Silver Lining

Haiti arrests 10 US citizens for child smuggling and US denies entry to quake-hit Haitians

Posted on January 31, 2010 by realistic bird

by Carlos Latuff

Haiti arrests 10 US citizens for child smuggling
Sun, 31 Jan 2010, Press TV

The Haitian police have arrested 10 US citizens after they tried to take 33 Haitian children out of the earthquake-stricken nation.

One of the suspects, who says she is the leader of an Idaho-based charity called New Life Children’s Refuge, denied they had done anything wrong.

The suspects were detained at Malpasse, Haiti’s main border crossing with the Dominican Republic, after Haitian police conducted a routine search of their vehicle.

The Haitian authorities said the 10 US citizens had no documents to prove they had cleared the adoption of the 33 children — aged 2 months to 12 years old — through any embassy and no papers showing they were made orphans by the quake in the impoverished Caribbean country.

In addition to outright trafficking in children, Haitian officials have also expressed concern that legitimate aid groups may have flown children believed to be orphans out of the country for adoption before efforts to find their parents had been exhausted.

As a result, the Haitian government halted many types of adoptions earlier this month.

Cash-strapped US denies entry to quake-hit Haitians

Sat, 30 Jan 2010, Press TV

The US military puts a stop to Haitian earthquake victims entering America for medical attention, due to cost concerns over the victim’s treatments.

Officials say the decision follows some government concerns about who will be footing the medical bill for the quake victims.

They say Florida and Georgia have made it clear that they cannot afford hosting quake victims without federal help.

“Florida stands ready to assist our neighbors in Haiti, but we need a plan of action and reimbursement for the care we are providing,” said Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

While Crist’s request does not clearly stated the cost of medical care for the earthquake victims but according to Reuters the cost will amount to millions of dollars.

The airlift operations from Haiti were suspended on Wednesday.

American rescue services say medical facilities have been set up in Haiti and offshore to treat the injured.

“The fact that medical flights aren’t taking place does not mean that Haitians who need care aren’t getting it,” said Navy Captain Kevin Aandahl a spokesman for the US Transportation Command, which manages the military’s medical emergency airlifts.

“We have the medical facilities again on the island as well as offshore.”
The devastating magnitude-7.0 earthquake that rocked the impoverished Caribbean nation on January 12 killed at least 170,000 people.

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January 31, 2010 at 11:02 am (Chutzpah, Crime, Haiti)

Photo by Reuters

Americans arrested taking children out of Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE – Haitian police have arrested 10 U.S. citizens caught trying to take 33 children out of the earthquake-stricken country in a suspected illicit adoption scheme, authorities said on Saturday.

The five men and five women were in custody in the capital, Port-au-Prince after their arrests on Friday night. There are fears that traffickers could try to exploit the chaos and turmoil following Haiti’s January 12 earthquake quake to engage in illegal adoptions.

One of the suspects, who says she is leader of an Idaho-based charity called New Life Children’s Refuge, denied they had done anything wrong.

The suspects were detained at Malpasse, Haiti’s main border crossing with the Dominican Republic, after Haitian police conducted a routine search of their vehicle.

Authorities said the Americans had no documents to prove they had cleared the adoption of the 33 children — aged 2 months to 12 years — through any embassy and no papers showing they were made orphans by the quake in the impoverished Caribbean country.

“This is totally illegal,” said Yves Cristalin, Haiti’s social affairs minister. “No children can leave Haiti without proper authorization and these people did not have that authorization.”
U.S. authorities could not be reached for immediate comment on the arrests.

But Laura Sillsby from the Idaho group told Reuters from a jail cell at Haiti’s Judicial Police headquarters, “We had permission from the Dominican Republic government to bring the children to an orphanage that we have there.”

“We have a Baptist minister here (in Port-au-Prince) whose orphanage totally collapsed and he asked us to take the children to the orphanage in the Dominican Republic,” Sillsby added.
“I was going to come back here to do the paperwork,” Sillsby said. “They accuse us of children trafficking. This is something I would never do. We were not trying to do something wrong.”
In addition to outright trafficking in children, authorities have voiced fears since the quake that legitimate aid groups may have flown earthquake orphans out of the country for adoption before efforts to find their parents had been exhausted.

As a result, the Haitian government halted many types of adoptions earlier this month.
There are no reliable estimates of the number of parentless and lost children at risk in Haiti’s quake-shattered capital.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source Via Uruknet

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

What Comes Next

Via Pulse

This is the extended version of a piece published in today’s Sunday Herald.

Erdogan reacts to his war criminal neighbour

A strange calm prevails on the Middle Eastern surface. Occasionally a wave breaks through from beneath – the killing of an Iranian scientist, a bomb targetting Hamas’s representative to Lebanon (which instead kills three Hizbullah men), a failed attack on Israeli diplomats travelling through Jordan – and psychological warfare rages, as usual, between Israel and Hizbullah, but the high drama seems to have shifted for now to the east, to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Arab world (with the obvious exception of Yemen) appears to be holding its breath, waiting for what comes next.

Iraq’s civil war is over. The Shia majority, after grievous provocation from takfiri terrorists, and after its own leaderhip made grievous mistakes, decisively defeated the Sunni minority. Baghdad is no longer a mixed city but one with a large Shia majority and with no-go zones for all sects. In their defeat, a large section of the Sunni resistance started working for their American enemy. They did so for reasons of self-preservation and in order to remove Wahhabi-nihilists from the fortresses which Sunni mistakes had allowed them to build.
The collapse of the national resistance into sectarian civil war was a tragedy for the region, the Arabs and the entire Muslim world. The fact that it was partly engineered by the occupier does not excuse the Arabs. Imperialists will exploit any weaknesses they find. This is in the natural way of things. It is the task of the imperialised to rectify these weaknesses in order to be victorious.

The sectarian horror has taken the wind out of Iraqi resistance. Those who fought the Americans in the past and who choose not to collaborate now have gone quiet. Moqtada Sadr, for instance, having lost control of the more thuggish elements of his Jaish al-Mahdi and therefore much of his mass popularity, has disappeared into the Qom seminaries. He will emerge at some point with Ayatullah status. What he does then will depend on what comes next, which is not at all clear.

Will the monthly round of bomb attacks reignite civil war? Will resistance mount again as Iraqis move against the permanent US megabases on their land? Will there be a further American withdrawal? And if so, what happens then? Might Saudi Arabia be committed to preventing a Shia-majority government from functioning, at any price? Would it fund and arm an anti-Shia militia more fully than it has done in the past? Its attempts to defeat the Iraqi Shia would fail, but they could spark a new war in which the Saudis face Iran by proxy or even, by a chain of mismanagement, directly. This could satisfy perverse American and Israeli strategists as much as the Iraq-Iran conflict did in the 80s.

The Saudis and Iranians may already be fighting by proxy in Yemen. Saudi military involvement in its southern neighbour is a public fact (the kingdom is heroically bombarding poverty-stricken villagers with its expensive American bombs). Its enemy is the rebellious Houthi tribe, Shias. The president of collapsing Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, preposterously tells us that the Houthis are armed by both Iran and al-Qa’ida. Saudi media describes the enemy as ‘Shia’. Iranian media describes ‘Wahhabi’ massacres. Meanwhile, Iranian pilgrims have stopped visiting Mecca until such time as the Saudi authorities guarantee their protection from intolerable Wahhabi mistreatment.

In Palestine nothing is resolved and nothing is in sight of resolution. With the cleavage between Gaza and the West Bank successfully engineered, with Gaza walled, starved and bombed, with the West Bank warned that it will suffer Gaza’s fate if it removes its collaborator government, the Palestinian liberation project is in desperate straits. For now the West Bank enjoys a somewhat improved economy and freedom of movement, quietly realises the two state dream is over, and waits. For now Gaza does its best to survive, and waits. For now.

The Gaza model applies to Lebanon too. The general message is that a future Israel-Hizbullah conflict will be ‘a hundred times worse’ in its effects on Lebanese civilians than the atrocious 2006 assault. Hizbullah is careful and quiet, but by most accounts even better dug in than it was four years ago. Lebanon, meanwhile, is more stable than it has been since the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. After Hizbullah called the bluff of Hariri junior and his Saudi-US-backed militia, and with the mediation of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the US have retreated to their traditional positions of influence in Lebanon. Saad Hariri has visited Damascus.

Syria has regained its strength. The Obama administration will continue to back Zionist expansion, has kept Bush-era anti-Syrian sanctions in place, and only yesterday appointed an ambassador to Damascus, but ‘regime change’ is no longer an American fantasy and, as noted above, a natural, non-militarised Syrian influence in Lebanon has been accepted. Syria’s position is again what it was under the late president Hafez al-Asad: Syria can not change the region on its own, but nobody can change the region without it.

Turks support Palestine

The good news, and perhaps the what-comes-next, is Turkey.
When I lived in Turkey in the early nineties the country was surrounded by enemies. Now all of its neighbours are friends. Internal relations between Turks and Kurds are also much better than they were a few years ago. Both developments stem from a long-overdue dilution of Kemalist national chauvinism brought about by new social forces. These are the upwardly mobile Anatolian Islamic-democrats represented by Prime Minister Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party. They aim to build an inclusive post-Ottoman society, and their economy is flourishing.

