Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

UN adopts resolution urging Israel to join NPT

Press TV – December 2, 2014

The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly adopted an Arab-backed resolution urging Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The assembly approved of the resolution in a 161-5 vote, with 18 countries abstaining, on Tuesday.

The United States and Canada were among the countries that opposed the resolution.

The resolution urges the Tel Aviv regime to join the NPT and put its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

The resolution, which is backed by 18 Arab countries, also expresses deep concern over Israel’s nuclear capabilities.

The Tel Aviv regime, which is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East, reportedly maintains between 200 and 400 atomic warheads.

Furthermore, Israel has never allowed any inspection of its nuclear facilities and continues to defy international calls to join the NPT.

Hans Blix, the former head of the IAEA, said in an exclusive interview with Press TV that he is convinced Israel possesses nuclear weapons.

He demanded that Israel join the NPT, saying Tel Aviv’s refusal to sign international nuclear treaties and its deliberate ambiguity policy with regards to its nuclear program are because of support from Washington.

A released report in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists also confirms that Israel possesses at least 80 operative nuclear warheads and has enough material to produce up to 190 more.

Nuclear weapon proliferation experts Robert Norris and Hans Kristensen estimate in the report that Israel halted its production of nuclear warheads back in 2004 “once it reached around 80 munitions.”

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

The Illusion of Debate

By Jason Hirthler | CounterPunch | December 2, 2014

A recent article in FAIR reviewed the findings of its latest study on the quality of political “debate” being aired on the mainstream networks. It studied the run-up to the military interventions in both Iraq and Syria. Perhaps the arbiters of the study intended to illustrate what we’ve learned since the fraudulent Iraq War of 2003. Well, it appears we’ve learned nothing.

FAIR spent hours painfully absorbing the misinformation peddled by such soporific Sunday shows as CNN’s State of the Union, CBS’s Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, and ABC’s This Week, plus some of the more popular weekly political programming including ADHD-inducing CNN’s Situation Room, Fox News Channel’s Special Report, the venerable sedative PBS NewsHour, and MSNBC’s Hardball. You know the cast of characters: glib George Stephanopoulos, forthright Candy Crowly, harrowing Wolf Blitzer, and stentorian Chris Matthews. Images of their barking maws are seared into the national hippocampus.

Overall, 205 mostly government mouthpieces were invited to air their cleverly crafted talking points for public edification. Of them, a staggering sum of three voiced opposition to military action in Syria and Iraq. A mere 125 stated their support for aggressive action.

Confining its data to the Sunday shows, 89 guests were handsomely paid to educate our benighted couch-potato populace. One suggested not going to war. It stands to reason that considered legal arguments against these interventions got the short shrift, too.

The media consensus on Syria and Iraq isn’t an isolated instance of groupthink. Far from it. It conforms to a consistent pattern, one that has at its core a deliberate disregard for international law and efforts to strengthen transnational treaties and norms regarding military action. (Although transnational law regulating trade is highly favored, for obvious reasons.)

Here the New York Times uncritically repeats Israel casualty figures from the recent attack on Gaza. The journalist, Jodi Rudoren, gives equal legitimacy to sparsely defended claims from Tel Aviv and “painstakingly compiled research by the United Nations, and independent Palestinian human rights organizations in Gaza.” She adopts a baseless Israeli definition of “combatant”, ignoring broad international consensus that contradicts it. She dubiously conflates minors with adults, and under-reports the number of children killed. And so on. All in the service of the pro-Israel position of the paper.

In 2010 Israel assaulted an aid flotilla trying to relieve Palestinians under the Gaza blockade. Author and political analyst Anthony DiMaggio conducted Lexis Nexus searches that demonstrate how U.S. media and the NYT in particular scrupulously avoid the topic of international law when discussing Israeli actions. In one analysis of Times and Washington Post articles on Israel between May 31st and June 2nd, just five out of 48 articles referenced international law relating to either the flotilla raid or the blockade. DiMaggio dissects several of the methods by which Israel flaunts the United Nations Charter. He adds that Israel has violated more than 90 Security Council resolutions relating to its occupation. You don’t get this story in the American mainstream. But this is typical. U.S. media reflexively privileges the Israeli narrative over Arab points of view, and barely acknowledges the existence of dozens of United Nations resolutions condemning criminal actions by Israel.

It’s the same with Iran. For years now, Washington has been theatrically warning the world that Iran wants to build a bomb and menace the Middle East with it. That would be suicidal. It is common knowledge among American intelligence agencies, and any others that have been paying attention, that Iran’s foreign policy is deterrence. But this doesn’t stop the MSM from portraying Tehran as a hornet’s nest of frothing Islamists.

Kevin Young has done a telling survey of articles on nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and Iran. Some 40 editorials written by the Times and the Post were vetted. Precisely zero editorials acknowledged international legal implications of U.S. public threats and various subversions led by Israel, such as assassinating scientists and conducting cyber-attacks, both innovations on standard violations of sovereignty. However, 34 of the pieces “said or implied” that Iran was seeking a nuclear weapon. Forget that 16 American intelligence agencies stated that Iran had no active nuclear weapons program. These papers of record prefer to trade in innuendo and hearsay, despite assessments to the contrary. More than 80% of the articles supported the crippling U.S. sanctions that are justified by the supposed merit of the bomb-building claim.

Prior to Young’s work, Edward Hermann and David Peterson looked at 276 articles on Iran’s nuclear program between 2003 and 2009. The number itself is staggering, more so when stacked against the number of articles written over the same period about Israel’s nuclear program: a mighty three.

This is interesting considering the posture of both countries in relation to international treaties. Israel freely stockpiles nuclear weapons and maintains a “policy of deliberate ambiguity” about its nuclear weapons capacities, despite frequent efforts by Arab states to persuade it to declare its arsenal (which is estimated by some to be in the hundreds). Also, it has yet to sign the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that has been signed by 190 nations worldwide. This intransigent stance has marooned the broadly embraced idea of working to establish a nuclear weapons free zone in the region.

Contrast Israel’s behavior with that of Iran itself, which has permitted extensive inspections of its nuclear facilities. The Times recently noted the country’s main nuclear facilities were “crawling with inspectors.” Iran is also a party to the NPT and is a full member of the IAEA. It continues to try to work toward a reasonable solution with the West despite debilitating sanctions levied on it by the United States. America has unduly pressured the IAEA to adopt additional protocols that would require prohibitively stringent demands on Iran, rendering the possibility of a negotiated solution comfortably remote from an American standpoint. (These additional demands reportedly include drone surveillance, tracking the origin and destination of every centrifuge produced anywhere in the country, and searches of the presidential palace. All of this passes without comment from our deeply objective journalist class.)

Coverage of Iraq is no different, particularly in advance of periodic illegal war of aggression against it. Former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Palestine Richard Falk and author Howard Friel conducted a survey in 2004 assessing the New York Times’ pre-war coverage of Iraq in 2003. In more than 70 articles on Iraq, the Times never mentioned “UN Charter” or “international law.” The study also found “No space was accorded to the broad array of international law and world-order arguments opposing the war.” But such arguments only exist outside of Western corridors of power in Washington, London, Paris, and Tel Aviv.

This isn’t debate. Real debate is pre-empted by internal bi-partisan consensus on some basic issues: maintain a giant garrison state, shrink the state everywhere else, preference corporations over populations, restrict civil liberties to secure status quo power structures. So when it comes to Iran, Iraq, Syria and the like, the question isn’t whether to go to war, but what kind of war to fight. Hawks want bombs. Doves want sanctions. Publicans want Marines. Dems want a proxy army of jihadis. They both want Academi mercenaries. (Obama hired out the gang formerly known as Blackwater to the CIA for a cool $250 million.) And when we’ve finished off ISIS, the question won’t be about an exit strategy, but whether to head west to Damascus or east to Tehran.

The question isn’t whether to cut aid to Israel given its serial criminality in Gaza and the West Bank, but how fast settlements can annex the Jordan Valley without attracting more international opprobrium. (International law, again, set aside.)

On the domestic front, the question isn’t whether to have single payer or private healthcare, but whether citizens should be forced to purchase private schemes or simply admonished to do so. The question isn’t whether or not to keep or strengthen New Deal entitlements, but how swiftly they can be eviscerated. The question isn’t whether or not to surveil the body politic, but where to store the data, and whether or not to harvest two-hop or three-hop metadata. The question isn’t whether or not to hold authors of torture programs accountable, but how much of the damning torture report to redact so as to leave them unprosecutable. The question isn’t whether or not to regulate Wall Street but, as slimy oil industry lawyer Bennett Holiday put it in Syriana, to create “the illusion of due diligence.”

All this is not to say the MSM isn’t aware of alternative viewpoints. It is, but it only acknowledges them when they can be used to justify a foregone conclusion. In the past year, the MSM has nearly become infatuated with international law. Friel has tracked the paper of record’s response to the Ukrainian fiasco. What did he find? When Russia annexed Crimea, the Times inveighed against the bloodless “invasion” as a gross violation of international law. Eight different editorials over the next few months hyperventilated about global security, castigating Russian President Vladimir Putin for his “illegal” violation and his “contempt for,” “flouting,” “blatant transgression,” and “breach” of international law. Calls were sounded to “protect” against such cynical disregard of global consensus. Western allies needed to busy themselves “reasserting international law” and exacting heavy penalties on Russia for “riding roughshod” over such sacred precepts as “Ukrainian sovereignty.”

Quite so, as Washington supports the toppling of democratically elected governments in Kiev and Tegucigalpa, sends drones to ride “roughshod” over Yemeni, Pakistani, Somali and other poorly defended borders; and deploys thousands of troops, advisors, and American-armed jihadis to patrol the sectarian abattoirs of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. But better to exonerate ourselves on those counts and chalk it up to the fog of war. After all, we follow the law of exceptionalism, clearly defined by Richard Falk as, “Accountability for the weak and vulnerable, discretion for the strong and mighty.”

Jason Hirthler is a veteran of the communications industry. He lives in New York City and can be reached at jasonhirthler@gmail.com.

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Obama appeals order to publish Guantanamo force-feeding tapes

Reprieve | December 2, 2014

The Obama administration has today appealed against a federal judge’s ruling that videotapes showing force-feeding of a Guantanamo prisoner should be released.

The ruling, made by Judge Gladys Kessler in October this year, was the first of its kind and came after sixteen major US media organizations, including the New York Times, AP, and McClatchy newspapers, asked for the tapes to be made public under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

The tapes show the force-feeding and ‘forcible cell extraction’ of Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who has long been cleared for release.  Mr Dhiab is represented by international human rights NGO Reprieve.  Reprieve lawyers are virtually the only people outside government to have seen the footage and have described it as ‘disturbing’, but are forbidden under classification rules from revealing its contents.

Cori Crider, a director at Reprieve and Mr Dhiab’s attorney, said: “President Obama promised us the most transparent administration in history – at this point is that promise anything other than a joke? You have to ask who actually watched this footage when making the decision to hide this evidence from the American people. It boggles the mind that the same President who makes speeches asking whether force-feeding is ‘who we are’ can ask a Court, with a straight face, to hide the reality of force-feeding from the press and public.”

“The tapes are a national scandal – but the best approach is to rip off the Band-Aid, confess the mistake, and fix the abuse going on at the base.  Obama made the wrong call today, but Reprieve will keep fighting to get the truth in these videotapes out. We believe Americans can handle the truth. They have the right to see the tapes.”

 The US Government’s brief is available here.

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Mentally Ill Man Refuses to Take Medication So SWAT Shows Up and Kills Him

By Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | December 2, 2014

Midland, TX — Rosendo Gino Rodriquez, 49, was shot dead in an altercation Monday while Midland Police were conducting a routine welfare check.

The Midland County mental health unit was conducting a regular welfare check at a home on the 2700 block of Washington Street, when things went sour. According to the Midland police, Rodriquez became “aggressive” during the welfare check.

The term aggressive is used loosely by the MPD, as they claim he acted out said “aggression” by running away from them, back into his house, and barricading himself in a room.

The Free Thought Project would like to clarify the definition of aggressive for the MPD: ready or likely to attack or confront; characterized by or resulting from aggression. 

A person running in their house and locking themselves in a room is hardly an act of aggression. However, the MPD treated it as such and responded with its SWAT team, BearCat armored vehicle and bomb squad robot with a camera to gain a look inside the home, as well as a DPS helicopter.

Police claimed that after Rodriquez went inside, they may have heard gunshots. However no gun was found, nor evidence of any shots.

Family members say their father had not been on medication. Monday’s welfare check was intended to talk the man into taking his medication.

Rodriquez, whose family has been trying to get him help, was likely distraught by this heavy onslaught of police presence and became quite fearful, locking himself in his bathroom with a machete.

City spokeswoman, Sara Bustilloz said police attempted to use “many methods” including a negotiator to make contact with Rodriquez and end the situation without incident. However, the “many methods” were simply rubber bullets which proved to be ineffective, thus leading to the incompetent officers switching to real bullets.

“This is not how we want these situations to end,” Bustilloz said. “We want them to end without incident, and we do everything in our power to make sure we can do it that way first.”

Officers eventually confronted the tormented man in his bathroom, where they found Rodriquez armed with a machete. After the heavily armed men in body armor, who apparently all forgot their tasers that day, “feared for their lives,” they opened fire on the man, killing him.

According to CBS 7, per normal protocol, an external investigation into the officer-involved shooting will be completed by the Texas Rangers, and two officers involved in the altercation, who are identified as Sgt. Mitch Russell and Officer Sean Sharp, have been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation.

This incident is but another tragic example of the level police incompetence when dealing with the mentally ill.

A recent report out of California showed that the overwhelming majority of police have not completed state certification that focuses on the training in dealing with mental illness, suicide behavior, and drug use; this lack of training is evident, nationwide.

Instead of compassion and patience, which should be used in dealing with mentally unstable people, police most often resort to violent escalation.

The incompetence and negligence is rife throughout all levels of law enforcement which is why these deadly actions on behalf of the MPD will likely be ruled “justified.”

It’s not like police departments don’t know that this training exists, the information is out there. We’re simply witnessing callous disregard for the the preservation of life.

In a two-part study, researchers looked at use of the crisis intervention team, or CIT, model, a 40-hour program to train police to respond to those with mental health issues. They interviewed 586 officers, 251 of whom had received CIT training, and reviewed more than 1,000 police encounters with individuals believed to have behavioral disorders.

Officers who participated in CIT training were more knowledgeable about mental health issues, treatments and de-escalation skills, according to findings published in the April issue of the journal Psychiatric Services.

What’s more, when looking at emergency responses, incidents involving officers with CIT training were more likely to result in transport to mental health services and less likely to culminate in arrest. Researchers found that officers who had participated in training were also much more likely to indicate that the highest level of force used in their emergency response was verbal engagement or negotiation.

With the increased prevalence in autism and police aggression in general, something must be done before anymore innocent lives are taken.

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

US protesters demand the right to live

By Eric Sommer | China Daily USA | December 1, 2014

A UN anti-torture panel that is investigating the United States said on Friday it was deeply concerned by what it described as the high incidence of police brutality and shootings – especially against African-Americans – in the US.

The most basic human right is the right to remain alive. The anger which has swept through Ferguson, Missouri, and has boiled over to other cities across the United States, is an elemental protest against those who have been gradually taking away this right.

The killing of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson is only the most publicized instance of daily police killing of unarmed people in the US. Statistically, American citizens are much more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist.

No complete record of police killings in the US is available. But about 400 police killings a year were listed in a US federal database covering only a fraction of the country during a seven year period ending in 2012. Worse, nearly two times a week a black person was killed by the police in the cities listed in the incomplete report.

Among those killed by US police in the past week or so are Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy in Cleveland, Ohio, who was shot while playing in a park with a toy gun; Akai Gurley, whose only crime was walking down a dark staircase in his own apartment building in New York City; and Leonardo Marquette Little at a traffic signal in Jacksonville, Florida, who police claimed turned violent while resisting arrest.

To fully understand the epidemic of police killings, we have to see them in the broader context of the progressive militarization of US society. In the past 15 years the US has engaged in a series of wars, military occupations, bombings, air strikes and destabilization of other countries. These wars have inured a large part of the population, and of the police, to endless waves of military activities and related violence. Government reports show that about 20 percent of the US federal government budget is devoted to military costs. But the US War Resistors’ League, taking into account a broader set of military-related costs, estimates that about half the federal budget is devoted to the military.

A large amount of military equipment bought with this money has been turned over to civilian police departments, perhaps out of fear that declining living standards in the US could lead to mass unrest by American working people. … Full article

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Anti-Defamation League creates blacklist of groups that link Ferguson to Palestine

By Cecilie Surasky | MuzzleWatch | December 1, 2014

Wow. The ADL below considers the photo below a hateful message.

Screenshot from the ADL's Israel advocacy page.

File this under “You can’t make this up.”

Abe Foxman, whose $688,000 annual salary makes him one of the most over-paid pro-Israel lobbyists in the country, recently embarrassed himself (again) by actually releasing a press statement lecturing NFL star Reggie Bush on his Twitter feed— Bush had dared compared Ferguson and Gaza.

But it gets worse.

The Anti-Defamation League, which leverages its reputation as a fighter of bigotry to silence human rights critics of the Israeli government (thereby actually perpetuating bigotry and worse), has published a defacto blacklist of groups that dared to link Ferguson with Palestine.

I mean, what could the militarization of U.S. police forces and repeated, unaccountable killing of unarmed people of color possibly have to do with Palestine? According to the ADL—daring to make the connection is purely cynical at best, and a form of hate at worst.

But here is where the ADL gets the chutzpah award: singled out for particular opprobrium are those who link what’s happening in Ferguson to the training of police in Israel. The ADL, for example, calls out the inimitable Trita Parsi, head of the National Iran­ian Amer­i­can Coun­cil (NIAC). for this Tweet:

“Won­der­ing why the exces­sive police vio­lence? Here’s a guess: #Fer­gu­son police chief got train­ing in Israel…#Gaza.”

Screen shot 2014-12-01 at 7.30.36 PMThey also call out someone for holding a sign at a protest that says “Google It!!! Israel trains the NYPD.”

So, who do you think is responsible for an awful lot of those free police trainings in Israel? The Anti-Defamation League, natch. Which I guess is why they are condemning people as opportunists and bigots for saying, well, the obvious.

As Kristian Davis Bailey wrote in Ebony Magazine in August:

The St. Louis County Police Department that killed Michael Brown and initially placed Ferguson on siege has trained with the Israeli military. Former County Police Chief Timothy Fitch was one of 15 American officials to participate in a weeklong training in Israel three years ago.

The April 2011 National Counter-Terrorism Seminar (NCTS) was sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It brought together leaders from the largest American police departments, the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with members of the Israeli National Police, Israel Defense Forces and other intelligence organizations.

Oddly, the quick-to-issue-a-statement ADL was too busy to respond to Bailey’s requests for comment. Bailey went on:

Over 9,000 American officials have trained with Israeli police and military units on responding to civilian protests and terrorism. These operations reflect failure to distinguish between the apparent duty of police to protect civilians and military responses to war. This fusion has had life-costing implications for Americans, specifically black, Muslim and Arab people.

Normally, the ADL boasts about training lots and lots and lots of police officers , which includes special trips for US police officials to Israel for training in counter-terrorism tactics (which are then deployed against American citizens.)

I guess that in this case, they have decided that the best defense is a good offense. Reggie Bush, a running back, probably knows all about that.

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Several More Abducted in West Bank, Settler Assaults Taxi Driver with Pepper Spray

IMEMC News & Agencies | December 2, 2014

An Israeli settler, Monday, reportedly attacked a Palestinian taxi driver in Jerusalem with pepper spray before fleeing the scene, according to Israeli media sources. Additionally, several more Palestinians were abducted by Israeli forces between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

The Jerusalemite was driving on King George Street when he was attacked by the settler with pepper spray, according to WAFA Palestinian News Agency. He was transferred to hospital for exposure to pepper spray fumes.

Police said a search is underway to locate the whereabouts of the assailant.

In related news, Ynet reports that a 50-year-old Israeli settler was knocked down by a car and critically injured on Monday, to south of Nablus, near the northern West Bank checkpoint known as “Zaatara”.

The vehicle fled the scene of the incident, leaving the man critically injured.

An Israeli army spokesman could not confirm the nature of the incident.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli forces closed the Huwwara and Zaatara military checkpoints, following the incident, as Israeli forces search for the driver.

— —

Updated from: 12/1/14 Soldiers Kidnap Six Palestinians In The West Bank

israelipolice4maanIsraeli forces abducted, early Monday and Sunday night, at least 12 Palestinians, including a minor, from occupied West Bank districts, including Jerusalem.

WAFA further reports that Israeli police raided Ras al-Amud neighborhood in East Jerusalem, where they arrested three Palestinians from the Najdi family; Sa’ed, Yazan and Rami, after breaking into and ransacking their families’ houses.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces took into custody three Palestinians while they were attending a trial for their arrested relative, Omar al-Abbasi, in Jerusalem District Central Court.

Forces assaulted ‘Ali Ibrahim al-‘Abassi, 25, for attempting to take a photo of his brother Omar during his court session, triggering a scuffle with al-‘Abbasi’s relatives. As a result, ‘Ali al-‘Abbasi, the uncle, 38, and ‘Imad Mhanna, 27, were arrested along with ‘Ali Ibrahim.

Israeli police also raided al-‘Issawiya, to the north of the city, where troops deployed in streets, assaulting and kidnapping 13-year-old Haitham ‘Ibaid.

According to Ahrar Center for Detainees’ Studies and Human Rights, out of 650 people taken from the occupied West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem in November, 42 were documented as minors, with 30 having been taken from the city of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, in the Hebron district, forces raided Beit Kahel village to the northwest of the city, where they kidnapped ‘Imad-addin ‘Asafra, after breaking into his house. They also set up a road block at Halhul Bridge, where they stopped vehicles holding Palestinian-registered plates and examined passengers’ ID cards.

In the Nablus district, Israeli Special Forces raided al-Jabal al-Shamali neighborhood in the city, where they nabbed Tamer Sharaf, age 24.

Soldiers stationed near Zaatara checkpoint, to the south of the city, took one Palestinian under the pretext of carrying a knife. The man has not been identified, as of yet.

In Jenin district, forces set up a flying checkpoint near ‘Arraba, where they abducted Nimr al-Damaj, age 23, a resident of Jenin refugee camp.

Furthermore, in the Ramallah district, forces raided Silwad village to the east of the city, where they broke into and ransacked the house of Bassam Hamed, 40, a former prisoner, and detained the family members in one room before re-arresting Bassam. Forces also handed ‘Anwar Hamed a notice to appear before Israeli intelligence for interrogation.

Forces also raided the Ramallah areas of Deir ‘Ammar and Beitillu, where they broke into several houses, occupied their rooftops, and set up a road block at the villages entrances.

No further kidnappings were reported.

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli Forces Kill 9 Palestinians, Kidnap 650, in November

ahrar

IMEMC News & Agencies | December 01, 2014

In a report issued on Monday, by Ahrar Center for Detainees’ Studies and Human Rights, Israeli occupation forces were said to have killed 9 Palestinians and detained 650 others, over the month of November.

According to Al Ray, the report noted that 42 out of 650 people taken from the occupied West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, were minors, in addition to 17 women. 30 of the minors were taken from Jerusalem.

The report also mentioned that six journalists and two cameramen were taken from Jerusalem, as well, while lawyer Ibrahim Nawaf Al Amer was abducted from the city of Nablus, after a raid on his family’s home.

Fuad Khafsh, director of Ahrar, said that Israeli forces storm the cities of the occupied West Bank when and wherever they please, every day and night.

He noted that the reported numbers are documented by the center, and that it was possible for there to be other cases which could not be documented by the center.

See PCHR reports on Israeli violations in the oPt for further documentation.

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli teacher incites his students against Arabs

Palestine Information Center – December 2, 2014

NAZARETH – Israeli newspapers have reported that an Israeli high school teacher in Ashkelon city recently sent an illustrated message to a group of his students inciting against Arabs.

The teacher’s message was an image of a Muslim cemetery with the caption, “In times like these, it is important to remember there are also good Arabs! And they can be found here.”

The teacher sent the image last Wednesday to a group of 11th and 12th graders via the social messaging service WhatsApp, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The teacher claimed he sent it to them by mistake and that it was intended for a different group.

After receiving the image, one Arab student from the school responded that it was inappropriate to send such an image to students.

The student, who also leaked information about the teacher’s racist remark, was asked to go to every classroom and explain why his opinion was wrong, Yedioth Ahronoth said, quoting the student’s friends.

After refusing to comply, the student was briefly suspended, his friends added.

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Calls for Peace Actions in Colombia after General Released

teleSUR | December 2, 2014

With Colombia’s peace talks likely to restart in the near future following the release of General Ruben Dario Alzate, calls are growing for a de-escalation of the conflict in order to avoid any future risks to the process.

Though non-government organizations, progressive politicians and peace activists continue to call for a bilateral cease-fire – as do the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) – the government maintains that it will not consider such a measure until a final agreement is signed.

However, according to many observers, a full cease-fire is not the only recourse available. Acts of peace such as declaring a Christmas period truce would not only strengthen the process, but reinforce public support, which has been shaken by the recent suspension.

“They cannot continue talking peace in Havana and in the territories continue with this armed confrontation, of which the effects are well known: more victims, more displacement, more antipersonnel mines, more kidnappings, recruitment. What the people in the regions are asking for is ‘please, now, acts of peace,’” said Irma Perilla of the NGO Pensamiento y Accion Social (Social Thought and Action), which has helped stage a series of regional forums to teach communities in conflict zones about the process and give people a space to have their thoughts heard.

According to Carlos Salgado, director general of peace advocacy NGO Planeta Paz (Peace Planet), the two teams must guarantee that the recent rupture following the November 16 capture of Alzate is not repeated, otherwise it would likely prove fatal to the talks.

Government and FARC negotiators are set to meet in Havana on December 2 to discuss how to restart the talks. According to Salgado, conflict reduction measures should form part of any agreement to continue the peace process.

“The two sides are going to be obliged at the negotiating table in Havana to create an atmosphere of de-escalation of the conflict, to be very clear about what would produce a suspension in the future, and to create an atmosphere of trust for society,” said Salgado.

A wide variety of measures remain in order to reduce hostilities, such a regional cease-fires, and agreements on the cessation of certain activities – as United Nations representative in Colombia Fabrizio Hochschild has previously advocated.

Over the past two years, the FARC has implemented a unilateral cease-fire over the Christmas period, with relatively few violations.

This year, both Perilla and Salgado advocate a truce during December, which they say would prove to the public that the two sides are capable of establishing peace, as well as giving those hardest hit by the conflict the opportunity to enjoy the festive season in tranquility.

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment