Aletho News


Obama’s Endless Kill List

Codifying Murder

By BEN SCHREINER | October 24, 2012

Of the three presidential debates, Monday’s saw the only mention of U.S. drone warfare.  But after the challenger Romney quickly affirmed his support of President Obama’s drone program, stating that it is “absolutely the right thing to do,” the issue was summarily dropped by moderator Bob Schieffer.  The president thus skirted having to account for the most controversial facet of his foreign policy.

Of course, the clear bipartisan support for the administration’s ongoing campaign of assassinations can only portend a future of expanded drone warfare and U.S. administered terror the world over—no matter the outcome of the presidential election.

Indeed, a Tuesday report in the Washington Post laid bare the Obama administration’s plans to ensure that any future administration seamlessly continues its drone program.  As the Post reports, “Targeted killing is now so routine that the Obama administration has spent much of the past year codifying and streamlining the processes that sustain it.”

The process of streamlining the administration’s program of “targeted” killings has reportedly led to the creation of a “disposition matrix,” comprised of both the names of suspected terrorists and the resources expended on their targeting.  This matrix, the Post reports, “is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the ‘disposition’ of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.”

Such efforts to expedite the worldwide campaign of terror have reportedly left the administration buoyant on the prospects of the program’s indefinite continuation.  Officials, the Post reports, “seem confident that they have devised an approach that is so bureaucratically, legally and morally sound that future administrations will follow suit.”

“The United States’ conventional wars are winding down,” the Post thus concludes, “but the government expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years.”

Sure enough, as the Post revealed in a separate report published last week, the C.I.A. has sent a formal request to the White House appealing for an additional ten drones to supplement its current fleet of over 30.  If approved, the paper reported, the request would “extend the spy service’s decade-long transformation into a paramilitary force.”

Yet, as the Obama administration works to extent the reach of its aerial assassins into every last crevice of the world, its claims regarding to the drone program’s effectiveness and “targeted” nature remain in doubt.

According to a September report on U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, conducted by researchers at the N.Y.U. School of Law and Stanford University Law School, evidence that the program has made the U.S. safer is “ambiguous at best.”  Moreover, despite administration claims of that there have been “no” civilian causalities, the report marshals substantial evidence to the contrary.

Assessments from U.S. officials regarding the “collateral damage” from drones, though, are heavily skewed by the administration’s definition of combatants.

Remarkably, as the New York Times piece first revealing the existence of an administration “kill list” noted, the U.S. “counts all military age males in a strike zone as combatants … unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”

Kill first, we see, then ask questions.

Needless to say, all such reports ought to serve—at the very minimum—as an impetus for an independent review of the the drone program.  But as the Post reports: “Internal doubts about the effectiveness of the drone campaign are almost nonexistent.”

The callous absence of doubt is evidently just as prevalent amongst the elite U.S. media.  For instance, in an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday, Time columnist Joe Klein chillingly sought to justify the gravest horrors of the Obama drone program.

In a debate over drones with right-wing host Joe Scarborough, Klein went on to aver, “The bottom line, in the end, is: Whose four-year-old gets killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that four-year-olds here are going to get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror.”

The very fact that rationalizing the killing of children can freely emanate from amongst “respectable” circles in Washington is indicative of the severe moral deterioration from which the Obama administration’s drone program was born.

Of course, the very fact that the defining program of Obama’s foreign policy was discussed in far greater detail on a cable talk show sponsored by Starbucks than it was in all three presidential debates is quite revealing of the decay afflicting the nation’s political system.  It’s such a rotted system, though, that perpetuates our present class of amoral and unaccountable elites who so readily wage a global campaign of terror.

The twilight of the American Empire, it thus appears, will be remembered for its endless kill lists and its codification of murder.


October 24, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

No proof of Iran decision to build nuclear weapons: Russia

Press TV – October 24, 2012

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says there is no evidence suggesting that Iran has made any decision to militarize its nuclear energy program.

In an interview with the Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Tuesday, Lavrov said Iran’s nuclear energy program is under the full supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the country is enriching 4.5-percent uranium to meet its fuel needs, Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) reported.

Lavrov emphasized that the production of nuclear fuel is not a violation of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and confirmed the legitimacy of Iran’s bid to produce 20-percent enriched uranium to provide fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR).

Iran decided to enrich uranium to 20-percent level to provide fuel for TRR, which produces medical isotopes for cancer patients, after potential suppliers failed to provide the Islamic Republic with the required nuclear fuel.

On September 17, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Fereydoun Abbasi, said Iran has no intention of enriching uranium above the 20-percent level.

Abbasi added that Iran started producing 20-percent enriched uranium when it could not obtain fuel for TRR from international market due to sanctions imposed against the country.

The Iranian official added that the main objective of 20-percent enrichment is to produce radiopharmaceuticals, but certain parties are trying to connect Iran’s nuclear activities to non-civilian purposes.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program, but Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the NPT and a member of the IAEA, it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s nuclear energy program has been diverted toward military objectives.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

PBS and Iran’s ‘Nuclear Weapons’

NewsHour botches basic fact about Iran

FAIR – 10/24/12

In an October 22 discussion of the foreign policy presidential debate, the PBS NewsHour‘s Jeffrey Brown stated that “Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been a particular flash point.”

A few weeks earlier (10/5/12) on the NewsHour, Ray Suarez said that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez had

continued to thwart American efforts on a range of international issues, such as Washington’s attempt to convince Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to halt his country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

As most people following this story should know, there is no intelligence that shows Iran has a nuclear weapons program. The country has long denied the accusation, and regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have failed to turn up evidence that Iran’s enriched uranium is being diverted for use in a weapon (Extra!, 1/12).

Some governments claim otherwise, but journalists are supposed to convey the evidence that is available–not to make claims that are unsupported by the facts. If there was one clear lesson from the Iraq War, it was that reporters need to carefully distinguish between what is known for certain and what some government leaders claim.

There have been questions about the NewsHour‘s Iran reporting before (FAIR Blog, 1/10/12). On January 9 the broadcast reported that Iran’s denial that it is pursuing a nuclear weapon was “disputed by the U.S. and its allies.” The show turned to a clip from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to bolster that point — but edited out the part of his statement in which he said: “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.” A NewsHour editor (FAIR Blog, 1/17/12) agreed that “it would have been better had we not lopped off the first part of the Panetta quote.”

PBS NewsHour

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Fact Checking Obama’s Misleading Answer About Warrantless Wiretapping on The Daily Show

By Trevor Timm | EFF | October 24, 2012

On last Thursday’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart boldly went where no mainstream reporter has gone so far this election cycle: asking President Barack Obama why has he embraced Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program after campaigning against it on the grounds that it violated Americans’ civil liberties.  While Stewart’s question was commendable, Obama’s answer was puzzling because it seems so obviously untrue.

Stewart first reminded Obama of his Bush-era statements that “we don’t have to trade our values and ideals for our security,” and pointedly asked the President, “do you still believe that?” He then specifically raised warrantless wiretapping, which Obama frequently criticized as a presidential candidate in 2008:

STEWART: I think people have been surprised to see the strength of the Bush era warrantless wiretapping laws and those types of things not also be lessened—That the structures he put in place that people might have thought were government overreach and maybe they had a mind you would tone down, you haven’t.

OBAMA: The truth is we have modified them and built a legal structure and safeguards in place that weren’t there before on a whole range issues.

To the contrary, there’s no indication that the still-active warrantless wiretapping program—which includes a warrantless dragnet on millions of innocent Americans’ communications—has significantly changed from the day Obama took office. With regard to the FISA Amendments Act, the Obama Administration has actively opposed all proposed safeguards in Congress. All the while, his Administration has been even more aggressive than President Bush in trying to prevent warrantless wiretapping victims from having their day in court and has continued building the massive national security infrastructure needed to support it.

But let’s take a closer look at the President’s actions on wiretapping and related issues:

Voting against FISA Amendments Act, Filibuster Telecom Immunity

Early in his first presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama was a leading critic of giving telecom companies like AT&T immunity for breaking the law to assist in the government in warrantless wiretapping. He repeatedly promised to filibuster any bill that contained retroactive immunity for telecom companies. Yet in 2008, when Congress debated the FISA Amendments Act—the law that allowed the President to give telecom companies full, retroactive immunity—Obama not only refused to filibuster the bill, but voted for it.

That decision came full circle just two weeks ago, when Obama’s Justice Department successfully convinced the Supreme Court to deny EFF’s appeal challenging the law’s constitutionality, ensuring AT&T and other telecommunications companies will never face legal consequences for breaking the law, both in the past and in the future.

Fixing FISA Amendments Act After Elected

Despite voting for the FISA Amendments Act, then-candidate Obama still promised to reform the law when he was elected president. But four years later, the FISA Amendments Act is up for renewal in Congress, as it expires at the end of this year. This would be perfect time to implement the reforms Obama promised, and there are several common sense amendments that would do so.

The Obama administration, however, is actively opposing any new privacy safeguards or transparency provisions, saying it is their “top priority” to renew it with no changes.

Stopping the Use of the State Secrets Privilege

Congress isn’t the only place where the President has been hostile to any “legal structure or safeguards” for the warrantless wiretapping.  He has steadfastly sought to prevent the courts from engaging in any meaningful review

In EFF’s long-running lawsuit Jewel v. NSA, along with several related lawsuits, the Obama administration has continued the Bush Administration strategy of invoking the ‘state secrets’ privilege and demanding immediate dismissal (a practice which Obama specifically criticized on his 2008 campaign website).  This, plus many other invocations of the privilege occurred even after a supposed internal policy change that was supposed to restrict its use.

Using the state secrets privilege for electronic surveillance is plainly wrong, since FISA specifically requires courts to determine the legality of national security spying.  And of course the argument that the spying is a secret is increasingly untenable, as multiple whistleblowers, hundreds of pages of already-public evidence—including government admissions—and a massive construction project in Utah attest to its ongoing existence.

Sovereign Immunity

In addition, in both Jewel and other cases, the government has raised extremely technical legal arguments that the cases must be dismissed because  it has “sovereign immunity.”In Al-Haramain v. Obama, a case where the government was caught red-handed illegally wiretapping attorneys, the Obama Administration was even able to convince the Ninth Circuit to dismiss the case because, according to the court, only government individuals can be sued, not the agencies that actually did the spying.

Declassifying Secret FISA Court Opinions

Both in 2010 and 2011, Obama administration officials promised to work to all declassify secret FISA court opinions that contained “important rulings of law.” These opinions would shed light whether and how Americans’ communications have been illegally spied on.

Since then, the administration has since refused to declassify a single opinion and still refuses to release the full (rescinded) legal memo written by Bush administration lawyer John Yoo that attempted to justify the illegal and unconstitutional program in 2001.

FISA court secrecy has never been more troubling, given the administration admitted in July that the FISA court ruled that collection done by the NSA violated the Fourth Amendment rights of some unknown American on at least one occasion. EFF has since filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for that opinion, plus any others discussing the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance, but the Obama administration is fighting mightily against it.

Secret Safeguards Aren’t Safeguards

Some have suggested it’s possible when Obama said “safeguards” on the Daily Show, he is referring to some unspecified secret administrative rules he has put into place. Yet if these “safeguards” exist, they have been kept completely secret from the American public, and at the same, the administration is refusing to codify them into the law or create any visible chain of accountability if they are violated. But given the ample evidence of Constitutional violations since Obama took office (see: here, here, and here), these secret safeguards we don’t know exist are clearly inconsequential.

Here’s hoping other reporters follows up on Stewart’s question soon and ask Obama to be much more specific about his past and future plans to make sure the American people are not illegally spied on.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Comments Off on Fact Checking Obama’s Misleading Answer About Warrantless Wiretapping on The Daily Show

‘Just trust us’ – NSA to privacy advocates in court

RT | October 23, 2012

The US National Security Agency isn’t outright rejecting claims that they’ve been conducting surveillance on everyone in the country, but they want Americans to at least give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their intentions.

The NSA was in court again this week to challenge a potential class action lawsuit that aims to end the governmental agency’s electronic surveillance program begun by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; but while the plaintiffs in the case want to abolish the warrantless wiretapping and spying on innocent civilians started under that administration’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, the government’s argument is now one that requires Americans to accept the agency’s insistence they’re really not up to anything worth worrying about, Courthouse News reports.

In Federal Court this week, the NSA said that the public should simply trust the government when they say they aren’t abusing any powers legally or illegally in place to engage in clandestine surveillance of each and every citizen.

