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:: ONU - XX Assemblea Generale (1965):
La XX Assemblea Generale dell’ONU (1965) dichiara "la legittimità della lotta da parte dei popoli sotto oppressione coloniale, per esercitare il loro diritto all' autodeter-
minazione e all'indipendenza".
Inoltre, l'Assemblea invita "tutti gli Stati a fornire assistenza morale e materiale ai movimenti di liberazione nazionale nei territori coloniali".

:: ONU - Risoluzione 1514
"L'Assemblea Generale dichiara che: la soggezione dei popoli a dominio straniero, conquista e asservimento costituisce una negazione dei diritti umani fondamentali, è contraria alla Carta delle Nazioni Unite ed è un impedimento alla promozione della pace e della cooperazione mondiali.
Tutti i popoli hanno diritto all' autodeter-
minazione; in virtù di tale diritto essi devono liberamente determinare il loro status politico e liberamente perseguire il loro sviluppo economico, sociale e culturale".

:: Convenzione di Ginevra, Protocollo Addizionale I (1977):
La lotta armata può essere usata, come ultima risorsa, come mezzo per esercitare il diritto all' autodeter-

:: Tribunale penale internazionale
In base allo Statuto del Tribunale penale internazionale, sono definiti “crimini di guerra”:
(1) attacchi lanciati intenzionalmente contro popolazione civili in quanto tali o contro civili che non prendano direttamente parte alle ostilità;
(4) attacchi lanciati intenzionalmente nella consapevolezza che gli stessi avranno come conseguenza la perdita di vite umane tra la popolazione civile, e lesioni a civili o danni a proprietà civili ovvero danni diffusi duraturi e gravi all’ambiente naturale che siano manifestamente eccessivi rispetto all’insieme dei concreti e diretti i vantaggi militari previsti.

:: Iraq anthem
(click to listen)

Syria News - September 16, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

September 16, 2014 - By the end of Tuesday, LCC were able to document 83 martyrs including 9 women, 7 children and 2 martyrs under torture: 29 martyrs were reported in Homs; 19 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 12 in Aleppo; 11 in Idlib; 8 in Raqqa; 2 in Hasakeh; 1 in Hama and 1 in Daraa....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109776] [ 20-oct-2014 04:41 ECT ]

Hamas debates direct talks with Israel
Adnan Abu Amer

September 16, 2014 - Hamas has weathered a great political storm in the past few days, following a Sept. 11 announcement by the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, that the movement might undertake direct negotiations with Israel, since such negotiations have become a popular demand in Gaza but remain forbidden by law. In the same interview, Abu Marzouk said, "Just as Hamas has negotiated with Israel using weapons, so is it possible to negotiate with words. If the situation in Gaza remains as it is now, Hamas could find itself forced to negotiate with Israel, and many of the things currently forbidden to the movement will be on the table."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109775] [ 20-oct-2014 03:30 ECT ]

How a 24hr truce to pick up bodies became a non-aggression pact between ISIS & Syrian rebels
Clay Claiborne

September 16, 2014 - ...By most reliable accounts, one group, Sons of Golan, associated with the Free Syrian Army, that had been waging a heroic and hard fought campaign to rid an area near Damascus of ISIS agreed to a 24 hour truce so that both sides could remove their dead from the battlefield and bury them, after which the battle between the two forces resumed. This led to widespread reports in the western anti-war movement that the Free Syrian Army generally had concluded, in words design to invoke memories of the opportunistic agreement made between Hitler and Stalin, a "non-aggression pact" with the extreme jihadist group ISIS in Syria. Based on a single unverified source, this story is being spread like wildfire by groups that hitherto have shown little concern for the 200,000 Syrians that have died in the last three years as a result of dictator Bashar al-Assad's vicious attempts to cling to power ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109774] [ 20-oct-2014 03:02 ECT ]

US and Canada strengthen economic relationship with Israel following attack on Gaza
Allison Deger

September 16, 2014 - Since Operation Protective Edge began in Gaza in early July, Israel has strengthened economic relationships with its closest allies. Within days of the air campaign starting, the U.S. and Israel penned a mutual recognition customs agreement which will lift screening barriers and tariffs. Then on Monday Israel cinched a similar Declaration of Intent from Canada, while focusing on the threat of ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah. "We share the same moral values and unfortunately now we can all see that we share the same threat," said Finance Minister Yair Lapid to his Canadian counterpart Steven Blaney in a Tel Aviv meeting on the Authorized Economic Operator Program, "Israel is faced with Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north and now ISIS advancing from the east," he continued...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109773] [ 19-oct-2014 07:23 ECT ]

Iraq: How Many Turning Points and Milestones Until We Win?
By: Peter Van Buren

September 16, 2014 -Secretary of State John Kerry said on September 8 that the formation of a new Iraqi government was "a major milestone" for the country.Kerry told reporters at the State Department that the government formed on Monday in Baghdad had "the potential to unite all of Iraq’s diverse communities for a strong Iraq, a united Iraq and give those communities a chance to build a future that all Iraqis desire." Kerry did not mention that divisive former Prime Minister Maliki, who was Washington’s man in Baghdad since 2006 tasked with uniting Iraq, stays on in the new government as Vice President. Kerry also did not mention that the job of uniting Iraq has been on various U.S.-supported Prime Ministers’ and other Iraqi officials’ to-do lists since 2003...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109772] [ 19-oct-2014 07:10 ECT ]

Sabra and Shatilla then, Yarmouk today

September 16, 2014 - As we commemorate 32 years since the slaughter of Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla, Yarmouk must be addressed once again. There is a certain binary between what happened in 1982, and what is occurring today in Yarmouk refugee camp. Whilst we fixate our anger towards a commemoration and yet continue to remain piercingly silent about the atrocities in Syria and more specifically Yarmouk, we are tainting and insulting all the lives lost in 1982. We are trapped in waves of anger that appear only in moments of commemoration, yet that wrath subsides when we address the issues at hand. We have betrayed our brothers and sisters in Yarmouk camp, whilst we ululate the names of the 1982 massacre...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109771] [ 19-oct-2014 05:35 ECT ]

ISIS and the 'clash of the civilisations'
Lamis Andoni

September 16, 2014 - If we listen carefully to what the Islamic State (ISIS) and its supporters are saying, we see a vision of the world in a state of ongoing war between the West and Islam. The essence of this war is religion, not colonial policies, as if colonialism has never targeted any other non-Muslim nations and Christians as well. We find a distorted promotion of the saying "clash of the civilisations", although it ultimately serves military intervention in the region. The beheadings, especially of Western hostages, are proof of the false "civilisations war", as the images of ugly beheadings are free publicity for America's goals, which have mainly adopted Islamophobia to terrorise the Westerners and push them to support the wars covered by the slogan "humanitarian-civilisational intervention", an intervention that is neither civil nor humane...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109770] [ 19-oct-2014 05:19 ECT ]

Pentagon Admits: US Advisers May Fight Alongside Iraqi Troops
by Jason Ditz

September 16, 2014 - Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey conceded that the promises of no combat troops in Iraq are only tentative, and that the reality is they’ve only been ruled out "for now." Gen. Dempsey says that in the future he may recommend that the ground troops in Iraq, presently labeled "advisers," will fight alongside the Iraqi military in offensives against ISIS. Dempsey insisted the current plan is to just provide them with advice, and airstrikes, but if that fails, and pretty much everyone expects that to be the case, the advisers will start accompanying the Iraqi forces on combat missions....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109769] [ 19-oct-2014 04:52 ECT ]

Shameful: US Judge Increases Prison Sentence of Tortured US Enemy Combatant Jose Padilla
Andy Worthington

September 16, 2014 Of the tens of thousands of victims of the Bush administration’s novel approach to detention in the "war on terror" — which involved shredding the Geneva Conventions, the use of torture and indefinite detention without charge or trial, and, in some cases, extraordinary rendition – few of the victims were American citizens, but three particular individuals need to be remembered, because they were not only tortured and held without charge or trial for years, but their torture and lawless detention took place on US soil. The three men are Jose Padilla, Yaser Hamdi and Ali al-Marri (the latter a legal US resident rather than a citizen), and Padilla — a former Chicago gang member who converted to Islam, and was held as an "enemy combatant" on US soil from May 2002, when he was seized after returning him from Pakistan, until November 2005 — was back in the news last week when a judge extended to 21 years the sentence of 17 years and four months he received in January 2008, when he was convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people abroad, and providing material support for terrorism....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109768] [ 19-oct-2014 04:45 ECT ]

