Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Israel’s History of Assassinating Palestinian Leaders

The IMEU | November 6, 2013

On November 6, several news outlets reported that the widow of former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat announced that the results of a Swiss investigation into her late husband’s death concluded he was poisoned with polonium, a radioactive substance.

In November 2012, Arafat’s body was exhumed in order for medical examiners to take samples of his remains to test for polonium, part of a murder investigation launched by French authorities at the request of Suha Arafat following the discovery last summer of traces of the highly toxic substance on some of his personal effects. In October 2004, after enduring a two-year siege by the Israeli military in his West Bank headquarters, Arafat fell seriously ill. Two weeks later he was transported to a French military hospital where he died. Doctors concluded he died from a stroke caused by a mysterious blood disorder.

At the time, many Palestinians suspected that Arafat was murdered. Over the years, he had survived numerous assassination attempts by Israel, and just six months before his death then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that an agreement he had made with US President George W. Bush promising that Israel wouldn’t kill Arafat was no longer valid, stating: “I released myself from the commitment in regard to Arafat.”

Two years prior to that statement, in an interview published in February 2002, Sharon told an Israeli journalist that he regretted not killing Arafat when he had the chance during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, stating: “I am sorry that we did not liquidate him.” In 2002, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then in the opposition following his first term as prime minister (1996-1999), told the Likud party Central Committee: “We must completely and totally eradicate Arafat’s regime and remove him from the vicinity… This one thing must be understood: If we do not remove Arafat and his regime, the terror will return and increase. And only if we do remove them is there any chance of turning a new leaf in our relationship with the Palestinians.” When Arafat died, Netanyahu was serving as Minister of Finance in Sharon’s government.

PARTIAL LIST OF ISRAELI ASSASSINATIONS OF PALESTINIANS

2012 – On November 14, two days after Palestinian factions in Gaza agree to a truce following several days of violence, Israel assassinates the leader of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, threatening to escalate the violence once again after a week in which at least six Palestinian civilians are killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks. Although Israeli officials know that Jabari is in the process of finalizing a long-term truce, and that he is one of the few people in Gaza who can enforce it, they kill him anyway, marking the start of a week-long assault on Gaza that kills more than 100 Palestinian civilians, including at least 33 children, and wounds more than 1000 others.

2012 – On March 9, Israel violates an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and assassinates the head of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair al-Qaisi, sparking another round of violence in which at least two dozen Palestinians are killed, including at least four civilians, and scores more wounded. As it usually does, Israel claims it is acting in self-defense, against an imminent attack being planned by the PRC, while providing no evidence to substantiate the allegation.

Following the assassination, Israeli journalist Zvi Bar’el writes in the Haaretz newspaper:

“It is hard to understand what basis there is for the assertion that Israel is not striving to escalate the situation. One could assume that an armed response by the Popular Resistance Committees or Islamic Jihad to Israel’s targeted assassination was taken into account. But did anyone weigh the possibility that the violent reaction could lead to a greater number of Israeli casualties than any terrorist attack that Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, could have carried out?

“In the absence of a clear answer to that question, one may assume that those who decided to assassinate al-Qaisi once again relied on the ‘measured response’ strategy, in which an Israeli strike draws a reaction, which draws an Israeli counter-reaction.”

2010 – In January, suspected Israeli assassins kill senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room. As in the past, the Israeli agents believed to have carried out the killing use forged and stolen foreign passports from western countries, including Britain, France, Ireland and Germany, causing an international uproar.

2009 – On January 15, an Israeli airstrike kills Said Seyam, Hamas’ Interior Minister and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

2009 – On January 1, an Israeli airstrike on the home of senior Hamas military commander Nizar Rayan kills him and 15 family members, including 11 of his children.

2006 – On June 8, Israel assassinates Jamal Abu Samhadana, founder of the Popular Resistance Committees and Interior Minister of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government, killing three other members of the PRC in the process.

2004 – On April 17, Israel assassinates Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a co-founder of Hamas and its leader since the assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin a month earlier. Rantisi is considered a moderate within Hamas.

2004 – On March 22, Israel assassinates the 67-year-old wheelchair-bound spiritual leader and co-founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, as he leaves prayers at a mosque in Gaza, killing nine innocent bystanders in the process.

2003 – On March 8, Israel assassinates Ibrahim Maqadma, one of the founders of Hamas and one of its top military commanders.

2002 – On July 23, hours before a widely reported ceasefire declared by Hamas and other Palestinian groups is scheduled to come into effect, Israel bombs an apartment building in the middle of the night in the densely populated Gaza Strip in order to assassinate Hamas leader Salah Shehada. Fourteen civilians, including nine children, are also killed in the attack, and 50 others wounded, leading to a scuttling of the ceasefire and a continuation of violence.

2002 – On January 14, Israel assassinates Raed Karmi, a militant leader in the Fatah party, following a ceasefire agreed to by all Palestinian militant groups the previous month, leading to its cancellation. Later in January, the first suicide bombing by the Fatah linked Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade takes place.

