Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said the United States can establish military bases in Afghanistan after the two sides sign US-Afghan bilateral security agreement.
Karzai made the demand during a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. The Afghan president said the agreement could be reached on condition that the US ensures lasting peace in the country.
“They discussed the joint progress on the bilateral security agreement, border issues and the status of the ongoing peace process,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
“Kerry also affirmed that he and President Karzai remain committed to the same strategy and the same goal of a stable, sovereign Afghanistan, responsible for its own security and able to ensure that it can never again be a safe haven for terrorists,” she added.
Meanwhile, Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi said Washington has confirmed its demands for establishing nine permanent bases in Afghanistan. … Full article
Chicago O’Hare Airport janitors have spent much of the last year battling Mayor Rahm Emanuel over his decision to award a five-year, $99 million janitorial contract for Chicago’s largest airport to a non-union cleaning company, United Maintenance, resulting in approximately 300 layoffs of union janitors in late 2012. The lucrative contract was one of the mayor’s numerous anti-labor moves since taking office in 2011.
But United Maintenance may not be non-union for long. On Tuesday, current workers and union staff announced that 70 percent of the roughly 300 new employees at United Maintenance have signed cards in favor of joiningSEIU Local 1–the same union that represented the laid-off janitors. Now, organizers are demanding the company recognize the workers’ choice.
Flanked by members of the city’s new Progressive Caucus, which has begun to tepidly show signs of independence from Mayor Emanuel, workers and union staff announced their demand inside city hall yesterday.
“$11.90 [per hour] isn’t enough to pay the bills and raise a family,” said Matthew Bledson, a janitor who began working at O’Hare when United Maintenance came in.
The union says that the new contractor not only refused to rehire all but a small minority of the 300 unionized workers employed by its predecessor, Scrub, Inc., but also offered much poorer pay and benefits. “This decision was made in order to lower wages by 30 percent,” said Laura Garza, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1 during the press conference. … Full article
Press TV – May 19, 2013
A court in Spain has formally charged 22 Spanish riot police officers with causing serious harm to a man when they fired rubber bullets at protesters in Barcelona.
Judge Josep Majo, who is leading the investigation, has filed charges of grievous bodily harm against the officers, who are accused of injuring the man during a general strike on March 29, 2012.
Judicial sources say the protester was forced to have his arm amputated as a consequence of the shooting incident.
During the general strike of March 2012, police fired rubber bullets at the crowd, causing at least five people to be hospitalized.
According to reports, two of the protesters lost an eye, two others were treated for injuries to their arms and a fifth reported rib fractures and a perforated lung. … continue
UPDATE: Zleikha was released from custody at around midnight, on the condition that she reports back to the police station today.
During Zleikha’s interrogation, an Israeli settler was brought by the Police and asked, ‘is this the woman who threw stones at you?’ to which she replied ‘yes’. This fundamentally flawed method of identification further illustrates how far removed the Israeli military is from any credible system of justice. … continue
BEIRUT — Hamas Politburo member Izzat al-Risheq denied New York authorities’ claims concerning the arrest of 15 elements affiliated with the Hamas movement for smuggling untaxed cigarettes.
These allegations are failed attempts to tarnish the Palestinian people’s struggle and just cause, he said on Friday.
New York authorities claimed on Thursday the arrest of 15 Palestinians for smuggling untaxed cigarettes, pointing out that some of them are affiliated with the Hamas movement and another “extremist” group. … Full article
BETHLEHEM – Picnickers in northern Israel were surprised Thursday when they saw anti-Arab racist slogans printed on T-shirts of a guide affiliated to a religious youth movement Ezra.
“Torching Arabs for education,” was written on the guide’s shirt, families who were picnicking in the north told the Israeli daily Maariv.
Maariv reported that it was not the first time such slogans were seen on T-shirts. A witness told the newspaper that he saw “death to Arabs” written on T-shirts wore by guides affiliated to the same movement.
RAMALLAH – Settlers from Beit El on Saturday evening threw a Molotov cocktail toward Palestinian vehicles on the Ramallah-Nablus road and near al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah.
The settlers threw Molotovs toward more than one Palestinian car, and even toward passers-by.
A Palestinian car completely burned due to a Molotov cocktail. No injuries were recorded. The driver of the car was able to escape without incident.
Press TV – May 19, 2013
Israeli President Shimon Peres says no “compromise” should be made with Iran in the course of the negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of world powers.
At a Friday meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle – whose country is a member of the P5+1 – in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), Peres once again accused Iran of building a nuclear weapon and called for the escalation of pressure against the Islamic Republic in the run-up to the country’s presidential election on June 14. … continue
By Peter Jenkins | LobeLog | May 17, 2013
Listening, on 15 April, to the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on US policy towards Iran put me in mind of the inscription Dante imagined over the entrance to Hell: “Abandon hope all you who enter here”.
There seemed no notion among members of the committee that territories beyond the borders of the United States of America are not subject to US jurisdiction – still less that reasoned persuasion and reciprocity can be more effective tools for achieving US foreign policy goals than sanctions (how the good Congressmen love sanctions!) and the infliction of pain.
Wendy Sherman, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs who heads the U.S. delegation in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran, must have come away from that hearing with the feeling that she has an impossible task. Congress will howl if the administration makes the slightest concession to secure Iranian agreement to non-proliferation assurances and restrictions on nuclear activities. Yet if Iran is offered nothing in return for measures it deems to be voluntary, because they lie beyond the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it will continue to defy the US and its allies. … continue
Syrian President Bashar Assad has welcomed the proposed peace talks for Syria agreed by Russia and the US, but voiced his skepticism about their prospects for success, saying that many forces don’t really want to see a solution.
Speaking to Argentine newspaper Clarin and Telam news agency in Damascus, Assad said that “believing that a political conference will stop terrorism on the ground is unreal.” [...]
“We welcome the Russian-US rapprochement and hope that an international meeting will take place to help the Syrians overcome the crisis ,” he said. “But we don’t think that a lot of Western nations really want to see a solution in Syria. And we don’t think that those many forces that help the terrorists want a solution to the crisis.” … Full article
By Dr. Kevin Barrett | Press TV | May 19, 2013
The USA, once one of the most free countries on earth, is no longer free. It is rapidly becoming a militarized gulag society – a giant open air prison.”
Nearly 1,000 American military bases occupy every corner of the planet. US troops have killed more than a million people in various countries during the past decade. Officially, this is all being done in the name of “freedom.”
Yet the USA, once one of the most free countries on earth, is no longer free. It is rapidly becoming a militarized gulag society – a giant open air prison.
The faster Americans lose their freedom, the louder their leaders chant empty, Orwellian freedom slogans. And the loudest and most Orwellian symbol of American unfreedom is the new World Trade Center skyscraper officially named the Freedom Tower, which might more appropriately be called the Unfreedom Tower.
Appropriately enough, the new Unfreedom Tower will be surrounded by $40 million dollars worth of “security infrastructure” including bollards, dual-barricades, street barriers and 11-foot-tall security booths. New York Business Journal lamented the situation in its recent headline: “World Trade Center or armed camp?” According to the New York Times, Lower Manhattan will become “a fortresslike environment” featuring “a fortified palisade of guard booths, vehicle barricades and sidewalk barriers.” New York Magazine quoted one of the planners: “You have these checkpoints that make it look more like an armed camp or a gated community.”
Or an Israeli-occupied territory. … continue
By Lawrence Wittner | May 17, 2013
Although many Americans believe their universities are places where administrators and faculty members coexist on a fairly equal basis, the reality is that this is far from the case.
According to recent surveys by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 35 private university presidents and 4 public university presidents topped $1 million in total earnings during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Among the public university presidents, Graham Spanier of Pennsylvania State University received $2.9 million for that year, followed by Jay Gogue of Auburn University ($2.5 million), E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University ($1.9 million), and Alan Merten of George Mason University ($1.9 million). Overall, the presidents of public universities — the poor relations of their private university counterparts — had a median annual total compensation of $441,392.
This very substantial income does not include many additional perks. According to the New York Times, President Gee is known for “the lavish lifestyle his job supports, including a rent-free mansion with an elevator, a pool and a tennis court and flights on private jets.” … continue
Investigators have discovered a half-inch long crack around a nozzle on one of the tanks of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant, and have attributed the crack to the water leakage that spilled radioactive water into Lake Michigan on May 5. [...]
This month’s incident marks the second time the injection and refueling tank leaked, and caused the ninth shutdown of the plant since September 2011. Since 2012, the plant shut down six times as a result of leaks. … Full article
Pro-Palestine activists are to march on the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) annual congress in London, demanding relocation of upcoming European under-21s championships in Israel.
In a press release on its official website on Tuesady, the Innovative Minds (inminds) campaign group said British activists are expected to take part in the march starting from St. Pancras railway station to Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Friday May 24, when delegates from UEFA’s 53 full member associations are due to gather in the UK’s capital.
The protesters will demand the governing body of football in Europe not hold the European Under-21 championships in Israel on June 5-18 and kick the apartheid regime of Israel out of UEFA.
They will also call for the immediate release of the Palestinian footballers Mohammed Sadi Nimer and Omar Abu Roweis who are kept in Israeli prisons.
Both footballers, who were abducted by Israeli forces in February 2012 raids on their homes, have been tortured at the regime’s interrogation centers.
Mahmoud Sarsak, another young footballer from Rafah refugee camp in Gaza, who had played professionally for the Palestine National Football Team, was incarcerated in Israel for three years without charge or trial.
Upon his release in July 2012 after a three-month hunger strike, he called for a sports boycott of Israel, saying, “I call on all those who spoke out for my release and the release of the Palestinian hunger strikers, to once again show their commitment to justice and equality by insisting that UEFA move their competitions away from Israel.”
By Dr. Daud Abdullah | MEMO | May 17, 2013
Inevitably, the 65th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba – Catastrophe – was overshadowed by calls to exercise refugees’ right of return. Although the vast majority of Palestinians live in forced exile and the focus tends to dwell on their plight, there are now an estimated 370,000 ‘internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) within the Israeli state. They are also denied the right to return to their homes and villages. No Nakba anniversary can pass without remembering them.
Unlike their compatriots in the wider Diaspora, the displaced Palestinians in Israel enjoy little international assistance and far less protection. Ever since the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) stopped providing services for them in 1952, they have remained refugees in their own land and second-class citizens in the state established around them.
From the very first, Israel never intended to accord equal rights to the 150,000 Palestinians who remained on their land as 750,000 of their compatriots were being driven into exile, despite an undertaking given in its ‘declaration of independence’ to ‘uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion, race or sex’. The Palestinians have always been regarded as a ‘fifth column’ and a threat to the security of the state. As such, they were subjected to military rule from 1948 until 1966.
Under Israeli law, the IDPs are present in so far as they are obliged to pay taxes but absent in terms of their rights to employment, health care, water and education. They were assigned the absurd legal designation, unique to Israel, of ‘present-absentees’. … continue
By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | May 18, 2013
A new report published in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz describes the information found in a newly-uncovered document in the government archives, which reveals that the first Israeli government, including the first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, worked to re-write the history of Israel’s founding in 1948 to deny the fact that over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled. … continue
Al-Akhbar | May 18, 2013
Israeli troops shot and wounded nine Palestinians near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday night, and injured two others north of Hebron, security officials and medics said.
Palestinian security officials said that Palestinians from the Jalazoun refugee camp, near Ramallah, were hurling stones at Israeli motorists near an illegal Jewish settlement before coming under fire from soldiers.
They said that six of the injured were sent home after receiving first aid at a Palestinian hospital and three were kept in, although none of them was in life-threatening condition.
An army spokeswoman said that troops opened fire with 0.22 ammunition after tear gas and rubber bullets failed to disperse the crowd of about 50 people engaged in “a violent disturbance.”
Earlier in the day, troops fired tear gas at Palestinians demonstrating against the confiscation of land by Israel in the nearby village of Deir Jarir.
On Saturday the Israeli army used road blocks to shut the main road connecting Deir Jarir and other villages with Ramallah near the location of the attack, according to the head of the village council Imad Alawi.
Alawi told Wafa news agency that the road is the only direct passage to Ramallah for seven villages in the area. Its closure means Palestinians traveling to Ramallah must now take an extended route through the notorious Qalandia checkpoint. … continue
Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine – Today Palestinian, international and Israeli activists marched towards a well that was stolen from the village of Nabi Saleh by the establishment of Halamish illegal settlement. As activists walked down the hill towards the well, Israeli soldiers shot tear gas at them which set fire to the ground around them. As they did so , soldiers sang “we wish your whole village would burn down”. Activists were then blocked from reaching the spring by a large group of Israeli soldiers. At the same time, a skunk water truck entered the village spraying several of the homes in the village with the putrid smelling liquid. Eight international and Israeli activists were detained by Israeli soldiers who confiscated their passports. They were released within 30 minutes. Long after the demonstration was over, two Israeli military vehicles and several Border Policemen entered the village and drove slowly around the neighbourhood in a bid to intimidate its residents.
Fox News has published a video allegedly showing Israeli special forces on a mission inside the Syrian soil.
The American news network added that it “captured, for the very first time, Israeli commandos coming back from inside Syria on a mission.”
The report does not specify how or where the film has been captured. But it appears to be near the occupied Golan Heights. Israel has recently boosted military activities in the area.
The video raised some concerning aspects of the Israel regime’s role in the 26-month-old conflict in Syria.
There have been no comments from Israeli officials on the report.
The report came as the Israeli regime has launched three unilateral strikes inside Syria since January. … Full article
By Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle | May 18 2013
Ankara – While all options are said to be still on the table, Barack Obama is clearly backing away from any deeper involvement in Syria now that it is clear that nothing but direct intervention is going to bring down the government in Damascus. In the past few months alone the armed groups have lost thousands of men. Although the conflict will grind on for some time yet, the Syrian military is steadily closing down the insurgency.
The sponsors of this adventure are in complete disarray. Like the Syrian National Council before it, the Syrian National Coalition has imploded. Muadh al Khatib is now a voice from the margins. Ghassan Hittu is the only person in the world who is the prime minister of a committee. These people are a completely lost cause. … continue
The British newspaper Financial Times published an investigation on Friday entitled “Qatar spent billions of dollars in the past two years to fund the Syrian opposition.”
“Qatar has spent about three billion dollars in the past two years to support the opposition in Syria, which far exceeds that provided by any other government. However, Saudi Arabia competes now in leading the bodies providing Syrian opposition with weapons,” the paper said.
“The cost of the Qatari intervention in Syria, which is the latest effort of the oil-rich emirate to support an “Arab revolution,” only represents a very small part of the international investment of Qatar,” it added.
FT indicated that Qatari support for the Syrian opposition, which turned the situation into a devastating civil war, overwhelms the Western support.
The UK daily also noted that during scores of interviews it made with militant opposition leaders at home and abroad, along with senior western and regional officials, everyone stressed the growing role of Qatar in the Syrian crisis, and this has become a controversial issue.
The paper pointed out that “the small state with a huge appetite” is the largest donor of aid to the Syrian political opposition, offering generous grants for dissidents, amounting fifty thousand dollars per year for the dissident and his family, according to some estimates. … Full article
United States President Barack Obama is encouraging Congress to take up a media shield law that was abandoned at the start of his administration, but critics of the bill say it might make it even easier for journalists to be subpoenaed by the government. … Full article
Jorge Rafael Videla, ex-military dictator and de facto president of Argentina from 1976 to 1981, died early this morning in a penitentiary in Marcos Paz, aged 87. Videla was in permanent custody serving several life sentences for crimes against humanity committed during his command of the last military government.
Videla died around 6.30am this morning of a natural death in his cell in Marcos Paz, in the province of Buenos Aires. The doctors determined a cardiac arrest as the cause of his death.
In 2010, Videla was imprisoned for life for crimes against humanity, including his role in the abduction and killing of more than 30,000 people – the so-called disappeared – between 1976 and 1983. On 5th July 2012, a tribunal gave him a further 50-year sentence for the systematic kidnapping of babies from detainees during the dictatorship.
Last Tuesday, Videla had refused to testify before the Federal Court as part of the trial for his involvement in Plan Condor, a joint South American military campaign aimed at violently repressing opposition movements.
Headed by groups such as the Abuelas and Madres de Plaza de Mayo, the investigation into his crimes, and those of the military junta, is ongoing.
Until his death, Videla had denied most charges brought against him.
By Bernie Becker and Peter Schroeder – The Hill – 05/17/13
Acting IRS chief Steven Miller on Friday said he did not believe agency officials did anything illegal when giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Miller, who was forced to resign this week by President Obama, said he didn’t believe the scrutiny was illegal even as he apologized for the IRS’s actions, which have turned into a political storm for the White House.
He also admitted under questioning from House Ways and Means Committee members that facts could emerge that might change whether he thinks anyone in the agency committed a crime, and he said one staffer involved in the extra scrutiny was reassigned and another received counseling.
Facing tense, and at times hostile, questions from GOP lawmakers at the first congressional hearing on the IRS controversy, Miller said the screening process the IRS used was “obnoxious” and called the customer service the agency offered “horrible.” … continue
Last October, senior Obama officials anonymously unveiled to the Washington Post their newly minted “disposition matrix”, a complex computer system that will be used to determine how a terrorist suspect will be “disposed of”: indefinite detention, prosecution in a real court, assassination-by-CIA-drones, etc. Their rationale for why this was needed now, a full 12 years after the 9/11 attack:
Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. . . . That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism.”
Iraq Then, Syria Now?
FAIR | May 15, 2013
During the run-up to the Iraq War, the New York Times amplified erroneous official claims about weapons of mass destruction (FAIR Action Alert, 9/8/06). Looking at the paper’s coverage of allegations of chemical weapons use by Syria, some of the same patterns are clear: an over-reliance on official sources and the downplaying of critical or skeptical analysis of the available intelligence. … continue
Press TV – May 16, 2013
More than 70 countries have refused to say yes to an Arab-backed resolution against Syria at the United Nations General Assembly.
Russia, China and Iran were among the 12 countries that opposed the resolution on Wednesday.
Russia called the resolution, co-sponsored by the United States, “counterproductive and irresponsible.”
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 107-12 with 59 abstentions. Argentina, Brazil, and more than a dozen other Latin American and Caribbean countries abstained from voting.
Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN Alexander Pankin called the resolution “very harmful and destructive,” saying it disregards “illegal actions of the armed opposition.” He also accused the resolution’s Arab sponsors of attempting to replace the Syrian government instead of trying to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria. … continue
JERUSALEM — John Brennan, director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, arrived in Israel late on Thursday on a surprise visit to discuss the situation in Syria, an official Israeli source said.
The CIA chief went straight into a meeting in Tel Aviv with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, the official said.
Private television station Channel 10 said that Yaalon reaffirmed during the talks that Israel “will not permit the transfer of weapons” from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. … Full article
Thursday May 16 2013, a number of extremist Israeli settlers attacked several schoolchildren in Orif village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Local sources reported that the settlers hurled stones at the students as they were leaving their school in the village,
The terrified children ran away, some suffered anxiety attacks, the sources said.
In related news, extremist settlers invaded the Einabous village, south of Nablus, and tried to burn a local school.
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces interrogated two Palestinian children in Jerusalem on Thursday, their father said.
Iyad al-Awar told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided his home and tried to detain his children, 6-year-old Qassam and 5-year-old Nasrallah. Al-Awar prevented the arrest but troops handed him a warrant ordering him to bring his children to the Russian Compound in Jerusalem.
“We arrived to the Russian Compound and the troops wanted to take my kids for investigations, I refused and they beat me in the ear and the leg. My kids started crying and were so scared from the troops. They took my kids by force,” al-Awar said.
Intelligence officers questioned the children about their detained cousin Shadad, and asked if they had seen him throwing stones or Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces, the father said.
“We were released the same night, but my cell phone was confiscated,” he added.
CPTnet | May 16, 2013
On May 12, we arrived at Al Fakheit School where we were met by “Al Jazeera” journalists filming a documentary about the difficulty that children face in getting to school in Occupied Palestine. They told us about one school near East Jerusalem where children have to pass through a sewer pipe to reach their school.
As we were describing similar difficulties faced by children in the South Hebron Hills, and the dangers of living in a live firing zone, the headmaster approached us looking crestfallen. He told us that soldiers had just stopped three teachers as they were driving to Jinba School and told them that the police would arrest them since they were not allowed to be in a closed military area. Police then came and took the teachers into a nearby illegal Israeli settlement and held them for two hours before release. They allowed two teachers to continue on to the school, but made one return home. The police had previously arrested him at a non-violent protest against the firing zone, and said he was not permitted to return to the area. … continue
Press TV | May 16, 2013
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi says the United States’ opposition and lack of commitment to various international disarmament conventions are obstacles to advancing the issue of global disarmament.
Pointing to the US’s 16-year opposition to bringing up the issue of disarmament in the UN Disarmament Conference, Araqchi said, “The US has, for all practical purposes, taken the conference hostage and is hindering its effective performance in advancing international peace and security.”
He said that the US opposition to the protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention, its non-adherence to its commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention to eliminate its arsenal by 2012, and efforts to prevent global denuclearization as well as a nuclear-free Middle East are all part of Washington’s black record of non-compliance with international obligations and disrespect for international mechanisms on global disarmament and security.
Reacting to Washington’s recent decision to boycott the upcoming UN Conference on Disarmament because of its chairmanship by Iran, Araqchi said, “Iran is among the first founders of the [UN] Disarmament Conference, and as an independent country, it has always played an instrumental and constructive role in advancing the objectives of the conference, in particular that of nuclear disarmament.” … continue
By Karl Grossman | May 16, 2013
President Barack Obama got it right and wrong Monday when he stated, “If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions.”
He was right in declaring it was “outrageous” for the IRS to target conservative organizations for tough tax treatment. But he was incorrect in saying “it is contrary to our traditions.”
For the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has for decades gone after organizations and individuals that take stands in conflict with the federal government at the time. This has been a tradition, an outrageous tradition. … continue
By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | May 16 2013
It is an event ‘of cosmic proportions’, said one Palestinian academic, a befitting description regarding Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott an Israeli academic conference slated for next June. It was also a decisive moral call which was communicated on May 8 by Cambridge University, where Hawking is a professor.
Hawking is a world-renowned cosmologist and physicist. His scientific work had the kind of impact that redefined or challenged entire areas of research from the theory of relativity, to quantum mechanics and other fields of study. This towering figure is also wheelchair-bound – suffering from complete physical paralyses caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease. For Hawking, however, such a painful fact seems like a mere side note in the face of his incredible contributions to science, ones that are comparable to only few men and women throughout history.
What is considered a prestigious scientific conference in Israel is hosted by President Shimon Peres, most remembered by Lebanese and Palestinians for ordering the shelling of a United Nations compound near the village of Qana in South Lebanon in 1996. The compound was a safe heaven, where civilians often sought shelter during Israeli strikes. Not that time around, however. 106 innocent people that were mostly children and women were killed and 116 wounded, including UN forces. That harrowing event alone would have sent Peres, then Israel’s prime minister, to serve his remaining years in jail. But of course, Israel is above the law, or so the Israeli government believes and thus it has consistently behaved accordingly in the last 65 years with a price tag of uncountable lives, untold destruction and protracted suffering of entire nations. ... continue
Israel plans to declare legal four unauthorized West Bank settler outposts, a court document showed on Thursday, a day after the 65th anniversary of the Nakba. [...]
In a reply to a Supreme Court petition by the Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now, the government said it had taken steps in recent weeks to authorize retroactively four West Bank outposts built without official permission, which it had previously pledged to at least partially demolish. … Full article
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Extremist rabbi Yisrael Ariel stormed the holy Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Thursday at the head of a group of Jewish settlers.
Jerusalemite sources said that groups of Jewish settlers stormed the Aqsa mosque via the Maghareba gate and strolled inside it under heavy police escort. … Full article
Introduction by Gilad Atzmon | May 16, 2013
Every so often we come across a secular Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist’ who argues that Zionism is not Judaism and vice versa. Interestingly enough, I have just come across an invaluable text that illuminates this question from a rabbinical perspective. Apparently back in 1942, 757 American Rabbis added their names to a public pronouncement titled ‘Zionism an Affirmation of Judaism’. This Rabbinical rally for Zionism was declared at the time “the largest public pronouncement in all Jewish history.”
Today, we tend to believe that world Jewry’s transition towards support for Israel followed the 1967 war though some might argue that already in 1948, American Jews manifested a growing support for Zionism. However, this rabbinical pronouncement proves that as early as 1942, the American Jewish religious establishment was already deeply Zionist. And if this is not enough, the rabbis also regarded Zionism as the ‘implementation’ of Judaism. Seemingly, already then, the peak of World War two, the overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regarded Zionism, not only as fully consistent with Judaism, but as a “logical expression and implementation of it.” … continue
May – 2013
April – 2013