An intellectual associated with the Justice and Development Party told a friend of mine that the best things to happen to Middle Eastern Muslims in the 20th century had been Ataturk and Wahhabism, because both challenges – the militantly secularist and the sectarian literalist – had forced (and are forcing) Muslims to rethink their core values. Turkey’s Sufi-based Sunnism is an attractive model which could sap the appeal of Salafism in the ex-Ottoman Arab world. But the Turkish-led alliance that is emerging inludes the Shia world too. Turkey has defended Iran’s right to nuclear energy and, against American orders, is investing enthusiastically in the Iranian economy.

Turkey and the Arabs are ending a century of mutual alienation. The late Ottoman state degenerated from a multicultural Muslim dominion into an empire on the European model in which nationalist Turks oppressed the Arab territories into stagnation. Arab nationalism flared in response. In what was a historical mistake – but perhaps a necessary one – in 1917 the Arabs accepted the help of the British to rid themselves of Turkish rule. The British promised an independent Arab state; what the Arabs got was the Sykes-Picot dismemberment of their homeland and the resulting irrevocably corrupt states system. Palestine was lost.
Ataturk defended the Turkish homeland from dismemberment and constructed a functioning European-style nation-state, but one run by the army. The governing ideology was fervently ethno-nationalist, precluding cooperation with non-Turks. Greeks fled to Greece while Greek Turks fled to Turkey. The Armenians had already been cleansed. Ataturk considered Turkey’s Arab and Persian neighbours to be degenerate oriental races. Official mythology taught that Turks had invented language and civilisation, that the ancient Sumerians were Turks, and that Turks had colonised India when the Indians lived in trees. Across the border in Syria, Baathist myths repeated these ideas in an Arab mirror.

The practical contention between the two countries was over Wilayat Iskenderoon, or Hatay in Turkish, which the French Mandate (mandated to guard Syria’s territorial unity) gave to Turkey in 1938 in return for a promise not to join Germany in a future war. Arab nationalists in Syria and elsewhere were outraged by the loss of ancient Antioch, of Iskenderoon, Syria’s major port, and of the green lands and markets around these cities. Syrian maps still show Wilayat Iskenderoon as part of Syria, although Syrians don’t resent the Turks like they resent the Israelis occupying the Golan. The Turks are old neighbours and they do not seek to drive out the Arabs. Now that the border is wide open, now that Syrians, Lebanese and Jordanians can enter Turkey without a visa, now that Turkish-Syrian trade is burgeoning, Iskenderoon does not even feel so lost any more.

Syria gave up the Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999, greatly reducing Turkish hostility. Syrian president Bashaar al-Asad and his wife Asma al-Akhras are popular figures in Turkey, and Turkish prime minister Erdogan is wildly popular in the Arab world, particularly after his public rebukes of Israel during the Gaza massacre.

The friendship with Syria shows that Turkey is engaging not only with Arabs but with Arab and Muslim interests too. Its hardening position in support of the Palestinians allows a voice of Muslim conscience to be heard in the international arena. This marks a change. The regional US-client regimes seem suddenly much less relevant, and the age of the ‘moderate camp’ versus ‘resistance front’ duality, which reigned a couple of years ago, has already passed.

Turkey has democratic stability on its side. Another military coup is highly unlikely, firstly because the miltary itself contains representatives of the new Turkish mood, and secondly because the army’s secularist hard-core would dash its hopes of moving further into the European Union’s embrace if it were to seize power. But it is Turkey’s slow realisation that the EU will never allow it to be a full member that has encouraged it to claim its place in Asia, where it belongs. In Asia it is admirably placed as the conduit of Iraqi, Iranian and Caspian Sea oil, as the bridge to Europe and Europe’s Muslims, and as a potential shield for the region against American attacks.

The Turkish-led alliance could prevent a fresh outbreak of war in Iraq. Turkey would make a sounder sponsor of Iraqi Sunni interests than Saudi Arabia, and could moderate Iranian influence in the country.  An alliance is also essential for cross-border cooperation over water and fuel distribution as climate change and resource shortages loom across the region.

I have great hopes for the development of this alliance despite the potential weakness of Iran in the short to medium term (it is to be hoped that the Islamic Republic shows enough flexibility to adapt to some of the demands of its alienated portion), and despite the differences in the ruling ideologies – democratic-Islamist, theocratic, and Arabist – of its member states. In fact these differences are a good thing. They will discourage hasty leaps at union of the unthought type that Syria tried with Egypt in 1958.

What is necessary for the alliance’s growth is the long term stability of the relationship and an ongoing interchange of ideas along with people and goods. The alliance will represent Turks, Aryans and Arabs, and may eventually erase the imported nationalism which has so cursed us. It could be the first serious regional axis of the modern period, the first axis not organised by an imperial sponsor. Russia and China would be natural partners. A confident and informed power to ensure Middle Eastern rights and responsibilities would of course be in Europe’s interest too. Is it too much to hope that the emerging alliance will mark the end of Western dominance in the region? Could the alliance begin to fill the gaping hole left by the disappearance of the Caliphate?

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Blair the British neo-con

Via Intifada Voice

By Alan Hart

Tony Blair

Putting Tony Blair on trial would be much too cruel. The man is ill, delusional, quite possibly to the point of madness. What he needs most of all is psychiatric help. Any doubts I might have had about that diagnosis were removed by his six-hour presentation to the Chilcot Inquiry of his reasons for joining the neo-conned “Dubya” Bush in the war on Iraq.
Without understanding why, I never thought Blair was Bush’s puppet. Now, thanks to the access Blair gave us to the workings of his mind for six hours, I do understand. He was ahead of Bush in the war on terrorism game because he is a neo-con, the real thing, whereas Bush had to be won over, conned, by America’s mad men. Blair didn’t. He was always with them in spirit. After 9/11, immediately after it, probably while the towers were still collapsing, their agenda was his agenda.
Though the Chilcot Inquiry is concerned only with Iraq – how Blair’s government made the decision to go to war and what lessons should be learned – Blair could not resist beating the drum for war on Iran. He did that four times. One might have been listening to John Bolton or any of America’s or Israel’s lunatics.
When he was going on about terrorism being a threat to all, he threw in: “It’s a constant problem for Israel. They get attacked.” That there is a cause-and-effect relationship between Israeli occupation and Israel’s frequent demonstrations of state terrorism and a degree of violence directed at the Zionist state from time to time is not something Blair the neo-con can, or ever will, get his deluded mind around.

At one point during his display of insufferable, Zionist-like self-righteousness, Blair denied he had said in an interview with the BBC’s Fern Britton that he favoured regime change in Iraq. “I didn’t use the words regime change in that interview,” he said to the Chilcot Inquiry. He was telling the truth in that he did not use those actual words. What then did he say on camera to Fern Britton on 13 December 2009? She asked him if knowing what we all know today (that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction) would he still have gone to war. Blair replied, “I would still have thought it right to remove him.” If that is not regime change, what is?!

Blair still insists that the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein has “made the world a safer place”. The reality is that Blair and Bush together were the best recruiting sergeants for violent Islamic fundamentalism in many manifestations, not only the Al-Qaeda franchise.

Most amazing of all was that Blair declined an invitation to express any regret. He couldn’t even bring himself to say he regretted the loss of the lives of British soldiers and a great number of Iraqis (somewhere between 100,000 and 600,000), mainly civilians. To my way of thinking that makes him less than fully human.
Blair described Saddam Hussein as “a monster who threatened the world.” There’s an old English saying, “It takes one to know one.”

Alan Hart

Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East. Author of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews: The False Messiah (Zionism, the Real Enemy of the Jews). He blogs on http://www.alanhart.net and tweets on www.twitter.com/alanauthor

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

US Ambassador to Syria …

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

Politico/ here

“Two well-informed Levant analysts say the as yet unannounced Obama administration nominee for U.S. ambassador to Syria will likely be Robert S. Ford, most recently the deputy U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
Ford, a highly regarded career Foreign Service Officer and diplomat, has served previously as the U.S. ambassador to Algeria, DCM of the U.S. embassy in Bahrain, and a political officer at the U.S. embassy in Iraq. An Arabic speaker, Ford is the recipient of several State Department awards, including several Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor awards.
Ford didn’t respond to a query. An administration official said they would let us know when they have personnel announcements. One associate said that Ford would be a terrific choice for a difficult place. Another former senior official says he’s the top choice and would be excellent. Administration officials have previously indicated the pick would likely be a career Foreign Service officer with deep experience in the region over a political appointee…”
Posted by G, Z, or B at 5:55 PM

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Enough is Enough by Gilad Atzmon


Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 6:31PM Gilad Atzmon
The UK Jewish Chronicle is apparently stupid enough to unveil the ferocity of Zionist lobbying within the British Government and its corridors of power. The Jewish weekly is happy to outline the relentless measures that are being taken by Jewish lobbyists in order to Zionise the British legal system and its value system.

As one may assume the supporters of Israel in Britain are far from happy about Britain’s magistrates being able to implement ‘universal jurisdiction’ laws, laws that allow local magistrates to issue arrest warrants for high profile foreign visitors accused of war crimes. The rabid Zionist Jewish Chronicle is obviously outraged because universal jurisdiction puts most of the Israeli political and military echelon at a severe risk. Last month ex Israeli Foreign minister Mrs. Tzipi Livini cancelled her visit to Britain over fears that arrest warrants would be issued in connection with accusations of war crimes under laws of universal jurisdiction.

