Upcoming Events

  • No upcoming events available
 

ניווט

 

רשת אינדימדיה העולמית

  • www.indymedia.org
 

Commentary

Out-of-Control Israeli State Terror

 Out-of-Control Israeli State Terror - by Stephen Lendman

 

Having friends in high places in Washington lets Israel get away with murder. 

 

On October 31, Ma'an News said continued Israeli air strikes so far killed 12 Gazans. Others were wounded, some severely.

 

Overnight Sunday, the IDF confirmed additional air strikes. Another ceasefire took effect at 10:00PM. Nonetheless, early Monday attacks continued, targeting Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. Israel overflights continue.

 

Given its propensity for violence, expect more attacks any time for any reason or none at all. On Sunday, Netanyahu relished having them, saying:

 

"There is no ceasefire." Israeli forces will "protect the residents of the south and wipe out the rocket launchers. I promise that the other side will pay an even heavier price than it has up to now until it stops firing."

 

No matter that Gazans respond defensively to premeditated Israeli attacks. Netanyahu inverted truth, blaming victims of IDF crimes. Since Cast Lead ended in January 2009, Hamas rigorously observed ceasefire terms. So do other resistance forces except when attacked.

 

Israel violated Egypt's brokered truce. Islamic Jihad (IJ) and other resistance groups said ending violence depends on stopping Israeli attacks. IJ's Sunday statement said:

 

"Islamic Jihad is committed to the truce as long as the occupation commits to it."

 

However, if Israeli attacks continue, further comments said resistance will respond defensively.

 

Premeditated Israeli attacks initiated conflict. Militants were falsely blamed. Gazan resistance responds defensively. Israel calls it terrorism. International law clearly legitimizes defensive responses to external attacks.

 

On October 31, the International Middle East Media Center said Sunday Israel air and ground attacks killed Islamic Jihad and National Resistance Brigades members.

 

On October 30, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said Israel escalated attacks on Gaza. Nine deaths were reported. As of midday Monday Gaza time, it's at least 12, including civilians.

 

”Resistance training sites and a police station were destroyed. Other buildings also sustained damage. PCHR "warn(ed) of further escalation of such attacks, and expresse(d) concern for the lives of Palestinian civilians, especially because the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world."

 

Gazans killed included:

  •  
  • Ahmed Khalil al-Sheikh Khalil in Rafah;

 

  • Mohammed Ahmed 'Aashour in Khan Yunis;

 

  • Abdul Karim Mousa Shatat in Khan Yunis;

 

  • Bassem Mohammed Abu al-'Ata in Gaza City;

 

  • Hassan Mohammed al-Khudari in Gaza City;

 

  • Suleiman Mahrous Abu Fatma in Rafah;

 

  • Sami Hamad Abu Sabt in Rafah;

 

  • Mardi Nahidh Mohammed Hajjaj in Gaza City; and

 

  • Suhail Ibrahim Jundiya in Gaza City.

 

Three others were killed after PCHR's report. Palestinians near attack sites are terrified, especially children.

 

All Israeli attacks violate Israeli and international law. Besieged Gazans live in the world's largest open air prison. Israel maliciously makes it a war zone. Human lives and welfare are non-starters. State terror defines Israeli policy.

 

On Sunday, MK Shaul Mofaz, Knesset chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said Israel must commit itself to targeted assassinations. Press TV reported that he stressed targeting Gaza-based "high-ranking figures within the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement and Hamas." 

 

Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and other MKs share his view. Targeted assassinations is longstanding Israeli policy. Others call it cold-blooded murder. Under international law, it's a war crime. More on that below.

 

Israel remains unaccountable. Washington and other Quartet members stay silent. Fundamental international law principles are ignored, including obligations under Fourth Geneva's Article 146 stating:

 

"The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention."

 

Fourth Geneva guarantees protection of civilians in time of war. Israel, Washington, Britain, France, and other Western belligerents systematically spurn all international law. Rogue violence defines their agenda. Mass deaths, injuries and destruction are military objectives. They all get away with murder.

 

Targeted Killing

 

Geneva's Common Article 3 prohibits:

 

"(a) violence to life and person, in particular to murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;" and 

 

"(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions with previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."

 

Under Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR):

 

"Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life."

 

Other international laws are also relevant, including provisions of the 1907 Hague Convention.

 

Nils Melzer's book, titled "Targeted Killing in International Law" discussed the practice. His definition includes lethal force against anyone not in custody with premeditated intent to kill.

 

He used two normative paradigms:

  •  
  • the "hostilities paradigm" against combatants, including civilians directly participating in hostilities; and

 

  • the "law enforcement paradigm" against noncombatant civilians, including during armed conflict.

 

He believes "law enforcement paradigm" targeted killings must conform to domestic law, be preventative, not punitive, and have protecting human life from lawless attacks its sole purpose.

 

Under the "hostilities paradigm," combatants are legitimate targets to achieve specific military objectives, provided civilian lives and property are protected from harm.

 

Distinction and proportionality principles apply to distinguish between combatants and military targets v. civilians and non-military ones. Attacking latter ones are war crimes except when civilians take direct part in hostilities.

 

Proportionality prohibits disproportionate, indiscriminate force likely to cause damage to or loss of lives and objects.

 

Fourth Geneva also requires giving "effective advance warning" and "neutralized zones" so noncombatants can be as protected as possible.

 

Washington, its NATO partners, and Israel violate these and other international law principles with impunity.

 

International laws protect human life. Killing is always a last resort, never against noncombatants. Premeditated killing is lawless. Meltzer says it's impermissible when non-lethal alternatives exist.

 

In "The Public Committee against Torture in Israel v. Gov't of Israel et al (2005)," Israel's High Court ruled that "a civilian taking a direct part in hostilities cannot be attacked....if a less harmful means can be employed."

 

In paragraph 40 it added:

 

"(I)f a belligerent were allowed to fire at enemy civilians simply suspected of somehow planning or conspiring to plan military attacks, or of having planned or directed hostile actions, the basic foundations of international humanitarian law would be seriously undermined."

 

"The basic distinction between civilians and combatants would be called into question and the whole body of law relating to armed conflict would eventually be eroded."

 

It entirely eroded in all Israeli conflicts since 1948. Its own standard holds human life inconsequential to achieve military objectives.

 

Moreover, its "Dahiya Doctrine" targets civilians as official policy. Named after a Beirut suburb attacked in 2006, Israel's then Northern Commander Gabi Eisenkot said:

 

"What happened in Dahiya....will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. We will apply disproportionate force at the heart of the enemy's weak spot (civilians) and cause great damage and destruction." 

 

"From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages (towns or cities). They are military bases. This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved."

 

It prioritizes damaging or destroying assets, economic interests, and centers of civilian power. Israel wages all wars and armed interventions this way, no matter how in violation of fundamental international law.

 

Israel's High Court called it illegal. Israel notoriously ignores its own highest legal authority with impunity. As a result, Palestinians most of all suffer, largely out of sight and mind from Western media.

 

A Final Comment

 

On October 31, UNESCO admitted Palestine as a full member, despite intense Washington and Israeli opposition.

 

UNESCO member states voted 107 in favor, 14 against, and 52 abstaining.

 

Israel called it a "tragedy." Ahead of the vote, Washington called admitting Palestine "counterproductive (and) premature." Retaliatory measures followed, America's usual response.

 

Its UNESCO funding was suspended. The organization will get along fine without its blood money. The UN would greatly improve without its membership.

 

Palestinians hope theirs in UNESCO will boost their full UN recognition chances. At best, call it a baby step forward.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Netanyahu Threatens Gazans with Death

 Netanyahu Threatens Gazans with Death - by Stephen Lendman

 

Throughout its history, Israel had belligerent, racist prime ministers, none worse than Netanyahu. He talks peace but mocks and spurns it. 

 

His extremism heads Israel toward the brink. His worst ever government enrages global millions. Eventually, Israel may end up isolated and universally vilified as a pariah state. 

 

Already, it's a regional menace. Lawlessly occupied for 44 years, Palestinians know it best. Gaza remains suffocating under siege. Militantly, Netanyahu wants harsher conditions.

 

On October 30, Haaretz headlined, "Netanyahu to Gaza militants: Israel's policy is kill or be killed," saying:

 

Netanyahu threatened attacks against "every attempt to fire against Israel and anyone who fires anyway."

 

He told ministers at a special cabinet session that Israel's defense policy stresses two principles: "Kill or be killed," and "He who harms you should bear the blood on his head."

 

So-called "militants" are freedom fighters. Hamas and other resistance groups respond only in self-defense. International law affirms it.

 

In December 2008, Israel waged preemptive war on Gaza. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other groups observed months of unilateral ceasefire, despite repeated Israeli violations. On November 4, it ended after the IDF invaded without cause, killing six Hamas members, allegedly to close tunnels.

 

Hamas wanted peace. Israel spurned it. Cast Lead followed, destroying and killing everything but the will to resist. To this day, Gazans suffer horrifically, including from repeated Israeli air, land and sea attacks. 

 

Gaza is one of history's terror bombing victims. Netanyahu inverts truth, blaming Palestinians for Israeli crimes.

 

"I suggest Hamas, Jihad, and other organizations not test our determination to actualize the two principles I have described here," he said. 

 

"We will harm every attempt to fire against Israel and anyone who fires anyway. We are not tempestuous, and we do not want things to deteriorate, but we will defend Israel's citizens determinedly, aggressively and effectively."

 

Netanyahu is a lawless bully, a rogue leader unfit to rule, a menace to Palestinians and Israelis alike, enduring destructive imperial authority.

 

Shortly after Islamic Jihad and other resistance groups accepted Egyptian-mediated ceasefire terms, Israeli aircraft bombed southern Gaza. One Palestinian was killed, another wounded.

 

The National Resistance Brigades (NRB) for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement, holding Israel responsible. It also called on NRB fighters to respond in kind as international law allows.

 

In addition, it asked world leaders to protect Palestinian civilians and denounce Israeli lawlessness.

 

On Saturday, Israeli air attacks killed five Al-Quds Brigade fighters, injuring others. After numerous attacks and Palestinian responses, 10 Gazans and one Israeli are dead. Israel is directly responsible for preemptive aggression.

 

Adham Abu Salmiyya, Gaza's Higher Committee of the Medical and Emergency Services said at least 10 strikes occurred in two hours. Destruction as well as deaths and injuries followed. Dozens of residents, especially children, were traumatized.

 

Moreover, Palestinian Information Center officials said army forces attacked the Al Qassam Brigades' Al Qadisiyya and Ahrar Movement Centers, as well as a third southern Gaza area.

 

Early Sunday morning, the IDF fired missiles at alleged Gaza City fighters. No casualties were reported. Later, Ash-Shejaeyya neighborhood east of Gaza City was attacked, as well as Al Qassam Brigades' Tunis Base and a third area east of Rafah.

 

Extensive damage was reported. Drones and manned aircraft remained present overhead. Gazans fired shells and rockets in response. Israel calls self-defense terrorism.

 

After it spurned ceasefire offers, Islamic Jihad's Al Quds Brigade officials withdrew its offer, claiming its right to respond defensively. Spokesman Abu Ahmad said "a swift and painful retaliation" is planned, adding that:

 

"We informed all parties that we will not be part of any truce based on criteria used in previous truce deals. Every time there is a truce, the occupation strikes again and kills our leaders and our people. Today, everybody, all Arab and European mediators must realize that only the resistance can declare or void truce. The occupation will be begging for a truce."

 

Angry about premeditated Israeli attacks, he further said "(T)his issue must be dealt with. Resistance will fire missiles, and will continue targeting the occupation."

 

Egyptian officials confirmed failed truce offers. Reportedly, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are negotiating ceasefire arrangements with them.

 

At the same time, IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz held meetings with senior army officers to weigh Israel's response.

 

Israel can have peace if it wants it. Palestinians repeatedly committed to nonviolence in vain. 

 

It's not clear if Israel will cease attacks or launch Cast Lead II. IDF commanders may, in fact, have had that in mind all along. Events on the ground bear watching.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Living Under Israel's Boot

 Living Under Israel's Boot - by Stephen Lendman

 

Like occupied people everywhere, Palestinians understand oppression better than experts. Ask them. They'll explain.

 

In Gaza, it means living under siege and Israeli air, land and sea attacks. West Bank communities face day and night incursions. 

 

In the week ending October 27, 58 were conducted, nearly 10 a day. Israel arrests Palestinians while releasing others. Every Palestinian wonders when their loved ones may be taken in middle of the night raids, including children young as ten.

 

International law doesn't restrain Israeli persecution. Peaceful protestors taste tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades, beatings and other abusive tactics to disperse them. 

 

On October 27, Israel bombed three Khan Younis locations in southern Gaza. No deaths or injuries were reported. Central Gaza's Deir al-Balah was also struck, again with no casualties.

 

Israel claims provocations each time. Gazans mostly respond in self-defense as international law allows. Israel calls it terrorism. It intercepted two Gazan fishermen, opened fire, detained them and impounded their boats.

 

Attacks against other fishermen escalated. Boats were confiscated. Fishermen were detained. Tools and equipment were damaged or destroyed.

 

Gazans are prevented from fishing in their own waters. Violent assaults can come any time. On October 27, Israeli warplanes destroyed a container used for fishing equipment and tools. Nets and a water tank were burnt.

 

In 2011, 67 similar incidents occurred, involving live fire 40 times. Eight fishermen were wounded. Hospitalization was required to treat them.

 

Other incidents involved threats and harassment, causing damage and confiscation of boats. Since 2000, Israel denied Gazans the right to fish freely in their own waters. In 2008, their territory was reduced from 20 to six nautical miles, but none of it is safe.

 

Gazans fishing beyond three miles are attacked. Even close to shore risks interceptions, property damage and confiscation, and detentions. As a result, fishermen have lost 85% of their subsistence.

 

In early October, West Bank Qusra village farmers discovered about 200 of their fruit trees vandalized. Extremist settlers were responsible. Israel doesn't nothing to stop them. Similar incidents happen regularly.

 

Despite repeated complaints by Qusra, Duma, Qaryut, Jalud, and other village residents, security forces violate their responsibility to protect them from settler attacks.

 

In recent weeks, multiple incidents occurred. Property was vandalized. Confrontations between residents and settlers occurred. In one incident, soldiers killed Issam Badran for defending his rights. 

 

Elsewhere, a mosque was set ablaze after Hebrew graffiti was sprayed on it. In late September, multiple incidents destroyed over 900 trees. In 2011, 7,500 trees were vandalized. Perpetrators weren't held accountable. Investigations result in whitewashes. Israel affords Arabs no rights, including its own citizens.

 

On October 27, Aseel Ara'ra, age four, suffered quadriplegia after soldiers shot her in the neck. Surgery didn't help. She remains in intensive care. She'll never be the same again. Restitution never comes. Aggressors never say they're sorry. They commit other crimes as bad.

 

On October 26, Israeli police closed two NGO offices, claiming links to Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. 

 

Jerusalem for Development head Khaled Zabarqa called his organization a "development institution" which closes social gaps in Arab East Jerusalem.

 

Closures accompany rising tensions. Since 2006, they've increased since Israel began implementing the Jerusalem E1 plan to replace East Jerusalem Palestinians with Jewish settlers. As a result, political activity was prohibited. Legitimate protests are called crimes. 

 

On October 29, responding to Israeli air strikes, Gazans fired seven rockets at Ashdod, Gan Yavne, and west of Be'er Sheva in Israel.

 

One or more Israelis were wounded, several others traumatized. Later a mortar struck near the Eshkol Regional Council. No casualties were reported.

 

Israel always responds the same way. More air and ground attacks followed. Bogus reasons justified them. Nine Palestinians were killed. Nearly always, Gazans fire rockets only after Israel attacks. International law legitimizes self-defense.

 

On October 28, hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in multiple West Bank locations. Around Beit Omar, about 250 demonstrated and threw stones. Soldiers and police responded violently with tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades and other crowd dispersal measures.

 

About 80 Palestinians protested near Nabi Saleh. Some threw stones. Similar incidents occurred around Bil'in, Kedum, Beitunia, and Lita. Israel responded violently.

 

Throughout October, Israeli security forces disrupted villages and uprooted dozens of al-Walaja fruit trees to prepare land for Separation Wall construction. Palestinian land is stolen in the process.

 

In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Wall construction illegal, ordered its removal, and compensation paid victims for damaged or destroyed property. 

 

On October 3, soldiers began uprooting trees in Ein al-Hadfa, Khallet al-Samak, Ein Jweiza, and al-Walaja area land. About 90 dunums were affected, as well as 230 olive, almond, cypress and oak trees. Grapevines were also destroyed.

 

Other large sections were isolated, including an area cemetery. More Wall construction occurred around al-Ntouf and Ras Krimzan, east of al-Walaja village. When completed, it will be 2,000 meters long.

 

Villagers petitioned Israel's High Court to stop it. On August 23, they were rejected. The ruling stated:

 

"(T)he route of the wall is necessary for the security of Israel and its citizens."

 

When begun, land theft, not security, was planned. When completed, about 12% of Palestinian land will be gone. Israel uses other ways to steal more land to secure all valued parts of Judea and Samaria it wants colonized and annexed.

 

Since 2009, about 4,500 meters were built east, west, and northeast of al-Walaja. About 2,100 olive, grape, almond and other trees were destroyed. About 500 dunums of agricultural lands and forests were uprooted. Another 2,000 dunums in al-Walaja village were isolated behind the wall. It surrounds its north, east and western sides.

 

From the south, an IDF security street encloses it. When sections under construction are completed, over half of village land will be isolated. Eventually, the Wall will completely isolate al-Walaja from other Palestinian villages and towns, service providing institutions, and vital Bethlehem governorate areas.

 

Life under occupation is oppressive and cruel. Palestinians want it ended. They also want recognized sovereignty, full UN membership and peace. Israel denied them for 44 years. 

 

Nothing under consideration offers change. Palestinians are on their own like always, determined to overcome and live free. Their liberating struggle continues.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Libya: War Without End

 Libya: War Without End - by Stephen Lendman

 

Libya will long be remembered as one of history's great crimes. For over eight months, NATO's killing machine ravaged the country, killing tens of thousands. 

 

Years of protracted conflict lie ahead. Libyans will keep struggling until they're free from NATO's scourge.

 

UN Resolution 1973 authorized a no-fly zone. In fact, it lawlessly declared war. A prosperous, peaceful, nonbelligerent country and its way of life was destroyed.

 

Civilians and non-military sites were deliberately targeted. Cold-blooded murder and mass destruction were planned. 

 

Sirte, a city once home to 100,000, symbolizes NATO's depravity. Terror bombing destroyed it. Thousands were massacred.

 

Under international law, it's a war crime.

 

Under the 1907 Hague Regulations, Fourth Geneva, Geneva's Common Article III, and various other international laws, civilians are protected persons. So is civilian property. Attacking them is prohibited. War crimes are clearly defined. The principles of distinction and proportionality also apply:

  •  
  • distinction between combatants and military targets v. civilians and non-military ones; attacking latter ones are war crimes except when civilians take direct part in hostilities; and

 

  • proportionality prohibits disproportionate, indiscriminate force likely to cause damage to or loss of lives and objects.

 

In addition, precautions must be taken to avoid and minimize incidental loss of civilian lives, injuries to them, and damage to non-military sites. Under Fourth Geneva, they must be given "effective advance warning" and "neutralized zones" where they can be as protected as possible.

 

Fourth Geneva also prohibits collective punishment; the use of human shields; private property destruction; torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; denying the population adequate amounts of food and medical supplies; and assuring free passage of all "consignments" intended for civilian purposes. 

 

Nonetheless, in all US/NATO wars, including Libya (besides earlier American ones), these provisions are systematically and willfully violated. 

 

Civilians and nonmilitary sites are considered legitimate targets. Western powers spuriously claim every effort to spare them. Media scoundrels ignore their crimes.

 

The UN Charter's Article 2(7) states:

 

"Nothing contained in the present charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII," pertaining to threats to peace, its breaches, or acts of aggression.

 

NATO's humanitarian responsibility to protect duplicity terrorized and slaughtered civilians lawlessly. Millions of Libyans won't forgive or forget, including Sirte survivors.

 

Under siege for weeks, food, medical supplies and other essentials were cut off. Basic infrastructure was destroyed, including power, water and sanitation systems.

 

Homes, schools, mosques, hospitals and other civilian sites were bombed. Terror weapons were used including thermobaric fuel-air bombs and white phosphorous able to burn flesh to the bone.

 

Virtually every structure was destroyed or damaged. Rebel rats looted what they found. Even news reports described a scorched earth campaign, including grim scenes reminiscent of Grozny in Russia's Chechen war, Guernica, the Warsaw Ghetto, and other historical terror bombing targets.

 

On October 27, Human Rights Investigations (HRI) headlined, "Responsibility to protect: the liberation of Sirte," saying:

 

Over 400 air strikes targeted Sirte for weeks. Each delivered powerful munitions. In addition, rebel rats "indiscriminately shell(ed) the town with tank fire, heavy mortar fire and artillery."

 

NATO declined comment "on why it did nothing to protect (civilians) and why it has been complicit in these war crimes."

  •  
  • "....(U)ndisciplined and in some cases genocidal mobs" committed horrific atrocities. NATO authorized their "murderous rampage," as well as elsewhere across Libya.

 

  • "....Red Cross officials have said they have found (267) dead in Sirte, most of whom they believe were killed" the day Sirte fell.

 

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo hasn't "pursued action against pro-NATO forces. In fact, he has been involved (complicity) in spreading propaganda and inciting racial hatred during the conflict."

 

On October 11, Transitional National Council (TNC) chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil told rebel rat fighters, "You have the support of all the members of the transitional council." He also authorized other war crimes.

 

"Currently what is left of Sirte is being thoroughly looted." BBC said reconstruction is unlikely. Crumbled remains will stay "a memorial to Colonel Gaddafi's victims," shifting blame for horrific NATO crimes onto him instead of reporting responsibly.

 

Clearly, said HRI, "responsibility to protest (R2P) has been hi-jacked by NATO and its supporters as a justification for its military campaign and has lost its humanitarian content, becoming little more than a weapon in the propaganda war to draw ill-informed citizens into consent for military action."

 

In fact, too many people who know better took the bait and believed it. They still do, thinking NATO intervened for humanitarian reasons. 

 

Bosnians, Serbs, Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans and other NATO victims know better. Ask them. They'll explain.

 

On October 25 on Russia Today, nuclear expert Christopher Busby discussed a new report about "uranium-enhanced weapons" used against Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Horrific birth defects and congenital diseases resulted.

 

Washington and NATO use depleted uranium (DU) weapons in all wars. Busby exposed evidence of enriched uranium, "the kind used in nuclear reactors and bombs," he said, adding:

 

His "results prove the existence of a new secret uranium weapon. We have found some US patents for thermobaric and directed charge warheads which employ uranium powder to increase their effect."

 

Calling it "quite scary," he explained bomb crater evidence "in Lebanon in 2006 after the Israeli attacks and found one which was radioactive and which contained enriched uranium. We found enriched uranium in car air filters from Lebanon and also from Gaza. Others have found evidence of its use in Afghanistan and possibly also in the Balkans."

 

Busby called the discovery "astonishing with many global implications."

 

It suggests NATO used these weapons in Libya, including against Sirte. As a result, epidemic levels of cancer, other diseases, and congenital birth defects will follow.

 

Libya not only was ravaged, likely permanent contamination makes wide areas hazardous. No amount of radiation is safe. It's harmful, cumulative, permanent, unforgiving, and deadly.

 

Science never found a safe threshold. Radiation poisoning causes cancer, leukemia, other diseases, birth defects, stillbirths, miscarriages, sterility, malformations, open lesions, and more, including permanent genetic damage passed on to offspring.

 

Busby said it "poison(s) the gene pool of whole populations. This is a war crime and must be properly investigated....It has probably been used in Libya, so we must wait and see what levels of cancer and congenital diseases appear there."

 

After heroically holding out for weeks, NATO and rebel rats now control Sirte. NSNBC called their operation "one of the most outrageous war crimes of the century," including hundreds of summary executions.

 

On October 24, Human Rights Watch reported 53 Gaddafi supporters murdered at a Sirte hotel.

 

On October 26, Russia Today (RT.com) said:

 

"Three hundred bodies of alleged Gaddafi allies have been found in Sirte, shot in the head with hands tied behind their backs. Are (NATO forces) guilty of ordering political executions....?"

 

RT called NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's comments at a recent Brussels news conference "a grimly prophetic joke," saying:

 

"Our military forces prevented a massacre and saved countless lives."

 

In fact, mass destruction, slaughter and atrocities defined its campaign from inception. Knowledgeable observers are horrified by the depravity of NATO's campaign without end.

 

Whether or not bombing ends October 31, NATO came to Libya to stay. Blue Helmet paramilitary enforcers will join them.

 

On October 29, RIA/Novosti headlined, "NATO will stop bombing Libya but won't leave," saying:

 

"The Security Council did not end the war." It's not over, and NATO's not leaving. "They will simply change the name of the operation" to one called "the Friends of Libya coalition."

 

A dozen or more countries will be involved, including America, Britain, France, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and other regional states.

 

"To sum up, the war will continue for some time, and NATO will remain in NATO for a long time to come...."

 

In fact, NATO comes to stay. Like Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, permanent bases will be built. Occupation, colonization and plunder will follow. 

 

Humanitarian considerations, free elections, and other democratic values are non-starters. 

 

Iron-fisted rule is coming. Libyans know their liberating struggle won't end easily or quickly, but they're committed never to quit.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Anti-Defamation League National Pledge for Unity on Israel

 Anti-Defamation League National Pledge for Unity on Israel - by Stephen Lendman

 

ADL's audacity gives chutzpah new meaning. Whether it's latest scheme works isn't known. However, early indications express displeasure. More on that below.

 

Along with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), ADL's web site calls for a "National Pledge for Unity on Israel," saying:

 

America supported Israel since its 1948 founding. Its friendship transcends politics. It's never been just a party platform plank. It's "a core American policy that serves our nation's most fundamental national interests."

 

For the past six decades, American presidents and congressional leaders "championed the shared values and outlook that bind the two nations."

 

"This broad bipartisan backing has been vital to America's interests and to Israel's security throughout decades of war and a constant struggle for survival."

 

Fact check

 

For decades, Washington's been Israel's paymaster/partner. Together they waged aggressive wars and state terror against nonbelligerent countries, organizations and individuals.

 

Both are unrivaled global menaces. They're scourges on humanity. Annually, Washington grants Israel billions of taxpayer dollars, low or no-interest loans (some never repaid), the latest weapons and technologies, and other benefits afforded no other nation.

 

Israel, in fact, gets more US aid than all other countries combined. In return, they partner in crimes of war and against humanity. Neither respects democratic values, human and civil rights, or rule of law principles. Both are unprincipled rogue states.

 

ADL and other Israel Lobby members pressure administrations and congressional members to provide uncompromising support. Few decline. Now ADL wants more, saying:

 

"Now is the time to reaffirm that Israel's well-being is best served, as it has always been, by American voices raised together in unshakeable support for our friend and ally."

 

ADL's October 19 press release headlined, "ADL and AJC Co-Sponsor National Pledge Calling for Bipartisan Consensus on Israel, saying:

 

Both organizations want "elected officials, religious leaders, community groups and individuals to join them in signing the ‘National Pledge for Unity on Israel.’ “

 

According to AJC executive director David Harris:

 

"If there is one thing candidates for high office and people of all political stripes can agree on, it is the importance of the long tradition of bipartisan support for our friend and ally, Israel."

 

ADL national director Foxman said:

 

"The last thing America and Israel need right now is the distractions of having Israel bandied about as a tool for waging political attacks."

 

Foxman sounds worried about what rarely happens. He underscored his appeal by saying individual and organizational signatories will be published. The implication, of course, indicates names omitted fall short of total support. 

 

He added:

 

"(W)e want the discourse on US support for Israel to avoid the sometimes polarizing debates and political attacks that have emerged in recent weeks, as candidates have challenged their opponents' pro-Israel bona fides or questioned the current administration's foreign policy approach vis-a-vis Israel."

 

Imagine one nation asking others to pledge loyalty as an expression of support. The notion's foreign, unheard of, and arrogant. Few at best would go along, doing so only under heavy pressure or threats.

 

On October 25, Haaretz writer Natasha Mozgovaya addressed the issue in an article headlined, "ADL bid for US bipartisan support for Israel faces staunch resistance," saying:

 

In times of political granstanding ahead of America's 2012 elections, demanding "bipartisan support seems to be a naive pledge," stopping short of calling it unheard of, arrogant, abusive and outrageous.

 

"But it didn't prevent (ADL and AJC) from (wanting) Jewish organizations and individuals to join them in" pledging loyalty to Israel while "preventing the Jewish state from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season."

 

In fact, it never did before so why now? Few congressional members do less. Critics are targeted for removal. Israeli Lobby power is ruthless. Few officeholders and aspirants oppose it. What Israel wants, it gets. 

 

Political support for Israel isn't overwhelming. It's nearly unanimous. The tradition goes back decades, especially since the 1960s.

 

In days, Jewish activists, organizations, and congressional members will receive ADL's pledge by mail. Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) executive director Matt Brooks expressed ire, saying:

 

"This effort to stifle debate on US policy toward Israel runs counter to this American tradition. Accordingly, the RJC will not be silenced on this or any issue."

 

He stopped short of admitting strong Republican support for Israel, no matter his strong rhetoric.

 

At the same time, he added:

 

"An open and vigorous debate on the questions confronting our country is the cornerstone of the American electoral process....For this reason, the RJC will not be a signer to this pledge."

 

The Emergency Committee for Israel also was blunt, saying:

 

"You must be kidding." It promised that "this attempt to silence those of us who have questioned the current administration's foreign policy approach vis-a-vis Israel will reenergize us."

 

"Directors Harris and Foxman need a refresher course on the virtues of free speech and robust debate in a democracy. Their effort to stifle discussion and debate is unworthy of the best traditions of America, and of Israel."

 

At issue, of course, is proving who's Israel's staunchest ally, even though both parties have little disagreement on matters concerning Israel. But they want voters to think one side is more loyal than the other, using rhetoric only to convince them.

 

Nonetheless, Foxman responded, saying:

 

The pledge wants to encourage "measured and thoughtful expressions of different points of view regarding US policy toward Israel. What prompted ADL and AJC to launch this initiative was a desire to ask participants in the political discourse to avoid harsh and personal rhetoric or tactics in the form of attacks on political opponents' positions on Israel."

 

In fact, what ADL, AJL, AIPAC, and other Israel Lobby members demand is assurance that whatever Israel wants it gets. Hasn't it nearly always been that way? 

 

Haven't targets of both countries suffered enough from it? Isn't it high political Washington acted responsibly? 

 

One day perhaps if America's corrupted duopoly is replaced by officials representing popular, not imperial and corporate, interests. It can't happen a moment too soon.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Why Libya Was Attacked

 Why Libya Was Attacked - by Stephen Lendman

 

Obama's March 28, 2011 address at the National Defense University was true to form. It reeked of duplicity, hypocrisy, and ball-faced lies, saying:

 

"For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom."

 

"....(W)e are reluctant to use force to solve the world's many challenges."

 

"But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That's what happened in Libya...."

 

For decades, Libya was "ruled by a tyrant....He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized people around the world - including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents."

 

Substitute Washington for Libya and he got it right. America is a rogue terror state, a menacing plague on humanity.

 

Democratic values, human and civil rights, and rule of law principles are non-starters. 

 

Only corporate and imperial interests matter, not equity, justice, peace on earth, and government of, by and for the people while respecting the sovereign rights of other nations.

 

NATO's war on Libya was planned many months in advance like all wars. Why is most important, or put another way - cui bono? 

 

Official accounts and media scoundrels never explain. Dozens of previous articles discussed relevant issues and answers, including one summarizing what's most important. More on that below.

 

Historical Facts About Libya

 

Like most parts of Africa for centuries, European colonial powers ravaged Libya. During the 1911 Turko/Italian war, Libya was invaded and attacked. Twenty years of resistance challenged Italian colonizers.

 

From 1911 - 1943, Italy's occupation was brutal. Libyans never forgot. After WW II, America, Britain and France dominated the region. In 1951, they combined three distinct regions into Libya - Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the west, and Fezzan in the south.

 

Britain enthroned King Idriss. He let America, Britain and France retain military bases and pursue corporate interests. America's Wheelus Air Base near Tripoli dominated the Mediterranean Basin. Washington wants one or more super-bases built on Libyan land as launching pads against the region. 

 

In 1955, Libyan oil was discovered. Three colonial powers controlled it until Gaddafi's bloodless September 1, 1969 coup, ousting King Idris. It was an anti-imperial socialist revolution. Foreign domination ended. 

 

Gaddafi supported pan-Africanism - a United States of Africa, free from imperial domination. It was a vision shared by Marcus Garvey, Kwame Kkrumah, Sekou Toure, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, William Tubman, Gamal Abd Nasser, and others. More on that below. 

 

He also wanted Libyans to share in the country's oil wealth, a notion foreign to America and other Western societies.

 

Under his 1999 Decision No. 111, all Libyans got free healthcare, education, electricity, water, training, rehabilitation, housing assistance, disability and old-age benefits, interest-free state loans, as well as generous subsidies to study abroad, buy a new car, help couples when they marry, practically free gasoline, and more.

 

Literacy under Gaddafi rose from 20 - 80%. Libya's hospitals and private clinics were some of the region's best. Now they're in shambles. Some, in fact, were bombed or damaged in other fighting. NATO lied saying only military targets were attacked. 

 

NATO's imperial strategy involves targeting civilians and vital infrastructure, including power, communications, medical care facilities, and other essential to life sites.

 

Before war began, Libyans had Africa's highest standard of living. According to David Blundy and Andrew Lycett's book titled, "Qaddafi and the Libyan Revolution.http://www.amazon.com/Qaddafi-Libyan-Revolution-David-Blundy/dp/0316100420"

 

"The young people are well dressed, well fed and well educated....Every Libyan gets free, and often excellent, education, medical and health services. New colleges and hospitals are impressive by any international standard." 

 

"All Libyans have a house or a flat, a car, and most have televisions" and other conveniences. "Compared with most citizens of Third World countries, and with many (others), Libyans have it very good indeed," including decent housing or a rent-free apartment.

 

Gaddafi's Green Book, in fact, states, "The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others." It also covers other beneficial social policies, saying:

  •  
  • "Women, like men, are human beings.

 

  • ....(A)ll individuals have a natural right to self-expression by any means....;

 

  • In a socialist society no person may own a private means of transportation for the purpose of renting to others, because this represents controlling the needs of others.

 

  • The democratic system is a cohesive structure whose foundation stones are firmly laid above the other (through People's Conferences and Committees). There is absolutely no conception of democratic society other than this.

 

  • No representation of the people - representation is a falsehood. The existence of parliaments underlies the absence of the people, for democracy can only exist with the presence of the people and not in the presence of representatives of the people."

 

Green Book ideology rejects Western-style democracy and predatory capitalism, especially neoliberal exploitation. It's one of many reasons why Gaddafi was ousted.

 

He provided impressive social benefits, including free land, equipment, livestock and seeds for agriculture to foster self-sufficient food production. Moreover, all basic food items were subsidized and sold through a network of "people's shops."

 

Moreover, since the 1960s, women had the right to vote and participate politically. They can also own and sell property independently of their husbands. Under the December 1969 Constitutional Proclamation Clause 5, they have equal status with men, including for education and employment, even though men play leading roles in society.

 

Until Washington and NATO blocked its approval, the UN Human Rights Council Libyan praised Gaddafi in its January 2011 "Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Libya Arab Jamahiriya." 

 

It said his government protected "not only political rights, but also economic, educational, social and cultural rights." It also lauded his treatment of religious minorities, and "human rights training" of its security forces.

 

In eight months, NATO's killing machine destroyed 42 years of achievements, benefitting all Libyans. Why else would overwhelming numbers support him?

 

After NATO attacked, hundreds of thousands rallied openly for him. On July 1, 95% of Tripoli's population (over a million strong) expressed support in Green Square. 

 

Before the war, he felt safe enough to drive unprotected through Tripoli streets. Residents lined up to cheer him. Some despot! 

 

America and other Western societies should have ones like him. Imperial wars would end. So would homelessness, hunger and human depravation. Instead, "new world order" imperialists want super-wealth and power shared only by their privileged few. 

 

Libya is one of many targets. Others will follow to extinguish freedom everywhere if they succeed. Universal opposition needs to stop them. Failure can't be tolerated. The alternative is too grim to imagine.

 

Why Gaddafi Was Targeted

 

Information below was discussed earlier. It bears repeating now. Gaddafi's vision marked him for removal. It was just a matter of when, even though he cooperated with Western powers post-9/11 on matters of intelligence and terrorism.

 

Until vilified and targeted, he was welcomed in Western capitals. In 2003, he came in from the cold, became a valued Western ally, and had meetings and discussions with top officials like UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, France's Nicolas Sarkozy, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and others. 

 

He also participated in the 2009 G-8 Summit in L-Aquila, Italy as Chairman of the African Union. At the time, he met and shook hands with Obama.

 

Moreover, ABC News interviewed him live, and on January 21, 2009, The New York Times published his op-ed headlined, "The One-State Solution" to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He called "living under one roof....the only option for a lasting peace."

 

On May 16, 2006, Washington restored full diplomatic relations, removing Libya from its state sponsors of terrorism list. At the time, Rice called the move:

 

"tangible results that flow from the historic decisions taken by Libya's leadership in 2003 to renounce terrorism and to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs....Libya is an important model as nations around the world press for changes in behavior by the Iranian and North Korean regimes."

 

She also praised Gaddafi's "excellent cooperation" in fighting terrorism. Moreover, he opened Libya's markets to Western interests by arranging deals with Big Oil giants BP, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Occidental, France's Total, Italy's Eni Gas and others. By all appearances, he joined the club, so why turn on him?

 

Though on board in some ways, he very much wasn't on others. He supported Palestinian rights, opposed Israel's occupation and Gaza's siege. 

 

Earlier he backed anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa, as well as others in Northern Ireland, Spain, and elsewhere.

 

He had nothing to do with downing Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Neither did Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi. Scottish judges knew he was innocent but were pressured to convict.

 

Gaddafi never admitted fault. He took responsibility solely to have international sanctions removed. To this day, he and al-Megrahi stand falsely accused. Likely CIA /MI6/and/or Mossad involvement is never mentioned.

 

America tried and failed numerous times to assassinate him, including Ronald Reagan's 1986 attempt. CIA covert efforts financed opposition groups. In 1981, they helped establish the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) and its militant wing called the Libyan National Army based in Egypt near Libya's border.

 

Along with US and UK Special Forces, it was directly involved in instigating insurrection last February. It wasn't homegrown. As in Syria, it was externally generated.

 

Gaddafi opted out of AFRICOM. It's one of nine global Pentagon commands to control Africa and the Mediterranean Basin, including its strategic energy transit routes and choke points, crucial to keep open for world economies. 

 

All African countries participate except Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, and Libya until now. He also backed an initiative to create a United States of Africa, whereas Washington wants easily exploitable divisions. More on that below.

 

Besides ranked ninth in the world with 42 billion proved barrels of oil reserves (and large amounts of gas), its untapped potential is believed much greater. Moreover, being nearly sulfur-free, it's even more valued for its extremely high quality. At issue isn't access, it's control over who develops, produces and receives it in what amounts.

 

In January 2009, Gaddafi wanted to nationalize Libyan oil, but his timetable faced internal resistance. According to Pravda.ru's March 25, 2011 article titled, "Reason for war? Gaddafi wanted to nationalise oil," he considered the option because of low oil prices at the time, saying:

 

"The oil-exporting countries should opt for nationalisation because of the rapid fall in oil prices. We must put the issue on the table and discuss it seriously. Oil should be owned by the State at this time, so we could better control prices by the increase or decrease in production."

 

In February 2009, he asked for public support to distribute Libya's oil wealth directly to the people. However, senior officials feared losing their jobs "due to a parallel plan by Gaddafi to rid the state of corruption." Possible capital flight was also an issue.

 

As a result, Libya's Popular Committee voted 468 - 64 to delay nationalization plans, even though a 251 majority viewed doing so as positive.

 

Note: Gaddafi didn't consider how powerful insiders manipulate all markets up or down for profit, including oil, irrespective of demand. It's brazen fraud but goes on all the time, especially on Wall Street in collusion with Washington.

 

Libya's Great Man-Made River (GMMR) was developing an ocean-sized aquifer beneath the desert for irrigation, human consumption, and other uses. At 2007 consumption rates, it could last 1,000 years. No wonder Gaddafi calls his Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) the "Eighth Wonder of the World." 

 

At issue, of course, is privatizing it, making water unaffordable for many, including most Libyans. In other words, Western predators want it exploited for maximum profits, not equitable use as a public resource.

 

Ellen Brown's April 13 article titled, "Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking?" raised another, easily overlooked, issue. Who controls Libya's money, the lifeblood of every economy? In 1970, Henry Kissinger said, "Control oil and you control nations. Control food and you control people." He left out money, the supreme power to control everything because without it economies collapse. 

 

At issue is public or private control like most nations, including America under Wall Street's owned and operated Federal Reserve. 

 

Under Gaddafi, the Central Bank of Libya was state owned. In other words, it created its own money, the Libyan Dinar, interest free to be used productively for economic growth, not speculation, profits and bonuses for predatory bankers.

 

However, after Washington's led NATO intervention, the privately controlled Central Bank of Benghazi was established to let Western bankers, not Libyans, run things. Money control indeed appears an important reason for intervening, perhaps most important of all.

 

On April 24, Manlio Dinucci's Global Research article headlined, "Financial Heist of the Century: Confiscating Libya's Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF)," saying:

 

Besides money, oil, gas, water, and other reasons, the "Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) manages" an estimated $70 billion, "rising to more than $150 billion (including) foreign investments of the Central Bank and other bodies. But it might be more."

 

Confiscation gives US/NATO interests easy money for their own purposes. In fact, besides war, the business of America is grand theft in league with Western partners, Wall Street and other corporate interests.

 

Gaddafi promoted pan-African unity, a United States of Africa he hoped to lead against Western powers wanting balkanized easily-controlled states. 

 

Libya was central to Africa's independence, including freedom from predatory central banks and international lending agencies, acting as loan sharks of last resort.

 

He also funded Africa's only communications satellite. In doing so, he saved hundreds of millions of dollars for low-cost incoming and outgoing calls.

 

In addition, he allocated two-thirds of the $42 billion needed to launch a public African Central Bank (HQ'd in Nigeria), an African Monetary Fund based in Cameroon, and an African Investment Bank HQ'd in Libya.

 

The Obama administration stole the money and prevented it. If established, it would have provided low-cost (or perhaps interest-free) loans for health, education, and other social projects, as well as vital infrastructure development in participating African states.

 

Washington and NATO partners destroyed his vision to rape Libya for profit and exploit its people. That imperialism's core element. Gaddafi wanted none of it. As a result, he had to go.

 

He advocated a new "Gold Standard," replacing dollars with gold dinars. African and Muslim states supported it to provide real monetary wealth and value, free from predatory lending agencies and depreciating fiat currencies.

 

Washington determined to prevent it to maintain petrodollar recycling and dollar hegemony as the world's reserve currency.

 

In 1977, Gaddafi transformed the Libyan Republic into the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya - a "state of the masses." In 1979, he established direct participatory democracy, devolving power to tribal leaders. In 1986, Libya became the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

 

A revolutionary leader, Gaddafi was a visionary. He wanted Libya's society based on equity, justice and fair distribution of wealth. Nasser said he represented Arab nationalism and unity.

 

His faults aside, Libyans supported him overwhelmingly. They still do. His spirit drives their revolutionary struggle for freedom. They won't quit until it's achieved.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

What Next for Libya?

 What Next for Libya? - by Stephen Lendman

 

Jamahiriya loyalists hope he's alive, not dead. Either way, his bigger than life spirit inspires Libyans and others wanting freedom - not terror bombing, occupation, colonization, pillaging, exploitation, and misery.

 

NATO's war on Libya is one of history's great crimes. Democratic values and truth never had a chance. Responsibility to protect duplicity terrorized and massacred civilians like crazed assassins.

 

Terror bombing continues daily. So do unspeakable rebel rat atrocities and ravaging Libya's landscape. 

 

NATO is a rogue killing machine. Coalition partners are complicit in mass murder. Obama, Clinton and those around them are war criminals multiple times over. 

 

Gratuitous slaughter, mass destruction, barbarism, lawlessness, and pillaging define their agenda. Libya was raped for profit and regional dominance. No one anywhere should tolerate imperial lawlessness on a scale beyond measure.

 

Jamahiriya freedom fighters won't quit until their mother of all struggles is won. With or without Gaddafi, they'll go on or die trying. Libya belongs to them, not NATO. Exorcising NATO's killing machine is job one.

 

On October 23, NSNBC called Gaddafi "larger than life," believing sadly he's gone, adding:

 

"Today is one of the days where I am desperately looking for words." They can't explain the depravity of murdering Gaddafi and his son Mutassim. It's another "outrage of the inhumanity of a war based on the betrayal of all who believe in humanitarian principles and humanity."

 

Taking him, however, fuels greater than ever resistance. Libyans want freedom. Gaddafi's spirit emboldens revolutionary passion. 

 

Bigger than life, he's with Lumumba, Marti, Fidel, Gandhi, Mao, Trotsky, Lenin, Che, Allende, Marulanda, Aristide, MLK, Malcolm, Mandela, Attaturk, Zapata, Bolivar, Frederick Douglas, and history's many other prominent and lesser known figures.

 

Unless somehow he survived, he remains only in spirit. He wasn't found hiding underground. Nor did he beg rebel rats not to shoot him. In Sirte, he fought openly and valiantly on the front lines with fellow Jamahiriya loyalists. 

 

Official reports of his capture were lies, first one account, then another. None were believable. Nor were alleged liberation day celebrations. Loyalists call it occupation day, a day of shame and mourning.

 

Video footage showed fake images of thousands assembled euphorically. Last summer's sham Tripoli liberation was produced weeks earlier in Doha, Qatar. Perhaps this one as well.

 

On Sunday, hundreds of rebel rats rallied. Libyan loyalists wouldn't come out with no reason to celebrate a scourge they won't tolerate. 

 

Counterpsyops cited an unnamed reporter saying he "didn't see a SINGLE local out on the streets celebrating the 'new Libya.' "

 

NSNBC believes tribal leaders elected Saif Islam Gaddafi their new leader. If he's killed, another will replace him. Loyalists have many heros, including two or three remaining sons - Mohammed Saidi, Hannibal, and perhaps military commander Khamis.

 

Reported captured or killed several times, he turned up alive and well. If in custody or dead now, rebel rats would display him. No images suggests he leads his Khamis Brigade in battle.

 

"Fighting in Sabah, Bani Walid, Sirte, Benghazi, Tripoli," and other cities throughout Libya show loyalists won't quit until free. Gaddafi's spirit in their hearts and minds won't tolerate less. Tribal leaders want revenge. So do millions of Libyans.

 

A Final Comment

 

October 20 events didn't liberate Libya. It's the beginning, not end, of protracted struggle perhaps for years. 

 

On October 23, Obama duplicitously "congratulated the people of Libya on today's declaration of liberation. After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise."

 

Obama's the embodiment of evil, an inveterate liar, a serial killer, and war criminal multiple times over. He matched the worst of Bush and exceeded him. Libyans and free people everywhere revile him. One day they'll have the last word. 

 

Liberation never comes easily or quickly. For sure, it's worth protracted struggle to achieve, no matter the cost. 

 

Gaddafi was no coward or quitter. Neither are Libyans and others throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. 

 

Their liberating struggle continues. It won't end until America's imperial scourge is vanquished, and NATO's consigned to the dustbin of history. It's just a matter of time.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Anti-Democratic Knesset Bills

 Anti-Democratic Knesset Bills - by Stephen Lendman

 

Knesset summer session bills grievously harm civil and human rights if passed. Basic freedoms are at risk, including speech, assembly, association, and right to dissent.

 

On October 16, a Haaretz editorial addressed one measure affecting press freedom headlined, "Free press in Israel is in danger," saying:

 

Knesset extremists want to silence it "through the threat of libel suits that would jeopardize the economic foundations of the media outlets."

 

Last week, Knesset Law and Justice Committee chairman David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu party) approved MK Yariv Levin's (Likud) bill for first reading. It calls for more punitive libel compensation from 50,000 to NIS 300,000 (Israeli new shekel) with no need to prove damages.

 

Moreover, the penalty could rise to NIS 1.5 million if the complainant's response isn't published in full.

 

Levin claimed "freedom of expression is not freedom of transgression." MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) wants Israelis protected from "the great power of the media."

 

Neither addressed core democratic principles. Free expression is fundamental. Feigning support for civil rights, both want press freedom silenced. At issue is preventing criticism of business, government, and other influential figures.

 

"For years now, democracy in Israel has been under attack from the right-wing parties....(They) control the Knesset and enjoy" protective Kadima support in their efforts to establish 'Jewish supremacy' using the tools of law."

 

Israel's "Prohibition on Instituting a Boycott" law prohibits actions against Israeli products, persons and activities connected to Israel and its settlements. 

 

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said passage gravely weakened Israeli democracy. So did other enacted measures. Those now pending may destroy it entirely.

 

ACRI discussed them in its summer Knesset review. They include:

 

Committees of Inquiry to Investigate NGOs

 

Two pending bills seek to establish committees of inquiry into NGO financing. So far neither measure passed. Rejecting them as written in July, they may be reintroduced in new form. At issue is targeting NGOs critical of Israeli policies.

 

An Amendment to the 2002 Civil Service Law

 

If enacted, applicants with Israeli military or other national service will receive preferential treatment regardless of qualifications. Arabs will be marginalized. 

 

The measure violates Israel's Equal Opportunity in Employment Law. The bill passed its first reading. So far, no further action was taken.

 

An Amendment to Israel's Anti-Defamation Law

 

Passage will permit libel suits and criminal prosecutions against anyone slandering Israel or its institutions. It would also let affected persons bring civil suits. NGOs critical of Israeli policies are specifically targeted. No action so far was taken.

 

Amending Israel's Income Tax Ordinance (Taxation of Public Institutions Receiving Contributions from Foreign Political Entities)

 

NGOs, mainly human rights ones, are again targeted by imposing a 45% tax on foreign contributions received. State funded organizations will be exempt. No action so far was taken.

 

Amending the Associations Law (Prohibition of Support from a Foreign State Entity to Political NGOs in Israel)

 

If passed, human rights organizations will be prohibited from accepting foreign contributions exceeding 20,000 NIS annually. Bill explanatory notes say:

 

"(M)any organizations operating under the guise of 'human rights groups' come here to influence the political discourse, the character, and the policies of the State of Israel."

 

Hearings so far were postponed. Foreign affairs and other officials fear the measure harms Israel's image. So do others reviewed in this article and bills now law.

 

The Courthouses Bill Amendment (Transparency in the Appointment of Supreme Court Justices and in the Appointment of the President and Vice-President of the Supreme Court)

 

The measure seeks to establish public hearings and making appointments dependent on the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

 

At issue is politicizing appointments, violating separation of powers, and further weakening checks and balances. The bill was tabled. No further action was taken.

 

Return of the Wisconsin Program

 

The bill aims to give far-reaching powers to corporations at the expense of workers. They include authority to deny them income support benefits that provide social safety net protection for families with no other income source.

 

Privatizing this power will deprive hundreds of thousands of employees of their right to live in dignity, besides issues of liberty, property and privacy. 

 

Passage also will violate Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. It would expand the program nationwide as fixed policy. ACRI strongly opposed the original Wisconsin Plan. It promises strong opposition to this one. It's being debated in the Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee.

 

Planning and Building Reform

 

This measure would replace the current Planning and Building Law. According to the Council for Responsible Planning, the bill damages the public's interest and violates environmental standards.

 

Among other issues, it fails to ensure fair representation on planning councils. It gives no clear authority to government over local concerns. It impairs citizen rights to oppose plans and appeal council decisions. 

 

It excludes provisions for public decision making participation. It also omits mechanisms to ensure social interests such as social consulting, social impact studies, assuring affordable housing, and others.

 

Under debate, the measure's preparing for its second and third readings.

 

The National Housing Committees Law

 

The bill potentially harms public and social interests by bypassing Planning and Building Law provisions. It excludes local planning committee authority to promote affordable housing in neighborhoods of mixed social character. It's discriminatory and unfair.

 

It passed the Knesset plenum last August.

 

Amending the Entry into Israel Law, it authorizes a "Tribunal for Foreign Nationals" to hear issues relating to legal residency, including for children of permanent residents.

 

It lets both Interior and Justice ministries rule on immigration and residency status of non-Jews. Concentrating executive, legislative and judicial authority this way violates democratic principles, including separation of powers, public court proceedings, and judicial fairness.

 

It also harms non-citizen and permanent resident spouses, East Jerusalem children, migrant workers, stateless persons and others. The Interior Committee approved the measure for its second and third readings.

 

Prevention of Infiltrators Law

 

It authorizes arrest of asylum seekers and their children for up to three years. Israel's Entry into Israel Law permits up to 60 days.

 

If passed, every asylum seeker potentially could face criminal prosecution and imprisonment for up to five years. It also applies to anyone aiding and abetting them. Repeat offenders may face 15 years.

 

The bill trashes fundamental human rights principles. The Committee on Internal Affairs is debating it in preparation for its second and third readings.

 

Enforcement and Protection of Public Safety Bill

 

The measure dramatically expands municipal inspectors' powers, authorizing them to prevent violence in local jurisdictions. It abrogates state responsibility to provide essential services to all its citizens. Instead, it would transfer core services to local municipalities.

 

The original text was draconian. It's now softened but still worrisome. It permits conflict of interest and the politicization of law enforcement. At the same time, it widens the gap between law enforcement in various communities.

 

It discriminates on the basis of religion, ethnicity, and nationality. It lacks an independent, effective way to handle public complaints. It also gives inspectors police powers.

 

The Committee on Internal Affairs approved it as a Temporary Order. Valid for two years, it applies only to 13 localities already running a pilot project. A final vote is expected soon.

 

Prisons Ordinance (Amendment 32 - Preventing a Prisoner from Meeting with a Specific Lawyer)

 

The measure seeks to prevent security prisoners from consultations with specific lawyers, based on secret information. It also applies without having to prove attorneys committed improper behavior.

 

Israeli law already prevents lawyer/client meetings in cases involving (secret) suspicions it could be used to commit a crime, endangering public security or prison discipline.

 

The proposed amendment goes further, and lengthens  incarceration periods before judicial oversight is required. It violates fundamental prisoner rights. Approved for second and third readings, a final vote is expected soon.

 

Criminal Procedures Law (Powers of Enforcement - Bodily Searches and Means of Identification, Amendment 3)

 

Earlier legislation authorized establishing a genetic database. Doing so raised privacy and dignity issues. It also enhances law enforcement. As a result, balances and limits were imposed on what data could be stored, how, and how it's used.

 

The current measure overturns this delicate balance, intrusively affecting privacy. It authorizes more bodies (including international ones) to receive information. It also lets more types of information be collected and maintained.

 

The bill passed.

 

Biometric Database Pilot

 

The measure authorizes establishing it with little attention paid to issues causing other governments to reject similar projects. Nonetheless, regulatory oversight was approved by a special Knesset committee with little debate.

 

Planning and Construction Law (Proposed Amendment - Financing the Demolition of Illegal Construction at the Expense of the Builder)

 

The measure proposes doing so without judicial review and without letting builders demolish structures themselves. State costs are much higher.

 

Second and third readings were approved. The bill is seriously flawed despite moderating its original form. Further Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee debate is expected.

 

Entry into Israel Law (Amendment 21)

 

The measure pertains to work permits given migrant workers. It seeks to restore binding them to one employer. Israel's High Court earlier ruled it illegal, calling it "a modern form of slavery."

 

The bill was approved to become law after its second and third readings.

 

Counter-Terrorism Bill

 

It seeks to legally anchor "state of emergency" regulations regarding the fight against terrorism into permanent legislation. Its provisions are draconian, threatening irreversible human rights damage.

 

Administrative detention and control orders are established, authorizing anti-democratic authority to arrest and detain people indefinitely without charge.

 

Secret evidence may be used. Terrorist organizations and acts of terror are broadly defined. Illegal interrogation methods may be used. New rules contradict basic criminal law standards.

 

Unchecked executive branch authority is granted without trial based on uncorroborated suspicions. The measure is classic police state extremism. The bill passed its first reading in August.

 

Authority to Protect Public Safety Bill (Amendment - Police Search Authority)

 

The measure lets police conduct intrusive searches at places of entertainment and in their vicinity, even without suspicion of wrongdoing. It essentially grants police state authority to discriminate on the basis of religion, ethnicity, nationality and other inappropriate criteria.

 

Proposed Amendment to the Police Ordinance (Obligation to Wear Identification Tags)

 

The measure seeks to require police to identify themselves. ACRI supports the bill. Earlier it wrote police authorities about concerns regarding masked police and other disguises.

 

Police now condone it, especially when confronting demonstrations. The bill passed its first reading.

 

Discrimination against Women within the National Insurance Law

 

Under current law, the National Insurance Institute (NII) defines women who haven't worked for four consecutive years as housewives, regardless of how long previously employed.

 

Housewives don't pay insurance premiums. As a result, they forfeit some of rights. A Labor, Welfare and Health Committee raised the problem. The NII assistant director said legislation was being prepared to address it. At this time, nothing further is known.

 

Water

 

ACRI calls water a fundamental human right. It emphasizes state responsibility to ensure equitable distribution without discrimination. High water rates charged by private corporations pose problems. ACRI seeks legislative relief.

 

A Final Comment

 

Israel's current Knesset under Netanyahu is its worst ever. Repressive legislation threatens Arabs and Jews. Democracy is illusory, not real. Bad conditions worsen.

 

Civilized societies accept all citizens as equals, or should. Israel rejects that standard, even for most Jews.

 

Israeli Arabs never had rights. Increasing numbers of Jews are now affected. Wealthy and privileged ones prosper at the expense of others. Israel resembles America. Social justice and democratic freedoms in both countries are fast disappearing.

 

Recent and current Knesset legislation gravely endanger them. It's time for Israelis to rally again like last summer for social justice. Otherwise they may lose out entirely.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

  

Israeli Settlement Construction Jeopardizes Palestinian Statehood Plans

 Israeli Settlement Construction Jeopardizes Palestinian Statehood Plans - by Stephen Lendman

 

Palestinians want and deserve long denied full UN de jure membership and official statehood recognition, including all rights granted other members.

 

On September 23, Abbas formally petitioned the Security Council. Normally it reviews applications for a maximum 35 days. Whether or not America vetos Palestine's bid is irrelevant. It solely recommends. Only the General Assembly admits new members.

 

Abbas can petition it through the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution 377 for an up or down two-thirds member vote to override potential Security Council rejection or inaction.

 

More than enough GA support assures what could have been gotten days ago regardless of Security Council members do or don't do. 

 

On September 26, informal discussions began. No quick decision is expected. Washington plans obstruction, delay, and subversion, hoping to scuttle the idea entirely.

 

On October 21, new Council members were elected by secret ballot. In January, Pakistan, Morocco, Togo and Guatemala will replace Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria, Gabon, Bosnia. After a second round vote, either Azerbaijan or Slovenia will join them.

 

Palestinian officials claim support from nine Council members, enough to force Washington to veto. If resolution isn't achieved before January, slippage is certain as Pakistan, Morocco and Guatemala most likely will back America.

 

On October 23, Ma'an News said Security Council members will finalize membership plans on November 11. Diplomats say voting then should occur.

 

An unnamed senior diplomat said:

 

"(T)he 11th (of November) will probably be the end of the Security Council consideration process, one way or the other. If the Palestinians want a vote, there will be" one.

 

Whether, in fact, Washington will have final say remains unknown, but don't discount its high-powered pressure and threats to get its way. 

 

Indications now suggest PLO officials want the vote, but events ahead could change things. For example, if efforts to revive peace talks succeed, Security Council resolution may be delayed to let them proceed before acting.

 

At this time, however, Israel's refusal to halt settlement construction stalemates discussions. Palestinians won't resume them unless that condition's met. At least it's their rhetorical position.

 

More important is Palestinian statehood viability as Israel keeps stealing more West Bank/East Jerusalem land. If Palestine becomes the UN's 194 member, it may annex it, no matter how illegal. 

 

If so, what then? Isolated cantonized statehood is none whatever. In 1948, Palestinians lost 78% of historic Palestine, in 1967 the rest now occupied. 

 

They want that portion back unoccupied. Backed by Washington, Israel stands firmly opposed. That's where things now stand with no resolution in sight unless Abbas petitions the General Assembly under Resolution 377.

 

So far, he hasn't raised the possibility, suggesting he'll subvert the aspirations of his own people by not acting responsibly.

 

On October 23, Haaretz writer Sarah Kreimer headlined, "East Jerusalem construction scuttling two-state solution," saying:

 

In spite of shortages in Israel putting housing affordability out of reach for growing numbers, settlement construction proceeds apace.

 

"(W)hat's wrong," asked Kreimer, "with the recent government decision to advance the construction of 2,610 apartments in Givat Hamatos in (East) Jerusalem?"

 

Calling it a "neighborhood" can't disguise Israel's first new settlement since Har Homa in 1997. Its development stoked international controversy. Will Givat Hamatos provoke more?

 

Is it "Netanyahu's 'price tag' for the Palestinian decision to apply for UN membership?" Is it his way of saying nyet?

 

With no public debate, the project's proceeding "piece by piece. (It's) unilaterally sealing the southern border of annexed East Jerusalem with Israeli construction."

 

Moreover, in the past year, Israel approved or advanced 5,000 more homes in the same area, including 2,000 to expand Gilo toward Wallajeh and Beit Jala. In addition, another 1,000 will enlarge Har Homa toward Beit Sahur.

 

Now 2,000 more will link Har Homa with Gilo as Israel gradually steals all East Jerusalem to entirely prevent Palestinians from claiming it as their rightful capital.

 

Besides expropriating all valued Judea and Samaria land, Israel also wants Palestinian statehood viability subverted. In other words, if not enough land remains within 1967 borders and East Jerusalem is entirely colonized, what remains is no state at all.

 

As a result, Israel's expansion plans "wreak havoc with the one set of principles agreed upon by most Israeli and Palestinian negotiators." Under them, Gilo would become part of Israel in return for other land within Green Line borders.

 

In addition, remaining East Jerusalem territory would stay uncolonized as Palestine's capital. However, Israel's ongoing and planned construction forecloses two-state viability entirely. 

 

Moreover, without halting construction and resolving Jerusalem's borders, peace talks are a non-starter.

 

There's more. Givat Hamatos, an Ethiopian Jewish ghetto, will surround Palestinian Beit Safafa, stealing "the last available land reserves that would let this" neighborhood grow.

 

Israel says one thing and does another. At issue is preventing peace and subverting Palestinian statehood viability. 

 

Nonetheless, Netanuyahu rhetorically rejects unilateralism at the same time relentlessly pursing it. Expanding Gilo, Givat Hamatos and other illegal settlements resonates louder than promises made, then broken. 

 

Netanyahu is a notorious liar. Palestinians know, or should, he's no reliable peace partner. Nor will he compromise an inch to let Palestine become the UN's 194 member. 

 

Palestinians are on their own to get it. It's high time, PA leaders tried.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Israel Arrests Palestinians While Releasing Others

 Israel Arrests Palestinians While Releasing Others - by Stephen Lendman

 

In mid-October, Netanyahu's cabinet agreed to free 1,027 Palestinian political prisoners in two waves (including 27 women and nearly 300 children) in return for Hamas releasing Gilad Shalit after over five years in captivity.

 

Wave one is completed, freeing 477 Palestinians. In two months, phase two will release another 550. According to terms, 203 will be deported, 40 exiled overseas, and 163 expelled to Gaza.

 

Currently, Israel still holds over 5,000 detainees. As a result of torture, medical neglect, or assassinations, over 200 died martyrs in captivity. Another 302 are called "veteran detainees," serving 17 years or longer. 

 

Another 136 serving 20 years or more are called "Deans of Detainees." "Generals of Patience" is a term applied to prisoners incarcerated over 25 years. As of October, they number 41.

 

On October 18, Ma'an News reported Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouq saying Israel agreed to lift Gaza's siege in return for releasing Shalit.

 

He "told Palestine TV that Israel had used Shalit as a pretext to blockade Gaza but there (were) 'unofficial agreements' to end it during talks with a German mediator."

 

According to Abu Marzouq, "This was confirmed in the last negotiations."

 

For years it's been known that security wasn't why Israel imposed it, despite disingenuous public statements. Israel blockaded Gaza in mid-2006, then hardened its siege a year later.

 

Despite assurances of ending it now, Israel may renege by reinterpreting terms. Many times it says one thing and does another. Its promises are hollow and disingenuous. 

 

In 2010, it promised a 10-month construction moratorium but never stopped building settlements. On October 21, Haaretz said Palestinians confirmed Israel's offer to partially halt construction in return for resuming peace talks. 

 

Why believe what Israel reneged on before. Duplicity defines decades of dealings with Palestinians. Nothing now will change.

 

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

 

Israel can't be trusted. Its promises lack credibility and honor. Despite releasing 447 prisoners and promising another 550, new arrests are made regularly. More on that below.

 

On October 20, Electronic Intifada (EI) bylined Shahd Abusalama saying, "My husband was kidnapped by Israel," explaining 19 years of forced separation. In 1993, soldiers violently arrested him at night. It's standard Israeli state terror, including against children.

 

Another EI story featured a mother prevented from visiting her son after release from prison. She waited 10 years to hug him. Deported to Gaza, he can't come home. Chances for her to visit Gaza are slim.

 

Dozens of other stories replicate theirs. They're compounded by loved ones incarcerated years under hellish conditions for the crime of wanting freedom on their own land in their own country. Israel calls them terrorists.

 

On October 21, Ma'an News said Israeli police detained 14 Palestinians Thursday (including three women and several Jews) while demonstrating peacefully at Hasharon prison for all incarcerated Palestinians to be freed. 

 

They're political prisoners, not criminals. Israel called their protest illegal for acting without official authorization. Muhammad Kananeh told Ma'an that police dispersed dozens of protesters forcefully.

 

Hurriyat (Freedom) Society and activist youths organized the protest. Nearly always, Israeli security forces attack demonstrators violently with batons, tear gas, rubber bullets, and occasionally live fire.

 

Israel is a rogue terror state. It's occupied Palestine lawlessly for decades, violating international law with impunity. Besieged Gazans have especially suffered under what's best described as slow-motion genocide.

 

On October 20, Palestine Telegraph headlined, "Settlers, soldiers attack Palestinian schools,” saying:

 

Right-wing settlers and Israeli soldiers attacked "students and teachers in Qurtuba and Susiya schools in Hebron."

 

Qurtuba's principal, Ibtisam Al-Jondi, said Anat Cohen settlement extremists attacked students as they left school. Deputy principal Feryal Abu Haykal and several Palestinians intervened to help.

 

Soldiers arrested her and another Palestine. Al-Jondi said soldiers prevented teachers and students from entering the schools "via the usual road, under the pretext of a decision by" Israeli authorities.

 

Settlers followed students home and attacked them. Susiya school was targeted, forcing teachers and students out, "according to the Popular Committee Coordinator in Yatta near Hebron."

 

He said soldiers and civil administration officials "stormed the school and beat several students, then forced" them and teachers to leave.

 

Attacks on both schools were unprovoked. Regular incidents like these traumatize young students, especially because nowhere is Occupied Palestine safe.

 

In its October 20, weekly report on Israeli human rights violations, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) continued its regular accounts of Israeli state terror, saying:

 

Peaceful West Bank protesters were attacked violently. Dozens of civilians and human rights activists "suffered from tear gas inhalation. In Hebron, six Palestinians, including three children, sustained bruises."

 

Israeli soldiers conducted 47 lawless incursions into Palestinian communities, an average of seven a day. Twelve Palestinians were arrested, including two children.

 

At a West Bank checkpoint, another three Palestinians were arrested, including a child. Israel treats children young as 10 like adults, terrorizing them with threats of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. In detention, they're often beaten and threatened with sexual abuse.

 

Israel plans a new settlement between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. About 950 dunums of Palestinian land will be stolen to build it. Owners who resist will be arrested, detained, and brutalized in prison.

 

Soldiers also razed 30 dunums of agricultural land east of Salfit. In addition, they attacked Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron. Settlers terrorized farmers harvesting olives in the West Bank.

 

Soldiers assaulted peaceful demonstrators against Israel's Separation Wall. Dozens of Palestinians and human rights activists suffered from tear gas inhalation.

 

On October 16, soldiers attacked civilians, including school children at a peaceful sit-in against Israel prohibiting teachers and students from going to Hebron's Cordoba School. Six civilians, including three children, were injured.

 

A Final Comment

 

On October 20, Palestine Chronicle raised concerns about 164 children in Israeli custody. Sentenced or detained for alleged stone-throwing, it's unclear if they'll be included in wave two.

 

"UNICEF calls on the Israeli Government to release Palestinian child detainees so that they can be reunited with their families," said UNICEF OPT representative Jean Gough. 

 

"As stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the detention of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time."

 

Annually, about 700 Palestinian children aged 12 - 17 are arrested, interrogated, detained and tried in Israeli military courts. Most are pronounced guilty by accusation. Few committed crimes.

 

UNICEF said 7,000 Palestinian children went through Israel's penal system in the past decade. Most were traumatized. None deserved being brutalized Israeli-style.

 

Many times earlier Israeli released Palestinian detainees only to arrest many more. No one is safe under occupation. Middle-of-the-night arrests and detention threaten everyone. 

 

Children especially are affected. Many never recover from their ordeal. Pay less attention to what Israel says and focus on what it does daily. Palestinians call it brutalizing state terror. 

 

They don't exaggerate or deserve being treated lawlessly out of sight and mind from Western media that ignore them. 

 

Why else would most want nothing less than liberation after 63 traumatizing years. Hopefully, an end to their ordeal draws near.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Random Image

10_4
 

חדשות

שלישי 13 דצמבר 2011
שני 12 דצמבר 2011
שבת 10 דצמבר 2011
חמישי 8 דצמבר 2011
רביעי 7 דצמבר 2011
שלישי 6 דצמבר 2011
שני 5 דצמבר 2011
שבת 3 דצמבר 2011
חמישי 1 דצמבר 2011
רביעי 30 נובמבר 2011
שלישי 29 נובמבר 2011
שני 28 נובמבר 2011
ראשון 27 נובמבר 2011
חמישי 24 נובמבר 2011
רביעי 23 נובמבר 2011
 

Other Press

רביעי 9 נובמבר 2011
רביעי 19 אוקטובר 2011
שני 17 אוקטובר 2011
חמישי 8 ספטמבר 2011
ראשון 21 אוגוסט 2011
שישי 3 יוני 2011
עוד...
 

שלב תכנים

שלב תוכן Features

שלב תוכן Newswire