Swiss Govt. Endures International opprobrium Over Pro-Hezbollah UN Watch Nominee

[(SEE:  Jean Ziegler—Defending Humanity Against Zionist/Imperialist Aggression)  The Zionist Hasbara machinery has been busy trying to fry Mr. Ziegler for many years, especially since his scathing, honest reporting on the attempted Israeli ethnic-cleansing operation in Lebanon in 2006.  Ziegler is an even bigger target because of his vocal criticism of the West’s war against humanity and especially the Empire’s obscene use of hunger and the promotion of religious schism as weapons of war.  As Special Rapporteur to the United Nations on the right to food, he promoted the brilliant concept of food as an inalienable human right.  His book, Empire of Shame (which doesn’t seem to be available in English–editor) is a detailed indictment of the American war against the entire human race, in the service of the elitist “Lords of the Economic War.”]

“the crime of September 11 by the U.S. government and transnational corporations as a pretext to conquer the world and control the destinies.”

 

Switzerland nominates Hezbollah advocate for UN Human Rights Council

JPost

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT

Swiss candidate defended French Holocaust denier; UN Watch official says he has “extremist anti-Western and anti-Israel” views.

Jean Ziegler

Jean Ziegler Photo: Reuters
The Swiss government has nominated Jean Ziegler–-a former Social Democratic MP who has praised Hezbollah as a legitimate national movement–- to serve as an adviser to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.The formal notification of Ziegler’s nomination to UN diplomats took place last week, sparking sharp criticism on Monday from a UN watchdog group.

Speaking Tuesday to The Jerusalem Post via phone, Hillel C. Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, said Ziegler has “extremist anti-Western and anti-Israel” views and a long history of attacking the Jewish state. UN Watch urged the Swiss government to rescind its nomination of Ziegler.

In 1982, Ziegler sought the expulsion of President Shimon Peres, then head of Israel’s Labor Party, from the Socialist International association.

In an interview with the Hezbollah publication Al-Akhbar in 2006, Ziegler said “I refuse to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist group. It is a national movement of resistance.”

The 28-member EU designated Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organization last month. Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

Ziegler’s support for the late French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy was expressed in a 1996 letter, amid controversy over allegations of Holocaust denial in Garaudy’s book, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel: “I am outraged at the legal case they are making against you… All your work as a writer and philosopher attests to the rigor of your analysis and the unwavering honesty of your intentions. It makes you one of the leading thinkers of our time… It is for all these reasons that I express here my solidarity and my admiring friendship,” wrote Ziegler.

Ziegler’s Social Democratic party has been embroiled in Holocaust controversies over the years. The former Social Democratic foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, proposed seminars on different perspectives of the Holocaust back in 2006, when meeting with an Iranian delegation on the nuclear crisis.

Responding to the UN Watch criticism on Tuesday, the news outlet Swissinfo quoted Ziegler a saying, “This is total defamation, due to a severe report I published in 2002 on the right to food in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The Swiss government defended Ziegler in a letter to the UN: “As a renowned expert with an excellent knowledge of economic, social and cultural rights, Prof. Jean Ziegler has always shown an acute independence of thought. He is a figure that has the ability to actively promote human rights both in the civil society and in the international community.”

Jean Ziegler: Empire shame ignited the war on Lebanon

akhbar-logo2

Bassam Kantar

Jean Ziegler knocks alarm since he took office at the United Nations as a special rapporteur on the right to food. Ziegler shocked the size of the destruction in Lebanon for «News» speech about the war and its aftermath, and is b «surprises» in the Human Rights Council Bassam Kantar concluded day before yesterday, the Special Rapporteur to the United Nations the right to food, Jean Ziegler, his visit to Lebanon carrying in his sleeve a lot of evidence and information to be provided to the Human Rights Council which opened today its second regular session. It is scheduled to discuss the meeting of human rights violations during the Israeli attack on Lebanon. Ziegler knows about himself that he belongs culturally and politically to «Almiiiah». He stressed in an exclusive interview with the ‘news’ that what comes out of him from the views do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the United Nations, is not linked to its mission as a special rapporteur. Known Ziegler that his mission annoy Israel, which not visited along the lines of what he did four experts who had arrived in Lebanon last week, within the mission entrusted to the Human Rights Council fact-finding mission regarding violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the recent aggression on Lebanon. Had already visited the occupied territories and submitted a report on the tragic situation in the West Bank and Gaza, and raised his report in a timely manner sensation led to the establishment of a fierce campaign upon by an American Zionist organization called «Organization of the United Nations control. But that did not prevent his re-election a few months ago for the same position Due to the high credibility enjoyed by. Ziegler working on a review of his new book in French «shame empire», which will be translated into English as well. It includes a description of «to use the crime of September 11 by the U.S. government and transnational corporations as a pretext to conquer the world and control the destinies. Ziegler saddened for the victims who died as a result of the recent war, and describes the war as’ a human tragedy of Lebanon and Israel. He continues: ‘I refuse to Hezbollah terrorism is described, it is a national resistance movement, and when all efforts fail to liberate the prisoners through diplomatic means, I can understand this movement do detain soldiers to exchange them. But what I could not understand yet is the Israeli reaction to the incident, the families of the two soldiers. Ziegler believes’ that Israel interprets a wonderful principle of self-defense, which was approved by the Article 51 of the International Bill of Human Rights, and gives an example: «imagine if I walked in Beirut and try someone stole my wallet. International Bill give me Right Besdh and the followed, but that does not mean that burned Beirut if it fails. He adds: «So, I see the reaction of Israel against Lebanon in this way and kill all those innocent flagrant violation of international law. And on the report, which سيرفعه to the United Nations, says Ziegler: «will include documentation of detailed Israeli violations committed against the farmers and agricultural infrastructure, and targeted means of transportation, and the presence of hundreds of thousands of mines which paralyzes the resumption of agricultural activity, in addition to the destruction of the right of all irrigation systems in the Litani and sources waters of the south, as well as the elimination of the foundations of physical structures for fishing, and the inability of farmers to harvest olives or banana planting seedlings. And the work of the commission of inquiry formed by the Human Rights Council, Ziegler says: «I can not predict now. But the picture is clear and massive destruction and human rights violations aware. And we will take the light from the legal point of view, as well as empirical knowledge field, which contributes to the Aghtina of the deliberations of the Commission on Human Rights. I think the Council liberated from the constraints of the U.S. government will provide a lot of surprises. Ziegler believes «that the war on Lebanon launched an episode of senseless wars waged by the empire of shame. The disaster of these wars over the daily carnage caused by hunger and not justified by any imperative or saucepan. Behind every victim stands murderer, and the present world order is not fatal, but is also absurd killer. It’s massacre being Baotaiadah not the indifferent. The equation is simple, it has the money to eat and live, but not owned by it suffers to become incapacitated or die, but there is no inevitability or spend, all die of hunger dies Mgtala.

Jean Ziegler—Defending Humanity Against Zionist/Imperialist Aggression

[SEE:  Swiss Govt. Endures International opprobrium Over Pro-Hezbollah UN Watch Nominee]

Empire Of Shame—A Conversation With Jean Ziegler

countercurrents
Translated from the French By Siv O’Neall

19 December, 2005
Countercurrents.org

Jean Ziegler, rapporteur at the UN (60.000 civil servants) on questions of food resources has just published a book translated in 14 languages: Empire of Shame (Editions Fayard).

In this 11 MB video [in French] … which corresponds to his recent interview on TV5 (Canadian television), Jean Ziegler presents his work. He explains why, at the time of the French revolution, the idea of providing enough food for all human beings on Earth was still a utopia, a dream, but how today that would be a technically possible thing. But it is impossible because of the way the wealth in the world is captured by a few people, whom he calls the Lords of the Economic War. Those people constitute a Feudal Order and their principal weapon is nothing other than the American military power, which operates from now on without the approval of the UN, without any control. The United States from now on uses torture and assassination as “a necessary thing” and they have withdrawn from the Geneva Conventions. The author announces that the nomination of Wolfowitz as the director of the World Bank is one more disaster, since, in the future, the World Bank, instead of trying to work towards justice, will put itself in the service of the most powerful.

Ziegler reminds us that Bush signed a decree that authorizes armed American commandos to operate outside of the USA while physically eliminating not just guilty people, but mere suspects. He talks about the New Barbarism and an “Organization of Hunger” in the service of the New World Order, murderous and absurd. Ziegler talks about the need for a moral insurrection.

The tone of this man is impressive. The interview on a [French-]Canadian television channel (TV5) took place during prime time.

Listen to what this man is saying, read his book, spread his message. It is your future as a human being that is at stake. (Gian Paolo Accardo)

The Complete Interview:

Jean Ziegler: “We are going towards a new feudalization of the world”

In his new book, ‘Empire of Shame’ (Editions Fayard), which was published on March 10, 2005, [Jean Ziegler], the subversive Geneva sociologist and intellectual – today serving as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food under the UN commission for human rights – moves on to attacking the “private transcontinental companies”. Accused [by Ziegler] of maintaining [3rd world] famine, of destroying nature and of subverting democracy, these corporations extend their influence over the world and they aim at the annihilation of the conquests of the Enlightenment. In order to resist them, we will have to return to the spirit of the French revolution and to stand up, the way president Lula da Silva in Brazil already does.

Your book is entitled Empire of Shame. What is this empire? Why “shame”? What is this shame?

Jean Ziegler: In the favelas (= shantytowns) in the north of Brazil, some mothers may, in the evening, put water in a pot and then put stones in it. They explain to their children who are crying because of hunger that “soon the meal will be ready…”, while hoping that meanwhile the children will fall asleep. Can one measure the shame felt by a mother facing her children who are tortured by hunger and whom she is unable to feed?

However the murderous order of the world – which kills 100,000 people every day from hunger and epidemics – does not only make the victims feel ashamed, but also us, Westerners, Whites, rulers, who are accomplices of this massacre, aware, informed and nevertheless silent, cowardly and paralyzed.

Empire of shame? It could be referring to the generalized impact of the feeling of shame caused by the inhumanity of the world order. What is actually implied here is the empire of the private transcontinental companies, directed by the cosmocrats. The 500 most powerful of these companies last year controlled 52 % of the gross world product, i.e. of the entire wealth produced on the planet.

In your book, you talk about a “structural violence”. What is the meaning of this?

Jean Ziegler: In the empire of shame, controlled by organized scarcity [of food and essentials], war is not sporadic any more, it is permanent. It is not any more a crisis, a pathology, but normality. It does not any more imply the eclipse of reason – as Horkheimer expressed it – it is the very raison d’être of the empire. The lords of the financial war have put the planet under the scalpel of organized economic destruction. They attack the normative power of the States, challenge the sovereignty of the people, subvert democracy, wreak havoc on nature, destroy human beings and their freedoms. The liberalization of the economy, the “invisible hand” of the market, is their way of dealing with the universe; the maximalization of profit is the way it works. I call this practice and this cosmogony structural violence.

Also you talk about the “death throes of the right”. What do you mean by this expression?

Jean Ziegler: In the future, the preventive eternal war, the permanent aggressiveness of the lords, the arbitrary and the structural violence rule without constraints. The majority of the barriers of international law are collapsing. The UN itself is anemic. Cosmocrats are above the law. My book describes the collapse of international law, quoting numerous examples drawn directly from my experience as special rapporteur at the United Nations for the right to access to food.

You qualify famine as a “weapon of mass destruction.” What solutions do you recommend?

Jean Ziegler: Through the debt, hunger is the weapon of mass destruction which is used by the cosmocrats to crush – and to exploit – the people, in particular in the Southern hemisphere. A complex set of measures, immediately feasible and which I describe in the book, could quickly put a term to hunger. It is impossible to sum these up in one sentence. One thing is certain: world agriculture, in the current state of productivity, could feed twice the number of today’s global population. So it is not a matter of fate: hunger is man made.

Some countries are crushed, you say, by the “odious debt”. What do you mean by “odious debt” and what solutions do you recommend?

Jean Ziegler: Rwanda is a small farming republic of 26 000 km2, located on the mountain ridge of central Africa which separates the water from the Nile and the Congo River. Rwandan farmers grow tea and coffee. From April to June 1994, a dreadful genocide, organized by the Hutu government allied with France at the time of François Mitterrand, caused the death of more than 800,000 Tutsi men, women and children. The machetes that were used for the genocide were imported from China and Egypt, and were financed, essentially, by the Crédit Lyonnais. Today the survivors, farmers as poor as Job, must refund to banks and creditor governments even the credits which were used for the purchase of the machetes used by the genocidal Hutus. That is an example of an odious debt. The solution is immediate debt cancellation and without conditions attached or, to begin with, by an audit of the debt, as the International Socialist Organization recommends and the way president Lula did it in Brazil, and then renegotiate the debt item by item. For each item, there are actually criminal components – corruption, hugely padded bills, etc. – which must be reduced. International audit companies, like PriceWaterhouseCooper or Ernst & Young, can perfectly well be in charge of these audits, the way they are each year responsible for auditing the accounts of the multinational corporations.

