Archive for the ‘Palestinians’ Category

Israeli war on Gaza is to crush Fatah-Hamas unity and any resistance to Israeli occupation

July 19, 2014

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Nasir Khan, July 19, 2014

There are many people who think that Israel has invaded Gaza in response to the rockets from Gaza. But there is more to this scenario then many casual readers know. Therefore I present a brief account of what happened. After the killing of three young ultra-rightist Jewish settlers by some unknown people and the burning alive of a Palestinian youth by the Zionists, the Netanyahu government accused Hamas of the killings. This Hamas categorically denied and declared that such accusations were totally unfounded. Hamas had nothing to do with the killings; it also condemned such killings because it was apprehensive that the Israeli government would use it an excuse to unleash terror in the West Bank and also Gaza. That’s exactly what happened.

Israeli police and army started a large-scale crack down on all members and sympathisers of Hamas in the West Bank. They also killed many Palestinians during these operations. As a reaction to the victimisation of its members by Israel, some resistance-fighters from Gaza fired rockets into Israel without causing much damage or death. There is no credible evidence that one Israeli citizen was killed by the rocket fire. As expected by many political observers Israel used firing of rockets from Gaza as a casus belli for a full scale aerial bombardment indiscriminately that was followed by a ground invasion. But what are the real reasons for Israeli war on Gaza? One prime reason is to strike at the Palestinian unity government that the two factions Fatah and Hamas had formed after the collapse of the US charade of peace talks between the parties.

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Richard Falk: Investigate the Death of Arafat Jaradat

March 2, 2013

Richard Falk,  March 1, 2013

What follows is a news report prompted by my press release on the shocking treatment of Arafat Jaradat who died while being held in an Israel prison.

27 February 2013 – A United Nations human rights expert today called for an international investigation into the death of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat, who died in Israeli custody just a few days after his arrest.

“The death of a prisoner during interrogation is always a cause for concern, but in this case, when Israel has shown a pattern and practice of prisoner abuse, the need for outside, credible investigation is more urgent than ever,” stressed the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk.

“The best approach might be the creation of an international forensic team under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council,” he added in a news release.

Both the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, and the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, have also called for an independent investigation into Mr. Jaradat’s death, which occurred on Saturday.

Mr. Falk pointed to the assessment made by the Palestinian Authority’s chief pathologist, Dr. Saber Aloul, who observed the autopsy carried out inside Israel, and found there were clear signs of torture on the body of the previously healthy, 30-year-old detainee.

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September may bring the death of the two-state solution – and the Jewish state

September 9, 2011

What happens when the Palestinians realize come September that UN recognition doesn’t change their lives, that the settlements continue to expand, and the occupation continues?

By Carlo Strenger, Haaretz, Sep. 8, 2011

The diplomatic tsunami of September is building up. So far, neither the U.S. nor the EU has been able to dissuade the Palestinian Authority from its bid for UN recognition.

It seems that the Palestinians no longer have a way out. Given that they do not see the Netanyahu government as a bona fide partner on the route toward a viable state, they are bereft of an alternative strategy.

The Netanyahu government has known but one tactic vis-à-vis the Palestinian bid for UN recognition: working against it.

It is bracing for the head-on collision with the UN recognition of Palestine, and hopes to score a ‘moral victory’ if major EU countries like Germany, France and the U.K. either abstain or vote against this recognition.

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Noam Chomsky: The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks

December 8, 2010

By Noam Chomsky, In These Times, Dec 2, 2010

It is hardly a secret that for 35 years the U.S. and Israel have stood virtually alone in opposition to a consensus on a political settlement that is close to universal.

Washington’s pathetic capitulation to Israel while pleading for a meaningless three-month freeze on settlement expansion—excluding Arab East Jerusalem—should go down as one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. diplomatic history.

In September the last settlement freeze ended, leading the Palestinians to cease direct talks with Israel. Now the Obama administration, desperate to lure Israel into a new freeze and thus revive the talks, is grasping at invisible straws—and lavishing gifts on a far-right Israeli government.

The gifts include $3 billion for fighter jets. The largesse also happens to be another taxpayer grant to the U.S. arms industry, which gains doubly from programs to expand the militarization of the Middle East.

U.S. arms manufacturers are subsidized not only to develop and produce advanced equipment for a state that is virtually part of the U.S. military-intelligence establishment but also to provide second-rate military equipment to the Gulf states—currently a precedent-breaking $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, which is a transaction that also recycles petrodollars to an ailing U.S. economy.

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Obama’s Israel Policy: Speak softly and carry a very big carrot

December 6, 2010

by Maidhc Ó Cathail, Foreign Policy Journal, December 4, 2010

Even those familiar with the long and shameful history of America’s appeasement of Israel were taken aback by the Obama administration’s extraordinary offer to Netanyahu.

In exchange for a paltry one-off 90 day freeze on illegal settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem), Israel will get 20 F-35 stealth fighter jets worth $3 billion and a slew of other goodies. Yet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly gave up to eight hours with Netanyahu trying to persuade him to accept “one of the most generous bribes ever bestowed by the United States on any foreign power.” Praising the Israeli Prime Minister for eventually agreeing to put the offer to his security cabinet, President Obama took it as “a signal that he is serious.”

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BBC Bias: The Gaza Freedom Flotilla

September 13, 2010

By Anthony Lawson, Foreign Policy Journal, Sep 13, 2010

Whatever happened on the Mavi Marmara on the morning of May 31st, 2010, the BBC’s Panorama team failed to give a balanced view of it in its so-called documentary, Death in the Med. Even the title sounds more like that of a paperback mystery, rather than a serious analysis of Israel’s worst atrocity since Operation Cast Lead.

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Tony and the Shah of Palestine

July 6, 2010

by Yvonne Ridley, Media Monitors Network,  July 5, 2010)

“There are fewer checkpoints because the Israelis are grabbing more land and huge swathes of stolen land are merging into other tracts of stolen land, making some checkpoints redundant. That doesn’t change the fact that the West Bank is now a series of small islands, cut off by Israel and its Apartheid Wall and settler-only roads, as well as the illegal settlements.”

Ever since a group of ordinary people from more than 40 different countries came together and set sail for Gaza have we seen various world leaders scramble to persuade Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza. Why? To honour the memory of those martyred by Israeli soldiers who shot nine unarmed peace activists at virtually point-blank range? Hell no!

They realize that people power has achieved more in that one heroic action, than any of them have achieved for the people of Palestine. And, despite that brutal episode, they know that more flotillas and convoys are being planned because people power is achieving more than anything else has over the past 60 years for the people of Palestine.

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Israel’s Mossad Abusing the Living and Dead

June 29, 2010

Middle East Online,  June 29, 2010

A Mossad agent claiming to be Michael Bodenheimer, the grandson of a German Jewish Holocaust survivor, secured a German passport which he later used to enter the UAE where he was involved in the murder of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, notes James Zogby.

I am not easily shocked. I’ve been doing this work for too many years and I’ve seen too much to become outraged by bad behavior or acts of indecency or inhumanity. But two stories that recently came across my desk were so disgraceful, and in some ways dangerous, that I feel compelled to write about them. Both featured players in the Middle East crassly abusing the living and the dead.

The first of these involved Israel’s Mossad and a practice they used to secure a fraudulent passport for one of their agents who participated in the January 19, 2010 assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai.

German law offers citizenship and a passport to the descendants of pre-World War II German Jewish citizens who were forced to flee the country to escape the horrors of the Holocaust. Taking advantage of this provision, a Mossad agent claiming to be Michael Bodenheimer, the grandson of a German Jewish survivor, secured a German passport which he later used to enter the UAE where he was involved in the murder of al Mabhouh.

A few weeks back the Jerusalem Post reported that the real Michael Bodenheimer, an Orthodox rabbi who emigrated from the United States to Israel, claimed that his identity had been stolen by the Mossad agent, and that he had “never asked for a German passport…[and] never had one”. The real Michael Bodenheimer and his family were, of course, concerned that their name was implicated in an assassination. More than just this abuse of one innocent citizen, there is the concern with the Mossad’s cavalier abuse of the German citizenship provision. Israel’s behavior in this regard is dangerous. It put the real Michael Bodenheimer at risk while casting suspicion on an entire class of people, Jews who have in the past, and who may in the future, seek German citizenship. As such, it callously exploits those who were murdered and the descendants of those who survived.

Then there are the recent revelations about the Iranian woman who was murdered in the demonstrations that erupted protesting last year’s Iranian elections. The woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, quickly became internationally recognized as a martyr and symbol of the “Green revolution”. Her face was used on CNN and BBC and plastered on the front pages of newspapers around the world where it appeared with the tagline “the Angel of Iran”. This photo was picked up by the Voice of America and spread to Iran where it appeared on posters and T-shirts.

The story is true, Neda Agha-Soltan was murdered, but the picture that spread virally is not of her. Careless journalism, to be kind, picked up the Facebook photo of one, Neda Soltani, a quite lovely Iranian teaching assistant and student of English Literature at Tehran University. Despite the mistaken identity, the photo stuck.

A piece on Foreign Policy’s website last week carefully traces not just the carelessness that lead to the mistaken identity, but more disturbingly the consequences for the living Neda who is the innocent victim of this error. As she sought to reclaim her identity and her face, the Iranian regime sought to exploit her situation, claiming that “Neda lives”, vainly arguing that the entire episode was a hoax – that no murder had been committed. When she went online demanding that her picture be taken down, she received threats and abusive responses from supporters of the revolt who argued that she was threatening to deny their cause the martyred “Angel of Iran”.

And when the parents of the murdered Neda attempted to replace the mistaken photo with that of their daughter, they found that neither their efforts nor the truth could compete with the “symbol”.

Fearing pressure from the regime, and frustrated by the loss of her identity, the living Neda has been forced to flee Iran and take refuge in Germany where she currently lives.

As disturbing as these stories are, equally troubling is the lack of attention they have received here in the United States. With the exception of the Foreign Policy piece, the story of Neda has received scant attention when compared with the coverage given to the use of the original photo last summer—while the Bodenheimer story has not been covered at all.

The lesson that emerges from all of this is when governments, media and movements abuse the living and dead to pursue their ends, truth and innocent people pay the price.

Dr. James Zogby is president of the Arab American Institute and author of the forthcoming book Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us And Why It Matters (Palgrave-Macmillan, October 2010). For comments or information, contact James Zogby.

Israel prevents delivery of oxygen to hospitals

June 28, 2010
By Ma’an News Agency, Monday, June 28, 2010

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Seven oxygen machines donated to the Palestinain Authority by a Norwegian development agency were seized by Israeli officials en route to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza, the Ramallah-based health ministry said.
The machines, the ministry said in a Thursday statement, were confiscated by Israeli officials who claimed that the generators attached “came under the category of possible use for non-medical purposes” if they were delivered to the southern Gaza governorates.

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Occupied Palestine: Good News and Bad

June 26, 2010

by Stephen Lendman, Dissident Voice,  June 26th, 2010


First the good.

On June 22, the International Middle East Media Center reported that the UN Human Rights Council (that established the Goldstone Commission) approved “forming an international committee to probe the deadly Israeli” Flotilla attack, massacring and injuring dozens of nonviolent activists on board. Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to shelve it, saying:

“We expressed our view that for the time being, as long as….new flotillas are in the preparation, it’s probably better to leave (an investigation) on the shelf for a certain time” – in other words, postpone it long enough to forget, letting Israel’s self-examination whitewash top officials’ culpability, a vain hope given world outrage, mushrooming toward universally branding Israel a pariah rogue state.

The Human Rights Council (HRC) said committee officials will include lawyers and international law and human rights experts, the body to present its findings in September.

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