GAZA CITY — Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh on Friday listed three basic factors needed to resolve a power-sharing deal with his Fatah rivals: ditch the US, stick to the terms of the May agreement, and find an alternative to Israeli tax-collection.
Speaking at the al-Omari mosque in Gaza, Haniyeh urged Fatah leader and president Mahmoud Abbas to defy US and Israeli threats, and not to respond to them under any circumstances. The US has no plans that would benefit the Palestinian people, he said.
Gaza, for example, has managed to survive independently despite many attempts from external powers to control the enclave, he said. The government and the people have managed to live in dignity thanks to assistance from Arabs and Muslims, he said.
Haniyeh said the key element of a successful power-sharing deal would be sticking to the terms of an agreement signed in May under Egyptian mediation. It should be implemented “accurately, honestly and inherently in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” he said. The release of political detainees would be the first indication of the deal’s success, he said.
However, Haniyeh said there were no political detainees in Gaza prisons, a point which Fatah leaders have disputed. Haniyeh said there were hundreds of political prisoners in the West Bank. Haniyeh said he would free political detainees in Gaza if any were in Hamas’ jails.
The third factor Haniyeh mentioned was necessary reforms to a tax system in Palestine that leaves revenues in the hands of a hostile power. An alternative to Israel’s collection of taxes and customs on the Palestinian Authority’s behalf must be found, as it leaves domestic politics subject to foreign meddling.
The alternative should be funds from Arab and Muslim countries, he said. The Palestinian budget is small compared to the funds in Arab banks, he said suggesting Palestinian needs could be met with ease.
Haniyeh also said elections should be held in May, as planned, among other factors like forming a national unity government, rebuilding the PLO, security reforms and reconciliation between certain families.
Four houses and one mosque were destroyed this morning, November 24th, in the villages in the south of the West Bank. Around 10 am, fifty soldiers and seven police cars arrived to village Susiya. Two bulldozers destroyed the house of Musa Magna’s family and two women were arrested after attempting to protect the house.
In addition to these demolitions, the Israeli military also plan to destroy part of a school, the road leading from the village to the school and a several tents in the village.
House demolitions also occurred in Um Fagarah, a few kilometres south of Susiya. The Israeli military destroyed a house which was home to a family of twelve, some tents and a pen holding sheep and rabbits, some of which were killed. Two women were arrested and the occupation forces broke the leg of one elder woman in the village. The houses of Hammamdi family were destroyed even though the demolition order had not been finalised as the court hadn’t yet reached a final verdict. The military also destroyed a mosque in the village.
Both of these shepherd’s villages are often attacked by settlers and subjected to demolitions by the Israeli military.
A thoughtful email from University of East Anglia’s Douglas Maraun in which he shares serious misgivings about the politically correct atmosphere prevalent within the establishment in 2007.
From the Climategate 2.0 collection:
date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 11:05:20 +0100
from: “Douglas Maraun”
subject: Informal Seminar TODAY
I’d like to invite all of you to todays discussion seminar, 4pm in the
“Climate science and the media”
After the publication of the latest IPCC, the media wrote a vast
number of articles about possible and likely impacts, many of them
greatly exaggerated. The issue seemed to dominate news for a long time
and every company had to consider global warming in its advertisement.
However, much of this sympathy turned out to be either white washing
or political correctness. Furthermore, recently and maybe especially
after the “inconvenient truth” case and the Nobel peace prize going to
Al Gore, many irritated and sceptical comments about so-called
“climatism” appeared also in respectable newspapers.
Against the background of these recent developments, we could discuss
the relation of climate science to the media, the way it is, and the
way it should be.
In my opinion, the question is not so much whether we should at all
deal with the media. Our research is of potential relevance to the
public, so we have to deal with the public. The question is rather how
this should be done. Points I would like to discuss are:
-Is it true that only climate sceptics have political interests and
are potentially biased? If not, how can we deal with this?
-How should we deal with flaws inside the climate community? I think,
that “our” reaction on the errors found in Mike Mann’s work were not
-How should we deal with popular science like the Al Gore movie?
-What is the difference between a “climate sceptic” and a “climate denier”?
-What should we do with/against exaggerations of the media?
-How do we avoid sounding religious or arrogant?
-Should we comment on the work/ideas of climate scepitics?
If you have got any further suggestions or do think, my points are not
interesting, please let me know in advance.
See you later,
Israeli officials suspect that France-based megabank BNP Parisbas has pulled out of Israel due to pressure from Palestine solidarity groups, even though the bank itself has denied this.
The powers that be are furious at BNP Paribas for shuttering its operations in Israel, and suspect it is acting due to Arab and anti-Israeli pressure in France, the bank’s home base.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Banks Supervisor David Zaken and their top officials believe the bank’s board of directors caved to pressure groups, contrary to its claims.
This is the first case in years of a foreign bank leaving Israel. BNP Paribas has had operations in Israel since 2003. Most of its business here involved financing large projects that involve French companies.
Israeli business news website Globes had previously reported on 15 November that the closure of the BNP Parisbas Israeli branch – leading to some 50 layoffs – was for business reasons:
Banking sources believe that BNP is closing the branch because of its inability to gain a substantial standing in the business credit to large companies market. This market is dominated by Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), HSBC Holding plc (LSE: HSBA; HKSE: 005; NYSE, Paris: HBC), and Deutsche Bank AG (DAX: DBK; NYSE: DB), which operates a representative office in Israel. BNP Israel tried to focus on credit for infrastructures, water, energy, transportation, and renewable energy, but was unable to consolidate a strong position in the market.
While the reports about what exactly motivated BNP Parisbas’s decision are inconclusive, the fact that Israeli officials suspect it was as a result of civil society pressure over Israel’s human rights abuses is itself significant.
French firms, especially Veolia, have been under immense pressure – often successful – by boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists for their role in profiting from Israeli occupation and other illegal practices. But BDS efforts do not appear to have specifically targeted BNP Parisbas.
Banking sanctions could “cripple” Israel
If banks were to begin responding to BDS campaigns by curtailing services in Israel, it could be a significant escalation. In an article for The Electronic Intifada last year, Terry Crawford-Browne argued that banking sanctions against apartheid South Africa in the 1980s were key to bringing down that regime. Crawford-Browne, himself a former banker, was one of the activists behind the South Africa banking sanctions campaign.
It’s no wonder then that despite bravado from Israel propaganda groups that BDS is ineffective, Israel’s officials appear desperately worried that BDS is at work even when it is denied by the party involved.
The chief of UK’s leading civil service union has accused the government of being in ‘blind panic’ after Home Office asked some government employees to work as border officers during pension strikes planned for next week.
Selected groups of government employees were contacted to walk through picket lines and check passports as passengers arrive at airports and ports from abroad during the industrial action planned for November 30 by public sector workers against pension reforms, The Guardian reported on Thursday.
The crisis-hit British government hopes to make annual savings of 2.8 billion pounds (USD 4.3 billion) by 2014 through reducing pensions, while forcing employees to work for longer years. Many of the workers are already facing wage freezes.
The General Secretary of Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Mark Serwotka said, “They are forcing people to work up to eight years longer, forcing people to pay thousands of pounds for less of a pension; it’s completely unfair.”
He criticized ministers for failing to prevent the move by calling unions in for urgent talks, despite months of warning about the strikes.
Serwotka noted that the government had been more interested in spinning over the issue rather than trying to handle the row, saying, “Yesterday in parliament it was revealed the prime minister misled parliament on the 2 November when he made claims about public sector pensions that have been shown to be false.”
“What that indicates is that rather than worry about the services on the day, rather than plan properly for 30 November, they have been engaging in a PR exercise putting out misleading information to try and force through damaging changes that are unfair. Less than a week before the strike, to suddenly turn round and act in a blind panic is completely irresponsible,” he added.
About four million public sector workers are expected to take part in the protest measure organized by Trade Union Congress (TUC), despite the government’s threats to cut the protesters’ pay and cancel out the concessions it has already made to them if they kept up the demonstrations for longer than 15 minutes.
There is a huge government cover-up in progress over the Werritty connection to Mossad and the role of British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, and their neo-con plan to start a war with Iran.
Yesterday at 22.15pm I submitted by email a Freedom of Information request for:
All communications in either direction ever made between Matthew Gould and Adam Werritty, specifically including communications made outside government systems.
At 23.31pm I was astonished to get a reply from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The request was refused as it was
“likely to exceed the cost limit”.
Now it is plainly nonsense that to gather correspondence between two named individuals would be too expensive. They could just ask Gould.
And a reply at nearly midnight? The Freedom of Information team in the FCO is not a 24 hour unit. Plainly not only are they hiding the Gould/Werritty correspondence, they are primed and on alert for this cover-up operation.
Even more blatant was the obstruction of MP Paul Flynn, when he attempted to question Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell on the Gould-Werritty connection at the House of Commons Public Administration Committee. These are the minutes: anybody who believes in democracy should feel their blood boil as you read them:
Publc Admininstration Committee 24/11/2011
Q<369> Paul Flynn: Okay. Matthew Gould has been the subject of a very serious complaint from two of my constituents, Pippa Bartolotti and Joyce Giblin. When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and they strongly believe—it is nothing to do with this case at all—that he was serving the interest of the Israeli Government, and not the interests of two British citizens. This has been the subject of correspondence.
In your report, you suggest that there were two meetings between the ambassador and Werritty and Liam Fox. Questions and letters have proved that, in fact, six such meetings took place. There are a number of issues around this. I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran, in the service. Werritty is a self-proclaimed—
Robert Halfon: Point of order, Chairman. What is the point of this?
Paul Flynn:> Let me get to it. Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran.
Chair:> I have to take a point of order.
Robert Halfon:> Mr Flynn is implying that the British ambassador to Israel is working for a foreign power, which is out of order.
Paul Flynn:> I quote the Daily Mail: “Mr Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran and has made several visits. He has also met senior Israeli officials, leading to accusations”—not from me, from the Daily Mail—“that he was close to the country’s secret service, Mossad.” There may be nothing in that, but that appeared in a national newspaper.
Chair:> I am going to rule on a point of order. Mr Flynn has made it clear that there may be nothing in these allegations, but it is important to have put it on the record. Be careful how you phrase questions.
Paul Flynn:> Indeed. The two worst decisions taken by Parliament in my 25 years were the invasion of Iraq—joining Bush’s war in Iraq—and the invasion of Helmand province. We know now that there were things going on in the background while that built up to these mistakes. The charge in this case is that Werritty was the servant of neo-con people in America, who take an aggressive view on Iran. They want to foment a war in Iran in the same way as in the early years, there was another—
Chair:> Order. I must ask you to move to a question that is relevant to the inquiry.
Q<370> Paul Flynn:> Okay. The question is, are you satisfied that you missed out on the extra four meetings that took place, and does this not mean that those meetings should have been investigated because of the nature of Mr Werritty’s interests?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I think if you look at some of those meetings, some people are referring to meetings that took place before the election.
Q<371> Paul Flynn:> Indeed, which is even more worrying.
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I am afraid they were not the subject—what members of the Opposition do is not something that the Cabinet Secretary should look into. It is not relevant.
But these meetings were held—
Chair:> Mr Flynn, would you let him answer please?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I really do not think that was within my context, because they were not Ministers of the Government and what they were up to was not something I should get into at all.
Chair:> Final question, Mr Flynn.
Q<372> Paul Flynn:> No, it is not a final question. I am not going to be silenced by you, Chairman; I have important things to raise. I have stayed silent throughout this meeting so far.
You state in the report—on the meeting held between Gould, Fox and Werritty, on 6 February, in Tel Aviv—that there was a general discussion of international affairs over a private dinner with senior Israelis. The UK ambassador was present. Are you following the line taken by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who says that he can eat with lobbyists or people applying to his Department because, on occasions, he eats privately, and on other occasions he eats ministerially? Are you accepting the idea? It is possibly a source of great national interest—the eating habits of their Secretary of State. It appears that he might well have a number of stomachs, it has been suggested, if he can divide his time this way. It does seem to be a way of getting round the ministerial code, if people can announce that what they are doing is private rather than ministerial.
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> The important point here was that, when the Secretary of State had that meeting, he had an official with him—namely, in this case, the ambassador. That is very important, and I should stress that I would expect our ambassador in Israel to have contact with Mossad. That will be part of his job. It is totally natural, and I do not think that you should infer anything from that about the individual’s biases. That is what ambassadors do. Our ambassador in Pakistan will have exactly the same set of wide contacts.
Q<373> Paul Flynn:> I have good reason, as I said, from constituency matters, to be unhappy about the ambassador. Other criticisms have been made about the ambassador; he is unique in some ways in the role he is performing. There have been suggestions that he is too close to a foreign power.
Robert Halfon:> On a point of order, Chair, this is not about the ambassador to Israel. This is supposed to be about the Werritty affair.
Paul Flynn:> It is absolutely crucial to this report. If neo-cons such as yourself, Robert, are plotting a war in Iran, we should know about it.
Chair:> Order. I think the line of questioning is very involved. I have given you quite a lot of time, Mr Flynn. If you have further inquiries to make of this, they could be pursued in correspondence. May I ask you to ask one final question before we move on?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> One thing I would stress: we are talking about the ambassador and I think he has a right of reply. Mr Chairman, I know there is an interesting question of words regarding Head of the Civil Service versus Head of the Home Civil Service, but this is the Diplomatic Service, not the Civil Service.
Q<374> Chair:> So he is not in your jurisdiction at all.
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> No.
Q<375> Paul Flynn:> But you are happy that your report is final; it does not need to go the manager it would have gone to originally, and that is the end of the affair. Is that your view?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> As I said, some issues arose where I wanted to be sure that what the Secretary of State was doing had been discussed with the Foreign Secretary. I felt reassured by what the Foreign Secretary told me.
Q<376> Chair:> I think what Mr Flynn is asking is that your report and the affair raise other issues, but you are saying that that does not fall within the remit of your report and that, indeed, the conduct of an ambassador does not fall within your remit at all.
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> That is absolutely correct.
Paul Flynn:> The charge laid by Lord Turnbull in his evidence with regard to Dr Fox and the ministerial code was his failure to observe collective responsibility, in that case about Sri Lanka. Isn’t the same charge there about our policies to Iran and Israel?
Chair:> We have dealt with that, Mr Flynn.
Paul Flynn:> We haven’t dealt with it as far as it applies—
Chair:> Mr Flynn, we are moving on.
Paul Flynn:> You may well move on, but I remain very unhappy about the fact that you will not allow me to finish the questioning I wanted to give on a matter of great importance.
It is shocking but true that Robert Halfon MP, who disrupted Flynn with repeated points of order, receives funding from precisely the same Israeli sources as Werritty, and in particular from Mr Poju Zabludowicz. He also formerly had a full time paid job as Political Director of the Conservative Friends of Israel.
But despite the evasiveness of O’Donnell and the obstruction of paid zionist puppet Halfon, O’Donnell confirms vital parts of my investigation. In particular he agrees that the Fox-Werritty-Gould “private dinner” in Tel Aviv was with Mossad, and that Gould met Werritty many times more than the twice that O’Donnell listed in his “investigation” into this affair.
Of the six meetings of Fox-Gould-Werritty together which I discovered, five were while Fox was Secretary of State for Defence. Only one was while Fox was in opposition. But O’Donnell has now let the cat much further out of the bag, with the astonishing admission to Paul Flynn’s above questioning that Gould, Fox and Werritty held “meetings that took place before the election.” He also refers to “some of those meetings” as being before the election. Both are plainly in the plural.
It is now evident that not only did Fox, Gould and Werritty have at least five meetings while Fox was in power – with never another British official present – they had several meetings while Fox was shadow Foreign Secretary. O’Donnell is right that what Fox and Werritty were up to in opposition is not his concern. But what Gould was doing with them – a senior official – most definitely is.
A senior British diplomat cannot just hold a series of meetings with the opposition shadow Defence Secretary and a paid zionist lobbyist. What on earth was happening?
The absolutely astonishing cover-up and lack of honesty from the government about the Fox-Gould-Werritty relationship is being maintained with cast-iron resolve. Not only is Gould a self-declared fervent zionist, he was born in the same year as Chancellor George Osborne and attended the same private school – St Paul’s. At least some of the time he was meeting Fox and Werrity while they were in opposition, Gould was Private Secretary to New Labour Foreign Secretary David Milliband. That opens up the question of whether David Milliband, another fervent zionist, was part of the discussions with Mossad and US neo-cons on how to engineer war with Iran, for which Werritty was the conduit.
That would help explain the completeness of the cover-up. The government appears able with total impunity to refuse to answer MPs’ questions on Gould/Fox/Werritty, and they will not respond to Freedom of Information requests. It is now proven without doubt that O’Donnell lied blatantly about the number of Gould-Fox-Werritty meetings, and that Mossad was involved. And yet every single British mainstream media outlet still refuses to mention it.
I know from a mole that the plot involves a plan to attack Iran. For the cover-up to be so blatant and yet so comprehensively maintained, the secret at the heart of this conspiracy must be great, and those complicit must include a very large swathe of the British political and media establishment.
UPDATE: access to this blog is now blocked from FCO and Cabinet Office terminals. Very wise – truth can be contagious.