Surely universal jurisdiction is not a bad thing. It is actually an ethically orientated idea that is there to prevent world leaders from abusing their powers and committing crimes against humanity. It is also there to chase war criminals and to stop them from celebrating their freedom. Yet, it is not very surprising that the only political lobby in Britain that acts against such a set of universal laws is the Zionist lobby.

While in the past Zionist activists tried to hide their conspiratorial actions, JC political editor Martin Bright and Chief editor Stephen Pollard are providing us with a glimpse into the Jewish relentless political activity here. “Will the government ever act?” they ask in their latest editorial as if the British government has to act in order to satisfy the Zionist will.

Interestingly enough, the JC editors do not offer a single ideological, ethical or legal argument suggesting what is wrong with laws of universal jurisdiction except suggesting that it is not good for the Jews or Israel.

The JC is rather outraged with Justice Secretary Jack Straw who apparently fails to bow to Israeli pressure. Considering Jack Straw is of  Jewish descent, the JC must believe that it is entitled to use some measures to put him in the line of fire. In spite of the fact that Straw is known in Britain for his notorious call for Muslim women to remove their veils and also as a backer of the illegal invasion of Iraq. The JC blames Straw for being too friendly with Muslims. “Mr Straw is known to be highly sensitive to the views of his Muslim constituents in Blackburn and is close to the Muslim Council of Britain, which opposes a change to the law.”
The JC should have also accepted the fact that, bearing in mind Straw’s Jewish origin, it is just natural for him to be reluctant to put a change into British law that is there to solely to serve Israeli interests and stands in total opposition to every universal and ethical value.

According to the JC, the Jews of Britain should not be too worried. The Shadow Middle East minister David Lidington is already in their pockets. ”This has to be sorted and quickly”, says the shadow man. “It is very clear to me that this issue is doing serious damage to relations with Israel”.
The JC also assures its Zionist readers that they have a man within the government who is working hard serving their interests willingly and even enthusiastically. David Miliband, the British foreign minister who is also listed as an “Israeli Propaganda (Hasbara) author’ on an Israeli official Hasbara site already announced his intention to change the law late last year. According to the JC he is “pushing hard within Whitehall for a solution”. Earlier this month, says the JC “the Foreign Office briefed that an announcement of the law change was imminent”. I wouldn’t except less from a listed ‘Hasbara author’
 But the JC is taking it even further. In its JC Opinion editorial it says it is “Crystal clear who is to blame” referring to Justice Secretary Straw and PM Brown

 “The time for excuses is over”, says the paper. “For weeks the government has been giving every possible off-the-record promise that it would change the law on universal jurisdiction. No longer would unsuitable magistrates be able to issue warrants for the arrest of some of our closest allies”. One may wonder why exactly ‘on the record’ genocidal murderers such as Livni, Barak or Olmert should be considered as ‘Britain closest allies’. In fact these people are primary enemies of humanity and as such they are also the enemy of Britain and any other  nation.

Seemingly, the JC, doesn’t just talk on behalf of its editors. For some reason it prefers to talk in the name of the ‘Jewish community’. “Mr Straw must take the Jewish community for mugs if he thinks his behaviour is not transparent”. The only possible interpretation of this statement is that British Jewry wants Britain to give up on universal Jurisdiction just to appease its Zionists.

In case PM Brown is slightly confused and doesn’t know how to react, the JC is there to tell him how he should run Britain just to keep the Jewish community happy. “As for the Prime Minister: all he has ever needed to do is make clear that he backs Mr Miliband, and the issue would have been over”. Considering Miliband is listed as an ‘Israeli Propaganda author’ the message here is clear. Britain better start to work for Israel and even change its laws accordingly so it can easily comply with Israeli unethical conduct.

Britain is heading towards election, and the JC is advising PM Brown that he is about to pay the ultimate political price for his unwillingness to succumb to the Zionist will. “That he (PM Brown) has done precisely nothing since promising action speaks volumes about his own bona fides. If – and now it looks like when – the deadline for action passes and nothing is done, it will be crystal clear who is to blame.”
In plain language the JC is suggesting that PM Brown as far as the Jews are concerned, is basically finished. I wonder how long it will take for British people to wake up and say enough is enough. How long will it take before they say NO to Israeli and Zionist infiltration into their politics, laws and value system.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian



January 30, 2010 at 11:07 am
An increase in the activities in Occupied East Jerusalem has apparently sparked enough interest throughout the world for YouTube to agree not to pull the videos off the Web. Could we be seeing an end to their zionist censorship? Let’s hope so…..

The (Sheikh Jarrah) revolution will be YouTubed


Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are playing an increasing role in growing participation of young Israelis in protest rallies.

Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, along with a slew of blogs, are playing an increasing role in the growing participation of young Israelis in protest rallies in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, activists and journalists familiar with the situation there told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Activists and journalists both described a situation in which protesters were relying on the Internet to try and affect change on the ground and raise awareness of the arrests made during demonstrations in the neighborhood.
“It’s all Facebook, e-mails and Twitter,” said Didi Remez, a human rights activist, who has become noticeably involved in the Sheikh Jarrah protests as of late. Remez was arrested during a protest there last Friday.
Below is one example of a recent video not pulled from YouTube… (my comment)

Remez also said that distant audiences, like American Jews, who might be deprived of Sheikh Jarrah coverage due to the mainstream media’s lack of interest, were instead staying abreast of the situation via social networking sites.

“The American media is for some reason refusing to cover this,” he said. “Even though it’s becoming a major issue in Israel. And still, despite that, there’s a lot of awareness [of this issue] among Jewish Americans, the reason being that they are increasingly connected through Facebook, Twitter, blogs and so on.”

“They’re getting information on this without The New York Times,” Remez continued. “So, something that hasn’t been covered at all by the [American] mainstream media, is still getting coverage through new media, and I think that’s a statement about the decline of the mainstream media and maybe a larger comment on the shift away from it.”

Others echoed Remez’s comments, but added that another advantage of social media was its ability to counter police statements about Sheikh Jarrah they said the mainstream media often parroted.

“This is an issue that the media hasn’t really been covering, and when they have, they’ve mostly relied on police statements that portrayed the protesters as a handful of extreme leftists or anarchists, which is simply not true,” said Lisa Goldman, a Tel-Aviv based freelance journalist who has used Facebook, Twitter and blogs to follow the Sheikh Jarrah protests.

“What the social media outlets have been able to provide is a direct source of information that isn’t filtered through the mainstream media,” she said, adding that in this vein, the use of new media had been “absolutely crucial.”

Additionally, Goldman added, social media outlets had also served as a tool to awaken the mainstream Left to the goings-on in Sheikh Jarrah, including, but not limited to, the emerging issue of police behavior towards protesters there, which the Jerusalem Magistrate Court has even censured – ruling last week that the arrests of 17 protesters during a rally two weeks ago was illegal.

“The silent Israeli Left is finally waking up,” she said. “And it’s a result of the way some young people are using social media. It’s been very effective in raising awareness among the moderate Left, who are seeing that the police are suppressing free speech.”

Goldman also pointed to the participation in last Friday’s rally of Prof. Moshe Halbertal, who helped draft the IDF code of ethics and who has been active in disputing the United Nation’s Goldstone Report, as an example of figures who would certainly not be considered extreme, but who have joined the Sheikh Jarrah fray.

Hagai El-Ad, the director of the Association for Human Rights in Israel and one of the 17 protesters arrested two weeks ago, added that the use of new media to circumvent the mainstream media, which, he said, was often “reluctant to cover hard issues, or blatantly hostile,” was spreading rapidly.

“However, it’s not just new media [at play in Sheikh Jarrah],” he said. “I think there’s a need to [step back] from the tactics being used there, and zoom in on the core issue, which is the moral outrage of Jerusalemite families being thrown out of their homes and living in tents in the street. That’s the essential injustice here, and I think it’s a fuel of its own.”
Yet El-Ad did concede that the use of new media was a driving force behind the success of the Sheikh Jarrah protest organizers.

“They are a courageous group of young people, who are functioning without any real budget or resources,” he said. “But they are cleverly online, and they’ve been able to translate that into real movement on the ground – it’s not just a Facebook group that people add their names too.”
“Yes, the mobilization happens online,” El-Ad added, “but the end result is the most classic form of civil protest.”

Also see THIS related post about the ongoing demonstrations.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

EL-SARRAJ: Gaza’s agony

Via Australians For Palestine

January 30, 2010

A year after the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, Palestinians are still waiting for President Obama’s deeds to match his rhetoric in the Middle East.

by Eyad El-Sarraj  –  Foreign Policy –  28 January 2010

On the night Barack Obama won the U.S. presidency, he announced: “To all those … who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world … a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you…. The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.”
Obama’s words made the world shiver with anticipation.

One year later, anticipation has turned to disappointment. The U.S. president’s first State of the Union address coincides roughly with the anniversary of the end of Operation Cast Lead, the devastating Israeli military offensive on Gaza last winter. And yet Obama said nothing. During that assault, shuddering under ordnance dropped or fired by American-made F-16s, we Palestinians felt abandoned by the soon-to-be president. We recalled the words of Martin Luther King Jr., who maintained, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

The sting of the White House’s ongoing silence is devastating. Obama has remained a passive bystander as Israel has declared a faux freeze of settlements, arrested nonviolent civil society leaders, and denied desperate Palestinians, living in woeful conditions in Gaza, the basic necessities of livelihood.
Visitors to Gaza — those few permitted in by Israel and Egypt — are horrified at the scale of the human toll and widespread destruction. U.N. Justice Richard Goldstone concluded that war crimes might have been committed. Yet Obama has only broken his silence to defend Israeli war crimes by stifling the Goldstone report.

