Aletho News


Rachel Abrams: Palestinian children are ‘devils’ spawn

By Philip Weiss on October 20, 2011

Eli Clifton reports on Rachel Abrams,wife of Elliott Abrams: “Emergency Committee For Israel Board Member Calls Palestinians ‘Savages,’ ‘Unmanned Animals,’ ‘Food For Sharks’”

Based on Rachel Abrams’s yawp. Be attuned to all the racism here amid the Joycean punctuation:

GILAD!!!!!!!!!! He’s free and he’s home in the bosom of his family and his country. Celebrate, Israel, with all the joyous gratitude that fills your hearts, as we all do along with you. Then round up his captors, the slaughtering, death-worshiping, innocent-butchering, child-sacrificing savages who dip their hands in blood and use women—those who aren’t strapping bombs to their own devils’ spawn and sending them out to meet their seventy-two virgins by taking the lives of the school-bus-riding, heart-drawing, Transformer-doodling, homework-losing children of Others—and their offspring—those who haven’t already been pimped out by their mothers to the murder god—as shields, hiding behind their burkas and cradles like the unmanned animals they are, and throw them not into your prisons, where they can bide until they’re traded by the thousands for another child of Israel, but into the sea, to float there, food for sharks, stargazers, and whatever other oceanic carnivores God has put there for the purpose.

Jewish children doodle with Transformers, charmingly. Palestinian children are “devils spawn.” Rachel Abrams’s husband once wrote that Jews must stand apart from society in every country that they live in except Israel, and Jews who marry non-Jews should be shunned; and you can see these attitudes in the woman who says Yes I said Yes I will Yes to Abrams. Unreconstructed ethnocentrism. In which one Jewish soldier’s life is valued more than thousands of other people’s lives. Or why a dictatorship in Egypt is rationalized, oppressing 83 million people for decades, in the name of Israel’s security. Or why the Iraq war is justified, the destruction of an Arab society, for Israel’s military advantage, till the next war.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | 4 Comments

Settlers offer $100,000 “bounty” for anyone who kills two liberated prisoners

Palestine Information Center – 20/10/2011

NABLUS — A Jewish family in Yitzhar settlement near Nablus earmarked the sum of 100000 dollars for anyone killing the two liberated Palestinian prisoners Khuweiled and Nizar Ramadan who have been released in the exchange deal between Israel and Hamas.

Hebrew daily Maariv published the ad in which the family claimed that the prisoners, who were deported one to the Gaza Strip and the other to Turkey, killed two of their relatives 13 years ago.

The ad was published on a website for one of the Jewish fanatic settlers in Hebrew, Arabic, English, and Turkish languages along with a recent photo for the prisoners.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Aletho News | 1 Comment

A day of joy in Gaza

Rami Almeghari | The Electronic Intifada | 20 October 2011

Gaza City – The sense of joy was palpable in the streets of Gaza on Tuesday. It was a remarkable day in the life of the territory’s 1.6 million Palestinians. During the last five years Israel has levied a heavy price from them for the capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian resistance fighters. It has been extracted with Israel’s warplanes, tanks, bulldozers and relentless siege.

At last the people of Gaza could feel a sense of relief. From early morning, thousands lined both sides of Salah al-Din street, a main thoroughfare, as if they were receiving a VIP or a president. But it was prisoners freed under a deal between Israel and Hamas who were the honored guests. A few kilometers away from the main road, thousands more gathered in Gaza City’s al-Katiba Square, where a large stage had been erected and patriotic music played.

Just near the stage, hundreds of women of all ages stood anxiously, some cheering loudly as the song “Palestinians, Palestinians, Determined to Go On” played. Older women ululated joyfully, in a scene reminiscent of traditional Palestinian wedding parties before 1948, the year when many of these women and their families were displaced by Israeli occupation forces from towns and villages that are now over the border in Israel. On this day, Gaza resembled a big Palestinian wedding party for every single Palestinian man and woman.

Looking old and tired among dozens of women, Umm Hazem Hasanin from eastern Gaza City held a portrait of her son Hazem, who was taken prisoner by Israeli forces in 2004 near the Nahal Oz Junction, east of Gaza City.

Hasanin spoke cheerfully to The Electronic Intifada, despite having stood in the sun for several hours. “God willing, my son will be released soon, even tomorrow hopefully. I am here today despite the fact that my son is not listed in the exchange deal,” she said, “I am here to send a message that all Palestinians are looking for freedom and salvation from the Israeli occupation.”

Umm Hazem’s son, now 31, was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

“Proud of heroes”

Farhana al-Ashqar is another elder Palestinian woman, who waited several hours in Tuesday’s heat to welcome the freed prisoners. Her nephew Ibrahim has been imprisoned for one year and two months.

“May Allah bestow victory on the Palestinian resistance in order to achieve further prisoner swap deals that will help those in Israeli jails to be freed. We are proud of these heroes. I left my house today to come here and welcome such heroes,” al-Ashqar said . Others in the area designated for women in al-Katiba Square had relatives of their own listed in the long-awaited prisoners exchange deal.

Fawziya Abu Karsh is the sister-in-law of the released prisoner, Talib Abu Karsh, who was sentenced to four life terms. He has spent 16 years in prison.

“I have been here since 9 AM to welcome him and to see him after these long years of imprisonment. Let me greet the Palestinian resistance for helping release these Palestinian heroes,” Abu Karsh said, while carrying her baby near a portrait of Talib.

At another corner in al-Katiba Square, hundreds of youth gathered, raising Palestinian flags and banners of Hamas, Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Islamic Jihad, a mix of colors representing the various political factions, a scene very rarely seen since a national unity government led by Fatah and Hamas, the major parties, collapsed the year after Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured.

“Waiting to hug my brother”

Khaled Hammad was in al-Katiba Square to receive his his freed brother.

“I am waiting here for the arrival of my brother Majdy Hammad, who has spent twenty years of his six-times life sentence. I am waiting for the moment to embrace him, something that I have never experienced for the past twenty years. Whatever I say cannot express my feelings or emotions at this moment.”

“I and all the Palestinian people are very excited today for this is a joyful day for all the Palestinian people, a day of victory for the Palestinian people, a day that has made all of us united — as you see, banners of all Palestinian factions are fluttering in this place. We hope that this day will bring unity among the people and the factions alike,” Hammad added.

After the long day of waiting, vans carrying the freed prisoners showed up in the back streets and an excited and anxious crowd, largely comprised of young people, rushed quickly to get a look into the buses. Many of them whistled as others set off fireworks.

The Electronic Intifada managed to get through the large crowds and spoke to those who arrived in the square. About 266 freed prisoners, including 136 from the West Bank arrived in Gaza on Tuesday.

“I cannot describe my feelings being among my brothers and sisters in Gaza. This is really a big reception that we did not expect,” Arafat al-Natshi, a freed prisoner from the West Bank city of Hebron, said excitedly. Under the deal, Al-Natshi has been forced to live in Gaza instead of being returned home to Hebron.

Mohammad Abu Awad is another freed prisoner, from the West Bank city of Nablus. “I am extremely happy to be released, something that I had not imagined because I have been sentenced to life. Yet my happiness is marred by the fact that we have left behind many brothers in jail, with whom we have spent more time than we’ve spent with our families,” Awad said.

Resistance “the only path”

Also among those who welcomed the released Palestinian prisoners were factional and governmental leaders, including top figures from Hamas. Jameela al-Shanti, minister of women’s affairs in the Hamas-led government in Gaza, hailed the prisoners’ release by means of the swap deal as a step in the right direction.

“The release of prisoners today is clear proof that the Palestinian resistance is the only path that will resolve the problems of the Palestinian people including Israeli settlement activities and the Israeli siege on Gaza,” al-Shanti told The Electronic Intifada as she stepped up onto the stage, “I would like to emphasize that we are taking this path until all our prisoners are released from Israeli jails and Palestine is liberated from the Israeli occupation.”

On Tuesday, Israel and Hamas, through Egyptian officials and with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross, facilitated an agreed prisoners’ exchange. The agreement came after five years of talks, brokered by Egypt and Germany. Israel agreed to release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including women and minors, in exchange for the Israeli soldier.

Right after the soldier’s capture, Israel carried out a massive attack on Gaza, killing and injuring hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children and causing a great deal of damage to infrastructure, including power and water networks. Since then, Gaza’s 1.6 million residents have suffered power cut-offs, almost on a daily basis.

While carrying her baby in one hand and a picture of her freed brother-in-law in the other, Fawziya Abu Karsh praised Palestinian resistance fighters. She said, “May God help them all to capture ten more Israeli soldiers, so that our beloved prisoners are released from the Israeli occupation’s jails.”

Rami Almeghari is a journalist and university lecturer based in the Gaza Strip.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on A day of joy in Gaza

Cambridge students to begin vote on company with Israeli settlement ties

Palestinian academics and Cambridge lecturers join call for boycott

Press Release – 10/20/2011

Students at Cambridge will start voting Friday in a referendum calling on the University to cut ties with a company implicated in Israeli human rights abuses.

The referendum, scheduled for 21-24 October, calls on CUSU (Cambridge University Students Union) to campaign to have the University cut ties with Veolia, a company involved in infrastructure projects in Israeli settlements, and employed by the University on a waste disposal contract.

This week, the campaign received letters of support from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, and from a group of more than 25 Cambridge academics.

The letter from Palestinian academics said:

“As Palestinian academics, we are aware that universities are never separable from their political circumstances. Palestinian universities are regularly attacked by the IDF. Israeli universities directly contribute to the occupation through military research and development. By retaining a contract with Veolia, Cambridge is also implicated in Israel’s crimes. Dropping the contract would not be an inappropriate political intervention, but a rectification of one. Cambridge can live up to its reputation as an internationally leading institution by refusing ties with Veolia, leading the way against Israeli organizations that trample Palestinian human rights.”

The letter from Cambridge academics said:

“In choosing to employ Veolia for its waste management, the University poses a serious ‘reputational risk’ to itself. The University’s employment of Veolia for waste management makes dubious its claims of being committed to ethical conduct.”

Veolia’s activities in the West Bank include bus and light rail services and the Tovlan Landfill site, all serving illegal Israeli settlements. In recent years, the international community has targeted Veolia as a company profiting from the Israeli occupation. Veolia has lost contracts worth more than €10 billion since 2005,2 including, just a few months ago, a £300 million contract in Ealing, London. The actions against Veolia are part of a broader international campaign following the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israeli companies and institutions.

The Cambridge Campaign has detailed information on its website, including a point-by-point rebuttal to the No Campaign’s “falsehoods, insinuations made in bad faith, and sleights of hand.”

For more information, see:

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Cambridge students to begin vote on company with Israeli settlement ties

Connect the dots: In ’02, NYPD began training in Israel; 9 years later, spying against NYC Muslims exposed

By Alex Kane | Mondoweiss | October 20, 2011

In 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported:

Five New York City police investigators are in Israel for a symposium on suicide bombers. The officers are apparently the first members of a U.S. police department to receive training from Israeli counter-terrorism experts.

“Obviously after 9/11 everyone’s world changed,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said. “We have to be as prepared as we can be for any eventuality.”

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has a detective “based in Israel” who reports back to department head Ray Kelly.  The relationship continues.

Fast-forward to the present, where in recent weeks a steady drip of outrageous revelations about the NYPD’s indiscriminate spying on Muslim New Yorkers continues to be published by the Associated Press.

Israeli “counter-terror” tactics rely on a racist dragnet that labels every Palestinian a threat to Israeli security, much in the same way the NYPD’s operation reveal that the department believes every Muslim guilty until proven innocent.

The NYPD, of course, needs no help in learning the tactics of racial profiling when it comes to policing communities of color.  But the close relationship between the NYPD and Israel on counter-terrorism merits a closer look.  Just what insight is the NYPD gathering from Israeli security?

Is the NYPD’s spying operation on Muslim New Yorkers yet another example of, as Scott McConnell put it, “anti-Muslim bigotry” becoming embedded in the U.S. due in part to Israeli-centric ideas about counter-terrorism?

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and blogger based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | Comments Off on Connect the dots: In ’02, NYPD began training in Israel; 9 years later, spying against NYC Muslims exposed

Plumbing the Depths of Deception: Naomi Scola Ignores the H2Occupation of Palestine

“[It is] of vital importance not only to secure all water resources already feeding the country, but also to control them at their source.”

– Chaim Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organization and the first President of Israel, at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference

“And when I talk about the importance to Israel’s security, this is not an abstract concept… It means that a housewife in Tel Aviv can open the tap and there’s water running to it, and it’s not been dried up because of a rash decision that handed over control of our aquifers to the wrong hands.”

– Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, May 17, 1998

“All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.”

