Allawi: "… It’s a total failure … Lebanon will be on the agenda when the STL issues its verdicts … God help us!"

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Via Friday-Lunch-Club

Der Spiegel interviews Eyad Allawi:

“…Allawi: You see what is happening in Afghanistan: It is a total failure. The problem here is not about America leaving Iraq and continuing its fight in Afghanistan. America has to rethink its strategy for the whole region from Central Asia to the Middle East. NATO will have to rethink its strategy, and so will Europe. The West’s policy is wrong. Just look around: Somalia is a totally failed state. Yemen faces the most serious of challenges. Palestine? One step forward, three steps back. And somewhere down the line, Lebanon will be on the agenda. God help us when the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon issues its verdicts in the murder case of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri….”

Posted by G, Z, or B at 11:06 AM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

40% of Jenin prison population denied family visits

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[ 30/08/2010 – 12:31 PM ]

JENIN, (PIC)– The Israeli prisons authority (IPA) is fully denying more than 40% of the Jenin prison population the right to family visits against 30% who are denied partial visits, the Palestinian Prisoner Society reported.

Director of PPS in Jenin, Ragheb Abu Diak said in a press statement Monday that banning family visits from prisoners is a serious violation of human rights principles and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which guarantees the right to regular visits as stipulated in laws, regulations, and international conventions.

In his statement, Abu Diak called on the Red Cross to move quickly to monitor arbitrary measures the IPA has been taking against prisoners, particularly the humiliating searches at the Jalama gate when going to visit their children.

To add to their suffering, prisoners are forced to purchase their basic needs, like clothes, shoes, and blankets, from the prison’s canteen at high prices, since the lack of visits has led to a shortage in those items.

All families of prisoners from the Gaza Strip have been fully denied seeing their children for four consecutive years.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Do you still remember us?

>Do you still remember us?! http://carpediemist.blogspot.com/2008/12/do-you-still-remember-us.html

We are still under siege

darkness…..

And hunger…..

Do you still remember us?!

To get water we have to walk so far….

To fill a bottle or a jar……

Do you still remember us?!

We still have No food…..

Or medicine to be fed…..

Our kids…..

are dying every day…..

in their beds…..

And many have just tears toshed…..

Do you still remember us?!

Death!

is everywhere…..

that sometimes we have No place,
to make Our prayer…..

Do you Really still remember us?!

We have nothing but pain…..

illness…..

And daily sadness……

to Share…..

do you still remember us?!

At least in your prayer?!

Gaza children implore you!
They are dying due to the blockade!

There is ‘growing humanitarian crisis,’
happening in Gaza…..

There is an EXTREME restricted access,
to food, water, and medicine!!

THE DEMOCRATIC!
X-HOLOCAUST VICTIM?!!!
PRESENT-HOLOCAUST MAKER!!!
EXTRA-HUMAN STATE OF ISRAEL!

Please!

…..don’t forget us!!

Please do Remember us!

Gaza Needs Your Voice!

How to Kill Goyim and Influence People: Israeli Rabbis Defend Book’s Shocking Religious Defense of Killing Non-Jews (with Video)

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AlterNet

Max Blumenthal

August 30, 2010

A rabbinical guidebook for killing non-Jews has sparked an uproar in Israel and exposed the power a bunch of genocidal theocrats wield over the government.

When I went into the Jewish religious book emporium, Pomeranz, in central Jerusalem to inquire about the availability of a book called Torat Ha’Melech, or the King’s Torah, a commotion immediately ensued. “Are you sure you want it?” the owner, M. Pomeranz, asked me half-jokingly. “The Shabak [Israel’s internal security service] is going to want a word with you if you do.” As customers stopped browsing and began to stare in my direction, Pomeranz pointed to a security camera affixed to a wall. “See that?” he told me. “It goes straight to the Shabak!”

As soon as it was published late last year,Torat Ha’Melech sparked a national uproar. The controversy began when an Israeli tabloid panned the book’s contents as “230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew.” According to the book’s author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, “Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and should be killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations.” “If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments… there is nothing wrong with the murder,” Shapira insisted. Citing Jewish law as his source (or at least a very selective interpretation of it) he declared: “There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”
In January, Shapira was briefly detained by the Israeli police, while two leading rabbis who endorsed the book, Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef, were summoned to interrogations by the Shabak. However, the rabbis refused to appear at the interrogations, essentially thumbing their noses at the state and its laws. And the government did nothing. The episode raised grave questions about the willingness of the Israeli government to confront the ferociously racist swathe of the country’s rabbinate. “Something like this has never happened before, even though it seems as if everything possible has already happened,” Israeli commentator Yossi Sarid remarked with astonishment. “Two rabbis [were] summoned to a police investigation, and announc[ed] that they will not go. Even settlers are kind enough to turn up.”
In response to the rabbis’ public rebuke of the state’s legal system, the Israeli Attorney General and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept silent. Indeed, since the publication of Torat Ha’Melech, Netanyahu has strenuously avoided criticizing its contents or the author’s leading supporters. Like so many prime ministers before him, he has been cowed into submission by Israel’s religious nationalist community. But Netanyahu appears to be particularly impotent. His weakness stems from the fact that the religious nationalist right figures prominently in his governing coalition and comprises a substantial portion of his political base. For Netanyahu, a confrontation with the rabid rabbis could amount to political suicide, or could force him into an alliance with centrist forces who do not share his commitment to the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.
On August 18, a pantheon of Israel’s top fundamentalist rabbis flaunted their political power during an ad hoc congress they convened at Jerusalem’s Ramada Renaissance hotel. Before an audience of 250 supporters including the far-right Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, the rabbis declared in the name of the Holy Torah that would not submit to any attempt by the government to regulate their political activities — even and especially if those activities included inciting terrorist attacks against non-Jews. As one wizened rabbi after another rose up to inveigh against the government’s investigation of Torat Ha’Melech until his voice grew hoarse, the gathering degenerated into calls for murdering not just non-Jews, but secular Jews as well.
Watch the video :
“The obligation to sacrifice your life is above all others when fighting those who wish to destroy the authority of the Torah,” bellowed Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, head of the yeshiva in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. “It is not only true against non-Jews who are trying to destroy it but against Jewish people from any side.”
The government-funded terror academy
The disturbing philosophy expressed in Torat Ha’Melech emerged from the fevered atmosphere of a settlement called Yitzhar located in the northern West Bank near the Palestinian city of Nablus. Shapira leads the settlement’s Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, holding sway over a small army of fanatics who are eager to lash out at the Palestinians tending to their crops and livestock in the valleys below them. One of Shapira’s followers, an American immigrant named Jack Teitel, has confessed to murdering two innocent Palestinians and attempting to the kill the liberal Israeli historian Ze’ev Sternhell with a mail bomb. Teitel is suspected of many more murders, including an attack on a Tel Aviv gay community center.
Despite its apparent role as a terror training institute, Od Yosef Chai has raked in nearly fifty thousand dollars from the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs since 2007, while the Ministry of Education has pumped over 250 thousand dollars into the yeshiva’s coffers between 2006 and 2007. The yeshiva has also benefited handsomely from donations from a tax-exempt American non-profit called the Central Fund of Israel. Located inside the Marcus Brothers Textiles store in midtown Manhattan, the Central Fund transferred at least thirty thousand to Od Yosef Chai between 2007 and 2008.
Though he does not name “the enemy” in the pages of his book, Shapira’s longstanding connection to terrorist attacks against Palestinian civilians exposes the true identity of his targets. In 2006, Shapira was briefly held by Israeli police for urging his supporters to murder all Palestinians over the age of 13. Two years later, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz, he signed a rabbinical letter in support of Israeli Jews who had brutally assaulted two Arab youths on the country’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. That same year, Shapira was arrested under suspicion that he helped orchestrate a rocket attack against a Palestinian village near Nablus. Though he was released, Shapira’s name arose in connection with another act of terror, when in January, the Israeli police raided his settlement seeking the vandals who set fire to a nearby mosque. After arresting ten settlers, the Shabak held five of Shapira’s confederates under suspicion of arson.
Friends in high places
Despite his longstanding involvement in terrorism, or perhaps because of it, Shapira counts Israel’s leading fundamentalist rabbis among his supporters. His most well-known backer is Dov Lior the leader of the Shavei-Hevron yeshiva at Kiryat Arba, a radical Jewish settlement near the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron and a hotbed of Jewish terrorism. Lior has vigorously endorsed Torat Ha’Melech, calling it “very relevant, especially in this time.”
Lior’s enthusiasm for Shapira’s tract stems from his own eliminationist attitude toward non-Jews. For example, while Lior served as the IDF’s top rabbi, he instructed soldiers: “There is no such thing as civilians in wartime… A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail!” Indeed, there are only a few non-Jews whose lives Lior would demand to be spared. They are captured Palestinian militants who, as he once suggested, could be used as subjects for live human medical experiments.
Otherwise, Lior appears content to watch Palestinians perish as they did at the muzzle of Dr. Baruch Goldstein’s machine gun in 1994. Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians and wounded 150 in a shooting spree while they prayed in Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs mosque, was a compatriot and neighbor of Lior in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At Goldstein’s funeral, Lior celebrated the massacre as an act carried out “to sanctify the holy name of God.” He then extolled Goldstein as “a righteous man.” Thanks to Lior’s efforts, a shrine to Goldstein was constructed in center of Kiryat Arba so that locals could celebrate the killer’s deeds and pass his legacy down to future generations.
Though Lior’s inflammatory statements resulted in his being barred from running for election to the Supreme Rabbinical Council, according to journalist Daniel Estrin, the rabbi remains “a respected figure among many mainstream ZIonists.” By extension, he maintains considerable influence among religious elements in the IDF. In 2008, when the IDF’s chief rabbi, Brigadier General Avichai Ronski, brought a group of military intelligence officers to Hebron for a special tour, he concluded the day with a private meeting with Lior, who was allowed to revel the officers with his views on modern warfare — “no such thing as civilians in wartime.”
Besides Lior, Torat Ha’Melech has earned support from another nationally prominent fundamentalist rabbi: Yaakov Yosef. Yosef is the leader of the Hazon Yaakov Yeshiva in Jerusalem and a former member of Knesset. Perhaps more significantly, he is the son of Ovadiah Yosef, the former chief rabbi of Israel and spiritual leader of the Shas Party that forms a key segment of Netanyahu’s governing coalition.
Yaakov Yosef has brought his influence to bear in defense of Torat Ha’Melech, insisting at the August 18 convention in Jerusalem that the book was no different than the Hagadah that all Jews read from on the holiday of Passover. The Hagadah contains passages about killing non-Jews and so does the Bible, Yosef reminded his audience. “Does anyone want to change the Bible?” he asked.
Bibi buckles
Only days before direct negotiations in Washington between Israel and the Palestinian Authority planned for early September, Yaakov Yosef’s 89-year-old father, Ovadiah delivered his weekly sermon. With characteristic vitriol, he declared: “All these evil people should perish from this world… God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”
The remarks have sparked an international furor and earned a stern rebuke from Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. “While the PLO is ready to resume negotiations in seriousness and good faith,” Erekat remarked, “a member of the Israeli government is calling for our destruction.”
Palestinian Israeli member of Knesset Jamal Zehalka subsequently demanded that the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein put Yosef on trial for incitement. “If, heaven forbid, a Muslim spiritual leader were to make anti-Jewish comments of this sort,” Zehalka said, “he would be arrested immediately.”
Here was a perfect opportunity for Netanyahu to demonstrate sincerity about negotiations by shedding an extremist ally in the name of securing peace. All he had to do was forcefully reject Yosef’s genocidal comments — a feat made all the easier by the White House’s condemnation of the rabbi. But the Israeli Prime Minister ducked for political cover instead, issuing a canned statement instead of a condemnation. “Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s remarks do not reflect Netanyahu’s views,” the statement read, “nor do they reflect the position of the Israeli government.”
By refusing to cut Yosef loose, his party remains a central actor in the Israeli government. Thus the statement by Netanyahu was not only weak. It was false.
Max Blumenthal is the author of Republican Gomorrah (Basic/Nation Books, 2009) has just been released. Contact him at mailto:%20maxblumenthal3000@yahoo.com.

