Corruption investigations begin in post-Mubarak Egypt

>Emad Mekay, The Electronic Intifada, 31 March 2011

CAIRO, Egypt (IPS) – Egyptian authorities have opened dozens of criminal investigations into hundreds of millions of dollars worth of public land contracts that were awarded illegally to real estate developers associated with former president Hosni Mubarak without proper procedures at below market rates.

The current probes are the first steps, and perhaps the most obvious, that emerge in post-Mubarak Egypt towards the country’s new economic future — one many here say could be less susceptible to cronyism and shady deals by government officials.

“The [Mubarak] authoritarian regime supported a class of land speculators and marketed them as if they were real developers and entrepreneurs with real projects,” said Mamdouh Hamza, civil engineering professor at Suez Canal University and a frequent public speaker on land corruption issues.

“In fact the closest thing they had to business was their relations and contacts with the regime which they used to obtain land cheaply, wait on it a bit, inflate their prices and then sell at huge profits without giving the public a penny in return.”

The investigations, backed by the country’s current rulers in the military, who came to office after Mubarak was ousted on 25 January, are designed to placate angry Egyptians who feel they have been ripped off by the previous regime.

The official Central Auditing Organization, a government watchdog that was marginalized under Mubarak but continued to amass reports on official corruption, estimates that the country could recoup some 75 billion Egyptian pounds (US $12.7 billion) from land sold as cheap farmland but later vended as residential mansions and luxury units, especially around the 220-kilometer Desert Road between Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

At least a dozen of close associates of the ex-president, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, and his son, Gamal, are now standing trial or investigations related to corrupt land contracts.

Almost all of the officials were members of Mubarak’s once-ruling National Democratic Party. Several have been ordered not to leave the country while others had their financial assets frozen by the general prosecutors pending investigation over how they cheaply obtained public land with little or no government oversight.

Although such cases are being uncovered almost on daily basis, many who had warned of wrongful practices in state land sales in the past, say this is only the tip of the iceberg.

“The end of state land corruption has just started,” said former Dean of the Faculty of Urban Planning at Cairo University Sameh El-Alaily, who had written extensively about state land abuse.

Earlier this month an Egyptian legal panel recommended that a contract to sell 230 acres of public land north east of Cairo to the country’s second largest listed company, Palm Hills Developments, be annulled.

The panel found the deal was given “by direct order” rather than through competitive bidding at drastically below market rates. As a result, the country lost millions of dollars in real value of the land.

The former housing minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi, now in prison, stands accused of awarding Palm Hills Developments, in which he is a shareholder, hundreds of acres of land at such rates “using only his signature.”

The Egyptian general prosecutor Abdel Megeed Mahmoud this week ordered freezing all assets of al-Maghrabi and his partner, Palm Hills Developments Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yasseen Mansour, whose family’s business empire includes dealerships for General Motors, Opel, Philip Morris, McDonalds, Red Bull, and Mantrac.

Palm Hills says on its website it is a business partner with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based luxury hospitality firm and member of Dubai Holding.

Palm Hills also has an agreement with India’s Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces to manage three Palm Hills hotels, one each on the North Coast in Ain Sokhna and in Aswan.

Al-Maghrabi faces several other charges including selling land at 300 Egyptian pounds (US $50) per meter when the real price was 5,000 (US $850) to a Saudi real estate mogul in Cairo.

The same panel also recommended canceling another deal with Saudi billionaire Prince Waleed bin Talal to sell 100,000 acres in the southern part of the country at a rate of 50 Egyptian pounds (US $8.40) per acre when the government was selling similar land to Egyptian university graduates for 22,000 Egyptian pounds (US $3,700), the panel said.

Mubarak’s regime said the plan to sell so cheaply was for Prince Bin Talal’s company, Kingdom Agricultural Development Company, to reclaim and cultivate the desert land to produce food for Egypt.

The legal panel said “the government has so far offered no evidence that the land has been cultivated despite the fact that the contract was signed 13 years ago.”

The country’s largest listed developer Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) is under similar scrutiny as it faces renewed accusations that it has been awarded an 8,000 acres in its three billion dollar flagship project, Madinaty (my city), at token prices without proper auction procedure.

A previous court ruling, before Mubarak’s abdication, found that the now infamous Madinaty contract was fraudulent. Yet the Mubarak regime stomped all over the courts and re-issued the land late last year at the same price to the same company.

Further corruption cases involving public land are being disclosed at a dizzying pace, a development that has clearly kept corrupt officials who are still at large on their toes.

“But those who stole public land must be dying in their skin right now,” Hamza said. “Prison is waiting for them. They deserve it.”

All rights reserved, IPS – Inter Press Service (2011). Total or partial publication, retransmission or sale forbidden.
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Joshua Landis: Syrians want deep political and economic reform but fear ethnic civil war

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>Anthony Lawson: Holocaust, Hate Speech & Were the Germans so Stupid? (Must Watch)

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Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 12:51PM Gilad Atzmon This documentary raises the most crucial questions to do with history and truth. Being subject to Zionist tyranny, we have become detached from our past. History is there to introduce hope for a better future. This should be applied to the Holocaust or any other historical chapter
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Angry Birds Topple Middle East Leaders

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Eslam al-Rihani
A cartoon video which recounts the unrest in the Middle East using the characters in the popular Angry Birds game and the children’s story Three Little Pigs is racking up the views on YouTube.

The video, which has been posted on the YouTube channel of a Russian named Egor Zhgun, had been viewed more than 400,000 times on the video-sharing site.

In the video, the egg-stealing green pigs in the original Angry Birds game from Finland’s Rovio portray Tunisia’s deposed president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak and Libyan strongman Moamer Gaddafi.

The Angry Birds first take out Ben Ali in his house of straw before moving on to topple Mubarak in a house made to resemble an Egyptian pyramid.

Gaddafi proves a harder nut to crack in his house of stones and survives several barrages of birds before he is finally crushed by a “mighty eagle” in the colors of the United States.

The video can be seen at youtube.com/user/egorzhgun on YouTube.