A San Francisco courthouse was the venue for the latest episode in the matter of Jewel v. NSA, a 4-year-old case that charges the spy agency with once and still operating an “illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet communications surveillance.” Lead plaintiff Carolyn Jewel brought on the suit back in 2008 with the assistance of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and on behalf of current and former customers of AT&T who say they were affected when the telecom giant allowed the NSA unfettered access to their systems to spy on the communications of any customers they wish.

The plaintiffs say that the NSA ordered the attachment of surveillance devices to AT&T’s master network in order to have the ability to divert any communication routed through their service to secure facilities to allow for “an unprecedented suspicionless general search.” When former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake condemned the agency’s overly broad and costly surveillance of innocent Americans in 2007, the government attempted to silence him by filing an indictment under the Espionage Act of 1917.

When Jewel v NSA ended up in federal court in 2010, US District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker originally dismissed the case, only for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals deciding to reinstate it last year.

“Since September 11 and now, through two administrations, the executive has engaged in unprecedented assertions of power without regard to the constitutional and statutory limits of its authority,” attorney Richard Wiebe wrote in the case’s initial filings. “It has correspondingly sought to exclude the judiciary from adjudicating whether these exercises of executive power have stayed within the limits set by the Constitution and by Congress.”

Currently, the government alleges that they do not have to respond to charges of unwarranted eavesdropping because they have immunity in instances where disclosure could disrupt national security. As Courthouse News previously reported, the federal government “claims to have invoked state secrets privileges that protects it from any litigation consequentially stemming from supposed violations of those acts.” Plaintiffs, however, say that the government waived its right to sovereign immunity when it put itself in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as well as the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment that protects Americans from unlawful searches and seizures.

Dozens of similar lawsuits against Verizon and other telecommunication companies were initially filed during the George W. Bush administration, but amendments added to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 2008 granted those companies immunity to civil actions “providing assistance to an element of the intelligence community.” Now, however, plaintiffs say the government must be held accountable for their own violations of FISA and the Constitution.

Responding to the case earlier this month, the government insisted, “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does not authorize a claim against the Government defendants sued in their official capacities, the state secrets privilege bars the litigation of plaintiffs’ remaining claims and the state secrets privilege is not displaced by the FISA.”

“[T]he disclosure of sensitive intelligence sources and methods . . . reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to national security,” the government wrote in one of three motions filed so far to put Jewel v. NSA to rest. “The very purpose of these cases is to put at issue whether the NSA undertook certain alleged activities under presidential authorization after 9/11, and whether those activities continue today. At every stage, from standing to the merits, highly classified and properly privileged intelligence sources and methods are at risk of disclosure. The law is clear, however, that where litigation risks or requires the disclosure of information that reasonably could be expected to harm national security, dismissal is required.”

Wiebe and the plaintiffs see things another way, though, and wrote earlier that “The government here seeks to transform the state secrets privilege from a powerful but targeted evidentiary shield into a justiciability sword, preventing the Judiciary from engaging in its constitutional duty.”

The government’s goal, Wiebe continued, “is to convince this court to close its eyes to a program that impacts every American who uses a phone, email or the Internet. The judiciary must recognize the dangers of allowing the executive to distort narrow exceptions like the state secrets privilege into broad unfettered power to ‘turn the Constitution on or off at will.’ Even in the case involving war powers, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the ‘war power does not remove constitutional limitations safeguarding essential liberties.'”

This week the government did not fight back as hard to defend any surveillance practices engaged by either the George W. Bush or Obama administrations, but said innocent Americans should trust that they aren’t in danger of being watched.

“This lawsuit puts at issue alleged intelligence activities of the National Security Agency (‘NSA’) purportedly undertaken pursuant to presidential authorization since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” the NSA says in their latest response. “For the past six years, the nation’s most senior intelligence officials, in succeeding administrations, have consistently advised this court that litigation of plaintiffs’ allegations would risk exceptional damage to national security, setting forth in detail the matters at issue. Renewed invocation of the state secrets privilege in this action by the Director of National Intelligence has undergone rigorous review within the Executive Branch under a process providing that privilege will only be asserted where necessary to protect against significant harm to national security. Contrary to plaintiffs’ suggestion, in these circumstances dismissal would not constitute an abdication of judicial authority, but the exercise of judicial scrutiny of the privileged information at issue and the application of established law to protect compelling national security interests.”

