Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Israel cuts off fuel and blocks Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
Gaza – Ma'an – Israel tightened its grip on the Gaza Strip on Sunday by limiting supplies of fuel into the territory. Nehro Hisamawi, the director of the distribution center at Nahal Oz, Gaza's principle entry point for liquid fuels, said Israeli authorities allowed only 300,000 liters of diesel fuel into Gaza, down from the usual level of 350,000. Hisamawi said the 14 percent reduction could be the beginning of a gradual policy of deprivation of fuel. The Gaza Strip's 1.5 million residents are almost completely dependent on imports of fuel and other supplies which pass through Israeli-controlled border crossings. The United Nations has warned Israel not to punish the people of the Gaza Strip collectively.
On Thursday Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved a plan to cut off electricity and fuel to the Gaza Strip in what the Israeli government says is a strategy to prevent Palestinian fighters from constructing and launching projectiles into Israel.Barak's press spokesperson told reporters that reductions in fuel supplies would begin Sunday and power cut would begin over the coming days.
Israeli authorities have already cut electricity supplies to the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun over the past week. The spokesperson of Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense Minister, told Agance France Presse that reduction of fuel supply will start on Sunday, and that electricity will be cut for intervals starting the coming days. The Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz meanwhile reported a more dramatic reduction in fuel supplies, quoting Mojahed Salama, the head of the Palestinian Petrol Agency. Salama said Israel reduced supplies of diesel and benzene by 40 to 50 percent.
The Israeli Defense Ministry denied making any cutbacks.
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Israel's plan to cut electricity and fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip will worsen an already dire humanitarian situation, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator said Saturday.
"The squeeze was tightening all the time," said John Holmes, who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, noting that while the UN had been able to get more than 3,000 truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza in July, only 1,508 truckloads made it through last month. Israel has kept closed Gaza's main crossing point for goods, Karni, since June, Holmes said, with only one conveyor belt available twice a week.
One of the two smaller crossing points for goods, Sufa, is also expected to be closed by the end of this month. The major crossing point for people, Rafah, has also been closed since June. Holmes also said the number of Palestinian patients allowed to cross into Israel for health care had fallen from 40 a day in July to less than five a day in September.
"Denial of freedom of movement for medical reasons would appear to be a breach of international humanitarian law," he said. He called on Israel to lift its economic blockade on Gaza and relax its restrictions on humanitarian aid, in part to improve the chances of progress at Israeli-Palestinian talks scheduled to take place in the United States next month. Given the conditions inside both Gaza and the West Bank, the population increasingly depends on outside aid to survive, he said. "That is not a good situation for their livelihoods, their dignity and the possibility of their participating in any kind of peace process."
Monday, October 29, 2007
Khalid Amayreh - Palestine is not a piece of real estate for Mahmoud Abbas
There have been real fears of late that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas may compromise fundamental Palestinian national rights for the sake of “reaching peace with Israel.”
According to insiders within Abbas’ immediate circles, “the President!” may be willing and ready to offer far-reaching concessions to the Israeli apartheid state on three major issues:
The first is the paramount right of return for nearly five million refugees, uprooted from their homes and villages by the terrorist Israeli entity back in 1948, and subsequently expelled and dispersed all over the globe.
Abbas reportedly may be willing to accept the Israeli-American view, and, now, the French view, that there is no way the refugees can return to their original homes, now mostly destroyed and obliterated, or occupied by Jewish immigrants imported from around the world to fulfill Zionism.
According to Israeli media, Abbas on several occasions intimated to Israeli leaders that he would never insist on the return of the refugees to Israel proper and that only a symbolic return of tens of thousands, or even less, would suffice.
On 28 October, Sari Nusseiba, a protégé of Abbas, was quoted by the Jewish settler paper, the Jerusalem Post, as saying that the “Palestinians” would be willing to trade the right of return for Israeli withdrawal to the 1967.
The second major concession to Israel Abbas is contemplating will take the form of ceding large parts of East Jerusalem, particularly the Jewish colonies built after 1967. These include major settlements such as Ma’ali Adomim, Har Homa, and other colonies.
The PLO chairman, who has been acting and behaving like an absolute dictator and “ruling” by decrees, is reportedly willing to barter these settlements for Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, possibly in the Negev desert. Needless to say, this would be like giving up a piece of pearl for a piece of coal.
The third and equally scandalous concession, which Abbas reportedly views as “innocuous” and “foregone conclusion” is recognizing Israel as a country “of the Jews, for the Jews and by the Jews.”
If true, and Abbas can’t be given the benefit of the doubt, then the PA Chairman would be committing the greatest of all follies and the grandest of all treason.
First of all, Abbas has no right whatsoever to tamper with this most paramount issue which touches a sensitive nerve in each and every Palestinian man, woman and child.
Abbas and his flamboyant but gullible spokespersons may argue that as an elected president, he has the right to negotiate with Israel and even reach a peace settlement with it.
But this is a spurious and easily refutable argument. Abbas never said in his election campaign in 2005 that he would scrap the right of return. Had he said something like this, not only he wouldn’t have been elected, but actually he might have been killed, even by his own Fatah party.
More to the point, Abbas was elected by a small percentage of the estimated 10 million Palestinians. Indeed, the total number of voters who elected him didn’t exceed five per cent of Palestinians.
Hence, the claim that he has a mandate by the Palestinian people to sacrifice Palestinian rights for the sake of a peace that would effectively spell outright surrender to Zionist hegemony is laughable and silly.
Indeed, the right of return is sanctioned by international law and by the International Declaration of Human Rights which states that every person who had left his or her home for whatever reasons has an inherent right to return home.
Besides, if the refugees have no right to return to territories occupied in 1948, e.g. Israel proper, then, using the same logic, they will have no right to return to the territories occupied in 1967, for in both cases, repatriation is sanctioned by relevant UN resolutions.
As to Jerusalem, one would wonder what would become of the capital of Palestine when the bulk of it will be usurped by the deformed children of rape, the Jewish settlements.
And what kind of peace would that be if ethnic cleansing and settlement expansion were to be allowed to win? That wouldn’t be peace, that would be a “legitimization” and perpetuation of an act of rape; and if Abbas would accept it to prove his good will to George Bush and Ehud Olmert, the Palestinian masses certainly wouldn’t.
Thirdly, Israeli leaders have already indicated that Abbas is ready and willing to recognize Israel as “a Jewish state.”
This is probably the most scandalous and stupidest political blunder any Palestinian politician would make. The reason is very simple: Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state implies that Israel, possibly at one point in the future, would have the “right” to expel its Palestinian citizens on the ground that Israel is a Jewish state and they are not Jewish. In fact, the Israeli parliament or Knesset is already discussing racist bills that would strip non-Jews of Israeli citizenship if they refuse to recognize Jewish supremacy vis-à-vis non-Jewish citizens of the state.
Mahmoud Abbas and his aides and hangers-on may well parrot the silly Israeli mantra that Israel is both democratic and Jewish, not realizing…or perhaps realizing, which would be even more appalling, that whenever there is any modicum of incompatibility between the Jewish aspect and the democratic aspect of the mendacious formula, the former would override the latter. Isn’t that happening already?
Besides, one might really wonder what political or moral right Abbas thinks he has to speak on behalf of the nearly 1.5 million Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. Are they orphans or minors or leaderless that Abbas should speak for them in a matter of life or death such as this?
This is a paramount strategic matter for all Palestinians, especially across the Green Line, which really makes it imperative for Arab leaders in Israel, people like Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, Ahmed Teibi, Muhammed Barake, Taleb Sani’ and others to speak up and warn Abbas to shut his mouth up and stop jeopardizing their future and national survival.
Finally, a word to Israeli leaders and their American subordinates. You should realize that the Palestinian people are different from other Arabs. We simply don’t sheepishly follow our leaders; our leaders must follow us, and if they don’t, we will dispose of them.
SEE THIS VIDEO!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygJaz12DzcA
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Soldier Lozano is Saved - Calipari's Murderer will not face trial
The American soldier has been acquitted by the third Higher Court of Rome by entering a non suit. Hence, not only will he never be put on trial, no judgment will be expressed on his involvement in the murder of Nicola Calipari.
How should we consider the decision of the third Higher Court of Rome which strips Italy of any jurisdiction about Nicola Calipari’s death by letting a murder and its perpetrator go unpunished? Should we see it as a legal whim? As the extreme obedience to a literal interpretation of legal codes? As a mere jurisdictional flaw? And above all, who, according to our court, should now see to demanding justice and truth over the death of our officer? Maybe a US military court? The Iraqi justice system? Or our good Lord?
Let’s stick to the facts. The American soldier Mario Lozano has been acquitted with the decision of entering a nonsuit. Hence, he will never be put on trial nor judged for that murder. Therefore, the first meaningful fact is this: Nicola Calipari’s death is a crime that will go unpunished. No one is held accountable, there is no responsibility, no punishment, no judiciary memory. Period.
Second fact. The verdict by the Roman judges aligns itself with other very questionable decisions of political and institutional importance, that we have been collecting for the last twelve months as regards our relationship with the US Administration. Italian Minister of Justice Clemente Mastella decided to not demanding the extradition of the 27 CIA agents who have been accused by Milan’s court of abduction. The government raised a competence conflict with Milan’s Prosecutor’s office by demanding that trial to be called off. Prime Minister Prodi, emulating his predecessor Berlusconi, has renewed the State Secrecy that is in vigour around the whole issue of Abu Omar’s abduction by removing it from the democratic control of the Parliament and from the magistracy’s verifications. Sismi’s (note: Italian military secret services) Director Nicolò Pollari, defendant at Milan’s trial who is blatantly guilty of “intelligence” collusion with the secret services of a foreign country in violation of Italian sovereignty, was kept in office until the expiration of his mandate and at last he was rewarded with a consultancy job in the government’s employ. Let’s stop here, for our nation’s mercy.
If we place all these episodes together, from today’s verdict to yesterday’s State Secrets, all these facts, which are different between each other in form but all clearly questionable in the substance, we get the feeling that our government has a guilty conscience towards the Bush Administration. As if we should ask their forgiveness, in one way or another, for the malice of having withdrawn our troops from Iraq. Let’s be honest: when such an intertwined and articulated combination of functions and responsibilities, from Rome’s Higher Courts to the Minister of Justice and the Premier, takes place, we are far beyond a vague impression. Actually, it makes more sense to speak of a cultural and political submission that is unfolding in these nervous weeks by denying truth and granting impunity. Impunity for Marine Lozano, impunity for the CIA’s chiefs, who are convinced that Italy is nothing more than their own backyard, the home itself of the American secret services.
That’s why this verdict, beyond the pale of alleged law, bewilders and worries us. Because it shows the effects of a terrible atmosphere filled with conspiracy of silence. And also because it unveils a renewed tolerance towards crimes and criminals from an allied country in the name of an alleged raison d’état. The sense of which escapes us common citizens once again.
Translated from Italian by Diego Traversa and revised by Mary Rizzo, members of Tlaxcala, network of translators for linguistic diversity.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Elf vs. Gilad & Mary: sling it till it sticks!
Background: a friend suggested I take a look at Elf’s blog, where Gilad was being attacked. I did, but noticed nothing that new. Actually, I noticed that the paper of his that was being attacked was one that first appeared here on PePa in the summer, and then made its way to hundreds of other sites, blogs and forums, including some that any, literally ANY activist would see in the course of a standard check through the week’s commentary sites. I suppose these people had to wait until a minor UK site printed it to see a paper that probably millions had already seen and read and digested. But that’s ok. We know Elf and his friends really (and admittedly so) spend a lot of time looking through the Jewish Chronicle and other very provincial papers that deal with their local community. It’s ok. Being a blogger doesn’t mean that one is on top of things.
Gilad wrote a commentary to the post, since people there were discussing and claimed they “wanted to understand”. If engaging in dialogue is the case, here was some input directly from the person they were contesting, can anyone ask for more?
I posted a message on the thread on Elf’s blog that there was this commentary if they wanted to read it. Needless to say, it was not posted. But, I have a site tracker, and it showed me that one of the readers came from the link of the comments section on that thread. That could only be the person who moderates Elf’s blog. Obviously, he wants to read it, but doesn’t want others to do the same. I posted again, comment I pasted here in a lower thread, and this was Elf’s remark. Gilad saw it, and responded to it. I am including here the post in black, with Gilad’s comments in blue and mine in red.
Elf: I don't read your ludicrous blog Mary.
Gilad: You do, you do, we see you coming and going. To be so familiar with what you interpret as my thought and activity, and to comment on it with such frequency, you must read me day and night. It is called obsession and it is shaped as a severe form of jealousy.
Mary: It could only have been you to have read the post, but we’ll get to this later, dear.
Elf: What's the point? You don't even know what proxy means. People know that if they want to read Atzmon they can go to your blog. Some people even think it's his blog. Simple.
Mary: Well, some people are dumb then. It is quite obvious that the blog is mine, because there are many of my translations and things that I have written and found, although Atzmon posts on it regularly. He’s a writer, he writes about the subject of this blog, we’re friends. A(tzmon) + B(log) = C(lear to those who know how to use their brains). So, they want to read Atzmon, they come to my blog, this is normal. People want to read Rance, they go to yours, it’s the only place one can read him!
Elf: I believe you and Atzmon to be the scum of the earth deliberately dividing the anti-zionist movement simply for attention seeking purposes. I don't have to make anything up there.
Gilad: Indeed we divide the anti Zionist movement into Anti Zionist movement and crypto Zionists Jews a la Elf, Rosen, Greenstein, Rance and some other circumcised elements that didn't make themselves known enough. And indeed no one except the Judeo centric elements have ever complained about it.
Mary: I’ll go further: if Robinson signs the Euston Manifesto and writes to the BMJ that people shouldn’t pick on Israel so much, I’d say the problem with the Anti-Zionist movement (in GB, I imagine, because you are only relevant there) is a lot closer to home. Why not ask Tony Greenstein to get the Boycott issue straight if he is supposed to promote and advise on it? Ask him why, when I asked advice – not to him, but to a forum of cyber activists, about getting press credentials to meet and interview an Israeli director who sought me out, and I was confused as to how this would fit into the Cultural Boycott, he told me it would be completely fine to see (and following that, since I’d be scheduled for an interview, to promote it) this film (of course, he also imagined the content to be pro-Palestinian, which the director did not say, but rather said, “it is a film that promotes peace”, and we know the two concepts are not identical). My Palestinian friends said there was pretty much no question: boycott. Anyway, I’d say that if Gilad and I alone have the power to destroy the “movement”, it’s a movement that is worthless. Either that, or we are two powerful muthas! Besides, we didn’t set out to deliberately divide the movement. They did that on their own. Wonder of wonders, people can ACTUALLY THINK AND ACT FOR THEMSELVES!
Elf: It saddens me that for the sake of his taste in music, Martin Smith of the SWP, is dragging the SWP down to your level, including Lenin, whose blog I used to contribute to.
Gilad: Like every one in the UK left... even Lenin realises who you are ... basically you are left alone with a tiny bunch of neurotic Jews. Why don't you just meet in Blooms, Rosen will take care of the entertainment and Greenslime will pay the bill, I am sure is has many cards at his disposal.
Elf: If you want to talk about dishonesty you might like to explain how this morphed to this. But then as a lying piece of shit yourself, the last thing in this life you want to do is talk about dishonesty.Anyone who comes here knows that I have no interest in making anything up and that I am more than ready to correct, and if appropriate to apologise for mistakes. But make no mistake, you and Atzmon are antisemitic pieces of shit.
Gilad: It is so sad that an alleged progressive Jew succumbs to the idea that exposing wrong Jewish politics is nothing less than antisemitism. In short, there is no difference between Zionists and Jewish anti Zionists, they all try to take a cover under the racial victimhood roof.
Elf: Go get Atzmon to stump up two lots of twelve hundred quid for lawyer's letters.
Gilad: Have you heard about 'no win no fee'?
Elf: I'm easy enough to find. But better still run one of your Der Sturmer type pages and have all your racist troll following tell you how funny you are. You might even plead with some to come here and hassle me. Maybe you could get this Gillespie to adopt a Jewish name and say how much she appreciates me and Israel. Or how about a Rowan Berkeley to explain my responsibility for two world wars.
Gilad: Elf you better seek some psychiatric help. It is called Paranoia, if you can't find the support you need just go to your local Boots and tell them that you are being chased and feel as if you caused 2 world wars, I am sure they will get you the right pill. Now to the matter, this Idiotic JEW sans Frontiers are so exposed now that being smeared by you is almost as positively effective as being put down by the ADL.
Mary: Said, I’d get back to it. Elf says he never reads my blog, but claims now and before in some other of his comment that it is a Dur Sturmer type page and blog. How can someone know what something is if they are not exposed to it? They make it up. So, Gilad, I’d add pathological liar to paranoid. Boots doesn’t give that stuff out without a prescription. Besides, I never pleaded to anyone to come hassle you. Why not ask Joe K all about that. I thought it was weird someone complimenting Gilad and my blog at 8 am and then on a blog that was spending all of its limited energy in dissing Gilad and I would comment on something at 9 am. I thought this kind of thing was weird, to say the least, and as a feeling human being, I mentioned it. I have NOTHING to hide, I’ve posted it all, so I never asked anyone to “hassle you” (I’m a big girl now), but I do ask people to be CONSISTENT TO THEIR OWN MORALS AND ETHICS.
Elf: But just don't be so silly as to suggest that banning a racist troll like ourself or any other Atzmon proxy or surrogate from a 300 hits a day blog amounts to censorship.
Gilad: Indeed, they are nothing just failed bunch of Jewish lobbysts, we destroyed JPUK and now we destroyed them. Soon they will meet again in another artificial Blooms.
Mary: I don’t ask to be on your blog, Elf. I merely post a mention for your readers for replies from the very person they are attacking. Seems reasonable for them and for all of us. And, while we’re on it, how would you know my hits? Must be interested in knowing things about my blog. Well, here are some facts: I get loads more hits than 300, but that is actually not so important to me, and I will tell you why. My blog doesn’t sell anything, I don’t need the hits. What my blog does is feature papers and translations that sometimes are linked directly, as in Information Clearing House, reprinted with the link, as in Uruknet, Dissident Voice, The People’s Voice, Amin and many other sites. All this on a daily basis. Almost everything up here circulates like mad, and gets translated as well. Ask yourself why. Because if people want to read about the Jewish Chronicle and what is going on in Birmingham at a union meeting, they can go to read you. I am sure about 25 people do a day! But, it’s stuff that has a very short shelf life. No one cares. It is a small niche, Elf. It’s ok. We don’t mind that you are concentrated on your navel. We others aim higher.
Elf: Censorship is about stopping people expressing themselves at all like Atzmon did by force of finance to Sue Blackwell.
Gilad: Indeed and I wish I could stop her before she comes up with her 3rd failed boycott attempt, cos it really starts to look as if she and her JAZ are working for David Hirsh and Engage.
Elf: You can tell your lies through many forums. Atzmon seeks to silence people period.
Gilad: Indeed, I do believe that Jewish political activism is there to serve the Judo tribal entity, I expose it, I say, 'take it or leave it'. Evidently, I am performing once or twice a week talking and playing for Palestinian solidarity movements around the world. Elf & co are stuck in front of their pc screens. When is the last time you Elf, were asked to give a talk?
Elf: As it happens that's another "principle" Atzmon has had the SWP abandon. I reckon a year from now Atzmon can make a proud boast that will actually be true for a change. He can publish his book, "The SWP, my role in its downfall."
Gilad: You are almost right, we are about to publish a book, but it actually explains the downfall of you and your ilk within the Palestinian solidarity movement.
Elf: Don't expect a blurb from Galloway on the back though. He'll have parliamentary business that day. In spite of the SWP and my ex-friend, some people still have standards.
Gilad: Just for the record, I will be delighted to see Galloway in the Parliament and when it comes to the SWP it is a shame you dream of crushing the SWP just because it doesn't agree with your Judeo centric business. This is the true existence of Elf, the Jew Sans Frontieres, this is why you are so unpopular, this is exactly the repetition of the condition that brought all these disasters on the Jewish people. The fact that you cannot see it is because you are the embodiment of Jewish blindness. Stick to it, call me/Mary and others Nazis and anti semites, try to destroy the SWP. Don't ever stop swimming in your jealousy. You are indeed a Jew sans Frontieres, more Jewish than the cheif Rabbi who is apparently a very liberal man compared to you all.
Thought I'd add here the comment that Gilad left on the post below, in case some might like to read it:
Just visited Elf (JSF) and his tribal ‘cosmopolitan’ comrades…. I saw there the petty criminal form Hove, Rosen, the Jewish family entertainer was there as well. Apparently the award winning poet doesn't know the difference between Justification and Explanation. It rings a bell, a few months ago when he was caught sharing a platform with the notorious MARTIN AMIS (at the Zionist Jewish Book Week), the pathetic Rosen said he was just 'making a living' (indeed a proper Justification within the Jewish discourse) yet he failed to provide us with a single explanation (a reasoning, something slightly more ethical than mere 'money').
Here is an interesting story I am inclined to share with you my dear PePas. Apparently a very important UK TV broadcast is producing a film about 'resistance to Zionism' (no official title yet). They approached me and asked whether I would agree to contribute, they basically asked for a detailed interview and footage of my concerts. I told them that I would be delighted to share my ideas with their viewers however I wouldn't agree to share a platform with any of the UK Judeo centric left ethnic activists (I mentioned Rosen, Greenstein, Machover and Rance). The producer answered immediately: 'It isn't a problem, we understand where you come from'. Seemingly, some things are starting to change here. I saw it last year at the PSC AGM, and I see it every night in my concerts and talks. People would come to me saying, 'Gilad thanks for liberating us from this bunch of morons.'
Yet, I sometime I wonder, can this bunch of pathetic activists see that they are now totally isolated, can they see that they surrounded themselves with cyber 'defence walls' made of racial brotherhood, can't they see that they are nothing but a mirror image of the most radical form of Zionism?
They probably can't and this is exactly the form of blindness that makes them who they are: a bunch of rejected, despised and forgotten activists screaming their heads off in their artificial Atheist synagogues.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Gilad Atzmon - an open comment to JSF
editor’s note: on the Jews Sans Frontieres blog, they have finally discovered an article that has been widely circulated on internet for many months now, on Peacepalestine, Tlaxcala (in 5 languages), Dissident Voice, Information Clearing House, Uruknet, Mathabanet, Middle East Online, Indymedia, Palestine Chronicle, Redress, Al Jazeera Magazine, ISM, Amin, Wasa Live, Bella Ciao and dozens of blogs, hundreds of forums and countless other sites in many languages. The extremely "late" discovery of this article has lead to a feeble attempt at labeling Gilad Atzmon – for the sake of variety – as a dangerous or mad anti-Semite. This is Gilad’s response to the post and the comments:
What a bunch of silly tribal Jewish ethnic activists you are,
My views are circulated all over the net, my books are translated into 22-24 (I lost count) languages not because I am a saxophonist, but simply because I have something to say that other people want to read. That is the way it works…I really think that maybe you’d better learn to accept it once and for all.
As you know perfectly well, my writings are circulated in the most interesting left circles. There must be some reason for it. I think it probably could be because I am one of the first to expose the ugly notion of Jewish political tribalism. I exposed and defined the notion of the 3rd Category Jew, i.e., Rosen, Elf, Greenstein as well as Sharon and Wolfowitz.
I clearly identify a line of ugliness that is stretched between Zionism, Neocons, and the Bund, a line of racially orientated discourse that is stretched between Jaz (a group that calls itself Jews Against Zionism) and ADL (a group that claims its aim is to “stop defamation of the Jewish people to assure justice and fair treatment for all”). Both of them are radical groups, radically oriented towards putting Jewish identity first. And what is Jewish identity? To those who have read my articles, it is more than obvious that I believe it has nothing to do with racial category (which I’ve never even dealt with in my writing) but rather with racially-orientated politics. That is the tendency which I obviously disapprove of, and over the years I’ve expressed the reasons why.
For my readers and myself, it is absolutely clear that every form of Jewish secular politics (no matter where they find themselves located, Left, Right or Centre) is based on racial orientation. This is quite simply and clearly NOT universal and wrong to the bone.
However, in the paragraph that Elf and others are attempting to dissect, there is not a single justification of the Nazi Judeocide. I am suggesting that the only way to internalise the meaning of the Jewish Holocaust is to teach Jews how to start looking in the mirror, to teach Jews to ask themselves why conflicts with others happen to them time after time. Rather than blaming the Goyim, the Germans, the Muslims, the Arabs, it is about time the Jewish subject learns to ask the 6 million $ question: “why do they pick on me?” The Jews who already doing that are known as self-haters, yet they are a million moons ahead of the Jewish tribal discourse. They clearly see the conflict between universalism and Jewish tribalism. And you had better start to believe it, the chasm is massive.
It is indeed easier to build some strange narrative in which 5 or 9 London Diaspora Jews are wonderful and the Israelis are a bunch of murderers. Yet, reality is slightly more complicated. As we can see in London for instance, all Jewish activism is totally racially segregated and JSF is a good example that demonstrates it. It isn’t any better than the Zionist cyber grouping either in style or in substance.
Unlike Elf, Rosen and Greenstein who believe that they are quite a lot better than other Jews just because they use a slightly different recipe for their Gefilte fish, I believe in a severe form of critical self-reflection. I insist upon finding the evil within. As you know, I am a proud self-hater, very much like Spinoza, Weininger and Jesus, yet far less gifted.
Unlike you righteous Jews, I would always start with myself, but somehow you are all intelligent enough to realise that my self-reflection exposes your Judeo-centric politics as a severe form of moronic self-loving.
Last night we were headlining a massive concert for Palestine in Nottingham, the place was completely sold out, 2 weeks ago we did the same for MAP at the 606 in London. Again it sold out 2 weeks in advance. We are now becoming a household name and you seem to become nothing more than a bunch of racially-orientated assholes.
I wish you luck. Don’t ever stop celebrating your revolting symptoms in public. Please don’t stop fighting me, you are the best glimpse into Jewish self-loving and Zionism in particular.
Editor's note: Talk about GATEKEEPING!!! What is really interesting is that they claim that "they want to understand", and I left on Elf's thread the link to this article. Elf came in to read it, obviously. You see, he wants to be able to have exposure to arguments and read things, but he has to shelter his readers, censoring a comment that is nothing more than a link so that they can read a post that is a discussion with them! I'd call this censorship of the worst kind. They should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to read the article, but they also should not be treated as if they are mentally troubled, and that they have to be spoonfed information that others deem is suitable for them to see or not!
MORE!! hot off the Socialist Worker's Party paper:
Playing for the Palestinians
Over 250 people attended a concert with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon’s ensemble in Nottingham last Sunday in support of twinning with the Palestinian city of Jenin.The show also featured Nizar Salameh, a fantastic Palestinian oud player. The concert went down a storm.
Gilad waived all his fees and donated all profits from his CDs sold on the night to help provide the funds for the twinning links, which are being used to support facilities in the main hospital in Jenin.
The concert was supported by the East Midlands region of the Unison union. A UCU union executive member from Nottingham has just travelled to Palestine to help develop links.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Israeli National Bank to PA, "Your money's no good here"
According to Shraga Elam: "It says that the bank of Israel (the central bank) tries to prevent the Israeli banks from ceasing to do any New Shekel clearings transactions with the OPT (since 1967). The central bank asked a postponement of a month in order that the government will discuss the political and economical implications of this step.
The big Israeli banks, Hapoalim, Discount and Leumi decided to stop the clearing as of November 1, because of pressure through the authorities against money laundering that fights transfer of monies to "terror organizations".
It means that the 3 Israeli banks declared that they are going to stop dealing with the Palestinians of the West Bank. Considering that the NIS is almost an official currency this is a severe blow to the Palestinian economy. The banks will stop e.g. honoring cheques etc. This will make it more difficult for Palestinians to pay for orders in Israel. It is not clear, according to ynet if there was a conscious decision of the government. There are negotiations between Abu Mazen and Olmert on this issue."
Saturday, October 20, 2007
What Israel Wants, Israel Gets
There is a consistent thread, a pattern, which designs Israel’s policies in the Palestinian territories. Any scrutinizing observer will notice how Israel first pitches an idea to the public – however preposterous – then allows the Palestinians and the international community to absorb it before putting it into action. This way, policies and measures are less shocking and seem more acceptable once the dust has been allowed to settle. We have all seen it time and time again.
When the Aqsa Intifada first broke out, there was no Qalandia or Huwwara checkpoint and there was no separation wall. Jerusalem, although technically closed off to the West Bank by ineffective and extremely liquid checkpoints, was more or less accessible to most Palestinians. Not that the situation was ideal for the Palestinians because if this were the case, there would never have been an Intifada. Still, there is a world of difference between the situation prior to September 29, 2000 and the present, this new reality creeping up on us like slow-growing cancer. Today, the tumor has grown to exponential proportions and will be extremely difficult to excise.
Early on, in March 2001, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon proposed a 100-day plan for quelling the Palestinian uprising, which included a labyrinth of checkpoints throughout the West Bank, curfews, military operations and the isolation of the Gaza Strip. A crude makeshift checkpoint at Qalandiya went up almost immediately, foreshadowing the ominous structure that was to come.
That checkpoint is a mere shadow of what it is today, with its elaborate terminals, holding rooms, turnstiles and Israeli soldiers. Qalandiya has become a landmark, one that is no longer even called a checkpoint – it is now a “border crossing” between the West Bank and Jerusalem. There are similar checkpoints throughout the West Bank, in all totaling over 500. Israel, with its baby steps and smokescreen pretexts, yet again succeeded in creating major facts on the ground.
The same can be said for the separation wall, which is now a hideously permanent fixture in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinians and later, much of the international community were up in arms at the racist idea of a separation wall. It was not that long ago when the world brought down the last wall built for similar purposes. Who would have fathomed that the Berlin Wall would be torn down only to rise from its ashes here in Palestine?
Protests ensued, both on the ground and in international tribunals. The International Court of Justice in The Hague even issued an advisory opinion deeming the wall illegal and recommending that it be dismantled. Today, not only has it remained, the Israeli government has changed its course in a way that, when completed, it would have cut into 40 percent of West Bank land. In the end, the wall, ostensibly constructed for Israel’s “security” against potential Palestinian suicide bombers, serves as a de facto border between Israel and the West Bank and will certainly be instrumental in designating any permanent borders in a final settlement with the Palestinians.
Then of course, there is the heart of the conflict, Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, no other spot on this earth can invoke such passionate emotions, or such fierce loyalty and patriotism than this holy city. Unfortunately, Israel insists it has the “holier” claim to Jerusalem and will in no way relinquish control over it.
According to agreements signed between Israel and the PLO, neither side – in this case Israel – should take any unilateral steps in Jerusalem that might compromise final status negotiations once that time comes. Yet again, Israel is way ahead of the game, taking baby steps before going in for the kill.
It is no secret that Israel is not interested in dividing Jerusalem or allowing the Palestinians to claim any part of it as their future capital. However, east Jerusalem remains occupied territory and Israel’s unilateral annexation of it has yet to be officially recognized by the world community. In order for any agreement to be a win-win situation for Israel, over the years it has taken unilateral steps in the city – settlement expansion and constructing the wall around Jerusalem – to ensure that Jerusalem remains in its hands in any final settlement, even if some areas – unimportant to Israel – are returned to the Palestinians.
Hence, according to this logic, it is no coincidence that just days before US Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice arrives in the area and a mere month before the long-awaited Washington peace summit, Israel announced the confiscation of 1,100 dunams of land from east Jerusalem villages. The land was supposedly confiscated to construct a road connecting Jerusalem to Jericho for the Palestinians. However, the real intention of the confiscation is to grab more Palestinian land in Jerusalem to build even more houses in the already mammoth settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. Lo and behold, more unilateral facts on the ground.
This is all part of the so-called E1 plan for Jerusalem, which is designed to expand this settlement bloc and cut off Jerusalem completely from the northern West Bank. When the plan was first announced in 2004, Israel came against resistance from the United States and the plan was temporarily scratched. However, Israeli officials now maintain the new Jerusalem-Jericho road would create contiguity between Palestinian areas in Jerusalem and the West Bank, thus nullifying the former claim that it would sever the capital from the West Bank. Even if this were true in the strictest of technical senses, the fact remains that Israel is continuing its plan to expand the Jewish areas of Jerusalem while pushing out as many Palestinians as possible. Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land are deemed illegitimate by international law, partially because they are built on illegally expropriated Palestinian land.
Still, Israel has succeeded in turning these settlements into a bargaining chip for final negotiations. The Ma’aleh Adumim settlement is the largest settlement bloc in the territories and one which Israel has made clear it will not relinquish in any final settlement. Now, not only has Ma’aleh Adumim been made a permanent dot on the map, there are plans to expand this already monstrous colony by 3,500 housing units and an industrial park.
So, let us debunk some of Israel’s most common arguments. The 100-day plan to quell “Palestinian violence” has turned into years, the separation wall constructed for “security purposes” has become a de facto border and in Jerusalem, there are more unilateral and expansionist measures than in any other area of Palestine. Perhaps when the parties involved in peace efforts begin to look at the conflict in this light, the demand for an end to the Israeli occupation over all occupied Palestinian territory will present itself as the only solution.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Haniyeh interview: "Abbas, the conference is a trap"
by Umberto De Giovannangeli (l’Unità, 12/10/07)
“We want to say to President Abbas: don’t endorse the deceitful conference that President Bush wants to hold in order to try to whitewash his failure in the Middle East. That conference is a trap the Palestinians must not fall into.”
These are the words of the leader of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh, who Abbas forced into stepping down. In this interview with l’Unità, Haniyeh shows an opening to dialogue with Fatah: “There’s no way left for us but to set up a national unity government. We’re ready as of this moment to join a negotiation with President Abbas and Fatah, but it must be clear that what was carried out by Hamas in Gaza was nothing but a reaction to a putsch attempt from gangs working on behalf of people who were aiming only at strengthening their own power”. He is referring to Fatah’s former strong man in Gaza, Mohammed Dahlan.
Abu Mazen and the Israeli Premier Olmert are engaged in defining a Joint Declaration in view of the international US-sponsored international conference. What’s your position?
“The conferenced hatched by Bush is only a deceitful one. It’s a trap we Palestinians must not fall into. We are talking about an American attempt at whitewashing their failed Middle East policies. I want to tell Abbas: don’t let yourself be taken in by this trickery.”
Olmert has committed himself to implementing a peace founded on two States.
“It’s a deception. Olmert continuously speaks about peace but those are only words. Facts show us another story: confiscated property, villages divided by the wall in the West Bank, a population, in Gaza, that has been living under siege for more than a year. Is this the peace Israel wants? Olmert speaks about a State, so does Bush, and meanwhile the West Bank is being shattered into thousands of fragments pieces that they dare shamelessly call a ‘State’.”
Israel argues that Hamas doesn’t aim at setting up a Palestinian State but only at destroying the Jewish one.
“Hamas won at the elections, free elections, presenting a clear programme, which we didn’t fail to observe: to strive for a State of Palestine over the territories occupied in 1967, a State with Jerusalem as its capital. This is our government programme.”
If this is the case, why did Hamas carry out the military coup d’état in Gaza?
“We’re willing to accept an investigating commission by the Arab League that may shed light on what really happened in Gaza.”
And what is thought to have “really” happened?
“An attempt at overthrowing what the elections had sanctioned. I ask you: whenever has it happened that a movement which has obtained its mandate through an election victory then carried out a coup d’état? The truth is that in Gaza there was someone who wanted to come to an armed showdown in order to overturn the outcome of the elections.”
Concerning your relation with Fatah, is the only dialogue an armed one?
“No, it must not be. There’s no other alternative but a national reconciliation government, and even Egypt is aware about this, as they have offered themselves as the mediator. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s of any use, I’m willing to take a step backward. Our administration in Gaza is only temporary.”
Is Hamas willing to have talks with Israel? And if so, what will be the basis of such talks?
“We’ve stated for a while that we’re willing to negotiate a lasting truce, at least 10-15 years. On the condition, however, that Israel puts an end to the siege of Gaza, to the building of the Wall in the West Bank, that it releases the Palestinian prisoners locked up in its prisons, that it brings to an end the assassinations of the militants and leaders of the Intifada. Israel knows well that Hamas is able to enforce and to fulfil the accords it makes. Armed resistance isn’t the goal of Hamas but it remains one of the necessary means to obtain the liberation of Palestine. But it must be clear: Hamas isn’t against peace but only against capitulation.”
But, if you are in favour of peace, why don’t you agree to recognize Israel?
“Because an oppressed people must not be forced to recognise its own oppressor. Israel’s recognition cannot be a pre-condition for a negotiation, if anything, it’s one of the issues to be discussed.”
Why doesn’t Hamas accept new elections?
“It’s certainly not us who fear the elections. But, in order for the elections to be free, first of all the siege against Gaza must be lifted and then everyone has to recognise the only body that really represents the people’s will: the Palestinian Legislative Council. (The parliament of the Occupied Territories where Hamas has the absolute majority, editor’s note.) We are willing to open a confrontation with Fatah even over this issue, without any blackmailing.”
In an interview with l’Unità, Italian Foreign Minister D’Alema repeated that it’s possible, under certain conditions, to open a dialogue with Hamas. What is your reply?
“I’ve appreciated Italy’s stance and the endeavour it’s made in order to stand up against the Americans’ ostracism. Hamas is a friend to Italy and it is willing to discuss the demands put forward. Italy might undertake an exploratory mission: Prodi and D’Alema are welcome in Gaza. Yet, to discuss is one thing, to submit to a diktat is another kettle of fish.”
There are some who claim that Hamas intends upon having a state of “its own” in Gaza.
“This is false. I must repeat: our aim was and is that of setting up an independent state over all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. We won’t be the ones who fail to keep this commitment.”
(Osama Hamdan collaborated in the interview).
There is no l’Unità link; the article can be read at: http://www.informazionecorretta.com/main.php?mediaId=13&sez=110&id=22229
Translation from Italian by Diego Traversa, revised by Mary Rizzo, members of Tlaxcala
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saban, The Power Ranger and the Israel Lobby
Sept. 12, 2006
In recent years, the ability of the colorful Israeli-American billionaire to bring together Ariel Sharon and Bill Clinton, Shimon Peres and Henry Kissinger, Tzipi Livni and Condoleezza Rice has become one of the achievements of which he is proud. During the two years in which his personal fortune grew from $2.2 billion to $2.8 billion (according to Forbes), Saban succeeded in adding to the list of power centers he controls this prestigious annual gathering of senior Israeli and American figures for a joint dialogue....
Haim Saban was born in Alexandria in 1944 and immigrated to Israel in 1956. He moved to Paris in 1975, after almost going bankrupt. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1983 and achieved his first billion in 1995. Within a very short time - slightly more than a decade - he became a media tycoon, the major funder of the Democratic Party and a close friend of the President of the United States. A kind of Great Gatsby. Our Great Gatsby.
Haim Saban, after the second Lebanon War many Israelis are worried about their country's future. Do you share that concern?
"Israel does not worry me. Israel's neighbors worry me. I used to be a real leftist. I remember Arik Sharon coming here, to my house, a few months before Camp David, when he was still leader of the opposition. He told me there would be no deal because Arafat would not sign. I told myself that there was nothing to be done - these right-wingers were simply insane. I had no doubt that there would be a deal and the problems would be resolved. History proved that Sharon was right and I was wrong. In matters relating to security, that moved me to the right. Very far to the right."...
You meet frequently and quite intimately with Israeli and American decision-makers. What do you tell than about the situation regarding Iran?
"The Iranians are serious. They mean business. Ahmadinejad is not a madman. And every Jew who feels himself to be a Jew lives under the shadow of the Holocaust. That is something that does not leave us. The Holocaust never leaves us. So we are treating Ahmadinejad's declarations like those of Hitler in the 1930s."
"Yes, of course. When I see Ahmadinejad, I see Hitler. They speak the same language..."
The problem has an answer. I don't know. We had a tiny problem of Katyushas, and that paralyzed half a country. But maybe we have an answer for the big problems and not the small ones. Maybe we will succeed with the nuclear issue where we failed with the Katyushas. But if there is an answer, then I say yes, certainly. I would try other things first, but if they don't work - then attack."
Even if the risk is high? Even if the price will be very high?
"Is there a higher price than two nuclear bombs on Israel? So they will fire missiles, all right then. Iran is not Lebanon, where you pinpoint specific targets: this bridge here, that building, half of that courtyard over there. In Iran you go in and wipe out their infrastructure completely. Plunge them into darkness. Cut off their water...." ...
You said once that you are a one-note person, and that note is Israel. Why?
"You can't explain love."
It's really love?
"More than love. Passion. A love that is passion."
"When we approach Israel I always ask the pilots of my plane to let me sit in the chair between them. We don't play 'Heveinu Shalom Aleichem,' but when I see the coast coming up my heart starts to go boom, boom, boom....."
You are reputed to have a soft spot for combat soldiers.
"I can't handle combat soldiers: whenever I have any interaction with them, I cry. Really. I swear. I was in the north two months ago and Gal Hirsch [division commander during the war in the north who resigned shortly afterward] did a tour with us. In my estimation what was done to him was absolutely unjust. I don't know if he made a mistake, but even if he did you don't take a person like that and throw him in the garbage. He has been in uniform since he was 14, the kid. He gave his whole life to our army. He's top-notch. Believe me, he's top-notch.
"So when he spoke to us and explained what happened in the abduction [of two soldiers by Hezbollah] and what happened in the war, I looked at him and cried. I, as an Israeli, would not exist if not for people like that. I strut around like a peacock in America and say I am an Israeli-American. What you hear: an Israeli-American. If not for people like Gal Hirsch I would be in a different situation altogether. I am telling you this in a totally egoistic way. Pulling no punches."
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Khaled Amayreh - Why the Annapolis Conference will be another fiasco
It is really difficult to give the upcoming Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, the benefit of the doubt.
We do see a lot of movement here and there, but there is very little action if any. The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has been making unwarrantedly optimistic statements about the imminence of a historical breakthrough between the Palestinians and Israel. On Sunday, 7 October, she was quoted as saying that she believed the Palestinian problem was finally coming to an end.
I don’t know if Rice knew what she was saying. However, from observing things on the ground, it seems there is very little if any to warrant this euphoria.
In any case, one should remember that statements coming out of the mouths of senior officials of the Bush administration have very little credibility.
The Iraq debacle, and also Bush’s shameless bias toward Israel, should leave no doubt as to the moral bankruptcy of the current American administration.
What is more important though remains the situation in the Middle East and the conspicuous absence of any sign indicating an Israeli willingness to come to terms with intrinsic Palestinian rights, like the right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and towns from which they were uprooted at gunpoint in 1948.
Indeed, given the fact that the right of return is the main centerpiece of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it would be naïve to even imagine a genuine state of peace in the region without allowing at least significant numbers of these thoroughly tormented refugees to return to their ancestral homeland. They simply have suffered too much.
The refugee problem shouldn’t be viewed as just another issue that can be overcome or diluted via political maneuvering or behind-the-scene deal.
And Israel would be utterly mistaken in thinking that Abbas and his unconstitutional junta-like government are capable of enforcing a deal unacceptable to the majority of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian people do want peace, but they are not willing to capitulate to Zionist colonialist ambitions and then call that “peace” or “breakthrough.” The lessons of the Oslo experiment have opened our eyes to Israeli tricks and ill will.
In addition to the paramount refugee problem, it is obvious that Israel is insisting on arrogating large parts of occupied East Jerusalem on the grounds that Jewish neighborhoods go to Israel and Arab neighborhoods go to a putative Palestinian state.
That would be disastrous for the Palestinian cause since it would entail the whitewashing of decades of theft of Palestinian property in Palestine’s holy capital. After all, these are not “mere neighborhoods.” These are illegal settlements built on confiscated Arab land for the sole purpose of obliterating East Jerusalem’s Arab (Muslim-Christian) identity.
The same thing applies to these hateful colonies all over the West Bank, populated by extremist and mostly fascist-minded Ashkenazi Jews who believe that non-Jews are genetically inferior to Jews and therefore don’t deserve equal human rights.
Today, there is a consensus in Israel that the vast bulk of these colonies, which embody the Israeli policy of apartheid, land theft and ethnic cleansing, must be incorporated to Israel.
In practical terms, this means that the remaining Palestinian territory would be an archipelago of scattered towns and villages, lacking territorial continuity and utterly devoid of any viability.
So, one would wonder what kind of a “state” would such a deformed entity make?
There is also a very significant, I would say paramount, issue Israel is trying these days to impose on an ostensibly naïve Palestinian leadership. I am talking about the incessant demands by Israeli leaders that Abbas must recognize Israel as a State of the Jews.
Some casual observers might be prompted to think that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is an innocuous matter since it is no more than stating the obvious.
However, it is extremely important to understand the implications of such recognition are far reaching. Recognizing Israel as a state of the Jews would mean in real terms that Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, who are approaching the 25%- threshold, will be doomed to a precarious, unstable future unless they “choose” to convert to Judaism, because Israel is a state of the Jews.
I know that Mahmoud Abbas is not smart enough to understand the historical and strategic implications of lending such a recognition to Israel, which implies, at least from the Israeli perspective, a recognition of the legality and morality of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, not only in the past, but in the future as well.
This is why Palestinians, wherever they happen to be, must send an unmistakable message to Abbas to clarify this matter to the Palestinian people immediately since there can be no stupidity and no treason more outrageous than recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, let alone a state for the Jews.
Similarly, the leaders of the 1.5 million-strong Arab community in Israel, people like Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, Ahmed Teibi, Muhammed Barakeh and others should warn Abbas against undermining the vital and strategic interests of Israel’s Arab citizens, especially their long-term survival as equal citizens of the Israeli state.
After all, Abbas has no right to recognize Israel as a state of the Jews. In fact, not even the US, Israel’s guardian-ally, has given Israel such a unique recognition.
There is one more reason that would make one think that the conference, slated to take place in the last week of November, will fail.
The current Israeli government is weak, divided against itself and made up mostly of Nazi-like extremists, people like Avigdor Lieberman, who has called peace-minded Israeli activists “Kapos,” a reference to Jewish traitors and collaborators who worked with the Nazis against their own people during the Second World War.
Hence, it is very difficult to expect the present Olmert government to be able to live with, let alone enforce, any prospective deal with an even weaker Palestinian Authority that lacks political legitimacy.
In all likelihood, should a “deal” be clenched by hook or by crook, Olmert would be forced to call for early general elections in Israel which most likely would see the ascendancy to power of the fascist camp in Israel, led by Benyamin Netanyahu, and including a plethora of fascist-minded parties that advocate the enslavement, expulsion or even annihilation of more than five million Palestinians living in Palestine-Israel.
I know my prognosis of the situation in Palestine makes many people uneasy. However, it is important to be honest and not be duped by false hopes based on wishful thinking and illogical reasoning.
There is an important fact in Israel which all those concerned for true peace in this region should understand very well. There is a solid majority of Israeli Jews who are opposed to giving up the spoils of the 1967 war even in return for full peace with the Arab world.
Needless to say, without ending the occupation of 100% of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and without justly and honestly resolving the refugee plight, the talk about peace in this region will remain a futile (and dangerous) exercise in wishful thinking.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Fabio Mini (an Italian General) - "Operation Swarm"- War without End against Iran
Anyone who thought that the green light for the Israeli-American attack against Iran would come from the American Congress, was wrong. Equally wrong were those who thought that a president like Bush, so frustrated by the Iraqi chaos, the Afghan deadlock and the industrial lobbies’ pressures, would wind up making the decision on his own. The attack against Iran will take place thanks to the newly-appointed French Foreign Minister Kouchner. In these years of threats and counter-threats, of pretexts to make war, the only “revealing” words have been those from the laconic phrase “we must prepare ourselves for the worst.” Many have taken these words as a slip of the lip, others have regarded them as a bad luck-dispelling provocation, others as an instigation and still others as a submission to an ineluctable event. It could be that the sentence contains all of this, but the profound essence of Kouchner’s words is different.
Strange connections and affinities have come into being in these last 15 years of worldwide military interventions of different kinds. Armies have been integrated with private soldiers, visionaries with mercenaries, business with ideology, and truth has gotten so imbued with lies that the propaganda’s logic can’t account for either. And one of the most unusual connections is the one that has been established between military staff, humanitarian workers and foreign policy, to such an extent that each of the three components can pass itself off as the other two. The main cement of this union is the emergency concept. Foreign politics has lost its nature of continuity in the relations between states and in the sphere of international organizations. It has been devoting itself for a while to running emergency relations, meaning extemporaneous relations connected to temporary and changeable interests or positions that are transitory and changeable to variable geometries.
At the end of the day, emergency politics is the only kind that allows a limited and selective commitment. Moreover, it can be done or undone at one’s will, since the dimension of the emergency can be manipulated or interpreted. Following the same manner of reasoning, the armies of these last 15 years have exclusively devoted themselves to emergency situations, preferably abroad and for so-called humanitarian reasons, in order to guarantee themselves consensus and support. There are no longer any armies able to defend their own territories or to provide defence in case of war. It’s increasingly difficult to find a state threatened with war by another state and today all the world’s armies rely on a minimum 12-month notice allowing them to mobilise the resources for national defence. Therefore, they have become specialized in emergency in the respect of both the kind and the timing of the interventions.
When Kouchner candidly states that we “must prepare ourselves for the worst” he simply interprets a philosophy which doesn’t have as its objective the searching for the best, less traumatic solution, but which instead calls on the political class to manage the emergency, the military means and the humanitarian organizations which have by now become inseparable. It’s also about the recognition of the political class’s incapacity itself to think of and find enduring solutions. It is about the military instruments and their incapacity in managing conflict situations until their complete stabilization, and the incapacity of the humanitarian organizations in settling the problems of the people in more long-term perspective than the one offered by emergency. Finally, Kouchner also admits that the summation of these incapacities leads inevitably to war.
Then, war it will be.
It’s obvious that, under these conditions, some exaggerations are required in order to assure the accomplishment of the emergency and the intervention of the various components: something has to happen: what the observers call the “trigger” so that it may provoke the political emergency, there has to be an immediate danger for the security of everyone and a humanitarian catastrophe has to be in sight (the bigger, the better). There has to be, in other words, a manageable apparatus capable of “inventing” the emergency, as well inventing its conclusion that will allow disengagement and the end of the commitment whether or not there has been any solution of these problems. The attack against Iran falls perfectly within this scenario and, looking at it carefully, it’s by now a nearly completed picture.
There are multiple pretexts available for the attack. The idea that Iran intends upon developing a nuclear bomb and to destroy Israel is by now widely recognized by everyone. What’s missing are confirmations and evidence beyond poor empty boasting, but in the past we have witnessed terroristic boasting that has at any rate, come about and nobody is willing to run the risk of underestimating it, not even for truth’s sake. An Iranian or Iranian-supported attack against the American forces in Iraq, this too without a scrap of proof, has started to persuade even the most sceptical people. Sooner or later, after much speaking about it and evoking it, it will be taken as an invitation or a challenge and it will really be carried out. The support Iran gives to Hamas and Hezbollah makes Teheran extremely vulnerable. An excess or mistake by one of these formations is sufficient to set off an immediate military intervention.
The foreign policy of the most major nations, Europe included, is by now used to the idea that a military intervention is able to bring Iran back to the positions it was in 20 years ago. Moreover, what’s starting to be accepted is the idea that the purpose isn’t only that of preventing a nuclear power from rising but also that of terminating the country as a regional player which embodies oil and strategic interests in every part of south central Asia. Regarding the military planning aspect, everything has already been prepared for a while. The plans for the attack date back to 1979, at the time of the US embassy crisis, and they have been updated with new technologies and strategies ever since.
The thesis that it’s about an attack basically aimed at the atomic installations with no collateral damage for the civil population is only a miserable fantasy from those who have by now become used to telling lies. Even the idea that it may be restricted to Iranian soil is suspicious to say the least, since the end of the stubbornness and the boastfulness of the Ayatollahs, on one side, and by the Israeli-Americans, on the other, has to do with interests and ambitions which go far beyond the Persian Gulf.
Whatever the kind of attack it may be, it will produce heavy military and civil casualties regardless of whether or not a nuclear emergency fall-out or a radiation leak is triggered. Any kind of attack must have as its premise the destruction of defence structures: air and missile bases, deposits, mobile ramps, military ports, naval units, radars and anti-aircraft artilleries, land and armoured units, communication and command headquarters will have to be eliminated before or during the attack against the nuclear installations.
Many of these structures are located near the most densely populated areas. Even taking into account the most sophisticated cruise missiles, the “intelligent” bombs directed against the targets by the Israeli and American commandos, who have already been operative for some time in Iran, a quite high margin of collateral effects remains. Were mini nuclear fission bombs or neutron bombs to be used instead of the conventional “bunker busting” bombs, the damage percentage might rise, even thought not as greatly as many expect.
Also the thesis that precise attacks may be carried out with only one component, the aerial and missile one, is a deception. A complex operation, as they say they want to realize, that aims at bringing the Iranian bellicose potential back to the stone age, requires multiple attack actions, with many forces, from many directions and in short lapses of time in order to prevent, as colonel Boyd used to say, any capability of decision, reaction and counter-strategy by the enemy. The multiple action has to also prevent the direct retaliation by the Iranian air and naval forces against the oil installations and cargos in the Persian and Oman Gulfs. It has to neutralise the missile threats against the American military bases in Central Asia and the Middle East. It has to prevent indirect Iranian strategic operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, the Caucasus area and anywhere else a Shia may represent trouble. Moreover, Teheran controls the northern coast of the Hormuz Straits and closing this seaway to oil cargos might cause oil prices to skyrocket to levels between 200 and 400 dollars per barrel.
The same would happen if Iran turned sabotage actions and bombings against the oil installations of other countries in the area. The military strategy of the attack against Iran can’t therefore be entrusted to a surgical attack or to one single component. It can be nothing but that of “Swarm Warfare” (or Horde Warfare), unearthed by Arquilla and Ronfeld after the unmatchable realization by Gengis Khan. In modern terms, this strategy makes all the components of warland operative, naval, air, missile, space, virtual and information ones on multiple settings and levels. To achieve all this, it’s necessary that the “swarm” of the various components and actions, which develop by focusing on one place and then by spreading to other directions and places, be are at least sufficient enough in order to prevent any sort of reaction. The hordes entrusted with destroying the targets materially have to get integrated and to focus on targets along with the virtual hordes of diplomatic actions, of psychological warfare and with those of the manipulation of information.
The military actions have to be aimed at creating a humanitarian emergency that allows the international organizations to intervene in Iranian territory. Obviously, the responsibility for the catastrophe must be pinned on the Iranians themselves. Even in this respect, everything is ready or practically ready, not least after Kouchner’s exhortation. International agencies and NGOs are already looking forward to going to Iran to set women free from their chadors. If they are given the chance to intervene so as to gather refugees, to treat the wounded, to do the counts of the dead and to call elections every month, there will be a rush to bring democracy to Iran.
This scenario’s complexity shouldn’t lead one to think that it’s necessary to deploy a huge amount of forces. The Israeli and American flight formations’ bombing capacities are so high that they can cover multiple targets with a limited amount of jets. The naval missiles are by now technological weapons that don’t require mass interventions to carry out precise or wide-scale destruction. If anything, the variety of the plans and the kinds of intervention will bring about coordination, command and control problems, yet nothing out of the ordinary. The US and Israel have been cooperating for half a century and the matters of pseudo-authorizations from third countries about flying over or troops’ transit are by now overcome both by political accords with concerned countries and by the two powers’ inclination to ignore any objections.
What remains is the serious and important unknown of the post-emergency. The doubt about the future of a state which retains imperial origins and outlooks and which finds itself being turned from “rogue state” into “loser state” and being regarded as a political and strategic black hole after having been considered as aspiring to the role of regional power. Deep uncertainty remains not so much for the reaction to the defeat or the reduction of its aspirations but for the reaction to the humiliation. What can’t be ruled out is just what they want to avoid, that is, Iran’s nuclearization, still to be proved and implemented, which might instead be favoured with the help of foreign powers as a reaction to the humiliation.
Fabio Mini is an Italian General, former commander of the NATO forces in Kossovo.
Italian original: http://espresso.repubblica.it/dettaglio/Operazione-sciame-di-fuoco/1796788 Translated by Diego Traversa and revised by Mary Rizzo, members of Tlaxcala.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Gilad Atzmon's new Album and TV special
Gilad Atzmon and the OHE Presenting Refuge (pt3) The Peacepalestine stream music player will be temporarily disabled for a few days.
GILAD ATZMON AND THE ORIENT HOUSE ENSEMBLE
THE REFUGE TOUR - AUTUMN 2007
"...this is his band's finest album to date and one that best captures the spirit and vitality of their live shows."
**** Jazzwise Magazine, October 2007
"...The individuality of the music is extraordinary."
**** Alan Brownlee, Manchester Evening News, August 07
"...the OHE is one of the most uncontrivedly versatile and unequivocally entertaining jazz units currently operating in the UK"
Chris Parker, The Vortex, September 07
"...Gilad Atzmon has earned a reputation as an original and creative musician and composer, and that is apparent again in the eight new compositions here."
***The Scotsman, September 07
"...each track on Refuge makes a statement."
**** John L Walters, The Guardian, September 2007
"...See Him Live and Buy His Albums."
*****Alan Cross, Amazon, September 2007
"...The new album is as passion-filled as ever."
Peter Bacon, Birmingham Post, September 2007
"...Atzmon has always been one of the most distinctive saxophonists on the British circuit."
Clive Davis, The Sunday Times, September 07
"...a brilliantly navigated combination of gentle, sensitive lyricism and precisely focused passion."
Chris May, All About Jazz, September 07
"...the album feels tranquil and meditative.."
Phil Harrison, Time Out, September 07
"...Atzmon is an astonishing musician."
John Lewis, Metro, September 07
Roger Trapp, The Independent, September 07
"More sophisticated, subtle and varied than anything else I've heard them do and . absolutely overwhelming.If you can possibly see them live, do."
Aaron Broadhurst Blog, St Ives gig Review, September 2007
"He makes a lovely liquid sound and produces beautifully formed rapid roulades with every note clean as a whistle."
Ivan Hewett reviews Gilad Altzmon at Brentwood Theatre, September 07
"...his phenomenal musical talent has gained him a sizeable and discerning following.The quality of the music was extraordinary...this was still a memorable and thrilling showcase for the talents of a passionate, intensely focused musician - and one which is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry by those who attended."
Graham Williams, Live Review, Taliesin Arts Centre, South Wales Evening Post, September 07
For more information re live gigs please visit www.gilad.co.uk
Let's try partitioning the US - Linda Heard
Isn't Iraq supposed to be a sovereign nation with an elected government? If so, then why is the US Senate attempting to meddle in its affairs by overwhelmingly passing a resolution calling for the country's partition into three, which is tantamount to ethnic cleansing? Not to put too fine a point the shape of Iraq to come isn't their business.
Moreover, even if they had a stake in the country they are responsible for destroying, which they certainly do not, American senators who may or may not have enjoyed a two-day jaunt to Baghdad's Green Zone are not qualified to be the deciders.
The Iraqi government was quick to put a damper on the proposal. Its spokesman Ali Al Dabbagh said "It's the Iraqis who decide these sorts of issues, no-one else".
According to a recent ABC/BBC poll a mere nine per cent of Iraqis favour the break-up of their country.
The Arab League was equally condemnatory. Its Iraq representative Ali Al Garush called upon Arab nations to stand by the Iraqi people in their opposition to the proposal.
Secretary-General of the GCC Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah said partition would make the situation in Iraq more difficult and complicated. Official statements from Syria and Iran were even more scathing.
With so much Iraqi and regional hostility against the plan what are those 75 senators that voted in favour of it thinking? It was Democratic Senator Joseph Biden a presidential hopeful who initiated the vote.
Biden explained his rationale during a news conference. He maintains his proposal offers a way to bring home American troops while leaving behind a stable Iraq. It's evident that his thinking is based on a series of false premises.
First of all the future of Iraq should not be designed around a convenient exit for US troops. Biden and his fellows should understand a simple principle. American troops are the interlopers not the Iraqi people, who have suffered enough already.
Secondly, the partitioning of Iraq into a loose federation of Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish states will not bring stability as he suggests. There would have to be a massive displacement of people, many of whom would end up impoverished or homeless.
Such a division would also lead to friction over natural resources. For instance, Biden's plan calls for just 20 per cent of oil revenues going to Sunnis, who already feel hard done by after losing the political influence they once enjoyed. There is also the question of which mini-state would control oil-rich Kirkuk, an ethnically-mixed city strongly coveted by the Kurds.
Moreover, there is no guarantee that such insular states would not be mutually hostile, further exacerbating existing ethnic tensions.
Thirdly, although many Kurds are amenable to complete autonomy, their neighbours are most definitely not. If a Kurdish state became a reality it's probable that Turkey would invade.
Turkey fears that such an entity would unduly influence its own Kurdish population, which has its own separatist ambitions. Iran also has strong objections.
Fourth, such a break-up would stand as a worrying precedent for vulnerable countries in the region with multi-ethnic populations.
Either Biden is completely clueless and is unaware of the havoc such a breakup of Iraq would wreak, or he harbours a more sinister agenda.
If Iraq were to be broken into three, the nation would be rendered toothless for all time in the same way the former Yugoslavia is today.
The US would then have an excuse to stay around in some force "to protect" such tiny fledgling states from each other and from their neighbours. In fact, it would consolidate complete domination of their oil because such small entities would no longer have a voice.
The biggest winner from the partitioning of Iraq would be Israel, whose officials and journalists have long advocated such division.
On the Shalom TV website there is an interview with Joe Biden who refers to Israel as the "single greatest strength America has in the Middle East" and proclaims with pride "I am a Zionist". We should believe him.
Here's a suggestion for the Arab world. How about a vote on the break-up of America?
How about giving California back to Mexico, returning Hawaii to its indigenous islanders and Alaska to the Eskimos and Indians?
Let's restrict Caucasians to the East and West coasts, and package-up a few states in between for African Americans and Latinos. And while we're about it, let's invite foreign conglomerates to buy up the country's oil, gas and timber.
Outrageous ethnic cleansing that might be but that's exactly what Biden and friends think they have the right to do in Iraq. Surely if such uninformed nose-poking is good enough for Washington, it's equally appropriate for the rest of us.
Linda S. Heard is a specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She can be contacted at email@example.com. Response to this article may be considered for publication.