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Two Palestinians arrested as Israeli settlers forcefully enter their property

28 May 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

On Friday, May 25, illegal Israeli settlers drove into the village Lubban ash-Sharqiya where they attempted to forcefully enter a family’s home. When Israeli soldiers and policemen arrived at the scene they joined the settlers, supporting’ them whilst they tried to enter the house.

Men of the Palestinian family, together with International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteers and other internationals, stood at the gate of the house to prevent the settlers from entering. The father of the household, Khaled Daraghmeh, and his son were then beaten and arrested.

Lubban ash-Sharqiya is a village located some 30 kilometres south of Nablus, adjacent to Route-60, the primary north-south road that runs through the occupied West Bank. The village is surrounded from all directions by 3 illegal settlements: Eli, Shilo, and Ma’le Levona. The illegality of these Israeli colonies has been confirmed by the International Court of Justice and the United Nations Security Council.

On the outskirts of Lubban ash-Sharqiya, near the colony Ma’le Levona, Khaled Daraghmeh lives with his family. Khaled, like many other Palestinian villagers, works as a farmer and is dependent on what the harvest provides him. Living next to Israeli settlements is not an easy fate for Palestinians and Khaled has suffered a lot.

“It began to get really bad about five years ago. That was when the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) demolished my first house.” says Khaled.

After his first house was demolished, Khaled moved to his father’s old house just across the road. The peace he sought there did not last long. Only a couple months later, settlers attacked and burned down the entire building. Khaled was then forced to move to a third house, an ancient Ottoman building that also belongs to his father. Here the family lived in one part of the house, using the remaining space as a poultry farm.

The settlers have made it clear, however, that they are determined to get rid of Palestinians in the area. Last Saturday, some 50 settlers forcefully entered the house, removed all the furniture, and burned it. They also poisoned the drinking water of the poultry farm, leading to the death of most of the animals inside.

Now Khaled is frightened of life in his own home. He welded the door to the living area and moved into a small, dark room, where he used to keep animals.

“In the past, I was able to repair or rebuild what the settlers destroyed, but now I have used up all my savings,” says Khaled.

The harassment continues til today. As Khaled worked his land, a settler car stopped at the road and began making phone calls. He feared a new attack and called the ISM, seeking their immediate presence. Upon their arrival, the settlers had already left and everything appeared calm. Later, while the group of Palestinians and internationals sat together having lunch, approximately 20 settlers of all ages arrived and started walking towards the Ottoman house.

Palestinians from the area, accompanied by the ISM, approached the settlers and asked them what they were doing here. They replied that the land was ‘community property’ and that they had the right to be there. Khaled, who owns the land and has all the needed documents to prove it, replied by saying that this is his land, and that he wanted them to leave.

While the discussion continued, an Israeli military jeep with 6 soldiers arrived and began to split up the crowd. A policeman told the settlers that they could not enter the house as it belongs to Khaled and his family. The settlers grew upset with the policeman and screamed that he was a coward and afraid of the internationals and their cameras.

A discussion in Hebrew took place between them and meanwhile another police car arrived and 2 other policemen joined the crowd. After a couple of minutes of heated dialogue, the 3 policemen, the 6 soldiers, and the illegal settlers walked towards the house while the settlers screamed, “you see, you see, now we can enter!”

Jamal Daraghmeh is peppersprayed and loses his shoe in the violent arrest | Katarina Reigo

The Palestinians together with the internationals formed a line at the gate of the house to prevent the approaching group from illegally entering the house. Khaled was wrestled to the ground and beaten by soldiers and police men, even after being handcuffed. When Jamal, Khaled’s 21 year old son, saw his father beaten and attacked, he ran over to try to help. When he reached, the soldiers and policemen attacked Jamal in the same way they did his father.

Khaled’s 17 year old son, Jalad, then tried to help them and was instead attacked by the settlers and pushed away by the soldiers.

As the policemen walked away with the handcuffed men, they struck Jamal in the head a couple of times. The youngest son, Mu’min, 14, was filming the attacks on his brother and father when the policemen tried to kick him in the head. The boot missed him only by a few centimetres. Then policeman pulled the camera out of the teenager’s hands and stole it.

Only moments later, Jamal was pepper sprayed in the face before they forced him into the police vehicle. Khaled was then pushed into the jeep with bleeding hands from the brutal handcuffing.

“This has become normal to us. My father has been arrested 4 times recently and my brothers is beaten up all the time. Mu’min can not even walk to school without the settlers attacking him,” says Jalad.

To survive as a Palestinian living adjacent to these illegal settlements, can, with the assistance of the Israeli Occupation Forces, feel like a losing game. Only last year, 250 to 270 of Khaled’s olive trees were uprooted by settlers. Last week, an entire field of cucumbers was destroyed along with the irrigation system of the family’s land.

These attacks have pushed the Daraghmeh family into the desperate situation they are now in. After being forced to start over again and again, they have no money left. They can not repair the things that are destroyed, leading to a bad harvest, and less income.

Simultaneously, the Israeli state has offered Khaled 5 million shekels (1 million Euros) for his land. But as many other Palestinians, he is rejecting the money, and the resulting ethnic cleansing, and will continue to live and work on his land even if it means sleeping in a small, dark room with no electricity or running water.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

American Imperial System of Peace and Freedom

By Kamalakar Duvvuru | Dissident Voice | May 28th, 2012

The American empire is often ideologically dressed up in imagery that borrowed heavily from the Roman representations of imperial power. America, conceived by its founders as an empire in-the-making, has always dreamed of succeeding Rome. Charles Krauthammer wrote in February 2001 in Time magazine, “America is no mere international citizen. It is the dominant power in the world, more dominant than any since Rome.”

Interestingly, in the summer of 2002, the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA) published an eighty-five page monograph called “Military Advantage in History.”1 It examines four empires to draw lessons about how the US “should think about maintaining military advantage in the 21st century.” The monograph “provides a window into a mindset that envisions the US” as a successor to imperial powers. One of the empires studied is the Roman empire. The study cites the Roman experience as a precedent for America’s long-term dominance:

The Roman model suggests that it is possible for the United States to maintain its military advantage for centuries if it remains capable of transforming its forces before an opponent can develop counter-capabilities. Transformation coupled with strong strategic institutions is a powerful combination for an adversary to overcome.1

The American imperial power, like the Roman empire, is presented as not only benevolent, but also promoter and protector of peace and freedom in the world. The US claims that as God’s chosen country promotion and protection of peace and freedom in the world is its divinely mandated mission. This claim is reinforced by the corporate media with seductive symbols and slogans glorifying wars for peace and freedom and righteousness of waging them, and their soldiers as righteous warriors. The US violence and wars are promoted as liberating ones, furthering peace and freedom, and spreading the benefits of a “civilized world”. To protect its system of peace and freedom the US, just like Rome, has stationed troops all over the world. According to the Pentagon’s own 2005 official inventory, there are 737 American military bases in more than 130 countries, not including those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and over half a million US troops, spies, contractors, and others work in these military bases.2 However, considering the US bases in Iraq (likely over 100) and Afghanistan (80 and counting), among many other well-known and secretive bases, there are over 1000 military bases around the world.3

A. Exceptionalism and Expansionism: Hallmarks of the US

The public in the US believes in the myth of American exceptionalism, moral superiority and innate goodness, and of its divine mission to spread “light” to the world. It is clear from the founding of the Anglo-American colonies on the land of the Native Americans, and from the time that John Winthrop made his famous sermon and declared that “we shall be as a city upon a hill” that there has been a strong sense among the European invaders and their descendants that they are a special people with a providential mission to the world.

The claim of American exceptionalism or the “city upon a hill” (Biblical phrase for Jerusalem) mindset has been a pillar of American expansionism since its inception as a country. It was John Winthrop, who first used this phrase in defining the new settlement in North America as the “city upon a hill”. John Cotton, a Puritan preacher, used this phrase to embody the idea of American exceptionalism. Considering themselves as the chosen people of God and as reenacting the Biblical narratives of exodus and conquest, the European colonizers occupied the “promised land” through divinely sanctioned violence against the owners of the land. The Puritans of New England applied the biblical texts of Israel conquest of Canaan to their own situation, casting the Native American tribes as the Canaanites and Amalekites. In 1689, Cotton Mather urged the colonists to go forth against “Amalek annoying this Israel in the wilderness.”4 A few years later, Herbert Gibbs gave thanks for “the mercies of God in extirpating the enemies of Israel in Canaan.”4 He was referring to the European colonists as “Israel” and the Native Americans as “the enemies of Israel”. Similar rhetoric persisted in American Puritanism through the eighteenth century. Indeed biblical analogies continue to play a part in American political rhetoric down to the present. Ownership of the “promised land” is conferred by divine grant, and violence against the Native Americans is not only divinely sanctioned and legitimate, but also mandatory!

One of the pillars of the “city upon a hill” mindset is bipolarity: good and evil, where European invaders considered themselves good as God’s chosen people, and their enemies evil. That is why, Puritans saw the Native Americans as “brutes, devils” and “devil-worshippers” in a godless, howling wilderness filled with evil spirits and “dangerous wild beasts.”5 Native Americans were targeted for removal as the European invaders moved to occupy the “promised land.” God’s invaders “cleansed” the land by exterminating most of the Native Americans (about 18 millions) through “sacred” violence in 40 wars against the Indigenous peoples during 1622-1900 C.E.

The characterization of America as the “city upon a hill” has become part of American self-understanding and a basis of American expansionistic policies. The US has a virtuous and divine mission to the world, that is, the establishment of its form of peace and freedom by exterminating evil. This divine mission to further peace and freedom by eradicating evil in the world is a basic American impulse and justification for its violence. With this mindset Americans cast themselves against Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, entirely in terms of the binary: good versus evil. George W. Bush’s appeal to evil was dominant in his speeches to lay the groundwork for the invasion of Iraq. According to Bush, the purpose of his war was not only to bring peace and freedom, but also to end evil. It is this mission to end evil that justifies American genocidal violence. Its genocidal violence is a “sacred” violence or a “good” violence that will “cleanse” Iraq of evil and establish peace and freedom. Death and destruction are nothing but purification of the land. Bush launched his war in the name of God and considered the war as a zealous action of God’s chosen people. Just after the bombings of September 11, 2001, the US President referred briefly to his “global war on terror” as a “crusade.”6 On September 16, 2001, the BBC reported Bush had declared a “crusade” when the president remarked, “This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a long time.” With the ripples of outrage it created in the Muslim world, the apology duly came. However, five months later, the President repeated the word while addressing US troops in which he termed the war as “an incredibly important crusade to defend freedom.” George W Bush, who describes himself as a “born again Christian”, has been quoted by Bob Woodward in his book Plan of Attack describing himself as a “messenger of God” “doing the Lord’s will.”

Commenting on the eleventh and the twelfth century Crusades James Carroll says:

In the name of Jesus, and certain of God’s blessing, crusaders launched what might be called “shock and awe” attacks everywhere they went. In Jerusalem they savagely slaughtered Muslims and Jews alike — practically the whole city. Eventually, Latin crusaders would turn on Eastern Christians, and then on Christian heretics, as blood lust outran the initial “holy” impulse. That trail of violence scars the earth and human memory even to this day — especially in the places where the crusaders wreaked their havoc. And the mental map of the Crusades, with Jerusalem at the center of the earth, still defines world politics. But the main point, in relation to Bush’s instinctive response to 9/11, is that those religious invasions and wars of long ago established a cohesive Western identity precisely in opposition to Islam, an opposition that survives to this day.6

Characterization of the American “global war on terror” as a “crusade” has not only shaped and given meaning to American violence, but also granted divine legitimacy. So, the US “global war on terror” is a divinely inspired and mandated violence. It is “sacred” violence.

The American history is filled with its “sacred” missions in the world. One of them was to Philippines. William McKinley, then US President explained:

I went down on my knees and prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me: 1) That we could not give them [the Philippines] back to Spain — that would be cowardly and dishonorable; 2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany — our commercial rivals in the Orient — that would be bad business and discreditable; 3) that we could not leave them to themselves — they were unfit for self-government — and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was; and 4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly, and the next morning I sent for the … War Department map-maker, and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large wall map), and there they are, and there they will stay while I am President!7

The President described the combination of sadistic cruelty and starry-eyed self-adulation as a noble campaign to “uplift and civilize and Christianize” the Filipinos. “Civilizing” and “Christianizing” the Filipinos took longer than McKinley thought. This “noble” campaign brought out the brute in the soul of the US Christian crusaders. A frustrated US General ordered troops to kill every Filipino male over age ten. The righteous American Christian warriors succeeded in their campaign by overcoming local resistance forces through their overwhelming superiority in weapons and sheer ruthlessness. They slaughtered about half-a-million Filipinos within the next few years. The American media explained that it would take patience to overcome evil, and bring liberty and happiness to the Filipinos. One critical citizen satirized McKinley’s war: “G is for guns/ That McKinley has sent/ To teach Filipinos/ What Jesus Christ meant.”7

Therefore, the myth of American exceptional status before God and its divine mission to establish peace and freedom in the world has been instrumental in justification of the American violence around the world and its expansionist policies. This myth has also made it easier to garner public support as Americans are already predisposed to “sacred” violence and receptive to more of it.

  1. Justin Elliott, “Don’t Know Much about History,” in Mother Jones (August 4, 2008).
  2. Jules Dufour, “Review Article: The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases: The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel,” in Global Research (July 1, 2007).
  3. David Vine, “Too Many Overseas Bases,” (February 25, 2009).
  4. Roland H. Bainton, Christian Attitudes toward War and Peace: A Historical Survey and Critical Re-Evaluation (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1960), p. 168.
  5. William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison (New York: Modern Library, 1967), p. 270-271.
  6. James Carroll, “The Bush Crusade,” in The Nation, 279/8 (September 20, 2004).
  7. Quoted in Saul Landau, “Conversations with God about Invading Other Countries,” in Canadian Dimension, 39/1 (January/February, 2005).

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

McCain set to launch international think tank for interventionists

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | May 29, 2012

According to a report on, Sen. John McCain’s political legacy is set to be preserved with a high-profile new institute:

“The charge of the McCain Institute for International Leadership fits in perfectly with Arizona State University’s core mission of having a significant positive impact on the larger community, and we are grateful to Senator McCain for his support of this important university endeavor,” ASU President Michael Crow said in a written statement. “It will be guided by the values that have animated the career of Senator McCain — a commitment to sustaining America’s global leadership role, promoting freedom, democracy and human rights, as well as maintaining a strong, smart national defense.”

Sen. McCain, whose political career was a product of organized crime, deserves to be remembered for his longstanding service on Capitol Hill, especially for his supporting role to Sen. Joe Lieberman in promoting American involvement in wars for Israel.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , | Comments Off on McCain set to launch international think tank for interventionists

Sudan’s army denies using cluster munitions in South Kordofan

Sudan Tribune | May 27, 2012

KHARTOUM – The spokesperson of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad, has emphatically denied allegations of using cluster bombs in fighting against rebels of South Kordofan State.

Last week the London-based Independent newspaper published two photos of unexploded cluster bomb allegedly dropped by a Sudanese warplane on 15 April in Ongolo village in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan.

The pictures identified the bomb as “a Soviet-made RBK-500 cluster bomb containing AO-2.5 RT submunitions”

Cluster bombs are a type of explosive weapon which scatters sub-munitions or bomblets over an area. The use of cluster bombs is prohibited under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) which, since its adoption in May 2008, has been signed by 71 country states not including Sudan, China and the US.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a New York-based advocacy group, issued a statement urging Sudan to probe the discovery and join the CCM.

But according to Al-Sawarmi, SAF does not even have cluster bombs to use them in South Kordofan, where it has been battling rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North since June last year.

“Whether or not we end up joining the international treaty that bans cluster bombs, the fact remains that we never use them in our military operations and we don’t have them to begin with” he said in statements published by local newspapers on Sunday.

The rebels accuse SAF of continuous aerial bombardment and use of weapons prohibited under international laws.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , | Comments Off on Sudan’s army denies using cluster munitions in South Kordofan

BBC mistakenly [?] uses image of Iraq in Syrian massacre story

By Craig Silverman | Pointer. | May 28, 2012

A 2003 photo taken in Iraq was mistakenly used by the BBC website to illustrate a report about the recent massacre in Houla, Syria.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the image of a child jumping over body bags was removed from the story after the BBC realized its error. The photographer who took the shot is incredulous that the BBC could have confused his photo with recent events.

“I went home at 3am and I opened the BBC page, which had a front page story about what happened in Syria, and I almost felt off from my chair,” Marco di Lauro told the Telegraph. “One of my pictures from Iraq was used by the BBC web site as a front page illustration claiming that those were the bodies of yesterday’s massacre in Syria and that the picture was sent by an activist.”

The caption on the BBC image read, “This image – which cannot be independently verified – is believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial.” The credit line on the image said, “Photo From Activist.”

Di Lauro posted on Facebook Sunday about the use of his image, and included this screenshot of the BBC website:

He made this statement in a Facebook post, which has since been shared over 750 times:

Somebody is using illegaly one of my images for anti syrian propaganda on the BBC web site front page

Today Sunday May 27 at 0700 am London time the attached image which I took in Al Mussayyib in Iraq on March 27, 2003 (see caption below) was front page on BBC web site illustrating the massacre that happen in Houla the Syrian town and the caption and the web site was stating that the images was showing the bodies of all the people that have been killed in the massacre and that the image was received by the BBC by an unknown activist. Somebody is using my images as a propaganda against the Syrian government to prove the massacre.

After being contacted by the Telegraph, a BBC spokesperson provided a statement. It reads in part:

We were aware of this image being widely circulated on the internet in the early hours of this morning following the most recent atrocities in Syria …

Efforts were made overnight to track down the original source of the image and when it was established the picture was inaccurate we removed it immediately.

The BBC has a very good team working at its User Generated Content Hub. They focus on sourcing and verifying content that surfaces on social media, or is sent in by activists or unofficial sources. An image of this nature that came from an activist would first go through the UGC Hub for verification. That’s what the group exists to do.

My guess is the UGC team failed to properly vet the image, or the image went live to the site before the UGC Hub had a chance to do its work. I contacted sources at the BBC but have not yet heard a definitive account of what happened.


FJP Pro Tip:

A reverse image search could have flagged this photo in seconds. Where to do it? We use Google Image Search (instead of typing a search term in the text box select the camera icon which allows you to either enter the URL of an image or upload one) and Tineye (the process is the same).

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Comments Off on BBC mistakenly [?] uses image of Iraq in Syrian massacre story

Israeli Soldiers Invade Bil’in, Break Into Home Of Local Peace Activist

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC | May 28, 2012

Late on Sunday night Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Bil’in, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and attempted to kidnap a local peace activist, one of the organizers of nonviolent peaceful protests against the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and settlements in the area.

The Friends of Freedom and Justice Committee in Bil’in (FFJ) reported that resident Hosam Hamad, 33 years old, was not at home when soldiers invaded it. Instead, the soldiers handed his mother a warrant for his arrest.

The FFJ added that the army pushed journalists and cameramen away when they attempted to ask the soldiers why they were trying to take Hamad. They informed them that they were not allowed to document the invasion and did not provide any explanation for their actions.

Bil’in is known for its leading role in creative non-violent resistance against the Annexation Wall and settlements in the area. Peace activists from different parts of the world as well as Israeli activists participate in the weekly non-violent protests.

Israeli soldiers use excessive force against the protesters, and repeatedly kidnap local activists of the non-violent resistance. The army is responsible for hundreds of injuries and several deaths because of its use of force against the protesters.

In 2008, Ashraf Abu Rahma was detained during a nonviolent protest; he was cuffed and blindfolded before one soldier held him while another soldier shot him in the leg.

The shooting was caught on tape by a young Palestinian woman from Bil’in, and was handed to a number of human rights groups to expose the Israeli crime. The soldiers subsequently detained her father as an act of punishment.

Abu Rahma’s brother, Basem, and his sister, Jawaher, were killed by Israeli fire in different non-violent protests against the Wall and settlements.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of the EU’s High Representative, Catherine Ashton, said last Tuesday that the European Union defends the right of Palestinians to hold peaceful protests against illegal Israeli settlement construction on their land.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

African Immigrants in Tel Aviv Attacked by Racist Israeli Mobs

IMEMC | May 28, 2012

Beginning on Wednesday and continuing through Saturday night, mobs of right-wing Jewish Israelis have attacked the neighborhoods of African immigrants in the southern part of the city of Tel Aviv, throwing stones and bottles at residents and looting shops.

According to an eyewitness report by a volunteer with the Hotline for Migrant Workers in Israel, “[a]fter a dose of racial incitement from the Members of Knesset who addressed them, Miri Regev, Danny Danon, Yariv Levin and Michael Ben-Ari, a handful of the protesters went on to attack Africans and stores owned by them in the Hatikva neighborhood. I arrived in the neighborhood with a camera to document what had happened.”

The eyewitness, identified as Elisabeth Tsurkov, said, “I saw a policeman protecting a group of Eritrean refugees after one of the family members was attacked with a glass bottle while carrying his son, who as a result was dropped to the ground…I saw the blood of a Sudanese refugee on the pavement after he was stoned by a group of Israelis chasing him. I saw a shop owned by an Eritrean refugee, which was looted after its storefront was broken.”

The string of attacks comes in the midst of increasing incitement against the non-white Israeli population, including indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel and African immigrants into the country, by Israeli politicians and party leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently stated that the African immigrants, many of whom are refugees from war-torn regions, “threaten Israel’s social fabric”, and called for the implementation of policies that would refuse them services, deny them entry, and force the deportation of many who are living in Israel already.

In Tsurkov’s account of the events of the last few days, she wrote, “Some [of the Israeli attackers] called the refugees ‘cockroaches’, a woman said they should be killed and exterminated because non-Jews should not exist in the land of Israel, another of the residents said the refugees’ heads need to be cut like chickens, others simply thought ‘they should be deported back to Sudan.’ The hatred was also directed at the ‘leftists’ whom the residents blamed for the encroachment of refugees in their neighborhood.”

The Hotline for Migrant Workers called on the Israeli government to take responsibility for the situation of migrant workers in Israel, and allow for a legal process for refugees to be allowed to seek asylum in the Jewish state – a status which is currently denied to non-Jews.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel’s warmongering rhetoric against Iran threatens world peace: envoy

Teheran Times | May 27, 2012

TEHRAN – In a letter to the UN Security Council, the Iranian ambassador to the UN has said that the belligerent remarks made by Israeli officials against the Islamic Republic pose threat to world peace.

In the letter, which was addressed to Agshin Mehdiyev, Azerbaijan’s UN ambassador who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for May, Iran’s Ambassador Mohammad Khazaei vigorously condemned the recent belligerent remarks by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other Tel Aviv officials against Iran and called them “provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible.”

Barak said on May 22 that a military strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities is not out of the question.

Such remarks, which are clear breaches of the principles of the UN Charter and international law, stymie international efforts to promote world peace and security, Khazaei stated.

“Iran is a leading nation in rejecting and opposing all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. As a State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran has on many occasions, including in relevant international forums, officially declared that nuclear weapons as the most lethal and inhumane weapons have no place in the defense doctrine of the country. Furthermore, since 1974 Iran has spared no efforts in the realization of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East within the United Nations framework and the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conferences,” the letter said.

Iran has never started a war against any country and will never do so, nevertheless, the Islamic Republic, given its natural right as well as Article 51 of the UN Charter which provides for the right of countries to engage in self-defense against an armed attack – reserves the right to defend itself against any potential threat, Khazaei noted.

“It is ironic, however, that such inflammatory remarks and baseless allegations against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is uttered by officials of a regime that has an unparalleled record of crimes and atrocities amounting to crimes against humanity and its clandestine development and unlawful possession of nuclear weapons which is the unique threat to regional as well as international peace and security,” Khazaei concluded in the letter.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

The United Jewish Kingdom

By Gilad Atzmon | May 28, 2012

The Telegraph reported yesterday that “ministers have criticised Britain’s biggest exam board after pupils were asked to explain ‘why some people are prejudiced against Jews’ as part of a GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

Apparently more than 1,000 teenagers are believed to have sat the religious studies test papers, which challenged pupils to assess the reasons behind anti-Semitism.

The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, which set the exam, rightly said that the question acknowledged that “some people hold prejudices” – they probably expected the students to examine the reasons that lead to anti Jewish feelings rather than simply justifying them.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary who is notorious for his pro Israeli stand and his intimate relationships with the Jewish lobby, has managed to produce a particularly lame statement that should disqualify him from any holding any position related to education.

To suggest that anti-Semitism can ever be explained, rather than condemned, is insensitive and, frankly, bizarre,

Gove told The Jewish Chronicle.  The ‘education’ minister should actually accept that every social phenomenon or tendency should be subject to an academic scrutiny, scientific research and critical examination. The education minister should actually encourage critical thinking and freedom of thought, however, being one of the pillars of the CFI (conservative Friends of Israel) we shouldn’t really expect a drop of integrity from Minister Gove.

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the infamous ultra Zionist Board of Deputies of British Jews  (BOD), said:

Clearly this is unacceptable and has nothing whatsoever to do with Jews or Judaism.

Benjamin and the BOD have been pouring news about the ‘rise’ of anti-Semitism for years. One would wonder why are they now tormented by the attempt to question the reasoning behind the phenomenon that concerns them so much and for so long.

The exam board insisted that the question was part of a paper focusing on Judaism and the “relevant part of the syllabus covers prejudice and discrimination with reference to race, religion and the Jewish experience of persecution”.

But here comes the interesting bit. While the question is fully legitimate and deserves a thorough examination, one may wonder how would the exam board expect to mark some academically valid possible answers. For instance, how would a board’s examiner mark a young truth telling British student who may suggest that anti Jewish feelings could be realised as a direct reaction to the concerning facts that it was the Jewish Lobby led by Lord Levy that financed the Labour government that took us into an illegal War in Iraq? The student may argue that some people mistakenly identify Jews (as a collective) with the horrendous non-ethical acts of just a few Jews, this is where prejudice, plays its role.  Bearing in mind it was also Jewish chronicle writers such as David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen who were supporting this criminal act in the mainstream media, such an answer is coherent and consistent with the facts.  Another honest student may suggest that with 80% of the Tory MPs (including education minister Michael Gove ) being CFI  members there is a reason to believe that the British Government is under the control of a foreign power. Following the pressure of the CFI, the Tory government recently amended the British Universal Jurisdiction law just to allow Israel war criminal to visit the Kingdom. I guess that some students must be clever enough to notice that acts taken by British politicians who shamelessly attempt to appease their pro Israeli paymasters on the expense of British values and ethical consideration actually expose Jews in this country to some potential animosity. How would the exam board mark such a reasonable and critical young and innocent thinking?

It seems as if the exam board is not really prepared to tackle the issue seriously. Its representative told the Jewish Chronicle

we would expect [students to refer] to the Holocaust to illustrate prejudice based on irrational fear, ignorance and scapegoating.