2001 – On November 23, Israel assassinates senior Hamas militant, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud. At the time, Hamas was adhering to an agreement made with PLO head Yasser Arafat not to attack targets inside of Israel. Following the killing, Israeli military correspondent of the right-leaning Yediot Ahronot newspaper, Alex Fishman, writes in a front-page story:

“We again find ourselves preparing with dread for a new mass terrorist attack within the Green Line [Israel’s pre-1967 border]… Whoever gave a green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman’s agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line…”

2001 – On August 27, Israel uses US-made Apache helicopter gunships to assassinate Abu Ali Mustafa, secretary general of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In response, PFLP members assassinate Israel’s Tourism Minister and notorious right-wing hardliner, Rehavam Ze’evi, who advocated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.

2001 – On August 15, undercover Israeli soldiers assassinate Emad Abu Sneineh, a member of the Fatah linked Tanzim militia, opening fire on him at close range.

2001 – On August 5, Israeli forces assassinate Hamas member Amer Mansour Habiri in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, firing missiles at his car from helicopter gunships.

2001– On July 29, Israel assassinates Jamal Mansour, a senior member of Hamas’ political wing.

2001 – On July 25, as Israeli and Palestinian Authority security officials are scheduled to meet to shore up a six-week-old ceasefire amidst the violence of the Second Intifada, Israel assassinates a senior Islamic Jihad member, Salah Darwazeh in Nablus.

1997 – In September, the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to assassinate Khaled Meshaal, the chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, in Amman, Jordan. Israeli agents using fake Canadian passports attempt to kill Meshaal by injecting poison into his ear. The would-be assassins are quickly captured and in the ensuing diplomatic uproar Jordan’s King Hussein threatens to cut off relations with Israel and publicly try and hang the Israeli agents unless Israel provides the antidote to the poison. The Netanyahu government turns over the antidote, saving Meshaal’s life. As part of the deal, Israel also releases Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin from prison.

1996 – On January 5, Israel assassinates Hamas military commander Yahya Ayash, known as “The Engineer,” detonating explosives in a cell phone he is using. Over the next two months, Hamas responds by launching four suicide bombings that kill more than 50 Israelis. Israeli intelligence later concludes: “the attacks were most probably a direct reaction to the assassination of Ayash.”

1995 – In October, Israeli gunmen assassinate Fathi Shiqaqi, a founder of Islamic Jihad, in Malta, as he leaves his hotel in Valletta.

1994 – On November 2, Israel assassinates journalist Hani Abed, who has ties to Islamic Jihad, using a bomb rigged to his car.

1988 – On April 16, Israel assassinates senior PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir in Tunisia, even as the Reagan administration is trying to organize an international conference to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The US State Department condemns the murder as an “act of political assassination.” In ensuing protests in the occupied territories, a further seven Palestinians are gunned down by Israeli forces.

1986 – On June 9, Khalid Nazzal, Secretary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is shot dead by Israeli agents in Athens, Greece.

1983 – On August 21, senior PLO official and top aid to Yasser Arafat, Mamoun Meraish, is shot and killed by Israeli agents in Athens, Greece. According to later Israeli press reports, future Foreign Minister (currently Minister of Justice) Tzipi Livni  is involved in Meraish’s killing.

1978 – On March 28, Wadie Haddad, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, dies in East Germany from slow-acting poison ingested several months earlier. It is later revealed that Israeli agents were behind his murder.

1972 – On July 8, Palestinian author and intellectual Ghassan Kanafani and his 17-year-old niece are killed in Beirut by a car bomb, believed to have been planted by Israeli agents. A member of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Kanafani was considered a major literary figure in the Arab world and beyond.

1972 – During the 1970s, Israel carries out a series of assassinations against Palestinians they accuse of being involved with the Black September militant organization, which is responsible for the hostage taking of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, resulting in the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and officials. On October 16, 1972, Wael Zwaiter, a renowned Palestinian intellectual and the PLO representative to Italy, is shot and killed by Israeli agents in Rome. Israel accuses him of being involved with Black September, a charge strenuously denied by PLO officials and those who knew him, who pointed out that Zwaiter was a pacifist.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Withering of Big Pharma?

By Martha Rosenberg | Dissident Voice | November 7, 2013

It used to be when a drug company settled illegal marketing charges that millions took its drugs under false pretenses, the news would be released on a Friday afternoon when no one would notice. That was then. Now almost all the drug companies have joined the Off label/Kickback club and the public doesn’t seem to notice or care.

On the surface, Johnson & Johnson’s $2.2 billion settlement this week for illegally marketing drugs to the elderly, children and the mentally disabled looks like a victory.  J&J’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, will plead guilty to illegally promoting the antipsychotic Risperdal for “controlling aggression and anxiety in elderly dementia patients and treating behavioral disturbances in children and in individuals with disabilities,” reports Reuters. The promotions included a brazen kickback scheme to Omnicare Inc, a pharmacy supplying nursing homes, exposed by a whistleblower.

At least 15,000 elderly people in nursing homes die a year from drugs like Risperdal said FDA drug reviewer David Graham in Congressional testimony a few years ago. Eli Lilly who makes the similar drug Zyprexa and AstraZeneca who makes Seroquel have also settled charges that they churned the elderly drug market at the price of Grandma and Grandpa’s lives.

But it is not a victory. J&J made $24.2 billion off Risperdal from 2003 to 2010 and shareholders won’t even notice this week’s nano loss. J&J milked Risperdal for all it was worth and the patent had already run out by the time it was charged with illegal schemes. Other drug giants charged with illegal marketing schemes–Abbott for Depakote, Pfizer for Bextra,  Eli Lilly for Zyprexa, AstraZeneca for Seroquel, GlaxoSmithKline for Paxil and Merck for Vioxx–also got their money’s worth before the trivial nuisance of suit. Many, like Pfizer who illegally marketed its seizure drug Neurontin while under probation for illegal Lipitor activities–are brazen and shameless repeat offenders.

Many say the only justice that will get Big Pharma’s attention is frog marching the CEOs off to prison and/or cutting them off from their lucrative public trough of Medicare, Medicaid and military health programs.

Still, Big Pharma’s audacious business plan of asking forgiveness not permission is winding down. Not because Pharma, prescribers, consumers, regulators and health officials have seen the light but because there are no more big drugs to pimp. An estimated 100,000 workers will be losing their jobs at Pfizer, Sanofi, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Merck reported Yahoo finance last month.

Only two new drug campaigns seem to be brewing and they require a major suspension of reality on the part of doctors and patients. One tries to convince people with low back pain they actually suffer from ankylosing spondylitis an arthritis-like condition that causes chronic inflammation of the spine.  If your spine is stiff when you wake up in the morning you can take an immune suppressor like Humira which puts you at risk of tuberculosis and lethal viral, fungal and bacterial infections while costing you $12,000 to $17,000 a year. Line forms to the left.

The other, even more brazen campaign, tries to convince people with insomnia, tiredness during the day, moodiness and relationship problems that they actually suffer from Non-24-Hour Sleep–Wake Disorder, a disorder that affects mostly blind people. You don’t have to be blind to have the disorder, says the new Pharma message even though there have been fewer than 100 cases of sighted people with non-24 reported in the scientific literature. It sounds like a stretch but so did convincing people with job, money and marriage problems they really had depression or bipolar disorder.

Still it is obvious the bloom has fallen off the Big Pharma rose and it is now paying the piper for the high-flying party with drug settlements like Johnson & Johnson’s this week. But that doesn’t mean shady marketing, hidden risks, kickbacks and outrageous prices are gone from the medical field. They have just moved to the Medical Device industry.

~

Martha Rosenberg is a columnist/cartoonist who writes about public health. Her first book, titled Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health, has just been released by Prometheus Books. She can be reached at: martharosenberg@sbcglobal.net.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Data retention means you are on the record, like it or not

By Fiona de Londras, Durham University | November 6, 2013

Next month the advocate general of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), Yves Bot, will publish an opinion on the extent to which the Data Retention Directive, one of the most controversial security measures introduced by the EU in the past decade, is compatible with human rights law. Although not a binding judgement (this will come later), the CJEU’s opinion is a significant intervention in the ongoing debate over how to balance human rights with states’ perceived surveillance needs.

The security-related retention of communications by telecoms firms was on the European agenda well before 9/11, but privacy concerns had led to a limited approach. Telecoms companies in the EU were obliged to delete communications data as soon as all business needs had been met; the data could not be retained for security or criminal investigation purposes. Some states had attempted to adjust this and introduce a retention system in 2000, but this failed – again, largely because of privacy concerns. All this changed, however, after 9/11.

As early as May 2002, a “data retention amendment” had been made to existing EU privacy laws to allow for security-related data retention, and drafts of a provision that would require retention began to circulate. Those proposals attracted so much rights-based criticism that they were apparently abandoned; however, they quickly reappeared in the wake of the London and Madrid bombings, and in 2006, the Data Retention Directive was adopted.

It obliges all member states to introduce national data retention regimes, even where -— as in the UK —- there had already been significant resistance to such regimes when they were previously proposed at national level. The directive requires telecommunications providers to retain data on the source, destination, time, date, duration and type of all communications by fixed and mobile telephone, fax and internet, and on the location and type of equipment used.

The data is to be retained for between six month and two years, with national law deciding on the duration, and can be accessed by state agencies investigating “serious crime” —- a term that has different definitions across the member states.

Blanket surveillance

The volume and extent of information retained under the directive is stunning; in effect, it has introduced a system of blanket surveillance across the entire EU. Although access to the information is regulated by law, state agencies can nonetheless access an enormous amount of information about our communications patterns and activities. This naturally raises serious human rights concerns, especially about privacy.

Security services insist that data retention is an indispensable tool for investigating serious crimes, such as terrorism and the production and distribution of child pornography. Yet different states make use of the Directive to wildly varying extents: in 2012, for example, Cyprus made 22 requests for access to data, while the UK made 725,467.

The question for the advocate general, the CJEU and the EU more broadly is whether or not the approach taken by the directive privileges perceived security needs over human rights. Data retention unquestionably constitutes a prima facie infringement on privacy; the real issue is whether this infringement is justified because it is necessary, effective, and limited. This question is at the core of all debates about “balance” in the security context: how far are we prepared to allow state power into our individual, family, social and democratic lives in order to “secure” us?

Answering this question requires us to decide on what we think “effectiveness” means in the context of security. If the directive helps to resolve a handful of serious crimes per year, or to prevent one terrorist attack, is it effective? Could a more limited approach -— such as requiring telecoms companies to collect data related to certain investigations but not to retain all data -— achieve the same security objectives while better protecting rights?

These are difficult questions, but they are ones we must resolve if we are to have a balanced security system. The advocate general’s opinion will be an important contribution to the debate, but it will not be the final word. Achieving a balanced approach to security requires critical scrutiny at practical, political, social and legal levels. This is all the more true given that, as the Data Retention Directive illustrates, security measures operate upon and have implications for the rights of all of us, all of the time.

Fiona de Londras is the Project Co-Ordinator of SECILE (Securing Europe through Counter-Terrorism: Impact, Legitimacy and Effectiveness), a project that has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 313195.

The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Can the New York Times Endorse an Agreement the Public Can’t Read?

By Maira Sutton | EFF | November 7, 2013

The New York Times’ editorial board has made a disappointing endorsement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), even as the actual text of the agreement remains secret. That raises two distressing possibilities: either in an act of extraordinary subservience, the Times has endorsed an agreement that neither the public nor its editors have the ability to read. Or, in an act of extraordinary cowardice, it has obtained a copy of the secret text and hasn’t yet fulfilled its duty to the public interest to publish it.

Without a publicly available agreement, readers are forced into the uncomfortable position of taking official government statements at face value. That’s reflected in the endorsement, which fails to note the myriad ways in which TPP has been negotiated undemocratically, shutting out public oversight while permitting corporate interests to drive the agenda. Given these glaring issues, it is disconcerting that the Times would take such a supportive stance on an agreement that is likely to threaten innovation and users’ digital rights well into the 21st century.

That situation leaves unanswered questions. Does the editorial board, for example, support the TPP provisions that would give private corporations new tools to undermine national sovereignty and democratic processes? Because “investor-state dispute settlement,” slated for inclusion in both the TPP and the EU-US trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), would give multinational companies the power to sue countries over laws that might cut into expected future profits. This could allow corporations to unravel any policy designed to protect users against violations of their right to privacy or free speech online. The paper’s endorsement notes that copyright enforcement could be expanded to suit legacy media companies, but provides no explanation of why a trade agreement is an acceptable venue for deciding such issues.

Does the New York Times also endorse an initiative to scrap democratic oversight of TPP by elected lawmakers? After all, Senate Finance committee leaders, Sen. Max Baucus and Sen. Orrin Hatch have renewed their call to pass fast-track, which would hand over Congress’ constitutional mandate over US trade policy to the Obama administration. Fast-track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, would restrict lawmakers from having any proper hearings on its provisions, limiting them to an up-or-down vote on the entire 29 chapter treaty.

The paper’s statement emphasizes how the Obama administration strives to make TPP’s policies “an example for the rest of the world to follow.” But if that’s the case, then it’s all the more important that the agreement be published immediately. Such a significant body of international law regulating digital policy must not be negotiated without proper, informed public debate. The secrecy of the process itself ensures that only some private interests will be represented at the expense of others. In addition, the U.S. Trade Representative’s history of pushing forth extreme copyright enforcement policies through other trade agreements gives little assurance that users’ rights will be considered in the TPP.

Trade representatives are working to finalize TPP negotiations by the end of the year. Negotiators are scheduled to meet in Salt Lake City next week to negotiate outstanding issues in this agreement, including provisions on liability for Internet Service Providers and anti-circumvention measures over DRM. Following that, trade delegates are seeking to finalize and sign this agreement in December in a ministerial meeting in Singapore.

It’s unfortunate that news outlets are giving little coverage to TPP, when media attention could have a major impact on how the US and the other 11 nations draft digital policy. But public media coverage is precisely the sort of accountability that official secrecy thwarts. Instead of endorsing an agreement the public can’t read, a responsible paper would condemn the secrecy involved. And if the Times has seen the text and knows what’s contained in the TPP, then they have a responsibility to publish the text immediately and expose the US government’s back room dealings.

In either case, it is deeply disappointing that the New York Times would even support the TPP when the public remains in the dark. An endorsement of TPP at this stage is an endorsement of opaque, corporate-driven policymaking.

~

We need to demand that our lawmakers oppose fast track, ask them to call for a hearing, and exercise their authority to oversee the U.S. trade office’s secret copyright agenda.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

UNESCO rescinds US and Israel’s voting rights

Al-Akhbar | November 8, 2013

UNESCO has suspended the voting rights of Israel and the United States, two years after they stopped paying dues to the UN’s cultural arm in protest over its granting full membership to the Palestinians, a UNESCO source told Reuters.

Both countries decided to cancel their funding in October 2011. The American decision was blamed on US laws that prohibit funding to any UN agency that implies recognition of Palestinian demands for their own state.

The US missed a Friday deadline to provide an official justification of its non-payment and a plan to pay back its missed dues, the UNESCO source said, automatically triggering the suspension of voting rights.

Neither the United States nor Israel “presented the necessary documentation this morning to avoid losing their right to vote,” a source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Two separate diplomatic sources also confirmed the deadline had been missed, triggering the suspension of voting rights.

There was no immediate comment at the office of the US envoy to the UN agency.

UNESCO designates World Heritage sites, promotes global education and supports press freedom among other tasks.

The withdrawal of US funding – which to date amounts to about $240 million or some 22 percent of UNESCO’s budget – has plunged the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization into a financial crisis, forcing it to cut programs and slash spending.

With the US and Israel withdrawing their contributions UNESCO’s budget fell from $653 million to $507 million.

The reduced budget means some 300 people at UNESCO are in danger of losing their jobs. In 2012 the UN agency employed 1,200 people at its headquarters in Paris and 900 around the world.

UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova, who was re-elected in October, raised $75 million in a bid to deal with the agency’s financial crisis.

“The list of countries that will lose their voting rights will be announced probably tomorrow (Saturday) in a plenary session,” the same UNESCO source said.

The loss of voting rights for two member countries comes as Washington tries to keep US-brokered peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians afloat.

Both parties have signaled the lack of progress in the talks, revived in July after a three-year hiatus but stymied over Israeli plans to continue building illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians have so far failed in their bid to become a full member of the UN, but their UNESCO membership is seen as a potential first step towards UN recognition of statehood. In November 2012, the UN General Assembly granted Palestine non-member state status in a landslide vote.

(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Road map for a decease plan

By Trish Schuh | Tehran Times | April 28, 2005

TEHRAN — Yasser Arafat’s removal was a triumph for Israel. It fulfilled demands for the election of anti-Intifada Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and his associates who “work well with Israel and America,” and whose commitment to disarm the Palestinians will enable Israeli land theft for settlements to continue without resistance or reprisal from undefended Palestinians. Israel achieved Arafat’s demise: “The obstacle to peace(s of land?) will be eradicated forever.”

According to President Bush’s closest advisors, Bush had a radical change of heart in January 2002, when he decided for the first time that Yasser Arafat was an irredeemable terrorist unfit as a peace partner. Israel confiscated the Iranian freighter Karine A in the Red Sea, allegedly with a cargo of munitions en route to Gaza militants. Upon receiving “evidence” from the CIA via Mossad that Arafat had knowledge of the shipment, Ariel Sharon got what he always wanted: America’s de facto elimination of Arafat as leader of the Palestinian Authority.

With Washington watching, Israeli tanks surrounded Arafat’s Ramallah compound while Ariel Sharon’s cabinet discussed deporting Arafat. Under intense American and European pressure, Sharon promised Bush not to assassinate him. Middle East Newsline reported that Secretary of State Colin Powell then approached Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia to provide Arafat safe haven. All refused.

On April 1, 2002, World Tribune.com reported that Morocco agreed to provide Arafat asylum. After insisting that 70 Hamas and Fatah colleagues accompany him, the Knesset rejected the proposal, arguing that he would be far more dangerous out of sight, operating a government-in-exile. A month later, both U.S. houses of Congress passed resolutions of overwhelming support for Israel and condemning Arafat as a “terrorist” and a “despot”.

On June 24th, from the White House Rose Garden, President Bush issued a critical foreign policy shift. In what analysts deemed “the death knell for Yasser Arafat,” Bush publicly called for regime change in Palestine. He later began to parrot Sharon’s rhetoric, saying the U.S. would no longer deal with Yasser Arafat, or acknowledge him as the Palestinians’ leader.

In the final months of 2002, Israeli experts advised U.S. Justice system lawyers how to legalize “targeted killings.” The February 7, 2003 The Jewish Forward reported on an unprecedented legal document developed for the U.S. by Israel. It contained a comprehensive set of justifications for state terror assassinations, and revealed the Bush administration’s involvement in such schemes. Bush now characterized terrorists caught — but denied rights to trial –as being “otherwise dealt with.” Israeli media also revealed that Mossad was training the U.S. military and CIA how to implement covert ‘hits’ with expertise gained fighting the Palestinians — car bombs, snipers, cell phone explosives, high-tech devices and poisoning — and how to disguise them as “unexplained events and accidents.”

Former PFLP official and longtime Arafat spokesman Abu Bassam Sharif received a letter in December 2002 from friends in the Israeli peace movement warning of a plot to poison Arafat. (The Guardian, December 16, 2004)

As a step towards regime change, Israel and the U.S. forced Arafat to appoint Mahmoud Abbas prime minister in February 2003. Abbas’s choice for minister of state security, Gazan Mohammed Dahlan, was favored by the Bush-Sharon team for his pledge to eliminate Palestinian resistance to Israeli attacks and settlements. According to the article “U.S. Quietly Backing Anti-Arafat Reform Movement” in Geostrategy-Direct.com, Americans “work with” Dahlan to fund and train his thousand-man militia for a coup d’état against Arafat by 2005. Arafat biographer Said Aburish noted that torture of prisoners thrived under Dahlan’s rule in the 1990’s. Arafat refused Dahlan’s appointment. Abbas resigned in September 2003 over control of the Palestinian Security Services.

Reacting to increased Palestinian attacks, in August 2003, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared “all-out war” on the militants whom he vowed “marked for death.” In mid September, Israel’s government passed a law to get rid of Arafat. Israel’s cabinet for political security affairs declared it “a decision to remove Arafat as an obstacle to peace.” Mofaz threatened, “We will choose the right way and the right time to kill Arafat.” Palestinian Minister Saeb Erekat told CNN he thought Arafat was the next target. CNN asked Sharon spokesman Ra’anan Gissan if the vote meant expulsion of Arafat. Gissan clarified, “It doesn’t mean that. The Cabinet has today resolved to remove this obstacle. The time, the method, the ways by which this will take place will be decided separately, and the security services will monitor the situation and make the recommendation about proper action.”

The Jerusalem Post (September 11, 2003) advocated: “We must kill Arafat because the world leaves us no alternative. When the breaking point arrives, there is no point in taking half measures. If we are to be condemned in any case, we might as well do it right…” Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: “Arafat can no longer be a factor in what happens here. The question is: how are we going to do it? Expulsion is certainly one of the options, and killing is also one of the options”; and “Killing Arafat is an open choice for us, definitely one of the options.” Ariel Sharon: “Killing Arafat, more than any other act, would demonstrate that the tool of terrorism is unacceptable.”

The Israeli Defense Forces Central Command then refined “Operation New Leaf” — code word of the military operation for Arafat’s elimination and its aftermath. Updated repeatedly in the year before his death, the plan included methods for his killing and burial site, riot prevention, protection of settlements from Palestinian backlash, and even instructions for IDF soldiers “not to appear too joyful at his death” to avoid provoking grieving Palestinians. A propaganda plan was also formulated to deprive Arafat of a hero’s status through a non-combat, ‘natural’ death. Sharon spokesman Ra’anan Gissan said, “The issue is how to best remove this obstacle without making him a martyr.” IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon suggested, “We should kill Arafat softly… We must kill him softly and throw him out of the PA Presidential Palace; we must find an alternative leadership. I’m sure Mohammed Dahlan is qualified for this mission.”

In November 2003, Israel and the U.S. pressured the Palestinians to install new Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia to succeed Abbas. Qureia also battled Arafat to appoint Dahlan head of security. By February 2004, Palestinian legislators discovered that multimillionaire Qureia’s family business, Al Quds Cement, has been selling Israel its concrete to build the notorious Apartheid Wall. The UK Telegraph also reported Qureia company cement mixers making deliveries to the Maaleh Adunim Jewish settlements. In Gaza, cement merchants closely connected to Qureia through Dahlan reaped exorbitant profits manufacturing cement for Israeli construction projects. Both men are hailed in Washington as “new leadership we can work with.”

Responding to a double suicide attack planned in Gaza, Time Magazine reported that Sharon’s security cabinet decided on March 16, 2004 to execute Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on March 21. Despite world outrage at his assassination, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice defended it: “Let’s remember that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that Sheikh Yassin has himself personally, we believe, been involved in terrorist planning.”

Ariel Sharon’s White House visit on April 14, 2004 resulted in a deal with the Bush administration to radically alter the Middle East. In exchange for Israel’s Gaza pullout, the U.S. agreed to Sharon’s security request — the “dismantling” of a list of terror threats: Arafat, Nasrallah, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iranian nuclear capability. When Sharon presented Bush with “proof” that Arafat was responsible for the October 2003 attack on a U.S. convoy in Gaza killing three Americans, Bush finally acceded to Arafat’s targeted removal.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr Al Qibri warned: “The United States bears responsibility for what happens, since after every visit by Sharon to Washington he commits more terrorism and more assassinations.”

Sharon then branded Arafat a “legitimate target.” “Whoever aims to kill Jews, whoever sends murderers to kill Jews, is ‘marked for death’.” He later threatened in the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot: “We operated against Ahmed Yassin and Rantisi and some other murderers at a time that seemed right to us. On the subject of expelling Arafat we will behave according to the same principle: we will do it at a convenient time. As we behaved toward other murderers (Yassin and Rantisi), so we will behave toward Arafat.”

Ma’ariv published a terrorist ‘deck of cards’ from Sharon’s list of those “marked for death.” “Everyone is in our sights,” said Internal Security Minister Tsahi Hanegbi, “There is no immunity for anyone. And that means anyone — down to the last person.” Lt. General Moshe Ya’alon added that those on the list “understand it is nearing them.” Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom also warned that the removal of Arafat is “closer than ever.”

In July 2004, riots protesting Palestinian Authority corruption spread from Gaza to the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus. According to World Tribune.com, Mohammed Dahlan, with U.S. help, had been coordinating the revolt to strengthen himself as a future successor to Arafat. The powerful lobby, American-Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC), stated: “International pressure coordinated with Palestinian opponents of Arafat’s rule could accelerate a Palestinian leadership change.”

In the U.S., a New York Post columnist quoted an Israeli official at the Republican National Convention in August 2004: “Arafat will die this year.” The Israeli continued, “I’ve never steered you wrong about the Middle East before. I know what I’m saying. Arafat dies this year… Don’t ask me more.”

On September 6, 2004, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz reiterated to Israel’s Army Radio Israel’s 2003 official decision to end Arafat’s reign: “The State of Israel will find the way and the right time to bring about the removal of Yasser Arafat from the region.”

Within a month, Arafat had become mysteriously ill. From the first announcement, the American press definitively portrayed Arafat as already dying. In Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority prevented his personal physician, Dr. Ashraf Al Kurdi, from examining Arafat until it was too late to save him or get an antidote. Al Kurdi said Arafat knew he was dying: “Yes, I actually heard from him in Ramallah that he thought he’d been poisoned.”

By November 11, 2004, Arafat was dead from undiagnosed causes. After examining his medical dossier, Arafat’s nephew Nasser Al Qidwa claimed Arafat was poisoned. In an interview at his Amman, Jordan office, Al Kurdi told me: “I suspect Arafat died of a killing poison, a catalyst.” Al Kurdi’s request for an autopsy was denied by the PA.

Addressing Al Jazeera, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal declared: “I accuse Israel of having poisoned the blood of Abu Ammar.” Referring to a 1997 Mossad attempt to poison him, Meshal said: “French and Arab doctors may not be able to find evidence, as they could not find proof in my blood when I was poisoned, but Israel was forced to bring an antidote after two of its agents were held in Jordan.”

The October 29, 2004 New York Post admitted: “Israel has been preparing for his demise for months, including his possible burial site.” In accordance with the propaganda dictates of Operation New Leaf, the last public image of Yasser Arafat alive was the antithesis of a symbolic warrior. Ariel Sharon told Ha’aretz: “It is feared that after his funeral Arafat will become a national hero and freedom-fighter.” The only photo of Arafat not in military fatigues, the NY Post showed him in baby blue pajamas, shriveled, weak, wearing a ‘dunce cap’ and looking like a pathetic child. Former Bush speechwriter David Frum utilized a frequent Mossad homosexual slur, asking “Does Yasser Arafat have AIDS?”

In January 2005, I requested an interview at the Palestinian Authority Information Ministry with the committee investigating Arafat’s death. “We have been ordered not to speak of this by our officials at the highest level.” Though Arafat was a world figure for two generations, investigation into his death has been banned. World governments and media remain strangely silent.

As a U.S. official said in 2002: “Arafat’s removal will pave the way for the emergence of moderate leadership” compliant to Israel’s security needs. The “new” Palestinian leadership of Abbas, Qureia, and Dahlan is the old team of corruption and collaboration, minus resistance. Comprised of leaders who “work well” for Israel and America, Israeli land theft for settlements will continue without obstacles…

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Public Relations (Spin Doctors) Deliberately Deceived Public About Global Warming and Climate Change

By Dr. Tim Ball | Watts Up With That |

Half the work done in the world is to make things appear what they are not. E.R. Beadle.

In a 2003 speech Michael Crichton, graduate of Harvard Medical School and author of State of fear, said,

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

We are in virtual reality primarily as Public Relations (PR) and its methods are applied to every aspect of our lives. The term “spin doctors” is more appropriate because it is what they are really doing. A spin doctor is defined as: a spokesperson employed to give a favorable interpretation of events to the media, esp. on behalf of a political party. It doesn’t say truthful interpretation. There are lies of commission and omission and this definition bypasses the category of omission. It’s reasonable to argue that if you deliberately commit a sin of omission it encompasses both. A favorable interpretation means there is deliberate premeditated deception. The person knows the truth, but selects information to create a false interpretation.

Despite all the discussion and reports about weather and climate the public are unaware of even the most fundamental facts. Recently, I gave a three hour presentation with question and answers. The audience was educated people who distrust government and were sympathetic to my information. I decided to illustrate my point and concern by asking a few basic questions. Nobody could tell me the difference between weather and climate. Nobody could name the three major so-called greenhouse gases, let alone explain the mechanics of the greenhouse theory. My goal was not to embarrass, but to illustrate how little they knew and how easily PR can deceive and misdirect.

Few people exemplify or describe the modern PR views better (worse?) than Jim Hoggan, President of a large Canadian PR company, Hoggan and Associates, in the Vancouver Sun December 30, 2005.

Want good coverage? Tell a good story. When your business is under siege, you can’t hope to control the situation without first controlling the story. The most effective form of communication is a compelling narrative that ties your interest to those of your audience. This is particularly critical when you’re caught in the spotlight; it doesn’t matter if you have the facts on your side if your detractors are framing the story. So, don’t just react. Take some time now to define your company story. Then you’ll be ready to build a response into that narrative should something go wrong.

Environment and climate suffer more from spinning than most areas and Hoggan, as Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation and owner of a large PR company, has a long connection with both. He is the proud founder and supporter of the web site DeSmogBlog as he explains in his book about the climate cover-up. The objective was to denigrate people by creating “favorable interpretations” to the following questions. “Were these climate skeptics qualified? Were they doing any research in the climate change field? Were they accepting money, directly or indirectly, from the fossil fuel industry?This wasn’t about answering the questions skeptics were asking about the science. Richard Littlemore, Hoggan’s co-author and senior writer for DeSmogBlog, revealed what was going on in a December 2007 email to Michael Mann.

Hi Michael [Mann],

I’m a DeSmogBlog writer [Richard LIttlemore] (sic) (I got your email from Kevin Grandia) and I am trying to fend off the latest announcement that global warming has not actually occurred in the 20th century.

It looks to me like Gerd Burger is trying to deny climate change by “smoothing,” “correcting” or otherwise rounding off the temperatures that we know for a flat fact have been recorded since the 1970s, but I am out of my depth (as I am sure you have noticed: we’re all about PR here, not much about science) so I wonder if you guys have done anything or are going to do anything with Burger’s intervention in Science. (Emphasis added)

The hypocrisy is profound because nobody ever questioned Al Gore’s qualifications or financial, career or political rewards. No promoters of global warming, such as Bill McKibben, Ross Gelbspan, Seth Borenstein, Andrew Revkin or most members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are challenged. Borenstein exposed his bias in a leaked CRU email from July 23, 2009 to the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) gang. He wrote, “Kevin (Trenberth), Gavin (Schmidt), Mike (Mann), It’s Seth again. Attached is a paper in JGR today that Marc Morano is hyping wildly. It’s in a legit journal. Watchya think?A journalist talking to scientists is legitimate, but like the leaked emails, tone and subjectivity are telling. “Again” means there was previous communication. At least Revkin left the New York Times apparently because of such exposure.

The problem began the moment environmentalism and climate were exploited for political agendas and people asked questions. If you can’t answer the questions you either admit that or initiate personal attacks. Spin-doctors use two basic types.

• The individual is named and a slur applied. These are usually false or at best taken out of context. This includes guilt by association and taking payment from an agency or belonging to a group the slanderer considers inappropriate. It is an ad hominem.

• Individuals are marginalized by putting them in a group with a term created that marginalizes by implying they are at best outside any norm. For example, despite obvious limitations of data availability anyone who asks about President Obama’s biography is called a “Birther”. Anyone who is troubled by incomplete, unclear, or illogical explanations for events is called a “Conspiracy theorist”. There is no word or phrase for falsifying information about a group. A collective ad hominem is a contradiction. Guilt by association has some application, but a term like “Birther” has a different function. It is a collective designed to discredit anyone assigned. There can be no general name because the objective is to identify the group with a specific issue. This is necessary as part of the goal of marginalizing or isolating.

Early indicators of the politicizing of climate included the claim of a consensus. The word applies in politics not science Calling people who questioned the science “skeptics” was greater evidence. “Skeptic” is negative for the public and defined as “A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions. Most think it is the definition for a cynic, A person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons. The problem is most people don’t know that scientists must be skeptics.

The epithet “global warming skeptic” was applied to me years ago and was used in questions from the media. When I explained I accepted global warming the media was surprised. They didn’t understand when I explained my skepticism was about the cause – the claim it was due to human CO2. Some labeled me a contrarian, but it wasn’t effective because few know what it means.

When the basic assumption of the IPCC hypothesis that increased CO2 causes increased temperature stopped occurring after 1998, the attackers changed the subject and the pejorative. They raised the smearing level because they were losing the battle for the public mind. Now it became climate change and questioners deniers with the deliberate association with “holocaust deniers”.

Ironically, like all so-labeled, I am anything but a denier. My 40-year career involved teaching people how much climate changes naturally over time. The IPCC were deliberately constrained by their terms of reference to human causes and don’t consider natural changes. Rather they provide a “favorable interpretation” for their political objective to blame human CO2. It’s an interpretation a required spin to counter what Huxley called ugly facts.

Every time a problem appeared public relations people appeared and strategized a defense, usually to divert from the problem. When the emails were leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) a public relations person was engaged. After the November 2009 leak the University of East Anglia hired Neil Wallis of Outside Organization to handle the fall out. University spokesperson Trevor Davies said it was a “reputation management problem, which he said they don’t handle well. Apparently they didn’t consider telling the truth. The leaked emails triggered a shock wave that required a top political spin-doctor. Wallis, a former editor at the News of The World, was later arrested in connection with the phone hacking scandals that led to the resignation of London Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, as well as Andy Coulson, Prime Minister Cameron’s press secretary.

Michael Mann’s 2004 email to CRU Director Phil Jones was evidence of the PR battle. Confronted by challenging questions they apparently developed a defensive mentality.

“I’ve personally stopped responding to these, they’re going to get a few of these op-ed pieces out here and there, but the important thing is to make sure they’re loosing (sic) the PR battle. That’s what the site is about. By the way, Gavin did come up w/ the name!”

The “site” is the web site Realclimate, named by Gavin (Schmidt). But science doesn’t need PR, so why do climate scientists use it? The apparent answer is they are not telling the truth and worse, know it.

I opened with a quote from Michael Crichton so it is fitting to end with his closing remarks.

Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race. That’s our past. So it’s time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.

The problem and challenge is the population generally divides into 80 percent who struggle with science and 20 percent who are comfortable. I taught a science credit for arts students for 25 years so know the challenges. This makes resolving Crichton’s challenge of “distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda, even more difficult. It is almost impossible when professional spin-doctors are deliberately diverting, misleading and creating confusion.

The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.Thomas H. Huxley

A danger sign of the lapse from true skepticism in to dogmatism is an inability to respect those who disagreeDr. Leonard George.

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” –Thomas Jefferson

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Iranian channels targeted 66 times in 3 years: IRIB

Press TV – November 7, 2013

The head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) says Iranian channels have been taken off air from 27 satellites 66 times over the past three years by those claiming to be the advocates of freedom of speech.

Ezzatollah Zarghami made the remarks in an interview with Iran’s Young Journalists’ Club (YJC) on Thursday.

Zarghami noted that in addition to this, the channels have been repeatedly blocked or distorted through jamming of their transponders.

“This is while the Islamic Republic of Iran has been falsely accused of jamming [foreign radio and TV broadcasts] and sometimes it is claimed that the source [of the jamming] is outside Iran,” he stated.

The head of the IRIB said that in the modern world the free flow of information and enlightenment by independent media cannot be blocked.

He noted that the move against the Iranian channels by those who claim to be the advocates of freedom of speech and free flow of information comes as thousands of TV and satellite channels are currently broadcasting their programs onto the Iranian territory.

Iranian channels have come under an unprecedented wave of attacks by European governments and satellite companies since January 2012.

They have been taken off the air in several Western countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

European companies say they are abiding by the US-engineered sanctions against Iran. However, Michael Mann, the EU foreign policy chief’s spokesman, has told Press TV that sanctions do not apply to media.

In June, in another illegal act against Iranian alternative channels, Intelsat said that it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels, including Press TV.

Press TV later learned that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) — an agency of the US Treasury Department — was behind the pressure on Intelsat.

Media activists call the attacks on Iranian channels a campaign against free speech launched by the same European governments that preach freedom of expression.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment