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Fukushima: BBC Debunked

By | September 22, 2011

Sources cited

The BBC Program

CNN Report Quoted…

The Yomiuri Daily Table

Atomic-Bombing Survivors Study

In light of that study, it’s worth noting that the Japanese government calculated that the Cesium-137 alone emitted from Fukushima as of late August was 168 times more radioactive than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima:…

IAEA Report Quoted…

NYAS Review (Yablokov et al.) Cited

Extra: detailed complaint submitted to BBC over the program critiqued in this video :

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Comments Off on Fukushima: BBC Debunked

Open Letter to CSU Chancellor Regarding the CSU-Israel Study Abroad Program

Dear Chancellor Reed;

The CSU system has recently taken steps to reinstate the Israel Study Abroad Program.   It was suspended in 2002 because of costs and because of the U.S. State Department travel warning on travel to Israel.

We strongly urge you not to reinstate the CSU Israel Study Abroad Program.

The signers of this letter, CSU faculty, staff, students, and administrators, represent a wide range of views and political perspectives, but each one of us shares that conclusion along with some or all of the following concerns:

1) The original reasons, from 2002, for suspending the program remain valid, and may, in some respects, be even more compelling.  The CSU is facing unprecedented funding cuts, and programs serving greater numbers of students than this program may be more deserving of the limited available funds.  The State Department travel warning also remains in effect [1].

2) Additional dangers to U.S. citizens, not described in the State Department travel warning, deserve consideration. There have been multiple instances of U.S. citizens, including students, who have been severely injured, and in some cases killed by Israeli military forces. For example, in 2010, Emily Henochowicz, a 21-year-old Jewish American art student, lost an eye when Israeli soldiers shot her in the head with a high velocity tear gas canister. She had joined protests against Israel’s attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla, during which Furkan Dogan, aged 19, another U.S. citizen, was killed by Israeli troops.   Other young Americans killed or injured by Israeli forces include Rachel Corrie, Brian Avery, and Tristan Anderson.

3) If the Israel Study Abroad Program is reinstated, participating CSU students could face discriminatory treatment, based on race and ethnicity.  According to a U.S. State Department document [2]:

“U.S. citizens with Arabic or Muslim names, those born in Muslim or Middle Eastern countries, those who have been involved in missionary or activist activity, those who ask that Israeli stamps not be entered into their passport, and other U.S. citizen travelers have been delayed and subjected to close scrutiny by Israeli border authorities, and on occasion they have been given a “Palestinian Authority only” stamp in their passport which prohibits entry into “Green Line” Israel. U.S. citizens have been detained and/or arrested at the airport and at other border crossings on suspicion of security-related offenses. Members of religious groups have been monitored, arrested, and deported for suspicion of intent to proselytize in Israel. In some cases, Israeli authorities have denied U.S. citizens access to U.S. consular officers, lawyers, and even family members during temporary detention.”

“Palestinian-American dual citizens living in the West Bank can be detained or arrested by the IDF. In such instances, the Government of Israel may not recognize the U.S. citizenship and will instead consider the arrested person a Palestinian. In such cases the U.S. Consulate General may not be notified.”

4) During its October 2011 meeting, the Academic and Fiscal Affairs Committee of the CSU Academic Council on International Programs made a recommendation as follows [3]:

“The AFAC recommends in light of the developments of the past 10 years, and in order to provide a more inclusive perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian issue that priority and effort be given to exploring new partnerships such as: Birzeit University, Arab American University in Jenin.”

Reinstating a CSU Study Abroad Program in conjunction with Israeli universities without similar programs in cooperation with Palestinian universities would be one-sided.

5) To restart the CSU International program in Israel at this time would not reflect well on the CSU’s commitment to the universal right to education. Israel has consistently violated its obligation under Article 50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which requires the Occupying Power to facilitate the proper functioning of educational institutions in occupied territories. Israel remains the Occupying Power because it retains effective control in all these areas, and exercises this control by making education difficult or impossible for Palestinians in a variety of ways: blockading, besieging and bombing schools and universities; suspending delivery of books and educational supplies; restricting or barring the movement of students, teachers and researchers to their institutions of learning, as well as to travel abroad for educational purposes. Because of these actions, Israel has deprived hundreds of thousands of Palestinians of their right to education.

6) Recognized leaders and prominent intellectuals have compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to Apartheid in South Africa.  Among these are Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Mairead Maguire [4].  John Dugard, a South African professor of international law, has served as Judge ad hoc on the International Court of Justice and as a Special Rapporteur for both the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the International Law Commission.  In his 2007 report to the Human Rights Council, Mr. Dugard described Israel’s “features of colonialism and apartheid.” South Africa’s statutory research agency the Human Sciences Research Council concluded in a 2009 report that, “the State of Israel exercises control in the [Occupied Palestinian Territories] with the purpose of maintaining a system of domination by Jews over Palestinians and that this system constitutes a breach of the prohibition of apartheid.” Richard Falk, emeritus professor of international law at Princeton University and the successor of John Dugard as UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, has detailed indicators of apartheid in the occupied territories.  Similar Findings were made by Human Rights Watch [5,6].  CSU participation with the government of Israel in the proposed study abroad program could be interpreted as an endorsement of the international crime of apartheid.

Affiliations of the signatories are included for identification purposes only.

CSU Faculty, Staff, and Administrator Endorsements

David Klein, Professor
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Bernardo Abrego, Professor
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

As`ad AbuKhalil, Professor
Department of Politics
CSU Stanislaus

Roberta Ahlquist, Professor
Secondary Teacher Education
San Jose State University

Kazem Alamdari, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology
CSU Northridge

Alexander Alekseenko, Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Ece Algan, Assistant Professor
Department of Communication Studies
CSU San Bernardino

Karren Baird-Olson, Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
CSU Northridge

Ian Barnard, Professor

Department of English/Queer Studies Program

CSU Northridge

Nagwa Bekir, Professor and Associate Dean
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
CSU Northridge

Maziar Behrooz, Associate Professor
History Department
San Francisco State University

Tracy Lachica Buenavista, Assistant Professor
Asian American Studies Department
CSU Northridge

Ana Cristina Cadavid, Professor and Chair
Department of Physics & Astronomy
CSU Northridge

Kathleen A. Cairns, Ph.D.
Department of History
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Hedy L. Carpenter, Associate Director of Graduate Programs
Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs
CSU Northridge

Peter Collas, Professor Emeritus
Department of Physics & Astronomy
CSU Northridge

Michael J. Coyle, Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
Director, The Peace Institute
CSU Chico

Charles Crittenden, Professor Emeritus
Department of Philosophy
CSU Northridge

Enrique de la Cruz, Professor Emeritus
Asian American Studies Department
CSU Northridge

Douraid Daly, Ph.D.
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Ronald L. F. Davis, Professor Emeritus
History Department
CSU Northridge

Paula DiMarco, Associate Professor
Department of Art
CSU Northridge

Roger Dittmann
Professor of Physics Emeritus
CSU Fullerton
President, Scholars without Borders

Rabia Djellouli, Professor
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Dany Doueiri, Assistant Professor
Department of World Languages and Literatures
CSU San Bernardino

C.R. Esquibel, Associate Professor
Race & Resistance Studies Program
College of Ethnic Studies
San Francisco State University

Sasan Fayazmanesh, Professor Emeritus
Department of Economics
CSU Fresno

Manzar Foroohar, Professor
Department of History
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Bahman (Buzz) Fozouni, Professor
Department of Government
CSU Sacramento

Sherna Berger Gluck, Professor Emerita
Department of History
CSU Long Beach

Corrinne Hales, Professor
Department of English
CSU Fresno

William Harrison, Professor Emeritus
CSU Northridge

Mahamood M. Hassan, Professor
Department of Accounting
CSU Fullerton

Wael M. Abu Hassan, Assistant Professor
Health Sciences
Arab American University, Jenin, Palestine
Guest Scholar, CSU Northridge

Harry Hellenbrand, Provost

CSU Northridge

Mahmood Ibrahim, Professor
Graduate Coordinator and Adviser
Department of History
Cal Poly Pomona

Randa Jarrar, Assistant Professor
Department of English
MFA program in Creative Writing
CSU Fresno

Robert L. Karen, Professor Emeritus
Department of Psychology
San Diego State University

Sang Hea Kil, Assistant Professor
Justice Studies Internship Coordinator
Department of Justice Studies
San José State University

Dennis Kortheuer
History Department
CSU Long Beach

Rose Marie Kuhn, Ph.D.
Professor of French
CSU Fresno

J William Leasure, Professor Emeritus
San Diego State University

Paul Lee, Professor
Department of Physics & Astronomy
CSU Northridge

Jane L. Lehr, Assistant Professor
Ethnic Studies Department
Women’s & Gender Studies Department
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Cecile Leneman, Professor Emerita
Creative Writing
San Diego State University

Ronald Lopez, Assistant Professor
Chicano and Latino Studies
Sonoma State University

Rick Luttmann, Professor
Department of Mathematics
Sonoma State University

Sheena Malhotra, Professor and Chair
Gender and Women’s Studies
CSU Northridge

Afshin Matin-Asgari, Professor
Department of History
CSU Los Angeles

Gina Masequesmay, Professor
Asian American Studies Department
CSU Northridge

Robert McNamara, Professor
Department of Political Science
Sonoma State University

Markar Melkonian, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy
CSU Northridge

Ahlam Muhtaseb, Associate Professor
Department of Communication Studies
CSU San Bernardino

Jamal Nassar, Dean
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
CSU San Bernardino

Jesús Nieto, Associate Professor
College of Education
San Diego State University

Tae Oh, Professor and Chair
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
CSU Northridge

Joel J. Orth, Ph.D.
Credential and Minor Advisor
History Department
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Sirena Pellarolo, Professor
Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
CSU Northridge

Peter Phillips, Professor
Department of Sociology
Sonoma State University
President, Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

Edie Pistolesi, Professor
Department of Art
CSU Northridge

Mike Powelson, Instructor
Department of History
CSU Channel Islands

James Quesada, Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
San Francisco State University

Radha Ranganathan, Professor
Department of Physics & Astronomy
CSU Northridge

Kasturi Ray, Assistant Professor
Department of Women and Gender Studies
Co-Director, South Asian Studies Program
San Francisco State University

Jerry Rosen, Professor
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Mary Rosen, Professor
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi, Assistant Professor
Department of History
CSU Fullerton

Ken Sakatani, Professor and Chair
Department of Art
CSU Northridge

Judy D. Saltzman, Professor Emerita
Philosophy Department
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Vida Samiian, Dean
College of Arts and Humanities
CSU Fresno

Elizabeth Say, Dean
College of Humanities
CSU Northridge

Rebecca Say
Administrative Support Assistant II
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Evalyn F. Segal, Professor Emerita
San Diego State University

Bharath Sethuraman, Professor
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Ali Shaban, Professor
Electrical Engineering Department
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Kathryn Sorrells, Professor
Department of Communication Studies
CSU Northridge

Jerry Stinner, Dean
College of Science and Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Stella Theodoulou, Dean
College of Social and Bavioral Sciences
CSU Northridge

John Thompson, Professor
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Victor Valle, Professor Emeritus
Ethnic Studies
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Ericka Verba, Associate Professor
History Department
CSU Dominguez Hills

Calvin Wilvert, Professor Emeritus
Department of Social Sciences
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Terry Winant, Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
CSU Fresno

Erica Wohldmann, Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
CSU Northridge

Nan Towle Yamane, Lecturer and Advisor
Department of History
CSU Northridge

CSU Student Endorsements (Current and Alumni)

Hana Abed, Students for Justice in Palestine, CSU Northridge

Safeh Abed, CSU Northridge

Breanne Acio, CSU Northridge

Malek Al-marayati, President, Muslim Student Association, CSU Northridge

Edy Alvarez, President, CSUN Greens, CSU Northridge

Issa Araj, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Stella Atiya, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 2007

Brian Baker, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 2008

Heather Dean Balsavage , Occupy CSUN, CSU Northridge

Zachariah Barghouti, General Union of Palestine Students, Palestinian Youth Movement, San Francisco State University

Patricia Belt, Occupy CSUN, CSU Northridge

Zahra Billoo, CSU Long Beach, class of 2006

Jason Bornstein, Occupy CSUN, CSU Northridge

Christopher Bowers, President, Campus Allies for Racial Responsibility, Sonoma State University

Rachael Byrne, Department of Women and Gender Studies, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) Campus Network Coordinating Committee, San Francisco State University

Humza Chowdhry, M.S., P.E. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo class of 2006

Nicholas E. Dibs, CSU Long Beach class of 1991, 1992 (Teaching Credential)

Blake Dieda, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 2010

Joseph Glatzer, CSU Northridge, class of 2010

Eugene Hernandez, CSU Northridge, class of 1974

Berl Jay Hubbell, CSU Fresno, class of 1968.

Sana Ibrahim, CSU San Bernardino, class of 2009

Mona Kadah, CSU San Marcos, class of 2004

Temba Kamara, San Francisco State University

Ara Kim, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 2010

Naiyerah Kolkailah, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 2008

Yael Korin, M.S. from CSU Dominguez Hills, class of 1994

Amr Mabrouk, President, Muslim Student Association, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Zaki Mansoory, CSU Northridge

Karim Maraqa, San Diego State University

Omar Masood, Muslim Student Association, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Marcello Mundo Jr, founder of Students for Justice in Palestine at CSU San Marcos

Zuhdi Nadia, Students for Justice in Palestine, CSU Northridge

Sara Nasrallah, President, Students for Justice in Palestine, CSU Northridge

Ankur Patel, Occupy CSUN, CSU Northridge

Sarkis Peha, former president of Students for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 2010

