I am found of what happens in Middle East. Here I recollect and comment such eventsa.
Credibility of the Ruling Elite is Being Shredded
Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itsel (The Real News) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013 - ....And so what you have in a pre-revolutionary society, which I think we're in, is a kind of invisible revolution, whereby the state, the ideology of the state, in this case capitalism, the fiction of American democracy, larger and larger numbers of people--and I think we are also seeing this across the political spectrum--wake up and understand the hollowness of the language that's used to describe their own economic, political, and social reality.What's important is that in this process you need to present an alternative vision, an alternative language, so that people can orient themselves toward something. Otherwise, any kind of eruption is nihilistic. Without that kind of vision, ultimately it doesn't represent any kind of a threat to the ruling elite, because it doesn't drive towards something...
‘The Israeli sniper shot my son as if he hunted a bird’: Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi, 14, killed while standing outside of West Bank school (Annie Robbins) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013 - An Israeli sniper killed a child yesterday. Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi, 14 was shot in the back by while walking in front of a school in Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah. Thousands of mourners turned out for his funeral today.Ma’an News reports the family said "their son was "executed" and "assassinated in cold blood," " Reportedly, according to locals, there were "no clashes or any kind of rock-throwing incidents that might have provoked the killing.".. His father told Anadolu Agency "The Israeli sniper shot my son as if he hunted a bird"...
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Top US Psychologist Allegedly Met with James Mitchell in Days Before Zubaydah Torture (By: Jeff Kaye) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013- America 2013: A top U.S. psychologist touting "Positive Psychology" is to be a keynote speaker at a huge Southern California conference on psychotherapy. Other speakers include psychiatry heavies Aaron Beck, Irvin Yalom, as well as Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman, and big media names like James Foley and Alanis Morissette. The famous psychologist — Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania — has been linked to the CIA’s Bush torture program. The charges lack a smoking gun, but there is lots of circumstantial evidence. What is reported below shows that Seligman wasn’t fully open about his contacts with those accused of waterboarding Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, and torturing various CIA "black site" prisoners circa 2002-2006. Why did he hide this information?...
Are British Spies Complicit in US Drone Strikes? Court of Appeals Takes Case (by Jack Serle) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013 - An unprecedented attempt to discover if British officials are complicit in the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan reached the Court of Appeal this week. The case is brought by Noor Khan, a Pakistani tribesman whose father was among over 40 civilians killed in a March 2011 drone strike. Khan’s lawyers are attempting to get English courts to examine whether UK officials at GCHQ share information about targets in Pakistan with the CIA, and whether this could therefore make British spies complicit in murder or war crimes. The case has been brought against the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who is responsible for GCHQ. The British government has consistently refused to confirm or deny whether it does share such intelligence...
The US killed my brother with a drone. I want to know why (by Mohammed Al Qawli) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013 -I am writing today as a grieving brother, haunted by questions about Ali al Qawli’s death and the complicity of the United States and the Yemeni governments in bringing it about. My brother Ali died on Jan. 23, 2013. He was an elementary school teacher at the Khaled Ben Waleed School in the Juhana province of Sanaa, Yemen — an area with a limited number of schools and teachers. The day after my brother died, the teachers’ log had a glaring blank space next to his name. The students waited patiently. Ten minutes passed, then 30 minutes and finally an hour. The principal walked into the classroom and said, "Mr. Ali will not be coming in today."...
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Baghdad Takes the Brunt of Attacks That Leave 61 Dead, 214 Wounded (Margaret Griffis) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013 - At least 61 people were killed and 214 more were wounded in fresh violence around the country. The Baghdad region experienced the most bombings. In Baghdad, six people were killed and 19 more were wounded during a morning bombing at a market in the Amil district. Then a bomb exploded among car repair shops in Bayaa, leaving seven dead and 20 wounded. Two people were killed and eight more were wounded during a blast in Radwaniya. Five people were killed and 18 more were wounded in Alam. A bomb in Talbiya killed one person and wounded five more. A bomb at a market in Jamila left three dead and 16 wounded. A bomb near a tax office in Ghadeer killed six and wounded 22 more...
21st century colonialism: Israeli policies in the Negev and Galilee (Ben White) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013- In December 2000, the first Herzliya Conference took place, a now annual event and regular fixture in the diaries of politicians, military officials and defense industry figures from Israel and around the world. The report produced after that first gathering included a section on Israel's "geodemographic aspect", and noted the following:"The encouragement of Jewish settlement in demographically problematic regions, especially in the Galilee, the Jezreel Valley, and the Negev, among others, is necessary in order to prevent a contiguous Arab majority that would bisect Israel."This need to 'Judaize' the Galilee and the Negev in light of the perceived demographic 'threat' posed by Palestinian citizens of Israel is a consistent feature of Israeli policies since 1948...
Peres says willing to meet with Rouhani, stresses that Iran is not their enemy (Voice of Russia) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013- Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Sunday that he does not have any problem meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, stressing that Israel and Iran are not enemies. In an interview with CNN's Richard Quest at the Globes Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv, he explained that "the important factor was not the man in question, but his policies, and the goal was to turn enemies into friends." In this context, Peres compared the decision to Israel's choice to meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ahead of the Oslo Peace agreements....
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U.S. 'security plan': Another decisive cave-in to Netanyahu (By Larry Derfner) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013- Halfway through the scheduled nine-month Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, there’s been a break in the action, or rather the inaction: the Obama administration, once again, has sought to end the deadlock by backing Netanyahu’s illegitimate demands and hanging the Palestinians out to dry. Last Friday the Americans presented a "security plan" ("security" in the American lexicon means security for Israelis, not Palestinians) that calls for Israeli troops to remain in the Jordan Valley – in the West Bank, in a future Palestine, on the Palestinian side of their border with Jordan – as part of the peace treaty...
Report: 40,000 Bedouin will be evicted from homes under Prawer Plan (By Noam Sheizaf) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013 - Up until now, very few details have been released about how many people and how much land will be affected by the Prawer Plan. Knesset Internal Affairs Committee chairperson MK Miri Regev revealed details of a secret document prepared in the Prime Minister’s Office about the implementation of the Prawer Plan for the resettlement of the Negev Bedouins, Yedioth Ahronoth reported this weekend. According to a map obtained by MK Regev, the state will take over 250,000 dunams (61,700 acres) currently populated by Bedouins, while the Bedouins will receive 170,000 dunams (42,000 acres). Around 40,000 people will have to leave their homes...
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Here is why deconstructing Zionism is important
To criticise Zionism means to demand justice for its victims. (Michael Marder) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013 -The final sequence of Eran Riklis' poignant 2008 film Lemon Tree, based on actual events, is symptomatic of the hidden dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel's defence minister, who moves with his family to a new house on the occupied West Bank, deems the neighbouring lemon grove of a Palestinian widow Salma Zidane, a security threat. His legal team files a motion to uproot Zidane's lemon trees in a case that reaches Israel's Supreme Court. The Court's decision is truly Kafkaesque: The trees are to be "pruned" to a height that would not exceed fifty centimetres off the ground in order to allow for an unobstructed view of the territory. In the final sequence, we see the defence minister standing in front of a concrete wall separating his backyard from his Palestinian neighbour's grove...
Explosive device 'left by Israeli forces' injures Palestinian teen (Ma'an news) - 09-dec-2013
December 8, 2013 -- A teenager was seriously injured on Sunday after an unidentified device exploded south of Hebron, medics told Ma'an.Medics said that a device left by Israeli forces in an area east of Yatta exploded and injured 16-year-old Maher Adil Najajra, without providing further details.Najajra was rushed to Hebron Governmental Hospital.....
Did He Jump or Was He Pushed?
The Mandela Years in Power (by PATRICK BOND) - 09-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - The death of Nelson Mandela, at age 95 on 5 December 2013, brings genuine sadness. As his health deteriorated over the past six months, many asked the more durable question: how did he change South Africa? Given how unsatisfactory life is for so many in society, the follow-up question is, how much room was there for Mandela to maneuver? South Africa now lurches from crisis to crisis, and so many of us are tempted to remember the Mandela years – especially the first democratic government – as fundamentally different from the crony-capitalist, corruption-riddled, brutally-securitised, eco-destructive and anti-egalitarian regime we suffer now. But were the seeds of our present political weeds sown earlier? The critical decade was the 1990s, when Mandela was at the height of his power, having been released from jail in February 1990, taken the South African presidency in May 1994 and left office in June 1999...
Syria News - December 7, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos) (Local Coordination Committees of Syria + Videos) - 09-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 -By the end of Saturday the Coordination Committees were able to document 123 martyrs including 25 children, 11 women and 4 martyrs under torture: 59 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs, 26 in Aleppo, 16 in Raqqa, 9 in Homs, 5 in Hama, 5 in Daraa, 3 in Idlib and 1 martyr in Quneitra... Damascus Suburbs: Nabik: Another massacre was committed by regime forces accompanied with Iraqi Thulfaqar Brigade members in Fattah neighborhood north of the city that caused the martyrdom of 40 people by slaughtering and burning ....
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Interview with Roger Waters: ‘It’s a duty for artists to speak out’ (Frank Barat) - 09-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - ... The situation in Israel/ Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable. So for an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either during this time. Many people did, back in the day. There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian People being murdered. It’s the duty of every thinking human being to ask: "What can I do?". Anybody who looks at the situation will see that if you choose not to take up arms to fight your oppressor, the non violent route, and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S) movement, which started in Palestine with 100% support from Palestinian civil society in 2004-2005, a movement that has now been joined by many people around the world, the global civil society, is a legitimate form of resistance to this brutal and oppressive regime. ..
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Mechanised mass murder: the terror of Obama's drone wars (Marienna Pope-Weidemann) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - ...The vast majority of drone strike victims are faceless. None but those who mourn them know their names. But there are some faces, thanks to the courage of a few decent journalists, which the world has got the chance to see. One such face belonged to Tariq Aziz, a sixteen-year old student and avid football fan who became what you might call 'politicised’ after his cousin was killed by a drone. Those who knew him observed his desire to be a constructive force for his country, to make the killing stop. He began organising protests and working with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to help document civilian casualties. In October 2011, he attended his first public conference in Islamabad. Less than a week later, he was killed by a drone strike, along with his twelve-year-old cousin. "Tariq’s killing was illegal," said Neil Williams, a British photographer who had befriended him. "It was murder."...
Gitmo officials change procedures for hunger strikes, force-feeding (by Jason Leopold) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - Officials at Guantanamo Bay have implemented revised protocols for hunger strikes and force-feeding, according to a Justice Department letter obtained by Al Jazeera. The controversial military detention center keeps scores of detainees imprisoned, often without charge. The move comes as officials at the base disclosed this week that they would no longer release new figures to journalists on a hunger strike that is currently underway. As of Monday, the last day Guantanamo officials released fresh numbers, 15 prisoners were protesting, up by two from the previous week. All of the hunger strikers were reportedly being force-fed...
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Front and back
Whatever the Islamic Front is, it may already be hobbled by the United States (Michael Weiss) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - Two competing analyses of the Islamic Front, a newly formed consortium of seven powerful Syrian rebel groups, have been published in the last week, both attempting to the address the crucial question of the Front’s raison d’etre... Interestingly, the Western-backed Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army led by Gen. Salim Idris this week announced that he and his men will indeed participate in the forthcoming US and Russian-brokered Geneva II conference. Moreover, he no longer makes Assad’s ouster a precondition for attendance but rather will accept Assad’s departure at the end of the negotiations, whenever that might be... However, as Zelin points out, the Islamic Front has ruled out any such engagement or collaboration with Assadist forces and has declared treasonous the participation by rebel groups in the Geneva "conspiracy...
Escaping The Abusive State: After Snowden (Richard Falk) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - The more contact one has with the modern state, even in those societies that have long constitutional traditions entrenching civil liberties, the more grounds there are for deep and growing concern. I suppose that the most dramatic exhibition of the dangers being posed as 2014 approaches, and we are reminded that this will be 30 years after 1984, are associated with Edward Snowden’s extraordinary disclosures of the global network of surveillance being operated by the National Security Agency in the United States (NSA). Such a network presupposes that we are all, that is, every inhabitant on the planet to be regarded as worth investigating as potential terrorist threats, and along the way establishing a huge data bank of information that can be used for nefarious purposes at any point to disempower and subvert protest movements or even blackmail anyone seen to be obstructing projects dear to the government or any special interest group that has the government’s ear on matters it cares about.
Gaza Returns to Donkey Days (By Mohammed Omer) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - The garbage trucks of Gaza city are at a standstill due to an ongoing fuel shortage affecting all aspects of daily life, including garbage collection, sewage and waste disposal and other vital services. But the local donkeys are here to help. Abu Hesham on his donkey cart won’t be able to clear all the streets of garbage. In Gaza’s Barcelona neighbourhood, trash bins are overflowing – a common sight since fuel for motor vehicles became scarce – and as the 33-year-old donkey cart owner approaches the garbage dump, there is no space left and no option but to throw the trash out on the side of the road. "What else can I do?" he tells IPS as he carries sacks of waste at 7:00 AM through Gaza’s misty weather...
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Message to Kerry: Negotiations Focus on “Bettering” the Occupation, Not Ending It (Right to Enter Campaign) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - On September 8 US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that "the Allenby Bridge [crossing between the West Bank and Jordan] is now going to be open 24 hours a day, five days a week, and will greatly facilitate movement back and forth." This announcement suggests that negotiations are once again being limited to minimal, symbolic improvements in living conditions for Palestinians under continued Israeli military rule rather than any serious attempt to end Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip....
Israeli soldiers detained 4 children ages six to nine, handcuffed 3 of them. Kafr Qadum, November 15, 2013 (B'Tselem) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - On Friday, November 15, 2013, at 9:30 AM, about two and a half hours before the weekly demonstration in the village was set to begin, four children from Kafr Qadum: Malek (8) a third grade student, his brother Tareq (9) a fourth grade student; Hussam Abu Khaled (8), a third grade student and Ahmad Shteiwi (6) a first grader, got together. They were planning to go to the place where the weekly demonstration takes place, as they had heard that some tires had been set on fire and they wanted to see what was going on. In a testimony given to B’Tselem field researcher 'Abd al-Karim Sa'adi, Tareq Shteiwi, age nine, gave the following account...
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (28 Nov.- 04 Dec. 2013) (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 -....Summary: Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (28 November – 4 December 2013). Shooting: During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian worker inside Israel. A Palestinian civilian also died of previous wounds he had sustained in Qalandya refugee camp, north of Jerusalem. Israeli forces also wounded, 12 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, 30 November 2013, 'Anar Shebli Mahmoud al-Aqra’, 24, a Palestinian worker from Qabalan village, southeast of Nablus, was shot dead by an Israeli soldier from a close range inside Israel. Al-'Aqra’ was killed in Btah Tikva inside Israel when the Israeli police launched a campaign against Palestinian workers who do not have work permits. His body was delivered to his family on Monday, 02 December 2013....
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International attitude towards Gaza: management by crisis (Pam Bailey) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 - The cycle is occurring again. The Gaza Strip, and the 1.7 million Palestinians who live there, periodically force their way into international headlines, driven by a crisis so urgent they can no longer be ignored. Politicians wring their hands; activists and relief agencies issue calls for help and organise convoys of supplies and volunteers; and the media practice pack journalism by running a story or two. Then, once conditions are no longer quite so dire, the world's attention veers on to the next tragedy, or to affairs that more directly affect the superpowers that set the agenda...
IDF faces a recruitment crisis despite conscription (Samira Shackle) - 08-dec-2013
December 7, 2013 -Samira ShackleJoining the army is not optional for Israeli teenagers. At the age of 18, Israeli men face three years of mandatory service in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF); in an odd example of gender inequality, young women serve for two. Yet despite conscription, it has been reported in the Israeli media that the IDF is facing a recruitment crisis.Figures released by the Personnel Directorate last month show that 42.6 per cent of women avoided military service in 2013. Haaretz reports that the authorities are "highly concerned" by this. The figures also show that around one quarter of men - 26.3 per cent - subject to the draft were not enlisted this year. Fourteen per cent were excused for religious reasons, with the others not serving because they live abroad, have medical problems or have criminal records. Recent legal changes aimed at bringing in ultra-religious Haredi men into military service (they are currently exempted), and attempts to encourage Christian Arab citizens to enlist, demonstrate the extent of the problem....
continua / continued
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