During Obama’s presidential campaign, he visited the Israeli city of Sderot and had no qualms about declaring his solidarity with Israelis terrified by Palestinian rocket fire. “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

I wonder what his advice would be to a helpless father in Gaza who cannot protect his children from the American-made weaponry that killed more than 300 innocent Palestinian children. What would he say to the Palestinian grandmother ejected in 1948 by Israel and prohibited from returning to the agricultural land that could feed her stunted grandchildren?

In June, Obama stated in Cairo, “America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.” But as each day goes by, Gaza slips into the hands of extremists, and the struggle for an equitable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis is being lost.

The reason is not Islam and not Hamas. The principal reason that a just solution to the conflict is fading is Israel’s ongoing resort to military force in Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas respected the June 2008 truce until Israel provoked renewed rocket fire with an incursion into Gaza on Nov. 4, 2008, the day of the U.S. presidential election, killing six people. Less than two months later, Israel chose to launch its devastating war rather than negotiate a new cease-fire. This does nothing to encourage the moderates within Hamas, who are there and well worth approaching and sounding out.

Last week, Hamas met all factional leaders and asked for a complete halt to all rocket fire from the Palestinian side, so as not to give Israel a fresh excuse to start a new war. Hamas should and will recognize an Israeli state — as Aziz Dweik, the Hamas speaker of the parliament, said last week — once Israel recognizes a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israeli governments have never accepted such an outcome yet have continually demanded that brutalized Palestinians show moderation.

The fundamental reason the opportunity for peace is slipping away is because Israeli extremists in the government and military are striving to prevent the birth of a Palestinian state. They want Palestinian land, but without the Palestinians. These Palestinians are to be cordoned off in Bantustans or made so miserable they leave for other countries.

The reconciliation of Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, with Fatah — which rules parts of the West Bank but is absent from Jerusalem — is crucial to reaching a negotiated settlement. While we Palestinians must do more to put our own house in order, we should be assisted by a U.S. policy that no longer pits Palestinian against Palestinian in the ancient game of divide and rule. With Palestinians divided, Israel feels no pressure to negotiate in good faith. Yet further delay only leads to more Israeli facts on the ground — the very facts that might well make a two-state outcome impossible.

Obama should resolve to govern using the same principles that won the hearts of the American people and raised a glimmer of hope in the Arab world. In the Middle East, he should step off the sidelines and into action. Israel rules by the gun and will turn itself into an apartheid state if left to its own devices. The far-right elements within Israel’s government would prefer endless war to a just peace that requires Israel to abandon its settlement project. These forces must be identified, publicly rebuked, and stopped.

It is imperative that Obama help Israel’s leaders to understand that security cannot be achieved by the gun, but only by readiness to accept me, a Palestinian, as an equal human being with equal rights.

Eyad El-Sarraj, a psychiatrist, is founder and president of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and heads the National Reconciliation Group.

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The Blair Iraq conspiracy is unravelling

The Chilcot Inquiry showcases the conspirators

30 January 2010
Christopher King argues that Britain’s Iraq Inquiry “appears now to be part of a general unravelling of the Blair conspiracy” and has underlined that UK politicians cannot be trusted. He says the lesson of Iraq lies not in whatever the inquiry might report but in the necessity for British people to take on oversight of the political process themselves.
“The Iraq war is a ‘critical incident’, that is, a catastrophic failure that indicates fundamental problems and demands appropriate change to avert future failures from the same cause. The Chilcot objective of defining theoretical ‘lessons learned’ is wholly inadequate. In the case of, for example, a bridge failure, the basics of bridge design must be revisited and extended. In the case of the Iraq war only a tribunal or court ruling that the war is or is not aggressive warfare will appropriately extend law. This is entirely consistent with the development of English common law. Paper reports are binned or archived without trace. Criminal proceedings and prison sentences are meaningful and remembered.”
We have learned very little that is new from the Chicot Inquiry but it is useful to see those involved in the Iraq war accounting for their actions. We get background and can judge their credibility as well as see the sort of person one finds in these positions. Jack Straw, former UK Foreign Secretary who presented the UK case for war to the United Nations, was completely unconvincing with his evasions and careful wording on critical points but the inquiry was never going to get anything of substance from him.
The inquiry has been at its best in the last two days in pursuing the question of the war’s legality. The entire Foreign Office legal department was unanimous in ruling that it was illegal to go to war without a specific United Nations resolution. This was communicated to the office of the attorney-general, Peter Goldsmith, who was in no doubt about their view when he declared the use of force to be legal. Sir Michael Wood, who headed the Foreign Office legal team, was at one point asked to comment and sent the Foreign Office’s contrary view to the prime minister’s office which drew the angry response: “Why did you put this in writing!”

The fact was that the prime minister didn’t want to be told anything except what he wanted to hear. Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Michael Wood’s deputy, made this plain. Wilmshurst is a class act, no doubt about it — the most impressive and credible witness so far. She resigned from the Foreign Office because, she said, she would be unable to present to others, as she would be required to do, a government policy in which she did not believe. Indeed she said that it was unprecedented for an attorney-general to ignore Foreign Office legal advice. Goldsmith did not consult the Foreign Office. He consulted the Americans and Jack Straw who wanted a war. Blair avoided asking for a firm ruling on the legality of using force without a UN resolution until American and UK forces were in the Middle East on Iraq’s borders, a few days before the invasion.

Wilmshurst’s boss, Michael Wood, was asked why he had not resigned as well. He mumbled about the department being in difficulties with a lot of resignations. Now this is interesting. Although obviously very capable, he’s a typical government careerist who will do whatever he is paid to do. This is how despotic governments get away with it. By contrast, Wilmshurst has gained enormous international credibility from her independence. The next government might do well to offer her the attorney-general’s position. It’s people of her quality and integrity that we need to restore the UK government’s international and domestic credibility.

The other person of real interest is Peter Goldsmith, the attorney-general who ruled the Iraq war legal. Goldsmith had given a provisional opinion that there was only a “reasonable” case for using force, with the safest course a UN decision — until he consulted with the Americans, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and others in the cabinet. These people told him what the French and other countries really meant in approving Security Council Resolution 1441, although Goldsmith did not ask the French or other countries themselves. Following this enlightenment, he realized that a United Nations decision was unnecessary for acting on Resolution 1441 despite the clear wording within the resolution that the UN would decide what would be done. Anthony Blair himself could make the decision. Goldsmith duly asked for a decision from Blair and the conspiracy was on its way.

Goldsmith’s term, a “reasonable case” for using force without a further UN resolution was, as Wilmshurst said, reasonable in the sense that a reasoned argument could be made, but it was just plain wrong. Goldsmith made clear that his reasoning in favour of force was the sort of case that could be put to a court. He was clearly not thinking in terms of warfare, the devastation of a country and the lives of people. In considering a UN decision to be the “safest” course, he meant safe for himself and his client, Anthony Blair, that is, he explained, in defensibility if challenged in court. He did not mention safety for those who might suffer in a consequent war. That was the aspect of safety that Wilmshurst and the Foreign Office were concerned about. Following the invasion, Goldsmith immediately briefed defence counsel in preparation for a legal challenge as he knew he had given advice of challengeable legality.

Goldsmith believes that in forming his legal opinion he should take into account the circumstances in which UN resolutions had been taken from the time of Operation Desert Fox, Kuwait, in 1998 until current circumstances, UN discussions and resolutions. Nevertheless, he believes that although legal, whether or not it was right to use force was a political decision and none of his concern. Leaving aside any contrary legal argument, this is the flaw in his reasoning. If circumstances leading to his decision are relevant, then circumstances consequent on his decision are relevant. Indeed, consequences are always relevant to legality. We know this from our schooldays knowledge of Shylock’s proposition from The Merchant of Venice, the irony of which Goldsmith might contemplate.

Jeremy Greenstock, an enthusiastic promoter of war from the UN corridors, had a similar view that although legal, the war was not legitimate because it was not accepted domestically and by the UN. Surely he is aware that the word “legitimate” derives from “legal” and can be separated from it only by the most tortuous reasoning if at all.

Two wholly unexpected related developments have occurred. Firstly, the Netherlands government has concluded its own enquiry into the Iraq war and ruled it to be illegal. Peter Goldsmith rejected that conclusion and insisted that his own opinion was right. Moreover, it appears that Anthony Blair sent the Netherlands prime minister a letter by hand which, once read, was immediately brought back to the UK. The Netherlands has recently requested a copy but the UK government has refused the request. Among many UK citizens, I would also like to see it. I would also like to know how many other such letters the prime minister wrote, to whom and of their content.

The other development relates to the inquiry by Lord Hutton into the death of the weapons inspector David Kelly in 2003-04. We will recall that David Kelly gave information on which the BBC reported that the prime minister’s office had “sexed up” the intelligence on Iraq in its dossier that made the case for war. The BBC and Kelly were hounded unmercifully by Alstair Campbell, Blair’s director of communications, following which Kelly was found dead in woodland near his home. Hutton’s report gave the cause of death as suicide. A group of doctors disagreed. I have, myself, asked two doctors whether there was any possibility that Kelly’s injuries, reported as self-inflicted, would lead to his death. They replied, “Not a chance!” Now the dissenting doctors have discovered after five years, that Hutton sealed the post mortem report on Kelly for 70 years.

