Posts Tagged ‘President Shimon Peres’

Iran complains to UN about Israeli “threats”

April 15, 2009


Reuters North American News Service

Apr 14, 2009 16:17 EST

* Iran demands U.N. respond to Israeli “threats”

Israeli officials hint Israel could attack nuclear sites

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran demanded Tuesday that the U.N. Security Council respond firmly to what it described as Israel’s “unlawful and insolent threats” to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, have suggested the Jewish state could use military force to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, as the West suspects it is doing.

Iran insists it is only interested in building reactors that peacefully generate electricity. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has said Israel should be “wiped off the map,” has vowed to continue his country’s nuclear program.

Iran’s U.N. ambassador, in a letter to Mexican U.N. Ambassador Claude Heller, said Israel was violating the U.N. charter and urged the international body to respond clearly and resolutely. Mexico holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council.

“These outrageous threats of resorting to criminal and terrorist acts against a sovereign country and a member of the United Nations not only display the aggressive and warmongering nature of the Zionist regime, but also constitute blatant violations of international law,” Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee wrote.

The letter came two days after Peres told Israel’s Kol Hai radio that Israel would respond with force if U.S. offers of dialogue failed to persuade Ahmadinejad to halt Tehran’s uranium enrichment program.

“We’ll strike him,” Peres said in the interview.

Netanyahu and several of his military aides made clear in an interview with Atlantic magazine last month that the government was weighing the military option in dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Khazaee said the remarks were “unlawful and insolent threats” based on “fabricated pretexts.”


Marco Morales, spokesman for Mexico’s U.N. mission, confirmed receipt of the letter. He said Mexico circulated it to the rest of the council and would only take the issue further if council member states asked to do so.

Iran said Monday it would welcome constructive dialogue on its nuclear program with the five permanent Security Council members — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia — and Germany.

The council has adopted five resolutions demanding that Iran freeze its uranium enrichment program, three of which imposed sanctions against Tehran. Iran has so far refused to stop enriching uranium.

President Barack Obama has promised to pursue a policy of engagement with Iran in an attempt to persuade Tehran to suspend its enrichment program. Former U.S. President George W. Bush pursued a policy of isolating Iran, branding it a member of an “axil of evil” with North Korea and prewar Iraq.

Washington cut off ties with Tehran in 1980 after militants seized the U.S. Embassy in the Iranian capital.

U.S. officials, diplomats and analysts say Obama opposes the use of military force against Iran’s nuclear sites but is worried that Israel, which bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osiraq in 1981, might bomb Iranian sites if engagement fails.

If Tehran continues to enrich uranium, analysts say, Obama will have no choice but to support a push for a new round of U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic later this year. (Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: Reuters North American News Service

Peres Raises Prospect of Attacking Iran

April 13, 2009

Israeli President Calls to Unify Sunnis, Europe Against Iran

by Jason Ditz |,  April 12, 2009

In an interview today, Israeli President Shimon Peres once again raised the prospect of attacking Iran, saying that if the talks proposed by President Obama did not get Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to “soften” its stance on its civilian nuclear program “we’ll strike him.”

The threat is the latest in a long line of bellicose statements by Israeli officials about the prospect of attacking the Shi’ite nation, but the first since Israel’s new rightist government took power. Israel’s previous government, of which Peres’ Labor Party was also a part, repeatedly threatened to attack Iran over the program.

Peres seemed optimistic about the recent falling out between Egypt and Iran would enable them to “unify all his opponents – the Sunnis and the Europeans, as well as those afraid of nuclear weapons and terror.”

The Israeli government has repeatedly accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons, though the most recent US National Intelligence Estimate says Iran has not had such a program in many years and the IAEA has repeatedly certified that Iran is not diverting any of its uranium to any use other than its nuclear energy program.

Living (and dying) in the age of barbarism

February 2, 2009


William Bowles |, Jan 31, 2009

Israeli Soldiers Play ‘Sophie’s Choice’ With Palestinian Mothers
“…Out of all the devastation I have seen so far, there is one story in particular that I think the world needs to hear. I met a mother who was at home with her ten children when Israeli soldiers entered the house. The soldiers told her she had to choose five of her children to “give as a gift to Israel.” As she screamed in horror they repeated the demand and told her she could choose or they would choose for her. Then these soldiers murdered five of her children in front of her…”[1]

“Let us waste no time in sterile litanies and nauseating mimicry. [Let us] Leave this Europe where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the corner of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe. For centuries they have stifled almost the whole of humanity in the name of a so-called spiritual experience. Look at them today swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration…” Franz Fanon ‘The Wretched of the Earth’

It surely cannot have escaped your attention that our much vaunted ‘democracies’ are in fact barbarian states masquerading as civilized. And if you haven’t noticed then it’s time you did not only because they do their ‘civilizing’ in your name but when they’ve done ‘civilizing’ the brown and poor people of our planet, it’ll be your turn next to get ‘civilized’.

The greed of the few would seem to be the underlying cause and of course greed needs power and to paraphrase, (private) power corrupts and total (private) power corrupts completely. Looked at historically, the crime against humanity committed by the ‘Chosen People’ in Gaza is but the tip of an iceberg but it is most definitely as brazen a piece of ‘civilizing’ as we have witnessed recently.

In turn, this brazen and murderous use of power reflects the complete separation between the rulers and the ruled. They claim to act in ‘our’ names but as long as they are accountable to no one, they can claim to represent anything they choose to.

What makes my blood run cold is the arrogance of these ‘masters of the universe’. Take for example the following extract from Turkish prime minister Erdogan’s ‘exchange’ that took place this week at the Davos conference:

Moderator: There was a heated debate here. This is a discussion that can last for hours. We are already out of time.

Erdogan: One minute.

Moderator: Mr. President, well, you know…

Erdodan: One minute, one minute! No! One minute.

Moderator: Ok, but I want you not to speak more than one minute.

Erdogan: Mr. Peres, you are older than me. Your voice is very loud. I know that you are speaking aloud because of the requirement of a sense of guilt. My voice will not be that loud. About murdering, you know killing very well. I am well aware how you murdered children on beaches. Two former prime ministers of your country had important sayings to me. You have former prime ministers who say When I entered Palestine over armed combat cars, I consider myself more and more pleased. I can give their names, maybe some of you wonder. Besides, I condemn those of you who applaud this persecution. Because applauding these killers who murdered those children, who massacred those people is, I believe, also another crime committed against humanity. Look, we cannot disregard a reality here. Here, I jotted down a lot of notes, but I dont have time to answer all of them. But, I will say you only two things:

Moderator: Excuse me Prime Minister, we can’t start the debate again.

Erdogan: Excuse me. First, excuse me, do NOT interrupt me! First, The Old Testament says in the 6th commandment: You shall not kill! But there is murder here. Second, this is also very interesting. Gilad Atzmon, a Jew himself, says: Israeli barbarity is far beyond even ordinary cruelty. Besides, Avi Shlaim, Professor of Oxford who performed his military duty in Israeli army, says in the Guardian the following:

Moderator: Prime Minister, Prime Minister. I wanna ask to our host.

Erdogan: Israel became a gangster state. (to the moderator) I thank you, too. For me, Davos is done for me from now on. I will not come again. You all know this in this way. You are not letting us speak. (pointing to Shimon Peres) He spoke for 25 minutes, but you let me speak 12 minutes. No way!

Now I don’t know who the ‘moderator’ is but I assume he or she is a European talking to the prime minister of Turkey! (Watch the video).

For us regular folks conditioned to be deferential in the presence of POWER, the Davos display should be an indication of what we are dealing with here, actions that are in actuality expressions of weakness and weakness that leads to desperation and desperate and murderous actions in defence of POWER.

The problem we confront is in linking the greed of our ruling classes to their actions, hidden as they are behind all manner lies and half-truths about ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’, words that have been debased and cheapened to the point where they cease to have any meaning.

Worse still, the real culprits are, for the most part, hidden from view, instead they are represented by a professional political class that utilizes all the trappings of its power to bury the reality. It maybe a cliché but all one need do is follow the money.

All of our major politicians are either in bed with big capital or will be once their public offices come to an end. We call it revolving door politics. They sit on the boards of corporations, retained as ‘consultants’, become lobbyists and/or are part of an intricate network of cross-connected directorships, thinktanks, they even marry each other, thus dynasties are created of the ‘high and mighty’ that extend across the generations.

Many are overtly corrupt, receiving kickbacks and payoffs for ‘services rendered’, in short a Corporate Mafia that makes the ‘mafia’ of the movies small potatoes indeed as the recent revelations concerning the House of ‘Lords’ shows, with as many as 140 ‘Lords’ on the receiving end of gifts for fixing legislation or other services rendered (the four names recently revealed is but the tip of the iceberg).

Without any kind of oversight except lip service to the idea of transparency or accountability, never mind absolutely no democracy, over time they have become brazen in their contempt for the working man and woman, flaunting their wealth in our faces. The examples are everywhere especially of late with literally billions being paid to what are actually a bunch of cheap crooks and shysters, these so-called captains of industry.

In the final analysis however, it is our own total lack of political participation that has allowed this situation to come to pass. It is argued that we have no real choice when it comes to who we have to vote for, but the vote is only a small part of the democratic process, it’s what leads up to your vote that counts.

For nearly a century we fought for the universal franchise, eventually forming our own political parties that we trusted to represent us and fight for our interests, a trust that has been betrayed over and over again. Thus we have become cynical and fatalistic about the political process to the point where we have opted out in our droves, preferring instead to consume. But the party, as they say, is over.

On the face of it, as so many say, ‘it’s always been this way, there’s nothing we can do about’ but history tells a different story even right now as the events shaking France reveal. And the reason the French are in revolt is simple, they have trade unions and political parties that may not be the best but they are vehicles through which citizens can act collectively, so much so that Sarkozy ignores them at his (political) peril. (Watch the video ‘Working Class Fightback: Lessons of the Last Great Depression’.)

The BBC disguises it when it talks of “social unrest”, newsspeak for revolt (see ‘Crisis may ’spark social unrest’’).

The BBC piece quotes France’s finance minister Christine Lagarde who tells us that “trust in the financial system needed to be restored.

“Leaders needed to send a clear, understandable signal to ordinary people about how governments were intending to act, she added.”

Laughably and in direct contradiction, another BBC piece quotes that buffoon Gordon Brown, “Gordon Brown says there is no precedent for the “first financial crisis of the global age”, (‘PM says ‘no clear map’ for crisis’). What they really mean is that there is no capitalist solution to the crisis as crisis is fundamental to capitalism.

By contrast and to illustrate the point, here in the UK we turn against our fellow workers, incited by Gordon Brown’s cynical calls for “British jobs for British workers”. The contrast could not be greater and once more revealing the total bankruptcy of those who claim to lead us.

If we are to put our trust in political parties once again, they are going to have to prove to us that our trust is deserved by not being opportunistic and making promises they cannot deliver on.


1. The term ‘Sophie’s Choice’ originates with the ordeal of an inmate in Auschwitz who had to make the choice as to which of her two children should be put to death.

:: Article nr. 51424 sent on 02-feb-2008 01:39 ECT


Turks hail PM after bust-up with Peres

January 31, 2009

The Morning Star

(Friday 30 January 2009)
Supporters of Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan awaiting his arrival at Ataturk airport in Istanbul.

DELIGHTED: Supporters of Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan awaiting his arrival at Ataturk airport in Istanbul.

THOUSANDS of Turks welcomed their prime minister home on Friday with chants of “Turkey is proud of you” after he publicly confronted the Israeli president over the bloody Gaza onslaught.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s intervention at the World Economic Forum in Davos also won praise in Gaza, where Turkish flags fluttered from a ruined mosque.

Mr Erdogan was greeted by a jubilant crowd of more than 5,000 supporters, many waving Turkish and Palestinian flags, who had flooded Istanbul’s airport when his plane from Davos touched down at about 2am.

The dispute about Israel’s offensive against Gaza took place at a panel discussion in Davos on Thursday. Israeli President Shimon Peres launched into a 25-minute defence of Tel Aviv’s attack on the coastal enclave, jabbing his finger repeatedly at Mr Erdogan.

“The tragedy of Gaza is not Israel. It is Hamas. They created a dictatorship, a very dangerous one,” he screamed.

After Mr Peres’s intervention had won applause, Mr Erdogan said: “I find it very sad that people applaud what you have said because many people have been killed.

“Mr Peres, you are older than me. Your voice is too loud,” he said, suggesting that his emotion betrayed a guilty conscience.

The session moderator cut Mr Erdogan off in mid-sentence, prompting the Turkish premier to walk out, declaring that he would never return to Davos.

In the Gaza refugee camp of Jebaliya, Turkish flags decorated the ruins of a local mosque that had been destroyed by Israeli air strikes. On the Egyptian side of the Gaza border, over two dozen lorries loaded with food, medicines and commercial goods remain stranded because Tel Aviv refuses to open the crossings.

The UN launched an emergency appeal on Thursday for $613 million (£440m) to help Palestinians rebuild, but UN officials on the ground warned that this would be useless if Israel continues to bar aid from entering Gaza.

John Ging, the top UN official in Gaza, said: “The ordinary people here in Gaza are not getting enough help and are not getting it quickly enough,” demanding that the border crossings be opened.

“There are thousands of tons of assistance generously donated, sitting in Egypt, Jordan and also in the ports in Israel,” Mr Ging reported, adding: “That aid should be right here, right now, helping the people who need it.”

We must act to help the people of Gaza

January 7, 2009

We have the power

Why we must act to help the people of Gaza, urges JEREMY CORBYN.

SIX HUNDRED dead and 2,500 injured is the current price of Israel’s 11-day onslaught on Gaza. Its blood-stained assault is the culmination of the abject failure of Western strategy in the Middle East since 2005.

That was the year in which the first democratic elections in Palestine for the presidency and assembly were supposed to mark a step on the road towards the recognition of Palestine as an an independent state, with the complete withdrawal by Israel from Gaza and a partial withdrawal in the West Bank.

But the result didn’t go to plan.

While Palestinians elected Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas as president, they handed Hamas a parliamentary majority.

Israel’s response was swift. It rounded up 74 parliamentarians and threw them in jail. Today, 40 remain in custody without charge or any prospect of a trial.

The US and EU, meanwhile, promoted economic and political support for the West Bank while allowing Israel to continue its blockade of Gaza unhindered. It joined Tel Aviv in ritual condemnation of the Hamas leadership.

A ceasefire agreed between Hamas and Israel was respected by the Islamist movement until Israel carried out a major offensive in the West Bank. When Tel Aviv failed to end its siege of Gaza as agreed, the ceasefire was again broken by Hamas.

Normally 450 lorries a day enter the strip bearing essential supplies to sustain Gaza’s 1.5 million population. Under the Israeli blockade, this fell to fewer than 80 lorries a day, helping to create the humanitarian disaster now unfolding in the strip.

Much has been made of attacks using home-made rockets upon Israel and their military impact has been greatly exaggerated. Obviously, it is wrong that they should be fired and that any casualties should be caused. But these attacks are no excuse for 600 air raids and an orgy of killing.

Israel has flouted every UN resolution ever passed concerning the rights of Palestinian people. It has constructed a wall that has been declared illegal by the World Court and it has forced collective punishment on the people of Gaza by controlling all travel and by denying access to the basic necessities of life.

The Israelis are led by President Shimon Peres, a man addicted to office irrespective of the policies of the administration in which he is serving, and the squabbling twins of Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni. They are engaged in a macabre competition to see who can be the most brutal towards the Palestinian people. Theirs is a crude electoral game played with an eye on elections for prime minister next month.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu is waiting in the wings. He has a proven record of killing far more people than this and is ready to do battle.

The EU has called for a ceasefire and issued various statements suggesting that Israel ought to halt the bombardment of Gaza as it is wholly disproportionate to the alleged cause for their actions.

However, at no stage has the EU even suggested that there could be any political or diplomatic reaction to Israel’s behaviour. The current bilateral trade agreement between Israel and the EU is due to be upgraded. If Israel is granted associated status, in the past a step on the road towards full EU membership, it will gain even greater access to EU trade and aid.

If any other country anywhere else in the world had behaved in the way that Israel has in the past 11 days, never mind the past 60 years, it would be roundly condemned by every government.

But there is an unspoken bottom line that Israel need fear no retribution for its actions. The US administration has not even called for a ceasefire. George W Bush and Condoleezza Rice have fallen neatly in line with Israel’s depiction that this is a war of equals. Yet this supposed war of equals is being waged by a nuclear-armed power against a largely unarmed Gazan population.

The US, with the support of the British government, has ensured through its security council veto that there has been no ceasefire call from the UN.

Another security council meeting takes place today in New York. The very least that it could do is condemn Israel for the huge loss of civilian life, including the bombing of a UN school in Gaza yesterday, which has reportedly killed at least 40 people.

Next Monday, Foreign Secretary David Miliband will report to the House of Commons on the British government’s participation in the various EU efforts to bring about a ceasefire.

But will he recognise that ordinary public opinion in Britain has been steadily moving in favour of the rights of Palestinian people?

There has been an avalanche of support for the victims of Israel’s behaviour. Support for Jews for Justice for Palestinians has increased, as has the participation of people in demonstrations such as the massive march through London last Sunday and the daily demonstrations at the US embassy.

Ordinary people have been emailing, phoning and faxing their MPs to demand action as they are bombarded with daily images of the carnage in Gaza. Support for Israel in Parliament has been steadily reducing and is now much more limited than in the past.

Not only is the continued oppression of Palestinians appalling for the individuals concerned but it can only lay the foundations for greater conflict in the future.

The time is long past for the rest of the world to unreservedly condemn Israel’s behaviour.

The increasingly militant hardline leadership in Israel must be isolated.

This time, the plight of the Palestinian people will not wait as they are dying in their hundreds and starving in their thousands.

The neighbouring governments that have so far failed to open the crossing points or effectively condemn Israel will soon be feeling the wrath of popular opinion in their own communities.

We often feel a sense of helplessness in these situations. But we can apply force to the political process in Britain and join in the massive numbers of protests and street demonstrations that are being held every day.

For the people of Palestine, in Gaza and the West Bank, it means more than we can know.

There is a national demonstration in London this Saturday January 10. Assemble 12.30pm at Hyde Park Corner. Visit for more information on this and other actions.

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