On several occasions you quote President Lula da Silva as a model. What inspires you with this high consideration for his actions?

Jean Ziegler: I feel both admiration and concern when I consider the political objectives and actions of President Lula: admiration because he is the first president of Brazil who dares recognize that there are 44 million citizens seriously and permanently undernourished in his country and the first who wants to put an end to this inhuman situation; and also concern, because with his country’s foreign debt of 235 billion dollars, Lula does not have the means to put an end to this situation.

In your book you also talk about a “new feudalization of the world”. What do you mean?

Jean Ziegler: On August 4, 1789, the deputies of the French National Assembly abolished feudalism. Their action had a universal repercussion. Today, however, we witness a tremendous step backwards. September 11, 2001 did not only provide George W. Bush with the pretext for extending the influence of the United States over the world, the event also served as justification for the staging of organized economic destruction of the people of the Southern hemisphere by the large private transcontinental corporations.

In your book, you very often refer to the French revolution and some of its protagonists (Danton, Babeuf, Marat…): In what way do you consider that it still has something to teach us, two centuries later, in such a different world?

Jean Ziegler: Read the texts! The Proclamation of Jacques Roux and the Enragés (radical extremists in the French Revolution who demanded strict economic controls) sets the horizon for any struggle for planetary social justice. The founding values of the republic, or more than that, of civilization itself, date from the time of the Enlightenment. However, the empire of shame destroys even the hope for the realization of these values.

In your book, you accuse the total war against terrorism of diverting resources necessary to other more important struggles such as the struggle against hunger. Do you think that terrorism is a false threat, cultivated by some States? If so, what makes you think that? Do you think that this threat is not real or that it deserves a different treatment?

Jean Ziegler: The State terrorism of Bush, Sharon, Putin… is as appalling as Islamic Jihad terrorism of small groups or other insane and bloodthirsty men of that kind. They are two faces of the same kind of barbarism. They are both quite real, since Bush kills and Ben Laden kills. The problem is the eradication of terrorism: it can be done only by the total disruption of the empire of shame. Only through global social justice will it be possible to cut the Jihadists off from their roots and deprive the cosmocrats’ lackeys of their pretexts for counterattacks.

You were appointed special rapporteur at the UN on the right to food in 2002. What reflection did you draw from this mission?

Jean Ziegler: My mandate is fascinating: I am totally independent and answerable to the General Assembly of the UN and the commission for human rights. I have to make a new human right justifiable, through statutory or conventional rights: the right to food. It is a Sisyphus task! It advances millimeter by millimeter. The essential center of this struggle is the collective conscience. For a long time, the destruction of human beings by hunger has been tolerated with a kind of ice cold acceptance. Today, it is regarded as intolerable. Public opinion puts pressure on governments and on the international organizations (WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, etc.) so that basic measures are taken to slay the enemy: land reform in the Third World, suitable prices paid for the agricultural produce of the South, rationalization of humanitarian aid in the event of sudden catastrophes, the closing of the Chicago Stock Exchange for agricultural products and raw materials, which speculates in the rise of prices of major food products, fights against the privatization of drinking water, etc.

In your book, you seem to defend the cause of the “altermondialistes”, even as if you were a spokesman for this movement. How is it that you so seldom participate in the “alternative” demonstrations and that you are generally not regarded as an “alternative” intellectual?

Jean Ziegler: What do you mean? I spoke in front of 20,000 people in the “Gigantino” of Porto Alegre in January 2003. I feel like an organic intellectual of the new planetary civil society, of its multiple faces of resistance, this tremendous fraternity of the night. But I remain faithful to the principles of the revolutionary class analysis, in Jacques Roux, Babeuf, Marat and Saint-Just.

You seem to attribute all the misfortunes of the world to the multinationals and to a handful of States (the United States, Russia, Israel…): isn’t that a bit simplistic?

