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London Philharmonic Suspends Musicians for anti-Israel Remarks

By Dr. Ashraf Ezzat on September 17, 2011

A report in UK daily The Guardian stated that the London Philharmonic Orchestra has suspended four of its musicians for nine months for adopting its name when they called for the cancellation of an Israeli orchestra’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

According to the Guardian, the orchestra suspended cellist Sue Sutherley, as well as violinists Tom Eisner, Nancy Elan and Sarah Streatfeild until June 2012, after they signed a letter as members of the LPO condemning the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as an instrument of Israeli propaganda.

The musicians’ statement claimed that “denials of human rights and violations of international law are hidden behind a cultural smokescreen. The IPO is perhaps Israel’s prime asset in this campaign”, and that Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians “fits the UN definition of apartheid.”

The Guardian’s report states that both Orchestra chief executive Tim Walker, as well as chairman Martin Hohmann released a statement regarding the suspensions, which were meant to send a “strong and clear message that their actions will not be tolerated … the orchestra would never restrict the right of its players to express themselves freely, however such expression has to be independent of the LPO itself.”

The statement also said that the Orchestra has no desire to “end the careers” of the musicians, but that “for the LPO, music and politics to not mix.”

The move comes after protestors interrupted a performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on September 1 during an annual BBC Proms concert series.

Several demonstrators in the venue shouted as Zubin Mehta stood to conduct Bruch’s Violin Concerto, while other audience members booed in response to the protest.

Sarah Colborne, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which organised protests against the concert, said: “Would the London Philharmonic Orchestra have punished musicians speaking out against apartheid South Africa, when a similar call for boycott was supported by artists, performers and sports people internationally?

“It is staggeringly bad judgment for the LPO to be seen to be attacking musicians who are simply voicing support for human rights and defending the civil right to call for a boycott of institutions which lend strategic support to Israel’s occupation.

“If the LPO really wishes not to appear to be taking sides, and supporting an occupying nation against an occupied people, it must end the ridiculous suspension of these four musicians immediately.”

September 17, 2011 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | 1 Comment

Who Is Killing People in the Middle East?

ORIENTAL REVIEW | September 15, 2011

Russian and Chinese refusal to support UN sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the end of August has caused a dramatic outburst of criticism in Western media and from the local human rights activists. On Tuesday the Facebook group ‘Syrian Revolution 2011’ posted a banner in Russian condemning Moscow for allegedly ‘killing the Syrians’. Let’s have a brief look at who is actually killing in Syria and other Arab countries.

Despite a common prejudice the rioters opposing the Syrian authorities are by no means ‘peaceful protestors’. The Syrian army and police fight against well-trained and properly armed professional raiders supported by the West and the fifth column inside Syria.

Since April the total record of Syrian soldiers, policemen and security officers assassinated by the ‘demonstrators’ has reached 600, while the number of injured is even higher. Many of them are killed by knifes with utmost cruelty. Every second shot by the long range sniper fire from upper locations (tops of the multistory buildings) precisely above or under the vest. That’s a notably professional pattern of action. Although typical for Syria, Soviet and Russian-made arms are being widely used in the clashes, many victims were hit by the weapons of Western origin having higher killing power, including pump rifles. There are many mutilated by improvised explosive devices.

A number of other photos of injured and killed Syrian soldiers were published on the RT web-site.

The tactics of provocations is another distinctive feature of the opposition’s modus operandi set to keep the situation destabilized and create havoc and bloodshed. Having the most significant gangs already dispersed by the governmental forces, the opposition renews these tactics. Here is the message from Elena, who has relatives in Syria:

‘The gangsters were planning a series of debacles on 27th day of Ramadan (August 26). This is a special day for Muslims, Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Destiny), when the sky is believed to be open and Allah is fulfilling all dreams. They wanted to organize a series of explosions and assassinations to cause people’s outrage. Syrian security agencies were timely informed about these plans and managed to detain around 200 plotters. There were several foreign specialists in subversive actions among the detained as well as Arab mercenaries from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries. According to the evidence obtained, they were about to capture al Abbasein and al-Amaween squares in Damascus by pretending to organize pro-Assad march. When on the site, they schemed to change the slogans generating chaos, scuffles and eventually victims among the civilians.’ (Source in Russian)

NATO’s ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya has already led to unprecedented suffering of the Libyan people. The so-called ‘new government of Libya’ has shown to their former patrons in the UK, France and Italy that they do not care much about the sentiments of the international community. The mass lynching of black-skinned foreigners is now typical on the Libyan territories controlled by anti-Qaddafi forces. Mustafa Abdul Jalil, one of the leaders of the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC), has even admitted that ‘there are no bloodless revolutions… We should not be surprised if some casual victims of skirmishes are the case. Our soldiers cannot afford wasting time for identifying detained personalities. Their loyalty to the new authorities will be determined subjectively.’

As a result the number of victims of the new regime among Libyan residents from Chad, Niger and Sudan is counted in thousands. Khamis al-Bass, a Saudi journalist reports from Libya: ‘On my eyes several uniformed men dragged an entire black family off their asylum, accused them in espionage for Qaddafi and hanged them all.’

The chairman of the African Union commission, Jean Ping, said many members of the Union had not yet recognized the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya because of reports of anti-black violence. He warned that the rebellion had left Libya unstable and its huge arms caches prey to looting by extremists and smugglers.

The perspective of turning Libya into a new lawless territory resembling Somalia or Liberia is tangible. The civil war is gaining momentum as the NATO Special Forces get seemingly restrained from further involvement into conflict. Their loss toll is already too high. According to several insider reports, e.g. British SAS has lost 21 to 35 soldiers, most of them during the storm of Tripoli and helicopter crash on the Algerian border in August. So NATO apparently decided to pump the ‘new Libyan government’ with more weapons in the endeavor to turn the scale of the on-going faceoff in Libya in favor of the TNC and wash their hands. For example, this week the Russian news agencies reported a massive arms shipment to the TNC from Moldova. An air-craft IL-76 arrived in Kishinev from Benghazi on Tuesday to be loaded by a ‘cargo of Moldavian army’s stores with expired date of usage’. Defense Ministry of the Republic of Moldova officially commented that ‘the shipment is being carried out according to the contract between the Ministry and a Latvian company’. Most likely the delivery of the second-hand Soviet weapons (there are no other sources actually available at Moldavian stores) to Benghazi was arranged by K.S.A via Ltd, a Latvian Riga-based transportation firm and used Soviet arms supplier…

Factually we can see that a small mediator from Latvia, a NATO country, starts playing a key role in channeling old Soviet-made weapons to the Afro-Asian conflict zones. The outcome of such arming would be extremely dangerous. That will lead to the escalation of civil war in Libya and other hotspots meaning more victims and more sufferings for the civilians. We have already written about this strategy in previous posts here and here.

Last but not least, it would be surprising if NATO pumping up the Islamic Orient with old Soviet arms had not played the propagandistic card of ‘Russian weapons killing Arabs’. Indeed, since late August they have launched a ridiculous press campaign in Yemen, accusing Russia (!) of ‘supplying equipment to Saleh regime to be used against peaceful pro-democracy protesters’. In a propaganda stupor they are even claiming that the presidential palace in Sana’a is being defended by the Russian tanks T-92, a model that does not exist in nature! Here we will not get into details of US$ 4 billion deal for military modernization program of Yemeni army and police that United States provided to President  Saleh in the framework of counter-terrorism cooperation in 2010. We just take a note that the ‘military convoys’ coming to Yemeni port of Hodeida are contracted by the same dubious Latvian company K.S. Avia transporting arms to the Libyan Transitional National Council.

So who is killing people in the Middle East?

September 17, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | Leave a comment

Hamas: UN membership won’t end occupation

Ma’an – September 17, 2011

GAZA CITY — The Foreign Ministry in Gaza on Saturday said that full membership of the UN would not bring Palestinian independence or end Israel’s occupation.

President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the nation on Friday and said he would request full UN membership at the Security Council.

The Hamas-controlled ministry said in a statement that Abbas made many promises but offered no guarantees.

Palestinians have fought and made many sacrifices for an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, the ministry said, adding that it supported all efforts in this regard. But the Palestinian Authority wants to return to negotiations with Israel, despite admitting that such talks have failed, the ministry said.

The ministry said declaring a Palestinian state would not bring independence or end the occupation and called for new national strategies that would not entail political risks. It also said the unity agreement reconciling Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party must be implemented.

September 17, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | Leave a comment

Palestinian factions: PLO step to seek seat in the UN threatens the cause

Palestine Information Center – 16/09/2011

DAMASCUS — The Damascus- based central leadership of the Palestinian factions alliance has strongly criticized Thursday the PLO move to seek a seat at the UN, stressing that the step was far from any national strategy for liberation and resistance.

In a statement it issued in this regard, the central leadership opined that the attempt of the PLO and the PA to go to the UN and apply for full membership in the UN was meant to revive the “barren” negotiations path, warning that the step undermines the national fundamentals of the Palestinian people including the right of return.

The general-secretaries of the member-factions in the alliance underlined that a comprehensive political review is needed before taking such a step, and that the options of the Palestinian people must be taken into consideration before taking it.

“It should be clear that any Palestinian or Arab move in this regard shouldn’t be at the expense of the Palestinian people national and historical rights in their land especially the right of return and Jerusalem. We have been struggling over the past six decades to establish a genuine and viable Palestinian state,” the factions’ leaders said in a statement they issued at the conclusion of the meeting.

The alliance also underscored that resistance against the occupation was the only way to retrieve the Palestinian usurped rights and to achieve the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

September 17, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | Leave a comment

   

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