Netanyahu’s Transparent Dancing Demurral

The lying Nutanyahoo attempts to avoid the lobster quadrille with the Quartet, preferring to commence a secret hasbara tango with an illegitimate Abbas, who is making offers without consultation again. Anyone who’s read the Liekud Party platform, which remains unchanged, or Nutanyahoo’s Bar Ilan speech of June 09, knows how disingenuous Nutanyahoo really is. He can’t go against his own party platform which says, amongst other chauvinist, colonialist drivel that flies in the face of international law:

The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.

The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs.

Palestine / Gaza Links

Viva Palestina is finalising plans for the Kick Off for Palestine campaign to construct and maintain links with sporting venues in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Ali Abunimah makes a terrific post examining the differentiation between criticism of jewishness and zionism in matters of dual loyalty:

I agree fully with Jones’ reading of Flynn’s reported comments. If accurate it is indeed outrageous to suggest that a British person cannot be loyal to the UK just because he or she is also Jewish. And it’s even more outrageous to suggest that a Jewish person has no “roots” in the UK, just as it would be to suggest the same of a British Muslim or any other person.

But what Jones – and perhaps other critics of Flynn’s comments – have missed, is that the claims Flynn reportedly made have always been at the very heart of Zionism.

Joseph Massad has noted this in his crucial book The Persistence of the Palestinian Question as has international law expert Victor Kattan.

The basic idea is simple enough: Zionists, just like anti-Semites, believed that Jews were inherently alien and rootless in Europe and needed to be expelled physically. The “father” of Zionism, Theodor Herzl in his seminal tract, Der Judenstaat, wrote this nauseatingly anti-Semitic passage:

The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in perceptible numbers. Where it does not exist, it is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations. We naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted, and there our presence produces persecution. This is the case in every country, and will remain so, even in those highly civilized—for instance, France—until the Jewish question finds a solution on a political basis. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of Anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.

Of course the “political solution” of which Herzl spoke was – Zionism – the removal of Jews from Europe and America so that they could not carry with them the “seeds” of their own persecution.Greatest British Zionist hero a vile anti-Semite

It is no coincidence then that the greatest British hero of Zionists to this day is Lord Arthur Balfour whose eponymous Balfour Declaration promised the Zionist movement that to which it had no right: the land of Palestine.

As Kattan points out in his book From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1891-1949, Balfour’s anti-Semitism was well documented and expressed in his writings. From Kattan:

Zionism actually provided Balfour and those who thought like him with the perfect pretext to reduce Jewish immigration into Britain whilst portraying themselves, falsely, as ‘humanitarians’ concerned about their welfare. This is what Balfour wrote in the conclusion to his introduction to Nahum Sokolow’s epic book, the History of Zionism, 1600–1918 (1919):

If [Zionism] succeeds, it will do a great spiritual and material work for the Jews, but not for them alone. For as I read its meaning it is, among other things, a serious endeavour to mitigate the age-long miseries created for western civilisation by the presence in its midst of **a Body which it too long regarded as alien and even hostile, but which it was equally unable to expel or absorb. Surely, for this if for no other reason, it should receive our support.

That Balfour had the gall to write this in a book on Zionism was foreboding. One can only imagine what he wrote about the Jews in private or in correspondence that was destroyed or lost.

Indeed. And, as Kattan documents, such sentiments were shared by German anti-Semites who in the same period became enthusiastic supporters of Zionism.

U.S. military chief: Unclear if Israel would alert U.S. ahead of attack on Iran – protocols stuffed?

He said the United States was convinced that sanctions and diplomatic pressure was the right path to take on Iran, along with “the stated intent not to take any options off the table” – language that leaves open the possibility of future military action.

“I’m not sure the Israelis share our assessment of that.

And because they don’t and because to them this is an existential threat, I think probably that it’s fair to say that our expectations are different right now,” Dempsey said in an interview as he flew to Washington from London.

Asked whether he was talking about the differences between Israeli and U.S. expectations over sanctions, or differences in perspective about the future course of events, Dempsey said:

“All of the above.” He did not elaborate.

He also did not disclose whether he believed Israel was prepared to strike Iran.

Fayyad to Haaretz: I will not lead a Palestinian unity government
Survey released last week shows 57 percent Palestinians want Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to serve as head of the unity government.

Situations in the Sinai

On January 15, the US mobilised the Connecticut National Guard Detachment 2, Company I, 185th Aviation Regiment of Groton to be deployed to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, “to support the Multinational Force and Observers”.

The unit left Connecticut Jan. 15 for Fort Benning, Ga., for further training and validation. The unit operates C-23C Sherpa aircraft and has deployed three times in the last seven years in support of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unit will provide an on-demand aviation asset to the Multinational Force and Observers commander to support its mission of supervising the security provisions of the Egypt/ Israel Peace Treaty.

Chief Warrant Officer Four James Smith of Ivoryton commands the aviation unit.

Here’s a list of US deployments in the Sinai and a breakdown of the constituency of the multinational force.

The US contributes three units collectively known as Task Force Sinai:[8]

* Force HQ – 40 personnel
* Infantry Battalion (USBATT – drawn from National Guard units)- 425 personnel currently members of the Illinois Army National Guard to be replaced in early 2011 by the Maryland National Guard[9]
* Support Battalion – 235 personnel consisting of:
o Headquarters
o Medical Company consisting of Dental, Medical, Physical Therapy, Veterinarian, and Preventative Medicine.
o Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment (EOD)
o Aviation Company

As far as I can discover, the deployment has yet to reach its eventual destination and was routine.

Considering the lengthy buildup to the present people’s revolution in Egypt however, and telltale Wikileaks cables, it is difficult to imagine that the US has not been prepared for such an eventuality and pre-planned with Israel and Egypt tactical contingency moves in the Sinai including the present jointly coordinated remilitarisation off the Sinai by Egypt, despite the multinational force’s role ostensibly being the enforcement of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

As Yossi Gurvitz notes:

The entrance of Egyptian military forces into Sinai is prohibited by the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, to which the US is a guarantor. Lisa Goldman and myself tried to get a reply from the IDF Spokesman, to no avail. The spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, gave Goldman the following response: “We will have to analyze the situation. We are under clear instructions not to make any comment on the Egyptian situation, no matter what. So it’s not as though we’ll have an answer later on. You’ll just have to wait and see, okay?”

According to Laura Rozen:

Several foreign policy scholars and former officials have been urging the U.S. administration for months to prepare for the end of the Hosni Mubarak era and the instability that would accompany it.

However, according to General James Mattis yesterday:

The United States has no plans to redeploy troops or ships in response to the unrest roiling Egypt and the instability in Tunisia and Jordan, the head of the U.S. Central Command said Tuesday.

On a visit to London, Gen. James Mattis said military leaders and lawmakers were closely watching developments, but stressed that he had no orders to rearrange his forces in response.

“These issues do not call for a military solution right now,” Mattis said. “There’s no reason right now for any shift in military forces, or anything like that. I’ve not received any orders.”

Mattis spells out the primary US strategic interest:

… he said it was unlikely events in Egypt would lead to difficulties for ships passing through the Suez Canal – another major concern for lawmakers and businesses.

The canal is the key route to the Mediterranean and used to avoid the longer and perilous path around Africa to the Atlantic Ocean.

“When you look at the fiscal impact of that on whoever is in a position of authority in Egypt, I just can’t imagine a motive to shut that down,” said Mattis, who succeeded Gen. David Petraeus as head of the military’s Central Command in August.

Related Links

With the anger, Bedouin youth now present a face of triumph. “It is a revolution,” one says simply.
US embassy cables: Egypt’s strategic importance to the US

President Mubarak and military leaders view our military assistance program as the cornerstone of our mil-mil relationship and consider the USD 1.3 billion in annual FMF as “untouchable compensation” for making and maintaining peace with Israel. The tangible benefits to our mil-mil relationship are clear: Egypt remains at peace with Israel, and the U.S. military enjoys priority access to the Suez Canal and Egyptian airspace. We believe, however, that our relationship can accomplish much more. Over the last year, we have engaged MOD leaders on developing shared strategic objectives to address current and emerging threats, including border security, counter terrorism, civil defense, and peacekeeping. Our efforts thus far have met with limited success.

Israel + Egypt (+ the US too) coordinating Sinai moves
Rights NGO claims that Israeli planes carrying crowd dispersal weapons have arrived in Egypt
Report: Egypt request crowd dispersion equipment from Israel
Israel denies sending riot gear to Egypt
Why is the Egyptian Army in Sinai?
Made in the USA: Tear Gas, Tanks, Helicopters, Rifles, and Fighter Planes in Egypt Funded and Built Largely by US Defense Department and American Corporations
Israel agrees to some Egyptian troops in Sinai
Three Decades of Weapons, Training for Egypt Keep U.S. in Loop

The key question is, will the localized incident in
Mahalla spark a wider movement? The government is clearly
focused on containing unrest. Even while the riots were
still winding down, PM Nazif traveled to Mahalla, paid
bonuses to factory workers and praised those who did not join
in the riots (ref D). The government has also accelerated
arrests of activists in Cairo (ref E). The organizers of the
April 6 strike — distinct from Mahalla — have already
called, via Facebook, for a follow-on national strike on May
4, Mubarak’s eightieth birthday. Even regime insiders have
acknowledged the political savvy behind this tactic —
channeling current outrage towards the next big event. The
GOE responded with a press release announcing that President
Mubarak will give a May 5 speech to “underline Egypt’s keen
to desire to protect the rights of laborers and accentuate
the role they can play in the development process …. and to
reiterate the government’s commitment to safeguard the
interests of workers against any backlashes they might face
as a result of the economic reform program.” More broadly,
the government continues to address the shortage of
subsidized bread by using military bakeries and distribution

Egypt Links

In Pictures: Egypt protests
Why Are Americans Blocked From Watching Al Jazeera English?
U.S. Scrambles to Size Up ElBaradei
Live blog Feb 1 – Egypt protests
Protesting At Tahrir Square
Al Jazeera report from Tahrir Square 8:30am, February 1
A Virtual “March of Millions” in Solidarity with Egyptian Protestors
On the eve of the ‘march of a million people’
The human wall protecting Cairo museum.
The widening double standard
An Egyptian Woman Speaks Out
Australians in Egypt frustrated by embassy
Live blog Feb 1 – Egypt protests
Erdogan Tells Egypt’s Mubarak He Should Listen to His People

Palestine / Israel Links

Hope ends here: The children’s court at Ofer Military Prison
Could US abandon Israel too?
Settlers start to cultivate Palestinian land east of Al-Khalil
Unprovoked attack on local shop, pregnant woman gassed
Google unveils Web-free ‘tweeting’ in Egypt move
Israeli critics open up on US ‘abandonment’ of Mubarak – ziofascists:

Another strain of this criticism, articulated most forcefully by Yediot Aharonot columnist Eitan Haber, who was a top aide to Yitzhak Rabin, is that this sends a dreadful message to Israel.

Obama threw Mubarak “to the dogs,” Haber wrote in a column that appeared on Monday.

“America, which waves the banner of ‘citizens rights,’ ‘democracy,’ and ‘freedom of information,’ turned its back in a day on one of its most important allies in the Middle East.

Obama sold Mubarak for the pot of lentils of popularity among the Egyptian masses,” Haber wrote, adding that the US president did this without a true understanding of the Middle East.

“Our conclusion in Israel needs to be that the man sitting in the White House is liable to ‘sell’ us over night.

The thought that the US might not stand by our side in the day of need causes chills. God help us.”

This theme was also picked up by former Mossad head Danny Yatom, who said in an Israel Radio interview that the US treatment of Mubarak was a dangerous message to Washington’s allies in the region – including Israel – that they could not rely on America.

Yatom said Washington’s first error was not in more aggressively supporting the opposition in Iran when it took to the streets against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the summer of 2009.

By contrast, Yatom said, “there is an important relationship” between the US and Egypt, with Egypt an important layer in Washington’s regional policy.

“The way Obama and Hillary Clinton abandoned Mubarak at once is very problematic, and I think hints to other allies – for instance Israel – that these things can happen under certain grave circumstances to us as well, and to others.”

Yatom said the US erred in talking – as Clinton did on Sunday – of an orderly transition to lasting democracy, and should have instead sufficed with demanding reform.

They should have supported him [Mubarak], but demand more reform,” he said. “I think he would have responded.”

Israel shocked by Obama’s “betrayal” of Mubarak
Can Israel only make peace with dictators?
Netanyahu must prepare for a new regional order
Bernard-Henri Lévy Indicted! – Tariq Ali
U.S. Interests in Egypt: A Proposed Statement of U.S. Policy – the AIPAC/WINEP mix
It’s never been about Palestine – neocon John Podhoretz
Amnesty International Condemns Makhoul Sentence

Wikileaks Links

Whistleblower ‘isolated’ in US jail
Julian Assange calls for support from Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Assange’s lawyer says FOI inspired WikiLeaks

Other Links

Afghan elite ‘plundered $900m’ from leading bank
United Nations must intervene to protect Sri Lanka’s media
Government accused as Sri Lankan news office is torched

Ziocolony’s war crimes confirmed by Goldstone Report

The wailings and bleatings of Segev since the release of the Goldstone Report on the perfidious attack on the people of Gaza are a sure sign the Ziocolony is flustered and paranoid that it will be dragged into an endless mire of litigation. Already, the blustering Ziocolony is refusing to countenance an independent enquiry as recommended by Goldstone. It is unlikely, given the usual US veto used to prevent civilised censure of its favourite pet and collaborator in oppression, that the Ziocolony will be referred to the ICJ to account for its abominations. Furthermore, the Ziocolony does not assent to that court’s jurisdiction. The ICJ does have jurisdiction to investigate the Ziocolony’s crimes against humanity and breaches of the Geneva Conventions to which the Ziocolony is a signatory. Goldstone’s report details why the Ziocolony has committed the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, against the Palestinian people.

Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza in the years before the war amounted to “collective punishment intentionally inflicted by the government of Israel on the people of the Gaza Strip”.

Israeli actions depriving Gazans of means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, and denying their freedom of movement, “could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, had been committed”.

Even if Israel’s long awaited appearance at the international courts at Le Hague is stymied by its mutually parasitic unprincipled protector, the painstakingly prepared 574 page report appears to have laid rock solid grounds for a truckload of civil prosecutions.

The Goldstone Report is available for download from the UN Human Rights Council.

War Crimes Against Children : UN Reports

Gaza Blitz

Crimes committed against children by Israel and Palestinian militant groups are highlighted by the UN.

Jerusalem, 6 February 2009 – “Despite the Gaza ceasefires, children continue to suffer and remain in a precarious state of insecurity”, stated Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, after her four-day visit to the occupied Palestinian territory and southern Israel. She was in the region to assess first hand the situation of children.

In Gaza, where 56% of the population is below 18 years old, grave violations against children were committed such as killing and maiming, and denial of humanitarian access. During the recent hostilities, there were no safe spaces for children and the crossings out of Gaza were, and remain, virtually sealed.

One third of Palestinian casualties are reported to be children. Many children have witnessed unspeakable violence against their family members and are severely distressed. The extensive destruction to homes, hospitals, schools and power, water and sanitation networks also has a devastating impact on children. The damage or destruction of hospitals and schools including the American International School, Palestinian Authority-administered, and UNRWA schools – considered protected spaces — was particularly shocking. “Reconstructing the schools and ensuring that children can go back to their classrooms and feel secure again is essential to their recovery,” said Ms. Coomaraswamy.

“There is no doubt that children live in constant fear of missile attacks in Southern Israel. The need for psycho-social support has increased recently,” she said on her visit to Ashkelon. “The indiscriminate firing of rockets into civilian areas is clearly a grave violation of international humanitarian law and should not be neglected simply because they are lower in scale”, she added. The Special Representative urged Hamas and other affiliated groups to immediately stop the rocket attacks on Israel, stating that this only feeds the cycle of violence.

In both Gaza and southern Israel, children expressed anger and despair as a manifestation of their desire for accountability. It is imperative that independent and impartial investigations are conducted and justice is done. The lack of accountability only contributes to a sense of impunity. “The children want answers and the international community must deliver”, declared the Special Representative.

Children in Gaza are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including the restoration of basic services and the immediate reconstruction of schools and hospitals. “Rehabilitation services for the disabled and psycho-social support programs for the tens of thousands in distress are critical. Education is a basic right, an emergency need and a development imperative. It must be prioritized in any emergency response,” said the Special Representative.

Ms. Coomaraswamy reiterated calls by the international community for Israel to open all crossings for regular, sufficient and facilitated humanitarian access and said the amount and kinds of supplies allowed into Gaza must be significantly expanded for any real improvement to occur. The Special Representative emphasized that humanitarian agencies must not be hampered in assisting the population and their workers authorized easy access into Gaza. The Special Representative stated that Hamas must respect that humanitarian aid cannot be diverted.

“Even though they bear the brunt of the conflict, children remain strong advocates for peace,” said Ms. Coomaraswamy. “Every child has the right to live in safety and security. Children from the region have suffered enough. They deserve a better future,” she concluded.

Gaza childFurther UN report:

NEW YORK, USA, 5 February 2008 – The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, is in Gaza and southern Israel this week to assess the situation of children and advocate for their protection.

In Gaza, Ms. Coomaraswamy, accompanied by a team from UNICEF, visited a community centre, a school and a hospital – all in the north, in and around Gaza City. She repeated calls for the territory’s borders to be opened and access by humanitarian aid organizations to be expanded.

“The children want answers and the international community must deliver,” declared Ms. Coomaraswamy.

Losses on both sides

During her four-day stay in the region Ms. Coomaraswamy also met with residents in the Israeli town of Ashkelon, which suffered from rocket attacks fired from Gaza.

She said that children on both sides of the border had expressed anger, despair and a need for accountability.

At a school that Ms. Coomaraswamy visited in Zaitoun, a neighborhood east of Gaza City, Almaza Hilmi Al Samuni, 13, was attending a counselling session held by a UNICEF partner organization, the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution. Almaza said she wanted the Special Representative to meet the children who, like herself, had lost their mothers.

“They died right before my eyes. There was nothing I could do to save them,” she said of her family members.

Ms. Coomaraswamy noted that Israeli children were also still living in fear, and called for an end to the indiscriminate firing of rockets into civilian areas.

Education as a basic right

In Beit Lahiya, Gaza, Ms. Coomaraswamy visited the Omar Ben Al-Kathab school – which is now operating on double shifts to accommodate an additional 400 students from a nearby school that sustained heavy damage in the recent violence.

More than 160 schools across Gaza were damaged during the conflict. All UN Relief and Works Agency schools were reopened on 24 January after being closed for a month.

“Reconstructing the schools and ensuring that children can go back to their classrooms and feel secure again is essential to their recovery,” said Ms. Coomaraswamy. “Education is a basic right, an emergency need and a development imperative. It must be prioritized in any emergency response.”

UNICEF is providing essential education equipment and materials, including School-in-a-Box kits, pens, pencils and exercise books, recreational kits, and math and science kits for children in all six districts of Gaza.

Creating a protective environment

Even before the recent conflict, the children of Gaza suffered from years of conflict, blockade, lack of adequate social services, and poverty. Coping mechanisms of communities had already been eroded prior to the conflict. Access to basic needs and the creation of a sense of security and a safe environment is essential for the well-being of children.

“UNICEF is calling for regular, sufficient and facilitated access of humanitarian goods and aid workers into Gaza,” said UNICEF’s Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Patricia McPhillips, who accompanied Ms. Coomaraswamy during the mission. “This includes educational and recreational supplies … to provide a sense of normalcy for children who have experienced severe levels of distress.”

The Special Representative is mandated by the UN General Assembly as an independent advocate for children in armed conflict. UNICEF is a leading member of the international coordination group working to monitor and report on grave violations of child rights in conflict situations.

410 children killed by Israel in Gaza

Anthony Cordesman from the Centre for Strategic & International Studies releases a draft report claiming no war crimes were committed by Israel in Gaza. His report is sourced mainly from IDF and other Israeli sources and ignores political factors leading up to the conflict including the two year siege on Gaza and the 60 year history of Israeli brutality and occupation.