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The Nuclear Gang Regroups

By KARL GROSSMAN | CounterPunch | June 29, 2011

As the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex continued to unfold, the nuclear gang—principals of the nuclear industry and pro-nuclear members of the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration—held a two-day “summit” in Washington, D.C. last week on pushing for new nuclear plant construction.

The conclusion about the impacts of Fukushima on their drive for a “renaissance” of nuclear power: it will be only a “speed bump,” as participants put it at the Special Summit on New Nuclear Energy.

“The momentum of the renaissance has hit a speed bump,” Ganpat Mani, president and CEO of ConverDyn which produces uranium hexafluoride which is used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants. ConverDyn is a partnership between Honeywell and General Atomics.

Llewelyn King, who hosts “White House Chronicle” on PBS television, and was the summit’s moderator, asked a panel titled “Lessons from Fukushima” whether its four members considered “Fukushima a speed bump, Armageddon or something in between” for the nuclear industry.

The consensus was that it is a speed bump. William Tucker, author of Terrestrial Energy stressed that nuclear power is needed to provide carbon-free energy to counter global warming, and thus despite the Fukushima situation will do well.

A featured speaker at the event held June 21 and 22 was William D. Magwood IV, a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Although the commission is supposed to regulate the industry without a pro-nuclear bias, Magwood is a staunch advocate of nuclear power. Indeed, at a similar but pre-Fukushima nuclear summit at Idaho National Laboratory in December, Magwood, then head of the Office of Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy, bemoaned that “we in the United States have not seen… a new successful nuclear power plant project, since 1973 and our research, industrial and educational bases have eroded dramatically in the last decade.”

He praised the “new general nuclear technology”—much of which is being developed at the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory—at that December 7 meeting called the New Millennium Nuclear Energy Summit.

At last week’s Washington affair, Magwood spoke of the reaction at the NRC as “we watched” the television images of Fukishima coming out of Japan. It was hoped that “this would only be an incident” and it would be gotten “under control,” he said.

“We knew the Japanese were prepared for earthquakes,” he said.

But as it became clear that this was going to be “more” in terms of the gravity of the situation: “At the NRC it was like a friend had died,” said Magwood.

The Special Summit on New Nuclear Energy was organized by the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council. Council members include General Electric, the manufacturer of the Fukushima nuclear power plants and, since 2006, in partnership in its nuclear plant business with the Japanese corporation Hitachi.

Other members of the council include the nuclear industry trade group Nuclear Energy Institute;  Babcock & Wilcox, manufacturer of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant that  underwent a partial meltdown in 1979; Duke Energy, a U.S. utility long a booster of nuclear power; the Tennessee Valley Authority, a U.S. government-created public power company heavily committed to nuclear power; Uranium Producers of America; and AREVA, the French government-financed nuclear power company that has been moving to expand into the U.S. and worldwide.

A running point at the summit was the need to “educate the public” about the benefits of nuclear power despite Fukushima.

There was also much complaining about a series of Associated Press articles on nuclear power by investigative reporter Jeff Dunn that started running a day before the summit began. On June 20, the AP series of expose’s launched with an article about how “federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them.” On June 21, the article was on how “the number and severity of the leaks” of radioactive tritium from U.S. nuclear plants “has been escalating, even as federal regulators extend the licenses of more and more reactors across the nation.”

Other speakers at the summit included: John Kelly, an Obama administration Department of Energy deputy assistant for nuclear reactor technologies; Matthew Milazzo representing an entity called the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future set up by the Obama administration; and Congressman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, chairman of the House Energy & Power Subcommittee, a leading nuclear power backer in Congress.

In addition to “Lessons from Fukushima,” there were panels on “China, India & Emerging Global Nuclear Markets,” “Advancing Nuclear Technology” and “State of the Renaissance.”

The gathering was held at the National Guard Association Hall of States.

~

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, is the author of Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power and the host of the nationally-aired TV program Enviro Close-Up (www.envirovideo.com).

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Nuclear Power | 1 Comment

Vittorio Arrigoni – Staying Human

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” Vitorrio Arigoni. A winner.

Al-Jazeera English on June 29, 2011


A documentary about Vittorio Arrigoni, the Italian peace activist whose passion for helping the Palestinian people, lead to his death.

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | Comments Off on Vittorio Arrigoni – Staying Human

Israeli Army can’t provide evidence of flotilla’s violent plans, story unravels

On 06.29.11 – By Max Blumenthal

Israelis woke up to a front page Jerusalem Post story claiming flotilla passengers planned violence against soldiers. The story has completely unraveled.

On June 27, the Israeli army released a highly suspect claim that passengers on the flotilla planned to kill and maim Israeli soldiers. The claim looks like yet another anti-flotilla hoax emanating from Israeli government channels.

Today, I reached an official from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit after placing several calls and an email to the office requesting proof to support the army’s claim. The official was unable to supply me with one piece of evidence. Instead, she said, “Basically there’s a trust between the IDF and reporters. And like in any other army, you know, a senior IDF source says something, people are inclined to believe it because this is somebody high up, this is somebody that has a lifetime of experience and credibility and this is like any other army.”

When I asked why anyone would report such a claim without seeing any firm evidence, the army spokesperson said, “If there were something we probably would give it but because of sensitivities we can’t expand further.”

Listen to the whole interview here:

IDF Spokesperson 06-29-2011 by maxblumenthal

Despite an apparent lack of evidence, the army’s disinformation found its way into top Israeli newspapers through a select group of military correspondents including the Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Katz. Katz reported that flotilla passengers planned to kill Israeli soldiers and that they were bringing “bags of sulfur” to attack the soldiers. “This is a chemical weapon, and if poured on a soldier it can paralyze him,” an unnamed army source told Katz. “If the sulfur is then lit on fire, the soldier will light up like a torch.” Yedioth Aharanot’s Hanan Greenberg also reported, “IDF fears flotilla activists will try to kill Israeli soldiers.” And Haaretz hyped the claim in Hebrew.

Today, the army’s story was exposed as disinformation. First, Yedioth Aharonot military correspondent Alex Fishman reported, “There is no information that there is going to be a group of radicals on board that will form a hard core of violent resistance against IDF soliders. Nor is there any clear information about live weapons that will be on board the ships.” Then, a group of Israeli government ministers accused the army of “media spin” and “public relations hysteria” for claiming the flotilla passengers planned to attack soldiers with chemical weapons.

And now, an Israeli army official (who curiously did not want to give me her name) has refused to supply me with any evidence to support the army’s wild claims. As I wrote during Israel’s disinformation spree in the wake of last year’s flotilla, nothing the Israeli army says can be trusted. Unfortunately, many reporters still accept the army’s claims on trust, while others do not even bother to investigate.

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | 1 Comment

Adam, Get Their Guns

How ‘al-Qaeda’s spokesman’ advances the Israel lobby’s gun control agenda

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | June 29, 2011

On June 3, in an al-Qaeda video rather loftily titled “You Are Held Responsible Only for Thyself,” al-Qaeda’s California-born spokesman, Adam Gadahn, urged followers to commit violent acts of jihad by exploiting alleged weaknesses in U.S. gun laws and the gun background check system. “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms,” he said. “You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and, most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”

Around the same time, a “hit list” of American executives, officials and companies appeared on jihadist websites. “Security analysts,” reported FoxNews.com, “believe the two messages are related and underscore a shift in terror strategy—from top-down, mass-casualty events to smaller-scale attacks taken up, in some cases, by freelancing, lone-wolf jihadists.” According to one of Fox’s security analysts, Aaron Weisburd, the founder and director of the revealingly named Internet Haganah, the discussion originated on a password-protected, members-only site, to which he has access, known as the Shumukh forum. Describing Shumukh—which bears an uncanny resemblance to the Yiddish word for “idiot”—as “the number-one Al Qaeda-supporting website on the Internet today,” Weisburd suspiciously added that it was “most frequented by Palestinians.”

On the very same day that Gadahn’s video was released, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) coalition issued a press release in response. New York City Mayor and MAIG founding co-chair Michael Bloomberg said that Gadahn’s statement was “absolutely accurate,” adding that the video “may help Washington understand that weak gun laws aren’t just a crime problem, they’re a national security threat.” Helpfully pointing out that legislation had already been introduced to address the problem, Bloomberg, an uncritical supporter of Israel’s seemingly unlimitedright to defend itself,” urged Congress to pass the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011 and the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2011. Then on June 16, Ben Rattray’s Change.org breathlessly alerted subscribers to its MAIG-sponsored “Stop Al-Qaeda From Exploiting Gun Law Loopholes” online petition. This was followed by a June 17 editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled “Terrorists buying guns? There ought to be a law.”

