Hamas continues its rocket attacks on Israel. An Israeli official warns of a “Holocaust” in Gaza. And the Palestinian President accuses Hamas of working with Al Qaeda. Just “rhetoric”? Or will Israel re-invade Gaza?
Answers to these questions and more on Link TV’s Mosaic Intelligence Report presented by Jamal Dajani.
For more information, visit http://www.linktv.org/mosaic.
When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales held a press conference in the summer of 2006 announcing the arrests of seven young men for plotting to bomb Chicago’s Sears Tower, he sounded defensive, his voice lingering a beat on each thing the men allegedly did. “Individuals here in America made plans to hurt Americans,” he claimed. “They did request materials; they did request equipment; they did request funding.” Gonzales admitted that the American and Haitian-born men posed “no immediate threat.” But, he warned, “homegrown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like Al Qaeda. Our philosophy here is that we try to identify plots in the earliest stages possible, because we don’t know what we don’t know about a terrorism plot.” It’s dangerous, Gonzales added, to make a “case by case” evaluation that “well, ‘this is a really dangerous group’; ‘this is not a really dangerous group.'”
In 2005, a Nobel prize-winning economist began the painstaking process of calculating the true cost of the Iraq war. In his new book, he reveals how short-sighted budget decisions, cover-ups and a war fought in bad faith will affect us all for decades to come. Aida Edemariam meets Joseph Stiglitz
Fitful spring sunshine is warming the neo-gothic limestone of the Houses of Parliament, and the knots of tourists wandering round them, but in a basement cafe on Millbank it is dark, and quiet, and Joseph Stiglitz is looking as though he hasn’t had quite enough sleep. For two days non-stop he has been talking – at the LSE, at Chatham House, to television crews – and then he is flying to Washington to testify before Congress on the subject of his new book. Whatever their reservations – and there will be a few – representatives will have to listen, because not many authors with the authority of Stiglitz, a Nobel prize-winner in economics, an academic tempered by four years on Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and another three as chief economist at the World Bank (during which time he developed an influential critique of globalisation), will have written a book that so urgently redefines the terms in which to view an ongoing conflict. The Three Trillion Dollar War reveals the extent to which its effects have been, and will be, felt by everyone, from Wall Street to the British high street, from Iraqi civilians to African small traders, for years to come.
California State University East Bay has fired a math teacher after six weeks on the job because she inserted the word “nonviolently” in her state-required Oath of Allegiance form.
Marianne Kearney-Brown, a Quaker and graduate student who began teaching remedial math to undergrads Jan. 7, lost her $700-a-month part-time job after refusing to sign an 87-word Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution that the state requires of elected officials and public employees.
“I don’t think it was fair at all,” said Kearney-Brown. “All they care about is my name on an unaltered loyalty oath. They don’t care if I meant it, and it didn’t seem connected to the spirit of the oath. Nothing else mattered. My teaching didn’t matter. Nothing.”
A veteran public school math teacher who specializes in helping struggling students, Kearney-Brown, 50, had signed the oath before – but had modified it each time.
by Jonathan Cook
Global Research, February 29, 2008
In the strange world of Israeli academia, an Arab college lecturer is being dismissed from his job because he refused to declare his “respect for the uniform of the Israeli army”. The bizarre demand was made of Nizar Hassan, director of several award-winning films, after he criticised a Jewish student who arrived in his film studies class at Sapir College in the Negev for wearing his uniform and carrying a gun.
The incident raises disturbing questions about the freedom of Israeli academics, sheds light on the veneration of the military in Israeli public life, and exposes the close, verging on incestuous, ties between the army and Israeli academia.
Meanwhile, for many of Israel’s 1.2 million Palestinian citizens, who are nearly a fifth of the country’s population, Hassan’s treatment confirms their fears that decades of discrimination, especially in higher education, are far from over.
Hassan has faced a storm of criticism, including claims that he is anti-Semitic, since the Israeli media mistakenly reported back in November that he had thrown out of class one of his students, Eyal Cohen, over the way he was dressed. Hassan and most of the students present say Cohen was simply warned not to attend class in future wearing his uniform.
The story soon gained a life of its own, becoming the subject of incensed talk shows and newspaper columns. A group of rightwing college staff and students lobbied for Hassan, the only Arab lecturer in the film school, to be dismissed, and the Knesset’s Education Committee denounced him.
Critics claim, apparently without irony, that Hassan humiliated the student, abused the concept of academic freedom and impugned the reputation of the Israeli army.
Condemnation has come from surprising quarters, including the journalist Gideon Levy, better known for his articles attacking the army’s treatment of the Palestinians under occupation.
But more predictable has been outrage from the right. Last month two leaders of extremist Jewish settlers in Hebron, Baruch Marzel and Itimar Ben Gvir, announced that they had enrolled on Hassan’s course. “I would love for him to ask me about my army service,” said Marzel. “I can only assure you that he will be the one walking out of the classroom.”
The army added its voice too, with senior officers, including the Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, putting pressure on Sapir College to publicly rebuke the film-maker and punish him.
A letter from the head of army personnel, General Elazar Stern, accused the college of failing to act with “proper determination” and urged that Hassan face “sharp, public, official condemnation”. Stern added that Hassan must be made to apologise or be sacked, otherwise the army would end its funding of places for hundreds of soldiers who attend courses at Sapir.
Most academic institutions in Israel not only depend on such funding but receive special grants and endowments for research in security-related subjects. The Israeli revisionist historian Ilan Pappe, who was forced out of Haifa University last year, estimates that half of lecturers in Israeli universities have ties to the security services.
In Sapir College’s case, links to the army have been reinforced by its location in Sderot, a poor development town close to Gaza that is the target of most of the Qassam rockets fired into Israel.
Under growing pressure, the college’s Academic Council suspended Hassan without offering him a hearing. It also appointed for the first time in the college’s history an academic committee to investigate the incident and report on what disciplinary action should be taken.
The committee published its report late last month, conceding that he is an “outstanding teacher” but offering only a cursory examination the events at the centre of the controversy. Instead the members harshly criticised Hassan’s behaviour and personality and recommended that he apologise to Cohen or face dismissal.
The college’s president, Zeev Tzahor, intervened by contributing his own condition. He wrote to Hassan telling him that in his apology “you must refer to your obligation to be respectful to the IDF uniform and the full right of every student to enter your classroom in uniform.”
Hassan refused and, according to reports last week, the college has begun proceedings to dismiss him.
“The whole reaction has been hysterical,” Hassan, who lives in Nazareth, said. “It really surprised me, as did the lies that were told about what had happened.”
His students say the issue has been blown out proportion and that Hassan has never hidden his opposition to militarism, wherever it exists.
Enass Masri, one of two Arab students in Hassan’s film class, said: “When he saw Cohen wearing his uniform, he explained that all military uniforms — of the Israeli army, of Fatah or of Hamas — are symbols of violence and that he does not allow them into his classroom.
“His concerns about the blurring in Israeli society of the boundaries between the civil and military are well known.”
She added that the mistaken reports about Cohen being thrown out of class may have been part of a long-standing campaign to oust Hassan from his job. He had made himself unpopular with some staff and students by speaking his mind, she said. “Some people at the college are not prepared to accept the kind of things he says from an Arab.”
Sapir College calls itself “a lighthouse in the Negev”, and its film school once had a reputaton for encouraging dissenting social and political opinions.
In other Israeli colleges, discussion of “politics” — a euphemism for views not officially sanctioned — is rarely allowed.
For example, at Haifa University, which has the largest Arab student body in the country, all protests on campus are banned unless licensed by the vice-chancellor. Unofficial demonstrations, however peaceful, are broken up and usually filmed by security staff. Video evidence is used as grounds for suspending or expelling students.
Sapir’s president, Tzahor, recently told the Haaretz newspaper that his motto is: “Politics — only as far as the classroom door.”
However, the college’s definition of “politics” appears selective. In another recent incident at Sapir, lecturer Shlomit Tamari told a Bedouin student to remove her head-covering, telling her it was a sign of her oppression. No disciplinary action was taken against Tamari, who is unrepentant: “I told the college that I have academic freedom, and I can talk about that subject and I am continuing to do so.”
Enass Masri said she was also shocked that the college committee did not question the students in Hassan’s class about what took place. “We thought we would be able to put the record straight, but we were never invited to testify.
“Almost all of the students are on Hassan’s side, and we wrote a letter to the college authorities in protest at his treatment.”
Instead, she says, the committee interpreted the “meaning” of what happened, accordng to their own view of Hassan. “They looked at him not as a human being but as an Arab, and Arabs are not allowed to have an opinion on Israeli militarism.”
Hassan takes a slightly different view. Describing his questioning by the committee, he said: ”They wanted me to be the Palestinian in the room, and I refused to oblige. They wanted to believe that I object to the army uniform because I am Palestinian. But I reject the uniform because it is opposed to my universal and human values. I acted as I did because I am a teacher and a human being.
“What shocked me was that the committee refused to believe that could be my motivation.”
Certainly the committee’s report dismisses Hassan’s arguments, claiming: “Nizar abused his status and his authority as a teacher to flaunt his opinions, feelings and frustrations as a member of the Arab national minority in Israel, cloaking himself in a ‘humane’ and ‘universal’ garb, whereas in fact he demonstrated a stance of brute force bearing a distinctly nationalist character.”
Haim Bresheeth, an Israeli film-maker who was dean of Sapir’s film school between 1996 and 2002, until he was hounded out over his anti-Zionist views, wrote to Tzahor, the college president, arguing that he was making an “irrational and immoral demand” in expecting Hassan to respect the army’s uniform.
Bresheeth, referring to the reserve duty that most Israeli Jewish men perform well into their forties, added: “You are a soldier first, and only then an academic … I call on the historian Zeev Tzahor to refuse the orders of Major Zeev Tzahor.”
As in most other areas of Israeli life, the country’s Palestinian minority faces systematic discrimination in higher education. No public university is located in an Arab community or teaches in Arabic, and, though the minority is a fifth of the population, fewer than 1 per cent of lecturers are Arab.
In addition, the number of Arab students is third of their proportion in the population — an under-representation that is apparently intentional. In 2003, psychometric tests biased towards Western culture were scrapped in an effort to help “weaker sections” of society gain acceptance to university. However, when the Committee of University Heads learnt that the number of Arabs entering university had risen sharply as a result, the tests were immediately reinstated.
Several leading Israeli academics are outspoken racists, including David Bukay and Arnon Sofer at Haifa University and Raphael Israeli at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The latter was called as an “expert” witness by the state at a trial in 2004 in which he stated that the Arab mentality was composed of “a sense of victimization”, “pathological anti-Semitism” and “a tendency to live in a world of illusions”.
Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His new book, “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” is published by Pluto Press. His website is http://www.jkcook.net
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U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are planning to descend on Washington from Mar. 13-16 to testify about war crimes they committed or personally witnessed in those countries.
“The war in Iraq is not covered to its potential because of how dangerous it is for reporters to cover it,” said Liam Madden, a former Marine and member of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War. “That’s left a lot of misconceptions in the minds of the American public about what the true nature of military occupation looks like.” Continue reading
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
For more: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Children Killed in Gaza,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Olmert Warns of Long War,” IBA TV, Israel
“US Drone Plane Kills 12 in Pakistan,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Bush Names American Muslim to Organization of Islamic Conference,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Kurds Split Over PKK,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“US Wants Darfur’s Oil,” Syria TV, Syria
“Afghanistan Re-Opens National Museum,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
Israel’s prime minister is vowing to make Hamas pay what he calls a “heavy price” for Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza.
More than 20 Palestinians have been killed in attacks since Wednesday, including Hamas fighters, civilians and children.
In Gaza City, one of those killed was a six month old baby. Ashraf Amritti reports on a family grieving for the youngest casualty of Israeli airstrikes.
by Andrew G. Marshall
Feb. 29, 2008
The next North American Summit is set to be held on April 21-22, 2008, in New Orleans, as a fitting memorial – returning to the location where the state turned its back on the people, literally leaving them to die; and where they now meet to turn their backs once again on the people, leaving them in the dark and their countries near death.
In preparation for the next North American (leaders’) Summit, the designated ministers from Mexico, the United States and Canada, met February 28 under the auspices of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). Industry Canada issued a press release February 28, 2008, which stated, “This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA has been a tremendous success: trade and commerce among our countries have grown exponentially.” Then the press release made the statement that, “Trilateral merchandise trade is approximately $900 billion in 2007, significantly contributing to economic growth and increased standards of living in all three countries.” Given the past few months of economic turmoil, record-breaking oil prices, a collapsing US dollar, and fears of a “1930’s style Depression,” it’s a little premature to be saying our standard of living is on the rise.
After giving lip service to, “respecting the sovereignty, laws, unique heritage, and culture of each country,” it states, “we have reviewed progress achieved since Montebello and have directed officials to” five key areas of integration, “Competitiveness, Safe Food & Products, Energy and Environment, Smart & Secure Borders, [and] Emergency Management and Preparedness.”
The press release states that they will direct officials to, “Continue to implement the strategy to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and build on the Regulatory Cooperation Framework by pursuing collaboration through sectoral initiatives, with an emphasis on the automotive sector.” So, it’s now time to cement together the already extremely integrated automotive industries of Canada and the US, as currently the Canadian “auto and parts makers export more than 85 per cent of their production south of the border.”
It was recently reported that, “More than three-quarters of Canada’s exports — including oil, minerals, lumber and passenger vehicles — are sold to Americans. The U.S. housing collapse already has slashed sales of Canadian lumber. Now, as a historic decline in home values causes American consumers to retrench, U.S. auto sales this year are headed to a 10-year low, according to TD Bank Financial Group in Toronto.”
So my question is, if it’s the integrated economies between Canada and the US, specifically in the auto industry, that with a falling US economy threaten Canada’s own economy to such a great extent, why is the solution more “deep integration”? Looking at this from a perspective of looking out for the interest of Canada’s economy, if the ailment we are facing is a result of our near-total dependence and integration with the US economy, why is the cure more of the same? If you stick your finger in an electric socket, you get shocked. If, after doing that, you decide to continually put your finger in the same socket over and over again, expecting different results, you’re insane.
Safe Food & Products:
Of this the SPP press release stated that the ministers would advise officials to, “Strengthen cooperation to better identify, assess and manage unsafe food and products before they enter North America, and collaborate to promote the compatibility of our related regulatory and inspection regimes.”
Of course, this has already started to be integrated, as it was reported in May of 2007 that, “Canada is set to raise its limits on pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables for hundreds of products,” and that, “The move is part of an effort to harmonize Canadian pesticide rules with those of the United States, which allows higher residue levels for 40 per cent of the pesticides it regulates.”
Energy and Environment:
Here the ministers state they will advise officials to, “Develop projects under the newly signed Agreement on Science and Technology; and cooperate on moving new technologies to the marketplace, auto fuel efficiency and energy efficiency standards.”
On July 24, 2007, it was reported that, “The first trilateral framework agreement on energy science and technology was inked Monday by the energy ministers for Canada, Mexico and the United States,” focusing on, “ways to increase cooperation on research and development and to reduce barriers to the deployment of new technologies in biofuels, gas hydrates, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, clean coal, and electricity transmission.” It further stated that, “the three countries will exchange scientific and technical personnel to participate in joint studies and projects.” The news report further stated that, “The ministers discussed increasing the region’s energy security, recognizing the critical contribution that an integrated energy market makes to the North American economy.”
Smart & Secure Borders:
Here the press release reports that ministers will aim to, “Strengthen cooperation protocols and create new mechanisms to secure our common borders while facilitating legitimate travel and trade in the North American region.”
Creating “new mechanisms” is the most important part here. On January 22, 2008, it was reported that, “B.C. is about to become the first province to use a high-tech driver’s licence. For an extra fee, it will enable drivers to cross the border into the U.S. without a passport and still comply with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerns,” and that, “The enhanced driver’s licence or EDL has a radio-frequency identification chip that will broadcast a number linked to a computer database, allowing a border guard to assess data and flag security issues as drivers approach the booth.” It then stated that, “Name, address, place of birth, citizenship and photo will appear with a quick scan of the coding of the back of the licence.”
On February 28, 2008, it was reported that BC made this move “in conjunction with Washington State,” and that, “Ontario and other provinces with high-volume border crossings are expected to follow suit in the near future. Under the U.S.’ Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), passports will be required for all travellers entering the U.S. starting June 2009, but RFID-enabled EDLs are being introduced on a voluntary basis as an acceptable alternative to speed up border crossings.” The report elaborated that, “the Real ID Act enacted in 2005 calls for the harmonization of drivers’ licences across states in the U.S,” which are, in turn being harmonized with Canada’s licenses, and that the real agenda with this is to create a North American ID card. Andrew Clement, a professor of information studies at the University of Toronto was quoted in the article as saying:
The EDL scheme is seen as a way to sneak it [the ID card] through the back door by turning state licences, through U.S.-wide harmonization with biometrics, into de facto identity cards. And the Privacy Commissioner has pointed out that Canada’s EDLs will be made compatible from a system point of view with Real ID standards, so Canadians will in fact be enrolled in the U.S. apparatus via licences. There are several steps to get there but this seems to be the direction it’s heading towards
On top of this, it was reported on February 14 that, “the Garden River First Nation (an Ojibway Tribe of North American Indians), headquartered at the eastern boundary of the city of Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada, has signed an agreement to license and use Veritec’s 2-D VSCode(TM) Biometric technology for multi-purpose cards which will serve as Tribal Member ID, Border-crossing (from and to Ontario, Canada) control and passport-backup ID cards,” and that, “[t]he technology stores the individual’s fingerprint minutiae.” So, while BC is introducing this as a (for now) voluntary move, it’s being introduced elsewhere first for First Nations peoples, then, undoubtedly, for everyone.
Emergency Management and Preparedness:
Under this heading, the press release states that SPP minister will work to, “Strengthen emergency management cooperation capacity in the North American region before, during and after disasters.”
This comes right on the heels of the announcement that, “Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other’s borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.” It was further reported that, “Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas,” and that, “The U.S. military’s Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.”
Soon after this was announced, in the Canadian House of Commons, “the NDP couldn’t get an answer out of Defence Minister Peter MacKay on why his government didn’t release details about a new agreement recently signed with U.S. military,” and that:
According to what little is known of the agreement (the actual document hasn’t been made public and no word if it ever will) it will be up to civilian authorities on whether military assistance is needed and whether U.S. troops will cross the border to help in Canada in the event of a terror attack, flu pandemic, earthquake or some other domestic emergency. Same goes if Canadian troops were needed in the U.S. to deal with similar situations.
Calls for Further, Faster Integration:
The day of this press release from the SPP Ministers, the Canadian newspaper the Globe & Mail reported on the previous night’s debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in which they both threatened to leave NAFTA if they didn’t get certain concessions from Canada and Mexico, and the article stated that if NAFTA was torn up, “Canadians would lose their jobs; companies would go out of business, [and] our standard of living would decline.” However, it is actually that, “NAFTA has been responsible for growing poverty, the creation of a new underclass called the ‘working poor,’ and the concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people.”
The Globe & Mail article reports that regarding Obama’s comments toward NAFTA, “CTV reported last night that the Obama camp contacted the Canadian embassy to give them a heads-up about the upcoming rhetoric and to reassure them there was no cause for concern.” Continuing on the idea of a theoretical end to NAFTA, the article states that, “Our politicians can wait with fingers crossed, hoping that Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, if one of them does become president, won’t follow through,” or, “we can act, as we have acted in the past, to revitalize the Canada-U.S. relationship and turn crisis into opportunity.”
It further states that, “Since 1993, when Jean Chrétien and Bill Clinton ratified NAFTA, Canadian prime ministers have largely ignored issues of economic integration,” which is, of course, an obvious lie. However, it does give mention to, “Incremental efforts at harmonizing regulatory regimes – the once-much-vaunted Security and Prosperity Partnership – have been quietly shelved, left to the bureaucrats to work on, unperturbed by deadlines.” So the problem, according to the Globe and Mail, is that the process of integration is not happening fast enough.
The article then went on to attack those who have attacked the North American Union, stating, “the American economy deteriorated and manufacturing jobs disappeared, prompting xenophobic fears over immigration and trade. Anti-trade zealots such as CNN’s Lou Dobbs promoted paranoia. Their poisonous message has filtered throughout the industrial heartland of the United States.” In explaining a solution to this “crisis”, the article states, “The challenge today is the same; the answer is the same. Prime Minister Stephen Harper should propose a second round of Canada-U.S. trade negotiations.”
The purpose of proposing a new trade negotiation agreement would be for the next President of the United States, presumably a Democrat, and if the Democrats want new environmental regulations, “Then let’s propose a bilateral carbon market based on a cap-and-trade agreement aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” This idea would likely follow upon another trend being set in British Columbia. As reported by the Leader-Post, “Driving and other fuel-dependent activities are about to get more expensive in British Columbia as B.C. becomes the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a consumer-based carbon tax,” and that BC Finance Minister “Taylor said the new carbon tax will begin July 1, starting at a rate that will have drivers paying about an extra 2.4 cents per litre of gasoline at the pumps.” It elaborated, “The tax will apply to virtually all fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane and home heating fuel. It will increase each year until 2012, reaching a final price of about 7.2 cents per litre at the pumps.”
The article finishes by stating, “An activist government will get ahead of the story, with proposals to advance both economic and security integration with the United States as soon as the new president takes office.”
Funny, that sounds like what every government since Mulroney’s has been doing, so how is doing more of the same, activist? Brian Mulroney, who signed onto the initial Canada-US Free Trade Agreement with George HW Bush, has since been rewarded with a seat on the International Advisory Board of the US-based Council on Foreign Relations. Chrétien signed onto NAFTA with Clinton. Paul Martin signed onto the SPP with Bush and Fox, Harper went further with the SPP with Bush and Calderon. Now, Harper is urged to go further with the next American President.
So, what else is new?
The Bailey Mail
February 29, 2008
I have read some pretty shocking statements from members of political parties on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the one I read today was easily the most shocking. When I read Yahoo news this morning, the short news article quoted Deputy Israeli Defense Minister as saying the Palestinians would bring a holocaust on themselves if they continued firing rockets:
“The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger ‘shoah’ because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.”
Throughout the course of the day, heavy back-tracking by Vilnai’s pr team, and other members of the Israeli government has resulted in Yahoo changing the article, which now begins:
“A senior Israeli defence official said on Friday that Palestinians firing rockets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip would bring upon themselves what he termed a “shoah”, the Hebrew word for holocaust or disaster.”
The article then goes on to explain that the Hebrew word Vilnai used “Shoa” means disaster, and that the word is rarely used by Israelis unless they are talking about the Nazi holocaust, and they loathe the words use to describe contemporary events. The fact that the word’s literal meaning is disaster gave Vilnai’s spokesman room to manoeuvre him out of the s**t:
“Mr. Vilnai was meaning ‘disaster’. He did not mean to make any allusion to the genocide.”
Foreign Minister Arye Mekel, went further: “Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai used the Hebrew phrase that included the term ‘shoah’ in Hebrew in the sense of a disaster or a catastrophe, and not in the sense of a holocaust.”
As explained in the Yahoo article, the most common meaning of Shoa to Israelis is holocaust, Vilnai using that Hebrew word in an otherwise English speech, to me says he did so because the Israelis would take him to mean holocaust, but he would get away with it overall because of the word’s literal meaning.
It is people like Vilnai in the Israeli government and other positions of power that results in prisoner abuse and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people as a whole day in day out. And I know I will be accused of anti-Semitism for saying this but: How can a member of the Jewish faith, the faith that suffered one of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind, even contemplate hinting that the country of that faith would unleash a holocaust of its own on another faith group? It is ludicrous.
The Minister was no doubt giving the tough talk because of pressure on the Israeli government to take definitive action against the rocket squads in Gaza. According to senior Israeli military officials a major ground offensive is being prepared but is not yet imminent.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak today began testing the waters of international opinion on such an operation; sending confidential letters to the world’s major leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is due to visit the region next week. Barak’s letter was reported by one of Israel’s leading daily newspapers Yedioth Ahronoth, and apparently read:
“Israel is not keen on and rushing for an offensive, but Hamas is leaving us no choice.”
When Israel’s government, particularly the Defence Minister starts sending out letters like that to world leaders, especially when they get leaked accidentally on purpose by the Israeli press, it means one thing, a major Israeli military action is in fact imminent.
By Pepe Escobar
February 29, 2008
The precedent of Kosovo is a terrible precedent, which will de facto blow apart the whole system of international relations, developed not over decades, but over centuries. [The Americans] have not thought through the results of what they are doing. At the end of the day it is a two-ended stick and the second end will come back and hit them in the face.
– Russian President Vladimir Putin
In myriad aspects, Kosovo is the new Kurdistan (and the other way around), as much as Iraq is the new Yugoslavia.
The unilateral independence of Kosovo has nothing to do with “democracy”. But then what’s the point of this North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) provocation towards Vladimir Putin’s Russia – a historic ally of Serbia?
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