Navy Continues to Persecute Nurse Who Refused to Force-feed Guantanamo Hunger Strikers
By: Jeff Kaye

September 16, 2014 - Carol Rosenberg reported today that a Navy commander had decided not to court-martial a Guantanamo nurse for refusing to participate in the forced-feeding of hunger strikers at the U.S. military prison. Announcement of the "pending court-martial" was made in late August. While on Twitter it appeared that many were relieved the nurse would not be going to jail for taking a principled stand against the medically unethical practice of forced "enteral" feeding — and that must be some relief, after all — the fact is the Navy announced that after some months of investigation, the nurse is now subject to an administrative review, or "Board of Inquiry," that may continue on for up to nine more months, according to Rosenberg...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109767] [ 19-oct-2014 04:28 ECT ]

Complaints submitted to the United Nations concerning the Israeli detention of two female Palestinian human rights defenders: Ms Shireen Issawi and Ms Bushra al-Taweel

September 16, 2014 - Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer) have submitted two joint complaints to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders (UNSR) concerning the arrest and continued pre-trial Israeli detention of two female Palestinian human rights defenders: Ms Shireen Issawi and Ms Bushra al-Taweel. Ms Shireen Issawi and Ms Bushra al-Taweel are both devoted to promoting and protecting the human rights of Palestinian prisoners. Both their cases raise serious concerns that Palestinian human rights defenders are being targeted by Israeli authorities for arbitrary arrest and detention due to peacefully and legitimately exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression on the significant human rights issue of Palestinian prisoner conditions and rights...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109766] [ 19-oct-2014 04:12 ECT ]

Killing Joke: The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program
Chris Floyd

September 16, 2014 - "And I was like, I killed 500,000 Iraqi children with my sanctions! And George here, yuk yuk, he was like — " "And I was like, 500,000? Hellfire boy, I can do better than that! We bagged us more than a million of them 'Rackies, har har har!" "Yeah — haw haw haw — you bigged it up, Texas style! And now Obama’s gonna get him some of his own!" "Well, there’s plenty to go around, hee hee hoo! Them folks breed like jackrabbits! Hey, Bill, you were a bit of a jackrabbit yourself in your day, weren’t you, ha ha ha? "Now don’t start with that stuff, George, hee-haw, har-har! Hillary might be in the audience, yuckity yuk yuk!" "Reckon how many 'Rackies she’ll rack up when she’s Prez, Bill? — Did you see what I did there? 'Rackies, rack up? Ho ho ho!"...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109765] [ 19-oct-2014 03:54 ECT ]

Chelsea Manning’s Column on Responding to ISIS Counterbalances Hysteria Among Pundits and Politicians
By: Kevin Gosztola

September 16, 2014 - Chelsea Manning wrote a column for The Guardian on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and President Barack Obama’s strategy for dealing with the group. The level-headedness of the column sharply contrasted with the statements of several pundits and politicians, who have been whipping up hysteria among Americans. For those unfamiliar, Manning is a soldier who provided WikiLeaks with around a half million classified documents which exposed details of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including war crimes like torture and summary executions. She is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth after being convicted of Espionage Act violations and other offenses on July 30, 2013...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109764] [ 19-oct-2014 03:22 ECT ]

Palestinian Reconciliation at the Crossroads

September 16, 2014 - President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement, which he commands, have unleashed a media campaign against Hamas and the resistance. If pressure from the Palestinian public fails to stop the campaign, Abbas may achieve politically what Israel failed to achieve militarily: forcing the Palestinian presidency to choose "peace with Israel" over national reconciliation.
It appears that President Abbas has, indeed, prioritised "peace with Israel." He has devised plans for resuming negotiations, and is still banking on American support for such talks. This is the only explanation for the current anti-Hamas media campaign....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109763] [ 19-oct-2014 03:14 ECT ]

Campaign gives new choices to Druze youth facing Israeli conscription
Patrick O. Strickland

September 16, 2014 - "From the earliest days of mandatory conscription for Druze, there has been opposition," says anti-militarization activist Maisan Hamdan. That opposition has become more public and gained more visibility in recent years. Eighteen-year-old Anan Shaheen, from the Druze religious community in Shefa Amr, a Palestinian city in the Galilee region of present-day Israel, recently declared his refusal to serve in Israel’s military. Yet when he arrived at the local military registration offices in Haifa, he was surprised by the news that he was being given an exemption from military service. Shaheen is part of a growing movement of Druze Palestinians who refuse to serve in Israel’s army, which for decades has occupied Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese lands in violation of international law...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109762] [ 18-oct-2014 03:48 ECT ]

The media's failure in Palestine
Alastair Sloan

September 16, 2014 -It is the whistle-blower's dilemma: follow the official internal complaints' procedure and risk the truth being buried, or take it straight to the press, and risk improvised prosecution by a bitter government resentful that you did right and exposed its dirty tricks. The forty-three Israeli whistle-blowers of Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim, Israel's equivalent of GCHQ or the NSA, opted for the latter. These bold citizens have been rewarded by the Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon denouncing them as criminals; an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) spokesperson claiming that their allegations have been fabricated; and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing, "I know that these accusations are baseless, and will not harm the important work done by others for the security of Israel." The lady doth protest too much, methinks, not least because, in the same breath, Netanyahu declared the IDF to be "the most ethical army in the world"...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109761] [ 17-oct-2014 04:27 ECT ]

Khamenei: We rejected a US request to cooperate against ISIS
Middle East Monitor

September 16, 2014 -The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that he "rejected an offer from the United States to cooperate against the organisation of the Islamic State (ISIS)". In remarks made after he was discharged from hospital following prostate surgery, Khamenei said he rejected an offer that was made ​​by the American embassy in Iraq to the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, to hold a joint meeting to discuss ways to combat ISIS, saying he refuses to cooperate with the United States because its hands are stained and its intention is not pure. Khamenei also said that US Secretary of State John Kerry also made an offer to the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for mutual cooperation to combat ISIS, but Zarif rejected the offer...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109760] [ 17-oct-2014 04:14 ECT ]

Syria News - September 15 , 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

September 15, 2014 - By the end of Monday, LCC were able to docement 104 martyrs including 5 women, 7 children and 6 martyrs under torture: 35 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 16 in Damascus and its suburbs; 16 in Homs; 11 in Qunaitra; 9 in Hama; 7 in Hasakeh; 4 in Idlib 3 in Daraa and 3 in Latakia...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109759] [ 17-oct-2014 04:01 ECT ]

Jewish extremists try to change status quo at Al-Aqsa
Daoud Kuttab

September 15, 2014 - When Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset, set foot in Al-Aqsa Mosque around 10 a.m. Sept. 14, he was on more than a tourist visit. His venture to the mosque and short prayer in the area was seen as an attempt to declare Jewish sovereignty over the Islamic holy place. It violated agreements not to change the status quo and cast doubt on an assertion by the Israeli prime minister's office that the status quo at Al-Aqsa would not change.The rebellious parliamentarian walked barefoot in the courtyard of the Haram al-Sharif, an act meant to pay reverence to the area that what Jews believe was once the site of the Jewish temple. In 2013, an Israeli court barred Feiglin from ascending to the mosque area for fear that his uncoordinated visit might spark protests...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109758] [ 17-oct-2014 03:46 ECT ]

Gaza ceasefire proving once again to be part of the ‘occupation game’
Pam Bailey

September 15, 2015 - A sober reality has dawned on the people of Gaza in the days following the 50-day conflict with Israel, which killed 2,147, injured and maimed another 10,870 and destroyed or severely damaged tens of thousands of homes, hospitals, mosques and other infrastructure. Initially, there was euphoria because the war had ended, but only after forcing Israel to the negotiating table. They say, and history supports them, that the only time the world pays serious attention to Gaza, and thus insists that Israel makes some concessions, is when they fight back and enough people are killed to shame the collective conscience...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109757] [ 17-oct-2014 03:22 ECT ]

Life after a massacre: The story of Ahmed and Mahmoud
Sarah Salibi

September 15, 2014 - "That day is carved in my memory; I relive the scene every day. Me lying on the street unable to move, smeared with blood, conquered with shock and fear, surrounded by wires and dead and dying bodies, I could only hear screams and the thunderous sound of bombs." Ahmed said with a choked voice while sitting in a wheelchair in AlQuds hospital in Gaza. Ahmed abu Shanab, 17 years old, and Mahmoud Naser, 18, recalled the day they were injured. After few days of the Shijaia massacre, the Israeli warplanes and the artillery tanks shelled Al-Shijaia market with several missiles during a ceasefire. The bombing left 17 deaths and 200 injuries. Ahmed and Mahmoud, who after the strike became close friends, were among the injured and are now at Al-Quds hospital receiving treatment...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109756] [ 17-oct-2014 02:55 ECT ]

Deputy: Qatar's expulsion of Brotherhood won't impact Hamas
Asmaa al-Ghoul

September 15, 2014 - Hamas deputy leader Mousa Abu Marzouk caused a stir in Gaza when on Sept. 11 he publicly mentioned the possibility of direct negotiations with Israel. Speaking exclusively to Al-Monitor, Abu Marzouk explained that his statement was a "quiet cry of anger to whom it may concern" after Gaza was "turned into a pile of rubble and a pool of blood" in the most recent war with Israel. The Hamas leader elaborated by saying the practice of indirect negotiations with Israel was "difficult," as mediators (without naming names) "burden the file with their interests and others.’" He reaffirmed, however, that Hamas’ official policy "does not recognize Israel and does not negotiate with it. This policy is still in place."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109754] [ 17-oct-2014 02:30 ECT ]

No peace without equality for Palestinians
By Meryem İlayda Atlas

September 15, 2014 - Palestine, a 27,000-square-kilometer piece of land by the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the oldest sites of civilization in the world. The Palestinian territory also bears great importance for the Islamic world: al-Aqsa Mosque, the original qibla of Muslims, the second temple build for God and the third most significant site for Islam, lies in Palestine, to which the Quran refers as the holy land. While Jews deem Palestine divine, Christians think of this part of the world as the cradle of their faith since Jesus was born there, and other major sites such as Bethlehem and Nablus remain in Palestinian territory...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109753] [ 17-oct-2014 02:23 ECT ]

Iran supreme leader spurns U.S. overture to fight Islamic State
By Jason Szep and Mehrdad Balali

September 15, 2014 - Iran's supreme leader said on Monday he had personally rejected an offer from the United States for talks to fight Islamic State, an apparent blow to Washington's efforts to build a military coalition to fight militants in both Iraq and Syria. World powers meeting in Paris on Monday gave public backing to military action to fight Islamic State fighters in Iraq. France sent jets on a reconnaissance mission to Iraq, a step toward becoming the first ally to join the U.S.-led air campaign there. But Iran, the principal ally of Islamic State's main foes in both Iraq and Syria, was not invited to the Paris meeting. The countries that did attend - while supporting action in Iraq - made no mention at all of Syria, where U.S. diplomats face a far tougher task building an alliance for action...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109752] [ 17-oct-2014 01:39 ECT ]

Hearts, Minds and Dead Sunnis in Iraq
Peter Van Buren

September 15, 2014 -....Senior Iraqi officials acknowledged in recent days that shelling by their armed forces has killed innocent civilians in the course of the battle against ISIS. Attacks on Sunni towns have been part of what many Sunnis call a pattern of sectarian bias by the Shiite-dominated security forces. Human Rights Watch reports one Iraqi government airstrike targeted a school near Tikrit housing displaced Sunni families fleeing ISIS. That strike killed at least 31 civilians, including 24 children. Human Rights Watch also reported earlier Iraqi government airstrikes, including six with the type of barrel bombs commonly used by Syrian leader Assad to kill his own people, had killed at least 75 civilians and wounded hundreds more in mainly Sunni areas.(Despite the incessant playing of the ISIS beheading videos of three Westerners, no images of the dead Sunni children have made it to American media.)Earlier this year the Iraqi Shia government also employed barrel bombs, U.S.-supplied Hellfire missiles as well as some of the 11 million rounds of ammunition the U.S. shipped in, against Sunni targets in Fallujah, itself the scene of some of the most intense U.S.-Sunni fighting during the previous Iraq War...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109751] [ 17-oct-2014 01:13 ECT ]

Focus on Islamic State has left Baghdad residents vulnerable to crime
By Jane Arraf

September 15, 2014 — While security forces in Baghdad focus on stopping the advance of Islamic State militants, residents of the capital are falling victim to an increase in opportunistic crime which is threatening the fragile bonds that have held neighborhoods together. The rising crime, violence, and sectarian tensions are driving families to leave their homes or the country if they can. In an increasing number of areas, Shiite militia members and not police rule the streets...In Baghdad in particular, Sunni Muslim Iraqis are continuing to leave neighborhoods they have lived in for decades as Shiite militias put down roots. Alaf says she didn’t recognize the men who robbed her but believes they live in the same neighborhood. "They said, 'We know you.’ When the police came, they took photographs of the crime scene and later asked for money to 'develop the photos.’ "...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109750] [ 17-oct-2014 00:45 ECT ]

Iraq snapshot - September 15, 2014
The Common Ills

September 15, 2014 - ...Let's pretend for a moment. In our little exercise, the aims of Barack and others to kill every member of the Islamic State worked. It's never happened before but in our exercise/pretense it did. Does that mean it's over? No. Because the conditions that allowed the Islamic State to rise up and take root continue to exist. Instead of bombing anything, it would make more sense to address those conditions. Doing so would rob IS of popular support.Doing so would mean many in IS would be leaving it, turning against it. The bombing and killing? You better be prepared to do that for decades and to wipe out everyone. Because otherwise, some people are going to grow up feeling wronged and those people are going to want justice...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109749] [ 16-oct-2014 02:40 ECT ]

Revealed: EU science chief promised to be "flexible" towards Israel’s war crimes
David Cronin

September 15, 2014 - Israel’s war crimes sometimes have to be overlooked, according to a senior European Union representative. During 2013, Israel reacted angrily when Brussels officials issued a policy paper stating that the EU would not award funding to firms and institutions based in Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank. Rather than standing up to Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, the EU’s top figures tried to downplay the significance of the "guidelines" contained in that paper.One letter — not published before now — shows that some of this downplaying was tantamount to grovelling...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109748] [ 16-oct-2014 02:23 ECT ]

The legendary piano of Yarmouk
Moe Ali Nayel

September 15, 2014 - There is a piano that continues to survive alongside the Palestinians in besieged Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus. Earlier this year the piano appeared in the above YouTube video; it was the first time I learned of its existence. A favorite musical instrument, my ears were absorbed and my eyes followed each stroke of its keys.That decrepit piano from Yarmouk appeared on the screen in front of me as a living, breathing thing. As I watched, the piano sang, directed by cold, dry fingers which appeared almost fossilized.A young Palestinian pianist from Yarmouk dropped his head to the keyboard and his music spoke. The tune that came from the piano did not have the same effect the piano usually triggers in my psyche; the melody created a feeling of discomfort, sweaty palms and a dull anxiety, causing my teeth to clench throughout the four-minute video...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109747] [ 16-oct-2014 01:57 ECT ]

Report: Israel seized 99% of Area C in the West Bank
Middle East Monitor

September 15, 2014 -More than 99 percent of Area C has been confiscated by Israeli authorities to establish and expand Israeli settlements and closed military zones as well as nature reserves, the Department of Culture and Information in the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) revealed in a detailed report yesterday.The report pointed to the recent official statements issued by Israel and the extent of its compliance with the Israeli ethnic cleansing on the ground and the imposition of full sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territory.The report stated that "Israel not only used militarisation and violence to intimidate the Palestinian people and separate the Gaza Strip from the rest of Palestinian people through its aggression on the Gaza Strip, but recruited its political and financial energies and resources to extend its control and hegemony over the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem through confiscation and theft of Palestinian land and the rapid expansion of settlements to seize the entire occupied Palestinian land before the demarcation of a future Palestine."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109746] [ 16-oct-2014 01:50 ECT ]

Syria News - September 14, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

September 14, 2014 - By the end of Sunday, LCC were able to document 102 martyrs including 13 women, 10 children and 1 martyrs under torture: 51 martyrs were reported in Hasaka, 21 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 9 in Aleppo, 6 in Idlib, 6 in Deir Ezzor, 5 in Daraa, 3 in Hama, and 1 in Homs...Hasakeh: Tal Hmeis: YGP commit a horrible massacre that led to the martyrdom of tens of people including women and children during storming Tal Khalil and Jajieh villages located north of the town, 33 martyrs were reported in Jajieh village: Aboud Mohmmad Al-Assaad and his 2 children, akob Abdelasaad and his wife and 2 children, Batoul Jamil Al-Assaad, Ali Al-Ehemer and his family due to an RPG rocket that targeted their house, 80 year-old Husain Al-Alawi and his wife, Ahmad Al-Ashimeh and his 4 children, Ahmad Al-Mensi, Abdelhakim Al-Hloubsi, Falah Al-Hloubis, Husain Al-Sbeih's family. 9 martyrs were reported in Tal Khalil: Abdelhakim Al-Abede, Mohmmad Al-Abed, Wasef Hlal Al-Jassim, Mahmoud Al-Jassim, Ali Sulaiman Al-Akob and Ahmad Sfouk Al-Thaher.
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109745] [ 15-oct-2014 06:46 ECT ]

Falluja Hospital Bombed Again As 42 Killed Across Iraq
by Margaret Griffis

September 14, 2014 - Despite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's promise yesterday, that civilian locations would no longer suffer airstrikes, Falluja hospital has been bombed again. Still, he won an endorsement today from former P.M. Ayad al-Allawi. At least 42 people were killed and another 29 were wounded today.Although only one staff member was seriously wounded during an airstrike on Falluja Hospital, it is but one in a long string of bombings perpetrated by the Iraqi military on the civilian hospital. As far back as May, before the Islamic State moved in to northern Iraq, Human Rights Watch had accused the military of purposefully bombing the hospital repeatedly. Many residents fear airstrikes and artillery fire more than they do the militants...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109744] [ 15-oct-2014 06:37 ECT ]

Europe dismayed by Israel’s West Bank policy
Uri Savir

September 14, 2014

Israel has stabbed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the back, say sources in the Italian Foreign Ministry close to Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, the European Union's next high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. They spoke of an unprecedented clash between Europe and Israel in the aftermath of the recent Gaza war. While Mogherini will attempt to present an impression of balance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the mood in Rome, as in Brussels, is one of great anger toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109743] [ 15-oct-2014 06:34 ECT ]

Gulf hands in Libya
Tom Stevenson

September 14, 2014 - ...But the Gulf states are not united in their support for Libya's Tobruq-based government. Qatar is accused by the HoR of supporting the Islamist militias fighting against General Khalifa Haftar and of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya. Qatar funded the Islamist Tripoli Military Council (TMC), which is partly made up of former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). In addition, the Qatari government has funded and backed the influential Rafallah al-Sahati militia, which has been fighting against General Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi...On 6 September a Sudanese military plane was intercepted in Libya, carrying ammunition which the government claims was headed for Islamist forces in Tripoli via Mitiga airport. The Sudanese government is seen as close to Qatar, and Libya has expelled the Sudanese military attache as a result. As fighting continues, the death toll mounts...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109742] [ 15-oct-2014 06:19 ECT ]

Gaza: Where ‘humanitarians’ fall silent
Gregory Shupak

September 14, 2014 -I strongly oppose Western-led wars launched in the name of humanitarianism. They exacerbate the pain of the populations they are supposedly trying to help without resolving underlying socio-political conflicts; indeed, they often make make those worse, as in Libya.The absurd inconsistency in the ideology of humanitarianism has been exposed in Syria, where, within a single year, Western powers have gone from being on the brink of bombing Syria in the name of protecting Syrians from the Bashar al-Assad government to bombing one of Assad’s main enemies, Islamic State militants.In regard to Gaza, what follows is therefore not an argument for a Western military intervention against Israel to protect Palestinians. That would be a bad idea because it wouldn’t address the core issues on which the conflict is based and it would in any case be an entirely quixotic exercise. However, a comparison of the way that Gaza has been discussed by advocates of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in July with the rhetoric of R2P proponents during the last case in which R2P was applied, the 2011 Libyan war, yields information useful for understanding both how the discourse of humanitarianism operates the attitudes of Western intellectual elites toward Palestinians....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109741] [ 15-oct-2014 06:15 ECT ]

Editorial: The bombing of civilians continues in Iraq
Third Estate Sunday Review

September 14, 2014 -Here, we've repeatedly called for an end to the Iraqi miliatry's bombing campaign of civilians in Falluja (and the Iraqi and US military bombing campaign of civilians elsewhere in Iraq).So we were most interested in Oliver Holmes and Jason Szep's report for Reuters that "Iraq's Shi'ite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday that he had ordered his air force to halt strikes on civilian areas, following attacks by both Iraqi and U.S. jets in large areas of the country held by Islamic State fighters." We'd applaud that decision. Would. We can't right now...BBC News reports today that Falluja General Hospital has again been bombed by the Iraqi military.
Since the start of the year, the Iraqi military has repeatedly bombed both Falluja General and Falluja's teaching hospital...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109740] [ 15-oct-2014 06:11 ECT ]

Clay Claiborne

September 14, 2014 - That's what the commentator or politician, I didn't get the name, said on CNN this morning. He was talking about President Barack Obama's threat to attack ISIS in Syria. His point was that if Obama was bluffing and really didn't want to attack, as was the case after Bashar al-Assad's use of sarin to kill more than a thousand people in East Ghouta, Syria last year, he would go to Congress and let it die. If he did want to bomb ISIS in Syria, he would just do it. When Obama was looking for a reason to renege on his promise to attack Assad if he killed with chemical weapons, he took his problem to Congress. Most of the anti-imperialist "Left" promptly started organizing anti-war protests to protect Assad from Obama, as if Obama ever had any real intentions of attacking the fascist dictator that for years he has been publicly appealing to "step down" voluntarily...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109739] [ 15-oct-2014 06:05 ECT ]

PCHR Follows up Detention Conditions of Palestinians Arrested by Israeli Forces in Latest Offensive on the Gaza Strip
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

September 14, 2014 - The lawyers of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) have visited 4 of Palestinians detainees in Ashkelon Prison who were arrested in the latest 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. The lawyers confirmed that the prisoners were subjected to various forms of torture during their detention period, including beating and shackling between two chairs for long hours (Shabeh). According to PCHR's documentation, Israeli forces arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians during the offensive on the Gaza Strip; 31 of whom were transferred to Israeli prisons...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109738] [ 15-oct-2014 05:57 ECT ]

The Despair of Guantánamo’s Most Prominent Hunger Striker
Andy Worthington

September 13, 2014 -Guantánamo’s most prominent hunger striker is Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a 43-year old Syrian prisoner, married with four children and long cleared for release, who is in a wheelchair as a result of his treatment in US custody, and has been on a hunger strike since last spring. Others have been on a hunger strike for longer — one man has been refusing food since 2005, and others have been starving themselves since 2007 — but Mr. Dhiab is particularly well-known because, in May, a US judge — District Judge Gladys Kessler, in Washington D.C. — ordered the government to stop force-feeding him, and to preserve videotaped evidence of his force-feeding, and his "forcible cell extractions" (FCEs), when a team of armored guards drags him out of his cell to take him to be force-fed...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109737] [ 15-oct-2014 05:52 ECT ]

Zionist group publishes target list of “anti-Israel” US professors
Ali Abunimah

September 14, 2014 - The Amcha Initiative, the Zionist organization that has repeatedly intimidated, spied on and harassed students and faculty, appears to be escalating its campaign by publishing what amounts to a target list of "anti-Israel" professors.Amcha says that the list is made up of "218 professors identifying themselves as Middle East scholars, who recently called for the academic boycott of Israel in a petition." It links to an item at Jadaliyya titled "Over 100 Middle East Studies Scholars and Librarians Call for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109736] [ 15-oct-2014 05:46 ECT ]

Assad's regime insists it should be part of anti-ISIS alliance
Middle East Monitor

September 13, 2014 -The Syrian regime must be part of the global anti-ISIS alliance led by the United States, a government spokesperson said Friday.
According to the Syrian News Agency the media advisor of Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad, Buthaina Shaaban, said that Syria must be involved in efforts to confront ISIS as they are "a victim of terrorism." US President Barack Obama announced on Thursday his country's strategy against ISIS, authorising for the first time aerial strikes against the group and dismissing the Assad regime as illegitimate and unreliable in fighting terrorism. "Terrorism did not start today but four years ago," Al-Assad's spokeswoman said, referring to the popular revolt, which broke out against Assad in 2011...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109735] [ 15-oct-2014 05:27 ECT ]

Syria News - September 13 , 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

September 13, 2014 - By the end of Saturday, LCC were able to document 61 martyrs including 2 women, 6 children and 4 martyrs under torture: 21 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs; 11 in Aleppo; 11 in Daraa; 7 in Hama; 4 in Idlib; 3 in Deir Ezzor; 2 in Homs; 2 in Qunaitra and 1 in Hasakeh...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109734] [ 15-oct-2014 04:58 ECT ]

IDF Unit 8200 Officers Refuse to Fight Palestinians
Richard Silverstein

September 13, 2014 - 43 reserve members of the IDF’s prestigious intelligence group, Unit 8200, signed a letter refusing to take part in operations targeting Palestinians or in furthering the military Occupation. Activists who’ve paid attention to Israeli military affairs over the past decade or more know that hundreds of soldiers and inductees have similarly refused military service in the West Bank. But this group is different. Unit 8200 is the equivalent of the NSA. It is one of the most critical weapons in the IDF arsenal to defend the nation’s security. It participates in myriad ways supporting, and even initiating IDF operations. It is the biggest intelligence unit in the Israeli army. This is the first time any such officers have publicly protested...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109733] [ 15-oct-2014 04:48 ECT ]

Autopsy shows Palestinian prisoner died after being tortured
Ma'an News

September 13, 2014 -- Palestinian detainee Raed al-Jabari, 35, died after being tortured while in Israeli prison custody, a Palestinian official said Thursday.Issa Qaraqe, former minister of prisoner affairs, said in a news conference that the results of an autopsy showed that internal bleeding and a concussion were the cause of death. Israeli Prisons spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP Tuesday that he had hanged himself in a bathroom at Eshel prison.She said a medical team had tried to revive him but that he was pronounced dead on arrival at Soroka hospital in the city...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109732] [ 15-oct-2014 04:30 ECT ]

Where is accountability for Gaza's children?
Zeina Azzam

September 13, 2014 - Before Israel's invasion of Gaza last July, Farah Baker was an ordinary Palestinian teenager growing up in the besieged strip of land by the Mediterranean Sea. But a compelling Twitter feed catapulted her to international fame."I'm the modern Anne Frank Gaza-Palestine, 16 years old," is the description of Baker's Twitter account. The teen has garnered 209,000 followers, and has more than 8,200 tweets to her name. On August 23, she tweeted, "How is it like to live freely and peacefully without occupation? I never experienced that! Is it so beautiful?" More than 1,000 people re-tweeted her message. Each day she tweets multiple times, articulating her worries and dreams, especially during the war. Her home, situated near Gaza's al-Shifa Hospital, provides extraordinary insight - beyond her years - into life during war....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109731] [ 15-oct-2014 04:20 ECT ]

The Terrorist Groups Operating in Iraq

September 13, 2014 - In Iraq today, unfortunately there a host of different terrorist and criminal paramilitary groups that operate in Iraq, killing innocent civilians, expelling people from their homes, and attacking houses of worship. Some are on the radar and get the attention of the world media, and yet others operate underneath the radar. Nevertheless they have killed thousands and forced millions to flee their homes...Many of these groups operate under the color of law and are closely linked to the central government security forces, which have been infiltrated by many of these paramilitary groups. In fact many of these militias are actually escorted by government security forces and military, and carry out the massacres under the cover of the government forces...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109730] [ 15-oct-2014 04:11 ECT ]

The grinding reality of life under Israeli occupation

September 13, 2014 - "Now we are in a very, very bad situation." Ahmad Younis Abu Ayyash says, from a home surrounded by olive groves. In many ways, life seems idyllic for the 82-year-old, who lives with a cast of energetic grandchildren and a garden filled with pear, fig and apple trees in the village of Beit Ommar, in the southern West Bank. But overlooking his home is a military watchtower of dark concrete, and its surrounded on three sides by Israeli settlements. Beit Ommar’s campaign against land confiscation and strangulation has been responded to by Israeli violence and restrictions: every Friday a demonstration is held on the road outside Abu Ayyash’s house, and soldiers in the watchtower respond with tear gas and rubber bullets, often closing the road to the village entirely...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109729] [ 15-oct-2014 03:56 ECT ]

Stop David Cameron's plan to join US bombing of Iraq
by Charlie Kimber

September 13, 2014 -David Cameron, backed by Labour Party leaders and the Lib Dems, is preparing to bomb Iraq again. It will only make matters worse if he does order a return to British attacks.At last week’s Nato summit in South Wales, Cameron spoke out in support of US president Barack Obama and his disastrous plan to increase US attacks on Iraq.Cameron pledged that Islamic State would be "squeezed out of existence". Government sources also suggested that British soldiers could return to Iraq to help train troops. They would be the first official British "boots on the ground" in the country since the army was withdrawn from Iraq in 2011...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109728] [ 15-oct-2014 03:48 ECT ]

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti on the destruction of Gaza
Dr Mustafa Barghouti

September 13, 2014 - I want to give you a glimpse of what I saw and experienced in Gaza. No footage, no speech, no camera, no television can really show the reality that you can see with your own eyes. Please go there if you can. It’s so important for you to know the reality and it’s also important for there people there to see you there.What happened is beyond description. Even describing it as an act of disproportionality is an insult to humanity. Describing it as an imbalance of power is also an insult. After slaughtering thousands of people and destroying thousands of homes and to speak about reconstruction and to immediately allow Israeli companies to make a profit from this is also an insult to humanity...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109727] [ 15-oct-2014 03:38 ECT ]

In J'lem, thousands of Palestinian students have no classrooms
By Aviv Tatarsky

September 13, 2013 - As the Israeli school year begins, let’s do a little math. There is a shortage of 408 regular classrooms and 330 kindergarten classrooms in East Jerusalem. This does not include replacing the 681 classrooms currently not up to code. In addition, there is a shortage of 1,636 classrooms in the official, public municipal education system, forcing students to study in a parallel private, costly unofficial school system. Over the past five years the Jerusalem Municipality has built an average of 36 new classrooms per year in the Palestinian neighborhoods of the city. At this rate, how many years would it take for the municipality to remedy the shortage and fulfill its basic obligation to provide free education to every child in "undivided and unified" Jerusalem?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109726] [ 15-oct-2014 02:43 ECT ]

Short-term memory loss champions of the world: Gaza? What Gaza?
By Haggai Matar

September 13, 2014 - Only a few weeks have passed since the end of Operation Protective Edge and it seems as if Gaza never happened. Politicians are carrying on with their budget wars and the diversion provided by the start of the school year. The newspapers are again preoccupied with scandals about a former chief of staff and a weird misogynist cult. And everyone, every single person around, is closely watching developments with the Islamic State and the U.S.’s new military campaign against it. On the other hand, no one takes notice that yet another five-year-old girl died in Gaza this week. Rahaf Abu Jame’s parents were killed in an Israeli bombing, as were at least 24 more members of the Abu Jame’ family in a single strike. The girl died slowly and alone over a long period of time..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109725] [ 14-oct-2014 17:52 ECT ]

B'Tselem says army probe on Gaza will be a "whitewash"
Middle East Monitor

September 13, 2014 -The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B'Tselem said Thursday that it does not hold out hope that an army investigation into the Gaza hostilities will lead to anything other than a whitewash.The organisation explained in a statement, in response to the Israeli military advocate general's (MAG) intention to investigate "exceptional" cases during Operations Protective Edge that, "based on past experience, it isn't holding out hope that this process will lead to results other than a whitewash". B'Tselem announced earlier this week that it will not assist the current military investigation saying "with its current form, the investigation amounts to nothing more than a masquerade", demanding it be replaced by an independent, transparent and impartial mechanism...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109724] [ 14-oct-2014 03:49 ECT ]

42 NGOs urge world leaders to stop Israeli plans for ethnic cleansing in the West Bank
Middle East Monitor

September 12, 2014 - 42 Palestinian, Israeli, and international organizations have issued an urgent call to the international community to stop Israeli plans to "forcibly transfer" thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank from their communities into "a designated township". The joint statement is a response to Israeli government plans to "move Palestinian Bedouins out of their communities around Jericho, Ramallah, and Jerusalem", including in so-called "E1", an area that is a long-standing target for illegal settlement expansion. The NGOs note that Israeli authorities have, in recent months, "used coercive tactics to heighten the pressure on Palestinian Bedouin communities, issuing eviction orders and demolishing homes and livelihood structures", as well as "obstruct[ing] aid agencies from delivering assistance"...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109723] [ 14-oct-2014 03:19 ECT ]

Syria News - September 12 , 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

September 12 , 2014 - By the end of Friday, LCC were able to document 98 martyrs including 21 children, 17 women, and 3 martyrs under torture: 50 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs; 14 in Idlib; 13 in Hama; 11 in Homs; 6 in Aleppo; 3 in Daraa; and 1 martyr in Hasaka....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109722] [ 14-oct-2014 02:49 ECT ]

Drones Week of Action 4-11 Oct 2014
By Chris Cole

Sepember 12, 2014 - Over the past couple of months we have witnessed drone strikes in at least seven countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq – and its likely that Syria and Libya may soon join that list. Whether such strikes are being undertaken under the umbrella of a UN resolution or carefully-crafted secret memo its becoming clearer that drones are indeed making it easier for our political leaders to opt to use lethal force rather than diplomatic or political solutions....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109721] [ 14-oct-2014 02:13 ECT ]

Hamas frustrated by Israel’s flouting of cease-fire deal
Adnan Abu Amer

September 12, 2014 - Two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, the demands made by Hamas have not been realized, in particular lifting the blockade on Gaza and opening the border crossings, which is causing delays in starting postwar reconstruction. The current situation has led to speculation in some quarters of Gaza that war might resume because of Israel failing to honor the cease-fire agreement amid growing Palestinian frustration that the conflict did not achieve its objectives.Ismail al-Ashqar, head of the Palestinian Legislative Council's Interior and Security Committee, said on Sept. 10 that if Israel does not abide by the truce agreement, the resistance would not lay down its arms, would be prepared to escalate and resume fighting for months (and in high spirits) and would inflict heavy losses on the Israelis....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109720] [ 13-oct-2014 19:07 ECT ]

The Blood Brothers of Anbar
BY Lauren Bohn

September 12, 2014 - In the past year alone, 43-year-old Omar says he's watched hundreds die. Or as he describes it, "boom, gone, the end."Omar is an administrator of one of the busiest hospitals in Fallujah, in Iraq's restive Anbar province. First, his brother nearly lost a leg in a mortar attack. Then, his neighbor's home was destroyed in shelling. Soon after, his mother narrowly missed a bombing in their once-placid neighborhood. But it wasn't until he watched a 5-year-old girl in a bright pink shirt take her last gasp of air outside his office, her body torn apart from shelling, that he knew he had to leave his hometown. Life in Iraq, as he puts it, has become an endless flow of "dark, dark red." ..."The government should be the father of the people," he says. "And Iraq's government is a terrorist organization. See, my vocabulary is different. You have to ask yourself: Who are the real terrorists here? When will the world wake up?" ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109719] [ 13-oct-2014 19:01 ECT ]

U.S. Intelligence Official: No Evidence ISIL Is Planning Imminent Attack on America
The Real News Network

September 12, 2014-...So what you have is, say, in Iraq with the Islamic State, is you have this organization that requires war, it requires chaos to function. It's a parasitic organization. And it needs the United States to come in and be involved, because it eats the United States to be a villain, it needs the United States to fulfill that Crusader motif. It also needs the Sunni population--this is the most important thing--it needs the Sunni population to feel that they need the Islamic State's help, that the Islamic State is actually fulfilling a role for them. So if the United States jumps back into the Iraqi Civil War, takes the sides of the Shia or the Kurds, well, that pushes the Sunnis up against the wall, because you have this intersectarian, interreligious fighting going on in Iraq. If we go in and take one side, well, then the other side becomes desperate, and they turn to groups like the Islamic State...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109718] [ 13-oct-2014 07:15 ECT ]

Iraq snapshot - September 12, 2014
The Common Ills

September 12, 2014 - ... The State Dept's recent interest in women is touching.
Where were they when Iraqi women and girls were being falsely imprisoned and tortured and raped? Where was the concern for women then? This was one of the main underlying issues which led to over a year of continuous street protests.But the State Dept didn't say 'boo' about it, did they? When Nouri al-Maliki was overseeing rape and torture, they didn't object once. Back then, they were more than happy to stay silent...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109717] [ 13-oct-2014 07:11 ECT ]

Israel surveils and blackmails gay Palestinians to make them informants
Philip Weiss

September 12, 2014 - Israel has sold itself internationally as a gay Mecca. (Here, here, and here, for instance.) This freedom is regularly cited by advocates for Israel in the west, making stark comparisons to Muslim societies that repress gays. Well here’s a new spin on that claim: reports that Israeli intelligence pried into Palestinians’ phone calls and internet activity so as to identify and blackmail Palestinian gays and turn them into informants against other Palestinians. Haaretz has a story up on 43 reservists in Israeli intelligence who are refusing to serve because of the "political persecution" of Palestinians...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109716] [ 13-oct-2014 07:07 ECT ]

Boycotting Israel – now with a phone application
Palestine Monitor

September 12, 2014 - As the dust settles in Gaza and evidence of war crimes arise, people around the world have found a new platform to show their disapproval of Israel’s actions: Buycott, a smartphone application for organizing boycotts. Created over a year ago by developer Ivan Pardo in California, Buycott lets users create campaigns to support or avoid certain companies depending on the causes they care about. When people join a campaign, they can scan goods at the grocery store with their iPhones or Android devices and see whether they have "personal conflicts" with the producer...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109715] [ 13-oct-2014 07:02 ECT ]

Iraq News Summary (11 September 2014)
Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - AMSI

September 12, 2014 - On Thursday 15 civilians have been killed and 14 others wounded, including women and children, most of them seriously injured as a result of dropping barrel bombs which targeted a number of residential areas in Fallujah. While in Ramadi, two children were injured after a mortar attack on residential neighborhoods on Thursday in downtown of the city, the capital of Anbar province.At least six civilians were injured as a result of a government air raid and artillery strikes targeted homes Thursday morning in the neighborhood Mu'alemin of Muqdadiyah, northeast of the city of Baquba, capital of Diyala province...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109714] [ 13-oct-2014 06:57 ECT ]

Calling for the Closure of Guantánamo on the 13th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks
Andy Worthington

September 12, 2014 - It’s 13 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but while it remains important to remember all those who died on that dreadful day, it is also important to acknowledge the terrible mistakes made by the Bush administration in response to the attacks. First came the invasion of Afghanistan, to overthrow the Taliban and defeat Al-Qaeda, in which, as Anand Gopal, the author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes, told me, the US vastly overstayed its welcome, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Then there was the illegal invasion of Iraq, and the blowback from that conflict that is evident in the rise of ISIS/ISIL in Iraq and Syria, as well as the hundreds of thousands of civilians killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109713] [ 13-oct-2014 06:53 ECT ]

UK Government changes story again on destruction of Diego Garcia renditions evidence

September 12, 2014 - A British minister has today admitted that a number of records relating to flights passing through the island of Diego Garcia – which is known to have been used by CIA rendition jets – have been "damaged [by water] to the point of no longer being useful." The Government first informed Parliament that flight records for Diego Garcia were "incomplete due to water damage" on 8 July this year. The revelation led to further questions from MPs, as ministers have previously admitted that the island – part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and home to a US military base – was used by CIA rendition flights...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109712] [ 13-oct-2014 06:47 ECT ]

'Autopsy contradicts police, shows Palestinian teen was shot in head'
By Mairav Zonszein

September 12, 2014 - Sixteen-year-old Palestinian boy Mohammed Sunuqrut was shot in the head and not in the leg, as police claimed, leaked preliminary results of his autopsy showed. Israeli police shot Sunuqrut with a sponge-tipped bullet near a protest in East Jerusalem on August 31 and he died of his wounds a week later. The official autopsy report has not yet been published but both Israeli and Palestinian sources involved confirm that Sunuqrut died from a projectile wound to his head. The police claim — that they shot him in the leg as he threw stones and that when he turned to run, fell and cracked his skull — appears to be untrue...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109711] [ 13-oct-2014 06:45 ECT ]

Say Hello to America’s New Friends!
Ben Allinson-Davies

September 12, 2014 - ... In short, Obama wants to turn the Syrian opposition, and the Iraqi Sunnis, into groups of US-backed sahwat which would only fight ISIS, and force them to ignore Assad (who Obama is determined to retain on Iran’s behalf) and the oppressive Iraqi government, ignore the appalling crimes of Iran, and somehow unite the Syrian opposition alongside the Assad regime in some form of quisling government. Said government, he hopes, would preserve the genocidal "state institutions" of the Assad regime (ever protective of US interests) and bleed itself dry fighting ISIS on behalf of the US.This seems unlikely to occur, and the Free Syrian Army is flatly refusing to only fight ISIS and ignore Assad if the US provides it with arms. But Obama will fight to the last Syrian, and the last Iraqi, in his attempt to see his vision through....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109710] [ 13-oct-2014 06:35 ECT ]

Palestinian Authority foils new Gaza war crimes probe
Asa Winstanley

September 12, 2014 - The leaders of the Palestinian Authority last month blocked efforts to bring Israeli war crimes in Gaza before the International Criminal Court (ICC), Al Jazeera’s investigative unit has discovered. The TV channel revealed yesterday the existence of a letter from the office of top ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (published in full by The Electronic Intifada below) in which she recounts a private 5 August meeting with Riad Malki, the PA foreign minister. It is difficult to read her account of the meeting as anything other than Malki obstructing the process of investigating Israeli war crimes in Gaza...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109708] [ 13-oct-2014 05:28 ECT ]

Israel jailed influential Palestinian writer "to remove him from society"
Patrick O. Strickland

September 12, 2014 - Prominent Palestinian professor and writer Ahmad Qatamesh spent a total of eight and a half years in Israeli prison without being charged or brought to trial. During two separate stints in Israeli lockup, Qatamesh was held in administrative detention, a draconian practice in which Israel imprisons Palestinians for infinitely renewable six-month terms without charge or trial, using "secret evidence" against them. "Administrative detention is one of the most difficult of Israel’s tactics because prisoners have nothing but uncertainty," Qatamesh told The Electronic Intifada. "They never know when or if they will go home, and neither do their families."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109707] [ 13-oct-2014 05:13 ECT ]

Anger in Jerusalem after Israel kills another Palestinian teen
Budour Youssef Hassan

Septembr 12, 2014 - His picture was hanging on the wall of his classroom in Jerusalem’s al-Rashidiya school, but his desk remained empty. Muhammad Sinokrot, who would have turned sixteen years old on 9 December, was not particularly fond of school and his grades were not great. But he was a hard-working boy and was keen on improving. A few months earlier, he had borrowed his cousin’s graduation gown to wear while posing in front of a camera. He had two years left to graduate from high school, and this portrait emboldened him to work even harder...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109706] [ 13-oct-2014 04:56 ECT ]

Resistance strategy and the negotiations approach
Dr Fayez Rasheed

September 12, 2014 -Palestine's many experiences with Israel, especially that of resistance and the steadfastness of our people, not least in facing up to "Operation Protective Edge", highlight the failure of the negotiations approach as the sole political and strategic option.The example of all national liberation movements demonstrates that resistance, in all its forms and manifestations, especially armed struggle, is capable of forcing Israel to accede to the legitimate rights and demands of the Palestinians. Resistance has forced Israel to recognise the presence of the Palestinian people after a long era of denial, even if some officials and politicians still deny our existence. The resistance also strengthened our national identity and gained broad international recognition for our people and their national cause...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109705] [ 13-oct-2014 04:39 ECT ]

Jerusalem is the melting-pot of faiths and should be preserved, not destroyed
Jawad Boulus

September 12, 2014 A senior member of the PLO Executive Committee, Ahmed Qurei, received the Spanish consul general in Jerusalem in his office recently. The meeting coincided with the opening of the academic year. Qurei briefed the consul about Israeli attacks in Jerusalem, especially against Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is in danger of being divided along the lines of what has happened to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. There is still a lot of anger among young Palestinians in Jerusalem about the heinous murder of Muhammad Abu Khudair. This rage swept the streets and neighbourhoods of the city, and led to several casualties and hundreds of people being detained by the Israeli security forces.
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109704] [ 13-oct-2014 04:34 ECT ]

Syria News - September 11, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria

September 11, 2014 - Idlib: Sami Mouhamad Naje was martyred under tortuer at regime's prison...Idlib: Talmens: Child Ahmad Hasan Ahmad Al-Ismael was martyred abd wounded were reported as a result of airstrike on the town. Homs: Rastan: 4 martyrs and wounded were reported as a result of artillery and rockets shelling on the city and the martyrs are : Mouhamad Rajab, Ahmad Al-Shiekh, Obaeda Khalaf and Ahmad Al-Obayed...Aleppo: Bab: Mohmmad Khalouf, Mohmmad Najjar, Mohmmad Kadro, Saleh Shaaban and Jamal Maamar were martyred due to warplanes shelling on the city Damascus Suburbs: Wadi Barada: Young man Abdelmen'em Saad was martyred of regime forces' snipers gunfire...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109703] [ 13-oct-2014 04:12 ECT ]

An Open Letter to Rabbi Ira Youdovin
Richard Falk

September 11, 2014 - ...Of course, an accusation of hate speech in the context of criticizing Israel has as its objecting the implication that the speaker is guilty of genuine anti-Semitism. As I have tried to argue in a recent post [Sept. 1, 2014], Zionist propaganda seeks to merge anti-Israelism, denominated as a form of racial bigotry, with anti-Semitism as hatred of Jews and the Jewish people. The widespread deliberate use of this technique by organized Zionist forces in the United States is convincingly documented in The Battle for Justice in Palestine (Chicago: Haymarket, 2014), 125-225 by Ali Abunimah. It forms part of the wider Israeli effort to defend a rising tide of anti-Israeli student activism on American university campuses, and more broadly what Israeli think tanks call 'the delegitimation project’ associated with such initiatives as the BDS campaign....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109702] [ 13-oct-2014 04:06 ECT ]

Israeli military demolishes West Bank dairy factory benefitting orphans despite court appeal
Kelly Lynn

September 11, 2014- When 10-year-old Zahur Said and her friends were on their way to school last Monday, September 1st, Israeli authorities had already been surveying the area for hours. When she returned, 300 square meters of crumbled concrete and mangled steel was all that remained of the Al Rayyan Dairy Factory in Northern Hebron. For three years, the factory built in partnership by the Islamic Charitable Society in Hebron (ICS) and Al Rayyan Company has provided a sustainable source of revenue for two orphanages run by the ICS, as well as aiding ten different schools in the area. It also supplied products like yogurt, milk and cheese to the organizations and families it benefits...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109701] [ 13-oct-2014 03:57 ECT ]

Meet the New War, Same as the Old War
William Rivers Pitt

September 11, 2014 -On the night before the thirteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, President Obama delivered a prime-time press conference to discuss the new war in Iraq, which is really the old war, as it never actually ended. It dropped from the headlines here in the US a few years ago, except for an occasional heinous act that got brief ink - a marketplace massacre that killed 150, or a mosque bombing that killed 80 would get some ink and then fade - but people have been dying in Iraq every single day since we stuck our booted toe into their sand eighteen months after the Towers came down. And so, here we go again/again/again...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109700] [ 13-oct-2014 03:53 ECT ]

Israel’s Premier to Face New Gaza Reality

September 11, 2014 - Netanyahu’s war-turned-genocide in Gaza has backfired badly – his strategy has helped resurrect Hamas, the very movement he tried desperately to crush. Aside from being a major military setback, Israel’s war on Gaza has also disoriented the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu like never before. Since the announcement of a ceasefire on 26 August, his statements appear erratic and particularly uncertain, an expected outcome of the Gaza war. Since his first term as a prime minister (1996-99), Netanyahu has showed particular savviness at fashioning political and military events to neatly suit his declared policies. He fabricated imminent threats that were neither imminent nor threats, for example, Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109699] [ 13-oct-2014 03:49 ECT ]

Investigating the Gaza conflict
Rodney Dixon

September 11, 2014 - Absent a referral by the Security Council, it is now accepted that the ICC Prosecutor could have jurisdiction to investigate the Gaza conflict if: (i) Palestine becomes a State Party to the ICC or (ii) Palestine signs a declaration giving the ICC jurisdiction over its territory for the conflict, or a defined period of the conflict, without becoming a State Party for all time. The latter procedure requires the Palestinian Authority to lodge such a declaration pursuant to Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute with the Court. It must of course be a genuine declaration on behalf of the Palestinian Authority which is lawful and binding. The Palestinian Authority, then purporting to be a State, lodged such a declaration with the Court in January 2009 giving the ICC jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory since July 1, 2002 (the date when the ICC Statute came into force)...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109698] [ 13-oct-2014 03:43 ECT ]

Obama’s Speech: a New Moral Low

September 11, 2014 - ...The President has said repeatedly that a lasting solution is political, not military. The speech, however, is exclusively military – not a word of political, psychological or other insights: No, we kill people because we think it is wrong to kill people…The speech can be seen as a proof of how utterly misguided the U.S. response to 9/11 was – had it been more intelligence and less revenge-oriented, there would neither have been a devastating Iraq war nor an ISIS.It’s difficult to be Number One in a rank order. You ony teach downward. If you are Number Twenty, there are 19 others to learn from. It seems as if the United States, inside its exceptionalist box, is now unable to learn lessons.Obama’s 'strategy’ for The War On Terror will, in all likelihood, lead to more terrorism and hatred of the West – I mean what will frustrated Sunnis in Iraq think about Obama? Or the Syrian civil society that doesn’t carry arms?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109697] [ 13-oct-2014 03:38 ECT ]

Why Remaining Silent About the Perils of Zionism is Not an Option
Academics and Israel


September 11, 2014 -In academia, most scholars shun speaking and writing about the state of Israel’s siege and wars in Palestine. Our silence suggests support for the Israeli government’s violation of international law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention’s articles 27-34 and 47-78 stipulating that occupying powers have a general obligation to "ensure… the provision of food and medical care to the population under occupation," and prohibits "collective punishment" of the occupied population and the "confiscation of private property" by the occupier. Our subdued reaction to Israel’s occupation of Palestine generally reflects the fear that pro-Israel supporters will damage our careers if we were to speak and write about the facts of the situation...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109696] [ 13-oct-2014 03:33 ECT ]

Some terrorists are better than others
Michael Weiss

September 11, 2014 - ...Conspicuously, the word "Iran" did not escape Obama’s lips at all last night, but hardly needed to have done. The US Air Force recently struck its own tacit alliance with IRGC proxy Asaib Ahl al-Haq in Amerli – a conjuncture celebrated by a smiling Suleimani and by his dancing sidekick Abu Mahdi al Muhandis – amid formal US denials that the war against ISIS in Iraq was in any way being coordinated between Washington and Tehran, if only indirectly via Baghdad....The Supreme Leader has endorsed US-Iranian cooperation in confronting ISIS, as even Shiite politicians in Iraq claim that, courtesy of Iran, "[w]e are in the process of creating Shia al-Qaida radical groups equal in their radicalization to the Sunni Qaida." Some terrorists are better than other terrorists, it seems. But the president will need more than prime-time promises to dispel a gathering consensus among the world’s majority Muslim sect. My friend Hassan Hassan put it succinctly on Twitter: "Obama’s speech in a nutshell: Shiites are my wife, and Sunnis are my bitches." The unintended consequences of this widespread perception are yet to be fully appreciated, much less experienced...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109695] [ 13-oct-2014 03:24 ECT ]

The Media Fuels the Madness
Perpetual War is Fine With the New York Times After All


September 11, 2014 - The editorial board of the New York Times has an Orwellian knack for war. Sixteen months ago, when President Obama gave oratorical lip service to ending "perpetual war," the newspaper quickly touted that end as a democratic necessity. But now — in response to Obama’s speech Wednesday night announcing escalation of war without plausible end — the Times editorial voice is with the endless war program. Under the headline "The End of the Perpetual War," published on May 23, 2013, the Times was vehement, calling a new Obama speech "the most important statement on counterterrorism policy since the 2001 attacks, a momentous turning point in post-9/11 America." The editorial added: "For the first time, a president stated clearly and unequivocally that the state of perpetual warfare that began nearly 12 years ago is unsustainable for a democracy and must come to an end in the not-too-distant future."..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109694] [ 13-oct-2014 02:16 ECT ]

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister: We're 'Fighting the Same Enemy'
By Bill Neely

September 11, 2014 — Syria has "no reservations" about U.S. airstrikes against ISIS and wants to team up with Washington to tackle the militants, the country’s deputy foreign minister told NBC News.Faisal Mekdad called Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad "a natural ally" for the U.S. in its battle against ISIS, saying in an exclusive interview that both countries are "fighting the same enemy" and should be working together — not antagonizing each other."When it comes to terrorism, we should forget our differences… and forget all about the past," Mekdad said. "It takes two to tango...We are ready to talk."..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109693] [ 13-oct-2014 01:57 ECT ]

As the school year starts in the West Bank, Gazan schools remain closed
By Lynda Franken

September 11, 2014 - "I hope that we can lead a normal life (…) and can go to our schools in safety and security. We did not do anything wrong and on this day we should have been sitting at school desks," says Bisan, who is supposed to start eighth grade this year, but now lives in an elementary school in Gaza City that is used as a shelter. Bisan is one of approximately 75,000 school-aged children that live in 85 shelters, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This is "a number never before seen in Gaza’s history," their emergency report of 26 August reads. The number of refugees in UNRWA schools has rendered education in their facilities impossible. Additionally, another 277 schools in Gaza (69% of all schools in the coastal enclave) were due to Israeli bombing over the last six weeks, according to the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO-NAD). The start of the school year, on 24 August, has therefore been postponed until further notice....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109692] [ 13-oct-2014 01:05 ECT ]

Assassination of Ahrar al-Sham Military Leadership In Syria
By Kimberly Jones

September 11, 2014 - This week there was an assassination of the top Syrian Ahrar al-Sham military leadership, including 30 key commanders of 1st and 2nd highest rank. They were meeting in an underground meeting place in Bab Al Hawa on the Syrian-Turkish border on September 9th, 2014. Including companions, there were a total of 75 attendees in the building. This was their normal secure meeting place at the compound of one of the military commanders. Among those killed was the top commander and founder of Ahrar al-Sham, Emir Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi. Also killed were top military commander Abu Talha al-Ghab, religious ideologues Abu Abdelmalek, al-Sharei and Abu Sariya al-Sham, and many more....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109691] [ 12-oct-2014 05:06 ECT ]

Entry Denied
Julia Carmel

September 11, 2014 - On July 12th, about five days after Israel began to bombard Gaza with the airstrikes of Operation Protective Edge, I arrived at the Israeli-operated Allenby border terminal to cross into the occupied West Bank. Followed by ten hours of detention, interrogation, and some humiliation, I was denied entry by the IDF. My long-anticipated plans to return to Beit Sahur – to learn, do research, and assist a friend’s community development project for the next two months – were dissolved by two magavniks, who sent me back to Jordan without a legitimate reason and at my own expense....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109690] [ 12-oct-2014 05:03 ECT ]

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