Lee Perkins, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 1994, and retired staff member 2003

Rosalie Platzer, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 2011

Aida Porteneuve, CSULB classes of 1982 and 1990, and retired staff member 1990

Lorain Rihan, Students for Justice in Palestine, San Diego State University

Jasmine Roashan, Students for Justice in Palestine, San Diego State University

Daleen Saah, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (currently Columbia University), class of 2008

Nada Saeed, CSU Fresno

Marlon Stern, CSU Northridge, class of 2009

Nabil Wahbeh, CSU Hayward, MBA class of 1981

Darlene Wallach, CSU Chico, class of 1973

Donna Wallach, CSU Sacramento, class of 1974

Kathleen O’Connor Wang, CSU Fullerton, class of 1975

Clayton Whitt, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, class of 2004

Jeff Woodruff, Occupy CSUN, CSU Northridge


[1] Travel Warning,
U.S. Department Of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

[2] Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Country Specific Information, Travel.State.Gov: A service of the Bureau of Consular Affairs: U.S. Department of State

[3] Item 3 from the minutes of the Academic and Fiscal Affairs Committee, October 20-21, 2011.

[4] See for example:
Jimmy Carter: Israel’s ‘apartheid’ policies worse than South Africa’s, Haaretz, November 12, 2006
Tutu condemns Israeli ‘apartheid’ BBC News, Monday, 29 April, 2002
Nelson Mandela’s Memo to Thomas Friedman, March 28, 2001
Stand Up to Israeli Apartheid, Letter to President Obama from Mairead Maguire, May 1, 2009

[5] Richard Falk, General Assembly: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, August 30, 2010
Human Rights Watch, 2010 Report: Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Crime of Apartheid, Wikipedia:

[6] Richard Falk endorsed and expressed support of this open letter.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Comments Off on Open Letter to CSU Chancellor Regarding the CSU-Israel Study Abroad Program

The Right to Anonymity is a Matter of Privacy

By Jillian C. York | EFF | January 28, 2012

This January 28 marks International Privacy Day. Different countries around the world are celebrating this day with their own events.

Throughout history, there have been a number of reasons why individuals have taken to writing or producing art under a pseudonym. In the 18th century, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay took on the pseudonym Publius to publish The Federalist Papers. In 19th century England, pseudonyms allowed women–like the Brontë sisters, who initially published under Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell–to be taken seriously as writers.

Today, pseudonyms continue to serve a range of individuals, and for a variety of reasons. At EFF, we view anonymity as both a matter of free speech and privacy, but in light of International Privacy Day, January 28, this piece will focus mainly on the latter, looking at the ways in which the right to anonymity–or pseudonymity–is truly a matter of privacy.

Privacy from employers

Human beings are complex creatures with multiple interests. As such, many professionals use pseudonyms online to keep their employment separate from their personal life. One example of this is the Guardian columnist GrrlScientist who, upon discovering her Google+ account had been deleted for violating their “common name” policy, penned a piece explaining her need for privacy. Another example is prominent Moroccan blogger Hisham Khribchi, who has explained his use of a pseudonym, stating:

When I first started blogging I wanted my identity to remain secret because I didn’t want my online activity to interfere with my professional life. I wanted to keep both as separate as possible. I also wanted to use a fake name because I wrote about politics and I was critical of my own government. A pseudonym would shield me and my family from personal attacks. I wanted to have a comfortable space to express myself freely without having to worry about the police when I visit my family back in Morocco.

Though Khribchi’s reasoning is two-fold, his primary concern–even stronger than his need for protection from his government–was keeping his online life separate from his employment.

Privacy from the political scene

In 2008, an Alaskan blogger known as “Alaska Muckraker” (or AKM) rose to fame for her vocal criticism of fellow Alaskan and then-McCain-running-mate Sarah Palin. Later, after inveighing against a rude email sent to constituents by Alaska State Representative Mike Doogan, AKM was outed–by Doogan–who wrote that his “own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name.”

AKM, a blogger decidedly committing an act of journalism, could have had any number of reasons to remain anonymous. As she later wrote:

I might be a state employee. I might not want my children to get grief at school. I might be fleeing from an ex-partner who was abusive and would rather he not know where I am. My family might not want to talk to me anymore. I might alienate my best friend. Maybe I don’t feel like having a brick thrown through my window. My spouse might work for the Palin administration. Maybe I’d just rather people not know where I live or where I work. Or none of those things may be true. None of my readers, nor Mike Doogan had any idea what my personal circumstances might be.

Though Doogan claimed that AKM gave up her right to anonymity when her blog began influencing public policy, he’s wrong. In the United States, the right to anonymity is protected by the First Amendment and must remain so, to ensure both the free expression and privacy rights of citizens.

Similarly, in 2009, Ed Whelans, a former official with the Department of Justice, outed anonymous blogger John Blevins–a professor at the South Texas College of Law–in the National Review, calling him “irresponsible”, and a “coward.” Blevins took the fall gracefully, later explaining why he had chosen to blog under a pseudonym. Like Khribchi, Blevins’ reasons were numerous: He feared losing tenure and legal clients, but he also feared putting the jobs of family members in the political space at risk.

Privacy from the public eye

A friend of mine–let’s call him Joe–is the sibling of a famous celebrity. But while he’s very proud of his sibling, Joe learned early on that not everyone has his best interests at heart. Therefore, Joe devised a pseudonym to use online in order to protect the privacy of himself and his family.

In Joe’s case, the threat is very real: celebrities are regularly stalked, their houses broken into. His pseudonym keeps him feeling “normal” in his online interactions, while simultaneously protecting his sibling and the rest of his family from invasions of privacy.

Achieving anonymity online

Anonymity and pseudonymity may seem increasingly difficult to achieve online. Not only do companies like Facebook restrict your right to use a pseudonym, but even when you do think you’re anonymous, you might not be–as blogger Rosemary Port found out in 2009 after Google turned over her name in response to a court order.

While we should continue to fight for our privacy under the law, the best thing we can do as users to who value our right to anonymity is to use tools like Tor. Anonymous bloggers can use Global Voices Advocacy’s online guide to blogging anonymously with WordPress and Tor. And all Internet users should educate themselves about what is–and isn’t–private on their online accounts and profiles.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Comments Off on The Right to Anonymity is a Matter of Privacy

Only 127 US academics (many retired) sign to oppose study in Israel programs

Rehmat’s World | January 28, 2012

Under pressure from pro-Israel Jewish groups – California State University, Northridge (CSUN) has reinstated its three Israel Study Abroad programs at Haifa University, Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University in Israel. The programs were halted in 2002, with three students enrolled in the program, when the US State Department issued a travel warning. Now, the CSUN management is convinced that Israel is a safe place even though Benji Netanyahu government claims that Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran are planing to “wipe Israel off the map.”

The University Chancellor Charles Reed ignored the opposition by 127 US academics to reinstating the program was led by California  State Northridge professor David Klein, many from CSUN. One of the signatories, Long Beach Professor Emerita Sherna Gluck says: “I cannot support cooperation with Israeli universities and certainly cannot endorse our CSU students attending these institutions any more than I supported exchanges with South African apartheid universities.”

In late 2009, 389 signatories endorsed a letter to UC Davis Provost William Lacy protesting the system-wise reinstatement on the grounds that the program would be inherently discriminatory Muslims and Arab students.

The Campus Watch, a Philadelphia-based, Israel Hasbara (propaganda in Hebrew) website, has long been campaigning against Dr. David Klein for his criticism of Israel’s Zionazi policies. The website is run by the Middle East Forum, to monitor US college campuses for academic pro-Palestinian bias and happenings. It publishes dossiers on professors, as well as some examples of their writings.

The Campus Watch encourages students to snitch on their professors. It has a whole section dedicated to student reports. The Campus Watch is essentially forming a paramilitary thought police, a private TIPS program for pro-Israeli advocates.

Dr. Klein is also accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ by organizations such as ‘Never Again Canada’ and ‘AMCHA’ who seek to impose their pro-Israel, pro-Zionist politics upon the California State University. There is no content on his website that could even arguably be labeled ‘anti-Semitic’ without the offensive conflation of Jews and Jewishness with the State of Israel, its government, and its motivating ideology, Zionism. This is not the first occasion of organized pro-Israel lobbies and groups targeting faculty and students for their advocacy for Palestine. From battles over tenure faced by extraordinarily qualified Palestinian professors to unjust firings or demotions of faculty who have spoken in support of Palestine, efforts to intimidate professors are increasing.

Dr. David Klein, a renowned Jewish professor of Mathematics, is listed at the “Self-Hating Israel-Threatening (S.H.I.T)” Jewish list where he is credited for saying:

“Israel is the most racist state in the world at this time. Support for Israel must stop. In pursuit of a Zionist agenda, Israel has followed a 60-year program of ethnic cleansing, including expulsion of the Palestinian population, military occupation, and mass murder. The attack of Gaza is only the latest in a long history of crimes against humanity. Israel avoids peace because peace interferes with territorial expansion and ethnic cleaning”.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Comments Off on Only 127 US academics (many retired) sign to oppose study in Israel programs

US to send ‘mothership’ to Middle East

Press TV – January 28, 2012

The US military plans to deploy a large floating base, unofficially dubbed the “mothership,” for commando teams to the Middle East amid recent developments in the region.

