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Just Foreign Policy


Iraqi deaths due to US invasion - estimated at 1,012,979 (August 19, 2007)

It is at least 10 times greater than most estimates cited in the US media, yet it is based on the only scientifically valid study of violent Iraqi deaths caused by the U.S.- led invasion of March 2003.

That study, published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet, estimated that over 600,000 Iraqis had been killed as a result of the invasion as of July 2006. Iraqis have continued to be killed since then. The graphic provides a rough daily update of this number based on a rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count. (See the complete explanation.)

This devastating human toll demands greater recognition. It eclipses the Rwandan genocide and our leaders are directly responsible. Little wonder they do not publicly cite it. Here is simple HTML code to post the counter to your website and help spread the word.

The Middle East Peace Process Scam
By Henry Siegman, London Review of Books, August 16, 2007
The Middle East peace process may well be the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history. Since the failed Camp David summit of 2000, and actually well before it, Israel’s interest in a peace process – other than for the purpose of obtaining Palestinian and international acceptance of the status quo – has been a fiction that has served primarily to provide cover for its systematic confiscation of Palestinian land and an occupation whose goal, according to the former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, is ‘to sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people’. In his reluctant embrace of the Oslo Accords, and his distaste for the settlers, Yitzhak Rabin may have been the exception to this, but even he did not entertain a return of Palestinian territory beyond the so-called Allon Plan, which allowed Israel to retain the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank.


Can You Hear the Cries from Gaza?

By Sonja Karkar Counterpunch, August 15, 2007
For all the recent news about the infighting that has gripped internal Palestinian politics, there is no mistaking under whose suffocating matrix of control, the Palestinians are actually forced to live. Israel has threatened the Palestinians' right to exist on their own land since it was created and it has no more disengaged from Gaza than it has from the West Bank. Instead, Israel has made a prison of Gaza and completely sealed it off from the West Bank and the outside world. Deeming it a place too dangerous to visit, Israel likes to portray the Palestinians as a violent people whose acts of resistance threaten Israel's existence and necessitate the punitive measures that Israel takes against them. However, according to international law, resistance is a legitimate response of an occupied people and collective punishment by an Occupying Power against a civilian population is prohibited. The outrage in all this is the world's acquiescence to Israel's suppression of the Palestinians and the oppressive force it uses to reduce them to a sub-human existence. This cuts to the core of our humanity and it is simply not enough to say, "there but for the grace of God go I".

"No American President Can Stand Up to Israel"
By Paul Craig Roberts, Counterpunch, August 15, 2007
These words came from feisty Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations (1967-1970) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1970-1974). Moorer was, perhaps, the last independent-minded American military leader.

Admiral Moorer knew what he was talking about. On June 8, 1967, Israel attacked the American intelligence ship, USS Liberty, killing 34 American sailors and wounding 173. The Israelis even strafed the life rafts, machine-gunning the American sailors leaving the stricken ship.

Boycott movement targets Israel
By George Bisharat, San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 2007
Israel has been singled out, but not as its defenders complain. Instead, Israel has been enveloped in a cocoon of impunity. Our government has vetoed 41 U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli actions - half of the total U.S. vetoes since the birth of the United Nations - thus enabling Israel's continuing abuses. The Bush administration has announced an increase in military aid to Israel to $30 billion for the coming decade.

Lebanon war anniversary
By Jonathan Cook, Amin.org, August 13, 2007

In the meantime, there is every indication that Israel is planning another round of fighting against Hizbullah after it has “learnt the lessons” from the last war. The new defence minister, Ehud Barak, who was responsible for the 2000 withdrawal, has made it a priority to develop anti-missile systems such as “Iron Dome” to neutralise the rocket threat from Hizbullah, using some of the recently announced $30 billion of American military aid.
It has been left to the Israeli media to begin rewriting the history of last summer. Last weekend, an editorial in the liberal Haaretz newspaper went so far as to admit that this was “a war initiated by Israel against a relatively small guerrilla group”. Israel’s supporters, including high-profile defenders like Alan Dershowitz in the US who claimed that Israel had no choice but to bomb Lebanon, must have been squirming in their seats.

A Palestinian Miracle at the UN?
By Ramzy Baroud, PalestineChronicle.com, August 11, 2007
A few months ago, one would have thought such an event to be simply impossible: A Palestinian delegation, lobbying tirelessly at the UN to block a UN call for helping half of the Palestinian population living in complete isolation.

Mahmoud Abbas' war against the Palestinian people
By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, August 10, 2007
A source who works directly with Abbas' ministers in the unelected and illegal "emergency government" of Salam Fayyad in Ramallah wrote to me that "Abbas has explicitly ordered the Rafah border to close and remain closed with the purpose of strangling Hamas." The source, who was motivated to speak out by his outrage, but requested anonymity because he fears reprisals, added that Abbas "is ready to see his own people die for his political games." The source added that while Abbas' official public relations pronouncements are that the border is to be opened at once, "what is going on in the meetings is the opposite."


'You have no future in this country'

By Daniel Ben Simon, Haaretz, August 10, 2007
"I have nothing to talk to you about, you are not my nation and you are not part of my nation," declared one of the veteran residents of Hebron's Jewish Quarter, who wished to remain anonymous. "You are my enemies and I pray for the day when we will get our revenge for what you did to us in Gush Katif and what you're doing to us in Hebron. I hate you more than the Arabs. You will pay forever for what you did." He is 53 and a father of eight. On the day of the evacuation this week, he got up early and reported to the battlefield with his children.


Twighlight Zone / 'The terrorist was neutralized'

By Gideon Levy, Haaretz, August 10, 2007
That's when the other three soldiers got out of the Hummer. Suleiman heard two shots. The four soldiers, according to Suleiman, began beating Jihad, who was sprawled on the ground. They used wooden clubs and their rifle butts, while Jihad tried to protect his head with his hands. That was all Suleiman saw, because the taxi, which was traveling slowly, then passed the Hummer.


45 villages, 90.000 residents in the Negev on the verge of displacement

By Maisa Abu Ghazala, IMEMC, August 9, 2007
Arab member of Knesset, Talab Al Sane’, said that the Negev is 12000 square kilometers, which it as twice as big as the West Bank, but after the 1967 war Israel displaced 90% of the Arabs and replaced them with settlements and settlers.

Al Sane’ also said that now there are only 90000 Arab residents in the Negev, and that those residents are facing displacement by Israel “just because they are Arabs”.

The Hebron Tactic
By Amira Hass, Haaretz, August 8, 2007
In their own way, they do the same thing the "legitimate" occupation authorities do: They drive the Palestinians off their land to make room for Jews. In other words, they are following orders.

A Visit to the Jungle
By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, August 6, 2007
It is conceivable that the prime minister had no ill intentions. Olmert, like most Israelis, has become accustomed over the past 40 years to living in a world of double meanings. Throughout history, Israeli governments have extended one hand "to peace with the Arabs" while the other hand lays further claim to the occupied territories. In order to maintain the industry of contradictions between what is said and what is done, legal experts constructed a splendid system of overpasses for the politicians. These allow the de facto annexation of Palestinian land, without the need to annex Palestinian residents.

Family Reunification
By MIFTAH, August 6, 2007
The Israeli policy to deny reunification and in some cases registration for children is in contravention to Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Government Decision #1813 “severely violates the fundamental rights of individuals to equality, liberty, privacy and family life, as it limits the ability of Israeli citizens’, namely Palestinian citizens of Israel, to exercise these rights based on the ethnicity of their spouses.”

Israeli law discriminates against Palestinians and prevents the right to choose a partner or begin a family, as it “explicitly denies rights on the basis of national origin… Existing families will be broken up and other families will not be established.”

The Nakba in Israeli textbooks and official discourse
By Ben White, The Electronic Intifada, 2 August 2007
The center of the controversy is the inclusion of the "Palestinian denunciation of the creation of Israel in 1948," and, that the new book "notes that Palestinians describe the event as a 'catastrophe.'" But notice that the Palestinians, even here as victims of misdeeds rather than the perpetrators, are colonized subjects whose counter-history can only exist as a negation of the official narrative. The Palestinian "Catastrophe" was not "the creation of Israel;" it was the forcible dispossession of more than half of Palestine's population and the shattering of a society by an ethno-supremacist colonial-settler state.

Report from the Land of Apartheid
By Stanley Heller, Counterpunch, August 2, 2007
Conditions for Palestinians are deplorable all across the apartheid state, from the 130,000 living as Israeli citizens in "unrecognized" villages, to the thousands living in Israel or the West Bank in homes slated for demolition, to the people living in Jerusalem "suburbs" who never have their garbage picked up, to families who are cut off from relatives by the Apartheid Wall, to the people in the richest Arab towns closing up their businesses because of Palestinians can't travel and buy goods, to families living in the H2 section of Hebron who are seeing their homes taken over by religious fanatics.

Sacrificed to Zionism
By Jonathan Cook, Al-Ahram Weekly, August 2-8, 2007
Despite the absence of any threat to Iran's Jews, the Israeli media reported recently that the Israeli government has been trying to find new ways to entice Iranian Jews to Israel. The Maariv newspaper pointed out that previous schemes had found few takers. There was, noted the report, "a lack of desire on the part of thousands of Iranian Jews to leave". According to the New York-based Forward newspaper, a campaign to convince Iranian Jews to emigrate to Israel caused only 152 out of these 25,000 Jews to leave Iran between October 2005 and September 2006, and most of them were said to have emigrated for economic reasons, not political ones.

The Loophole
By Yossi Wolfson, Challenge, July 30, 2007
The GSS methods have changed since the High Court decision of 1999. But the reality in the interrogation chambers continues to be cruel and inhuman. I don't know what is more disturbing-the brutal techniques, which break bodies with intense pain, or the routine techniques for expunging the human spirit by absolute isolation and lack of stimulation. Both sorts fall under the categories of "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" and "torture." Both are absolutely forbidden by international law, without exception or qualification. The techniques, nonetheless, continue to be used-supported by the Attorney General's Office, the courts, and innumerable regular citizens who get involved in the procedures one way or another. The State of Israel has not denied a single substantive point in either of the two reports.
* The full version appears on the web:  http://www.stoptorture.org.il//eng/images/uploaded/publications/140.doc
** www.btselem.org/Download/200705_Utterly_Forbidden_eng.doc

The Burial of Civil Marriage
By Shulamit Aloni, Haaretz, July 30, 2007
That is how the purity of Judaism, which is preserved under the watchful eye of the religious establishment and the justice minister, is preventing some of the citizens of this country and their children from assimilating among the citizens of the state who have Jewish mothers. It's true that they'll attend the same educational institutions, will study Hebrew and Bible and history - but they will not be allowed to marry "kosher" Jews, because we are the Chosen People, holy seed.

The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness
By Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian, The Nation, July 30, 2007
Over the past several months The Nation has interviewed fifty combat veterans of the Iraq War from around the United States in an effort to investigate the effects of the four-year-old occupation on average Iraqi civilians. These combat veterans, some of whom bear deep emotional and physical scars, and many of whom have come to oppose the occupation, gave vivid, on-the-record accounts. They described a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts.

Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour
By Guest Blogger, Alternet.org, July 28, 2007
This post, written by Max Blumenthal, originally appeared on [ http://www.huffingtonpost.com]The Huffington Post On July 16, I attended Christians United for Israel's annual Washington-Israel Summit. Founded by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee, CUFI has added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby.

Revealing Video at http://vimeo.com/251385

Israeli Checkpoints in the Occupied Territories
By MIFTAH, July 28, 2007
According to a paper released by the World Bank recently on ‘Movement and Access Restrictions in the West Bank’, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Territories (OCHA) reported that the number of physical impediments in the West Bank had increased by 44% to 540 in the year from the Agreement on Movement and Access in November 2005. As of March 2007, that number had once again increased to 546.


The Siren Song of Elliott Abrams

By Kathleen Christison, Counterpunch, July 26, 2007
The promises of Bush and his neocon hucksters, led by Elliott Abrams, are a siren song, holding out a false hope that Abbas' surrender to U.S. and Israeli enticements will bring a just peace and a just resolution of the issues most important to the Palestinians. The vision of a "peaceful state called Palestine" that the U.S. holds out is a sham, constituting perhaps 50 percent of the West Bank (but only ten percent of original Palestine) in disconnected segments, with no true sovereignty or independence, no capital, and no justice for Palestinian refugees. In these circumstances, Bush's vision of a "reclaimed dignity" and a decent future for Palestinians is also a sham. Although Abbas and his Fatah colleagues are going along thus far, most Palestinians have not fallen for these blandishments, which offer nothing in return for their abject surrender to Israel.


For first time, an Israeli textbook offers Palestinian narrative of the country's creation

From the Associated Press, International Herald Tribune, July 22, 2007


Official Israeli histories of the country's establishment, especially those written for schoolchildren, have typically focused on the heroism of Israeli forces and glossed over the Palestinian flight, crediting the mass exile to voluntary escape if mentioning it at all.

In recent years, several Israeli historians have published books claiming that while many Palestinians did flee of their own accord, many others were forced from their homes as fighting raged and then never allowed back because the nascent Jewish state feared it would be swamped by refugees.

Jonathan Cook Interviewed
By The Saker, Middle East Online, July 21, 2007
In other words, in a peaceful solution in which a real Palestine was established alongside Israel as a Jewish state, it would quickly become clear that a Jewish state is not a normal or legitimate kind of state. Peace would shatter the myth of Israeli normalcy and democracy. Which is a good reason in itself why Israel has no interest in peace, or in developing a viable Palestinian state. In fact, it has every incentive to sabotage the secular Palestinian national movement and encourage Islamic extremism, as it has long been doing. If Palestine becomes an Islamic ghetto-state, it will mirror some of the “abnormalities” of the Jewish state. There can be no change in Israel’s position until its ethnic project is ended, and the only way to bring that about it is to campaign AGAINST Israel as a Jewish state and FOR a new single secular political entity that embraces Jews and Palestinians as equal citizens. In other words, the question of what to do about creating a Palestinian state is inextricably bound up with what to do about ending the Jewish state. There cannot be a Palestinian state as long as there is an ethnic Jewish state desiring the same territory.

Is this Ben Gurion or Hell?
By Remi Kanazi, Counterpunch, July 19, 2007
Sami put it bluntly, as of the moment we were called in we were considered "terrorists" or people intending to "engage in terrorists activities" because we "lied" to airport security about the intention of our travels. Sami defined terrorism and terrorist activities as meeting up with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), working in "terrorist" branches of the Alternative Information Center (AIC), and non-violently protesting against the Apartheid Wall in the village of Bil'in. He was trying to a strike fear in us that went well passed being denied entry. It had become a matter of whether he was going to tell the US government if we were terrorists or not. He claimed that if he told the US government we were terrorists, it would not only affect us the rest of our lives (i.e. anytime we tried to get a job, bought a plane ticket, or applied for a credit card), but it would affect our family, immediate and extended, in a similar fashion. The explanation was clear: nobody would believe two Palestinians males over a respected man in the IDF with 40 years of experience. At this point I started to offer up information that may or may have not been considered "terrorist activity," essentially the plans for our trip, which my brother and I were still faintly excited about, plans that didn't seem to bring much joy to Sami.

Lebanese refugee camps as space of exception
By Sari Hanafi, The Daly Star, July 18, 2007


While historically the camp has been a laboratory of Palestinian society/state-in-making, it becomes now an experimental laboratory for control and surveillance. But beyond this, as formulated by Bernard Rougier, the camp has emerged as a sort of laboratory for the vast range of thought relating to politicized Islamism. Qualifying political Islamism as being against "Western civilization," however, Rougier uses the same philosophy as US President George W, Bush of the self-fulfillment prophecy which ignores the material basis of the conflict: Western hegemony, US oil interests in the region and above all the ways in which the US supports Israeli colonial practices

Why the Right of Return Matters to Palestinians
By Saifedean Ammous, 3QuarksDaily.com, July 18, 2007
The same people who tell me I am being unreasonable clinging on to my grandfather's land, should surely have told Rosa Parks that she was unreasonable clinging on to the seat in the front of the bus. After all, a lot of protests, riots, clashes and lynchings resulted from the civil rights movement, surely, it would've been better for the sake of "peace" for Rosa Parks to have compromised and moved to the back of the bus. Similarly, a lot of resistance, fighting and murder resulted from Palestinians not giving up their right of return and it would've been better for the sake of "peace" for Palestinians to have compromised and forgotten their homes and lands. This, of course, is equally nonsensical in both cases.

Twilight Zone/ "Mowing the grass" in Nablus
By Gideon Levy, Haaretz, July 5, 2007

On the radio I heard the explanation: "We have to 'mow the grass.'" This was the picturesque description offered by military sources for the IDF's activity in Nablus. This is why the army enters the city almost every night, carrying out broad-scale operations every few weeks, like the one last week. Two IDF officers were seriously injured, two were moderately injured, one passerby was killed - and members of the extended Adalay family were imprisoned together for no good reason.

Our Second Biggest Mistake in the Middle East
By Allistair Crooke, London Review of Books, July 5, 2007
A peace process with Israel, were that ever to become a reality, cannot be built on Palestinian division and internal conflict. The action of previous US envoys – such as General Zinni and George Tenet – served only to increase these divisions. The lesson has not been learned. President Abbas’s dismissal of the government on 14 June and his declaration of an emergency government – both decrees of questionable legality – brought an end to what remained of Palestinian unity. And did so at a moment when Hamas, in common with moderate Islamist movements throughout the region, is trying to deal with the radicalising of its constituency and a widespread questioning of the value of electoral participation.

The Palestinians' Purgatory In Lebanon

By Assaf Kfoury, GrassrootsOnline.org, July 2, 2007

Palestinian refugees enjoy far fewer civil liberties in Lebanon than in Syria, Jordan or the other Arab countries they fled to after 1948. As a result in Lebanon, the refugees have to rely more on UNRWA services, where they are forbidden by law (though often broken) from building inside the camps, owning property or working in jobs other than the most menial. The situation has been documented in numerous UNRWA reports over the years. Sheer ordinary living is thus all to often and unavoidably a criminalized activity. To secure the means of a meagre existence, the refugees often have to pay exorbitant bribes to work (illegally) for subpar wages or else to emigrate (also illegally).

Iraq by Numbers: Surging Past the Gates of Hell
By Tom Engelhardt, Middle East Online, June 28, 2007
The question is: What word best describes the situation these Iraqi numbers hint at? The answer would probably be: No such word exists. "Genocide" has been beaten into the ground and doesn't apply. "Civil war," which shifts all blame to the Iraqis (withdrawing Americans from a country its troops have not yet begun to leave), doesn't faintly cover the matter.

Keeping a Steady Course to Apartheid
By Jeff Halper, Media Monitors Network, June 25, 2007
Not only are the Palestinians irrelevant, in Israel’s view, but the Hamas' “takeover” is actually a positive development, since it furthers the apartheid process. A key reason why Palestinians voted for Hamas was the perception that it would resist pressures to accept a Bantustan better than the weak, vacillating Fatah movement, which was seen as little more than Israel’s policeman in the Territories. Israel, the US and a complicit Europe is thus seen as trying to isolate precisely those who truly resist the Occupation while “strengthening” Abbas and the “moderates” – “moderate” defined as those willing to pacify the Palestinians without securing their fundamental right to a sovereign and viable state of their own. The American-sponsored program of arming Fatah against its own people, complete with “lending” them an American general (Dayton), only confirms these suspicions, especially if they make Abbas dependent upon outside forces for his survival.


Israeli Apartheid is the Core of the Crisis

By Oren Ben-Dor, Counterpunch, June 23/24, 2007
If Israel demolished the concrete wall and withdrew to its exact pre-1967 limits, would the self-described Israeli left-wingers agitate against the continuance of apartheid inside those borders? If not, what makes apartheid inside the pre-1967 borders acceptable? If the notion of Jewish statehood necessitates apartheid, why is this not subject to the same challenge as South African apartheid? These are questions that ought to be canvassed among the Israeli "left".

USA Today and the USS Liberty
By Alison Weir, Counterpunch, June 23/24, 2007
While the results of its investigation can be read in the Congressional Record, "Findings of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty, the Recall of Military Rescue Support Aircraft while the Ship was Under Attack, and the Subsequent Cover-up by the United States Government," only an infinitesimal fraction of the American citizenry has any idea that a commission made up of some of the nation's most respected military leaders stated publicly and forcefully --on Capitol Hill --that a US president chose to sacrifice US interests and US servicemen (specifically, the 25 of the 34 dead who were killed after US rescue missions were recalled) to Israeli interests, and then ordered a cover-up of his actions.

For a Secular Democratic State
By Saree Makdisi, The Nation, June 18, 2007
Although some people claim there are fundamental differences between the disposition of the territories Israel captured in 1967 and the territories it captured during its creation in 1948--or even that there are important moral and political differences between Israel pre- and post-1967--such sentiments of entitlement, and the use of force that necessarily accompanies them, reveal the seamless continuity of the Zionist project in Palestine from 1948 to our own time. "There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing," argues Israeli historian Benny Morris, with reference to the creation of Israel. "A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on."

Sharon's Dream
By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, June 18, 2007
Alongside the severance of Gaza from the West Bank, a policy now called "isolation," the Sharon-Peres government and the Olmert-Peres government that succeeded it carried out the bantustan program in the West Bank. The Jordan Valley was separated from the rest of the West Bank; the south was severed from the north; and all three areas were severed from East Jerusalem. The "two states for two peoples" plan gave way to a "five states for two peoples" plan: one contiguous state, surrounded by settlement blocs, for Israel, and four isolated enclaves for the Palestinians. This plan was implemented on the ground via the intrusive route of the separation fence, a network of roadblocks deep inside the West Bank, settlement expansion and arbitrary orders by military commanders. The cantonized map that these dictated left no chance for the road map or the "gestures" that Israel promised to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Americans.

Blowback Across Lebanon
By Franklin Lamb, People's Geography, June 16, 2007
Many in Lebanon believe that the Lebanese army is being designed by Washington and Tel Aviv to be an internal Welch Club police force with the capability to fight the Palestinians or Hezbollah if need be, but definitely not to be given arms necessary to protect Lebanon from Israel.

Secret UN Report Condemns US for Middle East Failures
By Rory McCarthy and Ian Williams, The Guardian, June 13, 2007
The highest ranking UN official in Israel has warned that American pressure has "pummelled into submission" the UN's role as an impartial Middle East negotiator in a damning confidential report.

Read the complete End of Mission Report by Alvaro De Soto, UN Middle East Envoy, May 2007, http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2007/06/12/DeSotoReport.pdf

Withdrawal Won't Happen
By Patrick Seale, PalestineChronicle.com, June 13, 2007
What are the motives driving such long-term ambitions? The wish to retain control of energy resources, bearing in mind potential rivals such as China, is clearly one. If there were no oil in Iraq, the US would not be there. Another is the ability to project US power over the whole of the oil-rich Gulf and beyond, a vast area from central Asia to east Africa. Other motives include confronting hostile Iran and Syria; making up in Iraq for the loss of bases in Saudi Arabia; and, not least, being on hand to protect Israel. Indeed, these were the main reasons for the invasion four years ago.


An Interview with Hedy Epstein: "I Was Not Prepared for the Horrors I Saw"

By Silva Cattori, Counterpunch, June 13, 2007
In 1982, I received my personal wake-up call: the terrible massacres in the two refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in Lebanon. I needed to find out what the tragedy was all about, why it happened, and who was responsible. Then, when I found out, I needed to learn more about the history of what happened between 1948, when Israel became a state, and 1982 in Sabra and Chatila. When I was learning, I realized that I hadn't paid attention to what was going on with Israel. And the more I learned and the more I understood, the more I became disturbed by what the Israeli government was doing, and doing in my name.

"I Like this Violence"
By Paul Wodward, War In Context, June 13, 2007
It is often assumed that "men of violence" always wear masks and brandish weapons, but those who stand on the sidelines and cheer the fight are also men of violence, none more so than Assistant Secretary of State and US Envoy to the Middle East, David Welch.

"I like the violence" -- these were Welch's words when fighting erupted between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza earlier this year. Welch may be in a less celebratory mood right now, but not because the violence is worse -- simply because his side (a small faction inside Fatah) is losing.

Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-Entry
From Palsolidarity.org, June 13, 2007
A Grassroots Campaign for the Protection of Foreign Passport Holders Residing in and/or Visiting the oPt

Position Statement: To date, Israeli authorities have failed to provide a transparent policy on which foreign nationals wishing to enter or maintain their presence in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) can rely. Instead, Israel has continued to pursue both policies and practices that fail to comply with International Humanitarian Law. In fact, the de facto policy announced in December 2006 and again in March 2007 signals Israel’s intent to continue to violate international law. The failure of third states to object in such circumstances implies acceptance and violates their own obligations in international law.

High Cost of Subservience to Israel
By Paul Findley, Palestine Chronicle, June 11, 2007

Despite this grim record, U.S. subservience to the wishes of Israel’s leaders does not change.  Unconditional aid to Israel keeps flowing, as does Israel’s savage treatment of Palestinians and other Arabs.  Moreover, the Bush administration is fully and openly pledged to do whatever is necessary—--even acts of war--to halt Iran’s nuclear program even if its projects are lawfully limited to peaceful purposes.  Israel is the only nation urging the United States to attack Iran.  The lobby is pushing hard again. If the U.S. assaults Iran it will be on Israel’s behalf. 

Leaving the Zionist Ghetto (Interview with Avraham Burg)
By Ari Shavit, Haaretz, June 8, 2007
"Look at the Lebanon War. The people returned from the field of battle. There were certain achievements, there were certain failures, things were revealed. You would expect people in the mainstream and even on the right to understand that when the IDF is allowed to win, it doesn't win. That force is not a solution. But then comes Gaza, and what is the Gaza discourse? We will smash them, we will erase them. Nothing has sunk in. Nothing. And it's not just between nation and nation. Look at the relations between people. Listen to the personal conversation. The graph of violence on the roads, the discourse of the battered women. Look at the mirror of Israel's face."

It's Not Just the Occupation
By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, June 7, 2007
We must recast the struggle as one for democracy and equal rights for all the people who live in the country. This involves two kinds of work: solidarity in the form of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli apartheid system in all its disguises, and the articulation of a vision of a shared future inspired by the values of the peace settlements in Northern Ireland and South Africa. Leaders of Israel's one million Palestinian citizens have put forward imaginative and concrete proposals for democratization and equality. They are already paying the price: Israel's Shin Bet secret police has received official blessing to subvert even legal activities that challenge the superior rights reserved for Jews. Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza have failed to offer a compelling vision, even though many recognize that the two-state solution is a mirage.


The Shape of Lebanon Since Israel’s Assault: An Interview with Dahr Jamail

By Eric Ruder, DissidentVoice.org,  June 7, 2007

When I was there, I got a chance to see what Lebanese have been living with since the so-called “ceasefire” brokered by the UN — where there are always surveillance drones overhead and Israeli warplanes flying overhead every other day. All of this is in direct breach of the UN ceasefire and international law, but this is something that Lebanese have been used to for quite some time.

The Salvador Option in Beirut
By Trish Schuh, Global Research, June 6, 2007
From mission statement to mission accomplished, the slam dunk cakewalks continue. But from Baghdad to Beirut, the forgery looks the same.

Defending Israel from Democracy
By Jonathan Cook, Counterpunch, June 5, 2007
The figurehead for this political struggle has been the legislator Azmi Bishara. A former philosophy professor, Bishara has been running rings around Jewish politicians in the Knesset for more than a decade, as well as exposing to outsiders the sham of Israel's self-definition as a "Jewish and democratic" state.

Even more worryingly he has also been making an increasingly convincing case to his constituency of 1.2 million Palestinian citizens that, rather than challenging the hundreds of forms of discrimination they face one law at a time, they should confront the system that props up the discrimination: the Jewish state itself. He has started to persuade a growing number that they will never enjoy equality with Jews as long as they live in ethnic state.

40th Anniversary of the Six-Day War
By George Bisharat, San Francisco Chronicle, June 4, 2007

A comforting illusion has been fostered that if Palestinians and Israelis could only be coaxed back into negotiations, the elusive two-state solution would somehow materialize. The interests of leaders on all sides are served by this fiction, although for different reasons. For President Bush, an appearance of progress toward Palestinian-Israeli peace quells hostility toward the United States in the Middle East, and eases policy options elsewhere in the region, including Iraq. The PLO leadership, personified in the hapless Mahmoud Abbas, staked its entire political legitimacy in the Oslo accords and the endless "peace process" it inaugurated. Abandoning negotiations toward a two-state solution would constitute an admission that it had led the Palestinians into a terrible dead-end. Israel mollifies the United States by engaging in the negotiation charade, exploits the continuing indeterminacy to continue colonizing the West Bank, and advances its strategic objective of permanent control over most or all of former Palestine. Like the shimmering waters of a desert mirage, the two-state solution moves just out of reach with every apparent advancing step.

The War on Charities
By Katherine Hughes, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May-June, 2007
At Precisely 7 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 11, 2006, 17 federal prisoners across the country were taken out of their cells, held in isolation for two days, then bused to the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Terre Haute, Indiana

Democracy for Jews Only
By Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz, May 30, 2007
In contrast, Israeli democracy is careful not to talk about the constitutional status of the Arabs within its borders. It has established a devious system of laws and regulations to expropriate from them rights reserved only for Jewish citizens, and even for Jewish non-citizens. The real estate laws are an example of this, as are the actions of the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency, which behave as if the state were only for Jews.


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