Jun 11, 2010
One of the most striking trends following the flotilla attack has been how quickly Israeli hasbara is being exposed by internet journalists. The doctored IOF audio clips, where amateurs with mock Arab accents hiss 'Go back to Aushwitz' to Israeli naval officers. Well they didn't take long to pull apart did they? Then there are the (so-pathetic-
Dalton's Holocaust Radio Debate on April 24, 2010:
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Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton
GAZA: The real reason Israel attacked Gaza: oil
This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.
British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon's Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.
The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). (Haaretz, October 21, 2007).
The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline.(Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).
The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. (See Map below). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.
The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine's gas reserves could be much larger.
Who Owns the Gas Fields
The issue of sovereignty over Gaza's gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.
The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza's offshore gas reserves.
British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.
Alvin Green faces a felony charge, which stems from a University of South Carolina student's complaint that he showed her a pornographic website, then talked about going to her room at a university dorm.
Yahoo: Alvin Greene has been on the phone all day. That's to be expected for the guy who just won South Carolina's Democratic Senate primary and is facing incumbent in November. But everyone calling Greene has just been trying to find out who the heck he is —
Greene, a 32-year-old unemployed military veteran who lives with his parents, defeated Vic Rawl on Tuesday for the despite having run essentially no public campaign — no events, no signs, no debates, no website, no fundraising.
The result has baffled political observers, who had heavily favored Rawl — a , attorney and prosecutor who had the edge inasmuch as he actually campaigned and tried to win. Many in South Carolina (which has grandly lived up to its reputation as a political circus this year) suspect that somewhere, a crafty GOP is snickering.
As far as the local political press can discern, the only positive step Greene took toward campaigning was when he plunked down a $10,400 check in March to satisfy the state's filing fee and get on the ballot. He never registered a with the Federal Election Commission or filed a financial disclosure with the Senate Ethics Committee.
… the Associated Press reported that Greene was arrested in November on the obscene photo complaint. Charges are pending, and he hasn't entered a plea. One could, of course, note that such charges wouldn't necessarily hurt a candidate in a Palmetto state election season that's featured plenty of sensational sexual charges.
Clyburn wants feds to probe SC Senate candidate
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 3 Democrat in the U.S. House called on federal authorities Thursday to investigate how an unemployed South Carolina military veteran entered and won the state's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
"Here is Alvin Greene, unemployed, he goes into the Democratic headquarters and pays $10,000. That's no little bit of money for an unemployed person," House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said. "This guy, who is he? Where did he come from?"
Greene, 32, stunned the Democratic Party establishment Tuesday night when he handily defeated Vic Rawl, a four-term state lawmaker and former judge, for the party's nomination. Rawl, who had campaigned little but already raised $186,000, was forced to scrap a fundraiser planned for Thursday night.
Greene has not reported any fundraising, run any ads, or put up signs or a website in his challenge of Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. He had been considered such a long shot that neither his opponent nor the media bothered to check his background, which includes a November arrest on a charge of felony obscenity.
"There are a number of things that are taking place in the South Carolina political process that I find suspicious," Clyburn said. "I believe there's a coordinated effort to circumvent state and federal laws and seriously subvert the electoral process. Something needs to be done."
Greene, who says he left the military last August after 13 years in the Army and Air Force, has said he paid the $10,440 filing fee by saving up two years of his service pay. On Thursday, Clyburn said he's skeptical Greene paid the fee himself and demanded that federal authorities investigate where the money came from.
Clyburn said state law makes it illegal for candidates to let someone else pay their filing fee if their candidacy is intended to damage another candidate.
Party officials asked Greene to sit out of the race after The Associated Press reported he faces a felony charge, which stems from a University of South Carolina student's complaint that he showed her a pornographic website, then talked about going to her room at a university dorm.
But Greene insists he's staying put.
"I am a legitimate candidate," Greene said Thursday, in response to questions about Clyburn's investigation request. "There's no need for it."
Arriving for interviews at a Columbia television station Thursday afternoon in a dark suit, driven in a hired car, Greene marked a stark contrast to the day before. On Wednesday, Greene greeted a reporter at his childhood home in Manning, clad in a T-shirt and sweat pants.
Greene would be required to report campaign spending to the Federal Election Commission, which regulates federal campaign finances. But the cash for the filing fee itself is given directly by candidates to the state party they wish to represent, and that money isn't subject to FEC filing requirements, officials with the agency said Thursday.
That answer doesn't satisfy Clyburn, who suspects there is more to be learned about Greene's pursuit. Clyburn also raised concerns about the possibility of a whisper campaign to encourage voters to pick the ballot's first name, which happened to be Greene's. He wants anything "untoward" in the race to be investigated.
"He's been paid to stay in it, by somebody," Clyburn said. "I just think this is a ploy by someone to dishonor and embarrass the Democratic Party."
Joel Sawyer, executive director of South Carolina's Republican Party, said Clyburn's allegations are evidence that the state's Democrats know they can't defeat DeMint.
"The Democratic Party is grasping at straws, and making absurd accusations to cover for their laughable incompetence in vetting candidates," Sawyer said. "That being said, if they're not even going to bother doing basic things like checking to see if their candidates have pending felony charges, we're feeling pretty doggone good about November already."
In Washington, the head of the committee to elect Democrats to the Senate tried to distance himself from the South Carolina primary results.
"South Carolina is not a place I'm focused on a lot," said Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "I'm simply saying the DSCC is not engaged."
June 11 , 2010
The Democratic Party's presidential standard bearer in 2004, John Kerry, found the Gaza attack entirely right and just. Democratic majority leader Harry Reid took note on the floor of the Senate that the upper chamber's resolution reaffirmed "Israel's inalienable right to defend [itself] against attacks from Gaza." Two weeks later at Hillary Clinton's swearing-in ceremony, President Obama proved himself equally in favor of Jewish aggression: "America is committed to Israel's security," and "will always support Israel's right to defend itself against legitimate threats."
No one in Washington argued that Gazans had a right to defend themselves against Israel. This in spite of the fact that the civilian population of Gaza was being collectively punished by policies that UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinians Richard Falk condemned as a crime against humanity. Israel had been provoking Palestinians in Gaza by holding their territory under almost total siege since June 2007, blocking their access to food, medicines, humanitarian assistance, travel, and much else, instigating a major humanitarian crisis that caused a minister for the Vatican's Council for Justice and Peace to compare Gaza to a "big concentration camp."
Entombing hundreds of Gazans in rubble, Israel's assault left carnage everywhere - in city streets, at a mosque, in hospitals, police stations (almost all police departments and other security-related installations were hit), a jail, a university bus stop, a plastics factory, a TV station. The strikes were carried out mostly with F-16 bombers and Apache attack helicopters, both supplied to Israel through U.S. military aid grants of about $3 billion in taxpayer money every year. The U.S. was complicit in the attacks because it confirmed it was fully aware of Israel's plans, which commenced six months in advance.
U.S. media coverage of these events took care to reverse the roles of victimizer and victim, so that Palestinian responses to Israeli bombardment were defined simply as "terrorism," and Palestinians resisting attack as "militants," as though meekly submitting to mass slaughter would have been a more reasonable reaction. On the other hand, Israeli violence rooted in structures of oppression and dispossession that have killed dozens of times more victims than anything attributable to Palestinian "terror" were given the ennobling labels of "self-defense" and "retaliation.
The Goldstone Commission, a U.N. Fact-Finding Mission, found that the Israeli attack on Gaza was carried out not against "terrorists,
None of this, of course, is new. Israel has been engaged in political violence from birth, not in self-defense as it likes to claim, but to impose Jewish-supremacist politics on an overwhelmingly Arab part of the world. Among its perpetually criminal policies are targeted assassination of political and military leaders, hostage taking, "reprisal" bombings, collective punishment of civilians under military occupation, torture, building of Jewish settlements on Arab land, demolition of homes, uprooting of orange and olive groves, eviction of residents, building mazes of roadblocks and checkpoints, shooting at ambulances, preventive detention, use of shock grenades, water cannon, rubber coated bullets, tear gas, and live ammunition against peaceful protesters, ignoring an International Court ruling that its enormous separation wall is illegal, stealing land and water from Palestinians and giving it to Jewish settler-fanatics, freely attacking across borders in an endless series of raids, wars, and assassination programs, refusal to accept a Hamas election victory on the West Bank, enforced starvation, blackouts, mass arrests, beatings, imprisonment of political enemies - including Parliament members and children, sexual humiliation, denial of medical care, and blowing up electrical and water systems.
Apart from their sheer destructiveness, these policies are also blatantly racist, with Israeli leaders regularly referring to Palestinians as "grasshoppers,
Meanwhile, in Gaza there are regularly no medical supplies or drugs for hospitals, no fuel for the electricity plant or for generators during the long blackouts (the lack of fuel means that sewage and treatment stations cannot function properly, which decreases the supply of potable water to Gazans and results in tens of millions of liters of untreated or only partially treated wastes being dumped in the sea). There is no private sector and no industry. Gaza's agricultural crops have been destroyed and Israel continues to shoot at farmers trying to plant and tend fields near the border. Most productive activity is simply impossible. The overwhelming majority of Gaza's population of 1.4 million is dependent on humanitarian food aid to meet basic needs.
The regularly invoked claim of "global terrorism," though a crucial pretext in U.S. efforts to justify its support for Israeli occupation and apartheid, is false. Acts of violence carried out by Palestinians are indigenous responses to foreign occupation and would cease if foreign occupation ceased. Washington's attempts to equate all Islamic forces that resist U.S. hegemony with Al Qaeda terror are transparent efforts to justify further crimes.
The root of the conflict is aptly summed up by economist Edward Herman: "The Israeli leadership has never been willing to make a peace settlement with the Palestinians because that would require agreeing to a Palestinian border when the Israeli objective has always been to keep dispossessing and seizing land, easier done under an occupation than after a negotiated settlement."
As peace activist Jeff Halper notes, if Israel had the good intentions it claims for itself, the whole nightmare would have been over long ago: "If peace and security were truly the issue, Israel could have had that 20 years ago if it would have conceded 22 percent of the country required for a viable Palestinian state."