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Monday, October 31, 2005

News for 10-30-05

10-30-05 - Palestinians killed near a Jenin village Two Palestinian militants and a civilian were shot to death and seven other people wounded during clashes late Sunday

10-30-05 - Israel kills two militants in West Bank shootout

10-30-05 - Eight Palestinians injured in West Bank skirmish

10-30-05 - Hebron Update 9-15 October 2005 A
Palestinian man was very upset that soldiers would not allow him to pass
because he lives just a block past the checkpoint

10-30-05 - At Tuwani 5 October- 17 October The Israeli High Court ruled that
the "Military Zone" decrees issued by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the
area around At-Tuwani were illegitimate, so the Palestinians had the right
to use their land as they saw fit. All, or most, of the hilltops in the
area were claimed by Israel as "State land" and some portions of the "State
land" had been designated for use by settlers only Thus does more Palestinian land get usurped by Israel.

10-30-05 - Militia boasts of role in Sabra massacre In Massaker, six former Christian Phalange militiamen tell of their training by Israeli allies and recount the events of 16-18 September, 1982, when hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children were killed in the Beirut camps.

10-30-05 - Iranians say Israel spat used to up atomic pressure

10-30-05 - Lebanon Tries to Cut Off Palestinian Group

10-30-05 - Palestinians, Egypt agree to temporarily open Rafah Crossing

10-30-05 - 3 Gazans held for planning W. Bank munitions factory

10-30-05 - Peres raps Israeli operations in W. Bank

10-30-05 - Assassinations threaten peace deal

10-30-05 - Settlers attack residents, homes ion Hebron, one resident injured Jabber said that settlers of Keryat Arba? settlement, attacked several homes in Wad Al Nassara and Jabber areas, and hurled stones and empty bottles at them.

10-30-05 - Soldier acquitted of murder compensated The Palestinian who was fixing a television antenna on the roof of his house died in the incident.

10-30-05 - Proposed bill will enable Palestinian detainees to be held incommunicado

10-30-05 - ESCWA Says Development is Unachievable under the Israeli Occupation By the end of 2004, some 1,323 hectares of land had been leveled or damaged due to the Wall. According to most estimates, approximately 220,000 persons are affected in the completed first phase of the construction of the apartheid wall

10-30-05 - Palestinian territories clear of bird flue: health minister

10-30-05 - Ethiopian Israelis protest delays in plans to bring over relatives

10-30-05 - Al-Qaeda militants in Gaza: Israeli official   Now where have I heard that before?

10-30-05 - How the Iraq War disappointed Israel In short, there is a growing recognition in Israel that the Iraq War was not so good for the Jews Because it wasn't the 'cakewalk' as was predicted by neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz?

10-30-05 - Abbas calls for US intervention against Israeli military escalation: Official

10-30-05 - Living with supersonic booms

10-30-05 - Iran president calls for democracy for Palestinians

10-30-05 - Israel slams Annan's planned visit to Iran

posted by Somebody @ 6:27 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Sunday, October 30, 2005

News for 10-29-05

10-29-05 - Israeli Aircraft, Artillery Bombard Gaza

10-29-05 - Police use stun grenades to keep Palestinians out of J'lem Police and Border Police officers threw stun grenades at hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the A-Ram checkpoint north of Jerusalem on Friday morning, in an effort to maintain the closure imposed on the West Bank in the wake of Wednesday's suicide bombing in Hadera.

10-29-05 - Mofaz orders eviction of 15 settler families in Hebron Settlers at the "worshipers' route" in Hebron also attacked Palestinians living in the area. One of them, Mubar Jabber, said his family was forced to leave their house when the youths stoned the building. Other Palestinians said the inhabitants of one house were beaten by Jewish youths but the security forces did not intervene.

10-29-05 - Palestinians seek halt to Israeli bombings in Gaza

10-29-05 - Palestinians pledge new crackdown on illegal arms

10-29-05 - Ceasefire deal between Israel, Palestinian militants underway: sources

10-29-05 - Two Israeli prisoners stab an underage Palestinian detainee

10-29-05 - PA: Massive new IDF checkpoint aims at creating 'canton' This will complete the transformation of the Nablus-Jenin region into a separate canton severed from the central West Bank

10-29-05 - Quartet: Israel has asked for halt to study of Gaza-West Bank link In deference to Israel's views, however, the World Bank agreed to conduct research on the relative costs and benefits of the two proposals, and the U.S. government agreed to finance the study, on condition that Israel and the Palestinian Authority both consent. Both Wolfensohn and World Bank officials received the impression that Israel had no objections to the study, and therefore set it in motion. But Haaretz has learned that in early October, after the World Bank sent the study's terms of reference to Israel, a Defense Ministry official sent a letter to the World Bank demanding that the study be halted, and the bank complied.

10-29-05 - New confidence crisis with U.S According to the agreement between Israel and the U.S., every purchase of such devices must be under close supervision, as conditioned by the U.S. government. The defense establishment recently discovered a fault in the supervision procedures of these devices, which caused hundreds of loss incidents not to be reported to the Americans at all.

10-29-05 - Israel cuts Gaza electricity

10-29-05 - Troops invade Hebron, several surrounding villages

10-29-05 - Arab League blasts Israeli minister The Arab League Saturday blasted Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz for accusing the Palestinian Authority of failure and saying peace was impossible.

10-29-05 - Israeli patrol burned in Nablus

10-29-05 - Israel's land confiscations, home demolitions, exploitation of natural resources main causes of crisis in occupied Arab territories, Second Committee told Reinforcing that point, the observer for Palestine said Israel had been exploiting and destroying Palestinian natural resources for 38 years, in violation of its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. During the initial construction of the West Bank separation wall, Israel had confiscated 200 cisterns and 36 groundwater wells, and had threatened to demolish 14 other wells, forcing Palestinians to pay 12 per cent more for water.

10-29-05 - Palestinian police disperse Islamic Jihad protesters outside Abbas' offices

10-29-05 - Four residents arrested in Bil?in

10-29-05 - Settlements in Focus - Vol. 1, Issue 13: HEBRON Hebron is the only Palestinian city that has Israeli settlers living in the heart of its built up area, side-by-side with Palestinians.

10-29-05 - Timeline for Palestine / Israel 1936-1939: First major Palestinian uprising against British and Zionist colonial projects. Put down brutally by the British occupation. But also led to British "White Paper" recognizing that unlimited Zionist colonization despite native Palestinian objections is a cause of major problems, Britain attempts to limit immigration but fails because of world war and strength of now established Jewish Zionist militias and International Zionist organizations. Zionist terrorism focuses against British as well as Palestinian people. Future prime ministers/leaders of Israel among British wanted terrorists (e.g. Begin, Shamir).

10-29-05 - Iran says not threatening attack on Israel

10-29-05 - Family of Rabin's Assassin Wants Him Freed Yigal Amir killed Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995 to prevent the handover of land to the Palestinians. He has shown no remorse

10-29-05 - Let's not Forget to Expel Israel Too

10-29-05 - Clear stand on Israeli violations urged

10-29-05 - State offers JNF NIS 1.3b in biggest land deal ever The JNF protocol prohibits selling land ownership and selling any rights to non-Jews

10-29-05 - Palestinians warn against Israeli flyers

10-29-05 - Dangerous bluster The beneficiary, ironically for Iran, is Israel whose hand in Washington is strengthened. But such speeches bolster extremists

10-29-05 - Shock but no surprise on the streets of Jerusalem Israel is taking no chances, and is in the process of acquiring 500 bunker-busting bombs from the US that could be used to destroy Iranian facilities

10-29-05 - Who's Afraid of the Big Bad AIPAC? Comfy incumbents who know they can?t be toppled nevertheless don?t want to be hounded by Jewish constituents, denounced by local rabbis, abandoned by Jewish contributors and challenged by a suddenly richer, pro-Israel candidate. So they go along to get along.
This article seeks to downplay the power of AIPAC. Here is another article on the matter.

10-29-05 - Barghouthi calls for an independent Palestinian judicial system

10-29-05 - UN Special Committee: "UN should be more innovative in its approaches to the question of Palestine"

10-29-05 - Jerusalem Summit: What Are The Neocons Cooking?

10-29-05 - Three Cities Against the Wall: Ramallah, Tel Aviv, New York

10-29-05 - Israel welcomes Security Council's message to Tehran

posted by Somebody @ 10:09 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Libby resigns over Plame leak

Lewis Libby, a member of Temple Rodef Shalom in northern Virginia, resigned as Vice President Richard Cheney’s top adviser after he was indicted for perjury.