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Occupying the Bases: April 9th and Iraq’s ‘Day of Salvation’

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Image from an Iraqi facebook
page with over 31,000
“likes” calling for action on
April 9th. It reads:
“The Great Iraqi Revolution – 4/9 –
The Day of National Salvation”

On March 22nd, 5 Iraqi grassroots organizations announced an initiative that will target “the occupier and its agents”, that’s to say: US military bases and Iraq’s Maliki-led government. Riding the recent wave of sizable Iraqi demonstrations against, among other things: government corruption, lack of social services, Iraq’s prison industrial complex and a broken sectarian political system, the sit-ins planned for on April 9th are the first to call out the US occupation as a central cause, and sustainer of the shattered social reality that millions of Iraqis face every day. A new zeal and organizational drive inspired by the recent Arab uprisings has allowed the grievances laid out during the past month of weekly protests to coalesce. Two communiques co-signed by “The Popular Movement to Save Iraq”, “The Popular Front to Save Kirkuk”, “The Student and Youth Organization of a Free Iraq”, “The Movement in Steadfast Basra to Liberate the South” and “The Iraqi Association of the Tribes of Southern and Central Iraq”outline their demands and the means by which they hope to achieve them.
Those demands include:
–          The unconditional departure of the occupying forces
–          The revocation of the security agreement which violates the sovereignty and independence of Iraq
–           The revocation of the sectarian and ethnic quota system in the political process
–           The building of a civil Iraqi state through transparent elections, without the interference of the occupation forces or any foreign, regional force, especially Iran
–          The release of the innocent prisoners from occupation and government prisons
–          The disclosure of the location of secret prisons that are scattered all over Iraq’s provinces
–          Carrying out the demands of our people which were outlined during the “Uprising of Rage” on February 25th
–          The formation of an independent judicial committee to investigate the actions of the security forces against peaceful demonstrators [involved in protests over this last month]

The communique continues by announcing  “the launch of a long-term sit-in in all Iraqi provinces to mark the eighth anniversary of the brutal American occupation of our precious Iraq on Saturday, 4/9/2011 [. . .] This sit-in will not last hours or days, but will continue night and day until the protesters demands are met [ . . . ] For our sit-ins we will set up tents in front of US military bases, which are located in every Iraqi province. We ask all patriotic individuals and forces that oppose the occupation to participate in this demonstration.” (Full text of the communiques 16 and 17, including organizer’s contact information and the sites of the planned sit-ins, can be accessed in English here and here, and their original Arabic here and here.)

Location of major US miltary bases in Iraq
(last updated 2008)
The U.S. maintains 14 massive military installations in Iraq, along with dozens of smaller ones. With the Bush administration having pushed for 58 permanent bases during the drafting of the “status of forces” agreement, their fate under Obama and the planned post-2011 “withdrawal” remains unclear.
Among those leading this call is Uday al-Zaidi, the brother of journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who gained world-wide acclaim for his symbolic shoe-throwing at President Bush in December of 2008, and later his eloquent statement about why he did what he did. (As vocal organizers of the past month of protests, both Muntazer and Uday al-Zaidi have been harassed, assaulted and detained by the Iraqi authorities.)
Large media outlet coverage of this mobilization call has been scant, but has included brief stories on Al-Jazeera Arabic, as well as local Iraqi media.
The Iraqi blogosphere though, has been abuzz with talk of this plan, as well as more broadly how to marshal the audacity in the air and mobilize for a new Iraq.
Posted by iraqleft

The Rise of Israel’s Military Rabbis

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Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 11:17PM Gilad Atzmon

Simple truth

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Simple truth


Give me some pebbles to throw

Pebbles are the pathway to life
The echo of its music stays
Long after the shadow of the tyrant
Fades away

Tell me;
Did you spend your life
Searching for happiness
Running after crumbs of food
Accumulating tons of rotting clothes
Desiring heaps of rusty cars
Building a house of rubble
Chasing a mirage?


Calm down
Sit for a moment

And listen to your heart-beat
Whispering :
Your tomorrow never comes
Your yesterday has long gone
Your life is nothing but this moment
You are no-where; but now-here



Don’t travel far
The dream of happiness you’re after
Is very near; inside



So, give me some pebbles to throw
Pebbles are the pathway to life

The echo of its music stays
Long after the shadow of the tyrant
Fades away

Posted by nahida the Exiled Palestinian at 7:30:00 AM

SAY “ENOUGH!” TO WARS

>Please forward widely.
See details below.

With two wars nearing complete unpopularity, President Obama has decided to throw Americans into a third war.

The U.S. has implemented a “no-fly-zone,” which already involves attacks on ground vehicles and ground installations. 120 cruise missiles have been fired. France and the United Kingdom have stepped in as arbiters of the fate of Libyans.

Although the African Union opposes military intervention, the former colonial powers have continued supporting and destroying governments as they please.

The “Harper Government,” as the Government of Canada is now termed, has obediently followed suit, and sent six warplanes to Libya.

As Canadian fighter jets strike targets in Libya, we will be mobilizing for the April 8 Day of Action against all the wars that the Anglo-American alliance supports: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, and now Libya.

At a time when a majority of Americans believed that the U.S. had no need to involve itself in Libya, and when 63% of Americans opposed the Afghan war, the powers-that-be chose the eighth anniversary of the war on Iraq (March 19) to open a new front.

We don’t want a new war. We don’t want any war. It’s time to end the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, and now Libya! Come out on April 8 to show your disapproval and protest the Canadian fighter jets now involved in all-out military escalation.
You can download a copy of this leaflet with 2 flyers per page here:
http://www.hamiltoncoalitiontostopthewar.ca/Events/April%208%20flyer.pdf

April 9 in TorontoJoin the anti-war rally and the Ontario Federation of Labour’s Day of Action in solidarity with workers and unions who are under attack! The event takes place on Saturday, April 9.  Hamilton & District Labour Council buses to Toronto on April 9 will be boarding around 9:30 am in the parking lot of the Centre Mall across from the Labour Council office (1130 Barton East) near Ottawa Street North. Passengers should reserve soon at 905-547-2944. There is no charge for the return trip.

The buses will arrive in Toronto in time for the anti-war protest at noon across from the US Consulate. The anti-war protest, in turn, will march the few hundred metres from University Avenue to Toronto City Hall to join the Ontario Federation of Labour rally at 1 pm.


ENDORSEMENTS:
Hamilton&District Labour Council
Arab Women’s League
CUPE Local 3906
McMaster Green Party Student Association
ADFW Federal Green Party Association
Zeitgeist Movement
Palestinian Association of Hamilton
Students Resisting War and Occupation (McMaster)
Hamilton Haiti Action Committee

To endorse this event, please e-mail hcsw@cogeco.ca

FURTHER INFO: Call Ken at 905-383-7693.
And check our own Coalition alternative media! Unusual Sources (CFMU-FM 93.3 on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 pm) interviewed Stephen Gowans on March 16:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=726427&songID=10419970

as well as Phil Taylor (of the Taylor-Report at CIUT 89.5 FM on Mondays from 5 to 6 pm) on March 2:
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10347093

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=201505259873198
Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War
www.hamiltoncoalitiontostopthewar.ca

To unsubscribe from future messages, please send an e-mail to reply to this
address with the subject “Unsubscribe.”
******************************************************************************************************************************************************
Our letter in the Hamilton Spectator:
 

Mon Mar 21 2011

Is Libya worse than other absolute monarchies of region?

Re: Libya tries to outflank no-fly zone (March 19)
Some people have short memories. In the buildup to the Iraq war, we were told lies about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction and al-Qaeda connections. The invasion was supposedly justified to protect civilians from a brutal dictator. The war turned out fine for the oil cartels. They purchased the Iraqi national oilfields for peanuts. For the Iraqi people, it has been a disaster.
Now we are told a no-fly zone — a virtual declaration of war — is necessary to protect Libyan civilians from Moammar Gadhafi, described as a brutal dictator. But a no-fly zone has not been suggested for Bahrain, where a pro-U.S. absolute monarch attacks civilians with help from Saudi Arabia, also an absolute monarchy. Where was the no-fly zone to protect Palestinians in Gaza when Israel killed 1,500 unarmed civilians in 2008?
Libya is a sovereign country. No country has the right under international law to intervene in another country’s domestic affairs unless attacked. Could the selective use of a no-fly zone over Libya have something to do with former colonial powers like Italy, France, England and Spain wanting a piece of Libyan oil?
And how would most Canadians feel if rebels arose in part of our country in revolt against Ottawa and called for a third country to establish a no-fly zone over Canada?
Let the “Harper government of Canada” bring its F-18s home and keep its hands off Libya.


David Rennie, Hamilton Coalition Against The War

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Der Spiegel: Israel kidnapped Abu Sisi to question him on Shalit

>[ 30/03/2011 – 01:12 PM ]

BERLIN, (PIC)– A German newspaper said on Wednesday that the Israeli intelligence kidnapped Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi from the Ukraine believing that he has information on the whereabouts of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Gaza.

Der Spiegel said that Ukraine intelligence agents kidnapped Abu Sisi at the behest of the Israeli intelligence then delivered him to it.

It said that Abu Sisi, who works as the operational manager of Gaza electricity company and married to a Ukrainian lady, was kidnapped on the night of February 19 while on a train heading to Kiev.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

STATE Department: Assad’s speech "fell short"

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Via FLC

 (AFP) –  “… Assad’s speech “fell short” of the kind of reforms that Syrians have demanded, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told journalists in Washington. “It’s clear to us that it didn’t have much substance to it,” Toner said, adding that he thought the Syrian people would be disappointed…”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Gilad Atzmon: Taking Deborah Lipstadt Apart

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 1:25PM Gilad Atzmon
In a recent articleShoa-logist Deborah Lipstadt  attempts to reinstate her argument against historical revisionism.

Lipstadt  is clearly opposing holocaust deniers whom she also identifies as anti Semites, yet, she fails to define what denial means. She also comes short of suggesting what anti Semitism stands for. I guess that for Lipstadt,  ‘deniers’ are those who insist that our past must be revisited, scrutinised and be told from different perspectives. People who hold such views are usually called historical revisionists or simply historians.  Yet, historical revisionists are clearly perceived by Lipstadt as anti Semites — I guess that for Lipstadt , those who dare touch or fiddle with the Jewish past are nothing less than enemies.

The ‘deniers’, according to Lipstdat, are a lively  movement that is working vigorously to “distort history and inculcate anti-Semitism”.  Yet, it is far from being clear how anyone can ‘distort history’, for history is not a singular set of facts laid down and dictated by one group of people alone. Rather it is an attempt to transform the past into a story aspire to as full a narrative as is possible, drawn from as many points of view and from as wide a body of research as is available.  History is an attempt then, to build a narrative.  Different people should be entitled to hold different perspectives of their past.

Seemingly, Lipstdat  is not happy with it all. She wants the chapter known as the holocaust to become a meta-historical impenetrable narrative. It is not clear to me and to a growing number of academics, artists and ordinary people, why Jewish academics and institutions  are so afraid of this particular chapter in history being looked-at and discussed freely.

For some peculiar reason Lipstadt regards herself as a ‘scholar’, yet her engagement with the subject matter is far from being scholarly oriented. Her reading of the Nazi era is utterly embarrassing– for instance, she says “had the world taken Nazi anti-Semitism more seriously from the outset of the rise of the Third Reich the subsequent tragedy might have been quite different.”  

But seems as if the world did actually react very seriously to Nazi anti Semitism — It basically followed the Nazi agenda. America and Britain closed their gates to Jews, leaving  European Jewish refugees to face their fate. Even the Zionists failed to do much to save their European brothers and sisters.  It is also clear that the Nazis would not have succeeded in their ethnic cleansing project unless they had been assisted by European communities, governments, and even  by Jewish institutions. It seems as if the Nazis were not  the ‘only anti Semites;’ they were just more open about it.

Lipstadt’s ignorance knows no limits. She continues, “in the 1930s and 1940s, of course, observers—and the potential victims—could not fathom where Hitler and his cohort’s anti-Semitism might lead.” I guess that the Jewish ‘historian’ doesn’t really know that in the 1930’s and the early 1940’s ‘Hitler and his cohort’ also didn’t know themselves where they were aiming’. We do know that they wanted a Germany free of Jews — and this is, indeed, pretty outrageous. Yet, it is not that different from the vast majority of Israelis, who want a Palestine that is free of Palestinians.

Lipstadt is convinced that the ‘deniers’ are motivated by “hatred of Jews and their desire to do them harm”. But the truth of the matter is slightly embarrassing — Historical revisionism is a growing body of knowledge. It doesn’t claim to address ‘the Jewish question’, nor does it offer any political agenda, and neither does it call to harm Jews. However, one may note that rather too often we come across Jewish institutional calls to harm, and even to destroy Arabs and Muslims. I would then, expect Lipstadt to be consistent, and to stand against her own brothers’ and sisters’ genocidal inclinations. But clearly, integrity is not something you should expect from a Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies.

When it becomes clear that Lipstadt has nothing clever to say about the subject (or maybe any subject) she pulls the rabbit out of her hat, or should we say,  she pulls Ahmadinejad out of her wig.  “During the past five years we have heard a stream of Holocaust denial, overt anti-Semitism, and threats against Israel emanate from the mouth of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad… Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial is linked directly to his animus toward Israel.”

And this is where Jewish past, present and future are wrapped together into a  collective meaning that appears totally  impervious to reason, ethics or humanity. It is obviously clear that those who oppose Israeli barbarism may, at a certain stage, look at the Zionist’s raison d’être, namely the holocaust. It is obviously natural for those who detest Israeli lies to scrutinise every Israeli or Jewish narrative – And the question is, what is so wrong with doing so? Why are Jews, or at least some Jews, horrified by the idea that others might be suspicious of aspects of their historical narratives? Why is it so difficult for  Lipstadt to accept that Ahmadinejad opposes Israel, and also, questions aspects of the Jewish past?  

