Introduction by Gabi Weber
Paul Larudee, the co-founder of Free Palestine Movement and one of the leading Pro-Palestinian activists in America, posted the following text on Al Awda list. It seems as if BDS has given up on the most essential Palestinian principles.
While BDS was initially defined as opposition to colonisation of all Arab land, the current BDS statement merely opposes only the colonisation of Arab land occupied in 1967.
The following text raises serious questions. Perhaps one of our readers can provide the answers.
It is with great sadness that I must propose withdrawal of al-Awda endorsement from the BDS Campaign led by the BNC until the change in its mission statement has been corrected and until a public explanation is provided for the reasons for the change as well as the procedure by which the change was implemented. A more transparent public explanation of BNC finances is also recommended.
Obviously, this is not a proposal to stop boycott, divestment and sanctions. However, BDS actions and practices do not require endorsement of a particular movement. Everything that undermines the racist Zionist state deserves our support. Nevertheless, under no circumstances can we support any statement or action that legitimates such a state, which is the problem with the BNC-led BDS Campaign.
As I reported on July 10, the original BDS mission statement reads:
“1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall”
In fact, it still reads that way on one part of the website: http://www.bdsmovement.net/call. Unfortunately, that part of the website is historical, and reports what the original mission statement was when it was issued in 2005 (when al-Awda endorsed it), and not what it is today, which is found at http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro, which reads:
“1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall” (emphasis added)
When did this wording change? By what procedure was it amended? Were endorsers like al-Awda consulted or even notified about the change? What was the reason for the change?
1. When did the wording change?
Sorry, but I have no idea about this, and I doubt that anyone else on this list does, either. This is problematic. How can a change of this magnitude be made without the permission of its endorsers? How can endorsers be made to say something that they never endorsed? This is deception at its worst.
2. By what procedure was the statement amended?
One would think that such a change would require a proposal to and ratification by the governing committee of the BNC. However, there is no evidence that such a procedure was observed. Lacking evidence to the contrary, we must conclude that it was amended unilaterally by someone with control over the website.
3. Were endorsers like al-Awda consulted or even notified about the change?
Again, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it appears that the change in language was introduced in the most surreptitious way possible, so as to avoid notice. One is reminded of the way the British territory of Gibraltar was enlarged by moving the boundary stones at night.
4. What was the reason for the change?
This is the most troubling part of the problem. A clue may be found in the following video, posted by Gilad Atzmon:
Another clue comes from BDS Campaign founder Omar Barghouti’s book, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. In the introduction, Barghouti describes the goal as widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;”> text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;”> “>”ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands [occupied in 1967] and dismantling the wall” (p. 6). On page line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;”> font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;”> “>49, Barghouti says that “BDS calls for ending Israel’s 1967 military occupation of Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and other Arab territories in Lebanon and Syria.”
Obviously, Omar Barghouti is entitled to his views. Perhaps he “is genuinely convinced that the ‘Zionist colonization’ of ‘all Arab Land’ applies only to land invaded in June 1967. However, is he the one behind the unauthorized changes in the BDS mission statement? This is a question that needs to be answered, and I believe that the similarities between his statements and the amendment of the BDS mission statement justify the asking of that question without prejudice to the possibility that a satisfactory explanation might exist. Justice must presume innocence until proven otherwise.
Finally, according to Gilad Atzmon, some Zionist right wing sources name George Soros and his Open Society Institute as helping to fund BDS and some of its member organizations. We know that Soros is a “soft” Zionist and wants to preserve a Jewish state. Is his funding or that of any other funding organizations a reason for the change in the mission statement? A full disclosure of funding sources and amounts, as well as any and all conditions of funding is needed. In addition, the use of those funds, including line item amounts, is needed in order to demonstrate accountability.
I again wish to express my sorrow at bringing these matters to your attention. I hope that my concerns are unjustified. However, I also hope that you will agree that this is an issue that must be addressed.
- Short moving video about Al-Awda’s 10th Annual International Convention & Right of Return (windowintopalestine.blogspot.com)
Some readers will be surprised to know that Erdogan’s regime-change in Damascus policy has nothing to do with AKP’s moral support for the Syrian Sunni majority. It’s based on greed for the Middle Eastern petro-dollars. Since last year, AKP leaders have received huge investment promises from rich regional American puppet rulers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in return for distancing from Iran, Iraq and Syria. On April 29, 2011, Al-Arabiya News reported that Riyadh had promised to invest $600 billion in Turkey’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors in the next 20 years. Turkish companies are looking forward to grab some contracts from Qatar’s $170 billion investment in infrastructure, stadium and hotel projects ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
However, Turkey’s booming economy has failed to maintain AKP’s earlier popularity among its voters. AKP’s knee-jerk foreign policy toward some of Turkey’s Muslim neighbors is costing the party in a big way. The latest poll shows AKP’s popularity among its committed Islamist voters has dipped to its lowest point. The results of an August Andy-Ar survey shows that only 18.3% of respondents said they favored Ankara’s handling of sectarian violence in the Arab world especially in Syria – while 67.1% Turks disapproved AKP’s Syrian policy. The overall AKP support dropped from 49.2% in July to 46.7% in August.
Damascus and several independent think tanks and political analysts have blamed Turkey for running a proxy war on behalf of US-Israel. Bashar Al-Assad in a television speech had blamed Ankara for bloodshed in Syria and ridiculed Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu for proposing UN-backed buffer zones along Turkish-Syrian border.
American political and military strategists have come to the conclusion that American dominance of Middle East is on a rapid decline – leaving the Zionist regime alone to survive in the heart of an anti-Zionist Muslim world. This was the very reason the US State Department gave birth to the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ in 2008. The plan to destabilize the Muslim world was cooked-up during a meeting in New York city by the CIA, Mossad and several Zionist Jewish heads of social networking sites to implement the ‘New Middle East’ project. In July 2012, Gabriel M. Scheinmann, a visiting Fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), admitted that the Zionist entity is in fact the winner of the Arab Spring.
In order to counter Iran’s rise as the regional power , the US pushed Ankara to lead the Arab Sunni Muslim majority against Shia Iran with the help of western poodles like Saudi and Qatar ‘royals’. However, with the election of Dr. Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt, Erdogan’s dream of becoming the leader of Sunni Arab has gone down the drain. Egypt, with the largest Arab population in the region – has always held a strategic position in the region. Last week, Morsi irked Washington by asserting that the bloody confrontation in Syria cannot be resolved without the active participation of Iran – which has been the views of both Russia and China for a long time.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s opposition party, Republican People’s Party (CHP), is very critical of AKP’s Syrian policy. He recently said that the AKP’s policy on Syria “was short-sighted and has already collapsed”.
Some Turkish analysts believe that if Bashar al-Assad is not removed from power by the pro-Israel rebel groups in the next month or so – the AKP will reverse its policy on Syria in order to shore-up its declining vote bank.
- Growing Public Discontent with Turkish Syria Policy (ipsnews.net)
- Turkey’s Syria Conundrum (nationalinterest.org)
- Why Does Turkey Want Regime Change in Syria? (nationalinterest.org)
Much has been said and written about the Oslo Accords and the Geneva initiative. The signatories claim that these much debated documents in principle opened up new possibilities for ‘cooperation’ between what has for so long seemed to be irreconcilable positions.
Yasser Abed Rabbo and Yossi Beilin, the signatories of the Geneva Initiative, for example, believe that “the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the establishment of two-states.” And, in what sounds like a warning, the latter adds that the window for a two-state solution will not be available indefinitely and Israel will be forced to deal with the “demographic threat” imposed on it by the Palestinians in historic Palestine.
This article, on the contrary, maintains that the two-state solution under present conditions denies the possibility of real coexistence based on equality. This is because both the Geneva document and the Oslo accords accept the Zionist consensus and, for the first time in the history of the conflict, seek to legitimize Israel as a Jewish state in historic Palestine.
In both of these documents, therefore, Israel would appear to have been confirmed as the “state of all the Jews” and never “the state of all of its citizens”. The logic of separation implicit in these documents implies some fundamental contradictions and begs certain serious questions.
The Accord and the Initiative have legitimated apartheid. Both documents include a language that is, euphemistically, reminiscent of the series of laws known collectively as the Group Areas Act which forced the relocation of millions of non-white South Africans into racially-specific ghettos. It was created to split racial groups up into different residential areas.
Like in Apartheid South Africa, where the most developed areas were reserved for the white people, and 84 percent of the available land was granted to the same racial group, who made up only 15 percent of the total population, in Palestine even the 22 percent of the historic land on which an ‘independent state’ is supposed to be declared is, according to the Oslo accords, “disputed”.
In the South African case, the 16 percent of remaining land was then occupied by 80 percent of the population. But contrary to the Palestinian case, that was never given legitimacy by the leadership of the indigenous population.
How can you call for the implementation of Security Council resolutions asserting the right of return of the 4.5 million Palestinian refugees to their lands in Israel, and at the same time maintain the exclusively Jewish nature of the state? To be fair, this contradiction also appears in the literature of the Palestinian Resistance Movement. Both Hamas and the PLO also fail to answer this question. Moreover, how does this solution solve the problem of racism and cultural oppression of the marginalized Palestinian citizens of Israel?
Furthermore, is the establishment of an independent state as the solution to the Palestinian problem even possible?
No Israeli position supports full statehood
The argument of Beilin and Abed Rabbo, and even that of the leadership of the PA, is that only negotiations can solve the problem. For ten years negotiations have not moved the Israeli position at all; the Camp David negotiations reached the impasse predicted by both the Palestinian left and the ant-Zionist Israeli left. Ehud Barak’s red lines in 1999, are now very well-known, and Netanyahu’s platform leads to nothing more than a canton for native Palestinians.
Of course Avigdor Lieberman’s advocacy of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine has won him more seats in the Knesset. Add to this the fact that the establishment of a Palestinian state is not mentioned in any of the clauses of the Oslo agreement, thus leaving the matter to be determined by the balance of power in the region. This balance tilts in favor of Israel, which rejects the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, in spite of its recognition of the PLO.
No Israeli party, neither Labor nor Likud, is ready to accept a Palestinian state as the expression of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination as defined by international law.
The Labor Party is prepared to negotiate with the Palestinians in order to give them an advanced form of self-rule that will be called a state, and through which the Palestinians will be enabled to possess certain selected features of ‘independence,’ such as a Palestinian flag, a national anthem, and a police force. Nothing more. This was Barak’s ‘generous’ offer in Camp David.
The Likud Party, on the other hand, is not prepared to give the Palestinians even these semblances of self-rule. Their vision of the future is rather that the Palestinians should be allowed to run their own affairs under strict and binding Israeli control.
Turning the blame
And lately, in a bizarre, ironic twist, Palestinians have been blamed for killing the two-state solution. Right-wing Israeli historian Benny Morris has given up on finding a solution to “the conflict… mainly due to the Palestinians’ consistent rejection of a solution of two states for two peoples.”
This is not unlike saying that blacks of South Africa are to blame for killing the Bantusan system. And they should be punished. “In the end, both sides of the Palestinian movement, the fundamentalists led by Hamas and the secular bloc led by Fatah, are interested in Muslim rule over all of Palestine, with no Jewish state and no partition.” And Palestinian leadership, according to Morris, “has no desire or intention of reaching a solution of two states for two peoples.”
The two- state solution is dead because “the Palestinian leadership and people will not be satisfied with 20 percent of the territory of Palestine. A state composed of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem will not satisfy them,” Morris says.
And when asked about the right of return, Morris claims that it “essentially requires the destruction of the Jewish state… the Palestinian discourse and the Palestinian objectives have not changed, and their actions, i.e. terror…”. It is Palestinians that are to blame because “[the] demonization is not equal on the two sides. In the Israeli education system, in general, there is no demonization of the Arab, [whereas,] there, the Jews are completely demonized. The Palestinian authorities are busy deeply implanting the demonization. The Palestinian people think we can be made extinct. We don’t think that about the Palestinians.”
The problem for Morris is that “[aside] from revenge, the Palestinians have absolute faith in the justice of their side, which derives in part from religious faith. What God commands, and what his interpreters on Earth say that God commands, is the definite truth. While the Jews are much more skeptical about this sort of interpretation, the Palestinians feel that justice is on their side and that God doesn’t want the Holy Land to be shared with another people….”. Edward Said and Frantz Fanon must be turning in their graves.
But facts on the ground tell another story. Settlement activity in the West Bank continues, as does the confiscation of land and the opening of zigzag roads to service the settlements. Notably, the number of Jewish settlers has risen from 193,000, when the Oslo Accords were signed, to 600,000. No Israeli government has ever been willing to commit itself to the complete evacuation of settlers from the West Bank.
Yet this is a basic pre-condition for the creation of an ‘independent Palestinian state’ impossible in light of Israel’s commitment to the settlers. In order to guarantee the security of the settlements and ensure their future development, Israel is bound to control the greater part of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, in any future contingency it is certain that Israel will invoke its security needs to justify tightening its control over the Jordan Valley, thus, again, rendering the project of an independent Palestinian state impossible.
Jerusalem has suffered and is still suffering from the continuation of settlement activity, the building and expansion of Jewish neighborhoods, the confiscation of Jerusalem IDs, ethnic cleansing, and the policy of ‘facts on the ground’ which leave no room for future Palestinian control over the city.
In addition, Palestinian refugees living outside the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are experiencing increasing difficulties especially in places like Lebanon and Syria, and are waiting for the day to return to Palestine and to be compensated for their confiscated property. This is a right guaranteed by UN resolution 194.
Meanwhile the Palestinian community in Israel is prevented from coexisting on an equal footing with Israeli Jews. Israel’s state policy against its Palestinian citizens amounts to Apartheid as defined by the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, and ratified by United Nations General Assembly resolution 3068 (XXVIII) of 30 November 1973. Needless to say, the PA does not represent either of those two large segments of the Palestinian people.
Defending a two-state solution is, therefore, an insult to the memory of those who fought for equality and justice not only in Palestine, but also in the American South and South Africa.
Thus we come to the inevitable conclusion that a sovereign, independent Palestinian state is, for the reasons mentioned above, unattainable. The question, therefore, is whether there is an alternative solution?
One alternative increasingly to be found in the writings and pronouncements of certain Palestinian intellectuals and activists is the idea of a secular-democratic state in Mandate Palestine in which all citizens are treated equally regardless of their religion, race or sex.
A secular, democratic state is one inhabited by its citizens and governed on the basis of equality and parity both between the individuals as citizens and between groups which have cultural identities. Inherent in such an arrangement is the condition that the groups living there are enabled to coexist and to develop on an equal basis.
This is summed up in Nelson Mandela’s last words at the end of his four hour statement to the court at the Rivonia Trial: “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
This system is proposed here as a long-term solution that will need much nurturing, following the political demise of the project of an ‘independent Palestinian state’ as a result of the Oslo Accords, the siege of the Gaza Strip, and the occupation of the West Bank. The establishment of four Bantusans in South Africa was considered by the International Community to constitute a racist solution that could not and should not be entertained.
In order to bring that inhumane solution to an end, the Apartheid regime was boycotted academically, culturally, diplomatically and economically until it succumbed and crumbled into pieces. Nothing remains of the old ethnically cleansed South Africa or the impoverished Bantusans it had created; not the red carpets, nor the national anthems, or the security apparatuses.
This is what racist solutions come to; a corner in the dustbin of history — a museum for the gaze of new generations.
Haidar Eid is an independent political commentator and professor in the department of English literature at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza.
- The Lede Blog: Mitt Romney’s No-State Solution (thelede.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Palestinians need a one-state solution | Ghada Karmi (guardian.co.uk)
- notes on Palestine’s preventable water and food crises (altahrir.wordpress.com)
The attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya dealt a huge blow to US intelligence operations because CIA agents and contractors were among the Americans evacuated afterward, the New York Times reported late Sunday.
The CIA’s intelligence targets in unstable Libya included an Islamist militia that some have blamed for the September 11 attack in the eastern city of Benghazi and suspected members of al-Qaeda’s North African affiliate, the paper said.
More than two dozen Americans were rushed out of Libya after the attack that killed ambassador Chris Stevens, three other Americans and 10 Libyan security officers.
They included about a dozen CIA operatives and contractors monitoring a variety of armed groups in the city, the paper reported.
“It is a catastrophic intelligence loss,” it quoted an American official who has served in Libya as saying. “We got our eyes poked out.”
However, the paper quoted another official as saying the United States was still collecting information via other techniques such as informants, intercepting mobile phone conversations and use of satellite images.
“The United States isn’t close to being blind in Benghazi and eastern Libya,” the second official said.
The paper also said that contrary to initial accounts, a consulate annex that was also attacked was never meant to be a “safe house” for the CIA.
Last week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced an official review of security at the US mission in Libya.
President Barack Obama’s administration initially said it believed extremists had not really planned the attack in Libya but simply taken advantage of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islamic trailer to mix in and attack.
The White House for the first time Thursday described the assault as a “terrorist attack” and said it could have links to al-Qaeda.
But a Republican lawmaker, Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, cast doubt Sunday over whether the protests even happened.
- Libya lawmaker says Benghazi attack planned (alethonews.wordpress.com)
A senior Hamas official has confirmed that the group’s leader, Khaled Mashaal, will not be seeking re-election. Mashaal will, however, remain a member of the Islamist party.
Mashaal, who has led Hamas from various Arab capitals since 1996, told a meeting of senior officials in Cairo last week that he had no desire to remain its chief and that his decision not to run in the election was final, a diplomatic source told the Jerusalem Post earlier Sunday.
“When Mashaal said he was not seeking re-election, a message was sent to him from the movement’s leaders, unanimously asking him to change his mind,” senior Hamas official Salal Bardawil told Ma’an news agency.
The diplomatic source told the Jerusalem Post that Mashaal was tired of policy changes from the group’s leadership.
“Mashaal has grown impatient with some of his Gaza officials who recently tried to undermine decisions he took on behalf of the group,” the source said.
The leader angered Hamas’ leadership earlier this year when he agreed that its main rival, the Fatah movement, could lead any future unity government.
Mashaal has made no public comment on his future leadership or on the Cairo meeting.
The announcement comes after reports earlier this year that Mashaal will not seek re-election.
Khaled Mahaal has been the head of Hamas’s political bureau since 1996, after his predecessor, Mousa Abu Marzook, was arrested in the United States and imprisoned there for two years on suspicion of terrorism.
Mashaal was known as a vocal critic of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, often refusing to follow directives issued by the PA regarding ceasefires with Israel.
In 1997, the Hamas leader became the target of an assassination attempt by the Israeli intelligence service. Mossad agents posing as Canadian tourists injected him with poison on a street in Amman, Jordan. They were later captured by Jordanian authorities. Jordanian King Hussein demanded that Israel hand over the antidote to save Mashaal, who was in a coma. Under growing political pressure and with US President Bill Clinton’s intervention, Israel did so, and its agents were released.
In 1999, Mashaal was expelled from Jordan, with authorities accusing him of illegal activities. He later moved to Damascus, where he stayed until the Syrian civil war intensified, forcing him to move to Qatar.
The date of the election of the next Hamas leader remains secret. Ismail Haniyeh, the group’s leader in the Gaza Strip, and Moussa Abu Marzouk, who headed Hamas in the early 1990s, were the top candidates to replace Mashaal, a source told Reuters.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — A UN report said that the occupation authority is continuing their attacks on Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the current year.
The report issued by UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Palestinian territories OCHA revealed that the occupation has razed 465 Palestinian structures in the West Bank, including 136 houses, since the beginning of 2012, at the rate of 13 buildings per week compared to 12 buildings per week during the previous year.
According to the report, 676 Palestinians were displaced and rendered homeless as a result of these demolitions.
OCHA also reported that the occupation forces issued an order to seize six dunums of land in the village of Khader in the city of Bethlehem, South of the West Bank under the pretext that the land belongs to the occupation, and confiscated also 200 square meters of Palestinian land located near the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil city.
The UN organization’s weekly report added that the Israeli occupation forces handed over a new military order to confiscate 647 dunums of land belonging to eighty Palestinian families in the villages of Awarta and Burin in Nablus.
The Israeli army has ordered two weeks ago a halt to construction and repair works on 17 Palestinian structures in Khirbet Irza, located near a closed military zone in Tubas.
According to OCHA’s report, since 1967 the occupation army announced the allocation of nearly1 8 per cent of the occupied West Bank’s land for the establishment of closed military zones used for training its troops, which resulted in dramatically reducing the area of land available for housing for Palestinians.
- Report: occupation plans to expand over forty settlements in West Bank (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Israeli War against Palestinian Children (intifada-palestine.com)
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave USAID until October 1 to shut its doors in Moscow. This is an excellent decision by the Russian Government. And Washington’s immediate and virulent reaction only confirms that Russia is right on target.
The New York Times next morning on the front page cited American officials who “quickly pledged to maneuver around the Kremlin.” Even before the public announcement, on Tuesday 18 September, US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul and USAID leadership met with their Russian partners.
Grigory Melkonyants, deputy head of the Golos Association – one of the top recipients of USAID funding – confirmed after the meeting that the agency is “not going to leave Russia completely” and they are “brainstorming” about how to reorganize. In the meantime, Ambassador McFaul announced that “it will take at least a year” for USAID to exit Russia, according to Bloomberg News.
Brainstorming on how circumvent the Russian government’s decision – instead of how to pack up faster – is only one more demonstration of Washington’s utter disrespect for another country’s sovereignty. Indeed, there are a number of ways in which USAID can maneuver around its predicament.
Funding can be channeled directly from USAID headquarters in Washington to its Russian beneficiaries – no need to go through a Moscow office.
USAID funding can be redirected through a great number of other US institutions, beginning with the National Endowment for Democracy and its four mandated institutes; private funds such as MacArthur, Soros’s Open Society Institute, or Freedom House; universities’ Russia programs, etc.
To hide the American connection, USAID can channel funding through their partners in Ukraine, Poland or Georgia – for their very active operations in the Caucuses; in this case the money entering Russia will be Ukrainian, Polish or, God forbid, Saakashvili’s.
In October last year, USAID signed an agreement with Cisco Systems on joint 50/50 funding of Cisco Networking Academies for Public Service Program. Cisco and other major US corporations may continue running USAID programs.
A year ago Michael McFaul announced an initiative to create a new US$50 million fund, essentially an endowment for a private foundation established under Russian law for Russian civil society groups.
Washington may use any combination of these and other possibilities. One way to put an end to USAID activities in Russia is not only to close their Moscow office, but to insist on shutting down all USAID programs and funding for Russia. This is American taxpayers’ money – give it back to the American people, use it to help them pay mortgages instead of throwing families out of their homes.
Obviously, USAID cannot be allowed to stay in Moscow beyond the set date. This delay will only serve to build up additional infrastructure – people and organizations – to run operations remotely.
The main lament of the Western press has been about how hard USAID closure will hit the sick, disabled, mothers, newborns and other children that the agency helps. Well, let’s take a look at USAID leadership to see how well they are suited for healthcare services.
Director of USAID/Russia Charles North, according to its official biography is “a 2004 graduate of the National War College, with an MS Degree in National Security Strategy.”
Earlier North served as Senior Deputy Director of USAID’s Afghanistan and Pakistan Task Force, and helped launch a presidential initiative to support Mexico and Central America in battling organized crime and drug trafficking.
In Washington, Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia until last year was Douglas Menarchik: a 26-year career US Air Force officer, Vietnam veteran with 211 combat missions, assistant for terrorism policy at the Pentagon, where he developed the Defense Department’s Strategic Plan for Combating Terrorism, military advisor to the vice-president of the United States with a portfolio including terrorism and low intensity conflict. Earlier Menarchik was instructor at the Air Force Special Operations School, teaching combating terrorism and counter insurgency.
But that’s not all. If you check Charles North’s bio on USAID site, you will see a new “updated” version that excludes his National War College stint. However, a cached copy of his true biography is still available – and this snapshot shows the page as it appeared on September 14, 2012. Someone was cleaning house a few days before the public announcement.
Enough tales about healthcare dispensed by US military and national security cadre. USAID – out. Russia must take care of its own civil society, ill and disabled by itself instead of outsourcing it to Washington. Russia’s shutting USAID operations is also an excellent example for any other country where USAID operatives still work on “winning hearts and minds” of the local population.
- Russia shows USAID the door (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Yom Kippur, the Day Atonement, (25/26 September this year), is the holiest day in the Jewish year. On BBC Radio 4’s Thought for Today, Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, explained the significance of the day for Jews. He said, among other things, “We apologize for all the wrongs we’ve done and we seek forgiveness.”
I had the impression from everything he said and the way he said it that his lordship was in no doubt that he was speaking from the top of the moral high ground. Up there his words may sound fine but they are out of touch with one of the most important aspects of reality.
The vast majority of Jews refuse to acknowledge that a terrible wrong was done to the Palestinians by Zionism, the terrible wrong being, and only starting with, the creation in Arab Palestine of a state for Zionist Jews mainly by terrorism and ethnic cleansing; a process which saw upwards of 700,000 Palestinians dispossessed of their land and their rights.
In that light, how can the chief rabbi claim that on the Day of Atonement Jews “apologize for all the wrongs we’ve done”? Either he doesn’t know that a wrong was done to the Palestinians by Zionism, in which case he sees no need for Jews to apologize for it and seek forgiveness; or he knows that a wrong was done but cannot, dare not, say so.
If there is ever to be a peaceful resolution of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, the process to bring it about will have to be kick-started by a significant majority of Jews everywhere acknowledging (1) that a terrible wrong was done to the Palestinians by Zionism in the name of all Jews; and (2) that the wrong must be righted.
In the view of this goy (me), Days of Atonement which ignore the need for Jews to be honest with themselves about Zionism’s crimes in Palestine are nothing but Jewish theater.