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NYT reviewer: Small group of Bush advisers will take real reason for Iraq war to their (restless) graves

By Philip Weiss on October 4, 2011

These are the first and last paragraphs of the New York Times review (by Thomas Powers) of former spook Paul Pillar’s new book. Pillar worked for 28 years at the CIA and the National Intelligence Council, often on Middle East issues.

Every attentive reader of “Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy,” Paul R. Pillar’s long-needed examination of just what the Central Intelligence Agency got right or wrong before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, will find one observation or another that seems more disquieting than the rest. I haven’t quite decided which of two deserves pride of place on my own list: The fact that the Bush administration never formally debated whether it was “a good idea” to invade Iraq? Or that Pillar, who ran the National Intelligence Council’s shop for the Middle East during both events, cannot tell us “the true reasons the Bush administration invaded”?

…This brings us back to the troubling remarks Pillar makes early in this rich, useful and important book. First is the fact that the administration never formally debated “whether the war was a good idea.” The implication is clear: a small group of officials made the decision on their own, without leaving any record. “It was never on any meeting’s agenda,” Pillar notes. What, then, was the purpose of the war? What did President Bush and his advisers hope to achieve? Who did they think would benefit? I would say that I am about as interested in this question as anyone, but any answer I offered would be only a guess. Bush and his friends have never really been clear about their reasons, and the magnitude of their failure suggests they will carry the secret to their graves.

This is shocking, of course. It recalls Thomas Friedman’s commentary to Avi Shavit in Haaretz that if you had abducted 25 neocons to a desert island before the Iraq war it would never have happened. It recalls Colin Powell’s reported belief, in Karen DeYoung’s biography, that a “gang” from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs pushed the Iraq war as a means of guaranteeing Israel’s security. It recalls Jacob Heilbrunn’s use of the word “cabal” in his book on the neocons, They Knew They Were Right. It recalls Joe Klein’s statement, in a Time blog a couple years ago, that the neocons pushed the Iraq war to set off a “benign domino theory” across the Middle East to make Israel safe. It recalls George Packer’s keen report, in Assassin’s Gate, that the neocons harbored a “move over one” theory of the Iraq war: that Jordan would get Iraq, the Palestinians would get Jordan, and Israel would get greater Israel, that my father bought for two zuzim.

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | 3 Comments

Fukushima and the Battle for Truth

By Paul Zimmerman | Global Research | September 27, 2011

Fukushima’s nuclear disaster is a nightmare. Ghostly releases of radioactivity haunt the Japanese countryside. Lives, once safe, are now beset by an ineffable scourge promising vile illness and death.

Large sectors of the population are accumulating significant levels of internal contamination, setting the stage for a public health tragedy.

A subtle increase in the number of miscarriages and fetal deaths will be the first manifestation that something is amiss. An elevated incidence of birth defects will begin in the Fall and continue into the indefinite future. Thyroid diseases, cardiac diseases and elevated rates of infant and childhood leukemia will follow. Over the next decade and beyond, cancer rates will soar.

Chernobyl was the harbinger of this heartbreaking scenario. It taught mankind the inescapable biological truths that emerge within populations internally contaminated by heightened levels of fission products. And yet, government and industry schemers attack these truths as unfounded scare-mongering. With cold indifference, they deny that Chernobyl was a mass casualty event. They turn a blind eye to a huge body of research and deviously proclaim that no evidence exists that more than a handful of people suffered harm from the Ukrainian disaster. They publish propaganda, draped in the guise of science, that dismisses the hazard of low levels of internal contamination. Believing their subterfuge to have been successful and intoxicated by their hubris, they are already positioning themselves to stage-manage the public’s perception of Fukushima.

Japan’s government, its Nuclear Safety Commission, and the Tokyo Electric Power Company have already demonstrated that they will do everything in their power to keep citizens ignorant of what is taking place. The emerging health crisis is scheduled to be erased. Following a time-tested blueprint worked out by prior radiation releases around the world, data relevant to assessing the medical impact of the accident will not be gathered. Radiation doses to the population will be woefully underestimated. The hazards associated with low levels of internal contamination will be obliterated from all discussions of risk. Academic journals that support the nuclear agenda will be flooded with bogus studies demonstrating that no health detriment was suffered by the population. The heightened incidence of childhood leukemia will be attributed to some as yet unidentified virus unleashed by population mixing following the evacuations caused by the tsunami. (This theory is currently in vogue to deny that the heightened incidence of leukemia among children under five years of age living nearby to nuclear reactors is radiation induced.) The birth defects will be summarily dismissed as impossible because the risk models upheld by the International Commission on Radiological Protection don’t predict them. The possibility that the models are fraudulently constructed escapes consideration. (See a Betrayal of Mankind by the Radiation Protection Agencies, available as a free download)

How is TRUTH to gain ascendancy when blocked by this institutionalized matrix of deceit? What agency can possibly take the lead to accurately document the full scope of the disaster, identify its victims and those at risk, and publish trustworthy public health information? Who is going to take responsibility to protect the children? To wait for the government to come to the rescue is naive. The history of radiation accidents testifies that governments routinely betray their citizens in deference to their nuclear weapons program and the nuclear industry. No, only one alternative is open to the people of Japan. They must become proactive. They must seize the initiative and wrest control, from government and industry, of the “perception” of the catastrophe.

The accident at Fukushima demands that a peoples’ campaign be initiated to produce an honest assessment of the current situation, catalog the medical consequences as they emerge, and offer accurate advice as to how citizens can protect themselves. Using the internet as a platform, scientists from all relevant disciplines must band together with interested laypeople with something valid to contribute to create a widely distributed open source research project. The evolving online encyclopedia will archive all pertinent data and preserve it from future tampering. The accident from its inception must be documented. With published reports frequently in conflict with one another, all available information, whether from government sources, citizen investigators or eyewitnesses, must be gathered for future evaluation. Worldwide meteorological data since March 11 must be assembled. All official and unofficial measurements of radiation in the environment, both in Japan and worldwide, must be collected and collated. This is essential information required for future epidemiological studies. Contaminated agricultural areas must be identified. Samples of all edible material for human and animal consumption must be evaluated for safety. As suspected radiation-induced illness begins to appear in the population, healthcare providers and victims must make public their experiences. Initially, this information will be anecdotal but nonetheless invaluable. It will identify emerging trends of morbidity and mortality and define population subgroups requiring more systematic scientific investigation. Researchers working alone or in groups must seize the initiative to pursue study in their fields of expertise and interest. (One excellent suggestion by Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility is the widespread collection of babies’ teeth to provide objective data on the geographic dispersion and uptake of strontium-90 [1].) Methodologies, data and results need be posted online as they become available. Free access to the whole body of work must be guaranteed so as to allow scrutiny by people from all over the world. Transparency must be paramount. An open dialogue will allow divergent points of view to be fairly represented. Disagreements over research protocols or the interpretation of results will point the way to new avenues of investigation where clarification and consensus might be achieved. Objective investigation via the scientific method will be the final arbitrator of truth. The ultimate goal of this effort will be to produce an unbiased determination of the public health consequences of radiation released into the environment, assess the accuracy of current standards of radiation safety and identify how improvements can be made for the common welfare of humanity.

It is urgent that this initiative commence immediately. Data must be captured while it is remains untainted. Of particular importance is the securing of pre-accident health statistics for the population of Japan. Rates for various pregnancy outcomes; the frequency of different types of birth defects; the incidence of thyroid diseases, heart diseases, cancers and so forth, all must be cataloged. There is good reason why this baseline data need be preserved. The history of radiation accidents is littered with examples of the outright falsification of data that has prevented an honest evaluation of the effects of low levels of internal contamination on human health. For instance, evidence exists that morbidity and mortality data published by the U.S. Government’s Public Health Service was altered in the wake of radiation releases from nuclear weapon production facilities and commercial nuclear power plants so as to hide cancer deaths in the population [2]. The accident at Three Mile Island, persistently painted by government and industry spokesmen as a benign event, in fact produced illness and death among humans and farm animals downwind [3,4]. After the accident at Chernobyl, hundreds of thousands of so-called “liquidators” participated in cleanup operations in close proximity to the destroyed reactor and also built a concrete sarcophagus around the reactor building to entomb the radiation. According to the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), in subsequent years this population was reported as having a lower rate of leukemia than the general population. Only later did it come to light that Soviet doctors were forbidden from recording leukemia in their diagnoses [5]. The Wales Cancer Registry was cited by the ECRR as excising cases of cancer from its database so as to prevent the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in the U.K. from being blamed for causing illness to the population. Also mentioned by ECRR was the alteration of infant mortality figures in Germany after Chernobyl so as to mask the impact of the accident on public health [5].

Mischief has not been confined to falsifying health records. In 1957, a fire broke out in the graphite reactor at Windscale, England on the site now occupied by the Sellafield facility. The amount of radiation released and the incidence of cancer induced in the population of Ireland has remained fiercely contentious issues. According to the ECRR, at some point after the fire, meteorological records were altered “with the apparent motive of concealing the likely location of any effects” [5]. Similarly, the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Tsuruga, Japan suffered a devastating fire in 1995. Prefecture and city officials found that the operator had tampered with video images of the fire to hide the scale of the disaster [6].

If an accurate documentation of the health consequences of Fukushima is to succeed, one condition is paramount: the project MUST retain its independence from the international agencies that currently dominate the discussion of radiation effects. The tacit mandate of these organizations is to support nuclear weapons programs and the nuclear industry, and they do so by publishing fraudulent scientific studies that downplay the hazards to health of radioactive material released into the environment. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and other UN organizations jointly published Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health, Environmental and Socio-economic Impacts [7]. This study is routinely cited as proof that Chernobyl had little impact on public health. It concluded that only twenty-eight first responders died from acute radiation syndrome and 4,000 children developed thyroid cancer, fifteen of whom died by 2002. In addition, it estimated that an additional 4,000 fatal cancers might arise in the overall population. This sanitized version of the catastrophe was reached by the devious method of consulting only 350 sources of information, mostly published in English, while ignoring 30,000 publications and 170,000 sources of information available in languages other than English [8]. A summary of this large body of literature, published as Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature, concluded that radiation-induced casualties approached 980,000 [9].

To offer a second example, a number of prestigious institutions have published disinformation on the hazards to health of depleted uranium weapons. These include WHO, IAEA, the European Commission, the Royal Society in the U.K., the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in the U.S., the Rand Corporation, and the Health Physics Society [10,11,12,13,14,15,16]. All concluded that weaponized uranium creates no adverse health effects when internalized by soldiers on the battlefield and downwind populations. Justification for this conclusion came from a survey of the scientific literature regarding uranium contamination among workers in the uranium and nuclear industries and populations exposed to elevated levels of uranium in their drinking water. Historically, the only two types of adverse health effects documented among these populations is altered kidney function due to uranium’s chemical toxicity and cancer due to uranium’s radioactivity. But studies of veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome reveals no evidence of kidney disease. And according to models promulgated by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the radiation dose from battlefield uranium is too low to initiate cancer. The conclusion? Case closed! DU cannot be a factor in the severe suffering of veterans or the increased incidence of cancer and birth defects in Fallujah and other areas of Iraq. As convincing as the logic of these studies attempt to be, they all suffer from fatal flaws. They all fail to acknowledge that combustion-derived micro- and nano-sized particles of uranium have unique biokinetics when internalized that are not comparable to historical types of uranium exposure, and they quite cleverly fail to take into account the most up-to-date research on the toxicology of uranium. New research conducted since the first Gulf War has demonstrated that uranium is genotoxic (capable of damaging DNA), cytotoxic (poisonous to cells), mutagenic (capable of inducing mutations), teratogenic (capable of interfering with normal embryonic development) and neurotoxic (capable of harming nerve tissue). This research has yet to dislodge the stale mantra that uranium is only capable of causing kidney disease and cancer. (For a thorough disclosure of the fraudulent science used to discount the hazards of DU and a summary of recent research on the toxicology of uranium, see this author’s “The Harlot of Babylon Unmasked: Fraudulent Science and the Cover-Up of the Health Effects of Depleted Uranium” in A Primer in the Art of Deception [17]. )

Mischief also infects the radiation protection community. The Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima conducts ongoing medical research on the health of the survivors of the atomic bombings at the end of WWII. The Life Span Study is the single most important piece of evidence used by the ICRP for setting worldwide guidelines for radiation safety. That radiation safety for all types of exposure and all manner of radiation-induced illnesses relies so heavily on this research is incredibly disturbing because the Life Span Study is deeply and irreparably flawed. Initiated five years after the bombings, after tens of thousands of victims succumbed to unidentified levels of radiation exposure, results are hopelessly skewed in favor of finding radiation less hazardous than it in fact is. Further, the study can provide no meaningful information on the birth outcomes to fetuses exposed in utero. More problematic is the fact that both the study and the control groups were internally contaminated by the black rain that showered down upon the destroyed cities after the blasts. This unacknowledged contamination of the control group hopelessly compromises any meaningful conclusions of the rates of radiation-induced illnesses in the study group. The Life Span Study is plagued by numerous other flaws that raise serious questions as to why it has become the centerpiece of radiation standards. (For further information on this topic, consult Exhibit C in the aforementioned free download at

The Japanese have been victimized by nuclear horror more than any other people on Earth. Today they are immersed in an imperceptible tragedy that will slowly but inevitably bring disease and heartbreak to millions. In response to this crime, a rare and courageous opportunity exists. By undertaking a national campaign to honestly document the disaster that is engulfing them, they can lead all of humanity to break through the quagmire of deception and deceit that has allowed nuclear weapons and reactors to flourish. Truth finally has an opportunity to triumph over falsehood. In some small but significant way, this would be fitting repayment for the malevolence of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima.


[1] Gordon Edwards. Tepco Confirms the Presence of Radioactive Plutonium and Strontium Contamination. Email newsletter from Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition of Nuclear Responsibility ( September 4, 2011.
[2] Jay Gould, Benjamin Goldman. Deadly Deceit: Low Level Radiation, High Level Cover-Up. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows; 1990.
[3] Sue Sturgis. “Fooling with Disaster? Startling Revelations About Three Mile Island Raise New Doubts Over Nuclear Plant Safety.” Counterpunch. April 3-5, 2009.
[4] Katagiri Mitsuru, Aileen M. Smith. Three Mile Island: The People’s Testament. (1989), a series of interviews with approximately 250 Three Mile Island (TMI) area residents from 1979 to 1988. ,
[5] European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators’ Edition. Brussels; 2003.
[6] Hiroko Tabuchi. Japan Strains to Fix a Reactor Damaged Before Quake. New York Times. June 17, 2011.
[7] The Chernobyl Forum. Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health, Environmental
and Socio-economic Impacts. Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency; April, 2006.
[8] Janette D. Sherman. Chernobyl, 25 Years Later. CounterPunch. March 4-6, 2011.
[9] A. V. Yablokov, V. B., Nesterenko and A. V. Nesterenko. Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature. The New York Academy of Science. 2009.
[10] World Health Organization (WHO). Depleted Uranium: Sources, Exposure and Health Effects. Department of Protection of the Human Environment. WHO/SDE/PHE/01.1. Geneva: WHO; 2001.
[11] International Atomic Energy Agency. Features: Depleted Uranium.
[12] European Commission, Directorate General of Environment. Opinion of the Group of Experts Established According to Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty: Depleted Uranium. March 6, 2001.
[13] Royal Society. Health Hazards of Depleted Uranium Munitions: Part I. London: Royal Society, March 2002.
Royal Society. Health Hazards of Depleted Uranium Munitions: Part II. London: Royal Society, March 2002.
[14] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Toxicological Profile for Uranium. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 1999.
[15] Naomi H. Harley, Ernest C. Foulkes, Lee H. Hilborne, Arlene Hudson, C.R. Anthony. A Review of the Scientific Literature as it Pertains to Gulf War Illnesses: Volume 7 – Depleted Uranium. Santa Monica: Rand National Defense Research Institute; 1999.
[16] Health Physics Society.
[17] Paul Zimmerman. A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science. 2009.

Paul Zimmerman is the author of A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science. A more technical, fully referenced presentation of the fraudulent nature of current radiation standards and the coverup of the effects of depleted uranium weapons can be found within its pages. Excerpts, free to download, are available at

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Nuclear Power, Science and Pseudo-Science | 1 Comment

Targeting Tuba: The Ongoing Nakba

By Georgina Reeves | Palestine Chronicle | October 3, 2011

On Sunday night, the mosque in the small village of Tuba suffered an arson attack. Unknown agitators entered the building and set the fire, causing damage to carpets and the structure itself. Before leaving, they sprayed messages on the walls outside: “price tag” and “revenge”, in Hebrew. Until this weekend, these attacks seemed to be confined to the West Bank. And it isn’t just mosques that are targets. Olive groves, villagers, solidarity actions: all are “fair game” to the wild West Bank settlers.

Tuba is in the Upper Galilee, nearby is the Jewish town of Safed. Tuba village residents believe that the attack was the result of incitement from the rabbis in Safed. Safed is known for its hostility towards Arabs in general and Palestinian Israelis in particular. Despite the hostility, at Safed’s academic college over 50% of the student body is Palestinian Israeli.

For the last few years, an aggressive campaign to discourage Jews from renting to Arabs has been growing. There are few exceptions, one of the most notable being Holocaust-survivor, Eli Tzvieli. Not only does he rent to Palestinians, he openly supports them in a town where this is tantamount to being a traitor.

Today, Shimon Peres condemned the attack on Tuba’s mosque, saying “…we should condemn such acts among us.” Binyamin Netanyahu apparently also expressed outrage over the arson, instructing the security services to locate those responsible. Nothing about arrests, or trials. As is often the case, any form of attack against the Palestinian community, no matter where it is located, ends with no one arrested, no one charged, no one responsible.

And let’s look at Peres’ statement “…we should condemn.” This is from a man who was a member of the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary forces that implemented Plan Dalet. Peres joined the Haganah in 1947 and David Ben Gurion appointed him as responsible for both personnel and arms purchases. Plan Dalet aimed to expel as many Palestinians and take as much of the land as possible for the soon-to-be-established state of Israel. Peres’ role in charge of personnel and arms was vital in achieving these aims. Peres is as much an architect of the Nakba as Ben Gurion is, or Ariel Sharon, or any of the other soldier-turned-politicians that Israel has produced, and all the dispossession thereafter.

So the attack in Tuba should not be viewed as something new, as some sinister development in right wing Jewish Israeli society. It is just a continuation of the decades-old aggression against Palestinians. Those who assume that Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are somehow immune to the attacks of individuals or the policies of a nation that would rather see them expelled, are being naïve.

Following the declaration of Israel as a state in 1948, and the armistice in 1949, those Palestinians who remained in Israel—many of whom were internally displaced—have been continually targeted, harassed and subject to accusations of being a fifth column. While Israel parades its nationalistic pride, based of course on its ‘Jewishness’, Palestinian citizens of Israel are not allowed to express their identity as Arabs, or identify with their brothers and sisters (in some cases, literally) in the West Bank and Gaza.

When the Jewish forces swept across Palestine, not only did they expel 750,000 Palestinians, they also destroyed over 500 villages, towns and neighbourhoods. They attempted to erase the Palestinian-ness of the landscape, replacing it with a Hebrew identity that actually only covered the surface, it could not remove the age-old roots of people who’d existed there for many centuries.

This deliberate policy to deny Palestinians an identity has been used ever since. So as the rise in attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank are increasing, so too will the attacks against Palestinians who are citizens of Israel. Notably, politically-motivated attacks against outspoken Palestinians have also been on the rise over the last two years. Ameer Makhoul, Haifa-based community activist and director of Ittijah, a network of Palestinian NGOs inside Israel, has been sentenced to nine years, despite lack of evidence to support the state’s case against him.

Prior to Makhoul’s detention, Dr Omar Said had already been arrested. He is also leader of the Arab nationalist party, Balad and a committed proponent of co-existence between Arabs and Jews. He, too, was charged with espionage. He was subsequently convicted on a lesser charge and was released last year.

Today is but a continuation of the Nakba; 1948 is ongoing, it was never finished. The policies of the Zionists are not new, their tactics are not new, and their aims are not new. In 1948 the international community failed to protect the majority Arab population of Palestine. There is now an opportunity to make up for that failure, but are any of the Western powers capable of taking such a stand? The signs, so far, are not favourable. The signs point to 1948 not just continuing but increasing in intensity. While the burning of the mosque in Tubas was nothing new, it does herald the darkest of times to come.

– Georgina Reeves splits her time between London and Bethlehem, and is a co-founding trustee of Ahdaf, a British charity supporting Palestinian students.

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | Comments Off on Targeting Tuba: The Ongoing Nakba

Action urged as Israel punishes dozens of hunger-striking political prisoners

Maureen Clare Murphy – The Electronic Intifada – 10/04/2011

Thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip rallied in recent days in support of political prisoners who are protesting worsening conditions in Israeli detention. Thousands of prisoners are said to be taking part in the civil disobedience protests which began on 27 September.

The Electronic Intifada reported in August that the Israeli government was imposing harsher measures on Palestinian political prisoners by banning academic study. Ending the abuse of solitary confinement is also a key demand of the civil disobedience campaign.

Another demand is the resumption of family visits. As The Electronic Intifada reported earlier this year, Palestinians in Gaza have escalated the regular sit-ins at the International Committee of the Red Cross because Israel has denied visits to imprisoned family members — a collective punishment measure leveled after an Israeli soldier was captured by Palestinian resistance forces in Gaza.

National unity amongst political prisoners

While national unity efforts between the Hamas and Fatah parties remain at an impasse, detainees affiliated with the two groups are uniting with prisoners associated with the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who initiated the civil disobedience campaign.

Ma’an News Agency reported yesterday:

The rallies were held as inmates saw through the seventh consecutive day of a hunger strike to protest against worsening conditions for Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.…

On Sunday, prisoner support group Addameer said Palestinian detainees affiliated to Hamas and Fatah were joining the Popular Front prisoners who launched the strike, protesting the treatment of PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat, who has been held in isolation for three years.

Director of the Abu Jihad center for prisoners affairs at al-Quds university Fahd Abu al-Hajj said Sunday that 3,000 or so prisoners were taking part.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli Prisons Authority of the number of prisoners who refused food last week, but by Monday, IPA spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said “160 prisoners” were observing a hunger strike.

Israeli Prison Service punishing protesting prisoners

The Palestinian human rights group Addameer ( reported on Sunday that prisoners are being punished for their civil disobedience protest. Punishment includes transferring prisoners, as well as withholding salt water from prisoners waging hunger strikes.

Addameer stated:

On 27 September 2011, Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons announced the start of a campaign of disobedience to protest an escalating series of punitive measures taken against them by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) in recent months. The campaign is composed of several elements, including a hunger strike and refusal to cooperate with a number of IPS rules, such as wearing prison uniforms and participating in multiple daily roll calls.

As of 2 October, all Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) prisoners — who launched the campaign — in all Israeli prisons were participating in the campaign on a full-time basis, including an open-ended hunger strike. The campaign has now gained further momentum, with prisoners from other political factions gradually joining the campaign on a part-time basis, whereby they will take part in acts of disobedience three days a week (Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday). In Ramon, Eshel and Nafha prisons, Hamas leaders joined the campaign on 1 October on a part-time basis, and in Ashqelon prison, Fatah and Hamas prisoners are also participating on a part-time basis. In Ofer and Naqab prisons, although a number of prisoners from other political factions have already joined in the campaign on a part-time basis, representatives of all factions will reach a final decision on the matter on 4 October. In Ofer prison in particular, it is estimated that by the end of the week, 250 Hamas prisoners will join the strike on a part-time basis.

The IPS has already started punishing participating prisoners in an effort to undermine the campaign. On 1 and 2 October respectively, it transferred 28 PFLP prisoners from Naqab prison and 6 PFLP prisoners from Ofer prison to as-of-yet unknown locations. In Naqab prison, the IPS also confiscated the hunger-striking prisoners’ only nourishment, salted water.

Addameer issues action appeal

Addameer issued an email alert yesterday, urging action to support the demands of Palestinian political prisoners:

On 27 September 2011, Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons announced the start of a campaign of disobedience to protest an escalating series of punitive measures taken against them by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) in recent months. The campaign is composed of several elements, including a hunger strike and refusal to cooperate with a number of IPS rules, such as wearing prison uniforms and participating in multiple daily roll calls.…

The Palestinian prisoners have made several key demands, some of which are listed below:

– End the abusive use of isolation;

– End restrictions on university education in the prisons;

– End the denial of books and newspapers;

– End the shackling to and from meetings with lawyers and family members;

– End the excessive use of fines as punishment;

– And ultimately end all forms of collective punishment, including the refusal of family visits, night searches of prisoners’ cells, and the denial of basic health treatment.


In response to these demands, we are calling on all activists and supporters of human rights and justice for the Palestinians to take action in solidarity with the hunger strikers. There are two important ways in which to take action:

– Organize a protest, silent vigil or similar public action outside the Israeli embassy in your country and highlight the demands of the political prisoners. Addameer can send you further information on particular prisoners who are engaged in the hunger strike to support your action.

– Write a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister expressing your concern for the hunger strikers and demanding an end to the arbitrary treatment of Palestinian prisoners.

Please keep Addameer informed of any action you are planning to take and any response given by the Israeli authorities.

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | 1 Comment

Jailed Legislator Rejects Deportation Plea Bargain

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | October 04, 2011

Detained legislator Ahmad Attoun, of Jerusalem, rejected an Israeli Court offer of expulsion from Jerusalem in exchange for his release. He also refused to sign a document stating that he will not return to the city.

Attorney Fadi Al Qawasmi, one of the defense lawyers in Attoun’s case, stated that the Israeli Prosecution demanded extending the detention of Attoun until all legal procedures are concluded, according to the Safa News Agency. The Israeli Prosecution claims that Attoun, a resident of Jerusalem, “illegally entered Israel.”

Al Qawasmi added that after listening to defense and prosecution arguments, the Israeli court decided to release Attoun and ordered a NIS 50.000 bail.

The court also ruled that Attoun must sign an affidavit stating that he will not enter Jerusalem without an Israeli permit, or until the High Court rules that he is allowed into the city. He rejected this condition because he is from Jerusalem and insists on his legal right to be there.

Attoun was kidnapped by undercover forces of the Israeli army last week. He was near the protest tent in the proximity of the Red Cross in Jerusalem, where several legislators and elected Palestinian officials from Jerusalem are protesting Israeli orders of expulsion from their city.

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | 1 Comment

Jewish settler injures two nursing students in hit and run incident

The Nablus area has witnessed a surge in settler attacks over the last month, involving village raids as well as attacks on property including arson and vandalism on two mosques.

By Mais Azza | IMEMC & Agencies | October 04, 2011

Two Palestinian sisters were injured on Tuesday when an Israeli settler hit them with his vehicle at the Huwwara Road, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, before fleeing the scene, the Maan News Agency reported.

Local sources stated that the settler was driving his own vehicle, a pickup truck, and sped away without even slowing down, leaving the injured young women in the street.

Palestinian medical sources reported that the two sisters are Ahlam Hamad, 19, and Saja Hamad, 18. They were trying to cross the main street while heading for IbnSina Medical College, where they are students. They were transferred to Rafidya Hospital in Nablus, where X-ray and other tests revealed that they suffered concussions and external injuries.

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Jewish settler injures two nursing students in hit and run incident

UK spreads red carpet for Tzipi Livni

Press TV – October 4, 2011

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is to visit Britain, after the British government, motivated by Israel, made reforms in a law on issuing arrest warrants for war criminals.

Livni, who cancelled a visit to Britain in 2009 fearing arrest over crimes committed during Gaza war, will travel to the UK on Thursday, and will meet Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss bilateral relations between UK and Israel.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed the news, saying, “We can confirm Tzipi Livni intends to visit the UK this week. As leader of the Israeli opposition she will have a number of meetings, including with the Foreign Secretary to discuss UK Israel relations and recent events in the region.”

Since 2001, UK’s universal jurisdiction law has given the power to British courts to prosecute suspected war criminals and torturers, even if their crimes took place in another country. The principle of the law goes back to the belief that some crimes including genocide, torture and hostage-taking must be fought wherever the criminal can be arrested.

Last month, the British government that was under constant pressure from Israel, announced a legal reform to make it harder for anti-war campaigners to get arrest warrants against those who are suspected of committing human rights abuses in other countries.

Human rights activists have condemned the government for turning a blind eye to the tyrants and torturers and their human rights violations. Amnesty International accused the government of giving war criminals a “free ticket to escape the law.”

Several other Israeli officials were affected by the former British law, including Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor and Brigadier-General Avi Benayahu, who came to Britain under a fake identity this year.

In 2007, Israeli public security minister Avi Dichter was forced to refuse an invitation from British officials after being informed he would be detained for his part in the assassination of a Hamas leader, killing 14 people, including nine children.

Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Israel meeting, director Stuart Polak insisted that Livni always wanted to come to Britain once the British officials provided change to the law and prevent her from being arrested by pro-Palestinian activists.

He added that she could now visit Britain under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, which was assented last month.

“It has been a blot on the landscape of the relations of the UK and Israel which is why David Cameron and William Hague said in opposition that it should be rectified, which is what they have done,” Polak said.

October 4, 2011 Posted by | War Crimes | 6 Comments