“In 2009”, Says Lipstadt, “after questioning the existence of the Holocaust, he (Ahmadinejad) declared it was a ploy used by the Jews to get the West to accede to the creation of Israel.”  Again, isn’t it a scholarly and legitimate question on behalf of  Ahmadinejad?  Are not the holocaust and the foundation of the Jewish State  inherently linked?

But — Don’t you worry, it is not Ahmadinejad alone whom the Yeshiva Scholar hates. “Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser spoke of the lie of the 6 million Jews… Spokesmen for Hamas have also engaged in Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial themes can be found in newspapers in many parts of the Arab world, including in Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.”

Even  Mahmoud Abbas was a ‘denier’ according to the  Shoa genius,  “as a young student, (Abbas) wrote a dissertation that was pure denial.”  But guess what, Abbas doesn’t have to worry; Lipsdat has forgiven him already. He (Abbas) “subsequently repudiated his view” and Lipstadt “fully believes his repudiation.” At least, Lipstadt is flexible enough to amend her ‘academic’ views so they  fit into the current Israeli political agenda.

I guess that it would make sense to argue that Lipstadt is continuing to fight what is by now a lost battle. Our past is not a Jewish property . When I read Lipstadt’s  pseudo academic diatribe, I am convinced that aspects of the Zionist view of history must continue to be scrutinised and debated, for history cannot be handled or censored by any form of Yeshiva scholarship, for Yeshiva ideology is the complete opposite of Western spirit,  intellectual debate and openness.

Lipstadt  asserts, “seventy years ago people had an acceptable reason to say, ‘We could never fathom that Hitler meant what he said.’ Today we no longer have that luxury. At the very least it behooves us to take Ahmadinejad and those among his fellow Muslim leaders and opinion-makers seriously.”

Seemingly Lipstadt urges Western leaders to dismantle  Iran and other Muslim countries  in the name of the history she doesn’t allow them to  revise or scrutinise. I guess that for the sake of world peace, it is necessary to expose people like Lipstadt  and her cohort.

In her final paragraph  Lipstadt seems to find out  what is wrong with the revisionists,   “their Holocaust denial is part of their contemporary political agenda.”

In psychological terminology, the above is defined as projection — Lipstadt projects her own symptoms on historical revisionists. It is obviously clear that Lipstadt’s ‘holocaust evangelism’ is there to serve her own Zio-centric political agenda.

The question you may want to ask yourself at this stage is, for how long will we let Yeshiva supremacist Ideology determine our vision of our past? I myself believe that time is ripe to say NO to Jewish Ideology and politics. Enough is certainly enough.
 
“Even sexual relationship is a source of Joy”

Learn more about Jewish Scholarship http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhROsMZPtiU



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Israel criminalizes commemoration of the Nakba

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Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, The Electronic Intifada, 29 March 2011

Young Palestinian refugees, victims of the Nakba, study at a refugee camp in Syria, 1959. (UN Photo)

A bill was passed by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) last week which calls on the government to deny funding to any organization, institution or municipality that commemorates the founding of the Israeli state as a day of mourning. The bill has become known as the “Nakba bill,” referring to the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine during and before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1947-48.

“Law will not influence the way we commemorate the Nakba,” Haneen Zoabi, Palestinian member of the Knesset, told The Electronic Intifada. “On the contrary, we must prove to our people and to the state that we will not be afraid from this law and that this will not succeed in oppressing our feeling or our identity. We will commemorate the Nakba in a much more impressive way this year than we ever did.”

“This is a kind of law to control our memory, to control our collective memory. It’s a very stupid law which punishes our feelings. It seems that the history of the victim is threatening the Zionist state,” Zoabi said.

Elected in 2009, Zoabi represents the Balad party (National Democratic Alliance) and is the first woman to be elected on the list of an Arab party in Israel. She was one of 25 members of the Israeli Knesset (MKs) to vote against the bill on 22 March, compared to 37 MKs who voted in favor of it.

“The Nakba is not just part of the Palestinian history,” Zoabi explained. “It’s also part of the Jewish history of this land. Because you need two in order to make Nakba. You need the victim and you need the oppressor. It was the Israelis who expelled the Palestinians and destroyed their towns and their villages and stole their land.”

“It’s not a narrative. It is not a political attitude. It’s a historical fact,” she added.

Initiated by MK Alex Miller of the ultra right-wing party Yisrael Beiteinu and officially called “Budget Principles Law (Amendment 39) – Reducing Budgetary Support for Activities Contrary to the Principles of the State,” the bill would also allow the government fine groups it determines are working against the “Jewish and democratic” nature of Israel or who violate the symbols of the state, such as the Israeli flag.

The original version of the bill — which was subsequently changed due to widespread condemnation — called for putting any individual who publicly commemorates the Palestinian Nakba in jail for three years.

“The purpose of the bill is to prevent members of the Arab minority in Israel from exercising their democratic right to commemorate a seminal event in their history. This legislation will cause harm to cultural and educational institutions that teach about the Nakba by cutting their funding and will further entrench inequality and discrimination. The bill is both anti-democratic and discriminatory,” wrote Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, in a 14 March press release (“Adalah: Nakba Law Violates Rights of Arab Minority …“).

Adalah stated that it sent an urgent letter to the Chair of the Israeli Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and member of the Yisrael Beitenu party MK David Rotem, asking him to reject the bill before it was voted into law.

“The bill’s approval would lead to major harm to the principle of equality and to the rights of Arab citizens to preserve their history and culture. Arab citizens of Israel are an indigenous minority living on its homeland, and their historical roots to this land run extremely deep, and thus their identity must be preserved,” the Adalah press release stated.

Adalah had signaled its intention to petition the Israeli high court should the bill be approved in the Knesset. Now that it has been voted on, the only way the bill can now be overturned is through an Israeli high court ruling.

Impact of the bill already being felt

According to Israeli activist Eitan Bronstein, while the practical and legal implications of the Nakba law are impossible to foresee, the law is already making an impact.

“I would say that the main implication and influence is already there, is already in practice, and is already working. Anyone who wants to do something [to commemorate the Nakba], they immediately have a question about the Nakba law and whether or not they are under any risk,” Bronstein, founder and spokesperson of Zochrot, an organization that works to raise awareness of the Nakba within Israeli society, told The Electronic Intifada.

“We analyze this law as part of a whole campaign to intimidate anyone who wishes to study, to remember, to mention, to have anything to do with the Nakba. In Israel, it mostly effects and it already effects, from what we see, Palestinian citizens from Israel,” he added.

Bronstein explained that while many Israeli liberals have objected to the law because of civil liberties concerns, few have acknowledged how important it is to commemorate the Nakba itself.

“I think it’s about time that there will be many more Israelis who participate in Nakba commemorations and not only because of freedom of speech, but to understand how important it is. We should take a clear stance in supporting and participating in commemorating it and struggling against the denial of the Nakba,” Bronstein said.

“Without understanding the Nakba, you cannot of course understand the scale or the importance of this key issue of Palestinian refugees. If we don’t address the Nakba, we cannot really address properly our future. Any solution for the future which is not based on addressing this issue of the Palestinian refugees, it will be useless.”

“The fear of the victim”

The Nakba bill is just the latest piece of discriminatory legislation targeting the Palestinian minority in Israel, who constitute 20 percent of the overall population of the state.

More than twenty bills are presently being discussed in the Israeli Knesset that impact — both directly and indirectly — the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Included among these bills is the controversial loyalty oath legislation, which would mandate new immigrants to pledge loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” and the “Acceptance to Communities Bill.”

Passed same day as the Nakba law, the “Acceptance to Communities Bill” formalizes the establishment of admission committees to review potential residents to communities of up to 400 family units in the Negev and Galilee regions, where the Palestinian population in Israel is largely concentrated.

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the bill would allow these committees to refuse admission to a wide variety of people, including Palestinians, single parents and same-sex couples, among others.

“The racist, anti-Arab rhetoric used by some of the promoters of this bill is shameful, but it’s important for the public to understand that any one of us could be targeted by this bill. Israeli legislators are about to sacrifice equality and the right of every person to choose their place of residence — in favor of the extra-rights of the residents of these wealthy communities, who wish to ‘select’ new residents on public lands,” said ACRI Attorney Gil Gan-Mor in a 22 March press release (“Final Vote Today on Nakba Law and Acceptance to Communities Bill“).

According to Haneen Zoabi, the wave of increasingly hostile legislation in the Knesset signals how extreme the Israeli state has become.

“Any racist law will succeed within this Zionist and right-wing Knesset. Any law which any fool or any crazy or any hysterical and racist person could imagine, anything, he can pass it within this racist Knesset,” Zoabi said.

“I think that the message is that there is no place for the Palestinian or the Palestinian identity to be a part of this state. It is a kind of political strategy in order to change the laws of the political game. These laws have a political function. It is not a mere expression of Zionism.”

She added that with the Nakba law in particular, the Israeli government is trying to delegitimize the Palestinian struggle within the country.

“They have a political function of delegitimizing our political struggle. When you delegitimize this struggle, this is the more dangerous thing. You are delegitimizing a political tool, a legitimate tool. This is more dangerous than a mere political or identity expression,” Zoabi said.

“Behind this law is a fear, the fear of the victim. Behind this law is the ability of the memory of the victim to threaten the legitimacy of Zionism.”

Originally from Montreal, Jillian Kestler-D’Amours is a reporter and documentary filmmaker based in occupied East Jerusalem. More of her work can be found at http://jilldamours.wordpress.com.

General strike in 1948 occupied Palestine on Land Day – Lafta inhabitants reject Israeli plans to sell their land

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[ 30/03/2011 – 12:53 PM ]
LOD, (PIC)– The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee has declared that a general strike was declared in all areas of Palestine occupied in 1948 on Wednesday on the 35th anniversary of the Land Day .

The committee said in a statement that the strike would cover all institutions and sectors especially local councils, shops, schools, health institutions, farmers, employees, and workers in all sectors.

A march in Lod on Tuesday night signaled the start of the Arab activity to commemorate the event back in 1976 when Israeli security forces killed 6 Palestinians and wounded 100 who were taking part in a demonstration to protest seizure of Arab land.

The march started in front of the Abu Eid family homes, which were demolished by the Israeli authorities, and ended at the municipality.

Another march is expected in Araqib village in the Negev, which was repeatedly leveled by the Israeli authorities, at noon Wednesday, and the central march would take place in Arraba Al-Batuf village in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Islamic and national forces are expected to participate in a major demonstration in northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday in solidarity with the Arab masses in 1948 occupied Palestine on the occasion of Land Day. An agreement was made that only the Palestinian flag would be hoisted during the march.

The interior ministry in Gaza gave permission for the march while Hamas called for active participation in it.

Lafta inhabitants reject Israeli plans to sell their land

[ 30/03/2011 – 08:29 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Inhabitants of the Lafta village to the northwest of occupied Jerusalem have declared their rejection of the Israeli occupation authority’s plan to sell 700 dunums of their land to Jewish contractors.

A number of those inhabitants told a press conference at the Ambassador hotel in Sheikh Jarrah, occupied Jerusalem, on Tuesday that the contractors would build 212 villas on those lands.

They said that the step was in violation of UN resolutions, calling on the international organizations to preserve the village lands from Israeli confiscation.

They said that the villas would be built over 500 dunums after razing 70 buildings in the village.

The inhabitants distributed a statement affirming their insistence on their historical right to their land and heritage.

They asked the world community and human rights groups to pressure Israel into halting its policy of wiping out Palestinian heritage and landmarks.

War is a Racket by Smedley Butler

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Monday, March 28, 2011 at 12:15AM Gilad Atzmon
War is a Racket by Smedley Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940)) is a famous speech denouncing the military industrial complex. This speech by two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient exposes war profits that benefit few at the expense of many. Throughout his distinguished career in the Marines, Smedley Darlington Butler demonstrated that true patriotism does not mean blind allegiance to government policies with which one does not agree. To Hell with war.

It seems as if we’ve learned nothing!!!

Posted by Gilad Atzmon at 9:53:00 PM
 

Obama on Libya: Defending the Indefensible

 

by Stephen Lendman

Obama’s March 28 television address wreaked of hypocrisy, lies and disdain for basic democratic values, making an indefensible case for naked aggression against a non-belligerent country. America’s media approved.

On March 28, New Times writer Helene Cooper headlined, “Obama Cites Limits of US Role in Libya,” saying:

Obama “defended the American-led military assault in Libya on Monday, saying it was in the national interest of the United States to stop a potential massacre that would have ‘stained the conscience of the world,’ ” even though no threat existed until:

— Washington showed up with co-belligerents France and Britain;

— beginning in 2010, armed and funded so-called “rebels” who, in fact, are cutthroat killers, rapists and marauders, terrorizing every area they control, including their Benghazi stronghold; and

— support them with daily “shock and awe” terror attacks, causing increasing numbers of deaths and injuries, as well as destruction and contamination of all areas struck by depleted uranium bombs, missiles and shells, spreading radiation over wide areas.

Despite Pentagon denials, conservative estimates put civilian deaths at over 100, besides combatants killed and unknown numbers murdered by rebel allies. Since March 19 air attacks began, nearly 1,500 sorties have been flown, that number to rise exponentially as daily strikes continue under US command, running all NATO operations under AFRICOM’s General Carter Ham. Alleged new commander, Canada’s Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, is his subordinate, a Pentagon figurehead.
The alleged handover is fabricated. NATO is code language for America/the Pentagon. Obama lied announcing otherwise, saying Washington’s role will be limited to stop potential “slaughter and mass graves” in Benghazi. In fact, he supports and/or ignores rebel terror killings against defenseless civilians, making him complicit in their crimes, besides widespread ones caused by NATO, America’s missile. US attacks, in fact, will continue throughout the campaign, perhaps lasting months at an enormous cost, besides hundreds of billions annually in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Making an indefensible case, Obama said:

“For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant – Muammar Gaddafi,” ignoring the numerous regional and global ones America supports, including rogue Israeli regimes, lawlessly terrorizing Palestinians for over six decades with generous US support and funding.

Addressing the issue, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, Denis McDonough, said:

“I think it’s very important that we see each of these instances….in the region as unique. We don’t get very hung up on the question of precedent….because we don’t make decisions about questions like intervention based on consistency or precedent. We make them based on how we can best advance our interests in the region.”

Precisely true on the last point. However, policy decisions are very consistent. Allies are supported whether despots or democrats. Outliers are opposed, even benign ones posing no threat to America or neighbors. The rule of law is a non-starter. So are democratic values, “principles of justice and human dignity.”

Only imperial aims matter, especially resource and human exploitation adventurism for money and power. For generations, they’ve guided US policies, notably since WW II, at home and abroad.

Yet pseudo-left apologists back Obama’s Libya war, its faux “humanitarian intervention” to save lives, including darling of the left Rachel Maddow, defending the indefensible, pretending Obama’s different from Bush when, in fact, he’s worse, waging four, not two wars.
He also:

— supports others in Palestine, Yemen and Somalia;

— operates US Special Forces in at least 75 countries globally;

— backs killing US citizens abroad lawlessly;

— endorses holding detainees indefinitely without charge;

— practices torture as official US policy; and

— backs the worst of despotic states, notably in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt under a military junta, Algeria under a military dictatorship (Abdelaziz Bouteflika more figurehead than president), other GCC states, besides others in Africa, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

Yet Maddow and other faux liberals call Obama a peace president. No matter how great the body count, she’s firm saying “he appears to be walking more of that walk as well as talking that talk.”

He indeed talks plenty while letting imperial forces reign death and destruction on non-belligerent nations, spends hundreds of billions of dollars, then claims we’re too broke to address vital homeland needs, especially social ones and crumbling infrastructure.

Cheerleading Print Media Support

For decades, The York Times endorsed all US imperial wars, the tradition maintained on March 28 in an editorial headlined, “President Obama and Libya,” saying:

Obama “made the right, albeit belated, decision to join with allies to try to stop (Gaddafi) from slaughtering thousands of Libyans,” despite clear evidence that Washington, France, Britain and rebel killers initiated attacks. Love or hate him, Gaddafi justifiably responded in self defense.

However, despite Obama’s willful deception and lies, The Times claimed he “made a strong case for why America needed to intervene in this fight – and why that did not always mean it should intervene in others,” notably against subservient despots, no matter how much “violence on a horrific scale” they cause.

“Most important,” said The Times, Obama “vowed that there would be no American ground troops in this fight.” A previous article explained otherwise, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/03/us-led-libyan-ground-assault-planned.html

Numerous reports, in fact, suggest a ground assault is planned for late April-early May if air and rebel attacks don’t oust Gaddafi, what most experts believe unlikely.

On March 28, New York Times writers Kareem Fahim and David Kirkpatrick suggested as much, headlining “Rebel Advance Halted Outside Qaddafi’s Hometown,” saying:

“….the American military warned on Monday that the insurgents’ rapid advances could quickly be reversed without continued coalition air support,” quoting General Ham saying more, in fact, may be needed, stopping short of suggesting ground forces deployed offshore will invade.

Whatever lies ahead, no matter how bloody and destructive, The Times insisted Obama “made the right choice to act.”

So did the Washington Post, its editorial opinion headlined, “Mr. Obama and Libya: Where’s the strategy to preserve success?” saying:

Obama “was right to act, and he deserves the credit that he claimed….He was right” saying “we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles of freedom and nonviolence,” ones, in fact, America spurns at home and abroad, especially during direct or proxy imperial wars.

On March 29, a Wall Street Journal editorial headlined, “Obama, Libya and the GOP,” saying:

Obama “made a substantial case for his Libya intervention, (and) we welcome the effort….The credibility of US power is essential to maintaining our influence in a Middle East that is erupting in popular revolt against decades of injustice,” much, in fact, America caused.

US media opinions mostly expressed support. The Los Angeles Times said “no one can complain that he didn’t make a thoughtful, compelling case for his decision to intervene.” The Philadelphia Daily News endorsed “the Obama Doctrine….a rationale for the use of US force, (his Monday speech perhaps) the beginning of a saner foreign policy.”

The Chicago Tribune wondered whether a “humanitarian mission (set) a precedent that will be used to demand American involvement in other places.” The Boston Globe endorsed his “swift Libyan intervention (wrongly calling it) the first time Obama has ordered US troops into a new conflict, (then saying it’s) a key test of his presidency and a moment that allowed him to delineate his most comprehensive vision yet for America’s role in the world and the role of the military abroad.”

According to the conservative Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Stephen Flanagan, Obama “laid the beginnings of an Obama doctrine. He said that there are instances where our safety is not immediately threatened but our interests and values are, and in those cases….we will act, particularly when we can act with a broad international coalition” of willing co-belligerents plus others bullied and/or bribed to join or endorse imperial aggression against another targeted country.

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) on “Public TV’s Libya Limits”

America’s Public Television (PBS) and National Public Radio rely heavily on government and corporate funds. As a result, they provide managed news like major media networks, suppressing hard truths on vital issues.

PBS’ Libya reporting is instructive, FAIR saying:

“Over the past two weeks, the (flagship) NewsHour has featured an array of current and former military and government officials in discussion segments – leaving little room for antiwar voices, US foreign policy critics and legal experts.”

NPR and PBS are similar, supporting state and corporate policies throughout their histories, depriving listeners and viewers of real news, information and opinions on vital issues.

The 1967 Carnegie Commission report (creating PBS) envisioned a “forum for debate and controversy (to) provide a voice for groups in the community that may be otherwise unheard.” NPR’s founding mandate was similar, yet both operations represent power, money and privilege, not popular interests they were established to serve.

A Final Comment
In his book “The Next Decade,” Stratfor Global Intelligence founder George Friedman “consider(s) the relation of the American empire to the American Republic and the threat the empire poses to the republic(‘s)” survival, given its addiction to war and abandonment of the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8 provision letting Congress alone declare it. It was last done on December 8, 1941 against Japan.

As a result, seven US decades of wars have been lawless. Moreover, no nation may attack another except in self-defense or until the Security Council acts – lawfully according to the UN Charter. In authorizing a no-fly zone (an act of war), SC members acted illegally, brazenly violating international law, letting America and co-belligerents France and Britain wage imperial war against a nation posing no threat to them or neighboring states.

Friedman stressed the importance of congressional declarations of war, “requir(ing) meticulous attention to the law and proprieties.” However, he stopped short of addressing international law or explaining the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. Under it, every treaty America ratifies automatically becomes US law, the UN Charter, of course, included. No congressional or presidential act may contravene it, what, in fact, happens regularly, especially on matters of war.

As a result, in a recent interview, University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle was blunt, calling Obama’s war on Libya “plunder and aggression, (the) first major outright power grab by the United States and the major colonial, imperial powers against Africa in the 21st century.” For sure, it’s not the last.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

posted by Steve Lendman @ 2:25 AM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

>"Bashar al Assad stages his own coup"

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Via FLC

“Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is attempting a new survival tactic in this Arab Spring — organizing what looks like a coup against his own government. Over the next 48 hours, it should become clear whether he has the political muscle and dexterity to pull off this unusual maneuver.
Assad dismissed his cabinet ministers Tuesday, and his backers encouraged massive public demonstrations of support in Damascus, Aleppo and other Syrian cities. Photographs showed huge crowds; a Syrian source claimed that 2 million Assad supporters had assembled in Damascus and 1 million in Aleppo, but it’s impossible to confirm these numbers. In their effort to turn the tables on protesters, the regime used Facebook as one of its tools to summon demonstrators. The social networking site was officially approved in Syria less than two month ago…
 
The decisive moment could come as early as Wednesday, when Assad may give the major speech the public has been expecting. He is said to have waited because he didn’t want to be caught in the same cycle as Egypt’s desposed president, Hosni Mubarak, who made a series of speeches announcing modest concessions, each of which only fueled the demand for more. Assad appears to be holding his cards for one big play, a move that his wily father, President Hafez al-Assad, would have endorsed.
Information I gathered from sources on Tuesday about the political jockeying inside Syria fits with what I heard from inside the Assad camp when I was in Damascus a month ago.
A measure of Assad’s seriousness is whether he moves to curtail the political and economic power of his own family….I wrote last month after visiting Damascus that Assad planned to press Makhluf to reduce his Syriatel holdings, as a symbol of his broader reform effort. That’s still said to be on Assad’s agenda.
The Assad clan also has military power that could obstruct Bashar’s reformist moves. His brother Maher, for example, commands a tough unit of Syrian special forces, and his brother-in-law Assaf Shaukat has been a senior intelligence official. It’s anyone’s guess, at this point, whether the Assads will remain united behind Bashar or fall into a bloody internal fued, but so far Bashar has proved the master of the situation….Some pro-reform members of the Assad government have referred to the dead protesters as “martyrs,” a sign of their eagerness to connect Assad with the wave of change that is sweeping the Arab world.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Research Released on Palestinian Land Day: Settlement Activities Quadrupled in 2010

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Researchers of the Palestinian Census Bureau revealed in an official research that “Israel’s” settlement construction in occupied Palestinian had quadrupled in 2010 comparing to the number of settlement units constructed in 2009. This escalation in settlement activities occurred despite “Israel’s” claimed 10-month settlement freeze in 2010.
The Bureau issued a statement on the eve of March 30, the Palestinian Land Day, stating that in 2010, “Israel” built 6764 housing units for Jewish settlers in Jewish only settlements built in the occupied West Bank, and in occupied East Al Quds (Jerusalem), comparing to 1703 units built in 2009.
The significant increase in settlement construction and expansion took place despite the so-called 10-month freeze in construction that was declared by the government on “Israeli” Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in 2010.
Last month, the Palestinian Authority headed to the United Nations Security Council to obtain a ruling that obliges “Israel” to halt its settlement activities in the occupied territories, the United States used its Veto power to topple the vote.
In addition, the Palestinian Census Bureau stated that data collected in the occupied territories revealed that the number of settlement outposts and military bases increased to 470 in 2010 as seven new settlement outposts were built while 141 settlements were expanded.
Settlement outposts are outposts installed by settlers without the approval of the “Israeli” government. Although a few outposts were removed by the “Israeli” army, outposts generally expand to become “recognized” settlements and start receiving full services by “Israel”.
The Bureau also stated that the “Israeli” Annexation Wall built deep in the West Bank and not on the Green Line (that separates between “Israel” and the West Bank) led to the annexation of 733 square kilometers (%13 of the West Bank).
Only in 2010, “Israel” demolished 31 Palestinian homes in occupied East Al Quds (Jerusalem) as in 2009 the Jerusalem Municipality handed dozens orders to demolish homes that belong to Palestinian residents of Silwan, Shu’fat, Sheikh Jarrah and other Arab neighborhoods in the city.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

From Libya to Palestine

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Frustrated Arab’s Diary

Military ground operations qualify as occupying Libya - Russia NATO envoy
Notice ,please ,
that the Tank is intact
while all the civilian-cars are bombed.

Our world has reached a stage in which
the UN-Security -Council
plays now the role of a licensing-judge
while the NATO
has the role of a Hangman

In Libya half of the people
fights against the other half,
and in Israel
all the Israelis
massacre half the Palestinians
or just builds a Wall around the other half
while taking away 80% of their waters…

The Tyrant of Tripoli
is now punished
while
the Tyrant of Tel Aviv
always gets huge subsidies.

If they want to change the Middle East
why not changing all of it ??
(Why not a NO FLY ZONE over Gaza ?)

Raja Chemayel

Posted by Tlaxcala at 3:40 PM
 

Gilad Atzmon: Inside What Job? A film review

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Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 2:56AM Gilad Atzmon
 
“There is definitely a fear among certain Jews in this industry…And it’s because it’s spreading past Wall Street now. There’s a growing animosity towards the wealthy, and especially the wealthy that have made money on Wall Street and real estate and finance, as so many Jews have—some legitimately, some not so. It’s very easy to generalise that it must be the entire Jewish people.”  Jewish employee with a top New York investment bank who asked that his name be withheld. Jewish Journal (October 7 2008)
“Inside Job”, The Academy Award documentary film about the current financial crisis is a worthy documentary, and it certainly delivers on many fronts. It explains the disastrous shift within the American financial industry over the last decade, exposing the elements, the decisions and the people who destabilised the global economy. In doing so, it provides an insight into the systematic, faulty structures that transformed American financial services industry markets into a risky bubble. And it also explains why the bubble eventually burst.
Charles H. Ferguson, the director of the film, managed to unveil the inherent malaise within a corrupted financial elite and within the American economy.  The film exposes a chain of disastrous cases of conflicts of interest. In America, credit rating agencies had been receiving huge funds from the financial institutions that they were supposed to critically asses. Clearly, America let the cat look after the milk. The cat failed to confess a conflict of interest. Seemingly, in most cases, the cat was rather corrupted, and as it happens, it still is.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzrBurlJUNk

But how has America arrived at such a disastrous state of affairs? How are we to begin to understand the origins of such ways of operating?  In America, academics and academic institutions are largely funded by business interests and industries, establishing a relationship that, to a large extent, significantly determines the curriculum. Needless to mention that such a situation is having some grave consequences on American scholarship — In the long term, America has managed to shoot itself in the foot — It has produced generations of scholars who lack the necessary means to think theoretically and critically, let alone bring about change. America’s young economists, for instance, are more than likely to be indoctrinated by the liberal ideologies that were planted initially by the likes of Milton Friedmann, Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers and Martin Feldstein.  These four were adamant supporters of zero Governmental intervention and excessive deregulation.  For more than a decade American academic institutions have been producing economists who excel in speculation and risky markets — people who know how to make money out of money — yet they know very little about production, productivity and manufacturing.

This fact alone may mean that America is farther than it hopes to be from recovery.  It simply lacks the brain to bounce back into the world economy. America is gravely stuck in its service economy phase.

“Inside Job” ends by contending that — despite the financial turmoil and those who are culpable for an emerging global disaster — the underlying system has not changed. The clique that turned world finance into a “Global Ponzi scheme” remain largely untouched. The protagonists who impoverished hundreds of millions around the world, have been left with hundreds of millions in their pockets; and as if this is not enough, they are still running America’s financial world.

As much as the film is brilliantly made, it has some crucial blind spots: Almost every individual or figure linked to the colossal disaster disclosed in the film is either a Jew, or a goy who worked for a company that is recognised as ‘being Jewish’. And yet, the film (probably consciously) fails to address this highly sensitive issue.

I would not suggest that Jews, as a people,  are collectively responsible for the economic crisis — I have never accused Jews as a collective — And yet, a few questions need to be raised here.   How is it that so many amongst the culprits of the current global disaster are Jews?  Are they Zionists? Do they form a class — or are they just a bunch of individuals?  Is such a severe lack of ethics (which they surely so profoundly performed) imbued within ‘Jewish secular culture’?

These questions are likely to be considered by historians of the future, and I do not see any reason not to elaborate on them now. In fact Jewish media outlets have admitted that the situation and its implications might well prove to have complex repercussions — already in 2008, The  Jewish chronicle was envisaging a tidal wave of anti Semitism.  The ADL too, was concerned. In 2009 the Wall Street Journal also expressed concern about the rise of anti Jewish feelings.

The film obviously fails to address the topic, but this may as well be a very clever move, since such an omission leaves these questions to the viewer.

Add caption

I am convinced that Ferguson wasn’t at all blind to the disproportionate representation of Jews within his cast.  Though the word ‘Jews’ or Jewish symbols are avoided, Christianity is actually clearly featured in the film — During the film, Ferguson discloses the excessive life style of his corrupted protagonists: more than once we meet a ‘fair escort girl’, who is there to tell us about the boys in Goldman Sachs’ and Lehman Brothers’ most ‘elementary needs’. Interestingly enough, on her well endowed breast, clearly visible, hangs a substantial crucifix.

In cinematic language, this symbolism is very telling. Also towards the end of the film the camera introduces us to the victims of the ‘financial shoa’. We are  taken to a tent-city built for the impoverished Americans; those  who lost everything they ever  had  while a bunch of corrupted bankers pocketed millions.  In this island of poverty we meet a volunteer for a Catholic charity who is there to introduce hope.

Whether Ferguson intended to give this impression or not is unclear, but the symbolism is devastatingly obvious; the Christians here are either prostituting  themselves, or just left to pay the bill.

There is more omission. Throughout the film there is not a single mention of the war in Iraq. Yet, it is an obvious fact that at the time Alan Greenspan,  Goldman-Sachs, Lehman Bros, Larry Summers and Martin Feldstein were leading America and the world economy into a total disaster, America was fighting a war that was set to demolish one of the last enemies of the Jewish state. At the time that America was led to believe in its miraculous financial boom, some bankers were manufacturing false dreams.

These two  occurrences go hand in hand. While America was implementing ‘the Wolfowitz doctrine’ and fighting a Zionist war, a cabal of corrupted bankers pocketed billions,  creating  an economy bubble  that diverted the public attention from the war in Iraq.

The film fails to address these aspects. But it may be wise to do so — For it to reach the masses, the film rather ‘saves itself’ from telling the entire truth.

However, the truth will come out.  It always prevails somehow.

Levy & the ‘Libyan Massouds’….

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Via “friday-lunch-club”

Supporting some butchers while opposing a few others, as long as both breeds kill Arabs!

“…after his key role in the run-up to France’s intervention in Libya, Bernard-Henri “BHL” Levy, can probably safely claim to be the world’s most powerful philosopher: 

Lévy took up the Libyan cause in earnest after meeting Mustafa Abdul Jalil, former Libyan justice minister and leader of the opposition’s National Transition Council (NTC). He traveled to Libya March 4 wearing his journalist’s hat – he’s on the board of the progressive French daily Libération. During the interview, Lévy asked Mr. Abdul Jalil if the NTC would come to Paris. That night he phoned Mr. Sarkozy: Will the president meet “the Libyan Massouds,” he reportedly asked, referencing Ahmad Shah Massoud, the former leader of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, who is revered in France. The president agreed.
“I called the president of my country from Benghazi to tell him, ‘There are people here, good people; these people hold the same values as we do, and they’re going to die to the last one if we allow Qaddafi to go on to the conclusion of his criminal logic. Would you accept to receive them in Paris and thus send a strong signal to the butcher?’ Nicolas Sarkozy immediately said yes,”…”
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