The Navy is converting an aging warship it had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos in response to requests from the US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

The floating base could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by the United States Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs.

Lieutenant Commander Mike Kafka, a spokesman for the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command, declined to elaborate on the floating base’s purpose or to say where exactly it will be deployed in the Middle East.

There are indications that the Pentagon will send the vessel to the region by early summer, and Navy documents show that it could be headed to the Persian Gulf.

The deployment of the floating base to the Middle East marks a return to maritime missions for SEAL teams, who have been engaged in ground operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past decade.

The US Navy had earlier planned to retire the amphibious assault ship USS Ponce and decommission it in March 2012 after 41 years of service. The warship was sent to the Mediterranean Sea last year to provide military support to NATO air strikes on Libya.

The USS Ponce will be instead transformed into what the US military calls an Afloat Forward Staging Base.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Washington Wages War of Sanctions against Iran

By Ismail Salami | | January 27, 2012

Washington’s double-edged sword of policies towards the Islamic Republic is not only exhausting the patience of the Iranian nation but it is provoking the ire of international conscience as well.

Goaded by Washington, EU foreign ministers decided on January 23 to impose a ban on oil imports from Iran under the fickle excuse that the country is pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

In a recent stance, Iran has threatened that it would never let a situation prevail where regional states could sell their oil while Iran couldn’t. Ali Akbar Velayati, senior adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has said, “When there is an absence of Iranian supply, oil prices will soar up dramatically and the western countries are well aware of this fact; However, Iran will never allow itself to land in a situation in which it cannot sell oil but other regional states can.”

It hardly needs saying that such a firm stance on the part of Iran has been given considerable thought and that the European Union should be prepared to face the consequences of their irrationality and blind servitude to Washington.

Earlier Iran had warned that it would close the Strait of Hormuz, a move which, as the IMF has said, “could trigger a much larger price spike including by limiting offsetting supplies from other producers in the region.”

The sanctions on Iran oil, which will be effective in July, will surely have drastic repercussions for the European Union as Iran is mulling banning the sale of oil to Europe, a proactive move which will salvage the country’s economy on the one hand and will also lead to a drastic hike in oil prices on the other.

Undoubtedly, the EU decision to impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports is, as Velayati has said, “a political maneuver,” and that “Iran doesn’t need any favor from any country to sell its oil, because global demand is always there.”

In the long run, Western oil firms and consumers may “emerge the biggest losers.” The IMF has predicted that crude oil prices could rise up to 30 percent namely to over USD 140 per barrel if Iran ever decided to retaliate by halting its oil exports altogether. Saudi Arabia has vowed to fill the gap.

But what if Saudi Arabia is bluffing? What if she cannot make up for the supply deficiency?

At all events, oil is fungible and Iran will easily find its own customers in Asian markets.

Europe has seen better days and now is not surely the best time for the imposition of sanctions on Iran’s oil as they will suffer most. For some European countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece, it will not be really easy to participate in the ban on Iran oil as they largely rely on Iran imports. As for Greece which is receiving oil from Iran on credit, it will be an utterly wrong decision to join other European countries which have secret plans to disintegrate the country.

Much to the chagrin of Washington and the Zionist regime, a number of countries such as China, India, Russia, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea have already refused to abide by the new measures. Russia has slammed the new package of sanctions and in a tough-worded statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the EU move as “deeply erroneous.”

“Under such kind of pressure Iran will make no concessions and no correction of its policy,” it said. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that there was nothing to prove that Iran was trying to build an atomic weapon.

Russia has also warned the West against a US-led invasion of Iran, saying that this would incur a chain reaction and that the catastrophic consequences will affect the entire region.

It is manifest that Iran will do without the EU and will find its customers elsewhere in Asian markets. In other words, Iran will not lose in the passive war of sanctions engineered by Washington.

Indeed, sanctions are to be seen as part of Washington’s policy of coercion to break the back of the Iranian government and bring the nation to its knees. However, it should be noted that Iran has been mercilessly under severe sanctions for over 30 years and that it has turned the sanctions into opportunities to attain self-sufficiency and stand on its feet again. The entire gamut of the sanctions designed and spurred by the US and now followed by the EU is also tailored to suit the interests of Israel, the archenemy of Iran and thus the bosom buddy of Washington.

Ever since its inception, the Islamic Republic has been the target of Washington’s inveterate animosity.

