Saturday, 12 September 2009

Qual foi o papel das relações EU-Israel no 11 do Setembro?

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

What Role Did the US-Israeli Relationship Play in 9-11?

Netanyahu: ...'It’s (9-11) very good….it will generate immediate sympathy (for Israel).'

By Jeff Gates

On the day of the 9-11 attacks, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked what the attack would mean for US-Israeli relations. His quick reply was: “It’s very good….Well, it’s not good, but it will generate immediate sympathy (for Israel).”

Intelligence wars rely on mathematical models to anticipate the response of “the mark” to staged provocations. Reactions thereby become foreseeable—within an acceptable range of probabilities. When Israeli mathematician Robert J. Aumann received the 2005 Nobel Prize in economic science, he conceded that "the entire school of thought that we have developed here in Israel" has turned "Israel into the leading authority in this field."

With a well-planned provocation, the anticipated response can even become a weapon in the arsenal of the agent provocateur. In response to 9-11, how difficult would it be to foresee that the U.S. would deploy its military to avenge that attack? With fixed intelligence, how difficult would it be to redirect that response to wage a long-planned war in Iraq -- not for U.S. interests but to advance the agenda for Greater Israel?

The emotionally wrenching component of a provocation plays a key role in the field of game theory war planning where Israel is the authority. With the televised murder of 3,000 Americans, a shared mindset of shock, grief and outrage made it easier for U.S. policy-makers to believe that a known Evil Doer in Iraq was responsible, regardless of the facts.

The strategic displacement of facts with induced beliefs, in turn, requires a period of "preparing the mindset" so that “the mark” will put their faith in a pre-staged fiction. Those who induced the March 2003 invasion of Iraq began "laying mental threads" and creating agenda-advancing mental associations more than a decade earlier.

Notable among those threads was the 1993 publication in Foreign Affairs of an article by Harvard professor Samuel Huntington. By the time his analysis appeared in book-length form in 1996 as The Clash of Civilizations, more than 100 academies and think tanks were prepared to promote it, pre-staging a "clash consensus"--five years before 9-11.

Also published in 1996 under the guidance of Richard Perle was A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (i.e., Israel). A member since 1987 of the U.S. Defense Policy Advisory Board, this self-professed Zionist became its chairman in 2001. As a key adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Perle’s senior Pentagon post helped lay the required foundation for removing Saddam Hussein as part of a Greater Israel strategy, a key theme of A Clean Break – released five years before 9-11.

A mass murder, articles, books, think tanks and Pentagon insiders, however, are not enough to manage the variables in a “probabilistic” war-planning model. Supportive policy makers are also required to lend the appearance of legitimacy and credibility to an operation justified by intelligence fixed around a pre-determined agenda.

That role was eagerly filled by Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, a Jewish Zionist from Connecticut, and Jon Kyl, a Christian Zionist from Arizona, when they co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. Echoing Tel Aviv’s agenda in A Clean Break, their bill laid another mental thread in the public mindset by calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein--three years before 9-11.

The legislation also appropriated $97 million, largely to promote that Zionist agenda. Distracted by mid-term Congressional elections and by impeachment proceedings commenced in reaction to a well-timed presidential affair involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton signed that agenda into law October 31, 1998 -- five years before the U.S.-led invasion that removed Saddam Hussein.

After 9-11, John McCain and Joe Lieberman became inseparable travel companions and irrepressible advocates for the invasion of Iraq. Looking "presidential" aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in January 2002, McCain laid another key thread when he waved an admiral’s cap while proclaiming, alongside Lieberman, "On to Baghdad."

By Way of Deception

The chutzpah with which this game theory strategy progressed in plain sight could be seen in the behavior of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, another Zionist insider. Four days after 9-11, in a principals’ meeting at Camp David, he proposed that the U.S. invade Iraq. At that time, the intelligence did not yet point to Iraqi involvement and Osama bin Laden was thought to be hiding in a remote region of Afghanistan.

Frustrated that President George H.W. Bush declined to remove Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War, Wolfowitz proposed a No-Fly Zone in northern Iraq. By 2001, the Israeli Mossad had agents at work for a decade in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Intelligence reports of Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda also came from Mosul -- reports that later proved to be false. Mosul again emerged in November 2004 as a center of the insurgency that destabilized Iraq. That reaction precluded the speedy exit of coalition forces promised in Congressional testimony by senior war-planner Wolfowitz.

The common source of the fixed intelligence that induced America to war in Iraq has yet to be acknowledged even though intelligence experts agree that deception on such a scale required a decade to plan, staff, pre-stage, orchestrate and, to date, cover up. The two leaders of the 9-11 Commission report conceded they were stopped by Commission members from hearing testimony on the motivation for 9-11: the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

The fictions accepted as generally accepted truths included Iraqi WMD, Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda, Iraqi meetings with Al Qaeda in Prague, Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratories and Iraqi purchases of “yellowcake” uranium from Niger. Only the last fact was conceded as phony in the relevant time frame. All the rest were disclosed as false, flawed or fixed only after the war began. An attempt to cover-up the yellowcake account led to the federal prosecution of vice-presidential chief of staff Lewis Libby, another well-placed Zionist insider.

Did game theory-modeled pre-staging also include the Israeli provocation that led to the Second Intifada? An intifada is an uprising or, literally, a "shaking off" of an oppressor. The Second Intifada in Palestine dates from September 2000 when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon led an armed march to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount – one year before 9-11.

After a year of calm—during which Palestinians believed in the prospects for peace—suicide bombings recommenced after this high-profile provocation. In response to the uprising, Sharon and Netanyahu observed that only when Americans "feel our pain" would they understand the plight of the victimized Israelis. Both Israeli leaders suggested that shared mindset (“feel our pain”) would require in the U.S. a weighted body count of 4,500 to 5,000 Americans lost to terrorism, the initial estimate of those who died in the twin towers of New York City’s World Trade Center—one year later.

The American Valkyrie?

When successful, game theory warfare strengthens the agent provocateur while leaving the mark discredited and depleted by the anticipated reaction to a well-timed provocation. By game theory standards, 9-11 was a strategic success because the U.S. was portrayed as irrational for its reaction -- the invasion of Iraq – that triggered a deadly insurgency with devastating consequences both for Iraq and the U.S.

That insurgency, in turn, was an easily modeled reaction to the invasion of a nation that (a) played no role in the provocation, and (b) was known to be populated by three long-warring sects where an unstable peace was maintained by a former U.S. ally who was rebranded an Evil Doer. As the cost in blood and treasure expanded, the U.S. became overextended militarily, financially and diplomatically.

As “the mark” (the U.S.) emerged in the foreground, the agent provocateur faded into the background. But only after catalyzing dynamics that steadily drained the U.S. of credibility, resources and resolve. This “probabilistic” victory also ensured widespread cynicism, insecurity, distrust and disillusionment along with a declining capacity to defend its interests due to the duplicity of a game theory-savvy enemy within.

Meanwhile the American public fell under a regime of oversight, surveillance and intimidation marketed as “homeland” security. This domestic operation even features rhetorical hints of a WWII “fatherland” with clear signs of a force alien to the U.S. with its welcome embrace of open dissent. Is this operation meant to protect Americans or to shield those responsible for this insider operation from Americans?

By manipulating the shared mindset, skilled game theory war-planners can wage battles in plain sight and on multiple fronts with minimal resources. One proven strategy: Pose as an ally of a well-armed nation predisposed to deploy its military in response to a mass murder. In this case, the result destabilized Iraq, creating crises that could be exploited to strategic advantage by expanding the conflict to Iran, another key Israeli goal announced in A Clean Break—seven years before the invasion of Iraq.

Which nation benefitted from the deployment of coalition forces to the region? Today’s mathematically model-able outcome undermined U.S. national security by overextending its military, discrediting its leadership, degrading its financial condition and disabling its political will. In game theory terms, these results were “perfectly predictable”—within an acceptable range of probabilities.

In the asymmetry that typifies today’s unconventional warfare, those who are few in numbers must wage war by way of deception—non-transparently and with means that leverage their impact. Which nation—if not Israel—fits that description?

Treason in Plain Sight?

Game theory war-planners manipulate the shared mental environment by shaping perceptions and creating impressions that become consensus opinions. With the aid of well-timed crises, policy-makers fall in line with a predetermined agenda—not because they are Evil Doers or “imperialists” but because the shared mindset has been pre-conditioned to respond not to the facts but to manipulated emotions and consensus beliefs. Without the murder of 3,000 on 9-11, America’s credibility would not now be damaged and the U.S. economy would be in far better shape.

By steadily displacing facts with what “the mark” can be induced to believe, the few-within-the-few amplify the impact of their duplicity. By steady manipulation of the public’s mindset, game theory war-planners can defeat an opponent with vastly superior resources by inducing those decisions that ensure defeat.

Intelligence wars are waged in plain sight and under the cover of widely shared beliefs. By manipulating consensus opinion, such wars can be won from the inside out by inducing a people to freely choose the very forces that imperil their freedom. Thus in the Information Age the disproportionate power wielded by those with outsized influence in media, pop culture, think tanks, academia and politics—domains where Zionist influence is most rampant.

Induced beliefs act as a force-multiplier to wage intelligence wars from the shadows. At the operational core of such warfare are those masterful at anticipating the mark’s response to a provocation and incorporating that response into their arsenal. For those who wage war in this fashion, facts are only a barrier to overcome. For those nations dependent on facts, the rule of law and informed consent to protect their freedom, such insider treachery poses the greatest possible threat to national security.

America is far less safe than before 9-11. Tel Aviv clearly intends to continue its serial provocations, as evidenced by its ongoing expansion of the settlements. Israel has shown no sign of a willingness to negotiate in good faith or to take the steps required to make peace a possibility. To date, Barack Obama appears unwilling to name senior appointees who are not either Zionists are strongly pro-Israeli. The greatest threat to world peace is not terrorists. The greatest threat is the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

In the same way that a decade of pre-staging was required to plausibly induce the U.S. to invade Iraq, a similar strategy is now underway to persuade the U.S. to invade Iran or to support and condone an attack by Israel. The same duplicity is again at work, including the high profile branding of the requisite Evil Doer. From its very outset, the Zionist enterprise focused on hegemony in the Middle East. Its entangled alliance with the U.S. enabled this enterprise to deploy American might for that purpose.

Only one nation had the means, motive, opportunity and stable nation state intelligence required to take the U.S. to war in the Middle East while also making it appear that Islam is the problem. If Barack Obama continues to defer to Tel Aviv, he can rightly be blamed when the next attack occurs in the U.S. or the European Union featuring the usual orgy of evidence pointing to a predetermined target. Should another mass murder occur, that event will be traceable directly to the U.S.-Israeli relationship and the failure of U.S policy-makers to free America from this enemy within.

- Jeff Gates is author of Guilt By Association, Democracy at Risk and The Ownership Solution. See He contributed this article to

Israel bloquea o dinheiro para as pessoas com mobilidade condicionada em Gaza

fonte: Palestine Chronicle

Israel Blocks Money to Gaza's Disabled

Disabled workers are suffering the indignity of not being able to provide for their families.

By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth

Yunis al Masri was luckier than his two brothers from Gaza. Although the truck that ploughed into their car as they travelled to work in Israel 24 years ago killed Jaber and Kamal instantly, Mr al Masri survived with shattered bones, internal bleeding and brain damage.

Today, aged 49 and after many operations, he has difficulty walking and problems remembering to do things. Any hope of working again was crushed in 1985 amid the car wreckage.

Like tens of thousands of other Palestinian manual labourers who worked inside Israel before Gaza was progressively sealed off to the outside world from the early 1990s, Mr. Al Masri had paid regularly into Israel's social security fund from his salary.

Certified as disabled by an Israeli medical committee, he is entitled to a monthly allowance of $800 from Israel's National Insurance Institute, out of which he has supported his wife and 10 children in their home in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza.

In early January, however, the transfers of disability benefits stopped arriving in his bank account in Gaza. About 700 other injured workers are in the same situation.

The reason, they have learnt, is that while the Israeli army was rampaging through the Gaza Strip during its winter assault, the Bank of Israel severed ties with Gaza's banks.

The ending of financial relations between Israel and Gaza, in a deepening of the three-year blockade of the Hamas-ruled enclave, means Mr. al Masri and other disabled workers have been without a source of income for the past nine months.

Mr. al Masri said he had been forced heavily into debt to keep putting food on the table, adding that the whole family was now dependent on his daughter, Nura, 26. During Ramadan she started part-time secretarial work that brings in $100 a month, though the job is far from secure. "How far will that money go to feed and support a family of 12?" he said.

Nura added: "When the benefits first stopped arriving, we called the National Insurance Institute and were told it's a political decision and that when Gilad Shalit was returned we would get our money." Sgt Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was captured by Hamas in June 2006. It is believed he is being held in Gaza.

Mr. al Masri's sister-in-law, Hasna, who lost her husband, Jaber, in the crash, said none of her four children were earning and the family was without any source of income. She had recently told her eldest son, who is studying in Romania, that there was no money left for his course fees.

"We are happy go to the checkpoint at Erez to pick up the cheque in person if that is what it takes," Mr. al Masri said.

The workers' cases have been taken up by the Al Mezan centre for human rights, based in Gaza, and by an Israeli legal group, Adalah, which launched a petition against the government's decision in the Supreme Court last week.

Mahmoud abu Rahma, a spokesman for Al Mezan, said the 700 injured workers had been part of a large workforce of as many as 80,000 Gazans who regularly worked in Israel during the 1970s and 1980s. The numbers only began to dwindle in the early 1990s as Israel introduced a closure policy and built an electronic fence around Gaza. The Oslo accords of the 1990s, which held out the hope of Palestinian self-rule, further reduced the opportunities for work as Israel entrenched its policy of separation.

Much of the manual labour, once done by Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank, is today performed by 300,000 guest workers, mainly from the Philippines, Thailand, China and eastern Europe.

Mr. Abu Rahma said the disabled workers, having lost the chance to work, were now suffering the indignity of not being able to provide for their families.

"Israel has absolute control not only over the physical borders of Gaza, but also over our monetary system, too," he said. "We depend on the Israeli currency of the shekel and Israel's banks can turn on and off the money supply at will."

Israel's blockade of Gaza has been progressively tightened since Hamas won the Palestinian Authority elections in early 2006. Following the Islamic movement's rout of an attempted coup by the rival Fatah group in summer 2007, Israel declared Gaza an "enemy entity" and started cutting off fuel and power supplies. Now only the most essential items get through.

The only two Israeli banks dealing with Gaza, Hapoalim and Discount, received approval from the Bank of Israel to cut their links during the assault on Gaza. The central bank had previously opposed such a move, fearing that it would bring about the collapse of Gaza's economy.

This week, a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development noted that 90 per cent of Gaza's population was living below the poverty line, with employment restricted almost entirely to government and public administration and small service industries.

Mr. Abu Rahma said the disabled workers included the poorest and most vulnerable among Gaza's population of 1.5 million, and many were in danger of starvation if payments were not resumed soon. "They have no other sources of income and are really struggling without their benefits."

In 1998, Fadil Qomsan fell seven storeys from a building site in Ashdod, 25km north of Gaza, breaking his back.

During the two weeks he spent in a hospital in Tel Aviv, he said, the site's manager came to his bedside to tell him that the construction company was denying responsibility. "He told me that I had fallen because I was using drugs. The police organised many blood tests during my stay, but they all came back negative. Eventually I won my right to disability allowance."

Mr. Qomsan, 46, from Jabaliya camp, who needs a back brace to walk, has been assessed as 81 per cent disabled. He was receiving $450 to support his wife and three children, the youngest of whom is seven. "Our financial situation was desperate even when we were getting the cheques, but now it's beyond miserable."

He said the family had been forced to survive on the charity of family and friends.

Taysir al Basoos has been blind since 16 when a nail fired from a nail gun on a building site in Ashkelon, 10km north of Gaza, penetrated his chest, severed the blood flow to his brain and left him blind.

Mr Al Basoos, 47, said his wife and six children, including the youngest who is five, were entirely dependent on his monthly disability benefits.

"Workers like me helped to build the state of Israel; we did not put Hamas in charge of Gaza," he said. "I am not politically active at all, so why am I being punished? Our case is a humanitarian one."

Sawsan Zaher, a lawyer with Adalah, said six representative cases of disabled workers from Gaza who were denied benefits have been presented to the Israeli Supreme Court. They included construction workers who fell; a gardener for a local council who was crushed by a falling crane, and a car wash operator who lost two fingers.

Ms. Zaher said Adalah had first approached the National Insurance Institute, the Bank of Israel and various government ministries in April, when the change in policy became clear, but they had all shirked responsibility.

"We were told by the NII that it was trying to negotiate a solution with the Palestinian Authority, possibly by transferring the money through the [Fatah-run] West Bank, but it led nowhere."

Adalah argues that the decision to block the payments to Gaza violates Israeli law. "The money is the property of the disabled workers and this decision unjustly deprives them of their property," Ms. Zaher said.

Adalah is also claiming that the decision, because it affects the welfare entitlements of Palestinian workers only and not of Israelis, constitutes racism.

Mr. Abu Rahma said there was an additional concern that some of the workers could not afford essential medicines needed in their treatment.

Sharif Qarmout, 58, of Jabaliya camp, has been paralysed from the waist since 1979 when he fell six storeys from a building site in Rishon Letzion, near Tel Aviv. The loss of his monthly allowance of $1,150 has plunged the family into great hardship as they struggle not only to buy food but also to pay the $350 bill each month for the 15 different drugs he needs to control his incontinence, improve blood circulation in his legs and prevent depression.

"A year and a half ago Israel stopped giving my wife permission to go to the hospital in Ashkelon to collect the medicines," said Mr. Qarmout, who uses a wheelchair. "I was forced to buy them privately in Gaza, but now I don't have the money. I've been using different pharmacies, paying on credit, but it can't go on much longer. I've started reducing the doses to make the drugs last longer."

Mr. Qarmout said his three grown children were living in the house to care for him, as his wife was mostly confined to bed with severe back problems from 30 years of lifting him.

"No one is taking responsibility for people like me - not Hamas, not Israel."

Marie Badarne, of the Labourers' Voice, a workers' rights group based in Nazareth, said the Israeli government's abuse of the disabled workers echoed a much wider problem faced by Gazans who had been employed in Israel until recently.

She said thousands of workers from Gaza had their contracts in Israel terminated without notice by employers in spring 2004, shortly after the government of Ariel Sharon announced it would be "disengaging" from the enclave in summer 2005.

Most had been working in construction, garages, textile factories, carpentry workshops or as agricultural labourers inside Israel or in a handful of Jewish settlements inside Gaza that were dismantled in August 2005.

"Overnight more than 20,000 workers had their work permits withdrawn and lost their livelihoods," she said. "They had been paying into the social security system, some of them for decades, but have been denied their legal entitlements, such as severance pay, overtime and holiday allowance."

The Labourers' Voice said its investigations had also shown that most Israeli employers had been paying Gaza's workers below the minimum wage.

According to its calculations, the laid-off workers from Gaza are each typically owed between $12,000 and $50,000, meaning that Israeli employers have "defrauded the workforce of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars", Ms. Badarne said.

In July, the Nazareth group submitted claims on behalf of more than 40 workers to the labour court in Beersheva, which has agreed to hear the cases. All the workers were employed by a furniture company, mostly as carpenters, at the Erez industrial estate close to the Gaza Strip.

Ms. Badarne said the company did not deny that the workers were owed money but had defended its actions on the grounds that Gaza had been declared an "enemy entity".

"Their lawyers have said that, because Gaza is an enemy entity, the residents should be treated as a hostile population," she said. "They told the judge that Israel must not open its doors to terrorists and that ending the economic siege would work against the interests of the Israeli state.

"In an attempt to bolster their argument that the case in support of the workers should be dismissed, the lawyers even sent the court a copy of the Hamas charter and an analysis of what it means."

She added that, despite the fact that Israeli employers made social security deductions from Gazans' salaries, the workers could no longer make use of the benefits they should be entitled to.

"If they get sick, for example, these workers should have the right to use Israeli hospitals because they paid health insurance, but of course that obligation is no longer being honoured. In some cases, given the deteriorating provision of health care in Gaza under the blockade, that right could mean the difference between life and death."

Ronit Gedultir, a spokeswoman for Israel's National Insurance Institute, said officials were seeking a solution for the disabled workers' families affected by the bank's decision.

"This is a very delicate issue and we are not neglecting it," she said. "The money is waiting here for the families, but so far we have found no way to deliver it to them."

Israel has also been seeking to end the right of Palestinian civilians to seek compensation for injuries they have suffered at the hands of the Israeli army.

A bill that exempted the state from legal claims by Palestinians for personal injury or damage to property inflicted by the army during the second intifada was passed in summer 2005 but overturned a year later by the Supreme Court.

Hassan Jabareen, the director of Adalah, said the law had recently been amended in an attempt to bypass the court and was expected to be resubmitted to the parliament this month.

- Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). He contributed this article to Contact him at: (A version of this article originally appeared in The National - - published in Abu Dhabi.)

Friday, 11 September 2009

ramos de oliveira


fazer a Líbia pagar

Fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Making Libya pay

Libyan President Moammar Gaddafi stands with world leaders at EU-Africa summit.

By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai

After the endless circus over the release of Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, Britain now wants Libya to compensate the families of Irish Republic Army victims. Why? Because, you see, the Irish Republican Army terrorists had been once supported by Libya.

Poor Gordon Brown, already under fire over his ‘collusion’ with Libya’s Col Moammar Gaddafi for the release of Al Megrahi, the terminally ill, alleged planner of Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, has been hauled over the coals by the Sunday Times suggesting the Prime Minister had “failed to press” Tripoli for compensation to the families of IRA bomb victims in the turbulent 1980s and 1990s.

In all fairness to the dour Scot, Brown apparently reasoned then it would be ridiculous to ask Libya to pay for the IRA bombings in Britain because the regime in Tripoli had once supported the Irish terrorists.

For good measure, the Times report suggests the British government chose not to push the Libyans because of the business deals worth billions of dollars that it has clinched with Tripoli. And the families of IRA victims have accused Brown of putting “trade before justice.”

Now a red-faced Brown has turned around on the Libyans demanding they compensate the IRA victim families. Insisting, he “desperately” cares about the IRA victims; Brown has vowed to send a team of top diplomats and officials to Tripoli to negotiate the ‘compensation’ deal with Libya.

Britain claims Libya financially supported the IRA for years and even shipped the notorious Semtex plastic explosives used by the Irish guerrillas in their fight against the British rule over Northern Ireland.

Ever since Gaddafi came in from the cold following the US invasion of Iraq and bought his peace with the West by offering a whopping $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of Lockerbie bombing victims, there’s been an endless parade of fortune seekers salivating over easy Arab money.

Even though Libya never conceded its role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 270 people, most of them Americans, it agreed to pay because it was desperate to bury the hatchet with the West and move on. (Few people know that six months before the Pan Am tragedy, on July 3, 1988, another civilian airliner was blown up in the air. The Iran Air Flight IR655 was on its way to Dubai when it was shot down over the Straits of Hormuz by the USS Vincennes, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children. Strangely, Iran has never demanded any compensation from the US!)

Now that political desperation of Gaddafi has brought all the vultures out with everyone seeking a slice of the Libyan pie. I have nothing against the families of IRA bombing victims. In fact, they deserve all our support and sympathy for what they have been through.

I don’t know what international laws and conventions have to say on this. But if Libya had indeed materially supported the IRA and provided those deadly plastic explosives, it should do something to reach out to those families and compensate for their invaluable loss.

But going by the same logic and reasoning, shouldn’t other countries, far bigger players and states than Libya, do the same to pay for their crimes?

I am no fan of Gaddafi. He makes both his friends and foes nervous around him. His shenanigans at Arab summits are a constant source of fun for the media.

If Libya has remained stuck in a time warp over the past four decades despite its rich natural resources, chief of them being oil, you know where the credit lies. But Gaddafi’s ‘crimes’ appear almost juvenile compared to what the big boys of our world have repeatedly inflicted on us.

If Libya has to pay for supporting and arming IRA guerrillas against innocent British civilians, what about those who have constantly financed the mighty State of Israel, supplying it with the deadliest arms and ammo known to Man that are routinely used against a defenseless Palestinian population?

It is hardly a secret that Israel is the largest recipient of financial, economic and military aid from the US. In fact, without the crutches of Uncle Sam and the political and economic lifeline provided by the US establishment and Israeli lobby, Israel wouldn’t last one day out there.

From Israeli tanks and bulldozers that routinely annihilate everything in their way - Palestinian homes with their owners inside and even noble souls like the young American peace activist Rachel Corrie - to F-16 jets that recently bombed Gaza back to the Stone Age, everything in Israel’s arsenal comes with love from Uncle Sam.

The monstrous killing machine that is Israel runs on the fuel provided by the world’s self-styled champion of freedom and human rights.

As former US president Jimmy Carter and many others blessed with a conscience have repeatedly pointed out, it is the US arms, tanks and jets that have been used over the past half a century against a people enslaved and imprisoned in their own homes and land. The awesome might of the greatest power in history has been repeatedly used against a completely helpless, unarmed people.

More innocents have died in Israel’s war on Gaza earlier this year than the IRA might have killed in its entire history. How come nobody calls for compensating Palestinians for all that they have suffered at the hands of Israelis and its Western backers?

Or how about compensating the people of Iraq for what they have been through over the past six years? A million people killed and a whole country - the cradle of civilization - has been completely destroyed? All for a Himalayan lie and Oedipal complexes of a politician! Who will compensate them? Who will pay for the crimes against Iraqi people?

And what about the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan? Who will pay for the endless trauma and loss of thousands of precious lives? Who will compensate for all those airstrikes and drone attacks targeting schools, hospitals, wedding parties and even funerals?

The US commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal has ordered an inquiry into this week’s coalition air attack in Kunduz province, which killed nearly a hundred people. At least, 70 of those killed were innocent civilians who had gathered to collect fuel from two tankers impounded by Taleban.

This is not the first incident of the coalition of the willing killing the very people it claims to protect and help. And this wouldn’t be the last. Just Google ‘Afghan casualties’ and see how many innocents have died in the West’s war for “freedom and democracy.”

Bush told us this war was necessary to protect America and protect Afghan people from the terrorists. It’s a strange way of protecting people. This year alone, between January and May, at least 800 civilians died in the coalition airstrikes. Last year, according to the UN, 828 people were killed. I can go on.

How about compensating those Afghans – and Pakistanis – for the endless nightmare of the past eight years? Shouldn’t the US, UK, Germany and other leading lights of the coalition pay for what their fighter jets, drones and tanks have inflicted on a proud people who never harmed anyone and never stole anyone’s land or home? Or do we have two sets of rules and standards, one for the powerful and another for the vulnerable?

- Aijaz Zaka Syed is Opinion Editor of Khaleej Times, He contributed this article to Contact him at:

uma carta aberta ao Sr Jacob Zuma, presidente da Africa do Sul

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

An Open letter to Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa

People in Johannesburg March in Solidarity with Palestine. By Dr. Haidar Eid - Gaza

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to express my dismay and disappointment with both your attendance at the national conference of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies - a racist organization by any standards - as well as the content of your speech at that forum.

I am a naturalised South African of Palestinian origin. I spent more than five years in Johannesburg, during which I earned a PhD from the University of Johannesburg and lectured at the-then Vista University in Soweto and Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg.

I would like to take issue with the manner in which you express your support for the two-state solution: "It is a solution that fulfils the aspirations of both parties for independent homelands through two states for two peoples, Israel and an independent, adjoining, and viable state of Palestine" (emphasis mine). Allow me, Mr. President, as a resident of Gaza, to express my shock with the fact that - only 8 months after the Gaza massacre, in which 1500 civilians, including 434 children, were brutally murdered - you still believe that there are two symmetrical sides. You even call it the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict!" Was that your belief in the 1970's and 80's; that there were "two-sides" to the South African "conflict"? Were there two equal parties, namely White and Black, with equal claim to the land and equal historical responsibility for the-then status quo? No doubt, this sounds like a bizarre interpretation of South African history and one which we Palestinians find equally astounding when applied to our history and our reality today.

Mr. President, these words of yours are even more disturbing, given your own involvement in the commendable struggle against the brutal, anti-human apartheid system and the notion of "independent homelands" which were based on the separation of human beings. Your struggle as Black South Africans, was morally superior to apartheid because it was inclusive where apartheid focused on separation; it was embracing where apartheid focused on division; it was life-affirming where apartheid was violent and murderous.

The South African anti-apartheid goal, adopted by anti-apartheid activists all around the world was unequivocal: the end of the racist system and ideology of apartheid. There could be no toenadering (rapprochement)with apartheid ideologues; no creation of homelands and puppet leaders: the system had to be dismantled in its entirety. Many South Africans supported by a sustained global anti-apartheid campaign, sacrificed their lives to bring down the Bantustansan euphemistically, called independent homelands by the apartheid regime. Mr. President, Steve Biko, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, the Mxenges, the Slovosac to mention but a few anti-apartheid heroes must have listened to the speech to the JBD and wondered what happened to the universal values and human rights espoused by the ANC.

Comrade Jacob (if I may),

I would like to brief you on the nature of the powerful party, i.e. Israel - with whom your post-apartheid government still, amazingly, maintains exceptional diplomatic and economic ties.

Unlike the new post-apartheid South Africa, which you helped to create, in the State of Israel all human beings are NOT equal. There are fundamental artificially created and selectively rewarded a level of of citizens in the state. Israel defines itself as a Jewish State. It, therefore, creates a bizarre distinction between "nationality" and "citizenship." Almost 22% of the citizens of Israel are Palestinians who are excluded from such a definition. Israel thus, by definition is NOT the state of its citizens, but rather that of "The Jewish People", most of whom, like the members of JBD whom you were addressing, have no birthright connection to it. The question which begs an answer is what the status of those Palestinian citizens in a Jewish state is? The answer is, as every single - to use a word you must abhor "non-white" South African knows: Racism.

The delegates at the national conference of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Jewish, but at the same time, South African citizens "enjoy full rights" in Israel, rights that apartheid Israel denies to us, the indigenous people of this land. They also call us "Israeli Arabs", "Jerusalem residents", "Arabs of the territories", not to mention the refugees living in the Diaspora, whose mere mention always spoils any party, and whose right to return and compensation is sanctioned by International Law (UNGA resolution 194).

Israeli nationality, therefore, is non-existent. Instead, there is "Jewish Nationality". To make such a bizarre term comprehensible, think of "White Nationality" as opposed to South African. In your speech before the JBD, you state very eloquently that "(m)uch as we are conscious of who we are culturally and otherwise, it must not take away the national identity, as we should be South Africans first".

The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crimes of Apartheid, Article 2, Part 3, clearly defines apartheid as:

"[a]ny legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work... the right to education, the right to leave and return to their country the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence."

This definition, in its entirety, clearly applies not only to the Palestinian people residing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but also those living in Israel itself. This is precisely the reason that the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Territories, a fellow South African, John Dugard, concluded that "the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid appears to be violated by many practices".

If you were born to Palestinian parents living in Israel - a fate you have been spared, Mr. President - you too would be denied the rights of "Jewish Nationality" and been forced to submit to institutionalized inferiority or choose to resist it.

Furthermore, ICSPCA (quoted above), Article 2, Part 4, makes it crystal clear that:

"[t]he term 'the crime of apartheid',' shall apply to "any measures including legislative measure, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate measures and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups The expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof.."

Comrade Jacob, the word apartheid never appears once in your speech before the JBD! A listener would never know that you were speaking to an audience who actively support apartheid in another country.

Did you know that racist laws used to forbid Black property ownership in white areas in apartheid South Africa are in force in apartheid Israel? Indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel are not only prohibited from living on land owned by "Jewish institutions", but are also not allowed by force of "law" to reside in any areas designated "Jewish" either.

I, myself, Mr. President, a resident of Gaza, like so many Palestinians, have legal title to my parents' land in Israel, but have no "legal" right to it because my parents' property, like that of millions of other Palestinians', was taken away from us and given over to Jewish ownership. The facts are that Jews owned only 7% of Palestine before 1948; today 93% is considered "state land" and can only be owned by Jews or Israel.

This is only one example, Comrade Jacob, of the nature of the state your government deems "democratic"and "friendly" despite its past strategic ties with apartheid SA. In your presidential campaign, you were quoted singing "kill the Boer!" And yet, in your speech, you "unequivocally" condemn "all forms of violence from whatever quarter", particularly where civilians are targeted!

I fail to understand this contradiction. Is this a reflection of the difference between comrade Jacob and President Zuma? Do you, as president, think that Palestinians have no right to resist their occupation and dispossession? You even equate our resistance with the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity committed by the Israeli Occupation forces in the West Bank and, in particular, in Gaza.

Is it too much, comrade Jacob, for us, representatives of Palestinian Civil Society organizations to ask your government to sever all diplomatic ties with apartheid Israel, and endorses not to say lead the growing global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel? Is that really too much to ask a democratic post-apartheid South Africa for?

Is this the embodiment of Fanon's prophecy about the "Pitfalls of National (Racial?) Consciousness?" Is it because the Black Middle class which your government represents and which has taken power from the White Middle class is underdeveloped? Fanon, whom you must have read while on the run from the apartheid police, says that this national middle class "has practically no economic power, and in any case it is in no way commensurate with the bourgeoisie of the mother country which it hopes to replace." Is this why you are prepared to kowtow to the South African Jewish community which "has been called one of the most tightly-knit in the world, overwhelmingly united in its support for Israel?"

Your government, Mr. President, turns a blind eye to the war crimes of its own citizens against Palestinians. The South African war criminal David Benjamin was allowed to freely move around South Africa and share his tactics of support and defence for the Israeli Occupation Forces in its recent onslaught against the Gaza Strip with impunity. There are seventy other South Africans that are known to have links with the destruction of the Israeli Occupation Forces who enjoy the same impunity. It is left to individuals and civil society organizations in South Africa to take action against these criminals that should rightly be the task of the government.

Your post-apartheid government, Mr. President, unashamedly, supports the two-state solution: one for Palestinians (Muslim and Christians), and one for Jews. In other words, you support the re-birth of Bantustans, albeit in the Middle East this time. The two-state solution is a racist solution, comrade Jacob. If you did not accept it for yourselves in South Africa, why force it on Palestinians instead of supporting us as we demand the right to our homeland every single inch of it?

Mr. President,

A politics based on narrow-minded, selfish pragmatism was rejected by all anti-apartheid forces, locally and internationally during the years of the anti-apartheid struggle. What was promoted, instead, was adherence to universal principles of equality and dignity.

I truly hope you will reconsider. I know that it is my constitutional right as a citizen of the New South Africa - which I am proud of - to address you directly. I do so to express my deep disagreement and dissatisfaction with your government's Middle East policy and its continued support for the apartheid policies of the Israeli government, given that this support undermines and actively harms the Palestinian struggle for liberation and self-determination.

Professor Haidar Eid
Gaza, Palestine

- Dr. Haidar Eid is Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza Strip, Palestine. Dr. Eid is a founding member of the One Democratic State Group (ODSG) and a member of Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). He contributed this article to

Thursday, 10 September 2009

construções ilegais


'Illegal Constructions' Israel's High Court has ordered the demolition of what it terms as "illegal constructions" built by the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. On Wednesday (Sep 9), the court ruled that the government should implement the demolition orders issued against two Palestinian houses near the villages of Sauya and Yatma in the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post reported. The ruling was made in response to a petition filed by Regavim, which describes itself as a movement whose aim is "to protect national lands and properties." Regavim's lawyer said the organization has decided to file more petitions against what he called "Palestinian illegal outpost" in the West Bank. (Reference for text: Press TV. Photo:

enterrar o Ted Kennedy com a bandeira de Israel

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Burying Ted Kennedy with the Israeli Flag

The plan was to wrap Ted Kennedy's casket with an Israeli flag and an American flag.

By Franklin Lamb - Beirut

Being wrapped in an Israeli flag this past week has caused Madonna, our Lady of Miracles, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and AIPAC some flak.

First the simple case.

Strutting underdressed across the concert stage in Tel Aviv wrapped in an Israel flag on 9/2/09, as her partner, the Brazilian model 'Jesus' shouted 'Viva! Viva!' off stage was probably just the Material Girl doing her material thing. And anyhow, the late Michael Jackson could have been mistaken when he made his snide remark a while back, "She can't sing. She can't dance. I don't understand her success!"

On her quick trip north to the Palestinian village of Safad near the Lebanese border to view a Kabbalah shrine, Esther/Madonna may not have been advised that most of Safad's population was ethnically cleansed in 1948 and with their offspring most now live in 12 Refugee Camps in Lebanon and 10 in Syria. Reading deep politics into her flag wearing event may be unwarranted since Esther/Madonna has now apparently offered to don the Palestinian flag or even Hamas' or Hezbollah's' and appear bra-less in a tanga (thong) and see-through Hassan Nasrallah T-shirt. Just to make amends and dampen the flap from her flag wrap.

OK, it's a deal, but can I be her photographer?

Abe Foxman, President of ADL and AIPAC on the other hand, knew exactly what they were doing four days earlier as both offered to send an Israeli flag to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston's Mission Hill section. The plan was to wrap Ted Kennedy's casket, side by side with the American flag, each flag to cover roughly half of Ted's casket during Kennedy's internationally broadcast funeral, which was even watched live in Dahiyeh, Beirut's southern suburbs. Only the lobby's continuing exploitation of the Holocaust and ADL's unauthorized use of the image of Yasser Arafat to demonize him and raise millions to fund illegal settlement expansion, did Foxman see such a terrific chance to hype brand Zionism. This time by linking it in perpetuity to the Kennedy mystique and the Arlington Cemetery eternal flame. Wrapping Kennedy in the Israeli flag for history would no doubt give a boost to Israel's preferred historical narrative and the Israeli flag which has increasingly come to represent virulent Zionism and its crimes.

AIPAC claims the well intentioned project to wrap Kennedy in the Star of David was no more than another gesture for the memory of a friend of the Jewish people. Perhaps Abe saw his initiative as a return tribute for Ted's thoughtfulness during the November 6, 1995 funeral for Yitzak Rabin on Mount Herzl (renamed for the founder of modern Zionism, Hungarian Binyamin Ze'ev (Theodore) Herzl, who had never set foot in Palestine, from its ancient expunged Arabic name "Jabal Assalam" meaning 'Peace Mountain") On that day Senator Kennedy sprinkled a cup of soil from his two brothers, John and Robert's, gravesites at Arlington Cemetery on Rabin's, as a gesture of respect.

Despite some intense lobbying, the Kennedy family graciously declined the Foxman-Aipac offer and Ted's coffin carried only the American flag.

Quite appropriately, the late senator did draw well earned encomium from a broad range of Jewish organizations, spanning the spectrum from the Orthodox Union to the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Israeli officials praised Kennedy, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling the senator "a great friend of Israel," and Israeli President Shimon Peres declaring Kennedy's death was "a very big loss for Israel and thinking people the world over. Kennedy was a clear friend of Israel the whole way, and in every place that he could help us he did help. During his more than four decades in the US Senate, Sen. Kennedy consistently supported American assistance to Israel."

Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, praised Kennedy as "a great friend to me and to Israel and to the Jewish people. He was one of ours." The anti-Palestinian American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris added that "Kennedy was in his hearts of heart an Israeli who could always be relied upon. His support for the well-being of the State of Israel faced with Arab threats, was always firm, as was his solidarity with vulnerable Jewish communities", Harris noted. Kennedy was kind of like "Joe Biden the Zionist" Harris would have us believe.

AIPAC Wanted More

Before Kennedy's body had cooled, AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr issued a declaration to its Campus Allies Mission that Kennedy belonged to Israel and vice versa and implied that to suggest otherwise was, well probably yet another anti-Semitic 'blood libel' of some sort. He insinuated that Kennedy's function in death should be to help keep U.S. critics of Israeli actions at bay lest they exposed themselves as un-American.

For those who doubt AIPAC's ability to organize American Jews fast or who question that it's not much of a factor in getting Congress to deliver on Israel's behalf, AIPAC and ADL quickly secured the support of dozens of Zionist organizations including, but not limited to the following:

Rabbinical Council of America Orthodox Union of America, Institute for Public Affairs, Orthodox Union of America, Zionist Organization of America, National Jewish Republican Coalition, University Student Division: Hagshama Department National Jewish Democratic Coalition President of the World Zionist Organization, World Zionist Organization: American Section, National Council of Jewish Women, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jewish Agency for Israel, United Jewish Communities (UJC), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Israel Bonds, Inc., International Association of Jewish Vocational Services, Union of American Hebrew Congregations Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Na'amat USA, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, American Sephardic Federation American Technion Society American Zionist Federation Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith Association of Jewish Aging Services B'nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO) Center for Russian Jewry Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations JESNA: Jewish Education Service of North America Jewish Community Centers Association of North America Jewish Council for Public Affairs Jewish Labor Committee Jewish National Fund Jewish War Veterans of the USA Jewish Women International, American Jewish Committee American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, American ORT Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies (AJFCA), Association of Modern Orthodox Day Schools and Yeshiva High Schools ,(AMODS) CAJE (The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education) Camp Ramah/National Ramah Commission, Inc. COEJL- The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life Consulate of Israel Hadassah International Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists International Association of Jewish Vocational Services Israel Bonds, Inc. Jewish Agency for Israel National Council of Jewish Women National Jewish Democratic Coalition, National Jewish Republican ,Coalition, Orthodox Union of America, Rabbinical Assembly.

Why Kennedy Slept

Like many American students interested in politics, this observer followed Ted Kennedy's career, the good and the bad. From my second day at Boston University, when I walked across Boston Common to his Tremont Street campaign office and saw a large sign above the entrance. I recall that it read: "*Ever since those immortal words of Thomas Jefferson, 'Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness' the Democratic party has stood for the right of men and women to dignity, freedom, and to move ahead." *I found the sign inspiring and joined his Campaign for the U.S. Senate.* *Odd how one remembers a sign from some many years ago when often he is not sure what day of the week it is.

I always felt a sort of vague connection with Ted Kennedy. We were both the youngest of a large loving family. He had five sisters and three brothers and I have five brothers (one died in infancy) and three sisters. I knew what it was like to try to keep up with older idolized active, sometimes wild, siblings and get regularly shunted aside. We were both raised by devout Catholic Mothers, he Roman, me Anglican. Admittedly Milwaukie, Oregon was not Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but it was just as good, and I am sure we had as much fun growing up with family sports, camping in the woods, picking strawberries for pocket money and swimming nearly every day in Oregon's creeks, rivers, streams, or lakes.

I did not know Ted Kennedy well personally, but from two stints on his staff, in Boston and on his campaign Issues Staff including during his ill fated 1980 Presidential bid at the 22nd and Q St, NW National HQ in Washington, DC, we had some conversations and once, he actually saved me from the wrath of the Israeli lobby who wanted me fired when as a Member of the Democratic National Committee from Oregon I addressed the 1980 Democratic Convention Platform Committee and advocated that the Party support a Palestinian State. I made clear my advocacy was my own view and not those of the Kennedy Campaign. Kennedy would not let Paul Kirk, "our campaign chairman fire me as Kirk yelled, "For Christ's sake Lamb, the Carter campaign in New York will beat us over the head with this!" Kennedy told me and Kirk with a hearty laugh "They (the Lobby) will get over it."

My issues 'specialty' was supposedly US Soviet Relations (we did not have a middle east issues desk only one called 'Israel') but most of my days and nights (sometimes, past midnight, the increasingly cash strapped campaign would spring for a feast at Blackie's House of Beef up the block) were spent in a windowless room frantically calling around the country compiling 'day books' filled with the latest statistics on such compelling subjects as the current price Maine farmers were getting for potatoes, or the 'hot issues' in Keene New Hampshire or how" Carter's Interest Rates" (sometimes around 18%) were ruining every community in Iowa the EMK '80 Campaign Bus rolled into. We tried to impress journalists like Alexander Cockburn, then working for the Village Voice, with our erudition. Alas, as Counterpunchers learned recently Alexander was apparently not much impressed by our statistical work or the whole EMK '80 campaign for that matter.

Our campaigns problem was that we failed to convince Democratic Party voters that there were real differences between Kennedy and Carter. Historian Theodore H. White noted that Ted's main problem with Carter was *competence with the Legislative process.* White quoted Ted in 1982: "Even on issues we agree on, he doesn't know how to do it," White, likened Ted's attitude toward Carter as "the contempt of a master machinist for a plumber's assistant" but the voters did not get it and we took body blows week after week as the primaries, unmercifully, seemed never to end.

Kennedy's 'PEP' Problem

I puzzled, as many did, over what I considered Kennedy's 'PEP' problem ("Progressive Except Palestine"). How could a fellow turn a blind eye to Israel's crimes in Palestine when he exhibited such a passion to fight for what he called the most "humble members of society." I acknowledge his actions that weakened America's labor movement and his votes on GATT and NAFTA and his much criticized role in setting up the World Trade Organization, but even his detractors acknowledge his considerable legislative skills to help enact Medicare and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX, a woman's right to choose, AmericaCorps, No Child Left Behind and the Ryan White AIDS Act, mental health parity, the State-Children's Health Insurance Program, raising the minimum wage, the government program that extends health insurance for the unemployed, hate crimes prevention, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and who did more than perhaps any senator in modern memory to advance the cause of civil rights - he was one of the few senators to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act, and called health care the "greatest cause" of his life.

For more than half a century he opposed the death penalty. Deep in grief following Robert's murder on 6/05/68, Ted wrote Judge Herbert V. Walker, opposing death for Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, a Christian from north of Jerusalem whose village had been decimated by Israeli troops exactly one year before Sirhan killed Robert who praised Israel's 'victory'. Judge Walker refused

Ted's petition, but in its decision in People v. anderson, 64 Cal. 2d 633 , 414 P.2d 366 (Cal. 1972) California's Supreme Court, invalidated all pending death sentences imposed in California prior to 1972. This observer visited Sirhan's village some years later and forwarded a letter to Senator Kennedy from the village Muktar expressing the horror and grief of the Palestinian people for Sirhan's very great crime. As for Sirhan, he comes up regularly like clockwork for parole every five years and like clockwork is denied release despite being considered after 41 years a 'model and rehabilitated prisoner'.

How could Ted Kennedy, in many ways, such a compassionate person, and a staunch critic of Israel's pushed war against Iraq when few of his colleagues would join him, ("My vote against this misbegotten war was the best vote that I have cast since I was elected in 1962," he said in 2007) suspend his independence of judgment, his moral compass, avert his eyes and cast so many votes funding Israel's brutal occupation. This has troubled me and many on his regular office staff over the years. I suspect it also came back to trouble him as he appeared to back pedal from some of his earlier pro-Israel rhetoric.

Kennedy was never as gross in his expressed fealty to Israel as many members of Congress and occasionally he raised eyebrows when he declined some of the 'raw meat' language ever offered by AIPAC 'advisors' for inclusion in his speeches. But he regularly used the Israel card when it served him politically.

I was present at one campaign event when Kennedy spoke before the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations on January 28, 1980, in the run-up to the New York Primary. He attacked Jimmy Carter in every borough of New York City, accusing him of an "on again, off again flirtation" with the PLO and of holding "pro-Palestinian positions." He told the audience, "I know that in advocating Israel's cause, I am inevitably advancing the cause of America," and he asked, rhetorically, "what sort of a settlement can Israel expect from this president electorally unfettered in his second term? How often have threats and pressures, veiled and explicit, been used by this Administration in attempting to coerce Israel?"

The presidential primary polls indicated that Carter would beat Kennedy in the New York Democratic primary by a margin of 54 to 28 percent. But on March 1, Carter's UN Ambassador, Donald F. McHenry, voted for a resolution in the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlement activity in Jerusalem an issue still with us. Three weeks later, Kennedy beat Carter in New York by 59 percent to 41 percent. Ted knew that the Israel lobby had come through for him. Paul Kirk smiled at me.

The brilliant Boston University Government Professor Murry B. Levin, whose lectures, between 1955 and 1989 when he retired, often drew 1000 students into BU's crammed Hayden Hall. Levin was author of the Alientated Voter, the Compleat Politician and several books on Kennedy. He would tell his spell bound students, including this one, that Ted followed House Speaker Tip O'Neil's creed that all politics are local and for years Kennedy showed little interest in foreign affairs and focused on domestic issues and local constituencies. This helped the Israel lobby secure Kennedy's seemingly blind support according to Levin.

Few on the issues staff at EMK '80 HQ thought that Ted's comments on Israel/Palestine were extreme. Out of more than a dozen in our cramped "issues office" 10 were fairly hard core Zionists with Ted's niece Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and her husband David, who worked on education issues, and this observer the exceptions and only non-Jews. Rabbi Alexander Schindler, a friend told us that the Kennedy pledge to Israel was the most unequivocal he had ever heard from any Presidential candidate.

That was nearly 30 years ago. By today's political obeisance standards, including Mike Huckleberry's groveling and nauseating spectacle two weeks ago in Jerusalem, Kennedy's words now appear less strident. Kennedy supported Obama's current efforts in Palestine and was, according to some on his foreign policy staff, getting ready to go toe to toe with the Israeli lobby if necessary "to settle this mess". Who doubts that Obama needed Kennedy to weigh in with the Israeli lobby to salvage Middle East initiatives? But would he have done so?

Was Kennedy Breaking With Israel's Apartheid?

Following September 11, Senator Kennedy felt strongly that it was important to establish positive ties with more people of the Muslim world. To support that goal, he and colleagues established a program to provide scholarships for secondary school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the United States. These students live with American host families, attend high school, and engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures. Since the program began in the fall of 2002, approximately 3,000 students from more than 30 countries have participated. Meanwhile, Kennedy started regularly calling a number of Muslim and Arab opinion leaders to assure them that 9/11 would not be allowed to bring division among Americans.

Kennedy also recently defended Judge Richard Goldstone's UN-mandated investigation of both sides of the Gaza conflict. He met with human rights groups that have been the target of a disinformation campaign launched by the Israeli government. Kennedy recognized the problem of the Israeli military killing mainly civilians. He argued to his staff that Israel's military campaign in Gaza should not be lamely excused or covered up but should be seen for what is was and must not happen again.

Kennedy staffers attest to the fact that he read Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other reports that showed, through detailed, on-the-ground investigations for example, that Israeli forces fired white phosphorous munitions indiscriminately over civilian areas, shot and killed Palestinian civilians waving white flags, attacked children playing on rooftops with precision missiles fired from aerial drones and needlessly destroyed civilian property.

Kennedy was not unaware that Israel turn Gaza into a Ghetto and that close to 90% of the casualties in 'Cast lead' were civilians as Dr. Mads Gilbert has documented. Or that Israel steals Palestinian lands - steals water resources - burns olive trees and other crops - creates an apartheid wall on stolen land - imprisons nearly 12,000 people, many without trial - indiscriminately uses of US-provided F16s - kill thousands of civilians, mostly women and children - commit assassinations at will - starves an entire nation and complain that the oppressed Palestinians fire misguided missiles in revenge.

Kennedy's Senate staff provided him with the proof of Israeli air attacks on Gaza - the buildings blown to rubble, the children killed on their way to school, the long rows of mutilated corpses, the wailing mothers and wives, the crowds of terrified Palestinians not knowing where to flee, the hospitals so overburdened and out of supplies they cannot treat the wounded, and our studied, callous indifference to this widespread human suffering.

Staffers noted that their boss winced when he read reports or received briefing like the recent one study from the UN about 10,000 Gazans having no access to a water network - while about 60% of the nearly 1.5 million population receive water only intermittently while water consumption in the Gaza Strip is less than a third of that of Israelis living just a few miles away.

Kennedy, a long term backer of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel recently changed his views and came to favor a shared Holy City for all faiths along the lines long advocated by the Papacy, and in principal he did not oppose having Jerusalem the Capitol of both Palestine and Israel. He was also said to be studying and reconsidering the requirements of UNSCR 194 and the Right of Return. How he ultimately would have reconciled its requirements, and those of the more than two dozen UN Security Council Resolution which Israel continues to ignore, shielded by US political cover, with his own civil and human rights legacy while continuing to vote funds for an expansionist Israel is unclear.

Senator Kennedy wrote in his just released Memoire, "True Compass" that he is convinced that had his brother Jack lived, he would have sought a way out of Vietnam ("He had spoken with McNamara," referring to Defense Secretary ,"about a plan for withdrawal") One hopes that had Ted Kennedy lived he would have accelerated his reconsideration of blind support for Israel's brutal occupation and, come to oppose, as he did in South Africa, a renegade Apartheid regime.

Some Kennedy staffers claim to have seen a change in Ted's views on the Question of Palestine following his 1992 marriage to Victoria Araiji Boustany Reggie, whose family on her Mother's side is Lebanese. One current Kennedy staffer explained: "Vicki never forgets her Arab origins and in her own way works for justice. Probably Ted learned a lot about Israel's attacks on Lebanon from her. A number of Boustanys in Lebanon actually support Hezbollah and the Resistance, but I doubt Vicki does".Some who know him well believe that Kennedy was in the process of evolving from toeing the Zionist line designed to buy peace for his domestic agenda through a Faustian bargain with the Israeli lobby. Unlike perhaps a majority in Congress who consider Israel a rouge expansionist state, but who want to keep their jobs."It may have been that Ted was trying to reconcile his background, his pedigree, his principals and all he believed in and he may have even concluded that Israel was a mistake, had become a militarist pariah that was the antipathy of all that the Kennedy mystic stood for. Or maybe Ted was not there yet and maybe never would have dropped Israel completely but his views were changing", explained a current staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Senior Senator from Massachusetts is appropriately laid to rest under the Stars and Stripes forever. Not the Star of David.

- Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon. He is Interim Director of the Sabra-Shatila Foundation. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

Supremo Tribunal de Israel: Ordena demolição de estruturas palestinas

fonte:Fórum Palestina

Segundo a WAFA, o Supremo Tribunal de Israel ordenou na quarta-feira ao Estado que implemente as ordens de demolição emitidas para as estruturas palestinas que tinham sido construídas perto das vilas de as-Sawiya e Yatma, localizadas perto do colonato de Rehalim, no norte da Cisjordânia.

O tribunal decidiu para além disso que o Estado deve realizar a sua própria fudamentação e definir um calendário e um quadro de supervisão em matéria de construção, claros, no âmbito da sua obrigação de cumprir a lei.

O Estado foi instruido pelo tribunal de que deveria dar conhecimento dos procedimentos planeados no prazo de 45 dias.

Comprometimento em Gaza sem comprometer a Palestina


Compromising for Gaza without compromising Palestine
Gabriel Ash, Mich Levy and Sara Kershnar, The Electronic Intifada, 9 September 2009

International efforts in solidarity with Gaza must not ignore Palestine's history and Palestinians' full demands. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

One result of CODEPINK's delegation to the Gaza Strip in May was the idea to organize a large march through the territory with a significant international presence including well-known personalities. In the spirit of nonviolent direct action, the march would challenge the appalling and inhumane siege of Gaza. The idea, which immediately captured the imagination of many organizers, was the brainchild of Norman Finkelstein. We are truly grateful for Professor Finkelstein's creative thinking and willingness to put forward big ideas that generate enthusiasm and engagement.

However, after the initial call, the framework of the march was challenged by highly-respected Palestinian activists Omar Barghouti from Jerusalem, and Haidar Eid from the Gaza Strip. Their criticism, expressed with the utmost respect for the courage and good will of the organizers, challenged the organizers' decision to delay engaging in a wide conversation with Palestinian civil society and activists until after the call was made and the framework formulated. As Barghouti and Eid noted, that also led to a number of problems with the framework and the call. The call failed to provide historical context to the current siege, barely referred to the occupation and picked and chose from the history of Palestinian nonviolent resistance. It also used language that inadvertently reflected Israeli propaganda strategies, isolating Palestinians in Gaza from their counterparts in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Israel and the Diaspora.

Ultimately, these criticisms led to a compromise that satisfied both the Palestinian critics and most of the initial organizers. This compromise was reflected in a context document that is now part of the call. We welcome the concerns of prominent Palestinian activists who represent significant grassroots organizing. We see in the exchange, negotiation and outcome, a model example of how solidarity work can deepen and improve through giving full attention to honest and constructive criticism from those most impacted by the horrors we are challenging.

We have read the context document and express our full support for the march based on the revised call.

Changing course is never easy. It would have been far better had this discussion taken place before the call went out. That, however, is a lesson for the future. The compromise led a few of the organizers to leave in anger and recriminations. Some argued that the new context document is "sectarian" and will severely damage the potential of the march. While disputes are inevitable in every political endeavor, we call on all parties to cast aside differences and arguments, to respect the compromise and unite on our common objective, ending the siege of Gaza. What is important now is getting the best and most effective march possible.

We see the context document as a thoughtful attempt to bring together for this march those of us who support boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and the full objectives of Palestinian liberation -- including the right of return and full and equal rights for Palestinians living in Israel -- with those activists whose support for lifting the siege of Gaza is largely humanitarian. Contrary to misrepresentations, the context document does not require marchers to adhere to BDS. But as the march puts nonviolence on its banner and claims inspiration from nonviolent Palestinian resistance, it cannot, without being offensive, ignore the increasing presence and far-reaching international impact of BDS as a Palestinian campaign of nonviolent resistance that is endorsed by all factions, including Fatah and Hamas, as well as more than 100 civil society associations. The growing support for BDS among prominent Western figures and mainstream organizations belies the claim that the mere mention of it is divisive.

Nor does the document commit the marchers to support the Palestinian right of return. It does commit the marchers to recognize the Palestinian Nakba and the historical fact that the refugees' right of return, recognized by UN resolution 194, has been denied. These refugees make up 75 percent of the population of Gaza and are the recipients of this march's solidarity. To recognize this history does not compel one to agree to any specific resolution of the conflict. But refusing to recognize it denies the history of the Palestinian people, a denial that is inconsistent with any form of solidarity.

The new document's only demand is the end of the siege of Gaza. There are no other demands. Nothing in it prevents activists committed to a "two-state solution" and a "Jewish state" from participating. We therefore strongly object to representing the new language as an attempt to limit the scope of the march. We take strong offense at the attempt to label the recognition of the concerns of Palestinian liberation within the context of a solidarity action as "sectarian." We seriously doubt that the number of individuals willing to fly to Egypt and then march in Gaza, yet who refuse to recognize the history of Gaza, is very large.

We are also heartened by the addition of non-governmental partners in Gaza. As soon as the context statement was added, endorsements came from the University Teachers' Association in Palestine, Palestinian Student's Campaign, al-Aqsa University, Arab Cultural Forum-Gaza and al-Quds Bank for Culture and Information-Gaza. We are also encouraged by the addition of the International Solidarity Movement and support from members of the South African Palestine solidarity community. The elected government of Gaza has also endorsed the march and will now hopefully increase its assistance.

In supporting this compromise, we are mindful of the original aim of the organizers for large and "ecumenical" participation. We share that goal. However, our conversation would benefit from honesty about the meaning of "ecumenical." It never means "everybody." We don't just want the maximum number of marchers; we want the maximum number that can be achieved without compromising the visions of the diverse organizers and solidarity groups participating in this particular project.

Where should the line be drawn? This is a difficult decision that haunts every political struggle and always requires deliberation, negotiation and compromise. It is misleading to frame the debate as one between those who want maximum participation and those motivated by ideology, in particular when this framing aims to delegitimize the concerns of Palestinian activists representing significant sections of Palestinian grassroots organizing. We all have political lines that we won't cross. The lines drawn by those at the very heart of the struggle deserve our particular respect.

We now have a fair and inclusive basis for organizing the march, open to proponents of radically different political visions yet respectful of all, and in particular, respectful of Palestinian history and struggle. We must now all strive to make this march as big and as successful as possible.

Gabriel Ash is an activist, writer and a core member of IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network). He writes because the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword and sometimes not.

Mich Levy is an activist and educator. Mich is an international organizer with IJAN.

Sara Kershnar is an activist and organizer. Sara is an international organizer of IJAN.

a embaixada palestiniano em Londres continua silenciosa enquanto os israelitas continuam o roubo das terras

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Palestinian Embassy in London Silent as Israeli Land-grabs continue
Israel’s crippling siege remains in place, courtesy of the international community.

By Stuart Littlewood - London

As if they didn't have enough problems, tormented Palestinians suffer the added misfortune of being represented here in London - the media capital of the western world - by the most invisible and silent embassy it is possible to imagine.

A year ago, campaigners urged the ambassador to get his act together or go home. He angrily retorted that he had "a plan of how to influence British Media to give us the Palestinians more exposure".

Whatever the plan was, it hasn’t worked. Press releases and briefings are non-existent. It is many months since I last heard the ambassador on radio or TV, while his Israeli opposite number pops up on the national airwaves with nauseating regularity. And the Palestinians' precious shop window - their embassy website – never functioned properly and has now been taken down.
What a way, as the Americans say, to run a f***ing railroad. So what’s going on?

Littlewood to Ambassador, 27 August

With so much happening both in Palestine and on the propaganda front, could you please bring me up to date on the Delegation's diplomatic and PR activities? We see no news releases, no attempt to set the news agenda and the website appears to have died despite earlier assurances that it would be given new life. This is most dispiriting for Palestine's friends and campaigners here in the UK, especially when the Israeli side are at full throttle with their distorted messages and briefings.....

Ambassador to Littlewood, 27 August

Thank you for your concern and interest in the Palestinian cause. For the last 5 weeks, I was away in the US giving series of lectures about the situation in Palestine and teaching at the University of Maryland at College Park, Washington DC.

I was back on August 24, and since then I have been giving interviews about Natanyahu's notorious policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians and above all on his settlements policies. We have participated in the demonstration at 10 Downing Street against Natanyahu's visit to London. We will be present at all rallies and functions of the PSC and other organizations planned for the near future.

I agree the Website needs upgrading, I already contacted Website expert to work on it, and our information counselor had been on vacation for the last month, hopefully by next week, we should resume our work at full speed.

We are short of staff and help, we need volunteers especially for the media...

A whole year to contact a website expert? A teaching tour in Maryland? (Why aren’t those US lecture notes transcribed into public information documents or press briefings and circulated?) The "information counselor" is on a month’s vacation? (Are things any different when he/she is not on holiday?). Sounds like the PA/PLO is running a nice little rest home.

Littlewood to Ambassador, 28 August

The Americans certainly need educating, but so too do the British and other Europeans. I see that access to the Embassy's website is "forbidden" to those who don't have the "privilege". That should ensure they never bother to visit it again…

It is vital that the Embassy is seen as a reliable source of newsworthy material with readily available spokespeople with clear and faultless English. Once this is established it will be easier to engage the interest of mainstream media. As things stand, the Palestinians continue to lose the all-important war of words even though truth and justice are on their side, and as a result the cause is trampled in the dust.

Next day I saw a piece in Haaretz by Barak Ravid, ‘PM slams Breaking the Silence’, reporting how Netanyahu had lashed out against Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization that collects testimonies from Israeli soldiers about alleged abuse of Palestinians in the territories. The Israeli prime minister criticised the British government for helping to fund its work. “Netanyahu also addressed the lawsuits filed in Britain against Israeli officers and senior officials for alleged war crimes, over their actions in the territories. Netanyahu said Israel was acting in self-defense, and Israeli officers should not be accused of crimes, just as British officers should not be subject to lawsuits for their actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.

"When Netanyahu asked Brown to promote legislation to prevent such suits, Brown said he would see what could be done. Netanyahu also asked Brown to have his cabinet publicly denounce attempts to impose an academic and economic boycott on Israel."

This is a re-hash of Livni's (?) ridiculous demands that Israel's worst gangsters be allowed to walk free in this country. The idea that prime minister Gordon Brown might consider changing the law to accommodate Netanyahu is scandalous and needs exposing. This is the kind of story that ought to be featured and expanded on the embassy’s website.

Haaretz also carried Mohammed Omer's report ‘It’s Tents for Most Homeless Families in Gaza, Prefabricated Huts for the Lucky Few’. The parade of international diplomats and aid workers coming to survey the destruction in Gaza had changed nothing, said Omer. He reminded us that Israel’s 22-day attack on Gaza killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and injured thousands more, mostly civilians. 3,500 houses were completely destroyed and 2,100 seriously damaged.

In the weeks following the Israeli assault, aid groups set up tent camps in the hardest hit areas, but the prefabricated shelters did not arrive until June, when the Hamas-led government in Gaza began distributing 192 structures supplied by Turkey. “The 40-foot-square pre-fabricated huts in which fewer than 200 families currently are living have no toilet, washroom, kitchen or private facilities. Indeed, they are little more than a simple tool shed. Yet, in Gaza, five months after Israel halted its attack, it passes for a home."

Despite more than $4.5 billion pledged at the international donors’ conference to help rebuild the Gaza Strip, nothing seems to be getting through… except a few tool sheds. Israel’s crippling siege remains in place, courtesy of the international community, and no construction materials are allowed to reach the 1.5 million trapped there.

Littlewood to Ambassador, 29 August

Why do we have to rely on my friend Mohammed Omer for this appalling news when it should be shouted from the rooftops by the PA and fed to all delegations and embassies for broadcasting at full volume?

This last week the embassy is supposed to have “resumed work at full speed”. But there’s no further reply… no press releases, no briefings, no website, nothing.

The inevitable conclusion is that the regime in Ramallah has gagged its London operation and instructed it not to cross swords with the Israelis. Otherwise Ramallah would have ensured they had all the skills and resources needed to match the enemy and make a creditable impact here at this important hub in the western world.

How impressed, I wonder, are the folks in the Occupied Territories – the dispossessed, the humiliated, the blitzed, the maimed, the homeless, the workless, the starving, the sick and dying, those whose doors are smashed down in the middle of the night by the rifle-butts of military thugs, those thousands abducted and thrown in jail without being charged, those hundreds of thousands forced to scrape a meager living in refugee camps for the last 60 years, the millions who day after day face Israel’s vile Occupation with a mounting sense of hopelessness as the moralizing Western Powers twiddle their thumbs… not to mention the rising generation of youngsters whose path to a university education is strewn with obstacles and whose hopes of a life of fulfillment are permanently dashed?

How impressed are they with the way the embassy represents their cause? And whose side are the grey suits in Ramallah on, anyway?

- Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. He contributed this article to Visit:

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

medidas racistas contra os palestinianos convocam a greve


Racist measures against Palestinians in Israel lead to strike call
Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 9 September 2009

The increasingly harsh political climate in Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government has prompted the leadership of the country's 1.3 million Arab citizens to call for the first general strike in several years.

The one-day stoppage is due to take place on 1 October, a date heavy with symbolism because it marks the anniversary of another general strike, in 2000 at the start of the second Palestinian intifada, when 13 Arab demonstrators were shot dead by Israeli police.

The Arab leadership said it was responding to a string of what it called "racist" government measures that cast the Arab minority, a fifth of the population, as enemies of the state.

"In recent months, there has been a parallel situation of racist policies in the parliament and greater condoning of violence towards Arab citizens by the police and courts," said Jafar Farah, the head of Mossawa, an Arab advocacy group in Israel. "This attitude is feeding down to the streets."

Confrontations between the country's Arab minority and Netanyahu's coalition, formed in the spring, surfaced almost immediately over a set of controversial legal measures.

The proposed bills outlawed the commemoration of the Nakba, or catastrophe, the word used by Palestinians for their dispossession in 1948; required citizens to swear loyalty to Israel as a Zionist state; and banned political demands for ending Israel's status as a Jewish state. Following widespread outcries, the bills were either watered down or dropped.

But simmering tensions came to a boil again late last month when the education minister, Gideon Saar, presented educational reforms to mark the start of the new school year.

He confirmed plans to drop the word "Nakba" from Arabic textbooks and announced his intention to launch classes on Jewish heritage and Zionism. He also said he would tie future budgets for schools to their success in persuading pupils to perform military or national service.

Arab citizens are generally exempted from military service, although officials have recently been trying to push civilian national service in its place.

Mohammed Barakeh, an Arab member of the parliament, denounced the linking of budgets to national service, saying that Saar "must understand that he is the education minister, not the defense minister."

The separate Arab education system is in need of thousands of more classrooms and is massively underfunded -- up to nine times more is spent on a Jewish pupil than an Arab one, according to surveys. Research published by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem last month showed that Jewish schools received five times more than Arab schools for special education classes.

Netanyau, who accompanied Saar on a tour of schools last week, appeared to give his approval to the proposed reforms: "We advocate education that stresses values, Zionism and a love of the land."

Barakeh also accused government ministers of competing to promote measures hostile to the Arab minority. "Anyone seeking fame finds it in racist whims against Arabs -- the ministers of infrastructure, education, transportation, whoever."

Barakeh was referring to a raft of recent proposals.

Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister and leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, announced last month that training for the diplomatic service would be open only to candidates who had completed national service.

Of the foreign ministry's 980 employees only 15 are Arab, a pattern reflected across the civil service sector according to Sikkuy, a rights and coexistence organization.

The housing minister, Ariel Atias, has demanded communal segregation between Jewish and Arab citizens and instituted a drive to make the Galilee, where most Arab citizens live, "more Jewish."

The interior minister, Eli Yishai, has approved a wave of house demolitions, most controversially in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm in Wadi Ara, where a commercial district has been twice bulldozed in recent weeks.

The transport minister, Israel Katz, has insisted that road signs include place names only as they are spelt in Hebrew, thereby erasing the Arabic names of communities such as Jerusalem, Jaffa and Nazareth.

Arab legislators have come under repeated verbal attack from members of the government. Last month, the infrastructures minister, Uzi Landau, refused to meet Taleb al-Sana, the head of the United Arab List party, on parliamentary business, justifying the decision on the grounds that Arab MPs were "working constantly here and abroad to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state."

Shortly afterwards, al-Sana and his colleague Ahmed Tibi, the deputy speaker of parliament, attended Fatah's congress in Bethlehem, prompting Lieberman to declare: "Our central problem is not the Palestinians, but Ahmed Tibi and his ilk -- they are more dangerous than Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad combined."

Tibi responded: "When Lieberman, the foreign minister, says that, ordinary Israelis understand that he is calling for me to be killed as a terrorist. It is the most dangerous incitement."

Israel's annual Democracy Index poll, published last month, showed that 53 percent of Israeli Jews supported moves to encourage Arab citizens to leave.

Farah said the strike date had been selected to coincide with the anniversary of the deaths of 13 Arab citizens in October 2000 to highlight both the failure to prosecute any of the policemen involved and the continuing official condoning of violence against Arab citizens by police and Jewish citizens.

Some 27 Arab citizens have been killed by the police in unexplained circumstances since the October deaths, Farah said, with only one conviction. Last week, Shahar Mizrahi, an undercover officer, was given a 15-month sentence for shooting Mahmoud Ghanaim in the head from point-blank range. The judge called Mizrahi's actions "reckless."

This week, in another controversial case, Shai Dromi, a Negev rancher, received six months community service after shooting dead a Bedouin intruder, Khaled al-Atrash, as the latter fled.

Farah said the regard in which Arab citizens were held by the government was illustrated by a comment from the public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, in June. During an inspection of police officers working undercover as drug addicts, the minister praised one for looking like a "real dirty Arab."

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is

A version of this article originally appeared in
The National, published in Abu Dhabi.
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