In fact, it was Mayor Bloomberg’s coalition that had initially proposed the legislation to fix gun background checks. On February 23, Bloomberg and his New York Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly, had joined Israel’s self-described “guardian” in the Senate, Charles Schumer, to announce the introduction of legislation that would provide greater reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for individuals with mental illness, domestic violence records, and drug abusers, by increasing the penalties for states that fail to adequately turn over records for those who are prohibited from owning a gun. The legislation would also require that all gun sales, including those by private sellers, be subject to a background check, effectively ending the so-called “gun show loophole.”

On May 12, the 550-member Mayors Against Illegal Guns—more than three-quarters of whom come from California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York—issued a statement decrying the House Judiciary Committee’s vote that day against an amendment to close the “Terror Gap” by giving the Justice Department discretion to deny gun and explosive sales to terrorists. “Hopefully, last night’s arrest in New York City of two terrorists plotting an attack using guns and explosives,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement, “will help convince Congress that this is a national security issue and they need to do the right thing and pass this legislation.”

On that same day, at a high-profile City Hall news conference, the New York Mayor and his steadfast NYPD Commissioner accused Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh of “planning to blow up the largest synagogue in Manhattan and to kill as many Jews as possible.” The FBI, however, had their doubts about the police undercover who investigated the two alleged “lone wolf” terrorists and refused to get involved in the case. Those doubts were confirmed on June 15 when a grand jury rejected the top terrorism charge against the two Muslim immigrants from North Africa. “This is a political case, brought by political people, for their own political purposes,” Elizabeth Fink, a lawyer for Ferhani, said outside court.“You will see that this case is bogus.… It’s total entrapment.” She added that Ferhani had a history of mental illness and had been institutionalized up to 30 times, and that the police were aware of this because of 911 calls his mother had made to subdue him.

The grand jury’s rejection of the NYPD’s exaggerated claims of a dastardly anti-Semitic plot came just days after the White House announcement of the Jewish Federations’ new partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (a post 9/11 goldmine for the Israeli security industry) “dedicated mainly to the state of threats posed to American Jewish institutions.” Notwithstanding the strong evidence pointing to FBI entrapment as the source of earlier media-hyped “synagogue terror” plots, Michael Gelman, chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of The Jewish Federations of North America, said: “The American Jewish community and the places we gather are, unfortunately, often targets for terrorists. This new partnership with the Department of Homeland Security will empower us to counter this threat as we become more actively involved in our own protection.”

And given Mayor Bloomberg’s support for legislation to prevent the mentally ill from buying guns, it’s also worth noting that the “Manhattan synagogue” plot is far from being the only instance in which the NYPD has used people suffering from mental illness to make terrorism cases. In 2004, police arrested a Pakistani immigrant, Shahawar Matin Siraj, and charged him with plotting to bomb the Herald Square subway station on the eve of the Republican National Convention at nearby Madison Square Garden. After paying an informant $100,000 to spend more than a year encouraging Siraj in the plot, the police persuaded his schizophrenic co-defendant, James Elshafay, to testify against Siraj. Despite being described by acquaintances as “borderline retarded,” Siraj was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In spite of the fact—or perhaps because of it—that investigators couldn’t find a connection between Siraj and Elshafay and any terrorist organization, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence, David Cohen, later described the mentally ill pair as “lone wolves” who were “homegrown, but inspired globally.” After a brief 2001 stint at insurance giant AIG (a $40 billion beneficiary of the increased demand for bonds in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks), Cohen had been tapped for the newly created position at the beginning of 2002. Despite his extreme unpopularity and a less than reassuring record in a 35-year career at the CIA—he once wrote a report, later dismissed by an internal CIA review, blaming the Soviet Union for the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II—Cohen’s appointment was warmly endorsed by Mayor Bloomberg. Describing his role as chief of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, Cohen later said, “It’s like starting the CIA over in the post-9/11 world.”

Indeed, it seems that Cohen set about starting over not only the CIA but the FBI as well—the latter’s investigations on occasions being frustrated by his Intelligence Division’sLone Cowboy behaviour.” But cowed by post-9/11 criticism from Congress and the media, the Feds passively watched the creation of a troublesome rival. Early on, Cohen suggested to Commissioner Kelly that New York police officers be assigned overseas. By 2005, NYPD Intelligence had seven detectives deployed in cities around the world, including London, Singapore and Tel Aviv, which perhaps predictably received the NYPD’s first foreign liaison. While Cohen’s man in Tel Aviv, Mordecai Dzikansky, had virtually no contact with his American counterpart from the FBI, which opposed the creation of the post, the Orthodox Jew and former IDF volunteer enjoyed close relations with his Israeli hosts. A few months before her 2005 “resignation,” Judith Miller wrote in the New York Times: “[A]s the New York detective walks through the corridors of police headquarters in Jerusalem, home to Israel’s 27,000 police officers, he is invariably greeted as Morty, in the Hebrew he now speaks fluently, with a quip and a smile.”

Although most liberals would be inclined to support calls for tighter gun control, the source of those calls should give them pause for thought. It’s more than a little ironic that the most ardent advocates of gun control for Americans such as the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League are the very same people who demand that American taxpayers continue to lavish Israelis with as much weaponry as they desire “to defend themselves,” i.e. by slaughtering Palestinian and Lebanese civilians with impunity. Leaving aside arguments over the relative legitimacy of state terrorism versus non-state terrorism, one can hardly imagine the likes of Bloomberg and Schumer advocating background checks as passionately for Israeli settlers to prevent a Jewish extremist like Baruch Goldstein from acquiring a gun to massacre Palestinian civilians.

So, how do we account for such blatant double standards? Could it be that Israel’s fifth columnists are worried that if enough Americans ever become aware of how much their “unbreakable bond” with Israel has cost them in blood, treasure and credibility, they might have an American Intifada on their hands? Better, then, to preempt the possibility of such “domestic extremists” coming up with their own “hit list” by closing the “Terror Gap” now, while they still can. In the meantime, the fear and loathing of America’s maligned Muslim community engendered by scary tales of “lone wolf” jihadists ensures the perpetuation of America’s wars for Israeli hegemony in the Greater Middle East for the forseeable future—or at least till they completely bankrupt the country.

Even if Adam Gadahn had become a board member of the ADL like his beloved paternal grandfather, Carl Pearlman, he could hardly have served their gun control agenda better.

~

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst.

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | 3 Comments

First Ships Of Freedom Flotilla 2 Set Sail

By Kevin Murphy | IMEMC and Agencies | June 29, 2011

The first of the Freedom Flotilla 2 ships have set sail for the rendezvous point in the Meditereannean Sea where it will meet the rest of the ships participating in the flotilla, according to Haaretz. It is unclear when they will meet up with the other participating ships including the US, Candian and the Greek/Norwegian/Sweedish contingent given bureaucratic delays and suspected sabotage to the Greek ship.

The French and the Irish contingent of the Freedom Flotilla 2 have set sail for the meeting point in the Meditearreanean Sea where they will await the arrival of the other flotilla participants before setting sail to Gaza in a repeat of last years attempt to break the Israeli siege on Gaza.

The French Boat “Dignity” and the Irish ship “Freedom” will join an expected 350 participants and set sail for Gaza in the coming days depending on delays.

The flotilla has been the target of bureaucratic red tape such as inspections and paper work that the organisers say is politically motivated and coordinated by Israel.

The remaining participants of the flotilla have all been targeted for inspection by port authorities due to claims that the vessels are un seaworthy by private individuals. Greek Seamen and legal professionals claim that such claims by private individuals are highly unusual.

The Greek ship has also had its propeller shaft cut in what the organisers claim was a direct act of sabotage by Israel.

It is unclear, given the delays, how long the French and Irish contingent will be waiting for the rest of the flotilla participants.

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on First Ships Of Freedom Flotilla 2 Set Sail

Israel detains Palestinian lawmaker

Ma’an – 29/06/2011

NABLUS — Israeli forces on Tuesday detained 11 Palestinians in the West Bank including a Hamas-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a journalist.

MP Nasser Abdel Jawwad was arrested in the early hours in the village of Deir Ballut near Salfit, a town nine miles south of Nablus, after troops ransacked his home, Hamas officials said.

“Abduction of lawmakers is continuation of a plan to assassinate the Palestinian people,” a statement released by Hamas’ legislators read.

Officials in Nablus told Ma’an that troops detained journalist Nawwaf Al-Amir, 37, from his home in Kafr Qallil. Al-Amir is program coordinator at Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds satellite TV station.

In Rafidia, west of Nablus, soldiers detained Hamas member Fuad Al-Khafash, the director of the Ahrar center and former director of the bureau of former Minister of Prisoners Affairs Wasfi Qabahi, who was detained a few weeks earlier.

Officials added that soldiers arrested a Hamas supporter called Firas Jarrar from his home in Nablus.

The army had no immediate comment on the lawmaker’s arrest, but an Israeli military spokeswoman said 11 Palestinians were detained across the West Bank overnight.

The arrest of the MP from Salfit brings to 14 the number of Hamas parliamentarians detained by Israeli troops over the past eight months.

It also raises to seven the number of Hamas MPs detained by the army since the Islamist movement signed a surprise reconciliation deal with its Fatah rivals at the end of April, a move which was roundly condemned by Israel.

Most of the Hamas MPs who have been picked up were among 64 of the group’s members who were arrested during a major army sweep in summer 2006 after militants in Gaza snatched Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Shalit, now 24, is still being held in Gaza and attempts to broker a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas have led nowhere.

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | Comments Off on Israel detains Palestinian lawmaker

Israeli parliamentarians denounce the arrest of Raed Salah

MEMO – 29 June 2011

Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) have denounced the arrest and threatened deportation of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, by UK Border Agency officers in London.

Balad Party MK Haneen Zoabi condemned the British government, saying: “Instead of the British authorities supporting the Palestinians’ just struggle for democracy, freedom and political action, it looks like they support the Israeli policies of political persecution against Arabs in Israel.” The prime source behind the arrest, she alleged, is pressure from the Israeli government and the pro-Israel lobby in Britain.

Calling for Salah’s immediate release, Zoabi continued: “I suggest that the British have to be smarter in their policy relating to the rights of Palestinians in Israel. We, the Arab leadership, need to act more aggressively in the international area, so that the world understands the racist and discriminatory policies and political persecution carried out by the Israeli government against us.”

MK Ahmed Tibi called the arrest “baffling and undemocratic behaviour by the British authorities”.

The northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, of which Raed Salah is the head, released a statement on the incident: “Ever since Sheikh Salah received the invitation to go to Britain the pro-Israel lobby has gone crazy and done everything in its power to prevent the visit; the lobbyists are pushing for the Zionist narrative to be the only narrative.” Addressing the pro-Israel lobby directly, the Islamic Movement added, “We will protect our rights and will bring the voice of truth to the world, especially as it relates to the Palestinian people. We won’t be affected by this politically-motivated arrest.”

According to Zoabi’s Balad Party colleague, Jamal Zahalka MK, Sheikh Raed is a political and religious figure, and there can be no justification for the arrest. “Instead of the British government supporting the rights of Arab citizens in Israel, it is cooperating in hurting them.” In fact, continued Zahalka, “Britain is thus collaborating with Israeli oppression. The arrest is a blow to the Arab public in Israel, which regards Sheikh Raed Salah as one of its leaders.”

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | 2 Comments

Palestinian man still under arrest after demonstration in Beit Ommar on Saturday

29 June 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Beit Ommar

Two international activists are released following their arrest and court hearing in Jerusalem, while a Palestinian man is still under custody following a peaceful demonstration in Beit Ommar that occurred on June 25th.

The two international activists and a 22 year old Palestinian were brutally arrested during a peaceful demonstration in Beit Ommar, in the southern region of the West Bank. The non-violent demonstration took place  there  and was nearing its end when approximately ten Israeli soldiers and border police arrested the 22 year old Palestinian man with force. The man’s t-shirt was ripped into pieces as he was being arrested. He was restrained to the ground and kneed in the chest. A soldier later twisted his handcuffs aggressively, contorting the man’s wrists, cutting the man on both wrists.  When trying to reach the Palestinian man and assist him, an international activist was violently thrown to the ground by a border police.  The activist, from Sweden, landed on her back and a soldier pinned her to the ground, laying heavily on top of her and making it hard for her to breathe. Another activist, also from Sweden, identified him as the captain in charge of the soldiers that day.  A sound bomb was thrown next to the activist, after which she was handcuffed and arrested. In the tumult occurring after the sound bomb, another international activist was grabbed and arrested while trying to help the other from the ground.

Both activists were blindfolded for three hours at a military base, and then taken to a police station. One of the activists was released after 12 hours, and the other was released after 24 hours, after being taken to jail and court in Jerusalem. They were both released without charges. The Palestinian man, however, is still under custody awaiting his  trial in court, which has been postponed until Thursday, June 30th.

Beit Ommar is located to the south of Hebron, with a significant amount of village land usurped by the “security fence” of the neighboring illegal settlement Karmei Tzur, built about five years ago.

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | 1 Comment

Israel passes draft law requiring Palestinians to pay for their own home demolitions

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC News | June 29, 2011

A Committee of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) passed a first draft of a law that will require that Palestinians whose homes are destroyed by Israeli forces pay the Israeli government for the demolition costs.

The law will now be passed to the full Knesset for a final reading, where it is expected to pass due to the current makeup of the Knesset.

Since 1967, Israeli forces have demolished 24,813 Palestinian homes. 90% of these homes were destroyed for ‘administrative’ reasons – because they either lacked a permit or were in an area designated for expansion by the Israeli military. No permits have been issued by Israeli authorities for Palestinian construction in the Occupied Territories since 1967. The remaining 10% of the demolitions have been ‘punitive’ demolitions of the homes of Palestinians accused of attacking Israel, or of their families’ homes.

In the first five months of 2011, Israeli forces demolished more Palestinian homes than in the entire year of 2010, rendering homeless 706 Palestinians, including 341 minors. This is according to the most recent numbers released by the Israeli Civil Administration.

If the law passes the full Knesset, any Palestinian whose home is destroyed by the Israeli military will have to pay thousands of dollars to cover the cost of the demolition. Already, many Palestinian homeowners, mainly in Jerusalem, have been forced to pay for the forced demolition of their homes.

Israeli forces use US-made armored D9 bulldozers, manufactured by the Caterpillar Corporation, to carry out the demolition of Palestinian homes. This has led US and international activists to call for a boycott of the Caterpillar corporation, saying that the use of the bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes is a violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | 2 Comments

Greek parliament passes austerity plan

Press TV – June 29, 2011

Photo credit – Bleeps.gr, Athens

The Greek parliament has voted in favor of new austerity measures, in a move that is expected to infuriate thousands of demonstrators outside the parliament.

The austerity measures were approved on Wednesday with 155 votes in favor, 138 against and seven abstentions.

Greece’s newly-approved austerity plan is worth some EUR 28 billion and includes a privatization program aimed at raising EUR 50 billion and further budget cuts as well as tax increases so that the government may receive further international financial assistance.

The passage of the bill means the European Union and the International Monetary Fund will release EUR 12 billion in aid to Greece — the fifth tranche of Greece’s EUR 110 billion bailout program.

Violent clashes were reported outside parliament on Wednesday, where protesters earlier tried to prevent lawmakers from entering.

A 48-hour general strike is under way in protest at the proposed changes.

The EU ramped up pressure on the parliament ahead of the vote, stating Greece had no “plan B” other than to accept the austerity measures.

Inspectors from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank have been in Athens for nearly a month to see if the country is successfully implementing the promised reforms in return for the bailout.

Greece has a debt of over EUR 300 billion, which is worth more than 150 percent of its annual economic output.

Anti-government demonstrations in Greece have turned violent at times, leaving scores of protesters and security forces injured.

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Economics | 2 Comments

British Authorities Arrest Sheikh Raed Salah

Al-Manar – June 29, 2011

The British authorities arrested head of the Islamic Movement in the occupied territories Sheikh Raed Salah Wednesday 1:00 a.m., claiming that he was banned from entering the UK.

Salah had been in UK for three days. He gave one lecture in London and was scheduled to give another one Wednesday before the British Parliament.

Salah’s lawyer Farouq Bajwa pointed out that the arrested was not informed about the ban decision that came out last week, and did not attempt to conceal his identity when entering Britain.

On the other hand, Palestinian Solidarity Campaign director Sarah Coloborne condemned the action, and was quoted as saying that “Salah was the leader of a legitimate political organization. He rejected all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.”

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | Comments Off on British Authorities Arrest Sheikh Raed Salah