In his book Spider’s Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq (1993), Alan Friedman reveals how the US government aided the regime of the executed dictator Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran. Ironically, the once good pal of the United States suddenly turned into a parasite to be eliminated from the face of the earth. According to Friedman, Washington generously doled out its assistance in various forms to Iraq including billions of dollars worth of economic aid, the sale of dual-use technology, non-US arms, military intelligence, Special Operations training, and active participation in war against Iran. An Atlanta branch of Italy’s largest bank, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro funneled over USD 5 billion to Iraq from 1985 to 1989. This piece of information had been concealed by the CIA.

An appalling report revealed that the US government provided Saddam’s regime with chemical weapons. Released on May 25, 1994 by the US Senate Banking Committee, the report detailed the export of pathogenic (‘disease producing’), toxigenic (‘poisonous’), and other biological materials to Iraq after licensing by the US Department of Commerce. The report revealed 70 shipments (including Bacillus anthracis) from the US to Iraq over a span of three years.

The Iraqi regime used the chemical weapons provided by the US against the Iranian combatants and civilians, thus leaving them in a life-in-death situation. Around 100,000 Iranians were affected by nerve and mustard gases, and around one in 10 died before receiving any medical treatment. About five to six thousand are still under medical treatment, of whom around a thousand are critically ill.

The Iranian chemical victims are still dying on a daily basis.

So, Washington’s enmity towards the Islamic Republic goes far beyond its peaceful nuclear program which has constantly been used as a political leverage to stunt the economic and political growth of an anti-imperialism state and prevent the emergence of a Muslim superpower.

The depiction of Iran as a nuclear nightmare and as a global threat is only a saga manufactured by Washington in order to smother a voice so overpoweringly critical of the myriad morbid policies of a government whose American dream is dead and gone.


 Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian writer, Middle East expert, Iranologist and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his articles have been translated into a number of languages.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

We Have Every Right to Be Furious About ACTA

By Maira Sutton and Parker Higgins | EFF | January 27, 2012

If there’s one thing that encapsulates what’s wrong with the way government functions today, ACTA is it. You wouldn’t know it from the name, but the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a plurilateral agreement designed to broaden and extend existing intellectual property (IP) enforcement laws to the Internet. While it was only negotiated between a few countries,1 it has global consequences. First because it will create new rules for the Internet, and second, because its standards will be applied to other countries through the U.S.’s annual Special 301 process. Negotiated in secret, ACTA bypassed checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens. Worse still, the agreement creates a new global institution, an “ACTA Committee” to oversee its implementation and interpretation that will be made up of unelected members with no legal obligation to be transparent in their proceedings. Both in substance and in process, ACTA embodies an outdated top-down, arbitrary approach to government that is out of step with modern notions of participatory democracy.

The EU and 22 of its 27 member states signed ACTA yesterday in Tokyo. This news is neither momentous nor surprising. This is but the latest step in more than three years of non-transparent negotiations. In December, the Council of the European Union—one of the European Union’s two legislative bodies, composed of executives from the 27 EU member states—adopted ACTA during a completely unrelated meeting on agriculture and fisheries. Of course, this is not the end of the story in the EU. For ACTA to be adopted as EU law, the European Parliament has to vote on whether to accept or reject it.

In the U.S., there are growing concerns about the constitutionality of negotiating ACTA as a “sole executive agreement”.  This is not just a semantic argument. If ACTA were categorized as a treaty, it would have to be ratified by the Senate. But the USTR and the Administration have consistently maintained that ACTA is a sole executive agreement negotiated under the President’s power. On that theory, it does not need Congressional approval and thus ACTA already became binding on the US government when Ambassador Ron Kirk signed it last October.

But leading US Constitutional Scholars disagree. Professors Jack Goldsmith and Larry Lessig, questioned the Constitutionality of the executive agreement classification in 2010:

The president has no independent constitutional authority over intellectual property or communications policy, and there is no long historical practice of making sole executive agreements in this area. To the contrary, the Constitution gives primary authority over these matters to Congress, which is charged with making laws that regulate foreign commerce and intellectual property.2

(And by the way, we agree [pdf].)

Senator Ron Wyden has been asking these questions for years, first demanding an explanation from USTR ambassador Ron Kirk, President Obama, and now the administration’s top international law expert Harold Koh. The distinction between executive agreement and treaty should not be lost on this administration: as a Senator, Vice President Joe Biden used the same argument to require the Bush administration to seek Senate approval for an arms reduction agreement.

Public interest groups and informed politicians have long lamented these problems with ACTA. But the impact of dubious backroom law-drafting is getting fresh attention in light of the powerful global opposition movement that has emerged out of last week’s Internet blackout protests. Activists and netizens all around the world have woken up to the dangers of overbroad enforcement law proposals drafted by monopoly industry lobbyists, and rushed into law through strategic lobbying by the same corporate interests that backed SOPA and PIPA. Tens of thousands are protesting in the streets in Poland as their ambassador signed the agreement in Tokyo. The EU Parliament’s website and others have come under attack for their involvement in these laws. The Member of the European Parliament who was appointed to be the rapporteur for ACTA in the European Parliament, Kader Arif, quit yesterday in protest. In a statement he said:

I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly…

…This agreement might have major consequences on citizens’ lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. ACTA may have been signed by public officials, but it’s crystal clear that they are not representing the public interest.

It is now up to the collective will of the public to decide what to do next, and for individuals to ask themselves what they want their government to look like. Do you believe in democracy? Do you believe that laws should be made to reflect our collective best interests, formulated through an open transparent process? One that allows everyone, from experts to civil society members, to analyze, question and probe an agreement that will lead to laws that will impact potentially billions of lives? If we don’t do anything now, this agreement is going to crawl itself into power. With the future at stake like this, it’s never too late to fight.


If you live in Europe, follow these links to learn how you can take immediate action and stay informed on the latest updates:

La Quadrature du Net (@laquadrature): How to Act Against ACTA

European Digital Rights (@EDRi_org): Stop ACTA!

Open Rights Group (@OpenRightsGroup): ACTA: signed, not yet sealed – now it’s up to us

Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (@FFII): ACTA Blog

For those in the U.S., you can demonstrate your opposition to the dubious decision to negotiate ACTA as a sole executive agreement to bypass proper congressional review by signing this petition on the website, demanding the Administration submit ACTA to the Senate for approval.

EFF will continue to monitor ACTA’s global implementation and watch for efforts to use ACTA to broaden US enforcement powers.

  • 1. United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea
  • 2. (See also here [pdf] and here).

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Comments Off on We Have Every Right to Be Furious About ACTA

Humanitarian organization says Israel must remove West Bank landmines

Ma’an – 28/01/2012

BETHLEHEM – The founder of humanitarian organization Roots of Peace said Friday that the group has demanded that Israel work to remove landmines from the Palestinian territories.

Heidi Kühn told Voice of Palestine radio that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government would help to remove mines in the West Bank if the organization assisted with mine removal within Israel. […]

Around 1.5 million landmines and unexploded ordinances prevent access to more than 50,000 acres of productive land in Israel, the West Bank and the Jordan River valley, Roots of Peace says.

The Israeli-Jordanian border areas and the Jordan Valley are still heavily land-mined, together with areas of the Golan Heights and the northern West Bank.

The mines no longer serve any military purpose.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Comments Off on Humanitarian organization says Israel must remove West Bank landmines

Minister of Detainees Calls for Boycott of Military Courts

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | January 26, 2012

Palestinian Minister of Detainees in the West Bank, Issa Qaraqe’, called for the boycotting of all Israeli military courts for their repeated rulings that confine thousands of detainees under administrative orders without filing any official indictments against them.

His statements came during a visit to the family of detainee, Ahmad Nabhan Saqer, aged 47, at the Askar refugee camp, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Saqer has been imprisoned under administrative detention for over three years, since he was abducted in November 2008, and Israeli military courts have repeatedly issued administrative detention orders against him, without filing any formal charges.

Saqer was arrested three times before, and has spent a total of twelve years and counting, behind bars.

The Palestinian Minister said that administrative detention is an illegal and unconstitutional form of imprisonment, as military courts do not have to file charges or reveal the cause of arrest.

Detainees held under administrative detention do not know for sure when, or if, they will be released, as Israel often continues to renew these orders without any prior notice. In some isolated cases, the detainees have been told that they will be released, taken to the main prison gate, and are then informed that a new order was issued against them, usually for three or six months each time.

Qaraqe’ voiced an appeal to human rights groups to apply pressure on Israel and oblige it to end its administrative detention laws as they are arbitrary, unconstitutional, and violate International Law.

He said that all military courts must be boycotted as they base their rulings on “secret files” that even defense attorneys do not have access to.

The wife of Saqer stated that the extended imprisonment of her husband, and the uncertainty of when or if he will be released, directly impacts the family, particularly his children who can’t know for sure when their father will be able to return home.

On January 20, 2012, Saqer declared that he will be boycotting military courts, and stated that appearing in front of military courts and judges provides them with the legitimacy they do not have.

There are 280 Palestinians who are currently imprisoned under administrative detention orders; Israel has issued more than 20,000 administrative detention orders since the year 2000. These orders have also been issued against children and elected legislators.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Comments Off on Minister of Detainees Calls for Boycott of Military Courts