Jean Ziegler: The order of the current world is not only murderous, it is also absurd. It kills, destroys, slaughters, but it does so for no other reason than the desire for maximum profit for some cosmocrats who are driven by an obsession for power and unlimited greed.

Bush, Sharon, Putin? Lackeys, henchmen. I will add a postscript on Israel: Sharon is not Israel. He is the perversion of Israel. Michael Warshavski, Lea Tselem, the “Rabbis for human rights” and many other resistance organizations incarnate the true Israel, the future of Israel. They deserve our total solidarity.

Do you think that morals have a place in international relations, since they are rather dictated by economic and geopolitical interests?

Jean Ziegler: There is no choice. Either you choose development and normative organization or you choose the invisible hand of the market, the violence of the strongest and the arbitrary. Feudal power and social justice are radically paradoxical.

“Ahead towards our roots”, urges the German Marxist Ernst Bloch. If we do not urgently restore the values of the Enlightenment, the Republic, international law, civilization such as we have built it for two hundred and fifty years in Europe will be annihilated, absorbed by the jungle.

Since the departure of the Taliban, the Middle East and the Arab-Muslim world seem to be hit by a wave of more or less spontaneous democratization (elections in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Palestine, the opening of the presidential election to multiple candidates in Egypt…). How do you feel about that and do you think that democracy can be exported to those countries? Or do you believe that they are condemned to having despotic systems?

Jean Ziegler: It is not a question “of exporting democracy”. The desire of autonomy, democracy, popular sovereignty is innate in human beings, whatever the area of the world where they were born. My friend the great Syrian sociologist Bassam Tibi wants lo live a life in democracy and has a right to it. However, for thirty years he has been living in Germany, in exile from the dreadful dictatorship which prevails in his country. Elias Sambar, the Palestinian writer, another one of my friends, has a right to a free and democratic Palestine, not to an occupied Palestine, nor should he have to live a life under the obscurantist iron rule of the Islamists. Tibi, Sambar and I want the same thing and we all have a right to it: democracy. The problem: the cold war, the instruments of the systems in place by the great powers, and finally the cowardice of the Western democrats, their lack of active and real solidarity have made it possible for the tyrants of the Middle East, of Saudi Arabia, of Egypt, of Syria, of the Gulf and of Iran to last until today.

Gian Paolo Accardo
Source: La Libre Belgique

Hezbollah Provided Service To All Humankind By Opposing Imperialist Invasion of Syria

Iran: Hezbollah needed to stabilise region

pravda

Iran: Hezbollah needed to stabilise region. 50844.jpeg

The Islamic Republic of Iran considers “significant” the role of the Islamic Resistance Movement and the Lebanese political party Hezbollah, to safeguard stability in the Middle East, according to the chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy of the Iranian Parliament (Mayles) Alaedin Boruyerdi, in remarks published last Sunday by HispanTV.

“Hezbollah is one of the most important factors in maintaining lasting peace and security in the region,” said Boruyerdi.

The President of the Commission also referred “in view of the strategic geographical position of Lebanon’s enemies seeking to change the security in this country, and that is why Iran always emphasizes the need for the Lebanese to maintain unity.”

Boruyerdi made these remarks during a meeting with the Lebanese ambassador in Iran, Fadi Hay Ali, when he advocated an expansion of bilateral relations between the governments in Tehran and Beirut, in different areas.

“The Mayles supports any initiative to strengthen the friendly connections with Lebanon in the political, economic and cultural areas,” Boruyerdi specified.

In reference to the armed conflict in Syria, said that “the events in this country have made it clear that the world powers cannot use war and massacre to win the willingness of other nations.” An example of the importance of the action of the resistance movement happened last week, when a detachment of Hezbollah in northern Lebanon detected and prevented the invasion of an Israeli commando, from the Palestinian territory.

According to the portal Al-Akhbar, the Israeli unit followed a path between the larger stations of Israel in the west, near the Lebanese village Alma al-Shaab, even passing through the region of the observation mission, or the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Nasrallah Claims Hezbollah Recently Stopped Zionist Incursion with Well-Placed IEDs

Nasrallah claims responsibility for border blast

the daily star

Children examine a “Mirsad” drone, which in 2004 violated Israeli air space, at Hezbollah’s museum in Mlita.

