Posts Tagged ‘Israel and Palestinians’

Moral Failure of American Liberals: A Defence of Helen Thomas

June 10, 2010

Jonathan Cook,  Redress.cc,  June 10, 2010

Helen Thomas does not deserve to be pilloried and blacklisted.

The ostracism of Helen Thomas, the doyenne of the White House press corps, over her comment that Jews should ‘get the hell out of Palestine’ and ‘go home’ to Poland, Germany, America and elsewhere is revealing in several ways. In spite of an apology, the 89-year-old has been summarily retired by the Hearst newspaper group, dropped by her agent, spurned by the White House, and denounced by long-time friends and colleagues.

Ms Thomas earnt a reputation as a combative journalist, at least by American standards, with a succession of administrations over their Middle East policies, culminating in Bush officials boycotting her for her relentless criticisms of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. But the reaction to her latest remarks suggest that, if there is one topic in American public life on which the boundaries of what can and cannot be said are still tightly policed, it is Israel.

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Muslims Are Their Own Worst Enemy

March 2, 2010
by Paul Craig Roberts, Foreign Policy Journal, March 2, 2010

Muslims are numerous but powerless. Divisions among Muslims, especially between Sunni and Shi’ites, have consigned the Muslim Middle East to almost a century of Western control. Muslims cannot even play together. The Islamic Solidarity Games, a regional version of the Olympics, which were to be held in April in Iran, have been cancelled, because the Iranians and the Arabs cannot agree on whether to call the body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf.

Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and for the U.S. to rule much of the region through puppets. For example, in exchange for faithful service, Egypt receives $1.5 billion a year from Washington, which enables President Mubarak to buy off opposition. The opposition had rather have the money than support the Palestinians. Therefore, Egypt cooperates with Israel and the U.S. in the blockade of Gaza.

Another factor is the willingness of some Muslims to betray their own kind for U.S. dollars. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman, head of the Foundation for Democracy, which describes itself as “a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”

By now we all know what that means. It means that the U.S. finances a “velvet” or some “color revolution” in order to install a U.S. puppet.  Just prior to the sudden appearance of a “green revolution” in Tehran primed to protest an election, Timmerman wrote that “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting ‘color’ revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques. Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”  So, according to the neocon Timmerman, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, it was U.S. money that funded Mousavi’s claims that Armadinejad stole the last Iranian election.

During President George W. Bush’s regime it became public knowledge that American money is used to purchase Iranians to work against their own country. The Washington Post, a newspaper sympathetic to the neocon’s goal of American hegemony and war with Iran, reported in 2007 that Bush authorized spending more than $400 million for activities that included “supporting rebel groups opposed to the country’s ruling clerics.”

This makes the U.S. government a “state sponsor of terrorism.” For confirmation, one of the U.S. paid operatives, who conducted terror operations in Iran, has ratted on his terrorist supporters in Washington. Abdulmalek Rigi, leader of the Baloch separatist group responsible for several attacks, was recently arrested by the Iranians. Rigi admitted that the Americans in Washington assured him of unlimited military aid and funding for waging an insurgency against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Possibly he was tortured into confession. It is the American way. If the “light of the world,” the “indispensable people,” and the “shining city on the hill” tortures people, perhaps the Iranians do as well. Rigi’s younger brother, himself on death row in Iran, has said that the U.S. provided direct funding to the separatist group and even ordered specific terrorist attacks inside Iran.

The U.S. and its NATO puppets have been killing Afghan women, children, and village elders since October 7, 2001, when the U.S. military invasion “Operation Enduring Freedom,” a proper Orwellian title for a self-serving war of aggression, was launched. The U.S. installed puppet president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is bought and paid for with U.S. dollars.

The money that Washington gives Karzai finances the corruption that supports him. Karzai’s corruption and his treason against the Afghan people encourage the Taliban to keep fighting in order to achieve a government that serves Afghans instead of Washington, D.C.

Without the puppet Karzai selling out Afghans to Washington, the U.S. would have already been driven out of the country. With Karzai paying Afghans with American money to fight Afghans for the Americans, the war drones on into its ninth year.

Feminists, liberals, and naive American flag-wavers will say that what is written here is utter rot, that Americans are in Afghanistan to bring women’s rights and birth control to Afghan women and to bring freedom, democracy and progress to Afghanistan, even if it means leveling every village, town, and house in the country. We, “the indispensable people,” are only there to do good, because we care so much for the Afghan people who live in a country that most Americans can’t find on a map.

While this collection of naifs rants on about America “saving” Afghans from whatever, the White House and the Congress are conspiring against the American people to cut $500 billion dollars out of Medicare in order to give the money to private insurance companies. Jobless benefits are about to run out for millions of Americans, whose jobs have been moved offshore in order to make the rich richer. The U.S. Senate failed on Friday, Feb. 26, to extend jobless benefits. A single Republican Senator, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, was able to block the bill because it would cost a measly $10 billion and “would add to the budget deficit.”

The “fiscally responsible” Bunning supports blank checks for wars of aggression (war crimes under the Nuremberg standard) and payoffs to investment banks for wrecking the retirement plans of most Americans. Bunning sends the bills to the unorganized and unrepresented Americans, whose jobs have been stolen by corporate offshoring of jobs and whose retirements have been stolen by the endless greed of the Wall Street investment banks.

What fool believes that the U.S. government, which is totally indifferent to the fate of its own citizens, cares so much about Afghanistan that it will spend blood and treasure to bring “progress” and “women’s rights” to a country half a world away, while it drives its own citizens into the ground?

At Washington’s behest, the government of Pakistan is conducting war against its own people, killing many and forcing others to flee their homes and lands. The Pakistani government’s war against its own citizens has caused military expenses to soar, putting Pakistan’s budget deep in the red. Deputy US Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin ordered the Pakistani government to raise taxes to pay for the war against its own people. The puppet ruler, Asif Ali Zardari, complied with his American master’s orders.  Zardari declared a broad-based value added tax on virtually all goods and most services in Pakistan. Thus, Pakistanis are forced to finance a war against themselves.

The “cakewalk war” in Iraq has lasted 7 years instead of the promised 6 weeks, and the violence is still ongoing with Iraqis killed and maimed nearly every day. The reason Americans are still in Iraq is because the Iraqis hate each other more than they hate the American invader. The vast majority of the violence in “the Iraq war” was committed between Iraqi Sunnis and Iraqi Shi’ites as they cleansed one another from neighborhoods.

The majority Shi’ites regarded the American invasion of Iraq as an opportunity to gain power over the minority Sunnis, who ruled under Saddam Hussein. Therefore, the Shi’ites never engaged the American invading forces. The minority Sunnis (20 percent of the population) gave most of their effort to fighting the Shi’ite majority, but in their spare time a few thousand Sunnis were able to inflict serious losses on the American superpower.

Finally realizing the power of lucre in the Arab world, the Americans put 80,000 Sunnis on the U.S. military payroll and paid them to stop killing Americans.

This is how the U.S. won the war in Iraq. Iraqis sold out their independence for American dollars.

Considering that a few thousand Sunnis were able to prevent superpower America from successfully occupying Baghdad or much of Iraq, had the Shi’ites joined with the Sunnis against the invaders, the U.S. would have been defeated and driven out. This outcome was not possible, because the Shi’ites wanted to settle the score with the Sunnis, who had ruled them under Saddam Hussein.

This is the reason that Iraq today is in ruins, with one million dead, four million displaced or homeless, and the professional class having fled the country. Iraq, under the American puppet Maliki, is an American protectorate.

As long as Muslims hate and fear one another more than they hate their conquerers, they will remain a vanquished people.

Dr. Roberts was assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury in the Reagan administration, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow in the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University.

“When the ‘War on Terror’ Becomes Genocide”

February 10, 2010

by J.B.Gerald, nightslantern.ca, Feb 10, 2010

The “Convention for the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide” stresses the prevention of genocide more than prescribing its exact manner of punishment. Genocide does not have to be committed for the Convention to have effect. By defining “genocide” it seeks to avert agendas which will confirm the crime. Physical manifestations of genocide are preceded by psychological preparation and the resulting psychological damage to entire victim groups. There is no way not to apply this awareness to current pressures on Islamic communities in North America, so this is an obvious and rather late notation of a genocide warning for Islamic peoples in the U.S. (see also Canada), late, in that one could sense the program over twenty years ago without knowing the scope of its intentions. The threat of whole or partial destruction of this religious group is exacerbated by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, bombing of civilian Lebanon, invasion of Gaza, which placed essentially Islamic civilian populations without human value, in a manner politically acceptable to U.S. and Canadian governments.

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MIDEAST: Rabbis Take on Settlers

October 23, 2009

By Mel Frykberg, Inter Press Service News

AWARTA, West Bank, Oct 21 (IPS) – Away from the media spotlight that focuses on the widening chasm between Israelis and Palestinians, a group of Israeli humanists is quietly working to break down barriers with their Palestinian neighbours.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman, director of Israel’s Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR), has been used as a human shield, arrested, and beaten up several times by Israeli security forces while defending Palestinians. He has also been stoned by Palestinians who mistook him for a settler.

Every year during the Palestinian olive season in the autumn months, Palestinian farmers have been subjected to escalated violence by some of the half-million Israeli settlers who live in illegal settlements scattered all over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Much of the Palestinian farmers’ land has been expropriated by the Israeli authorities for enlargement of settlements and to establish new ones.

The Israeli government recently began laying foundations in 12 settlements for new buildings, while other construction continues in a total of 34 settlements.

Areas around the settlements have been declared closed military zones by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

Groups of vigilante settlers, often protected by the IDF, have set fire to swathes of Palestinian agricultural land, cut down trees, beaten up farmers, and killed some of their livestock.

Israeli and international supporters of Palestinian farmers have been arrested by Israeli soldiers for allegedly breaching the closed military zones, and attacked by settlers as well.

The settler violence is part of an established “price-tag” policy in retaliation for every small settlement outpost evacuated by the IDF.

Ascherman and RHR have been in the forefront of fighting for justice for disadvantaged groups both within Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Each year during the olive season Ascherman leads a group of rabbinical students, and Israeli and international volunteers to accompany Palestinian farmers as they try to harvest their olives. IPS joined them as they accompanied Palestinian farmers to their olive groves in the northern West Bank villages of Awarta and Jit.

Hellela Siew, 65, an Israeli now resident in the UK, travels to Israel each year to partake in the olive harvesting.

During a previous harvest she had to be taken to hospital after she was hit over the head with an iron bar by an Israeli security guard from one of the nearby settlements. On another occasion settlers threw stones and human excreta at her and other volunteers, while shooting into the air.

“I’m an Israeli and Israel is my country and I don’t like what the occupation is doing in my name,” Siew told IPS. “I come here because this is what I must do. I don’t fear the Palestinians, I fear the settlers. In fact I feel more comfortable with the Palestinians than I do with many Israelis.”

German-born Suzanne Moses, 80, fled the Nazis as a child after her mother perished in the Auschwitz death camp. After years as a refugee in various countries she settled in Israel as a young woman.

Moses has been volunteering on the olive groves for years. She spends back- breaking hours in the scorching sun picking olives “because I love olives,” she jokes.

“Seriously, I’m against the occupation. I don’t like the settlers and I’m actually very worried about civil war in the future. The settlers are armed, and even if there was an Israeli government willing to evacuate the settlements, the settlers won’t leave without a fight,” Moses told IPS.

Shy Halatzi, 23, is a physics and astronomy student at Tel Aviv University who served in the IDF. This was his third trip to the West Bank to pick olives.

“I had never been to the West Bank before apart from visiting the Dead Sea. I was a bit apprehensive at first as I wasn’t sure about safety. But I wanted to understand the Palestinians better and see their perspective. Israelis don’t really understand what is happening here from our media.

“If every violation against Palestinians was written about, it would fill a book. I feel my presence here is small compensation for what my countrymen are doing,” Halatzi told IPS.

The volunteers included some refuseniks, or young Israeli conscientious objectors who refuse to serve in the IDF and are prepared to go to prison for this.

But despite the dedication and commitment of these volunteers the settlements continue to grow, and the settlers continue to be a law unto themselves.

IPS asked Asherman if he thought that his organisation has made any difference. “Today Palestinians are able to access some of their land at times. Ten years ago this was almost impossible. The IDF also provides more protection from the settlers than previously.

“I’ve also noticed a change in some Israeli hawkish Labour Party supporters from the kibbutzim who used to be farmers themselves. Despite their politics they can relate to the struggles of the Palestinian farmers,” Ascherman told IPS.

“I strongly believe we are helping to break down stereotypes and build dialogue. I was blown away several years ago to find out that one of the Palestinian guys I was working with belonged to Yasser Arafat’s Presidential Guard, some of whose members have carried out serious attacks against Israelis.

“He was equally blown away to find out that I was an Israeli rabbi. I’m not so naive as to believe that in the future he wouldn’t consider violence. However, I think he might have a new perspective should he reach that junction,” said Ascherman.


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