– Toni Morrison

Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | October 19, 2011

On October 18, The Atlantic published a lengthy article by Nancy Scola exploring the possible rationale for Texas Governor and terrible GOP Presidential nominee Rick Perry’s deep and abiding affinity for Israel. Scola, after citing potential reasons such as “the religious affinities of a conservative Christian” and “a shared fighting spirit” (in addition to “oil”, which is odd considering there’s no oil in Palestine) for Perry’s affection and admiration, suggests a different explanation:

In 2009, Perry told the Jerusalem Post that part of the Texas-Israel “connection that goes back many years” included the reality that “Israel has a lot we can learn from, especially in the areas of water conservation and semi-arid land.” It raised the possibility that at the root of Perry’s deep commitment and professed connection to Israel doesn’t lie in what Texas has in abundance — oil, faith, orneriness — but what it lacks: water.

Scola goes on to explain that, when he was Texas agriculture commissioner in the 1990’s, “Perry helped to lead the Texas-Israel Exchange, a program that aims to transfer knowledge between the two lands, where farming is a way of life but the water to do it with is often difficult to come by” and draws an environmental and hydrogeological parallel between the two regions. “Texas’ mountain aquifers have their equivalent in Israel’s karst aquifers,” she writes, before quoting UT professor and water expert David Eaton as saying, “Israel doesn’t have enough water, but they’ve figured out how to succeed.”

Among the ways Scola describes Israel’s victory over water scarcity through “a variety of technologies to try to squeeze the maximum possible water from dry land” are “projects focused on water reclamation — that is, using treated waste water, including sewage, to irrigate, cool, or in manufacturing processes.”

What Scola omits – and considering she devotes considerable space (nearly 2,000 words) to this issue, the omission can not be anything but willful and deliberate – is Palestine. In fact, the word itself is never uttered once in the entire article, nor is the 44-year occupation and blockade that controls their lives each and every day.

The reason this omission is so glaring is because over 60% of Israel’s fresh water supply comes from Palestinian aquifers in the West Bank, illegally seized in 1967 after a conflict instigated by Israel and subsequently controlled exclusively by the Israeli government and military in occupied Palestine.

An October 2009 report by Amnesty International entitled “Troubled Waters – Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water” notes that, in 1967, “Israel forcibly took control of water resources and imposed significant changes in the area’s water sector. This included extracting large quantities of groundwater and diverting surface water for its own benefit, while preventing access by the local Palestinian population to these same resources.”

In 1982, then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon transferred all West Bank water systems to the Israeli national water company Mekorot for the nominal price of one shekel. A decade later, the Oslo accords established a (so-called) Joint Water Management Committee, granting Israel a veto over all water resources, facilities and infrastructure in the West Bank.

Amnesty reveals that “[d]uring more than four decades of occupation of the Palestinian territories Israel has overexploited Palestinian water resources, neglected the water and sanitation infrastructure in the OPT, and used the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories] as a dumping ground for its waste – causing damage to the groundwater resources and the environment” and that “Israeli policies and practices in the OPT, notably the unlawful destruction and appropriation of property, and the imposition of restrictions and other measures which deny the Palestinians the right to water in the OPT, violate Israel’s obligations under both human rights and humanitarian law.”

The report’s introduction states:

Lack of access to adequate, safe, and clean water has been a longstanding problem for the Palestinian population of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Though exacerbated in recent years by the impact of drought-induced water scarcity, the problem arises principally because of Israeli water policies and practices which discriminate against the Palestinian population of the OPT. This discrimination has resulted in widespread violations of the right to an adequate standard of living, which includes the human rights to water, to adequate food and housing, and the right to work and to health of the Palestinian population.

The inequality in access to water between Israelis and Palestinians is striking. Palestinian consumption in the OPT is about 70 litres a day per person – well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much. In some rural communities Palestinians survive on far less than even the average 70 litres, in some cases barely 20 litres per day, the minimum amount recommended by the WHO for emergency situations response.

Access to water resources by Palestinians in the OPT is controlled by Israel and the amount of water available to Palestinians is restricted to a level which does not meet their needs and does not constitute a fair and equitable share of the shared water resources. Israel uses more than 80 per cent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the only source of underground water in the OPT, as well as all of the surface water available from the Jordan River of which Palestinians are denied any share.

