After the Tyrant of Tunisia Fled

Whilst Ben Ali commiserates with 1.5 tons of gold and his new Saudi hosts on the loss of his holiday homes and yachts which he and his family pilfered, the Dark Prince of Ziostan seizes upon the tyrant’s ousting as yet another reason to delay the peace talks charade. ‘Talking of Peace Talks’ is a customary game played with international elites by the Ziostanian ruling class when they are not aggressing some neighbour or Palestinians unworthy of democracy, which is perceived as a risk by Ziostan’s elite to their ‘stability, security and peace’. It is a pleasant, hands-across-the-waters effusive pastime which obscures even more enjoyable activities like home demolitions, accelerated land theft throughout the West Bank, Occupied Jerusalem and the Negev, shooting motorists, or small boys and old men who stray too close to the Gaza apartheid fence when struggling to eke out a living collecting stones and pebbles to rebuild their famous landmark – the largest civilian prison on the planet. The main game though for Ziostan, its strategy, tactic and aim, is expansionism, the taking of territory which wondrously can be justified in retrospect or even in advance, for Ziostan’s constant demand for ‘stability, security and peace’ is paramount before the most rudimentary needs for survival of those they oppress.

It is two years since Ziostan declared its massacre of the people of Gaza over, and the hideous, illegal siege remains, with the full complicity of the global political community which has chosen shining, privileged, packaged ziocolony to rule over and occupy Palestinians. Ziostan commandeered more than 3 million dunam of cultivated fields and villages during and after their genocide and expulsion of Palestinians, the Nakba, in 1948. The inconvenience of the continued presence of suffering, protesting Palestinians as a distraction from fiercely marketed tactical Ziostanian victimhood is perceived as a small price to pay in order to usurp the balance of Palestinian land and resources which Ziostan covets. Those who resist Ziostanian power even in non-violent ways, including children, are often summarily jailed, labelled terrorists and tortured. There will be no need for two states if Ziostan can appropriate all Palestinian land without resistance or approbation from the international community. The ‘talk of peace talks’ charade provides window dressing for the international ruling class and ameloriates criticism within Ziostan itself. Failure of ‘peace talks’ is routinely blamed upon Palestinians unwilling to surrender one more dunam of their indigenous birthright and heritage or to forgo the right of return guaranteed by international law. Conscience is no impediment to the elite of Ziostan, for as with other elites, Ziostanians do not flinch from their righteous dispossession of those whom they perceive as lesser humans or not human at all.

The Dark Prince remains aloof from many of his own people as he is from Palestinians and transfixed by the hunt, does not understand the lessons presently before him. Yet neither he nor the rest of his ziofascist retinue or contrived brute force, theft and calumny can withstand the people’s search for real security and peace based soundly on justice and equal rights and backed with a growing solidarity movement focussed on boycotts, divestments and sanctions. Tinpot dictatorial sociopaths with Uzis, F15s, dungeons, pain, the whole banal sex and death repertoire have limited appeal – fascistic crises and spectacles lose their lustre after their twisted motivations are exposed.

Perhaps when Nutanyahoo is finally ousted by a united people hungry for real democracy, he too can apply to Saudia for a political sinecure or respite.

In Egypt, Abul Gheit reacts furiously and with unconscious irony to Clinton’s hypocritical statements:

“We hope that the summit will adopt Egypt’s proposal which would be a message from the Arab to the Western and European world saying ‘Do not dare interfere in our affairs”, he was quoted as saying by the official MENA news agency.

MENA said he was responding to a question from one of its journalists who asked if the summit could adopt a common position concerning Western bids to interfere in Arab affairs.

On Thursday, Clinton urged Arab leaders to work with their peoples to implement reforms or see extremists fill the void, warning the “region’s foundations are sinking”.

The region’s peoples “have grown tired of corrupt institutions”, Clinton told Arab counterparts in Qatar attending the Forum for the Future, a 2004 US initiative aimed at promoting such partnerships.

“In too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking into the sand. The new and dynamic Middle East that I have seen needs firmer ground if it is to take root and grow everywhere,” she said.

Clinton said the region’s leaders “in partnership with their peoples” have the capacity to build a bold new future where entrepreneurship and political freedoms are encouraged.

“It’s time to see civil society not as a threat but as a partner,” she said.

“Those who cling to the status quo may be able to hold back the full impact of their countries’ problems for a little while but not forever.

“Others will fill the vacuum,” if leaders failed to offer a positive vision to give “young people meaningful ways to contribute”, Clinton warned.

Abul Gheit also dismissed the notion that people in the Arab world could be inspired by Tunisia, where violent protests forced president Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali to abandon his post.

“The talk about the spread of what happened in Tunisia to other countries is nonsense. Each society has its own circumstances,” Abul Gheit told reporters in Sharm El Sheikh.

“If the Tunisian people decide to take that approach, it’s their business.

“Egypt has said that the Tunisian people’s will is what counts,” said the foreign minister.

“Those who imagine things and seek to escalate the situation will not achieve their goals.

“The most important thing is the will of the Tunisian people. Nobody is resisting it,” Abul Gheit added..

It is most important for dictators to resist the will of the people – yet even Pharaohs may fall when the people no longer tolerate their cruelty and corruption.

Related Links

Netanyahu: Tunisia turmoil shows instability of entire Mideast
Netanyahu seizes on Tunisian turmoil as yet another pretext for iron wall
Uneasy calm in Tunisia as power talks continue
Brave soldier Netanyahu is turning out to be coward
Riots in Algeria
The Candid Guide to Arab Dictators
New Wikileaks: US Knew Tunisian Gov. Rotten Corrupt, Supported Ben Ali Anyway

Palestine / Israel Links

Peres: Probe of Leftist NGOs harms Israeli democracy (What democracy?)

Other Links

Floods, prices and mortality
Joe Hallett commentary: Snooping on journalist’s family is new low for Democrats
Ezili Dantò’s Note on the arrival of Jean Claude Duvalier into Haiti today
1974 – South East Queensland – Cyclone Wanda

This Year, The Illegal, Malicious Israeli Occupation Must End

To those who dwell in Palestine and Israel who oppose injustice and are working in solidarity to end Israel’s cruelty, salutations, and greetings to the people of the world who support their struggle. The appalling death yesterday of Jawaher Abu Rahmah from inhalation of tear gas fired by the Israeli Occupation Forces at a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in protesting the apartheid wall and Israeli land theft is an unwelcome beginning to the year.

The Israeli IOF spokesman attempted to muddy the waters and smear Palestinians by suggesting they created a false story about Jawaher’s death.

An Israeli military statement issued Saturday evening said Palestinians initially reported that Abu Rahmah was released from hospital Friday and died at home. “Subsequently the Palestinians changed their version of events, claiming that she died in the hospital,” the statement continued.

A military spokesman did not immediately know who the Palestinians quoted in the statement were, but said he would look into it.

Bil’in popular committee spokesman Jonathan Pollak said the statement was a “shameless lie aimed at distorting reality.”

Abu Rahmah arrived at the hospital unconscious and doctors were unable to revive her, Pollak said. She did not die because of a lack of medical treatment, but because Israeli forces used a lethal tear gas banned in several European countries, he added.

More IOF lies have bubbled up through the zionist swamp. Jewish Voices for Peace @jvplive tweeted at the time from the protest : “One eye injury and jawaher – sister of bassem who was killed last year at a demo -was taken to the hospital for gas inhalation.”

Journalist Lisa Goldman, who was also present at the protest, has translated Jonathan Pollak’s collection of witness statements.

Ali Abunimah @avinunu also notes on twitter: In report on Jawahir Abu Rahmah BBC World Service just lied that Israel’s wall is “built around the West Bank” (it’s built through it) #

Jawaher’s funeral:

Hundreds of Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv also to protest Jawaher’s murder. Lisa Goldman, who was also present at the Bil’in protest, reports:

The demonstration to protest Jawaher’s death by tear gas asphyxiation was announced mid-morning on Saturday, via Facebook and Twitter. Despite the short notice, it attracted at least 200 people. The crowd was sufficiently large to block traffic across from the Ministry of Defense (Kirya) on Kaplan Street, a main traffic artery that connects to the Ayalon Highway.

Waving poster-size mourning posters emblazoned with photos of Jawaher Abu Rahmeh and carrying placards with slogans in Hebrew and English, demonstrators chanted in Hebrew: “Citizens, awake! Fascism is already here!” “Barak! Barak! Minister of Defense! How many demonstrators have you killed today?!” ; in English: “Apartheid! Fight back!”; and in Arabic: “Min Ghaza el Bil’in, hurra hurra Falasteen!” (from Gaza to Bil’in, freedom, freedom for Palestine).

Haaretz notes that former MK Musi Raz is “reportedly arrested and beaten by Israeli police” at the Tel Aviv protest against Jawaher’s murder.

According to Joseph Dana, another participant in the Bil’in protest, there’s a new form of BDS arisen in Israel.

