Aletho News


Kuwait Emir Opens Gulf Summit with Call to End Syria War

Al-Manar | December 10, 2013

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah opened an annual Gulf summit on Tuesday with a call for an end to the “human catastrophe” in Syria and announced support for the nuclear agreement between Iran and World Powers.

Kuwait hosts Tuesday and Wednesday the thirty-fourth Gulf Cooperation Council summit amid serious divisions among its members.

The summit witnessed exacerbated disputes among the member states that concentrated their discussions on the new American attitude towards Iran.

Although many of the Gulf countries viewed the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers positively, Saudi Arabia revealed surging rage as it is concerned that the Iranian-American agreement may weaken its role in the region.

The augmenting strategic role of Iran in the region and the decline of the American dependence on the Gulf sources of energy intensified the concerns of the GCC states.

Analysts emphasized that the Gulf Union was proposed to compensate the strategic losses, yet Oman’s threat of withdrawing from the council tackled the proposal and deepened the rift among the its states.

Qatar’s concerns about being subjected to the Saudi influence also represented a main obstacle facing the union.

Economically, the disputes between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates thwarted the efforts to establish the custom union.

December 10, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Comments Off on Kuwait Emir Opens Gulf Summit with Call to End Syria War

Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’

By Phillip F. Tourney | January 17, 2009

I have heard it for the entirety of my 61 years of life, Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’. In fact, in recent memory I have heard this phrase more than I’ve heard ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ or even ‘Have a Good 4th.

Israel seems to exist quite well. Her people have a very high living standard compared to the rest of the world. Israel has the most sophisticated armed forces in the Middle East, if indeed not the world. According to one of our former presidents, Israel is said to possess several hundred nuclear weapons and if we are to believe some of the things said by Israel’s leaders in recent years she is ready to destroy mankind if her leaders choose to do so.

Israeli’s live a very good life style, second to none. A swimming pool in every back yard on stolen land, plenty of food, jobs, stocks, cash, you name it. Their quality of life continues to grow and prosper every month of every year.

Now what I have a problem with is this–doesn’t the United States of America also have a ‘Right to Exist’?

Yes we do, but unfortunately that right is being taken away from us every second, every minute, every hour, every month and every year and all for the sake of Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’. What’s wrong with this story? Well, I’ll explain what’s wrong with it and believe me, its not that hard to figure out.

Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’ has virtually bankrupted the United States, and all of it off the backs of hard-working Americans for the last sixty years. We’ve given Israel untold billions of dollars NEVER TO BE REPAID, to say nothing of the military hardware in the billions we (I should say the United States) just flat-out gives them, including free training for their fighter pilots.

The United States continues to supply Israel with cash payments every day in the millions of dollars, and remember–THIS IS BORROWED MONEY. Do you understand this my fellow Americans? We borrow money for the sake of Israel but yet we do not barrow it for the sake and safety of our own citizens. This money must be paid back by us our children, their children and their children and this cycle will never be broken until the Untied States gives up its passionate attachment to the Jewish state.

Our sons and daughters are paying a very heavy price in Iraq. 4000+dead, tens of thousands wounded so badly that their lives will never be the same and who knows when it will end.

The United States is fighting this war in Iraq all for the sake of Israel. Americans getting killed, wounded and us spending billions of tax dollars we don’t have, and for what? Let me remind you, in case you have forgotten–FOR ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST.

The ugly truth is that the United States can’t take much more. It is bending to the very breaking point of no return, and now the war drums beat once again in Israel that we must attack Iran or they will. When Israel spouts this aggression the gas prices go up and up, along with the price of food and just about everything else we need so that America can exist. It is a heavy burden on the American people, Israel’s benefactors. Many in this country are losing their homes, their jobs and can’t even afford food and all because they gave everything they had for Israel’s ‘Right to Exist’.

This year the United States has gone through so many natural disasters it boggles the mind. One after the other–fire, floods, tornadoes, you name it and we’ve had it and up to our collective eyeballs. And through all of this, where has America’s greatest ally been? I haven’t seen Israel hand over a red cent to this country when it was in need. Israel could care less about us, their benefactors the USA. If we were broke and down to our last cent, you can bet the ranch that Israel would demand it go into her coffers and God help any politician who would vote against it.

But then, why do we even bother discussing such business as politicians voting in America’s best interest? It goes without saying that when Israel wants something she gets it, no strings attached from a subservient President and congress.

It’s time we cut this step child Israel loose and let her make it on their own. No more wars for Israel. No more money, no more nothing. If Israel wants money let her people earn it. If they want a war LET THEM FIGHT IT ON THEIR OWN. NO MORE AMERICAN BLOOD OR TREASURE SPENT ON ISRAEL’S ‘RIGHT TO EXIST’.

For those who think I am wet behind the ears on this one, think twice–I know all too well what Israel thinks about Americans, because 41 years ago I saw them murder my shipmates in cold blood with no remorse in their black hearts or in their vacant souls. Their entire war machine was bought and paid for– you guessed it–by you, the people of the United States and they used that to murder America’s sons.

History will repeat itself if the Government doesn’t wise up soon, and they won’t unless they hear from you, me and the rest of the American public as we demand no more free rides for any country, and especially not Israel. America has its own ‘Right to Exist’ and no one, not even the Jewish state, should come before our own family and friends.

Survivor, USS Liberty June 8 1967


December 10, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

West defending dictatorships from democracy in Persian Gulf

By Finian Cunningham | Press TV | December 9, 2013

In a breathtaking display of absurdity, US secretary of defense Chuck Hagel and Britain’s Foreign Minister William Hague were among senior Western delegates to address the annual conference on “regional security” held in Bahrain at the weekend.

These officials pontificated about regional threats, conflict, international law, human rights and so on; meanwhile out on the streets of Bahrain, not far from the venue, peaceful protesters calling for democratic freedom were being bludgeoned by regime police thugs.

How absurd can it get? Like a comedy double act, Hagel and Hague were enthusing about high-minded democratic principles to their unelected, dictatorial hosts, the Al Khalifa rulers, surrounded by representatives of the other Persian Gulf Arab dictatorships, prime among them the absolute, tyrannical monarchy of the House of Saud.

And yet outside, ordinary Bahraini civilians yearning to see these same principles put into practice were getting their heads cracked open by uniformed thugs acting under the orders of the very same despots applauding Hagel and Hague. Talk about inside-out, upside-down doublethink.

When Bahrain’s mainly Shia majority rekindled their decades-old protests against the unelected Khalifa crime family in February 2011, it was the Saudi-led [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council that marched into the tiny island to crush the pro-democracy movement.

The GCC military force is perversely, but aptly, named “a defense operation”. For its purpose is not the defense against some alleged, non-existent threat from without, but the imminent threat from within.

That threat is the spread of democracy in the region, which would sweep away the unelected super-wealthy families that rule over Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain – the six member states of the [Persian]GCC.

The Saudi-led invasion of Bahrain in March 2011 to wipe out “the contagion” of democracy in the oil-rich region was given the green light by Washington and London, with whom the Saudi rulers consulted days before sending in the troops and tanks.

Saudi forces still remain in Bahrain – albeit covertly, wearing Bahraini uniforms – where they continue to brutally attack pro-democracy demonstrators every week, as they have done for the past nearly three years.

And it’s not just protesters on the streets that are killed and injured. Saudi-backed Bahraini forces attack whole villages and family homes with night raids and poisonous gas, many of the occupants, including infants and elderly, having died from suffocating fumes.

Thousands of Bahraini families have been ripped apart, as fathers, mothers, sons and daughters are hauled off to jails and torture centers. The prisoners are denied any legal rights, convicted on the basis of tortured confessions, and many of them imprisoned for life.

Prisoners who have incurred disabilities and diseases from their trauma are also denied basic medical attention, putting their lives at risk. Such detainees include the photographer Hussain Hubail, suffering cardiac problems, elderly political opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, who is battling cancer, and human rights defenders Abdulhadi al-Singace and Naji Fateel, both of whom have become paralyzed from their physical beatings.

The same vicious assault on pro-democracy civilians goes on in Saudi Arabia where some 30,000 prisoners of conscience are rotting away behind dungeon bars, as well as in the other Persian Gulf states, although to a lesser extent.

The US and British governments are fully apprised of the systematic violations and torture carried out by their Persian Gulf dictator allies. Let’s be under no illusion. It’s not just that Washington and London are merely aware of the abominations and turn a blind eye; these Western governments are colluding in the ongoing barbarity.

Addressing the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain at the weekend, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said: “I am under no illusions, like all of you, about the daily threats facing this region, or the current anxieties that I know exist here in the [Persian] Gulf.”

Indeed, Hagel is “under no illusions”. The threat to security that he alludes to is not the fairytale, fictional threat attributed to Iran.

The very real danger is that of democracy taking hold in the Persian Gulf. Whereby the people of the region might be able to avail of the vast oil wealth for genuine social development instead of the billions of dollars being funneled into the hands of crony royal families who in turn squander these billions on American and British weaponry.

The abundantly evidenced risk to security in the region is from the US and British-backed Arab tyrannies fuelling terrorism in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere, as well as brutally repressing their own people.

When Hagel and Hague and their despotic clients talk about “defense” what they are referring to is the defense of dictatorships against democracy in the Persian Gulf and the protection of multi-billion-dollar weapons contracts to American and British companies (who in turn buy political prostitutes like Hagel and Hague to do their bidding).

There is zero evidence of any other kind of threat, certainly not from Iran, except in the figment of twisted, propagandized imaginations. By contrast, the evidence for American and British-backed despotic terrorism (including that of nuclear-armed Israel) is glaringly real in the form of thousands of lives killed, maimed, displaced and rotting away in ghettoes and jails.

But cracks in this absurd façade are appearing and widening. The Omanis have given notice that they are no longer willing to participate in this ludicrous charade, saying at the weekend that they will not be part of any Persian Gulf military club, probably knowing that its pretext is patently untenable.

Also, Western and international public awareness is becoming increasingly indignant and intolerant of the parody. Why are billions of dollars being spent on planet-destroying weapons and manufacturing terrorism when so many urgent social needs are being trampled on at home and abroad?

Ordinary people around the world know that the threat to peace, security, democracy and prosperity is not Iran or any other alleged bogeyman.

They know the real and imminent danger stems from elite Western-dominated capitalism and its satellite terrorist-sponsoring regimes in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf dictatorships.

The truth is both arresting and liberating. Western ruling cliques and their despotic “allies” – under the control of corporate fascism – are now seen more acutely than ever as the enemies of democracy and peace.

The absurd pretence otherwise is well and truly over.

December 10, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on West defending dictatorships from democracy in Persian Gulf

Canada: Apartheid Template

By Yves Engler | December 10, 2013

It’s enough to make one who knows even a little history gag.

The death of Nelson Mandela has led to an outpouring of vapid commentary about Canada’s supposed role in defeating South African Apartheid. “Canada helped lead international fight against Apartheid”, noted a Toronto Star headline while a National Post piece declared, “Canada’s stance against apartheid helped bring freedom to South Africa.”

Notwithstanding this self-congratulatory revisionism, Canada mostly supported apartheid in South Africa. First, by providing it with a model. South Africa patterned its policy towards Blacks after Canadian policy towards First Nations. Ambiguous Champion explains, “South African officials regularly came to Canada to examine reserves set aside for First Nations, following colleagues who had studied residential schools in earlier parts of the century.”

Canada also supported South African apartheid through a duplicitous policy of publicly opposing the country’s racist system yet continuing to do business as usual with this former British Dominion. It’s true that in 1961 John Diefenbaker’s Conservative government called for South Africa to be expelled from the British Commonwealth. But this position was not a moral rebuke of apartheid. “Nothing has been more constant in Diefenbaker’s approach than his search for a tolerable way of averting South Africa’s withdrawal,” commented an External Affairs official at the 1961 Commonwealth meeting where South Africa left the organization. Diefenbaker pushed for South Africa’s exclusion in an attempt to save the Commonwealth. The former British colonies — notably in South Asia and Africa — threatened to leave the Commonwealth if South Africa stayed. This would have been the death of the British Empire’s Commonwealth. Diefenbaker’s lack of principled opposition to apartheid helps explain his refusal to cancel the 1932 Canada-South Africa trade agreement.

Sentenced to life in prison in 1964, Mandela joined 1,500 black political activists languishing in South African jails. In June 1964 NDP leader Tommy Douglas told the House of Commons: “Nelson Mandela and seven of his associates have been found guilty of contravening the apartheid laws … [I] ask the Prime Minister if he will make vigorous representation to the government of South Africa urging that they exercise clemency in this case”? Lester Pearson responded that the “eight defendants … have been found guilty on charges of sabotage and conspiracy … While the matter is still sub judice [before the courts] it would, I believe, be improper for the government to make any public statement on the verdict or on the possible sentences.” This author found no follow up comment by Pearson regarding Mandela.

Widely viewed as a progressive internationalist, Pierre Trudeau’s government (1968-1984) sympathized with the apartheid regime not the black liberation movement or nascent Canadian solidarity groups. Throughout Trudeau’s time in office, Canadian companies were heavily invested in South Africa, enjoying the benefits of cheap black labour.  In October 1982 the Trudeau government delivered 4.91 percent of the votes that enabled Western powers to gain a slim 51.9 percent majority in support of South Africa’s application for a billion-dollar IMF credit. Sixty-eight IMF members opposed the loan as did 121 countries in a nonbinding vote at the U.N. General Assembly. Five IMF executive directors said South Africa did not meet the standards of conditionality imposed on other borrowers. The Canadian minister of finance justified support for the IMF loan claiming that “the IMF must be careful … not to be accused of meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign states.” A few months later, Ottawa opposed IMF funding for Vietnam because of its occupation of Cambodia (largely to stop the Khmer Rouge’s killing).

Officially, the Trudeau government supported the international arms embargo against South Africa. But his government mostly failed to enforce it. As late as 1978 Canadian-government financed weapons continued to make their way to South Africa. Canadair (at the time a Crown company) sold the apartheid regime amphibious water bombers, which according to the manufacturer, were useful “particularly in internal troop-lift operations.” (The official buyer was the South African forestry department.) In the early 1970s the Montréal Gazette discovered that the RCMP trained South African police in “some sort of liaison or intelligence gathering” instruction.

Supporters of apartheid would say anything to slow opposition to this cruel system. At a 1977 Commonwealth meeting, Trudeau dodged press questions on post-Soweto South Africa suggesting that Idi Amin’s brutal regime in Uganda should be discussed along with southern Africa. For its part, the Globe and Mail argued in 1982 that “disinvestment would be unwittingly an ally of apartheid” since foreign investment brought progressive ideas.

After decades of protest by Canadian unions, churches, students and others, Brian Mulroney’s Conservative government finally implemented economic sanctions on South Africa in 1986. The Conservatives only moved after numerous other countries had already done so. “The record clearly shows”, notes Ambiguous Champion, “that the Canadian government followed rather than led the sanctions campaign.” Unlike Canada, countries such as Norway, Denmark New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina also cut off diplomatic ties to South Africa. Even U.S. sanctions, due to an activist Congress, were tougher than those implemented by Ottawa.

From October 1986 to September 1993, the period in which economic sanctions were in effect, Canada’s two-way trade with South Africa totaled $1.6 billion — 44 percent of the comparable period before sanctions (1979-1985). Canadian imports from South Africa averaged $122 million a year during the sanctions period.

Canada did business with the apartheid regime and opposed the liberation movements. Ottawa’s relationship with the African National Congress (ANC) was initially one of hostility and then ambivalence.

Canada failed to recognize the ANC until July 1984 and then worked to moderate their direction. In an August 1987 letter to the Toronto Star, Foreign Affairs Minister Joe Clark explained the government’s thinking: “Canada has been able to develop a relationship of trust with the … African National Congress that it is hoped has helped to strengthen the hand of black moderates.”

With apartheid’s end on the horizon, Ottawa wanted to guarantee that an ANC government would follow pro-capitalist policy, contrary to the wishes of many of its supporters. The man in charge of External Affairs’ South African Taskforce said that Ottawa wanted an early IMF planning mission to the country to ensure that the post-apartheid government would “get things right” from the start. One author noted: “The Canadian state has entered fully in the drive to open South Africa to global forces and to promote the interests of the private sector.”

Ottawa’s policy towards apartheid South Africa was controversial among Canadians. There was an active solidarity movement that opposed Canadian support for the racist regime and to the extent that Canadian politicians played a role in challenging South African apartheid it was largely due to their efforts.

December 10, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Twin Girls Rammed By Settler’s Vehicle Near Beit Jala

IMEMC & Agencies | December 10, 2013

Palestinian medical sources have reported that twin girls have been wounded after being rammed by an Israeli settler’s vehicle in the Al-Walaja road, west of Beit Jala, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday.

Mohammad Awad, head of the Emergency Unit in Bethlehem, said that one of the girls suffered a fracture in one of her legs, while her sister suffered various cuts and bruises to different parts of her body.

The 17-year-old sisters were moved to the Arab Society Hospital in Beit Jala, Awad added.

On Monday, December 9, a young Palestinian man was injured after being rammed by an Israeli military jeep in Nahhalin village, west of Bethlehem.

On November 19, 2013, a young woman identified as Zeina Omar Awad, 21, was injured after being rammed by a settler’s vehicle at the main entrance of Beit Ummar. She suffered cuts and bruises, while the settler fled the scene.

On the same day, a Palestinian woman was wounded after being rammed by the speeding vehicle of an Israeli settler, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

On October 22, resident Abdul-Hafith Tayyem, 76, died of serious injuries suffered after being hit by a settler’s vehicle in Al-Fondoq town, near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. The incident took place on October 16, 2013.

On September 29, a Palestinian worker was injured after being rammed by a settler’s vehicle, near Husan town, west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

On September 20, a Palestinian man was injured in a similar accident with an Israeli settler who fled the scene.

A week before the incident took place, Palestinian child was seriously injured after being hit by a settler’s vehicle as she was walking home from school in Teqoua’ village, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The child, Hayat Mohammad Suleiman, 8 years of age, was walking back home from school on the main road that is also used by Israeli settlers living in illegal settlements in the area.

December 10, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Comments Off on Twin Girls Rammed By Settler’s Vehicle Near Beit Jala

International Human Rights Day… Palestinian People’s Suffering Continues

December 10, 2013

On December 10, the world celebrates the Human Rights Day, which was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950 to review the international achievements in the field of universal respect, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental liberties that are the core principles of International Bill of Human Rights, which States have repeatedly emphasized their legal and moral commitment, in cooperation with the United Nations (UN), to promote and respect for all human beings.

This anniversary coincides with the 20th anniversary of signing the Oslo Accords, under which human rights were sacrificed under the pretext of achieving peace and security that have not been achieved yet.

As a result, the Palestinian people have been paying the price of those policies as their fundamental liberties and rights are abused, especially the ongoing denial of their right to self determination and all their civil and political rights as well as their economic, social and cultural rights.……

Human Rights Violations In the Occupied Palestine in 2013

This year is one of the worst in regards to the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and there is not yet an end in sight. Rather, day- by-day the situation continues to worsen with civilians paying the price.

The summary report for 2013 outlines the human rights violations committed by Israel as well as by the Palestinian security services and the two governments in Gaza and Ramallah. The report also includes information about ongoing settlement expansion and related violence and the ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip.

Regrettably, the international focus has been reduced to issues related to basic needs and means of subsistence, including electricity and water supplies, and allowing the entry of some basic goods, such as construction materials rather than addressing the underlying causes of the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

This report aims to shed light on the numerous human rights violations and the institutionalization of policies and laws that continue to undermine the rights of the Palestinian people.

The full report is available online at:

Full text of the report:Summary Report On Human Rights Violations In 2013

December 10, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Comments Off on International Human Rights Day… Palestinian People’s Suffering Continues