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A Formal Legal Mandate for a Criminal Investigation of Guatemala’s Current President, Perez Molina

By Allan Nairn | May 11, 2013

General Efrain Rios Montt has been found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.  He has already begun his “irrevocable” sentence of 80 years in prison.

The court that convicted Rios Montt has also ordered the attorney general to launch an immediate investigation of “all others” connected to the crimes.

This important and unexpected aspect of the verdict means that there now exists a formal legal mandate for a criminal investigation of the President of Guatemala, General Otto Perez Molina.

As President, Perez Molina enjoys temporary legal immunity, but that immunity does not block the prosecutors from starting their investigation.

Last night, in a live post-verdict interview on CNN Espanol TV, Perez Molina was confronted about his own role during the Rios Montt massacres.

The interviewer, Fernando del Rincon, repeatedly asked Perez Molina about his filmed interviews with me when he was Rios Montt’s Ixil field commander.

At that time, Perez Molina, operating under the alias “Major Tito Arias,” commanded troops who described to me how, under orders, they killed civilians.

At first, Perez Molina refused to answer, then CNN’s satellite link to him was cut off, then, after it was restored minutes later, Perez Molina replied that women, children and “complete families” had in fact aided guerrillas.

Offering what appears to be a rationale for killing families may not be a sufficient defense.   But that is up to Perez Molina.

He too deserves his day in court.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nawaz Sharif Says US Should Halt Pakistan Drone Strikes

Al-Manar | May 14, 2013

Nawaz Sharif who is to be Pakistan’s prime minister for a third time, called Washington to end its drone strikes in the Asian country.

Sharif said the drone strikes pose a “challenge” to Pakistan’s national sovereignty, the Associated Press quoted him as talking to reporters from his family’s estate outside the eastern city of Lahore on Monday.

“Drones indeed are challenging our sovereignty. Of course we have taken this matter up very seriously. I think this is a very serious issue, and our concern must be understood properly,” said Sharif.

Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N party appeared on course to secure a majority of seats in Pakistan’s parliament and form the next government after claiming victory in Saturday’s election.

~~~

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Video, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Israel Agrees to Forego Use of White Phosphorus… Sorta

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | May 13, 2013

idf white phosphorus

IDF rains white phosphorus indiscriminately on civilian targets

Yesh Din and other Israeli human rights NGOs sued the IDF over its use of white phosphorus during Operation Cast Lead and in similar conflicts.  It is deemed by many as a chemical weapon, especially when used as the IDF does.  It is not allowed to be used in or near civilian populations, which is precisely how Israel uses it.  It also dropped the napalm-like substance directly on civilian targets causing grievous injuries.  Scores of Gazans died or were maimed by the toxic, highly flammable material during the 2009 war.  The only time it’s legal to use it in combat is to provide smokescreen cover for combat operations. While the IDF maintains that was what it did, the evidence in the form of civilian casualties refutes that.

Recently, facing a difficult hearing before what would likely have been a skeptical Supreme Court, the IDF announced it would stop using white phosphorus in populated areas.  So far so good.  But as in every matter concerning Israel’s army, the devil is in the details:

The IDF has decided “to avoid the use in built-up areas of artillery shells containing white phosphorus, with two narrow exceptions,” the state said in an announcement to the court.

Yuval Roitman, who represented the state in the petition, added: This “has been decided in the IDF as a matter of policy … even though this is not a commitment in a legal sense.” The state’s decision emphasizes that while this is current IDF policy it could change in the future.

The State wants to appear to have renounced use of white phosphorus while not really doing so.  Note those “two narrow exceptions.”  I’m trying to ascertain what they are.  They have been conveniently omitted from any court filings or documents.  But I’m guessing they may be wide enough to drive a Mack truck through.  Also note the State affirms that the policy is only temporary and may be changed at the discretion of the army itself.  Further, the army makes a big deal out of the fact that while this is a change of policy, it isn’t a legally binding agreement forced upon it.  This is the equivalent of the defendant who cops a plea without an admission of guilt.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

US: Justice Department secretly seized AP reporters’ phone records

By Brendan Sasso and Jordy Yager – The Hill –  05/13/13 

Federal prosecutors secretly obtained two months’ worth of telephone records of Associated Press journalists in what the news agency described Monday as a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.”

The Justice Department notified the AP on Friday that it had subpoenaed the records, which included more than 20 office, cellphone and home phone lines. The lines include the general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery.

The records included outgoing call numbers, the AP said, but it is unclear whether prosecutors also obtained incoming call numbers or the duration of calls. The news organization said it had no reason to think that the government listened in to the content of the calls. The government did not reveal why it seized the records, but the AP noted that federal officials have previously said they were investigating who had leaked information to the news service about a foiled terror plot in 2012. An AP story in May 2012 included details about a CIA operation in Yemen targeting al Qaeda operatives.

AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt called the action “a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.”

Republicans were quick to criticize the Department of Justice (DOJ), saying that the invasion of privacy of a news outlet was just the latest example of an administration rife with problems. News of the AP probe broke as the White House is already fending off criticism of its handling of last year’s attacks on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and the revelation that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted conservative and Tea Party groups.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called the DOJ subpoena “very disturbing” and said he expected to team up with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to probe the issue further.

“If this question went to the Attorney General then he’s responsible and he should be held accountable for what I think is wrong,” Issa said on CNN. “On the other hand, if it didn’t go to him, the question is: when is the Justice Department going to take responsibility for what it does?

“There are serious problems at DOJ, this is just the latest one.”

Department policy requires that the attorney general sign off on all requests for reporter phone records. It is unclear whether Attorney General Eric Holder signed off in this case.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Justice budget, said the department’s move was reminiscent of the wiretapping authorized by former President Nixon’s administration.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Wolf in an interview with The Hill after news of the story broke. “It kind of reminds you of the mid-70s.”

“It is the arrogance of power and paranoia. I think it’s shocking. It reminds me of the Nixon days. If they can do it to the AP, they can do to any news service in the country.”

Criticism also came from the left.

“The media’s purpose is to keep the public informed and it should be free to do so without the threat of unwarranted surveillance,” Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Office, said in a statement. “The Attorney General must explain the Justice Department’s actions to the public so that we can make sure this kind of press intimidation does not happen again.”

The AP’s Pruitt sent a letter on Monday to Holder protesting the seizure of records, demanding that the government return the call records to the AP and destroy its copies.

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” Pruitt said.

“These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

Federal regulations require that subpoenas for a reporter’s phone records be as “narrowly drawn as possible.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney referred questions about the probe to the Justice Department.

In a statement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said it takes its legal obligations and department policies seriously when subpoenaing media phone records.

“Those regulations require us to make every reasonable effort to obtain information through alternative means before even considering a subpoena for the phone records of a member of the media,” the office said. “We must notify the media organization in advance unless doing so would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation.

“Because we value the freedom of the press, we are always careful and deliberative in seeking to strike the right balance between the public interest in the free flow of information and the public interest in the fair and effective administration of our criminal laws,” it said.

The FBI revealed in 2008 that it had subpoenaed the phone records of New York Times and Washington Post reporters in Indonesia as part of a terrorism investigation. The agency apologized for the incident, saying it failed to follow department policies.

Goodlatte said he planned to ask Holder “pointed questions” about the AP records on Wednesday when the attorney general is slated to testify during a general Judiciary oversight hearing.

“Any abridgement of the First Amendment right to the freedom of the press is very concerning,” said Goodlatte in a statement.

“The House Judiciary Committee will thoroughly investigate this issue and will also ask Attorney General Eric Holder pointed questions about it at Wednesday’s oversight hearing,” he said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) also said he would be probing the issue further and looking into whether the government may have overstepped its bounds.

“The burden is always on the government when they go after private information – especially information regarding the press or its confidential sources,” said Leahy in a statement. “I want to know more about this case, but on the face of it, I am concerned that the government may not have met that burden. I am very troubled by these allegations and want to hear the government’s explanation.”

Follow The Hill: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Comments Off on US: Justice Department secretly seized AP reporters’ phone records

Mainstream Media in America and Britain Repeat the Same Mistakes in Covering Iran That They Made on Iraq

By Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett | Going to Tehran | May 13, 2013

In an excellent report released last month, the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) offered a thoroughly documented—and devastating—critique of mainstream media coverage of the Iranian nuclear issue.  Authored by Jonas Siegel and Saranaz Barforoush, Media Coverage of Iran’s Nuclear Program:  An Analysis of U.S. and U.K. Coverage, 2009-2012, see here, reviews coverage of Iran’s nuclear activities and the international controversy surrounding those activities in six major English-language newspapers:  the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Guardian, and the Independent.

To quote from the report’s executive summary (with emphasis added), the authors found that

“–Newspaper coverage focused on the ‘he said/she said’ aspects of the policy debate, without adequately explaining the fundamental issues that should have been informing assessments—such as Iran’s nuclear capabilities and intentions, the influence of U.S., European, Iranian, and Israeli security strategies, and the impact of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

When newspaper coverage did address Iranian nuclear intentions and capabilities, it did so in a manner that lacked precision, was inconsistent over time, and failed to provide adequate sourcing and context for claims.  This led to an inaccurate picture of the choices facing policy makers.

Government officials, particularly U.S. government officials, were the most frequently quoted or relied-on sources in coverage of Iran’s nuclear program.  This tendency focused attention on a narrow set of policy options and deemphasized other potential approaches to the dispute.

Newspaper coverage generally adopted the tendency of U.S., European, and Israeli officials to place on Iran the burden to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program, failing to acknowledge the roles of these other countries in the dispute

Coverage of Iran’s nuclear program reflected and reinforced the negative sentiments about Iran that are broadly shared by U.S., European, and Israeli publics.  This contributed to misunderstandings about the interests involved and narrowed the range of acceptable outcomes.

In general, these characteristics led newspapers to frame their coverage of Iran’s nuclear program in a manner that emphasized official narratives of the dispute and a relatively narrow range of policy choices available to officials.  By not consistently describing the complex web of international relationships, security concerns, and intervening political factors in sufficient detail, newspaper coverage further privileged official narratives and policy preferences.  This makes it likely that the policies enacted and under consideration by policy makers—coercive diplomacy and war—remain the most likely outcome of the dispute.  In this way, news coverage of Iran’s nuclear program is reminiscent of news coverage of the run-up to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.  News coverage has the potential to play a significant, constructive role in finding a lasting resolution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, but journalists and editors first need to address the tendencies present in their current coverage of the topic.”

We encourage all to read and ponder, hard, this important new report.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mainstream Media in America and Britain Repeat the Same Mistakes in Covering Iran That They Made on Iraq

The Guardian’s Dehghan promotes nonsense on Iran’s election

By Cyrus Safdari | Iran Affairs | May 14, 2013

Saeed Kamali Dehghan, writing for the Guardian, attempts to explain Iran’s presidential elections by promoting some standard nonsense propaganda, for example by claiming that the so called Green Movement was a “pro-democracy” movement when in fact they were attempting to violently undo an election whose results have since been vindicated as truly representative of Iranian public opinion by multiple independent polls.

Furthermore, on the topic of Iran’s nuclear program, he simply and matter-of-factly asserts that the sanctions are “over suspicions that the programme has military ambitions” and that Iran has “failed to abide by its international obligations” when in fact by now anyone who has followed the nuclear dispute is unquestionably aware that the sanctions have nothing to do with the nuclear program and instead, that the  dispute over the nuclear program is merely a pretext pushed by the US as a cover for a policy of imposing regime-change in Iran. Furthermore, Iran has not violated any such non-existent “international obligation” (as Dehghan claims matter-of-factly) to give up her sovereign right to enrich uranium — if anything it is the US and EU who violated their international obligations under the NPT, with respect to not just Iran, by forcibly attempting to deprive countries of their rights as recognized by the NPT (and also not disarming their own nuclear weapons as the NPT requires them to do, never mind murdering civilian scientists and making illegal threats of attacking Iran on a daily basis etc etc.)

So here we go again with the Western media and complicit journalists promoting bullshit under the guise of analysis. just watch how this Dehghan character has repeated some of the standard talking points of the US about iran’s nuclear program without even a hint of objectivity. You can of course expect more of this. Note that there is no option to post comments regarding this piece by Dehghan on the Guardian site; you’re just supposed to accept it.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Comments Off on The Guardian’s Dehghan promotes nonsense on Iran’s election

Buckling to Bigotry: The Newseum Dishonors Murdered Palestinian Journalists

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | May 13, 2013

Just two days before Palestinians commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Nakba, the names of two Palestinian cameramen targeted and killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza last November were dropped from a dedication ceremony held to honor “reporters, photographers and broadcasters who have died reporting the news” over the past year. The move followed an Israel lobby pressure campaign led by anti-Palestinian organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the American Jewish Committee, efforts that were openly supported by the Israeli government.

The Atlantic Wire’s J.K. Trotter summarizes:

Two days after Washington, D.C.’s Newseum announced its intent to honor Hussam Salama and Mahmoud al-Kumi, who were killed in November while working as cameramen for the Middle East-based Al-Aqsa TV, the well-known temple of journalism has decided — for now — not to recognize Salama and al-Kumi, citing their employer’s deep ties to Hamas, a Palestinian organization currently designated by the United States as a terrorist group.

The Newseum, which honored 82 journalists on May 13, 2013, stated that it had “decided to re-evaluate their inclusion as journalists on our memorial wall pending further investigation,” even though just last week, in response to the hysterical reaction to Salama’s and al-Kumi’s initial inclusion, the museum had affirmed and defended their decision, noting that “the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers all consider these men journalists killed in the line of duty.”

Indeed, as Joe Catron notes, Reporters Without Borders has pointed out, “Even if the targeted media support Hamas, this does not in any way legitimize the attacks,” while the Committee to Protect Journalists “found that the Israeli military’s official justifications for its attacks on journalists…’did not specifically address CPJ’s central question: how did Israel determine that those targeted did not deserve the civilian protections afforded to all journalists, no matter their perspective, under international law?'”

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers includes both Salama and al-Kumi on its list of “69 Media Employees Killed in 2012,” as does the International Federation of Journalists in tis report, “In the Grip of Violence: Journalists and Media staff Killed in 2012.”

Human Rights Watch, in its December 20, 2012 report on “Unlawful Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Media,” concluded,

Four Israeli attacks on journalists and media facilities in Gaza during the November 2012 fighting violated the laws of war by targeting civilians and civilian objects that were making no apparent contribution to Palestinian military operations.

The attacks killed two Palestinian cameramen, wounded at least 10 media workers, and badly damaged four media offices, as well as the offices of four private companies. One of the attacks killed a two-year-old boy who lived across the street from a targeted building.

The Israeli government asserted that each of the four attacks was on a legitimate military target but provided no specific information to support its claims. After examining the attack sites and interviewing witnesses, Human Rights Watch found no indications that these targets were valid military objectives.

“Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command center does not make it so,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Journalists who praise Hamas and TV stations that applaud attacks on Israel may be propagandists, but that does not make them legitimate targets under the laws of war.”

HRW added, “The two men’s families, interviewed separately, said the men were neither participating in the fighting nor members of any armed group. Human Rights Watch found no evidence, including during visits to the men’s homes, to contradict that claim. Hamas’s armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, has not put either man on its official list of killed fighters – an unlikely omission if the men had been playing a military role.”

For the Newseum to be bullied into omitting Salama and al-Kumi from its rededication ceremony by avowedly Zionist groups and right-wing media outlets demonstrates that the institution itself is no less a propaganda outfit than Al-Aqsa TV. This shameful last minute decision effectively grants the U.S. and Israeli governments the ability to decide who is and who is not a journalist and who should and who should not be honored for their work.

But the decision also reeks of hypocrisy and Manichean double standards.

The Newseum is essentially suggesting that sycophantic journalists parroting government propaganda may be legitimate targets in military operations and should be labeled combatants, rather than civilians who enjoy press freedoms and are subject to protection.

Yet this only extends as far as the U.S. State Department says it does.

The ADL’s Abe Foxman called Salama and al-Kumi “members of a terrorist organization advancing their agenda through murderous violence” and “terrorist operatives” who “were working for a propaganda outlet, not a legitimate news organization.” The AJC’s David Harris echoed these sentiments, labeling Salama and al-Kumi as “brazen terrorists” and “two individuals who were integral to the propaganda machine of the Hamas terrorist organization,” that could not be considered “a legitimate media operation.”

Such terms as “terrorism” and “terrorist” are perhaps the most loaded, politicized, exploited and, consequently, meaningless words in our current lexicon, employed as a bludgeon against critical thinking in order to reinforce “us vs. themnarratives.

Apparently, the Newseum has determined that our propaganda deserves respect and admiration, while their propaganda (in this case, documenting on camera the effects Israeli bombs and missiles have on the human flesh of Palestinian people at Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital) should be condemned, targeted and investigated.

By this measure, plenty of alleged propagandists grace the memorial wall of the Newseum already, with more added during today’s ceremony.

Mohamed Al-Massalma, a freelance reporter for Al Jazeera, was killed by a sniper while covering the Syrian civil war in Busra Al-Harir in late January 2013. The Syrian journalist, working under the pseudonym Mohamed Al-Horani, was “an activist in the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad,” before joining Al Jazeera.

In January 2012, Mukarram Khan Aatif was gunned down in the Pakistani town of Shabqadar by members of the Pakistani Taliban. Aatif was a journalist working for Deewa Radio, the U.S. government’s Voice of America Pasto-language service. He was among those honored by the Newseum this year.

The taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) and its affiliated services have been legally banned from broadcasting or distribution here in the United States for the past 65 years because of a Congressional act prohibiting the government from propagandizing to its own citizens. Only last year was this law reversed; the ban will be officially lifted this coming July 2013. VOA is literally U.S. government propaganda, yet its reporters are accorded due protection from violence, as they should be.

Another VOA journalist, Mohammed Ali Nuxurkey, was killed in an al-Shabab bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, this past March There is no doubt he will be added the Newseum’s wall next year.

If any distinctions are to be made among different categories of journalists caught in the line of fire or deliberately targeted for murder, international law does not, in fact, favor the Foxman’s and Harris’ of the world.

While war journalists who are not embedded with troops or themselves soldiers taking direct part in hostilities are legally protected by the law of armed conflict, embedded reporters are not necessarily similarly protected.

According to international law professor Sandesh Sivakumaran, writing for the Oxford University Press, embedded journalists, while civilians, may be “casualties of lawful attacks” as “[t]he law allows for the targeting of troops and that targeting may result in bystanders or embedded reporters becoming casualties.”

Still, embedded journalists who were killed while accompanying American occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan – a policy promoted by the U.S. military in order to ensure positive reporting on American actions (some might call that propaganda) – have also rightly been accorded a place in the Newseum’s memorial. Journalists like Spanish reporter Julio Anguita Parrado and German correspondent Christian Liebig, killed by Iraqi missiles in an April 7, 2003 attack on the U.S. Army’s 3rd Division headquarters in Baghdad, are honored by the Newseum as is NBC News soundman Jeremy Little, killed in Fallujah in July 2003 while embedded with the Army’s 3rd Infantry.

Sivakumaran also explains that “[j]ournalists who work for media outlets or information services of the armed forces” are legally considered “members of the armed forces,” and therefore “don’t benefit from the protections afforded to civilians and their deaths don’t constitute a violation of the law.”

As such, the Newseum’s glaring duplicity is all the more evident when considering the case of James P. Hunter. A staff sergeant, reporter and photographer with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Hunter was killed on June 18, 2010 by an IED while covering the massive U.S. offensive taking place in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for The Fort Campbell Courier, an Army newspaper in Kentucky. He was an active duty soldier and the first Army journalist to die in combat since 9/11. Still, the Newseum saw fit to honor Hunter on its memorial wall.

Yet in the case of Salama and al-Kumi, “Israeli officials sought to justify attacks on Palestinian media by saying the military had targeted individuals or facilities that ‘had relevance to’ or were ‘linked with’ a Palestinian armed group, or had ‘encouraged and lauded acts of terror against Israeli civilians,'” according to Human Rights Watch. “These justifications, suggesting that it is permissible to attack media because of their associations or opinions, however repugnant, rather than their direct participation in hostilities, violate the laws of war and place journalists at grave risk.”

If repellant statements, including the justification of and praise for acts of violence against civilians, are the benchmark of propaganda and thereby constitute legitimate targeting for death by those opposed to such statements, then countless American journalists and commentators from across the political spectrum would be subject to the same fate as Salama and al-Kumi.

Warmongering and incitement abound in the editorial pages of The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Liberal commentators like Joe Klein and former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs exhalt the extrajudicial executions by flying robot of countless civilians, including a 16-year-old American citizen in Yemen and hundreds of children in Pakistan. Right-wing pundits like Jennifer Rubin and her friends at Commentary and The Weekly Standard openly advocate for the murder of Iranian and Palestinian civilians, endlessly call for permanent war and occupation, support torture and indefinite detention, advocate for the assassination of whistleblowers, scientists and foreign officials, and justify the war crimes of their preferred military forces and governments.

Just days before the car in which Salama and al-Kumi were traveling, marked clearly as a press vehicle, was blown up by an Israeli bomb, Rubin published a post praising the IDF assault on Gaza. Hardly able to contain her glee, Rubin anonymously quoted “an old Middle East hand” declaring that, after weeks of sporadic Israeli airstrikes (“a form of messaging to Hamas”), “the Israelis escalated. But still they are avoiding infrastructure, hitting pinpoint high-level Hamas target.”

A recent B’Tselem report on Israel’s actions last November, however, “challenges the common perception in the Israeli public and media that the operation was ‘surgical’ and caused practically no fatalities among uninvolved Palestinian civilians,” noting that, “in some cases at least, the [Israeli] military violated IHL [international humanitarian law] and in other cases there are substantial reasons to believe IHL was violated.” Israeli airstrikes killed 167 Palestinians in Gaza, at least 87 of whom were noncombatants, including 31 minors.

Two days after cheering Israeli war crimes, Rubin set her sights on a bigger target. “Israel can keep swatting down Hamas, using air power or, if need be, going into Gaza on land,” she wrote. “It has a solemn obligation to defend itself against what was a deliberate escalation by Hamas in the number and quality of weapons launched against Israel’s civilian population. But even with the most robust U.S. support this is not a long-term solution. That will only come when Iran is dealt with, either militarily or via regime change.”

Anyone arguing that Rubin could be targeted with violence for writing her opinions would be labeled sociopathic and lambasted for incitement, and for good reason. And there is no doubt that if correspondents from Israeli Army Radio or employees of the state-run Israel Broadcasting Authority were killed, they would be honored by the Newseum, without so much as a whiff of dissent, let alone outrage.

It is evident that, as always, Palestinians are subject to unparalleled scrutiny and suspicion due to the tireless defamation and lobbying efforts of big-moneyed Zionist organizations and ideological zealots.

But is it surprising that the Newseum should jump on this bias bandwagon?

In the late 1940’s, Bugsy Siegel’s former publicist Hank Greenspun was recruited by Jewish militias in Palestine to help them fight against both the occupying British and indigenous Palestinians. He hijacked a yacht and laundered $1.3 million through Mexico in order to smuggle machine guns stolen from the U.S. Navy in Hawaii to the prolific terrorist group Irgun, which had blown up Jerusalem’s King David Hotel the year before and would massacre the residents of Deir Yassin a year later. Soon thereafter, Greenspun was apprehended by the FBI while attempting to illegally ship surplus combat airplane engines to Haganah.

In 1950, he was convicted of violating the U.S. Neutrality Act and fined $10,000 for his arms deals. The same year, he purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal and renamed it the Las Vegas Sun, serving as publisher for the next four decades.

Upon his death in 1989, former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres called Greenspun “a hero of our country and a fighter for freedom – a man of great spirit who fought with his mind and his soul; a man of great conviction and commitment.” In 1993, a one-acre plaza in the Jerusalem Botanical Garden of Hebrew University was dedicated to him.

In 2006, the Greenspun Family donated $7 million to the Newseum, which named a terrace in his honor. It overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Activists: Facebook blocks Nakba group page

Ma’an – 14/05/2013

BETHLEHEM – A Facebook page promoting Nakba commemoration events in Jaffa was temporarily blocked overnight, Palestinian activists said Monday.

Fatima Huleiwi, an activist with Jaffa Youth, told Ma’an that it was not the first time that Facebook had blocked the group’s user page.

“When we published material urging people to support hunger striking prisoners, our pages were blocked. Last night the invitation to an event commemorating the Nakba anniversary in Jaffa was also blocked on several accounts for hours,” she said.

Sometimes right-wing Israelis report violations on the group’s Facebook pages, Huleiwi says, and as a result Facebook temporarily blocks the site for several hours.

Jaffa Youth has to send a complaint to Facebook before they eventually unblock the page, she added.

Members of Jaffa Youth will commemorate the 65th Nakba anniversary in Jaffa’s Clock Square from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The event will include artistic activities and public discussions about the Nakba, with Dr. Thabet Abu Ras from Adalah, and Eitan Bronstein from Zochrot, or ‘remembering,’ among the participants.

“We will continue to prepare for this event and will try to make it the most prestigious commemoration of the Nakba in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948,” Mahmoud Abu Arisha, an activist from Jaffa Youth, told Ma’an.

More than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants — were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948.

Around 160,000 Palestinians, who remained in Israel after 1948, now number around 1.36 million people, or 20 percent of the country’s population.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Nothing forbidden for them, but nothing allowed for us”

International Solidarity Movement | May 14, 2013

Qaryut, Occupied Palestine – Settlers from the illegal colony of Shilo set fire to land belonging to the nearby village of Qaryut. Around 25 families own land in this area. The land contained wheat crops and olive trees and is next to land previously stolen by settlers, which they had been cultivating for themselves only two days before.

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Illegal Shilo settler Moshka takes pictures of his handiwork, torching Palestinian land (Photo by Qaryut villagers)

Red Crescent paramedics went to the scene of the fires at around 6pm, where many villagers had already arrived hoping to put out the fires. However they were prevented from doing so by four settlers and half a dozen soldiers who had turned up to protect the settlers. Villagers were made to stand and watch their future harvest go up in flames. With the fires building up they had nothing to do but argue in vain with the soldiers about the gross immorality of the situation.

The settlers present also prevented the fire from spreading on to the annexed land they have been cultivating. It was clear to see the fires had been deliberately lit as there were many separate fires in a close range, rather than one large fire spreading on the overcast and wet day. Villagers witnessed Moshka, one of the settlers – (who is a regular problem causer; his son is a patrolman for the settlement too) – use a lighter to set fire to their land. The fire was only put out by the arrival of heavy and atypical rain from a thunderstorm an hour later.

Two days prior to this attack the settlers had started ploughing stolen land and cut down four trees. They have been expanding the settlement on the Palestinian side of the highway to Ramallah and Jerusalem. Fifteen dunams of land was torched. Meanwhile two dunums of wheatfields had been burnt in the South Hebron Hills earlier that day.

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A familiar sight, soldiers and settlers working together (Photo by Qaryut villagers)

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Nothing forbidden for them, but nothing allowed for us”