Ikram Anwar Baaloosha Girl 14
Tahrier Anwar Baaloosha Girl 17
Jihad Saleh Ghobn Boy 10
Jawaher Anwar Baaloosha Girl 8
Dina Anwar Baaloosha Girl 7
Samar Anwar Baaloosha Girl 6
Shady Youssef Ghobn Boy 12
Sudqi Ziad Al-Absi Boy 3
Imad Nabeel Abou Khater Boy 16
Lina Anwar Baaloosha Girl 7
Mohammed Basseel Madi Boy 17
Mohammed Jalal Abou Tair Boy 18
Mohammed Ziad Al-Absi Boy 14
Mahmoud Nabeel Ghabayen Boy 15
Moaz Yasser Abou Tair Boy 6
Wissam Akram Eid Girl 14
30/12/2008 Haya Talal Hamdan Girl 8
31/12/2008 Ahmed Kanouh Boy 10
Ameen Al-Zarbatlee Boy 10
Mohammed Nafez Mohaissen Boy 10
Mustafa Abou Ghanimah Boy 16
Yehya Awnee Mohaissen Boy 10
Ossman Bin Zaid Nizar Rayyan Boy 3
Assaad Nizar Rayyan Boy 2
Moaz-Uldeen Allah Al-Nasla Boy 5
Aya Nizar Rayyan Girl 12
Halima Nizar Rayyan Girl 5
Reem Nizar Rayyan Boy 4
Aicha Nizar Rayyan Girl 3
Abdul Rahman Nizar Rayyan Boy 6
Abdul Qader Nizar Rayyan Boy 12
Oyoon Jihad Al-Nasla Girl 16
Mahmoud Mustafa Ashour Boy 13
Maryam Nizar Rayyan Girl 5
01/01/2009 Hamada Ibrahim Mousabbah Boy 10
Zeinab Nizar Rayyan Girl 12
Sujud Mahmoud Al-Derdesawi Girl 10
Abdul Sattar Waleed Al-Astal Boy 12
Abed Rabbo Iyyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal Boy 10
Ghassan Nizar Rayyan Boy 15
Christine Wadih El-Turk Boy 6
Mohammed Mousabbah Boy 14
Mohammed Iyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal Boy 13
Mahmoud Samsoom Boy 16
Ahmed Tobail Boy 16
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh Boy 17
Hassan Hejjo Boy 14
Rajeh Ziadeh Boy 18
Shareef Abdul Mota Armeelat Boy 15
Mohammed Moussa Al-Silawi Boy 10
Mahmoud Majed Mahmoud Abou Nahel Boy 16
Mohannad Al-Tatnaneeh Boy 18
Hani Mohammed Al-Silawi Boy 10
01/01/2009 Ahmed Al-Meshharawi Boy 16
Ahmed Khodair Sobaih Boy 17
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh Boy 18
Asraa Kossai Al-Habash Girl 10
Assad Khaled Al-Meshharawi Boy 17
Asmaa Ibrahim Afana Girl 12
Ismail Abdullah Abou Sneima Boy 4
Akram Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 18
Aya Ziad Al-Nemr Girl 8
Ahmed Mohammed Al-Adham Boy 1
Akram Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 13
Hamza Zuhair Tantish Boy 12
Khalil Mohammed Mokdad Boy 18
Ruba Mohammed Fadl Abou-Rass Girl 13
Ziad Mohammed Salma Abou Sneima Boy 9
Shaza Al-Abed Al-Habash Girl 16
Abed Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 12
Attia Rushdi Al-Khawli Boy 16
Luay Yahya Abou Haleema Boy 17
Mohammed Akram Abou Harbeed Boy 18
Mohammed Abed Berbekh Boy 18
Mohammed Faraj Hassouna Boy 16
Mahmoud Khalil Al-Mashharawi Boy 12
Mahmoud Zahir Tantish Boy 17
Mahmoud Sami Assliya Boy 3
Moussa Youssef Berbekh Boy 16
Wi’am Jamal Al-Kafarneh Girl 2
Wadih Ayman Omar Boy 4
Youssef Abed Berbekh Boy 10
05/01/2009 Ibrahim Rouhee Akl Boy 17
Ibrahim Abdullah Merjan Boy 13
Ahmed Attiyah Al-Semouni Boy 4
Aya Youssef Al-Defdah Girl 13
Aya Al-Sersawi Girl 5
Ahmed Amer Abou Eisha Boy 5
Ameen Attiyah Al-Semouni Boy 4
Hazem Alewa Boy 8
Khalil Mohammed Helless Boy 12
Diana Mosbah Saad Girl 17
Raya Al-Sersawi Girl 5
Rahma Mohammed Al-Semouni Girl 18
Ramadan Ali Felfel Boy 14
Rahaf Ahmed Saeed Al-Azaar Girl 4
Shahad Mohammed Hijjih Girl 3
Arafat Mohammed Abdul Dayem Boy 10
Omar Mahmoud Al-Baradei Boy 12
Ghaydaa Amer Abou Eisha Girl 6
Fathiyya Ayman Al-Dabari Girl 4
Faraj Ammar Al-Helou Boy 2
Moumen Alewah Boy 9
Moumen Mahmoud Talal Alaw Boy 10
Mohammed Amer Abu Eisha Boy 8
Mahmoud Mohammed Abu Kamar Boy 15
Marwan Hein Kodeih Girl 6
Montasser Alewah Boy 12
Naji Nidal Al-Hamlawi Boy 16
Nada Redwan Mardi Girl 5
Hanadi Bassem Khaleefa Girl 13
06/01/2009 Ibrahim Ahmed Maarouf Boy 14
Ahmed Shaher Khodeir Boy 14
Ismail Adnan Hweilah Boy 15
Aseel Moeen Deeb Boy 17
Adam Mamoun Al-Kurdee Boy 3
Alaa Iyad Al-Daya Girl 8
Areej Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 3 months
Amani Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 4
Baraa Ramez Al-Daya Girl 2
Bilal Hamza Obaid Boy 15
Thaer Shaker Karmout Boy 17
Hozaifa Jihad Al-Kahloot Boy 17
Khitam Iyad Al-Daya Girl 9
Rafik Abdul Basset Al-Khodari Boy 15
Raneen Abdullah saleh Girl 12
Zakariya Yahya Al-Taweel Boy 5
Sahar Hatem Dawood Girl 10
Salsabeel Ramez Al-Daya Girl 6 months
Sharafuldeen Iyad Al-Daya Boy 7
Doha Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 5
Ahed Iyad Kodas Boy 15
Abdullah Mohammed Abdullah Boy 10
Issam Sameer Deeb Boy 12
Alaa Ismail Ismail Boy 18
Ali Iyad Al-Daya Boy 10
Imad Abu Askar Boy 18
Filasteen Al-Daya Girl 5
Kamar Mohammed Al-Daya Boy 3
Lina Abdul Menem Hassan Girl 10
Unidentified Boy 9
Unidentified Boy 15
Mohammed Iyad Al-Daya Boy 6
Mohammed Bassem Shakoura Boy 10
Mohammed Bassem Eid Boy 18
Mohammed Deeb Boy 17
Mohammed Eid Boy 18
Mustafa Moeen Deeb Boy 12
Noor Moeen Deeb Boy 2
Youssef Saad Al-Kahloot Boy 17
Youssef Mohammed Al-Daya Boy 1
07/01/2009 Ibrahim Kamal Awaja Boy 9
Ahmed Jaber Howeij Boy 7
Ahmed Fawzi Labad Boy 18
Ayman Al-Bayed Boy 16
Amal Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 3
Toufic Khaled Al-Khahloot Boy 10
Habeeb Khaled Al-Khahloot Boy 12
Houssam Raed Sobeh Boy 12
Hassan Rateb Semaan Boy 18
Hassan Ata Hassan Azzam Boy 2
Redwan Mohammed Ashoor Boy 10
Suad Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 6
Samar Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 2
Abdul Rahman Mohammmed Ashoor Boy 12
Fareed Ata Hassan Azzam Boy 13
Mohammed Khaled Al-Kahloot Boy 15
Mohammed Samir Hijji Boy 16
Mohammed Fareed Al-Maasawabi Boy 16
Mohammed Moeen Deeb Boy 17
Mohammed Nasseem Salama Saba Boy 16
Mahmoud Hameed Boy 17
Hamam Issa Boy 1
08/01/2009 Anas Arif Abou Baraka Boy 7
Ibrahim Akram Abou Dakkka Boy 12
Ibrahim Moeen Jiha Boy 15
Baraa Iyad Shalha Girl 6
Basma Yasser Al-Jeblawi Girl 5
Shahd Saad Abou Haleema Girl 15
Azmi Diab Boy 16
Mohammed Akram Abou Dakka Boy 14
Mohammed Hikmat Abou Haleema Boy 17
Ibrahim Moeen Jiha Boy 15
Matar Saad Abou Haleema Boy 17
09/01/2009 Ahmed Ibrahim Abou Kleik Boy 17
Ismail Ayman Yasseen Boy 18
Alaa Ahmed Jaber Girl 11
Baha-Uldeen Fayez Salha Girl 5
Rana Fayez Salha Girl 12
Rola Fayez Salha Girl 13
Diyaa-Uldeen Fayez Salah Boy 14
Ghanima Sultan Halawa Girl 11
Fatima Raed Jadullah Girl 10
Mohammed Atef Abou Al-Hussna Boy 15

Killed by Israel, Eaten by Dogs

Killed by Israel, Eaten by Dogs

Ola Attallah, IOL Correspondent

Jan 15, 2009

GAZA CITY – “Oh, God! I have never seen such a terrible scene,” cried Kayed Abu Aukal.

The emergency doctor could not believe himself seeing the remains of what was days back Shahd, a full-fleshed 4-year-old Palestinian girl.

She died when an Israeli shell was fired at the backyard of her home in the Jabalya refugee camp northern Gaza strip, where she was playing.

When her parents attempted to rush to the rescue of their kid, who fell to the ground amid a pool of her blood, rains of Israeli bullets kept them a distance.

For the next five days Shahd’s which was left lying in the open left for dogs to tear out.

“The dogs did leave one single part of the poor baby’s body intact,” said a tearful Abu Aukal.

“We have seen heart-breaking scenes over the past 18 days. We picked up children whose bodies were torn or burnt, but nothing like this.”

For five days Shahd’s brother, Matar, and cousin, Mohamed, tried in vain to reach her body. They were fired at by the Israeli occupation forces every time.

Seeing the body of the little angel torn to piece by the assaulting dogs, the two made one final attempt, and it was their last.

They were showered by Israeli bullets before they could reach Shahd’s body, joining a long list of more than 920 Palestinians killed by Israel since December 27.


Omran Zayda, a young neighbor, said the Israelis knew very well what they were doing.

“They chased her family and prevented them from reaching to her body, knowing that the dogs would eat it,” he said.

“They are not just killing our children, they are intentionally doing so in the most heinous and inhuman ways.”

Zayda said words, and even cameras, can not describe the horrific scene.

“You can never imagine what the dogs have done to her innocent body,” he said, fighting back his tears.

Many Palestinians insist Shahd was not the first or only such case.

In Jabalya, when Abd Rabu’s family was trying to bury three of its dead, the Israeli forces started firing at them, witnesses said.

They then released their dogs at the bodies, deserted by mourners who sought shelter from the Israeli gunfire, they added.

“What happened was awful and unthinkable,” Saad Abd Rabu, the deceased uncle, told IOL.

“Our sons died before our eyes and we were even prevented from burying them,” he cried.

“The Israelis just released their dogs at their bodies, as even they have not done enough.”

Jewish leaders fault Israeli leader for not sticking to the code of silence

Jewish leaders fault Israeli leader for not

sticking to the code of silence

omerta: A code of silence amongst members of a criminal organization (especially the Mafia) that forbids divulging insider secrets to law enforcement.

The biggest non-no in the criminal world is to snitch, to tell, to let the cat out of the bag, to spill the beans, to GO PUBLIC with what’s considered a private affair.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Israel’s combined propaganda/intelligence/police brainwashing arm of Israeli interests in America, is a large part of the criminal enterprise known as Zionism with an almost 100 year history of interfering in American life. In the below article from The Forward, the oldest Jewish publication in America, the ADL’s Glorious Leader Abe Foxman lets the cat out of the bag about letting the cat out of the bag.

Abe, move to Israel and stay there. Thanks.

Olmert’s Boast of ‘Shaming’ Rice Provokes Diplomatic Furor

‘The Mistake Was To Talk About It In Public,’ One Critic Says

By Nathan Guttman
Thu. Jan 15, 2009

Washington — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert didn’t do anything wrong — but he should have kept his mouth shut.

That was the reaction of several Jewish leaders to Olmert’s public boast January 11. He said he left Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “shamed” by getting President Bush to block her at the last moment from voting for a Gaza cease-fire resolution that she herself had hammered out over several days with Arab and European diplomats at the United Nations.

Olmert bragged of having pulled Bush off a stage during a speech when he called on the phone and demanded the president’s intervention. Administration officials, however, have sharply challenged Olmert’s account.

“I have no problem with what Olmert did,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “I think the mistake was to talk about it in public.

“This is what friendships are about. He was not interfering in political issues. You have a relationship, and if you don’t like what is being done, then you go to the boss and tell him.”

Douglas Bloomfield, a former chief lobbyist for the Washington-based pro-Israel lobby the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, dismissed the episode as “a spitting match between two lame ducks.”

“This reinforces the perception that the Israeli prime minister and Israeli leaders have easy access to the leaders of the U.S.,” Bloomfield said. “It is a fact that the Israeli prime minister can get the president on the phone. Not every prime minister in the world can do that. It is no secret that Israel tried to influence the U.S. regarding U.N. votes. It reinforces what the rivals of Israel say about the enormous clout Israel has in Washington, and I see nothing wrong with that.”

But Bloomfield added, “It is a mistake to talk about it.”

Rice, according to press reports, worked hard with Arab and European diplomats to come up with a Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza that all could support. She finally gave her approval to a draft calling for an “immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.”

But the January 8 vote was delayed just before it was to take place, as Rice was called away to the phone. When she returned, she abstained on behalf of the United States — contrary, other diplomats said, to her earlier commitment. The measure, Resolution 1860, was adopted 14-0, with only America in abstention.

In public remarks afterward, Rice stressed that her government nevertheless strongly supported the resolution.

“We decided that this resolution, the text of which we support, the goals of which we support and the objectives that we fully support, should indeed be allowed to go forward. I believe in doing so, the council has provided a roadmap for a sustainable, durable peace in Gaza,” Rice said after the January 8 vote, explaining America’s decision to abstain.

Olmert’s call to Bush aside, there were hints of internal wrangling within America’s administration over the resolution. In a January 11 CNN interview, Vice President Dick Cheney voiced disbelief in the U.N.’s ability to end the fighting in Gaza. “I think we’ve learned, from watching over the years, that there’s a big difference between what happens at the United Nations in their debates and the facts on the ground in major crises around the world,” Cheney said.

Israel and Jewish groups, including Aipac, the ADL and the American Jewish Committee, opposed the draft’s language, which they saw as one-sided. They also felt that the draft stood in contrast to Israel’s demand not to give it equal standing with Hamas in the resolution.

During a January 5 conference call with Jewish activists, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, gave special priority to blocking the international body from taking a stand on the Gaza issue. “We need to work hard to ensure the Security Council doesn’t pass a resolution,” Hoenlein said.

It was in Ashkelon, in southern Israel, that Olmert gave a speech in which he said that on hearing of the draft that Rice had developed with her U.N. colleagues, he immediately called Bush, just minutes before the U.N. vote. He was told that Bush was giving a speech in Philadelphia and could not talk.

“I said, I don’t care; I have to talk to him,” Olmert told the crowd, which included reporters and TV cameras.

Bush, according to Olmert, was called off the podium and immediately agreed to look into the issue. “He gave an order to the secretary of state, and she did not vote in favor of it — a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed, and abstained on a resolution she arranged,” Olmert told the crowd.

A furious White House and State Department condemned Olmert’s account as inaccurate, and the State Department called it “totally, completely untrue.” Rice termed it “a fiction.”

In a January 13 press briefing, spokesman Sean McCormack said Rice had decided a day before the vote that she would not veto the resolution. McCormack also stated that Rice made the choice to abstain after she consulted with National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and with Bush.

The decision by Rice not to outright veto the January 8 Security Council resolution, as the United States has the power to do under Security Council rules, triggered angry and unusual criticism from Jewish groups that have praised Bush during most of his eight-year White House tenure.

Aipac issued a statement January 6 condemning the U.N. resolution and criticizing the Bush administration for not using its veto power and instead “succumbing to pressure exerted by Arab states.”

The ADL expressed disappointment with the administration in a written statement: “We expected the Administration to abide by its longstanding commitment to fighting global terrorism and the scourge of anti-Semitism, and Israel’s role on the front lines of that fight.”

The tough words from Israel and Jewish groups toward the outgoing administration will make little difference for Bush and Rice, who leave office January 20. But they will serve as a message to the incoming administration led by President-elect Barack Obama and his choice for secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“This is a battle that needed to be taken,” Foxman said. “We don’t win all our battles, but we can’t simply accept that the Security Council is what the Security Council is.”

US, Israel seek Palestinian Authority’s return to Gaza

US, Israel seek Palestinian Authority’s return to Gaza

WASHINGTON – With a ceasefire shaping up, the United States and Israel seem to be trying to oust Hamas from the Gaza Strip in order to allow the return of the US-backed Palestinian Authority of Mahmud Abbas.

Although they did not clearly say so, all the remarks on Friday from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni pointed in the same direction: the return of Abbas with international support.

“I think that there is much that can be done to begin to bring Gaza out of the dark of Hamas’s reign there and into the light of reconnecting to the very good governance that the Palestinian Authority can provide,” Rice said.

Rice was speaking before she and Livni signed an agreement aimed at preventing the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip as part of efforts to clinch a ceasefire in Israel’s three-week military offensive against Hamas.

“What we’re doing in the Gaza Strip is not against the peace process, but it serves the peace process, because the idea is that Israel starts the peace talks with the pragmatic leadership in the Palestinian Authority,” she said.

Livni has overseen the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority led by Abbas—who is also known as Abu Mazen—and his Fatah movement since they were relaunched in November 2007 under Rice.

Israel’s chief diplomat did not reply directly when asked if Israel intended to restore Abbas to power in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has ruled since June 2007 after ousting forces loyal to Abbas.

“It’s a zero-sum game between (Hamas’s Gaza leader Ismail) Haniya and Abu Mazen, between Hamas and Fatah,” Livni said. “In order to strengthen the moderates and the legitimate government, we need to weaken the others.”

Neither Rice nor Livni explained how Abbas could retake control of the Gaza Strip without appearing to be a traitor in the court of Arab public opinion.

But Rice recalled having negotiated in 2005 an agreement over access to the Gaza Strip, which calls for the deployment of international observers and Palestinian Authority security control over the territory.

Rice’s spokesman Sean McCormack meanwhile suggested that Hamas had been “damaged” after the three-week pounding by Israeli forces.

“One thing we know for certain that we have learned from our experience in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan and elsewhere is there is not just a military solution to problems such as this, fighting terror,” McCormack told reporters.

“You also have to bring to bear building up infrastructure, building up capabilities, bringing resources to bear to help the population so that they can make a different kind of political decision,” McCormack said.

He was referring to Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006 where Palestinians voted in Hamas over Fatah.

“Because ultimately you’re not going to solve this until you have a political solution,” he said.

McCormack called for creating responsible security and other institutions like those being built in the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority has control. “That’s the model,” he added.

Meanwhile, Israel looks poised to call a unilateral halt to its offensive on Gaza after winning pledges on Friday from the United States as well as Egypt to help prevent arms smuggling into the enclave.

A senior government official said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s security cabinet is expected to vote in favor of a proposal at a meeting on Saturday night under which Israel would silence its guns even without a reciprocal agreement from Hamas.

Gaza: A pawn in the new ‘great game’

Gaza: A pawn in the new ‘great game’

By Alastair Crooke, Asia Times, January 14, 2009

As Europeans watch the humanitarian disaster in Gaza unfold on nightly news bulletins, many may wonder why this crisis seems to have left their governments groping in such apparent fumbling disarray. The answer is that it is the result of policies pulling in opposite directions – of an acute irreconcilability at the heart of their policy-making.

What has happened in Gaza was all too foreseeable. A few Israelis forewarned about this coming crisis, but the appeal of the “grand narrative” – of a global struggle between “moderates” and “extremists” – overrode their warnings to the Israeli electorate.

The thesis that literally “everything” must be done either to lever “moderates” into power, or prevent them from losing power – euphemistically called “supporting moderation” – lies at the heart of the Gaza crisis.

It is a narrative that has served Israel’s wider interests in garnering legitimacy for the Israeli campaign against Iran, and in dichotomizing the region into Westernized “moderates” and Islamist “extremists”.

Former British prime minister, and current Middle East envoy for the Quartet group of the United Nations, Tony Blair’s proselytizing around the world on this theme has been a huge asset for an Israel which aspires to become the leading member of a “moderate” bloc, rather than an isolated island in an increasingly Islamist Middle East. Yet Blair’s and other Quartet members’ attempts to fit this simplistic mechanical template over a complex Middle East, facing multiple struggles, has reduced the Palestinian crisis to being no more than a pawn in a bigger “game” of the existential global struggle against “extremism”.

But such models, once generally accepted, force a deterministic interpretation that can blind its advocates to the real results of such narrow and rigid conceptualizing: a humbled Hamas was seen to be a blow to Hezbollah, which in turn represented a blow to Syria, which weakened Iran – all of which strengthens the “moderates” and makes Israel safer.

Whether this thinking will achieve anything approaching this result remains highly improbable; but its price – Hamas clearly branded and now attacked as a part of these global forces of “extremism” – has been the foreclosure on the possibility of any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

European acquiescence to this Blairite vision of squeezing and humbling Hamas has directly contributed to the bloodshed seen in the streets of Gaza today. European leaders are complicit in creating the circumstances that led to today’s disaster.

At one level, Europeans may say they have been working diligently to pursue an Israeli-Palestinian solution, but their actions suggest the opposite – that they have been more concerned to deliver a knock-out blow to the camp of global “extremism”. Pursuing such irreconcilable ends has only succeeded both in stripping their protege Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of any popular legitimacy and in closing the path of political participation to Hamas.

They have destroyed any hope to achieve a truly national Palestinian mandate for any political solution for the foreseeable future. European “social engineering” in Gaza has created only deep division among Palestinians, and possibly pushed a Palestinian state beyond reach.

European leaders bought into this strategy, hoping to pull-off a quickie under-the-table “peace” deal with Abbas that could then be “enforced” on the Palestinians through a multi-national “peacekeeping” force.

This was to be achieved with the collaboration of Egypt and Saudi Arabia who were becoming increasingly fearful of the challenge from within their own domestic electorate and who were not adverse to seeing Hamas cornered in Gaza and “punished” by the Israelis. Stage one was to weaken Hamas; stage two to insert an armed international force into Gaza; and stage three was for Abbas’ British and United States-trained special forces to return to Gaza and resume control of the Gaza Strip. It is standard colonial technique.

Any psychologist, however, might have advised the European and US policymakers that putting one-and-a-half million Palestinians “on a diet”, as an earlier Israeli chief-of-staff to the Israeli prime minister described it, and shredding any plans or hopes that they may have had for their futures, does not make humans more docile or more moderate. After a while in the Gaza pressure-cooker, anger and despair boil up: Gaza ultimately was set to explode – one way or another.

As Gaza was squeezed to the point of desperation in the hope that its inhabitants would turn on Hamas, Britain and the US busied themselves in training a Palestinian “special forces” militia around Abbas. The force was used to suppress political activity by Hamas in the West Bank and to close down welfare and social organizations that are not aligned directly with Abbas. A policy of political “cleansing” of the West Bank, cloaked under the rhetoric of “building security institutions”, predictably has been met with an equivalent counter-reaction by Hamas in Gaza – exacerbating Palestinian divisions.

This, then, is the backdrop against which Hamas elected to decline a renewed ceasefire. To stand passive and cornered while Palestinians in Gaza were made destitute and hopeless in an extended ceasefire, and to watch as the Anglo-American political cleansing in the West Bank proceeded, simply was not feasible. European policy was not leading to a political solution, it was set on a course of self-destruction in Gaza and West Bank.

Even in the wake of this humanitarian disaster, European mediators seem more concerned to fight the global war of “moderates” versus “extremists” than to achieve a solution. Blair on Israeli television argued that the priority must be to ensure that weapons cannot continue to reach Hamas via the smuggling tunnels – or else the killing continues.

This is being said, however, at exactly the same time that Israeli officials were briefing journalists that the army began planning, training and acquiring the new weapons from the US for this assault – even as the terms of the past ceasefire were still to be agreed with Hamas.

The hold of this moderate/extremist mindset over Europeans and Americans suggests that Europeans again will acquiesce to ceasefire aims intended to hollow out any political future for Hamas. The conflict seems set to continue, but the outlines of a new ceasefire are available today if anyone chooses to pursue them.

The border crossings must be fully opened and life for Gazans must be returned to normality. On this basis, a stable ceasefire could be agreed on. Palestinian unity will be achieved only by opening Palestinian leadership institutions, including the Palestinian Liberation Organization, to radical reforms that will make them genuinely representative of the Palestinian people – and not through the political cleansing of Hamas from the political arena.

Repeated Western attempts to lay a template that has persistently misconceived where the real risk of extremism lies in Islamism, and miscast immoderates as the moderates, has so far only served to light the fires of extremism, rather than extinguish them.

Alastair Crooke is co-director of Conflicts Forum. He was formerly an EU mediator with Hamas and other Islamist movements and is author of Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution to be published in the UK in February and the US in March 2009.

Real Jews don’t want to live in Israel

Real Jews don’t want to live in Israel

Speaking with David Rovics, the American singer who sings for Gaza

David Rovics, is an American folklore singer and political activist
David Rovics, is an American folklore singer and political activist

Zionist Regime is tightening its grip over the innocent people of Gaza, selecting its victims eminently from infant children, women and the youth.

The casualty rate of civilians is swelling unyieldingly and the global public opinions are astounded by the intolerable, tormenting silence of UN which turned itself into the docile “marionette” of Zionist lobby as easily as it would be possible.

Independent nations, statesmen and even the outstanding figures of sports, science, culture and economy have collectively condemned the flagrant genocide of Zionist Regime over the helpless people of Gaza who are suffering from both the obstruction of Rafah crossing by a so-called Muslim government, Egypt, which simply prevents them from accessing to pharmacy, nutrition, energy and accouterment in one hand, and the multilateral onslaught of Zionist arsenal in the other.

From the Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin to the famous Spanish athletes Iker Casillas and Rafael Nadal, everybody has condemned and inculpated Israel for the unprecedented massacre of Palestinian people, either expressed strong disappointment about the prospect of peace, humanity in the region and the “suspicious” inaction of Arab leaders.

David Rovics, is an American folklore singer and political activist from Connecticut. Although most of Rovics’ work is fully-copyrighted and commercially-distributed, Rovics has made all of his recorded music freely available on downloadable mp3 files from his website. He encourages the free distribution of his work by all non-profit means to promote his work and spread political messages.

He has strong anti-Zionist, anti-Imperialist feelings and is a regular advocate of peace, establishment in the Middle East without the intervention of external hands; so far, has performed a bunch of concerts worldwide to dedicate their interests and benefits to the oppressed people of Palestine.

In an exclusive interview with Tehran Times, David Rovics condemned the aggressive attacks on Gaza and proposed a lot of interesting subjects about the backgrounds, reasons and consequences of such atrocities in the region.

Following you can read the whole text of interview with David Rovics, the American humanitarian singer.

– Israel is holding an unrelenting and concatenated incursion on the people of Palestine from the air, earth and sea. The casualty rates are surging dramatically and most of the victims are innocent infants, children, women and civilians. What’s your opinion on such atrocities?

I’m so horrified by what Israel is doing to the people of Gaza, and also horrified by what Israel regularly does to the people of the west bank, Lebanon and other countries. Israel’s war against the Palestinian people is not a response to the home-made, ineffective rocket fire coming out of Gaza .Israel’s war is the reason for the rocket fire in the first place. The idea that Israel is ‘retaliating’ is outrageous and if it were retaliating, the retaliation is so far beyond disproportionate that anyone talking like that can only be viewed as some kind of sick comedian.

Israel’s whole modus operandi is collective punishment, and unfortunately it is undoubtedly the case that not only the Zionist leadership but also many regular Israeli people view Arab life as dispensable.

– US vetoed the anti-Israeli resolution of Security Council two times, as it had done several times before. It didn’t allow the UN to impose embargo on Israel for its belligerent massacre of Palestinians. What’s the reason?

The double standards of both ‘democratic’ and ‘republican’ administrations throughout the history of U.S. relations with Israel and the Middle East have been staggering.  The U.S. supports a government which has hundreds of nuclear weapons and regularly makes war against other countries. And without this support of the U.S. Israel would not be able to do the things it does.  Meanwhile, iron, which has not attacked another country in 2500 years I believe, is punished terribly in many ways by the U.S. for pursuing a nuclear program. I don’t support nuclear weapons and I think they should all be banned from the face of the earth, but the U.S. double standard here is outrageous and is one of many instances that demonstrate why the U.S. government has no moral credibility whatsoever.

– The American media pretend that they are independent and non-aligned to government; however, they simply censor and withhold all of the news regarding to the criticism of American-Israeli lobby, anti-Israeli remarks of world officials, demonstrations and condemnations. Does it mean that the American media are somehow governmental, while disguising themselves under the mask of independence?

Not exactly, I’d say rather that the government is largely corporate-controlled, and so is the media.  It would however be an oversimplification to say that the media ‘withhold all of the news’ regarding criticism of Israel by world officials, etc.  In fact, this is not true.  What might be called the ‘evil genius’ of the American corporate media and the American system in general is that it’s not entirely monolithic. Voices speaking out against Israel do occasionally get heard in the corporate media, thus giving a lot of people a sense that the media is fair.  The reality is that overwhelmingly the media represents pro-Israel voices, and very rarely does one hear the critical voices.  That way the media can insure that most Americans are terribly ill-informed, while still allowing many Americans to live under the illusion that the media is not actually censored.  In fact, I’d say that keeping critical voices out of the media 95% of the time is much more effective in brainwashing a population than keeping those voices out 100% of the time.

In any case, the corporate media is not independent, though many of the good journalists working for it wish it were.  It serves the interests of the elite, even if it does allow a bit of dissenting voices to be heard now and then.

– What’s in your view, the main reason behind the unconditional and overall vindication that the US government purveys to Israel, even in the event that Israel commits such a multitude of evident crimes and genocides? Why it does not deal with Israel such as other countries?

I often wonder this myself. I mean, generally the U.S. government’s foreign policy represents U.S. corporate interests.  You can see this over and over in the history of U.S. foreign policy.  When the United Fruit Company wanted the government of Guatemala overthrown, the CIA overthrew it.  When the oil companies wanted Mossadegh’s overthrown, the CIA put the shah into power and so on. But given the economic importance of U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, why does the U.S. government insist on such unequivocal support for Israeli apartheid and the Israeli slaughter of Arabs?

I’d say the answer is not simple, but actually quite multi-faceted. Partly it’s that the U.S. leadership doesn’t trust Arab regimes, even ‘friendly’ ones, and wants to have a more ‘European’ ally in the region. Partly it’s that the U.S. likes to play with fire, and wants to keep Israel strong in order to constantly demonstrate to the rest of the region what can happen to them if they fall out of line. Partly the U.S. supports Israel because it undermines the so-called democratic movements in the Middle East as long as undemocratic regimes can claim Israel as the source of their problems.

It is more difficult for a democratic movement to succeed in opposing monarchies and dictatorships, and of course the U.S. government does not like democracy either at home or abroad). Partly U.S. support for Israel stems from the profits made by the military-industrial complex from this support. Billions of dollars of arms sales every year to Israel alone. Partly it’s about a fundamentally racist attitude many in the powers-that-be have towards Arabs and Muslims in general.  And last but not least, partly U.S. support for Israel stems from the power of AIPAC and the confusion of many Jewish Americans around Israel, what it stands for, why it exists and how it behaves. In many cases ‘confusion’ would be a very generous term, and other stronger words might be more appropriate, such as ‘racist’ or ‘fascist.’

– Israel claimed that it just seeks retaliation against Hamas by raiding on Gaza, while we see that it has closed the Rafah crossing, prevents the admittance of food, cash and pharmacy into Gaza. What’s this obvious contradiction for?

Israel is blatantly lying, and is engaged in the long-standing practice of collective punishment.  The slaughter of the people of Gaza currently underway has nothing to do with the things Israel says it’s about.  Israel’s policy towards the Palestinian people is genocidal in nature.

– So, How can the artists, by using their means of creativity, novelty and their delicate sense of inventiveness, prevent the world from moving toward more aggression, repugnance and violence? What’s their moral and spiritual duty in this sensitive period of time about the people of Gaza?

I think one of the main roles of artists in a situation like this is to use the media images that everybody is seeing and make sense of them, put them into proper context.  When on TV people see the skies lighting up and explosions in the distance, it’s the job of the artists and the authentic journalists to describe the carnage that results on the ground. Most Americans will never leave north America; they won’t even go to Europe to at least experience a somewhat better media and somewhat more educated, more critical people, and they certainly will never go to the Middle East, they will never experience war, never have their friends and family tortured and killed, never know what it’s like to have their houses demolished by tanks.  It’s our job to bring this reality to them as best we can without really being able to do that.

Music, theater, poetry and other art forms are perhaps uniquely suited to doing this. One of my favorite means of doing this is to appeal to the familiar to describe the unfamiliar, such as in songs I’ve written such as ‘Jenin,’ ‘my daughter,’ and others. Once people are emotionally sucked in by familiar images, they are then unwittingly perhaps ready to viscerally experience the unfamiliar.  Once they have identified with the humanity of the little girl being put to bed by her mother, they are ready, whether or not they know it, to experience some of the pain of the little girl’s father when she and her mother are suddenly killed by a fighter jet.

– What’s your anticipation about the prospect of Israeli regime with this vicious and savage approach which it has taken toward the world? Of course the Israeli regime is not representing the people thereof; so is it going to survive with its current stance that is arousing a global hatred and contempt toward itself?

Israel is the most racist society I have ever spent time in. There are many reasons why this is the case, and it’s not simple. I have no idea what the future holds, but it seems to me that positive change could come from many different potential developments. One is that many Jews don’t want to live in Israel; furthermore, most Jews in the world don’t feel particularly connected to Israel, according to polls I’ve read, and most Israelis don’t want to live in the settlements. This threatens the idea of Zionist expansion. Also, Palestinians have a much higher birth rate than Israeli Jews, which threatens the democratic underpinning of Israeli society.  But it seems to me the situation is most likely to change not from within Israel, but from within either the U.S. or the Arab world.  Either the U.S. or the Arab world, with decent leadership in either, could change everything.  Israel can’t do what it does without US support. Also the U.S can’t do what it does without the Arab world being terribly divided, without regimes like Saudi Arabia being motivated primarily by money rather than by any love of their fellow Arabs.  I don’t know when the U.S. might have a better government or when the Arab leadership will come together; however I wish I did!

– And finally, what’s your personal agenda about such a disaster which is underway in Gaza? Do you intend to perform any concert or record any piece of music about that?

In all of the concerts I’ve done since Gaza has been in the headlines I’ve been talking and singing about the situation there more than usual, trying to take advantage of the fact that people are once again thinking about Palestine in one way or another. I’d love to do more than that, and be involved with lots of demonstrations, concert tours focused on the situation there, etc., but this will depend on people and organizations mobilizing that I can plug into. I hope there will be lots of that going on. Here in Australia where i’m finishing a tour right now, I just sang at a rally for Gaza the other day.  When I return to the u.s. tomorrow I hope to do much more than that.

‘Arabs must use oil, wealth to secure end to bloodshed’

‘Arabs must use oil, wealth to secure end to bloodshed’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 16, (Agencies): Kuwaitis and Arab residents on Friday staged the largest demonstration in the country against Israel since the start of the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip on Dec 27. More than 5,000 people, including women, marched after Muslim Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City, chanting slogans against the Israeli attacks and in support of the Hamas movement. They then assembled outside parliament building where they heard speeches from MPs and activists condemning the “Israeli massacres” in Gaza and also the silence of Arab regimes.

“Arabs should use oil and their huge wealth to secure an end to the bloodshed,” Islamist MP Nasser Al-Sane told the gathering. “It is shameful that they (Arab leaders) are holding a summit while there are Israeli flags still flying in (some) Arab countries,” he said. Kuwaitis have been holding protests against the Israeli attacks on Gaza that has so far killed more than 1,100 people and wounded more than 5,000. Arab leaders are due in Kuwait for next week’s Arab Economic Summit which will also discuss the situations in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Awqaf Secretariat-General has donated KD 300,000 to support Palestinians in Gaza, General-Secretary of the Secretariat Dr Abdul-Ghafar Al-Sheriff told Al-Seyassah daily. Dr Al-Sheriff hoped the donation will alleviate sufferings of innocent people. He said such acts were part of fundamental activities of the secretariat, whereby it stands by people during difficulties and tries to solve their problems to the best possible limit. He stated that its assistance is not limited to war-torn regions, but also areas experiencing natural disasters like famine, hurricane and earthquakes. He affirmed that the secretariat presented the donation through the Joint Kuwaiti Relief Committee in line with its policy of cooperating with other charitable organizations and NGOs in carrying out such activities. “This is part of efforts of Kuwait to rescue depressed and needy people in Gaza, as well as Kuwait’s normal response to such situations globally,” Dr Al-Sheriff added.

In another development, about 59 Kuwaiti columnists, in a jointly signed press statement, have appealed to the international community to ensure that Israel stops attacks on Gaza, unconditionally withdraws from Palestinian territories, lifts ban on movement of people within the area and opens all borders, especially the Rafah border, reports Al-Seyassah daily.  The local daily columnists urged Islamic and Arab nations to sever ties with the Zionist nation, illegalize maintenance of ties with Israel, sue it for genocide against innocent civilians and raise funds to reconstruct Gaza after the massacre. They expressed concern of Kuwaiti government and citizens towards terrible political, psychological and financial condition of Gazans and accused some politicians and journalists of issuing irresponsible comments over the incidents.

“It behooves on us all to stand against the injustice and aggression going on in Gaza where Zionists freely assassinate innocent children, women and old people. This is the nature of Kuwaiti people and we had taken a similar step by assisting Iraqi immigrants after occupation,” the statement said And in New York, Kuwait called on the international community and the Security Council in particular to establish a working group mandated to look for effective ways to provide protection to civilians in armed conflicts in the Gaza Strip or elsewhere in the world.
Kuwaiti charge d’Affaires Khalaf Bu Dhhair told the Security Council as it examined ‘Protection of civilians in armed conflict’ that the meeting was taking place while civilians were suffering the impact of armed conflicts in many places around the globe, especially in Gaza.

He requested all member states to seriously consider the Secretary-General’s 2007 proposal, which included his vision of a practical solution for committing the Council to civilian protection by establishing a working group on the issue.
That group would assist the Council to move towards real and effective implementation of efforts to protect civilians in armed conflict, he said.
The United Nations Charter, international humanitarian law and divine law, he noted, held all states, particularly member states of the Security Council, responsible for seeking all possible means to grant the United Nations a vital and tangible role on the ground to protect humankind, especially civilians in armed conflict.

The tragic circumstances facing the unarmed Palestinian population suffering under the “Israeli onslaught” in the Gaza Strip, he said, required urgent international action.
The Palestinian population was largely civilian, he explained, only a fraction belonged to the militia. It was facing a professional military institution using bombs that “filled the hearts of children with horror”.
He argued that such indiscriminate actions on the part of Israel could only lead to the creation of a more violent and extremist generation, and would engender more hatred and resentment.

The same applied to those who lived under siege and who were denied food and medicines, he added.
The Israeli occupation was a clear violation of international law, and when “arrogant countries” allowed the “sound of arms” to prevail and believed that through killing, terrorizing and starving innocent civilians they could achieve political gains, they were totally mistaken. “This is a dead-end road,” he declared, adding that such postures only transformed those seeking better lives for themselves into extremists that knew only the language of violence and bloodletting.

At the end of the meeting in which 50 speakers participated, the council president Jean-Maurice Ripert of France read out a presidential statement in which the members expressed their deepest concern that civilians were still the most common victims of violent acts committed by parties to armed conflicts. They reaffirmed that such parties bore primary responsibility to “take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of affected civilians and to meet their basic needs, including by giving special attention to the needs of women and children.” Social Reform Society condemned the carnage taking pace in Gaza and denounced Israeli forces for massacring innocent people, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

Kuwait, Bahrain and UAE branches of the society said Israel is trying to eliminate the resistance movement. Members of all three branches called all and sundry to support the beleaguered people of Palestine and urged kings and heads of states of Islamic states to take effective steps to prevent the carnage. The society also called for suing Israeli political and military leaders for the crimes they perpetrated against innocent civilians. “The people of Gaza are facing the Israeli military bravely and are continuing to offer resistance. Their steadfastness comes from their belief in the Holy Quran and their faith that Allah will grant them victory,” Al-Seyassah daily quoted a researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Documentary Studies Issa Qadoumi as saying.  He was speaking at a seminar ‘Gaza from Inside,’ organized by Islamic Heritage Revival Society in Al-Omariya. He said “Palestinians were displaced due to a British project stated in Balfour Declaration and this resulted in the domination of Israelis in Palestine, in addition to the establishment of their settlements.”

Stating that Hamas members were imprisoned when a siege was imposed on Gaza, Qadoumi said “Jews don’t want Palestinians to gather in the West Bank or in Gaza and hence they are carrying out their hideous carnages.” He further noted that the Jewish entity was happy when Baghdad collapsed because “it wants all Arab and Islamic states to collapse so that it can terrorize Arab armies.” There are more than 1,000 tunnels connecting Egypt’s Rafeh area with Gaza Strip and these have helped in supplying food and other necessities to Palestinians who are totally isolated from the rest of the world. He said more than 100 clerics have condemned the siege imposed on Muslims.

Evidence For the Upcoming Trial Against Foreign Subversion of American Government

This document, signed under duress, is a public admission of the inordinate power of the Israel lobby to extort concessions from the US government, in effect, proving that some extreme claims about Jewish power, which were formerly known as “canards,” are true.  Jewish money does control the US government and the “free press.”  Bush and the ever faithful “Democratic Congress” are obedient lapdogs, delivering the Palestinian people into the jaws of the Zionazi beast, and the power to wage war on Iran into Olmert’s bloody hands.

In the following report Livni, Rice and reporters dutifully follow standard procedure when speaking publicly about terrorism and international gangsterism, American and Israeli actions are never “terrorism,” even when we detonate car-bombs and missiles on crowded streets.  All blame belongs to the Arabs.  It was Hamas rockets which “broke the truce,” not the Nov. 4 IDF attack which killed 6 Palestinians.

The red highlighted remarks in the following text are intended to mark the lies told to obscure Israeli blame for the Gazan debacle and the continuing land grabs, or to hide the truth that the war on Hamas is merely another part of the American/Israeli war on democracy.  Hamas is the elected, legitimate government in Gaza.   Erasing the results of democracy is a primary motivation in this massacre.


Remarks by Sec Rice and FM Livni after signing of MOU

16 Jan 2009
Israel and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding prevention of the supply of arms and related materiel to terrorist groups.
FM Tzipi Livni and US Sec of State Condoleezza Rice shake hands after signing a memorandum of understanding aimed at preventing arms smuggling into Gaza at the State Department in Washington, Jan 16, 2009 (Photo: Reuters)


Remarks by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni following the signing of the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding
Washington, D.C., January 16, 2009

SECRETARY RICE: I’m very glad to be here this morning to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with Israel, and with the Foreign Minister and Vice Prime Minister at my side.

We have worked together over the last years with a common commitment to bringing peace and security to Israel and its citizens, and to Israel’s Palestinian neighbors. I know how important it is to her and to the Israeli government to see that Israel and all of its citizens achieve the security and peace that they so deserve. It is for this reason that the United States has been working so hard to bring an end to rocket attacks and threats directed against Israel from Gaza, and to stabilize and normalize life for both Israelis and Palestinians.

The current crisis in Gaza was instigated by Hamas, a terrorist group that has called for the destruction of Israel, and refused to extend the calm, and still holds Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier, who was captured.

The Israelis cannot be expected to live under daily threats, nor should Gazans be put at risk by Hamas’s reckless targeting of Israel or endure the brutality of life under Hamas. Hamas has presided over the degradation of safety and well-being of innocent Palestinians since it seized power in a violent coup against the legitimate Palestinian Authority 18 months ago.

We’ve said repeatedly that the continued supply of armaments to Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza, including by some in the region, is a direct cause of the current hostilities. It is, therefore, incumbent upon on us in the international community to prevent the rearmament of Hamas so that a ceasefire will be durable and fully respected. There must be an international consensus that Gaza can never again be used as a launching pad against Israeli cities.

This Memorandum of Understanding that we will sign today responds to that need. It provides a series of steps that the United States and Israel will take to stem the flow of weapons and explosives into Gaza. The United States is reaching out to its partners, as well. And together, the steps that we and other members of the international community can take will contribute to a durable ceasefire.

The United States remains deeply concerned, too, about the innocent Palestinians who are suffering in Gaza. A sustainable end to hostilities, rather than one that collapses in a few days or weeks, is crucial to ending the suffering. In the meantime, we are doing all that we can to respond to the humanitarian needs of the population of Gaza.

And Foreign Minister Livni and I have talked about the need to be responsive to the humanitarian organizations that are working there, including the United Nations and the International Committee for the Red Cross, as well as nongovernmental organizations with which we are working through USAID to relieve the suffering of innocent people there.

When this is done, we must all turn again back to the goals of UN Security Council Resolution 1850. That resolution noted that lasting peace can only be based on an enduring commitment to mutual recognition, freedom from violence, incitement, and terror, and the two-state solution, building upon previous agreements and obligations. The United States remains firmly committed to Israel’s security, to continued bilateral negotiations through the Annapolis process, toward a two-state solution, which is the only way, ultimately, to secure a future for Israelis and Palestinians alike over the long term. The sooner that these hostilities can be brought to an end, the sooner the real work of forging a permanent peace can resume.

President Bush and I have very much enjoyed and valued our work with you, Tzipi, and with the people of Israel, with Prime Minister Olmert, with Defense Minister Barak, and with others. Israel and the United States will and always will – are and always will remain friends. We share values and we share a common desire to see a Middle East that lives in peace and in freedom.

And so, I welcome you here today in these difficult circumstances, but I know that you, in your personal commitment to a better life for the people of Israel and for the people of the Middle East, as well as for the people of the world, will continue your endeavors well beyond this day. Thank you.


Israel is fighting today against the Hamas terrorist organization that has taken Gaza hostage and continues to target the citizens of Israel. We are fighting Hamas that continues to hold Gilad Shalit and even denies him ICRC access. I said from the outset that ending the fighting in Gaza will not be achieved by agreements with terror, but with effective arrangements against it. This is what we are doing today.

I said from the outset that an end to the fighting will not come through a simple call for a ceasefire, but through a determined, united and effective effort of the international community against terror groups such as Hamas. And this is what we are doing today.

Israel left the Gaza Strip years ago. When we left, Hamas claimed that terror made us leave. But the truth is that it was the hope for peace that made us leave Gaza, and terror that forced us, and forced our soldiers, to come and fight in Gaza today.

After years of restraint, Israel has shown that it will no longer tolerate attacks on our citizens, and that there will be a high price for terror from Gaza against our citizens. We have also made clear, as have many international leaders including President Bush and Secretary Rice, that for a cessation of hostilities to be durable there must be an end to the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. That is why the MOU we signed today is so important, as a vital component for the cessation of hostility.

It is true that even after the fighting ends we will reserve our right to act to defend ourselves against terrorist activities in Gaza, including weapons smuggling and buildup of military capabilities. But this can be prevented by actions by the international community according to this MOU.

In this MOU we have agreed on a series of actions with regional and international players in order to complement Egyptian actions and end the flow of weapons to Gaza. I will not repeat the list of measures, but these are specific steps to end the flow of weapons along the supply routes by working with NATO and regional states and by enhancing the effectiveness of measures against Iran, the main supplier of these weapons.

As I have said many times, our commitment to peace and the solution of two states for two peoples requires not only genuine negotiations with our pragmatic partners, the legitimate Palestinian government, as was decided in Annapolis, but also determined action against terrorists and enemies of peace. It is this dual strategy that we are pursuing, and I believe that it is this strategy that will lead us to a more secure and peaceful future.

I believe that this MOU, together with a parallel understanding with Egypt, and an end to attacks from Gaza can create the basis for Israeli decisions on the future of the operation.

I am glad to thank Secretary Rice and the entire administration for their efforts to conclude this important and I think historic MOU in record time, and I think that this MOU shows once again not only the strong strategic partnership between Israel and the US, but also the principled and determined stand of the United States against terror as the leader of the free world. We value this leadership under President Bush, and we are confident that it will continue under the new US administration under President-elect Obama.

On a personal note, I would like to thank my friend and colleague, Condi Rice, not just for her efforts on this MOU, but for her leadership, support and friendship over the last years. Important work has been done over the last years to lay the foundation for a secure and stable Middle East, for the benefit of the people of Israel and the region as a whole. There are many challenges ahead, but I want to thank my friend Condi for her important contribution on our shared goals and shared values. It is values that we are talking about, and the determination to act according to your values. I know that you care, I know that in each and every decision that you made, you were working according to your values and the understanding that we need to work together in order to create a better world.

Thank you.

A moral failure of UK media on Gaza

A moral failure of UK media on Gaza

By Abdul Bari Atwan, Special to Gulf News
Published: January 16, 2009, 23:34

The genocidal Israeli military campaign against the unarmed, imprisoned and besieged people of Gaza which has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 Palestinian and just 13 Israelis, is not being accurately reported in the British press.

With a few admirable exceptions, writers and broadcaster in the UK have adopted a biased stance and vocabulary in their coverage of the conflict. The highly influential Zionist lobby and the Labour Friends of Israel within the UK government have been hard at work.

One must not underestimate the career damage journalists, politicians and academics fear in the event of being branded ‘anti-semitic’. Most do not have the moral courage to unreservedly criticise Israel.

The Israeli state’s latest innovation, Hasbara, has also been highly effective. The department of ‘spin’ has produced the litany of stock phrases found in every interview with Israelis and has an army of ‘ordinary people’ who shower targeted outlets (including the Guardian, the BBC and Facebook) with expressions of support for Israel.

Even now, as international pressure to charge Israel with war crimes mounts, the British media is careful to include the ‘Israeli point of view’ in every report on the subject. Last Thursday, for example, the Times wrote about Israel’s white phosphorous attacks on the UN’s Gaza city headquarters, explaining that the use of proscribed unconventional weapons contravenes the Geneva Convention. The piece ended with the contextually irrelevant but often reiterated claim that Israeli’s aggression is in retaliation for the ‘militant rocket fire from Gaza that has terrorised hundreds of thousands of Israelis’.

Hamas rockets, themselves a far more justifiable ‘retaliation’ for the illegal imprisonment and abuse of 1.5 million people within the Gaza strip, are just one of the strategic misrepresentations of truth proffered in defence of Israel.

Hi-tech, devastating Israeli bombardments are regularly described as ‘defensive’, whilst Hamas’ paltry rocket attacks are ‘terrorism’, ‘provocation’, the sole cause of ‘conflict escalation’. There are almost as many pictures of damaged Israeli roofs in Sterot in the papers and on television here as there are of the mangled bodies of Palestinian children.

UK journalists and broadcasters habitually refer to the ‘war’ in Gaza, but in the 21st century, a ‘war’ requires each side to have an army, an air force and a navy. Only the Israelis have these things. The Palestinians have stones.

Another often repeated line is that the Israelis withdrew from Gaza in 2005 as a gesture of peace and good will, leaving it to become a prosperous ‘Singapore’ of the Middle East for the Arabs to enjoy. Few writers dare mention the fact that Israel retained and remains in total control of Gaza’s borders, checkpoints, airspace, sea, power, water and even electro-magnetic frequencies, making Gaza the world’s biggest concentration camp. For the first time in history, innocent civilians are unable to flee from bombardment because they are imprisoned within the battleground.

Israel is held up as the sole beacon of ‘democracy’ in the region. That Hamas was legally elected, that the Palestinian parliament is unable to convene because the Israelis will not allow Gazan MPs to travel to the West Bank and vice-versa remains untold.

Scant respect

In the service of the Israelis, there is scant respect for statistics – Melanie Philips, in a January 5 column for the Daily Mail, for example, claimed that Al Aqsa intifada ‘killed thousands of Israelis’ (even the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed no more than 920). Victoria Ward, writing on January 12 in the Daily Mirror, spoke of ‘900 deaths on both sides’ suggesting an equal loss of life rather than a massacre.

Editorial imbalance prevails. On January 13, BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme (one of the most influential shows in Britain with 6.1 million listeners), described how British MPs re-assembled after their winter break in a ‘rare show of unity’ over Gaza, backing Israeli aggression and condemning Hamas, whom the Foreign Secretary David Milliband described as ‘murderers’.

Hansard [the official record of all Parliamentary proceedings] paints a very different picture. The majority of MPs who spoke actually condemned Israel’s ‘brutal and utterly disproportionate blood-letting’, as Michael Meacher MP described it and variously called for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador from London, the withdrawal of the British Ambassador from Tel Aviv, sanctions against Israel and the immediate cessation of arms sales to Israel.

The Israeli Ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, wrote or was mentioned in 40 newspaper items during 2008 according to Arab Media Watch (AMW). In the same period his Palestinian counterpart, Professor Hassassian, was mentioned only twice. Notwithstanding, on December 24, Prosor published an article in the Daily Telegraph complaining of media bias against Israel. And yet, at least 150,000 British people marched in solidarity with the besieged children of Gaza in London last Saturday. The spectre of the Nazi holocaust which so affected previous generations is being replaced by the present reality of Israel’s holocaust in Gaza and a new grass-roots groundswell of sympathy for the Palestinians.

The powerful Zionist lobby may exercise unreasonable constraints on the media here, but it is losing control of public opinion.

Abdul Bari Atwan is the editor of Al Quds Al Arabi.

Israel-US Memorandum of Understanding Document–Declaration of War

Israel-US Memorandum of Understanding

16 Jan 2009

Memorandum of Understanding


Israel and the United States Regarding

Prevention of the Supply of Arms and Related Materiel to Terrorist Groups

Israel and the United States (the “Parties”),

Recalling the steadfast commitment of the United States to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats;

Reaffirming that such commitment is reflected in the security, military and intelligence cooperation between the United States and Israel, the Strategic Dialogue between them, and the level and kind of assistance provided by the United States to Israel;

Taking note of the efforts of Egyptian President Mubarak, particularly the recognition that securing Gaza’s border is indispensable to realizing a durable and sustainable end to fighting in Gaza;

Unequivocally condemning all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism as unjustifiable, wherever and by whomever committed and whatever the motivation, in particular, the recent rocket and mortar attacks and other hostile activity perpetrated against Israel from Gaza by terrorist organizations;

Recognizing that suppression of acts of international terrorism, including denying the provision of arms and related materiel to terrorist organizations, is an essential element for the maintenance of international peace and security;

Recognizing that the acquisition and use of arms and related materiel by terrorists against Israel were the direct causes of recent hostilities;

Recognizing the threat to Israel of hostile and terrorist activity from Gaza, including weapons smuggling and the build-up of terrorist capabilities, weapons and infrastructure; and understanding that Israel, like all nations, enjoys the inherent right of self defense, including the right to defend itself against terrorism through appropriate action;

Desiring to improve bilateral, regional and multilateral efforts to prevent the provision of arms and related materiel to terrorist organizations, particularly those currently operating in the Gaza Strip, such as Hamas;

Recognizing that achieving and maintaining a durable and sustainable cessation of hostilities is dependent upon prevention of smuggling and re-supply of weapons into Gaza for Hamas, a terrorist organization, and other terrorist groups, and affirming that Gaza should not be used as a base from which Israel may be attacked;

Recognizing also that combating weapons and explosives supply to Gaza is a multi-dimensional, results-oriented effort with a regional focus and international components working in parallel, and that this is a priority of the United States’ and Israel’s efforts, independently and with each other, to ensure a durable and sustainable end to hostilities;

Recognizing further the crucial need for the unimpeded, safe and secure provision of humanitarian assistance to the residents of Gaza;

Intending to work with international partners to ensure the enforcement of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions on counterterrorism in relation to terrorist activity in Gaza;

Have reached the following understandings:

1. The Parties will work cooperatively with neighbors and in parallel with others in the international community to prevent the supply of arms and related materiel to terrorist organizations that threaten either party, with a particular focus on the supply of arms, related materiel and explosives into Gaza to Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

2. The United States will work with regional and NATO partners to address the problem of the supply of arms and related materiel and weapons transfers and shipments to Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, including through the Mediterranean, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and eastern Africa, through improvements in existing arrangements or the launching of new initiatives to increase the effectiveness of those arrangements as they relate to the prevention of weapons smuggling to Gaza. Among the tools that will be pursued are:

* Enhanced U.S. security and intelligence cooperation with regional governments on actions to prevent weapons and explosives flows to Gaza that originate in or transit their territories; including through the involvement of relevant components of the U.S. Government, such as U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. Special Operations Command.

* Enhanced intelligence fusion with key international and coalition naval forces and other appropriate entities to address weapons supply to Gaza;

* Enhancement of the existing international sanctions and enforcement mechanisms against provision of material support to Hamas and other terrorist organizations, including through an international response to those states, such as Iran, who are determined to be sources of weapons and explosives supply to Gaza.

3. The United States and Israel will assist each other in these efforts through enhanced sharing of information and intelligence that would assist in identifying the origin and routing of weapons being supplied to terrorist organizations in Gaza.

4. The United States will accelerate its efforts to provide logistical and technical assistance and to train and equip regional security forces in counter-smuggling tactics, working towards augmenting its existing assistance programs.

5. The United States will consult and work with its regional partners on expanding international assistance programs to affected communities in order to provide an alternative income/employment to those formerly involved in smuggling.

6. The Parties will establish mechanisms as appropriate for military and intelligence cooperation to share intelligence information and to monitor implementation of the steps undertaken in the context of this Memorandum of Understanding and to recommend additional measures to advance the goals of this Memorandum of Understanding. In so far as military cooperation is concerned, the relevant mechanism will be the United States-Israel Joint Counterterrorism Group, the annual Military to Military discussion, and the Joint Political Military Group.

7. This Memorandum of Understanding of ongoing political commitments between the Parties will be subject to the laws and regulations of the respective parties, as applicable, including those governing the availability of funds and the sharing of information and intelligence.

This Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 16 January, 2009 at Washington, in duplicate, in the English language.


American Al Qaida Still Causing Trouble In Serbia

Wahhabis’ trial resumes in Serbia

The trial of the 15 Sandak Wahhabis continued on Monday before the Special Organized Crime Court in Belgrade, B92 reports.
The group, affiliated with the Islamic sect, was arrested in 2007 near Novi Pazar, in Serbia’s southwestern Sandak region, and is charged with terrorism and illegal possession of weapons, ammunition and explosives.
Presiding Judge Milan Rani read out a ballistics report on 29 shell casings recovered in the village of abre, which according to the indictment the defendants had fired. The report states that the bullets were fired from two weapons.
Due to technical problems, the court did not see video footage recovered from the computer belonging to one of the accused, Mehmedin Koljšija. The screening has been scheduled for tomorrow.
Last November, the videos shown at the trial included Al-Qaeda terrorist propaganda, including Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri’s speeches glorifying jihad and murder of non-Muslims.
The group of Wahhabis is standing trial accused of planning the murder of Muamer Zukorli, who heads the Islamic Community in Serbia, as well as attacks on a Novi Pazar mosque and the police station in that town.
The indictment against them also states that they had set up a terrorist training camp on Mt. Ninaja – where some of them were apprehended in a special police raid in the spring of 2007.
The prosecution also alleges that the group had established close ties with likely-minded persons in the neighboring countries and elsewhere abroad, communicating directly and via e-mail.
The trial will resume on Tuesday morning.

Zionist Monsters Target Another UN School

Israeli tank fire kills 2 at Gaza U.N. school

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli tank fire killed two boys at a U.N.-run school in the northern Gaza Strip Saturday, not six people as previously reported, a U.N. official said.

An Israeli army spokesman said he was checking the report.

Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said two brothers had been killed and 14 people had been wounded, including the boys’ mother, when Israeli tank fire hit a school run by UNRWA in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

Palestinian medics had earlier put the death toll at six.

“Israel must be held accountable for what happened,” Abu Hasna told Reuters.

About 45,000 Gazans fleeing battle zones are sheltering in U.N.-run schools in the enclave.

Hospital staff in Gaza said four Palestinians had died in other violence Saturday morning, including three killed by a tank shell that hit a residential area.

The military, which said it hit about 50 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, said it was also checking that report.

More than 1,150 Palestinians have been killed and 5,100 wounded, many of them civilians, since Israel launched an air blitz on Gaza on December 27 and sent in ground forces a week later.

Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians, hit by rockets fired from Gaza, have been killed during the campaign.

US/Israel Sign Suicide Pact, Death Warrant, Letter of Bondage for Obama

US, Israel sign anti-arms smuggling deal for Gaza

Posted: 17 January 2009 0201 hrs

Photos 1 of 1

Tzipi Livni (L) and Condoleezza Rice (R) sign a US-Israeli deal at the State Department in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni signed a deal here Friday aimed at halting arms smuggling into Gaza as part of efforts to clinch a ceasefire.

Speaking at a hastily-arranged signing ceremony in Washington, Rice said the deal “provides a series of steps that the US and Israel will take to stem the flow of weapons and explosives into Gaza.”

Rice, who blamed Hamas rocket attacks for sparking a 21-day military offensive by Israel, said the memorandum of understanding aims to ensure that “Gaza can never again be used as a “launchpad” for such attacks.

Livni thanked her US counterpart for completing this “historic MOU in record time.”

The Israeli top diplomat added: “There must be an end of smuggling of weapons to Gaza… The MOU we sign today is … a vital component for the cessation of hostilities.”

However, it was not immediately clear when a ceasefire could be achieved.

Hamas’s exiled leader Khaled Meshaal told an Arab meeting in Doha that it would not accept any ceasefire that did not provide for a full Israeli pullout and the opening of Gaza’s borders, including the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Rice told reporters that “the American timeline is not important” when asked if a ceasefire could be achieved before President George W. Bush hands the White House over to his successor Barack Obama on Tuesday.

What is important is that there be lasting calm, she said, adding the memorandum of understanding is a key step on the path to a “durable” ceasefire brokered by Egypt.

“There’s a lot of work ahead here, but I certainly hope that we can push this to conclusion or ceasefire very, very soon,” Rice said.

“We’re working … on as quick a timeline as we possibly can in support of the Egyptian mediation,” she said.

The US top diplomat also spoke by telephone with her counterparts in Britain, Germany and France.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dispatched Livni to Washington late Thursday on a last-minute mission to sign the agreement.

Rice said the deal is “a bilateral memorandum of understanding with Israel, but it’s my understanding that Foreign Minister Livni is going to pursue similar efforts with our European colleagues,” such as France, Britain and Germany.

Livni said the deal would also involve the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Middle East countries in the efforts to stop the weapons flow to Hamas, which uses hundreds of tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.

“These are specific steps to end the flow of weapons along the supply routes by working with NATO and regional states and by enhancing the effectiveness of measures against Iran, the main supplier of these weapons,” she said.

At least 1,145 Palestinians have been killed and another 5,160 wounded in the Israeli onslaught, according to Gaza medics. Some 600 civilians have been slain, including 355 children, they said.

Israel launched its Operation Cast Lead on December 27 to stop Hamas militants, who control the Gaza Strip, from firing rockets on southern Israeli towns.

Livni said Israel had shown restraint for years under Hamas rocket attacks, but Hamas had held “Gaza hostage” and finally to pay “a high price for terror.”

Livni’s trip follows intensive discussions in recent days between senior US and Israeli officials, including a phone conversation between Rice and Olmert on Thursday.

Israeli Foreign Ministry director general Aharon Abramovich arrived in Washington on Thursday to prepare the agreement, a senior official said.

The two-and-a-half page document was not released to the media.

Rice/Livni Intermediaries Plot Against Palestine, Seeking Offensive Weapons for Strike on Iran

Abramovich seeking guarantees to end smuggling


Israeli officials are in Washington trying to get the US to lead an international coalition in stepped up efforts to prevent Iranian weapons from reaching Hamas through Egypt.

Though Foreign Ministry director-general Aaron Abramovich was still in the midst of meetings with US officials in Washington at press time in the hopes of forging a deal in the next few days, Israeli officials said it was likely many of the details would be hammered out after US President-elect Barack Obama was inaugurated on Tuesday.

If Abramovich is successful, however, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni could fly to Washington as early as Friday to seal a deal, which Israel expects would be binding on the next administration.

Israel is looking for guarantees that the smuggling into Gaza will end as part of any cease-fire, and wants to sign a memorandum of understanding or similar document with the US administration that will be used as basis for greater intelligence sharing, technology enhancement and international enforcement efforts to stop the movement of weapons before they reach Egypt.

The effort is one of several bricks in the wall Israel is trying to erect to stop the smuggling, with others including the possibility of building a moat, increased Egyptian efforts on the border, and international technical assistance to the Egyptians.

Israel would like to see a new effort modeled on Active Endeavor, a NATO program that brings Mediterranean countries together in a headquarters in Naples to share intelligence on sea-based threats.

Israel, officials said, hoped to create a new mechanism including the US, NATO and the European Union – similar to Active Endeavor – which would share intelligence on weapons shipments designated for the Gaza Strip and thwart them before they arrive in Sinai. Some weapons are believed to come from Iran and others via Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia.

One government official said international cooperation was key to success because the weapons are moved through international waters and no country, including the US, could take sufficient measures alone. The idea is to build international support for more aggressive action that could include denying harbor to suspect ships and blocking their routes.

A State Department official indicated that American support could be forthcoming, though he declined to go into specifics concerning the ongoing discussions.

He reiterated American backing for the cease-fire deal Egypt is attempting to broker in which stopping the smuggling into Gaza would be a major component.

“We have always held that the prevention of Hamas from rearming is an essential component of a cease-fire, and the US will do what it can to assist the efforts to end the smuggling and illegal arms trafficking,” the official said.

Israeli diplomatic officials acknowledged that the US – which has not been overly successful in stopping the flow of arms into Iraq – is not going to be able to put an end to the flow of weapons into Gaza.

What the agreement will do, however, is place the issue higher up on the international agenda, and perhaps place those involved under greater pressure to stop.

While the talks on choking off the smuggling were likely to continue after Tuesday, Israel is also making a final push for approval of a shopping list of advanced military platforms before President George W. Bush leaves office. Defense Ministry director-general Pinchas Buhris made a lightning trip to Washington on Tuesday for talks at the Pentagon on the matter.

Among the platforms Jerusalem is hoping to acquire are bunker-buster missiles and aerial refueling tankers, both which could be used in a strike on Iran. A previous request by Israel to receive the platforms was rejected by the US in early 2008.

During his visit, Buhris also discussed Operation Cast Lead and the integration of Israeli technology into the Joint Strike Fighter that Israel hopes to begin receiving in 2014. Also known, as the F-35, the JSF is a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet that Israel has already received approval from Congress to purchase. Israel is still waiting for final approval to be able to integrate its systems into the aircraft.



A Palestine boy used as a human shield by Israeli Occupation Soldiers, click the image to enlarge it.

By Abu al-Sous (Salah Mansour)*

During the Israeli war on Gaza, Western media propagated Israeli propaganda that the Palestinian resistance have been using their family members as human shields. Sadly, Israeli propaganda is often presented in Western media as facts, and the Israeli version has been accepted with little verification. The goal is simple: dehumanise the Palestinian by showing that he does not care about his family members, and once that is done it becomes much easier to accept him as a legitimist target.

This dehumanizing campaign is as old as the Zionist movement; it was articulated by Golda Meir (a former Israeli Prime Minister) when she said: Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us. This racist and derogatory comment is often propagated in Western media without a second thought to its dehumanizing consequences. It paints the Arab as a sub-human creature, who has neither affection nor love towards his or her children. When I first heard this racist comment from an American, I felt as if he was telling me: you are not much of a human as I”!

To this date, the Israel Occupation Army (IOF) still refuses to comply with orders from the Israeli Supreme Court to stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields (click here for a BBC article about this subject). If the IOF is a “professional army” as it claims and it treats Palestinians according to International Law, then:

  • I wonder why Israel’s highest court would issue such an order?
  • I wonder why IOF refuses to stop using Palestinians as human shields?

It has been an Israeli strategy from the start to use civilian target as a strategic weapon. Israeli leaders assume this would cause the civilian population to pressure Arab leaders to submit to Israeli dictates. Sadly, this Israeli tactic has been historically effective with the corrupt and unpopular Arab leaders who are more interested in protecting their corrupt regimes than defending their countries. The reader should be reminded of the “Grape of Wrath” agreement between Hizbullah and Israel 1996 which restricted both sides from hitting civilian targets. This agreement signaled the end of the Israeli occupation in southern Lebanon, and as a result a new era in the Arab-Israeli conflict have begun where Israel’s deterrence power suffered a major setback. It should be noted that Israel has been determined not to fall into this trap again; that would explain why Israel rejected signing similar agreements with Hamas.

A Palestinian killed by Israeli Occupation Soldiers used as a trophy.

The allegation that Palestinian resistance use their own family members as human shield has been concocted by Zionists to delegitimise any Palestinian resistance, and to deflect from the war crimes that are being perpetrated on the people of Gaza. Palestinians are no different than other colonized people; they’re simply defending their homeland from foreign aggressions. The following list of pictures, articles, movies, and Israeli quotations will conclusively prove that the Israeli Occupation Army is the one who use civilians as human shields.

* Salah Mansour is the founder and editor of, the largest Palestinian online community.

الدروع البشرية الإسرائيلية
بقلم أبو السوس (صلاح منصور)

صورة لطفل فلسطيني مقيد لدورية إسرائيلية يُستخدم كدرع بشري لحماية الجنود الإسرائيليين من عناصر المقاومة.

تقوم وسائل الإعلام هنا في العالم الغربي بترويج الدعاية الإسرائيلية بأن عناصر المقاومة تستخدم أفراد أسرهم كدروع بشرية، وللأسف الشديد تروج هذه الدعاية العنصرية كأنها حقيقة وقلما يتم التحقق منها قبل نشرها. الهدف من تلك الدعاية العنصرية بسيط وهو تجريد الفلسطيني من إنسانيته، وبذلك يصبح الفلسطيني هدف مشروع ولا يتم التعامل معه كمظلوم أو كضحية.

الحملة لتجريد العربي من إنسانيته حملة قديمة بدأت منذ نشوء الحركة الصهيونية وعبرت عنها غولدا مائير(ورئيس وزراء إسرائيلية سابقة) بوضوح عندما قالت: السلام بيننا وبين العرب سيتحقق عندما يُحب العرب أطفالهم أكثر من كراهيتهم لنا. عادةً تردد هذه المقولة العنصرية في الإعلام الغربي تلقائياً بغض النظر عن العواقب العنصرية لها. فهذه المقولة ترسم في ذهن الغربي صورة غير إنسانية عن العربي لأنها تجرده من العطف والحنان تجاه أطفاله؛ فمن لا يملك مشاعر العطف والحنان لا يمكن أن يكون إنسان. في يوم من الأيام قام أمريكي بترديد هذه المقولة أمامي مما جعلني أشتاط غضباً، فشعرت بأنه يقول لي بأني لست إنسان مثله.

هنا تجدر الإشارة بأن قوات الإحتلال الإسرائيلية لا تزال ترفض الإمتثال لأوامر محكمة العدل العليا الإسرائيلية بالتوقف عن إستخدام المدنيين الفلسطينيين كدروع بشرية (أنقر هنا لمقال من ال ب ب سي عن الموضوع). فإذا كان جيش الإحتلال كما يدعي بأنه “جيش حضاري” يلتزم بالقوانين الدولية:

  • لماذا تصدر محكمة العدل العليا الإسرائيلية أوامر لقوات الإحتلال بالكف عن إستخدام المدنيين كدروع بشرية؟
  • لماذا لا تزال قوات الإحتلال ترفض الإنصياع لتلك الأوامر؟

منذ البداية قامت الحركة الصهيونية بإستهداف المرافق المدنية والمدنيين كسلاح إستراتيجي لتحقيق أهدافها السياسية والعسكرية، وللأسف الشديد سياسة إستهداف المرافق المدنية والمدنيين كانت فعّالة ضد الأنظمة العربية التي يهمها المحافظة على سُلطتها أكثر من حمايتها للوطن من العدوان الصهيوني. هنا يجب التنوية لإتفاقية عناقيد الغضب بين حزب الله وإسرائيل (إتفاقية مضمونه ومراقبة دولياً) التي وُقعت بعد العدوان الإسرائيلي على جنوب لبنان عام 1996. فهذه الإتفاقية نصت على عدم إستهداف المرافق المدنية من كلى الطرفين. فهذا كان الفخ الذي وقع فيه الإحتلال من قبل المقاومة، ومنذ توقيع المعاهدة في 27 نيسان 1996، بدأ العد التنازلي لللإحتلال الإسرائيلي في جنوب لبنان، وذلك يُفسر رفض قبول الإسرائيليون توقيع معاهدة مماثلة مع قوات المقاومة في غزة الصمود.

جنود الإحتلال يأخذون صورة جماعية بعد قتلهم فلسطينياً في خليل الرحمن.

لقد قمنا بجمع العديد من المقالات والصور والأفلام عسى أن يجدها القارئ مفيدة لدحض هذه الدعاية العنصرية:

الرجاء مشاركة هذا المقال مع كل صديق وقريب، ولكم منا جزيل الشكر، والله الموفق.

أنقر هنا إذا ترغب بإضافة تعليقك لهذا المقال

روابط ذات صلة

فرحتنا فقط بعودتنا إن شاء الله
صلاح منصور / أبو السوس
شيكاغو – الولايات المتحدة

[NEWS ANALYSIS] Operation Gladio or Operation Ergenekon?

[NEWS ANALYSIS] Operation Gladio or Operation Ergenekon?

As the new phase in the investigation into Ergenekon — a neo-nationalist gang believed to be the extension of a clandestine network of groups with members in the armed forces, media outlets, politics, academia and the mafia — has revived public interest in the Ergenekon trial, many questions about links between seemingly unrelated suspects have been raised.

Looking at the example of Italy’s Operation Gladio, the existence of such an organization in Turkey is not unlikely. Legendary Italian prosecutor Felice Casson, who discovered the existence of Operation Gladio, a NATO stay-behind paramilitary force left over from the Cold War, said in Turkey last year that Gladio’s first attack in Italy was considered a “small-scale crime committed by local people.”

Nevertheless, he pursued the case and he was supported by the Italian prime minister at the time. Casson noted that the reason for this support was the toppling of the Berlin Wall, which rendered Gladio obsolete for Italy. Now there are arguments that the unipolar international system created by the US at the end of the Cold War may be rendering Gladio obsolete for Turkey. Many analysts believe such networks in Turkey could be remnants of the Turkish leg of Gladio.

Many weapons caches and bombs have been found in various searches in Ankara and İstanbul.

In addition, Casson noted that Gladio, which made use of small, isolated cells that did not coordinate their activities, survived for 40 years. Looking back at when discoveries related to “Ergenekon” first surfaced, it was former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit who was the first to learn of the existence of this secret formation.

In a 1977 speech he had said “an organization inside the state, but outside the state’s control” had carried out the incidents of May 1, 1977, when unknown perpetrators opened fire on a crowd gathered in Taksim Square for May Day celebrations, resulting in the deaths of 36 people. Ecevit narrowly escaped an assassination attempt just 20 days after making this statement.

The Ergenekon investigation started in July 2007 when a house full of weapons and munitions was found in the Ümraniye district of İstanbul. Grenades found in the house matched the batch numbers of those used in two attacks on the Cumhuriyet newspaper in May 2006, carried out by the same gang responsible for the April 2006 attack on the Council of State in which a judge was killed. The police investigation resulted in the discovery of a shadowy gang with links to state agencies, and possibly the military, that had attempted to create an atmosphere conducive to a military takeover against a number of governments, most recently the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Academics, businessmen, mafia bosses and retired military officers, including former generals, are among more than 100 suspects accused of various crimes in the indictment against Ergenekon, submitted to a court in the middle of last summer. In 1984 Casson discovered that explosives used in an attack that killed three gendarmes in Pateano in 1972 came from an arms depot belonging to a secret organization. As the investigation into the attack developed, the existence of an organization named Gladio was discovered. Eventually the investigation revealed more than 600 Gladio members, including two people who had served as prime minister and president.

In the course of his six-year investigation, Casson was harassed and threatened even by the members of the government; however, he went ahead and searched the documents of the military intelligence services in the process. As a result, he revealed Gladio’s 4,300 operations between 1969 and 1980. Casson also revealed the influential role of President Francesco Cossiga and Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison but had his sentence overturned by the Italian Supreme Court. Thirty generals, four state ministers, 19 top judges and 58 professors were arrested at the time.

Another similarity between the Gladio and Ergenekon investigations relates to the discovery of secret ammunition depots. Casson’s investigation revealed 130 of them in Italy. In Turkey police have been searching for more hidden weapons following the discovery of weapons, ammunition and bombs buried in Ankara last week. In 2000 a report presented to the Italian Senate indicated that Gladio had waged a war “against internal enemies” and that operations had been carried out by people who were in contact with US intelligence services. Many analysts in Turkey have indicated that the founders of Ergenekon probably had a common motivation — “to save the country.”

Turkey has yet to clean up its own Gladio. That is also what Casson stressed when he said: “You must go to the end in the investigation. There are such significant accusations that you have to go to the end to clarify things. Otherwise, this is very dangerous for democracy.”

16 January 2009, Friday


Does the US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership Challenge Russia?

Does the US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership Challenge Russia?

The Charter on Strategic Partnership between Georgia and the United States, signed during the last days of the Bush Administration, has aroused various reactions, from enthusiastic to cautious optimism in the Georgian political establishment. In the situation, when Russia and Georgia actually found themselves in the “Cold War” conflict, there is no political force in Georgia, which doubts the political significance of the document. Only Georgia’s Labor Party, keeping a bit aloof from the others, has stated that the Charter is the first step to the U.S. military presence in Georgia, the issue which is allegedly being negotiated behind-the-scenes. But the Georgian authorities zealously deny that kind of supposition.

Indeed, such kind of document could not include the direct indication for the deployment of the U.S. military bases in Georgia.

However, the part of the Charter, which covers the issues of military cooperation between Georgia and U.S.A., contains the items, which make the document different from that one, recently signed between Washington and Kyiv. The United States-Georgia Charterpays much more attention to the military aspect of cooperation. The Charter makes it clear, that the U.S.-Georgia cooperation in military and security spheres will grow stronger, increasing Georgia’s chances for integration into NATO. The point in the Charter which urges Russia to follow the Ceasefire Agreement, dated August 12, 2008, and non-use of force is actually a warning to the Kremlin.

Another point of the Charter covers the development of the existing programs on bilateral cooperation in military and security spheres in order to “eliminate threats to peace and stability”. Under certain conditions, if the sides consider such threats to become real, that point can come into being by reinforcing U.S. military presence in Georgia to a varying extent.

Despite the fact, that the Charter doesn’t provide the United States with the commitment to offer military support to Georgia in case of escalation of an armed conflict against it, it will no doubt be a kind of a red rag for the Kremlin. As according to the Charter, which was successfully negotiated with the new U.S. Administration, Americans will tend to enhance their influence over the Caucasian region. It is proved by the item devoted to “the development of the new Southern Corridor” (in circumvention of Russia)in order to diversify the exports of energy supplies destined for Georgia and EU member states. The project would seriously break down Russia’s economic and geopolitical interests in the region.

The article of the Charter, calling on the measures for the reconciliation between Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians can also alert Russia. The locals of Abkhazia and South Ossetia – Georgia’s separatist regions, recognized by Moscow, express growing discontent with Russia’s intrusion into their lands, including the deployment of the Russian military bases and behavior of the Russian militaries.

It is difficult to forecast how diligently the Administration of President Barack Obama will follow the above-mentioned articles of the Charter. But there is a high probability (taking into consideration the increased tension in the Russia-U.S. relations) that Russia would consider the Charter as a challenge to its interests in South Caucasus. In this light, the Charter appears to lead to the further complications in the volatile Russia-Georgia relations. It will probably bolster the Kremlin to destructive actions against Georgia, once more turning the country into the arena of confrontation between the big international players.

Under such conditions the Georgian officials should act very carefully in order not to draw themselves and the country into a new armed conflict with Russia. However, the bitter experience of the August war is a vivid example of impossibility to avoid hostilities when it is already “pre-programmed.”

Independent expert, Tbilisi

Ilhan Selcuk: Ergenekon Case was Planned by US and NATO

Ilhan Selcuk: Ergenekon Case was Planned by US and NATO

ISTANBUL – Ilhan Selcuk, daily Cumhuriyet’s influential columnist, claimed that the Ergenekon Case was planned by the United States to divide the Turkish Army into two poles as the ‘pro-Ergenekon group’ and the ‘anti-Ergenekon group’.

Mr. Selcuk in his Thursday essay underlined the US’ and the NATO’s role in the Ergenekon debates. He asked “is CIA trying to divide Turkish Army into two. Has the United States planned the Ergenekon for that end?”. Mr. Selcuk implied that the Ergenekon Case was planned and by the US and the NATO.

My Message to the West – By Ismail Haniyeh

My Message to the West – By Ismail Haniyeh

By Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh – Gaza

I write this article to Western readers across the social and political spectrum as the Israeli war machine continues to massacre my people in Gaza. To date, almost 1,000 have been killed, nearly half of whom are women and children. Last week’s bombing of the UNRWA (UN Relief Works Agency) school in the Jabalya refugee camp was one of the most despicable crimes imaginable, as hundreds of civilians had abandoned their homes and sought refuge with the international agency only to be mercilessly shelled and bombed by Israel. Forty-six children and women were killed in that heinous attack while scores were injured.

Evidently, Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 did not end its occupation nor, as a result, its international obligations as an occupying power. It continued to control and dominate our borders by land, sea and air. Indeed the UN has confirmed that between 2005 and 2008, the Israeli army killed nearly 1,250 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children. For most of that period the border crossings have remained effectively closed, with only limited quantities of food, industrial fuel, animal feed and a few other essential items, allowed in.

Despite its frantic efforts to conceal it, the root cause of Israel’s criminal war on Gaza is the elections of January 2006, which saw Hamas win by a substantial majority. What occurred next was that Israel alongside the United States and the European Union joined forces in an attempt to quash the democratic will of the Palestinian people. They set about reversing the decision first by obstructing the formation of a national unity government and then by making a living hell for the Palestinian people through economic strangulation. The abject failure of all these machinations finally led to this vicious war. Israel’s objective is to silence all voices that express the will of the Palestinian; thereafter it would impose its own terms for a final settlement depriving us of our land, our right to Jerusalem as the rightful capital of our future state and the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes.

Ultimately, the comprehensive siege on Gaza, which manifestly violated the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibited the most basic medical supplies to our hospitals. It disallowed the delivery of fuel and supply of electricity to our population. And on top of all of this inhumanity, it denied them food and the freedom of movement, even to seek treatment. This led to the avoidable death of hundreds of patients and the spiralling rise of malnutrition among our children.

Palestinians are appalled that the members of the European Union do not view this obscene siege as a form of aggression. Despite the overwhelming evidence, they shamelessly assert that Hamas brought this catastrophe upon the Palestinian people because it did not renew the truce. Yet we ask, did Israel honour the terms of the ceasefire mediated by Egypt in June? It did not. The agreement stipulated a lifting of the siege and an end to attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Despite our full compliance, the Israelis persisted in murdering Palestinians in Gaza as well as the West Bank during what became known as the year of the Annapolis peace.

None of the atrocities committed against our schools, universities, mosques, ministries and civil infra-structure would deter us in the pursuit of our national rights. Undoubtedly, Israel could demolish every building in the Gaza Strip but it would never shatter our determination or steadfastness to live in dignity on our land. Surely, if the gathering of civilians in a building only to then bomb it or the use of phosphorous bombs and missiles are not war crimes, then what is? How many more international treaties and conventions must Zionist Israel breach before it is held accountable? There is not a capital in the world today where free and decent people are not outraged by this brutal oppression. Neither Palestine nor the world would be the same after these crimes.

There is only one way forward and no other. Our condition for a new ceasefire is clear and simple. Israel must end its criminal war and slaughter of our people, lift completely and unconditionally its illegal siege of the Gaza Strip, open all our border crossings and completely withdraw from Gaza. After this we would consider future options. Ultimately, the Palestinians are a people struggling for freedom from occupation and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of refugees to their villages from which they were expelled. Whatever the cost, the continuation of Israel’s massacres will neither break our will nor our aspiration for freedom and independence.

– Ismail Haniyeh is the Prime Minister of the Palestinian government in Gaza. (Originally published in the British Independent –, January 15)

Friday, 16 January 2009

Palestinian Chronicle