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I am found of what happens in Middle East. Here I recollect and comment such eventsa.


 

A Friend of my Father: Iran’s Manipulation of Bashar al-Assad (By Bassam Barabandi and Tyler Jess Thompson) - 24-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - n March 2011, just a few days after the uprisings began in Syria, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, made an unannounced visit to Damascus. He came with a clear message: Do not give in to the Arab Spring in Syria. Jalili met with President Bashar al-Assad and his top advisors to propose what he called a new "Iron Curtain" with Iran and Russia against a Western conspiracy in the region. Assad took the offer despite his father’s efforts to keep his dubious Iranian ally at arm’s length. Now the world watches as Iran increases its influence in both Syria and Lebanon, building toward an improved bargaining position with the West. By design, this process will soon render Bashar dispensable to all sides...
 

After The Ceasefire: Searching for Accountability (by Noura Erakat) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - On 26 August 2014, Israel and Palestinian resistance groups entered into a long-term ceasefire agreement. The agreement looks almost exactly like the November 2012 ceasefire, including a lack of implementation mechanisms. The vague terms leave to question whether the Gaza Strip and its besieged population will be adequately rehabilitated. Worse, if the parities fail to make the agreement more precise, it will be no more than a holding position until the next Israeli assault. The humanitarian toll of the conflict, borne almost entirely by the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, has been devastating. By the end of its fifty-three day campaign, Israeli forces killed 2,104 Palestinians, including 495 children; forcibly displaced 350,000 people and rendered 100,000 homeless; destroyed or severely damaged 16,800 homes; destroyed Gaza’s sole power plant; damaged 277 schools; damaged 17 hospitals; incapacitated 10 hospitals; destroyed 73 mosques and damaged another 197; and damaged two churches and a Christian cemetery, among a long list of similarly destroyed civilian infrastructure...
 

Stop Hiding Images of American Torture (EDITORIAL BOARD, NYTimes) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - A hooded man standing on a box, electrodes wired to his fingers. A naked prisoner lying on a cement floor, a leash around his neck held casually by an American soldier. The bloody bodies of dead inmates with their heads bashed in. Ten years later, the photos leaked from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq remain seared into the American consciousness. But while the United States government was unable to prevent their release, more than 2,000 other photos taken at various American military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan have remained hidden under a 2009 law. By one account, the images — which officials say are a mix of snapshots by soldiers and photos by military investigators documenting allegations of abuse — are "worse than Abu Ghraib."

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UK Government urged to act on fresh evidence of BT drones link (Reprieve) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014- The British government is being asked to reopen an investigation into BT, after new evidence appeared to link the company to illegal US drone strikes and the mass government surveillance used to select their targets. Legal charity Reprieve, which assists the civilian victims of drone strikes, has this week submitted to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) a complaint containing details of how a cable laid by BT for the US military between RAF Croughton – a US base in the UK – and Camp Lemonnier – a secretive drone base in Djibouti – was tailored to meet special NSA requirements consistent with the launching of drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia....
 

Gaza, the Goy!
How many more wars and devastation will it take to end Israeli apartheid?
(Haidar Eid) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - sraelis have many things to say about Palestinians, none of them humanising or related to reality. They continue to create their false narrative making Orwellian words their allies. From 1948 to today, words have been a weapon as important as their army, their navy and their air force. Their words and their machinery of death have created a situation in Gaza today that defies description. The lack of water and electricity, the inability to find bodies under massive piles of rubble because bare hands can only do so much, the barbarism of targeting children. Words are so inadequate to express the anger and trauma, the resilience and the solidarity....
 

One Century after World War I and the Balfour Declaration: Palestine and Palestine Studies (by Walid Khalidi) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - We meet today to celebrate the second anniversary of the establishment of the SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies. I am honoured to have been asked to deliver this first Annual Lecture. It is deeply gratifying to be addressing you on this occasion in the name of a sister institution—Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS)—which has just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary as an independent, private, non-partisan, non-profit, public service research institute. We at IPS look forward to long years of innovative cooperation between our two institutions. Like other centres of Palestine studies, we are both researching the same phenomenon: the ever-growing accumulation of debris generated on that fateful day of 2 November 1917 by the so-called Balfour Declaration, the single most destructive political document on the Middle East in the twentieth century....
 

Being Palestinian got me barred from visiting Palestine (Amanda Michelle) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - ....This is my first time at the Israeli-controlled border between Palestine and Jordan. I am traveling with 15 young Arab-Americans, mostly Palestinian, to do community service work and connect with our heritage and homeland.​ We have arrived at the Allenby Bridge anxious & apprehensive, having heard countless stories of harassment by Israeli soldiers, and deeply exhausted from a long weekend of delayed flights, desert nights, and the Dead Sea. Our trip was cancelled due to increased violence in the West Bank, and re-planned after the participants wrote a letter stating their determination and commitment to experience life in occupied Palestine, even if that meant putting ourselves in danger. But despite all this, I am thrilled to be returning to Palestine after months of planning, years of dreaming. Tucked in a corner of my wallet are directions to my grandparents’ homes....
 

Guantánamo Violence: Prisoners Report Shaker Aamer “Beaten,” Another Man Assaulted “For Nearly Two Hours” (Andy Worthington) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - In a recent letter to the British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, Clive Stafford Smith, the founder and director of the legal action charity Reprieve, described how he has "just received a series of unclassified letters from various detainees who we represent in Guantánamo Bay," which "tell a disturbingly consistent story" — of "a new 'standard procedure’ where the FCE team [the armored guards responsible for violently removing prisoners from their cells through 'forcible cell extractions'] is being used to abuse the prisoners with particular severity because of the on-going non-violent hunger strike protest against their unconscionable treatment."....

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The US government can brand you a terrorist based on a Facebook post. We can't let them make up the rules (Arjun Sethi) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - The US government’s web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be.As we were reminded again just this week, you can be pulled into the National Security Agency’s database quietly and quickly, and the consequences can be long and enduring. Through ICREACH, a Google-style search engine created for the intelligence community, the NSA provides data on private communications to 23 government agencies. More than 1,000 analysts had access to that information. This kind of data sharing, however, isn’t limited to the latest from Edward Snowden’s NSA files. It was confirmed earlier this month that the FBI shares its master watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, with at least 22 foreign governments, countless federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, plus private contractors...
 

Blackwater trial reaches emotional and legal climax as prosecution rests () - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - ...Seven years after the bloody shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that left a total of 17 Iraqis dead and more than 20 seriously wounded, jurors were told of the "shocking amount of death, injury and destruction" that saw "innocent men, women and children mowed down" by private guards working for the US State Department. In closing arguments, assistant US attorney Anthony Asuncion claimed three of the four defendants were guilty of manslaughter and a fourth of murder for showing extreme disregard for human life in retaliating against what they mistakenly believed was a car bomb attack on their convoy...
 

Egypt evicts Rafah residents to create buffer zone (An Al-Monitor correspondent in Sinai) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - Concern has spread among residents of the border areas in the northern Sinai Peninsula following the Egyptian army's planned establishment of a buffer zone on the Egyptian side of Rafah along the border with the Gaza Strip.The undeclared move prompted local concern that a new reality is being secretly shaped, and that the government has adopted a policy of strategic patience to draw the map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of the people in Sinai. The Egyptian army has stated its military operations in Sinai are part of the war on terrorism, yet residents believe the operations are designed to forcibly displace them...

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From Containment to Counterinsurgency in the Gaza Strip (by Max Ajl) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - Israel’s recently terminated "Operation Protective Edge" against the Gaza Strip was beyond destructive. Little is left standing in Shuja’iya, Khoza’a, Beit Hanoun, and Rafah’s east, where photos reveal a tableau of grey ruin. Israel shelled hospitals, targeted ambulances, killed paramedics, leaving the health sector strained beyond the breaking point. As Israeli munitions rocked graveyards, even the dead rested uneasy.According to one development NGO, the war simply demolished the economy, "turning factories into piles of rubble and destruction," with over 180 leveled since the assault began on 7 July, and billions of dollars in damages. The power plant is ruined, tens of thousands of homes are damaged, and over 2100 Palestinians killed at the hands of the Israeli forces. This was the third such attack in the last six and a half years, and by far the most brutal...
 

See for yourself: Aerial and panoramic views show devastation in Gaza (Ali Abunimah) - 23-sep-2014

August 30, 2014 - The video above, published by the Gaza-based video production company MediaTown, shows an aerial view of the devastated Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City. On 20 July, the area was subjected to indiscriminate artillery bombardment by Israel that was so intense that it shocked even US military officers.A total of 2,168 people were killed, 521 of them children, during Israel’s 51-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip that ended in a ceasefire agreement on 26 August. Such images help us to understand the reality behind the shocking statistics about the physical destruction: 108,000 people have had their homes destroyed or severely damaged and will need permanent rehousing, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA)...
 

Syria News - August 29, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 23-sep-2014

August 29, 2014- By the end of Friday, LCC has documented the fall of 67 martyrs including 7 children, 3 women and 2 martyrs under torture. 22 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, 20 in Damascus and its suburbs, 7 in Daraa, 6 in Hama, 5 in Idlib, 3 in Raqqa, 2 in Homs, 1 in Deir Ezzor and 1 in Qunitra....

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Stop US attacks on Iraq and Syria! (International Executive Committee of the International Workers Unity – Fourth International) - 23-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - ... We call on the peoples of the world to repudiate the ongoing military actions in Iraq and Syria. With the argument of "fighting against terrorism" and using the cruel practices of ISIS, the US and the EU, supported by Russia, Iran, Israel and now, with the approval of the dictator Bashar al-Assad, they want to attack the people of the Middle East. With this same pretext they want to drown the revolt of the Syrian people. To the extent that the Syrian Foreign Minister "welcomed any attack, including by the United Kingdom and the United States with possible bombings" in his country to "fight ISIS". He only requested to "coordinate" them (ABC.es, 25 August 2014). This means they are using the madness of ISIS and their Caliphate to applaud Obama's bombing of rebel positions. That is, the Syrian regime removes its mask of being "anti-imperialist", defended by the world reformist left and especially by Chavism, and now shows its true pro-imperialist and genocidal face....

 

Libya’s ‘Regime Change’ Chaos (By Paul R. Pillar) - 23-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - Three valid observations are worth making about this episode. One is that the turmoil in Libya to which Egypt and the UAE are reacting followed directly from regime change in which Western intervention was instrumental. The United States played less of a leading role in that intervention than some other Western states did, and according to the Pottery Barn rule it does not own the resulting wreckage by itself. But that background is worth remembering.Second, the airstrikes are a reminder that if forceful things are to be done in the Middle East, the United States doesn’t necessarily have to be the one to do them. That principle applies to more constructive uses of force than hitting the Libyan militias. The UAE has a pretty good air force; maybe next time it can use it for more worthwhile purposes. Third, the episode is a demonstration that even partners or allies are apt to be moved to action not to protect interests they share with us but to pursue objectives we do not share....
 

Warnings of Civil War, 'Critical Plight of Civilians' in Libya (Andrea Germanos) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - As instability continues to grip Libya, officials are sounding alarm over the deteriorating situation that could lead towards civil war in the country, where destabilization, critics charge, has deepened since NATO's bombing in 2011... Yet, as author and professor of international studies at Trinity College Vijay Prashad told Democracy Now! Monday, "This violence has been ongoing since 2011," when the U.S. backed a campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi...Prashad noted that he was against the NATO bombing campaign, in part because it would lead to chaos and destruction that leaves a country little hope of having the ability to forge a democracy...



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New book reveals top-secret collusion between Israel, US during twenty years of “peace talks” (Rod Such) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - ...Bregman’s book breaks new ground with a number of leaked top secret disclosures from Israeli sources. It shows that the recent revelation that Israel eavesdropped on current US Secretary of State John Kerry is really nothing new.Israel also secretly recorded conversations between Clinton and Assad back in 2000. The only question unanswered is why, given the extent of the collusion, the Israeli government believed it was necessary to eavesdrop on its counterpart. Bregman is a British-Israeli political scientist who teaches in the War Studies Department of King’s College London. He served in the Israeli army during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. But during the first intifada, he openly announced his refusal to serve in the "occupied territories" in an interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz...
 

White Supremacists March against Anti-Semitism (by Yves Engler) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - Why does a demonstration of hundreds of people against "anti-Semitism" in Toronto seem more like a march for white supremacy than a rally against racism? On August 20, reported the Canadian Jewish News, several thousand took to Bathurst Street under the slogan "We Will Not be Silent: A March Against Global Anti-Semitism." The demonstration was organized by United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, B’nai Brith Canada, Canada Israel Experience, March of the Living Canada, and the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Canada. If one were to take the organizers’ slogan seriously this demonstration was among the largest anti-racist mobilizations in recent Canadian history. But, unfortunately it was little more than a group of "white" people calling for the further subjugation of "brown" folk...
 

The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly - or disappear (Jeff Halper) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - Until Operation Protective Edge, most of the "messaging" regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly that which broke through the mainstream media, came from the Israeli side. Since Zionism’s official beginnings in Palestine some 110 years ago, the Jewish community, whether the pre-state Yishuv or constituted as the state of Israel, never took the Palestinians seriously. They were dark-skinned "natives" wrapped sinisterly in kafiyas, fedayeen or terrorists without names, history or humanity, an existential threat subsumed under the rubric "Arabs." In 1967, when Israel finally came face to face with an organized, visible, politically aware Palestinian society, the idea of talking to them did not even occur to Israel’s leaders...

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Self-healing in Gaza (Sarah Algherbawi) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - The killing and bombing is finally done. Yet I don’t think we in Gaza will feel like the war is truly over for a long period of time, if we ever can. The killing is over but the pain of the missing dead is not.The killing is over but the injures are not healed.The killing is over but the houses are no longer standing.The killing is over but our souls are not yet cured.This is the third war I have witnessed in the last five years of my life. I wish I had never had to experience this, but it just happened, and all I can do now is to deal with the pain…once again. My first experience with war was in my last year of high school, the year that is critical to anyone’s future....
 

Gaza’s Pyrrhic Victory is a Lesson for the Occupier (By Tariq Shadid) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 -Among Palestinians, many consider the recent cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians to be a victory for the resistance. For those looking on from the outside, this response may be quite puzzling. How can a people claim victory when 2145 of their citizens have lost their lives under Israeli shelling and bombing, the vast majority of them civilians, and a staggering 578 among them children? Is this idea of 'victory’ merely Hamas capitalizing on a cease-fire that suits it quite well, in order to increase its popularity? Is it the irrational response of a people traumatized by years of siege, and some of the most intense bombing of civilian areas history has ever seen, to an end to 50 days of hell on earth? Or is there more to it?....
 

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (21- 28 August 2014) (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - Summary: Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (21 – 27 August 2014). Shooting and Killing: In the context of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed 92 Palestinians, 67 of whom are civilians, including 25 children and 8 woman. Six Palestinians, 5 of whom are civilians, including 2 children, died of previous wounds. Israeli warplanes launched dozens of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, destroying 96 houses and 4-multis-storey apartment and commercial buildings. Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, 2,168 Palestinians have been killed, of whom 1,662 civilians, including 519 children and 297 women, and 10,895 others have been wounded, including 3,306 children and 2,114 women. The Attorney General also order burial of 7 corpses of unidentified persons. Additionally, Israeli warplanes have targeted and destroyed 953 houses, while thousands of houses have been extensively damaged..

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Countdown to the next round in Gaza (Alex Kane) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014- The cease-fire that ended seven weeks of hell in Gaza is only two days old. But the countdown to the next round began as soon as the ink dried on the agreement between Israel and the Palestinian armed factions. There’s no way getting around it. There will be another war in Gaza. The deep-rooted problems bedeviling the Palestinian people and Israel have not gone away. The cease-fire just buys more time–until the next escalation begins and death and destruction are rained down on Gaza. The only question is when that next spasm of violence breaks out. Hamas and the other factions need to re-arm. Israel’s southern communities and people in Gaza want a breather. Yes, Hamas, the other factions and the Palestinians in Gaza are celebrating the end of a 50-day assault. They are calling it a victory...

 

This war was not a war, it was a massacre (Mohammad J. Abulriban and Justin Randle) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - During a brief stint working for UNRWA in Israel Palestine a few years ago I came across a documentary film called 'No Sharp Objects’. Made by the UN agency, it is about 15 children from Gaza who travel to the US. They meet politicians, go to New York, visit the UN and the Holocaust museum and meet American children. I particularly remember one scene where a dying father tells his son, who is about to go on the trip, to show the world that 'the people of Gaza have principles and values.’ Mohammed Abulriban was one of the children in that film. We became friends. He is now 18. He lives in the Al Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Gaza. As the most recent slaughter in Gaza has unfolded we in the west have heard comparatively little from the Palestinians who live there and are experiencing it. I asked Mohammad what living in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge has been like...


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Celebrating the Deaths of Palestinians in Toronto
When a March Against “Anti-Semitism” Feels Like a March for White Power
(by YVES ENGLER) - 22-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - Why does a demonstration of hundreds of people against "anti-Semitism" in Toronto seem more like a march for white supremacy than a rally against racism? On August 20, reported the Canadian Jewish News, several thousand took to Bathurst Street under the slogan "We Will Not be Silent: A March Against Global Anti-Semitism." The demonstration was organized by United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, B’nai Brith Canada, Canada Israel Experience, March of the Living Canada and the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Canada. 
If one were to take the organizers’ slogan seriously this demonstration was among the largest anti-racist mobilizations in recent Canadian history. But, unfortunately it was little more than a group of "white" people calling for the further subjugation of "brown" folk...

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