US District Judge Jeffery White will consider the latest motion on November 2 and could decide to let the arguments be brought to trial. If the case is allowed and elevated to class action status as the plaintiffs hope, attorneys fear that a victory for the NSA would mean the continuation of warrantless dragnet surveillance would continue — this time on-the-books.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran may stop oil sales if sanctions intensify: minister

Mehr News Agency | October 24, 2012

TEHRAN – Iran has threatened it may stop oil exports if the West tightens sanctions against Tehran.

“If sanctions intensify we will stop exporting oil,” Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told reporters in Dubai on Tuesday.

Qasemi said Iran had a “Plan B” contingency strategy to survive without oil revenues.

“We have prepared a plan to run the country without any oil revenues,” Qasemi said. “So far to date we haven’t had any serious problems, but if the sanctions were to be renewed we would go for ‘Plan B’.

“If you continue to add to the sanctions we (will) cut our oil exports to the world… We are hopeful that this doesn’t happen, because citizens will suffer. We don’t want to see European and U.S. citizens suffer,” he said.

The minister added the loss of Iranian oil on the market would drive oil prices up.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | Comments Off on Iran may stop oil sales if sanctions intensify: minister

Israel strikes Sudan military facility: minister

Al Akhbar | October 24, 2012

Sudan’s information minister has accused Israel of striking a Sudanese military factory Wednesday causing it to explode and burst into flames.

An AFP reporter several kilometres (miles) away saw two or three fires flaring across a wide area, with heavy smoke and intermittent flashes of white light bursting above the state-owned Yarmouk facility in southern Khartoum.

“I heard a sound like a plane in the sky, but I didn’t see any light from a plane. Then I heard two explosions, and fire erupted in the compound,” said an area resident who asked to be identified only as Faize.

Witnesses said the explosions started at about midnight on Tuesday.

A woman living south of the Yarmouk compound also reported two initial blasts.

“I saw a plane coming from east to west and I heard explosions and there was a short length of time between the first one and the second one,” she said, asking not to be named.

“Then I saw fire and our neighbour’s house was hit by shrapnel, causing minor damage. The windows of my own house rattled after the second explosion.” Abdul Rahman Al-Khider, the governor of Khartoum state, told official media that preliminary investigation found that the explosion happened in a store room.

He dismissed speculation that “other reasons” caused the incident.

Khider said some people were hospitalized because of smoke inhalation but he gave no numbers.

The blaze spread to a neighbouring area of grass and trees, he said, adding that an investigation was underway to find the cause.

In 1998 Human Rights Watch said that a coalition of Sudanese opposition groups had alleged that Sudan stored chemical weapons for Iraq at the Yarmouk facility but government officials strenuously denied the charges.

In August of that year United States cruise missiles struck the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in North Khartoum, which the US said was linked to chemical weapons production. Evidence for that claim later proved questionable.

The sprawling Yarmouk facility is surrounded by barbed wire and set back about two kilometers from the district’s main road, meaning signs of damage were not visible later Wednesday when an AFP reporter visited.

But at least three houses in the neighbourhood had been punctured by shrapnel which left walls and a fence with holes about 20-centimetres (eight inches) in diameter, the reporter said.

There was also slight damage to a Coca-Cola warehouse.

A source familiar with the Yarmouk factory said its main compound and storage area had not been damaged by the explosions or fire.

Hannan, a resident who gave only one name, said some people had fled the area on foot because of the early-morning explosions, while others put their children in cars ready to make a getaway.

The fires appeared to be extinguished by 0030 GMT, more than three hours after they began, an AFP reporter said.

There have been other mysterious blasts in Sudan.

On the country’s Red Sea coast in May one person was killed when a car exploded, about a year after Sudan blamed Israel for an air strike on a vehicle in the same area. Witnesses to the May incident said they heard a big blast that set the car ablaze and left two holes in the ground.

In January 2009, foreign aircraft struck a truck convoy reportedly laden with weapons in eastern Sudan.

A September report from the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based independent research project, said evidence from weapons packaging suggests that Chinese-origin arms and ammunition are exported to the Yarmouk facility.

From there they have subsequently moved to Sudan’s far-west Darfur region which has been plagued by conflict for almost a decade, the report said.