Innocent Executioners: An Illustration of the Principles of Western Civilization in the Modern World

>Innocent Executioners: An Illustration of the Principles of Western Civilization in the Modern World


We hear a lot about barbarism and backwardness and bloodthirstiness among the nations of the Middle East, where violent religious extremists are praised and supported — and often hold state power. A lot of this is hype and misinformation, of course, but sometimes it’s all too true. From the Guardian:



An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday. …

The soldier, who has only been identified as “Captain R”, was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.


The manner of Iman’s killing, and the revelation of a tape recording in which the captain is warned that she was just a child who was “scared to death”, made the shooting one of the most controversial since the Palestinian intifada erupted five years ago even though hundreds of other children have also died.

… The military court cleared the soldier of illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by asking soldiers under his command to alter their accounts of the incident.  …

The army’s official account said that Iman was shot for crossing into a security zone carrying her schoolbag which soldiers feared might contain a bomb. It is still not known why the girl ventured into the area but witnesses described her as at least 100 yards from the military post which was in any case well protected.

A recording of radio exchanges between Capt R and his troops obtained by Israeli television revealed that from the beginning soldiers identified Iman as a child.
In the recording, a soldier in a watchtower radioed a colleague in the army post’s operations room and describes Iman as “a little girl” who was “scared to death”. After soldiers first opened fire, she dropped her schoolbag which was then hit by several bullets establishing that it did not contain explosive. At that point she was no longer carrying the bag and, the tape revealed, was heading away from the army post when she was shot. ….

Palestinian witnesses said they saw the captain shoot Iman twice in the head, walk away, turn back and fire a stream of bullets into her body.

On the tape, Capt R then “clarifies” to the soldiers under his command why he killed Iman: “This is commander. Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the [security] zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed.”

At no point did the Israeli troops come under attack.


Well, at least they didn’t stone her, did they? After all, Israel is a “bastion of Western civilization” in the midst of all those swarthy savages, isn’t it? I mean, can there possibly be a clearer expression of civilization — especially its ultra-modern Western version — than Captain R’s Aristotelian formulation? It bears repeating — nay, memorizing, searing deeply into the brain and heart — for it is clearly the guiding principle of all our glorious terror-fighting democracies today, not only plucky little Israel but also its patron and paymaster, the United States (and the lackey Limeys who trot along at Washington’s heels):



Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed.

Even if it’s a three-year-old.

Even if it — this thing, this object, this Other, this creature, this piece of shit — is a three-year-old.

Kill it. It needs to be killed. Kill it. You need to kill it. A three-year-old? Kill it. It needs to be killed.



Now that, my friends, is civilization.


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UPDATE: Here’s another shining example of modern-day, Anglospherical Western Civilization in action, this time in the great victorious imposition of civilized values on the grubby little darkies in Iraq. From the Guardian:


The British government has ordered an urgent inquiry into the disappearance of an injured Iraqi child who has not been seen since being placed in the care of UK military medics in 2003.

In one of the most bewildering episodes of the Iraq occupation, Memmon Salam al-Maliki, an 11-year-old boy, disappeared within days of being taken to a British base after he was wounded while playing with unexploded munitions. Although his injuries appeared not to be life-threatening, his family have not seen him since.

The British authorities told Memmon’s father that they had sent his son to an American military hospital in Kuwait for further treatment, but have been unable to tell him its location, or provide information about his whereabouts or condition. The US authorities, however, insist they know nothing and say that in the absence of documentation they cannot even be sure he was transferred into their care.

… Memmon’s family, meanwhile, say they are deeply distraught, confused and angry. They say there was no reason to believe the boy’s injuries were life-threatening, and point out that he was still alive more than a week after the explosion. Until they have proof of his death, they say they must hold out hope that he could be alive.

Memmon was injured in April 2003, shortly after the invasion, while playing with abandoned, unexploded munitions near his Basra home. He suffered a serious eye injury and lost his left hand and several fingers from his right. He was picked up by a passing British convoy and taken to a nearby base for first aid. From there he was transferred to a British military field hospital at Shaibah. What happened next remains unclear.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Defence began to regard the family’s appeals as claims for compensation, rather than requests for information about the boy’s whereabouts. In its last communication with the family the MoD expressed its sympathy but denied all liability.


Ah yes, sympathy without liability: that’s the civilized way. In any case, what’s the big deal? It was just an 11-year-old object, wasn’t it? It shouldn’t have been messing with the holy hand grenades left behind by the defenders of Western Civilization when they were launching an illegal war of aggression on false pretenses (exactly as another stout defender of Western Civilization did 71 years ago this week). So it “disappeared.” So what? Maybe it wandered into the wrong “zone” somewhere. Maybe it needed to be killed. Or cast aside. Or just plunged through the labyrinthine bowels of the war machine, lost for seven years while its family lives day after day, year after year, in agony.

That’s just the price of civilization, you see. That’s what makes us good and great and godly and benign. Thirteen years old, eleven years old, three years old — they are the food and fuel of empire. It their blood — their extreme, hellish suffering — that makes us so special.

Not guilty. The Israeli captain who emptied his rifle into a Palestinain schoolgirl

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Not guilty. The Israeli captain who emptied his rifle into a Palestinain schoolgirl
· Officer ignored warnings that teenager was
· Defence says ‘confirming the kill’ standard practice
An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.

The soldier, who has only been identified as “Captain R”, was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.

The manner of Iman’s killing, and the revelation of a tape recording in which the captain is warned that she was just a child who was “scared to death”, made the shooting one of the most controversial since the Palestinian intifada erupted five years ago even though hundreds of other children have also died.
After the verdict, Iman’s father, Samir al-Hams, said the army never intended to hold the soldier accountable.

“They did not charge him with Iman’s murder, only with small offences, and now they say he is innocent of those even though he shot my daughter so many times,” he said. “This was the cold-blooded murder of a girl. The soldier murdered her once and the court has murdered her again. What is the message? They are telling their soldiers to kill Palestinian children.”

The military court cleared the soldier of illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by asking soldiers under his command to alter their accounts of the incident.
Capt R’s lawyers argued that the “confirmation of the kill” after a suspect is shot was a standard Israeli military practice to eliminate terrorist threats.

Following the verdict, Capt R burst into tears, turned to the public benches and said: “I told you I was innocent.”

The army’s official account said that Iman was shot for crossing into a security zone carrying her schoolbag which soldiers feared might contain a bomb. It is still not known why the girl ventured into the area but witnesses described her as at least 100 yards from the military post which was in any case well protected.
A recording of radio exchanges between Capt R and his troops obtained by Israeli television revealed that from the beginning soldiers identified Iman as a child.

In the recording, a soldier in a watchtower radioed a colleague in the army post’s operations room and describes Iman as “a little girl” who was “scared to death”. After soldiers first opened fire, she dropped her schoolbag which was then hit by several bullets establishing that it did not contain explosive. At that point she was no longer carrying the bag and, the tape revealed, was heading away from the army post when she was shot.

Although the military speculated that Iman might have been trying to “lure” the soldiers out of their base so they could be attacked by accomplices, Capt R made the decision to lead some of his troops into the open. Shortly afterwards he can be heard on the recording saying that he has shot the girl and, believing her dead, then “confirmed the kill”.

“I and another soldier … are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill … Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her … I also confirmed the kill. Over,” he said.

Palestinian witnesses said they saw the captain shoot Iman twice in the head, walk away, turn back and fire a stream of bullets into her body.

On the tape, Capt R then “clarifies” to the soldiers under his command why he killed Iman: “This is commander. Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the [security] zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed.”

At no point did the Israeli troops come under attack.

The prosecution case was damaged when a soldier who initially said he had seen Capt R point his weapon at the girl’s body and open fire later told the court he had fabricated the story.

Capt R claimed that he had not fired the shots at the girl but near her. However, Dr Mohammed al-Hams, who inspected the child’s body at Rafah hospital, counted numerous wounds. “She has at least 17 bullets in several parts of the body, all along the chest, hands, arms, legs,” he told the Guardian shortly afterwards. “The bullets were large and shot from a close distance. The most serious injuries were to her head. She had three bullets in the head. One bullet was shot from the right side of the face beside the ear. It had a big impact on the whole face.”

The army’s initial investigation concluded that the captain had “not acted unethically”. But after some of the soldiers under his command went to the Israeli press to give a different version, the military police launched a separate investigation after which he was charged.

Capt R claimed that the soldiers under his command were out to get him because they are Jewish and he is Druze.

The transcript

The following is a recording of a three-way conversation that took place between a soldier in a watchtower, an army operations room and Capt R, who shot the girl

From the watchtower “It’s a little girl. She’s running defensively eastward.” “Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?” “A girl about 10, she’s behind the embankment, scared to death.” “I think that one of the positions took her out.” “I and another soldier … are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill … Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her … I also confirmed the kill. Over.”

From the operations room “Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?”

Watchtower “A girl about 10, she’s behind the embankment, scared to death.”

A few minutes later, Iman is shot from one of the army posts

Watchtower “I think that one of the positions took her out.”

Captain R “I and another soldier … are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill … Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her … I also confirmed the kill. Over.”

Capt R then “clarifies” why he killed Iman

“This is commander. Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Report: Hezbollah, Syria to join forces in future clash with Israel

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Report: Hezbollah, Syria to join forces in future clash with Israel

Ha’aretz reports:

Kuwait’s al-Rai daily says Lebanon-based group, Syrian army have created a joint military command, dividing potential war fronts.

By Jack Khoury and The Associated Press

The Lebanon-based Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah and the Syrian army have initiated a significant military cooperation in joint preparation for the possibility of a future armed conflict with Israel, the Kuwaiti daily al-Rai reported on Monday.


The report came as Syrian president Bashar Assad urged Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri earlier Monday to support Hezbollah and maintain calm in the divided country.


Speaking with al-Rai Monday, sources have indicated that Hezbollah and Syria have formed a joint headquarters meant to orchestrate the cooperation between the two forces, which is to be commanded by two officers – one from the Syrian military and one from Hezbollah.

The joint command, the report said, would ensure full cooperation in land, sea, and air warfare, as well as take care of the positioning of anti-aircraft missiles in both Lebanon and Syria in order to confront the possibility of an Israeli nuclear assault.



Recent exchanges between the two organizations reportedly included trading information regarding strategic sites within Israel, including airports and other facilities, as well as dividing up the prospective war fronts between themselves.

The report also stated that Damascus and Hezbollah also worked together on the possibility of joint artillery strike against Israel, as well as drawing up a collective plan for the defense of vital Lebanon, Syria sites in case of an Israeli attack.



The two organizations also reportedly shared information gather by Hezbollah following the Second Lebanon War in 2006, including military conclusions and tactics.

The al-Rai report also stated Syria’s contentment with Turkey’s recent announcement that it would ban Israeli warplanes from entering its airspace, since it prevents the possibility of an Israeli airstrike from that direction.



Earlier Monday, Syria’s Assad urged Lebanon’s leader to support Hezbollah and maintain calm in the country.


The two leaders met in Damascus for a pre-dawn meal called suhour, the last meal before the daytime fast resumes for the holy month of Ramadan, the Syrian state-run news agency reported.


Hariri has visited Damascus repeatedly this year in a sign of Syria’s renewed influence over Lebanon in the years since Damascus withdrew its military in 2005, ending a nearly three-decade hold on Lebanon. Hariri’s visits indicate that he needs Syrian support as his Western-backed coalition struggles at home.


Syria backs the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has a large role in Lebanon’s fragile national unity government.


Last week, street battles in Beirut between the Shiite militant Hezbollah and a small Sunni group killed three people, exacerbating sectarian tensions in Lebanon. Later Monday, Hariri was expected to head the first meeting of a new committee formed to discuss ways of ridding the Lebanese capital of weapons.

Also Monday, Iranian ISNA news agency quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that Lebanon’s resistance groups, along with Iran must stand together to thwart what he called foreign aggressors, adding that such an alliance would work against the “enemies of humanity.”



“Enemies are endeavoring to damage Lebanon’s solidarity and unity, but Lebanese’ resistance groups will thwart their plots and conspiracies with their tact and promotion of solidarity,” the Iranian president added.

Posted by VINEYARDSAKER: at 08:34 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Diana Buttu: Palestinian Right of Return and The Negotiation Process

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Via

Published by Diane Warth on 30 August 2010

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Yale University and the problem of anti-Semitism

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Redress
By Lawrence Davidson

30 August 2010

Lawrence Davidson considers a recent Yale University conference on anti-Semitism which, instead of engaging in an objective discussion of an age old form of racism, ended up tying itself to an ideological view of the world that is itself racist and dedicating itself to the idea that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.

Between the 23 and 25 August, Yale University in the USA held a conference entitled ‘Global anti-Semitism: a Crisis of Modernity’. It was sponsored by the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism. Therefore, this was a university event and not one brought in from the outside to use Yale facilities.

On the surface there is nothing wrong with this. Anti-Semitism is an age old form of racism and it calls for ongoing academic study. The problem is that this particular conference approached the subject from the ideologically driven position of radical Zionism. In other words, many of the assumptions upon which the conference was built were unfortunately tainted with bias. Indeed, in at least one instance (a panel on the “self-hating” Jew), one might suggest that the event was itself promoting a particularly virulent form of anti-Semitism. Very odd indeed.

