Tag Archives | Palestine

The Hypocrisy of US Foreign Policy: Obama agrees, all countries have the right to defend themselves against drone strikes

via chycho

To emphasize the hypocrisy of US foreign policy in the following reply from President Obama, the word “missiles” has been replaced by “drones”, the word “landing” replaced by “striking”, and the word “Israel(i)” replaced by “the country’s”. Obama’s actual video reply follows the modified quote.

“Let’s understand what the precipitating event here was that’s causing the current crisis, and that was an ever-escalating number of drones that were striking, not just in the country’s territory, but in areas that are populated, and there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate drones raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.

“So we are fully supportive of the country’s right to defend itself from drones striking people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians, and we will continue to support the country’s right to defend itself.”

As for a non-hypocritical perspective on the Israeli offensive in Gaza, please see the following interview on Democracy Now!Read the rest

Continue Reading

Putting Palestine On The Agenda

Source: Russell Tribunal on Palestine

The needs and concerns of the Palestinian people are not in the news much in the United States, even though the issues have been around for decades here in the city that hosts the United Nations and where there have been, over the years, persistent resolutions based on allegations of international law violations and apartheid-like abuses in the territories occupied by Israel.

In this same period, there have also been many detailed studies, as well, of media coverage that prove that our media rarely covers Palestinian concerns, or features Palestinian perspectives in talk shows or even news programs unless and until violence erupts.

Criticisms of Israeli behavior raised by foreign leaders are also largely ignored unless they are cast as controversies about noisy and invented allegations of anti-Semitism rather than any exploration of the underlying issues that are always treated as matters of contention, not of facts.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Yasser Arafat Likely Was Assassinated By Radioactive Poisoning

A Swiss laboratory says that at the time of his 2004 death, the Palestinian leader’s body contained high levels of polonium, the radioactive element which killed Russian spy-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko after it was slipped into his tea at a London restaurant in 2006. Via Al Jazeera:

Eight years after his death, it remains a mystery exactly what killed the longtime Palestinian leader. Tests conducted in Paris found no obvious traces of poison in Arafat’s system. Rumors abound about what might have killed him – cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, even allegations that he was infected with HIV.

A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera has revealed that none of those rumors were true: Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004.

More importantly, tests [at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland] reveal that Arafat’s final personal belongings – his clothes, his toothbrush, his iconic kaffiyeh – contained abnormal levels of polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Caught in the Crossfire: Should Musicians Boycott Israel?

Jello-BiafraJello Biafra, musician, speaker, record label director, and Green Party politician, writes for Al Jazeera English:
So now I have been to Israel. I have also been to Palestine. I got a taste of the place, but not in the way I'd originally hoped.In many ways I really wish my band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, had played in Tel Aviv. But I also share most of the boycott's supporters' feelings about Israel's government, the occupation and ongoing human rights violations. I hope people take the time to understand how deeply this has torn at the fabric of our band. The promoter in Tel Aviv lost thousands, and I am eating thousands more in lost and re-booked airfares that I have no idea how I am going to pay, or how I will pay my bills for the rest of the year. Real human beings got hurt here. This whole controversy has been one of the most intense situations of my life - and I thrive on intense situations. But the rest of the band was not used to this. How fair was it to drag them there in the first place? This is not like fighting Tipper Gore and the Los Angeles Police Department, greedy ex-Dead Kennedys members or more-radical-than-thou thugs who think it's OK to put someone in the hospital for being a "sellout"...
Continue Reading

Israel To Demolish Palestinian Solar Energy Program

West BankVia Common Dreams:

A sustainable energy program in ‘Area C’ of rural West Bank is being threatened by Israeli authorities. The program, which recently installed solar panels and wind turbines in 16 communities, is providing 1,500 Palestinians with electricity — who were formerly without reliable energy.

The foreign aid program, thus far successful, has become a new target for Israel as it threatens to demolish the structures that supposedly lie within Israeli ‘administration’.

Der Spiegel reports:

The best part is when the lights in the tents go on, one by one, says Elad Orian. Electricity here, in the hills south of Hebron, was long unreliable. Either it was not available or it was too expensive, produced for just a few hours each day by a noisy, diesel-guzzling generator. That changed when Elad Orian and Noam Dotan, two Israeli physicians who had tired of conflict, came along three years ago and installed solar panels and erected wind turbines.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Human Rights Equated With National Suicide

482px-West_Bank_&_Gaza_Map_2007_(Settlements)Any nation that must abridge human rights to survive deserves to fall, and that includes Muslim and Christian nations. Via Al Jazeera English:

The Israeli government has repeatedly demanded that Palestinians recognise Israel as a “Jewish state”. Recent developments in the Knesset and High Court are exposing exactly what this means, and in doing so, throw the spotlight on the issue that the ‘peace process’ – and Western governments – refuse to tackle.

On Wednesday, Israel’s High Court rejected a legal challenge to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, by a six to five vote. The law, first passed as a ‘temporary’ measure in 2003 and renewed ever since, prevents Palestinians from the Occupied Territories (and those from ‘enemy states’) from living with their spouses in Israel.

For thousands of Palestinian families, Israel’s law means a choice between moving abroad, living apart, or living in Israel illegally. No wonder that the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) condemned what it described as a “racist law” for the way it harms “the very texture of the lives of families whose only sin is the Palestinian blood that runs in their veins”…

Read more here.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Bethlehem Battle: Clergymen Clash At Birthplace Of Jesus

For once the police are called to a Christmas brawl and none of my relatives are implicated. From Bernat Armangue at Huffington Post:
BETHLEHEM, West Bank — The annual cleaning of one of Christianity's holiest churches deteriorated into a brawl between rival clergy Wednesday, as dozens of monks feuding over sacred space at the Church of the Nativity battled each other with brooms until police intervened. The ancient church, built over the traditional site of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, is shared...
Continue Reading

Vast Majority Of Israelis Want To Recognize Palestinian State, Poll Reveals

tumblr_lrvryfI92b1qbkts6o1_500Regarding the question of Palestinian statehood, Barack Obama nows hold a position far to the right of the Israeli populace. Raw Story writes:

Nearly 70 percent of Israelis surveyed recently said that Israel should accept a Palestinian state if the United Nations chooses to recognize it, according to a report in Thursday’s edition of The Jerusalem Post.

The poll results fly in the face of American conservatives and even President Barack Obama, who have taken the lead in discouraging the U.N. from voting on the matter, claiming that it could threaten Israel’s security.

The study was carried out by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. A further 83 percent of Palestinians said that turning to the U.N. for statehood is the right thing to do.

The United States has vowed to veto any request for Palestinian statehood at the Security Council, potentially sparking a new Middle East crisis.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Palestinians Angry About Leaks Attack Al-Jazeera HQ

Palestine PapersIs this the kind of thing Americans would like to do to WikiLeaks? Linda Gradstein reports from Jerusalem for AOL News

Palestinians supporting President Mahmoud Abbas smashed windows and sprayed graffiti outside the West Bank headquarters of Al-Jazeera today, angry that it published documents that apparently showed Palestinian officials had agreed to Israeli sovereignty over nearly all Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.

About 250 protesters gathered outside the Pan-Arab TV channel office in Ramallah, and a few sprayed graffiti saying “Al-Jazeera are spies” and “Al-Jazeera equals Israel.” A few of the protesters then broke security cameras and windows.

The documents were published Sunday on Al-Jazeera’s website and by British newspaper The Guardian. They contradict the previously stated public positions of the Palestinians that all of East Jerusalem must be the future capital of the Palestinian Authority.

The cache of documents, which detail Israeli-Palestinian contacts over more than a decade, also show Abbas was warned in advance of Israel’s 2008 invasion of Gaza.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Al Jazeera Publishes Confidential ‘Palestine Papers’

Palestine PapersFrom Al Jazeera’s own introduction:

Over the last several months, Al Jazeera has been given unhindered access to the largest-ever leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are nearly 1,700 files, thousands of pages of diplomatic correspondence detailing the inner workings of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. These documents – memos, e-mails, maps, minutes from private meetings, accounts of high level exchanges, strategy papers and even power point presentations – date from 1999 to 2010.

The material is voluminous and detailed; it provides an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.

Al Jazeera will release the documents between January 23-26th, 2011. They will reveal new details about:

  • the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to concede illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, and to be “creative” about the status of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount;
  • the compromises the Palestinian Authority was prepared to make on refugees and the right of return;
  • details of the PA’s security cooperation with Israel;
  • and private exchanges between Palestinian and American negotiators in late 2009, when the Goldstone Report was being discussed at the United Nations.
Read the rest
Continue Reading