In other words, the British education system admits here openly that it expects students to repeat textbook ready-made answers rather than thinking critically and thoroughly. Is it really ‘irrational’  to be tormented by the irritating idea that the vast majority  of your leading party MPs are friends of a non-ethical, racist and expansionist foreign power? Is it reasonable to wonder why Jewish Chronicle writers were over represented in some pro war advocacy? Is it really unreasonable for a young British student to ask why the American Jewish Lobby AIPAC is pushing for a war against Iran that can escalate into a nuclear conflict? Shouldn’t British students try to examine the relationships between the Jewish Lobby and the Jewish community? Shouldn’t Religious students try to examine the complex relationship between Jews, Judaism and Jewishness? Shouldn’t they look into the relationship between The Old Testament and IDF’s crimes against humanity? For sure they need do, this is actually the real meaning of education.  To educate is to teach how to learn said Martin Heidegger, but in Britain 2012 Education means to teach student how to answer the appropriate kosher answer.

As it happens the exam board reacted quickly and submissively to Jewish pressure. Its representative said

the board is obviously concerned that this question may have caused offence, as this was absolutely not our intention.

I guess that the exam board who were obviously subject to some relentless pressure may now be able to form their own answer to the question. They may grasp by now what is the root cause of ‘anti Jewish prejudice’ and it has nothing to do with the ‘holocaust’, ignorance’ or ‘irrationality’. It is actually the natural reaction to abuse of our most precious intellectual right, the freedom to think.

Another uniquely banal mind Rabbi David Meyer, the executive head of Hasmonean  High School, told the Telegraph that the question had “no place” in an exam.

The role of education is to remove prejudices and not to justify them,” he said.

It is pretty amusing or actually sad to find out that a Rabbi and an executive head of a Jewish school doesn’t know the difference between  ‘question’ and  ‘justification’. However, Rabbi Meyer, surely knows that Rabbinical and Talmudic education encourages debate and critical thinking. I wonder why Rabbi Meyer doesn’t approve the idea that a Goyim teenager should also learn how to think critically and even learn how to debate?

Seemingly, the Telegraph found only one single voice of reason in the entire kingdom.  Clive Lawton, formerly an A-level chief examiner for religious studies, said: “I do understand why people might react negatively to the question, but it is a legitimate one.”

If anyone including Michael Gove and the BOD want to prevent the rise of anti-Jewish feelings and prejudice in general they may want to look briefly in the mirror. It is their attitude that put Jews at a growing risk. As it happens, it is always Jewish power exercised by just a very few that introduces danger to the entire Jewish community and beyond.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is JINSA preparing for another Israeli-Egyptian war?

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | May 28, 2012

In a piece titled “A Toxic Brew in Sinai,” JINSA fellow Evelyn Gordon notes “how badly the security situation in Sinai has deteriorated” in a post-Arab Spring Egypt, and concludes:

With Syria in flames and the Iranian nuclear crisis rapidly approaching climax, the last thing the world needs is an Israeli-Egyptian war. But absent intensive international engagement, the Sinai tinderbox is liable to spark one.

An Israeli-Egyptian war may be the last thing the world — especially, an already troubled Egypt — needs, but it may be exactly what some Greater Israel advocates have long wanted. As Israeli strategist Oded Yinon argued back in 1982:

(Regaining) the Sinai peninsula with its present and potential resources is therefore a political priority which is obstructed by the Camp David and the peace agreements. […] and we will have to act in order to return the situation to the status quo which existed in Sinai prior to Sadat’s visit and the mistaken peace agreement signed with him in March 1979.

Yinon did not consider that this would prove too difficult to achieve:

Israel will not unilaterally break the treaty, neither today, nor in 1982, unless it is very hard pressed economically and politically and Egypt provides Israel with the excuse to take the Sinai back into our hands for the fourth time in our short history. What is left therefore, is the indirect option. The economic situation in Egypt, the nature of the regime and its pan-Arab policy, will bring about a situation after April 1982 in which Israel will be forced to act directly or indirectly in order to regain control over Sinai as a strategic, economic and energy reserve for the long run. Egypt does not constitute a military strategic problem due to its internal conflicts and it could be driven back to the post 1967 war situation in no more than one day.

Presumably today’s Israeli war-planners would be equally as confident of success.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Comments Off on Is JINSA preparing for another Israeli-Egyptian war?

Who’s Holding The Captured Lebanese?

By Wafiq Qanso | Al Akhbar | May 28, 2012

Conflicting reports dominated the story of the Lebanese pilgrims that were captured in Syria near the Turkish border. The event has transcended the captors and the abductees to become a foreign policy priority for many countries involved in the Middle Eastern crises.

The sequence of events surrounding the abduction of the Lebanese pilgrims last Tuesday in the vicinity of Aleppo, Syria goes as follows.

Lebanese Shia returning from a visit to religious sites in Iran were kidnapped by Syrian Sunnis fighting a regime that they view as allied to the hostages. The news reached Lebanon, which was seething with Syria-related tensions, from the “wars” in its north to the “conquests” of the Tariq al-Jdideh and Caracas neighborhoods of Beirut. Nothing could have been better designed to inflame passions and get the sectarian genie out of its bottle.

Shia in the southern suburbs of Beirut, South Lebanon and the Bekaa, took to and blocked streets, as Sunnis in the North, Beirut and the Bekaa had done the previous week. Some Syrian-owned shops in the suburbs were attacked, and some angry youths nabbed Syrian workers. Things could have developed further with tit-for-tat kidnappings or worse.

So the long-awaited Sunni-Shia fitna (strife) had finally arrived. The heat was turned up further by news from Iraq. The bombing of a busload of Lebanese Shia pilgrims killed three and injuring two.

This need not necessarily be what the kidnappers planned to begin with. But opportunities can be seized when they present themselves.

However, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah succeeded in averting an explosion. Shia supporters of Hezbollah and Amal heeded his call to come off the streets, as he promised to work on resolving the issue. Tempers cooled off a little, enabling a flurry of domestic and regional political contacts to be held.

Turkish intelligence then identified the location of the Lebanese pilgrims and their captors. The Turkish foreign ministry was informed that they “have the abductees.” Turkish chief diplomat Ahmet Davutoglu, eager for his country to regain the role of regional mediator, quickly made that public.

All of Lebanon – including its rival political camps – proceeded to voice its satisfaction, having earlier condemned the abduction. The country was swept by a wave of optimism and “love”. Al-Manar conveyed the greetings of the people of the southern suburbs to Sheikh Saad Hariri and their gratitude for his efforts, and Nasrallah did the same in his Bint Jbeil speech. Future Movement MPs strutted and swaggered on the resistance’s TV channel. Things looked like they were heading for a happier ending than the Lebanese could have hoped for.

Then something unexpected, and still unexplained, happened. The hostages were “lost” somewhere on the way between where they were being held in Syria and Adana airport in Turkey.

Informed sources offer two possible explanations for this.

The first is that the Turkish foreign ministry was over-hasty in announcing the release of the hostages. Davutoglu informed his Lebanese interlocutors that they “have the abducteees,” and that he expected them to be freed on Saturday night. But in intelligence parlance, “we have them” does not necessarily mean “they are in our custody,” especially given the profusion of armed Syrian opposition factions on the ground.

Davutoglu almost certainly spoke after the hostages had arrived at a point in Syria close to the Turkish border. There, something happened which held up the entire exercise, severely embarrassing the government in Ankara. Claims made about the hostages’ fate on various websites appeared implausible as Turkey had continued to reiterate the hostages’ well-being. Official Lebanese sources also told Al-Akhbar that “the hostages are all fine.”

The other explanation also relates to over-haste, but differently. After announcing the end of the affair, Ankara came under pressure from the US and Qatar. Why, they protested, should Nasrallah be given another victory and credibility boost? According to the sources, they saw it better to drag things out for a few days longer to make more use of the issue that could serve their interests on many levels.

First, it would help with eroding grassroots confidence in the Hezbollah leader. Nasrallah could also be blamed for any harm that may befall the hostages, after he included Bashar Assad in the list of people he thanked in his Bint Jbeil speech. One could refer in this regard to statements made yesterday by Syrian National Council (SNC) head Burhan Ghalioun and Syrian Liberal Party chief Ibrahim al-Zoabi.

Also, public anger would put an end to the recent easing of tensions in Lebanon, and keep the spotlight focused on the Shia masses – whose expressions of anger have hitherto been controlled – and away from the Salafi uprising in the north, the Tariq al-Jdideh incident, the accompanying emergence of armed manifestations, and all the talk of al-Qaeda sleeper cells and others in the process of waking up.

Following the same logic, a prolonged period of anxiety about the issue would cause a rift between the resistance’s mass base and both its leadership and the Syrians. When public anger and outrage boil over, Syrians cease to be “our dear brothers and guests living among us.” It is within this charged atmosphere that local officials in some areas with Shia majorities have been advising Syrian residents to take precautions for their safety.

Finally, the “national unity” displayed by Lebanese political rivals over the affair and their contacts with each other seemed to be establishing a basis which could be built on, amid renewed calls for national dialogue. That would relieve – and possibly refloat – Lebanon’s current government, with its policy of dissociation from developments in Syria, and lead to a general easing of tensions over developments there. That would not be to the advantage of the international campaign against the Syrian regime, in which Lebanon now has a pivotal role.

The facts remain unclear, and contacts are continuing to be held. Pending further developments, the Shia political leadership in Lebanon is acting with caution. Every effort is being made on the ground to contain the possible fallout, depending on how the affair concludes – especially if a decision has been taken somewhere to make things worse.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , | Comments Off on Who’s Holding The Captured Lebanese?

World powers condemn heinous Syria massacre

Al Akhbar | May 28, 2012

The UN Security Council on Sunday unanimously condemned the killing of at least 108 people, including many children, in the Syrian town of Houla, a sign of mounting outrage at the massacre that the government and rebels blamed on each other.

Images of bloodied and lifeless young bodies, laid carefully side by side after the onslaught on Friday, triggered shock around the world and underlined the challenge of a six-week-old UN ceasefire plan to stop the violence.

Western and Arab states opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad put the blame for the deaths squarely on the government. But Damascus rejected the charge, with the UN observer mission refusing to link government shelling of the area to the deaths.

“The Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women, and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of (Houla), near Homs, in attacks that involved a series of government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighborhood,” the non-binding statement said.

“Such outrageous use of force against civilian population constitutes a violation of applicable international law and of the commitments of the Syrian Government under United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” the statement said.

The United Nations believes that at least 108 people were killed in Houla, UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said.

Both sides to blame: Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow was deeply alarmed by the massacre, but that it was clear both Assad’s government and rebels were to blame.

“We are dealing with a situation in which both sides evidently had a hand in the deaths of innocent people,” Lavrov said at a joint news conference with visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Hague said Russia and Britain agreed Kofi Annan’s peace plan was “at the moment the only hope” for resolving Syria’s crisis and that Russia had an important role to play.

Lavrov said he and Hague agreed both the government and its foes must be pressured to end violence, and the Russian foreign minister criticized nations he said argued that there could be no solution without Assad’s exit from power.

Lavrov’s statements reaffirm Russian Deputy UN Ambassador Alexander Pankin’s comments on Sunday, when he said the circumstances surrounding the massacre were “murky” and rejected the idea that the evidence clearly showed Damascus was guilty.

The head of the UN observer force, General Robert Mood, briefed the council by video link. Pankin said Mood “did not link directly the (army’s) shelling with numbers of deaths.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent the council a letter that appeared to give ammunition to both sides.

