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WHY? Stories of bombed Yugoslavia

Exactly 15 years ago, on March 24, NATO began its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. The alliance bypassed the UN under a “humanitarian” pretext, launching aggression that claimed hundreds of civilian lives and caused a much larger catastrophe than it averted.

Years on, Serbia still bears deep scars of the NATO bombings which, as the alliance put it, were aimed at “preventing instability spreading” in Kosovo.

Codenamed ‘Operation Allied Force,’ it was the largest attack ever undertaken by the alliance. It was also the first time that NATO used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council and against a sovereign nation that did not pose a real threat to any member of the alliance.

NATO demonstrated in 1999 that it can do whatever it wants under the guise of “humanitarian intervention,” “war on terror,” or “preventive war” — something that everyone has witnessed in subsequent years in different parts of the globe.

Nineteen NATO member states participated to some degree in the military campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), which lasted for 11 weeks until June 10, 1999.

In the course of the campaign, NATO launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs, including depleted uranium bombs and cluster munitions (unexploded cluster bombs continued to pose a threat to people long after the campaign was over.) Over 2,000 civilians were killed, including 88 children, and thousands more were injured. Over 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to leave their homeland in Kosovo.

In what the alliance described as “collateral damage,” its airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals. At least 40,000 homes were either completely eliminated or damaged and about 90 historic and architectural monuments were ruined. That is not to mention the long-term harm caused to the region’s ecology and, therefore, people’s health.

News correspondents Anissa Naouai and Jelena Milincic, the authors of RT’s documentary ‘Zashto?’ — which means “Why?” in English –traveled through former Yugoslavia to Belgrade, Kosovo, and Montenegro and spoke to people who endured the atrocities and horrors of the war and lost their friends and relatives. … http://rt.com/news/yugoslavia-kosovo-…

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , , | Comments Off on WHY? Stories of bombed Yugoslavia

The US media and the “mysterious carrier” mock-up in Iran: utter bankruptcy on display, yet again

By Cyrus Safdari | Iran Affairs | March 24, 2014

So the NY Times came out with a story about a “mysterious” Iranian mock-up of a US naval carrier.

Supposedly “shrouded in mystery” and built “presumably for some mysteriously bellicose purposes,” (and “while Iran has tried to conceal its underground nuclear-related sites” — I guess the NY Times had to get a lie about the nuclear issue in there too) the author proceeds to quote various US military officials suggesting that Iran was going to make some sort of “propaganda point” with the fake ship, and so the 5th Fleet rushed to “get ahead of the Iranians” by announcing it to the media… which proceeded to run with the “Iranian propaganda” story.

Of course, the more obvious reason for the construction of such mock-ups –to make a movie — is not even seriously considered by the NY Times. And, turns out that the US military apparently didn’t know, and the NY Times couldn’t be bothered to check, that Iran is in fact making a movie about the 1988 US shooting down of the Iranian Airbus.

The movie was announced in 2013, as al-Monitor states.

I mean, if this isn’t the most obvious example of the US media totally abrogating any semblence of objectivity and professionalism when dealing with Iran-related stories, I don’t know what is.

But note that al-Monitor doesn’t ask the obvious question: why did US Navy and the NY Times so misrepresent this story? Are they incompetent, or just evil? Why did the US media run with the claims? Why didn’t anyone bother checking it? What broader conclusions can we reach about the state of the US media’s coverage of Iran affairs?

Note that had the Iranian government promoted such bullshit in the media, al-Monitor would be hosting a march of “Iran experts” opining about it and reaching all sorts of broader conclusions about Iran, but don’t expect any sort of self-analysis from the US media.

Oh, by the way, who was actually promoting propaganda?

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 3 Comments

BRICS at Hague slam attempts to isolate Putin

BRICS Post | March 24, 2014

BRICS have slammed recent reports ahead of the G20 meet to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin or to place any restrictions on his participation at the G-20 summit in Australia later this year.

“The Ministers noted with concern, the recent media statement on the forthcoming G20 Summit to be held in Brisbane in November 2014.  The custodianship of the G20 belongs to all Member States equally and no one Member State can unilaterally determine its nature and character,” said a joint BRICS statement on Monday. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had said earlier that Putin could be barred from attending the G20 Summit in November.

BRICS Foreign Ministers met on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague on Monday to review cooperation among the bloc of five after the adoption of the eThekwini Action Plan of 2013.

The Ministers noted that the role of global governments should focus on “finance, security, information and production”.

“The BRICS agenda is not centered around any specific country or related issue and shares a common vision which drives it to also increasingly identify common areas for cooperation to assist with finding global solutions to global challenges,” noted the joint communiqué.

The BRICS meet convened by South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was attended by her counterparts Sergey Lavrov, Salman Khurshid, Wang Yi and Carlos Antonio Paranhos, Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

The BRICS Ministers also discussed cybersecurity and challenges to peace and security, “notably the significant infringements of privacy and related rights in the wake of the cyber threats experienced, for which there is a need to address these implications in respect of national laws as well as in terms of international law”, said the statement.

BRICS would “continue to act as positive catalysts for inclusive change in the transformation process towards a new and more equitable global order” asserted the Ministers.

BRICS have opposed sanctions against the Syrian government and have argued for a negotiated settlement of the Iranian issue. They are also pushing for reforms of global financial institutions like the IMF.

The five nations also agreed that the challenges that exist within the regions of the BRICS countries must be addressed within the fold of the United Nations.

“The escalation of hostile language, sanctions and counter-sanctions, and force does not contribute to a sustainable and peaceful solution, according to international law, including the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter,” said the statement.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , | Comments Off on BRICS at Hague slam attempts to isolate Putin

Japan prepares to ship nuclear materials to the US

RT | March 24, 2014

Japan agreed to transfer a share of its highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium stockpiles to the US as part of the global effort to secure nuclear materials. Other nations are also urged to deposit excess nuclear materials in the US.

On the eve of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, US and Japanese leaders arranged a deal on “final disposition” in the US of well over 300 kilograms of weapons grade plutonium and an unspecified quantity of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that will be “sent to a secure facility and fully converted into less sensitive forms.”

This quantity of plutonium is enough to produce 40-50 warheads. The total quantity of HEU currently stocked in Japan is estimated at approximately 1.2 tons. According to The New York Times, some 200 kilograms of HEU is currently designated for the US.

After Barack Obama announced in Prague in 2009 an ambitious agenda to seek “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the American president has been pressing his foreign counterparts, both in Asia and Europe, demanding they either get rid of their excess nuclear materials via the US, or tighten security of stockpiles at home.

Two more countries, Belgium and Italy, have also agreed to hand over excess nuclear materials to the US and issued separate joint statements with the White House, Reuters reported.

“This effort involves the elimination of hundreds of kilograms of nuclear material, furthering our mutual goal of minimizing stocks of HEU and separated plutonium worldwide, which will help prevent unauthorized actors, criminals, or terrorists from acquiring such materials,” US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a joint statement released by the White House on Monday.

There is no information whether the deal between Japan and the US has a financial side; nuclear materials, of course, have a solid market value.

After the Russian-American HEU-LEU agreement came to an end in 2013, the US nuclear power generation industry is likely to face a sharp fuel price surge and shortage.

For two decades, the US was buying nuclear fuel from Russia for a dumping price. This fuel was made from down blended Soviet military grade highly enriched uranium, which constituted up to 40 percent of nuclear fuel for America’s 104 nuclear reactors (America’s 65 nuclear power plants generate over 19 percent of electric power in the country).
In the meantime, the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), the leading US nuclear fuel supplier remains in dire straits and plans to voluntarily file for bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2014 in order to restructure.

The US also has problems with producing plutonium, used not only in nuclear warheads, but for space exploration as well; only plutonium can produce enough power for long missions to distant planets in the Solar system.

Tokyo also reportedly possesses several dozen tons of plutonium-uranium hybrid fuel called MOX, which it intends to burn in 16 reactors the country plans to restart. All Japanese nuclear power generating facilities halted operation following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in March 2011.

The nuclear materials designated for transfer to the US have been kept for decades at Japan’s research reactor site in Tokaimura, where it was used for research.

During the Cold War era, the US and UK reportedly handed over some 331 kilogram of plutonium to Japan to be used for developing breeder reactor technology.

After decades of research, practically all fast (breeder) reactor projects around the world, including Japanese ones, are now closed down. The only country that currently possesses operating breeder reactor power generation facility is Russia.

In 1999, the Tokaimura facility witnessed an accident involving a highly enriched uranium solution. Two workers mishandled radioactive fluid and died as a result, while over 300 were exposed to high doses of radiation.

The New York Times maintains that while the nuclear materials at the Tokaimura facility are of American and British origin, Japan also has vast stockpiles, up to nine tons of plutonium, created at the country’s nuclear power stations as a byproduct of burning uranium for electric power generation. Once Japan restarts some of its nuclear reactors, there will be even more plutonium generated.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Nuclear Power | , , | Comments Off on Japan prepares to ship nuclear materials to the US

Iran dismisses Canadian court ruling on asset freeze

Press TV – March 22, 2014

Iran has rejected a politically-motivated ruling by a Canadian court to seize more than USD 7 million of the Islamic Republic’s assets and properties.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Saturday that Iran was not informed about the legal proceedings, adding that the court ruling has therefore “no legal value” to Iran.

An Ontario judge in Canada recently ordered the seizure of more than USD 7 million of assets and properties belonging to Iran over some plaintiffs alleging that the Islamic Republic funds terrorist groups.

“Given the approach of the Canadian government, it is crystal clear that the verdict is politically-motivated and such rulings have no legal value,” Afkham said, reminding the Ottawa government of its international commitment to protect diplomatic properties.

Pointing to Canada’s move to sever ties with Iran unilaterally, Afkham said under international law diplomatic properties have immunity, warning Ottawa of the legal repercussions of disrespecting international regulations.

The Iranian official stated that Iran, as a victim of terrorism, has always denounced this inhuman scourge.

She warned that the double standards used by Western countries, including Canada, in the fight against terrorism will not only fail to uproot it but will also contribute to the spread of this phenomenon.

On September 7, 2012 the Canadian government closed its embassy in Tehran and ordered Iranian diplomats to leave Canada within five days.

In a statement, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird cited a number of reasons for Ottawa’s decision to sever ties with Iran, including the West’s dispute over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, the country’s support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as “threatening the existence of Israel.”

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | Comments Off on Iran dismisses Canadian court ruling on asset freeze

Sanctions against Russia for the U.S. are a Dead-End

By Sufyan bin Uzayr | International Policy Digest | March 23, 2014

Now that Crimea has voted to unite with Russia and Vladimir Putin has welcomed Crimea with open arms, the Western half of the world, especially the United States and the European Union, are talking at lengths about imposing sanctions on Russia in order to bring Vladimir Putin to his senses.

However, the task seems easier said than done. The United States is simply not in a position to impose long-term sanctions on Russia. Economic and political ties between the United States and Russia are surely not exemplary. Yet, one key American industry relies heavily on a particular import from Russia: fuel for nuclear power plants. American dependency on Russia for its nuclear fuel is not a new development. It dates back to the early 1990s, when the HEU-LEU scheme was launched after the demise of the Soviet Union. Under this scheme, highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Russian nuclear warheads is processed into low enriched uranium (LEU) for use as fuel for American nuclear power plants.

While there are plans of reducing the need for nuclear energy, the United States still receives 100 GW of its power from nuclear power plants (compare this with Russia’s nuclear energy production of 230 GW). As a result, during 2014, 48 million pounds of uranium will be needed to fuel America’s nuclear power plants. Going by data released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the total uranium Oxide produced within the United States is roughly 4.8 million pounds. Barely 10% of the total demand.

Quite obviously, this is not a new trend. Back in 2012 as well, the United States had to purchase over 80% of its nuclear fuel from foreign sources. Acquisition of uranium (ore and/or concentrate) is just one side of the story. The bigger task is the conversion of the acquired uranium into usable nuclear fuel — a process popularly known as ‘enrichment.’

As of now, nuclear enrichment is the responsibility of private firms in the United States. However, among all such private firms, the American ones constitute no more than 20%. Foreign enrichment facilities constitute the rest. European firms and work units undertake approximately 35% of the total enrichment task, and the remainder lies in the hands of Russian enterprises. Quite simply there are not many “home” enrichment facilities in the United States, and nuclear enrichment is accomplished primarily with the help of foreign facilities such as those from Europe and Russia.

Therefore, even though the HEU-LEU scheme ended recently, the United States is set on extending its lifespan by means of renewal. The real details of the renewed HEU-LEU scheme remain to be seen. But by all means, it is highly doubtful that American dependency on Russian help will come to an end, especially because the capacity of America’s own enrichment facilities is limited, as per the data from World Nuclear Association. With uranium supplier USEC planning to file for bankruptcy, the role of foreign facilities in general and Russian facilities in particular will rise manifold.

If sanctions are imposed on Russia, the United States might choose to make up for the missing nuclear imports and enrichment services from Russia by increasing the amount it imports from rest of the world; but even that will help only in part. In a nutshell, when it comes to nuclear energy, America will have a hard time finding an alternative to Russian help. Thus, while the European Union can indeed deliver on its promise of imposing sanctions against Russia, the United States cannot because if mutual sanctions were to come into effect, the primary loser will be America’s own nuclear industry.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Nuclear Power | , , , | Comments Off on Sanctions against Russia for the U.S. are a Dead-End

Is the BDS Democratic?

Open letter to Omar Barghouti, Co-founder, PACBI

By Paul Larudee | Dissident Voice | March 23, 2014

Dear Omar,

Let me start by saying that you have done a lot for BDS and that BDS has done a lot for the Palestinian cause.  It is perhaps for this reason that we should all be concerned with potential corruption of the movement, and you most of all.  I refer to changes of wording, changes of direction and changes of priority within the movement.

The change of wording is the infamous four words “occupied in June, 1967″ inserted into the first of three objectives in the mission statement portion of the 2005 BDS Call signed by 173 Palestinian organizations, such that the statement now demands of Israel:

“Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall…” (added phrase in italics)

I understand your argument that this phrase only clarifies the meaning of the original statement, and that it changes the meaning not at all.  Even so, who gave you the right to make the change without consulting and getting the approval of the signatories to the original call?  Why was it inserted without even telling anyone, such that no one but you even knows when it was done?  If it is so uncontroversial, why not get it approved?

Why is the phrase needed, anyway?  You argue that it results in no change of meaning.  Why, then, is it not superfluous?  Since it is a bone of contention, just remove it and be done with it.

I also understand that the offending phrase occurs only in the ”Introducing the BDS Movement” section of the website and that the original wording is preserved elsewhere.  However, this is at best misleading and at worst disingenuous.  The “Introducing the BDS Movement” section reproduces the three demands from the 2005 Call completely verbatim, except for the added four words, and then proceeds to make the claim that this wording is endorsed by the signatories of the 2005 BDS Call.

This is deceptive and even fraudulent and must be corrected.  The altered wording has even been mistakenly quoted by Max Blumenthal in his book Goliath as being the wording of the original BDS Call.  Your misrepresentation has led directly to his error.

However, the wording is not merely a technical problem.  The wording is apparently important to you.  But why?  Could it be that the wording was needed in order to satisfy individuals or groups or interests that demanded this wording?  Was it meant as an assurance that BDS would not demand the return of all lands stolen from Palestinians but only those lands that were stolen outside the Green Line?

If this is the case, it would explain why many “soft” Zionists, who want to maintain a Jewish state but give back the West Bank, now participate in BDS, but only against institutions that support the Israeli presence in the West Bank.

In fact, that is the current priority of the movement, with little or no Boycott, Divestment or Sanctions aimed at institutions that deny equal rights to Palestinian citizens of Israel or the Right of Return to Palestinians in the shatat (“diaspora”).

Is this a coincidence or is BDS headed in a different direction than its origins would indicate?  Is it no longer a Palestinian movement, but rather a “soft” Zionist movement?

Obviously, people join movements for different reasons, and if Zionists want to boycott organizations that do business with Israel – even if only in the West Bank – their contribution is welcome.

However, it is quite another matter to effectively turn over the reins of the movement to them or to accommodate them by changing the wording of the mission statement.  A Palestinian movement that welcomes Zionists that have limited objectives is quite different from a Zionist movement that wants to limit its mission but accepts Palestinians that have wider goals.

Is that what is going on?  Perhaps not.  Perhaps my concerns are exaggerated.  But in that case, please dispel all doubt by removing the four words.

Paul Larudee

Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is the BDS Democratic?

Internalized Oppression: Yet another Loss for an Occupied Nation

By Samah Jabr | Palestine Chronicle | March 23 2014

Jerusalem, Palestine – The chronic tyranny brought by the Israeli occupation has had a devastating effect on the well being of the Palestinian community. But one of the worst effects is the internalization of oppression and the undermining of Palestinian’s collective self-concept. I have observed that since the 2006 elections in Palestine—which were followed by an arrest of the elected parliamentarians and an international boycott of the elected government—the vigorous spirit of the Palestinian community that had previously evolved during long years of resistance has finally been reduced to a state of demoralization.The undermining of this election represented an additional bitter blow after the more subtle impact of the Oslo Accords, which had been originally promoted as part of the Palestinian liberation project. However, reports published on the Accord’s 20th anniversary showed that during this period the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank had doubled and the area controlled by settlements had expanded to 42 % of Palestinian land; furthermore, a system of restrictions on Palestinian movement and trade had continued its division of Palestinian families and its decimation of the economy. Not to mention the infamous collaboration between Palestinian and Israeli security forces that has secured for Israelis a profitable trade and tourism through bed and breakfast hotels overlooking the magnificent hills of the West Bank, dismantled resistance, and incarcerated more Palestinians in prisons.

Over years of occupation, young Palestinians saw their fathers dragged from homes by Israeli soldiers, humiliated at checkpoints, and rendered unable to provide for their families’ safety and basic needs. In reaction to their feelings of shame, such vulnerable children came to identify with the oppressor through oppressing weaker members of their community and developing self-loathing. A Palestinian Jerusalemite told me, “On holidays I don’t go to Eilat because it will be full of Arabs!” The efforts of some Palestinians to assimilate and identify with Israelis are truly pathetic. Some Palestinians shop for their clothing in Israeli boutiques, dress their hair in Israeli salons, and drive while listening to loud music in Hebrew. I have observed more than one Palestinian patient suffering a relapse of manic illness who spoke to me in Hebrew as an expression of grandiosity. Meanwhile, the reality of job opportunities in the West Bank is dismal and work conditions are miserable, so that many laborers are eager to work for Israelis even if they must work in settlements or participate in projects such as building the separation wall. These workers are often treated by Israelis as sub-human: a few months ago Ahsan Abu-Srur, a 54 year old unauthorized Palestinian construction worker from Askar refugee camp, was seriously injured while doing renovation work in Tel Aviv. Realizing that he was critically injured, the Israeli contractor and two of his workers dragged the man to the sidewalk opposite the workplace and left him there to die.

The experience of oppression undermines the internal cohesion of the oppressed and creates among them a state of polarization, in which they often direct their rage at others who are similarly victimized. Oppression makes people selfish and greedy, prone to infighting and competition over scarce resources—the scraps of opportunities left over from the oppressor. Oppressed people readily become resentful and envious of one another, creating an ambiance of mutual distrust.

The sense of inferiority resulting from internalized oppression sets into motion a vicious cycle. We are treated as inferior—and in the absence of resistance, resilience and self-defense, we internalize the assumption of our own inferiority. Thus we come to believe that we are less capable and less worthy than others. These feelings are then projected onto our perceptions of one another and enacted in our treatment of one another. In this way, Palestinians come to distrust and devalue their own educational and medical systems; there is a spiteful oppression of women, a contemptuous attitude towards persons of a lower socioeconomic class, and an exclusionary and intolerant attitude towards political opposition—just a few manifestations of our internalized oppression.

Nowadays, there is a widespread, corrupt system of influence and cronyism in Palestine such that most people are employees of the government. As a consequence, our agriculture is suffering, small independent businesses are crushed, and only the enterprises of a tiny minority, closely allied to the government can flourish. Young people are trapped in a cycle of consumerism, with new apartments, cars, and big loans from banks requiring a relentless lifetime of repayment. The result is decreased social involvement and productivity and rising rates of crime, addiction and diminished wellbeing. Pervasive inadequacy throughout our institutions, nepotism, false representation and mistreatment and torture of Palestinians by fellow Palestinians are just a few of the symptoms of the general degradation of our community.

Community leaders and politicians fail to restore our national dignity and pride by taking steps to break through this vicious cycle and shedding light upon resilience, productivity, authenticity and steadfastness. We remember the submissive words of the President following the western boycott of the electoral results, “If we have to choose between bread and democracy, we choose bread.” Since the partition between the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian official discourse seems to confuse the doer and the do-ee. In its relationship with Israel, our officials assume the role of the oppressor, condemning spontaneous Palestinian reactions to Israeli violations and promoting meek submission to Israeli oppression. The people of Palestine are cast by our leadership into the role of the suspect, the offender; such reactions only feed into the entitlement of the occupier’s spin on reality, which turns us into victimizers and assumes the role of the victim.

The submissiveness urged by our leaders goes beyond condemning armed resistance to trivializing non-violent measures such as the imposition of boycotts and the use of international law to hold Israel accountable for its actions; the Palestinian official position toward the Goldstone report on Israel’s war crimes is an illustrative example. We should not be deceived by the exaggerated festivities surrounding the UN General Assembly’s change of Palestine’s “entity” status to “non-member observer state.” The change in status was just a smoke screen to blur our perception of the revolutions taking place within the Arab world. We may have retitled our postal stamps by the addition of the words, “State of Palestine,” but have yet to take a single war criminal to the Hague and have yet to pursue our legal right to Palestinian land, waters, or air space—as any sovereign state recognized by the UN would surely do. Instead, “secretive” negotiations continue in the dark while Israel continues to approve the construction of more settlement homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and the demolition of more Palestinian homes.

The Palestinian President reassures the world that a Palestinian state will be demilitarized while two thirds of the national budget goes to our [internal] security forces. Meanwhile, healthcare, education, social welfare, and all other national programs survive on one third of the budget! We need only look to our neighboring Arab countries who were impoverished for decades as they fed the fat cats who ran their armies, while their own starving people were duped into the belief that these armies would “defend” them one day. Now these armies devour the very same people who had supported them—but are we Palestinians any better?

Internalized oppression is driven by several engines.

The first is media. Anger and dissatisfaction create the momentum for social change, but an artificial leisure and entertainment industry will blind and distract a frustrated public from the reality around them and create a false consciousness. Local media bombard our eyes and ears to dull our critical faculties and weaken our ability to protest, resist, or revolt. Media owners and their donor capitalists ally with the political elite to impose their tastes and ideology on the public. Mohammad Assaf, the Palestinian winning Arab Idol, is a good example—a charming vocalist with a beautiful voice. But the media promotes this triumph as the symbol of “the Palestinian plight,” and mobilizes the public to become consumers of a simplistic, reductionist, and deceptive exploitation of his charm; a thing of beauty can be used for ugly purposes. One might ask why the local media failed to make an equal effort to mobilize against the siege on Gaza, the Prawer plan, or in the service of transparency regarding the ongoing negotiations—matters which connect directly with most Palestinians and their plight!

International donation is the second engine. It is a paradox that oppression can come to us through the doors and windows of freedom, openness, and efforts to do good. In her study, “Promoting Democracy in Palestine: Donation and the Democratization of the West Bank and Gaza,” Dr. Leila Farsakh concluded that such projects sought to promote the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority rather than empowering the Palestinian public to challenge the dominance of the Authority or to critique its definition of the national liberation project. Donor-driven projects fail to devote sufficient attention to important institutions central to the democratic process, such as the parliament, political parties, and the electoral process. In the end, these projects tend to entrench the occupation rather than helping Palestinians to create the conditions for national liberation; these projects tend to intensify the grip of the Authority instead of strengthening independent-minded channels.

The third engine is the domain of education and institutionalized religion. This year, five Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem substituted the Palestinian curriculum with the Israeli one. The Jerusalem municipality went on to award the administration of these five schools by increasing the personal salaries of their principals and paying them 2,000 NIS for every student registered in their schools. A mere glance at the Israeli curriculum reveals how it distorts history, religion, geography, and eventually the mindset and the national culture of pupils: In one textbook, two pupils discuss how Israel brought electricity to their village and granted national insurance to children and their elders; the pupils conclude that they should join the celebration on “Israel’s Independence Day.” And while some of our children are savoring a toxic dose of Israeli indoctrination, others are anesthetized by some misleading religious leaders who form an unholy league with political and financial power elites. Manipulating the public with an insidious form of mind control, they come up with “teachings” promoting a fatalistic, mystical frame of mind and issue “fatwas” that promote compliance and conformity. These religious leaders promote the status quo with all its agony and disadvantages and inhibit people from embracing genuine reform and social change, encouraging people to pin their hopes on the afterlife rather than dealing with the misery of the here and now.

In conclusion, since decisions and behaviors of our leaders do nothing but establish internalized oppression, it becomes the social responsibility of ordinary people to work actively to recognize and alleviate this threat to wellbeing, in order to prevent the demise of the Palestinian spirit and cause. Raising awareness about the phenomenon, monitoring and protesting its appearance in official discourse and behavior, bearing witness, empowering economic development, resisting consumerism, connecting them with their own history and community, and helping them to analyze reality— are just a few tools to liberate Palestinians from internalized oppression. So much has been done to efface, harm, eradicate the Palestinian nation or to disfigure it forever. We cannot simply wait for justice to happen—justice is something we must work hard to actualize. Sacrifices must be made and sometimes risks must be taken to snatch our life from the jaws of death. Commitment, awareness, wisdom, and planning are required for recovery and salvation of this injured life—as we want a decent life, not any life. Our work for healing and recovery is indivisible from our work for liberation.

Samah Jabr is a Jerusalemite psychiatrist and psychotherapist.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Comments Off on Internalized Oppression: Yet another Loss for an Occupied Nation

Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinian Civilians and Armed Group Member and Wound 12 Civilians in Jenin Refugee Camp

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights | March 23, 2014

In excessive use of force, on Saturday, 22 March 2014, Israeli forces killed, 2 Palestinian civilians and a member of a Palestinian armed group and wounded 12 civilians and a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces in Jenin refugee camp, west of the northern West Bank town of Jenin. Israeli forces claimed via the Israeli media that they killed 3 Palestinians during armed clashes in the aforementioned refugee camp. However, investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) investigations refute the Israeli claim and confirm that the two civilians were killed as Israeli forces opened fire heavily at dozens of civilians who were trying to pull and carry the militant’s body to the centre of the camp.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 02:00 on the Saturday, 22 March 2014, an Israeli special military force from “Alimam” Unit in the Israeli military, which is described as “an anti-terrorism unit” infiltrated into the south of Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. The Israeli force surrounded a two-story house belonging to the family of ‘Azmi Mohammed Mahmoud al-Hasaniyah (67) in Tal’et al-Ghabes area. Israeli forces then sent large military back-ups, which were deployed throughout the camp while Israeli drones were hovering overhead. Israeli snipers ascended roofs of nearby houses after they received information that Hamzah Jamal ‘Abdel Salam Abu al-Heijah (22), the local leader of the Izziddin al-Qassam brigades (the armed wing of Hamas), was in the house.

After the military back-ups had arrived, Israeli forces blew up the main door of the houses and opened fire. They then yelled at residents of the house to get out. When the residents were about to come out and Mohammed (23), the son of the house’s owner who is member of the Palestinian National Security Forces, opened the external door, he was shot in the left shoulder. Amidst the screams of his family, the shooting stopped and the residents began to get out one by one while Abu al-Heijah stayed in a room on the second floor. Israeli forces arrested Mohammed and his brother, Majd (18), and took the rest of the family members to a nearby house. They then entered a tracker dog into the house, but Hamzah killed it and this made the Israeli forces certain that he is in the house. As a result, Israeli forces showered the house with live bullets and shells fired by machine guns and then used shoulder-fired missiles. As a result, the house was partially destroyed. Meanwhile, armed clashes broke out between Palestinian militants, who were stationed in the areas of al-Sahah and Abu Thahir Mountain areas, and Hamzah from the house from one side and the Israeli forces, which were surrounding the house, from the other side. Hamzah took advantage of this and jumped from one of the western windows of the house. As soon as he stepped a few meters, snipers opened fired and immediately killed him. They left him for two hours and he bled to death in the alley. Young men then tried to pull his body, and Israeli forces opened fire at them. However, they managed to pull it. When they were passing by al-Sahah area, Israeli forces opened fire killing two of them: Yazan Mahmoud Basem Taha “Jabarin” (20) who was hit by a bullet to the chest; and Mahmoud ‘Omer Saleh Abu Zeinah (24), who also was hit by a bullet to the chest. When the news of the death of 3 persons spread out, the camp residents started coming out of their houses. Immediately, the Israeli snipers opened fire at these civilians wounding 11 of them, including a 65-year-old woman. Thus, the number of wounded persons mounted to 12 civilians. It should be mentioned that Hamzah Abu al-Heijah is the son of Jamal Abu al-Heijah, who is serving a sentence of 9 life imprisonments in the Israeli jails. Hamzah had been subject to several extra-judicial execution attempts, the last of which was on 18 December 2013 when an Israeli special unit targeted him. However, he managed to escape and Nafe’a Jamil Nafe’a al-Sa’adi was killed.

PCHR strongly condemns this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives. PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective action to stop Israeli crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinian Civilians and Armed Group Member and Wound 12 Civilians in Jenin Refugee Camp

Israeli Troops Use Journalists as ‘Human Shield’ During Invasion of Aida Camp

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC News | March 23, 2014

A Palestinian journalist has reported that he and two of his colleagues were used by the Israeli military as ‘human shields’ during an Israeli military invasion of the Aida refugee camp, near Bethlehem.

The term ‘human shield’ is used to refer to instances where armies or armed forces attempt to protect themselves by placing civilians between themselves and the people or group they are attacking. This practice is a direct violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.

Israel has, on multiple occasions in the past, been found to have used Palestinians (including children) as human shields, including tying them on the hoods of their vehicles. Multiple instances have also been documented by international and Israeli human rights groups of the targeting of journalists, including the killing of journalists documenting Israeli abuses in Palestine.

In the incident on Saturday, Palestinian journalist Moussa al-Shaer reported that he and two other journalists – a Palestinian and American – were used by the Israeli military to shield them from some youth who were throwing stones at them.

The other Palestinian journalist was identified as Abd al-Rahman Younis, but the American journalist was not identified.

According to al-Shaer, the three journalists were detained by Israeli troops, who took their press cards and refused to allow them to leave or do their job of covering the incident. Throughout the invasion, the Israelis placed the journalists in front of the troops in an attempt to stop the kids from throwing stones at the troops.

Eventually, at the end of the invasion, the soldiers handed the journalists their press cards back and released them without charge.

During the Israeli invasion of the camp, soldiers fired stun grenades and tear gas at residents, causing several in the camp to seek medical attention for tear gas inhalation.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | Comments Off on Israeli Troops Use Journalists as ‘Human Shield’ During Invasion of Aida Camp

Egypt court sentences 529 Morsi supporters to death

Press TV – March 24, 2014

A court in Egypt has sentenced 529 supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi to death for various charges including murder, judicial sources and a defence lawyer say.

“The court has decided to sentence to death 529 defendants and 16 were acquitted,” lawyer Ahmed al-Sharif said on Monday.

He added that the ruling can be appealed.

Judicial sources say 153 of the sentenced people are in custody, but the rest are on the run.

According to judicial sources, the defendants have been charged with assaulting security forces and vandalizing public property during the violence that erupted after police stormed two protest camps set up by Morsi’s supporters in Cairo last August.

The military-backed government has launched a deadly crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood supporters after the army ousted Morsi in July last year, with hundreds of people killed and thousands arrested.

According to a report released by the Associated Press earlier this month, Egypt’s military-backed government has jailed nearly 16,000 people since Morsi’s removal. About 3,000 Muslim Brotherhood members are among those who have been put behind bars.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Comments Off on Egypt court sentences 529 Morsi supporters to death

Bitter memories: Tule Lake

(1975) – A documentary on the Tule Lake Japanese Relocation Camp presented through interviews with Japanese Americans who were interned there.

Link for video: https://alethonews.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/bitter-memories-history-of-the-tule-lake-japanese-relocation-center/

 

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Comments Off on Bitter memories: Tule Lake