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Arundhati Roy: Whither Kashmir – Freedom or Enslavement?

October 24, 2010

Part 1

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Arundhati Roy at a groundbreaking seminar, ‘Azadi: The Only Way,’ organized by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) in New Delhi, India, on October 21st, 2010, asserted that:

[Kashmir] has never been an integral part of India and the Indian government recognised it as a disputed territory and took it to the UN on its own accord. In 1947 we were told that India became a sovereign democracy. But it became a country as per the imagination of its colonizer, and continued to be a colonizer even after the British left the country. Indian state forcibly or deceitfully annexed the North-East, Goa, Junagarh, Telangana, etc… the Indian state has waged a protracted war against the people which it calls its own. Who are the people it has waged war against? The people of North-East, Kashmir, Punjab, etc. This is an upper caste Hindu state waging a continuing struggle against the people.

… a convention of this kind was historic in the capital city of this hollow superpower that is India… The British colonial empire too once considered Indians to be unfit for self-rule. The same argument is being used today by the powers-that-be to deny azadi to Kashmir. It is the same Indian ruling class which once preached non-alignment, but is now bowing before US imperialism and the MNCs [Multi-National Corporations]. We need to continue this exercise of debate, and at the same time be aware that we are up against a serious adversary. We must realize that the bows and arrows in the hands of the adivasis or stones of the Kashmiris alone are not enough. We need to make serious and meaningful alliances. There has to be an alliance between all the struggling people and what will connect them will be the idea of justice. We need to be aware of the fact that not every movement or slogan is for justice.

…many of the stories of atrocities on [Kashmiri Hindu] pundits have been concocted to sow misunderstanding and distrust among people, though what happened to some of them is tragic and unfortunate. Justice is to be fought and upheld for everybody, whether a minority of religion, caste, or nationality. It is not enough to ask for justice if the next person does not have it. People in Kashmir have said that Kashmiri pundits are welcome back, and this is a commendable gesture.

Arundhati acknowledged the resistance of “young people, women, children who are out on the streets facing the brutal Indian army” and crucially mentioned that:

the first great art which the Indian state has mastered is to wait and wait and hope that people’s energies will go down. Killing them is the next. It is up to the people of Kashmir to take their struggle further in solidarity with other people’s movements. At the same time, the people in Nagaland must reflect on themselves why is it that a Naga Battalion is sent to kill people in Kashmir and Chhattisgarh. A direct confrontation with the state is not enough. It is necessary to know one’s enemy and make alliances locally, as well as internationally.

(Please find complete minutes of the seminar here.)

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Video | 2 Comments

Cluster bomb ban gaining ground

Bilal Randeree | Al-Jazeera | 01 Nov 2010

The first comprehensive report into cluster bombs around the world has been released by Cluster Munition Monitor, a civil society-based programme providing research on cluster munitions.

Cluster bombs are a particular menace because they often fail to explode on impact, leaving behind de-facto landmines.

The report, released on Monday, found that seven countries have destroyed their stockpiles.

“Norway, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Colombia, Moldova and Montenegro have destroyed their weapons, and 11 others are in the process of doing so,” Conor Fortune, media officer with the Cluster Munition Coalition, told Al Jazeera.

“The UK is a key country that has destroyed more than a third of its stockpile. It has been one of the biggest users in the last decade, in the Balkans and Iraq, so it is important that they are destroying their stockpile.”

Fortune said that the biggest culprits are the US, Russia, China and Israel: “With the exception of China, all have used cluster munitions in the last decade.”

“The US has only agreed to ban the export on munitions and claim that they will phase out use of the weapons by 2018,” he said.

The report found that of the 16,816 cluster munition casualties confirmed globally through the end of 2009, the vast majority (14,719) were caused by unexploded munitions that failed to detonate during attacks.

Thousands killed

However, the report said that most casualties go unrecorded and it is likely that the actual number of casualties was at least between 58,000 and 85,000.

According to the report, 74 nations currently had stockpiles of cluster bombs and some 23 countries remained contaminated by the deadly weapons.

“Laos is the most heavily affected country in the world and that is one of the reasons why it will host the upcoming Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Fortune said.

The first meeting of more than 100 countries that have signed up to the convention will take place in Vientiane, Laos from November 8, 2010.

“There is real momentum behind the ban on cluster munitions,” Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch, said.

“It is encouraging to see so many countries showing such commitment to eradicating cluster munitions and their severe impact on civilians now and forever.”

Positive signs

Goose, who took part in the talks that brought about the Convention on Cluster Munitions, said that the impressive number of signatories to the ban convention, the short time to bring it into force, and the rush to implement its life-saving provisions are all very positive.

However, according to the report for 2009, casualties have been recorded in at least 27 states and three other areas affected by cluster munitions.

“Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans in Europe are all affected. This is a problem that has resonance in many parts of the world and that is why we are seeing interest from many countries,” Fortune said.

“Things are going more quickly that anybody expected – it is less than two years after the convention opened for signature and countries have already started implementing it and destroying their stockpiles, putting them out of use forever.

“We are very encouraged at the rate that countries have started destroying their weapons, but the work on the cluster munition ban is far from done and we have lots of work to do still.”

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | 1 Comment

Danish party urges Arab TV ban

People’s Party says Al Jazeera and other Arabic channels sow hatred against Western society in immigrant communities

Awad Joumaa | Al-Jazeera | 02 Nov 2010

Pia Kjærsgaard, leader of the far-right Danish People’s Party, is calling for a ban on satellite antennas in residential areas with large immigrant populations in Denmark.

She has since pushed for the national broadcasting authority to prevent Al Jazeera and other Arab satellite channels from broadcasting in Denmark.

Kjærsgaard accuses them of “broadcasting indoctrination from the Middle Eastern world”, and “inoculating the viewers in Denmark to hate Denmark and the West”.

The controversial proposal has so far been met with criticism from the Danish People’s Party’s coalition partners, the liberal and conservative parties.

Although both main parties disagree with the proposed ban, they fundamentally agree with the People’s Party’s claims – as a spokesman for the conservatives put it – that Arab channels “espouse anti-Jewish and anti-Western propaganda”.

But banning Arab channels will give the impression that Denmark is suppressing Arab points of view, the spokesman said.

The current government has relied on Kjærsgaard and the People’s Party for its majority since 2001, when the coalition came to power following campaign laced with anti-immigration rhetoric.

The ruling party’s Kristian Jensen says Denmark should defend freedom of speech, but cautions that there is an opportunity to make a case to the country’s broadcasting authority if the channels break the law.

Conflicting opinions

Kjærsgaard says that the broadcasting authority can move to ban a channel it sees as promoting hatred.

Meanwhile, opposition parties are outraged, describing the People’s Party’s proposal as a “desperate” attempt to maintain its grip on the debate on Muslims and immigrants in Denmark.

The main opposition party, the Social Democrats, thinks that it is “un-Danish” to forbid people from deciding which TV channels they can access.

“We live in Denmark, not in North Korea or China,” the party has said.

Al Jazeera broadcast a documentary in 2009 entitled Confrontation in Copenhagen, which dealt with the racialised debate on crime in Denmark as well as the new anti-immigrant laws, sparking a huge debate in the country.

Calls to strip me, the producer of the piece, of my citizenship were heard on the fringes.

In the lead-up to the film’s screening, headlines such “A Palestinian-Dane produces a dark film that portrays Denmark as a racist country” filled the screens and front pages of many Danish media outlets.

The main two television broadcasters, TV2 and Danish Broadcast Co-operation, as well as all major national news papers, treated the film as second “cartoon crises in making”, referring to the controversy stirred when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.

In the hours before the documentary’s screening, there was a heightened state of alert across Danish embassies in the Arab and Muslim world. As Al Jazeera went on air with the film, Denmark’s main TV channel picked up the telecast live.

Nasser Khader and Fathi al-Abded, two Danish politicians and representatives of the communities, concluded that the film would harm Danish national interests, especially if the “imams” made use of it.

Sober evaluation

The verdict of independent media experts and the Danish ministry of foreign affairs was considerably less alarmist. They judged the film “innocent”, “critical”, “fair and balanced”.

The next day the Danish press reported that no embassy representatives across the Arab and Muslim world had reported any attacks or threats against Danish embassies. The story died down.

Nonetheless, the initial panic was reflective of how the Danish People’s Party, major media outlets and the government have been dealing with any critique of Denmark’s treatment of its Muslim minorities.

However, unlike during the cartoon crisis, the shoe was on the other foot this time around. It was Denmark that was under the spotlight. It was Denmark that was reacting, not so-called outsiders, as we saw during the cartoon crisis.

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia | Comments Off on Danish party urges Arab TV ban

Education in Palestine in world spotlight

The impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinians’ right to education has previously not received enough attention. (Khaleel Reash/MaanImages)
Eva Bartlett | IPS | October 31, 2010

GAZA CITY – The focus on people’s movements in Palestine continues to gain momentum with growing non-violent demonstrations in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, and with a Palestine-wide call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Years of the non-violent demonstrations throughout the occupied West Bank against Israel’s separation wall have finally generated some media interest in the issue of the wall and annexation of Palestinian land. Yet the behind-the- scenes work of Palestinian unions, Palestinian and international BDS groups, video conferences bridging Palestine to the outside world, and the struggle of Palestinian students to access an education continues largely unnoticed by the cameras.

In July, 2010, the United Nations IRIN news reported that roughly 39,000 Palestinian children from Gaza would not have schools to attend, following the destruction or severe damage of some 280 schools and kindergartens during the 2008-2009 Israeli war on Gaza, and the continued inability to repair or rebuild due to the severe Israeli-led siege on Gaza and lack of construction materials.

The UN also reports that 88 percent of UNRWA schools and 82 percent of government schools operate on a shift system as a result, still resulting in serious overcrowding.

On the heels of popular protests against the G-20 summit in Toronto, and branching from the annual World Social Forum (WSF), the first World Education Forum (WEF) in Palestine began Oct. 28 and in regions throughout historic pre-1948 Palestine. From Jaffa to Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Gaza Strip, forums on education and Palestinian culture continued until Oct. 31.

Dubbed ‘Education for Change’, the forums included global points of focus on education – including adult literacy and gender equity in early education – but delved further into Palestine-specific topics: occupation and emancipation; the psychological needs of Palestinian students traumatised by occupation and war; keeping Palestine’s history and culture prominent in educational programmes; the physical and bureaucratic roadblocks to higher education within and outside of Palestine; and the innovative means Palestinians use to educate themselves under six decades of occupation.

“Education is not only a basic human right, one that cannot [be] postponed or neglected during conflict or emergency, but also has a key role to play in protecting and sustaining the lives of children and youths,” says Dr. Mazen Hamada of Gaza’s Al-Azhar University and one of the WEF Gaza organisers. “The effect of siege on Gaza Strip has exceeded the economical, agricultural, heath and environmental levels to reach also the educational sector. The academic achievements of the students at all levels has decreased after the last war on Gaza, and the number of students not attending their classes has increased.”

Hamada notes that the siege’s simple act of banning paper and educational materials needed for schools affects students’ ability to study. He adds, “Because of the siege, many parents are unemployed and are not able to cover the tuition of their children at universities and schools. And university students aren’t able to continue their studies abroad, nor are professors able to participate in international conferences or obtain further training outside.”

The WEF-Palestine, over its four days of forums and events addressed these problems, while reiterating the need to include Palestinian culture and history in curriculum and activities.

“When I was a student, we studied Egyptian history and geography, we never even saw a map of Palestine in school,” says Abu Arab, 30, of his studies in Gaza under Egyptian control. “Palestinian culture wasn’t a part of the education programme then, especially since the Israelis could censor any information they didn’t want studied.”

“Ironically, I learned more about Palestine when I was in prison,” says Abu Basel. “I was imprisoned by the Israelis when I was 16 and hadn’t yet finished high school. Since they kept me for nine years, I had to finish my studies in jail.”

Like many Palestinians, Abu Basel used his time in prison to study from others who had an education. “Some had finished university, some had their Masters, some had studied abroad. We’d study together, like workgroups. We also studied Palestinian history and learned about Zionism.”

Specific to the WEF-Palestine is the problem of access: with all of Palestine’s borders controlled by Israel and Egypt, other means of communication and participation are vital. With group participation from Japan, Canada, Latin America, Africa, and Europe, the WEF-Palestine included video conferences and live streaming on the Internet, as well as interactive workshops, visits to important areas and cultural sessions.

In Gaza, participants joined a popular demonstration in Gaza’s northern Beit Hanoun, as well as meeting fishermen whose livelihoods have been destroyed by the siege and by attacks from Israeli gunboats in Gazan waters.

For farmers living in the buffer zone, the need to enhance education and international understanding is not simply a question of their children’s futures but also of their livelihoods, routinely destroyed by Israeli invasions.

The Garrara elementary school in southeastern Gaza is but one of many schools suffering from multiple problems under siege and under attacks by Israeli soldiers along the border. “We are under one kilometre from the border and the students experience regular firing from Israeli soldiers,” says Umm Mohammed, teacher at the school. “Many of our students have classmates who were killed or injured by these attacks, and that affects their psychological state and ability to study,” she says.

The school itself is still in shambles after the Israeli war on Gaza, and many of the students study in tents year-round.

The WSF a decade ago set out to promote notions of sustainable development, fair trade, and social justice. The WEF-Palestine by virtue of necessity focuses on the urgent educational issues at hand, but likewise harnesses the knowledge of grassroots activists, civil society groups, and educators, citing education as means of resistance, for peace and equality.

Al Azhar’s Dr. Hamada is positive about the outcome. “The WEF is a good opportunity to exchange information and experiences between Palestinians and other international educational organisations towards improving the educational system and teaching methodologies in Palestine,” he says.

As the statement from WEF-Palestine reminds everyone, “Transforming the world and liberating humanity from colonialism, racism and exploitation requires a struggling and educated population. Therefore education is an indispensable tool for liberation.”

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Education in Palestine in world spotlight

UN: Gaza construction materials delayed

Ma’an – 02/11/2010

GAZA CITY — Less than 200 truckloads of food and commercial goods were slated to enter the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, Palestinian liaison officials said.

The goods, crossings official Raed Fattouh said, would be transported via the southernmost crossing Kerem Shalom, and would be transferred into Gaza along with limited amounts of industrial diesel and cooking fuel.

According to reports by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, current import levels – controlled by new terms of siege established by Israel following a global outcry in June – remain less than 40 percent of pre-siege levels.

The latest report on the crossing from the UN body said the import of construction materials, which remain strictly controlled by Israeli officials, and banned, except for projects under international supervision – remains limited.

Projects spearheaded by the UN Relief and Works Agency, the main body charged with the care of Palestinian refugees in the Near East, have been delayed by Israeli border officials, the report said.

Of the 1.7 percent of building projects approved for Gaza, OCHA said, Israeli officials have only allowed a small fraction of the supplies necessary for reconstruction into the coastal enclave.

Citing capacity constraints of the conveyor belt at the northern bulk goods crossing, Karni, the report said only 39 of 226 truckloads of materials requested by UNRWA for the projects, mainly clinics and schools, have entered Gaza.

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on UN: Gaza construction materials delayed

Fayyad Denied Entry To Jerusalem To Dedicate New Schools

Palestinian Prime Minister - Dr. Salaam Fayyad - Wikipedia
Palestinian Prime Minister – Dr. Salaam Fayyad – Wikipedia
By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies – November 02, 2010

Israeli Public Security Ministers, Yitzchak Aharonovitch, issued a decision preventing Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, from entering Jerusalem to dedicate new Palestinian schools in occupied East Jerusalem.

Dr. Fayyad was planning to visit two Arab schools to celebrate their renovation, and also planned to start a new road project in Arab neighborhoods in the city.

The three projects were funded by the Palestinian Authority, while the Israeli government regarded this issue as a “violation of Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem”.

Recently, Shmuel Klein, spokesperson of the “Israeli Legal Forum of the Land of Israel”, complained to Israel’s Public Security Minister and claimed the P.A.’s renovation of the schools in Jerusalem violates Israel’s laws.

But this is not the first time the Palestinian Authority has renovated schools in the occupied part of the city. Last year, the P.A. renovated 15 private schools in several Arab neighborhoods.

Yet, Aharonovitch justified his decision by stating that Palestinian Authority officials must apply for a permit to participate in what he called “political activities in Israeli territory”.

Last year, Israel arrested at least twenty Palestinians during the Palestinian Culture Festival celebrating Jerusalem as the Capital of Arab Culture for 2009. Dozens of Palestinians were wounded in clashes that took place after the police attacked festivities in the city.

The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state; the city was occupied by Israel along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 three-day war.

In 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed a law dubbed “Jerusalem law” which declared Jerusalem “complete and united” as the capital of Israel. Although the law was passed by the Knesset, it never set the boundaries of the city.

The decision was rejected by the International Community, and the United Nations Security Council held a meeting and passed resolution number 478 which declared the Israeli decision as “null and void”.

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | 1 Comment

“A Summer of Fire in Lebanon”; Pellegrini Reveals US Attempt to Join July War

Al Manar | November 2, 2010

United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) commander Alain Pellegrini uncovered a US attempt to penetrate the leadership of UNIFIL during July 2006 war on Lebanon, in order to convert the force into a bridgehead for the intervention of international forces from NATO or the EU, without waiting until the ceasefire.

In a telephone interview with As-Safir newspaper on Tuesday, Pellegrini said “in case of launching a joint operation, I was offered to join American officers. The US had deployed (off the coast of Lebanon) the twenty-fourth marine intervention Unit which is capable to intervene in my operational area and is ready to provide me with reinforcements in case of launching any operation.”

The U.S. offer “to assist UNIFIL”, during the July war, came after meetings in Rome, which considered the possibility of sending international forces, under the flags of the United Nations.

Pellegrini continues his story about the United States, which was likely to militarily intervene in the July war, via NATO, after Israel stumbled in attacking Hezbollah.

“The Western countries, except France, in their consultations in New York, agreed to blame UNIFIL for ineffectiveness and try, in particular, to bring other forces (a multinational force) without the blue berets, sent by the NATO or the European Union, which former US President George Bush would speedily conjoin, without waiting for the ceasefire ,” the General revealed.

Pellegrini also speaks about the Israeli spying and ability to infiltrate the UNIFIL reports about Hezbollah. “We know many of Hezbollah positions, our leadership in New York are aware of their evolution of deployment, so everything is transparent and Israeli agents can get reports from Naqoura,” the UNIFIL commander said.

He proved his word by revealing that “every time I send my semi-annual report to the UNIFIL, attached by details for the leadership of United Nations forces alone, and despite the fact that the report is encrypted, I immediately receive after each report to New York, a letter from the Israeli Army, containing suggestions for writing the report, hoping to amend it!!”

“The information goes to the Israelis either by tapping or at the time it reaches the United Nations in New York,” the General uncovered.

Pellegrini also unveiled that Israel had killed four UNIFIL officers monitoring the truce in Khiyam plain during the July war.

On Thursday, the French general will release his book “Summer of Fire in Lebanon” in which he talks about the July war as he witnessed it from ‘inside’ in Francophone Book Fair in Beirut.

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | Comments Off on “A Summer of Fire in Lebanon”; Pellegrini Reveals US Attempt to Join July War

AUSSIE HERO, TRADES UNIONIST, EXPOSES 9/11 COVER-UP

Listen to an overbearing gatekeeper, Jon Faine, attempt to rubbish the genuine concerns of Australian Trades Union President, Kevin Bracken, in an attempt to stifle any debate about the many anomalies in the official 9/11 story.

Story and Video by Anthony Lawson and John Bursill — Veterans Today October 27, 2010

JOURNALIST TONY LAWSON’S VIDEO

To many, the name Kevin Bracken is a new one as regards 9/11 Truth. The reality is that Kevin has been a champion of the 9/11 Truth cause since 2006 by disseminating information throughout the Victorian Union Movement and the Maritime Workers Union of Australia. He has distributed DVD’s, shown films and shared information regularly with his associates and the people of Melbourne and he achieved motions calling for a new investigation from both the Victorian Trades Hall Council where he is the President and the Victorian branch of the Maritime Union of Australia of which he heads as Secretary. Kevin has also attended numerous conferences on 9/11 and has been the facilitator of such in Melbourne, Australia. Over the years Kevin and I have developed a close working relationship, both striving for the truth 9/11 to come out to bring end to the wars and to get our rights back that have been eroded since 9/11!

This is the motion passed on the 28th of March of 2008 at the VTHC:

“This meeting of the VTHC Executive Council calls for a thorough, independent inquiry into the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11.  The events of that day have been used to start pre-emptive wars ‘that will not end in our lifetime.’  They have been used to attack civil liberties and legal principles that have been the cornerstone of civilized communities.  There is an urgent need to reassess the way we view the world after September 11 and we call for a proper investigation into the events of that day.”

On the 20th of October 2010 Kevin was asked to ring into ABC 774 Mornings with John Faine, although Faine disputes this. This was following an email that was sent to Faine by Kevin questioning 9/11 in the context of Australia’s ongoing support of the Afghanistan occupation. After the recent Australian election it was demanded by the Australian Greens in a “balance of power” deal that the Australian involvement in the Afghan War be debated in Parliament in it’s first sitting. This debate had been going on this week and it was the first time any such debate had happened since 9/11, which is simply outrageous.

This interview by Faine was possibly the most biased ever heard in Australia on radio broadcast by the taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Son of Miriam Faine quoted as saying:
“The day Australia has a Chinese Australian Governor General I would feel more confident of my freedom to live as a Jewish Australian”

Bracken’s questioning the 9/11 events included a torrent of ad hominem slurs and an absolute refusal to discuss any evidence that the events were anything but what we have been told by our governments. A reasonable explanation of what happened, with attached audio, can be found here. The story titled “Trades Hall president Kevin Bracken Stands by his 9/11 Conspiracy” has been reported all around the world and included a poll asking if Kevin’s questions about 9/11 were “reasonable”, which started off running at around 50/50 but has continued to move in his favour. At the time of this writing the poll results are 75% in favour of Bracken.

Kevin has received literally thousands of thank yous from around the world for his brave stance for 9/11 Truth! Standing his ground even after having been directly verbally bashed by the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who said he was “stupid and wrong”, and having seen his own leadership comrades buckle at the knees in the face of unfounded ridicule. Rather than running for cover Kevin, with his chin in the air, has reiterated his position, defying any to debate him on the issue! As usual, all media “presstitutes” have refused, as there is obviously “no debate to have”. It seems that the vast majority of the public disagree and would like to see such a debate but none of the so called “journalists” dare to tread such a path.

Interesting to note that John Faine is now complaining that the ABC has been swamped by 9/11 activists and it may take the ABC many weeks to deal with the massive amount of complaints and comments they have received. Many of these I know to be formal as I have received many courtesy copies of the complaints to the ABC accusing them of breaching their charter and broadcast policy.

The battle for 9/11 Truth is far from over and as long as the fools in power maintain their policy of occupation of Afghanistan they will remain exposed and at risk of criminal prosecution due to the lies of 9/11. Lets hope it comes soon or they realize and stop the bloodshed.

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | 2 Comments

Zionist likens Ali Abunimah to KKK in bid to block debate at university

By Ali Abunimah | November 2, 2010

The Albuquerque Journal reports on the “controversry” over my upcoming talk at the University of New Mexico on 7 November. In perhaps a new low for anti-Palestinian activists, Sam Sokolove, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, which has been leading the campaign of vilification and slander, likens me to the KKK while advocates for racist Zionist apartheid Israel are supposedly the equivalent of the NAACP.

What’s striking is that the Zionists’ smear tactics and vilification have failed. I am really looking forward to being at the University of New Mexico, and we will see if Mr. Sokolove and his colleagues will have the courage of their convictions to show up. I will be more than happy to answer their questions.

Read the full story at the newspaper’s website. Here are a few excerpts:

UNM Jews Upset Over Palestinian Speaker

By James Monteleone, Journal Staff Writer – November 02, 2010

Local Jewish groups are asking two University of New Mexico departments to disassociate themselves from a speech by a Palestinian-American author who they say is anti-Semitic and who could have a “chilling” effect on Jewish students and faculty.

Heads of the American Studies and Peace Studies departments co-hosting the event, however, say that what is “chilling'” is the attempt to stifle academic debate at UNM by confusing criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

[snip]

American Studies Head Alex Lubin, who is Jewish, said he was disappointed that the groups labeled a political conversation hosted on a university campus as anti-Semitism.

” I understood that it was a controversial topic, but it’s particularly chilling, I think, when groups that publicly represent Jews accuse people of being anti-Semites merely for their critique of Israel,” said Lubin.

[snip]

Sam Sokolove, executive director of the Jewish Federation who signed the letter, said Abunimah represents a hate movement that is not interested in dialogue. He compared a Jewish conversation with Abunimah to a debate between the NAACP and the Ku Klux Klan.

[snip]

Abunimah, in an interview with the Journal, said the opposition isn’t a surprise. The letter-writing campaign is an attempt to stop the conversation before it occurs because the debate is one critics don’t win, he said.

“I’m against apartheid in Israel. I’m against discrimination. I’m for equal rights for everyone, I say that every time I speak. … I believe Israeli Jews and Palestinians have a right to live in peace, tranquility and equality, just like Americans do,” he said. “But that’s a very threatening message for people who believe there should be a system where one group of people has more rights than another. I’m assuming that’s why they don’t want me to be there and speak.”

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Deception | Comments Off on Zionist likens Ali Abunimah to KKK in bid to block debate at university

Israeli Official Cancels Trip To England After Threatened With Arrest

Dan Meridor (photo from wikicommons)
Dan Meridor (photo from wikicommons)
By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News – November 01, 2010

After being notified by the British Foreign Ministry that he could face arrest upon his arrival in England, Israeli Cabinet Minister Dan Meridor decided to cancel his trip. The charges stem from Meridor’s role in the May 31st Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid ship to Gaza, during which nine aid workers were killed by Israeli troops.

Meridor is the Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, and attended a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu several days before the attack on the aid ship, according to the testimony of Netanyahu during an official inquiry. During that meeting, Meridor and 7 other ministers allegedly discussed the aid ship and the planned Israeli response to it.

The exact content of the meeting is unknown, as the Israeli government has refused to make the transcripts public, but it is believed that the potential for a military attack on the ship was discussed.

Israel has refused to participate in an international investigation into the attack on the aid ship, and has refused to release the contents of the hundreds of laptops, cameras, videos and recorders owned by the aid workers and confiscated by the Israeli military during the attack. They have, however, released a few snips of heavily-edited video to the media – some of which was discovered to have been doctored by the Israeli authorities.

Israeli officials have come under increasing pressure worldwide due to their treatment of the Palestinians, including the three year long siege on the people of Gaza, during which they have prevented the entry of all but the most basic goods – even preventing the population from rebuilding after a devastating Israeli invasion last year that lasted three weeks and resulted in the deaths of 1400 Palestinians and 5 Israelis.

November 2, 2010 Posted by | War Crimes | 1 Comment

State-sanctioned torture in Israeli detention

Ma’an – 02/11/2010

RAMALLAH — PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe released new information Monday revealing cases of child torture under Israeli interrogation.

The announcement came one day ahead of the release of an Israeli rights group document charging Israel with “state sanctioned ill-treatment of interrogees” in at least one detention facility in Petah Tikva, in central Israel.

Qaraqe outlined the case of 13-year-old sixth graders Muhammad Tare Abdul Latif Mukhaimar, and Muhammad Nasser Ali Radwan from the central West Bank town of Beit Ur At-Tahta. Both were detained by Israeli forces in July, he said, and related their stories of torture to officials.

Mukhaimar and Radwan said they were taken by Israeli border guards patrolling sections of Highway 443, a previously settler-only road which was installed with additional checkpoints when an Israeli court decision mandated that it be opened for Palestinian use. When he was forced into a patrol car, Mukhaimar said he was kicked in the legs and beaten with rifle butts until he fell to the floor. The boy said he was then blindfolded and moved to the detention center.

According to the joint B’Tselem and HaMoked report, testimonies from 121 detainees “indicate a clear pattern of activity by the authorities,” which “constitutes cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.”

Taken to the same detention facility detailed in the report, Mukhaimar said he and Radwan were locked by border guards naked in the facility bathroom and kept there for two days with the air conditioning on.

He was so thirsty, he said, that he and Radwan drank the toilet water. Whenever they became sleepy guards would bang on the door to the room and wake them up, he added.

“The most awful thing that happened, was when the soldiers went to the bathroom, they peed on us and did not use the toilet,” Mukhaimar said, adding that one of the soldiers videotaped the incident.

The two said that after at least 48 hours in the washroom, they were transferred to the Binyamin settlement detention facility, where they were questioned from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. They were then transferred to the Ofer prison for three months then to Remonim prison. They remain in custody pending trial.

Testimonies from the two children were in line with revelations in the report from the rights groups, which said violations against detainees “begin from the moment of their arrest and continue until the detainee’s transfer from the facility.”

According to the collected testimony, “violations include cruel detention conditions in sealed cells, in isolation and disgraceful hygienic conditions, continuous cuffing of detainees’ hands in the interrogation room in a way that makes it impossible for them to move, sleep deprivation, and other methods that harm the detainees physically and mentally.

“Nine percent of the witnesses related that the interrogators used physical violence against them in the interrogation room.”

The report noted that “the use of any one of these means, certainly their combined use, constitutes cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, and in some instances, torture. All are strictly forbidden under international law and Israeli law.”

Qaraqe said the ministry will file a complaint against the Israeli soldiers involved in the torture of Mukhaimar and Radwan, and their ill-treatment was denounced in the Monday cabinet meeting of the Palestinian Authority.

A statement from the cabinet said “the repressive practices and measures by the occupation authorities” against children were in “violation of international law, human rights conventions relating to children.” Ministers called on rights institutions and the UN to “shoulder its legal and humanitarian efforts to protect our children and our prisoners from brutal Israeli practices against them in prisons and detention centers.”

State sanctioned ill-treatment

Findings of the rights group report, however, indicated there was little hope for justice at the Israeli courts.

Since 2001, the report noted, “Palestinians interrogated by ISA agents have filed 645 complaints to the Ministry of Justice regarding the manner in which they were interrogated. Not one of the complaints led to a criminal investigation against the interrogator.”

The rights groups said the continued use of torture and ill-treatment against Palestinian detainees is justified by the state “by claiming the actions are necessary to thwart serious acts of terrorism.”

However, analysts with the groups said “This claim does not warrant violation of the absolute prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” and added that “Israel’s attempts to divert the public debate to what it refers to as the ‘ticking-bomb dilemma’ is artificial.”

Analysts cite the testimonies of detainees like Mukhaimar and Radwan who were not suspected of serious offenses. Some of the witnesses interviewed for the report were accused of acts political or religious in nature, it said, and prison sentences ranged from a few months to two years at most.

“The ill-treatment of the detainees continued after their interrogation ended,” the report continued, “refuting the claim that the means of interrogation chosen were intended to thwart acts of terrorism.”

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | 6 Comments