The way you initially judge an academic conference is from the reputation of its participants and the nature of its panels. Philip Weiss, the co-editor of the website Mondoweiss, has looked at both these categories and he concludes that this conference was “dedicated to the idea that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic”. It appears he is largely correct. Many (though not all) on the participant list are the sort of strident supporters of Israel who confuse Zionism with Judaism and criticism of Israel with “demonization”. Some of the panels were dedicated to problematic issues such as ‘Jewish self-hatred’ and ‘Confronting and combating contemporary anti-Semitism in the academy’. Itamar Marcus who was a conference keynote speaker and is also a leader of the West Bank settler movement, lectured the participants on ‘The central role of Palestinian anti-Semitism in creating the Palestinian identity’. Putting many of the participants (regardless of their academic credentials and affiliations) into the context created by these panels, what you get is not an academic conference in toto. Parts of it were more like an attempt to assert ideology as truth.

Let’s take a look at some of the assumptions that appear to be behind at least a part of the conference.

1. Criticism of Israel/Zionism, somehow smacks of “demonization”and this constitutes a “contemporary form of anti-Semitism”. (This seems to be the opinion of Charles Small, the Yale Initiative director). If you think this assertion through, you find that it is illogical. Leaving aside the fact that not all Zionists are Jews and not all Jews are Zionists, it is nonsensical to claim that criticism of a political state and its idiosyncratic ideology is the same as criticism of a worldwide religion and people. The only way those at the Yale conference could fall into this confusion is by taking Israel’s description of itself as the “Jewish state” and then uncritically accepting that this warrants the conflation of an entire people and religion with that state. This is an enormous leap, and one that just does not reflect reality.

Indeed, it is even logically suspect to assume that criticism of Israel or Zionism is anti-Israeli, much less anti-Jewish! By way of analogy, one can point to the fact that there are millions of Americans who have consistently criticized US domestic and foreign policy at least since the 1960s. The only folks who accuse them of being anti-American are the fanatics on the far right. Is that the sort of company the Yale Initiative academics want to keep? Maybe so. The Zionist version of such fanatics certainly showed up for their conference and seemed to fit right in.

2. Public Jewish criticism of Israel is a form of self-hatred. This is one of those defensive positions Zionists throw up to protect themselves from what they see as the most dangerous attack of all, that from fellow Jews. You will note that when they use this epithet, they will most often put in the proviso that to constitute “self-hatred” the criticism must be made “in public”. What does that mean? It means that if you make the criticism in private, no non-Jew will hear it and the Israeli/Zionist claim to represent all Jewry is not called into question. That being the case, there is no need to intimidate the critic with nasty name calling. However, if the criticism is make in public, non-Jews do hear it and the Israeli/Zionist claim of representation is called into question. And, since they insist that they stand in for all Jews, that makes you, the Jewish critic, a “self-hating” anti-Semite. In the end, this gambit is nothing but a form of intimidation used to stifle criticism.

Yet, by persistent repetition, year in and year out, the Zionists have convinced many of their supporters that there is something to this otherwise nonsensical assertion that those Jews who stand against them are “self-haters”. So, you can now find Israelis who complain about the “rot in the diaspora” and describe their Jewish critics both inside and outside of Israel as not only “self-haters”, but also as “traitors to their people”. This is what ideology taken too far can do. The room for critical debate disappears and you start to see those who disagree as mortal enemies.

3. Anti-Semitism plays a central role in Palestinian identity. Here I shall tell a story. I once met Yasir Arafat. From the subsequent interaction I concluded that he was no anti-Semite. He saw the State of Israel as an enemy because of what it did to the Palestinian people, but he did not ascribe blame to the Jewish people as a whole. He even talked endearingly of Yitzhak Rabin, his “partner for peace”. I thought that latter opinion naive of him, but it certainly was not the mark of an anti-Semite.

While Arafat was in forced exile in Tunisia the Israelis managed to tap his phone. There they allegedly recorded Arafat saying some bad things about “the Jews”. I say allegedly because the Israelis are not above having forged the whole incident. Real or false, the statements appeared the next day in the New York Times and many people said: “Aha! You see. The leader the Palestinian people is anti-Semitic.” Assuming, for the moment, that Arafat did make the comments, I do not find that surprising (though I do not think such the single incident would make him an anti-Semite). Actually, what I would find surprising is if he did not occasionally make such comments. Do the Palestinians hate all Jews? The vast majority do not. But, given Israel’s barbarous treatment of them, and its simultaneous insistence that it is the institutional incarnation of the entire Jewish people, it is a small miracle that most Palestinians, including Yasir Arafat, have never fallen into the trap of blaming all of Jewry for the actions of only some of them.

It is not the Palestinian national character that has been shaped by anti-Semitism. Rather, it is the Israeli national character that has been shaped by a fear and loathing of all Arabs and Palestinians in particular. If you doubt this just go to Israel and keep your ears open. There you will find that too many of its Jewish citizens see Arabs as dirty, promiscuous, untrustworthy, and all the other things that we Americans once ascribed to Irishmen, Italians, Poles, African Americans, and the Jews as well. Quite frankly, I have never run into anything approaching this level of racial animosity in an Arab country.

If this past week’s conference is indicative of anything, it is that Yale’s Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism is in danger of falling from academic grace. That is, it is in danger of ceasing to be a centre for the objective study of an age old form of racism, and instead tying itself to an ideological view of the world that is itself racist. Why are they apparently doing so? Is it because they are funded by wealthy Zionist ideologues who have influenced the choice of leadership and therefore the parameters of what here passes for “research”? Maybe. Whatever the reason, if this continues the Yale Initiative is doomed as a legitimate academic venture. I recommend that Yale University correct the situation or rapidly distance itself from the entire project.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Gilad Uncovered

Monday, August 23, 2010 at 8:11AM

A Book of my solo transcriptions is out
FROM GILAD…

One can imagine how delighted I am to see a book of my solo transcriptions being published. I’d like to use this opportunity to thank Chris Gumbley, a great friend, a superb educator and an excellent musician for making the effort and looking deeply into my music and improvising skills. To a certain extent it makes my musical journey into a meaningful event. The fact that someone out there believes that my work is worthy of intellectual scrutiny is indeed reassuring and nothing less than a great compliment.

As an educator, I feel that it is necessary to mention that I do believe in the primacy of the ear. I stress rather often that music should be learned primarily through listening.

Those who are interested in my music vocabulary and improvised shapes will probably benefit from trying to understand my sound through listening. I guess that once an intuitive understanding of my musical language, rhythm, scales, micro-tonality and dynamics is explored, only then should the reading exercise be put into practice.

Looking into solo transcriptions is no doubt part of a healthy jazz diet. I’ve done it myself in the past, in spite of the fact that my music reading skills are far from being advanced. In general I use every opportunity to look into other musicians’ work.

Playing a transcribed solo is not an easy task.  I can only wish luck to those who take the challenge on board.

Gilad Atzmon

ABOUT GILAD…

Gilad was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem.  Hearing Charlie Parker play April in Paris on a radio programme at the age of 17 was a pivotal moment, providing inspiration and motivation, and he spent the next 14 years playing jazz, R&R and ethnic music in Europe and the USA as well as acting as producer-arranger for various Israeli Dance & Rock Projects.

In 1994 he came to the UK and his brand of exciting, turbo-charged bop, combined with an endearing on-stage wit, soon won over the hearts of British jazz audiences. Equally at home on Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Clarinet and Flutes, he was described by John Lewis at the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz”.

However, it would be wrong to regard Gilad as simply an exciting purveyor of jazz standards: his own compositions evoke wide-ranging emotions and a cornucopia of different influences, encompassing music from the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe. These can be seen in his work with The Orient House Ensemble, formed in 2000, which has since provided the perfect vehicle for his music and an increasing  political awareness.

Gilad has recorded nine albums to date which include Exile  – BBC Jazz Album of the Year in 2003 – and In Loving Memory of America, which nods in the direction of  Bird’s 1949 album Parker With Strings.
Gilad is also a prolific writer. His two novels ‘Guide to the Perplexed’ and ‘My One And Only Love’ have been translated into 24 languages.

THE TRANSCRIPTIONS…
Transcribing is frankly solitary, laborious and time-consuming. So the music has to be very special to create such a rampant desire to explore and understand the nuts and bolts of someone’s playing. That is certainly the case with Gilad.

Out of the five albums featured in this book, these tracks were my personal favourites – memorable for their melodic invention, technical mastery and, above all, emotional intensity. All transcriptions were made at actual speed using a Sony CDP-XE330 CD player – a machine notable for its snappy rewinding abilities – and are as accurate as I could make them in terms of notes, phrasing, rhythm and nuance.
It is of course essential to study them alongside the recordings, details of which are given opposite.
CHRIS GUMBLEY September 2010

CREDITS…

Special thanks to my son Dan Nicholls for cover design, layout and advice.
For enquiries regarding this book and to order and browse other music available from Gumbles Publications, visit gumblespublications.co.uk

Content:

From the album THE TIDE HAS CHANGED: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble (2010)  (world village 450015)
In the Back Seat of a Yellow Cab            Gilad Atzmon                                           4                                                            
The Tide Has Changed                          Gilad Atzmon                                           6                                                   
GILAD as/ss/clt, FRANK HARRISON p, YARON STAVI b, EDDIE HICK d

From the album IN LOVING MEMORY OF AMERICA: Gilad Atzmon (2009) (enja TIP-888 8502)

Everything Happens T                                    Matt Dennis & Tom Adair                              10   musiK                                                      Gilad Atzmon                                      12                In The Small Hours                                Gilad Atzmon                                     14                                                             
Tutu Tango                                             Gilad Atzmon                                           16                                                
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was           Rodgers & Hart                                           18                                

GILAD as/ss/clt, FRANK HARRISON p, YARON STAVI b, ASAF SIRKIS d, SIGAMOS STRING QUARTET arr. ROS STEPHEN and JONATHAN TAYLOR

From the album REFUGE: Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble (2007) (enja TIP-888 849 2)

Autumn In Baghdad                               Gilad Atzmon                                             21                                                   
Her Smile                                                 Gilad Atzmon                                             23                                                   

GILAD as/ss FRANK HARRISON p/rhodes, YARON STAVI b, ASAF SIRKIS d
From the album EXILE: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble (2003) (enja TIP-888 8442)
Land of Canaan                                     Gilad Atzmon                                            24                                                 
GILAD as/ss/clt, FRANK HARRISON p/rhodes,YARON STAVI b, ASAF SIRKIS d/bandir & tray, KOBY ISRAELITE acc
From the album NOSTALGICO: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble (2001) (enja TIP-888 8412)

Petite Fleur                                              Sidney Bechet                                            26                                                  
GILAD clt, FRANK HARRISON p, OLI HAYHURST b, ASAF SIRKIS d

Sayyed Nasrallah, Qaraqira Vow to Compensate Victims, Stress Unity

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30/08/2010 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and leader of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects Sheikh Hussam Qaraqira stressed in a meeting that last Tuesday individual clashes in Burj Abi Haidar “had no political background and were not sectarian.”

A statement released by Hezbollah’s media office said that Sayyed Nasrallah and Al-Ahbash leader agreed to take all measures necessary to prevent the recurrence of similar deadly incidents and emphasized the importance of unity between Shia and Sunni.

Both leaders decided to form a joint committee to compensate for those who sustained damages during the clashes, it said.

The two sides also stressed the importance of the army’s role in safeguarding security and vowed they would make efforts to help the investigation carried out by the Lebanese army into the clashes, according to the statement. They rejected verbal attacks and accusations against it.

As Safir newspaper quoted Hezbollah leadership sources as saying that in the first days of the clashes, the party tried to contain the negative stances against it. However, it realized that there was an organized campaign against it through the speeches and statements of March 14 officials, the sources said.

They told As Safir that Hariri did not deal with the incidents as a statesman rather than as the Future movement leader and the chief of a certain faction. The speeches that Hariri made during Iftar banquets in the past few days contradict with his own calls for calm, the sources said.

In a related development, Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander General Jean Kahwaji said the number of arrests linked to the clashes has risen to 10 not 4 as previously reported.

“What is required is that no one ignites a fire and then demand the army put it out,” Kahwaji told As-Safir newspaper in comments published on Monday.

On Sunday, Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad slammed those whom he said were exploiting the Borj Abi Haidar incident to promote sectarian strife in Beirut.

“Some people are insisting on making statements with slogans and incitement that only serve to fuel the fire of division and strife. These voices are not keen to protect society, the people or the state,” Raad said.

“Tours of the areas where the clashes took place in Borj Abi Haidar aim to deepen division,” Raad added, in reference to visits by Hariri and Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Qabbani to Borj Abi Haidar.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

For Arabs in Israel, a house is not a home

>New Stesman
Edward Platt
Published 30 August 2010

Three representatives of Hamas have been forced to seek sanctuary at the Red Cross compound in East Jerusalem — charged not with terrorism, but with “disloyalty” to the state. Edward Platt on a strange case of exile inside Israel.
Day 33 of the sit-in at the Red Cross compound in East Jerusalem began much like those that preceded it. The three Hamas parliamentarians who have been charged with disloyalty to a state whose jurisdiction they do not recognise awoke at 6am in the meeting room on the second floor of the white stone building in the Sheikh Jarrah area. Ahmad Atoun, who was an imam before he began his brief political career, led the first prayers of the day. The men washed in a bucket, ate breakfast and at ten o’clock came down to the L-shaped courtyard that has become the site of their protest. The plain white walls of the courtyard are decorated with posters that explain their case: “Jerusalem Is An Occupied City.” “We Will Stay Here For Ever.” “We Will Not Leave Our Homes.”

Photographs of the three bearded men, and a fourth colleague who is in prison, were superimposed on an image of the gold-plated Dome of the Rock – the holiest site in the city in which they were born, and from which the Israeli authorities are attempting to expel them.

When I arrived five minutes later, a television crew was setting up outside the green metal gates at the entrance to the courtyard, and one of the teenage boys who attends to the men and their guests was updating the sign that keeps a tally of the length of their confinement. As the numerals changed from 32 to 33, Mohammed Totah, Khaled Abu Arafeh and Ahmad Atoun took their seats beneath the canopy where they would spend the day receiving guests. The chairs lined up against the walls in the traditional Arab manner are constantly in use, and sometimes the courtyard is full to overflowing: on Friday lunchtimes, an awning is erected in the street, and an imam says prayers to the assembled crowd. According to Red Cross officials, most of East Jerusalem society has passed through the courtyard. Three British peers – Jenny Tonge, Nazir Ahmed and Raymond Hylton – have been among the guests.

Despite the uncomfortable conditions in which they live, the three men at the centre of the protest were smartly dressed in pressed shirts and dark trousers. Until 2006, Moham­med Totah taught business administration at al-Quds University and Abu Arafeh was an engineer, while the preacher, Ahmad Atoun, worked for various Islamic charities. Yet their lack of experience did not prevent them from standing as candidates for the “Change and Reform” movement, as Hamas was called in the legislative elections held in the Palestinian territories in January 2006; if anything, it was an advantage, because the endemic corruption of the Palestinian Authority, which was dominated by Yasser Arafat’s Fatah party, had turned the voters against the political elite. “People knew we were good Muslims and they trusted us,” said Mohammed Totah, a tall and well-mannered man with thinning hair and a neatly trimmed beard.

Hamas, which was set up in the Gaza Strip in 1988, is known in the west for the crude, anti-Semitic rhetoric of its founding charter and for its terrorist activities. Its paramilitary wing has killed several hundred Israeli citizens, through the use of suicide bombers and other means, yet it also runs a network of charitable organisations in the Palestinian territories, and is respected for the even-handed way in which it distributes resources. In 2006, it won 44 per cent of the vote; Mohammed Totah and Ahmad Atoun won two of the 74 seats that gave it a majority in the 132-seat parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council, and Abu Arafeh became minister for Jerusalem affairs.

“The world witnessed that we were democratically elected,” Abu Arafeh said through his colleague Mohammed Totah, who speaks the best English of the three. But the men had little chance to implement their mandate. “The European Union said there must be democratic elections, and we must accept the results,” says Mohammed Totah. “But afterwards, they said, ‘No, we will not accept Hamas.'”

Four months after the election, the then Israeli minister of the interior revoked the men’s rights to residency in Jerusalem and ordered them to leave Jerusalem and Israel “permanently”. Events prevented the order being carried out: before the 30-day limit had expired, the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas militants in Gaza, and Israel began arresting officials and representatives of the movement. The three men, together with their colleague Sheikh Mohammed Abu Teir (who is distinguished in the many posters by his bright red beard, which he dyes in honour of a tradition supposedly established by the Prophet Muham­mad), spent the next three and a half years in Israeli prisons.

That none of them has been accused of terrorist offences is irrelevant as far as Israel is concerned – it regards Hamas’s paramilitary, political and charitable activities as inextric-ably linked and mutually reinforcing, and the men’s attitudes to Hamas’s use of violence would do little to persuade it that it is wrong. If they could “secure their rights” by peaceful means, Mohammed Totah said, then they would do so, but negotiations have led nowhere, and under international law they have the right to use all available means to resist the occupation. “It isn’t violence,” he insisted repeatedly, “it’s resistance – and even if you don’t want to resist, the occupation will give you no choice. It will come to your house, it will kill your children, it will take your land, it will put you in prison.”

The four men were released at the end of May, and the Israeli authorities promptly “unfroze” the 30-day order that had been issued in 2006. Mohammed Abu Teir – the eldest of the four, and the most experienced politician, who has spent a total of 30 years in Israeli prisons – was told to leave Jerusalem by 19 June. The others were told to leave by 3 July.

The concern their case provoked was sufficient to overcome the bitter factional dispute between Fatah and Hamas. All four men went to see Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, at his office in Ramallah on two occasions during the 30-day period. He told the men that the deportations were “a red line” and they couldn’t be permitted to proceed. In public, he described the decision to deport them as a “grave act”, and yet he was unable to do anything to prevent it.

Mohammed Abu Teir said that he would not leave the country where his family has lived for 500 years, or renounce his membership of a parliament to which he was democratically elected, and he was arrested and imprisoned “for staying in Israel illegally”. The other three knew their time would come, and sought sanctuary at the Red Cross compound on 1 July. The aim of their protest is simple, says Mohammed Totah: “We want our rights – nothing more – and we will stay here until the international community recognises the justice of our case.”

It is not the first time that Israel has attempted to deport Hamas representatives: on 17 December 1992, it responded to the killing of a border police officer by deporting 415 of the organi­sation’s leading figures to Lebanon. The tactic was meant to destroy Hamas, but instead it provoked a wave of international condemnation that enhanced its status. “Everyone wanted to meet with them, Hamas became stronger, and, in the end, Israel was forced to bring them back,” said Abu Arafeh.

On 18 December 1992, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 799, which expressed “its firm opposition” to the measure, and reaffirmed that the “deportation of civilians constitutes a contravention” of Israel’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies “to all the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”. Eighteen years later, the men’s lawyers have urged the Security Council to hold Israel accountable by Resolution 799, though Israel is unlikely to comply, simply because it does not recognise East Jerusalem as occupied territory. The international community regards Israel’s decision to annex the areas of East Jerusalem that it captured during the Six Day War of 1967 as illegal, but the Israelis insist that Jerusalem is the “eternal and indivisible capital” of the Jewish people.

Since 1967, they have built settlements for 250,000 people on occupied land and devised various policies to combat demographic trends which indicate that the Jewish proportion of the city’s population could fall to no more than 50 per cent by 2035. One-off measures, such as the decision to exclude almost a third of the Arab-Palestinian population from the city’s first census, and the construction of the “separation wall” along a route designed to “remove 50,000 Arabs from East Jerusalem”, as one official put it, are complemented by a long-term policy of revoking and restricting Palestinian residency rights. There are said to be at least 10,000 unregistered children in East Jerusalem; a child who has only one parent with residency rights does not receive a Jerusalem ID, and a person without residency rights cannot win them by marriage – though a person with them may well lose them. Residency rights can be revoked if a resident of East Jerusalem cannot fulfil stringent bureaucratic requirements to prove that the city is their “centre of life”, or if they are said to have “severed their connection” to the city.

Israel revoked the residency rights of 8,558 Palestinians between 1967 and 2007, yet this is the first time that it has attempted to do so on the grounds of “disloyalty”. Whether rumours that Israel has drawn up a list of 315 people who are next in line for revocation of residency status are true or not, the vagueness of the charge concerns the parliamentarians’ lawyer, Hassan Jabareen, general director of the human rights organisation Adalah. “If this decision is final,” he told me, “the conclusion is that residency can be revoked from any Palestinian engaging in public political activity. Today it’s a Hamas member; tomorrow they’ll revoke the residency of a Fatah member, or a senior PA adviser. Or a Palestinian journalist.”

The protest tent at the Red Cross compound is just one of several that have been set up across Jerusalem in the past two years. There is another in the village of Silwan, where a group of settlers that controls the archaeological site and visitor attraction known as the “City of David” is attempting to expand the Jewish presence, and another on the far side of Sheikh Jarrah, where settlers have displaced two Palestinian families from their homes.

Sheikh Jarrah is a typically run-down district of East Jerusalem, though also home to many of the city’s embassies, hotels and international NGOs. On my way back to the Red Cross compound later in the afternoon, I watched an Orthodox Jew in tailcoat and ringlets emerge from the turning to the contested houses – 300 metres beyond the hotel where Tony Blair maintains lavish headquarters on his rare visits to the Middle East – and walk past a patch of derelict land where a group of Palestinian kids were playing. Such sights are increasingly common in East Jerusalem.

Mahmoud Abbas insists that Israel must stop building settlements as a precondition for starting peace talks, but President Barack Obama’s administration has failed to force Israel to comply. Last November, Binyamin Netanyahu’s right-wing administration agreed to a ten-month, partial freeze on settlement-building in the West Bank, but it insisted that Jerusalem was exempt. And in March, the interior minister, Eliyahu Yishai, precipitated the most severe breach in US-Israeli relations in years when he announced, during a visit by the US vice-president, Joe Biden, the construction of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem.

The previous day, George Mitchell, the US peace envoy to the Middle East, had announced that the Israelis and Palestinians had agreed to hold four months of indirect peace talks – the first since December 2008, when Israel began the three-week assault on Gaza that it called Operation Cast Lead. Biden had begun the day by asserting America’s “absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel’s security”, but finished it by condemning “the substance and timing of the announcement”.

Abbas, whose democratic mandate has expired, and whose credibility with the Palestinian electorate has been severely weakened, had little choice but to pull out of the talks. When they eventually began in May, they made no progress, and yet the Americans pressured both parties to move to face-to-face negotiations.
On 20 August, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, announced that Netanyahu and Abbas will meet in Washington, DC on 2 September. It is highly unlikely that these new talks will lead to a successful conclusion: unless the Israelis renew their moratorium on settlement development, which expires in September, there will be only the briefest opportunity for engagement on the possibility of creating a circumscribed Palestinian state on the West Bank. And in any case, the other final status issues – the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the future of Jerusalem – are likely to prove insurmountable.

The parliamentarians’ fate would form no more than an insignificant footnote in any negotiation, and yet it is indicative of the deadlock over the city’s status. When I arrived at the compound, I was told that the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, had been to see them earlier in the day. It had been a busy afternoon.

At three o’clock, the men had retired upstairs to pray and sleep, and at five they had handed out school leaving certificates to four coachloads of students. In the evening, the men’s families arrived to see them. Each man has at least four children, and by eight o’clock, as the call to prayer from a nearby mosque drifted through the evening air, there were as many as 50 people in the courtyard. The men and women formed separate lines facing the wall of the building, their discarded shoes heaped beside the carpets that served as prayer mats, as Ahmad Atoun intoned prayers in a rich baritone.

Afterwards, the guests sat on the chairs beneath the awnings, or remained seated on the mats as a boy distributed bitter coffee in plastic cups and a girl in a blue headscarf passed round an ice-cream tub filled with home-made fig rolls. Children ran in and out of the gates, or darted through the open doors of the Red Cross building. Mohammed Totah gestured towards a girl in a dark dress. “I have an eight-year-old daughter, and she says to me that families all over the world live under one roof – why aren’t you allowed to come home?”

The men say the attempt to deport them will prove as counterproductive as the mass deportation of 1992: they see it as another step on the long road to Palestinian liberation. Yet such optimism seems at odds with the precariousness of their situation. The Red Cross does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, and the main police station in East Jerusalem is no more than a hundred metres up the hill.

Israel has recently begun inquiries into the deaths of nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara, the ship that was attacked by Israeli forces as it attempted to carry aid to Gaza in May. Mohammed Totah believes it is only the disastrous consequences of that raid that have prevented their rearrest. “There are no red lines for the occupation, but after they killed nine people on the ship, they don’t want to add another crime to their account. They don’t want to do it now, but they will come, sooner or later – maybe after a few days, maybe less.”
Edward Platt is a contributing writer for the NS. He is working on a book about Hebron.

How Hamas works

The role of Hamas – considered a terrorist organisation by the EU and US – divides broadly into two main spheres of operation: social programmes such as building infrastructure, and the militant operations carried out by the underground Izz ad-Din al-Qassam.
Given its beginnings as a guerrilla movement, Hamas retains a degree of secrecy about its power structures. Gaza is led by the disputed prime minister Ismail Haniyeh (who was dismissed in 2007 by President Mahmoud Abbas but ignored the decree). However, most of the day-to-day decisions are made by the political bureau, chaired by Khaled Meshal and made up of about ten members, many of whom live in exile in Syria.
Major policy decisions are made by the Shura Council, an internal parliament consisting of roughly 50 members inside and outside the Palestinian territories. It cannot meet often, because some of its members are unable to travel into Gaza or the West Bank for fear of assassination.

Meshal’s political bureau in Syria is the main fundraising arm of Hamas, and manages relations with Arab and Muslim countries. Some argue that this makes the bureau more pragmatic than the leadership within the territories. However, there is a question mark over how much control Meshal, though the group’s leader, has in this uncohesive organisation.
Samira Shackle

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Army: Soldiers formed ‘kill team’ to randomly execute Afghans

>The USA, just like Israel, seems to think that it is immune from International Law and that’s it’s free to carry out these acts of terrorism with impunity. All I can say is that so did Hitler, but eventually we had the Nuremberg trials. When the USA is destroyed by the parasitic Zionism perhaps it will be more obliging in handing over their war criminals & terrorists.

Army: Soldiers formed ‘kill team’ to randomly execute Afghans

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/0825/soldiers-kill-team-execute-afghans/


Five soldiers accused of killing civilians in Afghanistan are now facing additional charges of conspiracy to commit premeditated murder — a plot that allegedly began when one soldier discussed how easy it would be to “toss a grenade” at Afghan civilians, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.


The five soldiers were charged with murder in June for the deaths of three Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province this year. According to charging summaries newly released by the Army, additional allegations of conspiracy have since been filed against those soldiers, and seven others have been charged in connection with the conspiracy or with attempting to cover it up.


Some platoon members told investigators that Army Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs began joking with other soldiers last December about how easy it would be to “toss a grenade” at Afghan civilians and kill them, the newspaper said. One soldier responded that it was a stupid idea, and another believed Gibbs was “feeling out the platoon.”


But eventually, Gibbs formed what one called a “kill team” to randomly execute Afghan civilians while on patrol, the documents said. No motive was discussed. Gibbs has denied any involvement in the killings.

REASONS FOR AMERICANS TO OPPOSE ZIONISM

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Zionism will destroy the USA, it’s already destroyed the USA’s reputation in the world. It did exactly the same in Russia under the Jewish Bolsheviks

REASONS FOR AMERICANS TO OPPOSE ZIONISM





The four main ones….

1. Zionism is unethical and immoral

2. Zionism is racist

3. Zionism contravenes the geopolitical interests of the United States

4. Zionism is fundamentally incompatible with democracy




Why Americans should oppose Zionism
Steven Salaita









Eden Abergil’s now infamous photos do not represent anomalous, excess behavior. (Facebook)


Israel has been subject to some bad publicity recently. In 2008-09, it launched a brutal military campaign in the Gaza Strip that killed more than 400 Palestinian children. In May 2010, bumbling Israeli commandos murdered nine nonviolence activists on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla’s Mavi Marmara. It only got worse for Israel when it was revealed that soldiers stole and sold personal items such as laptops from the ship. Last week, former Israeli soldier Eden Abergil posted photos onto Facebook showing her preening in front of blindfolded and despondent Palestinian prisoners, in some instances mocking those prisoners with sexual undertones. The photos were part of an album entitled “IDF [Israeli army] — the best time of my life.”


While Abergil’s pictures may not seem as abhorrent as the Gaza and Mavi Marmara brutality — Abergil, for her part, described her behavior as nonviolent and free of contempt — all three actions are intimately connected. First of all, we must dispel the notion that Abergil’s photos are nonviolent. As with the Abu Ghraib debacle, a sexualized and coercive humiliation is being visited on the bodies of powerless, colonized and incarcerated subjects, which by any reasonable principle is a basal form of violence. There is also the obvious physical violence of Palestinians being bound and blindfolded, presumably in or on their way to prisons nobody will confuse with the Ritz Carlton.


More important, these recent episodes merely extend an age-old list of Israeli crimes and indignities that illuminate a depravity in the Zionist enterprise itself. What is noteworthy about Israel’s three recent escapades is that more and more people are starting to pay attention to its crimes and indignities. In so doing, more and more people are questioning the origin and meaning of Zionism — that is, the very idea of a legally ethnocentric Israel.


I would like to address this piece to those who have undertaken such questioning or to those who are prepared to initiate it. I would urge you not to limit your critique of Israel only to its errors of judgment or its perceived excesses; it is more productive to challenge the ideology and practice of Zionism itself. There is no noble origin or beautiful ideal to which the wayward Jewish state must return; such yearnings are often duplicitous mythmaking or romanticized nostalgia. Zionists always intended to ethnically cleanse Palestinians, a strategy they carried out and continue to pursue with horrifying efficiency.


Likewise, Zionism was always a colonialist movement, one that relied on the notions of divine entitlement and civilizational superiority that justified previous settlement projects in South Africa, Algeria and North America. Zionism, by virtue of its exclusionary outlook and ethnocentric model of citizenship, is on its own a purveyor of fundamental violence. The bad PR to which Israel sometimes is subject today is a reflection of changed media dynamics, not a worsening of Israel’s behavior.


The 2008-09 Gaza invasion, the attack on the Mavi Marmara and Abergil’s Facebook photos aren’t anomalous or extraordinary. They are the invariable result of a Zionist ideology that cannot help but view Palestinian Muslims and Christians as subhuman, no matter how ardently its liberal champions assert that Zionism is a liberation movement. Zionism has the unfortunate effect of proclaiming that one group of people should have access to certain rights from which another group of people is excluded. There is nothing defensible in this proposition.


Here, then, are four reasons why Americans (and all other humans regardless of race or religion) should oppose Zionism:


1. Zionism is unethical and immoral: Because Zionists claim access to land and legal rights that directly obviate the same access to an indigenous community, it operates from within an idea of belonging that is cruel and archaic. Israel bases its primary criterion for citizenship on religious identity. Imagine having your religion on your driver’s license. And imagine having limited access to freeways, farmland, family, education, employment and foreign travel because the religion by which the state has chosen to identify you is legally marginalized. Such is the daily reality of the Palestinian people.


2. Zionism is racist: This claim isn’t the same as saying that all Zionists are racist. I would make a distinction between the categories of “Zionist” and “Zionism.” However, inherent in the practice of Zionism is a reliance on racialist judgments about who can fully participate in the benefits and practices of a national community. Many Zionists view themselves merely as supporting freedom and safety for Jewish people. I would suggest that people who identify themselves as Zionist look more closely at the ideology they support. Such freedom and safety, both of which are in fact mythologies, come at the direct expense of people confined to Bantustans and refugee camps.


3. Zionism contravenes the geopolitical interests of the United States: Many Americans have heard former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert boast that he once pulled George W. Bush off the dais while Bush was giving a speech, or more recently current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing that “America is something that can be easily moved.” Israel costs the United States billions of dollars in direct aid and in bribe money to Jordan and Egypt for their docility. Israel also is the main reason for disgruntlement about American foreign policy in the Arab and Muslim Worlds. I raise this point with some hesitation because I believe all citizens of the United States should challenge and not celebrate American geopolitical interests. I would also point out that Zionism’s narrative of salvation and redemption resonates deeply among Americans because of the US’ origin and continued presence as a nation of settler colonists. In the end, America itself needs to be decolonized and the vast sums of money that support the imperial projects Israel so brazenly exemplifies need to be directed toward the well-being of those who pay the government its taxes.


4. Zionism is fundamentally incompatible with democracy: Israel, as a result, is undemocratic and will be as long as it uses religious identity as the operating criterion of citizenship. We hear much in the US about Islam being incompatible with democracy, a belief that is historically untrue and that elides the massive military and monetary support the US provides to the assortment of dictators and plutocrats that rule much of the Arab World. Neoconservative and mainstream commentators both evoke Israel in opposition to Islam as a symbol of democratic achievement. In reality Israel performs one of the most barbaric forms of oppression today in the West Bank and Gaza Strip while simultaneously discriminating against the Palestinian citizens of Israel who constitute approximately twenty percent of the citizenry.


The alternative media engendered by new technology have allowed more people to witness the unremitting violence that has been Israel’s stock in trade for decades. Many consumers of this information and these images believe that Israel is guilty of excess when a simpler explanation exists: Israel is acting out the requisites of an exclusionary and inherently violent ideology.


These days all it takes is a little braggadocio from an ex-soldier such as Eden Abergil to so perfectly symbolize the callousness of Zionist colonization. Ten years ago, the Israeli government’s lies about the killings aboard the Mavi Marmara would have been unchallenged by gruesome footage distributed through alternative news networks and social media. Nobody these days could have stopped the images of white phosphorous exploding and spreading over the Gaza Strip from being aired; Israelis themselves were foolish enough to capture Jewish children writing messages on soon-to-be-launched missiles.


Americans now have all the evidence they need for a reasonable and morally-sound conclusion, that Zionism produces a cruelty and truculence that they bankroll with their taxes and legitimize with either silence or consent. As a result, I am not arguing that Americans should reassess their level of support for Israel. I am arguing that Americans should oppose Zionism altogether. Perhaps in this way we might begin the long and difficult process of redeeming our own nation of its imperial sins.

Another Mad, Rabid Rabbi lets his mask slip-calls for the Genocide of Palestinans

>Another Mad, Rabid Rabbi lets his mask slip and calls for the Genocide of Palestinans

PM pulls back from Yosef’s words


US State Dept. condemns comments as “incitement which hurts peace.”  http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=186372

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Ovadia Yosef: May Abbas Perish from This World

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29/08/2010 Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Saturday night wished death on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his people, who he called “evil enemies of Israel.”

During his weekly lesson, the rabbi said “Abu Mazen and all those evil men – may they perish from this world. May God Almighty strike them and these Palestinians.”

As Shas’ spiritual leader, Yosef’s words are another indication of the party’s leaning right. Just last week, Chairman Eli Yishai said he would firmly object to an extension of the settlement construction freeze in the West Bank. He also said he was hanging no hopes on the renewed negotiations because he does not foresee in the near future a Palestinian government with which an agreement can be reached.

A senior official in the Palestinian Authority refused to comment on Yosef’s remarks and told Ynet, “Even in Israel they have stopped paying attention to him.”
Source: Israeli Press

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U.S. Senate pressures Abbas not to move from peace talks

[ 29/09/2010 – 10:40 AM ]

WASHINGTON, (PIC)– The majority of the U.S. Senate is pushing for pressure on Palestinian de facto president Mahmoud Abbas to stay put in negotiations without any pre-conditions, threats, or withdrawals after the settlement freeze date of expiry.

Several members of the Senate on Monday called on President Barack Obama in a personal letter to him to publicly pressure Abbas not to walk out of the direct talks that kicked off earlier this month.

The American Foreign Policies magazine reported that the letter undersigned by 87 of the 100 U.S. Senators said neither of the two parties should threaten to leave the talks that have already begun, referring to repeated threats by Abbas to leave the negotiations if the settlement freeze was not extended.

The senators urged Arab nations to play a larger role in the peace process, saying they believe the Arab states could do more to provide financial and political support for the process.

The letter concluded the importance of reaching an agreement acceptable by both parties that would achieve “lasting security for Israel”

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Castro: Bin Laden a CIA Agent

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28/08/2010 Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is a US CIA agent used by former US President George W. Bush to scare the world.

“Any time Bush would stir up fear and make a big speech, bin Laden would appear threatening people with a story about what he was going to do,” Castro told state media during a meeting with a Lithuanian-born writer known for advancing conspiracy theories about world domination. “Bush never lacked for bin Laden’s support. He was a subordinate.”

Castro said documents posted on WikiLeaks.org – a website that recently released thousands of pages of classified documents from the Afghan war – “effectively proved he was a CIA agent”. He did not elaborate.

Castro officially stepped down in February 2008, and Cuba’s National Assembly elected his brother Raul Castro as the new president. Castro, who turned 84 on August 13, returned to public life on July 7 after four years of convalescence from a serious illness.

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Silencing the ‘anti-Zionist’ Israeli academe

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Posted on August 28, 2010 by rehmat1|
“Why discredit, defame and silence those with opposing viewpoints? I believe it is because the Zionist Lobby knows it cannot win based on facts,” – Dr. Joel Beinin (Jewish professor at Stanford University in his article “Silencing critics not way to Middle East peace”, San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2007).
After the success of the Zionist hatred of freedom of speech on the US and Canadian academics, ‘Mr. IslamoFacism’ Alan Dershwitz, Daniel Pipes and other Zionist organization, such as Im Tirtzu, Institute for Zionist Strategies, Christians United for Israel and Hudson Institute to name a few – have turned their attention to academe in Israeli Universities who have some problems with the Zionists’ narrative of the Palestinian history.

If Ben-Gurion University of the Negev doesn’t take steps “to put an end to the anti-Zionist tilt” in its politics and government department, Im Tirtzu will work to persuade donors in Israel and abroad to stop funding the university, the organization threatened in a letter to university president Prof. Rivka Carmi last month.

It should be remembered that the Board of Trustees atHudson Institute is a pro-Israel group campaigning for US military attack on the Islamic Republic.

Some of the Israeli intellectuals targeted of being ‘Self-Hating, Israel-Threatening (S.H.I.T.)’ Jews are Benedict Anderson, Eric Honsbawm, Rachel Giora, Anat Matar, Anat Biletzki and Neve Gordon.
Professor Neve Gordon (Ben-Gurion University) is also an author and critic of some of Zionist-regime’s policies towards the Native Palestinian Muslims and Christians. Recently, he posted an article on his personal website about his own experience of this Zionist academic fascism:
“On May 31, I joined some 50 students and faculty members who gathered outside Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to demonstrate against the Israeli military assault on the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid toward Gaza. In response, the next day a few hundred students marched toward the social-sciences building, Israeli flags in hand. Amid the nationalist songs and pro-government chants, there were also shouts demanding my resignation from the university faculty.

One student even proceeded to create a Facebook group whose sole goal is to have me sacked. So far over 2,100 people (many of them nonstudents) have joined. In addition to death wishes and declarations that I should be exiled, the site includes a call on students to spy on me during class. “We believe,” ends a message written to the group, “that if we conduct serious and profound work, we can, with the help of each and every one of you, gather enough material to influence … Neve Gordon’s status at the university, and maybe even bring about his dismissal.” Such personal attacks are part of a much broader assault on Israeli higher education and its professors.

They have chosen the universities as their prime target for two main reasons. First, even though Israeli universities as institutions have never condemned any government policy – not least the restrictions on Palestinian universities’ academic freedom – they are home to many vocal critics of Israel’s rights-abusive policies. Those voices are considered traitorous and consequently in need of being stifled….”

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German central banker criticized for anti-Semitic remarks

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German government leaders condemn central bank executive Thilo Sarrazin for saying that all Jews share a particular gene.

By Reuters

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German government leaders condemned a central bank executive on Sunday for making anti-Semitic remarks before the publication of his book on Monday that takes a critical look at Turk and Arab immigrants.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said Thilo Sarrazin was out of line for comments about Jews, remarks that were also criticized by Jewish leaders in the country responsible for the Holocaust.

“All Jews share a particular gene, Basques share a certain gene that sets them apart,” Sarrazin told Welt am Sonntag newspaper ahead of the release of his book “Deutschland schafft sich ab” (Germany does away with itself).

Sarrazin, a Bundesbank board member, denied he was stirring racism. He has faced heavy criticism for making disparaging comments about Muslim immigrants. Sarrazin has repeatedly created uproar for criticizing Turks and Arabs in Germany.

“There’s no room in the political debate for remarks that whip up racism or anti-Semitism,” Westerwelle said.

“There are limits to every provocation and Bundesbank board member Sarrazin has clearly gone out of bounds with this mistaken and inappropriate comment,” Guttenberg added.

Stephan Kramer and Michel Friedman, leaders in Germany’s Jewish community, also criticized Sarrazin, 65, a member of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and former finance minister in the city-state of Berlin.

“Someone who tries to define Jews by a genetic make-up is consumed by a racist mania,” Kramer said.

“Enough already!” Friedman wrote in Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “No more tolerance for this intolerance. It’s okay to provoke thought but enough of this baiting and defamation. We don’t need any hate preachers, especially in the Bundesbank.”
Almost 3 million people of Turkish origin and an estimated 280,000 of Arab extraction live in Germany.

Leaders in Sarrazin’s SPD have called for him to quit the party and resign from the Bundesbank.

Sarrazin’s comments have also embarrassed Bundesbank President Axel Weber, who some German leaders have backed to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank next year.

The Bundesbank has tried to distance itself from his remarks, saying they are his personal opinions and not linked to his role at the bank. The central bank requires evidence of “serious misconduct” to bring about Sarrazin’s dismissal.

The central bank last year stripped Sarrazin of some of his duties. If the central bank’s board voted to remove Sarrazin, the move would then need the approval of the president.

In the book, Sarrazin argues that Muslims undermine German society, marry “imported brides” and have a bad attitude. He said young Muslim men were aggressive due to sexual frustration.

“Sadly, the huge potential for aggression in this group is obvious. The Arab boys can’t get at their Arab girls,” he said.

“In the end, they use the German girls from the underclass who are easier to get, and then they hold them in contempt because they’re so readily available.”
 

German Central Bank executive Thilo Sarrazin
Photo by: AP

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