The latest information is that the doctors will be given access to the Kelly post mortem report so we shall learn more. It is not believable that Hutton’s action was to spare the feelings of the family as he claims. He and his report are completely discredited.

We may now look forward to Anthony Blair’s evidence to the Chilcot committee. One has the feeling that the Chicot committee might be going somewhere, although uncertainly. We need it to lead to a court or tribunal that will hear the case of the UK’s participation in the devastation of Iraq with uncounted millions of deaths, injuries and refugees, leading to its continued occupation by America.

It appears that the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court cannot hear a complaint relating to aggressive warfare because although named in international law, it has not been defined. I see no difficulty here. Since the named crime of aggressive warfare exists, we need a UK court or tribunal that will determine whether the Iraq war fits that crime. There was no law against murdering millions of Jews by industrial processes but it was fitted into existing law by a tribunal created at that time to examine the war within which crimes were committed and law was thereby extended.

War is simply criminality on a large scale, carried out by particular individuals using the apparatus of the state. That it is carried out by states is a fiction. It can be judged, broadly, by the same criteria as civil criminality. It is convenient to consider civil criminality and war crimes to be separate because state leaders like the right to make warfare when they choose and to enjoy immunity from their crimes. They should not have it and the people must deny them that right. No government will willingly implement such legislation. The people must force the UK government to do so.

The Iraq war is a “critical incident”, that is, a catastrophic failure that indicates fundamental problems and demands appropriate change to avert future failures from the same cause. The Chilcot objective of defining theoretical “lessons learned” is wholly inadequate. In the case of, for example, a bridge failure, the basics of bridge design must be revisited and extended. In the case of the Iraq war only a tribunal or court ruling that the war is or is not aggressive warfare will appropriately extend law. This is entirely consistent with the development of English common law. Paper reports are binned or archived without trace. Criminal proceedings and prison sentences are meaningful and remembered.

We should not confuse common law with statute law beloved of governments such as those of Blair and Brown. Statute law is the law of the monarch in modern form, that can be changed on the whim of the government of the day. Common law expresses the underlying values of our society. According to those values it is unlawful to kill and maim other humans and destroy their property. Peter Goldsmith can argue whatever fine points of law he wishes. His ruling led to death, injury, misery and damage on a vast scale. Contrary to his view of law as distinct from political decisions, in choosing (as he acknowledges) a less certain interpretation that would lead inevitably to deaths rather than a conservative UN decision that might avoid deaths, he made a political choice.

Jack Straw said that he considers international law to be an uncertain field because no court can enforce it. He sought to take advantage of that weakness and with Goldsmith sought precedents and legal grounds for war in order to achieve the objective of making war. Wilmshurst said that it was precisely because of that weakness that there was an obligation to take more care, not less in interpreting the law. But in any case, she said that at the late stage of war preparations when Goldsmith made his ruling, he was not going to stand in the way of the government. As the closest observer with the highest credibility, she should know.

What Goldsmith and Straw believe is that although prohibited by the Nuremberg Principles, because there is no definition of aggressive warfare no court can try them for it. They can get away with mass murder. That is not the position. The crime exists and is defined by the words themselves. No other definition is needed. Was their conscious objective warfare? Yes. Was their warfare aggressive? Yes. This is a valid prima facie case. We now need a tribunal to examine whether the facts fit the definition in terms of British common law, not the statute law that enables people like Anthony Blair, Jack Straw and Peter Goldsmith to sacrifice the lives of others and claim that no law against it exists.

The Chilcot inquiry has its weaknesses but it appears now to be part of a general unravelling of the Blair conspiracy that is making the nature of that conspiracy clearer. What is absolutely clear is that our politicians cannot be trusted — neither the government nor parliament as a whole. The lesson of Iraq lies not in whatever Chilcot might report but in the necessity for the people of this country to take on oversight of the political process themselves as many are now doing. That depends on citizen action and direct intervention, not government-sponsored reports.

Forget the international courts. We should put our own house in order. Like William Joyce the traitor who collaborated with Hitler and attempted similar legal evasion, Blair, Straw and Goldsmith belong to us. We need a British Iraq tribunal to begin the cleanup of the filthy Augean Stables that is our government. We need to demand that the parties contesting the coming elections promise us one and whether they do or not, continue to demand one.

Christopher King is a retired consultant and lecturer in management and marketing. He lives in London, UK.

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The Burqa , in the land of Francoise Sagan

Frustrated Arab’s Diary

 the French-revolution decapitated its King
to replace him by an Emperor…

In France , a parliamentarian committee is preparing a  
project for a law  that will forbid Muslim women 
to wear the Burqua or any veil that will hide their  faces.

Although , I would like to  forbid any forbidding ,
I can see the practical side of doing so.

But France has about 2 million Muslims 
where one million would be the women
out of whom only 2000 women would hide their faces 

in such an unnecessary and un-islamic way. 

Which means that 0,002% of the french-muslim- women 

may have used it , so far…….
or one lady out of each 5.000 french-muslim- women !!

I must express my admiration and my astomishement 
for the French-law-makers who bother to make a tailor-made- law  
which concerns only  0,002% of its muslim population, exclusively,
and to be more accurate, it concerns 0,0000073% of its total population.. ..
which actualy concerns one person out of each 325.000 French-citizen.

Statistically speaking ,
you may compare the effectiveness this law,  to a law regarding
-all the one-legged-french- men-whose- grand-father´ s name 
was Pierre.
or to
-all the french-women who married on a Tuesday-afternon 

whith a guy called Jacques.

Anyhow ,as a revenge ,
Muslims countries ought to forbid to their French-christian- minorities
to eat the frogg-legs with a falafel-sauce.

Eng. Moustafa Roosenbloom
staiostical researcher

PS :
I  wonder what ZORO has to say….?
he is not a french-muslem- woman
but he defends the poor and the weak !!

Posted by Тлакскала at 7:33 PM 1 comments Links to this post 

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Israel’s voice on Britain’s Iraq Inquiry accuses critics of “anti-Semitism” By Nureddin Sabir


Friday, January 29, 2010 at 2:03PM Gilad Atzmon

Source: Redress Information & Analysis
Britain inquiry into the Iraq war has been dealt a severe blow by a pro-Israel activist on the inquiry committee who has given an interview to a Jewish settlers’ radio accusing his critics of “anti-Semitism”.

The Iraq Inquiry, led by former civil servant John Chilcot, was set up by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in June 2009 in order to “identify lessons that can be learned from the Iraq conflict”. It began its deliberations in November.

On 22 November 2009, as the inquiry, was preparing to convene, a former British ambassador, Oliver Miles, wrote an article in the Independent on Sunday newspaper expressing concern at the fact that two out of the five members of the inquiry’s committee, Martin Gilbert and Lawrence Freedman, were “strong supporters of Tony Blair and/or the Iraq war”. He also pointed out that both Gilbert and Freedman were Jewish, and that “Gilbert at least has a record of active support for Zionism”.

Writing in the Independent newspaper a week later, Richard Ingrams wondered whether the Zionists’ links to the Iraq invasion would be brushed aside. Referring to Oliver Miles’s article and to an extraordinary attack on Miles by The Times, in which the paper described his comments as “disgraceful”, Ingrams said:

The ambassador’s comments and the attention paid to them by The Times may be helpful in the long run, if only by drawing attention to the Israeli dimension in the Anglo-US invasion of Iraq in 2003, a dimension that hitherto has scarcely been mentioned. Yet it is a fact that the campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein was initiated, well before 9/11, by a group of influential American neo-cons, notably Perle, Feith and Wolfowitz (once described by Time magazine as “the godfather of the Iraq war”) nearly all of whom were ardent Zionists, in many cases more concerned with preserving the security of Israel than that of the US.

Given that undeniable fact, the pro-Israeli bias of Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman, both of them supporters of the 2003 invasion, is a perfectly respectable point to raise. It is equally legitimate to ask if at any point the panel will investigate or even refer to the US neo-cons and their links to Israel. Call me snide if you like, but I very much doubt they will.

On 28 January 2010, BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme reported that Martin Gilbert, whom it described as a “proud practising Jew and Zionist”, had expressed “deep unease” at the previous November’s articles by Miles Oliver and Richard Ingrams.

The radio broadcast extracts from an interview given by Gilbert to an internet radio station run by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank in which he described Oliver’s and Ingrams’s articles as “really unpleasant”. He referred to people who questioned the wisdom of including pro-Israel activists in an inquiry whose purpose was to investigate an Israeli-instigated war as “these anti-Semites”. And he said that “more leading figures” should “speak out against” what he described as the “crude anti-Israel feelings” in Britain.

Listen to  BBC correspondent Tim Franks’s report on the allegations of “anti-Semitism” made by Israel’s voice on the Iraq Inquiry panel, Martin Gilbert

In the interview with the settlers’ radio station, Martin Gilbert appeared to be aware of the logic behind concerns regarding the role of Israel lobbyists and agents of influence in the Anglo-US invasion of Iraq in 2003. As an eminent scholar, he should therefore understand why the British public should be worried that an active supporter of Israel on the Iraq Inquiry might not be impartial or rigorous in scrutinizing the conduct of those who launched the aggression against Iraq at the behest of pro-Israel activists like himself. Instead, he chose to divert attention with the smokescreen of “anti-Semitism”.

This subterfuge casts serious doubt about the integrity of the Iraq Inquiry. It means that if Israel lobbyists played a part in pushing Britain to join the US aggression against Iraq, this would probably be overlooked by the Israeli activists on the inquiry, who make up 40 per cent of the panel.

It also means that the Iraq Inquiry has not only been severely compromised, but was in fact doomed before it even started.

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Floods bring more misery for tented communities in Gaza

lThe Electronic Intifada,

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 29 January 2010

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Conditions in al-Mughraqa, central Gaza Strip are “shocking.” (Suhair Karam/IRIN)

OCCUPIED GAZA STRIP (IRIN) – Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza made homeless by Israel’s 23-day military assault on the Gaza Strip which ended just over a year ago, are still in tents and damaged buildings; cold weather and recent flash floods have exacerbated their plight, say aid workers and the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA.

Heavy rain and flooding on 25 January badly hit tented communities in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza; al-Mughraqa, a town six kilometers southwest of Gaza City; and Ezbet Abed Rabbo, east of Jabaliya town in northern Gaza, said Hamas officials.

UNRWA described conditions in al-Mughraqa as “shocking.” Most of the residents there have no land of their own and live in shelters or tents with their livestock, on which they depend for their livelihoods.

Residents said many of their animals were killed in the floods and people were surviving on food distributed by Hamas, the de facto ruling authority in Gaza since 2007.

In Beit Lahiya, rain brought misery to many local residents, according to Hamas officials.

“We don’t sleep at all when it rains like this in winter,” said Umm Subhi Awaja, 33, who is pregnant and lives in a tent in Beit Lahiya with her husband and five children. “We stay up the whole night scooping water out and trying to dig a small ditch around the tent to prevent more water getting in, but it doesn’t help. My children are afraid and we don’t have enough blankets or clothes. It’s so cold we’re freezing.”

Umm Subhi’s husband is unemployed, in debt, and has six children with a second wife who lives in another tent in Beit Lahiya.

“I’m not sure how we will cope … The children are always getting sick, coughing or getting a fever,” she said.

Umm Subhi Awaja with her children their tent in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza. (Suhair Karam/IRIN)

Rent relief

According to an April 2009 UNRWA and UN Development Program assessment of the damaged caused by the Israeli assault and subsequent fighting, some 4,036 houses in Gaza were totally destroyed or beyond repair, and 11,514 partially destroyed.

Those made homeless have squeezed in with relatives, rented apartments or made do in their damaged homes, aid workers said.

Ahmed Harb al-Kurd, Hamas social affairs minister, said on 27 January that Hamas has offered to pay rent of up to $3,000 a year to any Gazans who lost their homes during the war. He told IRIN that this would be until “the government finds a solution to reconstruct their houses once Israel lifts its barbaric siege, and construction materials, such as cement, are allowed to cross to Gaza.”

Israel has not allowed cement and building materials into Gaza since June 2007, shortly after Hamas took over in the Strip, because it says they could be seized by Hamas to fortify their military structures.

The UN has repeatedly called for the lifting of the blockade on humanitarian grounds.

“We have seen nothing” of the $4.4 billion pledged to the Palestinian Authority by more than 80 states and organizations at a donor conference in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt, in March 2009, al-Kurd said. The money was meant for the Palestinian economy as a whole and Gaza in particular.

“Everything agreed at that conference was merely ink on paper,” he said.

“The humanitarian situation of Palestinians in Gaza is going to deteriorate if something doesn’t give,” Jamal Hamad, an UNRWA spokesman in Gaza, told IRIN on 27 January.

This item comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. All IRIN material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

ZAYID: Israeli Terrorism

Australians For Palestine

January 28, 2010


by Ismail Zayid – Dissident Voice – 26 January 2010

The horrendous massacre of thousands of innocent victims, on Sept. 11 Sept. in New York and Washington, brought a great deal of attention to the subject of terrorism, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaida.

There has also been some insinuation, by the media and politicians, towards Arabs and Muslims, with reference to the Middle East and the Palestine conflict.

But nowhere is there any mention of Israeli terrorism in relation to this conflict.

Terrorism is defined in a variety of ways. An interesting definition is put forward by the noted intellectual Noam Chomsky, who wrote: “There is another defining property of ‘terrorism’ in contemporary newspeak: it refers to violent acts by Them, not Us.”
Another definition is when the men, women and children who are killed are Palestinians and the gunmen or pilots who murder them are Israelis. This form of terrorism is not terrorism, we are told, but mere retaliation, self-defence or what they may call ‘civilized terrorism.’

The late professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and then chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, wrote: “There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service (the Mossad) to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its ends.”

The actions of the state of Israel since its creation, and those of the terrorist gangs (the Stern, Irgun Zwei Leumi and the Haganah) that brought it about, testify to Israel’s long-established record in terrorism, not only in the Middle East but on the international scene. This record is massive and would take volumes to relate but I will refer only to a few examples:

Assassination of Palestinian leaders and intellectuals, in Europe and the Middle East has gone on for years. This includes the 1972 Lillehammer affair in Norway, where an innocent Moroccan waiter was killed in error, instead of a targeted Palestinian; the murder of the Palestinian diplomat and scholar Naim Khader in 1985 in Brussels, and many others.

Fathi Shikaki was assassinated in Malta in 1995 on the orders of Yitzhak Rabin. The role of Ehud Barak, dressed as an Arab woman, in the assassination of three Palestinian leaders, including the poet Kemal Nasser, in 1973 in Beirut, must not be forgotten.

Israeli-targeted assassination of Palestinians described as activists, as well as bystanders, continues to this day. Israeli assassination is not limited to Palestinians but includes the 1944 assassination of the British minister Lord Moyne in Cairo as planned by Yitzhak Shamir.

A horrible crime was committed in the assassination of the Swedish nobleman, Count Folke Bernadotte, a UN mediator, on Sept. 17, 1948, in Jerusalem, on the orders of Yitzhak Shamir, who later became prime minister of Israel. Count Bernadotte’s sin was his recommendation, as the UN mediator, that Palestinian refugees who were driven out from their homes by Israel should be allowed to return to their homes. This recommendation was the substance of the UN resolution 194, on Dec. 11, 1948, stipulating the right of return for the Palestinian refugees as soon as possible.

Israeli use of chemical weapons is also on record in the botched attempt to assassinate Khalid Meshal in Amman in 1997, on the orders of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Incredible as it may seem, Israel also indulged in the development of bioterrorism.

The first act of air piracy in the history of civil aviation was carried out by Israel in 1954, when a civilian Syrian airliner was forced down in Tel Aviv and its passengers and crew held hostage, despite international condemnation.

The first act of shooting down a civilian airliner was deliberately carried out by Israel when a Libyan airliner was shot down by Israeli jet fighters over Sinai in February 1973, on the orders of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, killing 107 of its passengers and its entire French crew.

Israeli terror was not restricted to Palestinians, Arabs and Europeans but included its own closest supporter and ally, the United States. In 1954, Israeli secret agents bombed the U.S. diplomatic centres in Cairo and Alexandria (known as the Lavon Affair), in an attempt to put the blame on the Egyptians. Israel later honoured the perpetrator, Marcello Ninio.

In June 1967, Israeli forces attacked and sank the U.S. spy ship USS Liberty, and strafed rescue boats, killing 35 and injuring 170 U.S. servicemen, in an attempt to conceal its own secret communications, and again tried to blame it on the Egyptians. To this day, incredible as it may seem, the U.S. Congress refuses to hold an inquiry into this crime, as requested by the surviving crew. Needless to say, no sanctions were imposed or calls to extradite the perpetrators were made.

Zionist terror did not spare Jews. In 1940, Menachem Begin’s Irgun Zwei Leumi terrorist gang bombed the ship Patria in Haifa harbor, killing 240 Jewish refugees, so as to put the blame on the British for political gain.

In 1950-1951, Israeli agents were dispatched to Iraq where they tossed hand grenades into the crowded Massauda Shem-Tov synagogue, causing numerous deaths, in order to blame it on the Iraqis and encourage reluctant Iraqi Jews to emigrate to Israel.

Israeli terrorism against Palestinians continues, including murder, torture, expropriation of their land, for the creation of illegal settlements and demolition of thousands of their homes as well as entire towns and villages, not to mention numerous massacres, including those of Deir Yassin, Qibya, Sabra and Shatilla, Jenin, and Gaza.

The Palestinians of the West Bank have remained under illegal occupation for over 34 years, in defiance of international law and UN Security Council resolutions. Their acts of resistance are described by Israel as terrorism, yet international law entitles all peoples, including even the Palestinian people, to resist foreign occupation.

Occupation is violence, and to bring an end to violence and bring peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians, Israel must comply with international law and withdraw completely from all territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem.

Israeli acts of belligerency extend beyond its defiance of international law and Security Council resolutions to violation of its own agreements with the Palestinian Authority.

Its recent re-occupation, of seven cities and towns in the Palestinian autonomous areas is illegal. The pretext for this is the recent assassination of the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in retaliation for Israel’s assassination of their leader Mustafa Zibri two months earlier.

Mr. Zibri’s assassination was one of over 50 Palestinian leaders assassinated over the last year. The invasion of these towns, including Bethlehem and Beit Jala, using tanks and Apache warships, has resulted in the demolition of scores of homes and the killing of over 50 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

The invasion of these towns and cities continues in defiance of international condemnation and the call for immediate withdrawal by the U.S., Israel’s ally, benefactor and unquestioning supporter. But, alas, Israel remains above international law.

The late Canadian historian Frank Epp, then president of Grebel college of the University of Waterloo, wrote: “It is true that terrorist acts have been perpetrated by people identified as Palestinians. But there is another terrorism which is more vicious and brutal, that of dispossession and displacement forced upon the Palestinians.

However, terrorism meted out by the Palestinians, regrettable as it is, is minute by comparison with that which has been inflicted on them. The mass media have failed to make this point adequately.”

The tragedy for the Jewish people of Israel, in the crimes that are committed in their name, is highlighted in the statement made by the noted British historian Arnold Toynbee, who stated in a 1961 lecture at McGill University to a largely Jewish audience: “The Jewish treatment of the Arabs in 1948 was as morally indefensible as the slaughter by the Nazis of six million Jews … The most tragic thing in human life is when people who have suffered impose suffering in their turn.”
The Palestinian people today are calling for a modicum of justice. For without this, there will be no peace for Arab or Jew in the Middle East.

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All those Holocauts !!

Frustrated Arab’s Diary

Gaza ??……… or Jennin ??
what is
the race or religion of Fascism ??

When someone has survived 
the Nazi´s Holocaust,does this allow him, now,
to make his own ??

When the Holocaust were to have been exaggerated,
the massacres of the Palestinians are not !!

Gaza is not , exactly , the Warsaw-Ghetto
but a slower-starvation is worse than a fast one !!

Sabra,Chatilla , Jennin and Deir Yassin
are not Dachau, nor Treblinka nor Mathhausen
bu all kind of deaths give us the same results:
death !

Palestinians are starving since 61 years
while the Nazi-Holocaust lasted 5 years
and has ended since 64 years !!


Should we not condemn all the Holocausts

Should we not , first of all,
 stop the on-going-Holocaust  ??

Raja Chemayel

Posted by Тлакскала at 11:34 PM 2 comments Links to this post 

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

"Together we can end this occupation"

Jody McIntyre writing from Beit Hanoun, occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 29 January 2010

Saber Zanin volunteering in an orchard. (Beit Hanoun Local Initiative)

The Israeli military recently dropped hundreds of leaflets warning Palestinian residents from the village of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip not to travel within 300 meters of the border — the distance of Israel’s so-called “buffer zone.” In response, local activists marched to and nonviolently demonstrated inside the “buffer zone” against the illegal action. The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre recently spoke with demonstration organizer Saber Zanin.

Jody McIntyre: Can you tell us about yourself?

Saber Zanin: My name is Saber Zanin. I am 31 years old, living in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip. I am a Palestinian who loves life, peace, justice and equal rights for all.

I come from a poor family, around 20 of us in all, from Beit Hanoun. In November 2006, our house, the house I lived in my whole life, was completely destroyed by Israeli air strikes, and then by a tank which came to finish the job. We don’t know why they chose to target our home, but this is an example of the collective punishment we face living in Gaza.

I had the idea to create a group of volunteers, to work together in the local community, to resist Israel’s occupation through nonviolent methods, and to encourage others to do the same. In September 2007, the “Local Initiative” was formed. Rather than relying on governmental institutions or foreign agencies, we work in a personal capacity, and rely on ourselves for everything we need. Altogether the group now consists of around 60 young men and women, from 17-35 years of age, and although we have no political affiliation, we all agree on socialist principles of helping those most in need, and on each individual’s freedom to express their own views.

The group works with all sections of society: women, children, people with disabilities and teenagers. In particular, we give priority to the farmers and residents working and living in the so-called “buffer zone.” As a group, we visit the residents and offer them aid brought by charities to Gaza (although this is small in amount, and limited in effect) for nothing in return, and we accompany the farmers who continue to work on their land, despite regularly being shot at by the Israeli military for doing so. We also work with the young kids in their area, taking them presents, playing games with them and making parties for them, as well as practicalities such as not going out onto the street in certain areas.

The people living in the “buffer zone” are the foundation of the Local Initiative. If there are any farmers who want help working on their land, we will go to help them. We have also organized protests against Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank and the “buffer zone.”

We are always looking for ways to encourage others to join us in our popular resistance against the occupation, and as part of this we try to teach the local community about the human rights they possess: the right to freedom of expression, the right to live freely, the right to an education, to work, to health care, and to a home. We want people to know about their rights so that when they are taken away from them, they will fight for them.

JM: As someone who used to participate in armed resistance against the occupation, what made you adopt nonviolent resistance?

SZ: Any occupied people have the right to resist, and Palestinians are occupied by the Israelis. It is our fundamental right to resist against this occupation. I used to participate in armed resistance, but armed resistance isn’t everything. I am convinced that popular resistance, and protesting against the occupation through nonviolent methods, can actually achieve more than armed resistance, by gaining the sympathy and support for our struggle from people around the world. When we go to protest against Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank, as they do in the villages of Bilin and Nilin, and now here in Beit Hanoun in Gaza as well, we have international activists marching with us, and the whole world is watching. Our demonstrations are nonviolent, so the Israeli army has no excuse to shoot at us and to kill us. I believe that this is one of the noblest ways of protesting against the occupation.

Last week, the Israeli military dropped hundreds of leaflets near the “buffer zone,” instructing residents not to go within 300 meters of the border. We reject this illegal de facto land grab, and in response organized a march to the “buffer zone” on Monday [11 January]. The march was under the slogan: “With popular resistance, we challenge the decisions of the Israeli occupiers.” We protested against the occupation through nonviolent means.

We will now be marching to the “buffer zone” every Monday. We will not be intimidated by the Israeli army’s threat, and we will never give up until the occupation is over.

JM: How can people living abroad support your struggle?

SZ: As we move into the new year, the Local Initiative is in urgent need of funds, in order to continue supporting the families living in the “buffer zone,” and to purchase materials in order to document the ongoing crimes of the Israeli occupation forces.

We truly hope that activists from around the world will support us. They could also write in the media against Israel’s crimes, organize demonstrations outside the Israeli embassy — some governments have even expelled the Israeli ambassador! In the UK an arrest warrant was issued for Tzipi Livni for the war crimes she committed against the people of Gaza, and this should serve as an inspiration for others to follow. Together, we can end this occupation.

Jody McIntyre is a journalist from the United Kingdom, currently living in Beit Lahiya in the occupied Gaza Strip. Jody has cerebral palsy, and travels in a wheelchair. He writes a blog for Ctrl.Alt.Shift, entitled “Life on Wheels,” which can be found at www.ctrlaltshift.co.uk. To contact Jody, and for more information about the Local Initiative, email jody.mcintyre AT gmail DOT com.
River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

What to call it ??

Frustraited Arab’s Diary

the right-Jew… .. !!
If it has no name yet , call it
” Al Kayda”

If it suits your propaganda ,call it

If it boost your weapons-industries , call it
” Global War of Terrorism”

If it allows you to invade Iraq, call it
” Weapons of Mass Destruction”

If it helps electing you as President , call it
” time for a real-change”

If it legalises your occupation of a country , call it
“God gave this land to me”

If it hides your inborn racism , say:
” God has chosen us” (but not them)

If you already are, anyhow, an ugly-monster , say :
“They hate us for what we are “

If you want to collect the insurance money , say :
” they blew-up the Twin-towers”

If you want to fool any believer , say
“in God we trust”

If you want to loose again our time , say :
” We are committed to Peace”

If you want Israel to be safer bigger and stronger ,

say :
” we support the Arab-moderate- leaders”
And ,
if you do want to boycott Cubaand especialy ,the Cuban-cigars  :
Do not smoke it ,
 just sit on it !!

Raja Chemayel

call me what you wish !
But ,in the meantime ,I keep my gun , at reach ….

Posted by Тлакскала at 11:26 PM 0 comments Links to this post

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

The indigenous Olive-trees

Fustraited Arab’s Diary

 An Icon,for a symbol, of a tragedy.
What is wrong with olive trees ?Why does the Israeli army cut them off ??
I wonder why olive trees are hated and bannedby this “most humane army”,,,,,,, ,,,,
No army in history ,
regardless of its degree of civilisation,
has destroyed so much and so often Olive-Trees ,
as much as those grand-children- of-Attila the Hun.

Could it be that those Olive-Trees perhaps are ;
anti-Semite ?
anti- Jews?
anti- Zionist?
al Kayda in disguise ??
Hamas- members ??
Hidden-Swiss- Minarets ??
DFLP or PFLP fighters ?
Hezbollah-sympathis ers ??
or simply because those trees are indigenous ??
(while the Israelis are not !!!)

To my knowledge ,
neither  Abraham , nor Moses
nor Jesus , nor Mohammad
have ever prohibited olive-trees.
But obviously ,
the Israelis have nothing to do
with either four of them .

Beside that ,
The Olive trees carry a lot of Olive-branches
which cannot be useful ,  for any criminal-projects.

Raja Chemayel

who never believed in Olive-branches ,
nor in any other Fairy-tales , anyhow.
Posted by Тлакскала at 11:21 PM 0 comments Links to this post

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

What to call the Zionists ??



The Mafia ?? 
No Sir !!   simply some Zionists from Europe

How come that the Christians of  West Europe
came up with the idea of a Crusade
to allegedly  “liberate”  Palestine  ????

How come the Christians of the East
never thought it were ever necessary ??

Who would have been more capable
of assessing the necessity to “liberate” Jerusalem ,
a Byzantine King  ??
or some ignorent-lost- backward- Kings along the Rhine
or the Seine or the Thames ??.

How come it happened that when the Crusaders
reached to the walls of Jerusalem ,
one third of Europe was still not even Christianised yet
and Jerusalem has had more churches in it ,
than Barcelona or Warshaw  ????

What allowed to the Crusaders to wear any Cross ??
and what allowed
to the Zionist to use the Star of David ??

How come when ,
Polish-Russian- Hungarian- Romanian- Ukrainian- European- Jews
decided to organise Zionism into an ideology-of- colonial- power
the Arab-Jews of  Damascus,Cairo, Baghdad,Beirut, Aleppo,Casablanc a,
Sanaa,Alexandria ,Tehran and Tunis never  though that it were necessary
to create a State of Israel , on the tomb of  Palestine ????

We all agree, today ,that the Crusaders were nothing but
adventurers- robbers seeking the silk,the spices and the treasures
of the Orient…… …
so let us also ,finally , agree on what to call the Zionists ?? !!

Robbers misusing a Religion ??

Raja Chemayel

Posted by Тлакскала at 7:16 PM 5 comments Links to this post  

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Holocaust remembrance is a boon for Israeli propaganda

This is Zionism

By Gideon Levy
Israel’s bigwigs attacked at dawn on a wide front. The president in Germany, the prime minister with a giant entourage in Poland, the foreign minister in Hungary, his deputy in Slovakia, the culture minister in France, the information minister at the United Nations, and even the Likud party’s Druze Knesset member, Ayoob Kara, in Italy. They were all out there to make florid speeches about the Holocaust.

Wednesday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and an Israeli public relations drive like this hasn’t been seen for ages. The timing of the unusual effort – never have so many ministers deployed across the globe – is not coincidental: When the world is talking Goldstone, we talk Holocaust, as if out to blur the impression. When the world talks occupation, we’ll talk Iran as if we wanted them to forget.

It won’t help much. International Holocaust Remembrance Day has passed, the speeches will soon be forgotten, and the depressing everyday reality will remain. Israel will not come out looking good, even after the PR campaign.

On the eve of his departure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at Yad Vashem. “There is evil in the world,” he said. “Evil must be stamped out at the beginning.” Some people are “trying to deny the truth.” Lofty words, said by the same person who only the day before, not quite in the same breath, uttered very different words, words of true evil, evil that should be extinguished at the start, evil that Israel is trying to hide.

Netanyahu spoke of a new “migration policy,” one that is evil through and through. He malevolently lumped together migrant workers and wretched refugees – warning that they all endanger Israel, lower our wages, harm our security, make us into a third-world country and bring in drugs. He zealously supported our racist interior minister, Eli Yishai, who has spoken of the migrants as the spreaders of diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, AIDS and God knows what else.

No Holocaust speech will erase these words of incitement and slander against migrants. No remembrance speech will obliterate the xenophobia that has reared its head in Israel, not only on the extreme right, as in Europe, but throughout government.

We have a prime minister who speaks about evil but is building a fence to prevent war refugees from knocking at Israel’s door. A prime minister who speaks about evil but shares the crime of the Gaza blockade, now in its fourth year, leaving 1.5 million people in disgraceful conditions. A prime minister in whose country settlers perpetrate pogroms against innocent Palestinians under the slogan “price tag,” which also has horrific historical connotations, but against whom the state does virtually nothing.

This is the prime minister of a state that arrests hundreds of left-wing protesters against the injustices of the occupation and the war in Gaza, while time grants mass pardons to the right-wingers who demonstrated against the disengagement. In his speech yesterday, Netanyahu’s equating Nazi Germany with fundamentalist Iran was no more than cheap propaganda. Talk about “degrading the Holocaust.” Iran isn’t Germany, Ahmedinejad isn’t Hitler and equating them is no less spurious than equating Israeli soldiers with Nazis.

The Holocaust must not be forgotten, and there is no need to compare it with anything. Israel must take part in the efforts to keep its memory alive, but in doing so it must show up with clean hands, clean of evil of their own doing. And it must not arouse suspicion that it is cynically using the memory of the Holocaust to obliterate and blur other things. Regrettably, this is not the case.

How beautiful it would have been if on this international day of remembrance Israel had taken the time to examine itself, look inward and ask, for example, how it is that anti-Semitism has reared its head in the world precisely in the past year, the year after we dropped white-phosphorous bombs on Gaza. How beautiful it would have been if on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu had declared a new policy for integrating refugees instead of expulsion, or lifted the Gaza blockade.

A thousand speeches against anti-Semitism will not extinguish the flames ignited by Operation Cast Lead, flames that threaten not only Israel but the entire Jewish world. As long as Gaza is under blockade and Israel sinks into its institutionalized xenophobia, Holocaust speeches will remain hollow. As long as evil is rampant here at home, neither the world nor we will be able to accept our preaching to others, even if they deserve it.


River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

War is Hell on the Brain: Doctors Map Psychological Disorders in Gaza and the West Bank

Intifada Voice

Kathlyn Stone

Palestinian children in Hebron. CC photo: David Masters

“23.2 percent had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 17.3 percent had an anxiety disorder (other than PTSD or acute stress disorder), and 15.3 percent had depression.
PTSD was more frequently identified in children under age 15, while depression was the main symptom observed in adults. Among children under 15, factors significantly associated with PTSD included being witness to murder or physical abuse, receiving threats, and property destruction or loss. “
Doctors Without Borders reports that short-term psychotherapy could be an effective treatment in specific psychiatric disorders, especially in children.
Trauma from war and violence has led to a high incidence of psychological disorders in Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
The international medical nongovernmental organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders reports that even short-term psychological support can ease the burden of violence-induced psychiatric disorders, especially in children.
Emmanuelle Espié of the Paris-based Epicentre and colleagues from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, along with researchers from four French hospitals shared data collected from Palestinian patients ages 1 year and older referred to the Médecins Sans Frontières psychological care program.
Data was gathered from 1,369 patients (773 from the Gaza strip and 596 from the Nablus area) who received psychological care between January 2005 and December 2008. All patients in the study were clinically assessed by a psychologist or psychiatrist.
The patients were evenly divided between male and female with a median age of 16 years. Among the 1,254 patients for whom full clinical information was available, 23.2 percent had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 17.3 percent had an anxiety disorder (other than PTSD or acute stress disorder), and 15.3 percent had depression.
PTSD was more frequently identified in children under age 15, while depression was the main symptom observed in adults. Among children under 15, factors significantly associated with PTSD included being witness to murder or physical abuse, receiving threats, and property destruction or loss.
Sixty-five percent of patients took part in individual, short-term psychotherapy, with 30.6 percent requiring psychotropic medication (generally Fluoxetine or Alprazolam) along with counseling.
Following psychotherapy, 82.8 percent of children and 75.3 percent of adults had improved symptoms. Psychological care was conducted principally at the patient’s home over a course of 8 to 12 weeks. Children tended to stay in therapy longer and to take part in group therapy sessions more often than adults.
Among patients that showed no improvement or aggravated symptoms at the last session, the main persistent symptoms were sadness (14 percent) and aggressive behavior (12.7 percent).
The study authors concluded, “These observations suggest that short-term psychotherapy could be an effective treatment for specific psychiatric disorders occurring in vulnerable populations, including children, living in violent conflict zones, such as in Gaza strip and the West Bank.”
The study was published in the open access journal International Journal of Mental Health Systems.
(The 48-month epidemiological study was concluding just as Operation Cast Lead was beginning. The intensive three-week military attack by Israel began December 27, 2008. More than 1,400 Palestinians — 237 combatants and 1,172 non-combatants, including 342 children — were killed and 5,000 civilians were injured during the air and land assault, according to the human rights organization, Al-Haq. More than 4,000 homes and much of Gaza’s infrastructure and buildings were destroyed during the assault.)
International Journal of Mental Health Systems 2009, 3:21doi:10.1186/1752-4458-3-21
‘Operation Cast Lead’: A Statistical Analysis, August 2009, Al-Haq, the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists-Geneva
Article Source: Flesh & Stone
Photo & Bio: Kathystone.squarespace.com

Kathlyn Stone

Kathlyn Stone is a Twin Cities, Minnesota-based writer who has covered general news, and business, international trade, and health care news and policies for public and professional audiences since 1980.
Stone enjoys journalism most among all writing genres and finds interviewing, researching, and analyzing data as much an attraction as the actual craft of writing.  Stone’s style incorporates both hard facts and emotional appeal when telling the story.
She brings an insider’s understanding when covering government and politics, late-breaking science (especially that pertaining to neurological research), consumer health news, and public policy.
January 28, 2010 Posted by Elias | NEWS & POLITICS | , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments Yet

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Defamation: complete movie

This Is Zionism

Quest to answer the question, What is anti-Semitism today? Does it remain a dangerous and immediate threat? Or is it a scare tactic used by right-wing Zionists to discredit their critics? Speaking with an array of people from across the political spectrum (including the head of the Anti-Defamation League and its fiercest critic, author Norman Finkelstein) and traveling to places like Auschwitz (alongside Israeli school kids) and Brooklyn (to explore reports of violence), Shamir discovers the realities of anti-Semitism today. His findings are shocking, enlightening and a surprisingly often wryly funny.

2010.Defamation.WS.PDTV.DivX.mp4 591 MB 429 MB 424 MB

Posted @ 10:23  

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

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