The stark reality of this inequitable system is that, today, more than 40 years after Israel occupied the West Bank, some 180,000 – 200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities there have no access to running water and even in towns and villages which are connected to the water network, the taps often run dry. Water rationing is common, especially but not only in the summer months, with residents of different neighbourhoods and villages receiving piped water only one day every week or every few weeks. Consequently, many Palestinians have no choice but to purchase additional supplies from mobile water tankers which deliver water at a much higher price and of often dubious quality. As unemployment and poverty have increased in recent years and disposable income has fallen, Palestinian families in the OPT must spend an increasingly high percentage of their income – as much as a quarter or more in some cases – on water.

In the Gaza Strip, the only water resource, the southern end of the Coastal Aquifer, is insufficient for the needs of the population but Israel does not allow the transfer of water from the West Bank to Gaza. The aquifer has been depleted and contaminated by overextraction and by sewage and seawater infiltration, and 90-95 per cent of its water is contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Waterborne diseases are common.

The report also documents how “[s]tringent restrictions imposed in recent years by Israel on the entry into Gaza of material and equipment necessary for the development and repair of infrastructure have caused further deterioration of the water and sanitation situation in Gaza, which has reached crisis point,” causing both “water shortages and poor sanitation services” throughout occupied Palestine.

“Since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967,” Amnesty reports, “it has denied its Palestinian inhabitants access to the water resources of Jordan River, preventing them from physically accessing the river banks and diverting the river flow upstream into Lake Kinneret/Tiberias/Sea of Galilee.” Furthermore, “As well as depriving the Palestinians of a crucial source of water, the drying up of the Jordan River has had a disastrous impact on the Dead Sea, which has seen the fastest drop in its water level to an unprecedented low.”

Consequently, without access to the Jordan, the Mountain Aquifer is the only remaining source of water for Palestinians in the West Bank. Still, despite having two other main water resources (Lake Kinneret/Tiberias/Sea of Galilee and the Coastal Aquifer), Israel “limits the amount of water annually available to Palestinians from the Mountain Aquifer to no more than 20 per cent, while it has continued to consistently overextract water for its own usage far in excess of the aquifer’s yearly sustainable yield. Moreover, much of Israel’s over-extraction is from the Western Aquifer, which provides both the largest quantity and the best quality of all the shared groundwater resources in Israel-OPT.”

Clearly, the miracle of Israeli ingenuity that so enamors Rick Perry and impresses Naomi Scola is not so much technological advancement as it is illegal military occupation and heavily-armed dominance over Palestinian land and resources.

Yet, Israel not only appropriates and exploits Palestinian water supplies (“regardless of the consequences that this disproportionate and unfair division has for the Palestinian population in the OPT and its impact on Palestinians’ human rights,” says Amnesty) through its past and continual colonization, illegal annexation of land via the Apartheid Wall (which has isolated at least 39 groundwater wells from their Palestinian communities with more wells threatened for demolition in the Wall’s “buffer zone”), and ethnic cleansing of indigenous populations, it also deliberately destroys what resources Palestinians still have.

During Israel’s three-week Gaza massacre in the winter of 2008-9, the Israeli military “destroyed more than 30 kilometres of water networks – the equivalent of more than double the width of the strip at its widest – and 11 water wells,” reports the Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene group (EWASH), a coalition of 30 leading humanitarian organizations operating in occupied Palestine.

Israeli forces also “carried out a strike against a wall of one of the raw sewage lagoons of the Gaza wastewater treatment plant, which caused the outflow of more than 200,000 cubic metres of raw sewage onto neighbouring farmland,” reportedthe UN Fact-Finding Mission. The Goldstone Report continued,

The circumstances of the strike suggest that it was deliberate and premeditated. The Namar wells complex in Jabaliyah consisted of two water wells, pumping machines, a generator, fuel storage, a reservoir chlorination unit, buildings and related equipment. All were destroyed by multiple air strikes on the first day of the Israeli aerial attack. The Mission considers it unlikely that a target the size of the Namar wells could have been hit by multiple strikes in error. It found no grounds to suggest that there was any military advantage to be had by hitting the wells and noted that there was no suggestion that Palestinian armed groups had used the wells for any purpose.

The Mission determined that this assault (“carried out…unlawfully and wantonly”) on water facilities constituted “a violation of the grave breaches provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” explaining, “Unlawful and wanton destruction which is not justified by military necessity amounts to a war crime” and that such deliberate destruction “was carried out to deny sustenance to the civilian population, which is a violation of customary international law and may constitute a war crime.”

Nearly three years after the bombardment of Gaza, the consequences of such war crimes are still devastating.

In March 2011, EWASH notes, “the Khuza’a municipality warehouse was hit by an airstrike destroying a large quantity of essential water and sanitation materials and spare parts to the value of over US$ 60 000. In April, the Al-Mintar water reservoir in Al-Quba area of Gaza City was hit leaving 30 000 people in eastern Gaza city with no water for three days.” In mid-July 2011, “an Israeli airstrike destroyed an agricultural well in the eastern part of Beit Hanoun,” injuring seven civilians including four children and three women. “The strike also caused damage to nine water tanks belonging to five households in the adjacent neighbourhood, serving 59 people,” the report continues.

Whereas the destruction of water facilities in Gaza is the result of Israeli policies of deliberate deprivation and collective punishment, Israeli military actions in the continually colonized West Bank serve a different purpose. Amnesty reports, “[t]he Israeli army’s destruction of Palestinian water facilities – rainwater harvesting and storage cisterns, agricultural pools and spring canals – on the grounds that they were constructed without permits from the army is often accompanied by other measures that aim to restrict or eliminate the presence of Palestinians from specific areas of the West Bank.”

In the past two years, EWASH has documented “the destruction of 100 water, sanitation and hygiene structures, 44 cisterns, 20 toilets and sinks, 28 wells. This year alone, 20 cisterns have been destroyed,” The Guardian reports. “Most of this is happening in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control.” Israeli Occupation soldiers routinely shoot at vitally-needed Palestinian water tanks.

In March 2011, AFP reported that “Israeli troops have destroyed three water wells belonging to Palestinian villagers living near a sprawling Jewish settlement outside Hebron.” Later that same month, Israeli authorities destroyed “an ancient water well and reservoir southeast of Bethlehem used by Palestinian Bedouin shepherds as their main sources of water.”

On July 5, 2011, it was reported that “a convoy of Israeli Army, civil administration, and border police arrived in the Palestinian village of Amniyr accompanying a flat bed truck with a front end loader and a backhoe. Israeli settlers having a picnic at the settlement outpost next to the Susiya archaeological site looked on as the army destroyed nine large tanks of water and a tent.” It was the fifth time this year.

Just one week ago, WAFA, the Palestinian News and Info Agency, reported, “The Israeli authorities Thursday handed a number of Palestinian farmers demolition orders of several water wells and green houses and stopped construction work of rehabilitating an agricultural road in an area in Kufr Al-Deek, a town in Salfit,” according the town’s mayor.

Drilling new wells and rehabilitating existing wells is prohibited in the West Bank without the authorized consent of the Israeli occupiers. Meanwhile, as Palestinians are “denied access to an equitable share of the shared water resources and are increasingly affected by the lack of adequate water supplies, Israeli settlers face no such challenges – as indicated by their intensive-irrigation farms, lush gardens and swimming pools. The 450,000 Israeli settlers, who live in the West Bank in
violation of international law, use as much or more water than the Palestinian population of some 2.3 million.”

In her Atlantic column, Naomi Scola addresses none of these issues. Instead, she notes that many state governments in the U.S. have business partnerships with the State of Israel, noting that “the exchange between the state of Texas and the state of Israel is generally considered the oldest such relationship, and it is certainly one of the most robust.”

Scola also quotes from a 1996 op-ed Rick Perry wrote for the Austin American-Statesman, in which he “bragged about teaming up with Israel, ‘a country known for using technology to turn a desert into an agricultural oasis of productivity.'” This pernicious myth of “Desert-Bloomism“, while articulated by Perry, is allowed to stand on its own, unchallenged, in Scola’s article.

