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Piñera Praises Chávez at CELAC Summit

Media Influences Public Opinion on Venezuela But Not So Much Governments

By Mark Weisbrot | CEPR Americas Blog | January 29, 2013

In writing about the media’s ongoing hate-fest for Hugo Chávez, I pointed out that the major media’s reporting had been effective, in that it has convinced most consumers of the Western media – especially in the Western Hemisphere and Europe – that Venezuela suffers from a dictatorship that has ruined the country.

But there is an important sense in which it has failed.  Of course it has failed to convince Venezuelans that they would be better off under a neoliberal regime, and that is one reason why Chávez and his party have won 13 of 14 elections and referenda since he was first elected in 1998.  Perhaps of equal importance, it has also failed to persuade other governments that President Chávez is motivated by some kind of irrational hatred of the U.S. – as the media generally reports it.  Most foreign ministries have some research capacity, and although they are influenced by major media, at the higher levels they have better information and make their own evaluations.

That is why Chávez has been able to play a significant role in the growing independence and regional integration of Latin America, despite his vilification in the media, and years of effort by the U.S. government to isolate Venezuela from its neighbors.  For example, the governments that decided to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) – a new hemispheric organization including all countries other than the U.S. and Canada – don’t care whether the media dismisses it as “Chavez’s project.” When Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay decided to admit Venezuela as a full member of the trading bloc Mercosur, they didn’t care what the media in any of their respective countries would say about it.

Of course the left governments of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and others have been quite sympathetic to Chávez and see him as a very important ally.  But the region has changed so much in the last 10 or 15 years that it is not only the left governments who appreciate him.  Here is what one of the only remaining right-wing presidents in South America, Sebastián Piñera of Chile, said on Sunday about Chávez, in Santiago:

I want to acknowledge a President who is not with us today, but whose vision, tenacity and strength has had a profound impact on the creation of the CELAC.  I refer to President Hugo Chávez, the father of this regional group that welcomes all nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, 33 in all, and which excludes only two countries on the continent: the United States and Canada.  We are all hoping for you to win this battle, perhaps the toughest battle of your life, which you are doing with the same strength and courage as always, and that you regain your health and that you can return in full capacity as President of Venezuela.

Back in 2006, the New York Times ran a front-page news article with a large-type headline: “Seeking United Latin America, Chávez is a Divider.”  The thesis was being pushed by the Bush State Department, and was echoed by the anti- Chávez sources cited in the article.

How completely wrong they turned out to be.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iraqis push for probe into ‘terrifying acts of brutality’ by UK troops

RT | January 30, 2013

Iraqi nationals have called for a probe into alleged acts of brutality by the UK military during the Iraq war. Reports of beatings, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation, some involving women and children, were turned over to the UK High Court.

­A group of lawyers representing 192 Iraqi citizens handed the 82-page report to the UK High Court on Tuesday, and asked for an independent inquiry into detention practices between 2003 and 2008. During the next three days of the hearing, the Court will rule whether the abuses were systematic and whether the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) is impartial enough to head an investigation.

In addition to the 192 Iraqi nationals currently being represented in the High Court, another 800 are taking legal action against the UK military.

The MOD currently opposes an independent probe into the abuse reports, and argues that a wide-ranging public inquiry would be “premature and disproportionate.” The MOD created an official body, the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT), to examine the cases.

The lawyers representing the Iraqis have insisted that the investigation must be carried out by an independent body because the IHAT is incapable of a balanced inquiry.

“Enough is enough. There must be a public inquiry in relation to the credible and prima facie cases of human rights violations perpetrated by the British military in Iraq from 2003 to 2009,” QC Michael Fordham told reporters outside London’s High Court.

The cases of torture documented by the report handed over to the High Court describe beatings, hooding, sleep deprivation and the sexual humiliation of detainees. The report also claimed that women, the elderly and some children were among those killed in attacks on civilians.

Lawyers said that the abuse included unlawful detention, death in custody as well as threats of rape against Iraqis and their wives.

Phil Shiner, one of the lawyers representing the Iraqis, told reporters outside the High Court that there were “hundreds and hundreds” of Iraqis with “tens of thousands” of allegations of mistreatment.

“Some of the cases are truly shocking,” he said. “A 62-year-old grandmother who is led away alive, she is seen by her husband and her son alive, then found a few hours later in a British body bag very much dead, with signs of torture.”

Another case documented in the report tells of a tribal chief who was “utterly humiliated” in front of his family when soldiers broke into his home, arrested him, and then forced him to expose his genitals to his family, including the women.

“The military can’t investigate themselves, we need an independent judicial process here in London,” Shiner said.
Comprehensive steps?

MOD lawyers have assured the High Court that comprehensive steps are being taken to ensure that lessons are learned from the mistakes made in Iraq.

However, the MOD seems intent on glossing over its past failings: in December, the ministry paid over $22 million (£14 million) in compensation to hundreds of Iraqi citizens who claimed to have been illegally detained and abused by British forces posted in the country.

“In particular… a significant amount of work has already been done to ensure that MOD policies and training on tactical questioning and interrogation are lawful and fit for purpose,” MOD lawyers said.

Most of the 227 who received compensation were men who claimed to have been tortured in custody. The allegations included beatings, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama’s Playbook: Still Killing Outside the Lines

By Matthew Harwood, ACLU | January 30, 2013

To hear the Obama administration tell it, through anonymous leaks to the press of course, the United States’ “targeted killing” program will soon be bound by clear and “more stringent” rules before a drone strike gets the green light. This counterterrorism “playbook,” so says the administration, will institutionalize the process for the remote-controlled killing program and keep it within the rule of law.

But that isn’t true for three reasons, Chris Anders, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU, explained to PBS’s NewsHour on Wednesday night.  First, secret rules are inconsistent with the rule of law, which is predicated on everyone knowing the rules. Second, the Obama administration’s playbook rules will not apply to CIA drone strikes in Pakistan for at least a year if not more, according to the Post. Third, and most importantly, the rules undergirding the program, secret or not, violate the Constitution and international law.

Anders noted the Kafkaesque nature of the secrecy during the program. “To say we follow the rule of law, but we don’t even know what the rules are, and then the rules don’t apply to the biggest player is a little bit of a joke.”

Drone strikes occur frequently inside Pakistan, the only country in which the CIA is exempt from the secret rules. And contrary to the claims of CIA Director nominee John Brennan, arguably the most important cog in the remote-controlled killing machine, drone strikes do kill civilian bystanders, including children. In total, about 3,000 people, including 176 children, have been killed by over 300 drone strikes in Pakistan, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Although we’re not at war with Pakistan, Pakistanis feel under attack from the United States. “Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning,” a recent report, Living Under Drones, explained. “Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities.” The impact as well as the legality of these kinds of drone attacks, and the larger “targeted killing” toolkit, is now the focus of a U.N. investigation.

Nevertheless, President Obama frequently makes reference to the importance of the rule of law in guiding our national security decisions.

“We will defend our people, and uphold our values through strength of arms, and the rule of law,” he said during his inaugural speech on Monday. “We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully. Not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.”

Obama’s remote-controlled killing program, however, continues to instill suspicion and fear rather than lift it. It’s a dangerous legacy for a program that has become an illegal hallmark of his administration.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

In Mali, Forces Backed by UN, France, and Obama Slaughter Civilians

By  Alex Newman | New American | January 28, 2013

Summary executions and mass human rights abuses targeting innocent civilians in Mali are being perpetrated by soldiers loyal to the dubious Malian regime in a campaign supported by the United Nations, the new socialist French government, and the Obama administration. According to human rights groups and witnesses on the ground, the atrocities are increasing as the number of murdered victims continues to rise — eerily reminiscent of similar tragic interventions in Libya, Syria, and the Ivory Coast.

The regime ruling southern Mali out of the capital city of Bamako, which seized power in a military coup last year led by a U.S. government-trained officer, is currently attempting to recapture the northern regions of the country. The vast swath of territory in the north was declared independent last year by a group of historically oppressed nomadic Tuareg rebels armed with weapons obtained from the recent Western-backed war on Libya.

Islamic fighters with various loyalties joined the fight against the corrupt central government, too — providing a half-baked excuse for the UN, the French government, Obama, and various African despots to enter the fray on behalf of the illegitimate regime in the south. After the UN Security Council purported to “authorize” an international invasion on behalf of the coup-installed regime, forces from France openly began their military campaign earlier this month under the guise of fighting “Islamic extremism.”

Obama, the U.K. government, and a motley assortment of African tyrants — most of whom continue to be propped up with Western taxpayer money — quickly joined the battle as well. But within days of the military operation to crush rebels in the north, disturbing reports of gross human rights violations perpetrated by Western-backed forces began to emerge from across the region.

“This series of grave abuses confirms the concerns that we have been expressing for several weeks,” said President Souhayr Belhassen with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), a Paris-based umbrella group representing more than 160 organizations around the world. “These acts of revenge together with the extreme tensions that exists between the communities constitute an explosive cocktail leading us to fear that the worst could happen, especially in the context of the reconquering the North.”

According to FIDH, which said it is “very alarmed by the increasing number of summary executions and other human rights violations committed by Malian soldiers,” an immediate investigation is needed. The umbrella organization said an independent commission should be established to assess the scope of the crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. The group said it had already confirmed dozens of reports of extrajudicial murders in various towns, and that other reported atrocities were still being investigated.

Even in Bamako, where the corrupt regime styling itself the “government” of Mali is based, ethnic Tuaregs who have nothing to do with the secession movement in the north are being brutalized. According to reports, their homes are being invaded and plundered. Simply failing to produce valid identification documents is apparently justification enough to brutalize or even murder the victims.

“These abuses undermine the legitimacy of the operation to restore territorial integrity and must be prosecuted by the national justice, and if required, by the International Criminal Court which opened an investigation on the situation in Mali on 16 January,” FIDH Honorary President Sidiki Kaba said in a statement, urging French and Malian authorities to investigate the lawlessness and criminal terrorization of victims. […]

While the press has been largely barred from conflict areas by the French government, even establishment journalists have documented the slaughter by UN-backed forces. A Reuters reporter, for example, “saw at least six bodies in two areas of the Walirdi district of Sevare. Three of them were lying, partly covered in sand, near a bus station and showed signs of having been burned. Three more had been thrown into a nearby well.”

Witnesses who spoke to the Associated Press but asked to remain anonymous gave vivid accounts of the atrocities being perpetrated by the Malian regime, which, again, has the full force of the Obama administration, the UN, and the socialist government in France behind it. According to the sources, Malian soldiers were massacring anyone suspected of having ties to the rebels in the north.

“They gathered all the people who didn’t have national identity cards and the people they suspected of being close to the Islamists to execute them and put them in two different wells near the bus station,” one of the witnesses was quoted as saying by the AP. After being dumped in the wells, Malian troops poured gasoline on the bodies and set them ablaze, probably to conceal the evidence of their crimes.

The coup regime in Bamako has denied the accusations, saying it ordered its officers to “respect human rights.” However, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, when asked about whether he knew of the abuses being perpetrated by the “government” his forces are supporting in Mali, said: “There’s a risk” that the atrocities are occurring, but that it was up to the Malian regime to stop it. … Full article

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel boycotts UN forum, first state in history to ignore human rights review

RT | January, 2013

Israel has boycotted the UN human rights forum over fears of scrutiny of its treatment of residents of the occupied territories. Israel is now the first state in history to win a deferment of the periodical review of its human rights record.

Tel Aviv has refused to send a delegation on Tuesday to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva for the Universal Periodic Review procedure where UN member states have their human rights record evaluated every four years.

Israel’s cooperation with the council stopped last March after the UN set up a committee to inspect the effects of the Israeli settlements on Palestinians.

Israel which earlier accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias reiterated its stance, recalling that the council has passed more resolutions against Israel than all other countries combined.

“After a series of votes and statements and incidents we have decided to suspend our working relations with that body,” Yigal Palmor, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, told the Financial Times. “I can confirm that there is no change in that policy.”

“There have been more resolutions condemning Israel than the rest of the world put together,” an Israeli government official said on Tuesday. “It’s not a fair game – it’s not even a game.”

Following the Israeli decision, the council has decided to postpone its review until no later than November.

The Council president has also called on the body to adopt a draft response to an unprecedented move by Israel.

Egypt’s representative meanwhile has warned that a “soft” approach would create a dangerous precedent and leave “a wide-open door for more cases of non-cooperation,” the AFP quoted.

Activist groups have lashed out against Israel’s disregard for international law.

“By not participating in its own review, Israel is setting a dangerous precedent,” Eilis Ni Chaithnia, an advocacy officer with al-Haq, a human rights organisation based in Ramallah has told the FT. “This is the first time any country has made a determined effort not to attend.”

Others thought that the council’s decision to delay gives Tel Aviv the opportunity to make amends. Eight Israeli human rights organizations issued a statement saying, “Israel now has a golden opportunity to reverse its decision not to participate,” adding “it is legitimate for Israel to express criticism of the work of the Council and its recommendations, but Israel should do so through engagement with the Universal Periodic Review, as it has done in previous sessions,” JTA quotes.

The investigation into Israel’s Human Rights record began in 2007, but last year the UN started to pay particular attention to Israel’s activities in the West Bank.

The probe at the time prompted an angry response from the country’s leader.

“This is a hypocritical council with an automatic majority against Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Senior Israeli officials announced last month that Israel does not intend to cancel plans to accelerate settlement construction.

Netanyahu himself said in an interview with Israeli Channel 2 last month that the … area “is not occupied territory” and that he “does not care” what the UN thinks about it.

Around 500,000 Israelis and 2.4 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, areas that, along with Gaza, the Palestinians want for a future state.

The United Nations regards all Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. Tel Aviv last attended the human rights review in 2008. Israel is not a member of the Council, which is comprised of 47 UN member states.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top Executives at Bailed-Out Companies Keep Getting the Big Bucks, with a Wink from Treasury Dept.

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | January 30, 2013

Executives of corporations bailed out by the U.S. government received more than $6 million in raises last year, despite guidelines by the Department of the Treasury that are supposed to limit such salaries.

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (SIGTAR) accused Treasury officials of ignoring the guidelines and approving raises sought by the companies.

An extra $6.2 million was awarded to just 18 employees at General Motors (GM), Ally Financial and American International Group (AIG), which received a total of more than $250 billion in bailout funds. This included a $1 million raise for the chief executive of an AIG division, Chartis, and $200,000 for an employee of Ally’s Residential Capital—which filed for bankruptcy only weeks later.

In 2012, the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation approved pay packages of $3 million or more for 54% of the 69 top executives of AIG, GM and Ally.

Christy Romero, special inspector general for TARP, criticized the Treasury Department for not holding the line on executive compensation. “Treasury cannot look out for taxpayers’ interests if it continues to rely to a great extent on the pay proposed by companies that have historically pushed back on pay limits,” Romero said in her report (pdf).

She also accused Treasury of not making “meaningful reform to its processes.”

“Lacking criteria and an effective decision-making process, Treasury risks continuing to award executives of bailed-out companies excessive cash compensation without good cause,” she added.

Patricia Geoghegan, Treasury’s acting special master for compensation, rejected Romero’s conclusions, saying the audit was filled with inaccuracies and mischaracterizations of data provided to the inspector general.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

End the Nuclear Lobby

By PETER G. COHEN | CounterPunch | January 30, 2013

For decades the peace movement has been satisfied with scraps from the table of nuclear weapons and their beneficiaries. Even the New START Treaty was offset by the Obama administration promise to spend $185 billion in this decade on modernization of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

The vulnerable point in the complex of nuclear weapons corporations, their lobbies, their campaign recipients in Congress and the resulting ongoing budget for these weapons and facilities, is the delivery of corporate money by lobbyists to the key members of Congress.

“In the 2012 election cycle, the top 14 nuclear weapons contractors gave a total of $2.9 million to key members of Congress with decision making power over nuclear weapons spending. These firms have donated $18.7 million to these same members of Congress over the course of their careers.” –Bombs Versus Budgets: Inside the Nuclear Weapons Lobby, By Hartung and Anderson at the Center for International Policy, June 6, 2012, –( a MUST read!)

There is ample evidence that nuclear weapons are useless in our national defense, that they and their delivery systems are extremely expensive and that their possession and modernization by the United States prevents any progress toward abolition by the other nuclear powers. Above all, we now know that any use, accident, or hacking of these weapons, anywhere, endangers the people of the world and all complex forms of Life on Earth.

Therefore, when we protest nuclear weapons we are defending the future of Life on Earth. And when corporations bribe our Representatives to preserve their contracts and profits, regardless of actual need, they risk the future of that life.

We must interfere with this lobbying (bribing) process. We must stand in the way. The children of the world demand that they not live under this “sword of Damocles” for the profits of the nuclear corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Boeing. The current situation of nuclear weapons is sick and beyond the moral compass of all religions.

It is urgent that the peace movement bring this truth to the attention of the American people. The methods of the last decades have been insufficient. The harsh reality of thousands of weapons on quick response demands a new approach. we must go beyond past experience, to learn from the methods of others who have had long, hard battles to change our society. Symbolically or actually, we must stand between the K Street lobbyists with their campaign contributions and the leaders of these House Committees. The public must be aroused to the insanity of our ongoing weapons and delivery systems preparations.

We must act now to preserve the wonder of Life on Earth. There is no nobler cause or greater meaning for our lives. We must venture forth with greater energy, imagination and determination to stop the insanity of investing in our extinction.

Peter G. Cohen, Santa Barbara, CA, is the author of www.nukefreeworld.com

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Economics of the Cuban Embargo

By SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES | CounterPunch | January 29, 2013

The time has come and almost gone for Washington to repair its broken relations with Cuba. For 53 years the White House has maintained a punishing embargo on trade with Cuba. Its proponents, with the goal of removing Cuba’s revolutionary government, still plead: “give it time.”

In 2001 President George W. Bush allowed for an exception permitting US companies to sell agricultural products to Cuba for immediate payment, although imports from Cuba remained off limits. Other economic sectors received no benefits.

Cuban Americans particularly from south Florida now export goods and remittances to relatives and friends while importing profits from sales made to fellow Cubans in Cuba, giving them an advantage denied to the rest of the country.

Washington pundits attribute superhuman strength to the anti-Castro lobby; thus no President would attempt to lift the trade and travel embargoes on the island. Yet, Cuban Americans trade with and travel to Cuba freely on a daily basis. The “embargo” applies to everyone except Cuban Americans.

This growing international trade, disguised as sending goods to needy family members in Cuba, now includes filling the hulls on 10 or more daily charter flights from US cities to Cuba. Cuban Americans send goods, often with “mules,” to provide family members in Cuba, needing supplies for their businesses. The “mules” return with cash, derived from sales of these goods. Some of the new Cuban stores and restaurants supplied by Miami-based Cubans make substantial profits, some of which get spent in Cuba, and ends up in Cuba’s central bank.

Miami, the United States’ poorest large city, derives income because it provides jobs involved in buying and selling the goods sent to Cuba. Jobs also arise from routine tasks created around the daily charter flights to and from Cuba, and the fees collected from take offs and landings. Add to this, the work for accountants, book-keepers and others.

Some unemployed Cuban Americans get jobs as mules transporting the goods and money from one country to the other. Miami banks also benefit.

In Cuba, this trade also creates jobs and wealth. Mercedes runs a paladar [private restaurant]in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood, “because we draw tourists who like good food, which I serve at my paladar.”

Some paladar customers flew to Havana from Miami. These Cuban Americans come to visit relatives and maybe check on their new investments in Havana family-run businesses. “Relatives in Florida supply me with food I can’t get easily in Cuba,” Mercedes said, “like some spices, and packaged goods. I send them money for these products. They make a profit, and so do I. The government makes money from taxes I pay, and jobs grow in Cuba’s tourist industry.”

US-based charter flights have full hulls, even those with few passengers. One charter flight company manager told us: “Passengers don’t matter that much. The hull is totally full.”

Much of the Cuba trade flows through the Miami International Airport, meaning capital moves from the US to Cuba; most of the luggage contents, however, remain in Cuba. The boon to Miami airport services means jobs, fees and taxes, which remain as capital in south Florida. The goods purchased in south Florida by Cubans (relatives, mules, etc) benefit local businesses.

This trade multiplies jobs throughout the area — as well as it does for Cuba: In Miami sales emanate from stores and lead to jobs in transportation, parking, hotel facilities, restaurants, and luggage-handling. Count the businesses providing services to the people traveling to Cuba and sending goods there. Don’t omit the expanded police force, and extra officials required in immigration, and customs; nor fail to consider jobs servicing air planes, and their jetways, and additional personnel needed for landings and take offs, and extra jobs in airport administration and maintenance created by expanded travel. Think of Miami’s increased tax revenues.

South Florida represents a Cuban settler state within the United States. It counters its interests against those of the dominant society, with the society’s ignorant acquiescence. The Miami-based Cuban Americans and their Cuba-based families have used US-Cuba policy, the embargo representing the power of the nation for their own self-interest, and in order to attain a comparative advantage vis a vis the rest of the American population.

Since 1960, commitment to overthrow of the Cuban government has functioned as US foreign policy on Cuba, a policy now controlled informally by south Florida Cuban-Americans. The Cuban American ethnic enclave assumed the political power needed to turn south Florida into an autonomous Cuban settler state inside US boundaries, so that the embargo does not get applied to the Cuban American enclave. The enclave barons use the embargo to secure, for themselves, a protection of the Cuba trade monopoly.  This challenges stated US national interests.

Camouflaged by ubiquitous anti-Castro rhetoric, the Cuban American entrepreneurs have manufactured a lucrative business with the island, regulated by the very government they pretend to hate. The rightwing congressional representatives pretend to fight for every law to punish the “Castro regime” while in practice turn a dead eye to the growing trade that helps Florida’s and Cuba’s economy. Preserve the embargo, but make an exception for Cuban Americans.

By recognizing the facts about this trade, the White House might become inspired to lift the embargo – a move to benefit all Americans. US government revenue would grow from opening trade and travel with Cuba. In the process we might also regain a missing piece of US sovereignty!

Saul Landau, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Pomona, produced FIDEL and WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP, available on dvd.

Nelson P. Valdes is Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Economics | Leave a comment

The 9th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2013

Announcing 9th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week (Feb-March 2013)

hebron - Credit Patrick O. StricklandWe are excited to announce the upcoming 9th annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) starting late February in Europe and moving to various countries through the month of March.

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events (including rallies, lectures, cultural performances, film screenings, multimedia displays and boycott of Israel actions) held in cities and campuses across the globe. Last year’s IAW was incredibly successful with over 215 cities participating worldwide.

IAW seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.

To accommodate various university schedules and cities from around the world, IAW will take place in slightly different weeks but all in the months of February and March. Here is a list of dates for regions confirmed so far:

Europe: February 25 – March 10
Palestine: 8-15 March
United States: March 4 – 8
Canada: March 4 – 8
South Africa: March 11 – 17

If you would like to organize and be part of Israeli Apartheid Week on your campus or in your city please get in touch with us at iawinfo@apartheidweek.org. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED DURING IAW

IAW offers ordinary people around the world an opportunity to partake in something truly global. If you would like to get involved and organize your own IAW event or action let us know so that we can share with you the IAW Basis of Unity and organizing principles. Here are some ways that you can actively get involved:

1. Organize a film screening
Consider hosting a film. For more info or for suggestions contact us at iawinfo@apartheidweek.org

2. Arrange a lecture, workshop, rally or protest
There are many speakers ranging from academics, politicians, trade unionists and cultural activists that we can suggest for you to host. Be in touch with us and we can put you in contact.

3. Organize a BDS action
Organize with others a practical boycott of Israel action or have a BDS motion tabled at your relevant student council, municipality etc.

4. Join us online
Help us spread the word online about Israeli Apartheid Week

5. Be creative
Be creative! Draw attention to Israeli apartheid with a Mock Israeli Apartheid Wall or Checkpoint, a flash mob, a concert or poetry reading, street theater, protest etc.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

IAEA Dismisses Reports of Explosion at Iran’s Fordo

Al-Manar | January 30, 2013

The International Atomic Energy Agency has dismissed Israeli and Western media reports claiming there had been an explosion at the Fordo uranium enrichment facility and stated that it had seen no sign of such an event at the Iranian nuclear site.

On Tuesday, IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor told The Associated Press that Iran’s denial of “an incident” at the Fordo plant is “consistent with our observations.”

On Monday, Iran categorically rejected the reports about an explosion at the Fordow nuclear facility.

MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who is the chairman of the Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, described the news stories as Western propaganda designed to influence the upcoming round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany).

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment