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BBC survey: ‘Israel sinks in popularity’

Rehmat’s World | May 17, 2012

On May 10, the BBC released the results of its annual Global survey of world nations and how their influence is viewed by 24,090 participants from 27 nations. The participants were asked to rate the influence of each of 16 nations and the EU as “mostly positive” or “mostly negative”.

According to the survey – Germany received top positive views followed by Britain, Japan and Canada – while Iran received the highest negative views (55%, improved from last years’ 59%), followed by Pakistan (51%), North Korea (50%) and Israel (50%, up from 40% in 2010).

Among EU nations, Spain topped the negative opinion of Israel (74%), followed by Germany (69%), Britain (68%) and France (65%).

The United States, Nigeria and Kenya gave Israel more positive views than the rest of nations surveyed. In Canada, the negative ratings increased from 52% to 59% – while in Australia it went up from 58% to 65%. Israel received the highest negative opinion in Egypt (95%)and Turkey (73%).

The BBC survey paints a darker picture about Israel than the results of a survey conducted by the pro-Israel group, ADL, in March 2012. It revealed that a significant majority of Europeans believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the countries they live in.

Israel’s rise in unpopularity confirms Israel’s Reut Institute 2010 report - which warned the Netanyahu government of the ‘delegitimization’ of the Zionist entity.

“There are two main generators of attacks on Israel’s legitimacy. The Resistance Network – which operates on the basis of Islamist ideology and includes Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas; and the Delegitimization Network – which operates in the international arena in order to negate Israel’s right to exist and includes individuals and organizations in the West, which are catalyzed by the radical left,” noted the report.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US: New proof of executing the innocent

By Cassandra Stubbs | ACLU Capital Punishment Project | May 15, 2012

The State of Texas, long the nation’s leader in executions, has now earned the dubious title of the state most likely to execute the innocent. In 2004, Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham, despite compelling evidence that he was actually innocent of the arson which caused the death of his three small children. Now, newly assembled evidence suggests that Carlos DeLuna, executed by Texas in 1989, was also innocent. A team of researchers from Columbia Law School today released a new report about DeLuna’s case, Los Tocayos Carlos: An Anatomy of a Wrongful Conviction. The full report, along with video clips and interviews about the case, are available at the Columbia Human Rights Law Review’s website.

In 1983, Wanda Lopez was a 24-year-old single mother working at a gas station in Corpus Christi, Texas, when she was tragically stabbed to death. The central proof against DeLuna was the testimony of a single eyewitness (mistaken eyewitness identifications are the single largest cause of wrongful convictions). In DeLuna’s case, the eyewitness described the murderer as a Hispanic man with a full mustache. Although the eyewitness identified DeLuna — who had no mustache — after DeLuna was arrested, the witness later admitted that he was uncertain about the identification.

Worse than the mistaken identification is the failure of the police to investigate evidence pointing to a different killer, and the failure of the police and prosecutors to turn over or even acknowledge the evidence existed. From the time of his arrest until the time of his execution, DeLuna insisted on his innocence, saying that the crime was committed by an acquaintance named Carlos Hernandez. Hernandez had a long history of violent knife assaults against women and had bragged that he killed Wanda Lopez and that his “tocayo” (meaning a person with the same name) took the fall. The two men looked so much alike that even friends and family couldn’t easily tell their photos apart.

Although the police had leads that pointed to Hernandez — who later died in prison — as the killer, they failed to give that information to the defense. The prosecution argued in court that Hernandez was just a figment of DeLuna’s imagination. The new report documents these failures and others, and presents compelling evidence of Hernandez’s guilt. It shows the numerous systemic breakdowns that allowed Texas to convict, and then execute, an innocent man.

The problem of executing the innocent is not confined to Texas, as anyone who followed the Troy Davis case knows only too well. As Justice Antonin Scalia has bluntly told us, we cannot rely on our Constitution to protect the innocent from execution. The only guarantee that this tragedy will not be repeated is to end the death penalty.

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May 16, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

German citizen sues CIA for abduction, torture

Press TV – May 16, 2012

A German citizen, who says was abducted in Macedonia by the CIA and taken to a prison in Afghanistan and tortured, has demanded justice from Europe’s human rights court.

Khaled El-Masri of Lebanese descent says he was brutally tortured and interrogated at a secret CIA-run prison in Afghanistan for more than four months after being kidnapped from Macedonia in 2003, the Associated Press reported.

On Wednesday, Masri took his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

“Mr. El-Masri has spent the last eight years seeking legal redress for the crimes that were committed against him,” said James Goldston, who is the executive director of the Open Justice Initiative, a rights group that campaigns against the US extraordinary rendition practice.

Extraordinary rendition is a practice enabling the US apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one state to another.

He noted, “There is abundant evidence, including data on CIA flights to and from [Macedonia's capital] Skopje.”

Masri was eventually released after the CIA realized it had mistaken him for another suspect.

He is also suing the Macedonian government for its role in the kidnapping, an accusation that the authorities in Skopje deny.

The court will consider whether Macedonian agents actually kidnapped Masri, and, if they did, whether they knew what would happen to him after they handed him over to US authorities.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Gaza Media Demand Action On Othman Case

By Julie Webb-Pullman and “Amal” | Scoop | May 17, 2012

Members of the Palestinian media today demonstrated in Gaza City to draw attention to violence against journalists, particularly the case of Mohammad Othman, shot by Israeli soldiers while covering the Al Nakba commemoration at the Erez crossing a year ago.

The protestors gathered outside the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, where they held a press conference, then marched to the UNESCO Offices.

Mohammad Othman was targeted by Israeli soldiers at the Erez checkpoint while he was carrying out his professional duties as a journalist. He received severe wounds to his back, and required medical treatment in Turkey. He still suffers the effects of his injuries.

Despite attempts by the journalists union to have the person/s responsible for his injuries held to account, the Israeli authorities have not investigated the matter, or held anyone responsible.

The protestors called on the Palestinian Human Rights Centre and the United Nations to take up the matter, as the deliberate shooting by Israeli forces of a journalist carrying out his professional duties is a crime that must be investigated, and punished.

“Israeli impunity for such crimes against journalists must end,” they said. “Othman was only taking pictures in his professional capacity when he was brutally and deliberately shot.”

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About the #Nakba

Permission To Narrate

1.       Nakba is the Arabic word for catastrophe. It is used to describe the Palestinian loss of land and property during the depopulation of Palestine from 1947-1949 and does not refer simply to the declaration of a state of Israel.

2.       212 localities depopulated and at least half of the refugees created during the Nakba were created prior to May 15th, which is, prior to the entry of armies of other Arab states. The largest Palestinian cities at the time, Yaffa and Haifa, were emptied of the vast majority of their inhabitants before May 15th, 1948. The idea that refugee creation happened only after, or only as a result of, the mobilization of Arab armies is patently false.

3.      At every stage of the war, the Yishuv/Israeli forces were superior in training, equipment and numbers to the combined Arab armies.

4.       The Zionists prepared extensive data collection efforts to map out intelligence relating to the Palestinian villages for a decade prior to the war. Detailed information about each village was kept including information on the number of inhabitants, the village’s resources, the potential activists that resided within it and what its political affiliations were.

5.     Of the over 500 Palestinian villages depopulated during the Nakba, 303 were depopulated as a result of either direct expulsion  carried out by Yishuv/Israeli forces or as a result of attack by Yishuv/Israel forces.

6.     Of the depopulated villages, 81 have been completely obliterated which means there is no traceable sign of their existence. Rubble was identified at the site of another 140 villages. Some standing walls were apparent at another 60 villages while 74 more had few houses intact. Other villages had houses intact and occupied by Israelis.

7.     Golda Meir struck a secret agreement with the King of Jordan before the war. Even though Jordan’s Arab Legion was the most formidable of the Arab armies, and even though the massacre at Deir Yassin tested this agreement, the Jordanian forces didn’t cross into territory that was designated for the Jewish State under the UN partition plan.

8.      After the depopulation of towns and villages, rampant looting of personal property took place. Israeli civilians and soldiers took part in stealing from vacated Palestinian homes and shops. Israeli historian Tom Segev notes that 1,800 trucks were taken from the town of Lydda alone.

9.      While 700-800,000 Palestinians were made refugees and not permitted to return by the state of Israel, 150,000 did remain inside Israel and many became internally displaced persons who still lost their property and were subjected to martial law until 1966 and various discriminatory laws since then.

10.   Yitzhak Rabin, an officer during the 1948 war, included a description of orders to forcibly expel tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians in his memoirs. The State of Israel prevented this description from being printed when his memoirs were published and, as far as I am aware, continues to prevent it today.*

*UPDATE: The censored passage from Rabin’s memoirs was published in the appendix of a 1996 English version published after Rabin’s death. It is unclear if the passage is permitted for inclusion within the text of the memoirs themselves or in versions published in Hebrew or in Israel.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

NYPD loses face and first Occupy Wall Street trial

By Katerina Azarova - RT – May 16, 2012

This case could have been a slam dunk for the NYPD, had it not been for one thing: the video showing police claims of disorderly conduct during an OWS protest to be completely untrue.

Hundreds have been arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests, but photographer Alexander Arbuckle’s case was the first to go to trial – and after just two days, the Manhattan Criminal Court found him not guilty.

Supporters of the OWS protest movement have already hailed the ruling as a major legal victory.

Arbuckle was arrested on New Year’s Day for allegedly blocking traffic during a protest march. He was charged with disorderly conduct, and his arresting officer testified under oath that he, along with the protesters, was standing in the street, despite frequent requests from the police to move to the sidewalk.

But things got a little embarrassing for the NYPD officer when the defense presented a video recording of the entire event, made by well-known journalist Tim Pool.

Pool’s footage clearly shows Arbuckle, along with all the other protesters, standing on the sidewalk. In fact, the only people blocking traffic were the police officers themselves

His lawyers said the video proving that testimony false is what swayed the judge, and the verdict a clear indication that the NYPD was over-policing the protests.

The irony of the case, however, is that Arbuckle was not a protester, or even a supporter of the Occupy movement. He was there to document the cops’ side of the story.

A political science and photography major at NYU, Arbuckle felt the police were not being fairly represented in the media.

“All the focus was on the conflict and the worst instances of brutality and aggression, where most of the police I met down there were really professional and restrained,” the student said.

However, his good intentions only landed him in trouble. As with all the other detained protesters, the police offered Arbuckle an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD), which basically means he would be let off the hook if he agreed not to fight the charges. But to Arbuckle, that meant an admission of guilt, and he decided to take the case to trial.

­

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Empire Holds Its War Council in Chicago

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford | May 16, 2012

If anyone has doubts about what it means here at home when the U.S. seeks to militarily dominate the world, take a trip to Chicago, this week. There, you’ll see the Chicago police, the second largest force in the country, reinforced by cops from Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Charlotte, North Carolina, and backed up by two high decibel noise machines that were first used against American civilians in Pittsburgh to blow out the eardrums of protesters, back in 2009. Overall security for the NATO summit meeting is overseen by the FBI and the Secret Service, who in recent months have been given unprecedented police state powers, thanks to President Obama and a bipartisan Congress.

With dignitaries on hand from the more than 50 countries that have done Washington’s bidding in Afghanistan, there will be lots of opportunities for the feds to invoke their new powers to put demonstrators in prison for up to ten years if they set foot on property containing any person under the protection of the Secret Service. That could include huge chunks of the city. And, of course, who knows what kinds of plots the FBI is conjuring up through its squads of agent provocateurs embedded in the ranks of demonstrators. Thanks to the preventive detention without trial legislation signed into law by President Obama this past New Year’s Eve, every American has lost her Constitutional right to due process of law. Which means that a reconfigured and far more principled U.S. anti-war movement now confronts a growing fascist infrastructure here at home, as it opposes imperial crimes, abroad.

The Chicago police claim they don’t plan to turn the eardrum-busting sound cannons on full volume against the demonstrators – just loud enough to convey “messages” to the crowd. The protesters are sending their own message, one that has become far more popular and general than could have been imagined, a year ago. Since the emergence of the Occupy movement, last October, millions of Americans have come to understand what Latin American peasants have always known: that the nexus of war in the world is Wall Street, and the Pentagon is its servant – as is the White House and most of the Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. War is waged for the purpose of global economic subjugation and, therefore, peace can only be won by dethroning the financial bad guys: the Lords of Capital. So, much of the peace movement now sees itself as an expression of the 99 Percent, against the warlike and greedy 1 Percent.

Once that lesson is learned, it cannot be shouted out by police sound-blasters.

President Obama has made skillful use of NATO, to make it appear that he is not a go-it-alone cowboy, like George Bush. Obama has drawn closely to his side the old imperialists of Europe, who looted and pillaged the earth for five hundred years, establishing the planetary racial hierarchy that has only recently begun to crumble. The Black man in the White House is seen, ironically, as the last best hope of the old colonial racial order and the rule of capital. The Global One Percent can only be maintained in power by the U.S. war machine. Ultimately, the world needs only one thing from the American people: that they dismantle the machine.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Empire Holds Its War Council in Chicago

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford | May 16, 2012

If anyone has doubts about what it means here at home when the U.S. seeks to militarily dominate the world, take a trip to Chicago, this week. There, you’ll see the Chicago police, the second largest force in the country, reinforced by cops from Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Charlotte, North Carolina, and backed up by two high decibel noise machines that were first used against American civilians in Pittsburgh to blow out the eardrums of protesters, back in 2009. Overall security for the NATO summit meeting is overseen by the FBI and the Secret Service, who in recent months have been given unprecedented police state powers, thanks to President Obama and a bipartisan Congress.

With dignitaries on hand from the more than 50 countries that have done Washington’s bidding in Afghanistan, there will be lots of opportunities for the feds to invoke their new powers to put demonstrators in prison for up to ten years if they set foot on property containing any person under the protection of the Secret Service. That could include huge chunks of the city. And, of course, who knows what kinds of plots the FBI is conjuring up through its squads of agent provocateurs embedded in the ranks of demonstrators. Thanks to the preventive detention without trial legislation signed into law by President Obama this past New Year’s Eve, every American has lost her Constitutional right to due process of law. Which means that a reconfigured and far more principled U.S. anti-war movement now confronts a growing fascist infrastructure here at home, as it opposes imperial crimes, abroad.

The Chicago police claim they don’t plan to turn the eardrum-busting sound cannons on full volume against the demonstrators – just loud enough to convey “messages” to the crowd. The protesters are sending their own message, one that has become far more popular and general than could have been imagined, a year ago. Since the emergence of the Occupy movement, last October, millions of Americans have come to understand what Latin American peasants have always known: that the nexus of war in the world is Wall Street, and the Pentagon is its servant – as is the White House and most of the Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. War is waged for the purpose of global economic subjugation and, therefore, peace can only be won by dethroning the financial bad guys: the Lords of Capital. So, much of the peace movement now sees itself as an expression of the 99 Percent, against the warlike and greedy 1 Percent.

Once that lesson is learned, it cannot be shouted out by police sound-blasters.

President Obama has made skillful use of NATO, to make it appear that he is not a go-it-alone cowboy, like George Bush. Obama has drawn closely to his side the old imperialists of Europe, who looted and pillaged the earth for five hundred years, establishing the planetary racial hierarchy that has only recently begun to crumble. The Black man in the White House is seen, ironically, as the last best hope of the old colonial racial order and the rule of capital. The Global One Percent can only be maintained in power by the U.S. war machine. Ultimately, the world needs only one thing from the American people: that they dismantle the machine.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Lobby Always Believes More Is Better

By Philip Giraldi | The Passionate Attachment | May 17, 2012

Everyone who cares enough to express an interest knows that Israel gets $3 billion every year in military assistance, money that continues to flow no matter what is happening to the US economy. It being an election year, it should be no surprise that both the Obama Administration and a Republican controlled House of Representatives have agreed to send an additional $1 billion taken from the United States defense budget to fund the so-called Iron Dome missile defense system for Israel in 2013-4.

But there’s more. House Resolution HR 4133 United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which recently sailed through the US Congress by a 410 to 2 vote, reveals the true objective of Israel and its friends in congress. It is to bind the United States and even NATO to Israel in such a fashion that Israel can continue to behave as it wishes vis-à-vis its neighbors and will be able to do so with impunity because the US and possibly even the Europeans will be obligated to defend it. HR 4133 provides what amounts to a blank check for Israel’s defense and also advances the Israel-as-part-of-NATO agenda, calling on the White House to implement “an expanded role for Israel within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), including an enhanced presence at NATO headquarters and exercises.”

JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, founded by AIPAC, has not been slow to see an opportunity by putting 4133 and the Iron Dome funding together. In a May 10th article, Gabriel Scheinmann, a “Visiting JINSA Fellow,” argues that Iron Dome should become a joint US-Israel system, which he calls a “bold and mutually beneficial symbol of the closeness and importance of the US-Israel strategic alliance.” One might well ask, “What strategic alliance?” and “beneficial to whom?” US joint ownership and management of Iron Dome would make US citizens who are involved in the project hostages to Israeli misadventures. Israel creates an incident to justify an attack against its neighbors, they respond with missiles, a handful of US citizens die, and Washington is at war. And in the meantime you can bet that the US will bear all the costs. Sounds like a great deal to me.

Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Jewish groups to stage anti-Arab march to Aqsa Mosque

Palestine Information Center – 16/05/2012

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Extremist Jewish groups declared their intention to organize an anti-Arab march next Sunday to the Buraq wall of the Aqsa Mosque and the old city of occupied Jerusalem demanding the demolition of the Mosque and the building of their alleged temple on its ruins.

Statements published in Hebrew newspapers by these groups said tens of thousands of Jewish young men would participate in this march.

During the last marches, the participating Jewish settlers chanted blasphemous slogans against Prophet Mohamed and racist slurs against the Arab Palestinians, and called for demolishing the Aqsa Mosque. Their bizarre dances and songs also contained provocative remarks against the Arabs and Islam.

The settlers also harassed Palestinians during these marches and engaged in confrontations with them.

The march this year, like the earlier one, will go across the old neighborhoods of Jerusalem before heading to the Buraq wall.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Hunger strike deal ‘does not end administrative detention’

Ma’an – 16/05/2012

BETHLEHEM – A deal struck early Tuesday to end the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike will not halt administrative detention, prisoners groups said Wednesday.

The document signed by prisoners representatives states that prisoners will halt hunger strikes and “security activity” inside Israeli jails in exchange for Israeli “facilitation” on policies toward solitary confinement, family visits and living conditions.

Prisoners society official Qaddura Fares told Ma’an the document outlines the core issues, while further details will be agreed in talks between prisoners representatives and the Israeli authorities.

The agreement is a “successful victory,” he said, while warning that it is “not clear enough” on the issue of detention without charge.

Prisoners representatives have secured clear commitments that five administrative detainees on long-term hunger strike will be released at the end of their term, while Mahmoud Sirsik is still negotiating the date of his release, Fares said.

Meanwhile, Israel committed not to renew the administrative detention of all 322 Palestinians held without charge if there is no new information that requires their imprisonment, he noted.

However, Fares warned: “Who can check this new information … no one can be sure.”

Under Israel’s administrative detention policy, prisoners can be held without formal charges for renewable periods of six months. Defendants and their lawyers are not given access to the evidence used to imprison them.

Prisoners rights group Addameer said after the hunger strike deal it is “concerned that these provisions of the agreement will not explicitly solve Israel’s lenient and problematic application of administrative detention, which as it stands is in stark violation of international law.”

Full text of document

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Detainee Sharawne to continue in his hunger strike

Palestine Information Center – 16/05/2012

AL-KHALIL — Detainee Ayman Sharawne has urged the Egyptian government to put an end to the Israeli violations of the Egyptian-brokered prisoners’ exchange deal after he was arrested only three months after his release in that deal.

Human rights sources told the PIC on Wednesday that Sharawne was adamant on persisting in his hunger strike until the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) releases him.

The IOA claims that he was detained anew in light of “secret information”, which was not disclosed in court.

Sharawne attended a hearing into his case on Tuesday in which three judges presided over the court in Ofer to look into the Israeli prosecution’s demand for his re-arrest to serve his remaining sentence.

He had served ten years of his 38-year sentence when he was released in the exchange deal.

The court adjourned ruling into his case for two weeks.

Sharawne started the hunger strike on 17 April along with the other prisoners but did not end it with them after their demands were met.

He said that he would continue in his strike to highlight his case along with other similar cases.

The IOA re-arrested six Palestinians, who were released in the deal in the West Bank, at the pretext they violated conditions of the deal and returned to resistance activity. One of them was Hana Shalabi, who was deported to Gaza after her release from her second detention.

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

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