BEIRUT: Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Wednesday his party was responsible for wounding Israeli soldiers who crossed into Lebanon last week.

“Hezbollah had prior information that two Israeli units of the Golani brigade were planning to infiltrate Lebanon so we planted the explosives,” Nasrallah said, speaking on the seventh anniversary of the end of July-August war between Lebanon and Israel.

He dismissed reports that leftover ordnance was responsible for the incident, adding that Tel Aviv played down its significance.

“The operation was deliberate and not an accident nor was it the result of a landmine left over from the Israeli occupation of Lebanon,” he said.

Speaking during an extensive interview with Al-Mayadeen television, Nasrallah said his party had closely monitored the blast’s location, adding that two Israeli squads of at least a dozen soldiers were involved.

He said two bombs, detonated remotely, wounded four Israeli soldiers. The first blast targeted the forward team while the second was detonated when the second unit approached their comrades.

“We carried out the Labbouneh operation for reasons of defense and the Israeli enemy was surprised by the response,” he said.

According to the Lebanese Army, an Israeli foot patrol crossed 400 meters into Lebanese territory off the border village of Labbouneh on Aug. 7. Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour filed a complaint about the violation to the United Nations earlier in the day.

Nasrallah vowed his party would take similar actions in the future.

“We’ll confront any entry by Israelis into Lebanese territory that we know of,” he said. “We’ll cut off the feet of those entering our land.”

During the interview, devoted to the 2006 war, Nasrallah said President Bashar Assad had contemplated sending Syrian troops to Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley if the confrontation escalated and threatened Damascus.

Nasrallah said he asked Assad to hold off, saying his party feared a regional war and that he was confident Hezbollah would emerge victorious. Assad, he added, provided his group with Syrian-made rockets and Kornet anti-tank missiles.

“A lot of rockets we used in July were made in Syria and they were excellent rockets,” he said.

The Hezbollah chief said his party didn’t need to import weaponry from its main ally Iran because “we didn’t need any,” as it had enough weapons to carry on fighting for six months.

Nasrallah also took aim at former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who headed the government at the time.

“We didn’t trust Fouad Siniora when it came to the resistance, from the war’s beginning to its end,” he said. Nasrallah alleged that Siniora’s government delayed informing the United Nations that Hezbollah had endorsed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a cessation of hostilities.

Nasrallah claimed he had in the past turned down offers by the West to abandon its struggle against Israel, naming former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney as one of those who floated such an offer.

Nasrallah said Cheney, through an intermediary posing as a Western journalist, offered Hezbollah a normalization of ties and further incentives if it changed its policy toward Israel. The Hezbollah chief said he rejected the proposal immediately.

Turning to recent events in Lebanon, Nasrallah denied his party played any role in last week’s abduction of two Turkish Airlines pilots in Beirut. “We heard the news just like everyone else did,” he said.

(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Bloodbath in Cairo, Egypt, 278 Confirmed dead, Thousands Wounded—So Far

Bloodbath in Cairo, Egypt, leaves 278 people dead, including Sky News cameraman Mick Deane, VP Mohamed ElBaradei resigns

news-com-au

  • Egypt declared a state of emergency
  • Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei resigns
  • Sky News cameraman Mick Deane among dead

SECURITY forces stormed two huge Cairo protest camps supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi, leaving at least 278 people dead in a bloodbath.

The health ministry said 235 people were killed in clashes across Egypt with at least another 2000 people injured.

Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said an additional 43 policemen died in the assault. He said Morsi supporters attacked 21 police stations and seven Coptic Christian churches across the nation, and assaulted the Finance Ministry in Cairo, occupying its ground floor.

It was the highest single day death toll since the 18-day uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Dramatic images have emerged of a police vehicle being surrounded by a mob then pushed off  a a bridge during the clashes.

Mideast Egypt

A police vehicle is pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters close to the largest sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo. (AP Photo/Aly Hazzaa, El Shorouk Newspaper)

Mideast Egypt

A police vehicle is pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters during bloody clashes in Cairo and other cities in Egypt. (AP Photo/Aly Hazzaa, El Shorouk Newspaper)

Mideast Egypt

The police van smashes into the ground after it was ambushed by protesters and pushed off the 6th of October bridge. (AP Photo/Sabry Khaled, El Shorouk Newspaper)

Mideast Egypt

A member of the security forces lies on the ground and another on his police vehicle that was pushed off the 6th of October bridge by protester. (AP Photo/Sabry Khaled)

Egypt

An Egyptian security force kicks a supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as they clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo’s Giza district, Egypt.

The van plunged off the 6th October Bridge before demonstrators attacked the wreckage. It is not known how many people were on board and how many people survived the fall, but bloodied men were seen lying around the van moments afterwards.

Egyptian vice president, Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, announced his resignation in a letter to the interim president saying he did not want to be responsible for “a single drop of blood.”

“It has become too difficult to continue bearing responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear,” Mr ElBaradei said.

He said his conscience was troubled over the loss of life “particularly as I believe it could have been avoided”.

“Unfortunately those who gain from what happened today are those who call for violence and terror, the extremist groups,” he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the escalating violence had dealt a “serious blow” to political reconciliation efforts between the military-backed interim government and Morsi’s supporters.

“This is a pivotal moment for all Egyptians,” Kerry said. “The path toward violence leads only to greater instability, economic disaster and suffering.”

As clashes raged in the capital, three churches were attacked in central Egypt, with Christian activists accusing Morsi loyalists of waging “a war of retaliation against Copts in Egypt”.

Egypt clashes

Scores killed in Egypt police clashes

Security forces have stormed two Cairo protests by supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

A Sky News cameraman, Mick Deane, who was covering the violence in Cairo, was one of the victims. UK Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that he was saddened to hear of Deane’s death.

Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, a reporter for the Gulf News, a state-backed newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, was also killed.

Rassd news, a pro-Islamist network, has reported one of their photojournalists – Mosabg El-Shami – had been shot dead in Cairo.

State-run newspaper Al Akhbar reports one of its journalists, Ahmed Abdel Gawad, was killed in Rabaa.

Egypt declared a month-long state of emergency, announced by a presidency statement read out on state television, which began at 4pm (Midnight AEST).  The nighttime curfew affects Cairo and 10 provinces.

The exceptional measures came as “the security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups,” the presidency said.

The Egyptian Central Bank instructed commercial banks to close branches in areas affected by the chaos, a sign of alarm that the violence could spiral out of control. The landmark Giza Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum also were closed to visitors for the day as a precaution, according to the Ministry of Antiquities.

The violence drew condemnation from other predominantly Muslim countries, but also from the UN and the United States, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying it had dealt a “serious blow” to political reconciliation efforts in Egypt.

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt

A protester comforts a wounded colleague after Egyptian security forces began to clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt.

Interim president Adly Mansour “has tasked the armed forces, in cooperation with the police, to take all necessary measures to maintain security and order and to protect public and private property and the lives of citizens.”

The assault to take control of the two sit-in sites came after days of warnings by the interim administration that replaced Mr Morsi after he was ousted in a July 3 coup. The camps on opposite sides of the Egyptian capital began in late June to show support for Mr Morsi. Protesters – many from Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood – have demanded his reinstatement.

In a field hospital, its floors slippery with blood, doctors struggled to cope with the casualties, leaving the hopeless cases, even if still alive.

Security officials had spoken of a gradual dispersal of the sit-ins over several days but the dramatic descent on the squares shortly after dawn came as a surprise to many.

AUSSIES WARNED TO AVOID PUBLIC GATHERINGS

Australians in Egypt have been warned to stay away from public gatherings.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) today confirmed that Australians should reconsider the need to travel to the north African nation.

Mick Deane

Sky News cameraman Mick Deane has been shot and killed in Egypt

“Australians who remain in Egypt should avoid all demonstrations, protests and large crowds as they may turn violent,” DFAT said in a travel warning issued today.

Travellers remaining in Egypt should closely monitor media reports warning of civil unrest hotspots.

The department website reports “a number of abductions involving foreign nationals” with some tourists being held by gunmen in regional parts of Egypt.

AL-AZHAR DISTANCES ITSELF FROM PROTEST CRACKDOWN

Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s main seat of learning, which sided with the military in its overthrow of Mr Morsi on July 3, distanced itself from the crackdown.

“Al-Azhar stresses to all Egyptians that it did not know about the methods used for the dispersal of the protests except through media channels,” Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb said in a televised statement.