Small Arms Survey said it was not clear whether Yarmouk served simply as a recipient “or whether they repackage or even assemble the Chinese-made weapons.”

Khartoum is seeking the removal of United States sanctions imposed in 1997 over support for international terrorism, its human rights record and other concerns.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 10 Comments

Bassem Tamimi injured and arrested with 3 others at Boycott Israel protest

International Solidarity Movement, West Bank | October 24, 2012

A demonstrator gets first aid help after being injured by a sound grenade at the protest

Four people, including Bassem Tamimi, the head of the Popular Committee of Nabi Saleh, were arrested by Israeli police today as Palestinians staged a peaceful direct action in an Israeli supermarket near the illegal settlement of Shaar Binyamin, north of Ramallah, calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. Two Palestinians were injured and removed in ambulances. Before he was arrested, Tamimi’s ribs were reportedly broken.

Two of those arrested were international human rights activists. One is an American and the other is from Poland. The American activist was dragged away by four Israeli officers.

Starting at around ten this morning, Palestinians and international activists gathered in the parking lot of Rami Levi supermarket, which is frequented by Israelis from the surrounding illegal settlements. The activists entered the market and walked up and down the aisles, holding Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) placards and waving Palestinian flags.

Demonstrators left the market voluntarily when the Israeli army arrived on the scene. As activists exited the building, about forty police, border police and soldiers were waiting in the parking lot. There, the Israeli authorities attacked the demonstrators and fired sound bombs at them.

Even though the demonstrators remained non-violent, soldiers punched, dragged and choked them. As one Palestinian man was pulled away from the soldiers by other demonstrators, to prevent his arrest, his walking stick was taken away as he lay on the ground – following this, he could not walk without assistance. A sound bomb was thrown just metres from the head of another Palestinian man who was already unconscious following attacks from the authorities.

Bassem Tamimi is the head of the popular committee of Nabi Saleh, a village that has suffered drastically from the creation and expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Halamish settlement was created less than 1km away from Nabi Saleh, stealing a great deal of the villages’ land, as well as a spring that provided a vital water source for the village. Tamimi was released from prison in April of this year after spending 13 months in an Israeli prison for being accused of “taking part in illegal gatherings.” He was released on bail in April in order to take care of his elderly mother who had suffered a stroke.

The action today aimed to highlight the BDS campaign ( ), which calls for a boycott of Israeli goods.

The status of the detained demonstrators is currently unknown, they remain held in the police station of the illegal settlement of Shaar Binyamin.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bassem Tamimi injured and arrested with 3 others at Boycott Israel protest

Jews admit Zionist entity is an ‘Apartheid State’

Al-Manar | October 24, 2012

A majority of the Zionist entity’s Jews admitted they are living in an apartheid state, a recent survey posted by Haaretz said. Many also believed that Palestinians should be denied the right to vote, and suggested that Jewish settlers should be given preferential treatment.

Some 500 Jewish adults took part in the survey, answering questions put together by a group of civil rights activists and academics, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Tuesday. The survey’s findings revealed that 39 percent of respondents believe there is a ‘slight’ form of apartheid in the Occupied Territories, while 19 percent admit that there is ‘heavy’ apartheid.

A different question suggested that the number of those in favor of ethnic segregation is higher, with 74 percent of those surveyed in favor of separate roads for Zionist Jews and Arabs in the West Bank.

On the contentious issue of the West Bank, 38 percent of respondents wanted to annex the territories with the illegal settlements, and 48 percent opposed that policy. A follow-up question on voting rights for Palestinians saw 69 percent of respondents in favor of denying 2.5 million of Palestinians the vote if West Bank territories were annexed.

More than a half of those questioned said Zionists should be given preference over Arabs when applying for jobs in the government sector. And slightly under half favored legalized discrimination of Arabs, saying that the entity should “treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones.”

The survey also revealed that people of ultra-religious views demonstrated more discriminatory attitudes, with 82 percent saying Jews should be given preferential treatment over Arabs. Secular responders generally expressed more pluralistic views.

In its report, Haaretz claimed that the survey was initiated by the so-called ‘New Israeli Fund’, a US-based NGO. But the NIF denied any involvement, saying the poll “was not commissioned or sponsored or in any way related to the New Israel Fund,” but set up by Goldblum Fund, an organization with which it had only indirect links.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments