Israel has filed suit against 34 bedouins near Al-Arakib for costs incurred while repeatedly demolishing their homes. The state is seeking an unprecedented NIS 1.8 million from the group
The Israeli Land Administration (ILA) claims that the Bedouins repeatedly built homes on the state-owned land despite having houses some distance away, Haaretz News reports. The ILA, who defined the people of Al-Arakib as squatters, claims the land was leased to the Bedouins until 1998, however the state took action to evict the residents starting in 1999.
In 2000, an injunction was issued barring the villagers in Al-Arakib from building on the land. It allows for visits to the cemetery and mosque only. However local leaders claim that the land belongs to them, and the the matter is still in court. Dr. Thabet Abu Ras of the human rights group Adalah also says that the issue is still before the courts.
The leader of the village,Sheikh Siyah al-Turi, told Haaretz that they were not informed of the lawsuit and found out through the media. He says they “submit a lot of complaints but no one listens to us”.
Israel has demanded compensation for house demolitions in the past. However residents say that they are owed money from the state for the destruction of their property.
Activists and residents plan to march from the nearby town of Be’er Sheva to protest the ILA’s action on Wednesday night. Israeli authorities have demolished the houses of the Al-Arakib villagers from more than 20 times, and the villagers continue to rebuild them.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says Baghdad has decided not to allow US military troops to stay in the country following the 2011 deadline.
“The decision is final but the cooperation with the US government will remain as it is and we are going to increase it in coming days,” he said in a press conference in Baghdad on Wednesday.
The Iraqi minister added that the US government has not applied any request to extend its troops’ presence in Iraq, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Zebari also noted that the extension of presence of US troops in the country is not easy because the Iraqi parliament, the prime minister and the president should approve it.
Many observers believe that Washington has no intention to leave Iraq as American troops have built several bases in the country.
“The US administration has started to seek other places for its troops but they will find no other place safer than Iraq. Therefore they are putting pressure on the government to keep their forces in the country,” political analyst Abdul Zahra al-Majid told Press TV.
Baghdad and Washington signed an agreement on withdrawal of all US forces by December 31, 2011.
The last US combat brigade left the country in August 2010, seven years after the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Though combat operations have officially ended, about 50,000 US troops will remain in the country until the end of 2011 to “advise Iraqi forces and protect US interests.”
Rabid Islamophobe Pamela Geller
There has been considerable commentary over the possibility that the terrorism in Norway will trigger a reaction against “conservative” websites and will stifle legitimate debate over immigration and asylum policies. But the websites in question are not conservative at all but rather neoconservative, and the only immigration they oppose is immigration by Muslims.
Some leading neoconservatives cited by Anders Behring Breivik in his rambling commentary are David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, and Pamela Geller, all of whom have been leaders in the indictment of Islam and each of whom is, not coincidentally, a vocal advocate of Israel and its policies. They are the alligators in the swamp that they have created and are now frantically engaged in distancing themselves from their words and deeds. But sometimes the truth will out.
Pamela Geller, who is one of a network of groups and individuals funded by elements within the pro-Israel lobby who are pushing Islamophobia on behalf of Israel, posted the following rambling message from a Norwegian admirer back in 2007. Could it have been Breivik? Possibly. He speaks of stockpiling weapons and violence.
Did Geller alert the Norwegian authorities? No, but she did make sure the Norwegian message was read by her thousands of supporters. Geller has removed the posting from her website but it can still be found through Google.
“I am running an email I received from an Atlas reader in Norway. It is devastating in its matter-of-factness:
‘Well, yes, the situation is worsening. Stepping up from 29,000 immigrants every year, in 2007 we will be getting a total of 35,000 immigrants from Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. The nation’s capital is already 50% Muslim, and they ALL go there after entering Norway. Adding the 1.2 births per woman per year from Muslim women, there will be 300,000+ Muslims out of the then 480,000 inhabitants of that city.
Orders from Libya and Iran say that Oslo will be known as Medina at the latest in 2010, although I consider this a PR-stunt nevertheless it is their plan.
From Israel the hordes clawing at the walls of Jerusalem proclaim cheerfully that next year there will be no more Israel, and I know Israel shrugs this off as do I, and will mount a strike during the summer against all of its enemies in the Middle East. This will make the Muslims worldwide go into a frenzy, attacking everyone around them.
Before, I thought about emigrating to Britain, Israel, USA, South Africa, etc. for taxes and politics, but instead (although I believe we are the very last generation on earth before the return of God) I will stay and fight for the right to this country and indeed the entire peninsula, for the God-fearing people, just in case this isn’t the end of the world after all. Doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan.
It’s far from impossible to achieve, after all my people has done it every time before, in feats that match the ancient Greek, Hebrew and British “legends”.
Oslo and the southeast may fall easily, but there are other lines than “state”-borders drawn across this country since long before there was even a single Muslim in the world, and we have held them this long, against everyone else too. We are entering a new golden age for my people, and those of a handful other countries, but only through struggle.
Breivik was reportedly also a regular poster on a similar blog run by Hans Rustad, a former left-wing, Jewish journalist who, like Geller, is extremely pro-Israel and, coincidentally, warns against ‘Islam-isation.’
As John Sugg, Max Blumenthal and others have exposed, pro-Israel neocons such as Geller are closely related to the growing hostility toward Muslims. We hope, but doubt, that the recent tragedy in Norway will cause them to re-think their actions, not simply try to hide them.
We also hope that others will not be taken in by their despicable manipulation.
Philip Giraldi, Executive Director of CNI, is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served 18 years in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992, and designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support. Dr. Giraldi holds an MA and PhD from the University of London. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish.
The Al Aqsa Foundation in Jerusalem published a video showing members of the undercover forces of the Israeli military attacking Palestinian children as they played in Ras Al Amoud Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, and forcing one of them into their vehicle before driving away. The child was later taken to a graveyard where he was beaten by the soldiers.
The foundation said that the undercover forces kidnapped the child, Islam Jaber, 13, and detained him in Ras Al Amoud illegal settlement, in East Jerusalem, before taking him into a graveyard where they beat him repeatedly while he was cuffed and blindfolded inflicting concussions and bruises to different parts of his body.
The soldiers drove their vehicle against the children as they played football on a minor road in Ras Al Amoud, before jumping out of their car and violently grabbing Jaber.
Jaber said that the undercover forces violently attacked and beat him before trying to force him to sign some papers accusing him of unidentified violations, but he refused their demand and refused to give them any information when they asked him about his friends’ names and other info about them. … Full article
At least three civilians including two schoolchildren died and six were injured following a NATO airstrike in Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan, regional governor Said Fazlulla Wakhidi said on Tuesday.
The airstrike took place in the Vatapur district late on Monday night, the governor said, after an attack by Taliban fighters on an American military base and battle with NATO troops. A grenade fired by one of the Taliban hit a residential building in the attack, wounding five Afghan civilians.
NATO attack helicopters carried out an airstrike in response, but cannon shells from a helicopter hit a school, killing the civilians.
At least 1,462 civilians have been killed by fighting in Afghanistan in the first six months of this year, 14 percent more than the same period last year, according to UN human rights officials.
Freedom Theater, Jenin
Not content to wage war on armed militants (of whom there are very few these days in the West Bank), earlier today the famed special forces of the Israeli army staged a daring raid on Jenin’s Freedom Theater. In a bold tactical stroke, they woke up a night watchman at 3:30AM by throwing hunks of concrete at the theater entrance. They then strip searched him and made him afraid for his life. Those bold national heroes then arrested a Theater board member and abused the theater general manager, a British citizen. When he called the Israeli civil administration, which has sometimes been known to intercede in the most egregious situations, they hung up on him.
I can’t figure out what’s so dangerous about the Theater’s work. Perhaps the performances of Orwell’s Animal Farm in France? Or The Magic Flute? Is there a message of subversion and a call for insurrection I missed in them? Or perhaps they didn’t like the message of support for the Gaza flotilla on its website?
Given that the founder of Freedom Theater, Juliano Mer-Khamis was assassinated outside the venue a few months ago, this comes as a brutish insult from the Israeli authorities. First the Occupation criminalizes resistance through violence. Then resistance through non-violence. Then they criminalize art and expression.
Everyday Israelis believe that somehow these acts of oppression are located far from them. What they don’t understand is that this rot infects from the outside and works its way in. There will come a time, and not very long, when they’ll criminalize artistic expression inside Israel and Israeli Jewish theater managers will be arrested for expressing themselves. That is, if Israeli cultural institutions haven’t become so co-opted that they no longer offer an alternative to the prevailing nationalist consensus.
Iceland Accused Of Anti-Semitism
Iceland’s support for Palestinian statehood at the UN is part of a long history of anti-Semitism in the island nation, according to an Israeli-born political activist who heads a political think tank.
“Relations between the two countries under the present left-wing government of Iceland are plainly bad,” writes Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) Chairman, Manfred Gerstenfeld in a July 18 editorial published in Ynet News.
Gerstenfeld notes that when Icelandic Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson announced his country’s support for a Palestinian state during the early part of July, he did so after a trip to Gaza that “studiously avoided any diplomatic contact with Israel.” During his trip, the FM also called on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza. Adding to the insult, MP Birgitta Jonsdottir “was the first parliamentarian of any country to visit participants of the failed second Gaza flotilla” shortly before Skarphedinsson’s trip.
This is not the first diplomatic slight Skarphedinsson has given Israel, Gerstenfeld notes. “At the previous UN General Assembly, Iceland’s foreign minister spoke out against Israel,” he writes. “When FM Lieberman wrote to him on this issue, Skarphedinsson did not answer. He did not even confirm receipt of Lieberman’s letter.”
Another example of diplomatic disrespect came when “Skarphedinsson also ordered Icelandic diplomats to remain in the hall while Iranian President Ahmadinejad spoke at the Durban review conference in Geneva in 2009. Diplomats from almost all other European countries left,” claims Gerstenfeld.
The Jewish activist claims Iceland’s current political attitude towards Israel falls in line with what he says is an “unimpressive history” the country has towards Jews.
“Few Jews live in the country,” Gerstenfeld writes, adding that “in the past, there have only been Jewish communities established at times when there were either British or American troops stationed in Iceland with a substantial number of Jewish soldiers among them.”
Gerstenfeld goes on to say that “Iceland’s anti-Semitic history” includes clergyman Hallgrimur Pétursson, whose hyms he wrote in 1625 mention Jews more than 50 times, “yet only for their ‘perfidy, falseness, wickedness and other malice’”; rejection of Jewish refugees during the 1930s; granting refugee status to Estonian war criminal Evald Mikson, who changed his name to Eðvalds Hinrikssonar, in the 1980s; and granting citizenship to “the rabid anti-Semite of Jewish ancestry,” chess champion Bobby Fischer in 2005.
The op-ed has opened a soul-searching discussion about the issue of anti-Semitism in Iceland. “What makes me angry is the arrogance and condescension he [Gerstenfeld]‘s displaying towards the Icelandic nation,” Katharina Hauptmann wrote in a rebuttal written on the Iceland Review website this Sunday. “In his little pamphlet he discredits and belittles my adopted home in a patronizing and mean way.”
Hauptmann goes on to give the right perspective on Gerstenfeld’s tainted view – first by mocking his “smug comment” about Iceland “gaining major publicity” with the economic crash of 2008 and volcano eruption of 2010, then knocking down his argument that because “few Jews live in Iceland” and that “there is only one ‘expert on the country’s attitude toward Jews’ in Iceland” that the country as a whole is anti-Semitic.
“Iceland is a nation of 320 000 people – just to remind you – how many experts on Jews and Anti-Semitism must one have?,” Hauptmann asks in her piece.
While noting that “many Icelanders are quite xenophobic and there is quite a lot of room for improvement” based on her own personal experiences as a foreigner living there, Hauptmann notes that “it almost seems as if he [Gerstenfeld] wants people to be anti-Semitic. What a pity.”
“To conclude, Mr. Gerstenfeld’s so called “opinion piece” is nothing but a patronizing, paranoid and polemic piece of propaganda that is unfair and offensive to the people of Iceland.
“The fact that the Icelandic government may have issues with Israel’s treatment of Palestine has nothing at all to do with anti-Semitism.”