Witnesses and an AFP correspondent said after firing tear gas security forces surged into Rabaa al-Adawiya, sparking pandemonium among the thousands of protesters who had set up the camp soon after Mr Morsi was ousted.

Men in gas masks rushed to grab each canister and dunk them in containers of water, as the main stage near the mosque of the camp blared Islamic anthems and protesters chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest.)

Egypt Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei

Mohamed ElBaradei has resigned as Vice President after the Egyptian bloodbath.

Clashes quickly erupted between protesters and security forces on the outskirts of the camp, with automatic fire reverberating across the square.

Protest leaders wearing gas masks stood defiantly on a stage while crowds of people wearing face masks stood amid the swirling tear gas as bulldozers began dismantling the camp.

In the smaller of the protest camps at Al-Nahda square in central Cairo, police said they took control of the square after two hours.

Television footage showed flattened tents, as women and children flanked by police and army troops were led out of the square.

Dozens rounded up in the dispersal were shown sitting on the ground, handcuffed and surrounded by security forces.

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

The violence came amid international appeals for calm.

The US gave a stern warning to Egypt’s leaders, with John Kerry condemning the violence as well as the restoration of emergency rule. He urged them to calm the situation.

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In this image made from video, police fire tear gas at supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt.

“This is a pivotal moment for all Egyptians,” said Mr Kerry, who spoke by phone with the foreign minister. “The path toward violence leads only to greater instability, economic disaster and suffering.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office called it “a serious blow to the hopes of a return to democracy,” while Iran warned that the violence “strengthens the possibility of civil war.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also condemned the violence, called for “a genuine transition to a genuine democracy. That means compromise from all sides – the President Morsi supporters but also the military.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all Egyptians to focus on reconciliation, while European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said dialogue should be encouraged through “peaceful protest, protecting all citizens and enabling full political participation.”

The United States, which provides $1.5 billion in mostly military aid to Egypt every year, maintains close ties to the Egyptian military but says it favours a rapid return to elected civilian rule.

TENSION HAS BEEN ESCALATING

It was a dramatic turn of events for the Muslim Brotherhood, who just over a year ago celebrated Mr Morsi’s win as Egypt’s first elected president.

But his turbulent year in power, marred by political turmoil, deadly clashes and a crippling economic crisis, turned many against the Islamist movement.

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt

A member of the Egyptian security forces speaks to a woman holding a stick at they clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

On June 30, millions took to the streets to call on the army to remove Mr Morsi.

Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood urged Egyptians to take to the streets in their thousands to denounce the “massacre”.

“This is not an attempt to disperse, but a bloody attempt to crush all voices of opposition to the military coup,” Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad said on Twitter.

The Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp, where several Brotherhood leaders had been staying, “is calling on Egyptians to take to the streets to stop the massacre,” Mr Haddad said.

But the anger against the Islamist movement was evident Wednesday as residents of several neighbourhoods clashed with Morsi loyalists.

In Cairo, supporters of the deposed president blocked several roads in the central Mohandesseen neighbourhood, and were working to set up a new protest camp there, witnesses said.

Police were deployed in the area where tear gas was fired and gunshots heard.

Clashes also erupted between security forces and Morsi loyalists in the northern provinces of Alexandria and Beheira, the canal provinces of Suez and Ismailiya and the central provinces of Assiut and Menya.

Mideast Egypt

Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi gather around a police vehicle that was pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters.

In Menya, witnesses said the Saint Ibram and Virgin Mary church and the Saint Mina church were torched.

Assailants also threw firebombs at Mar Gergiss church in Sohag, a city with a large community of Coptic Christians who comprise up to 10 per cent of Egypt’s 84 million people, causing it to burn down, the agency said.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II, together with Al-Azhar’s Tayyeb, had supported the military and sat by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi when he announced that Mr Morsi had been deposed and laid out a new political roadmap for the country.

As authorities struggled to contain the unrest in the country, Egypt’s railway authorities announced that all trains had been grounded to prevent protesters from moving outside of Cairo and reassembling.

Injured Egyptian security forces

Egyptian security forces carry an injured comrade after a police crackdown on a protest camp near Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. . Picture: AFP

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Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi run from Egyptian security forces firing towards them during clashes in Cairo’s Nasr City district, Egypt.

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A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi looks on during clashes with security forces in Cairo.