Dec 6, 2010

Re: Mark Weber Who Cannot Cut It


I think that the Mark Weber horse is a dead horse. I believe that any book which Mark may have written years ago would be useless today given the additional input from CODOH and others since.The newspaper clippings, the phone time, are not sufficient reason to carry on the Weber vendetta. Our problems today are political. The general public needs to learn to think again. Mark has erred in the past as we all have erred but what IHR and Weber are doing today is important and deserves support. I support everyone who is working to open the eyes and minds of the sleeping public, our public. If you don't like Mark, raise money for others.

We are very close to a major catastrophe, an Israeli attack on Iran. We need to do everything we can to prevent that using all the tools in our bag.

Harvey Taylor

On 12/4/2010 8:56 PM, Michael wrote:

From: braveheart <>
Date: December 4, 2010 6:36:14 PM EST
Subject: The Man Who Cannot Cut It



Mark Weber recently gave a speech in which he mocked the idea that excessive government spending might have something to do with America's decline. He mockingly inquired whether Americans would prefer to live in Haiti where taxes are low to life in a wonderful Scandinavian welfare state where everyone gets cradle to grave security. That real Americans might prefer "neither of the above" as the answer did not occur to Mr. Weber. We pose a different question to Mark Weber: In the year 1900 did tens of thousands of Europeans migrate to the United States to take advantage of free enterprise or did tens of thousands of Americans migrate to Europe to take advantage of high taxes and socialist welfare? Mark Weber knows the answer – and that is why he did not pose that comparison.


Mark Weber, a socialist by nature, has an inbuilt aversion to free enterprise. It is obvious why. In private enterprise, employees must produce to get paid. They are not allowed to talk ten hours a day on the phone to their friends in between collecting newspaper clippings. Neither do editors of magazines whose circulation drops from ten thousand to under three hundred hold onto their jobs for a remarkable seventeen years. So naturally Mark does not like "do or die" in a competitive market place; he prefers a compliant Board of Directors which accepts any excuse for a failed journal and zero research. Socialists do not like to make money; they prefer it as a gift so they can read the headlines over their coffee. Mark Weber once spent eighteen months on a farm in Nebraska. He took it as a sabbatical from the work he never does to write the definitive book on the Holocaust. He managed to complete one chapter before abandoning the project. The Swedish socialist welfare state would have awarded him the Gunnar Myrdal plodding donkey high achievement award.


Yes, Mr. Weber, the United States does have problems other than high taxes and runaway government spending. But most Americans produce wealth in the competitive economy that once made them the envy of the world; they do not live off hand outs, like you. Try working in a Chinese factory. They produce real goods, not historical molasses.

Mark Weber as he really is.

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Should we feel sorry for the Germans?


From: Manuel Sotil <>
Date: December 6, 2010 3:21:27 PM EST

Recently, a factory of holocaust survivors was busted in Brooklyn, New York.

This operation designed by a few of the "chosen", had for object the creation of new holocaust claims against the Germans.

As in the case of the massive insurance fraud against the Swiss (who still resent the black mail), we will never know how many invented and fraudulent claims are serviced by the abject German tribute.

It should come as a surprise that such fraud was published in the American press. It comes to mind the possibility that those who have a more legitimate claim to the holocaust swindle than the newcomers, did not appreciate the cheating and blew the whistle on the operation.

So, what does the German government do in response? 

The German government doubles the payments to the more "legitimate" survivors. Since all "survivors" will sooner rather than later, will be "aging", the doubling of payment amount will benefit all enrollees.

I am willing to bet that when the last survivor and descendant is no longer around, new claims and new justifications will be found to keep a good thing going.

Like G.H.W.Bush once said, in a moment of dyslexic exasperation:  "don't cry for me Argentina!" ....*

Manuel Sotil

* speaking to employees of an insurance company during the 1992 New Hampshire primary.

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Brazil recognizes Palestinian state within 1967 borders


Subject: Brazil recognizes Palestinian state within 1967 borders

Brazil recognizes Palestinian state
December 5, 2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Brazil has recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced in a public letter.

The letter addressed to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which was made public last Friday, recognizes what it calls the "legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people for a secure, united, democratic and economically viable state coexisting peacefully with Israel." 

Abbas had made the request to Lula last month to recognize a Palestinian state, Bloomberg reported. Lula, who is stepping down next month as president after eight years in office, made his first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in March.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was disappointed by the Brazilian declaration.

"Recognition of a Palestinian state is a breach of the interim agreement which was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1995, which said that the issue of the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be discussed and resolved through negotiations," the statement said. "Every attempt to bypass this process and to decide in advance in a unilateral manner about important issues which are disputed only harms trust between the sides and hurts their commitment to the agreed framework of negotiating towards peace."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the incoming chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, also expressed her objections, as did Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the outgoing chairman of the Latin America subcommittee.

"Brazil's decision to recognize a Palestinian state is regrettable and will only serve to undermine peace and security in the Middle East," Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

Engel blamed the decision on the leftward tilt of Brazil's outgoing government.

"Brazil's decision to recognize Palestine is severely misguided and represents a last gasp by a Lula-led foreign policy which was already substantially off track," Engel said in a statement. "One can only hope that the new leadership coming into Brazil will change course and understand that this is not the way to gain favor as an emerging power or to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council."

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Orwellian meaning to "human rights activists"


Subject: Orwellian meaning to "human rights activists"

Greek human rights activists acquitted
December 6, 2010

ATHENS (JTA) -- Three Greek human rights activists on trial for speaking out against judges who had acquitted a Holocaust-denying ultranationalist politician were acquitted.

A three-judge panel on Monday unanimously found for the activists from the AntiNazi Initiative, an Athens-based group founded in 1997 that fights hate in Greek society.

The activists were on trial Monday for speaking out against the judges who acquitted Kostas Plevris, an open admirer of National Socialism who was found guilty by a Greek court in 2007 of incitement to racial hatred based on statements in his book  "Jews: The Whole Truth," but was later acquitted by an appeals court in a verdict that was upheld by the Greek Supreme Court.

The president of the Athens Jewish community, Benjamin Albala, a member of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, expressed his satisfaction with ruling in favor of the activists.

"The outcome shows that the brave human rights activists of the AntiNazi Initiative were right when claiming that in the previous trial some court officials were biased," Albala said.

One of the appellate court judges who had acquitted Plevris, Marianthi Pagouteli, has published anti-Semitic remarks on her blog, according to the Greek daily newspaper Elefterotypia, including "f. Jews I wish Hitler had exterminated you completely."

The prosecutor's office in Athens started legal action against the Greek AntiNazi Initiative for publicly denouncing certain judges who had participated in the proceedings against Plevris. The AntiNazi Initiative organization, the Greek Helsinki Monitor and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece had sued Plevris for incitement to racial hatred and violence against the Jews.

Plevris sued senior representatives of the Greek Jewish community, several journalists and human rights activists for libel.

World Jewish organizations protested vehemently to the United Nations following the Greek Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Plevris, the founder and leader of two nationalist parties. The U.N. in a letter to the Greek government asked for an explanation of the ruling.

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Alan Hart: WikiLeaks: What, really, is the problem?




WikiLeaks: What, really, is the problem?


By Alan Hart


Some commentators, bloggers and other writers, were quick to jump to the conclusion that the avalanche of documents being released by WikiLeaks is part and parcel of an Israeli/Mossad deception strategy. One implication being thatWikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange is, knowingly or not, manipulated by Zionism.


On the basis of the first two or three days of the Wikileaked revelations as reported by the mainstream media, in America especially, there most definitely was a case for saying that the agenda best served by the leaked diplomatic cables was that of the Zionist state of Israel, its lobby in America and its many stooges in Congress. The essence of the case was in the message that Iran is the biggest single threat to the peace of the region and the world not only because the Israelis say so but also because Arab leaders agree with them.


In my last post I quoted Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Advisor, as saying he thought it was possible that Wikileaks was beingfed and manipulated by intelligence services. And I stated my own belief of the moment that the question of whether or not this is so was worthy of investigation.


But as the flow of leaked cables increases, and with time for reflection, I no longer believe that such an investigation is necessary.


The problem is not the manipulation of WikiLeaks by any foreign intelligence service but, in effect, the manipulation by key players in the mainstream media, in America especially, of the material WikiLeaks is providing.


And here's just one example to  make the point.


When it learned from Wikileaked diplomatic cables that Arab leaders were at one with Israeli leaders in wanting the U.S. to attack Iran, journalism with integrity would have asked something like the following question. "Is Iran really the threat to the region and the world it is alleged to be by Israeli and Arab leaders?"


If that question had been asked, the honest answer would have been "No, of course it isn't!"


As I and others have pointed out a number of times, even a nuclear-armed Iran would not pose a threat to Israel's existence or that of the states of the impotent and repressive Arab regimes which are more or less content to do the bidding of America-and-Zionism. To really believe otherwise (as opposed to not really believing but saying so for propaganda purposes) is to assume that a nuclear-armed Iran would at some point launch a first strike. That would never happen because Iran would be inviting its own complete destruction.


If Iran does end up with a nuclear bomb or several, it will be for the purpose ofdeterrence only. (As I said in my last post, if I was an Iranian, even one who hated the regime of the mullahs, I would feel more secure in the face of Israeli and American threats if my country did possess a nuclear bomb for deterrence).


Though much of it was confirmatory for informed journalists and politicians, the Wikileaked information is new but the real problem is not. It is (generally speaking) the mainstream media's lack of integrity, in America especially; a lack of integrity which, in its reporting of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, manifests itself in one of two ways - in some cases by knowingly peddling Zionist propaganda, in other cases by self-censoring the truth about Israel's crimes out of fear of offending Zionism too much or at all.


In my view Assange has damaged his own cause by releasing details of facilities around the world which U.S. authorities regard as being vital to America's national security. By doing so he has given his enemies in governments everywhere what they did not previously have - a fig leaf of justification for their efforts to silence him.


If they succeed, the threat to what passes for democracy in the Western world, inAmerica especially, will be even greater than it currently is.
























Michael Santomauro 
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What sort of TRUTH is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth?

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The US government loves to pretend that its acts of naked aggression are acts of liberation mandated by "the world community."


The US government loves to pretend that its acts of naked aggression are acts of liberation mandated by "the world community."

By paul craig roberts
Western Civilization Has Shed Its Values

The US government loves to pretend that its acts of naked aggression are acts of liberation mandated by "the world community." The world community has been less supportive of US aggression since it learned that the Bush regime lied about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

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Helen Thomas: Zionists Own Congress, The WH, Hollywood & Wall St.


Helen Thomas: Zionists Own Congress, The WH, Hollywood & Wall St.

Helen Thomas, the long-time White House correspondent who was forced to apologize and retire last spring after making comments about Israel and Jews, stood by those remarks at a recent event -- and then made even more fiery statements. Read more »

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Attorney: Assange Offered to Meet with Prosecutors

Michael Santomauro
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The Latest from Mondoweiss for 12/06/2010


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Here are the headlines from Mondoweiss for 12/06/2010:

What are Israel's priorities in time of natural disaster?
Dec 05, 2010 03:06 pm | Joseph Dana

Despite Israel's international call for aid to help fight the raging wildfires in the north of the country, the Isrli army had plenty of extra soldiers to suppress the weekly unarmed demonstrations in Nabi Saleh, Ni'ilin and Bil'in. Instead of diverting all available resources to suppressing the fire, the government continued to devote resources to suppressing Palestinian non-violence in the West Bank. Even American neoconservative pundits have taken note of Israel's reckless policy of resource management as displayed with the wildfire crisis. How long will the international community support these reckless decisions by the Israeli government? Why would the Israeli government make the decision to provoke unarmed Palestinian demonstrations with the negligent use of rubber bullets and tear gas at a time of national crises?

In Nabi Saleh, the army used an excessive amount of tear gas to suppress the weekly demonstration which resulted, ironically, in a number of brush fires throughout the village, including one in the community graveyard. The residents of Nabi Saleh have been holding regular demonstrations against the creeping confiscation of their lands by the adjacent Jewish-only settlement of Halamish since December 2009. Protest sparked after settlers, abated by the army, forcefully took over a natural spring belonging to the village.

Nabi Saleh Cover in a Cloud of Tear Gas. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana
Nabi Saleh Under a Cloud of Tear Gas. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana

As the demonstration began on Friday, two members of the village's popular committee were pepper-sprayed in the face by a Border Police officer while they peacefully marched past a line of soldiers blocking access to the village's spring, which has been off limits for almost one year to the village. The army was able to break up the non-violent protest march using tear gas and sealed off all entry and exit points to Nabi Saleh making it virtually impossible for Israeli and international supporters from joining the demonstration. Despite the checkpoints, a number of Israeli supporters were able to join.

Brushfire in Nabi Saleh Graveyard Started By Tear Gas Canisters. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana
Brushfire in Nabi Saleh Graveyard Started By Tear Gas Canisters. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana

The army continued its use of massive amounts of tear gas to suppress the demonstration often firing tear gas canisters directly at civilian houses and community centers. The army also used rubber coated steel bullets shooting two demonstrators directly. One demonstrator was hit in the head, resulting in a condensed fracture to the skull that required surgery.

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Over the past weeks, the army has increased its use of violent crowd control measures which have included the use of undercover special forces, rubber coated steel bullets, live bullets and high velocity tear gas canisters. The negligent use of tear gas resulted in a number of small brushfires throughout the village including one in the community graveyard. The demonstration lasted until after sundown as Israeli soldiers continued to fire tear gas directly at demonstrators with the occasional incursion into the heart of the village.

Across the West Bank, demonstrations took place against the occupation and the Israeli Separation wall. In Ni'ilin, the demonstration took place under the banner "The Intifada Continues, No Peace with the Occupation."

Demostrators at the Gate of the Wall in Ni'ilin. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana
Demostrators at the Gate of the Wall in Ni'ilin. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana

The weekly demonstration against the the Separation Wall in Ni'ilin took place Friday afternoon with a smaller than normal group of Palestinians and a handful of Israeli supporters. Demonstrators placed the banner on the gate of the wall and banged against the gate with stones to catch the attention of Israeli soldiers on the other side of the wall. Within minutes, the army responded with a volley of tear gas which covered the entire area of the protest.

Bil'in's weekly protest was attacked with tear-gas and rubber-coated bullets after demonstrators managed to open the gate in the Wall. Participants chanted slogans calling for national unity and the removal of the occupation, the Wall and of all settlements. As Palestinian flags were raised, protesters demanded freedom for all political prisoners, as they held posters of local imprisoned organizers, Adeeb and Abdallah Abu Rahmah.

Demostrator Seen in a Cloud of Tear Gas in Ni'ilin. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana
Demostrator Seen in a Cloud of Tear Gas in Ni'ilin. Picture Credit: Joseph Dana

Parts of the demonstration reached the barrier that separates the village from half of its land, where soldiers were waiting on the other side. Some protesters managed to open the gate leading to yet another fence, and were then met with tear-gas fired by the soldiers. The gas that lingered in the air forced the majority of the crowd to disperse, and small-scale clashes began between the soldiers and local youth provoked by the attack.

At that point, soldiers escalated their use of violence, shooting several rounds of rubber-coated bullets at the youth. The army continued to fire tear-gas, rubber-coated bullets and concussion grenades towards the crowd, which dispersed and gathered again despite the clouds of gas. The demonstration continued for about 2 hours with no injuries reported.

The level of violent repression of the weekly demonstrations in the West Bank this week reflects the misguided use of Israeli resources. Israel has asked the international community for help fighting one of the worst natural disasters in its short history while devoting precious resources to crush unarmed and largely non-violent demonstrations across the West Bank. Clearly, Israel feels as though the international community will come to its aid regardless of any its illegal actions in the West Bank. This reckless attitude is unsustainable and will ultimately lead Israel down a path of being ill prepared to handle natural disasters in the future. Furthermore, the fact that Israel was shooting Palestinians at point blank range with rubber bullets resulting in one serious head injury in Nabi Saleh reflects a certain attitude among Israeli military strategists. While the international community is paying attention to the Carmel fire, there is little attention payed to Israel's violent actions against unarmed Palestinians.

Recently, Israel demonstrated this formula when it destroyed a mosque in the Jordan Valley on Thanksgiving day.  Israel's priority remains the control of the Palestinians and its actions on Friday in suppressing the unarmed demonstrations across the West Bank in a extremely violent fashion while a natural disaster was unfolding in the North confirm that control is priority.

This post originally appeared on +972.

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Federal government widens case against Midwest anti-war activists; subpoenas two people who visited the West Bank last summer
Dec 05, 2010 02:56 pm | Kate

And other news from Today in Palestine:

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Land, property & resource theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing

Islamic movement delegation visits Jerusalemite officials facing exile
5 Dec (PIC)-- A delegation from the Islamic Movement in the 1948 occupied lands visited the protest tent at the Red Cross headquarters to check on the Jerusalemite officials threatened with eviction from the holy city. Former Palestinian minister Khaled Abu Arafa, one of the Jerusalemite officials facing expulsion, denied there was an agreement with the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on their issue or the release of MP Mohamed Abu Tir. Abu Arafa affirmed that he and his colleagues would continue to protest at the Red Cross headquarters until the IOA backtracks on its decision to expel them from their native city.

Israeli official: Collapse of Aqsa Mosque is imminent
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Col. Yoram Lev-Ran, the Commander of the Jerusalem district of the Home Front Command, has warned that a disaster might befall the holy Aqsa Mosque and that the old Marwani Mosque might collapse soon. He told an Israeli weekly published on Friday that a collapse would happen, but the only "question is when? And how many will be killed and injured?" Lev-Ran said that an emergency plan is always present when prayers in Ramadan are offered, adding the Home Front Command and the police are always on the alert. Observers believe that Lev-Ran's statement is only a test balloon to check the Arab reaction,

Incursions / Violence

Israeli army raids Hebron, Nablus
5 Dec - Israeli soldiers with two military vehicles raided Asai town in Hebron and notified number of Palestinian citizens to visit the Israeli intelligence for questioning, local sources said. The sources added that IOF raided some neighborhoods in Hebron. Israeli soldiers erected military checkpoints at the entrance of Halhoul, another near the crossroad of Al-Laya near Ezna town and a third at the crossroad of Kharsa. In Nablus, IOF raided the city, but no detentions were reported.,-Nablus&catid=59:west-bank&Itemid=135

Israeli army raids Bethlehem, erects checkpoints
Bethlehem, Dec 4, -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) erected Saturday military checkpoints in crossroads in Bethlehem city, in the West Bank and raided number of neighborhoods. Israeli soldiers erected military checkpoints at the crossroads of Al-Asakra village, local sources said. The sources added that IOF roamed Takoa town and raided Al-Douha towm in south Bethlehem. Eyewitnesses said to SAFA news agency that Israeli soldiers opened fire at Palestinian boys in Ayda refugee camp under the pretext of throwing stones at them.,-erects-checkpoints&catid=59:west-bank&Itemid=135

Israeli soldiers storm Al Farisiya and arrest a Palestinian man
Israeli army stormed Al Farisiya, located in the northern Jordan Valley, accompanied by settlers from Rotem settlement -- Tuesday [30 Nov], in the late morning, Israeli army expelled people from their homes and kept them for hours outside and checked everybody's shoe leathers. Indeed, settlers accused people from Farisiya of stealing some of the settlement sheep. They didn't find any of the animals they were looking for but they arrested a man, the head of the village council Aref Daraghmeh, who tried to call human right organizations to ask for help. He was beaten, arrested and detained till the evening. Farisiya is surrounded by 5 Israeli settlements and face number of aggressions from settlers and soldiers.

Shepherd loses 3 fingers in explosion
BETHLEHEM  5 Dec - A shepherd in Bethlehem lost three fingers on Sunday after an ordnance exploded in his hand, police said. The shepherd was herding sheep east of the West Bank city and picked up the explosive device, a police report said, adding that unexploded ordnance had caused several injuries and one death in the area. Police spokesman Ahmad Abu Fadda said the devices were left behind by Israeli soldiers who used the area as a military drill zone.

Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Weekend of confrontations in East Jerusalem's Issawiya
5 Dec - Confrontations broke out in the East Jerusalem village of Issawiya on Friday (3 December) at the end of a demonstration organized by activists from Solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah. According to Issawiya residents, Israeli police began to fire tear gas into the area of the village closest to the nearby settlement of French Hill immediately following the demonstration. Through this area passes the only street which permits Issawiya residents from entering Jerusalem, after the entrance to the village closest to the nearby Hebrew University was recently blocked off by Israel ... At 2p.m. on the same day, some 600 activists responded to the call from Solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah to participate in a demonstration against the Jerusalem Municipality's ongoing neglect of the village, home demolitions, roadblocks in the entrance to the village and random fines imposed on the residents. According to local activists who participated in the demonstration, Israeli police raids are accompanied by intensive firing of tear gas amongst the crowded homes of the village

Night clashes in Eisawiye
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Violent clashes took place in Eisawiye [al-`Isawiya] in occupied Jerusalem on Saturday night between Israeli border police and citizens, local sources said on Sunday

Demonstrators place flag atop wall in Ni`ilin; army responds with tear gas
The weekly demonstration against the Separation Wall in Ni'ilin took place Friday afternoon with a smaller than normal group of Palestinians and a handful of Israeli supporters. After afternoon prayers, roughly thirty people walked to the gate of the wall under the banner of "The Intifada Continues, No Peace with the Occupation.

Israelis and Palestinians march together against demolitions
(special video) 3 Dec (ISM) Friday, hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians marched together in the Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem against recent brutality toward the village by the Israeli government: house demolitions by Israeli authorities, a siege on entrances to the neighborhood, and police misconduct with local residents. This is the first joint protest to be held in Issawiya, a neighborhood that has experienced much turmoil in recent years ... Despite that the protest was nonviolent, after it had ended and Israeli and International activists had left, Israeli border police entered the neighborhood and fired tear gas grenades. Once again, Occupation forces brutally punished any form of resistance by the residents.

Bil`in weekly demonstration attacked with tear gas and rubber-coated bullets
(video) ...Parts of the demonstration reached the barrier that separates the village from half of its land, where soldiers were waiting on the other side. Some protesters managed to open the gate leading to yet another fence, and were then met with tear-gas fired by the soldiers. The gas that lingered in the air forced the majority of the crowd to disperse, and small-scale clashes began between the soldiers and local youth provoked by the attack.

Federal subpoenas hit more Palestine solidarity activists
3 Dec - Grand-jury subpoenas Friday afternoon may signal that the federal government is expanding a probe of Midwest antiwar activists. Attorney Jim Fennerty said the FBI served subpoenas to at least two Chicago-area women who visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank this summer. Fennerty represents some antiwar activists who defied an order to appear before a grand jury in Chicago this October. Fennerty said at least one new subpoena requires the recipient to appear before a grand jury on January 25. He declined to name the recipients but said they're both young and frightened. "They're widening the scope of this investigation," Fennerty said. "They're trying to squeeze anybody they can. This is an attack about people who do solidarity work around Palestine." Subpoenas served to 14 Midwest activists in September suggest an investigation relates to foreign groups the federal government calls terrorist.

Official intervention helps activists enter Pakistan
5 Dec - The intervention by senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs ensured that a group of peace activists seeking to take humanitarian aid to Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip through several countries entered Pakistan on foot on Sunday.

Siege / Restriction on movement / Rights violations

Four more workers shot in Gaza buffer zone: an ordinary day in Gaza
5 Dec (ISM) - On Tuesday, the 30th of November 2010, four different individuals were wounded by Israeli gunshots while trying to make their living in the only way they could given the desperation in Gaza's current economy ... Tuesday wasn't an exceptional day. This is an ordinary excerpt from the life of Gaza's workers in the buffer zone: routine violations of human rights, and brutal crimes committed against Gazan civilians. Ismael, Bayan, Ameen and Gassan will be commemorated only as statistics in the bloody record of the Israeli occupation. But one of them will go on living without three toes, one with a smashed shinbone, and one will go without work for half a year until he can walk again.

Human rights and humanitarian relief groups urge rebuilding plan for Gaza
WASHINGTON - 3 Dec - With the blockade and resulting crisis in Gaza continuing with no end in sight, a group of international human rights and humanitarian relief organizations is urging a major home-repair initiative that will enable victims to reclaim their right to live in dignity. In a report entitled "Gaza Repair Strategies," the nongovernmental organizations propose a concerted effort of small-scale home repairs that offers viable, safe, and dignified repair options. The strategy is designed to enable Gaza residents to move toward regaining their lives and livelihoods until a permanent political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be reached.

On Egypt's border with Gaza, little has changed
RAFAH, Egypt 5 Dec -- An old woman stood quietly crying in front of the heavy steel gate at the entrance to the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip on a hot summer day. She and her sister had been waiting in the beating sun for hours to enter Gaza, she told the officer in charge, who sat inside an air conditioned guard house with his bare feet propped on his desk. The heat was too much for her sister, said the old woman, her body leaning into the officer's window. She said her sister collapsed and was taken away in an ambulance. "I just need to know where they took her," she said, wiping a tear from her cheek.""I am sorry, sir, but can someone tell me where the ambulances take people from here?" The officer looked at her, expressionless, and then screamed. "I am not the ambulance!" ... Palestinians from Gaza seeking to re-enter their homeland through Egypt say they are routinely met with abuse, mockery and demands for bribes by Egyptian border officials who seem more interested in keeping people out than in letting them in.

Médecins sans frontières/Doctors without Borders protests Israeli, Hamas obstacles to Gaza work (AFP)
JERUSALEM 5 Dec - In the past two years, Israel has granted entry to only one Palestinian staff member from the territories to take part in training and supervision courses, Jean-Luc Lambert, the MSF head for the West Bank and Gaza, told AFP. Palestinians account for 90 percent of the Gaza staff of the France-based MSF, which has for the past decade been running programs in mental health, physiotherapy and post-operative care for burns victims. Lambert said Israel also bars entry to the blockaded Gaza Strip for Palestinian technicians from occupied East Jerusalem, despite the need for maintenance of medical equipment in the impoverished territory. "Our requests for crossing permits for Palestinians come up against a systematic refusal on security grounds," he said.

Gaza to export 6 truckloads of strawberries
5 Dec - Israeli authorities partly opened the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip for limited deliveries of goods and fuel as well as exports of strawberries on Sunday.


Report: 280 Palestinians, including 43 children and three women, kidnapped last month
5 Dec ...Two of the kidnapped residents are elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. The two are Nayef Rajoub from Hebron, and Mahmoud Al Ramahi from Ramallah. The Committee stated that soldiers kidnapped a 55-year-old woman identified as Shaheera Borqan, from Hebron. It considered the kidnapping of Borqan as an Israeli illegal policy meant to blackmail her two detained sons. Furthermore, soldiers kidnapped Abdul-Qader Masalma, 45, from Hebron, despite the fact the he is paralyzed due to extreme torture practiced by Israeli interrogators during a previous arrest; he spent seven years in prison.

