Saturday, 24 July 2010

Abbas forces kidnap two sons of Hamas legislator in the W. Bank

[ 24/07/2010 - 02:41 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- The PA security forces in the West Bank have stormed Friday the town of Shoyoukh, east of Al-Khalil city, and arrested nine Palestinian citizens, including two sons of Hamas legislator MP Samira Al-Halaika.

According to sources close to the Halaika family, the militias of Abbas stormed homes and wreaked havoc on them before forcing the detainees out of their homes at gunpoint.

The arrested citizens were identified as Rezq Halaika, 44, a former teacher who was dismissed for his political affiliation, Mohammed Mahmood Halaika, 35, Yousef Halaika, 28, Mohammed Ali Halaika, 35, and Anas and Osama Halaika, 24 and 20 respectively, the two sons of MP Samira Halaika who were severely beaten by the Abbas militias, and her cousin Watani Halaika, 29.

Two other citizens, Abdul Karim Halaika, 55, and Mahmood Warasna, 34, were also kidnapped by the Abbas forces. All kidnapped citizens were taken to the ill-famed PA intelligence department.

In the same context, the militia of Abbas launched an arrest campaign against Palestinian citizens demonstrating against the Israeli apartheid wall in the villages of Bilin and Nilin, arresting a number of demonstrators suspected by the militias to be Hamas supporters.

Local sources informed the PIC that Abbas's forces have been storming the Palestinian villages located near the separation wall over the past week, and arrested suspected Hamas sympathizers participating in the demonstrations.

The sources also confirmed that the arrested citizens were tortured to force them admit to the charges that they hurled Molotov bombs at the Israeli occupation soldiers during the demonstrations.

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Qifa Nabki on STL – is Hariri helping to sweep the issue under the rug?

The Mideastwire Blog

Qifa Nabki has analysis here on the STL and Nasrallah.

I agree with QN that this is probably the most important speech by HN in the last year – although if there is indeed war in the coming months then I would say HN’s articulation of how they view the coming conflict may have been more important….

But in any case, I would take issue with the key statement by QN:

“…There is no desire anywhere — except among certain politicians in the Kata’ib and Lebanese Forces — to use the STL as a battering ram against Syria or its allies in Lebanon.”

I would not view the recent developments on the STL as an attempt welcomed in order to sweep the issue under the rug by the Hariri-Saudi axis. They know FULL WELL that this course is unacceptable for Hizbullah and Nasrallah. And they know full well that Hizbullah views this apparent trajectory as extremely dangerous. So it simply cannot be viewed by them as a nice way to deal with the STL and move on with rapprochement etc. It is a weapon, a card and a chink in Hizbullah’s armor – all at once. (If you want to view the Hariri-Saudi stance benignly you could argue that they are just trying their best to reign in a Hizbullah which could very well “provoke” or even launch a devastating war with Israel…. so even in its OFFENSIVE nature, the track is welcomed as a conflict mitigator because of the rejiggering of the balance of power and SWOT matrix (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats).

Furthermore, it is clear that the US, Israel and some other actors allied with both DO – for better or worse – very much see the STL as one of the few remaining, effective tools of containment left! One should remember that Hizbullah MOST fears internal strife, especially sunni-shiite…. and that its enemies know this very well (the only time Hizbullah attacks went down on Israeli and its proxy forces during the 1982-2000 period was when Hizbullah was fighting….AMAL. I also remember the discontent among some Hizbullah supporters and partisans who had to deploy to Hamra in May 2008 and quietly wondered, just wondering as an act of independent reasoning, what they were doing there, really, when they were devoting their entire lives to facing off with Israel) The STL is one of the only remaining levers for activating and accelerating this key strategy of fitna – whether “intentionally” pulled or not – so its current track will undoubtedly be welcome by the Settlement Axis in general (whether it should be is another issue) and especially the Israelis who need “deep state” and “epistemological” weapons more than ever.

Which is to say: This STL track – if it is true – is dangerous on many levels for the Party but the key level I would want to highlight is vis-a-vis delegitamization. Hizbullah is deeply invested in being seen as a rational, a reasonable actor par excellence – even among its enemies (even in the 1985 letter Hizbullah went to great lengths to “prove” that they were not bearded crazies fire bombing liquor stores and killing christians – a discourse that ONLY strengthened over time). Abiding within the realm of reason is viewed by the party as an absolutely essential leg – of two legs – for remaining as an effective resistance party in the long term (the key “goal”) – ironically the existential threat of delegitimization is also seen on the Israeli side!

The STL track now is – well could be – a powerful tool for de-legitamizing them in Europe (where they are indeed concerned about being listed and banned as terrorists which they are not currently), in the Sunni world, the Arab world in general, in media circles etc. The rebut that the STL is an Israeli tool, broken from just about the outset of the effort is not a really effective rebut for many in these circles, states, elites, popular levels etc.

So that means the Hariri-Saudi and US-Israeli axes are both NOT aligned with Hizbullah’s interests (the former of which was asserted by QN).

With a major conflict possibly approaching, it seems that Hizbullah’s opponents and enemies are ready to strengthen themselves wherever they can – which makes since in a certain way for both the short, medium and long terms – since over the past four years they have mostly only counted their collective losses.
It seems, then, that the cards are being called in, ducks are getting into rows and everyone is trying to see exactly where ones own SWOTs lie and where the SWOTs of their opponents lie – and push their advantage while there is still relative peace. My real hope is that the Israelis do not read to much weakness into Hizbullah’s domestic political position as a result, and, when they get Iron Domed in November, dont feel confident enough to step into the war that many in the Israeli body politic seem to not want, but crave – dido for Hizbullah.
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Hezbollah S.G.: Lebanon Pushed into Sensitive Stage from STL Gate

Mohamad Shmaysani

Video: Click the Picture

22/07/2010 “My press conference is for the people to hear me well and not to quote me” from different sources, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah began his press conference in Beirut’s southern suburb Thursday night.

The Sayyed stressed that “we have to bear in mind that as of this moment, Lebanon has been pushed into a very sensitive and complicate stage from the gates of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).” His eminence also underlined the right of the resistance to defend itself regardless of those who “philosophize and claim that he who defends himself confesses his crime.”

“An indictment had been written, before the investigation (into the assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri) and before Hezbollah members were interrogated as witnesses. It was written but its issuance was delayed for political reasons. Judge Daniel Belmar’s deliberations with UNSC members and French officials had to do with the political timing, not the context. Before leaving to Paris, PM Saad Hariri visited me and told me that in month ‘x’, an indictment will be issued and it will implicate ‘undisciplined members of Hezbollah’, not the whole party.”

The Hezbollah chief lashed out at “those who protested my speech last week” adding that they don’t want Hezbollah to speak out before the issuance of the indictment. “We firmly reject this as we firmly reject accusing any Hezbollah member.”

His eminence pointed that from the first minutes after Hariri was assassinated, the media were ready to implicate Syria and the four generals in the crime. “The media are also ready today for any indictment. We believe that there is a major plot to target the resistance, Lebanon, and the whole region. I cannot be sure that an indictment would be issued in September or October because the date can be postponed for political reasons, however an indictment will be issued eventually in accordance with the plot that has been prepared for the region.”

Sayyed Nasrallah reminded that the target was the resistance “which constitutes the main obstacle for any settlement that would establish a U.S. and Israeli hegemony against the Palestinians.” He called on so-called March 14 powers to review their position “because the results of their stances and their policies have affected Lebanon and the region.”

The Sayyed praised MP Walid Jumblatt for his courage to make a clear and public review.

“It is not enough to say in 2010: we want to good and normal relations with Syria. They ought to say that they have made serious mistakes since 2005 and that they were heading straight to the abyss and dragging you (March 14 audience) behind us.

Do you have enough courage to say what you have concluded and yet, you refuse to reveal? Brave and sincere leaderships admit their mistakes. No one is asking you for an apology.”

The Secretary General reminded that in 2005 the so called March 14 leadership had immediately accused Syria of assassinating Hariri, without investigation and without proof.

“You were the prosecutor and you were the punishers. You dragged the whole country based on your accusation.” He added that five years later, the same March 14 camp is calling for normal relations with Damascus.

“This cannot pass that easy…What is the guarantee that you will not take the country towards more mazes in the five or ten years to come? What you did in this country in terms of confessional and sectarian incitement is unprecedented in 100 years of Lebanon’s history.

What is the guilt of those Hezbollah members, the Shiites and the rest of the opposition on top of which were our Sunni brothers?
What is the crime of Syria’s allies who were later called opposition forces, including General Michel Aoun?

You said during general elections in 2005: Anyone who votes for ‘them’ would be voting for PM Hariri’s killers. Elections took place based on a false accusation to Syria and its allies in Lebanon, and these elections gave birth to a government that took decisions.”
Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say that the March 14 racist speech led to the killing of several Syrian laborers in Lebanon, served in isolating then President Emile Lahoud, fueling the endeavor to occupy the Presidential Palace in Baabda, toppling then PM Omar Karameh and pointing the finger at him and his ministers, isolating some judges, and throwing four innocent officers in jail for four years.

“The one thing that has never changed is that there is still no evidence to implicate Syria despite the false witnesses they brought to the investigation.”
The Hezbollah chief then addressed the Lebanese in general and the March 14 supporters in particular saying that “we are the victims of big schemes; much bigger than us and much bigger than Lebanon.”
“If these political leaderships did not make their review and did not correct their mistakes, knowing that during four and half years, they took the country to the most difficult stage in its history…in the framework of a big scheme for the region, will you be willing to follow their lead after all this experience? You are free and you bear the responsibility.”

Sayyed Nasrallah concluded his speech saying that Hezbollah was not afraid of anything, even the indictment.

“Let them issue it now and let us finish already.

Those who conspire against the resistance and Lebanon – and have so far failed – ought to be concerned because more schemes will be foiled.

We know the nature of the responsibility that we’re shouldering and we urge those who have so far miscalculated their moves to make the right calculations this time.”

The Secretary General answered the questions of reporters who were following up his speech through a giant screen at the Shahed School.

In one of his answers, the Sayyed pointed that Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Saudi Arabia can do a lot concerning the STL indictment. “They can tell those who are playing the ‘game of the nations’ that Lebanon cannot afford such games. I believe that they (Hariri and S.Arabia) have the stature that enables them to say just that. However, I am not asking them to do anything. It is up to them to take the decision they see fit.”
His eminence said he was asking no one to apologize. “All I asked was that they make a review and speak frankly to their audience. I have not called for the resignation of the government or anyone else, however I shall have a position after the issuance of the indictment.”

Concerning PM Hariri’s position after the indictment, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Both our positions will be difficult and everybody should observe Lebanon’s interest.”

Responding to a question about Hezbollah respecting STL decisions, the S.G. said: “We have never said that we respect the tribunal’s decisions and we have never said that we do not respect them. We have doubted the tribunal from day one; this is why we requested that the issue of the tribunal be discussed by the Cabinet. Everybody knows how the previous administration passed the Tribunal bill; Hezbollah and Amal Movement minister were not given three day – not one week, but three days only – to study the bill. Despite this, we backed the principle of establishing the court. Unless the court’s resolutions were based on solid and true evidence, I cannot accept its decisions, and it does not seem to me that the court is founding its decisions on solid evidence. If the court said that Al-Qaeda had killed Hariri, I would refuse its conclusion because the international investigation has skipped one hypothesis; the Israeli hypothesis. Israel has the motive, the capabilities, the control and the interest to kill Hariri, but it is forbidden to work on this hypothesis. As long as it does not take this hypothesis into consideration, the court will not be unprejudiced.”

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed he did not attack the Information Branch in his speech last week.
“The truth is that I thanked it for the efforts exerted recently to nab spies. I only asked a question, and this is my right. What was leaked in the press is not enough and confirms my information. I will not say that the Information Branch provided us with false information because the Branch has its own analyses of telephone calls which result in certain conclusions that are not necessarily definite. The same Branch interrogated people suspected of spying for Israel, some came out innocent and others confessed to collaborating with Israel. These are technical matters. The Branch did not lie to us, but the conclusions of their analyses were wrong. They gave us three telephone numbers for three Hezbollah officials suspected of collaborating with Israel. We took those three numbers and we summoned the brothers who owned the numbers.

You should know that we do not tolerate collaboration with Israel.

Those brothers are still Hezbollah officials because we conducted a real and serious investigation that led us to a definite conclusion. If I had the slightest proof that they had been penetrated by the Israel Mossad, I would have at least isolated them and fired them from the party. We don’t even tolerate suspicion of collaboration.

Why we given those names? Why is there an attempt to portray us as a penetrated party? This is something that has to do with a story that I will tell you during my next press conference God willing.”

The Hezbollah Secretary General concluded that the party has never and will never wage war, “knowing that the breakout of any war in the region will not be limited. In 2006 we captured two Israeli soldiers; never in history had the capture of two soldiers led to war.”

“We are a resistance movement working on liberating the rest of our occupied land our own way and we will defend our country like we have always done.”

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Israeli court endorses jail term against Salah

[ 24/07/2010 - 02:26 PM ]

UM AL-FAHAM, (PIC)-- The Israeli supreme court has rejected Friday a petition of appeal filed by lawyers of Sheikh Raed Salah to cancel an earlier verdict issued by the Israeli central court sentencing Salah to five-month imprisonment term.

Salah was accused by the court of assaulting an Israeli soldier in clashes between Muslim worshippers defending the Aqsa Mosque and the fully-geared Israeli occupation soldiers who attempted to storm the Mosque in 2007.

The Islamic Movement in the 1948-occupied Palestinian land, which Salah heads, deprecated the decision, adding that the decision against their "Sheikh" won't stop them from defending the Mosque against any Israeli attempt to defile it.

"We don’t fear prisons, but if you (Israelis) think that by jailing Sheikh Salah you would prevent us from defending the Aqsa at all cost then you are dreaming", the Movement asserted in a statement it issued in reaction to the court's decision.

In the aftermath of the clashes in 2007, Salah and a number of his comrades in the Movement, including Dr. Suleiman Eghbareyya among others were rounded up by the Israeli police and put on swift trial before issuing a number of arbitrary verdicts against Salah, including banning him from entering the Aqsa Mosque, staying 150 meters away from the old town of Jerusalem, and banning him from meeting with more than six persons in public.

A couple of months ago, Salah was on board the Freedom Flotilla that was raided by the Israeli navy. The attack ended with killing nine Turkish activists and wounding scores others. The Israeli special units reportedly targeted Salah but the plan failed when the soldiers found out that they killed a Turkish activist who looked like Salah.

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Franjieh to Al-Manar: We're Heading towards Disaster!

24/07/2010 The head of the Marada movement MP Sleiman Franjieh told Al-Manar on Friday that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was an international will more than an international tribunal, warning that any verdict that would accuse Hezbollah would be a sedition decision, noting that what would happen afterwards may be uncontrollable.

Franjieh was interviewed by Al-Manar host Imad Marmal during the political weekly talk show "Hadith As-Sa'a."

"They're telling Hezbollah: 'We want to slaughter you, but don't make any move.' They're trying to do now  reach a new 1975 civil war and chaos," he added.

Franjieh said that Lebanon needs statesmen who would be able to overcome the current tense period. "This tough period will prove whether or not Prime Minister Saad Hariri is a statesman," he noted. "There can't be an excellent relation with Hariri as long as he has relations with people of the type of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea … and little by little he is starting to realize that his relation with Geagea is no longer an advantage."

The head of the Marada movement expressed belief that Geagea's biggest wish is to see Hezbollah doing any military action in Christian areas so that he becomes the hero and the first defender of Christians. "We won't grant him this thing, we don't need Hezbollah or anyone and Geagea is not that major force that would scare us, and there's an existent Lebanese army."

Asked about Damascus' role in the current period, Franjieh said that "Syria would intervene in Lebanon only to play a role in the rapprochement of viewpoints," adding that in absence of a Syrian role, the opposition would act the way it sees fit.

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Khudari: Int'l law does not allow Israel to block Lebanon's aid ships

[ 24/07/2010 - 10:19 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- MP Dr. Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, has charged that Israel is not entitled to block the arrival of Lebanese aid ships "Mariam" and "Naji Al-Ali" to the Gaza Strip.

Khudari, in a press release on Saturday, said that the ships, which are scheduled to sail for Gaza within the few coming days, proceed according to official navigation laws.

He stressed that the Israel's threats to attack peaceful boats that only carry humanitarian and relief material along with American nuns point to its intention to fight anyone displaying solidarity with the Palestinian people.

All solidarity ships around the world are free to reach Gaza and break the siege imposed on it for the past four years, the MP elaborated.

He noted that preparations for sending more aid ships to Gaza prove that the Israeli allegation of easing the siege did not convince anyone.

He warned of an Israeli attack on the Lebanese ships at sea similar to what happened to the Freedom Flotilla that ended with a massacre.

Khudari said that Israel was the one breaking the international law as what it did to the Freedom Flotilla and the Libyan aid ship.

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Israel Braces Itself for a UN Fact Finding Mission by Gilad Atzmon

River to Sea

Israel faces another disastrous report as an 'Independent and impartial' fact-finding team appointed by the UN Human Rights Council will look into Israel's 'violations of international law' during her commando raid on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship.

Seemingly the UN Human Rights Council wasn’t overwhelmingly impressed by Israel's own ‘truth finding’ missions. I guess that this is understandable. The Israelis should accept the UN concerns. It is very uncommon to let the murderer or the rapist investigate himself.

The UN team is expected to travel to Israel, Turkey and Gaza in August to interview witnesses and gather information before reporting back to the Council in September.

I guess that in order to complete its job satisfyingly, the UN mission should consider taking advice from some Old Testament experts who can elaborate on the cultural and spiritual heritage that led to the current state of Israeli barbarism. As I've mentioned many times before, Zionism , is an attempt to revive the ancient Israelite nation. Hence it shouldn’t take us by surprise to discover that this has created a contemporary Israeli who follows the most sinister possible interpretation of the Judaic text.

Moreover, The UN mission would also benefit by recruiting some leading psychologists who can turn on a floodlight on the issues to do with Israeli collective lethal aggression. We all know the dry facts to do with the Israeli murder in the high seas. Yet, we are still perplexed that a so-called ‘democratic government’ made a decision to unleash its deadliest naval unit against civilians delivering humanitarian aid in international waters. If the UN wants to prevent future Israeli crimes, we better grasp, once and for all, what kind of needs the massacre was there to satisfy. We better understand once and for all why it is that Israeli politicians believe that providing their followers with fresh blood is translated into electoral power?

It is not yet clear whether Israel, which has a long history of rejecting UN probes, would cooperate and allow the team to visit. However, we have to bear in mind that Israel's political manoeuvring capacity in the international arena has shrunk considerably since her genocidal attacks on Lebanon 2006 and Gaza 2008-9.
The Israeli reaction wasn’t late in coming. Officials in Jerusalem told the Israeli Ynet that the Human Right Council's decision to look into the May 31st raid on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship is “pointless”, “obsessed” and “weird”*.

It is unfortunately typical for Israelis to believe that the Goyim are ‘obsessed’ and ‘weird’. I guess that the only possible interpretation of such a statement is that Israelis believe that killing peace activists better become an international norm. Indeed, it has already become a norm in Israel.

Knesset Member Otniel Schneller (Kadima), went even further arguing that “instead of focusing on the flotilla raid, the international community should investigate the continued captivity of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in Gaza, which he says constitutes a violation of international law.

I myself wonder what law it violates exactly. Gilad Shalit was a soldier in uniform serving as a post guard in a concentration-camp in an occupied territory. Abducting Shalit was a fully legitimate act of resistance. Furthermore, the Hamas struggle to keep Shalit alive should be realised as an act of compassion and kindness.

However, I wonder whether KM Schneller would also insist that an hypothetical case in which Jewish camp inmates abducted a Nazi officer from a bunker at the outskirts of Auschwitz would also constitute a “violation of international law"? I guess we all know the answer.

As it happens, the Jewish State is now in a siege. This siege is mental, spiritual, intellectual, physical and political. Israel can only blame itself.

* For obvious reasons, the word ‘weird’ appeared only in the Hebrew edition.

IPA installs monitoring cameras in isolation cells

[ 24/07/2010 - 10:02 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The Israeli prisons authority (IPA) has installed cameras in isolation cells for Palestinian prisoners that monitor them round the clock, the prisoners' center for studies revealed on Friday.

The center quoted one of those prisoners as saying that Palestinians held in those cells are deprived of all basic and human rights, affirming that the IPA had recently installed those cameras.

It quoted in a press release Ahmed Al-Sakani, who is sentenced to 27 years imprisonment term and has been in detention since 2002, as saying that he was recently transferred to solitary confinement on suspicion that a mobile phone was sent to him by another prisoner.

Sakani said that he was surprised by observing a camera in his isolation cell that monitors him round the clock, adding that it was not previously found inside those cells.

Ra'fat Hamdona, the director of the center, described the isolation cells as "dark graves" where prisoners' lives are in constant danger whether on the part of jailors or Jewish homicide convicts, who assault them under the protection of police, other than the isolation itself and the conditions in those cells where humidity is high with no proper ventilation, and the presence of many insects.

He asked those concerned and human rights groups to demand an end to the solitary confinement policy pursued by the IPA.

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'No Place for Fears: Hariri's Soul Not Reason for Strife'!

24/07/2010 With tears, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri declared it…

According to him, the fears expressed these days of a strife that could take place in Lebanon due to the "already written" verdict in the assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, are simply baseless.

The reason is very simple: Rafiq Hariri's pure soul can't be a reason to restart strife in the country. So, "enough intimidation, enough interpretation, enough mobilization of people's feelings," Hariri stressed.
The young Prime Minister, who entered politics following the assassination of his father, was declaring on Saturday the beginning of the Future movement founding conference, a conference believed by his lawmakers to be a transitional stage in the movement's path.

Hariri said that there are attempts to create uneasiness among the people, urging the need for calm and maintaining national policies. He noted that the case of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has become a national, Arab, and international cause, adding that achieving justice "is not open to negotiation and is an integral part of Lebanese consensus, ministerial statements, and Arab summit decisions."

He pointed out that there are some sides that are fearing or hoping that the assassination will be the spark that causes a Lebanese war. "We have no room for these fears and we do not base our positions on media leaks," he asserted.

During his speech, Hariri also said that the Israeli enemy won't be able to overcome Lebanon as long as the Lebanese know how to maintain their national unity. "The state is charged with being up to the challenge of an Israeli assault and Lebanese society is responsible for defending the nation," he highlighted.


Meanwhile, Hezbollah broke its silence on Saturday after the Future movement MPs said that the Prime Minister denied telling Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah anything about the content of the final verdict or its timing.

In a statement he released, the member of the Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc MP Hasan Fadlallah rejected the Future MPs' claims as completely untrue, saying that their claims in their confused tales will not do any good in diverting the public's attention from the truth of the matter that PM Saad Hariri knows very well.

Fadlallah, who called on all sides to assume their responsibilities and accomplish their duties to prevent all dangers, reiterated that Hariri has "definite information" over the verdict.

When The Israeli Enemy Cares for Hariri Family's "Honor"!

Hussein Assi

23/07/2010 Believe it or not, the Israeli enemy cares for Hariri family's "honor" more than all Lebanese!

Yes, while the countdown for the "already written" verdict of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has started, Israel seems to be the most enthusiastic party in the world.

The slogans of "truth" and "justice" are concerning the Israeli enemy these days after the tribunal turned to be nothing but an Israeli scheme, the best "tool" to achieve the Israeli "unachieved" goals since 2006: disarming and dismantling Hezbollah.

Thus, Israel has the right to "regret" the stances of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and even to "justify" them by claiming that the young PM is just "scared" of reaching the same fate of his father or, at the least, embroiling Lebanon into a devastating and destructive civil war.

Yet, Israel was shocked on Thursday while listening to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah speaking about the tribunal and its expected findings. The shock was not due to the strong arguments given by Hezbollah to deny any involvement in the assassination of the former Prime Minister, but simply due to the revelation made by Sayyed Nasrallah that Saad Hariri himself informed him of the content of the final verdict.

"It was expected that Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah devoted much of his speech yesterday to denying his organization's involvement in the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. What was less expected was his assertion that Hariri's son, current prime minister Saad Hariri, is the one who informed him that an international prosecutor planned to accuse Hezbollah operatives of responsibility," Israeli daily Haaretz said on Friday.

The Israeli daily quoted Sayyed Nasrallah as saying that Hariri had assured him that he, too, was convinced Hezbollah as an organization had not been involved. Haaretz couldn't agree. "If that is true, it just goes to show that politics is thicker than blood - for Hezbollah is well known for its rigid hierarchy, iron discipline and involvement of senior officials in all decisions at the field level. That makes it highly unlikely that Hezbollah operatives would have been involved in such an incident without the senior leadership's knowledge," the daily went on to say.

However, the most astonishing part of Haaretz article was its "justification" of Hariri's stances, as if it knew that the Prime Minister is not acting as he would like to. "Hariri's political survival depends on Hezbollah's acquiescence, something evidently more important to him than his family honor," the daily believed. "He may also have concluded that if he supports the international probe, he will share his father's fate - or, alternatively, that doing so could risk renewed civil war between Hezbollah and his own March 14 movement. In such a face-off, Hezbollah would certainly win."

The Israeli daily concluded that Hariri hopes to resolve the problem by distinguishing between the operatives and the organization, a distinction already rejected by the Resistance party.

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Chomsky a ‘Crypto-Zionist’!

Rehmat's World

July 24, 2010 ·

“The Jewish religion died 200 years ago. Now there is nothing that unifies the Jews around the world apart from Holocaust,” Yeshayahy Leibowitz, a observant orthodox Jew philosopher.

Professor Dr. Noam Chomsky made headlines when he was refused entery by the Israeli guards at the Allenby Bridge on his way from Amman (Jordan) to Ramallah (West Bank) where he was schedule to lecture on US foreign policy at Bir Zeit University.

The “official” reason was that Chomsky is a ‘Self-Hating, Israel-Threatening (S.H.I.T)’ Jews and thus a threat to the Zionist entity. In fact, Chomsky in real life doesn’t even come closer to those ‘allegations”.

Noam Chomsky, although, is a strong critic of US foreign policy – but he has never supported armed struggle against Israel. He also favors the so-called ‘two-state’ solution and believes in Israel’s right to exist as ‘Jewish state’.

Chomsky never publically questioned the Zionist version of the holocaust (‘Six Million Died’). Chomsky is against academic boycott of Israel. Chomsky doesn’t believe that the US foreign policy is controlled by the Jewish groups especially the AIPAC. Chomsky also doesn’t like Israel being compared with the apartheid South Africa.

Roger Tucker, Jew Editor/Publisher of “One Democratic State” website – in a recent article, titled “Open Letter to Uri Avnery, Noam Chomsky and Jimmy Carter”, claimed that none of them is friend to Palestinian victims of the foreign Zionist Jew settlers because in fact they themselves are ‘Crypto-Zionists’ hiding behind the facade of ‘humanism’.

According to Roger Tucker the the so-called “Two state solution” supporters are a bunch of odd bedfellows.

It has Uri Avnery’s Gush shalom along with hardcore Israeli Zionist government officials, the ‘Israel-First’ American neocons, Republicans, the Christian Zionists, the puppet Fatah (Mahmoud Abbas) unelected government and somewhat reluctant European nations.

“Noam Chomsky’s analyses of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and shifting sands of the Middle East has been non-parceil. And yet he is another closet Zionist (like Uri Avnery and Jimmy Carter). What a shame,” wrote Roger Tucker.

Jeff Blankfort, an American writer and KZYX Radio host on international affairs, wrote in Chomsky and Palestine: Asset or Liability:

“At the end of the day, it is evident that Chomsky’s affection for Israel, his sojourn on a kibbutz, his Jewish identity, and his early experiences with anti-Semitism to which he occasionally refers have colored his approach to every aspect of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians and explain his defense of Israel. That is his right, of course, but not to pretend at the same that he is an advocate for justice in Palestine.

That same background may also explain his resistance to acknowledging the very obvious power of the pro-Israel lobby over US Middle East policy which he, like many others who share a similar history, interpret as “blaming the Jews,” a most taboo subject.

It is, without a doubt, far more comfortable for him and his followers to continue insisting that US support for Israel is based on it being a “strategic asset” for the United States even when an increasing number of mainstream observers who are not linked to AIPAC or the Zionist establishment have judged it to be a liability. Should not Chomsky himself, on the basis of his own statements, be judged as to whether he is an asset or a liability for the Palestinian cause? If they have not already done so, serious supporters of that cause, including Palestinians, need to ask themselves that question”.

Avram Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) is child of committed Zionist parents. His father William Chomsky was a Jew immigrant from Ukraine while his mother Elsie Chomsky was from Belarus. In his early career as a writer, Noam chomsky was honored by pro-Israel Jewish groups for being the US, top author. Chomsky even lived in a Jewish settlement (kibbutz) in 1953 – built on the land stolen from Palestinian Muslim owners. He recalled his experience at the kibbutz “extremely attractive” and “I probably would have lived there myself – for how long, it hard to guess”.

Oldest Palestinian woman in detention subjected to cruel interrogation rounds

[ 24/07/2010 - 08:11 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Fathiya Suwais, 57, has been subjected to cruel interrogation rounds and severe torture at the hands of Israeli investigators in Jalama detention center ever since her incarceration five days ago, the Ahrar center for prisoners' studies and human rights reported.

Fuad Al-Khafsh, the center's director, said in a press release on Saturday, that the Shabak investigators deprived the old woman from sleep and forced her to stand for long hours while blindfolded and handcuffed without any consideration for her age or health condition.

He said that Suwais, who was taken from her home in Tulkarem city on 19th July, was daily and violently interrogated, adding that the interrogators threatened to arrest her sisters and to keep her in custody if she did not confess to the charges leveled against her.

Khafsh said, "Israel is an unethical entity that does not respect human beings", referring to the detention of an old mother in a small cell and interrogating her over "trivial issues" while threatening her with detaining close relatives, which only point to the sadistic and inhuman nature of those who detain her.

He urged the international institutions and human rights groups to swiftly intervene to protect the detainee.

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House OK's Possible Israeli Raid on Iran

24/07/2010 Republicans in the US House of Representatives introduced a measure that would green-light a possible Israeli bombing campaign against Iran, Press TV said in a report.

Resolution 1553 provides explicit support for military strikes against Iran, stating that Congress backs Israel's use of 'all means necessary' against Iran, "including the use of military force."

The introduction of the measure coincides with a pattern of renewed calls for military strikes that have escalated since President Obama signed Congressional Iran sanctions into law.

Neoconservatives who were instrumental in orchestrating the Iraq War, such as Bill Kristol and Reuel Marc Gerecht, have led the stepped up calls for military action.

Hawkish former Bush Administration official John Bolton recently laid out the game plan to prod Israel into attacking Iran, arguing that outsiders can 'create broad support' for a strike by framing it as an issue of Israel's right to self-defense.

Supporters for military strikes, Bolton says, should "defend the specific tactic of pre-emptive attacks" against Iran. He said that Congress can 'make it clear' that it supports such strikes and that 'having visible congressional support in place at the outset will reassure' Israel.

In spite of support from the neocons, top US military leaders have warned of the many dangers of military strikes against Iran.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has argued "Another war in the Middle East is the last thing we need. In fact, I believe it would be disastrous on a number of levels."

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has expressed his own serious reservations about an attack on Iran.

The US, which is already providing billions of dollars worth of arms to Israel every year, describes Tel Aviv's military edge in the region as being in America's interest.

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UNHRC appoints international team to probe flotilla attack

[ 24/07/2010 - 07:36 AM ]

GENEVA, (PIC)-- The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has appointed a three-member team of international experts to probe the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla at international waters on 31st May.

The UN said in a statement on Friday that the fact-finding team would group three independent figures from Britain, Malaysia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The 47-member council last month voted for conducting an investigation into "serious violations" of the international law during the Israeli attack that ended with the killing of nine Turkish activists and the injury of tens others.

Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, welcomed the council's decision, describing it as a "good step".

He told the PIC on Friday that the important thing is that Israel should abide by results of the investigation and consequently should not escape punishment.

The spokesman recalled the Goldstone report, which he said was a good step but the world community allowed Israel to evade legal prosecution over its war crimes in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Israeli radio said that Tel Aviv decided to return the three Turkish ships, which were among the Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza with relief aid, after detaining them for almost two months.

The broadcast said on Friday that the decision was taken in the seven-member cabinet meeting and was relayed to the Turkish authorities in Ankara through the Israeli ambassador.

The Israeli authorities had initially refused to return the vessels because their owners refused to sign pledges not to send more relief conveys to Gaza.

Turkey had demanded an international investigation into the incident along with an Israeli apology and compensations, which were all turned down by Israel.

The Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev, meanwhile, sent a message to the current chairman of the UN Security Council, Nigeria, warning that it would not allow two Lebanese boats carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza from reaching the besieged coastal enclave.

Shalev said that Israel retains its rights "according to the international law" to use all means necessary to block those two boats from violating the blockade imposed on Gaza.

She claimed that the boats could be carrying weapons or individuals with provocative intentions.

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Exclusive Intifada Interview with Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna

Intifada Exclusive Interview with his Eminence
Archbishop Theodosios “Atallah Hanna”
Archbishop of Sebastia
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Of Jerusalem
“For those who use the Bible to support Israel need to differentiate between God promise and Balfour promise, because the occupation is the result of a promise given to the Israelis by Lord Balfour and not by God.” Archbishop Theodosios

Elias Harb: Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel has claimed in varies publications that Jews, Christians and Muslims are able to build their homes anywhere in Jerusalem and that only under Israeli sovereignty had freedom of worship for all religions been assured in the city. How do you respond to that?

Archbishop Theodosios: The facts on the ground say exactly the opposite, more and more Muslims and Christians are having great difficulties in entering the city. We see thousands are denied the entry to their holiest sites. The Israelis authorities are even preventing the Arab Jerusalemites from entering the Holy sepulcher and the Aqsa mosque on major religious feasts. It is very apparent that the Israelis want Jerusalem to themselves and they do not want to share it with others. It is a big pity that the city of peace, which must symbolizes brotherhood and love to be transformed into a symbol of hatred and division because of Israeli actions.

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Israel's New Land Grab Master Plan

by Stephen Lendman

The new plan updates older ones, going back to the first, what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe documented in his 2006 book, "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," on David Ben-Gurion's Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), his final master plan following Plans A, B and C, what Palestinians call the Nakba, the catastrophe, commemorated annually to never forget.

By bombarding and besieging villages and population centers, destroying communities, and expelling or killing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, it planned an exclusive Jewish state, excluding Arabs by any means, including mass-murder, dispossession, and persecution, ongoing to this day, what Palestinians heroically resist.

It took six months to complete, expelling or slaughtering about 800,000 people, and destroying 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and other cities. It was barbarous ethnic cleansing, Palestinians shown no mercy, including women and children, yet it was just the beginning, much more yet to come, including new ethnic cleaning plans.

Old and New Master Plans

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) is an Israeli policy research organization, its president Dore Gold, a notorious right-wing extremist, hostile to democratic principles and Palestinian rights.

It's recent report is titled "Demography, Geopolitics, and the Future of Israel's Capital: Jerusalem's Proposed Master Plan," explaining that on October 7, 2008, the District Planning and Construction Commission for the Jerusalem region proposed one, approved by Mayor Nir Barkat, then revised "to create and preserve a stable Jewish majority in the unified capital," assure the city always stays unified, and follows Ben-Gurion's idea:

to "bring Jews to eastern Jerusalem at any cost. We must settle tens of thousands of Jews in a brief time. Jews will agree to settle in eastern Jerusalem even in shacks. We cannot await the construction of orderly neighborhoods. The essential thing is that Jews will be there."

In large numbers they're displacing Palestinians, destroying their homes, seizing their land, and fulfilling Ben-Gurion's dream to make Israel exclusively Jewish, Jerusalem its capital.

The city's 1968 Master Plan recommended accelerated Jewish population growth. In 1973, Prime Minister Golda Meir planned to increase it by 3.7% by 1982. Various other plans followed.

Master Plan 2000 aimed to preserve a Jewish majority, its planners apprehensive about Arab population growth. As a result, they proposed "intervention tools" to counter it by:

"a sufficient supply of housing by building new neighborhoods and reinforcing and increasing the density of veteran Jewish (ones), as well as adding places of employment and services on a quantitative and qualitative basis."

The June 2009 Arbel Report proposed annexing part of Ramat Rahel, located on a hilltop halfway between Jerusalem's Old City and Bethlehem, to accommodate a growing Jewish population.

A July 2009 Master Plan for Transportation in Jerusalem revealed 13,300 newly approved housing units and another 15,000 at other stages of planning, suggesting an urgency to complete them and add more based on population growth forecasts.

Planned land seizures weren't mentioned. However, Jerusalem's Master Plan 2000 said the following:

"The most severe problem in eastern Jerusalem is the absence of a system to resolve land ownership. This problem, in combination with a deliberate policy by both nationalist and criminal elements, has led to a huge volume of illegal construction (without required permits) on lands that were intended for public purposes and a takeover of privately owned lands....In order to solve the problem, a special judicial system should be established in the municipality to regulate the registration of land ownership" to assure Jews are preferentially treated.

Jerusalem Master Plan 2010

On June 28, Haaretz writers Akiva Eldar and Nir Hasson headlined, "Jerusalem master plan: Expansion of Jewish enclaves across the city," saying it calls for expanding Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, "a move largely based on construction on privately owned Arab property," meaning Palestinians will be removed to accommodate them.

On July 10, Haaretz writer Don Futterman headlined, "The Jerusalem Master Plan for destruction," saying it plans "to relocate as many Arabs as possible to the margins of the municipal boundaries; to promote overcrowding (in their areas) in the hope (they) will leave the city of their own accord," develop their own neighborhoods, encouraged by "accelerate(d) evictions and house demolitions."

"The plan plays into both the settler-led campaign to (de-Arabize) the Old City, and the government's efforts to make sure Jerusalem will never be the capital of a Palestinian state...." Will it work? Before he died, Edward Said said the following:

"There is no way for Israel to get rid of Palestinians. (They) shar(e) the land that has thrust (them) together (and must do it jointly) in a truly democratic way, with equal rights for (all) citizen(s)," Jews, Arabs, Christians, and others. No master plan will prevent it,

Yet Israel's new one includes accelerated home demolitions and land seizures, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein telling the High Court that the government plans to apply the 1950 Absentees' Property Law (ABL), authorizing the state to seize abandoned properties. At risk are thousands of acres worth billions of dollars, land legally held by Arabs.

Haaretz writer Akiva Eldar said:

"The state intends to assume control over properties of people who moved to 'enemy states' during the War of Independence (now refugees denied the right of return), as well as structures in East Jerusalem," belonging to West Bank and Gaza residents.

They'll be used for new Jewish developments besides others underway or planned, sparking protests met with attacks and arrests, a recent Silwan one assaulted with live fire, tear gas, and percussion grenades. One Palestinian lost an eye. A woman miscarriaged from tear gas, another also after her home was invaded.

Five Palestinians were arrested, including a 12-year old child. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of al-Mubadara Palestinian National Initiative, accused Israel of attempting to Judaize East Jerusalem with "bulldozers, the expansion of the settlement units, (and) changing the demographic composition of the city to favor" Jews over Arabs, the final plan to make Jerusalem exclusively Jewish by any means.

Israel acts ruthlessly, does what it pleases with no regard for the law, internal or external pressure, or the rights and needs of indigenous Palestinians, being systematically removed for Jewish expansion, a Palestinian official saying it's to "decapitate" East Jerusalem's Arab identity by building thousands of Jewish-only apartments and homes on Arab-owned land.

They're being squeezed into narrower spaces, currently confined to about 13% of the city, the rest seized since 1967 when East Jerusalem was occupied. Palestinian Authority (PA) official Ghassan Al-Khatib called it "more than a provocation. It is actually a decapitation of the peace process. (It won't) withstand the reported plan to expand Jewish settlements in Jerusalem." Others say it's a prescription for resistance and violence. A recently released blueprint calling for expanding Jewish neighborhoods on privately owned Palestinian land assures it, especially if as widespread as envisioned to Judaize the entire city.

On July 20, the International Middle East Media Center's Brian Ennis headlined, "Palestinians in East Jerusalem Feeling Abandoned," given the "specter of more housing demolition and (Judaization) of East Jerusalem," the international community doing nothing to prevent it, or help Israeli Arabs - Israel's Blacks and Latinos, lawlessly persecuted, shamelessly denied their rights.

Targeting Israeli Arabs

On July 20, London Observer writer Harriet Sherwood headlined, "Jaffa's Arab haven of coexistence resists influx of Israeli hardliners," saying:

Its Ajami neighborhood, south of Tel-Aviv, has seen "every stone and blade of grass" bitterly contested, now "the centre of a struggle that touches on social, religious, nationalist, economic and legal questions and which - whatever the outcome - will inevitably result in further strife."

Until recently, it was one of Israel's few areas where Jews and Muslims coexisted for decades, though never easily. However, destabilization and strife threatens to erupt if a 20-apartment development is approved, an Israeli High Court ruling imminent, the result of a case brought by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), claiming it discriminates against Arabs and non-religious Jews in favor of Zionist extremists demanding it go ahead to create "a religious community free from non-Jewish and secular influences," their own exclusive gated community.

Historian Sami Abu Shehadeh said if they succeed, "the (neighborhood) will be polarized. (People who) say Jaffa is a model of coexistence will be silenced." Judaization will assure it and encourage more in Israel, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

He called the whole neighborhood "a construction site. We - the Arabs - are being forced out again, but we have nowhere else to go." Building permits aren't granted, and locals say 500 families have been issued eviction or demolition orders. Others got huge fines. The entire Arab population faces an uncertain future, like other Israeli Arabs, not wanted, denied their rights, and being systematically pressured to make way for Jews.

Another way is a proposed measure requiring they pledge loyalty to a "Jewish and Democratic state," mainly Palestinian men and women who marry Israeli citizens (an estimated 25,000), then seek citizenship on the basis of family reunification, the latter already denied without Interior Ministry approval, for most impossible to get.

On July 19, Jerusalem Post writer Herb Keinon said the measure hadn't yet passed, contrary to other accounts. He called it a way to "deter Palestinians from asking for citizenship." The government said it's only for "illegal residents," not Israeli Arabs, but if extremist Yisrael Beitneinu party officials prevail, including David Rotem, Chairman of the Knesset Constitution and Avigdor Lieberman, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, all Israeli Arabs will have to pledge loyalty to a "Jewish, Zionist, and democratic State," its emblems and values, and perform military or equivalent service as a condition for a national ID card signifying citizenship and right to stay in the country legally.

Final Comments

Palestinians and Israeli Arabs have reason to worry, Haaretz writer Amira Hass providing more evidence in her July 21 article headlined, "IDF destroys West Bank village after declaring it a military zone," saying:

The army demolished an entire Jordan Valley village after declaring it within a closed military zone, 55 structures and 120 farmers, workers, and their families left without homes in Farasiya. Earlier the Civil Administration cut off their water, and before that the military destroyed a distribution pipe from a nearby stream, what residents built for irrigation.

Last year, they were prohibited from connecting to wells belonging to Mekorot, Israel's National Water Company, forcing them to use saltwater for their livestock and buy expensive private water for themselves, what most can't afford.

B'Tselem photographer Atef Abu, arriving hours after the demolition, said "mattresses, pipes and broken furniture were lying on the ground in the debris."

On July 18, 10 Bardala village families (north of Farasiya) also got demolition orders, a farmer with 300 sheep "told to leave in 24 hours or his herd would be confiscated."

In Israel and throughout the Territories, millions of Palestinians are endangered, their lives and livelihoods threatened by Israel's longstanding plan to Judaize all "Eretz Yisrael," no matter that indigenous Arabs lived there for centuries and have legal right to their homes and property.

No wonder Haaretz writer Gideon Levy sees Israel "sinking into a strident, nationalistic atmosphere and darkness is beginning to cover everything, (evidenced by) jingoism, ruthlessness and vengeance, (its extremist voices) now expressing its heart," Palestinians feeling the affects, collectively punished for being Muslims under Jewish domination - racist, lawless and merciless, for Levy, a "sign of how we have lost our senses and humanity," for historians, a prescription for self-destruction.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
posted by Steve Lendman @ 2:59 AM  

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