Israeli activists protesting the killing of Bil’in’s Jawaher Abu Rahmah ‘returned’ spent tear gas canisters to the residence of the American ambassador to Israel late Saturday evening.

The tear gas used by the Israeli forces in Bil’in is manufactured by Combined Systems Inc.; a United States company based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. This is the first protest where empty tear gas canisters have been returned to an ambassador’s home.

Approximately twenty five Israeli protesters gathered in front of the residence of American ambassador to Israel, James B. Cunningham around 1am local time. The protesters ‘returned’ loads of spent tear gas canisters collected in the West Bank village of Bil’in in protest of the murder of Bil’in’s Jawaher Abu Rahmah. The demonstrators also made noise throughout the Ambassador’s neighborhood informing residents of how American military aid to Israel is being used to kill unarmed and nonviolent demonstrators in the West Bank. They chanted, “one, two, three, four stop the occupation stop the war. Five, six, seven, eight end the funding (US) end the hate.”

Meanwhile, as Israel bombs and terrorises them, the besieged people of Gaza await the arrival of the Asia to Gaza convoy.

Egypt yesterday gave permission for the Asia to Gaza Caravan — or Asia1 — to pass through Egypt to Gaza, according to Khaled Abdel Megid, a member of the Palestinian National Congress.

He said the Egyptian embassy in Damascus informed the convoy of the permit that allows only 120 activists entry to Egypt and then Gaza. It denied entry to 46 activists from Iran and Jordan.

Egypt will not allow 10 generators donated by the Iranians to enter to the besieged Gaza Strip. This will decrease the size of the humanitarian aid convoy to below 300 tons, which will be limited to food and medical aid in addition to toys, according to Abdel-Meguid.

The Asia to Gaza Caravan consists of approximately 160 people from more than 15 countries, including Iran, India, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Kuwait. It was scheduled to reach Gaza by 27 December, in time for the second anniversary of Israel’s 22-day war on the Strip that started on 28 December 2008.

Approximately 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 5,000 injured or maimed in the three-week war. Half of Gaza’s infrastructure was destroyed and remains unrepaired as a result of Israel’s siege, which includes a ban on the entry of building materials into the Strip.

The time has come for justice, an end to the lies and crimes of those who consider themselves privileged and above others, who maintain their privilege by stepping on and stealing from those whom they oppress. Justice is for all, equal rights are for all. Please boycott, sanction and divest from apartheid Israel until the Occupation is ended and Palestinians have attained their just rights.

Happy new year to everyone! I am blessed with the best online friends one could imagine, sources of joy, knowledge and companionship largely absent from the elitist, white-privileged area of Queensland, Australia in which I live. Thank you 🙂

UPDATE January 7

From Mondoweiss:

It may be a nonlethal weapon, but tear gas can have serious effects. A 2003 article published by four Israeli army doctors in Archives of Toxicology noted that CS gas — the type used by the IDF at these protests — causes tearing and burning for about 15 to 30 minutes, and this is lessened if people are moved into fresh air. The army has insisted on the safety of CS beyond these immediate effects. But the Israeli army doctors’ article noted, “At high concentrations, enclosed spaces, or prolonged exposures, severe side effects may occur and human deaths from lacrimating [tearing] agents have been reported.”

A 2009 article in the British Medical Journal came to similar conclusions, noting that tear gas is “not a gas at all, but a toxic chemical irritant.”

Related Links

a postalcard from ashkenaz
five a.m. epiphany
Good guys actually won this shootout at the Hasbara Corral
Bil’in eyewitnesses: Woman killed by tear gas wasn’t protesting
IDF scales back defense over death of Palestinian protester
Israeli media acting like North Korean media

Palestine / Israel Links

Bilin protestor’s mother ‘not seeking revenge’
Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict
Demonstrators ‘return’ tear gas canisters to US ambassador home over the killing of a Bil’in protester
The teargas grenades that killed Jawaher Abu Rahmah were most likely ‘made in the USA’
Hundreds rally in Tel Aviv to protest Bil’in woman’s death
Police clash with leftists at Tel Aviv demonstration of Bil’in protester’s death
Gazans face cooking gas shortage
WikiLeaks cable: UN Goldstone resolution: NZ is watching Europe
Army investigating death of Bil’in protester
Protesters Breached the Wall in Bil’in
The first martyr of 2011 and where we go from here
Abbas: Latest Palestinian death another Israeli crime against our helpless nation
Israeli Forces Kill Female Protester in Bil’in
IMAGES: funeral of Bil’in protester Jawaher abu Rahmah
The death of Jawaher Abu-Rahma is a direct result of occupation and the inhumane violence and brutality against the nonviolent demonstrators in Bilin
Settlers set fire to home as seven Palestinians sleep inside
Sister of Bilin victim dies in anti-fence protest
How many israeli police officers does it take to guard a locked door? Four…
Report: U.S. in secret talks with Syria over peace accord with Israel
Use this site to know which Israeli products to boycott 🙂
What options exist for Netanyahu next time on the high seas?
An open letter from Gaza to Thomas Quasthoff: Do not Forget the Gaza Concentration Camp and “Tell It like It Is!”
NY Times Isabel Kershner Wasn’t At Bil’in Demo–But Still Wrongly Reports On It
More Israeli lies : Israel says direct negotiations best path to peace
Boston says: Break the Siege of Gaza!
Holocaust survivors warn of stirrings of neo-fascism
Israeli forces arrest 2 children in Jerusalem
WikiLeaks: Israel has only 12-minute warning if Iran attacks
Netanyahu Wants Nonstop Talks With Palestinians

Wikileaks Links

The Anti-Empire Report Wikileaks, the United States, Sweden, and Devil’s Island
Coming to terms with the information age : Mark Pesce
On the double-o licence of the powerful
Announcing ScienceLeaks
Invasion of privacy in Paraguay : US Collects DNA And Data On Foreign Presidential Candidates
US government knew about human experiments : Pfizer tested drugs on children
Tortured Until Proven Guilty: Bradley Manning and the Case Against Solitary Confinement
My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website
WikiLeaks, Ideological Legitimacy and the Crisis of Empire
Wikileaks: Israel preparing for ‘large scale war’

Other Links

Egypt church bombing: Why some point to Al Qaeda-linked group
Who is Behind The Alexandria Explosion !!?
Fahem Boukadous and Tunisia’s War on Press Freedoms
US at War Since 1950: A New Year’s Meditation

NGO Monitor – Watching the Watchers Redux

The Israeli hasbara organisation, NGO Monitor, has taken foul, unsubstantiated swipes at Electronic Intifada and its co-founder Ali Abunimah.

NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board consists of:

Elie Wiesel
Professor Alan Dershowitz
Fiamma Nirenstein
Elliott Abrams
Amb. Yehuda Avner
Tom Gross
Col. Richard Kemp
Douglas Murray
Judea Pearl
Judge Abraham Sofaer
Ruth Wisse
R. James Woolsey

Several of these individuals have cross-over links with US neocon and pro-Israel establishments. Click on highlighted names to find out these people’s associations and in which organisations they are involved. Some of these include the Committee on the Present Danger, Avi Chai Foundation, JINSA, Koret Foundation and the Hoover Institution. The Koret Foundation is also a major donor to NGO Monitor.

As noted in October 09, one of NGO Monitor’s co-sponsors is the Wechsler Foundation, a non-profit [sic], tax-exempt US organisation, which, along with other US-based sponsors, pad NGO Monitor with US taxpayer funds to undermine the work of peace organisations in Israel and Palestine, and the independent journalism represented by Electronic Intifada, in the interests of the Israeli and US economic elite.

Another of NGO Monitor’s major funders is the United Jewish Communities, which was formed from the 1999 merger of United Jewish Appeal (UJA), Council of Jewish Federations and United Israel Appeal, Inc and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), which partners with the Jewish Agency in Israel.

From the JFNA site:

United Israel Appeal (UIA), as part of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), is a principal link between the American Jewish community and the people of Israel. An independent legal entity, UIA is responsible for the distribution and oversight of funds raised by U.S. Federation campaigns on behalf of Israel for use by its operating agent, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and for securing and monitoring funds for the immigration and absorption of Jewish refugees and humanitarian migrants to Israel from countries of distress. It is with the Jewish Agency as our partner, that UIA assists American Jews to fulfill their ongoing collective commitment to contribute to and participate in the upbuilding of the Jewish State of Israel.

Further:

UIA allocates and monitors funds raised by Federation campaigns in the U.S. for UIA’s operating agent JAFI, Israeli NGO’s and the over 1000 physical projects constructed in Israel with funds from U.S. donors.

As recounted on this blog several days ago, the Israel-based parent body of the United Israel Appeal, Keren Hayesod, sealed a deal with the Israeli government in October 2010.

‘Leading the projects that Keren Hayesod will support is Prime Minister’s Office project regarding national heritage sites. Keren Hayesod has taken it upon itself to raise funds in order to supplement the Government budget and expand the scope of the project.’.

On February 21, 2010, Netanyahu presented a Cabinet Communique outlining earmark funding of the ‘national’ heritage project.

The list of sites submitted here is neither closed nor final. It can and will certainly include other sites. I also intend to include Rachel’s Tomb, to the rehabilitation of which the Jewish Agency has allocated NIS 20 million, and the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Since I was asked, I would like to make my intentions clear, and this is what will be.

UNESCO recently insisted that Israel remove the Cave of the Patriachs and Rachel’s Tomb, both located in the Palestinian West Bank, from its list of national heritage sites as they are sites of mosques. Abbas and Haniyeh have also requested the sites be removed from Netanyahu’s proposed national heritage trail. Netanyahu has refused to do so.

In essence, US taxpayer money is diverted through Israeli front organisations in the US, which also fund NGO Monitor, to illegal Israeli government projects in the Occupied Territories.

You can donate to worthy online journalism at Electronic Intifada here.

UPDATE

Haaretz journalist doubles as anti-“delegitimization” operative

Haaretz has an international reputation as Israel’s most liberal and reliable newspaper. But The Electronic Intifada has discovered that one of the newspaper’s regularly-featured reporters, Cnaan Liphshiz, used his news reports for the publication to promote the agenda of an extreme pro-Israel group with which he was also employed.

At the same time, Liphshiz appears to have made efforts to conceal his work with the Dutch Zionist group CIDI (Centre for Documentation and Information on Israel), an undisclosed conflict of interest which calls into question the reliability of his reports and the editorial standards of Haaretz.

From 2007 until the present, Liphshiz has written about 50 articles in Haaretz which quote information provided by CIDI or its executive director Ronny Naftaniel, usually without offering any countervailing opinion or sources. Many of Liphshiz’s stories are based entirely on information provided by CIDI.

CIDI has confirmed to The Electronic Intifada that Lipshiz worked for the organization, and is likely to work for them again in the future.

CIDI has earned a reputation as one of the staunchest advocates for Israel in the Netherlands, launching stinging personal attacks and smears on public figures and groups who dare to call on Israel to respect human rights. In an article for The Electronic Intifada, Stan van Houcke, a Dutch journalist and author, described CIDI as an organization whose main goal is to cover up Israel’s violations of international law (“Dutch ‘research’ group covers for Israeli crimes,” violations, 5 November 2007).

UPDATE 10/2/12

What can public records tell us about NGO Monitor’s funding sources?

There’s no cure for stupid

In comparison, prostitutes provide an honourable service while Washington flunkoids service mercantilism, empire and fascists of various flavours including zionists. The end of the evul empire is within sight perhaps when its hitherto formidable frontlining generals criticise it in such terms.

NGO Monitor – monitoring the monitor

NGO Monitor is an Israeli organisation “founded jointly by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an organization which says it has “developed and implemented an array of cutting-edge programs to present Israel’s case to the world”,[4] and the U.S.-based [5] Wechsler Family Foundation.”

This unholy alliance also runs the ICA [Institute for Contemporary Affairs] in Jerusalem which “provides a forum for discussion of Israel’s strategic, defense and national security challenges”.

Thus NGO Monitor is clearly a hasbara conglomerate. Ironically, it is subsidised by the US taxpayer to undermine the work of peace organisations in Israel and Palestine in the interests of the Israeli and US economic elite.

One of its co-sponsors is the Wechsler foundation, a non-profit [sic], tax-exempt US organisation.

The foundation’s contact is Harry C Wechsler. Is this the same person as the ex CIA officer mentioned in regard to the Boston Systematics/Alltel/Vince Foster/PROMIS software affair?

The Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem claims NGO Monitor is “an organization that attempts to frame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a one sided skewed narrative. NGO Monitor is run by pro-Israeli contributors, is funded by pro-Israeli groups, and has a proven track record of smearing Palestinian supported groups while refusing to report on pro-Israeli organizations.”

The ARI took NGO Monitor to court and won in 2007.

UPDATE:

Play Spot the NGO Monitor below – (Click on the + signs on the coloured squares to expand)


Here’s the NGO Monitor International Advisory Board:

Elie Wiesel
Professor Alan Dershowitz
Sir Martin Gilbert
R. James Woolsey
Tom Gross
Michael Gove MP
Douglas Murray
Judea Pearl
Elliott Abrams
Harry Wechsler
Nina Rosenwald

Also worth a look around is the Project for the New American Century map.