Aletho News


Obama Declares Afghan War ‘Absolutely Essential’

Insists America Will Never Abandon Conflict

By Jason Ditz | March 28, 2010

Underscoring his administration’s commitment to continue the already eight and a half year long occupation of Afghanistan, President Barack Obama made a surprise visit today and delivered a speech declaring the war ‘absolutely essential.’

Citing 9/11, President Obama insisted that continuing the conflict makes all Americans safer, and assured the troops that “everyone” knows the importance of the continued occupation of the landlocked nation.

He also threw water on the notion that the war might come to an end any time soon, saying “the United States of America does not quit once we start on something.” He reiterated his confidence that the US would ultimately prevail.

But despite pledging to give the troops a clear mission and a clear goal, and insisting that they would “get the job done,” he didn’t make it at all clear what exactly this job was. His only hint at any mission beyond endless conflict was a reference to al-Qaeda in the region, though administration officials have repeatedly conceded that there are virtually no al-Qaeda members left in Afghanistan, and have not been in some time. Yet momentum and a sufficiently hawkish administration suggests the conflict will continue to find enemies wherever it can and continue indefinitely.


March 28, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | 2 Comments

Top Scientist Assesses Climate Change Emails

Mar 28, 2010 John O’Sullivan

Dr. John P. Costella examined 1079 leaked emails and 72 other documents from the computers of the UK’s Climatic Reseach Unit to reveal ‘shocking misconduct and fraud.’

Dr. Costella’s study has been widely accepted by all sides of the global warming debate as a faultless assessment. Climategate publicly began on November 19, 2009 allegedly pointing to a conspiracy to fraudulently bolster greenhouse gas theory. The British mainstream media, more than any other nation, have widely reported on the scandal.

The Australian physicist documents, step by step, flawed scientific procedure, over-arching concerns with personal and professional interests and how an elite of climatologists discussed immorally securing ‘research’ funding and evading tax payments. The emails cover correspondence between international climatologists over a 13-year period up to November 2009.

Does the evidence point to climate crimes?

Yes, as reported in The Times of London ‘University tried to mislead MPs on climate change e-mails’ (February 27, 2010) referring to the decision of the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Only the statute of limitations thwarted criminal charges on breaches of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), while further issues of serious fraud are yet to be decided. Examples of specific quotations most often referred to from those leaked emails include evidence supportive of:

(1.) Manipulation of evidence:

“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” [Jones: CRU email 942777075.txt, Nov. 16 1999]

(2.) Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:

“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.” [Trenberth: CRU email 1255352257.txt, October 12, 2009]

(3.) Intentional conspiracy to destroy evidence:

“Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.” [Jones: CRU email1212073451.txt May 29, 2008]

(4.) Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP):

“I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.” [Briffa: CRU email 938018124.txt (Sep. 22, 1999)]

“I do find the dismissal of the Medieval Warm Period as a meaningful global event to be grossly premature and probably wrong.” [Cook: CRU email 988831541.txt (May 2, 2001)]

(5.) Suppression of dissent from the peer review process:

“ I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.” [Jones: CRU email 1047388489.txt March 11, 2003]

Who Has Been Implicated in the Global Warming Scandal?

A clique of climate scientists central to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are implicated: Professor Phil Jones, ‘lead conspirator’ in the United Kingdom; Professor Michael Mann, the ‘lead conspirator’ in the United States; Tom Wigley, older ‘conspirator’ who becomes increasingly worried about the unfolding scandal; Keith Briffa, an older conspirator whose ‘blunders lead the others to all but abandon him.’

Also included are Ben Santer, a ‘dangerously arrogant and naive young conspirator’ in the U.S. as well as other conspirators of varying degrees of complicity and integrity.

What Fallout Has Occurred Since the Climategate Scandal Broke?

Dr. Costella concluded that the “climate science” community was a façade and that “their vitriolic rebuffs of sensible arguments of mathematics, statistics, and indeed scientific common sense were not the product of scientific rigor at all, but merely self-protection at any cost.”

There has been worldwide condemnation for the unethical conduct of the discredited researchers. In the United States a raft of civil lawsuits opposing federal policy based on the alleged fraudulent results of these researchers has ensued. Climate sceptics have called for a moratorium on implementation of any further expensive ecological policies until the courts resolve the matter.

The IPCC has admitted errors have been made after subsequent revelations known as Glaciergate, Amazongate, Australiagate, Africate, Inquirygate, etc.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | 1 Comment

England’s Five Year Climate Forecast Cycle

By Steven Goddard | March 28, 2010

(UK Pic Photo: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response)
England, Scotland and Wales completely covered in snow,  January, 2010

In my last article, I discussed the current theory that global warming is going to turn England into a tropical paradise.  And ten years ago we were told by The Met Office that “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”  But five years ago the theory was that global warming will turn England into a frozen wasteland.

THE Gulf Stream currents that give Britain its mild climate have weakened dramatically, offering the first firm scientific evidence of a slowdown that threatens the country with temperatures as cold as Canada’s.

The Atlantic Ocean “conveyor belt” that carries warm water north from the tropics has weakened by 30 per cent in 12 years, scientists have discovered. The findings, from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, give the strongest indication yet that Europe’s central heating system is breaking down under the impact of global warming.

Scientists have long predicted that melting ice caps could disrupt the currents that keep Britain at least 5C (40F) warmer than it should be, but the new research suggests that this is already under way. It points to a cooling of 1C over the next decade or two, and an even deeper freeze could follow if the Gulf Stream system were to shut down altogether.

The British Isles lie on the same latitude as Labrador on the East Coast of Canada, and are protected from a similarly icy climate by the Atlantic conveyor belt, which carries a million billion watts of heat. Although oceanographers still think it unlikely that the currents will stop completely, this could reduce average temperatures by between 4C and 6C in as little as 20 years, far outweighing any increase predicted as a result of global warming.
What the scientists were saying is that the melting Arctic is going to flood the North Atlantic with cold fresh water, and will slow down the Gulf Stream.  The BBC explained it like this :

Global Warming will cause the Greenland ice cap to melt which, when combined with increased rainfall at high latitudes, will potentially disrupt the THC by adding freshwater and decreasing sea water salinity in the North Atlantic…. Winters would be much colder than now “along the lines of the winter of 1962-1963″ suggests Jenkins, with summers being cooler and shorter. This would have many social implications including (not surprisingly!) transport and agriculture. 3-4°C may not sound much, but the average air temperature difference between the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ when vineyards thrived in southern England and the ‘Little Ice Age’ when the River Thames regularly froze over was only 1-2°C.

Sun photo : English cars buried in global warming

The Guardian explained it like this:

“Based on climate simulations we think that UK winters would be around 5-10C colder on average if the Gulf Stream shut down,” says Michael Vellinga, of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research. For those who can remember back that far, this would make the average UK winter feel more like 1963, when February temperatures hovered around -5 C.

So here is the climate cycle timeline:

  • 2000 – Snowfalls are a thing of the past in Britain
  • 2005 – Britain to turn into a frozen wasteland
  • 2010 – Britain to become a tropical paradise like Portugal

Climate science in England shows a statistically significant cycle, alternating between tropical forecasts and ice age forecasts every five years.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | Comments Off on England’s Five Year Climate Forecast Cycle

The Hidden History of Zionism ~ The Uprising

By Ralph Schoenman | April 19, 1988

With anger, hatred, and sheer ferocity, thousands of youngsters hurled rocks at their Israeli occupiers, undaunted by the gunfire that greeted them. This was more than civil unrest. …It was the beginning of a civil rebellion. [l]

This is how Jerusalem Post correspondent Hirsh Goodman described the uprising of Palestinian youth in the West Bank and Gaza in mid-December 1987.

Goodman’s remarks were written the day before the December 21, 1987, general strike which engulfed every Palestinian community under Israeli rule. The strike was described by the Israeli daily, Ha’aretz, as “writing on our wall even more serious than the bloody riots of the last two weeks.” [2]

On that day, – wrote John Kifner in The New York Times, – the vast army of Arab laborers who wait on tables, pick vegetables, haul garbage, lay brick and perform virtually all Israel’s menial work, stayed home. [3]

The Israeli response to the uprising was brutal. Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered the use of tanks, armored vehicles and automatic rifles against an unarmed population.

The San Francisco Examiner cited Rabin as openly advocating assassination. “They can shoot to hit leaders of disorder,” Rabin said in defense of the army’s practice of using marksmen with high-powered .22-caliber rifles to shoot indiscriminately at Palestinian youth. [4]

Rabin ordered house-to-house searches, first for young men and later for anyone of whom an example might be made. By December 27, over 2,500 Palestinians were seized, many of them as young as twelve; by the end of January the number reached 4,000 and was rising. [5] The “militants ”were marked for deportation. Israeli high-security jails and detention centers were overflowing. Mass trials of Palestinians were underway.

The act of brutality which most inflamed the Palestinian population was the army seizure of the wounded from hospital beds. This practice, standard procedure throughout the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, made Shifa Hospital in Gaza a center of resistance. Great crowds amassed to defend the wounded, whom, they rightfully feared, would never be seen again.

The youngsters in Gaza and the West Bank where riots erupted, – wrote Jerusalem Post correspondent Hirsh Goodman – have not received any terrorist training, nor are they members of a terrorist organization. Rather they are members of that Palestinian generation that grew up knowing nothing but occupation. [6]

A mother of a Palestinian man shot three times in the head by Israeli soldiers was asked if she would let her remaining sons join the demonstrations. “ As long as I am alive, ”she responded, “I am going to teach the young people to fight … I don’t care whatever happens, as long as we get our land.” [7]

Rashad Shawa’a, deposed Mayor of Gaza, expressed the same sentiment:

The youth have lost hope that Israel will ever give them their rights. They feel the Arab countries are unable to accomplish anything. They feel that the Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O.) has failed to achieve a thing. [8]

Los Angeles Times correspondent Dan Fisher’s account is even more significant:

This new-found sense of unity has been one of the most striking changes to foreign observers and non-Gaza Palestinians … It is a phenomenon that extends to previous divisions between young and old and between those who work in Israel and those who do not. [9]

Force, Might, Beatings

As the uprising intensified, the Israeli cabinet and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin implemented “collective punishment, ”a tactic characteristic of the Nazi occupation of France, Denmark and Yugoslavia. Food, water and medicine were prevented from reaching Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (U.N.R.W.A.) personnel reported that children seeking powdered milk at U.N. depots were shot at and beaten with sticks.

The Casbah, where over half of the 125,000 inhabitants of Nablus live, has been sealed off by concrete barricades and iron gates. Qabatiya and the nearby refugee camp at Jenin were placed under siege. At the time of writing, the siege, which has cut off all food, water, fuel and electricity, has lasted fifty-five days.

A Jerusalem Post analyst explained the policies of Rabin:

The first priority is to use force, might, beatings. [This] is considered more effective than detention … [because] he may then resume stoning soldiers. But if troops break his hand, he won’t be able to throw stones. [10]

By the next day, the news media were reporting the most bestial beatings by soldiers throughout the West Bank and Gaza. The account by John Kifner was compelling:

NABLUS, Israeli Occupied West Bank, January 22: Both hands encased in plaster casts, Imad Omar Abu Rub explained from his bed in the Rafidiya Hospital what happened when the Israeli Army came to the Palestinian village of Qabatiya.

“They entered the house like animals, shouting,” the 22-year old student at Bir Zeit University said. “They took us from the house, kicking us in the head, beating us, all the soldiers with their rifle butts.”

Then he was taken to the construction site of an unfinished house where, he said, the soldiers put an empty bucket over his head. Several of the soldiers held him down, he said, gripping his arms to force his hands against a rock. Two others, he said, beat his hands with lengths of two-by-fours, breaking the bones.

The injuries are the product of a new officially declared policy of the Israeli Army and the police to beat up Palestinians in hopes of ending the wave of protests in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip that began in early December. At least thirty-eight Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in the protests.

In the bed next to Mr. Abu Rub’s, Hassan Arif Kemal, a 17-year old high school student from Qabatiya, told a nearly identical story. [11]

Labor and Likud leaders responded with one voice to world-wide outcry over these practices. President Chaim Herzog declared: “The alternative facing us today … is between suppressing these riots or allowing them to develop into a new Teheran or Beirut.” [12]

John Kifner reported in The New York Times:

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin continued to defend the policy, with both men saying publicly that the purpose of the beatings was to instill fear of the Israeli army in Palestinians.

Shamir stated that events had “shattered the barrier of fear … Our task is to recreate that barrier and once again put the fear of death into the Arabs of the areas”

He concluded that the uprising would never have taken place “had the troops used firearms from the very first moment.” [13]

Palestinian Resistance Grows

The rebellion of the Palestinian people of the West Bank and Gaza has engulfed every village, town and refugee camp. Children as young as eight and old people in their seventies and eighties defy the Israeli army daily. Entire village populations, waving makeshift Palestinian flags of bedsheets and cloth, mass defiantly, singing and chanting and hurling stones at soldiers firing automatic weapons.

The Great Uprising – the “Intifadeh” ???? has become a symbol of Palestinian nationhood as the brutal repression that once filled the people with despair now fuels their determination and will, which encompasses the readiness to die.

The Israeli reprisals have been barbarous. The repression has been unleashed with particular savagery against the refugee camps and the old quarters of the cities inhabited by the impoverished.

By April 1988 over 150 Palestinians had died. The Israeli government had admitted to the arrest of 2,000 people, bringing the acknowledged total to 4,000. The real figure was far higher.

Sources in the West Bank and Gaza established that the number detained by the weekend of March 27 had exceeded 13,000. Bassam Shaka’a, deposed Mayor of Nablus, placed the total held solely in a hastily constructed barbed-wire encampment at Dhariyah at 10,000.

In the Balata camp outside Nablus, and in the Casbah – the old quarter – l,000 people were arrested in a period of 48 hours. The discovery of people in ditches in the fields – shot in the back or with their heads caved in – has been reported from villages throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

Bassam Shaka’a described the rampage of the Israeli armed units:

No matter which house one calls, the anguished accounts of family members wounded or arrested pour forth. Convoys of buses cruise the streets of Nablus followed by vans of the Mossad, Israel’s secret police. Army units go from house to house pulling youths from their beds at 3 a.m. As the buses fill, the soldiers beat the youths viciously around the head, shins, groin and back. Shrieks fill the air.

As the army makes its rounds kidnapping the young from their homes, people gather at their windows and on the roofs of houses shouting in unison, “Falistin Arabia, Thawra Hatta al Nas’r, Allah Akbar” [Arab Palestine, Revolution Until Victory, God is Great]. [13a]

Bassam Shaka’a described the attempts by the Israeli army to spread panic and terror in Nablus and outlying villages:

Fleets of helicopters fly over Nablus at night dropping a dense, green toxic gas over the city. The smell pervades every house. Armed units fire canisters of the substance into houses at random. Doctors at Ittihad Hospital reported several deaths and severe lung injuries from this as-yet unidentified asphyxiating chemical, totally distinct from tear gas.

Among the victims were the grandmother of the Da’as family and the 100-year-old father of noted Nablus attorney Mohammad Irshaid. Soldiers had entered the house at 2 a.m., smashing furniture and firing a canister of the dreaded green gas while preventing the family from leaving.

Two of the children, ages 9 and 11, were taken by the soldiers in their night clothes, frog-marched in the streets and beaten as they were forced by the jeering soldiers to clear debris.

Simultaneously, the Israeli army targeted the hospitals. Army trucks rammed ambulances and blocked them from reaching the homes of those overcome by the gas. Soldiers entered the Ittihad Hospital in Nablus numerous times, arresting the wounded and those waiting to give blood to family members. Even the operating theater was invaded while surgeons were operating on patients.

Doctors were beaten and equipment smashed. Family members were prevented from entering the hospital and the cars of doctors and nurses were destroyed by soldiers.

Meanwhile, all of Nablus was paralyzed by a total strike. All the streets in every quarter of the city were without open shops or business activity. As gas permeated the city, cries and chants filled the night.

Gas canisters recovered by Bassam Shaka’a, Yousef al-Masri [chief of Ittihad Hospital] and American author Alfred Lilienthal bear the markings “560 cs. Federal Lab. Saltsburg, Pa. USA MK2 1988.” Biochemists are studying their properties as casualties mount.

John Kifner reported on April 4 that “Hundreds of refugees were treated in United Nations clinics for gas inhalation.” On April 15, Kifner wrote, “…gas has been thrown inside homes, clinics and schools where the effects are particularly severe.” [13b]

His report was the first, after four months of the use of such chemical weapons, to acknowledge the fact:

Agency doctors have seen symptoms not normally connected with tear gas, and U.N.R.W.A. is seeking information on the contents of the gas … to provide antidote … especially for the most vulnerable groups … pregnant women, the very young and elderly.

Kifner later reported, “Warnings on the canisters say the contents can be lethal.” Throughout the West Bank and Gaza, cases of miscarriages, vaginal bleeding and asphyxiation were occurring after the use of the gas.

A Glimpse of the Savagery

One of the most vicious incidents occurred in the town of Qalqiya. Soldiers entered the house of workers and poured gasoline over them, setting them alight. Six workers were covered in flames. Four of the victims managed to rush out of the building and rolled on the ground, ripping off their clothes. Two were severely burned and are in critical condition.

On February 20, two youths were arrested in Khan Yunis, beaten savagely and taken to the beach where they were buried alive under the sand. After the soldiers left, villagers managed to dig them out.

Reports in the establishment press give a glimpse of the scale of Israeli brutality. A soldier’s account reported in the Israeli newspaper Hadashot was cited in Newsweek:

We got orders to knock on every door, enter and take out all the males. The younger ones we lined up with their faces against the wall, and soldiers beat them with billy-clubs. This was no private initiative. These were the orders from our company commander. [13c]

The accounts make clear that Israeli protestations about excesses of individual soldiers are transparently false. Newsweek revealed:

Armed with 30-inch wooden clubs and urged by their prime minister to “put the fear back into the Arabs”, Israeli soldiers have methodically beaten up Palestinians since early January, deliberately breaking bones and beating prisoners into unconsciousness. Casualties included not only young men … but also women. Most of the injured shunned hospitals for fear of arrest.

The avoidance of hospitals by the injured has prevented accurate reporting of the vast scale of the savage beatings and of the deaths of those who endured them. But an indication was provided in the reports of the medical team inspecting the wounded in the hospitals in early February 1988. Dr. Jennifer Leaning, a faculty member of Harvard Medical School and a trauma specialist, reported her findings: “There is a systematic pattern of limb injury that is clearly organized to cause fractures … a consistent pattern of bonebreaks across the back of the hand and in the middle of the forearm that … come from holding the hand or arm in place and applying a strong blow to the bone.” [13d]

Dr. Leaning and the team of Physicians for Human Rights traveled throughout the West Bank and Gaza. They concluded, “It is a pattern that is controlled. A systematic pattern over a wide geographical area. It is as if they have been instructed.”

Dr. Leaning’s account of the new patients brought to Shifa Hospital in Gaza is compelling:

They looked like they had been mauled. What is impressive is the number of fractures per patient. These patients look as if they had been put through a washing-machine wringer. They would have had to hold them down and just keep beating them.

Repeated instances of young males shot deliberately through the testicles were reported in Shifa Hospital in Gaza and Makassad Hospital in East Jerusalem. Soldiers poured boiling water over a 2-year-old infant, rendering her catatonic.

“Quelling the Protests”

New York Times correspondent John Kifner called the systematic roundups “part of a series of tough new measures, including economic sanctions and collective punishment, that the Israeli army and other officials are imposing in hopes of quelling the protests, which have grown into an increasingly organized Palestinian mass movement in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.” [13e]

The army’s new orders allow detention without any specific charge or trials, even in military courts. Moreover, according to the March 23 New York Times, “the new procedures do away with judicial review of the administrative detention sentences and allow local commanders to order the arrests.”

Immediately after the order, people were seized overnight in more than a dozen refugee districts, villages and towns in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin announced that Israeli civilians have the same authority as soldiers to shoot. He added that soldiers need not fire warning shots before shooting Palestinians. [13f] Newsweek was more explicit: “The decree meant Israeli soldiers could shoot to kill Palestinian youths … Yitzhak Rabin [was] effectively deputizing settlers.” [13g] The decision, according to Newsweek, would “open the floodgates of the 60,000 settlers’ pent-up frustration [sic].” It was not long before an attack occurred. On April 6, settlers engaging in a clear provocation shot in cold blood a Palestinian working in his field outside the village of Beita. Attention, however, focused on the death of Tirza Porat, a 15-year-old settler girl among the group. The settlers reported Tirza Porat had been stoned to death by the Palestinian villagers, but an army autopsy report revealed she had been shot in the head by the Kahane follower acting as her nominal guard. [Rabbi Meir Kahane is the founder of the Jewish Defense League.]

Despite the autopsy report, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir used the occasion to vow that Palestinians “would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.” [13h]

In Beita village, the scene of the incident, thirty houses were blown up. The number of houses destroyed was confirmed by Hamdi Faraj, a noted Palestinian journalist.

Forms of Self-Government Emerge

The recent Palestinian uprising has done more to challenge Israeli control than had been achieved in twenty years. The entire infrastructure of Israeli rule has unraveled. Spies are asking forgiveness, confessing their deeds and exposing the apparatus of control. Police are resigning.

The Village Leagues, Israeli organizations of collaborators, have collapsed. The Los Angeles Times reports that challenges by the “Unified National Leadership of the Uprising” have led to resignations by municipal, village, and town councils.

Before the uprising, 20,000 Palestinians worked under Israeli army and police control, providing services to the West Bank and Gaza. They were teachers, clerks and administrators. Most have resigned.

Increasingly, forms of self-government are emerging in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israelis close the schools; the resistance organizes classes. The Israelis order shops to open; the resistance keeps them closed. The Israelis close the shops; the resistance opens them.

The West Bank and Gaza are trapped in what Newsweek calls a “colonial setup”. Newsweek cites Israeli demographer Meron Benvenisti, the former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, as follows: “The Occupied Territories became a source of cheap labor and a captive market for Israeli goods.” [13i]

Israel’s trade surplus with the West Bank and Gaza, Benvenisti reveals, is $500 million a year. The government takes a further $80 million a year in taxes above what it provides in meager social services. The territories import $780 million a year of Israeli goods at high prices.

But the uprising has changed everything. Newsweek states:

The Palestinians have some economic weapons of their own. Thousands of Arab workers had long since walked away from jobs at Israeli farms, factories and construction sites. Palestinian shoppers cut back their purchases of Israeli goods. Arab merchants and self-employed professionals struck a more direct blow at the occupation; they refused to pay Israeli income and commercial taxes.

Thus, as Newsweek acknowledges, the economic sword cut in two directions. Israel’s construction industry, which drew 42% of its workforce from the Occupied Territories “has been hobbled by Arab walkouts”. Hotels in Jerusalem report a sharp drop in spring bookings.

Israeli Economic Minister Gad Yaacobi estimated that the first three months of “rioting” cost Israel’s economy “at least $300 million ” – 10% of U.S. aid for a full year.

“Liberated Zones”

No respite can be expected for Israel. The villages in the West Bank and Gaza have responded defiantly to Israel’s barbaric onslaught, declaring themselves “liberated zones”, barricading their streets, and flying the Palestinian flag.

Newsweek reports: “Their protests are adroitly coordinated through leaflets issued by the shadowy Unified National Command of the Uprising. Their leaflets are the law of the land.” [13j]

Despite the massive repression, Palestinian spirits have never been higher. This spirit is perhaps the factor of greatest concern to the Israeli state. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir told Israeli television:

The people who are throwing stones, the inciters, the leaders, they are today in a situation of euphoria, of great enthusiasm. They think that they are the victors.

Middle East editor of the Jerusalem Post Yehudi Litani reported that “[Israeli] security forces estimate the army has now detained the majority of those now pulling the strings of the uprising” – and yet the uprising continues, the leaflets continue to appear, and a mood approaching panic is settling in among Israeli leaders.

On March 30, Land Day – the day Palestinians inside pre-1967 Israel protest the confiscation of their land – a general strike of Palestinians inside the pre-1967 borders was called. This action renewed a general strike in support of the uprising which was first held on December 21, 1987.

The Unified National Leadership of the Uprising in the Occupied Territories called for “huge demonstrations against the army and settlers” to coincide with the general strike.

For the first time since 1948, Palestinians throughout Lebanon – joined by Lebanese in Sidon, Beirut and other cities – also staged their own demonstrations and general strike in solidarity with the uprising. The uprising has galvanized not only the Israeli Arabs, but the Palestinians in the Diaspora. The participation of the Palestinians of Lebanon and of thousands of Lebanese themselves was felt throughout the Arab world.

This new phase of the Palestinian revolution was not lost on the Israeli authorities. In an attempt to counter coordination between the Palestinians inside the “Green Line” [pre-1967 borders] and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the Israelis completely “sealed off’ the West Bank and Gaza.

“Since Intifadeh [Uprising] is taking place both in the West Bank and in Israel,” [emphasis added] a senior military source said, “we decided to separate the two and to prevent large-scale public disorder.” [13k]

“We want to signal very clearly that we are not going to hesitate to use whatever measures are necessary,” Defense Minister Rabin said.

Ariel Sharon, former Defense Minister and current Trade Minister, announced that the uprising “would lead inevitably to war with the Arab states and the necessary expulsion of the Arabs from the West Bank, Gaza and the Galilee.” [13l]

But the Palestinians, entering their 40th year of occupation since the founding of the Israeli state, have not been deterred. The “revolutionary war” of the Palestinian people is recruiting the hearts and minds of youth in every Arab country and in capitals across the world.

This spirit was fully captured in a letter written by members of the Palestinian underground resistance in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to a rally in Paris, France, on March 3, 1988, organized by an ad-hoc committee of supporters of Palestinian human rights. Their letter states in part:

Dear friends,

We send you this letter from inside our beloved land – Our land of honor, of dignity, courage and defiance – from our Palestine, from Jerusalem, the sacred city.

We send you this letter in the name of our people, a patient people who are today standing tall and are waging a struggle unparalleled in our entire history.

We want you to know that the Palestinian people have not been defeated. They are alive. They are struggling. They are saying that they will not accept humiliation and submission.

The confidence of our people in the legitimacy of their struggle is immense. And our people know that their victory is certain – whatever the sacrifices, whatever the price that must be paid.

Today, our people are suffering. They are shedding their blood to win their freedom, dignity, and honor; their right to determine their own destiny; their right to live in their homeland and to build a free, democratic, and sovereign state in all of Palestine.

To all free men and women, to all our comrades, we say the following:

The Palestinian people have been the victims for many decades of an international plot – of vicious attacks – aimed at exiling them and chasing them from the lands upon which they have lived for centuries.

We have been expelled from our lands – lands which have now been settled by foreigners in accordance with the aims of colonialism and imperialism. This settlement has been imposed by the laws of oppression promoted by the Western nations and the Eastern totalitarian regimes. These oppressive laws are also those of international Zionism.

We have been subject to terror, assassination and torture. Today, we are deprived of even our most elementary and legitimate rights. “They have wanted to make of us an exiled people, destined permanently to refugee camps. They have wanted to destroy us physically and eliminate us.

Through the wars of 1948 and 1967, they carried out the occupation of all of Palestine. But they forgot that by occupying all of Palestine they also unified the entire Palestinian people in their struggle against oppression.

That is what is happening today as the children, the elderly, the women and the youth have risen up as one single person, without arms, to face the military machine of Zionism and imperialism – to face the violence of the guns, the clubs, the kidnappings, and the assassinations.

Our weapons come from our homeland. They are the stones with which our people have built up a wall to defend their combatants and the Revolution.

Dear friends: You should know what is going on in our homeland. Two weeks ago, the forces of occupation buried eight young Palestinians alive after having beaten them savagely and broken their limbs. Four of them were saved by the people; the other four were never found.

Three days ago, Israeli military forces dropped three live Palestinian youths from a helicopter flying at a high altitude. One of the youths was only 13 years old.

This is what they are currently doing to our people.

Dear friends: We want you to know that we reject all so-called solutions and peace projects that some people would like to impose on us through international conferences. We want you to know that we are committed to continuing our revolution until the total liberation of all of Palestine, until the establishment of a democratic and free state in which all free men and women, from wherever they may be, are welcome to live so long as they accept to live with us as equals on our land of Palestine.

We are no longer on our knees. We are standing tall. We will not yield. We feel that it is legitimate for us to demand aid and assistance from people throughout the world who are struggling for the freedom of all oppressed peoples.

We ask of you not only that you speak out in support of our struggle in your speeches and protests but that you demand that your governments take a clear position in opposition to the repressive and criminal methods of Zionism. We ask for your moral and material support for our Palestinian people, who are struggling to obtain their final victory.

The Palestinian people have risen, their yearnings for emancipation stirring the pauperized masses in every country of the Arab East. Reduced to a condition of penury by corrupt, country-selling regimes, the Egyptian, Jordanian and Saudi people have begun to respond to the extraordinary example set for them by the Palestinian people.


1. Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1987.

2. Ibid.

3. John Kifner, New York Times, December 22, 1987.

4. San Francisco Examiner, December 23, 1987.

5. First hand account to the author from Dheisheh camp.

6. Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1987.

7. John Kifner, New York Times, December 21, 1987.

8. Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, December 23, 1987.

9. Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1987.

10. New York Times, January 21, 1988.

11. John Kifner, New York Times, January 23, 1988.

12. John Kifner, New York Times, January 27, 1988.

13. Ibid.

13a. Bassam Shaka’a: Telephone conversations with the author from February 5, 1988, through March 13, 1988.

13b. John Kifner, New York Times, April 4 and April 15, 1988.

13c. Newsweek, “A Soldier’s Account”, February 8, 1988.

13d. New York Times, February 14, 1988.

13e. John Kifner, New York Times, February 21, 1988.

13f. Los Angeles Times, March 23, 1988.

13g. Newsweek, April 4, 1988.

13h. New York Times, April 1, 1988.

13i. Newsweek, March 28, 1988.

13j. Ibid.

13k. Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1988.

13l. New York Times, April 1, 1988.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | Comments Off on The Hidden History of Zionism ~ The Uprising

‘Dennis Ross more sensitive to Netanyahu than US interests’ (Surprised?)

By Philip Weiss on March 28, 2010

My post last night on Dennis Ross [copied below]  was right on time. Laura Rozen at politico reports that Ross is at the center of a battle within the Obama administration about how nice to be to Israel. The piece includes a frank statement of confused loyalty:

“He [Ross] seems to be far more sensitive to Netanyahu’s coalition politics than to U.S. interests,” one U.S. official told POLITICO Saturday. “And he doesn’t seem to understand that this has become bigger than Jerusalem but is rather about the credibility of this Administration.”

Let me repeat myself. This guy is the living embodiment of the Israel lobby. He was till recently chairman of the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, which opposes intermarriage, among other charming and important campaigns. Aaron David Miller said that the U.S. too often acted as “Israel’s lawyer” at Camp David; and that meant Ross. Dan Kurtzer’s book, Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace, said that the US team lacked diversity and cross-cultural expertise– again, ethnocentric Ross. Kurtzer and co-author Scott Lasensky write: “’The perception always was that Dennis [Ross] started from the Israeli bottom line,’ said a prominent Arab negotiator, ‘that he listened to what Israel wanted and then tried to sell it to the Arabs.’” No wonder Kurtzer lamented “the deference that some policymakers pay to Israeli domestic political concerns. Israel plays an outsized role in U.S. politics and diplomacy…”

The lobby; and Ross denied the existence of the lobby when it was under attack, because it was his own power base.

Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech last week was so shocking that it has rung in a new era for the lobby. Basically: the F.U. period, overplaying its hand in plain sight of the American people. The (in)ability of an American administration to free itself of Ross is a real test of the perseverance of the lobby in our politics.

More on Ross: this was in the original RSS feed on the Politico piece but is not in the published version:

Ross, the U.S. official continued, “starts from the premise that U.S. and Israeli interests overlap by something close to 100 percent. And if we diverge, then, he says, the Arabs increase their demands unreasonably. Since we can’t have demanding Arabs, therefore we must rush to close gaps with the Israelis, no matter what the cost to our broader credibility.”

This is the old neocon delusion, in order to support their loyalty to Israel’s interests: there is no difference between our interests and Israel’s. A preposterous assertion, for any two states.


Dennis Ross opposed a tenet of the new Obama Middle East policy

By Philip Weiss on March 27, 2010

Dennis Ross personifies the Israel lobby. That gives him his power, that’s why Obama has him in his administration. Putting Ross in a policy job–the Iran portfolio–makes the lobby happy. And Obama has to keep the lobby happy.

It would be a sign of real independence if Obama could lose this guy whom Bush I and Clinton couldn’t lose either. Here Matt Berkman reminds us that Dennis Ross wrote a book with David Makovsky just a year or so back in which he argued vehemently against an idea that is becoming a tenet of the Obama doctrine in the Middle East: linkage, the (plain as the nose on your face) idea that the Israel/Palestine conflict is linked to America’s fortunes in the Middle East.

So Ross is against a key principle of the Obama administration! And he works for him… Go figure! Berkman:

“Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East” devoted a chapter to debunking the “myth” that Israel’s violent occupation of Palestinian land foments challenges for U.S. foreign policy in the region.

“Of all the policy myths that have kept us from making real progress in the Middle East, one stands out for its impact and longevity: the idea that if only the Palestinian conflict were solved, all other Middle East conflicts would melt away,” Ross and Makovsky wrote. “This is the argument of ‘linkage.’”

Makovsky, a frequent commentator on U.S.-Israel relations who never fails to recapitulate this argument, launched into it earlier this month during testimony for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “There are no strict linkages between the Palestinian and Iranian issues,” he said. “Regardless of progress on peace, Iran will seek a nuclear weapon. Moreover, senior Arab security officials say privately that they do not see progress on peace as decisive in influencing Arab efforts to halt Iran in any way.”

Of course, formulated in this way, the “linkage” thesis is an easily refutable straw man. No reasonable observer of the Middle East believes that “all other Middle East conflicts” will “melt away” if the U.S. succeeds in brokering a peace agreement. Nor has anyone ever contended that resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict would “decisively” impact U.S. policy vis-à-vis Iran, or that Iran would immediately abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons should the long-suffering Palestinians achieve national self-determination.

But by concocting and then launching an assault on spurious iterations of the “linkage” idea, hawkish Zionists like Ross and Makovsky are attempting to inoculate Israel’s settlement and occupation policies from any criticism that might implicate them in the degeneration of regional security dynamics.

So Ross was against settlement evacuation too? Maybe Obama should blow him off for dinner, or can him.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Wars for Israel | Comments Off on ‘Dennis Ross more sensitive to Netanyahu than US interests’ (Surprised?)

Germany to extend nuclear plant phase-out by 28 years

Press TV – March 28, 2010

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government is pushing to extend the lifespan of some of the country’s nuclear power plants to 60 years, amid opposition.

The new plans come a week after an agreement between the environment and finance ministries, backed by the government, to add 20 more years to a previous compromise which had established that all of the countries’ nuclear power plants be shut down by 2022.

The opposition has slammed the move, arguing that this would endanger the safety of citizens as well as slowing down the progress in the filed of renewable energy sources.

In an interview published last Friday in the Munich-based daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said a 28-year extension of the previous phase-out plans could have the last nuclear power plant go off the grid in 2050.

Roettgen stressed that the government was just at the stage of considering all its options, with evaluators now discussing scenarios of extending the phase-out by four, 12, 20 and 28 years.

The paper criticized the government for treating the power plants like old bicycles, stressing that unlike a bike, nuclear facilities could not be patched up and reused for an unlimited amount of time.

This is while a 2002 Atomic Energy Act, currently in force, outlines a total phase-out by the next twelve years and bans the extension of the residual life of reactors, which have already produced an amount of electricity equivalent to 32 years of operation.

Nuclear power production is highly unpopular in Germany, where leaks at nuclear waste dumps and accidents at aging power plants have led to several controversies in the past years.

Many experts believe the aging nuclear power plants can not endure 60 years of operation, stressing that such a decision would be extremely dangerous.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Nuclear Power | Comments Off on Germany to extend nuclear plant phase-out by 28 years

Israeli Army Invades Khan Younis, Leaders Weigh Resumption Of Assassinations

By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies – March 28, 2010
Ma’an images

Several armored military vehicles carried out a limited invasion into Khan Youni, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, on Sunday morning. The latest attack comes amidst talks of a likely resumption of assassinations in the coastal region. Israeli Finance Minister called for “reoccupying” Gaza and “eliminating Hamas”.

Eyewitnesses reported that several armored vehicles and military bulldozers advanced 500 meters into the area, and that military bulldozers started uprooting trees and farmlands while the army opened fire in different directions. Military bulldozers uprooted olive and almond trees in Um Al Mahed and Abu T’eima areas, in Khan Younis.

The invaded area is where Friday clashes took place; one resident was killed and thirteen others were wounded. Two Israeli soldiers were killed and three were wounded. The latest developments came as Israel’s military and political leaders are weighing the possibility of a massive attack against the Gaza Strip in addition to weighing the possibility of resuming Israel’s illegal assassinations policies.

Israeli paper, Maariv, reported Sunday that Israel’s military leadership believes that Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza benefited from the cease fire that followed “Operation Cast Lead” offensive against the Gaza Strip a year ago January. The paper added that this cease fire gave the resistance a chance to attack the Israeli army along the border with Gaza, such as the Friday attack that led to the death of three soldiers.

A number of military leaders said that the known policy of bombarding tunnels and “weapons storage facilities is not affective anymore and does not curb further attacks”.

Senior Israeli military leaders stated that the current situation requires the resumption of the assassination policy. They are calling for assassinations targeting certain political and military leaders of Palestinian factions in Gaza, especially prominent figures.

The Israeli army believes that after the Friday attack and the killing of the soldiers, several leaders in Gaza went underground fearing Israel’s retaliation.

The army estimates that those leaders would resume their activities in the future, therefore “the army must prepare plans to assassinate them”, and should also bombard certain areas believed to be used by the resistance. This includes tunnels, resistance training centers and areas believed to be weapons storage facilities, in addition to bombing the homes of political and military leaders of Hamas and other factions.

Israeli Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz, called for “reoccupying Gaza” and to totally eliminate the authority of Hamas in the coastal region. He said that reoccupying Gaza and eliminating Hamas, the ruling “power” on Gaza, are among the main scenarios that Israel might elect should other options fade.

Steinitz slammed what he called “the U.S. pressure on Israel”, and claimed that Israel conducted acts of “good will” towards the Palestinians by “giving them the chance to improve their economy” and by “freezing settlement activities”.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | Comments Off on Israeli Army Invades Khan Younis, Leaders Weigh Resumption Of Assassinations