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:: ONU - XX Assemblea Generale (1965):
La XX Assemblea Generale dell’ONU (1965) dichiara "la legittimitŕ della lotta da parte dei popoli sotto oppressione coloniale, per esercitare il loro diritto all' autodeter-
minazione e all'indipendenza".
Inoltre, l'Assemblea invita "tutti gli Stati a fornire assistenza morale e materiale ai movimenti di liberazione nazionale nei territori coloniali".

:: ONU - Risoluzione 1514
"L'Assemblea Generale dichiara che: la soggezione dei popoli a dominio straniero, conquista e asservimento costituisce una negazione dei diritti umani fondamentali, č contraria alla Carta delle Nazioni Unite ed č un impedimento alla promozione della pace e della cooperazione mondiali.
Tutti i popoli hanno diritto all' autodeter-
minazione; in virtù di tale diritto essi devono liberamente determinare il loro status politico e liberamente perseguire il loro sviluppo economico, sociale e culturale".

:: Convenzione di Ginevra, Protocollo Addizionale I (1977):
La lotta armata puň essere usata, come ultima risorsa, come mezzo per esercitare il diritto all' autodeter-

:: Tribunale penale internazionale
In base allo Statuto del Tribunale penale internazionale, sono definiti “crimini di guerra”:
(1) attacchi lanciati intenzionalmente contro popolazione civili in quanto tali o contro civili che non prendano direttamente parte alle ostilitŕ;
(4) attacchi lanciati intenzionalmente nella consapevolezza che gli stessi avranno come conseguenza la perdita di vite umane tra la popolazione civile, e lesioni a civili o danni a proprietŕ civili ovvero danni diffusi duraturi e gravi all’ambiente naturale che siano manifestamente eccessivi rispetto all’insieme dei concreti e diretti i vantaggi militari previsti.

:: Iraq anthem
(click to listen)

Suffering and survival after the war on Gaza
Eric Ruder

October 15, 2014- ...It's axiomatic that the U.S. and Europe will not hold Israel accountable. The only force now capable of doing so is the growing global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. This movement can and should seek out new campaigns, new targets and new audiences as it brings pressure on Israel to grant basic rights to Palestinians inside Israel, in the West Bank and Gaza and in refugee camps spread throughout the region. The Palestinian BDS National Committee and 20 associated Palestinian groups have thus issued a statement entitled "A Call from Gaza: Make Israel Accountable for its Crimes in Gaza--Intensify BDS!" People everywhere should heed the call...


  continua / continued avanti - next    [110235] [ 29-nov-2014 03:03 ECT ]

Family life forbidden for migrant workers in Israel
By Mya Guarnieri

October 15, 2014 - Maris Delusong, a 36-year-old caregiver from the Philippines, is alone at Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station. She stops at a sale rack outside a clothing store. She looks at the baby clothes, pulls a pink onesie off the rack and runs her fingers over the soft fabric. Her face is sad as she puts the outfit back and moves along"It’s hard to be alone," Delusong says. She found herself drawn to the baby clothes, she says, because "I remember my children. She’s four, the youngest. The eldest is 12."Delusong is five months into a five year "deployment"—the term Filipino migrants use to describe working overseas. Delusong takes care of an elderly woman in Kfar Saba. In Israel, wages are much higher than they are in the Philippines and, here, Delusong can save for her family’s future...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [110234] [ 29-nov-2014 03:00 ECT ]

Is President Obama Planning an Executive Order for the Closure of Guantánamo?
Andy Worthington

October 15, 2014 - Last Thursday, out of the blue, Carol E. Lee and Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal reported that senior Obama administration officials had told them that the White House was drafting options that would allow President Obama to close the "war on terror" prison established by President Bush at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, through the use of an executive order. Such an order would bypass lawmakers in Congress, who have imposed a ban on bringing prisoners to the US mainland since 2010, in response to President Obama’s proposal to transfer prisoners from Guantánamo to a maximum-security prison in Thomson, Illinois...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [110233] [ 29-nov-2014 02:54 ECT ]

Negative Capability: Glimpses Beyond the Brutalities of Power
Chris Floyd

October 15, 2014 - When you write regularly of politics and empire, you necessarily spend much time steeped in the very worst aspects of human nature. The reality of power is overwhelmingly brutal, ugly and negative; and if as a writer you wish to engage with reality, then the negative will be prominent in your work. I make no apologies for that — except perhaps to apologize that my skills are not sufficient to convey the full "negativity" of our reality. So when I hear the charge that my work is "negative," I shrug my shoulders. I’m writing about politics and power; how could it not be negative? But of course, anyone who spends time raging against the depredations of power, against the negativity of our reality, possesses somewhere within them a more positive vision of what life is, or what it could be, both on public level and in the deeper, murkier depths of the individual personality....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110232] [ 29-nov-2014 02:51 ECT ]

Clueless: America's ignorance of the Middle East will shock you
CJ Werleman

October 15, 2014 - The rapid escalation of the conflict in Iraq and Syria, coupled with Israel’s recent military assault of Gaza, has returned the Middle East to the forefront of both the nation’s media and collective consciousness. What happens next will depend largely on which way the political winds blow public sentiment. Given the US has enormous interests in the Middle East, you would expect your average American to have a good grasp of what the national headlines mean. Especially as the US has invested more treasure, sold more arms, sent more soldiers, lost more lives, and fought more wars than in any other region in the world...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110231] [ 29-nov-2014 02:47 ECT ]

The Malala you won't hear about
Ben Norton

October 15, 2014 - ...Malala's Nobel victory can be appropriated by the U.S. political establishment to "prove" that its invasion, occupation and destruction of Afghanistan has "helped" its people. (As for the hundreds of thousands killed and injured in the process, well, those inconvenient exceptions aren't part of this narrative.) As Michael Parenti points out, while most people who win the Nobel "Peace" Prize do so for war-mongering and crimes against humanity (Henry Kissinger boasts one, for example, along with Barack Obomba himself), Malala actually deserves hers. This makes the exploitation even more grotesque...On October 11, 2013, Malala met with Barack Obama in the Oval Office. The press could hardly have lauded the president more for taking the time out of his busy schedule to meet the 16-year-old activist, and for bringing his family with him. What went much less reported was that at this meeting, Malala warned that U.S. "drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110230] [ 29-nov-2014 02:43 ECT ]

Revealed: EU science chief promised to be “flexible” towards Israel’s war crimes
David Cronin

October 15, 2014 - Israel’s war crimes sometimes have to be overlooked, according to a senior European Union representative. During 2013, Israel reacted angrily when Brussels officials issued a policy paper stating that the EU would not award funding to firms and institutions based in Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank. Rather than standing up to Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, the EU’s top figures tried to downplay the significance of the "guidelines" contained in that paper. One letter — not published before now — shows that some of this downplaying was tantamount to grovelling...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110228] [ 29-nov-2014 02:35 ECT ]

St. Louis police pressured me “to snitch on my friends,” says Palestinian-American protester
Rania Khalek

October 15, 2014 - A Palestinian-American activist says police in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, put pressure on him to inform on others taking part in protests against violence by that force earlier this week. Bassem Masri, a 27-year-old self-described "pissed off citizen" from St. Louis, was arrested on Monday with around a dozen other demonstrators, including the hip-hop artist Tef Poe, while protesting at an area Walmart. It was the third Walmart store that protesters shut down that evening in a series of actions demanding justice for Black lives cut short by police violence...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110229] [ 29-nov-2014 02:39 ECT ]

Israeli Settlers Set Fire to Abu Baker al-Siddiq Mosque in 'Aqraba Village near Nablus
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

October 15, 2014 - The Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR) condemns the crime committed by Israeli settlers on Tuesday, 14 October 2014, when they set fire to Abu Baker al-Siddiq Mosque in 'Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus, and painted slogans on its walls. PCHR believes that Israeli occupation forces' connivance, support and protection for the settlers encourage them to commit more organized crimes against the Palestinian civilians, and these crimes are the outcome of Israeli governments’ persistent incitements against the Palestinians, which drive the settlers into more hatred and extremism. PCHR condemns such attacks and Israeli government’s complicity and encouragement for them. Moreover, PCHR calls upon the international community to act immediately to provide protection for the Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110227] [ 29-nov-2014 02:32 ECT ]

Al-Aqsa and the difficult words to say
Lama Khater

October 15, 2014 - The words don't come out of our mouths and the ink of the pens we write with fades away when Jerusalem is at the heart of events. When it is under threat and is being violated, only the issue of Al-Aqsa could render us speechless or make the words difficult to say, or make them worthless. It is this issue alone that makes you feel reserved once you think about writing to describe what is going on, analyse the circumstances surrounding Al-Aqsa, or even answer the question: Why? Why are the attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque being escalated? Why are settlers daring to storm the mosque on a daily basis? Why is everyone silent?...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [110226] [ 29-nov-2014 02:26 ECT ]

Iraq snapshot - October 15, 2014
The Common Ills

October 15, 2014. Chaos and violence continue, Nouri works to undermine the new prime minister, more US troops are sent into Iraq, CODESTINK's national coordinator reminds us all of how useless that trashy organization is, Susan Rice spins again, and much more. Let's start with stupid idiots.Alli McCracken of CODESTINK, get your ugly ass down here.You can apply any swear word to Alli, they all fit. She's another useless attention whore who pretends to be against this or that but really just diverts attention and criticism from Barack's War Crimes and actions of hostility while lying that she's for peace....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [110225] [ 29-nov-2014 02:17 ECT ]

Syria News - October 14, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

October 14, 2014 - By the end of Tuesday, LCC were able to document 59 martyrs in Syria including 10 women, 7 children and 4 martyrs under torture: 30 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its suburbs; 7 in Idlib; 7 in Qunaitra; 5 in Aleppo; 5 in Daraa; 3 in Hama; 1 in Deir Ezzor and 1 in Homs...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [110224] [ 29-nov-2014 01:41 ECT ]

Investing in Junk Armies
Why American Efforts to Create Foreign Armies Fail

By William J. Astore

October 14, 2014 - In June, tens of thousands of Iraqi Security Forces in Nineveh province north of Baghdad collapsed in the face of attacks from the militants of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), abandoning four major cities to that extremist movement. The collapse drew much notice in our media, but not much in the way of sustained analysis of the American role in it. To put it bluntly, when confronting IS and its band of lightly armed irregulars, a reputedly professional military, American-trained and -armed, discarded its weapons and equipment, cast its uniforms aside, and melted back into the populace. What this behavior couldn’t have made clearer was that U.S. efforts to create a new Iraqi army, much-touted and funded to the tune of $25 billion over the 10 years of the American occupation ($60 billion if you include other reconstruction costs), had failed miserably....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110223] [ 28-nov-2014 23:08 ECT ]

Risen’s New Book Exposes Corrupt Zealotry of ‘US War on Terror’
Norman Solomon

October 14, 2014 - ...Obama performed a neat political trick: he took the national security state that had grown to such enormous size under Bush and made it his own. In the process, Obama normalized the post-9/11 measures that Bush had implemented on a haphazard, emergency basis. Obama’s great achievement – or great sin – was to make the national security state permanent. "In fact, as trillions of dollars have poured into the nation’s new homeland security-industrial complex, the corporate leaders at its vanguard can rightly be considered the true winners of the war on terror... Of all the abuses America has suffered at the hands of the government in its endless war on terror, possibly the worst has been the war on truth ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110222] [ 28-nov-2014 23:04 ECT ]

Absolute Impunity: Militia Rule in Iraq (Full Report )
Amnesty International

October 14, 2014 - Shi’a militias, supported and armed by the government of Iraq, have abducted and killed scores of Sunni civilians in recent months and enjoy total impunity for these war crimes, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today. Absolute Impunity: Militia Rule in Iraq provides harrowing details of sectarian attacks carried out by increasingly powerful Shi’a militias in Baghdad, Samarra and Kirkuk, apparently in revenge for attacks by the armed group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS). Scores of unidentified bodies have been discovered across the country handcuffed and with gunshot wounds to the head, indicating a pattern of deliberate execution-style killings. "By granting its blessing to militias who routinely commit such abhorrent abuses, the Iraqi government is sanctioning war crimes and fuelling a dangerous cycle of sectarian violence that is tearing the country apart. Iraqi government support for militia rule must end now," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110221] [ 28-nov-2014 22:58 ECT ]

The legendary piano of Yarmouk
Moe Ali Nayel

October 14, 2014 - There is a piano that continues to survive alongside the Palestinians in besieged Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus. Earlier this year the piano appeared in the above YouTube video; it was the first time I learned of its existence. A favorite musical instrument, my ears were absorbed and my eyes followed each stroke of its keys.That decrepit piano from Yarmouk appeared on the screen in front of me as a living, breathing thing. As I watched, the piano sang, directed by cold, dry fingers which appeared almost fossilized. A young Palestinian pianist from Yarmouk dropped his head to the keyboard and his music spoke...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110220] [ 28-nov-2014 22:45 ECT ]

Who benefits from billions pledged for Gaza reconstruction?
Maureen Clare Murphy

October 14, 2014 - A donor conference hosted in Cairo on Sunday to raise funds for the reconstruction of war-devastated Gaza has boasted $5.4 billion in pledges from various Western and Arab governments.Yet Israel is the true beneficiary of this aid money. The self-declared international community has once again footed the reconstruction bill as it arms Israel with the weaponry and ensures it the impunity that only rewards its brutal onslaught on Gaza and essentially guarantees its repetition."This is the third time in less than six years that together with the people of Gaza, we have been forced to confront a reconstruction effort," an exasperated US Secretary of State John Kerry stated at the conference, as though this summer’s bloodshed was something other than inevitable given all those arms Washington lavished on Israel, along with the monetary aid and diplomatic cover since the large-scale assaults in November 2012 and winter 2008-09...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110219] [ 28-nov-2014 22:41 ECT ]

ISIS in Texas?! ABC Fails an Easy Factcheck
by Peter Hart

October 14, 2014 - A politician making a ludicrous claim that has no basis in fact about a major story of the day should be an easy factcheck. But ABC's This Week (10/13/14) reminded us that corporate news outlets are often not very good at this.The claim in question came from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R.-Ca.), who declared, "I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas." He added that "dozens more" evaded capture.So members of the terrorist group that we're told is worse than Al-Qaeda managed to slip into Texas? I feel like we would have heard something about this, even in the dreaded "liberal media."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110218] [ 28-nov-2014 22:39 ECT ]

UK Parliament Palestine Motion is Vote of Anger at Israeli Warmongering
By Tariq Shadid

October 14, 2014 - ...The symbolism of this vote can be summarized as a vote of anger at Israel and a vote of sympathy for the Palestinians. This is definitely a reason for pro-Palestine activists to cheer it on. Isn’t a lot of what they themselves do about symbolism, and influencing public opinion? When they go out in the streets by the thousands, they don’t exactly expect their demonstration to directly lead to the liberation of Palestine. What they hope to do by such actions is draw attention to the injustices perpetrated by the Israeli against the Palestinians, and raise awareness. On all these levels, this move by the UK Parliament shows that their actions have resulted in a change of hearts at the level of their own representatives in the Chamber...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110217] [ 28-nov-2014 22:20 ECT ]

The brakes come off: UK Parliament's vote on Palestinian statehood
David Hearst

October 14 , 2014 - ...Once you pull one thread out of the weave of policies supporting the status quo and the occupation, the whole cloth unravels. Make no mistake, this vote was a landmark moment. For this century and most of the last, Zionists have done everything they can to make Palestine disappear, and the Palestinians invisible - from the founding myth that the land they were settling was "empty", to the refugees, to the internally displaced, to every policy limiting the movement of Palestinians, and dictating where they can or can not live today.After this vote, and others like it, Palestine and Palestinians are somewhat more visible. They have statehood and they have rights as citizens under occupation, rights that are enforceable in British courts as they are in international courts. For how much longer will a British government continue to apply its American dictated veto on moves to apply real pressure on Israel? When will the brakes come off?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110216] [ 28-nov-2014 22:09 ECT ]

'Reconstructing Gaza': one conference, many agendas
Pam Bailey

October 14, 2014 - ....In fact, the plan developed by UN Envoy Robert Serry for persuading Israel to allow supplies into Gaza for reconstruction - praised by virtually everyone at the conference - will not only further entrench Gaza’s dependence, but also make the international community complicit. For example, under the plan, a steering team consisting of representatives of the Abbas unity government, Israel and the UN will supervise all processes. Supplies ordered for both private homes and large-scale public works - including schools and factories - must be entered into a central tracking database that, according to The Guardian, is accessible to Israeli intelligence agencies...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110215] [ 28-nov-2014 22:06 ECT ]

The missing context: ‘Islamic State’ sectarianism is not coincidental
Ramzy Baroud

October 14, 2014 - ...Fanar Haddad, author of Sectarianism in Iraq: Antagonistic Visions of Unity, like other perceptive historians, doesn't buy into the "ancient hatred" line between Sunnis and Shia. "The roots of sectarian conflict aren't that deep in Iraq," he said in a recent interview. Between the establishment of the modern Iraqi state in 1921 and for over 80 years, "the default setting (In Iraq) was coexistence." Haddad argues that "Post-2003 Iraq ..identity politics have been the norm rather than an anomaly because they're part of the system by design." That "design" was not put in place arbitrarily... Sectarianism and other manifestations of identity politics in Iraq were always overpowered by a dominant sense of Iraqi nationalism, which was violently destroyed and ripped apart by US firepower starting March 2003...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110214] [ 28-nov-2014 22:02 ECT ]

Imperialist narratives and UN rhetoric on Protective Edge
Ramona Wadi

October 14, 2014 - As with other Israeli massacres, colonial tendencies have ensured that "Operation Protective Edge" is relegated to the periphery, with diplomacy taking precedence over the assertion of Palestinian history and memory. From the preliminary talks resulting in the forthcoming reluctant rebuilding of Gaza, to the speeches uttered at the United Nations General Assembly, political discourse remains centred upon adherence to the dominant narrative expressed by Israel and upheld by the compromised international community. During and in the immediate aftermath of the relentless onslaught, Palestinian resistance asserted itself as a renewed force interrupting Israel’s certainties...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110213] [ 28-nov-2014 21:57 ECT ]

No Syrian Rebels Allowed at ISIS War Conference
Josh Rogin

October 14, 2014 - President Obama will join a meeting of top defense officials from 21 countries Tuesday to discuss the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Missing from the confab: anyone that’s actually from Syria. The U.S. government has no near-term plans to include the Free Syrian Army or any other moderate rebel group in the military mission to fight ISIS. None of these opposition figures were even invited to the anti-ISIS coalition meeting being held at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington and chaired by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. U.S. defense officials told The Daily Beast the Syrian rebel groups are simply not partners in the airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, which have been failing to stop the Islamic State’s advances both in northern Syria and western Iraq...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110212] [ 28-nov-2014 21:51 ECT ]

Iraq: Evidence of war crimes by government-backed Shi’a militias
Amnesty International

October 14, 2014 - In one single day more than 30 Sunni men were abducted from or near their homes in Samarra, shot dead and their bodies were dumped nearby.
'Shi’a militias are ruthlessly targeting Sunni civilians on a sectarian basis under the guise of fighting terrorism’ . Shi’a militias in Iraq, supported and armed by the government of Iraq, have abducted and killed scores of Sunni civilians in recent months and enjoy total impunity for these war crimes, said Amnesty International in a new briefing today ....For example, in and around Samarra, a predominantly Sunni city of 400,000 inhabitants, Amnesty has obtained the details of more than 170 mostly young Sunni men abducted since early June. Dozens have later been found dead and the rest remain unaccounted for. In one single day - Friday 6 June - more than 30 were abducted from or near their homes, shot dead and their bodies dumped nearby. The killing spree seems to have been in reprisal for a brief incursion into the city the previous day by Islamic State fighters...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110211] [ 28-nov-2014 03:47 ECT ]

Israeli Professor Calls for Palestinian Genocide
Richard Silverstein

October 14, 2014 - There are all sorts of varieties of insane extremists among the settlers. By "insane" I don’t mean that they’re aberrations from the Israeli norm. Just that in polite western society (not Israel, of course) these people would be viewed as nutcases and ignored. Only in Israel (and perhaps this happens in other religious extremist societies as well) are such people turned into prophets, prime ministers, and even esteemed academics. Such a one is Prof. Hillel Weiss, who teaches not Hebrew literature, mind you, a term he banned from his department–but rather the literature of the Jewish people. You see Hebrew is the language and literature of the Jewish people. There is no other. Yiddish? Feh, jargon. Jewish literature in English? Derivative, degenerate and a mark of the bankruptcy of galut...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110209] [ 28-nov-2014 03:36 ECT ]

Missing Malala's Message of Peace: Drones Fuel Terrorism
By Peter Hart

October 14, 2014 - On October 10, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai–who received worldwide attention after being attacked by the Taliban for her advocacy for girls' education–was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi. Yousafzai's work on educational equity is well-known. But less well-known is what she said to Barack Obama about how his wars were undermining the fight against terrorism. Last year, Yousafzai's White House meeting with Barack Obama received wide media coverage. But as I pointed out back then (FAIR Blog, 10/15/13), part of Yousafzai's message didn't make it into most media accounts: She told Obama that drone strikes in her country were fueling more terrorism....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110208] [ 28-nov-2014 03:15 ECT ]

Syria News - October 13, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

October 13, 2014 - By the end of Monday, LCC were able to document 44 martyrs including 4 women and 4 martyrs under torture: 20 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, 14 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 8 in Idlib, 2 in Homs, 2 in Daraa 1 in Deir Ezzor and 1 in Hama...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110207] [ 28-nov-2014 03:10 ECT ]

Pentagon Propaganda
The War Over the Truth About Vietnam


October 13, 2014 -In August 1980, Ronald Reagan spoke as a candidate for president before the Veterans of Foreign Wars. During his speech he attacked what had come to be called "Vietnam Syndrome," which was understood to mean a hesitancy on the part of the people of the U.S. to again become involved in the hideous debacle of wars, such as Vietnam. He continued distorting the reality of the brutality and immorality of the war against the people of Vietnam when he said: "It is time we recognized that ours was, in truth, a noble cause." Of course, Reagan, as vicious a warmonger as has ever lived, was simply using hyperbole to whip the electorate and general public into a frenzy so that he would be able to wage additional immoral wars in Central America and the Caribbean, and especially against the people of Nicaragua and their freely elected government. While an Orwellian dystopian at heart, Reagan was not very different from many of the presidents who would follow him and initiate indiscriminate and grossly lethal forays into other parts of the world, most notably the Middle East and Southwest Asia, either through proxies or through the direct use of U.S. military force...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110205] [ 27-nov-2014 00:43 ECT ]

Hamas, IS share neither goal nor methods
Adnan Abu Amer

October 13, 2014 - The magnitude of Hamas’ media mobilization in response to Israeli accusations of being the same as the Islamic State (IS) was remarkable. Hamas spokespeople and prominent leaders denied the accusations, which have not fooled Western circles. The political differences between Hamas and IS are primarily ideological and doctrinal, which have prompted many Salafist jihadist members to abandon Hamas as they disagreed with its approach. Many of these Salafist jihadists later joined radical groups, among them IS. A scholar in Gaza with ties to Hamas spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity about the doctrinal divergences between Hamas and IS ....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110204] [ 27-nov-2014 00:39 ECT ]

Lost Iraqi Billions Found?
By: Peter Van Buren

October 13, 2014 - It can be hard to keep track of your money. You charge stuff and misplace the receipts, you forget to record a check written and before you know it, $12-14 billion is unaccounted for in Iraq. Even then, after one authoritative source thinks he’s found some of it, no one bothers to go get it. ew information from the former Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGAR) Stuart Bowen, reported by perhaps the bravest journalist alive today, James Risen, shows that of the multi-billions of U.S. dollars cash literally shipped on pallets to Iraq in 2003, over one billion was traced into Lebanon (the other billions remain unaccounted for.)...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110203] [ 27-nov-2014 00:35 ECT ]

Cycle of Death, Destruction and Rebuilding Continues in Gaza
By Thalif Deen

October 13, 2014 - When the international pledging conference to rebuild a devastated Gaza ended in Cairo over the weekend – the third such conference in less than six years – the lingering question among donors was: is this the last of it or are there more assaults to come? U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon implicitly warned of the futility of the continuing exercise when he said: "We cannot continue to build and destroy – and build and destroy – like this. This should be the last reconstruction conference". But will it?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110202] [ 27-nov-2014 00:29 ECT ]

Did Israel develop the doctrine behind Iraq invasion?
Rod Such

October 13, 2014 - "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud," US President George W. Bush said in 2002 as he set the stage for an invasion of Iraq. The premise he invoked was that if a country believes it faces an imminent threat, a preemptive attack against that threat is tantamount to an act of self-defense. An earlier use of this "anticipatory self-defense" doctrine occurred when Israel tried to justify its 1967 War against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Many people still believe Israel’s claim to self-defense was justified when actually it was just as fraudulent as the Bush administration’s "evidence" that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110201] [ 27-nov-2014 00:19 ECT ]

Medea Benjamin has a lot of nerve.
The Common Ills

Ocotber 13, 2014 - Medea Benjamin has a lot of nerve. She's written a column castigating the mass media for re-selling the Iraq War.We're supposed to applaud her for that and pretend like her past record doesn't matter.
And she probably thinks this is the height of bravery: < For her, it probably is. But whores don't impress me.
And she's whored non-stop worse than the media she's slamming. She's covered for Barack. She's diverted attention from him...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110200] [ 27-nov-2014 00:16 ECT ]

Settlers beat woman picking olives with her children near Salfit
Ma'an News

October 13, 2014 -- A large group of Israeli settlers on Saturday morning violently beat a young Palestinian woman while she was picking olives from trees in an orchard in the village of Yasuf in the Salfit district in the central West Bank, a Palestinian official said.The assault is the third such attack on Palestinian olive pickers in three days, creating concern about unchecked settler violence as the olive harvest kicks off across the West Bank.Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement-related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that 25-year-old Alaa Fathi Atiyani and her children were picking olives in a field in the al-Masamic area outside of Yasuf village at the time of the alleged assault...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110199] [ 26-nov-2014 23:18 ECT ]

Palestinian Christians denounce priest for claiming Israel grants them freedom
Patrick O. Strickland

October 13, 2014 - Yara Salameh was shocked when she watched Jibril Nadaf, a priest from Nazareth, repeat a call on fellow Palestinian Christians to serve in the Israeli military. Nadaf claimed Israel was the only country in the Middle East where Christians are "not persecuted" during a speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council on 23 September. "I couldn’t believe it," said Salameh, a 25-year-old pharmacist from the village of Turan, home to both Christians and Muslims, located in the Galilee region of present-day Israel....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110198] [ 26-nov-2014 05:54 ECT ]

Western trade to Israel is on the rise, is BDS really working?
Alastair Sloan

October 13, 2014 - There is good news and bad news of late for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. On the one hand, companies such as Veolia, willing partners in the occupation, are losing out on mega-contracts. Despite plans to withdraw from Israel, the French company just lost a $750 million contract to provide waste management services to Kuwait City. Pleasing for BDS was the explicit reference to Veolia's association with Israel and a head nod to their campaigning efforts. It comes on top of nearly $24 billion in lost contracts, seemingly over support for Israel. Likewise G4S are suffering setbacks. Earlier this year, Bill Gates announced a massive divestment, while a report over the summer (by the Financial Times) suggested they would soon end their activities in Israel. Campaigners are rightly cautious – the company have gone back on their word in the past...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110197] [ 26-nov-2014 05:45 ECT ]

Will Hamas and Israel agree to direct negotiations?
Hamza Ismail Abu Shane

October 13, 2014- There have been many conversations in the Palestinian arena regarding the concept of direct negotiations between Hamas and the Israeli occupation. This issue was raised after the latest attack on Gaza and such conversations have been reinforced by statements made by Dr Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau. Hamas' ruling out of the possibility of engaging in direct negotiations with Israel has not limited the debate on the issue of negotiations. There are many visions regarding this, as some consider it to be political maturity for Hamas, although it was cheated by timing, while others have strongly attacked Hamas as they consider negotiations to be President Abbas' issue and the option of Fatah. Some consider these negotiations to be a political balloon timed to move the Palestinian-Palestinian relations...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110196] [ 26-nov-2014 05:40 ECT ]

Syria News - October 12, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

October 12, 2014- By the end of Sunday , LCC were able to document 37 martyrs including 9 women and 8 children: 11 martyrs were reported in Idlib, 10 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 8 in Hama, 4 in Aleppo, 2 in Homs and 2 in Daraa....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110194] [ 26-nov-2014 05:34 ECT ]

Gaza reconstruction: Why the world has it all wrong
Richard Silverstein

October 12, 2014 - International donors gathered in Cairo this weekend to deliberate on a request by the Palestinian Authority for $4 bn in aid to reconstruct Gaza, with the funds going to help the enclave rebuild after Israel destroyed it during this summer’s Operation Protective Edge. Israel killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including 500 children during its invasion. Its bombs destroyed 18,000 homes and left 100,000 homeless in the strip. The bitter, supreme irony is that the ancestors of most of Gaza’s current population fled Israel during the 1948 Nakba. They were expelled from homes in the Negev and other regions that became Israel. In 2014, the descendants of the first expulsion were turned into refugees once again by Israel. Yet, so far, Israel has faced no punishment or accountability for what it did - though there is a United Nations Human Rights Council panel convened to investigate...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110193] [ 26-nov-2014 03:32 ECT ]

Judaisation Means Housing Crisis for Palestinians in East Jerusalem
By Mel Frykberg

October 12, 2014 - A deliberate Israeli policy to Judaise East Jerusalem has forced thousands of Palestinians out of their homes and created a chronic housing shortage in the occupied part of the city. Simultaneously, Israeli settlers have been encouraged by the Jerusalem Municipality to settle in the growing number of settlements mushrooming in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods, all illegal under international law.The municipality has employed a number of strategies to ensure a Jewish majority so that the city remains under Israeli control indefinitely while preventing Palestinians from establishing East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state."Since 1967 the Israeli government has pursued a declared policy of maintaining a 72 percent majority of Jews over Palestinians in the city," according to Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110192] [ 26-nov-2014 03:18 ECT ]

The Ringworm Scandal: When Israeli Doctors Killed Tens of Thousands of Arab Children
Richard Silverstein

October 12, 2014 - ...The 2004 documentary, The Ringworm Children, presents the historical context of this immigration and is dedicated to the greatest national medical scandal in the state’s history. During this early period, Israel looked with deep suspicion on the Arab olim. They were viewed not only as culturally inferior, but as reservoirs of disease. To be fair, these same views had been prominent in the U.S. during the heights of immigration to this country. But unlike here, Israel allowed one senior health official, Dr. Chaim Sheba, to conduct a massive program of unnecessary medical treatments, at enormous expense, which actually killed many of the victims. At that time, many children developed ringworm, a non-lethal condition of fungal origin which affected the scalp. Unlike in other countries, 100,000 Jewish (and Palestinian) Arab children were irradiated in order to treat the condition....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110191] [ 26-nov-2014 03:14 ECT ]

Potomac Fever: Washington's Insane Clown Posse Rides Again
Chris Floyd

October 12, 2014 - The Peacey Prizey Prez has spoken, and the word he brings is — war! Not just war back in our old stomping grounds of Iraq, where the Imperial Winepress has been squeezing out the grapes of wrath for nigh on quarter of a century now. Nay, he bringeth us vast new fields to plow, in the ancient land of Assyria, therefore to make us fruitful with engorged blood. Yes, it’s Iraq War III, or perhaps Sykes-Picot Revisited, or maybe even the Eighth (or Ninth or Forty-Fifth) Crusade of the Christian West Against the Infidel Saracens. Call it what you will, we are once more firmly embarked on a fruitless (and, we are fervently assured, bootless) quest for loot and dominance in Mesopotamia and environs. As always, these raw and bestial impulses are being gussied up in noble tropes; over the centuries, the rhetorical shadings change, but the propaganda message is always the same: the forces of good are fighting to save civilization from evil, world-devouring savages....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110190] [ 26-nov-2014 02:37 ECT ]

St. Louis police give Israeli-style excuses for arresting peaceful protesters
Rania Khalek

October 12, 2013 - In the early morning hours of Sunday, 12 October, seventeen people were arrested during a sit-in outside a St. Louis, Missouri gas station to protest the recent police killing of yet another Black teen.One of those arrested was Zena Ozeir, a 23-year-old Lebanese-American activist from Detroit who is part of the Palestine contingent protesting police violence in St. Louis this weekend. Vonderrit Myers, 18, was gunned down by a white off-duty St. Louis city police officer last week. This latest slaying ignited more protests in a city still reeling from the August execution-style killing of Michael Brown, a Black teenager, at the hands of Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in the St. Louis County municipality of Ferguson...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110189] [ 26-nov-2014 02:25 ECT ]

An historic vote on Palestine in the UK Parliament
David Hearst

October 12, 2014 - Israel is losing the battle for public opinion in Britain. Few are in a better position to chart the draining of support than the Israeli ambassador to Britain. Daniel Taub was born and educated in the United Kingdom and has only to compare the benign views about Israel in his youth with the cold, unvarnished judgment of today. Gone is the rose-tinted vision of Israel as an island of democracy in a sea of irrational and violent Arabs. Gone is the belief that Israel wants to negotiate, if only it could find a partner to talk to. Gone, too, is the notion that there is symmetry in this conflict, that this is a battle between equals...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110187] [ 26-nov-2014 00:35 ECT ]

Let the revulsion build
The Common Ills

October 12, 2014 - A news outlet has been bombed in Anbar, 8 civilians (all members of one family) were killed in Saladin Province . . . These are the official bombings done by the government or done for the government of Iraq by foreign governments like the United States. Meanwhile Shi'ite militias get to be part of the 'security forces.' They 'secure' Al-Khalis today by terrorizing the people and demanding protection money. In Baquba today, they add kidnapping to their list.Barack Obama's 'plan' has been a failure in achieving its stated goals but its been even greater failure by providing cover for those who threaten and kill Iraqis -- especially Sunnis.No, you don't need Nouri as prime minister to terrorize the Sunnis, not after he's brought Shi'ite militias into the security forces and the US and all the other governments so eager to bomb are willing to look the other way....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110186] [ 25-nov-2014 06:50 ECT ]

Donors, or enablers? Cairo's 'Gaza Reconstruction Conference'
Julie Webb-Pullman

October 12, 2014 - CAIRO'S Gaza Reconstruction Conference, you ask incredulously? And well you might – after all, Egypt is currently preventing the entry of materials to complete Qatari-funded projects in Gaza addressing the destruction of previous Israeli offensives. Building of roads, housing estates and hospitals have all ground to a halt despite being underway well before the latest Israeli war crimes in Gaza - crimes which have only further increased the need. We are seriously expected to accept Egypt as an honest broker? That the current regime has a shred of compassion for the already homeless, sick and injured Gazans still reeling from the 2008-9 and 2012 offensives who it refuses to admit assistance for, let alone those battered by the latest assaults? For the thousands of maimed and injured STILL refused exit through Rafah for necessary medical treatment elsewhere?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110185] [ 25-nov-2014 06:47 ECT ]

Syria News - October 11, 2014,
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

October 11, 2014 - By the end of Saturday, LCC were able to document 19 martyrs including 3 women and 2 children: 7 martyrs were reported in Idlib; 4 in Aleppo; 3 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 2 in Homs, 2 in Daraa and 1 Hama...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110184] [ 25-nov-2014 06:42 ECT ]

Military Resistance 12J2: Boots in the Air[
Thomas F. Barton

October 11, 2014 - Jeffrey White, a former senior Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who closely follows developments in Iraq, said the use of helicopter gunships by the United States means that U.S. troops effectively are now directly involved in ground battles. "It’s definitely boots in the air. This is combat, assuming U.S. Army guys were flying the helicopters," said White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a center-right policy institute. "Using helicopter gunships in combat operations means those forces are in combat."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110183] [ 25-nov-2014 05:48 ECT ]

Seven years later, Israel decides Gaza blockade is ineffective
By Haggai Matar

October 11, 2014 - "Israel now admits that the almost-airtight blockade of Gaza has done more harm than good." I am always amazed at the ease with which these sentences are written by this or that analyst. Written so nonchalantly to the point that it feels like the writer might as well just shrug and say, "Well that didn’t work, let’s try something else." As if that same defense establishment and those same analysts weren’t the ones who actively promoted the policy of siege for the past seven years. As if they aren’t responsible for embittering the lives of 1.8 million people. As if they didn’t kill thousands in Gaza and dozens in Israel, sowing unbelievable destruction over the course of several wars and operations, all in the name of their holy policy. As if they didn’t allow the Israeli public to become accustomed to the claim that there is no blockade, and if there is then it is Egypt, not us, who is responsible, and if it is us then it is justifiable and we owe the Palestinians absolutely nothing and why the hell do they keep shooting at us anyway...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110182] [ 25-nov-2014 05:44 ECT ]

Guantánamo PR Can't Obscure the Reality of Force-Feeding
Clive Stafford Smith

October 11, 2014 - This week, as a landmark case against abusive force-feeding at Guantánamo Bay got under way, a US Freedom of Information demand by the indomitable journalist Jason Leopold quietly forced the prison's military authorities to reveal their "Proposed Public Affairs Guidance" - public talking points - for discussing the force-feeding of detainees who are on a long-term hunger strike. Before proceeding any further, it is worth noting that most of the hunger strikers have long been cleared for release (more than fifty percent of the remaining detainees, many of them clients of my organisation, Reprieve). Last week I saw Shaker Aamer, for example, the last remaining British resident, and he has been cleared for seven years, more than half of the time he has spent without charges or a trial...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110181] [ 25-nov-2014 05:22 ECT ]

Palestinian family attacked by settlers while harvesting olives
International Solidarity Movement

October 11, 2014 - Tuesday afternoon, the 7th of October, olive farmer Mahmoud Rga Mahoud Aid, his wife, and thei three children were attacked by a a group of settlers from the illegal settlement of Giv’at Ya’akov. The attack took place on the family´s land near the village of Burin, south west of Nablus. The the family had only three days permission from the District Coordination Office (DCO) to access their land and pick their olives, starting from the 6th of October. To harvest all the olives on the land would normally take about a month....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110180] [ 25-nov-2014 05:03 ECT ]

Questioning Sweden’s ‘Bold’ Diplomatic Initiative
Richard Falk

October 11, 2014 -It was a welcome move, but only in some respects. The new center-left Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, in his inaugural speech to Parliament indicated on October 3rd the intention of the Swedish government to recognize Palestinian statehood. He explained that such a move mentioned in the platform of his party is in accord with promoting a two-state solution, and more significantly, that is to be "negotiated in accordance with international law." The call for adherence to international law in future diplomacy is actually more of a step forward than is the announced intention of future recognition, which has so far received all the media attention and incurred the wrath of Tel Aviv. To bring international law into future negotiations would amount to a radical modication of the 'peace process’ that came into being with the Oslo Declaration of Principles in 1993. The Israel/United States view was to allow any agreements between the parties to arise from a bargaining process, which is a shorthand for acknowledging the primacy of power, taking account of 'facts on the ground’ (that is, the unlawful settlements) and diplomatic leverage (allowing the United States to fake the role of 'honest broker’ while at the same time making sure that Israel’s interests are protected)....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110179] [ 25-nov-2014 04:48 ECT ]

Forget Biden’s words, the problem is Obama’s thoughts
Eyad Abu Shakra

October 11, 2014 - ...ndeed, the Syrian crisis and the subsequent emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in both Iraq and Syria have proved that cooperation with Tehran’s rulers is now an essential part of Obama’s vision regarding the region’s political and strategic map regardless of what Iran has been doing across the Mashriq.Today, with the exception of empty statements from US officials about Iran’s nuclear program or Bashar Al-Assad’s regime losing legitimacy, we can clearly see changes taking place on the ground. This includes Iranian officials’ boasting that four Arab capitals—Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sana’a—are now controlled by and subservient to Tehran. Following Obama’s historic remarks in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in early March in which he praised Iran’s "strategic" thinking and blamed Washington’s regional allies who were "taken by surprise" by the "Arab Spring," his Vice-President Joe Biden has now gone beyond pointing the finger of blame...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110178] [ 25-nov-2014 04:19 ECT ]

Gaza reconstruction: The new Israeli strategy
Dimi Reider

October 11, 2014 - ...There is a bittersweet pleasure in seeing the army give up on the siege, and the government u-turn on its rejection of a Palestinian unity government, both essentially adopting the positions of the Israeli civil society and political Left (even if eight years and yet another horrible war too late). Yet the postwar reality sketched out by Ben Yishai still makes for an overwhelmingly depressing read. True, the influx of construction material and other goods into the Strip will doubtless be a great relief to the artificially starved Gazan economy. But the tight, almost dystopian new controls envisioned in the plan underline Israel’s approach to the Strip as being first and foremost a gigantic prison - only it is being upgraded from a third-world prison camp to an American cutting-edge SuperMax facility. Much of the more tantalizing promises should be taken with a heap of salt: complete freedom of movement except where security concerns are raised is pretty much what Gazans enjoy today; it just so happens that all of them, together and apart, are seen as security concerns...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110177] [ 25-nov-2014 04:07 ECT ]

From Syria to Gaza: The search for a better life
Linah Alsaafin

October 11, 2014 - ...The Palestinian refugee population in Syria had numbered around 600,000. Now, almost half have escaped the fighting in search of security and stability, but face heavy restrictions by various Arab governments, such as Lebanon, which has announced it will not grant entry to Palestinian Syrians.According to Atef Alamawi, the Director of the Monitoring Committee for Refugees from Syria to Gaza, more than 350 Palestinian Syrian families have fled to Gaza. They are made up of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Syria, including those who are originally from Gaza but have spent the last few decades in Syria....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110176] [ 25-nov-2014 03:26 ECT ]

Authoritarianism in Palestine
Dr Phil Leech

October 11, 2014 - This week Al-Shabaka, a Palestinian think tank, released a report on the troubling issue of the Palestinian security sector. The report, authored by Alaa Tartir and Sabrien Amrov, argues that the Palestinian security sector has grown significantly in terms of its power and prominence since the schism between Hamas and Fatah in 2007. It suggests that this is problematic both because the security sector's growth has come at the expense of other areas of government spending – such as education and agriculture – that would represent more important efforts to challenge Israel's occupation, and because the increase in the security agencies' power and autonomy, relative to the general population and civilian leadership, can also be seen as anti-democratic...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110175] [ 25-nov-2014 03:15 ECT ]

Forget its Charter, Hamas has given de facto recognition to the State of Israel
Jessica Purkiss

October 11, 2014 - The Palestinian unity government held its first meeting in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after "great efforts" were made to obtain the necessary permits from Israel for ministers from the West Bank to cross into the coastal territory. Ever since moves were made to bring about Palestinian reconciliation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has attempted to thwart them. The kidnap and murder of the three Israeli teens earlier this year was recruited to undermine the unity government, and the recent offensive in the Gaza Strip was launched just over a month after it was sworn in; both aimed to crush Hamas, and with it Palestinian reconciliation...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110174] [ 25-nov-2014 02:35 ECT ]

Syria News - October 10, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

October 10, 2014 - By the end of Friday , LCC has documented 86 martyrs including 15 children, 7 women and 2 martyrs under torture. 32 martyrs were reported in Daraa, 15 in Qunaitra, 14 in Aleppo, 13 in Damascus and its suburbs, 6 in Idlib, 3 in Homs, and 3 in Hama....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110173] [ 25-nov-2014 02:12 ECT ]

White House denies plan to close Guantánamo Bay with executive action

October 10, 2014 - Obama administration spokesperson vehemently contradicts report that president seeks to override law and Congress. The White House on Thursday denied a report that President Barack Obama is putting together options for executive action to close the controversial US military prison at Guantánamo Bay in defiance of congressional wishes. The Wall Street Journal, citing administration officials, reported that the White House was "drafting options" to close the facility by overriding a ban put in place by Congress that prohibits prisoners from being brought to the United States...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110172] [ 24-nov-2014 18:12 ECT ]

Warmongering Hebrew University tries to muzzle Palestinian students
Yara Sa'di

October 10, 2014 - Back in 1969, the civil rights activist Angela Davis complained of how third-level education was being hijacked. Research grants were being awarded by the US government to "force the scholar to develop more efficient means, for example, of furthering the war in Vietnam."Speaking at the University of California, Los Angeles, Davis said: "The university has become political in a very overt sense. It has become political as far as politics are defined by the controlling political apparatus in this country."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110171] [ 24-nov-2014 18:09 ECT ]

Report suggests Assad’s forces committed mass rape near Aleppo
Al Arabiya News

October 10, 2014 - Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime took hostage 500 residents – mostly women and children – from a northern Aleppo village last week amid reports of mass rape, the opposition National Coalition has said. In a press statement, the coalition condemned the capture of women and children residing in the village of Sefat, calling it a "dirty and cowardly action," and demanded an "immediate release of all detainees."The capturing of women and children came amid news from the village of rape crimes being carried out by "Assad’s forces and the sectarian militia fighting by its side," the coalition said, quoting local activists.Reports of torture and mass rape are not uncommon in the Syrian civil war...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110170] [ 24-nov-2014 17:35 ECT ]

Israeli Perception and Reality
By Jamal Kanj

October 10, 2014 -In my last column, I discussed Benjamin Netanyahu’s proclivity to deceive, cheat and lie. During my research, however, I came across an article by Israeli journalist Amira Hass, who had a different take on the issue.In her 2011 article in the Israeli daily Haartz, Hass argued that 'Netanyahu is less of a liar than past Israeli PMs.’ť She explained that unlike other Israeli prime ministers, Netanyahu 'doesn’t bother to cover the gap between words and bulldozers.’Political Zionism must have envisioned their apparent nemesis, Adolf Hitler’s quote 'If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.’ It all started with their slogan: 'A land without people, for a people without land.’..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110169] [ 24-nov-2014 17:33 ECT ]

G.I. Resistance to the Vietnam War

October 10, 2014 - Until 1968 the desertion rate for U.S. troops in Vietnam was lower than in previous wars. But by 1969 the desertion rate had increased fourfold. This wasn’t limited to Southeast Asia; desertion rates among G.I.’s were on the increase world-wide. For soldiers in the combat zone, insubordination became an important part of avoiding horrible injury or death. As early as mid-1969, an entire company of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade sat down on the battlefield. Later that year, a rifle company from the famed 1st Air Cavalry Division flatly refused — on CBS TV — to advance down a dangerous trail. In the following 12 months the 1st Air Cav notched up 35 combat refusals...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110168] [ 24-nov-2014 15:11 ECT ]

The International Coalition is Fighting the Most Dangerous Enemy of Iranian Expansion in the Region
Raghida Dergham

October 10, 2014 - ...What the Americans do not understand are the details of the Iranian role in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, or Yemen. These are complex details for ordinary Americans, details in which they have no interest. As for decision-makers, this is another matter. Still, it would be naďve to assume that US policy is based on ignorance, naivety, or foolishness. This begs the most important question: Why has all the attention and all the priorities been focused on fighting ISIS, mobilizing a regional and international alliance for the purpose, with the disclaimer that this war is going to last for years? ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110167] [ 24-nov-2014 14:26 ECT ]

Yet Another Example of How Government Uses ‘Legal Process’ to Coerce Reporters to Reveal Sources
By: Kevin Gosztola

October 10, 2014 - In 2011, a reporter for Fox News named Mike Levine was issued a grand jury subpoena as part of a Justice Department leak investigation. The subpoena demanded Levine reveal the names of "law enforcement" sources, who confirmed details for a story he wrote on Somali-Americans being indicted on terrorism charges in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Levine fought the subpoena and lost in July. Despite the fact that the government had defeated , the government withdrew the subpoena in April 2012. That Levine had been subpoenaed had been publicly known since May of this year, however, court records in the case remained secret until yesterday. And they provide a clear example of how the government is willing to use the legal process against journalists to essentially intimidate and pressure them into revealing their confidential sources...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110166] [ 24-nov-2014 14:00 ECT ]

Elie Wiesel and Amos Yadlin congratulate East Jerusalem settlers
By Noam Sheizaf

October 10, 2014 - One of the most dramatic settlement efforts in decades took place a couple of weeks ago, when 25 apartments in the Palestinian neighborhood Silwan, in East Jerusalem, were occupied by Jewish settlers. Silwan is the prize trophy for the settler movement, since it sits right on the edge of the Old City, inside the Holy Basin. The new Israeli push into the Palestinian part of the city was condemned by the international community and stood at the heart of the media coverage during Netanyahu’s visit to the U.S. The settlement effort, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, was carried out "by individuals who are associated with an organization whose agenda, by definition, stokes tensions between Israelis and Palestinians."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110165] [ 24-nov-2014 04:33 ECT ]

Harvard Students: US is a Bigger Threat Than ISIS
Dennis Loo

October 10, 2014 - The British paper, Daily Mail Online, reported on October 9, 2014: Harvard students believe that American [sic] is a bigger threat to world peace than ISIS, according to a recent survey of attendees at the prestigious Cambridge university. Campus Reform, a self-styled 'campus watchdog' for conservative students, carried out the interviews in the quad at the Ivy League school on Saturday and asked: 'Who is the bigger threat to world peace, ISIS or the U.S.?’ The students featured in the video were overwhelming in their belief that America and its interventionist foreign policy is a greater threat than the group of Muslim fanatics that have gained global notoriety in recent months through a series of video of Western hostages being beheaded.-...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110164] [ 24-nov-2014 03:27 ECT ]

17 Civilians killed and wounded by Iraqi army's bombing in Fallujah

October 10, 2014 The medical sources at Fallujah General Hospital announced on Friday the martyrdom of 4 civilians, including two women and injuring 13 others, including two women & 4 kids during renewed shelling on the city of Fallujah. The source told the National Iraqi News Agency / Nina / that the mortar shelling, artillery and military helicopters focused on the neighborhoods of Al-Jughaifi, al-Shurta and al-Golan, north of Fallujah, and Nazzal, and al-Shuhadaa southern it, in addition to al-Askari area east of the city, adding that Fallujah is exposed almost daily to bombardment...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110161] [ 24-nov-2014 03:23 ECT ]

Forgotten Atrocities, Vietnam Edition
James Bovard

October 10, 2014 - ...David Hackworth, a retired colonel and the most decorated officer in the Army, commented in 2003: "Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go…. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted." American soldiers faced more legal perils for reporting than for committing atrocities. Rank-and-file whistleblowers would be threatened with criminal charges if they tried to inform higher-ups about a massacre or other abuses....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110160] [ 24-nov-2014 03:10 ECT ]

Palestinian Christian village cancels Oktoberfest
Daoud Kuttab

October 10, 2014 - Sometimes the product becomes better known than the town or country of origin. This happened to the Palestinian Christian village of Taybeh, whose brew was described by Time Magazine as "the beer that made Taybeh famous." The name of the beer and the town, which means "good" in Arabic, was given to this Palestinian village by the 12th century Muslim leader Salah ad-Din al-Ayyoubi. The folk tale states that Salah ad-Din found the local Christians hospitable and generous and called them "taybeen," the plural of what the town ultimately became known as...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [110159] [ 24-nov-2014 03:05 ECT ]

Beyond Occupation
Israel and the G-Word


October 10, 2014 - Israeli officials were caught in a revealing lie late last month as the country celebrated the Jewish New Year. Shortly after declaring the most popular boy’s name in Israel to be "Yosef", the interior ministry was forced to concede that the top slot was actually filled by "Mohammed". That small deceit coincided with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the United Nations. He outraged Israelis by referring to Israel’s slaughter of more than 2,100 Palestinians – most of them civilians – in Gaza over the summer as "genocide". Both incidents served as a reminder of the tremendous power of a single word. Most Israelis are barely able to contemplate the possibility that their Jewish state could be producing more Mohammeds than Moshes. At the same time, and paradoxically, Israel can point to the sheer number of "Mohammeds" to demonstrate that at worst it is eradicating the visibility of a Muslim name, certainly not its bearers...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110158] [ 24-nov-2014 02:29 ECT ]

Iraq’s Greatest Calamity
Geneva International Centre for Justice - GICJ

October 10, 2014 - For a long time, the international community has remained silent towards human rights violations in Iraq, as no forms of protest were made despite there being some of the most extreme and blatant violations of such laws. When the American occupiers dismantled the Iraqi judiciary system and military forces in 2003, the entire country fell into a disastrous societal vacuum that enabled the chaotic, anarchical situation we are witnessing today. Not an ounce of protests were made against these gross and outlandish violations, including the indiscriminate bombings, shelling and killings of innocent civilians; all of which that have resulted in about two million deaths ever since the invasion and occupation happened. This landscape, particularly during the years of American occupation, paved an environment that is ripe for extreme forms of human rights violations to be committed with impunity; an unfortunate legacy that remains with Iraq’s successive "democratic" governments.
The world has also turned a blind eye towards the plight of the Iraqi people when they begun to exercise their legitimate right as stipulated under the UN Charter in resisting the invasion and foreign occupation of their homeland...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110157] [ 24-nov-2014 02:03 ECT ]

Israeli forces arrest disabled Palestinian man
International Solidarity Movement

October 10, 2014 - Yesterday at approximately 10 PM in the Qeitun region of Al-Khalil (Hebron), a group of 6 Israeli soldiers accused 14-year-old Amjad Taha of throwing fire crackers at them outside of his home. Amjad’s cousin, Muhammad Taha (17 years-old), was standing close by with his 2-year-old cousin when the Israeli soldiers began to aggressively grab Amjad. A few of the soldiers then grabbed Muhammad, who was still holding his baby cousin. The soldiers began to take Amjad, Muhammad, and their baby cousin away from the front of their house..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110156] [ 24-nov-2014 01:36 ECT ]

A Murder Mystery at Guantanamo Bay
By Ray McGovern

October 10, 2014 - There’s more of a mystery to how three Guantanamo detainees died on June 10, 2006, than I realized when I described their deaths as suicides in a recent article about force-feeding methods at the notorious U.S. prison. Some very experienced investigators who have examined the evidence suspect the three were victims of homicides amid the torture regime employed by President George W. Bush’s underlings. Scott Horton, whose upcoming book Lords of Secrecy contains new insights into the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Tenet go-ahead on torture and other abuses, has supplied me with additional detail highly suggestive of foul play by CIA interrogators
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110155] [ 24-nov-2014 00:53 ECT ]

New prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas in sight
Ola Attallah

October 10, 2014 -According to Palestinian observers, it seems as though a new prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel is on the horizon after, what many suspect, have been indirect negotiation sessions between the two parties.Political analysts have not ruled out the possibility that we may witness sessions of negotiations between the two sides in an effort to reach a new prisoner deal within the coming days. During the latest Israeli attacks on Gaza, members of the Al-Qassam Brigades announced that it had captured Israeli soldier Aron Shaol during Israel's ground invasion of Gaza City on 20th July. Two days later, the Israeli army admitted the loss of Shaol although they believed that he was killed during an on-going battle with Hamas fighters...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110154] [ 23-nov-2014 19:29 ECT ]

Syria News - October 9, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

October 9, 2014 - By the end of Thursday, LCC has documented 61 martyrs inidinf 9 women, 7 children and 2 martyrs under torture. 25 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its suburbs, 11 in Aleppo, 7 in Daraa, 7 in Idlib, 5 in Hama, 4 in Homs and 2 in Qunitra...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110153] [ 23-nov-2014 19:12 ECT ]

Suha Arraf on her "stateless" Palestinian film
Patrick O. Strickland

October 9, 2014 - "They want to view me as a 'good Israeli Arab director’ or a 'nice Israeli Arab,’" says filmmaker Suha Arraf, who recently came under attack by the Israeli government and its supporters for labeling her latest work a Palestinian production. "The moment you say Palestinian, though, you become the enemy," she told The Electronic Intifada. The 45-year-old filmmaker from the town of Maaliya in the Galilee region of present-day Israel has screenwriting credit for the critically acclaimed feature-length films Lemon Tree (2008) and The Syrian Bride (2004), and directed the documentary Women of Hamas (2008)...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110152] [ 23-nov-2014 06:33 ECT ]

Coalition air strikes against Isis aid Bashar al-Assad, Syrian rebels claim
Ian Black and Mona Mahmood

October 9, 2014 - ..."Syrian warplanes used to shell us two or three times a week but now they target us every day thanks to the coalition forces," Faris Samir, from Harm in the northern Idlib region, complained on Thursday. "We are losing martyrs and many get injured but no one pays any attention. Now the Syrian army is taking areas bombed by the coalition forces after the Islamic factions withdraw. I have to say that the coalition military campaign is in the interest of the Syrian regime and against the Syrian people."...No coalition strikes have been made to help or relieve rebel forces where they were facing either Isis or government troops. Emile Hokayem of the International Institute of Strategic Studies said Assad has been able "to give his troops a break while surveying the landscape and looking for opportunities."..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110151] [ 23-nov-2014 04:39 ECT ]

Gazans spirits lifted at arrival of unity government ministers
Mohammed Omer

October 9, 2014 - - Ministers of the new Palestinian unity government arrived in Gaza on Thursday to hold the first cabinet meeting following the 51-day war with Israel. "This is an historic visit which is the embodiment of Palestinian national unity and a real step toward ending the division," Minister of Justice, Salem al-Saqqa told Middle East Eye. "This is the first time for ministers to meet face-to-face in the house of President Mahmoud Abbas, and that has special significance as he is the president of the Palestinian people, and the head of legitimacy." While Abbas resides in the West Bank, he has an old villa in Gaza that had - until recently - laid empty, but has now been turned into a makeshift meeting space for the unity ministers...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [110150] [ 23-nov-2014 04:22 ECT ]

BBC map ignores occupation of Jerusalem
Amena Saleem

October 9, 2014 - The BBC has published a map on its website, which indicates that Jerusalem is not occupied by Israel. This graphic (see above) was used to illustrate at least two stories on the BBC website in recent months. It can be viewed online two thirds of the way down a story titled "Israel: Hamas 'will pay price’ after teenagers found dead." The map shows the city of Jerusalem as being wholly inside Israel. In reality, Jerusalem is under Israeli military occupation.
The false map was also used at the bottom of a story from 23 September titled "Israel kills Palestinians suspected of teenagers’ murders." ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110149] [ 23-nov-2014 04:04 ECT ]

Notice that ISIS Isn’t Beheading Swiss Citizens
by Jacob G. Hornberger

October 9, 2014 - ...Ever since 9/11, this has been the major issue facing the American people with respect to U.S. foreign policy: Did terrorism come to the United States because of the ferocity of radical Muslims who hate America for its freedom and values? Or did terrorism come to the United States out of retaliation for what the U.S. government was doing to people in the Middle East, many of whom were Muslims, including such things as the U.S. government’s partnership with Middle East dictatorships, the sanctions against Iraq that were killing tens of thousands of Iraqi children on an annual basis, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright’s statement that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were "worth it," the stationing of U.S. troops near Islamic holy lands, the deadly no-fly zones over Iraq, and the unconditional military and financial support to the Israeli government....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110148] [ 23-nov-2014 03:55 ECT ]

Did Israel Commit Genocide in Gaza?
Richard Falk

October 9, 2014 - In a special session of the Russell Tribunal held in Brussels on September 24th, Israel’s military operation Protective Edge was critically scrutinized from the perspective of international law, including the core allegation of genocide. The process featured a series of testimonies by legal and weapons experts, health workers, journalists and others most of whom had experienced the 50 days of military assault. A jury composed of prominent individuals from around the world, known for their moral engagement with issues of the day that concerned their societies, and also the wellbeing of humanity, assessed the evidence with the help of an expert legal team of volunteers that helped with the preparation of the findings and analysis for consideration by the jury, which deliberated and debated all relevant issues of fact and law, above all the question of how to respond to the charge of genocide...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110147] [ 22-nov-2014 18:18 ECT ]

The Sun’s ‘Unite against Isis’ campaign is a proxy for anti-Muslim bigotry
Nesrine Malik

October 9, 2014 - Imagine your average British Muslim family sitting around the breakfast table with the papers this morning. On the front page of the Sun, an image of a woman in a hijab fashioned out of the Union Jack and the headline "United Against IS" hollers out at them. In the right-hand corner, a subheadline urges them to "stand up to extremists". Yes, you there, Muslim – bleary eyed, sipping your coffee, who thought the activities of a militant group thousands of miles away had nothing to do with you – are you standing up to extremism right now? Is your Islam "British"? If not, then you are Part of the Problem....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110146] [ 22-nov-2014 07:31 ECT ]

Is Abbas one vote from Security Council majority?
Ben Caspit

October 9, 2014 - In the 21 years that have passed since the beginning of the Oslo process, never has there been a situation similar to the current one between the Israelis and Palestinians: That is to say, total deadlock. There is no political or diplomatic horizon. No negotiations are underway or attempts to facilitate them. The two parties are barely in contact.To date, there has been only one clear exception, to wit, the second intifada, which began in 2000. In response, the Israeli government eventually launched Operation Defensive Shield in 2002....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [110145] [ 22-nov-2014 07:23 ECT ]

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