PFLP activist sentenced to 26 years
NABLUS 4 Dec -- A Palestinian activist affiliated to Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was sentenced on Friday to 26 years in Israeli prison. Ibrahim Salem from the Ein Beit Elma refugee camp in the northern West Bank district of Nablus was sentenced at the Israeli military court at Salem. Attorney Muyassar Atiyany, with the Palestinian higher committee for prisoners affairs, said Salem, detained on 15 January 2009, had been wanted for actions committed against the Israeli occupation during the Second Intifada.

Mother of detained journalist appeals for his release
5 Dec - NABLUS - The mother of Moaz Mishaal, a journalist in Nablus, denounced the continued detention of her son in Abbas's jails for the 100th day running. She said that the detention was threatening future of his academic studies in addition to deteriorating his health. The mother said in a statement on Saturday that her son had joined the information faculty in Najah University in 2002 and did not graduate until now due to the repeated arrests and detention in Israeli occupation jails.

Islamic Jihad says PA detained member
JENIN 5 Dec -- Islamic Jihad accused Palestinian Authority security forces of detaining one of its members in the West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday. The movement said PA intelligence services had issued several summons to Mansour Hafeth Melhem, 27, prior to his arrest. Melham spent six years in Israeli jails, accused of affiliation with Islamic Jihad, the party said in a statement calling for his immediate release. The group said it held the chief of intelligence in Jenin fully responsible for Melhem's life.

MP Attal: All Hamas cadres detained by PA in Jericho jail in isolation cells
4 Dec - AL-KHALIL [Hebron], (PIC)-- Palestinian lawmaker Mohamed Attal said that the Hamas-affiliated detainees imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Jericho prison are separated from each other in very small solitary cells. MP Attal added in a press release on Friday that the incarceration conditions in this PA jail are much worse than Israeli prisons, and appealed to human rights organizations to intervene to end the suffering of Hamas prisoners there.
In a separate incident, the PA security militias stormed on Friday the Mosque of Abrar in Al-Khalil city and kidnapped Sheikh Jibril Al-Jiyawi and his son Muntaser from inside the mosque as they were performing their evening prayers.

Fatah says Hamas escalating arrests of Gaza affiliates
RAMALLAH 4 Dec - Fatah on Saturday accused Hamas of arresting more than 30 party affiliates across Gaza in recent days. In a statement, Fatah said Hamas security forces raided the home of Fatah Revolutionary Council member Abdullah Abu Samhadana and arrested Fatah official Ibrahim At-Tahrawi ... On Friday, Hamas accused Palestinian Authority forces of arresting five of its members in the West Bank, in a statement issued by regional leaders. Those detained were from Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem and Salfit, the statement said.

Political/Diplomatic news

Abbas expecting US proposal for resumption of direct talks
5 Dec - Amman - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he was expecting a proposal from the US in the next few days to resume deadlocked talks with Israel.He made the remarks to reporters after talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II, which tackled the "latest efforts to remove the obstacles" impeding resumption of the talks, according to a royal court statement.,proposal-resumption-direct-talks.html

Netanyahu tries to warm up to Turkey after getting aid for Carmel fire
5 Dec - As Turkey helps Israel put out the Carmel fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched an effort to end the diplomatic crisis with Ankara. Netanyahu sent the Israeli representative on the United Nations committee investigating the Gaza flotilla incident, Yosef Ciechanover, to Geneva to meet with Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu, an undersecretary at the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Abbas visits Turkey (AFP)
ANKARA 5 Dec - President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Turkey Sunday for a two-day visit to discuss troubled efforts to end the Middle East conflict, Anatolia news agency reported. He was scheduled to meet behind closed doors with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan later Sunday, before talks Monday with President Abdullah Gul, officials said earlier.

Abbas: Last resort -- I'll ask Israel to take over (AP)
RAMALLAH, West Bank  4 Dec – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned he may dissolve his self-rule government and ask Israel to resume full control of the West Bank if troubled peace talks fail.;_ylc=X3oDMTEwbmpjODZyBF9TAzIwMjM4Mjc1MjQEZW1haWxJZAMxMjkxNDg3NDYx

Taha: Abbas is confused
4 Dec GAZA, (PIC) -- Ayman Taha, a Hamas leader, has described Fatah leader and de facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as confused after his last statement that he was thinking of dissolving the Palestinian Authority. Taha told the PIC on Saturday night that Hamas had warned of the seriousness of going ahead in the settlement project since its very start .. As long as Abbas is acknowledging that there is no real Palestinian authority then why doesn't he adopt practical steps and boost the internal Palestinian front, stop prosecuting resistance fighters and release all those detained, Taha elaborated.


Fire victim buried in non-Jewish plot
5 Dec - Sad ending -- Tania Lansky, 23, from Ashkelon was laid to rest on Sunday at the city's military cemetery. Tania was on board the trapped bus that caught fire on Thursday while making its way to Damon Prison in order to help evacuate prisoners. She died along with 41 of her friends.  However, even in her death Tania had to struggle -- The rabbinate refused to bury her in the cemetery's main plot, because her mom is not Jewish.,7340,L-3994736,00.html

Carmel wildfire

Carmel wildfire contained
5 Dec - More than three days after initial blaze began near Druze village of Usfiya, firefighting authorities declare they have managed to gain control of biggest fire in Israel's history. Extinguishing operations to continue in coming days in bid to prevent fire from re-erupting ... The fire has destroyed more than 50,000 dunam (12,300 acres) of land and damaged three communities.,7340,L-3994716,00.html

Palestinian firefighters help battle Carmel blaze
Head of Palestinian team says assistance is a 'humanitarian gesture' that has nothing to do with Israel-PA relations -- Twenty-one Palestinian firefighters arrived at the Mount Carmel region on Sunday to assist Israel in its battle against the huge wildfire which has claimed the lives of 41 people. "I've dreamed of visiting Haifa for a long time," Ibrahim Ayash, the head of the Palestinian rescue team told Ynet, "But unfortunately I came at a very sad time.",7340,L-3994572,00.html

Usfiya residents: Don't blame us for fire
5 Dec - "We lost the most beautiful forest in the country," an Usfiya resident said Sunday following the huge fire which broke out in the Druze village and destroyed dozens of acres of land and millions of trees on Mount Carmel ... According to Nissim Mansour, Usfiya's residents have been suffering for years from the garbage site in which the fire started. "The garbage site in Usfiya was burned several times, and firefighters were dispatched to the area to put it out ... "There is a serious problem here, which must be overcome. The firefighters don't know the names of the burnt places. For instance, when we call them to report a fire in area X, they go to Area Y and let the fire spread.",7340,L-3994769,00.html

Fire suspects' father: They were framed
5 Dec - Usfiya brothers arrive in court for hearing on extension of their remand; father says they were 'snatched from home as if they were terrorists' ... Police suspect the brothers did not put out a fire that sparked the huge blaze in the Carmel region. Their father accused police of "snatching" the brothers "as if they were terrorists and not two youngsters who are about to enlist in the army. "They had nothing to do with the fire; they didn't even know it erupted. One of them was sleeping and the other was in school," the father claimed.,7340,L-3994407,00.html

Carmel wildfire punishment from God?
5 Dec -  Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef implied on Saturday night that the fire raging on Mount Carmel in northern Israel was a punishment from God for religious offenses committed by the area's residents. During his weekly sermon, the rabbi read a section from the Babylonian Talmud, which states that "the fire only exists in a place where Shabbat is desecrated.",7340,L-3994225,00.html

Gaza Hamas leader: Carmel fires are Israel's divine punishment (dpa)
5 Dec - The de-facto Palestinian prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that the massive forest fires in northern Israel served as a "strike from Allah [God]."

Other news

Union head: Palestinians need alternatives to settlement jobs
BETHLEHEM 5 Dec -- Palestinians employed in settlements will not give up their jobs until the Palestinian Authority provides alternative work, Palestinian trade union official Shahir Sa'd said Sunday. The PA issued a ban prohibiting Palestinians from working in West Bank settlements as part of a wider campaign which included a national boycott of settlement produce.

Protests, arrests in Gaza over closure of youth organization
GAZA CITY 5 Dec -- Palestinian police detained at least 13 young people who were protesting Hamas authorities' closure of the Sharek Youth Forum, a large independent NGO in Gaza Sunday ... The Gaza government shut down Sharek last Tuesday citing an ongoing criminal investigation into the group's activities and members. Sharek officials say the shutdown is a nakedly political attempt to crack down a liberal-minded institution.

Former Fatah star Mohammed Dahlan falls from favor
2 Dec - JERUSALEM // Where is Mohammed Dahlan? For days rumours have swirled of a falling out between the one-time heir apparent to Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinian Authority officials will not confirm the reports, but what is certain is that Mr Dahlan, 49, Fatah's former security chief in the Gaza Strip, has dropped out of sight. The Palestinian daily Al Quds Al Arabi recently reported that Mr Dahlan had openly criticised the Palestinian president and his family's business dealings. As a result, Palestinian political observers said yesterday, Mr Dahlan has been stripped of his bodyguards and threatened with imprisonment.

Dutch MP Wilders to Haaretz: There is a witch hunt against my party
THE HAGUE - Geert Wilders' umpteenth visit to Israel on Sunday will offer him refuge not only from the cold gripping Holland, but also from the worst political storm to hit this famous and controversial Dutch politician so far. For Wilders, this will be the first visit to Israel since reaching real power for the first time. And it will also be the first time he is greeted in Israel with protests by people who oppose his views.

Analysis / Opinion

NGO Monitor targets truth for Israel / Stephen Lendman
3 Dec - Its web site ( says it "was founded to promote accountability, and advance a vigorous discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs claiming to promote moral agendas, such as humanitarian aid and human rights." In fact, it's a Jerusalem-based pro-Israeli front group, disseminating propaganda and hate, debasing legitimate human rights organizations, independent journalism, and other advocates for truth, equity and justice.

The Native American analogy doesn't work / Ali Abunimah
Earlier today Weiss did a post mentioning Native Americans and the argument that American historical sins immunize the Israelis from the Palestinian right of return.Citing the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans as a way to justify not recognizing the Palestinian right of return, as I've often heard people do, is usually disingenuous. The situation is comparable up to a point and then breaks down. Native Americans were ethnically cleansed as Palestinians were and are being ethnically cleansed. As a percentage of the US population today, Native Americans constitute less than one percent ... The main reason people can flippantly say "well if you support the Palestinian right of return then you should support Native Americans returning to their land" in order to justify Israel not recognizing the Palestinian right is that there are simply so few Native Americans that the question does not really arise.

Will Turkey's aid to Israel in Carmel fire revive foundering ties? / Zvi Bar'el
5 Dec - Turkey is still as strategically important for Israel as it ever was and it would be a major diplomatic blunder to miss the opportunity to repair ties with Ankara.

Netanyahu's Katrina / Amir Oren
5 Dec - Israel needs a prime minister, not a spokesman ... The government spokesman, Benjamin Netanyahu, served throughout the past decade and a half in roles as prime minister, finance minister and, again, prime minister. Against the background of the raging fires on the Carmel, it appears that the offices he headed didn't do anything. And if they did something, they made matters worse.

London is the hub of justice, not hate
3 Dec - At long last, the wool which was pulled so tightly over the eyes of the British public has now been removed and their capital has become a hub of the quest for justice. The Israel lobby has organized hundreds of visits to the Zionist state for parliamentarians and journalists, who couldn't have failed to be shocked by the contradictions and inhumanity they unearthed behind the façade of democracy, once they had been able to prise themselves away from their Israeli hosts' lavish hospitality. This week, one newly-elected Labour MP, Grahame Morris, described before a special briefing the sickening horror he felt when he witnessed 13 year-old Palestinian kids being brought into court in leg chains, handcuffed and hooded; their only crime was throwing stones. "This is incredible; what civilised country would treat children this way?" he asked.

The Mossad's new mission: Mideast peace / Gideon Levy
5 Dec - The main problem at the Mossad is that its activity is mainly focused on dangers, both real and imagined, rather than opportunities.


Damascus brushes off IAEA probe, urges scrutiny of Israel
4 Dec - VIENNA: Syria dismissed Friday calls to grant UN nuclear inspectors prompt access to the remains of a suspected nuclear site bombed to rubble by Israel, saying they should focus their investigation on the Jewish state instead. Damascus' envoy to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Washington's suggestion that the IAEA could seek broader inspection powers to enable it to examine sites in Syria was "nonsense" and he did not believe it was likely.

Experts: Israeli exit from Ghajar spells trouble for Lebanon (AFP)
BEIRUT 5 Dec -- Israel's plan to pull its troops out of northern Ghajar, a disputed village on the flashpoint border with Lebanon, is likely to prove more of a headache than a political victory for Beirut, experts say. "The people of Ghajar do not want to be part of Lebanon," said Timur Goksel, former senior adviser of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), of the village's 2,200 residents -- none of whom is Lebanese.

Iraq, other Mideast

9 Iraqis, 9 Iranians killed, 89 Iraqis, 45 Iranians wounded
4 Dec - Many of today's casualties were Iranian pilgrims visiting Shi'ite religious sites. The attacks, which also struck at Iraqi Shi'ite neighborhoods, came soon after it was discovered that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's may have been placing inexperienced Shi'ite loyalists into security positions. About seven Iranians were killed and 45 more were wounded in these attacks. About 11 Iraqis were also killed and 88 more were wounded. Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made a brief, unannounced visit to Iraq.

Baghdad bombing renews a family's fears / Raheem Salman
5 Dec - The market blast that killed 14 has an Iraqi journalist thinking again about leaving for the U.S. For now, his wife and son will rarely leave the house ... I have survived several bombings in the last seven years. But this time, I was shopping with my family and I was feeling peaceful. Everything was quiet. It was the weekend and many people were at the market. We were looking for clothes for my son, who's 12. Bayaa is a small neighborhood where you can find anything: clinics, pharmacies, banks — all the things for ordinary life. My wife and son say they will never go back to the market there.,0,530146.story

Iran 'dominant player' in Iraq politics: leaked memo (AFP)
PARIS 5 Dec -- Tehran is a "dominant player" in Iraq using "all means of diplomacy, intelligence and economy" to get a pro-Iranian regime there, leaked US diplomatic cables published by Le Monde newspaper Sunday said.

Egypt vote to usher in virtual single-party parliament (AFP)
CAIRO 5 Dec -- President Hosni Mubarak's party was poised to win almost every seat in a parliamentary election runoff Sunday boycotted by Egypt's main opposition parties over fraud and intimidation allegations.

Copt candidate blames NDP 'Islamists' for Egypt poll defeat (AFP)
CAIRO 4 Dec -- A Coptic opposition candidate defeated in a parliamentary election accused "extremist" Islamic elements in the ruling party Friday of trying to further marginalize Egypt's beleaguered Christian minority.

WikiLeaks: US frustrated by continued Mideast funding of terrorists (Reuters)
5 Dec - 'Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,' according to classified memo -- Top U.S. officials have grown frustrated over the resistance of allies in the Middle East to help shut the financial pipeline of terrorists, the New York Times reported on Sunday, citing secret diplomatic dispatches.

African migrants dying in Yemen border town (Reuters)
4 Dec -- Refugees from East Africa attempt to enter Saudi Arabia, but are being expelled and left to starve.

Iran declares nuclear 'self-sufficiency' ahead of talks (AFP)
TEHRAN 5 Dec -- Iran said Sunday it has produced a first batch of uranium yellowcake, the raw material for enrichment, insisting the new step "strengthens" its position in upcoming nuclear talks with world powers. Atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said that having previously been obliged to import yellowcake from abroad, Iran was now "self-sufficient" in the entire nuclear fuel cycle.

Iran says UN watchdog sending spies as inspectors (WaPo)
TEHRAN 4 Dec - Iran's top intelligence official on Saturday accused the International Atomic Energy Agency of sending spies disguised as inspectors to the Islamic Republic's most sensitive atomic sites.

U.S. and other world news

United Nations silent as NATO destroys potentially thousands of Afghan homes / Matthew Nasuti
4 Dec - NATO officials confirmed to this reporter that they routinely destroy Afghan homes, businesses and other structures that may be linked to the Taliban, but they refuse to provide any statistics as to how many have been destroyed. The Washington Post and The New York Times indicate that the practice is widespread and they have confirmed that whole villages have been leveled. (These field reports are referenced at the end of this article.)

Mosque infiltration feeds Muslims' distrust of FBI (WaPo)
5 Dec - IRVINE, CALIF. - Before the sun rose, the informant donned a white Islamic robe. A tiny camera was sewn into a button, and a microphone was buried in a device attached to his keys. "This is Farouk al-Aziz, code name Oracle," he said into the keys as he sat in his parked car in this quiet community south of Los Angeles. "It's November 13th, 4:30 a.m. And we're hot." The undercover FBI informant - a convicted forger named Craig Monteilh - then drove off for 5 a.m. prayers at the Islamic Center of Irvine, where he says he spied on dozens of worshipers in a quest for potential terrorists.

WikiLeaks reveals diplomatic cables on Aafia Siddiqui / Stephen Lendman
4 Dec - On September 23 in federal court, she was sentenced to 86 years in prison, though committed no crime. It's a gross miscarriage of justice, compounding what's she's already endured, following her March 30, 2003 abduction, imprisonment, torture, prosecution, and conviction on spurious charges. Through sentencing she was in New York City solitary confinement and may still be there, pending transfer to Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell in Fort Worth, TX, a hellhole described as a facility "provid(ing) specialized medical and mental health services to female prisoners." If she's there long-term, it'll be a death sentence, its harshness precipitating it sooner, not later.

How the mirror effect keeps WikiLeaks online (AFP)
PARIS -- Mirror sites are keeping WikiLeaks up and running despite the loss of its original address, shut down by an American provider: welcome to the Barbra Streisand Effect. The elusive, intangible nature of the Internet has allowed the whistle-blowing website to keep a step ahead of its enemies ... the mirror sites are just that: a replica of the contents of the original site, ensuring that the thousands of US diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has been leaking since last Sunday remain available for inspection.


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Abunimah: The Native American analogy doesn't work
Dec 05, 2010 12:14 pm | Ali Abunimah

Earlier today Weiss did a post mentioning Native Americans and the argument that American historical sins immunize the Israelis from the Palestinian right of return.
Citing the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans as a way to justify not recognizing the Palestinian right of return, as I've often heard people do, is usually disingenuous. The situation is comparable up to a point and then breaks down. Native Americans were ethnically cleansed as Palestinians were and are being ethnically cleansed. As a percentage of the US population today, Native Americans constitute less than one percent. We should support doing everything possible to recognize and support their rights, including returning traditional land as has happened to greater or lesser degrees in other settler-colonial countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 
The main reason people can flippantly say "well if you support the Palestinian right of return then you should support Native Americans returning to their land" in order to justify Israel not recognizing the Palestinian right is that there are simply so few Native Americans that the question does not really arise. Native Americans in the United States are struggling for survival, justice and recognition, but generally not by seeking the return of land that is now, say, a neighborhood of Chicago. Their struggle came poignantly to light recently in the affair of the US refusal to recognize tribal passports of the Iroquois Lacrosse team that was supposed to travel to the UK (link here).
But imagine if the situation were more analogous to Palestine today in terms of numbers. Imagine if Native Americans constituted 30, 40, or 50 or even 20 percent of the population of the United States and that they lived in sealed reservations in conditions similar to those in the Gaza Strip or refugee camps in the West Bank or Lebanon?
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If there were 30, 70 or 100 million people who identified as Native Americans and existed in such conditions, no one would be able to so flippantly dismiss either their right to return to their original lands or any challenge they would make to the legitimacy of the United States. The United States would have a legitimacy crisis and bloodbath on its hands.
The only reason the United States can so easily ignore the rights of Native Americans is that they suffered near-genocide. Palestinians today are 50 percent of the population in their historic homeland and cannot simply be ignored as they could be if they were one percent. This is why Benny Morris said in 2004 that yes, ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was necessary and justified to create Israel, but if Ben-Gurion had made a mistake it was that he did not "finish the job." The United States, Canada, Australia did "finish the job" and those are the settler-colonial states that survive. French Algeria, Portuguese Mozambique, Rhodesia, Apartheid South Africa, Protestant-ruled Northern Ireland and Israel are the settler-colonial states where the native population remained either a majority or a substantial minority that could challenge the legitimacy of the state. How many of them are left?
Finally, it is disingenuous to make this an issue solely about property rights. Property rights are a difficult issue that would affect a fraction of Palestinians and Israelis. Most Palestinians, however, could return to land in Israel that is currently empty. Israelis reject the right of return primarily on ethnoreligious grounds: they just don't want too many Palestinians polluting the "Jewish democracy."

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Happy holidays
Dec 05, 2010 11:03 am | Philip Weiss

From a friend. These cards are available at If Americans Knew.

bethlehem 1

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An Israeli's Wiki-piphany
Dec 05, 2010 10:52 am | Philip Weiss

WikiLeaks keep resonating. My friend David Bromwich writes:

Here, an Israeli liberal centrist, after a small step in anti-colonial self- criticism, swings back to self-justification. All it took was the Wikileaks cables saying what everyone in Israel already knew: that Iran is dangerous.

On November 18, the Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit published a column asserting that "Settlements Are Destroying Zionism." On December 3, after the Wikileaks cables reporting the approval by Sunni Arab governments of an attack on Iran,  Shavit reverses field and decides the settlements are a secondary matter for the Middle East. Only after Iran has been attacked and definitively weakened should Israel be expected to withdraw from the occupied lands:

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"The settlements are indeed a disaster. The occupation is intolerable. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dangerous. But. . . there is no chance of signing an Israeli-Palestinian agreement as long as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is living under the menacing shadow of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. . . .

"After all, just as the Egyptian president, the Saudi king and the Gulf emirs whisper, Iran is the heart of the problem. Iran is the source of the poison and the source of the consternation. As long as Iran is growing stronger, is seeking nuclear weapons and is terrorizing the Middle East, there is no chance for peace. . . .

"Therefore the dove of peace has to be extremely hawkish toward Iran. The peace-seeker must deal with Iran. . . .It's true that a moratorium on the settlements will help in the struggle against the centrifuges. But...when we rise from the ruins of the dogma, the strategic order of things is utterly clear--Iran first."

That the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt are hostile to Iran has been well known for decades; yet the column embraces the wisdom of Arab autocrats as a confirmation of Israeli fears. On the Israeli center-left, if Shavit's two weeks of anger at the occupation are any measure, the idea of decolonization has the strength of a half-remembered scruple. Show it a discouraging rumor which seems to give permission to injustice and it surrenders with relief to the old "strategic order of things."

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MI university deems Helen Thomas's Zionist-control comments to be anti-Semitic
Dec 05, 2010 10:46 am | Philip Weiss

Report on AOL:

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Wayne State University has terminated its Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media award after the former White House correspondent claimed that the United States is controlled by "Zionists."

Thomas, 90, told a workshop on anti-Arab bias in Dearborn, Mich., that Jewish influence made it impossible to criticize Israel in the United States. "Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists," Thomas said on Thursday. "They put their money where their mouth is."

Wayne State University yanked its Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media award after the former White House correspondent once again made comments that are being denounced as anti-Semitic.

...Wayne State "strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas," the university said in an e-mailed statement, according to The Associated Press

Wayne State's Journalism Institute for Media Diversity has given the Helen Thomas award for work that promotes diversity. The award "is no longer helping us achieve our goals," Matthew Seeger, an interim dean, told The Detroit Free Press.

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The Witch Tree
Dec 05, 2010 09:13 am | Philip Weiss


My friend, Minnesota novelist Tony Schmitz, was paddling on Superior last week, and his buddy made this shot near Grand Portage. It's of a famous cedar on the Ojibwe Reservation, known as the Witch Tree. Sacred, over 400 years old, historic, and only 15 feet tall, valiant in the face of storms. Why is it on this site? Well because people have been talking about the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, in this comment thread... and Noam Chomsky says here that if you're for the Palestinian right of return you should be for the Native Americans moving back to your property in the U.S., which has always been a perplexing argument for me, certainly I feel the resonance of American ethnic cleansing when I'm in Israel...

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Doris Lessing on orthodoxy and the intellectual
Dec 05, 2010 08:52 am | Philip Weiss

In 1957, Doris Lessing published a story in the New Leader called, "The Day That Stalin Died" (later improved as "The Day Stalin Died"). The story is set in England on March 5, 1953. A crushing excerpt:

I was just settling down to work, when comrade Jean rang up to say she wanted to see me during lunch-hour. Jean was for many years my self-appointed guide or mentor towards a correct political viewpoint. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say she was one of several self-appointed guides. It was Jean who, the day after I had my first volume of short stories published, took the morning off work to come and see me, in order to explain that one of the stories, I forget which, gave an incorrect analysis of the class struggle. I remember thinking at the time that there was a good deal in what
she said.

When she arrived that day at lunch-time, she had her sandwiches with her in a paper bag, but she accepted some coffee, and said she hoped I didn't mind her disturbing me, but she had been very upset by something she had been told I had said.

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It appeared that a week before, at a meeting, I had remarked that there seemed to be evidence for supposing that a certain amount of dirty work must be going on in the Soviet Union. I would be the first to admit that this remark savoured of flippancy.

Jean was a small brisk woman with glasses, the daughter of a Bishop, whose devotion to the working class was proved by thirty years of work in the Party. Her manner towards me was always patient and kindly. "Comrade," she said, "intellectuals like
yourself are under greater pressure from the forces of capitalist corruption than any other type of party cadre. It is not your fault. But you must be on your guard".

I said I thought I had been on my guard; but nevertheless I could not help feeling that there were times when the capitalist press, no doubt inadvertently, spoke the truth.

Jean tidily finished the sandwich she had begun, adjusted her spectacles, and gave me a short lecture about the necessity for unremitting vigilance on the part of the working class. She then said she must go; because she had to be at her office at two. She
said that the only way an intellectual with my background could hope to attain to a correct working-class viewpoint was to work harder in the Party; to mix continually with the working class; and in this way my writing would gradually become a real weapon in
the class-struggle. She said, further; that she would send me the verbatim record of the Trials in the thirties, and if I read this, would find my at present vacillating attitude towards Soviet justice much improved. I said I had read the verbatim records a long time ago; and always did think they sounded unconvincing. She said that I wasn't to worry; a really sound working-class attitude would develop with time.

With this she left me. I remember that, for one reason and another, I was rather depressed.

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