He said the observers “viewed the bodies of the dead and confirmed from an examination of ordnance that artillery and tank shells were fired at a residential neighborhood.”

But Ban also said UN monitors observed shotgun wounds on some of the bodies, which could indicate close-range attacks by rebels, as Pankin suggested, or could be the result of follow-up attacks by the army after it stopped shelling.

“While the detailed circumstances are unknown, we can confirm that there has been artillery and mortar shelling,” Ban said.

“There have also been other forms of violence, including shootings at close range and severe physical abuse.”

International mediator Kofi Annan and Ladsous are expected to brief the council on Syria on Wednesday.

China condemns killings

China on Monday condemned the “cruel killings” of civilians, while insisting that Annan’s efforts remained the most viable way to end the violence in Syria.

“China feels deeply shocked by the large number of civilian casualties in Houla, and condemns in the strongest terms the cruel killings of ordinary citizens, especially women and children,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a daily news briefing.

“This incident again demonstrates that an immediate cessation of violence in Syria can brook no delay,” Liu added.

“We call on all sides concerned in Syria to implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and Annan’s six-point proposal immediately, comprehensively and thoroughly.”

Liu stressed Beijing believed Annan’s efforts remained the best hope for stopping the violence.

“Annan’s mediation efforts and six-point proposal are a practical avenue and an important route for reducing the tensions in Syria and promoting a political solution there,” said Liu when asked whether China believed an alternative approach was needed.

“We also hope that all sides will continue to play a positive role in order to implement Annan’s six-point proposal.”

West blames Assad

Despite the inconclusive analysis by the UN team, Western governments capitalized on the opportunity to launch a stinging attack against the Assad regime.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant did not have any doubts about who was responsible for the events in Houla.

“It seems quite clear that the massacre in Houla was caused by heavy bombardment, by government artillery and tanks,” Lyall Grant said.

After the council meeting he said it was time for the council to discuss “next steps” – a code word for sanctions.

“The fact is, it is an atrocity and it was perpetrated by the Syrian government,” Lyall Grant said.

Russia, however, rejects the idea of sanctioning its ally and has accused the United States and Europe of pursuing Libya-style regime change in Syria, where Assad has been trying to crush a 14-month-old insurgency that began peacefully but has become increasingly militarized.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari reiterated his government’s denial, saying the massacre was committed by “armed terrorist groups” – the Syrian government’s term for the rebels. He also dismissed the “tsunami of lies” of the British, French, and German envoys, who blamed the government for the massacre.

“Women, children, and old men were shot dead. This is not the hallmark of the heroic Syrian army,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdesi told reporters in Damascus.

The Houla massacre is among the worst carnage in the uprising against Assad, which has cost about 10,000 lives.

In his public comments, Mood has called the killings “a very tragical expression” of the situation in Syria, but refrained from apportioning blame.

“For myself, I have had patrols on the ground all the day yesterday afternoon and today we are gathering facts on the ground and then we will draw our own conclusions,” Mood told the BBC in a telephone interview on Sunday.

But Ban and Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, accused the Syrian government of using artillery in populated areas.

“This appalling and brutal crime involving indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force is a flagrant violation of international law and of the commitments of the Syrian Government to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers and violence in all its forms,” they said in a joint statement on Saturday.

Iran: massacre an attempt to sow chaos

Iran said on Monday that the massacre was carried out in order to spread chaos and instability in Syria and block peace efforts.

“We are certain that foreign interference, terrorist and suspicious measures which have targeted the resilient Syrian people are doomed to fail,” the website of the state television network, Press TV, quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.

“The attack has been carried out in order to create chaos and instability in Syria and its perpetrators are trying to block the way to a peaceful resolution,” he said.

Iran’s parliament blamed the United States and other Western countries for arming and training what it described as “terrorists”, the Iranian state news agency reported on Monday.

Annan to visit Damascus

Annan is planning to visit Damascus soon. Ja’afari suggested Annan could arrive as early as Monday.

Russia’s Pankin said that whoever caused the massacre wanted to disrupt Annan’s visit. “We don’t believe the Syrian government would be interested in spoiling the visit of (Annan) … by doing something like that.”

Opposition activists said Assad’s forces shelled Houla after a protest and then clashed with rebel fighters.

Activists say Assad’s “shabbiha” militia, loyal to an establishment dominated by members of the minority Alawi sect, then hacked dozens of the victims to death, or shot them.

Maysara al-Hilawi said he saw the bodies of six children and their parents in a ransacked house in the town.

“The Abdelrazzak family house was the first one I entered. The children’s corpses were piled on top of each other, either with their throats cut or shot at close range,” Hilawi, an opposition activist, told Reuters by telephone, allegedly from the area.

The White House said it was horrified by credible reports of brutal attacks on women and children in Houla.

“These acts serve as a vile testament to an illegitimate regime that responds to peaceful political protest with unspeakable and inhuman brutality,” a White House spokesman said.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said in a statement that it could amount to crimes against humanity or other war crimes.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah also expressed horror at the massacre in a statement released on Sunday, saying it “strongly condemns the massacre and deplores those who carried it out.”

Although the ceasefire plan negotiated by Annan has failed to stop the violence, the United Nations is nearing full deployment of a 300-strong unarmed observer force meant to monitor a truce.

The plan calls for a truce, withdrawal of troops from cities, and dialogue between government and opposition.

Syria calls the revolt a “terrorist” conspiracy run from abroad, a veiled reference to Gulf Arab dictatorships that want to see weapons provided to the insurgents and the crisis turned into a proxy war against regional rival, Iran.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , | Comments Off on World powers condemn heinous Syria massacre