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"Jeopardizing U.S. Standing" – the Petraeus Controversy

"Jeopardizing U.S. Standing" – the Petraeus Controversy
By Michael Collins | Election Fraud News

How about a new doctrine to improve U.S. standing everywhere? The United States will engage all foreign governments constructively to assure benefits to our citizens and the citizens of the foreign country. The U.S. will not initiate invasions or efforts to destabilize foreign countries. The U.S. military will protect the citizens of this country but never use its military force to further the financial or other special interests of any individual or group.

Leaks from a recent top level briefing by General David Petraeus are causing quite a controversy. The general pointed out that, "Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region." Mark Perry reported this on March 13 in Foreign Policy. Perry said, "No previous CENTCOM commander had ever expressed himself on what is essentially a political issue... "

When I read a statement like that, it's like hearing the opening music for The Twilight Zone. What on earth is Perry talking about? Every CENTCOM commander, from General Tommy Franks, through Petraeus, has endorsed the continuation of the Iraq war and occupation. That's as essentially political as you can get.

There was no basis for invading Iraq: no weapons of mass destruction and no terrorist threat. Even the flawed October 2, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) admitted that the primary threat of an Iraqi terrorist attack on the United States would come if, "an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge."

The 1,000 Day Siege of Gaza

The 1,000 Day Siege of Gaza
By Ann Wright

This week marked 1,000 days of an Israeli and international siege on Gaza—1,000 days of an open air prison where “inmates”, the civilian Palestinian population of 1.5 million, cannot leave or enter at will -by land, sea or air, the tiny area known as the Gaza Strip.

60 years after the World War II Nazi military siege of Leningrad that lasted for 900 days and caused the greatest destruction and largest loss of life ever known in a modern city, the Israeli military has imprisoned Gaza for 1,000 days. The blockade has caused incredible physical and emotional suffering those crowded into an incredibly small space-25 miles long and 5 miles wide—one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

The siege means that the Israeli government controls the entry of food, medicines, and gasoline and construction materials for the Palestinians. The purpose of the blockade is to force by blatantly violating international law, a change in the government represented by Hamas, the political organization the people elected. The siege began in June, 2007, following Hamas' takeover of governmental functions in Gaza.

Hamas is named by the Israeli and American governments a “terrorist” organization because its militant wing and other militant groups in Gaza, have fired homemade unguided rockets at border villages of Israel which have killed 30 Israelis over the years.

Compounding the siege, a year ago, in a disproportionate use of force that violated international law, the Israeli military, the largest and most powerful in the region, attacked the people of Gaza with U.S. provided F-16 jet fighters, Apache attack helicopters, rocket firing unmanned drones, white phosphorus and dense inert metal explosive bombs. The attack killed 1,440 persons, wounded 5,000, left 50,000 homeless and destroyed schools, hospitals, and civil infrastructure including the water facility and the sewage plant for the entire area.

As one could predict, the siege and the attack have caused the people of Gaza to suffer from long term low levels of nutrition and lack of appropriate medical treatment and care. Most children and many adults have the symptoms of post traumatic stress from the indiscriminate violence waged on them by the Israeli military.

Peace Process Hypocrisy: Stillborn from Inception

Peace Process Hypocrisy: Stillborn from Inception
By Stephen Lendman

Journalist Henry Siegman titled his August 2007 London Review of Books article, "The Great Middle East Peace Process Scam," calling it likely "the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history."

This writer omits most likely calling it the no-peace peace process, stillborn from inception, while Haaretz writer Gideon Levy, on March 7, 2010, wrote "There has never been an Israeli peace camp," saying "let's call the child by its real name: The Israeli peace camp is still an unborn baby," the mother yet to become pregnant given decades of Israeli-Washington obstructionism.

In September 2009, former IDF chief of staff and current Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs, Moshe Ya'alon, said Jews have an "unassailable right (to) settle anywhere, particularly here, (in) the land of the Bible," and earlier called the peace process a useful fiction "to sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people."

In 1968, former IDF chief of staff and then defense minister, Moshe Dayan, called the West Bank occupation "permanent," and a decade later reiterated his commitment to the status quo, the same position held by all Israeli officials to the present.

Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir (1983 - 1984 and 1986 - 1992) once said he wanted to drag out peace talks for a decade while vastly expanding settlements.

Palestinian Dispossession in East Jerusalem

Palestinian Dispossession in East Jerusalem
By Stephen Lendman

For Jews, Jerusalem is its historic capital. Muslims also claim it for the third holiest site in Islam, containing the 35 acre Noble Sanctuary (al-Haram al-Sharif), including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock.

The 1947 UN Partition Plan designated Jerusalem an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council. After Israel's 1947-48 War of Independence, it was divided between Israel and Jordan, and during Israel's 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem was captured and occupied, its current status today.

In March 2009, a confidential EU report (now public) accused Israel of using settlement expansions, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies, restrictive permits, closing Palestinian institutions, the West Bank Separation Wall, and various other ways to "actively pursu(e) the illegal annexation" of East Jerusalem and "increase Jewish presence" in the city.

In a December 2009 report, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel affirmed the EU report's concerns. Titled "Dispossession and Eviction in Jerusalem," it provides historical context, a legal overview, and case study examples in Sheikh Jarrah, an East Jerusalem neighborhood between the Old City and Mount Scopus.

The community "has become the site of a protracted legal battle whose implications range from the evictions of more than 25 families to the visibility of a future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and the" ultimate status of Jerusalem.

Four families have already been evicted from homes they've lived in for over 50 years. The others are awaiting court appearances and rulings to decide their fate, nearly certain given Israel's history of judicial unfairness toward Arabs, including its own citizens having no rights in a nation affording them solely to Jews.

Israeli Settlement Expansions Continue

Israeli Settlement Expansions Continue
By Stephen Lendman

Currently, around 500,000 Jews reside illegally in over 120 West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements as well as dozens of outposts. Their numbers grow daily despite occasional pledges to curtail or slow them, the latest last November when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a 10 month freeze, calling it a move to "help launch meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians."

Never mind Israel's history of past peace process futility because all previous efforts were more pretense than real, or as some Palestinians say - How can they negotiate in good faith without a willing partner? They've never had one and don't in Netanyahu, an extremist hard-right zealot.

The same holds for a settlement freeze, just rhetoric with no substance, especially given Israel's plan to make all Jerusalem a Jewish city, according to Netanyahu. During a May 22, 2009 Jerusalem Day ceremony (commemorating the city's 1967 reunification), he declared:

"United Jerusalem is Israel's capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided."

For East Jerusalem Palestinians, it means removing them one settlement expansion and home demolition at a time.

So much for the peace process and freeze, evidenced by a February 26 Haaretz report saying Israel "plans to build another 600 homes in East Jerusalem" on Occupied Palestinian land.

Taboo Thwarts Candor on Israel/Iran

Taboo Thwarts Candor on Israel/Iran
By Ray McGovern

Participants at an otherwise informative discussion on “Iran at a Crossroads” at the Senate on Wednesday seemed at pains to barricade the doors against the proverbial elephant being admitted into the room — in this case, Israel.

This, despite the fact that the agenda virtually dictated that the elephant be allowed in. The cavernous hearing room also could have accommodated it — however awkward and untidy the atmosphere might have become.

Otherwise, as was entirely predictable, the discussion would be lacking a crucial element. Which is exactly what happened. Which is exactly what always happens.

The tongue-tied impediment displayed by some of the presenters can be chalked up mostly to the all-too-familiar timidity on Capitol Hill to countenance candid discussion of any issue on which Israel can be revealed to be a fly in the ointment.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, obtained use of the hearing room for the organizers of the discussion, the thoroughly professional National Iranian American Council headed by Professor Trita Parsi. This is to Levin’s credit, in my view.

At the same time, Sen. Levin holds the all-time-high record for PAC contributions from groups affiliated with the self-described “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby” — the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). I’m guessing that Levin’s office may have asked that some caution be exercised, so that it would be difficult for Fox News to misrepresent the proceedings as “Israel bashing.”

Setting the Stage

Parents Demand Answers From Israel In Bulldozer Death

Parents demand answers from Israel in bulldozer death
By Paula Hancocks | CNN

A 23-year-old American activist stands in front of an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza. The bulldozer drives over her, crushing her to death. These are the facts.

Rachel Corrie, along with colleagues from the International Solidarity Movement, was trying to prevent Israel from bulldozing homes in Rafah, close to the Egyptian border. Her activism cost her her life in March 2003.

A colleague said at the time, "Many times the bulldozer came up to us and buried us with dirt, but they always stopped."

Corrie's parents want to know the truth about their daughter's death, whether the killing was intentional and who is accountable. Read more.

Rachel Corrie’s (Posthumous) Day in Court

Rachel Corrie’s (Posthumous) Day in Court
By Amy Goodman | Truthdig

An unusual trial begins in Israel this week, and people around the world will be watching closely. It involves the tragic death of a 23-year-old American student named Rachel Corrie. On March 16, 2003, she was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer.

Corrie was volunteering with the group International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which formed after Israel and the United States rejected a proposal by then-United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson to place international human rights monitors in the occupied territories. The ISM defines itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.” Israel was building a large steel wall to separate Rafah from Egypt, and was bulldozing homes and gardens to create a “buffer zone.” Corrie and seven other ISM activists responded to a call on that March day to protect the home of the Nasrallah family, which was being threatened with demolition by two of the armored Israeli military bulldozers made by the U.S. company Caterpillar.

Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother, related what happened: “The bulldozer proceeded toward Rachel. ... She was in her orange jacket. When it kept coming, she rose on the mound, and the eyewitnesses testified that her head rose above the top of the blade of the bulldozer, so she could clearly be seen, but the bulldozer continued and proceeded over her, and so that it was covering her body. It stopped and then reversed, according to the eyewitness testimonies, without lifting its blade, so backed over her once again.

“Her friends were screaming at the bulldozer drivers through this to stop. They rushed to her, and she said to them, ‘I think my back is broken.’ And those were her final words.” Read more.

Targeting Israeli Apartheid

Targeting Israeli Apartheid
By Stephen Lendman

Reports like the Cape Town, South Africa-based Human Sciences Research Council's (HSRC) May 2009 one titled, "Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid" highlight what many others understand, including former UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, John Dugard, stating in January 2007:

"Israel is clearly in military occupation of the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories). At the same time, elements of the occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law."

Article 7(1)(j) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court calls apartheid a crime, stating:

"For the purpose of this Statute, (a) 'crime against humanity' means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

The crime of apartheid" includes murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, arbitrary arrest, illegal imprisonment, denial of the right to life and liberty, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and other abusive acts imposed by one group on another.

In 2008, writing for the Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid, Karine MacAllister said in her article titled, "Applicability of the Crime of Apartheid to Israel" that exclusivism is key to understanding the essence of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. It:

"involves or necessitates the denial of the other; of their presence, rights and existence on the land and reconstruction of the past, namely that the land was empty before the advent of Zionist settlement, hence the movement's slogan describing 'a land without people for a people without land.' "

As implemented, Zionism's essence is "a sophisticated legal, social, economic and political regime of racial discrimination that has led to colonialism and apartheid as well as the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian people." Colonialism flourishes by separating indigenous people from their land and heritage.

Mullen Wary of Israeli Attack on Iran

By Ray McGovern

Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came home with sweaty palms from his mid-February visit to Israel. He has been worrying aloud that Israel will mousetrap the U.S. into war with Iran.

This is of particular concern because Mullen has had considerable experience in putting the brakes on such Israeli plans in the past. This time, he appears convinced that the Israeli leaders did not take his warnings seriously—notwithstanding the unusually strong language he put into play.

Upon arrival in Jerusalem on February 14, Mullen wasted no time in making clear why he had come. He insisted publicly that an attack on Iran would be “a big, big, big problem for all of us, and I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences.”

Australia Warns Israel Over Dubai Killing

Australia warns Israel over Dubai killing | CNN

Australia warned Israel Thursday of a possible diplomatic rift if Israel condoned the use of fraudulent Australian passports in the killing of a Hamas leader.

Israel's ambassador was given the warning after it was learned that three Australian passports were used by members of an alleged assassination crew connected to the recent slaying of a Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel room, Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Thursday.

"I made it crystal clear to the ambassador that if the results of that investigation cause us to come to the conclusion that the abuse of Australian passports was in any way sponsored or condoned by Israeli officials, then Australia would not regard that as the act of a friend, "Smith said Thursday. " We would not regard that as the act of a friend."

The stern statement from Smith is part of the growing international diplomatic tiff stemming from the January 20 killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founding member of Hamas' military wing. Read more.

NYC, March 9th: Protest Israeli Defense Forces at the 2010 Gala Dinner: Israelis Feast While Palestinians Hunger For Justice

Jews Say No is sponsoring a peaceful protest of the 2010 New York Gala Dinner of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on March 9, 2010, at 5 PM in New York City. Gather at 53rd and Lexington Avenue. Please wear black. Signs will be provided to express a unified message. Click "Read more" for graphic. For updates: jewssayno@gmail.com

Hariri Tells Pope of Israel Aggressions

Hariri tells pope of Israel aggressions | UPI

Israeli threats of war because of Hezbollah's role in the Lebanese government is just an excuse to prepare for attacks, the prime minister said in Italy.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with Pope Benedict XVI during an official visit to Italy, Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper reports. The premier said he wondered why Israel was using Hezbollah as a pretext for aggression, as the Shiite resistance movement has a history of government involvement.

"Hezbollah participated in the government in 2007, 2008 and 2009 so why now (is Israel) raising the issue? Because Israel is looking for excuses for war," he told the Italian daily Corriere Della Sera. Read more.

Israeli Unaccountability and Denial: Suppressing the Practice of Torture

Israeli Unaccountability and Denial: Suppressing the Practice of Torture
By Stephen Lendman

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PACTI) "believes that torture and ill-treatment of any kind and under all circumstances is incompatible with the moral values of democracy and the rule of law." Yet it's systematically practiced by the Israeli Police, General Security Service (GSS), Israeli Prison Service (IPS), and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

In December 2009, PACTI published its latest report titled, "Accountability Denied: The Absence of Investigation and Punishment of Torture in Israel," explaining "the many layers of immunity that protect" the guilty, specifically the GSS, the focus of this report.

Immunity insures that GSS interrogation torture and abuse complaints never become criminal investigations, indictments, or legal hearings. Israel's State Attorney and Attorney General assure it "under a systemic legal cloak" giving torturers "unrestricted protection."

Since 2001, victims submitted over 600 torture complaints to authorities. None were investigated - "the first step" before indictments, prosecutions, and convictions. As a result, GSS interrogators have blanket immunity to operate freely "behind closed doors (making) torture an institutionalized method of interrogation in Israel, enjoying the full backing of the legal system." As in America, torture is official Israeli policy.

Torture in Israeli Law - A Barrier of Loopholes

Ms. Clinton Says Iran Headed For "Military Dictatorship"

MS. CLINTON SAYS IRAN HEADED FOR “MILITARY DICTATORSHIP”
By Sherwood Ross

Well may Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warn students in Qatar that “Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship.” She is, after all, an authority on the subject, representing a country where the Pentagon has long been ascendant. Her comment was followed up by Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s press secretary, who, at a February 16th news conference refused to deny the possibility of the U.S. taking military action against Iran, stating, “I wouldn’t rule out anything.” As anti-war activist David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet points out, this is “a public threat to engage in aggressive war...” The Charter of the United Nations forbids such threats, of course.

Writing for “Truthout,” Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, of Washington, D.C., believes Ms. Clinton’s intent “is to promote conflict and to convince Americans that Iran is an actual threat to their security.” This has long been Clinton’s policy. During her presidential bid in 2008 she said she would be willing to use nuclear weapons against Iran if that country launched a nuclear attack on Israel.

Ms. Clinton finds it convenient to ring the fire bell warning that Iran is developing its first nuclear device when the U.S. is sitting on a stockpile of 12,000 such bombs, and ally Israel----which has rejected international monitoring and controls of its atomic arsenal---has an estimated 200 nukes. Former President Jimmy Carter writes “the United States has become the prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation”---yet, incredibly, Ms. Clinton is threatening Iran on this very issue.

Does Ms. Clinton expect gullible Americans to believe Iran might commit national suicide if it actually did make a nuclear weapon (Iran claims the development is for peaceful purposes) and then launched it in a war against Israel? Not only does Israel’s military power dwarf Iran, which has a military budget is $18 billion, but USA with an annual warfare budget of $700 billion, arms, equips, and stands right behind Israel.

Questioning Our Special Relationship with Israel

Questioning Our Special Relationship with Israel
By Stephanie Westbrook

A "regional economic power." That's how ANIMA, the Euro-Mediterranean Network of Investment Promotion Agencies encompassing 70 governmental agencies and international networks, described Israel in its January 2010 Mediterranean Investment Map. The report analyzed the economies of the 27 European Union countries as well as 9 "partner countries."

And who can argue. Touting an annual GDP growth rate around 5% for the years 2004 to 2008, Israel was also ranked 27 out of 132 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report last fall. It ranked 9th for innovative capacity.

In the 2008 World Competitiveness Yearbook by IMD, Israel comes in 2nd for the number of scientists and engineers in the workforce. No other country in the world spends more on research and development as a percentage of GDP than Israel. Since the year 2000 it has hovered around 4.5%, or twice the average of OECD member countries.

I am not an economist, but I have to wonder why US taxpayers are doling out $3 billion a year in direct military aid to a "regional economic power." In August 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Israel was signed committing the US to give, not loan, $30 billion to Israel over 10 years. US taxpayers are directly funding close to 20% of Israel's annual defense budget. No wonder Israel is able to invest in R&D!

To help put these figures into perspective, a new web site was launched last week that illustrates how your state is contributing to the Israeli defense budget, and what could have instead been done with the money. At Aid to Israel I learned that my home state of Texas will give more than $2.5 billion over the ten year period. For the same amount, over 2 million people could have been provided with primary health care.

Human Rights Group Slams Israel's Probe Of Gaza Conflict

Human rights group slams Israel's probe of Gaza conflict | CNN

An international human rights organization on Sunday faulted Israel's investigation into alleged war crimes last year in Gaza.

Israel has not demonstrated that it will conduct thorough and objective investigations, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

"An independent investigation is crucial to understand why so many civilians died and to bring justice for the victims of unlawful attacks," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director for the New York-based organization. Read more.

"Breaking the Silence": Women Soldiers Speak Out

"Breaking the Silence": Women Soldiers Speak Out
By Stephen Lendman

"Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects anonymous testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada." They recount experiences that deeply affected them, including abusing Palestinians, looting, destroying property, and other practices "excused as military necessities, or explained as extreme and unique cases."

They disagree in describing "the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military" to which its society and most Western observers turn a blind eye. Since 2004, "Breaking the Silence" collected over 650 testimonies, including from combat veterans. Most remain anonymous to avoid recriminations, but feel compelled to go public - to "demand accountability regarding Israel's military actions in the Occupied Territories perpetrated by us in our name."

Last year, a collection of 54 damning testimonies from 30 Israeli soldiers was published. On January 31, a new publication was released titled, "Breaking the Silence: Women Soldiers' Testimonies," a collection of 96 stories from dozens of women who served in the Territories since 2000.

On January 29, Israel's ynetnews.com reported that "Female soldiers break their silence," revealing accounts of "systematic humiliation of Palestinians, reckless and cruel violence, theft, killing of innocent people and cover-up."

On July 15, 2009, Reuters reported that participating IDF soldiers in the recent Gaza conflict said "they were urged by commanders to shoot first and worry later about sorting out civilians from combatants. Accordingly, they (said, they) went into Gaza with guns blazing," with comments like the following typical of others:

  • "If you're not sure, kill;"
  • "Better hit an innocent than hesitate to target an enemy;"
  • "In urban warfare, anyone is your enemy; no innocents;" and
  • "They kept repeating to us that this is war and in war opening fire is not restricted....There was a clear feeling, and this was repeated whenever others spoke to us, that no humanitarian consideration played any role in the army at present."

Artist David Dees Work Chronicles American-Financed Israeli War Crimes Against Palestine's Gazans

Click "Read more" below to view larger image.

From David Dees:

This art is free to use for "non-profit" individual purposes, blogs, and websites. I encourage you to openly distribute to others with the hope it will educate, enlighten, deprogram, and at least, entertain. For "profit" magazine, book, or websites use please inquire at davodees@hotmail.com.

All material Copyright©2006-2009, David Dees

Artist David Dees' message: In my art, you will occasionally see a 'Z' symbol over a star of David. This simply represents the political movement called Zionism which has co-opted Judaism and uses it as a shield to hide behind. Both myself and Rense.com are PRO-Jewish, but extremely ANTI-Zionist. Those who attempt to smear my art as 'anti-semitic' are fools and frauds. The unspeakable, hideous genocidal acts of Zionism and the geopolitical social and economic deception and deceit it uses to con and dupe the masses shall be exposed. I also support organizations like Jews Against Zionism as you can see in my archives. If you have any sincere questions about Zionism and related issues, by all means read the material at any Jews Against Zionism internet site and the archives at Rense.com. Truth Does Not Fear Investigation. - David Dees

Gaza in Plain Language

As a matter of routine and common decency, I'll warn you that this contains GRAPHIC FOOTAGE. You may close your eyes to the horrors shown, but don't close your ears, as the audio is well-worth hearing.

Human Rights Abuses in Israel and Occupied Palestine

Human Rights Abuses in Israel and Occupied Palestine
By Stephen Lendman

Founded in 1972, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is its leading human and civil rights organization through activities involving litigation, legal advocacy, education, and public outreach. Each year it publishes an annual report covering flagrant violations, positive trends, if any, and "significant human rights-related processes" affecting Israelis and Palestinians.

Its latest December 2009 one is examined below, discussing "a disturbing (government-sponsored) trend that has (gained) currency in Israel over the past year - both in public discourse and sometimes in practice - to make human rights conditional: on fulfilling some obligation, having financial means, or belonging (or not belonging) to certain groups."

For example, free expression is targeted, and Israeli Arabs threatened, denied equality, education, employment, and their citizenship without "declaring loyalty" to Israel - in other words, on condition they abandon their national identity, culture, language, and historic heritage that's the equivalent of asking Jews to renounce Judaism.

Financial means involves regarding social rights, including healthcare and education, as commodities, accessible to those who can pay. And for Occupied Palestinians, Gaza was devastated by war, remains under siege, and sustains near daily assaults, killings, and targeted assassinations.

In the West Bank, security forces enforce land seizures, home demolitions, displacement, segregation, isolation, closures, movement and travel restrictions, the Separation Wall's construction, daily home invasions, arrests, attacks on peaceful protestors, imprisonments, and torture of detainees under a rigid "matrix of control" involving checkpoints, bypass roads, roadblocks, curfews, electric fences, and various other harassments to cow all Palestinians into submission or make them give up and leave.

Since 1948, Israel denied its Arab citizens fundamental human and civil rights and increasingly fewer of them to many Jews. In the Territories, it's far worse under military occupation and Israeli laws affording no protections to Palestinians. Nor has the Supreme Court upheld the law that should be sacrosanct in a legitimate democracy. When it's compromised, no one is immune from abuse and neglect as greater numbers in Israel are learning, including Jews.

Prof. Francis Boyle: Israel Is Committing Genocide

Prof. Francis Boyle: Israel Is Committing Genocide
By Michele Steinberg | Scoop

According to Boyle, the question of the Gaza opening must be immediately taken up by the Obama Administration. ``We need all the openings to Gaza, the crossings from Egypt and Israel, opened immediately. {Massive} provision of humanitarian assistance, medical supplies to Gaza--exactly what Obama's doing today, with respect to Haiti--I support that! But why aren't they doing it to Gaza? You have 1.5 million people over there.

``Unless this step is undertaken, certainly on Gaza, relieving the people of Gaza with massive humanitarian relief supplies, I really think we're going to see a dog-and-pony show,'' being run by the Obama White House, and the sending of Sen. George Mitchell to the region.

So far, what the U.S. has done is, ``once again, provid[ed] diplomatic cover for Israel to stall and delay its objectives, and meanwhile, they continue to steal Palestinian lands, destroy their orchards, destroy their olive fields, and build more settlements. This has been going on, right from the beginning of the Middle East peace negotiations in 1991, when I was legal advisor to the Palestinians and the Syrians at that time.''

"What we're seeing in Gaza now, is pretty much slow-motion genocide against the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in Gaza.... If you read the 1948 Genocide Convention, it clearly says that one instance of genocide is the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a people in whole or in part,'' stated Francis A. Boyle, professor of International Law at the University of Illinois in Champaign. ``And that's exactly what has been done to Gaza, since the imposition of the blockade by Israel; then the massacre of 1,400 Palestinians, two-thirds of whom were civilians, in Operation Cast Lead. And that also raises the element in the Genocide Convention, of murder, torture, and things of that nature."

Boyle spoke to {EIR} on Jan. 15, 2010, giving his assessment of Gaza, one year after the Israeli attacks. He stressed that he was speaking only for himself. Read more.

Female Soldiers Break Their Silence

Female soldiers break their silence
By Amir Shilo | YNetNews
Six years after first collection of Breaking the Silence testimonies, organization releases booklet of testimonies from female soldiers who served in territories. Stories include systematic humiliation of Palestinians, reckless and cruel violence, theft, killing of innocent people and cover-up. Here are only some of testimonies

"A female combat soldier needs to prove more…a female soldier who beats up others is a serious fighter…when I arrived there was another female there with me, she was there before me…everyone spoke of how impressive she is because she humiliates Arabs without any problem. That was the indicator. You have to see her, the way she humiliates, the way she slaps them, wow, she really slapped that guy."

The Breaking the Silence organization on Friday released a booklet of testimonies by female soldiers recounting various abuse cases involving Palestinians in the West Bank.

In recent years, females have been increasingly involved in combat and field operations in the IDF and Border Guard. Among other things, these female soldiers engage in daily contact with the Palestinian population – at roadblocks and in Palestinian communities.

According to the latest testimonies, many of these young women have trouble coping with the violent reality they are exposed to and find themselves facing situations that contradict their values. Some of them end up engaging in acts, or turning a blind eye to acts, that will burden them years later. Like their male counterparts, some of these females have a need to speak about what they saw. Read more.

Arresting Gandhi: "Violent Clashes" and the Arrest of Abdullah Abu Rahma

Arresting Gandhi
“Violent Clashes” and the Arrest of Abdullah Abu Rahma
By David Rovics | David Rovics.com

He's a Palestinian man, and he has one of those very Muslim-sounding names with “Abu” in it (it means “father of”). Any time his name is mentioned in the media it tends to be quickly lined up with phrases like “violent clashes.” If the article is more than one paragraph long then somehow or other the topic of suicide bombing will make its way into the discussion. And the Israelis have charged him with weapons possession and have arrested him (the weapons are an assortment of used bullets and tear gas canisters that have been fired at Abdullah and his family, but no matter). Many readers will by then have decided by then that it's all pretty scary and complicated and they'd best move on.

The Israeli military's “tougher line” on “West Bank protests” made its way into the New York Times last Friday and mention was made of some of those arrested, injured and killed by the Israelis in the course of the weekly Friday protests that are now happening in a number of villages – villages like Bil'in, where Israel's massive new wall is being constructed just outside the town, cutting the village off from its farmland, its water and the livelihood of its residents. As part of their “tougher line” the IDF been arresting protest organizers, or in many cases killing them, always claiming the killings are accidental. Basem Abu Rahma, for example, was recently killed by a high-velocity tear gas canister shot directly at his chest, the same type of weapon that nearly killed American activist Tristan Anderson months before.

And now Abdullah is in jail. The overwhelming majority of the world community doesn't know, and why should they? After all, the Palestinians have yet to find “their Gandhi” – Bono said so, among others. And the IDF spokesman quoted by the Times says of the weekly protests, “these are violent, illegal, dangerous riots.” Therefore there is justification for the hundreds of Palestinian children killed by the IDF over recent years – sometimes they were throwing rocks. Let's stay with the logic here a moment. Take their land and build walls around it, arrest their parents for organizing nonviolent protests, kill their children for throwing rocks (while arresting their parents), call all that “violent, illegal, dangerous riots” and do it all again the next day.

In The West Bank's Stony Hills, Palestine Is Slowly Dying

In the West Bank's stony hills, Palestine is slowly dying
In the richest of the Occupied lands, Israeli bureaucracy is driving Palestinians out of their homes.
By Robert Fisk | The Independent

Area C doesn't sound very ominous. A land of stone-sprinkled grey hills and soft green valleys, it's part of the wreckage of the equally wrecked Oslo Agreement, accounting for 60 per cent of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that was eventually supposed to be handed over to its Palestinian inhabitants.

But look at the statistics and leaf through the pile of demolition orders lying on the table in front of Abed Kasab, head of the village council in Jiftlik, and it all looks like ethnic cleansing via bureaucracy. Perverse might be the word for the paperwork involved. Obscene appear to be the results.

Palestinian houses that cannot be permitted to stand, roofs that must be taken down, wells closed, sewage systems demolished; in one village, I even saw a primitive electricity system in which Palestinians must sink their electrical poles cemented into concrete blocks standing on the surface of the dirt road. To place the poles in the earth would ensure their destruction – no Palestinian can dig a hole more than 40cm below the ground. Read more.

Obama Gets Asked an Unapproved Question

Obama says Palestinians must renounce violence and recognize Israel, but Israel must recognize Palestinians (with no mention of renouncing violence).

Focus on Israel: Harvesting Haitian Organs

Focus on Israel: Harvesting Haitian Organs
By Stephen Lendman

On January 15, Haaretz reported that:

"The Israel Defense Forces' aid mission to Haiti left Israel overnight (January 14) with equipment for setting up an emergency field hospital. Around 220 soldiers and officers (were) in the delegation, including 120 medical staff (to) operate the hospital in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince."

According to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it includes "40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children's ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an internal department and a maternity ward (able to) treat approximately 500 patients each day," including in two surgery rooms.

On January 20, Lebanon's Al-Manar TV reported on the mission, citing a damning You Tube video posted by an American named T. West from a group called AfriSynergy Productions.

"The video presents something to think about while exploiting the horrible tragedy that has befallen Haiti where Israeli occupation soldiers are engaged in organ trafficking."

Aid Workers ‘Being Pushed Out’ of Palestinian Areas

Aid workers ‘being pushed out’ of Palestinian areas
By James Hider | Times Online

Israel has stopped issuing work permits to foreign aid workers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, sparking fears about the future of relief operations in the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli Interior Ministry has issued only tourist visas to aid groups such as Oxfam, Médecins sans Frontières and Save the Children since before Christmas. They say that their legal situation is now precarious and that some staff have been denied entry by Israeli border officials who also control all entry to the West Bank.

The move came amid pressure from right-wing Israeli groups to crack down on non-governmental organisations, which are often seen as having a political, anti-Israeli bias. Early last year an Israeli group, NGO monitor, forced the New York-based Human Rights Watch to suspend a weapons specialist who had written a scathing report on Israel’s use of white phosphorus during its Gaza offensive. The group tracked down anonymous comments that the researcher had made on online discussions for collectors of Nazi memorabilia.

Some left-wing Israeli groups have accused Israel of “declaring war” on foreign groups such as Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, which have been critical of Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Aid groups are now worried that the decision by the Interior Ministry could inhibit their work to provide medical support, welfare and basic supplies to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Read more.

Gaza Blockade Threatens Health of 1.4 Million, Aid Agencies Warn

Gaza blockade threatens health of 1.4 million, aid agencies warn
Israeli and Egyptian blockade means nearly one-fifth of requests to leave for treatment are refused or delayed, report says
By James Sturcke | Guardian.co.UK

The health of 1.4 million people is being put at risk by the ongoing Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza, a report by more than 80 humanitarian organisations warned today.

The aid groups, including the World Health Organisation and UN agencies, said more than one-fifth of sick Palestinians who needed to leave the territory for treatment in Israel had either been refused or had their applications delayed. The groups called on Israel and Egypt to open the border crossings with Gaza.

Max Gaylard, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for the Palestinian territories, said the blockade undermined the local healthcare system and put lives at risk.

"It is causing ongoing deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health," he said.

"It is hampering the provision of medical supplies and the training of health staff, and it is preventing patients with serious medical conditions from getting timely specialised treatment."

The agencies highlighted the case of a student, Fidaa Hijji, who died of cancer while waiting for Israeli permission to go to hospital for a bone marrow operation. Read more.

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