Ken O’Keefe — University of Westminster, London — February 2012
It is very important to be honest with yourself and with the people you interact with, to keep your own self-respect intact. In my opinion, self-respect is worth more than money, or the lie our governments in the West adhere to when they back Zionism unconditionally. When I die, I will know that I did not sell out my beliefs for 30 pieces of silver, but tried to make this World a better place than when I came into it. I ask everyone that calls me friend to walk down that road with me and challenge the evil bastards that use deceit, lies, war and violence as a means of democracy and peace… join with me and be the change we want to see in this World.
Many thanks to Ken O’Keefe for being a voice of the voiceless and encouraging many to speak out and take action.
The Weblog of Ken O’Keefe – http://kenokeefe.wordpress.com/
Children of the Samuni family, who survived the Israeli army’s deadly attack on the Gaza Strip
- Gaza family urges UK Queen to remove ‘blood diamond’ (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Donor Opium (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Russia dismissed on Wednesday claims by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that it was selling attack helicopters to Syria and accused the United States of arming rebels fighting against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“We are completing right now the implementation of contracts that were signed and paid for a long time ago,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks in the Iranian capital of Tehran. “All these contracts concern exclusively anti-aircraft defense.”
“We are not delivering to Syria, or anywhere else, items that could be used against peaceful demonstrators,” Lavrov went on. “In this we differ from the United States, which regularly delivers riot control equipment to the region, including a recent delivery to a Persian Gulf country. But for some reason the Americans consider this to be fine.”
And Lavrov, speaking on Iranian state television, also said the United States was “providing arms and weapons to the Syrian opposition that can be used in fighting against the Damascus government.”
Russia’s top diplomat’s comments came a day after Clinton told a forum in Washington that Moscow’s repeated assurances that the arms it supplies to Syria could not be used to attack protesters in the Middle East country were “patently untrue.”
“We are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria,” she added, without giving further details.
Clinton also warned that such supplies would “escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”
“We know that the Assad regime is using helicopter gunships against their own people,” Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby said later. He also said, however, that he had no information on a new shipment of attack helicopters from Russia to Syria.
Syria is one of Russia’s major weapons clients, and Moscow has opposed proposals for an arms embargo on Damascus, saying this would give rebel forces an unfair advantage in the conflict.
Russia – along with China – has also twice vetoed UN resolutions against Damascus over what it says is a pro-rebel bias. Moscow has, however, fully backed UN envoy Kofi Annan’s faltering peace plan for Syria.
And Lavrov repeated again on Wednesday Moscow’s assertion that its stance was not based on support for Assad, who rules Russia’s sole remaining ally in the Arab world.
“Our position is not based on support for Bashar al-Assad or anyone else,” he said. “We do not want to see Syria disintegrate.”
Russian military experts suggested on Tuesday that Moscow may be repairing earlier-supplied helicopters for Syria, rather than providing Damascus with new models.
“There were large-scale deliveries of attack helicopters to Syria in the Soviet era,” said Andrei Frolov, editor of the Arms Exports research journal. “The last deliveries of Russian helicopters took place at the start of the 1990s.”
“There is no information about new contracts for the delivery of attack helicopters,” he went on. “This might be a case of the repair or possible modernization of earlier delivered machines.”
The editor of the Moscow Defense journal, Mikhail Barabanov, said the helicopters possibly being repaired in Russia might be Soviet-era “Mi-24 or Mi-17” models. … Full article
For more than a generation, in the last third of the twentieth century, black America was the immovable rock that anchored the left side American political life. Places like Detroit, New Orleans and St. Louis were literally and figuratively where the left lived.
It was a time when civil rights organizations and African American politicians could reasonably be expected to object, to protest, to publicly resist blatant crimes against their constituents on the part of governments and corporations. But by the turn of the 21st century, corporations had begun to finance the rise of a new class of elite black political leaders, politicians like Atlanta’s Kasim Reed and Shirley Franklin, Philadelphia’s Michael Nutter, and Newark’s Corey Booker, and of course President Barack Obama. At the same time, those corporations became the major funders of what used to be called civil rights organizations like the Urban League, the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Council.
Except for ceremonial bows and obeisances like Black History Month and pleas to vote for them on election day, Black America’s political leaders are now free from most obligations to black people, and what used to be vigilant, vocal civil rights organizations are silent in the face of corporate crimes like environmental racism against black communities, let alone the wider implications of these crimes for all Americans.
One of the best examples of this is in Georgia, where the Obama administration in 2009 granted Southern Companies $800 million to underwrite the construction of two nuclear reactors next to a pair of leaky existing nukes in a poor, mostly black Georgia town where almost every family has a cancer case or two. But who would raise the cry? The Southern Christian Leadership Council, perhaps, based in nearby Atlanta? No way. The CEO of Southern Companies headed up SCLC’s building fund, raising millions to pay for its Auburn St. headquarters. So SCLC is silent.
Although poor rural black people are the first to pay the price of this atrocity, they won’t be the only ones. Georgia’s Public Service Commission, which is supposed to look out for consumers has allowed the power company to add $10 to $20 per month to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of utility bills to underwrite construction costs of this deadly monstrosity. Even officials of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have noted that the reactor design is similar to those of the ill-fated Fukushima reactors in Japan, and ought to be re-evaluated in the light of that disaster.
This is a textbook example of how the cutting loose of the black political class from black people has affected the entire American polity. The radioactive poisoning of poor black communities alone should have roused SCLC and the black political class to action defending its supposed constituency. If the Bush-Cheney gang had done such a thing, cries of “environmental racism” would ring across the country. But corporate-funded black leaders, who should be the canaries in the coal mine, don’t allow themselves to criticize the corporate-funded black president. So the silence of the black political class enables the theft of hundreds of millions, perhaps billions from ratepayers statewide and permit the construction of the first of a new and hazardous generation nuclear plants that threaten the safety of millions.
Dozens of youth of Nabi Saleh Palestinian village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, opened on Tuesday evening, the main gate that was installed by the army at the entrance of their village; clashes were reported between the residents and Israeli soldiers.
The Palestine News network reported that dozens of youths broke the chains and locks that were sealing the iron gate, and managed to open it despite the Israeli army attempts to prevent them by firing rounds of live ammunition, and gas bombs. Dozens of residents were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation.
The illegally installed gate was placed by the Israeli army closing the main entrance of Nabi Saleh, depriving the residents from using the road, the only paved road that leads to the village, forcing them to use a longer, unpaved bypass road.
Nabi Saleh village is one of several Palestinian villages that hold weekly nonviolent protests against the illegal Annexation Wall and settlements built on privately owned Palestinian lands, preventing the residents from accessing their orchards.
- 5 injured in West Bank demonstrations (alethonews.wordpress.com)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian building of six commercial stores in Beit Hanina town east of occupied Jerusalem at the pretext of unlicensed construction.
Jerusalemite citizens Taleb Idris and Osama Malhi said the IOA had refused to give them a license for the building and ordered them along with the other storekeepers to have their stores knocked down by next July 15, but the Israeli bulldozers surprisingly came on Tuesday to carry out the demolition.
Idris noted that about 22 Jerusalemite families would suffer after their only means of livelihood were destroyed.
“The Zionist authorities aim to throw us out of Jerusalem, and I can find no other explanation why they violated the decision to delay the demolition and did not give us a chance to obtain a license for the building, especially after we have paid all the fines imposed on us by the municipality,” Idris stated on behalf of his fellow storekeepers.
In a related context, the Jerusalem center for social and economic rights warned that Israel intends to carry out a large-scale demolition campaign, in cooperation with the civil unit of its army, throughout the Palestinian neighborhoods and towns of Jerusalem.
The center said in a report that the demolition process that happened on Tuesday in Sala neighborhood in Al-Makbar Mount was the beginning of this campaign.
- Residency Of 240,000 Palestinians Revoked By Israel Since 1967 (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Eviction in Beit Hanina: New site of East Jerusalem settlement (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the country was not in civil war, but was fighting terrorist.syria flag
“Talk of civil war in Syria is not consistent with reality… what is happening in Syria is a war against armed terrorist groups plotting against the future of the Syrian people,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also expressed surprise at statements made the day before by UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous.
It criticized Ladsous for saying on Tuesday that Syria was now in a civil war and said UN officials should remain “neutral, objective and precise.”
“It is the duty of the Syrian authorities to address these crimes and assert control throughout the country,” the ministry said.
Syria “has not descended into civil war, but rather is witnessing a struggle to eradicate… murders, kidnappings and bombings against state institutions and the destruction of public and private property,” it added.
The ministry also reaffirmed Syria’s respect for UN envoy Kofi Annan plan and “its readiness for its implementation.”
- Syria accuses US of supporting terrorists, meddling (alethonews.wordpress.com)
It is ironic that the hard core supporters of Israel among the neoconservatives are hoping for a Republican victory in the fall even though the party that has passionate Israel firsters most deeply embedded continues to be the Democrats. To be sure, Eric Cantor, Republican majority leader in the House and the only Jewish congressman from the GOP, has done some heavy lifting for Benjamin Netanyahu, including advising the Israeli Prime Minister that congress would protect him in any conflict with President Barack Obama. Republican from Florida Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is descended from Sephardic Jews, has also burnished her pro-Israel credentials as chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee while other Republicans from the Bible belt reflexively praise Israel as, one assumes, a tenet of their faith.
But the breadth and depth of outspoken advocates of Israel in the Democratic Party goes far beyond anything the Republicans can muster. Thirteen Jewish Senators are all Democrats as are 26 of the 27 Jewish members of the House. The Democratic National Committee is headed by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz while Steny Hoyer, who is not Jewish, is Minority Whip in the House of Representatives and an outspoken passionate supporter of Israel. Other frequent sponsors of resolutions favoring Israel and condemning Iran and the Palestinians include Howard Berman, Steve Israel, Steve Rothman, Jan Schakowsky, Brad Sherman, Benjamin Cardin, Carl Levin, Frank Lautenberg, Charles Schumer and Joe Lieberman. The late Tom Lantos, often referred to as Israel’s congressman, was also a Democrat. Many of Israel’s friends have characteristically sought and attained powerful positions on committees that deal with foreign and defense policies to enable them to directly influence legislation favorable to Israel.
One would think that more pro-Israel muscle wouldn’t be needed in congress, but yet another prominent Israeli firster is now being groomed for bigger things. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is being promoted by the Democratic Party leadership to make a run for a Senate seat from the State of Nevada currently held by Republican Dean Heller. Berkley’s support of anything and everything Israel does is notable even by congressional standards. She is co-chair of the Israel Allies Caucus (part of the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation) and has been described by the Jewish media as “one of the most hawkish pro-Israel voices in the US House.” She has co-sponsored six resolutions relating to Israel including one “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza” and has been blistering in her condemnation of the several Gaza relief flotillas, which she evidently sees as boatloads of terrorists.
Berkley is also not shy about supporting other special interests. She is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee (an oxymoron if there ever was one) because she allegedly used her influence to block the closure of a kidney transplant facility in Las Vegas, where her doctor husband works. Given that lack of separation between her personal interest and her responsibility as a congresswoman one might have thought that she should have recused herself from the issue, though the scandal is unfortunately probably insufficient to derail her senatorial bid.
Unlike in some other recent congressional races in Illinois and New Jersey where Israel was a focal point, Berkley will no doubt campaign on local issues in Nevada because raising the ethnic card could prove risky. Heller is a Mormon in a state that has many of his co-religionists. But it should be assumed that if Berkley is elected to the Senate her advocacy of Israel and its policies will be a hallmark of her time in office, just as it has been during her time in the House of Representatives.
Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues.
- Congressional Crusade for Israel (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel Lobby Always Believes More Is Better (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- The Israel Lobby Never Sleeps (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Obama assures Orthodox Jewish delegation of his “fidelity” to Israel (alethonews.wordpress.com)