Libby was charged with lying to a federal grand jury considering possible charges in the leaking of a CIA operative’s name two years ago. Libby resigned on Friday as soon as the indictment was announced.

The operative, Valerie Plame, is married to Joseph Wilson, a critic of the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq. Wilson said the leaking of the name was retaliation for his criticism.

U.S. official: Hezbollah in Western Hemisphere

Hezbollah is a global terrorist network that operates in the Caribbean and Central America, a U.S. counter-terrorism official said.

“There are parts of Central America where we’ve seen some operatives, where we’ve seen financial transactions — in the Caribbean. In the southern part of the Caribbean, next to Venezuela, in Colombia, we’ve seen some activity there,” Henry Crumpton, the State Department’s counter-terrorism coordinator, said Thursday in testimony to Congress.

Hezbollah “remain a formidable force, in large part because of their sponsorship by Iran, the training they’ve received, the experience they’ve gained from the engagement against Israeli forces,” Crumpton said. “In some ways, you could argue that Hezbollah may be more of a threat than Al-Qaida, given their network, given their expertise, given their state sponsorship.”

posted by Somebody @ 11:15 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 10-28-05

10-28-05 - Militant dies in missile attack on Gaza Yesterday's missile attack came shortly after the funerals of eight people who died in a similar Israeli strike on a car on Thursday, including three teenage boys aged 14 to 17, who were innocent bystanders.

10-28-05 - Israeli Airstrike in Gaza Kills Four Israeli missiles obliterated a car in northern Gaza, killing four Islamic Jihad militants and three other people The 'three other people' did not mean much to the Associated Press evidently, since, they omitted them from the total number dead in the headline. But, we wouldn't expect the AP to cover for the IDF now, would we? T'would be unheard of...

10-28-05 - IDF slams settler 'bullying' as troops evacuate illegal outposts In Hebron, settlers clashed with Palestinian residents as well as with police officers. The settlers threw stones at Palestinian homes near Worshippers' Way, prevented Palestinian residents in the area from leaving their homes and took control of a Palestinian store, Palestinian sources said. There were no injuries, but windows of some homes were shattered by the stones.

10-28-05 - Soldiers attack peaceful procession in Bil'in

10-28-05 - Israelis In Tat-For-Tat Rocket Attack

10-28-05 - British MK Suggests Sanctions Against Israel "Britain and the European Union must use every bit of leverage that they have, including financial leverage, to pressure the Israelis to stop expropriating Palestinian land. For example, they could suspend the EU-Israel trade association,"

10-28-05 - Settlers Set up Six New Illegal Outposts in the West Bank

10-28-05 - Army bars Peace Now activists from entering Hebron Israeli soldiers barred, on Wednesday, dozens of activists of the Israeli Peace Now movement from entering the West Bank city of Hebron to protest against Jewish settlements there.

10-28-05 - Israel says Abbas not delivering on peace: report

10-28-05 - Lebanese army loosens grip on Palestinian bases

10-28-05 - UN condemns Iran's call for Israel's destruction amid international outcry

10-28-05 - Thousands join Gaza Strip funeral Tens of thousands of mourners gathered in the northern Gaza Strip for the funerals of eight people killed in Israeli air strikes late on Thursday.

10-28-05 - Israel cranks up pressure on Iran Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday stood by his calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

10-28-05 - Peace not possible with current Palestinian leadership: Israel

10-28-05 - Palestinian refugees in Syria denounce US threats Syria, home to more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees, has angered the United States by its opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its tough stance on Israel. Many Palestinians see this as the real motive for US pressure on Syria.

10-28-05 - UK Christians step up anti-arms trade work - The Caterpillar D9 bulldozer has been used by the Israeli army to destroy Palestinian homes and agricultural land on the illegally occupied West Bank and Gaza, and to construct the disputed 'separation wall'. One of the company?s machines also killed American peace activist Rachel Corrie two years ago

10-28-05 - Palestinians condemn Resolution 1559 at Jerusalem Day rally

10-28-05 - Army invades Bil?in Soldiers withdrew from the village leaving behind a list of ?wanted? Palestinian peace activists from the village.

10-28-05 - NJ congressman?s letter urges Abbas to take measures against Hamas The other primary author of the letter ? which Capitol Hill sources say was aggressively pushed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee ? was Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio).

10-28-05 - U.S. Clergy Warn About Divesting in Israel The smear campaigns continue.

10-28-05 - Palestinians Neglected, Trio Says

10-28-05 - Taxpayer-funded church coalition calling for divestment of Israel A Canadian taxpayer-funded coalition of 11 major churches and church agencies is holding a series of public forums in Toronto, which call for divesting in Israel, Canada Free Press has learned.

10-28-05 - Middle Eastern students address violence Freshman Andrea Levine said she had never heard a Palestinian?s point of view and is interested in the situation in Israel

10-28-05 - Quartet Calls on Syria to Expel Jihad

10-28-05 - Embracing the Anti-Apartheid Struggle in Israel/Palestine

10-28-05 - Israel to reopen NZ embassy after spy row

10-28-05 - When life in Mideast was simpler ester remembers just after the war, walking through the grounds, when she saw some Jews from Mea Sharim picking flowers. She remembers saying, "'Please don't do that, this is our private garden.' They just said, 'But it's all ours now."'

10-28-05 - Congress condemns Ahmadinejad A Senate bill condemning the comments, introduced Thursday by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and a similar House bill, introduced Friday by Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), passed unanimously.

10-28-05 - Congressmen launch 'Jewish' month Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) will launch the initiative Thursday. A release said the month is aimed at promoting "Jewish unity, peoplehood and social justice programs in Jewish communities throughout the world." It will culminate Nov. 30 at the residence of Israeli president. Separation of Church and State?

10-28-05 - Palestinian grassroots organization comes to UMass to benefit refugees

10-28-05 - Greece: Orthodox Patriarch demands Israeli government recognition The Haaretz daily said Theofilos' suit accuses Israel of insisting Theofilos approve the same real estate deals that led to Irineos' overthrow or face further delays in recognition

posted by Somebody @ 11:55 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Friday, October 28, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Congressmen launch ‘Jewish’ month

Two Jewish congressmen announced plans to launch the first annual “Jewish social action month.”
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) will launch the initiative Thursday. A release said the month is aimed at promoting “Jewish unity, peoplehood and social justice programs in Jewish communities throughout the world.” It will culminate Nov. 30 at the residence of Israeli president.

House expands Syria sanctions

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to substantially expand sanctions against Syria.

Approving a Senate bill Wednesday affirming existing sanctions against Iran, the House attached an amendment adding Syria to the sanctions, which relate to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. That effectively would broaden current sanctions against Syria to other countries that may provide it with materials that could be used to make weapons, an option President Bush has resisted until now.

Similar sanctions helped cripple trade with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, since “dual-use” materials encompass a broad range of trade. The bill, which was passed on a voice vote, must go to House-Senate conference.

Congress condemns Ahmadinejad

Both houses of Congress unanimously condemned the Iranian president’s call to annihilate Israel.

On Wednesday, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” A Senate bill condemning the comments, introduced Thursday by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and a similar House bill, introduced Friday by Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), passed unanimously.

posted by Somebody @ 10:40 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 10-27-05

Israeli Airstrike in Gaza Kills Four
This is the headline for 10-28 6:30 am EST on front page of Yahoo's website. Meanwhile first paragraph says "Israeli missiles obliterated a car in northern Gaza, killing four Islamic Jihad militants and three other people
". Can the
folks at the Associated Press add? Or are they trying to hide the fact that 3 innocent bystanders were also killed?

10-27-05 - Israel kills 7 in strike on Gaza militants

10-27-05 - Israel launches Gaza air strike Three bystanders were killed and 15 others hurt, some critically, the BBC's Alan Johnston reports from Gaza

10-27-05 - Israel to resume targeted killing of Palestinians: military radio

10-27-05 - 4 settlers indicted over assault of Palestinian vegetable seller Four residents of the West Bank settlement of Kedumim were charged Thursday with assaulting a 13-year-old Palestinian boy and throwing rocks at Palestinian cars in the West Bank.

10-27-05 - Barrier under fire for security failings Commentators in the Hebrew press yesterday bemoaned the failure of the barrier to provide security. Many critics of the barrier claim Israel is concerned with annexing Palestinian land and establishing a new political border, rather than with preventing violence.

10-27-05 - Abbas: Stop giving Israel excuse to hit

10-27-05 - Palestine calls for security reforms to stem out chaos

10-27-05 - Kadumim settlement remains nightmare to Jet and Kufr Kaddum residents Since the settlement was established in 1976 by a group of extremist Kahana followers, confiscation of land and water resources has spread rampantly in addition to the daily attacks and harassment from the settlers against the Palestinians and their properties.

10-27-05 - Disarming Palestinians may mean civil war: Mubarak

10-27-05 - Arab States Silent on Iran's Remarks "We have recognized the state of Israel and we are pursuing a peace process with Israel, and ... we do not accept the statements of the president of Iran," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. "This is unacceptable."

10-27-05 - Russian training personnel in Gaza to assist PA forces

10-27-05 - Israel targets Islamic Jihad Ariel Sharon yesterday warned the Palestinians that they have no hope of winning independence until they combat armed Islamist groups as he announced a "broad and continuous" offensive in the occupied territories, a day after an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing killed five Israelis.

10-27-05 - Villagers of Bil'in To Stage Non-Violent March

10-27-05 - Blair rebukes Iran for threats against Israel

10-27-05 - EU excoriates Iran for Israel comments But the EU stopped short of backing Israel's call for Iran to be suspended from the UN over the remarks by its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

10-27-05 - 'I don't understand - people will see us as irrational' Mehran, a 30-year old civil engineer, said: "This is not anything new. Ayatollah Khomeini said this before but I think it is irrational to say a whole country should be wiped off the face of the earth. When the heads of a state say such irrational things it's natural that public opinion in the international community will turn against Iran."

10-27-05 - Iranians Said to Back President on Israel

10-27-05 - Flashback May 2004: Reports on Israeli assassin, spy ring confirmed BEIRUT: Newspaper reports that an Israeli spy ring was trying to assassinate top officials here were confirmed Tuesday. But there was no confirmation as to reports that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Hizbullah resistance movement, was among the targets.

10-27-05 - Congress salutes Israel on U.N. post . The House resolution, passed Thursday, also urges an end to the vilification of Israel at the United Nations and advocates Israel?s permanent membership in the Asian Group, which would accord it more rights More legislation for Israel.

10-27-05 - TWHS organization encourages students to become cultured and globalized CIA students raised money to buy rugs for a Palestinian kindergarten class.

10-27-05 - Keeping Israel front, center in the media He also criticized the Jewish media in America for not consulting with the Israeli government more often. ?Be on the same page with us. When you need information, call us. Consult us. Get the right Israeli position.?

10-27-05 - Israel calls for Iran's expulsion from the U.N. Iran's expulsion from the United Nations would require a Security Council recommendation and two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly -- unlikely given the traditional support of many developing countries for anti-Israel resolutions.

10-27-05 - FBI Director Robert Mueller, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton to Keynote ADL Meeting in New York FBI Director Robert Mueller and U.N. Ambassador John Bolton are scheduled to keynote the Anti-Defamation League's 2005 National Commission Meeting in New York City

10-27-05 - Rice urges Abbas to stop terror attacks

posted by Somebody @ 6:34 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Congress salutes Israel on U.N. post

Congress salutes Israel on U.N. post

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously congratulated Israel after its U.N. ambassador was chosen as a vice president of the General Assembly.

Dan Gillerman, the Israeli envoy, is the first Israeli to assume the yearlong post since Abba Eban held it in 1952. The House resolution, passed Thursday, also urges an end to the vilification of Israel at the United Nations and advocates Israel’s permanent membership in the Asian Group, which would accord it more rights. Arab and Muslim states have prevented Israel from taking a place in its natural regional grouping. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) initiated the resolution.

posted by Somebody @ 10:11 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 10-26-05

10-26-05 - Suicide bomber kills five in market attack

10-26-05 - Israel launches air strike in Gaza

10-26-05 - Israeli warplanes and artillery pound Gaza area

10-26-05 - Iran Leader Calls for Israel's Destruction

10-26-05 - Israel to open Gaza-Egypt border

10-26-05 - Abbas rejects cabinet reshuffle

10-26-05 - Clashes in Tiqua village, east of Bethlehem, arrest one

10-26-05 - MapQuest sidesteps requests to correct blatantly inaccurate map of Israel Among other errors, this map omits the borders which distinguish the occupied territories from the State of Israel. By leaving out these borders, MapQuest has made a virtual Israeli annexation of the West Bank and Gaza,

10-26-05 - Palestinian FM says measures might be initiated against attack perpetrators

10-26-05 - Israel warns of Tehran 'danger'

10-26-05 - Fatah splinter group shoots, wounds accused collaborators

10-26-05 - Israeli-Palestinian women's group launches personal crusade for peace Sherene Abdulhadi, a Palestinian Muslim, Roni Hammerman, an Israeli Jew, and Amira Hillal, a Christian Palestinian, are touring the United States to call for a renewed bid to forge peace between their communities.

10-26-05 - 16 Residents Arrested In Hebron and Tobass

10-26-05 - Jordan a 'strategic partner' in Middle East peacemaking

10-26-05 - South Africa sends medical team, funds to Palestine

10-26-05 - US Foreign Policy and Palestine By BILL and KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
Former CIA analysts

10-26-05 - Israel spies clerical error in admission

10-26-05 - ECUSA won't divest from Israel

10-26-05 - Conference on divesting in Israel cause of concern

10-26-05 - Silencing Finkelstein is the easy way out

10-26-05 - Di was assassinated for supporting Palestinian cause, claims author!

posted by Somebody @ 6:23 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

News for 10-25-05

10-25-05 - Tension mounts in the Gaza Strip, as Israel carries out tit for tat attacks

10-25-05 - Gaza militants launch new strike

10-25-05 - Israelis 'build like maniacs'

10-25-05 - PA: Israeli provocation is leading to a poorer security situation Palestinian cabinet member Saeb Erekat said that "while we are focusing efforts on promoting the peace process, the Israelis are busy with assassinations and arrests."

10-25-05 - Hamas leader to Haaretz: More kidnappings if Israel doesn't free prisoners

10-25-05 - Abbas still faces big challenges after US tour "Israel's strikes can only open the appetite of the militant groups to respond," Shar said, blaming that Israel launched the strikes to postpone time and hinder Abbas' effort to bring order.

10-25-05 - UNDP to renovate Palestinian Muqata compound

10-25-05 - The Galloway Document: Proof of Forgery

10-25-05 - Increased Israeli military activity in Hebron's Old City during Jewish holidays

10-25-05 - Rice urges Israel to resolve Gaza crossings issue

10-25-05 - Review: 'Paradise' tackles Mideast attacks

10-25-05 - NEW GROUP FORMS TO CHALLENGE ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS A pro-Israeli lobby for the sole purpose of lobbying Christians who might dare to feel sympathy for the Palestinians, a new one on me. Because, there aren't enough pro-Israel groups in existence already. Evidently, a new one must be created to match a particular niche.

10-25-05 - Mofaz, Mubarak to meet in Cairo Defense Minister and Egyptian president will discuss Egyptian-Gazan border; earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls on Israel to ease conditions on Palestinians by lifting restrictions on Gaza crossings

10-25-05 - Estranged scientist wife of MP suffering from cancer

10-25-05 - Big hitters in deadly game that might have defeated Machiavelli Israel and the Arabs ? Elusive Peace BBC2, 9.00pm The Real Amityville Horror Channel 4, 11.00pm

posted by Somebody @ 6:24 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

News for 10-24-05

10-24-05 - Gaza gunmen fire rockets after Israel kills militant

10-24-05 - Israel mounts strikes in Gaza after rocket attacks Palestinian medics said a woman and her two daughters were wounded by shrapnel when an Israeli missile hit a building in the southern Gaza town of Rafah that housed a pro-Islamic Jihad charity.

10-24-05 - PA Official: plan to link Gaza with West Bank by underground road

10-24-05 - Israel obstructs security plan: Palestine

10-24-05 - Envoy Urges Israel to Reopen Gaza Borders The Israeli closures have cast a pall over Gaza during the current Muslim holy month of Ramadan ? normally a time of celebration and shopping. With imports greatly hampered, store shelves lie bare, fruits like apples and bananas are hard to come by, and merchants complain that their businesses face ruin.

10-24-05 - Israel still in control of Gaza, says envoy "The Israelis have not agreed to accept the EU's generous offer to consider the role of a third party to supervise the crossing," he said. Israel is also blocking the implementation of a proposal by Mr Wolfensohn and the World Bank for a temporary system of convoys to move Palestinians and goods lorries between Gaza and the West Bank.

10-24-05 - Israel, U.S. at odds over timing of disarming Palestinians

10-24-05 - Galloway's wife 'received £100,000 from Iraqis' British Palestine-supporter targeted by US Senator.

10-24-05 - Palestine Week begins today

10-24-05 - Koranic quiz begins in Gaza Strip

10-24-05 - Troubled season for Gaza's greenhouses

10-24-05 - Diplomats' testimony sought by lobbyists Two former lobbyists with a pro-Israel group who are charged with disclosing classified U.S. defense information are seeking testimony from Israeli diplomats, according to court documents.

10-24-05 - Evangelicals, Jews Are Kindred Spirits Dozens of evangelical Christians from the United States, Europe and Asia toured Jewish settlements in the West Bank in recent days, taking time out from their organized pilgrimage to the Holy Land to show their support for the Israeli settlers.
This is a better read on this topic - A Strange Kind of Freedom with a caution on the adult language in the first few paragraphs of the article.

10-24-05 - Sharon aide praises Abbas Mahmoud Abbas is sincere about wanting peace with Israel, a senior aide to Ariel Sharon said.

10-24-05 - US to help only pro-peace Palestinian poll winners

10-24-05 - Scowcroft speaks out in New Yorker Scowcroft told the magazine that nearly two years ago he had a 'terrible fight' with his protege, current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, over U.S. policy on Israel and the Palestinians

10-24-05 - King Abdullah II receives Palestinian President

10-24-05 - Spinning for peace DJs come together in Jerusalem and bring unity to an unlikely place.

10-24-05 - Russian foreign minister to visit Middle East

10-24-05 - Bethlehem Palestinians more optimistic Another student had heart problems, Alaped explained, and he died at the checkpoint where Israeli security forced him to wait for seven hours despite paramedics insisting that he needed to get to the hospital

10-24-05 - Rosen and Weissman to call Israelis JTA has learned that the two government officials are David Satterfield, now the deputy U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, and a deputy assistant secretary of state in 2002 when he allegedly relayed classified information to Rosen. The other U.S. government official is Kenneth Pollack, a staffer on President Clinton?s national security council who is now at a think tank.

posted by Somebody @ 6:24 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Monday, October 24, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Rosen and Weissman to call Israelis

Defendants in the AIPAC classified information case plan to call Israeli diplomats and a senior U.S. diplomat as witnesses.

In motions filed last Friday, lawyers for Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee staffers, say they plan to call all the individuals identified in indictments as foreign officials and U.S. government officials as witnesses should the case go to trial. The Israeli embassy has also been served notice of the intention.

The indictment speaks of three unnamed foreign officials, all of whom are Israeli, JTA has learned. One of them is Naor Gilon, until this summer the chief political officer at the embassy.

It also speaks of two unnamed U.S. government officials and two unnamed defense department officials. JTA has learned that the two government officials are David Satterfield, now the deputy U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, and a deputy assistant secretary of state in 2002 when he allegedly relayed classified information to Rosen. The other U.S. government official is Kenneth Pollack, a staffer on President Clinton’s national security council who is now at a think tank.

The U.S. government has charged Weissman and Rosen under a rarely used statute that bans the relaying of classified information. Their lawyers will argue that the practice is commonplace in Washington. Satterfield and Pollack have not been charged.

Israel has said its diplomats behaved correctly in the matter and has offered the prosecution cooperation through written testimony.

Trial is set for Jan. 2.

Sharon aide praises Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas is sincere about wanting peace with Israel, a senior aide to Ariel Sharon said.

“In the meetings with Abu Mazen in which I was present, he spoke of a settlement with Israel — on his terms, of course. He does not want terror. I believe that his statements are heartfelt,” Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant, the Israeli prime minister’s outgoing military secretary, told Yediot Achronot in an interview Monday. “But between that and implementation, there is a huge rift.”

Abu Mazen is the nom de guerre of Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.

posted by Somebody @ 10:37 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 10-23-05

10-23-05 - Two Israeli stabbed to wounded by Palestinian in West Bank The Palestinian attacked two Israeli soldiers with knife at the checkpoint

10-23-05 - Two Palestinians killed, soldier hurt in Tul Karm gun battle

10-23-05 - Qurei vows to impose law to rein in chaos

10-23-05 - Fatah's armed wing to be merged into security forces

10-23-05 - 4,172 Palestinians killed during Intifada

10-23-05 - Palestinian shot dead in clashes outside Lebanon refugee camp

10-23-05 - PNA bans hunting migratory birds

10-23-05 - Quartet envoy: Israel acts as if pullout didn't happen In a letter sent last week to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the foreign ministries of Britain, Russia and the United States, Wolfensohn wrote: "The Government of Israel, with its important security concerns, is loath to relinquish control, almost acting as though there has been no withdrawal, delaying making difficult decisions and preferring to take difficult matters back into slow-moving subcommittees."

10-23-05 - Palestinian official: Peace hope fading Shaath said Palestinians wouldn't accept an open-ended or protracted process whereby Israel continues to steal Palestinian land and build more Jewish colonies in the West Bank. Building settlements in occupied territory is not only a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, but it's not a move conducive to peace.

10-23-05 - PA plans to disarm al-Aqsa Brigades

10-23-05 - Jewish Agency grants victims of Shfaram attack financial aid Four Israeli citizens, including three Israeli Arabs, were killed in the Shfaram attack when Jewish extremist Eden Natan-Zada opened fire aboard a bus in August. The Jewish Agency's financial aid is separate from money the state gives the victims and their families.

10-23-05 - Crossing between Egypt, Gaza reopens for humanitarian cases

10-23-05 - Israel pledges not to hamper Palestinian vote

10-23-05 - Defining the settlement borders In all of 2005, until the beginning of this month, about 12,000 residents have been added to the Jewish population of the West Bank. This figure represents an annual increase of about 5 percent

10-23-05 - Qorei stopped at Israeli checkpoint

10-23-05 - residents arrested in Hebron, one injured

10-23-05 - Israeli ship's crew probed Israeli police detained the crew of a ship that capsized a Japanese fishing boat.

10-23-05 - Senate approves money for Arrow The Senate approved almost double President Bush?s requested funding for the Arrow, a joint U.S.-Israeli anti-missile program.

10-23-05 - Foes help at sea Syrian sailors rescued two Israelis whose boat sank off Cyprus

10-23-05 - Israel plays down differences with US over Hamas

10-23-05 - Stirling students vote to back Palestinians

10-23-05 - Hamas says close to reach deal of honor with Fatah

10-23-05 - £63,000 slicer is 'cutting-edge art'

10-23-05 - Palestinian PFLP group condemns UN report against Syria

10-23-05 - U.S. backs PA over when to disarm Palestinian armed groups

10-23-05 - WaPSR Delegation Diary 1: Crossing Bantustans Dr. Bill Dienst writing from occupied Palestine

10-23-05 - UN report may demand Lebanon stop arms flow from Syria Isn't it odd how these things always come back to the Palestinians? What is our beef with Syria? Why has this become our problem? Who made it so?

10-23-05 - Trial of Palestinian legislator delayed

10-23-05 - UN envoy raps Syria's ongoing Lebanon ties -report Syria continues to arm proxy guerrillas and run spies in Lebanon despite withdrawing its troops from the country in April, an Israeli newspaper quoted an upcoming U.N. report as saying on Sunday Israel now gets the jump on U.N. reports?

10-23-05 - Corrie play opens in London Jonny Paul, who is organising an unaffiliated protest ahead of 'The skies are weeping' a concert for Corrie due to be held at the Hackney Empire on November 1, believes her death has been manipulated by anti-Israel protagonists Someone would protest a concert that tributes someone murdered by the Israeli army?

10-23-05 - More Academy Resistance to Films From or About Palestine?

10-23-05 - Drawn to the truth Joe Sacco proves that a cartoonist can deal with war in Bosnia and the Middle East with a clear eye and a steady hand

10-23-05 - Palestine by Joe Sacco

10-23-05 - Bethlehem on the hunt for tourists

10-23-05 - Rector student spends summer with Palestinians "I had a revelation in the fact that Palestinians are not the terrorists they are made out to be in the West, nor are they haters of Israel,"

10-23-05 - Trading with Israel "In reality, it's difficult to get U.S.-made products into Israel,"

10-23-05 - The invisibility of Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance in the New York Times

10-23-05 - Occupation and Mental Health

posted by Somebody @ 6:42 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Foes help at sea

Syrian sailors rescued two Israelis whose boat sank off Cyprus.

An Israeli drowned early Sunday when the catamaran he was on went down during a storm 5 miles away from Limassol. The other two Israelis aboard were hauled onto a passing Syrian ship and taken to shore.

The survivors told reporters they were well-treated by the Syrians, but noted that their boat had flown a Canadian flag.

Senate approves money for Arrow

The Senate approved almost double President Bush’s requested funding for the Arrow, a joint U.S.-Israeli anti-missile program.

Israel asked the United States for close to $160 million for further development in 2006 for the Arrow, which has been tested successfully in recent years. Bush knocked that down to $78.6 million in his budget request earlier this year, and the House of Representatives reflected that amount by approving $77.6 million in June.

On Oct. 7, however, the Senate approved $143.6 million in its version of the Defense Appropriations bill. The House and Senate bills now go to conference to reconcile their differences in a final version.

Israeli ship’s crew probed

Israeli police detained the crew of a ship that capsized a Japanese fishing boat.

The Zim company tanker docked in Haifa on Sunday and was boarded by police, who took 22 crew members in for questioning, arresting at least three of them. The captain, who flew to Israel earlier this month, is already in custody. Seven Japanese fishermen were killed last month when the Zim ship rammed into their boat. Zim, Israel’s largest shipping company, at first denied involvement but then took responsibility, offering compensation to the fishermen’s relatives.

The tanker crew are suspected of reckless endangerment and of leaving the site of the crash without offering help to the fishermen

posted by Somebody @ 9:47 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 10-22-05

10-22-05 - Israel kills Fatah militant near Tulkarem

10-22-05 - Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank: army But it later turned out that the shot man and another Palestinian detained in the incident did not possess any bombs but were carrying a bag filled with rocks and wires

10-22-05 - News In Brief: Israeli firing kills Palestinian They said 58-year-old Ahmad Khalil was shot in the head by a group of four settlers who drove past him as he was walking near Deir Nidham village

10-22-05 - Settlers attack schoolgirls in Hebron An extremist settlers group attacked, on Saturday morning, dozens of school girls near Beit Hadassah settlement outpost in the West Bank city of Hebron

10-22-05 - Palestinians rule out al-Qaeda presence in Gaza

10-22-05 - U.S. official: Israeli, PA road map obligations not equally important The official, who requested to remain anonymous, said the Palestinian Authority's commitment to fight terror is more crucial than Israel's to freeze settlement construction and evacuate illegal settlement outposts

10-22-05 - Top Palestinian: put down arms for democracy The Palestinian minister of civil affairs Mohamed Dahlan Saturday called upon Palestinian militants to put down their arms and support democracy

10-22-05 - Rocket was aimed at Sharon: Radicals

10-22-05 - Kharma: We are Ready to Reopen Yasser Arafat Airport

10-22-05 - Lieberman calls for banning Tibi in Knesset elections He suggested that Israel should start transferring the Arab residents of Sakhnin, Jaffa, and then all of the Arab residents without any exception in order to ?Guarantee a complete Jewish State?.

10-22-05 - 17 resident arrested in the West Bank

10-22-05 - PNA issues instructions to end arms chaos

10-22-05 - New report brings Syria closer to sanctions It appears unlikely that the Security Council will consider the two reports sufficiently damning to impose sanctions on Syria. Both reports prepare the ground for future sanctions, however, and contain an indirect recommendation to Syrian President Bashar Assad that he cooperate with the United Nations

10-22-05 - Palestinian American seeks change non-violently Palestinian American academic Mubarak Awad still holds the same basic position he did when he was last interviewed by the Jewish Chronicle in 1989, shortly after Israel expelled him for his role in encouraging civil disobedience during the first intifada

10-22-05 - obscures status of occupied territories

10-22-05 - Lebanese boat enters Israeli waters

10-22-05 - Gaza's ancient history uncovered

10-22-05 - Humour and hospitality go with the Territories The entrance to the deserted market is dominated by an Israeli army position - one soldier tells me, with the weary air of someone who'd rather be, say, anywhere else at all, that 3,000 of his comrades are guarding Hebron's 700-odd Jewish settlers

10-22-05 - Prosecutor in AIPAC affair is named new U.S. deputy AG

10-22-05 - JAI: 34 International Volunteers Participate in Olive Harvest 2005

10-22-05 - Rafah crossing to reopen temporarily for pilgrims

10-22-05 - US forced Israel to freeze Venezuelan F-16 contract: ministry Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz is planning a visit to the Pentagon next month, a ministry spokeswoman confirmed, and is likely to focus on defence deals.

10-22-05 - Dahlan to return Gaza after recovery from illness

10-22-05 - Prejudices revived in US by Palestinian Christian group Thus does a new smear campaign begin.

10-22-05 - Three Israelis arrested for entering Palestinian city

10-22-05 - Israel, U.S. reject PA call for secret peace talks Israel and the United States have rejected a Palestinian call to open secret peace negotiations on final status issues, a senior source in Jerusalem said on Saturday.

10-22-05 - Letter from Caracas For one thing, the administration is on friendly terms with governments and groups hostile to Israel and the Jewish people, including Iran and Islamic extremists Then why is Israel arming them?

posted by Somebody @ 9:38 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Price We Pay When Free Speech is Stifled

The Price We Pay When Free Speech is Stifled

By Paul Findley, class of '43

[Filed 9-22-05]

To explain my wrinkles, I admit that my first convocation lecture at Illinois College occurred forty years ago, twenty years before most of you were born. Wow! The march of years!

The college offered me the same privilege perhaps a dozen times since, but this time I invited myself. I did so because I have a message arising from the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and another I learned sixty-five years ago from Joe Patterson Smith, a blind Illinois College professor. Both messages, I believe, are vitally important to everyone in this chamber.

Freedom of speech, the very essence of the U.S. Constitution, is the keystone of just governance everywhere and anywhere. It is the most precious of human rights, and our history is replete with evidence that it is even more precious in wartime than in peace.

One day, Joe Pat, as we called him but not to his face, told his history class that integrity is the most important qualification for public office. That message stuck in my mind ever since.

In those days, Franklin D. Roosevelt seemed to be America's permanent president. I criticized his policies in a column I wrote for the Rambler, but I believed that he had integrity. In fact, I innocently believed that anyone elected president must have integrity to get the job. In recent years, my confidence in both the status of free speech and presidential integrity has been shaken.

Our country is in great peril today, and our trouble began in terrible events that started 38 years ago in the Eastern Mediterranean, happenings that scuttled truth and free speech and concealed gross malfeasance in high office.

I take you back that far in history only because the lying, trickery and cover-up that occurred at that time opened flood gates of criminal behavior in Middle East policy that engulf us today.

You will find some of the facts I report almost beyond belief. They are not make-believe. They are the truth, but due to a cover-up directed from the White House for the past 38 years, the truth has surfaced only bits at a time. Let's return to June 8, 1967. The place? The headquarters of the military high command in Israel. Presiding over a staff meeting was Israel's most famous and supremely-confident warrior, General Moshe Dayan. That day, Israel's decisive defeat of Arab armies in the Six-day War seemed certain. The United States, led by President Lyndon B. Johnson, was bogged down in its war in Vietnam. I was a new member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. My focus was Europe, not the Middle East.

It was about 1p.m., Tel Aviv time. Three hours earlier, Israeli pilots reported to headquarters that repeated, close-in reconnaissance positively identified a vessel off the coast of Gaza in international waters as the USS Liberty, an unarmed U.S. Navy intelligence-gathering ship.

Dayan immediately stunned his staff by ordering air and sea forces to sink the ship, even though the vessel was a military arm of the only major nation fully committed to the survival of Israel. Dayan wanted it destroyed without a trace and ordered the assault carried out with utmost secrecy. One of his generals remonstrated: "This is pure murder." Several Israeli pilots refused to attack.

Beginning at 2 p.m., Israeli forces pounded and blistered the USS Liberty with cannon, rockets and napalm from the air and torpedoes from sea craft. The attack instantly wrecked the ship's communication system, and soon killed thirty-four sailors, wounded 174 others, and riddled the ship with holes. Bodies and body parts were soon scattered on the deck. Most of the victims were at duty stations below deck when a torpedo ripped a hole forty feet wide just below water line. Lifeboats were lowered into the water in expectation of an abandon-ship order, but they were immediately shot to pieces by Israeli gunfire. One more torpedo would likely have sunk the ship and its entire crew.

After two hellish hours, the assault suddenly ended. An act of great bravery had led to an SOS that spared the ship and what remained of its crew. Terry Halbardier, a Liberty sailor, risked his life by mounting a long-wire antenna on the deck while it was being strafed by Israeli gunfire. This feat enabled radiomen to broadcast a lone appeal for help before the makeshift antenna too was destroyed. The SOS was picked up by U.S. aircraft carriers nearby, as well as by Israeli intelligence. The SOS wrecked Dayan's scheme to pin the blame on Egypt. Israel had no choice. It had to stop the assault and try to construct a plausible lie.

Now we move to the USS America, the command ship of the aircraft carrier group. On receiving the SOS, group commander Admiral Lawrence Geis immediately ordered fighter aircraft launched to defend the Liberty, then reported to the White House in Washington both the SOS and the aircraft launch.

Moments later, the admiral received the shock of his long career. Over a radio phone, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, calling from the White House, shouted six words: "Get those planes back on deck." The call was relayed through a U.S. base in Morocco.

Tony Hart, the U.S, Navy petty officer who made the relay, heard the incredulous admiral protest:

"Mr. Secretary, but the Liberty is under attack and needs help." McNamara's response: "Get those goddam planes back on deck." The admiral appealed again. This time he said, "Sir, I respectfully wish to appeal the order to higher authority." McNamara's terse response: "This order comes from highest authority. The president is right here. He says he doesn't care if the whole ship sinks, he is not going to war with an ally [Israel] for a couple of sailors. Get those planes back on deck." Geis ended the conversation by saying, "Aye, aye, sir." He ordered the planes to turn back, the first time in history that the U.S. Navy refused to answer an SOS.

Three days later, Geis summoned to his cabin Lt. Comdr. Dave Lewis, a severely burned survivor who had been the officer in charge of the large crew that managed intelligence-gathering on the USS Liberty. During the assault, Lewis was standing below deck about ten feet from the torpedo blast that opened the forty-foot hole in the ship's side.

The explosion damaged his eardrums, seared both eyelids shut and burned his eyeballs and other parts of his body. He survived because the blast rolled his body up in a hot but protective sheet of steel.

The next day, Lewis was picked up by helicopter and brought to the USS America's sick bay, where surgical lancing reopened his eyelids. Two days later, when Lewis arrived at the admiral's quarters, Geis closed the door, assuring privacy for the two. He told Lewis: "I want someone to know I tried to get help to the Liberty. You just happen to be that someone." He then repeated the entire conversation he had had with McNamara and offered another reason for summoning Lewis: "I know there will be an effort to cover up the facts, and I wanted someone to know the facts and who said what in case I am ordered to be silent." The admiral paused before concluding the conversation with this curious order, "I am swearing you to secrecy on what I just said." Lewis kept the secret for twenty years, breaking silence only when informed of Geis' death.

Now to the situation room in the basement of the White House, the morning after McNamara ordered the planes returned to deck. President Johnson had just received a message of apology. In it, the government of Israel falsely claimed the Israeli forces believed the ship was a military vessel of Egypt.

In a public announcement, Johnson engaged in prevarication himself. In it, he played down the severity of the assault and accepted Israel's lie as the truth. He had already issued a secret order that covered up all aspects of the tragedy. He appointed Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd to conduct a Court of Inquiry but, at the same time, he scuttled free speech and integrity by ordering him to absolve Israel of any blame when the court's report was written.

Next stop Malta, where the heavily damaged USS Liberty was berthed, then to Naples, Italy, where some survivors were billeted. At each stop, following presidential orders, Kidd personally ordered all survivors, some still in hospital beds, to maintain absolute secrecy about their ordeal.

He warned them that they would face court martial and imprisonment if they said anything to anybody about what happened. They were forbidden to tell even their families. In short, Johnson stripped Kidd of free speech and ordered him to do the same to the hapless survivors. They were later given medals, but these were distributed in unpublicized ceremonies far from the White House.

The official cover-up continues to this day. The official answer to all inquiries is an official lie: the assault on the Liberty was a tragic case of mistaken identity on the part of Israel. Over the years, Liberty survivors have pleaded repeatedly with official bodies, individual Members of Congress and major media for full disclosure of the facts. To no avail.

Besides being a shocking war crime, the assault was stark ingratitude. At the time, President Johnson was secretly providing unmarked U.S. military aircraft and personnel to aid Israel in its war against the Arabs.

Why did Dayan order the destruction of a U.S. Navy ship?

The question remains unanswered, but here is the theory most Liberty survivors accept: It was a cold-blooded, supremely-brazen criminal scheme intended to trick the United States into a fighting alliance with Israel against Arabs states.

Dayan believed Israel could get by with a monstrous hoax: secretly destroying the USS Liberty and its crew but fixing the blame on Egypt. He probably speculated that in a day or so after the sinking, Israeli officials would be able to display to news media Liberty wreckage that drifted ashore and point the accusing finger straight Egypt. He was convinced that anti-Arab fury would then spur Congress into a quick war declaration against Egypt and its war partners. With America's forces battling at its side, Israel could reasonably expect this would consolidate its gains of Arab territory and guarantee Israel's security far into the future.

Another theory, one that some survivors find plausible: Israel decided to destroy the USS Liberty quickly, because its intelligence crew might learn Israel's secret plans to invade Syria the next day, and disclosure might provoke a controversy that would foil the plans. Either way, sinking the Liberty would be a high-risk gamble. Except for the lone SOS appeal, Israel's trickery, whatever its motive, might have worked. In Moshe Dyan's autobiography, he does not mention the USS Liberty.

Why the presidential cover up? Johnson's reaction is even more shocking and inexplicable than the assault itself. Was the cover-up a frantic effort to win U.S. Jewish support for the faltering war in Vietnam? Was the president afraid that disclosure would provoke anti-Israel outrage so powerful that all U.S. aid to Israel would cease? Was it pressure from prominent Zionist leaders?

All of the above may have been factors. Prominent Zionists Arthur and Matilda Krim were close personal advisers and companions during Johnson's election to a full presidential term in 1964, and significantly, Matilda was almost constantly at his side in the White House or in touch by telephone throughout the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war that included, of course, the assault on the Liberty.

Johnson was the first U.S. president since Truman to display strong support of Israel. As president, Dwight Eisenhower forced Israel to back down from illegal acts, including its 1956 election-eve invasion of Egypt.

During John F. Kennedy's successful campaign for the presidency in 1960, he refused a proposal made by a group of New York Zionists. They offered to finance his campaign if he would promise, if elected, to let them control Middle East policy.

Was it fear? By the time of the assault on the Liberty, U.S. pro-Israel groups had already effectively redefined anti-Semitism to include any criticism of Israel. Accordingly, almost all U.S. citizens—especially politicians—have a haunting fear of being charged with anti-Semitism, that is, doing something or saying something that could be construed as being unfriendly to Israel.

Ambassador George W. Ball once cited the reckless charge of anti-Semitism as the most powerful instrument of intimidation used by Israel's U.S. lobby.

All presidents since Kennedy have treated Israel as if it is either sacrosanct or 220-voltage. They have recognized that Israel's U.S. lobby is highly organized, politically powerful, aggressive, and successful. The intimidation is not limited to federal officials.

Today, almost everyone is uneasy when Israel is mentioned in other than laudatory tones. Everyone can find an excuse to avoid even the slightest public criticism of Israeli behavior. It is a sobering example of censorship, unofficial but effective—a troubling illustration of the price the American people pay when free speech is stifled.

Forced to make a quick decision in the Liberty crisis, Johnson may have concluded that covering up the truth would cause no long-term harm to America's vital interests. If so, it was a dreadful blunder.

The cover-up marked a major turning point in U.S. foreign policy, not just a blip on history's screen. It prompted small Israel, acting through its powerful lobbying apparatus in the United States, to take firm control of mighty America's Middle East policies and engage broadly and brazenly in criminal activity. It convinced Israeli leaders, beyond any lingering doubt, that the Jewish state could literally get by with murder—even of defenseless U.S. sailors—without disturbing America's unconditional support.

The cover-up showed that Israel could draw blood from its American patrons to feed its own scofflaw ambitions for territorial conquest. Israel could violate property and human rights—even deliberately break the bones of teenagers, bulldoze homes and orchards, pen up Palestinians behind high walls of their own property, thumb its nose at rules of the International Court of Justice, Geneva institutions, and its solemn obligations under the United Nations Charter with scarcely a murmur of complaint from its chief beneficiary. For Israel, the rule of the lawless replaced the rule of law.

The cover-up cleared the decks for massive U.S. aid to Israel. It set virtually a sky's-the-limit precedent for tapping the U.S. Treasury, the Defense Department's munitions stockpiles, and all of America's top-secret technology.

The aid began to soar in all forms—financial, military and diplomatic. All of it was unconditional and remains so today.

No rules or strings are attached. U.S. officials are even denied the usual authority to monitor how aid money is spent. Israel demonstrates its command of the U.S.-Israeli relationship in various ways. One is especially ugly: Israel occasionally tortures detained U.S. citizens, even teenagers, with impunity.

This calamitous criminal tide is the byproduct of President Johnson's fateful cover-up. And the original, root cause of this horror is the disappearance of free speech and integrity in the making of U.S. Middle East policy. For years, there has been no real debate, no unfettered exchange of opinion, no thorough discussion of this vital of policy anywhere in our government.

There is no dip in U.S. aid even when Israeli prime ministers publicly defy U.S. presidents, as they occasionally do. Our officials routinely look the other way when Israel steals secrets. The imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard was the exception that proves the rule. These crimes get little attention in our thoroughly intimidated major media, but the rest of the world sees our Congress as a bunch of trained poodles that jump through a hoop held by Israel. Once revered worldwide, America is now reviled.

Two powerful religion-driven lobbies are prominent in Israel's entry into bold criminality. One consists of a relatively small group of Jewish zealots, whose most prominent and effective voice is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC], founded a half-century ago. Its membership is relatively small, consisting mainly of secular Jews often called Zionists and others who are ultra-Orthodox. The other lobby, whose influence emerged in the last twenty years, consists of millions of fundamentalist Christians who accept a controversial interpretation of the Bible's Book of Revelations. This lobby is loosely-organized but effective, with televangelists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell providing most of the leadership.

Both groups contend that present-day Israel is a central part of God's plan and must be kept strong and united until the arrival on earth of each group's messiah. The two have political power so great that Congress dutifully appropriates billions to Israel.

This occurs year after year, without conditions or serious discussion, much less real debate. Their grip on our government is unhealthy for the well-being of Israel and the United States, as well as for Christianity and Judaism.

What is best for America in the Middle East is never examined on Capitol Hill or in the executive branch, much less given the priority it deserves. I know. I was a Member of Congress for twenty-two years. I have followed the grim scene closely ever since.

The bitter fruit of this bias is bad policy, gross favoritism on behalf of one small nation, Israel, and against all other states in the region. The financial cost is not the greatest price of this bias, but it is immense. A study in the Christian Science Monitor places the cost of U.S. aid to Israel since 1975 at $1.6 trillion, the equivalent of $320,000 for each citizen of Israel. Per capital aid to Arab states during that period is slightly above zero.

This policy bias could not have occurred, even for a year, if free speech had prevailed on Capitol Hill or in the White House. Any U.S. president in the last 38 years could have prevented 9/11 simply by suspending all U.S. aid until Israel vacated the territory it has held illegally since 1967.

If the truth about the assault on the Liberty had been officially disclosed--if surviving crewmen had been permitted to exercise the right of free speech--public outrage would have forced a major change in the U.S.-Israeli relationship. Future U.S. aid would be tied to firm conditions and to accountability rules like those demanded of all other recipients of U.S. aid.

Israel would not have been lured into lawbreaking by protective, unconditional U.S. support. Years ago, I heard Moshe Dayan state that Israel would have no choice but to obey U.S. demands if they were firm conditions of eligibility for U.S. aid.

After many years in politics, I am convinced that America's gravest burden today is the quiet but firm domination of our Middle East policy by these two religion-driven lobbies and their associates. Their power is an unprecedented phenomenon that reaches far broader and deeper than the USS Liberty and its crew, important as their fate is to hundreds of families and to the proud annals of the U.S. Navy.

Liberty survivors are hurting. Palestine is hurting. Israel is hurting. America is hurting. You are I are hurting. For this hurt, guilt must be shared. Israeli leaders are guilty of criminal activity. Our Members of Congress and President George W. Bush are guilty of supporting this criminal activity. So were every Congress and every president beginning with the Lyndon Johnson administration. I am among the guilty. While a Member of Congress, I frequently criticized Israel and urged President Jimmy Carter to suspend all aid to Israel, but in the end, I voted for this aid. I should have voted no every time.

What can you do to get America's Middle East policy back on the high road where it belongs? Go back to scholastic and work-a-day chores? Of course. But as opportunities arise, seek civilized discussion of our Israeli relationship with any one who will listen.

Robust debate of U.S. Middle East policy—especially within our political system—is absolutely necessary. We must liberate ourselves from the suffocating mystique that enables religion-driven lobbies to stifle free speech. You can help. Each of you should enter America's political mainstream. Promote free speech, unfettered debate.

Climb the political ladder and, as you do, offer integrity as your foremost qualification. Each of you can make a difference. You can help restore the strength of the U.S. Constitution and its precious bill of rights, of which the most precious is the freedom to speak without fear. It is a cause worthy of your urgent attention. Get involved. Never, never give up.

posted by Somebody @ 2:02 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 10-21-05

10-21-05 - Palestinians killed in West Bank Witnesses said the soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters who were throwing stones at their jeep.

10-21-05 - Palestinian policeman shot in West Bank fight

10-21-05 - The Rafah Border crossing to open Sunday and Monday

10-21-05 - Hamas slams Bush for dropping statehood timetable

10-21-05 - UN Gives Green Light for Israel, Syria, Iran War Ephraim Halevy, former chief of Israel's Mossad espionage agency under Sharon, said it was not necessary to prove a direct involvement by Assad Israel is agitating for an all out war that engulfs the entire Middle East and our troops caught in the crossfire (again).

10-21-05 - Jordan's King meets EU official, calling for more aid to Palestine

10-21-05 - The farmer who lost his land The day the fence went up, Mr Shatara lost 25 acres of olive grove that had been in his family for generations.

10-21-05 - Huwwara checkpoint, daily suffering for the Palestinian residents

10-21-05 - Abbas basks in US limelight; leaves empty-handed: analysts Some experts suggested the lack of any concrete results might make it more difficult for Abbas and his Fatah movement to hold the line against Hamas and the other radicals.

10-21-05 - Nonprofits Get Federal Anti-Terror Funding In addition to the 14 synagogues, the recipients included two Jewish schools and five other Jewish organizations, among them the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington and Hillel, a student group Hillel is a pro-Israel advocacy group.

10-21-05 - No decision to divest Christians, Jews and Muslims met at Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair on Sunday for an educational presentation on the past and present state of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

10-21-05 - Palestinian Ambassador receives Friendship Order

10-21-05 - Was Plame Outed by a Foreign Spy? The connection of Israel to all this is plain enough: for the neoconservatives, Israel plays the same role as the old Soviet Union did to the American Communist Party.

10-21-05 - Israel's Cronkite Goes Off-Script Titled "Land of the Settlers," the series, two hours of which will be screened in Manhattan's Stephen Wise Free Synagogue next week, stirred great controversy in Israel

10-21-05 - US says it will not dictate to Palestinians on Hamas

10-21-05 - Israel wants world pressure on Syria following UN report

10-21-05 - PA official says PA yielding to gunmen in surge of abductions

10-21-05 - No separating Israel and Palestinian traffic, officials say

10-21-05 - Palestinian election fever

10-21-05 - Pollster: Palestinians turn toward Fatah The collective punishment the Israeli Army is imposing at the moment, is sending a negative message to those people who told us yesterday that they oppose violence Hamas could easily create the conditions to turn Israel back to collective punishment. Palestinians need to sideline Hamas.

10-21-05 - U.S. pays for two Gaza roads with conditional cash grant

10-21-05 - Robots used against peaceful protest in Bil?in

10-21-05 - Bil'in protesters say bean bags are latest riot-control weapon

10-21-05 - Palestinian artists bring plight of their people to Montpelier

10-21-05 - Israel temporarily freezes the E1 project

10-21-05 - Peres: Syrian leadership needs to change

10-21-05 - Israel's Secret Hand in Iraq Inspections

10-21-05 - War is a State of Mind

posted by Somebody @ 10:40 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Friday, October 21, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Peres: Syrian leadership needs to change

Shimon Peres called for change in the Syrian leadership after a U.N. report implicated a top Syrian official in the murder of Lebanon’s former prime minister.

“If it is true that the government is involved in the murder, this will shake up the rule of the Assads,” Israel’s vice prime minister told Israel Radio, referring to the family that has run Syria for decades.

The U.N. report by Detlev Mehlis, a German prosecutor, quotes a witness who said Assef Shawkat, the Syrian intelligence chief and President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law, forced a man to record a claim of responsibility for Rafik Hariri’s death 15 days before the former Lebanese prime minister was assassinated. Hariri was leading efforts to wrest Lebanon away from Syrian control.

The Associated Press reported that the U.N. Security Council is preparing a new resolution critical of Syria. The last resolution, after Hariri’s death, helped force an end to Syria’s occupation of Lebanon after three decades.

U.N. to show film on Holocaust

The United Nations will run a film commemorating the role of the Holocaust in the U.N.’s founding.

The seven-minute film will be shown on a continuous loop in the visitors’ lobby of U.N. headquarters in New York starting Monday, according to the Ad Hoc Committee for an Effective U.N. Response to Anti-Semitism, which previewed the film. U.N. officials say a permanent exhibit on the Holocaust will be built once renovations are completed at U.N. headquarters.

posted by Somebody @ 10:49 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 10-20-05

10-20-05 - Child shot and killed near Bethlehem

10-20-05 - Settler saboteurs target Palestinian olive trees This was not the first time that militant settlers, waging a war of attrition against their neighbours in the hills east of Nablus for the past four years, had raided his grove.
Every year, their attacks cost Mr Nasr 5,000kg of olives and 180 litres of oil. He is going to plant new trees, but he will have to wait years until they bear fruit. This time, the vengeful settlers had lopped and burned trees on 70 Salem farms.

10-20-05 - IDF calls off escort of Palestinian schoolchildren in Hebron The military escort, which was introduced about a year ago, protected the children from repeated attacks by Israeli settlers near the Maon and Havat Maon settlements....Because the children are afraid of the settlers, members of the Christian Peace Teams (CPT) used to accompany them as protection until about a year ago, but the peace activists were attacked and beaten by settlers several times while escorting the children.

10-20-05 - UPDATE on Tuwani Urgent Action

10-20-05 - Settlers attack homes, properties in Hebron An extremist settlers group of the Ma?oun illegal settlement outpost, which is constructed on Palestinian annexed lands, east of Yatta village south of Hebron, attacked homes and properties in the nearby Al Litwani area.

10-20-05 - AT-TUWANI URGENT ACTION: Demand Israeli Military Control Settler Violence Ask them why the Israeli military made statements that
they would do nothing to intervene in the case of violence against

10-20-05 - Soldiers invade Hebron, three children injured

10-20-05 - Israel 'still expanding West Bank settlements'

10-20-05 - Palestinians ban egg imports over bird flu fears Fears about bird flu were triggered by the confirmation last week that Turkey and Romania have cases of the H5N1 strain of the virus, which has killed more than 60 people in Asia.

10-20-05 - Before Bush talks, Abbas says settlements hurt peace "There is a struggle under way for the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people between the moderates and the fundamentalists," Abbas said. "Israel's lack of regard for the road map is having a powerfully negative effect on Palestinian society at an extremely critical time in our democratic development."

10-20-05 - Bush unsure Palestinians will have state before 2009

10-20-05 - Army stops school students from attending their schools in Hebron

10-20-05 - Bush renews Palestinian state vow

10-20-05 - Jewish extremists pray in al-Aqsa yard

10-20-05 - Qalqilya teacher wounded after being attacked by student

10-20-05 - Sharon pursues immigration Ariel Sharon vowed that Israel would bring in 1 million new immigrants by 2020.

10-20-05 - Bush Praises Abbas in White House Visit Without elaboration, Bush said Israel would be "held to account" for any actions that hamper peacemaking or burden the lives of Palestinians.

10-20-05 - Kids exposed to settlers? wrath IDF suspends escort of Palestinian school children in wake of recent West Bank terror attacks. Kids now forced to take extra-long route to reach school Sounds like a move made by an immature organization that would seek to punish innocents over something that they had no control.

10-20-05 - PA denied material to test bird flu

10-20-05 - Israeli Forces Seal off Jerusalem Before Muslim Worshippers

10-20-05 - Economic Losses Cost at $15.6 Billion by Intifada's Five Years

10-20-05 - Israel court rules compensation to Palestinian Family The state should compensate the family of Dr. Ahmed Othman from Al-Khader village near Bethlehem who was killed in 2002, who was director of Al-Yamameh Hospital in the city.

10-20-05 - Peace Now calls on Israel to evacuate 26 West Bank settlements Israeli Peace Now movement announced a new initiative on Wednesday calling the Israeli government to withdraw from 26 West Bank settlements which are relatively isolated within large concentration of Palestinian population.

10-20-05 - Report: Travel ban part of long-term plan to separate from Palestinians

10-20-05 - Jewish terrorists attack Al Aqsa mosque

10-20-05 - Mayor of Bethlehem pleads for financial aid "That's what we hear," the mayor said with exasperation. "We hear about Christians, Christians, Christians helping Bethlehem being a Christian city, but we are getting nothing out of it. Nothing. Zero."

10-20-05 - Palestinian film day in Haifa

10-20-05 - Japanese accident survivor challenges Zim account The Japanese newspaper Yomyuri Shombon published the eye witness account of Kanama Fujisato, 53, the sole survivor of the collision, in which he said, "I don't believe that the Zim Asia ship didn't feel us. If they had saved us immediately, my colleagues could have survived, like me," said Fujisato. ...Fujusato's daughter said, "Why did they run away without reporting it? If they were quickly saved, maybe some of them could have been saved."

10-20-05 - Israeli, Irishman among foreign fighters in Iraq-US

10-20-05 - Olive Picking ? 2005 Tentative Schedule

10-20-05 - Can video game produce peace in the Middle East?

10-20-05 - Estonian police confiscate 43 kilos of cocaine from five Israelis

10-20-05 - Jerusalem school dropouts bad news for city

10-20-05 - Activist discusses U.S. influence on Israel conflict

10-20-05 - Jewish Groups Watch for Changes At U.N. The Israeli mission and U.S. Jewish organizations hope the 30-year-old Palestinian-related committees will be shut down.

10-20-05 - The Palestinian Invasion: Will "Paradise Now" Be the Biggest Arabic-Language Film Ever?

10-20-05 - Retirements Leave Israel's High Court at a Fork in the Road The court recently ruled that the so-called "neighbor practice" conflicts with international law - and shouldn't be used. But Mofaz wants the court to leave use of the "neighbor practice" to senior officers' discretion.

10-20-05 - Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2005 Few of the region?s countries rank high in the Index. Israel (47th) does best but it slipped several places this year because of the army?s mistreatment of journalists in the Occupied Territories. This kind of violence decreased sharply during the year and is no longer dealt with in a separate section as in previous years. The expulsion of a French journalist in July also contributed to Israel?s downgrading.

10-20-05 - PA tries to bring back two prisoners who broke out of Jericho Prison

10-20-05 - Berlin snubs Jerusalem Proposal to sign sister city deal rejected because Jerusalem not recognized as capital; Jerusalem is unique, needs to legitimization from others, mayor says

10-20-05 - 10 residents, including 2 women, arrested in the W. Bank

10-20-05 - Poor trust in Palestinian security chiefs

10-20-05 - Give Protestants Stake in Peace by Investing in Interfaith Efforts Wow, so they were given a glimpse of the 'chain link fence' and introduced to a few peaceniks, that's some balance that the Hasbara committee offered them. What a joke.

10-20-05 - Jordan and Israel bird flu talks

10-20-05 - Delegation: Improve Israeli Arabs' Status Arnon Sofer of Haifa University has said that the number of Israeli Arabs will reach 2 million in 2020 and the Jewish majority will shrink to 65 percent, compared to its present 80 percent

10-20-05 - Hamas: Bush Promotes Palestinian Conflict

10-20-05 - The Pressure Mounts on Syria, but Israel May Still Pay the Price They realize that peace with Syria would mean giving back most of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
That's a price they don't believe is worth paying in the current circumstances
Land is worth more than lives?..

10-20-05 - The Young and the Damned

10-20-05 - American Support for Palestinian Mothers and Newborns in Bethlehem

10-20-05 - Annan "surprised" by Moussa''s criticism of UN Mideast Coordinator

10-20-05 - Right-winger: Tibi went too far

10-20-05 - 'Another Road Home' takes maudlin look at timely issues

10-20-05 - Website Design and Development by Dynamic Digital Advertising Promotes Shurush Initiative DDA features a page devoted to articles and recognition that demonstrate how the Shurush Initiative is helping Palestine citizens' and changing the future of the Palestinian economy

10-20-05 - Israeli program gets U.S. grant An Israeli group that promotes Arab-Jewish cooperation in schools received a U.S. grant.

10-20-05 - Trusted Abbas courts US

10-20-05 - Chirac encourages investment in Palestinian territories

10-20-05 - Two States Are ?Common Sense?

10-20-05 - Reaching for Middle East peace

10-20-05 - Flag display leads to water cutoff

10-20-05 - Letter: Our shared goal is peace Most upsetting is Brodsky's anecdotal descriptions after spending his "whole past summer in Israel." It would have done him well if she had also spent time in the Palestinian territories, where he would have seen the devastating consequences of Israel's occupation

10-20-05 - Minoff?s hoop dreams involve Playing for Peace

posted by Somebody @ 10:28 AM Permanent Link 0 comments


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