Pepperdine University’s poll of Syria

Saudi and Qatari media have been touting a “poll of Syria”. It got my attention because I try to follow public opinion surveys in the region. Then I heard on a Saudi news channel (Al-Arabiyya TV, owned by King Fahd’s brother-in-law) that it was conducted by Pepperdine University. Of course, Arab viewers don’t know anything about this university (it has a great campus in Malibu by the way). They don’t know that it is a fanatically right-wing university with ties to Zionist evangelists. This is the university that hired Edwin Meese and Ken Start, for potato’s sake. So I got more curious because I know that the university has no background in Middle East studies whatsoever. I then learned that the poll was conducted “in secret” (don’t tell anyone) by Pepperdine University in conjunction with a Zionist outfit in LA, called Democracy Council.

The best part of the CNN report (see link) about the survey is the reference to James Prince (a Zionist non-expert of the Middle East) as “leading expert on Arab civil society”. If that does not get you a chuckle, Family Guy is not your show. Regarding the results? They don’t matter.

The entire affair is suspect, and the notion that they were able “to train” a staff (that reads to me that they are Lebanese right-wingers) and send them to Syria is not credible.

Did they survey people in Dir`a for example? And how did the face-to-face interview go?

My favorite part of the bogus survey is that a mere 5% of Syrian had negative opinions of the protesters. That is really delicious. So according to the survey, the regime has fallen and all `Alawites are now opposed to the regime. We need to establish a center to monitor and critique Middle East news analysis in the Western press and point out the daily dosage of trash.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Mary Dejevsky: Will Israel Still Exist in 2048?

By Mary Dejevsky
This time last week the diplomatic world was on tenterhooks, as President Mahmoud Abbas prepared to make Palestine’s claim to recognition at the UN General Assembly. Seven days on, his historic demand languishes in a vague limbo, as Americans and Europeans try to pre-empt an ill-tempered stand-off in the Security Council and the US veto that would surely follow. The idea seems to be to try to deflect the Palestinians with a promise of revamped peace talks with Israel.

Whether or not this tactic works, however, there can be little doubt that one day, sooner rather than later, a fully fledged Palestinian state will come into being. There have been many mis-starts, including the 2006 elections that much of the West rejected retrospectively when Hamas emerged as the biggest party. But the momentum is inexorable. The Arab Spring, better described as the Arab awakening, can only speed the process along.

The bigger and longer-term question relates not to the existence, or even the viability of a Palestinian state – which should be a given. The demographics, economics and politics all point the same way. It relates to the future, and long-term survival, of Israel. In short, will Israel, as the Jewish state, still be around to celebrate its centenary in 2048?

Let me make it absolutely clear: the question is not whether Israel should continue to exist. That is beyond doubt. It is a legally constituted state with full UN recognition. It is a stable, albeit fractious, democracy and has survived more than 60 years in a distinctly hostile neighbourhood. It has created a thriving economy, with intensive agriculture and advanced industry, from almost nothing. It has a rich cultural life. It is not alone in having borders that are not finally demarcated and are regarded by some as illegal. The fact that it has enemies who withhold recognition does not negate its legitimacy.
No, the question is not whether Israel should survive, but whether it can and will survive. And here there must be room at the very least for doubt. A string of recent developments contains hints that the state of Israel, as currently constituted, may not be a permanent feature of the international scene.

One is the new porousness of its borders. Despite massive spending on security and recent, controversial, efforts to erect physical barriers along what Israel defines as its border with the Palestinian Authority, its other frontiers have become, or threaten to become, porous. On several weekends in May and June, Palestinians in Syria breached the border with Israel. They did not use overwhelming force. Numbers were enough, against Israeli troops – rightly – reluctant to mow down dozens of young people.

The incursions appeared to be encouraged, if not actually incited, by the Syrian authorities seeking a diversion from their own difficulties. They have since ceased; but the threat remains, and could soon escalate were the situation in Syria to deteriorate. If, in the worst case, Syria descended into civil war, chaos could present an even greater danger to Israel because there would be no one in Damascus with the authority to call the crowds of frustrated young Palestinians back.

Some hundreds of Egyptian activists demolish a concrete wall built around a building housing the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Egypt, to protect it against demonstrators, as they raise their national Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. Photo: Amr Nabil / APSomething similar, perhaps even less tractable, applies in the south, on Israel’s border with Egypt. Sinai is a vast territory and hard to patrol. Security on the Egyptian side has already deteriorated as a by-product of the fall of the Mubarak regime, and there have been attacks on Israeli convoys in the Negev. If unrest in Syria and Egypt were to extend to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, the consequences for Israel’s security could be even worse.

Add to these growing security problems the demographics – very young and fast-increasing populations in the countries all around – and it is clear that present trends will not easily be reversed. It is just about possible to imagine Israel resorting to the sort of impenetrable fortifications that extend along stretches of the US frontier with Mexico, but the investment would be huge, the message one of isolation, and the effect on daily life in Israel almost entirely negative.

A second reason why Israelis might be justified in having qualms about their future relates to the political aftermath of the Arab Spring. For a long time the fear was that any change in Arab countries would bring Islamist regimes to power, with fiercely anti-Israel agendas. That still cannot be ruled out. But what has happened so far could have more insidious consequences for Israel. Not only is the Jewish state losing its kudos as the sole democracy in the region, but those Arab leaders who actively supported peace have lost, or are losing, power, and the US is giving up on intervention.

One hope was that the emergence of more democratic regimes around Israel might foster a climate of normalisation and mutual respect. That may yet happen. But another effect is that leaders will have to be more responsive to the wishes of their people. As can already be discerned with Egypt, this may not bode well for stability in Arab-Israel relations. With the Arab Spring also bolstering the self-confidence of the Palestinians – a factor in Mr Abbas’s decision to take his case to the UN last week – the political balance in the region is shifting.

A third reason for doubt about Israel’s future lies within the Jewish state itself. With the early pioneering spirit fading, and even the Holocaust – dare one hazard – less of a unifying force, Israel is not the same country it was 60, 30, even 10 years ago. And demography means that it will continue to change, with the Arab, Orthodox Jewish and second-generation Russian populations increasing much faster than other groups.

The Israel of the next 30 years is likely to be more divided, less productive, more inward-looking and more hawkish than it is today – but without the financial means and unquestioning sense of duty that inspired young people to defend their homeland by force of arms.
Recent mass protests against inequality and the cost of middle-class living also suggest that the social solidarity that has prevailed hitherto could break down. In such circumstances, it must be asked how much longer Israel can maintain the unity it has always presented against what it terms the “existential threat”.

An Israel whose borders are leaky, which is surrounded by states that are at once chaotic and assertive, and whose citizens are less able or willing than they were to fight, could face real serious questions about its viability. The choice then might be between a fortress state, explicitly protected by nuclear weapons, and a state so weak that association, or federation, with the burgeoning independent Palestine would become plausible: the so-called one-state solution by other means.

In either event, those with other options – the younger, more educated, more cosmopolitan sections of the population – might well seek their future elsewhere, leaving the homeland of their ancestors’ dreams a husk of its former self.

The emotive call, “Next year in Jerusalem” would be the wistful vestige of a noble ambition overtaken by cruel demographic and geopolitical reality.

You can also read this article on The Independent.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Why I oppose Palestine Statehood Bid

By Sameh A. Habeeb


Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – Not accidently, this is the third time we announce a Palestinian state. The first time to have a state announced was on September 1948. It was announced by the commons of Palestine government. The second time was in Algeria in 1987. And here we go, this September we announce it for the third time.
Many Palestinians are cheering up for the Palestinian Authority (PA) Bid. Many of them are well educated and even experts in their fields of law, politics and journalism. Yet, when it comes to the Bid, their knowledge and experience seems narrow. They get very passionate. Indeed, we Palestinians are emotional always and this might be the reason. Protests are taking place in the West Bank, where Fatah movement as well as the PA are asking people to take it into streets. In fact, many are participating zealously. Certainly, the feeling is inexpressible when one gets an independence and freedom. The prospect of it materialising on the ground will be a life-changing experience for all the Palestinians when, we all will be emancipated from the occupier’s oppression. However, this should not be done the way it has been within that Bid.

I simply oppose it because I was never asked what I want as a Palestinian. I was marginalised like millions of Palestinians in the Diaspora and the refugee camps. The PA and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) do not have the mandate to take such a bid to the UN. PLO created PA long time ago to self-administrate the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, PA pretends to represent all the Palestinians either in the occupied territories or in the diaspora. PA and its leadership have been managing the political arena since Oslo. People in the Palestinian territories made it clear in the elections in 2006 that they did not approve PA as their representative. PA is referred to as Fatah here.
Having said that, PLO is another story, it was the legitimate representative of the Palestinians but not anymore. I’m not adopting Hamas stance which calls on reforming the PLO. Rather, I’m suggesting my personal view based on facts. PLO used to be the sole representative of all Palestinians when once; it had its own parliament called “Palestinian National Council”. During that period, refugees’ own voice was heard through their representatives from Chile in Latin America till the refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria. It has been almost 16 years where the last elections of the PNC took place. Does not this put the PLO’s legitimately on the edge?
I think going to the UN without consulting the Palestinian People undermines the right of majority of Palestinians. The majority is being marginalized. It is apparent that a small group of people is monopolising the Palestinian decision. I clearly blame Fatah or call it the PLO or the PA, at the end they are all the same. I also, blame Hamas. Hamas was not clear on the Bid. Many of its senior officials supported the bid while others ignored it. Hamas has given the PA a cover to go for that Bid through the national unity deal signed in Egypt.

The nature of the Bid is really unclear to many people. But what is vivid here is that, Palestinians via PA are officially giving up on many of the principles of an entire nation. The bid adopts 1967 borders as the borders of that state. Why the PLO did not adopt other decisions to base its bid on? The PA /PLO are saying that they are in huge battle with Israel and the US to pass this bid. If it is that case, why cannot the PA base that bid on partition resolution 181? Sadly, the PA is being pushed in the corner for that bid. No one has pushed it. It has pushed itself because of the endless rounds of failure negotiations which have lasted for years. PA went to that Bid after realising that Israel is never ready for peace. The bid step was hasty and not profoundly studied. Even, us, Palestinians we are not familiarized about that Bid. We don’t know its contents, ramifications or its merits if there is any!

Obviously, the bid if passed will create new facts. Palestinians will officially adopt two state solution. Facts on the ground will make it hard to implement it and create that state. Yet, the whole cause will be limited to a dispute on borders. Israel will be asked to withdraw to these borders. Yet, major issues like Right of Return, Jerusalem, Water and other issues will not be addressed. The entire cause of a nation that has been ethnically cleansed will be an issue of a dispute between two people. Even, we will never see Israelis apologizing for us, same as the Germany did with the Jews.

Some experts consider the PA move as an intelligent plan to isolate Israel. They think the Bid will further seclude Israel after it has lost many key allies like Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia among other Arab regimes. Other experts suggest that this Bid is a move from the PA to regain its lost popularity on the Palestinian street. Without a doubt, there are many explanations on the issue. But the key element here is that the Bid does not represent the whole Palestinian nation. No mandate has been granted to the PA who lacks the legitimacy given by people.

PA and its spokespersons are counting on that step to reach peace. Whilst, facts on the ground put forward solid harsh realities. What will be the future of Israeli settlements on that state? Will we have our own real independence from Israel? Will Israel grant us sovereignty on that state? Will I fly one day from London to Gaza airport easily without being scrutinised by Israel? Will I visit the West Bank without any interrogation? All these questions and others will be left for the PA to answer, if the deliberation on the Bid is ever allowed to materialise in UN in the presence of Israel and the supposed peace broker the United States.

By Sameh A. Habeeb

Founder of the Palestine Telegraph Newspaper

Photo by Sameh A. Habeeb

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The Revolution Begins at Home: An Open Letter to Join the Wall Street Occupation

(Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/pweiskel08)
What is occurring on Wall Street right now is truly remarkable. For over 10 days, in the sanctum of the great cathedral of global capitalism, the dispossessed have liberated territory from the financial overlords and their police army.

They have created a unique opportunity to shift the tides of history in the tradition of other great peaceful occupations from the sit-down strikes of the 1930s to the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s to the democratic uprisings across the Arab world and Europe today.

While the Wall Street occupation is growing, it needs an all-out commitment from everyone who cheered the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, said “We are all Wisconsin,” and stood in solidarity with the Greeks and Spaniards. This is a movement for anyone who lacks a job, housing or healthcare, or thinks they have no future.

Our system is broken at every level. More than 25 million Americans are unemployed. More than 50 million live without health insurance. And perhaps 100 million Americans are mired in poverty, using realistic measures. Yet the fat cats continue to get tax breaks and reap billions while politicians compete to turn the austerity screws on all of us.

At some point the number of people occupying Wall Street – whether that’s five thousand, ten thousand or fifty thousand – will force the powers that be to offer concessions. No one can say how many people it will take or even how things will change exactly, but there is a real potential for bypassing a corrupt political process and to begin realizing a society based on human needs not hedge fund profits.

After all, who would have imagined a year ago that Tunisians and Egyptians would oust their dictators?
At Liberty Park, the nerve center of the occupation, more than a thousand people gather every day to debate, discuss and organize what to do about our failed system that has allowed the 400 richest Americans at the top to amass more wealth than the 180 million Americans at the bottom.

It’s astonishing that this self-organized festival of democracy has sprouted on the turf of the masters of the universe, the men who play the tune that both political parties and the media dance to. The New York Police Department, which has deployed hundreds of officers at a time to surround and intimidate protesters, is capable of arresting everyone and clearing Liberty Plaza in minutes. But they haven’t, which is also astonishing.

That’s because assaulting peaceful crowds in a public square demanding real democracy – economic and not just political – would remind the world of the brittle autocrats who brutalized their people demanding justice before they were swept away by the Arab Spring. And the state violence has already backfired. After police attacked a Saturday afternoon march that started from Liberty Park the crowds only got bigger and media interest grew.

The Wall Street occupation has already succeeded in revealing the bankruptcy of the dominant powers – the economic, the political, media and security forces. They have nothing positive to offer humanity, not that they ever did for the Global South, but now their quest for endless profits means deepening the misery with a thousand austerity cuts.

Even their solutions are cruel jokes. They tell us that the “Buffett Rule” would spread the pain by asking the penthouse set to sacrifice a tin of caviar, which is what the proposed tax increase would amount to. Meanwhile, the rest of us will have to sacrifice healthcare, food, education, housing, jobs and perhaps our lives to sate the ferocious appetite of capital.

That’s why more and more people are joining the Wall Street occupation. They can tell you about their homes being foreclosed upon, months of grinding unemployment or minimum-wage dead-end jobs, staggering student debt loads, or trying to live without decent healthcare. It’s a whole generation of Americans with no prospects, but who are told to believe in a system that can only offer them Dancing With The Stars and pepper spray to the face.

Yet against every description of a generation derided as narcissistic, apathetic and hopeless they are staking a claim to a better future for all of us.

That’s why we all need to join in. Not just by liking it on Facebook, signing a petition at change.org or retweeting protest photos, but by going down to the occupation itself.

There is great potential here. Sure, it’s a far cry from Tahrir Square or even Wisconsin. But there is the nucleus of a revolt that could shake America’s power structure as much as the Arab world has been upended.

Instead of one to two thousand people a day joining in the occupation there needs to be tens of thousands of people protesting the fat cats driving Bentleys and drinking thousand-dollar bottles of champagne with money they looted from the financial crisis and then from the bailouts while Americans literally die on the streets.

To be fair, the scene in Liberty Plaza seems messy and chaotic. But it’s also a laboratory of possibility, and that’s the beauty of democracy. As opposed to our monoculture world, where political life is flipping a lever every four years, social life is being a consumer and economic life is being a timid cog, the Wall Street occupation is creating a polyculture of ideas, expression and art.

Yet while many people support the occupation, they hesitate to fully join in and are quick to offer criticism. It’s clear that the biggest obstacles to building a powerful movement are not the police or capital – it’s our own cynicism and despair.

Perhaps their views were colored by the New York Times article deriding protestors for wishing to “pantomime progressivism” and “Gunning for Wall Street with faulty aim.” Many of the criticisms boil down to “a lack of clear messaging.”

But what’s wrong with that? A fully formed movement is not going to spring from the ground. It has to be created. And who can say what exactly needs to be done? We are not talking about ousting a dictator; though some say we want to oust the dictatorship of capital.

There are plenty of sophisticated ideas out there: end corporate personhood; institute a “Tobin Tax” on stock purchases and currency trading; nationalize banks; socialize medicine; fully fund government jobs and genuine Keynesian stimulus; lift restrictions on labor organizing; allow cities to turn foreclosed homes into public housing; build a green energy infrastructure.

But how can we get broad agreement on any of these? If the protesters came into the square with a pre-determined set of demands it would have only limited their potential. They would have either been dismissed as pie in the sky – such as socialized medicine or nationalize banks – or if they went for weak demands such as the Buffett Rule their efforts would immediately be absorbed by a failed political system, thus undermining the movement.

That’s why the building of the movement has to go hand in hand with common struggle, debate and radical democracy. It’s how we will create genuine solutions that have legitimacy. And that is what is occurring down at Wall Street.

Now, there are endless objections one can make. But if we focus on the possibilities, and shed our despair, our hesitancy and our cynicism, and collectively come to Wall Street with critical thinking, ideas and solidarity we can change the world.

How many times in your life do you get a chance to watch history unfold, to actively participate in building a better society, to come together with thousands of people where genuine democracy is the reality and not a fantasy?

For too long our minds have been chained by fear, by division, by impotence. The one thing the elite fear most is a great awakening. That day is here. Together we can seize it.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Syria MP Khaled Abboud to Al-Manar Website: Conspiracy Reached Dead-End!

Hussein Assi
Syria MP Khaled Abboud to Al-Manar Website:
Conspiracy Reached Dead-End!
  • Greetings to Our Patriarch… Beshara Rahi!
  • US at Side of Armed Gangs against Army
  • Syrians Understood Conspiracy, Toppled It
  • Syrians Delivered Messages to US Ambassador
  • Americans Must Return to Their Conscience
  • Lebanon at Its Best Times, alongside Syria
  • Patriarch Rahi at One Trench with Resistance
  • Some Defeated Lebanese Seek to Be Ride

Syrian Member of Parliament Khaled Abboud declared that the statements made by President Bashar Assad, in which he said that the crisis has ended and that the Syrian cities started to restore stability, were realistic, and emphasized that Syrians have actually dismantled the scene and overthrew the conspiracy targeting them. He pointed out that the open war against Syria reached a dead-end.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar Website, Abboud spoke of a series of messages delivered by the Syrians to the Americans, including US ambassador to Damascus Robert Ford, to stop meddling in Syrian affairs. He said the Syrian accusations to American officials of encouraging violence against the army exceed denunciation to be a real warning.

While noting that Lebanon was an independent and mature entity, he expressed belief that the political map of Lebanon was today at its best times despite the existence of some remarks, and criticized at the same time those he called “fugitive constituents” who were internally defeated, in reference to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Abboud hailed Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi’s latest positions, noting that the patriarch became at the same trench with the Resistance, and thus turned to be the patriarch of Lebanese and Syrian people altogether.

CONSPIRACY ENDED…

Syrian MP Khaled Abboud told Al-Manar Website that the statements made by President Bashar Assad in which he said that the crisis has ended and that the Syrian cities started to restore stability were realistic. He pointed to the defense strategy set by the Syrians to deal with the issue, a strategy based on dismantling the scene by understanding all its aspects. He noted that it was not a secret anymore that the United States is standing at the side of armed gangs against the security forces and the army.

Abboud reiterated that there was an open war against Syria. “Otherwise, there would be no explanation for this political and media aggression, the decisions to besiege Syria at all levels and the clear threats against Syrian stability,” he said.

He declared that the Syrian scene was dismantled, and noted that the conspiracy has reached a dead-end after Syrians got rid of the violence acts.

MORE THAN DENUNCIATION…

Answering a question about the incident of throwing US ambassador with stones and tomatoes, Abboud said this incident was not isolated, and noted that this ambassador was targeted by the Syrian people because of his inciting role against the Syrian leadership, since the beginning of the crisis. While refusing to either legitimizing or condemning this aggression, he noted that there was an open space for people at legal and ethical levels to do whatever they think to be right.

Syrian demonstrators threw US ambassador Robert Ford and other US diplomats on Thursday with stones and tomatoes as they were visiting an opposition figure in Damascus. It was the second attack on US diplomats since the protests erupted in Syria in March. In July, following a visit by Ford to the city of Hama, Syrian protesters attacked the US embassy compound in Damascus.

Abboud spoke of a series of messages delivered by Syrians through this kind of acts. “Syrians are telling the Americans to stop meddling in their own affairs. They are telling them that, even if there was a conflict among Syrians, Americans have nothing to do with it. Syrians have understood the conspiracy. Thus, Americans and Europeans must return to their conscience and be assured that the Syrian leadership will remain solid.”

He noted that the accusations launched by an official source within the Syrian Foreign Ministry to American officials of encouraging violence against the army exceed denunciation to be a real warning. “It is a strong message to Americans. It is a direct accusation and a condemnation message. But it is also a clear warning.”

LEBANON AT ITS BEST TIMES

Commenting on the Lebanese stances from the Syrian crisis, Abboud said that the Lebanese entity was an independent and adult entity. “Lebanese are able to administer their affairs themselves. Lebanon is nowadays able to take decisions, and is stronger than ever,” he declared, as he noted that the political map for Lebanon, at both governmental and religious levels, was formed of solid forces committed to defend the region and its people, including the Syrian nation. He said that this map was at its best times, despite the presence of some remarks, given that Lebanese in general stand at the side of the Resistance and the government.

He highlighted that the meeting of Syrian President Bashar Assad with a number of Lebanese prominent figures comes in this framework. He criticized at the same time those he called the “fugitive constituents” who were internally defeated, in reference to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He said these sides will not be able to triumph, given that they are the exception.

PATRIARCH OF LEBANESE AND SYRIANS

To conclude, the Syrian MP hailed the latest statements made by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, and offered his greeting to this patriarch who became the patriarch of both Lebanese and Syrians at the same time. “When our nations are targeted, we see such people taking positive stances,” he said.
While noting that Patriarch Rahi’s stances were historic, he said that the visit made by the Syrian religious delegation came to confirm this national scene. He said that the patriarch proved to be at the same trench with the resistance.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Palestinians in the W. Bank: era of fear has gone forever

[ 30/09/2011 – 09:03 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Hundreds of Palestinian families have organized a sit-in at the center of Al-Khalil city, south of the West Bank, calling for the release of all Palestinian political detainees in the PA jails in the West Bank.
The sit-inners also expressed their disapproval for not implementing the Palestinian national reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo a couple of months ago, saying that hundreds of their sons and relatives were still under detention in harsh incarceration conditions.
They also shrugged-off the PLO-Fatah step for Palestine’s full membership in the UN, asserting that those who indeed want liberty for their people shouldn’t chase and arrest them without charges.
“Fatah movement should first release all Palestinian political detainees in the PA jails before urging the Israeli occuaption to do so? Indeed, Mahmoud Abbas should provide internal freedom for his people before flying to the UN and apply the statehood bid,” said the sit-inners.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

US Goes from Hero to Zero on Palestine Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 
      
From the Streets Paved with Gold to the Land of a Brow Beaten Populace That’s No Longer The Envy of the World    

USA Goes from Land of Freedom and Opportunity to Land of Bandits, Con Men, and Slave Traitors       

 In the summer of 1945 the USA was the hero of the world. We just finished “saving” the world from the expansionist plans of Adolf Hitler and his Axis buddies as we ushered in a new American century. It was the best of times!

During this time, in general, the global growth in freedom, liberty, and economic opportunity grew. Starting with a global population about 2 billion at the time ending in 2000 with a global population of 6 billion, the world saw amazing change and prosperity, mostly led by a USA who’s ideas and ingenuity dominated the dreams and aspirations of billions; rightfully so.

My own family, Palestinians living in a struggling war torn terrorized refugee camp always talked about coming to America. They believed the streets were paved with gold and they were right. After living in a refugee camp for 12 years with many brothers and sisters, through amazing fate in 1961, they came to America with nothing in their pockets but hopes and dreams.

After many years of hard work, the family prospered enjoying the American Dream they heard about back when bombs were being dropped on their heads by forces they did NOT understand. Each member of the family has their own tract house, car, jobs, and peace in their time; paradise with a some shish kebob on the barby! Not too bad!

It’s the story of millions of immigrants that prospered during the American Century that was our outstanding and successful 20th century.

Fast forward to 2000, we began a new path into the abyss that would see the American century decline and its influence around world knocked around without mercy.

In 2011, we see the results of the US inability to sustain it’s global leadership. The ultimate insult and climax is being witnessed this week as the US has been forced to trash it’s values and reputation in favor of becoming a pariah state as it VETOS the request for Palestinian Statehood at the U.N.

As 5 million plus Palestinians live in camps under occupation in the 4th most densely populated region in the world, the US stands alone with Israel as the only nations who refuse to acknowledge the right to self-determination lamely coming up with excuse after excuse. It’s pathetic and Anti-American!
How did the U.S. get so wrongly on the side of freedom, justice and liberty. What happened to the American Century and why was it abandoned for this pariah state status.

As it stands, America is no longer that land that my family dreamed of where the streets were golden. Instead, as Palestinians lay in their broken streets under guard by their Israeli masters, the global community is in shock that America would so poorly ignore what they once stood for and now abdicate as they embrace the greed mongers who force their hands to act so callously.

It’s shocking, disappointing, and frankly beyond sad because a successful America meant so much to so many. It’s always important to have that place to aspire to; a place to look up to and say “someday…..”.

In fact, I long for those days that our family once dreamed about. Instead, sadly, my kids face a new world order where the USA is just another country where the government no longer has the interests of its people at heart. Instead, the global predator highjackers rape and pillage the USA leaving, we the people, pointing fingers at one another looking for scapegoats wherever we can find them.

Now we’re left with the legacy of going from hero to zero and we don’t even know how it happened. We think the Mexicans are robbing us or some terrorist in Pakistan. We have no clue and we don’t even know what to do about it. It’s truly sad.

Hey, gotta go, my mindnumbing Snookie is on TV and I want to know what’s the situation! Urgh!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Johnny Punish is a musician, artist, entertainer, businessman, investor, life coach, and syndicated columnist. Educated at University of Nevada Las Vegas, his articles appear in Veterans Today and his Johnny Punish Blog. His art music is promoted by Peapolz Media Records and played on net radio at Last.fm and more.

2011 copyright – Johnny Punish

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

‘We-Are-Spartaaaans!’

Via FLC

These stories would be funny if the subject matter was not disinformation at the service of yet another Arab country’s dismemberment.

“…deserters fighting the military in al-Rastan destroyed nine to 13 tanks, said Rami Abdel Rahman …
Deserting soldiers, which activists estimate now number in the thousands, … have appeared to put up a formidable fight over the past few days. At least 13 defected soldiers have been killed over the past week—either in fighting or after being pursued by army and security forces—compared with about 100 regular military soldiers killed in clashes with the defectors, said Mr. Abdel Rahman…”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

"All their foreign policies are best served by somebody who is in Damascus, does the job & maintains stability, and right now, that’s Assad!"

“Via FLC

“… Some are drawing a comparison with Libya, where the opposition movement, the Transitional National Council (TNC), gelled within a month of the uprising. But Syria’s situation is unique, experts caution…

And while Libya’s TNC was able to form a coalition in a matter of weeks, the dynamics in Syria don’t allow for such haste. But experts say the lack of a clear, coherent opposition movement is only part of why the US administration is holding back from stronger intervention in Syria.
 
“Even if [the opposition] were really united and had an organizational structure, I don’t think Washington would do more than what it is doing now,” said Bilal Saab, a visiting fellow at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. “As far as rhetoric, the US has reached the ceiling by saying Assad should step down.”
“The US position is about as good as it’s going to get, given the limitations on the US,” said Aaron David Miller, Middle East analyst, author and negotiator. “We’ve done as much as we can do with respect to the Syrians… and we’re over-extended as it is,” he added, alluding to military in engagement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
 
One thing the US could do to help the Syrian opposition without overt military involvement is supplying them with arms. But there are some reservations. “Weapons exacerbate an arc and drift toward civil war… without the capacity to back it up. We could end up with a Hungary situation in 1956. The last thing we want to do is to encourage unarmed domestic opposition and then not be there for them. Assad could easily use that to his advantage,” said Miller…

One thing holding the US back from further involvement is the start of election season in America. “The US has now entered election mode; everything happens with that in mind,” said Salhani. “A possible intervention in Syria… could affect the president’s chances of re-election. I think it would bring his ratings to an all-time low.” … Given that the US is powerless to do much with regard to Syria, all hopes for stronger action against Assad seem to rest on Turkey, which shares a border with Syria, has condemned the regime, and has been relatively magnanimous in accepting refugees. But in line with its “zero problems with neighbors” policy, Turkey prefers to play the role of mediator in the region over instigator, noted Miller.
All their foreign policies are best served by somebody who is in Damascus who can do the job and maintain stability, and right now, that’s Assad,” said Saab…”


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Gilad Atzmon: Are They Really ‘The People Of The Book’?

Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 7:59AM AuthorGilad Atzmon


Ahead of the publication of my “The Wandering Who” the entire Zionist network is in a total panic. Veterans Today’s senior Editor Gordon Duff commented yesterday that just a ‘few books have been opposed as this one has’. He may as well be right.
It started last Friday, with the Hasbara mouthpiece “Jewish Chronicle” of London attacking Professor Mearsheimer for endorsing a book ‘by an antisemite’.

I don’t know how many times do I have to mention that I am not an antisemite for I really hate everyone equally. For some reason, my detractors refuse to take this simple message on board.
Then, the Islamophobic agent-provocateur “Harry’s place” — who never miss a chance to muddy the water — joined in, intimidating and harassing a London academic just because she tweeted that she likes Atzmon’s book

Just before London Tea Time, America woke up. Within the hour, her Zionist stooges were ready to join the campaign. EX- IDF concentration camp guard Jeffrey Goldberg* had a clear plan to chew Professor John J. Mearsheimer circulating the same banal and unsubstantiated accusations.

At that stage, it appeared to be a campaign that was run by hundreds of Zionist enthusiasts – but if one scratches the surface, it was actually an orchestrated move of barely more than five Jewish bloggers, who have managed to mobilise another twenty or so book burners or shall we call them ‘wandering sockpuppets’ that habitually attack in different areas of the net and the press, co-coordinating to harass, bully and intimidate, with the same dull, repetitive, accusations, ‘arguments’ and smears.

By Sunday night the Guardian published an appalling piece by one Andy Newman of Swindon , who, according to one of his “Socialist Unity” editors, attacked Atzmon simply to appease the relentlessly Islamophobic “Harry’s Place” public.

Top columnist and Middle East analyst Jonathan Cook reacted to the Guardian smear saying, “whatever one thinks of Atzmon, this is clearly a smear job of him (and Alison Weir). Where is the evidence, or even convincing argument, for the claims being made? It is pure Pravda.” Not exactly a flattering comment on the Guardian.
By then it was clear that Islamophobic Award winning Harry’s Place wasn’t going to stop.

In fact Harry Place’s, Goldberg and JC collective shameless tantrum is explored in The Wandering Who. I define it as ‘Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome,’ as opposed to Post Traumatic stress syndrome. They are all terrorized and genuinely traumatized by a book they refuse to read with the hope that the Goyim may surrender and ban it on their behalf.

On Monday afternoon, Professor Mearsheimer published a complete expose of Goldberg’s lameness and the tactics he and his ilk use against myself and others. They quote out of context, they ‘copy and paste’, they forge paragraphs, they deliberately and consciously attribute misleading meanings. In fact, none of those who reacted to the book negatively has read the book or any of my papers. They all refer to quotes that were picked arbitrarily from the ‘Amazon Lookinside page’. I find myself wondering, are these people really the ‘People of the Book’? I guess that People of the ‘Copy & Paste’ is a much better description for Goldberg and his wandering sockpuppets.

Within minutes after Mearsheimer revealed the typical deceitful operation, the wandering sockpuppets were called in to fight Mearsheimer and Walt at the “Foreign Affair Journal” site. By the time they finished posting their filth, the respected magazine comment section looked indeed like a cyber shtetle.
In a final desperate attempt to jeopardize the publication of the book and to silence its author. Richard Seymour AKA ‘Lenin Thumb’, authored a new anti Atzmon manifesto

I read Richard ‘Lenin’ Seymour’s text with interest and found out that for some reason, both ‘avant-garde revolutionary’ Seymour’s text, and Guardian’s ‘socialist’ Andy Newman’s drivel are suspiciously far too similar to the unforgettable ‘Aaronovitch Reading Atzmon’ performance at the Oxford Literature Festival.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc371iqJ5Jk


One may wonder how come Seymour, an alleged revolutionary radical Marxist, Andy Newman, a mediocre socialist and Neocon pro war Aaronovitch are caught together naked holding ideological hands.
How is it that the three try to prevent myself and others from criticising Jewish political lobbying. For some reason they also don’t want us to look closely into the events that led to the financial turmoil. How is it possible that a hard core Zionist and ultra radical leftists are not only employing the same ideological argument but also performing the exact same tactics? Clearly, there is an obvious ideological and political continuum between Aaronovitch, Newman and Seymour. The Wandering Who scrutinizes this very continuum.

Zionism clearly maintains and sustains its ‘radical left opposition’ and the logos behind such a tactic is simple- ‘revolutionary’ left is totally irrelevant to both the conflict and its resolution. Hence, Zionists cannot dream of an easier opposition to handle. When the Zionists detect a dangerous rising intellect who aims at the truth, they obviously utilize and mobilize the Jewish left together with the few willing Sabbath Goyim executioners to gatekeep the emerging danger. Seymour, Newman and a just few others are always happy to slay the emerging intellect.

Indeed they were effective for years. From an intellectual perspective our movement is pretty much a desert. Every deep thinker we have ever had has been targeted and destroyed by the Jewish Left and their Sabbath Goyim. But for some reason, they somehow failed with me. My views on Palestine and Israel are now circulated on most dissident journals and my book The Wandering Who is endorsed by the most important people scholars and activists in our discourse.

So far, all efforts to stop the book have fallen apart . There is no sign of anyone pulling the book out but there are clear signs that the Hasbara orchestrated campaign has backfired. No one surrendered to the Zionist campaign and its stooges. As they said in Tahrir Square, ‘we have lost our fear.’ The Wandering Who is now a best seller for more than a week (as far as Amazon ranking can tell). On the Jewish best seller list, it is even more popular than the Babylonian Talmud and the Torah. I guess that this is indeed a great concern for Zionists and their stooges, but there is nothing they can do about it.
You can now order Gilad Atzmon’s New Book on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
* Jeffrey Goldberg made Aliya when he was eighteen: he left America for Israel, joined the IDF and served as a prison guard in an Israeli concentration camp during the First Intifada.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

"All vows, oaths, promises, engagements, and swearing,……"

Mr. Hart asked: Will God forgive?

Lord Sacks“If this goy (me) completely understands the message, the Chief Rabbi is calling on British Jews (and by obvious implication all others) to say sorry to the people they have hurt as well as God. And if that is so I have three questions.

1. Do the people who have been hurt by Jews in Zionism’s name include the Palestinians?
2. If the answer is “No”, why not?
3. If the answer is “Yes”, why is that most Jews can’t say sorry to the Palestinians for the terrible wrongs done to them in Zionism’s name? (The terrible wrongs only begin with the first phase of Zionism’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine).”

Alan, I think, like “there was No surrender” you heard from your friend “Mother Israel”, and like “there was No Peace” I learned from my friend Gilad Atzmon, who says in their language the word SHALOM” means “security  for the Jews”, I would claim,  you know there is no such word as “Sorry” in the Chief Rabbi’s language. 

I shall try to read the Rabbi’s statement: 

In his Special Praying at this time of the year as he “come close to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish new year and the day of atonement…there’s something so powerful about the ability to say sorry“. In that the moment of honesty in his lifetime he can say sorry to his God because he “know he forgives him”, the Rabbi know that because that’s the kind of God he is, [THE GOD OF CHOSEN] who gave the Rabbi Yom Kippur. to say sorry to God…. and  to the people he hurt. [Which people?].

I guess, he ment the “Master Race” and that may answer your first question. How come he may say sorry to “Goyim” and in particular to Palestinians, the natives of the “PROMISED LAND”??
The chief Rabbi shall never tell you Our vows shall be no vows, and our oaths no oaths at all.” Schulc,han Aruch, Edit. I, 136. “31. All vows, oaths, promises, engagements, and swearing, which, beginning this very day or reconciliation till the next day of reconciliation, we intend to vow, promise, wear, and bind ourselves to fulfill, we repent of beforehand; let them be illegalized, acquitted, annihilated, abolished, valueless, unimportant. Our vows shall be no vows, and our oaths no oaths at all.” is the talmud defensible as a holy text  My catbird seat – check the comments.

imageIn your third question you asked: why is that most Jews can’t say sorry to the Palestinians for the terrible wrongs done to them in Zionism’s name? (The terrible wrongs only begin with the first phase of Zionism’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine).” 

Alan, do you think, the israelis and most of the Jews, who failed to say sorry to Turkey, may say say sorry to Palestinians?”

Alan, you asked: Will God forgive?
My answer: Yes the “God of Chosen” should.

If you are seeking answers to your questions, Brig. Gen. Gordon “Jack” Mohr asked
If Jews Are Really Persecuted  – Why?

Check it and read carefully items 6, which explains why the Rabbi may not answer “Goy’s” questions, item 31 about the the Rabbi’s “special moment” and special praying.

BTW: The new “Father Palestine” wishes Peres a happy new year while occupation seals West Bank

Alan Hart: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year): Will God forgive

By Alan Hart
Date

At the start of the Jewish New Year I have some questions for Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. They are for him in particular because of what he said in a recorded message of preparation for the New Year, but they are also questions that could and should be asked of rabbis everywhere.

First here’s the complete text (quite short) of what Lord Sacks said and can be seen to be saying on You Tube.

“That’s the sound of selichot (the choral-like prayer that opened his lordship’s presentation). Of saying sorry. The special prayers we say at this time of the year as we come close to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish new year and the day of atonement. And there’s something so powerful about the ability to say sorry.

“Out there in secular society we live in a non penitential culture. When was the last time you heard a politician say, ‘I’m sorry’. Or a rabbi say, ‘I got it wrong’. Or a pundit say, ‘I made a mistake’.
“Yet we’re always getting things wrong. That’s what it is to be human. So to be able to say, I’m sorry, I was wrong, forgive me, is important. It’s a moment of honesty in a lifetime of keeping up appearances; of trying to look infallible. And I can say sorry to God because I know he forgives me. I know that because that’s the kind of God he is. That’s why he gave us Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. So try saying sorry to God. It might just help you, as it has helped me, to say sorry to the people I’ve hurt. Saying sorry is the superglue of interpersonal life. It mends relationships that would otherwise be broken beyond repair. You won’t be sorry that you said, ‘I’m sorry, Shanah toya’.
“Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is a kind of clarion call, a summons to the Ten Days of Penitence which culminate in the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is the supreme moment of Jewish time, a day of fasting and prayer, introspection and self-judgement. At no other time are we so sharply conscious of standing before God, of being known.”

If this goy (me) completely understands the message, the Chief Rabbi is calling on British Jews (and by obvious implication all others) to say sorry to the people they have hurt as well as God. And if that is so I have three questions.
1. Do the people who have been hurt by Jews in Zionism’s name include the Palestinians?
2. If the answer is “No”, why not?
3. If the answer is “Yes”, why is that most Jews can’t say sorry to the Palestinians for the terrible wrongs done to them in Zionism’s name? (The terrible wrongs only begin with the first phase of Zionism’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine).

As I was turning over in my gentile mind possible answers to the last question, I recalled a very revealing story Golda Meir told me in our last conversation shortly before she died.

It was about what happened early on the first morning (day two) of the Yom Kippur war when Sadat’s forces were consolidating their hold on the Suez Canal which they had crossed in a surprise attack. Prime Minister Meir convened a kitchen cabinet meeting in her small and very modest Tel Aviv home. Defense Minister Dayan proposed that the IDF should “surrender” its remaining frontline positions on the canal to save lives and withdraw 25 kilometers.
To me Golda said: “I told Moshe there was no such word as surrender in our language, then I rushed to that little room there, the toilet, and vomited.” (The full version of that story, and many others, is in my book, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews).

Is it the case that there’s no such word as sorry in Zionism’s vocabulary?

As I understand it the real problem is that saying sorry to the Palestinians requires all Jews, not only Israeli Jews, to acknowledge the wrong done to the Palestinians in Zionism’s name. And that in turn would require all Jews, not only Israeli Jews, to play their necessary part in righting the wrong done to the Palestinians.

Perhaps more to the point is that saying sorry to the Palestinians would raise the Mother and Father of all questions about the legitimacy and criminality of Zionism’s colonial-like enterprise.

I’ll address my last question for the moment directly to Lord Sacks.

Chief Rabbi, do you really believe that God will forgive the Jews if they don’t say sorry to the Palestinians and then play their necessary part in righting the wrong done?

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israelis Mock Palestinian Bid for Statehood (Video)

“Nowadays, Israelis are exhibiting the symptoms of a mass paranoia syndrome”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

The Israeli syndrome.

A lot have been written about the Palestinian bid for statehood lately. The whole world watched the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, as he handed over the historic request to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, asking the United Nations to admit the state of Palestine as a full member.

We can glean a fairly good idea where most of the world stand on this Palestinian bid for statehood issue from the huge applause and standing ovation Mr. Abbas won as he entered the hall just after submitting the membership request and giving his speech in which he said “I do not believe that anyone with a shred of conscience can reject our application for a full membership in the United Nations and our admission as an independent state”

But that someone was actually there, right in the same room, namely Avigdor Lieberman, Israel foreign minister and I think the world has a fairly good idea of how conscientious he is. Mr. Lieberman told the UN General Assembly that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would take “decades”, and dismissed current talks between the two sides as unrealistic.

The foreign minister also described Iran as the largest problem in the region, and said that “the Iranian issue must be resolved before solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” In other words, Lieberman prefers to first go ahead with bombing Iran, or better yet conning the Americans into fighting this one more war for them, the same way they tricked them into the Iraq and Af-Pak war.

We have a fairly good idea where the Israeli government stand on this Palestinian aspiration for statehood as Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister has made it clear in his speech before the UN General Assembly “The Palestinians must first make peace with Israel, and only then get their state” … again and in other words, the Israelis are simply saying that it is up to them, and not to some UN assembly, to say when and how the Palestinian could have their state, if they’ll ever allow such a dream to come true in the first place.

The United States of America did not have to wait for centuries until the kingdom of Great Britain would have approved of its independence declaration, that much we know.

The Holocaust Industry

But what about the Israeli people, we don’t have a good idea how they view this Palestinian bid for statehood.

We know that there are sectors in the Israeli society, socialists and liberals, who advocate for a two-state solution but we are more concerned with the majority of the Israeli people who followed in the footsteps of Herzl and his manifesto for a utopian state for the Jews in the Arab land of Palestine.
Over one hundred years since Herzl died and more than 60 years since the establishment of Israel and still the fear and rejection because of which the Jews fled Europe are very much alive with them, in their old new promised land. Obviously, the problem did not lie primarily in the European attitude.

The Zionist politicians have managed over the years to utilize that sense of fear and victimization and somehow through a Zionist-oriented pop culture or what we could call now the Holocaust Industry to cast Israel as a “victim state” in order to garner “immunity to criticism”.

Nowadays, Israelis, and due to the prolonged exposure to this Holocaust industrial hazards, are exhibiting the symptoms of a mass paranoia syndrome. For more elaboration on the symptoms- albeit farcical- of this syndrome let’s watch the video.

I think an apology for the late Freddie Mercury and “Queen”, the British rock band who wrote and sang the original version “Somebody to Love“ is in order here.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Bachmann: ‘Hizbullah has missile sites in Cuba’

Hizbullah has never been a terrorist group,” George Galloway, former British MP and author.

Last year Fidel Castro gave an interview to the Atlantic’s Israel-Firster Jew columnist Jeffrey Goldberg. Both Shimon Peres and Benji Netanyahu sent letters of appreciation to Fidel Castro for criticizing Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad for not believing in the ‘Six Million Died’ story. The interview was arranged by Ziocon think tank CFR’s Julia Sweig, allegedly to be a Cuban ‘agent of influence‘ by the Defence Intelligence Agency’s Lt. Col. Simmons.

On September 26, 2011 – Republican presidential hopeful, Israel-Firster Rep. Michele Bachmann has claimed that Lebanese Islamic Resistance, Hizbullah, could soon have “missile sites” in Cuba. Therefore, it would be “foolish” to normalize trade with Cuba. Watch video below.

Bachmann was apparently referring to an unsourced report in the pro-Israel Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera earlier this month about how a handful of Hizbullah members have set up some sort of encampment in Cuba. The report was never backed up in major publications but was picked up by Ziocon blogs like Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace and Fontova’s Townhall.
Bachmann also assured her Republican supporters that no matter how much Obama tries (to be an Zionist agent) – he will be a one-term President.

Earlier, Israel-Firster Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican chairwoman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs said considering Cuba’s close relations with Iran and Syria, she would not be surprised if Cuba is providing safe heaven to Hizbullah to target Israeli interests in the US. Last month, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, tabled a motion that Washington should provide financial aid to 127,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors living in United States.

Last year, Israel’s disinformation organ, Memri, reported that Dr. Aleida Guevara, a Marxist (Karl Marx was Jewish) and daughter of Cuban revolutionary, Che Guevara, had met with Hizbullah leaders in Lebanon. During her visit, Aleida laid a wreath on the tomb of Hizbullah leader Abbas Al-Musawi and said: “As long as the memory of the martyr remain with us, we will have more strength”.

The US, Canada and Israel are the only three countries among the 193 United Nations members which have designated Hizbullah a ‘terrorist’ organization. Hezbullah has three members in Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s 30-member cabinet.
In 2000, Jewish army was forced to vacate most part of Southern Lebanon as result of Hizbullah’s 18-year military resistance. In Summer 2006, 30,000 Jewish soldiers backed by F16s, helcopters, tanks and missiles attacked Lebanon to destroy Hizbullah as a military resistance. During the 34-day-invasion, Israelis killed 1200 Lebanese civilians including 49 Hizbullah fighters – while loosing 139 of Jew soldiers, 23 tanks destroyed and several F16s and helicopters and two naval ships damaged.

Is the End of Israel here?

In 2001, Israel-Russian writer Israel Shamir predicted the end of Israel, saying: “Israel is Doomed. She is disgusting to the Arabs, the French, the English, even to herself. The red-hot intifada is the fiery river, into which melts and sinks to the bottom another myth of the 20th century – the theory of Zionism. According to designs of Herzl and Jabotinsky, a small geopolitical monstrosity was created on Arab lands. Its settlers have imposed on America and Germany the annual tribute of five billions dollars. They pour napalm on the mosques and transform whole nations into homeless refugees. They brainwash the whole world by their ashes of Auschwitz.”

On February 8, 2011 – British Jewish Chronicle reported Ronald Lauder (Reagan’s ambassador to Austria), President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has “called for Israel to be admitted into NATO in order to guarantee its survival in the future. NATO membership “would send a strong signal to other countries not to take on Israel”.

This month three Zionist Jew writers (Benny Morris, Thomas Friedman and Aluf Benn) and one Islamophobe Zionist Christian (Victor Davis) have agreed with Israel Shamir’s ten-year-old prophecy.

“This is no longer (socialist/communist) Israel. A profound, internal, existential crisis has arrived. It stems in part from the changing nature of the country, more right wing, more restrictive, far less liberal, and far less egalitarian. Many moderate Israelis fear the country is heading for ruin*. Indeed, the country’s ruling class, including Benjamin Netanyahu and his predecessors Ehud Olmert (now on trial for corruption) and Ehud Barak (a former head of the Labor Party and current defense minister), live in opulence, and the feeling is that they are out of touch with reality. In Tel Aviv, where some 350,000 gathered in protest, a widespread chant, set to a popular children’s ditty, was “Bibi has three apartments, which is why we have none,” wrote Benny Morris in Israeli Hasbara organ, The Daily Beast, on September 11, 2011.

“I’VE never been more worried about Israel’s future. The crumbling of key pillars of Israel’s security – the peace with Egypt, the stability of Syria and the friendship of Turkey and Jordan – coupled with the most diplomatically inept and strategically incompetent government in Israel’s history have put Israel in a very dangerous situation.,” wrote Thomas Friedman in the NYT on September 17, 2011.

“Israel is entering the looming confrontation with the Palestinians isolated, weak and abhorred by the international community. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now having to pay the price for the changes in the Middle East: the decline of the American superpower, the rise of Erdoganist Turkey, Iran’s progress in its nuclear project and the empowerment of the masses in the Arab states,” wrote Aluf Benn in Ha’aretz on September 16, 2011.

“A soon-to-be-nuclear Iran serially promises to destroy Israel. The Erdogan government in Turkey brags about its Ottoman Islamist past – and wants to provoke Israel into an eastern-Mediterranean shooting war. Pakistan is the world’s leading host and exporter of jihadists obsessed with destroying Israel,” wrote Victor Davis Hanson in Ziocon National Review Online on September 22, 2011.
Against all these whining Israel-Firsters – America’s first Jewish President Barack Obama, who has proved himself to be the most radical supporter of all US presidents has come to rescue the Zionist regime from world isolation at the United Nations. His speech at UNGA left everyone in Israel dumbstruck. Obama sounded more like David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of the Zionist entity

Meanwhile, Israeli Military: No budget-No Defense
* in case you missed it

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Letters to the Guardian: Moral obligation and Jewish identity

DateWednesday, September 28, 2011 at 11:10PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

I am on the Guardian’s letters section today

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/28/moral-obligation-and-jewish-identity?newsfeed=true

    Blogger Andy Newman (Comment, 26 September) misrepresented my views.My latest book, The Wandering Who?, is a study of Jewish identity politics. How to define a Jew is a loaded topic since Jews define themselves in many different ways, some contradictory, and use those definitions to try to achieve political aims. And yet not many people dare to touch upon these subjects for fear of being accused of antisemitism. To paraphrase what I say in my book, “An antisemite used to be someone who hates Jews; nowadays an antisemite is someone Jews hate.”My argument is that since Israel defines itself as the “Jewish state” and it also drops bombs on innocent civilians from aeroplanes decorated with Jewish symbols, it is my moral obligation to grasp what Jewishness and Jewish identity stand for.Just a few days ago Britain amended its universal jurisdiction laws in response to pressure mounted by the Israeli lobby. In my book I attempt to examine the complex relationships between Israel and the diaspora. I try to grasp the philosophy and ideology at the heart of Israeli lobbying. But I also insist that each of us has the right to express his or her opinion on the subject without being censored, bullied or intimidated by charges of antisemitism.It is very disappointing to see a newspaper renowned for its egalitarian stance publishing, without checking, the unsubstantiated rantings of self-interested campaigners.Gilad AtzmonLondon

    You can now order Gilad Atzmon’s New Book on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Syria Overcame Crisis, Triumphs in UN through Moscow

Batoul Wehbe
The UN Security Council concluded talks on Syria Wednesday failing to reach an agreement on a new resolution for another time, after Russia slammed Europe’s effort to threaten sanctions against Damascus.
The 15-member Council discussed rival draft resolutions on the Syria crisis drawn up by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal on one side and Russia on the other. Russia opposes any hint of sanctions and the latest version of its draft resolution seeks to condemn so-called violence by all sides in Syria.
Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the European proposal “a continuation of the Libya policy of regime change.” Russia and China have accused NATO of using UN resolutions on Libya to force out strongman Moammar Gaddafi and say they fear new military action in Syria.

He said the Russian resolution “is something which if adopted by the council will encourage the political process in Syria and will help stop violence.”
China’s UN ambassador, Li Baodong, said the final resolution must be “promoting a peaceful solution, promoting dialogue.”

CRISIS OVERCOME PEACEFULLY

In the meantime, Syrian President Bashar Assad met Former Prime Minister Salim al-Hoss in Damascus where they discussed the crisis, which according to Assad Syria “managed to overcome peacefully,” a statement from Hoss’ office said Wednesday.
Hoss stressed that Syria has a key role in preserving Arabism and it is targeted due to this role. He also considered that any political move in the region in the future must be based on the pan-Arab thought which preserves the unity of the Arab societies.
“The painful events have ended and, thank God, stability has returned to the affected Syrian cities,” Assad told Hoss adding that authorities are monitoring the situation to look out for the well-being and peace of the Syrian people.”
The Syrian Arab News Agency said Assad discussed the events in Syria and its repercussions on the region in general and on Lebanon in particular.
Later on Wednesday, Hoss told al-Jadeed TV channel that “Syria experienced an international attack. We know Syria was targeted and that they [the foreign powers] want to isolate it”.

ASSASSINATION WAVE!

This comes as a wave of assassinations of high-profile figures has hit Syria with a nuclear engineer and a high-ranking law enforcement officer becoming the latest victims.
Nuclear engineer and university professor Aws Abdel Karim Khalil was shot in the head by an armed terrorist group operating in the city of Homs in western Syria, SANA reported Wednesday. Security officer Colonel Tayssir al-Oqla was shot dead by another terrorist outfit at al-Ta’awuniya neighborhood of Hama, another western city.

Khalil is the fourth Syrian academic to be assassinated in Homs since Sunday.

Damascus says that the unrest is being orchestrated from outside the country and that the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians. Syria state TV has also broadcast reports and images of seizure of arms caches and confessions by terrorist elements, pointing to how they obtained weaponry from foreign sources.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday accused the United States of inciting “armed groups” into acts of violence targeting the country’s military. “Comments by American officials, notably [US State Department spokesperson] Mark Toner, are striking proof that the United States encourages armed groups to commit violence against the Syrian Arab army,” a ministry statement said.

Source: Websites

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israeli West Bank Annexation Bill – by Stephen Lendman

Palestinians petitioned the UN for sovereign recognition and full UN membership.

Four extremist MKs responded, calling for West Bank settlements annexed. A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:
MK Deputy Speaker Danny Danon wants more.
On September 27, the JTA Global News Service of the Jewish People headlined, “Knesset to vote on annexing the West Bank,” saying:
On September 27, Danon said the Knesset will “take up the bill, which he authored, at the end of October.”
It includes rescinding Israeli/PA financial obligations established by prior agreements. According to Danon:
“If the Palestinian Authority wishes to proceed on this reckless path and bring further instability to the region, Israel cannot continue to pour funds into this sinking ship of failed leadership.”
“The funding agreements with the PA were reached with the hope that their leaders would work to create an environment of lasting peace and security with Israel. Given that it is clear that the Palestinians have no such desire, Israel must no longer be required to stand by these arrangements.”
Palestinians, of course, want and deserve what Israel denied them for 63 years after stealing their homeland violently. Using long ago discredited arguments, Danon and others like him think Israel has a divine right to their land.
Growing millions globally disagree, including Israeli Jews and others everywhere able to distinguished between right and wrong.
Danon said his bill nullifies Oslo, stating:
“All obligations between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority as established by international agreements….will be considered null and void.”
Oslo, of course, was a Palestinian Versailles, benefitting Israel, not them. Sovereign recognition and full UN membership are first steps to reversing unilateral surrender.
Representative Joe Walsh (R. IL) is as hardline as Danon. On September 8, he introduced HR 394:
“Supporting Israel’s right to annex Judea and Samaria (the West Bank and Jerusalem) in the event that the Palestinian Authority continues to press for unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.”
He didn’t address if that would make them Israeli citizens, subhuman serfs to be exploited, or illegal infiltrators on Israeli land, subject to arbitrary expulsion.
Nor did consider what right he, others in Washington, or outsiders anywhere have to meddle in internal Palestinian affairs. America, of course, long ago refined it to an art form, attested to by mass global deaths, destruction and human misery.
“To restrict funds for the Palestinian Authority, and for other purposes.”
In other words, obey or we’ll cut off your allowance. Coming with strings, it’s less aid than bondage to do what we say or we’ll spank you with more than harsh words.
On September 27, Turkish Prime Minister proposed a different solution than Walsh and hardline MKs. On September 27, Haaretz headlined, “Erdogan: UN sanctions on Israel could aid Mideast peace process,” saying:
Sanctions “would have resolved the issue of Mideast peace long ago….adding that he felt the Quartet(‘s)” proposal fell far short of resolving the longstanding Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Through today, he said, “the UN Security Council has issued more than 89 resolutions on prospective sanctions related to Israel, but they’ve never been executed….One might” ask why?
“When it’s Iran in question, you impose sanctions. Similarly with Sudan. What happens with Israel then.”
If sanctioned, the “conflict would have been resolved long ago.” As a result, he believes the Quartet has no interest in resolution. “Unfortunately, I do not even see (its) traces within the Quartet. Because if (it) was so willing to resolve this issue, (it) would have imposed certain issues on Israel today.”
Of course, strained Turkey/Israeli relations place both countries on opposite sides of various issues, including Palestinian statehood.
Despite the Quartet’s anti-Palestinian UN membership proposal, Haaretz headlined, “Israel’s cabinet fails to reach consensus on Quartet plan for talks with Palestinians,” saying:
Netanyahu “and the eight senior cabinet members were unable to (agree on) the Quartet’s initiative for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Despite Netanyahu’s support, consensus so far isn’t reached. Meanwhile, Security Council deliberations continue on and off behind closed doors.
Reports disagree on whether Palestinians have nine needed votes to force a US veto. Haaretz said UN sources say Washington has enough support to avoid a it.
EU representatives acted like Joe Walsh to a degree, telling PA officials they risk losing European aid by acting “unilaterally.”
On September 28, Haaretz headlined, “Palestinian statehood bid to be reviewed by UN committee,” saying:
On Wednesday, the Security Council “unanimously agreed to hand the Palestinian application to join the United Nations to a committee” for review.
Normally, it takes “a maximum of 35 days, but Western diplomats say that this limit can be waived and might take much longer….”
In other words, delay, obstruct, and consign Palestinian membership to memory hole oblivion. It’s simple to get around it through the General Assembly, whether or not the Security Council provides support.
It recommends. The General Assembly alone admits new members provided Abbas goes that route properly.
A Final Comment
Palestinians have always been on their own since Britain’s 1917 Balfour Declaration, promising a Jewish homeland in Palestine. It included a hollow one to indigenous Palestinians that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities.”
During its Mandate period, they were systematically denied until losing them in 1948, then entirely in 1967. Israel was born in the original sin of mass slaughter and forced expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians, wanting only to live in peace on their own land.
With full backing from Washington and Western states, Palestinians never got justice. Israel operates outside the law with impunity. Peace process conflict resolution never existed and doesn’t now.
Palestinians understand and want official sovereign recognition and full UN membership. In 1987, Law Professor Francis Boyle drafted its 1988 Declaration of Independence.
Through the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution 377, full UN membership is obtainable if Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad want it. A simple two-thirds General Assembly majority gets it.
On the Progressive Radio News Hour to air October 2, Boyle said the 170 nations support it, according to the Financial Times. If all 193 UN members vote, 129 are needed.
According to Boyle, if Abbas petitions the General Assembly under Resolution 377, full UN membership can be gotten in two weeks, making Palestine the body’s 194th member.
Despite enormous Washington/Israeli pressure to back down, what Palestinians have wanted for 63 years is within easy reach. It’s for Abbas and Fayyad now to follow through for them.
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.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian by JONATHAN COOK

 by JONATHAN COOK

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 5:44PM

Gilad Atzmon 

http://www.counterpunch.org
SEPTEMBER 28, 2011
There could be no better proof of the revolution – care of the internet – occurring in the accessibility of information and informed commentary than the reaction of our mainstream, corporate media.

A Thought Police for the Internet Age

For the first time, Western publics – or at least those who can afford a computer – have a way to bypass the gatekeepers of our democracies. Data our leaders once kept tightly under wraps can now be easily searched for, as can the analyses of those not paid to turn a blind eye to the constant and compelling evidence of Western hypocrisy. Wikileaks, in particular, has rapidly eroded the traditional hierarchical systems of information dissemination.

The media – at least the supposedly leftwing component of it – should be cheering on this revolution, if not directly enabling it. And yet, mostly they are trying to co-opt, tame or subvert it. Indeed, progressive broadcasters and writers increasingly use their platforms in the mainstream to discredit and ridicule the harbingers of the new age.

A good case study is the Guardian, considered the most leftwing newspaper in Britain and rapidly acquiring cult status in the United States, where many readers tend to assume they are getting access through its pages to unvarnished truth and the full range of critical thinking on the left.

Certainly, the Guardian includes some fine reporting and occasionally insightful commentary. Possibly because it is farther from the heart of empire, it is able to provide a partial antidote to the craven coverage of the corporate-owned media in the US.

Nonetheless, it would be unwise to believe that the Guardian is therefore a free market in progressive or dissident ideas on the left. In fact, quite the contrary: the paper strictly polices what can be said and who can say it in its pages, for cynical reasons we shall come to.

Until recently, it was quite possible for readers to be blissfully unaware that there were interesting or provocative writers and thinkers who were never mentioned in the Guardian. And, before papers had online versions, the Guardian could always blame space constraints as grounds for not including a wider range of voices. That, of course, changed with the rise of the internet.

Early on, the Guardian saw the potential, as well as the threat, posed by this revolution. It responded by creating a seemingly free-for-all blog called Comment is Free to harness much of the raw energy unleashed by the internet. It recruited an army of mostly unpaid writers, activists and propagandists on both sides of the Atlantic to help brand itself as the epitome of democratic and pluralistic media.

From the start, however, Comment is Free was never quite as free – except in terms of the financial cost to the Guardian – as it appeared. Significant writers on the left, particularly those who were considered “beyond the pale” in the old media landscape, were denied access to this new “democratic” platform. Others, myself included, quickly found there were severe and seemingly inexplicable limits on what could be said on CiF (unrelated to issues of taste or libel).

None of this should matter. After all, there are many more places than CiF to publish and gain an audience. All over the web dissident writers are offering alternative analyses of current events, and drawing attention to the significance of information often ignored or sidelined by the corporate media.

Rather than relish this competition, or resign itself to the emergence of real media pluralism, however, the Guardian reverted to type. It again became the left’s thought police.

This time, however, it could not ensure that the “challenging left” would simply go unheard. The internet rules out the option of silencing by exclusion. So instead, it appears, it is using its pages to smear those writers who, through their own provocative ideas and analyses, suggest the Guardian’s tameness.

The Guardian’s discrediting of the “left” – the left being a concept never defined by the paper’s writers – is far from taking place in a fair battle of ideas. Not least the Guardian is backed by the huge resources of its corporate owners. When it attacks dissident writers, they can rarely, if ever, find a platform of equal prominence to defend themselves. And the Guardian has proved itself more than reluctant to allow a proper right of reply in its pages to those it maligns.

But also, and most noticeably, it almost never engages with these dissident writers’ ideas. In popular terminology, it prefers to play the man, not the ball. Instead it creates labels, from the merely disparaging to the clearly defamatory, that push these writers and thinkers into the territory of the unconscionable.

A typical example of the Guardian’s new strategy was on show this week in an article in the print edition’s comment pages – also available online and a far more prestigious platform than CiF – in which the paper commissioned a socialist writer, Andy Newman, to argue that the Israeli Jewish musician Gilad Atzmon was part of an anti-semitic trend discernible on the left.

Jonathan Freedland, the paper’s star columnist and resident obsessive on anti-semitism, tweeted to his followers that the article was “important” because it was “urging the left to confront antisemitism in its ranks”.

I have no idea whether Atzmon has expressed anti-semitic views – and I am none the wiser after reading Newman’s piece.

As is now typical in this new kind of Guardian character assassination, the article makes no effort to prove that Atzmon is anti-semitic or to show that there is any topical or pressing reason to bring up his presumed character flaw. (In passing, the article made a similar accusation of anti-semitism against Alison Weir of If Americans Knew, and against the Counterpunch website for publishing an article on Israel’s role in organ-trafficking by her.)

Atzmon has just published a book on Jewish identity, The Wandering Who?, that has garnered praise from respected figures such as Richard Falk, an emeritus law professor at Princeton, and John Mearsheimer, a distinguished politics professor at Chicago University.

But Newman did not critique the book, nor did he quote from it. In fact, he showed no indication that he had read the book or knew anything about its contents.

Instead Newman began his piece, after praising Atzmon’s musicianship, with an assumptive reference to his “antisemitic writings”. There followed a few old quotes from Atzmon, long enough to be intriguing but too short and out of context to prove his anti-semitism – except presumably to the Guardian’s thought police and its most deferential readers.

The question left in any reasonable person’s mind is why dedicate limited commentary space in the paper to Atzmon? There was no suggestion of a newsworthy angle. And there was no case made to prove that Atzmon is actually anti-semitic. It was simply assumed as a fact.

Atzmon, even by his own reckoning, is a maverick figure who has a tendency to infuriate just about everyone with his provocative, and often ambiguous, pronouncements. But why single him out and then suggest that he represents a discernible and depraved trend among the left?

Nonetheless, the Guardian was happy to offer its imprimatur to Newman’s defamation of Atzmon, who was described as a conspiracy theorist “dripping with contempt for Jews”, despite an absence of substantiating evidence. Truly worthy of Pravda in its heyday.

The Atzmon article appeared on the same day the Guardian carried out a similar hatchet job, this time on Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. The paper published a book review of Assange’s “unauthorised autobiography” by the Guardian’s investigations editor, David Leigh.

That Leigh could be considered a reasonable choice for a review of the book – which he shamelessly pilloried – demonstrates quite how little the Guardian is prepared to abide by elementary principles of ethical journalism.

Leigh has his own book on the Guardian’s involvement with Wikileaks and Assange currently battling it out for sales in the bookshops. He is hardly a disinterested party.

But also, and more importantly, Leigh is clearly not dispassionate about Assange, any more than the Guardian is. The paper has been waging an all-but-declared war against Wikileaks since the two organizations fell out over their collaboration on publishing Wikileak’s trove of 250,000 classified US embassy cables. The feud, if the paper’s talkbacks are to be believed, has finally begun to test the patience of even some of the paper’s most loyal readers.

The low point in Leigh’s role in this saga is divulging in his own book a complex password Assange had created to protect a digital file containing the original and unedited embassy cables. Each was being carefully redacted before publication by several newspapers, including the Guardian.

This act of – in the most generous interpretation of Leigh’s behavior – gross stupidity provided the key for every security agency in the world to open the file. Leigh has accused Wikileaks of negligence in allowing a digital copy of the file to be available. Whether true, his own role in the affair is far more inexcusable.

Even given his apparent ignorance of the digital world, Leigh is a veteran investigative reporter who must have known that revealing the password was foolhardy in the extreme. Not least, it clearly demonstrated how Assange formulates his passwords, and would provide important clues for hackers trying to open other protected Wikileaks documents.

His and the Guardian’s recklessness in disclosing the password was compounded by their negligent decision to contact neither Assange nor Wikileaks before publication of Leigh’s book to check whether the password was still in use.

After this shabby episode, one of many from the Guardian in relation to Assange, it might have been assumed that Leigh was considered an inappropriate person to comment in the Guardian on matters related to Wikileaks. Not so.

Instead the paper has been promulgating Leigh’s sel-interested version of the story and regularly impugning Assange’s character. In a recent editorial, the paper lambasted the Wikileaks founder as an “information absolutist” who was “flawed, volatile and erratic”, arguing that he had chosen to endanger informants named in the US cables by releasing the unredacted cache.

However, the paper made no mention either of Leigh’s role in revealing the password or of Wikileaks’ point that, following Leigh’s incompetence, every security agency and hacker in the world had access to the file’s contents. Better, Wikileaks believed, to create a level playing field and allow everyone access to the cables, thereby letting informants know whether they had been named and were in danger.

Leigh’s abuse of his position is just one element in a dirty campaign by the Guardian to discredit Assange and, by extension, the Wikileaks project.

Some of this clearly reflects a clash of personalities and egos, but it also looks suspiciously like the feud derives from a more profound ideological struggle between the Guardian and Wikilieaks about how information should be controlled a generation hence. The implicit philosophy of Wikileaks is to promote an ever-greater opening up and equalisation of access to information, while the Guardian, following its commercial imperatives, wants to ensure the gatekeepers maintain their control.

At least Assange has the prominent Wikileaks website to make sure his own positions and reasons are hard to overlook. Other targets of the Guardian are less fortunate.

George Monbiot, widely considered to be the Guardian’s most progressive columnist, has used his slot to attack a disparate group on the “left” who also happen to be harsh critics of the Guardian.

In a column in June he accused Ed Herman, a leading US professor of finance and a collaborator on media criticism with Noam Chomsky, and writer David Peterson of being “genocide deniers” over their research into events in Rwanda and Bosnia. The evidence was supposedly to be found in their joint book The Politics of Genocide, published last year, and in an online volume, The Srebrenica Massacre, edited by Herman.

Implying that genocide denial was now a serious problem on the left, Monbiot also laid into journalist John Pilger for endorsing the book and a website called Media Lens that dedicates itself to exposing the failings of the corporate media, including the work of the Guardian and Monbiot. Media Lens’ crime was to have argued that Herman and Peterson should be allowed to make their case about Rwanda and Bosnia, rather than be silenced as Monbiot appeared to prefer.

Monbiot also ensnared Chomsky in his criticism, castigating him for writing a foreword to one of the books.

Chomsky, it should be remembered, is co-author (with Herman) of Manufacturing Consent, a seminal book arguing that it is the role of the corporate media, including liberal media like the Guardian, to distort their readers’ understanding of world events to advance the interests of Western elites. In Chomsky’s view, even journalists like Monbiot are selected by the media for their ability to manufacture public consent for the maintenance of a system of Western political and economic dominance.

Possibly as a result of these ideas, Chomsky is a bete noire of the Guardian and its Sunday sister publication, the Observer.

He was famously vilified in 2005 by an up and coming Guardian feature writer, Emma Brockes – again on the issue of Srebrenica. Brockes’ report so wilfully mischaracterised Chomsky’s views (with quotes she could not substantiate after she apparently taped over her recording of the interview) that the Guardian was forced into a very reluctant “partial apology” under pressure from its readers’ editor. Over Chomsky’s opposition, the article was also erased from its archives.

Such scurrilous journalism should have ended a young journalist’s career at the Guardian. But ridiculing Chomsky is standard fare at the paper, and Brockes’ career as celebrity interviewer flourished, both at the Guardian and the New York Times.

Nick Cohen, another star columnist, this time at the Observer, found time to mention Chomsky recently, dismissing him and other prominent critical thinkers such as Tariq Ali, the late Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy and Diana Johnstone as “west-hating”. He blamed liberals and the left for their “Chomskyan self-delusion”, and suggested many were “apologists for atrocities”.

Monbiot’s article followed in the same vein. He appeared to have a minimal grasp of the details of Herman and Peterson’s books. Much of his argument that Herman is a “genocide belittler” depends on doubts raised by a variety of experts in the Srebrenica book over the figure of 8,000 reported executions of Bosnian Muslims by Serb forces at Srebrenica. The authors suggest the number is not supported by evidence and might in fact be as low as 800.

Whether or not the case made by Herman and his collaborators is convincing was beside the point in Monbiot’s article. He was not interested in exploring their arguments but in creating an intellectual no-go zone from which critical thinkers and researchers were barred – a sacred genocide.

And to achieve this end, it was necessary to smear the two writers as genocide deniers and suggest that anyone else on the left who ventured on to the same territory would be similarly stigmatised.

Monbiot treatment of Herman and Peterson’s work was so slipshod and cavalier it is hard to believe that he was the one analysing their books.

To take just one example, Monbiot somehow appears to be unable to appreciate the careful distinction Herman’s book makes between an “execution” and a “death”, a vital differentiation in evaluating the Srebrenica massacre.

In the book, experts question whether all or most of the 8,000 Bosnian Muslims disinterred from graves at Srebrenica were victims of a genocidal plan by the Serbs, or casualties of bitter fighting between the two sides, or even some of them victims of a false-flag operation. As the book points out, a post-mortem can do many things but it cannot discern the identities or intentions of those who did the killing in Srebrenica.

The authors do not doubt that a massacre, or massacres, took place at Srebrenica. However, they believe we should not accept on trust that this was a genocide (a term defined very specifically in international law), or refuse to consider that the numbers may have been inflated to fit a political agenda.

This is not an idle or contrarian argument. As they make clear in their books, piecing together what really happened in Rwanda and Bosnia is vital if we are not to be duped by Western leaders into yet more humanitarian interventions whose goals are far from those claimed.

The fact that Monbiot discredited Herman and Peterson at a time when the Guardian’s reporting was largely cheering on the latest humanitarian intervention, in Libya, was all the more richly ironic.

So why do the Guardian and its writers publish these propaganda articles parading as moral concern about the supposedly degenerate values of the “left”? And why, if the left is in such a debased state, can the Guardian’s stable of talented writers not take on their opponents’ ideas without resorting to strawman arguments, misdirection and smears.

The writers, thinkers and activists targeted by the Guardian, though all of the left, represent starkly different trends and approaches – and some of them would doubtless vehemently oppose the opinions of others on the list.

But they all share a talent for testing the bounds of permissible thought in creative ways that challenge and undermine established truths and what I have termed elsewhere the “climate of assumptions” the Guardian has helped to create and sustain.

It hardly matters whether all or some of these critical thinkers are right. The danger they pose to the Guardian is in arguing convincingly that the way the world is presented to us is not the way it really is. Their very defiance, faced with the weight of a manufactured consensus, threatens to empower us, the reader, to look outside the restrictive confines of media orthodoxy.

The Guardian, like other mainstream media, is heavily invested – both financially and ideologically – in supporting the current global order. It was once able to exclude and now, in the internet age, must vilify those elements of the left whose ideas risk questioning a system of corporate power and control of which the Guardian is a key institution.

The paper’s role, like that of its rightwing cousins, is to limit the imaginative horizons of readers. While there is just enough leftwing debate to make readers believe their paper is pluralistic, the kind of radical perspectives needed to question the very foundations on which the system of Western dominance rests is either unavailable or is ridiculed.

Reading the Guardian, it is possible to believe that one of the biggest problems facing our societies – comparable to our compromised political elites, corrupt police authorities, and depraved financial system – is an array of mainly isolated dissidents and intellectuals on the left.

Is Atzmon and his presumed anti-semitism more significant than AIPAC? Is Herman more of a danger than the military-industrial corporations killing millions of people around the globe? And is Assange more of a menace to the planet’s future than US President Barack Obama?

Reading the Guardian, you might well think so.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

American Jewish Committee behind “humanitarian intervention” in Libya

Image Detail
Posted: September 29, 2011 by crescentandcross

In his recent article, “Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars,” Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya writes:

One of the main sources for the claim that Qaddafi was killing his own people is the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR). The LLHR was actually pivotal to getting the U.N. involved through its specific claims in Geneva. On February 21, 2011 the LLHR got the 70 other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to sent letters to the President Obama, E.U. High Representative Catherine Ashton., and the U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon demanding international action against Libya invoking the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine.

According to the Jerusalem Post, however, the 70 “rights groups” were organised by UN Watch, whose executive director Hillel Neuer, was quoted as saying that:

“the muted response of the US and the EU to the Libyan atrocities is not only a let-down to the many Libyans risking their lives for freedom, but a shirking of their obligations, as members of the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, to protect peace and human rights and to prevent war crimes.”

The Post article does not mention, however, that UN Watch is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, a key component of the Israel lobby.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Mounting Pressure against Israeli Settler Project

Al-Manar
International pressure was mounting on Israel Thursday over its plans for another 1,100 homes in an east Jerusalem settlement.

The Palestinian leadership has said the move effectively rebuffs a proposal from the Middle East Quartet for fresh “peace talks”, though senior Israeli politicians have given the Quartet’s plan a cautious welcome.

But on Wednesday, after the European Union and the United States condemned Israel’s project for an extra 1,100 homes in an east Jerusalem settlement, China, Egypt, Russia and other major powers also voiced their opposition.

“China deeply regrets and opposes Israel’s approval of plans for expansion of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing. “China urges Israel to act prudently.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr also denounced the plans in a statement issued from Washington. “Such an Israeli step reflects the country’s intention to continue with its provocative policy and defiance of the international consensus regarding the illegitimacy of settlement activities,” he said.

“Egypt is deeply concerned over the accelerated settlement activities recently, particularly over the past couple of months,” he said, referring to approvals for the construction of more than 6,000 settlement units. “Israel should shoulder full responsibility for the repercussions of such provocative policies in light of the latest developments in the region,” he added.

Russia too, called on Israel to reconsider. “We are particularly concerned that decisions on such a sensitive matter should be taken at an extremely important time for the future of the peace process,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. “We are counting (on Israel) so that the construction projects in east Jerusalem are reviewed.”
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued a statement, saying: “Israel’s decision raises serious suspicions about its sincerity and true intentions. This is a flagrant violation of international law and is not acceptable,” said the MFA.
In the official statement Ankara said that “Israel’s continued construction of illegal settlements in Palestinian lands shows once more that the Palestinian demand to be recognized as a state at the United Nations is justified and timely.”

Britain, France and Italy also condemned the move.

But Israel on Wednesday rejected the objections, insisting the Gilo neighborhood was “not a settlement.” “Gilo is not a settlement, nor is it an outpost,” Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told AFP. “Gilo is a neighborhood in the very heart of Jerusalem some five minutes from the centre of the city,” he added.

Palestinian leaders have nevertheless insisted it marks a snub to moves by the Middle East Quartet — the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia — to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

“With this, Israel is responding to the Quartet’s statement with 1,100 ‘Nos,'” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP Tuesday, shortly after the approval was made public. It was Israel’s refusal to freeze building that prompted the Palestinian decision to seek UN membership in a bid to gain broader international support for a two-state solution.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: