RAMALLAH — The latest hearing on the banishment of three Jerusalem politicians has ended in the Israeli Supreme Court without a ruling being made.
The court has yet to set a date for the ruling, but one is expected to be issued in a few months due to legal complications enveloping the case, sources from the defense have told the PIC.
The Israeli Public Prosecutor will follow through in defending the interior ministry’s revocation of the men’s right to residency in Jerusalem under an Israeli allegiance law, the source, Att. Fadi al-Qawasimi, said.
Qawasimi added the body defending the former PA minister and two Palestinian legislators held that the law does not allow for revoking residency over participation in Israel-sanctioned elections held in 2006.
They said it only applies to those who have left the city and resided elsewhere for more than three years.
The defense also presented international treaties undersigned by Israel that disallow any country to strip one of its nationals the right of residency. It also produced agreements that Israel signed with the PA implying the right to hold local, legislative, and presidential elections in Jerusalem, as the city was chartered as an occupied Palestinian territory.
Qawasimi added that the court asked the defense not to base its case on international and PA-Israeli agreements, but rather to focus on the case according to Israeli law.
After 2006 elections gave Hamas political dominance in Palestine, the Israeli interior minister issued orders banishing from Jerusalem Khalid Abu Arafeh, the PA’s former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, as well as Mohammed Abu Teir, Mohammed Totah, and Ahmed Attoun, all members of the Palestinian legislative council.
BETHLEHEM — Israeli bulldozers began plowing through ”vast” Palestinian farmlands and uprooting olive trees to pave the way for an extension of the apartheid wall in Al-Walaja village in western Bethlehem province early Tuesday morning.
Tensions envelop the village as Israeli soldiers have suppressed locals, reporters, and dozens of outside supporters who emerged to help stop the operation, locals said.
Protests managed to foil the operation for a few hours until heavy back-up arrived at the scene.
Locals said over sixty olive and pine trees were torn down in the excavations.
Palestinian sources reported spotting Israeli forces closing off one area of the village after attacking reporters covering the incident and activists from Spain who arrived to support the locals.
Elsewhere, an Israeli planning committee has notified locals in the Malih area of northern Jordan Valley that it would tear down dozens of local structures, including shacks and nomadic tents.
The structures were built allegedly without permits on what the Israeli army has declared a military zone.
The committee officials handed out a total of 35 notices, a local has told our correspondent.
”The occupation (Israel) aims at evacuating the Jordan Valley of its indigenous population for the sake of expanding settlements in the area,” said local activist Mohammed Daraghema.
The U.S. government has strongly denounced the recent massacre by a right-wing extremist in Norway, which killed at least 76 people. But at the same time, sectors of the U.S. government have paid an anti-Muslim activist who helped fuel Anders Behring Breivik’s twisted ideology. Breivik has admitted to being behind the massacre in Norway.
Walid Shoebat, a “terrorism expert” with a dubious background who was paid by the U.S. government to train law enforcement in counterterrorism, is frequently cited in the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, the alleged right-wing terrorist who is accused of killing more than 90 people in Oslo last week. Brevik cites Shoebat more than 15 times.
Brevik cites Shoebat to support his arguments that immigration from Muslim countries threatens the West. “This is why the face of Islamic fundamentalism in the West has a façade that Islam is a peaceful religion,” Brevik cites Shoebat as saying, “Because they are waiting to have more Islamic immigrants, they are waiting to increase in number, waiting to increase their political power.”
Two months ago, Shoebat delivered a keynote address to law enforcement officers attending a South Dakota conference on homeland security. Shoebat was paid $5,000 for the appearance by the South Dakota Office of Homeland Security–the money coming a federal grant administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
At a similar counter-terrorism event held last year in Las Vegas, Shoebat reportedly told the audience that the way to solve the threat of Islamic extremism was to “kill them…including the children.”
Shoebat is one of many anti-Muslim activists from the United States cited in Breivik’s online manifesto. It’s a disturbing reality that Shoebat’s views on Islam are being funded with federal grants and listened to by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. The revelation that Breivik’s manifesto is laced with citations of Shoebat should be a wake-up call to the U.S. government that Shoebat, and others like him, have no place training law enforcement officers, and should certainly not be taking money from U.S. taxpayers.
JTA columnist Ron Kampeas has been a lone voice in sounding the alarm to his Jewish readers:
“Pro-Israel leaders in the United States, Britain and Australia are warily watching the unfolding of the phone-hacking scandal that is threatening to engulf the media empire of Rupert Murdoch.”
The Murdoch scandal has been extensively reported as a telephone hacking police story. Only in the JTA, the Global News Service of the Jewish People, has coverage of the Murdoch News Corp story sounded the traditional Jewish mother’s alarm: “uh oh, this will not be good for the Jewish people”.
Kampeas assumes, correctly I am sure, that his readers do have a strong interest in Murdoch’s “sudden massive reversal of fortune”. They have reason to be alarmed.
Without Daddy Murdoch’s formidable pro-Israel presence, that pesky UN September vote could tilt toward the Palestinians. After that, Israel-Palestinian border negotiations might find a disgraced Murdoch-controlled British government eager to prove its independence. Without Murdoch, Fox News will have lost its most reliable news producer.
Thus far, the Murdoch “hacking scandal” has reached ten former staffers and News Corp executives who have been arrested by British police. They are accused of “hacking into the phones of public figures and a murdered schoolgirl, and paying off the police and journalists.”
These allegations threaten to severely weaken Murdoch’s media empire, an empire the Australian built which now includes The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and The Australian. Murdoch also owns two major tabloids, The Sun in Britain and the New York Post. In the US, Murdoch owns and virtually writes the scripts for the Fox News Channel. Until he recently sold it, Murdoch also owned The Weekly Standard, the neo conservative magazine he created in 1995.
Admirers of Murdoch’s aggressive take-over of news outlets have praised him for revitalizing the news industry. What they overlook is that his “revitalizing” has also lowered the standards of the journalism profession. It is the Murdoch style to view the world through black and white lens, “West good, Muslim East bad”.
For the Murdoch media empire, accuracy is never as important as racist sensationalism. Glenn Greenwald reports in his Salon column this week-end how both the New York Times and the Washington Post incorrectly blamed “Muslim extremists” for the Oslo, Norway, attacks, retaining on line, false racist accusations later shown to be incorrect.
The Post’s Jennifer Rubin cited The Weekly Standard as a source for her false reporting, a dive into the Murdoch pool of sleeze for which the Atlantic’s James Fallows calls her to task.
Before the hacking scandal broke, Murdoch had expanded his empire into the Middle East, choosing, as no surprise, to connect with a Saudi prince Aljazeera recently described as “ the 26th wealthiest person on the planet, as well as the richest man in Saudi Arabia, billionaire Prince Walid bin Talal bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud, a nephew of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia”.
Forbes magazine reports that Prince Walid has a net worth estimated to be at least $19.6bn.
Aljazeera also reports that the Prince is the second largest shareholder (at seven per cent) in News Corp, second only to Murdoch. How close are the two men?
During a recent interview on his yacht with the BBC’s Newsnight, Prince Walid declared himself to be a “good friend” of Rupert Murdoch and his son James, and staunchly defended the men amid the ongoing News Corp scandal.
It is noteworthy that, while Prince Walid is the second largest shareholder in News Corp, Murdoch is also a major shareholder (ten per cent) in Prince Walid’s Rotana Media Group based in the Middle East. As recently as this May, Murdoch’s conglomerate took a significant stake in Prince Walid’s film, TV, and music business, a move that deepened the financial relationship between the two men.
The Saudi connection, however, will be of little help in Murdoch’s dealing with the British and possibly, the American, legal systems.
Kampeas writes that “Jewish leaders” fear that any reduction in Murdoch’s media influence could “mute the strongly pro-Israel voice of many of the publications he owns.” Those “Jewish leaders” rely on Murdoch to reassure them that all is well in the world of political Zionism.
His publications and media have proven to be fairer on the issue of Israel than the rest of the media,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “I hope that won’t be impacted.”
These comments suggests that what happens to Murdoch in the future is significant to supporters of Israel not primarily because of the alleged immoral or illegal violations of the public good, but because of the potential impact on the pro-Israel voice of Murdoch’s media empire.
If there are US media outlets, other than JTA, which have included Murdoch’s Zionist zealotry in their hacking scandal stories, I have been unable to locate them.
The Big Three PEPs, (Progressive Except for Palestine) Maddow, Matthews, and O’Donnell, are progressive voices on MSNBC-TV, but they will absolutely not touch the sins of Israel, the third rail of American politics.
Rachel Maddow, my favorite of the Big Three, appeared uncharacteristically oblivious of what she was saying in her recent interview with Bill Moyers.
Writing on Consortium News, Marquette Theology Professor Daniel C. Maguire offered a list of Israel-related issues where “Rachel Maddow Dares Not Tread”. He began with a gentle priestly admonition:
To MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: On your show of July 14, you spoke of your complete freedom to say what you want on your show and Bill Moyers gently demurred, speaking of restricting forces that hover over journalists. Bill Moyers was correct. I cannot believe you don’t care, but you are not free to address on your show the political influence of the Israeli lobby (which is far broader than AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee).
The Big Three constantly feast off the right wing shallowness of Fox news readers and commentators, but they do not venture even close to the linkage between Murdoch’s strong pro-Israel bias, and his threatened downfall.
Kampeas, on the other hand, is quite forthright about the linkage and its potential damage to Israel. Note how eager Kampeas is to cast Murdoch in a favorable light by citing “Jewish leaders”.
Jewish leaders said that Murdoch’s view of Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians and with its Arab neighbors seemed both knowledgeable and sensitive to the Jewish state’s self-perception as beleaguered and isolated.
Murdoch has visited Israel many times, always meeting, of course, with Israeli leaders. He is equally well received by “Jewish leaders” in the US. In 2009 he was honored by the American Jewish Committee.
On October 13, 2010, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League hosted a dinner in Murdoch’s honor. At that dinner, Murdoch said,
My own perspective is simple: We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews,” Murdoch said last October at an Anti-Defamation League dinner in his honor. “When Americans think of anti-Semitism, we tend to think of the vulgar caricatures and attacks of the first part of the 20th century. Now it seems that the most virulent strains come from the left. Often this new anti-Semitism dresses itself up as legitimate disagreement with Israel.
Murdoch is popular with conservatives in the US but highly unpopular with the progressive community, as the Nation magazine’s John Nichols was eager to demonstrate in his recent story on the scandal.
Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch has manipulated not just the news but the news landscape of the United States for decades. He has done so by pressuring the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to alter the laws of the land and regulatory standards in order to give his media conglomerate an unfair advantage in “competition” with more locally focused, more engaged and more responsible media.
It’s an old story: while Murdoch’s Fox News hosts prattle on and on about their enthusiasm for the free market, they work for a firm that seeks to game the system so Murdoch’s “properties” are best positioned to monopolize the discourse.
Even with such a strong progressive as Nichols, there is still no mention of Murdoch’s strong Zionist passions in his story of the scandal.
When he testified before the House Judiciary Committee in May of 2003, Murdoch was seeking to secure ownership of the nation’s largest satellite television company. Nichols writes that Murdoch was pressing for FCC rule changes that would allow him to own newspapers and broadcast outlets in the same cities. His goal was to ease controls so that “one corporation could dominate television viewership nationally”.
At that appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Murdoch’s reception, according to reports at the time, were “just short of fawning.”
Wisconsin Republican James Sensenbrenner, who was, at the time, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, greeted Murdoch by thanking the media executive for developing the Fox News network. The chairman added: “When my wife doesn’t get a good dose of Fox News every day she gets grumpy. So there are some of us who appreciate what you are doing.”
Progressive writers like Nichols want to make it clear that the right wing Republican party has a deep affection for a strong man like Murdoch whose media empire is dedicated not only to making money but to the promotion of a conservative ideology.
Joe Nocera was equally disdainful of Murdoch in his July 18 New York Times column:
You have to love the fact that when John Yates resigned on Monday as the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in London — a k a Scotland Yard — he complained about the “huge amount of inaccurate, ill-informed and, on occasion, downright malicious gossip” that had finally forced his hand. . . .
When the writers and editors of the late, unlamented News of the World were busy bribing Mr. Yates’s police officers, what they wanted in return was — gosh! — malicious gossip. When they were hacking the phones of royal family members and murdered teenagers, they were seeking, you know, malicious gossip.
When the recently arrested Rebekah Brooks called Gordon Brown, the former prime minister, to tell him that Rupert Murdoch’s Sun, which she then edited, was about to reveal that his infant child had cystic fibrosis — information that Brown is convinced came from a hacked phone message — she was telling him the paper was going to print a piece of gossip that a more humane institution would have let pass. She might not have viewed this as malicious, but the Brown family certainly did. . . . .
Laura Barnett‘s recent story in the London Guardian, describes Rupert Murdoch’s 102-year old mother Elisabeth Murdoch (shown at top with her son) as a mother who frequently stands in “firm maternal opposition to Rupert, 80, the second of her four children.”
In her native Australia, “Elisabeth is held in high esteem as one of the country’s most beneficent philanthropists,” a sharp contrast to the “sullied reputations of Rupert, and her grandson James”, both now under intense police scrutiny.
When Elisabeth’s husband Rupert, Senior, died from cancer in 1952, she turned her attention to charity work. She became life governor of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne and helped to set up the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
Consistently, however, she has expressed strong disagreement with the policies of News Corp. Nine years ago, for example, she told Julie Browning, author of A Winning Streak: The Murdochs, that her son’s purchase of the News of the World, “nearly killed me”.
In the US, Fox News, and more recently, the once highly respected conservative Wall Street Journal, have emerged as “house organs” for right wing Israeli governments.
If Murdoch self destructs, Israel will have lost a major weapon in its hasbara (propaganda) arsenal. Whether that is “good for the Jewish people”, depends entirely on your definition of “good”.
Yemeni protesters have once again rallied across the country, condemning foreign intervention in the country’s internal affairs.
On Monday, tens of thousands of people marched in the capital, Sana’a and the other key western city of Taizz, a Press TV correspondent reported.
‘Death to America, death to Israel,’ shouted the demonstrators, a Press TV correspondent reported.
They voiced outrage at Saudi Arabia, which has been sheltering Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh following an early-June RPG attack on the presidential palace.
Saleh has been in office for more than three decades with several opposition members arguing that his long-promised political and economic reforms have not materialized.
‘People want the downfall of the regime,’ the angry public also chanted and voiced support for the recently-established transitional council, which represents the ongoing revolution.
Thousands of people have turned out for regular demonstrations in Yemen’s major cities since January, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding Saleh’s ouster.
The regime’s brutal crackdown of the demonstrations has so far claimed hundreds of lives.
The massacre in Norway brought to mind a past incident in Pakistan with some interesting parallels.
Quetta, in Baluchistan province, a peaceful pro-Palestinian rally is taking place. A large peaceful pro-Palestinian rally. As in Norway a pro-Palestinian show of solidarity and support for statehood!
An alleged suicide bomber shows up to bomb the area. And gunmen too. Reported gunfire both before and after.
Norway, not just an explosion, gunmen! Gunmen targeting children.
Yes, it does seem there were at least two gunmen in Norway. Minimally. There were numerous reports of there being more then one shooter. One in police uniform and one in a sweater. These reports will go away, so you can be spoon fed the lone nut scenario.
So in Quetta, as in Norway, we are looking at pro-Palestinian support resulting in a bombing, multiple shootings and much death.
Several hundred Pakistanis, mostly minority Shi’ite Muslims, were attending the rally in the southwestern city of Quetta to support the Palestinian people.
Witnesses say a suicide bomber detonated explosives shortly after the rally arrived at a busy crossing in the center of the city.
This reporter said he heard intense gunfire just before the powerful bomb went off, and there were dust clouds and fire around him.
Police are investigating the incident, and they are also examining television footage to identify armed men who were firing at people in the surrounding area after the bomb blast.
– Speakers at an International Palestine Conference in Pakistan pledged their support with the people of Palestine . The conference organised by Palestine Foundation Pakistan (PLP), a newly established platform in Quetta this week…
The conference was addressed by the leaders of Palestine and Pakistan and they stressed upon the Muslim world, specially the Pakistanis that it was high time they step up their efforts for mobilizing global support for Palestine’s liberation from Israeli occupation in order to avert Zionists’ plans of razing Al Aqsa mosque.
Representative of the Hamas movement in Lebanon and member of its political bureau, Osama Hamdan, who made a recorded address to the conference, emphasized that defense of Palestine was in fact defense of Pakistan because Zionists believed they could never successfully occupy Palestine without first destroying the ideological Muslim nations like Pakistan.
He stressed that Muslims must work to remove American pressure against Palestinian cause which had been the main stumbling block in resolution of Palestinian problem by ending Israeli occupation.
He underlined the need to observe Youm-al-Quds on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan following the appeal of Imam Khomeini.
And on the day of Youm al Quds… while Pakistanis are showing solidarity with their Palestinian counterparts a big explosion and gunmen.
Eventually a group called Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (L-e-J), claimed responsibility. This alleged Sunni group of terrorists is banned in Pakistan, for obvious reasons.
Sipah e Sahaba (Army of the Companions), best described as Sipah e Yazid (Laeen ibn e Laeen) is a Wahabi/Deobandi terrorist organisation which is being funded by Saudi Arabia and supported by the Wahabi ranks in Pakistan Army’s ISI. Lashkar e Jhangavi is the death squad of Sipah e Sahaba.
Why would the Wahhabi sect sow division amongst Shiite and Suni? What or whose agenda does that serve? Why do the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia take that position, divide to conquer?
Saudi Arabia is a well known western puppet nation, a despotic regime propped up by the US and willing to always support Israel.
It is known Saudi Arabia funnels lots of western money to all kinds of suspect activity. Quite likely to the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. None more infamous than the Afghan “freedom fighters” & Osama Bin Laden funded via Operation Cyclone
The agenda behind the Norway attack seems to be in line with the western colonialist agenda of keeping the Muslim population oppressed. The same can be said of what appears to be the driving force behind the incident in Quetta in 2010.
Funny how one recalls past history when an event comes along to spark the memory?
Who benefits by keeping the Muslim populations divided?
Certainly Israel, the US and the rest of the NATO world army nations.
Saturday June 11 – Day 41: […] I prayed for the first time in a very long time today. I explained to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamic alliance and the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail. He must ensure that I succeed with my mission and as such; contribute to inspire thousands of other revolutionary conservatives/nationalists; anti-Communists and anti-Islamists throughout the European world. – 2083 – A European Declaration Of Independence (big pdf) (page 1459)
I am pretty sure God, should that concept exist, did not understand what the terrorist Breivig “explained” to the all knowing.
That’s because the numbers are all wrong. Given the immigration rates, fertility rates of immigrants, their adherence to religion and the trends of those numbers there is no chance for Muslim immigrants to become more than a 6% minority in Europe within the next decades (they are now at 4% of which only 20% are observant). As other historic migrations have shown it is indeed quite likely that within one or two generations the offspring of the immigrants will be indistinguishable from the general population.
Besides explaining that the numbers are wrong we should also understand why there is increasing fear of immigration in large parts of “western” populations. It has, I believe, to do with the lack of wage growth (in the U.S. declining wages) in the past decades.
There is a legitimate argument to be made against immigration. Whenever a country’s economy is in an uptrend and unemployment goes down, business interests, which want to to keep wages from growing, argue for more immigration. Workers do have a legitimate interest in increasing their wages in times of economic upturns and therefore also a legitimate interest in keeping immigration down at least until long term full employment is achieved.
But hardly any political party, at least in Europe, still makes the above argument and I wonder why. Social-democrats and other parties on the left should have this issue at their core. Instead they try to catch up with the demagogues to the right which want to fight immigration because their followers perceive it as a cultural threat or use the “Muslim threat” to further Israel’s interests in keeping the support of Europe and the U.S.
The left should also be more careful in embracing “multiculturalism”. Yes I prefer to live in a multicultural neighborhood and I am all for it. But that pro-multicultural argument can also, via the business interest as explained above, be used to further immigration to suppress wages. Pro-multicultural should be an argument for integration, not to further immigration.
The economic argument against immigration must be put back into the discussion. It is logical, sensible and will keep the people, who I believe instinctively understand it, out of the cloud of the demagogues.
In an exclusive interview with Russia Today news network on Monday, the former detainee said he was held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for five years before being released without charges.
Kurnaz went on to say that Americans have not apologized for his years of torment at the notorious detainment facility, and he doesn’t think they would ever do so.
He further explained that he was arrested in Pakistan in 2001, and turned to the Americans after he had visited a school run by Tablighi Jamaat — a religious movement hated by the al-Qaeda and the Taliban for its non-political stature — in the Asian country.
Kurnaz had earlier become familiar with Pakistan-based Tablighi Jamaat movement through its assistance to homeless people and youth, who had problems with drugs.
He added that when he got booked, Pakistani forces didn’t tell him anything about what was going on.
“They didn’t tell me that they were looking for terrorists or whatever. They said we’re just going to check your passport. I didn’t know at that time they get a bounty of $3,000 for each person. Not under my name, but for anyone turned over to the Americans as terrorist they get $3,000, and $3,000 in Pakistan is a lot of money,” Kurnaz said.
He noted that after being transferred to Kandahar in Afghanistan, he witnessed all kinds of things that one can imagine as torture.
“I saw many killed under torture. I was one of those who survived those kinds of torture. They used electroshocks on me because I would not sign papers.”
“I was forced to agree I was a member of the Taliban and the al-Qaeda and I said I’m not. Really I didn’t know at that time what al-Qaeda was, I didn’t know [anything] about al-Qaeda. So when they asked me about al-Qaeda and Taliban, I said I’m not a member of them. And they brought me papers, forced me to sign. I refused,” the former Gitmo prisoner said.
“That’s why they tried to make me sign by electroshocks. And another time they forced me by water boarding. Another time they hanged me on chains. I was hanging on the ceiling. They were pulling me on the ceiling with the chain, and until my feet were over the floor. After a few days I started to pass out, because in that situation I couldn’t eat or drink and it was freezing cold. It was wintertime and I had no clothes on,” he added.
Kurnaz said Guantanamo detainees were chained hand to foot in a fatal position on the floor with no chair, food, or water for 24 hours or more.
He also said that the youngest Gitmo prisoner was nine years old, and the second underage detainee in Guantanamo was 12.
Upon taking office, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order to stop military commissions in order to close down the facility by 2010. However, this has not happened yet.
The Israeli Knesset approved a request by the government of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to extend the ban on family reunification for an additional year prohibiting granting Israeli citizenship, or even residency, to Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis or Syrians married to Israeli citizens.
The Israeli Radio reported that the Kadima opposition block at the Knesset voted for the ban extension, while Legislator Meir Sheetrit of the Kadima party said that he approves of this legislation as Israel does not have a comprehensive legislation that deals with immigration issues.
Meanwhile, member of Knesset of the Yisrael Beitenu fundamentalist party, member of the Knesset Constitution Law and Justice Committee, David Rotem, said that granting Israeli citizenship to Arab spouses of Israeli citizens is not a guaranteed right.
Furthermore, MK Nissim Ze’ev of the Shas fundamentalist Jewish party, said that “Israel cannot ignore the fact that some of those who received Israeli citizenship after being married to Israelis where behind attacks in Israel”.
The ban was initially instated in 2003, and the Israeli Supreme court criticized it; consecutive Israeli governments kept reinstating it. The last extension before this one was approved by the Knesset on January 2nd, 2011.
The law does not apply to family reunification for Israeli Jews married to foreign spouses, and Israeli Arabs married to citizens of foreign countries, excluding Arab states.