While Scola suggests Rick Perry’s love affair with Israel may be based on a shared lack of water, it is abundantly clear that the common ground between the Texas governor and the Israeli government has far more to do with a shared lack of humanity.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | Comments Off on Plumbing the Depths of Deception: Naomi Scola Ignores the H2Occupation of Palestine

Former Mujahadeen Khalq Leader Confirms Alleged Iran Terror Plot Conspirator Affiliated with MEK

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | October 19, 2011

You’ll recall that the the U.S. claimed that the Iranian alleged conspirator in the terror plot against the Saudi ambassador, Gholam Shakuri, was a Revolutionary Guard (IRG) official.  Though many Iranians have scoured every resource they could think of, none have found evidence of such a person with any IRG affiliation.  If the U.S. has such evidence it ought to produce it if it wants to be believed.  Yesterday, the well-placed Alef site, run by an Iranian majlis member who’s run for president twice, alleged that Shakuri is in fact a high level Mujahadeen al Khalq (MEK) leader.  It offered evidence to support the charge.

Today, the official MEK leadership has denied that Shakuri is a member and the U.S. has also denied the charge.  But in fact, a former high-ranking MEK leader, Massoud Khodabandeh (he has allowed me to use his name), writing in the Gulf2000 listserv, confirmed that Shakuri is in fact an MEK member.  He cautions that there may be more than one Gholam Shakuri, and the one who is the MEK member may not be the same Shakuri the U.S. has named.  While this may be true, this new development moves Shakuri a lot closer to being MEK than being IRG.  And moves the entire U.S. account of this supposed crime closer to the trash heap.

In its story containing the U.S. denial, the NY Times quotes U.S. sources responding to the Iranian charge that Shakuri held or holds a U.S. passport:

Mr. Shakuri is not a United States citizen and does not have an American passport.

I have no doubt that Shakuri is not a U.S. citizen and also that he may not currently have a U.S. passport.  But this statement, at least as portrayed by Scott Shane, does not say the U.S. never issued such a passport in his name.  There are many ways and reasons a non-U.S. citizen may obtain a U.S. passport including fraud and the possibility that Shakuri was performing a task for the U.S. government or CIA and needed such a document.  I am speculating, but in light of the paucity of evidence the U.S. has offered to support its claims, we must parse the information it has distributed to try to determine credibility and accuracy.

There is another intriguing element that the Alef story added to the mix.  It claimed that Interpol had released information allowing confirmation of Shakuri as an MEK official.  The NY Times says this:

An Interpol spokeswoman declined to comment. But an American official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Interpol had discovered no link to the opposition group, calling the Iranian news report “pure fiction.”

While I do not know the protocols that Interpol follows in making public statements, I’d think that if the organization had been portrayed falsely by Iran, that it would want to say so.  I’d also think that the U.S. would be a far more important national partner to Interpol than Iran and that Interpol would also want to deny this story if it were false because the U.S. would benefit from this.  The fact that it refuses to do so raises if not a red, then surely a yellow flag for me.

The fact that a U.S. official seeks to speak on behalf of Interpol and under the cloak of anonymity is highly dubious.  If they want us to believe what they claim, then I’m afraid it will have to be Interpol speaking on its own behalf.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | Comments Off on Former Mujahadeen Khalq Leader Confirms Alleged Iran Terror Plot Conspirator Affiliated with MEK

UK’s Facebook users jailed for 4 years

Press TV – October 20, 2011

The UK High Court has upheld four-year jail sentences for two protesters who posted messages on the social networking site Facebook during the August unrest.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge at the Court of Appeal rejected pleas made by lawyers for Jordan Blackshaw, 21, of Northwich, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, of Warrington for a sentence reduction, alleging that both had intended to cause “very serious crime” at a time of “sustained countrywide mayhem”.

“The abuse of modern technology for criminal purposes extends to and includes incitement of very many people by a single step”, said Lord Judge.

But, lawyers and campaigners warned that tough sentences are being handed out to those involved in the anti-government protests to appease ‘angry Britain’.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also praised the courts for handing down tough sentences to those involved in the unrest.

The Prime Minister said the judge had sent a ‘very clear message’ that mob violence is wrong as the pair were jailed even though their plans came to nothing.

“What happened on our streets was absolutely appalling behaviour and to send a very clear message that it’s wrong and won’t be tolerated is what the criminal justice system should be doing”, said Cameron.

Cameron’s appreciation of his country’s justice system marks another example of the UK system’s double standards policy as far as internal affairs and international relations are concerned.

The UK government has interfered in almost all the world’s countries in which a clash of interests has sparked tensions between those countries’ governments and their opposition movements.

It used to deplore restricting access to social networking sites as a violation of human rights, but now the UK government is treating its own people from the position of chief human rights violator.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties | 1 Comment