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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-
minazione.

:: 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)






Mission imprecision: the unexploded ordnance war
Belen Fernandez

August 16, 2014 - In September of 2006, Haaretz quoted the head of an Israeli Army rocket unit on his military’s performance during the recent 34-day war on Lebanon: "What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs."As the article explains, the United Nations estimated at the time that approximately 40 percent of cluster rounds fired by Israel had failed to explode. This is why, despite intensive and ongoing cleanup efforts by Lebanese and international organisations, we still continue to see headlines like: "18-year-old Lebanese killed by Israeli cluster bomb."...Israel’s latest genocidal pursuits in Gaza - euphemised as "self-defense" - have enabled the Israeli military to apply another coat of paint to Arab territory which we shall call the snazzy shade: "unexploded ordnance," or UXO for short....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109220] [ 02-sep-2014 04:06 ECT ]

The truth about operation Iraqi liberation (take II)
Dahlia Wasfi

August 16, 2014 - ...The sovereign state of Iraq was destroyed through the March 2003 US/UK-led military invasion. Subsequently, by way of "de-Ba’athification" and a brutal military occupation, US administrators immediately employed a "divide-and-conquer" strategy to rule Iraq. The so-called transitional government of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) appointed an Iraqi Governing Council: a 25- member advisory panel hand-picked by the occupiers along sectarian and ethnic lines. The CPA also created the organisational apparatus and rules for Iraq’s first "democratic" elections. In January 2005, these CPA-orchestrated elections brought conservative Shiite parties to power. Ibrahim al-Jafaari - one of the Shiite members of the US-chosen Iraqi Governing Council - was named Iraq’s new prime minister. And during his one-year term, Shiite death squads began operating in Iraq as part of government militias, the Iraqi Army, and the Iraqi police. These Shiite armed forces - many of them originating from militias of conservative parties based in Iran - conducted operations in Iraq with assistance from US occupiers. Sunni Iraqis were the primary victims of these Shiite units, whose grip on Iraq strengthened following the naming of Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister in 2006...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109219] [ 02-sep-2014 03:54 ECT ]

'Moral blackmail' still stifles debate on Israel
Abukar Arman
16mb3757497734_20.jpg

August 16, 2014 - Israel's latest attempt to subdue the Palestinian resistance by putting its systematic genocide on high gear has yielded in some unintended consequences: international media interest in Gaza; challenge to the blind toeing of the extreme right party line; and growing global consensus to end this oppression. However, we still have a long way to go in creating a safe space for honest discourse on this highly emotive topic.Frustrated by the choreographed intimidatory campaigns often waged against any critic of Israel who might possess a certain level of influence, Jewish Professor Avi Shlaim once wrote, "The blind supporters of Israel…use the charge of anti-Semitism to try and silence legitimate criticism of Israeli practices. I regard this as moral blackmail."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109218] [ 02-sep-2014 02:59 ECT ]

Doctors tackle damaged minds amid Gaza's post-war destruction
By Nidal al-Mughrabi

August 16, 2014 - In a ward at Shifa, Gaza's largest hospital, child therapist Rabeea Hamouda is trying to elicit a response from two small brothers, Omar and Mohammed, aged three and 18 months, hoping for some words or perhaps a smile.
For seven straight minutes the children, peppered with burns and shrapnel wounds sustained in Israeli shelling that hit their home in north Gaza, stare at him blankly, emotionless. Eventually, as Hamouda gently teases them, pretending to mix up their names and holding out a present while another counsellor sings quietly, a smile creeps across Mohammed's face and the older one, Omar, cries out his name....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109217] [ 02-sep-2014 02:34 ECT ]

Listen: “Love in the Time of Genocide” performed by Haidar Eid
Ali Abunimah

August 16, 2014 - In this video, the Palestinian intellectual and activist Haidar Eid, in Gaza, performs "Love in the Time of Genocide," adapted from a poem by the late Egyptian poet Abdul Rahim Mansour. The words are unadorned, but Eid’s performance is haunting, set against images from Israel’s most recent massacre in Gaza....At the end of the video are these words from Eid himself: The Palestinian people, and Gazans in particular, have been living an unending massacre since 1948. We can no longer negotiate about improving the conditions of oppression; it is either the full menu of rights, or nothing. And that means the end of occupation, apartheid and colonialism...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109216] [ 02-sep-2014 02:01 ECT ]

How Israel uses Caterpillar machinery to carry out extrajudicial executions
Adri Nieuwhof
16activestills-qabalan.jpg

August 15, 2014 - On Monday 11 August, the Israeli army used a militarized Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in an attempt to arrest 24-year-old Zakaria al-Aqra at his home in the village of Qabalan near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.The Times of Israel reported that Israeli forces carried out the so-called "pressure cooker" procedure in an attempt to force al-Aqra to come outside. Soldiers fired on the walls of his house and used the Caterpillar to damage the building. Al-Aqra was killed, six relatives were wounded and parts of his house were destroyed during the eight-hour assault.A new report by Who Profits Research Center documents Israel’s use of heavy construction machinery in home demolitions as well as the construction of settlements, the West Bank wall, checkpoints, roadblocks and for crowd control...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109215] [ 02-sep-2014 01:55 ECT ]

"Are there warplanes overhead, dad?"
Rami Almeghari

August 16, 2014 - "Get up shahida, get up," my son Muhammad said to his sister Nadine early on Friday as he tried to wake her up. He used the Arabic word usually translated to English as "martyr" after he playfully put the mattress over her. It’s a word children in Gaza have heard too often.For more than a month now, Muhammad and hundreds of thousands of other children here have been locked in their homes, watching scenes of Palestinian men, women and children torn to pieces on their TV screens — that is if they were lucky enough to be spared witnessing such scenes with their own eyes, or like 448 other children, end up dead....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109214] [ 02-sep-2014 01:51 ECT ]

Israel in the docks at the ICC- a not so distant possibility?
Jessica Purkiss

August 16, 2014 - Israel's military offensive on Gaza has devastated the small coastal enclave. During the lull of hostilities, part of a recently extended ceasefire, the damage is being assessed and calls for justice are growing stronger. Last week, Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki visited The Hague, the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Malki, told reporters that the visit was made in-order to discuss the implications of signing the Rome Statute. Signing the Rome Statute would make Palestine a member of the ICC with the authority to call for an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109213] [ 02-sep-2014 01:45 ECT ]

Syria News - August 15, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria
15agostodemo15-364542574_n.jpg

August 15, 2014 - By the end of today Friday, LCC has documented the fall of 68 martyrs including 10 children, 7 women and 5 martyrs under torture. 25 martyrs were reported in Daraa, 20 in Aleppo, 10 in Damascus and its suburbs, 5 in Idlib, 4 in Homs, 2 in Deir Ezzor and 2 martyrs in Hama....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109212] [ 02-sep-2014 01:34 ECT ]

Why US Airstrikes Will Only Strengthen ISIS
Bombing the Caliphate

by JOHN FEFFER

August 15, 2014 - ....Now, if the United States doesn’t do something stupid—like bombing this newly declared caliphate and its army—IS will likely be consumed by the fires of its own extremism. All manner of groups fought alongside IS in order to defeat their common enemy—the woefully corrupt and dangerously sectarian leader of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki. But IS signaled its inability to maintain a popular front of Maliki haters by recently rounding up former Baathists that had been fighting on their side and forcing them to swear allegiance to the new entity or risk execution.....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109211] [ 02-sep-2014 01:30 ECT ]

Homeless Gazans struggle to find shelter
Mohammed Othman

August 15, 2014 - Manal Abu Assar, 39, took a few moments to wash her children's clothes in the park next to al-Shifa Hospital, where her family has set up a tent. She took advantage of the absence of men, who left the hospital park in the morning. Abu Assar and her 13-member family fled the neighborhood of Shajaiya in eastern Gaza following a major attack by Israeli forces on July 19. "The situation is increasingly worsening in the hospital park, where thousands of displaced people have taken refuge," Abu Assar told Al-Monitor. A small tent, with an area of no more than nine meters, has become Abu Assar's new home, as is the case for many other families whose houses were destroyed by Israeli occupation forces on the eastern border of Gaza City....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109210] [ 02-sep-2014 01:27 ECT ]

Civilians Killed in US and Iraqi Raids in Northern Iraq (Video)
AlJazeera
15kirkuk-bvfsrsdceaavbwo.jpg

August 15, 2014 - Today (Friday) more than 20 people were killed, more than half of which were children in both US and Iraqi raids in northern Iraq in two regions , Kerkuk and Nineveh to the north of Iraq, at a time when US president Barack Obama said that raids on the ISIS strongholds will keep on happening. Sources in the Huweija Hospital which is situated south West of Kerkuk (almost 150 kilometers to the north of Baghdad), that 11 children were killed and another 30 were injured among which were women and children as well in a raid completed by Iraqi fighter jets....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109209] [ 02-sep-2014 01:20 ECT ]

Iraq snapshot - August 15, 2014.
The Common Ills

August 15, 2014 - So few want to admit that. In part because they whored for Nouri al-Maliki and in part because they lack the ability to they were wrong to cheer Nouri on. The man was a tyrant and a despot. He had Iraqis rounded up -- usually Sunnis -- mass 'arrests' that lacked arrest warrants. The people were then lost in the 'legal' system -- often never tried, not on trial once, but kept in prisons. Some people were arrested with arrest warrants -- for other people!They have an arrest warrent for Ali al-Mutlaq. They go to his family's home. Ali is not present so they arrest Ali's wife, sister, child or parent. That's not justice. It is why so many innocents rot in prison -- accused of no crime but held regardless. Many of the females in Nouri's prison arrived there as a result of being a relative of someone. Once in prison, many girls and women were assaulted or raped....There was his targeting of Iraq's LGBTQ community. There was his attack on protesters -- most infamously the April 23rd massacre of a sit-in in Hawija resulted fvia Nouri's federal forces storming in. ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109208] [ 02-sep-2014 00:28 ECT ]

Chronicles of a Death Foretold: The Kerry Negotiations
by Samia al-Botmeh, Diana Buttu, Raja Khalidi, Rashid Khalidi, and Mouin Rabbani

August 15, 2014 - Farsighted observers saw it coming. For them, the apparent breakdown in April 2014 of the initiative launched by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry amid much fanfare nine months earlier, in August 2013, came as no great surprise. Would U.S. diplomacy have the courage to do something it had failed to do for over thirty-five years, and put forward an initiative on Palestine that diverged markedly from the Israeli government’s colonialist, annexationist agenda? Would Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the heir to a tradition going back to Zeev Jabotinsky (the founder of the maximalist strand of Zionism that has dominated Israeli politics since 1977) have a Nixon-going-to-China moment in response to Kerry’s effort? And would Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas accept whatever formula emerged from Kerry’s efforts? ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109207] [ 02-sep-2014 00:20 ECT ]

Ray Odierno: Living in the Third Person about Iraq
By: Peter Van Buren
15ray-odierno-240x300.jpg

August 15, 2014 - .... The very factors Odierno speaks today of almost as if he was an independent third party dispassionately looking back are the same ones he was responsible for resolving over his many years of command in Iraq. Odierno watched as the United States poured $25 billion into training the gleefully third world standard Iraqi Army he now says was not properly trained. He was handmaiden to the 2010 elections that saw the Iranians broker a Maliki victory and the installation of a Shia-based non-representative government. He oversaw the military reconstruction efforts over years of the Occupation that failed (alongside the State Department’s efforts) to create the very institutions whose absence he now decries. Despite all this, the best Odierno can come up with as an explanation for why everything is a mess in 2014 is the Iraqi’s messed up his good work.But if Maliki is anything more than a talisman for the whole mess of post-2003 Iraq, he was certainly America’s choice (twice) for the role ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109206] [ 02-sep-2014 00:17 ECT ]

Gitmo Detainee's Lawyers Can't Describe Video
By ADAM KLASFELD

August 15, 2014 - - Lawyers for a hunger-striking detainee must abide by restrictions barring the "distribution of, or discussion of" videos of their client's forcible cell extractions taking him to his force-feedings, a federal judge ruled. Syrian-born detainee Mohammed Abu Wa'el Dhiab, also known as Jihad Dhiab, has been detained at the U.S. military prison in Cuba for 12 years, and his continued detention is indefinite even though he was cleared for release in 2009. Dhiab has been one of the most visible of Guantanamo's hunger-strikers for his brief success challenging his prison's force-feeding protocols in federal court...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109205] [ 02-sep-2014 00:08 ECT ]

Israel's Incessant Death-State Concept
The “Defense” Addiction

by ANDREW SMOLSKI

August 15, 2014 - Only a cold diagnosis would be proper for such a horror as has been inflicted upon the Palestinians during the gruesome Operation Protective Edge and seven decades of occupation. The Israeli State has become pathological (or was it always so?), a State motivated to commit a psychopathic onslaught continuously and indefinitely. Israel is ripe to be diagnosed as a "Death-State", a concept constructed by Eugene W. Holland’s as the linking up of a militarized, bureaucratic state with a capitalist political economy and a social psychological desire pushing nihilistic destruction. What desiring-machines, as Deleuze and Guattari liked to call them, are making these terrorizing libidinal flows within the Israeli State?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109204] [ 02-sep-2014 00:05 ECT ]

Syria : At least 8 Palestinians tortured to death in the last week
-Talal Alyan
15pt-screen-shot-2014-08-15-at-7-35-10.jpg

August 15, 2014 - There are 2,433 documented Palestinian casualties of the Syrian war so far, the overwhelming majority at the hands of Assad forces and proxies. At least 230 of these martyrs have been met by a particularly gruesome end; death by torture. In the past week alone, 8 Palestinians have been tortured to death in Assad prisons. The emphasis on the fact that these casualties are Palestinian is not to imply that Palestinian life is more precious than Syrian life. Let it instead stand as testament to the dishonesty of those who continue to regard what is happening in Syria as irrelevant to Palestine.Here are the names of the Palestinians tortured to death in the past week. Count your dead, Palestine, regardless of where or by whom they were slaughtered. ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109203] [ 02-sep-2014 00:00 ECT ]

Under Occupation
The Shortest Distance Between Palestine and Ferguson

by JAIME OMAR YASSIN

August 15, 2014 -The superficially coincidental images coming from both Gaza and Ferguson this month have created some surprising and sudden currents of solidarity. Many have looked on with amazement, for example, as Gazans offer tips via twitter to those who have been involved in the uprising and faced the absurd and excessively militarized response to it by Ferguson police. And participants in "peaceful" vigils and more militant confrontations in Ferguson have invoked Gaza by now a dozens times.Few have looked at images coming out of Ferguson and not been tempted to draw the same allusions between the 2/3 Black suburb policed by a nearly all-white police force, and Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. It would be difficult not to draw that comparison at the moment given the spectacle of the massive armory gifted to the FPD by the federal government in the name of stopping "terror"–which has so often been given a Palestinian face in the US–and the revelation that the former police chief of Ferguson studied "counter-terror" measures in Israel in 2011....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109202] [ 01-sep-2014 23:54 ECT ]

Nobody's Expendable
The Fallacious Human Shield and Collateral Damage Arguments

by ROBERT J. GOULD

August 15, 2014 -The human shield argument, in the news today from Israel and the war with Gaza and in the ongoing debates about drones, is similar to the collateral damage argument. Let’s take the collateral damage argument first. (Of course, this argument is given from the perspective of those asserting the argument, not the victims of the argument.)The collateral damage argument goes like this: First, the enemy intentionally places itself close to civilian populations, so that any attack on the enemy will necessitate civilian deaths. Second, since it is the enemy’s intent to put those civilians at risk, civilian deaths are the enemy’s responsibility, not ours. Therefore, the argument’s proponents are, however regrettably, free to kill civilians because the enemy put them in harm’s way, and cynically uses these deaths for propaganda advantage. Following along the lines of this collateral damage argument, the human shield argument goes like this: First, the enemy hides amongst civilians, notably in hospitals and schools, so that any attack on the enemy will necessitate civilian deaths, especially children and the sick....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109201] [ 01-sep-2014 23:51 ECT ]

Gaza: a testing ground for Israeli military technology -
Shir Hever
15is-000_nic6358345.jpg

August 15, 2014 - Israel may be a relatively small state, but it is the largest per-capita weapons exporter in the world. The Israeli arms companies have the advantage in marketing their products around the world, because they can claim that their products have been tested in actual combat. Senior officers of the Israeli army often pursue a second career in the arms industry after retiring from service, and as soldiers they already have the opportunity to perform valuable services to their future employers, by testing weapon systems developed by the arms companies, by convincing the Israeli government and public of the necessity of such technologies for military victory, and by offering praise to the companies producing these weapons....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109200] [ 01-sep-2014 23:46 ECT ]

Living under occupation in Ferguson
Nicole Colson

August 15, 2014 - SINCE 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by an unidentified police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on August 9, the majority Black city just outside of St. Louis has been rocked by protests against the racism of a system that sees the lives of young Black men as disposable. The response of authorities has been to flood the town with hundreds of police from dozens of neighboring cities and towns, decked out in riot gear, and armed with assault weapons, attack dogs and militarized vehicles for "crowd control." Protesters say "keeping the peace" is the last thing on these cops' minds--the invaders are acting in a deliberately provocative and aggressive manner, leading to an escalation of violence over several more nights of protest...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109199] [ 01-sep-2014 23:32 ECT ]

New found interest in Iraqi women?
The Common Ills

August 15, 2014 - Religious minority women have been targeted since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. You're only just now noticing? Are you five-years-old or six?....It looks less like you care about Iraqi women -- you clearly don't care enough to even do the basic work required to grasp this isn't a Sunni issue -- and more like you're pimping war and are convinced you've found your issue.When you can write about it in a manner that doesn't suggest this ongoing, over a decade long problem didn't just start yesterday, people might care about the issue.Right now, it just looks like you're attempting to inflame tensions further in order to give the world more war.P.S. Where was your tired ass when Sunni women and girls were being tortured and raped in Nouri's jails and prisons?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109198] [ 01-sep-2014 23:25 ECT ]

10 things that have changed forever on Gaza
Ramzy Baroud
15aa_picture_20140802_2945740_web.jpg

August 15, 2014 - After every bloody episode of violence perpetrated by Israel, media spin doctors are deployed with one grand mission: Absolve Israel of any responsibility in its acts of carnage. These apologists not only demonise Palestinians, but also anyone who dares to take a stand on their behalf. The main staple of this Israeli strategy is blaming the victim. There is nothing new in this tactic - this is how the so-called "Arab-Israeli conflict" has been presented in Western media. The narrative is always much closer to that of Israeli official and media discourses than that of Palestinians' - despite the decades-long military occupation, successive wars, and countless massacres...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109197] [ 01-sep-2014 23:16 ECT ]

Canada and Israel: An anti-Arab stance?
Ahmad Moussa

August 15, 2014 - The Harper Government is shaming and embarrassing Canadian citizens and Canada's international image, demonstrated through them losing a seat at the United Nations Security Council due to their foreign policy stances, one being in relation to Israel; reinforced recently with their support for the latest incursion on the Gaza Strip.The Harper Government has criticised United Nations statements including the Human Rights Council for authorizing an international investigation into war crimes during Operation Protective Edge. These developments on the international level arose as a result of the understandably grave concerns over the disproportionate death toll; the majority of casualties being innocent Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109196] [ 01-sep-2014 23:02 ECT ]

Palestinians express "solidarity with the people of Ferguson" in Mike Brown statement
Rana Baker

August 15, 2014 - Palestinian groups and individuals inside and outside of historic Palestine have signed the following statement in solidarity with their brethren in Ferguson, Missouri. Unsurprisingly, many of the police deployed to crush unarmed protesters demanding justice for the brutal murder of eighteen-year-old black American Mike Brown are Israel-trained. Despotic tactics Palestinians largely associate with Israel’s colonial military, such as teargassing protesters and harassing journalists, have all been implemented in Ferguson. Although Ferguson and Palestine are two different contexts, both places and their people are fighting against white supremacist regimes of oppression which continue to view them as "disposable others" and act accordingly...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109195] [ 01-sep-2014 22:54 ECT ]

Palestinian refugees mark one year of return to destroyed village
Patrick O. Strickland
15kufr-birim.jpg

August 15, 2014 - Kufr Birim is one of the hundreds of Palestinian villages depopulated by Zionist militas during the Nakba (Arabic for "catastrophe") — the ethnic cleansing which led to Israel’s foundation in 1948. Earlier this month, activists held a week-long youth camp in this village. More than seventy young Palestinians living in present-day Israel attended.The camp featured lectures and tours that teach the village’s Palestinian history, as well as arts and crafts activities and musical and theater performances."For 66 years we have been trying to return," George Ghantous, an organizer of the camp, told The Electronic Intifada...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109194] [ 01-sep-2014 22:01 ECT ]

Football fan slain by Israel predicted he would be next martyr
Budour Youssef Hassan

August 15, 2014 - "If you call his number now, no one will answer. The friend you used to call so frequently is gone," said Muhammad Qattri’s mother, Um Muhammad. She held her slain son’s phone and was speaking to one of his friends. Just a few hours prior to his killing on Friday, 8 August, 19-year-old Qattri had eaten his lunch at home. And as he so often did, he ate quickly and left the house to take part in a protest without telling his mother. For the last two years, Qattri — or Abu Hassan as they called him at his home in al-Amari refugee camp, south of Ramallah — regularly participated in protests across the occupied West Bank, including outside Ofer military prison and the Beit El settlement....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109193] [ 01-sep-2014 17:57 ECT ]

The implications of the Israeli war on Gaza
Yaser Alashqar

August 15, 2014 - Most of the news reporting and analysis concerning what is happening in Gaza has left out two crucial issues: the human context and the long-term implications of Israel's war against this impoverished territory. Gaza, the place where I grew up, has not seen progress and development for decades. Since 2006, the situation there has worsened significantly with the imposition of a cruel military siege by Israel from land, sea and air. Over the years, Israeli policies towards Gaza have gradually expanded from occupying and de-developing Gaza, to the current so called "military operations"....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109192] [ 01-sep-2014 17:11 ECT ]

Syria News - August 14, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria
14aleppo14-bunuzb0igaaubwk.jpg

August 14, 2014 - By the end of Thursday, the coordination committees were able to document 75 martyrs including 15 children, 7 women, and 6 martyrs under torture: 24 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs; 23 in Aleppo; 17 in Homs; 5 in Idlib; 4 in Daraa and 2 Hama...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109191] [ 01-sep-2014 16:21 ECT ]

Four scenes from a war zone called Iraq
Haifa Zangana

August 14, 2014 - ... Listening to this repetitive US mantra, one is compelled to wonder if US officials either suffer an acute state of dementia to forget their disastrous role in Iraq, or if they hold nothing but contempt for the Iraqi people. Why? Firstly; one look at Iraq today, or what is left of the Iraq we used to know, is enough to show the extent of the destruction in social and human terms as much as in infrastructure. The fragmentation of society, and the ever-increasing animosity and revenge sentiments in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led occupation dubbed "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Secondly; calling upon Iraqi politicians to form a new inclusive government is a meaningless act, since most, if not all of today's Iraqi officials are the same politicians who have been collaborating with the US since the nineties. Official labels and tags may have changed, but corruption, sectarianism and squabbling over power remain the same. Brutal militias attached to the same parties engaged in the political process which has been designed by the US occupation are the same; as we say in Iraq, "it is the same donkey, different saddle."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109190] [ 01-sep-2014 16:10 ECT ]

Hebron: a hotbed of tension and human rights abuses
By Charlotte Drax
14he-20121125084911.jpg

August 14, 2014 - Israel’s first settlement in the West Bank, Kiryat Arba, was established in 1968 adjacent to the municipal boundaries of Hebron, and the city soon saw frequent confrontations between the Israeli settlers and its Palestinian inhabitants. Due to its religious significance, Hebron became a stronghold for the religious extremists within the settler movement. Today, the city has four Israeli settlements in its center with approximately 500 residents. It has also been surrounded on all sides by four, much larger, Israeli settlements....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109189] [ 01-sep-2014 02:47 ECT ]

Shameless Cooke knifes Syrian people’s resistance to Assad/ISIS fascism
Michael Karadjis

August 14, 2014 - ....If Cooke was pointing out that this blatant betrayal of the Syrian rebels as they resisted ISIS was evidence of US acquiescence with ISIS, he would be right in this sense. As against the forces of the Syrian revolution, yes, the US acquiesces with ISIS just as the Assad regime does. That is because in relation to revolution, the US, the Assad regime and ISIS are all on the side of counterrevolution, regardless of whether or not they love each other otherwise. But Cooke is not saying that at all. On the contrary, by identifying ISIS with the Syrian uprising against Assad, by calling it the "driving force" in the Syrian war against the regime, Cooke is not just echoing Assadist propaganda, he is also slandering the entire cast of Syrian rebel organisations, all of whom have shed rivers of blood to drive ISIS out of as much of Syria as possible, to ensure the liberation from one form of tyranny does not bequeath another, all the time being bombed from the skies by the fascist regime while doing so....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109188] [ 01-sep-2014 02:38 ECT ]

Putting Palestinians “On a Diet”: Israel’s Siege & Blockade of Gaza
IMEU

August 14, 2014 -Israel’s siege and blockade of Gaza are central pillars of a policy of economic warfare intended to punish the entire population of the tiny, occupied coastal strip in the hopes that Palestinians living there will blame Hamas for their predicament and reject the organization as well as any resistance to Israel’s continued control of the territory. As noted by the UN and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, this amounts to collective punishment, which is a violation of international law. In early 2006, Dov Weisglass, then a senior advisor to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, explained that Israeli policy was designed "to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger." ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109187] [ 01-sep-2014 02:35 ECT ]

Dear Jon Voight: A letter about Gaza
Gil Hochberg & Mark LeVine
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August 14, 2014 - As the carnage in Gaza reached a crescendo in the beginning of August, Jon Voight, one of Hollywood's most vocal conservatives, penned a harsh attack on fellow actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in response to a letter they signed condemning the latest Israeli bombing of Gaza in which he accused them of "inciting anti-Semitism all over the world". Many activists dismiss Voight's letter as the rantings of an unthinking actor who long ago lost touch with political reality - a poor relation of conservative icon Charlton Heston. But Voight's vitriol, and the narratives behind them, have for decades been quite effective in silencing criticism of Israel in Hollywood or among entertainers more broadly....


  continua / continued avanti - next    [109186] [ 01-sep-2014 02:25 ECT ]

From Gaza to Brazil: Stop Financing Drones That Kill Our Children
By Haidar Eid – Gaza

August 14, 2014 - ....An entire generation of children in the Gaza Strip have grown up experiencing repeated massacres and the wholesale destruction of the infrastructure that supports life in the 21st century. The recent series of massacres against the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in 1967, started in 2006, continued in 2008/9 and 2012 and has been made unbearable by an eight year long inhumane siege. This massacre did not start with the killing of three Israeli settlers a few weeks ago, as has been falsely claimed by many Western media outlets. These killings might have not even been committed by a Palestinian, and yet we hear this falsehood repeated uncritically by the media supposed to be unbiased and independent....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109185] [ 01-sep-2014 01:15 ECT ]

Hundreds of scholars say they won’t engage with University of Illinois unless decision to block Salaita is reversed
Corey Robin

August 14, 2014 - In the last 24 hours, sociologists and scholars of composition and rhetoric have organized two new statements of refusal regarding the Steven Salaita affair. 1. The sociology statement reads as follows: Dear Chancellor Wise: We are members of Sociology departments from around the world who write, regretfully, to inform you that we will not engage with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as speakers, or as participants in conferences or other events at Illinois, until you rescind the decision to block Professor Steven Salaita’s appointment to the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Many prominent academics have written eloquently about the chilling effect your decision will have on the free expression of dissident ideas by academics; legal scholars have argued that it is a violation of academic freedom and more fundamentally, of freedom of speech.

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109184] [ 01-sep-2014 01:12 ECT ]

Is ISIS a Direct Threat to the U.S.?
By: Peter Van Buren
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August 14, 2014 - Is ISIS a Direct Threat to the U.S.? Doubtful. First, a few samples of the fear-mongering rhetoric. he militant Islamic State group could launch a direct attack on U.S. soil," warned South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who claimed the militants are a "direct threat to our homeland… They are coming." Graham, and his running dog accomplice John McCain, have never found a threat they could not exaggerate. "In reality, ISIS represents the most virulent form of Islamic jihad the planet has ever seen. These folks are not Muslims, they are animals, frankly… another 9/11 is imminent." said Ali Khedery, who, as an advisor to five U.S. ambassadors in Iraq, is personally responsible for much of the mess there....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109183] [ 01-sep-2014 01:02 ECT ]

Where are the “anti-imperialists” now that Obama is bombing ISIS?
Michael Karadjis

August 14, 2014 -For days now, the US military has been launching air strikes against the reactionary Sunni-fascist group Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS, or just IS now) in Iraq. Yet, strangely, not only have I not seen any evidence of anti-war demonstrations, or organising for them, I have also not seen the entire faux-"left" cybersphere full of fulminating attacks on US imperialist intervention, with everyone repeating and slightly re-wording the same half-baked, evidence-free article, like we saw last August during the alleged build-up to an entirely imaginary US attack on the reactionary, secular-fascist regime of Bashar Assad in Syria. The geopolitics is of course interesting....Anyway, let’s try to figure out some differences for anti-war western leftists. Perhaps we should only oppose US interventions when they are just a figment of our imaginations, as opposed to ones that are actually happening in our face....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109182] [ 31-aug-2014 08:11 ECT ]

Al-Maliki and Al-Abadi… The constant and the variable in Iraq
Dr Azmi Bishara

August 14, 2014 - ...The Arab countries are still absent in forming a considerable factor in the internal political life in Iraq to counter the Iranian-American shared interests and the Iraqi political trend that unites Shia and Sunni Arabs as Iraqi citizens is still missing. Therefore, the socio-political structure of Iraq is still the same, based on Iranian influence, compatibility with America, and Kurdish independence as a reality in the form belonging to Iraq as a formality and the attempt to contain the rest of the Sunni Arabs in light of the dominance of the sectarian structure based on foreign influence. Iraq remains at risk of similar dangers and crises in the future. As for the transition from sectarian dominance to sectarian consensus, I don't believe Iran is ready to accept this nor do I believe the US is capable of imposing this, even after sectarian cleansing and the danger of division. This sectarianism focused on foreign intervention is what is preventing the emergence of strong national forces that can push the Iraqi political structure towards national and democratic sovereignty based on citizenship, and it seems to me that in Iraq they go hand in hand...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109181] [ 31-aug-2014 08:06 ECT ]

Syria: Witnesses Corroborate Mass Deaths in Custody Claims
Human Rights Watch
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August 14, 2014 - Horrific accounts by former detainees in Syria corroborate allegations of mass deaths in custody by a military defector. Four former detainees released from the Sednaya military prison in 2014 described deaths in custody and harsh prison conditions that closely match the allegations of the defector, who photographed thousands of dead bodies in military hospitals in Damascus. In January, a team of senior international lawyers and forensic experts published a report concluding that Syrian authorities had committed systematic torture and killing of detainees. According to the report, a military defector, code-named Caesar, had taken 55,000 photographs of an estimated 11,000 bodies in military hospitals and other locations in Damascus. The bodies showed signs of starvation, brutal beatings, strangulation, and other forms of torture and killing....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109179] [ 31-aug-2014 08:00 ECT ]

Accounts of Israeli war crimes in Khuza’a, Gaza pile up
Alex Kane

August 14, 2014 - Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly asked the U.S. for help in combatting charges of war crimes committed over the last month in Gaza. He will definitely need it.In recent days, well-documented accounts of war crimes have poured out of the Gaza Strip from journalists and human rights advocates. Some of these stories will likely be followed up on by the United Nations team that has been tasked with investigating war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Many of these accounts have focused on Khuza’a, a village near Khan Younis that was the site of intensive Israeli bombardment in late July...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109178] [ 31-aug-2014 07:56 ECT ]

Liberal Zionism has lost its refuge– a plausible two-state solution Israel/Palestine
Philip Weiss

August 14, 2014 - As we all know, liberal Zionism is in crisis. J Street is locked down for Israel– and losing former staff and supporters. Michael Walzer of Americans for Peace Now acknowledges that Israel has damaged global support by killing so many civilians, but he’s largely supportive of the war, chiefly blaming Hamas for the civilian deaths. Eric Alterman deeply disagrees with leftwing calls for Israel to be prosecuted for war crimes; and his "Third Narrative" initiative had barely a word to say about the war except that Hamas uses human shields and BDS is the real enemy....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109177] [ 31-aug-2014 07:53 ECT ]

Cuomo and Zuckerman take a suckers’ tour of tunnels (a few miles from massacres they can’t make time for)
James North and Phil Weiss
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August 14, 2014 - Imagine: sharp New York politicians are bragging about their role in the tunnel scam that Israel is putting forward to try and distract the world from a massacre. A New York delegation to Israel toured the tunnels today, in "solidarity" with Israelis. The picture above was taken at a tunnel opening near the Gaza border, they say.That’s Governor Andrew Cuomo above, in the white shirt; he tweeted the photo. On the left in the blazer is Mort Zuckerman, publisher of the Daily News. Sheldon Silver, Jeffrey Klein, and Dean Skelos, millstones of the NY legislature, flank the gov.Oh and wearing a suit, that’s Shimon Peres, the retired Israeli president, suckering the US worthies in the sand...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109180] [ 31-aug-2014 08:00 ECT ]

Expelled, ghettoized and killed by Israel: The story of my cousin in Gaza Israel/Palestine
Ghada Ageel

August 14, 2014 - My distant cousin, Sobhi Abu Shammala, was killed in July by Israeli forces while irrigating his small palm trees in the Mawasi area of Khan Younis. A refugee, his story covers the sweep of Palestinian history from the Nakba, or catastrophe of our dispossession in 1948, to the most recent Israeli pretext for exercising overwhelming military force against Palestinians. He is not alone. More than 1800 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed by the latest Israeli war crimes, an assertion I believe investigations will soon bear out. Expelled from Beit Daras in 1948 at age 11, Sobhi’s family took refuge in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109175] [ 31-aug-2014 07:46 ECT ]

Gaza dispatch: When tanks shell refugee camps
By Samer Badawi

August 14, 2014 - In Jabaliya sustained Israeli shelling has obliterated entire families, leaving them homeless and with few options to rebuild.Scenes of destruction abound along Gaza’s eastern border. From its northern tip to the southern town of Rafah, entire blocks along this 25-mile-long strip have been flattened, displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, overwhelming the makeshift shelters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and threatening to delay the beginning of the school year here.But for all the trauma felt by the newly displaced, residents of Gaza’s refugee camps have suffered an especially cruel fate since Israel began its ground and air invasion five weeks ago. Nowhere is that more pronounced than in Jabaliya, where sustained Israeli shelling has obliterated entire families, leaving them homeless and with few options to rebuild...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109174] [ 31-aug-2014 07:44 ECT ]

The Salaita case and Cary Nelson’s use of “academic freedom” to silence dissent
Vicente M. Diaz
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August 14, 2014 - Cary Nelson, retired University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) English professor and past president of the American Association of University Professors, has been busy.From the moment that the story broke of Chancellor Phyllis Wise’s underhanded nixing of Steven Salaita’s de facto hiring in my department, Nelson has rushed forward as the administration’s biggest cheerleader and defender against condemnations, protests and what amounts to a growing boycott of UIUC from scholars and academic associations.In the interest of disclosure, I co-chaired the search committee that recommended Salaita’s hiring...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109173] [ 31-aug-2014 07:40 ECT ]

Britain decides to keep on arming Israel
Charlotte Silver

August 14, 2014 - Britain remains determined to keep on arming Israel, judging by a decision taken by one of the most senior figures in the UK government this week.Vince Cable, the business secretary, has reviewed 130 licenses granted for exporting British weapons to Israel. On Tuesday, he announced that just twelve of these licenses would be suspended "in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities."This means that if the current "truce" between Israel and Hamas holds, then Britain will deliver all the military equipment that Israel has ordered. Israel will be able to prepare for its next offensive against Gaza, with the aid of British weaponry...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109172] [ 31-aug-2014 07:37 ECT ]

Top Middle East scholars call for academic boycott of Israel
Sarah Irving

August 14, 2014 - More than one hundred senior scholars of the Middle East have signed an open letter calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
The letter’s organizers referred to the list of signatories — which includes many of the world’s best-known scholars of the history, literature, anthropology and politics of the Middle East — as an "unprecedented expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people."While directly responding to the most recent Israeli attacks on Gaza, which have left thousands of civilians dead, injured and homeless, the letter also cites as reasons for their boycott call: "the occupation and dispossession in East Jerusalem, the Naqab (Negev), and the West Bank; the construction of walls and fences around the Palestinian population, the curtailment of Palestinian freedom of movement and education, and the house demolitions."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109171] [ 31-aug-2014 07:34 ECT ]

Gaza’s displaced struggle to regain some normality
Rami Almeghari
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August 14, 2014 - Riham al-Kheisy and Yahya Hijazi are a young engaged couple from the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya, which has been devastated in heavy Israeli bombardments.Al-Kheisy’s one-story family home was completely destroyed, while Hijazi’s suffered less serious damage. Both are now sheltering at the al-Bahrain school run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, in the western Gaza City neighborhood of Tal al-Hawa. Like a few hundred thousand others in Gaza, they remain displaced...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109170] [ 31-aug-2014 07:28 ECT ]

Condemning demands for US help in Iraq
Munir Shafiq

August 14, 2014 -...The US military intervention, even if just in the form of air strikes, should be treated as aggression against Iraq and an infringement of its sovereignty even if it came in response to a request from Al-Maliki or from Massoud Barzani. It should be treated in exactly the same way as the US aggression against Yemen is treated, as an infringement of its sovereignty through the use of war planes to strike Al-Qaeda.The pretext of fighting terrorism is unacceptable. No other pretext whatsoever is acceptable to justify asking for US military intervention against a domestic enemy or foe, no matter how dangerous this enemy or foe happens to be. Such threat should be confronted locally, primarily, or with the aid of a brother. As for the US, it should be treated as a red line....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109169] [ 31-aug-2014 07:22 ECT ]

The International Criminal Court: A weapon of defence not intimidation
Dr Issam Shawer

August 14, 2014-If the Goldstone Report, the UN fact finding mission relating to the 2009 Israeli offensive on Gaza called "Operation Cast Lead", continued with its investigations, the massacres and war crimes that occurred in Gaza in 2012 and 2014 could have been prevented. More importantly, the lacks of investigations have also prolonged the trial of many Zionist war criminals that were responsible for committing many war crimes in Gaza. The leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organisation agreed to sign the Rome Treaty in order to send Zionist war criminals to the international Criminal Court and yet, until this point the PLO's leadership has failed to sign the treaty or take any other step to hold Israel's war criminals accountable for their terrorist policies...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109168] [ 31-aug-2014 07:19 ECT ]

Syria News - August 13, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria
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August 13, 2014 - By the end of Wednesday, the coordination committees were able to document 71 martyrs including 14 martyrs under torture, 6 children, and 2 women: 23 martyres were reported in Aleppo; 11 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 11 in Idlib; 11 in Hasaka; 7 in Homs; 6 in Daraa and 2 Hama....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109167] [ 31-aug-2014 07:14 ECT ]

5 Persons, Including 2 Journalists One of Whom Is Italian, Killed by Explosion of Missile Left by Israeli Forces in North Gaza
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

August 13, 2014 -This morning, 5 persons, including 2 journalists, one of whom is Italian, were killed, and 7 others, including a journalist, were wounded by the explosion of a missile left from Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, while members of the Palestinian Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD) were attempting to deactivate it. According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 11:30 on Wednesday, 13 August 2014, members of the EOD of the Palestinian Interior Ministry headed to the yard of the building of North Gaza Governorate, which was destroyed by the Israeli forces during the offensive on the Gaza Strip in November 2012 ("Operation Pillar of Defense"), in the northeast of Beit Lahia....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109166] [ 31-aug-2014 07:09 ECT ]

Kufr Birim: The right of return to Palestine
Waad Ghantous

August 13, 2014 - The latest attempt to intimidate the Palestinian community inside present-day Israel took place on August 11, when officers from the Israeli Land Administration (ILA) showed up in Kufr Birim, a destroyed Palestinian village where I and more than a dozen other activists have been camping in shifts since August 2013. The ILA threatened to cut the water and electricity to the kitchen we built, as well as confiscate our camping supplies, such as blankets, mattresses and tents. They also demanded that we evacuate the area and warned that they will return soon with police forces...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109165] [ 31-aug-2014 07:06 ECT ]

Psychological damage of Gazan children will have long-term consequences
By Lynda Franken
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August 13, 2014 - Hassan al-Zeyada, 50, works as a psychologist at the Gaza Community Mental Health Program’s center in Gaza City. He treats several residents who suffer from psychological trauma due to Israeli military operations in the coastal enclave. When his own home was shelled on 20 July, killing six of his family members, he found himself with difficult job of having to treat himself. Tackling the psychological problems in Gaza stemming from the aftermath of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, during which nearly 2,000 people in Gaza were killed, will be a huge challenge. UN statistics presented today show that approximately 335,000 people are displaced and live in shelters, schools or with family....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109164] [ 31-aug-2014 07:04 ECT ]

Not in my name
Suzanne Weiss

August 13, 2014 - I AM proud to join more than 250 Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors in condemning "the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza" and "the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people."Our statement of solidarity calls for "an immediate end to the siege against and the blockade of Gaza" and a "full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel." We believe that "never again," the often-repeated lesson of Hitler's Holocaust, "must mean never again for anyone!"--especially the Palestinians....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109163] [ 31-aug-2014 06:59 ECT ]

Blowback - Foreign Fighters and the Threat They Pose
CAGE

August 13, 2014 - CAGE releases report on purported threat of British fighters returning from Syria. Blowback - foreign fighters and the threat they pose written by CAGE's Research Director Asim Qureshi, (you can see Asim on Newsnight and Channel 4 speaking about British Fighters in Syria), argues that the threat of blowback by fighters returning from Syria is exaggerated and that counter-terrorism measures used to deal with the purported threat are alienating Muslims. The release of the report comes just weeks after Sir Richard Dearlove, former MI6 chief, claimed that the government had exaggerated the threat posed by returnees from the war in Syria in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109162] [ 31-aug-2014 06:56 ECT ]

Going Wild in the Gaza War
Tom Engelhardt
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August 13, 2014 - The carnage in the Gaza Strip has been horrendous: more than 1,900 dead, mainly civilians; its sole power plant destroyed (and so electricity and water denied and a sewage disaster looming); 30,000 to 40,000 homes and buildings damaged or destroyed; hundreds of thousands of residents put to flight with nowhere to go; and numerous U.N. schools or facilities housing some of those refugees hit by Israeli firepower. And then there was the evident targeting by the Israelis of the Gazan economy itself: 175 major factories taken out, according to the New York Times, in a place that already had an estimated unemployment rate of 47%....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109161] [ 31-aug-2014 06:53 ECT ]

Israeli apartheid's Democratic champions
Ashley Smith

August 13, 2014 - ...Thanks to the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign--called for by Palestinians and mobilized by solidarity activists around the world--more and more people understand the reality that Israel is an apartheid state, and the cause of Palestinian liberation is simple justice.But one political institution in the U.S. has stood completely unswayed by this evolving consciousness of the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel, with the support of its main international sponsor, the U.S. government.That institution is the Democratic Party--including its liberal wing. Like their counterparts in the two-party U.S. political system, the Republicans, the Democrats never hesitated during the massacres in Gaza to reaffirm their unwavering support for Israel's colonial project...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109160] [ 31-aug-2014 06:49 ECT ]

Gaza professor describes "most devastating destruction since 1948"
Nora Barrows-Friedman

August 13, 2014 - Palestinian resistance factions and civil society in Gaza demand that Israel abide by international law and lift the seven-year-long siege and blockade, enforced by Egypt, as part of the terms for a lasting ceasefire.Gaza-based professor, scholar and boycott activist Haidar Eid says that even if Israel and Egypt lift the siege and allow unrestricted reconstruction materials into Gaza via its seven crossing points, it could take up to ten years to restore Gaza to the state it was in even before the attacks began last month.Since Israel’s onslaught began on 7 July, the United Nations estimates that 16,800 homes belonging to "16,735 families, consisting of approximately 100,410 individuals, have no home to return to as they were totally destroyed or heavily damaged."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109159] [ 31-aug-2014 06:45 ECT ]

US military “poor” at investigating civilian deaths in Afghanistan, reports Amnesty International
by Jack Serle
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August 13, 2014 - The US military’s record for investigating war crimes and prosecuting suspected perpetrators in Afghanistan "is poor", according to a new Amnesty International report.The US appears to have made little effort to document or record what happened in nine of the 10 incidents that Amnesty believes "raise concerns about the unlawful use of force" and were investigated for their report. Eye-witnesses to these nine attacks say they have never spoken to US military investigators. That is despite one incident, a 2010 special forces raid, involving "abundant and compelling evidence of war crimes".
Amnesty investigators are aware of only six cases in five years where members of the military have been "criminally prosecuted for unlawfully killing Afghan civilians"....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109158] [ 31-aug-2014 06:41 ECT ]

Snowden Was Disturbed by ‘Strangelovian Cyberwarfare Program’ Called ‘MonsterMind’ Developed by NSA
By: Kevin Gosztola

August 13, 2014 - National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in an interview with journalist James Bamford for Wired Magazine has revealed for the first time that he was disturbed by a "Strangelovian cyberwarfare program in the works," which was codenamed "MonsterMind." According to the interview, the program "would automate the process of hunting for the beginnings of a foreign cyberattack. Software would constantly be on the lookout for traffic patterns indicating known or suspected attacks. When it detected an attack, MonsterMind would automatically block it from entering the country—a 'kill’ in cyber terminology."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109157] [ 31-aug-2014 06:37 ECT ]

Questions about the Yazidis on that Iraq Mountain
By: Peter Van Buren

August 13, 2014 - No one wants to see anyone suffer, Yazidi or otherwise. What we do want is to know the truth about what is going on in Iraq even as Obama continues airstrikes, and prepares to send in 130 more American troops.U.S. officials said they believed that some type of ground force would be necessary to secure the passage of the stranded members of the Yazidi group. The military is drawing up plans for consideration by President Obama that could include American ground troops.So a couple of questions here.Long before U.S. airstrikes, the defenseless Yazidi people climbed up that mountain for refuge from ISIS, who supposedly wanted to slaughter them. Why didn’t ISIS just also climb up and then slaughter them? We know ISIS had mortars and actual artillery, because the U.S. later bombed those. Why didn’t ISIS use those weapons to slaughter the Yazidis from afar?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109156] [ 31-aug-2014 06:34 ECT ]

Careful what you wish for in Iraq
Sami Moubayed
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August 13, 2014 -...Overnight, the all-powerful Malki began his long march into history. Sourly biting his lips, he still has not fully digested what happened to him. Tall and proud, Haidar al-Abadi is now bracing himself to become Iraq’s fourth premier since downfall of the Saddam regime back in 2003. He will be creating his country’s sixth government in 11 years. Few if any had heard of the salt and pepper haired, lightly bearded politician prior to this week. So insignificant was Haydar Abadi in Iraq’s who’s who that nobody even bothered to make a Wikipedia entry for him in Arabic. Perhaps, his appointment is a blessing-in-disguise for Iraq. Or perhaps - just perhaps - Abadi will soon emerge as an edited version of Nuri al-Malk; different by name and appearance, but certainly, neither by policy, and nor by substance...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109155] [ 31-aug-2014 06:29 ECT ]

Yazidis Weren’t Stranded, Pentagon Looks for Other Missions
Jason Ditz

August 13, 2014 - The 40,000 Yazidis stranded on the mountain. That was the pretext for US military intervention in Iraq, as set out by President Obama last Thursday. The air war was commenced, and officials were talking up sending ground forces for "rescue" operations as recently as this afternoon. But a funny thing happened when the US "advisers" got to Mount Sinjar. There weren’t 40,000 starving Yazidis stranded there. In fact, the indications are that there never were, and the Pentagon quickly dropped the "rescue" plan....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109154] [ 31-aug-2014 06:24 ECT ]

Living the Gaza war from the outside
Pam Bailey

August 13, 2014 - Tales of terror, trauma and heroism flow daily out of the Gaza Strip, but behind the headlines are countless others who have been forced to fear for their loved ones’ lives from afar. Separated from their parents, siblings, children and spouses after leaving the Strip - for study or work – they have watched news of the Israeli assault with horror. Some have lost homes, relatives or both. Sameeha Elwan, who left Gaza City to study for her PhD in Perth, Australia, wrote on 29 July, "The fear and horror aches in every bone in my body. When I sleep at night, my mouth whispers prayers to my loved ones in Gaza, while my eyes well with tears over the loss of more children. I dream of my family, of a need to hide them somewhere, of confusion about where is safest, of broken stairs that prevent me from reaching my sister…and then I wake up to read messages of horror from my friends on Facebook."....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109153] [ 31-aug-2014 06:19 ECT ]

Head of Gaza bomb squad killed as 1,000 tons of Israeli munitions remain
Nora Barrows-Friedman
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August 13, 2014 - Six people were killed and six others seriously injured on Wednesday when an unexploded 500 kilogram Israeli missile blew up in Beit Lahiya, in northern Gaza, as weapons disposal experts were attempting to make it safe.
Bilal Muhammad al-Sultan, Rahed Taysir Ali al-Hom, Hazem Ahmad Abu Murad and Saeed Talal Salman were killed in the explosion.They were part of a small team of experts who defuse unexploded munitions and were working constantly around the Gaza Strip in the last month since Israel began its attacks on 7 July...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109152] [ 31-aug-2014 06:15 ECT ]

Britain 'discussed' US request to build Guantanamo-style prison on Diego Garcia after September 11 attacks, officials say
By Peter Foster

August 13, 2014 - Tony Blair's government discussed a US request for permission to use the British territory of Diego Garcia to house a Guantanamo Bay-style prison camp for up to 500 terrorist detainees, the Telegraph has learnt.Britain quickly rejected the Bush administration's idea on the grounds that the plan was impractical, but documents suggest the CIA may have still used the island to fly terror suspects to secret "black site" prisons around the world.The fresh details of US desire to use Diego Garcia in its counter-terror operations emerge as Britain faces renewed questioning over its own support for highly controversial CIA programmes in the years after September 11...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109151] [ 31-aug-2014 06:12 ECT ]

US Judge orders independent doctors to evaluate gravely ill Guantanamo hunger striker
Reprieve

August 13, 2014 - A US District Court judge today ordered that independent doctors be allowed into Guantanamo Bay to evaluate a long-time hunger striker whose health has deteriorated so much that there are now concerns for his life.In today’s hearing for Syrian Abu Wa'el Dhiab - cleared for release from the prison since 2009 and on continued hunger strike over his ongoing detention without charge or trial - Judge Gladys Kessler ordered that two independent doctors be allowed into the prison to evaluate him. Those doctors will also testify, along with a force-feeding expert, at a hearing scheduled for October 6, about the medical effects of the force-feedings on Mr Dhiab...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109150] [ 31-aug-2014 06:00 ECT ]

Water disaster hits every single person in Gaza
Ali Abunimah
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August 13, 2014 -Right now, none of the 1.8 million Palestinians living in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip has access to a safe and secure supply of water.
The water situation was already severe before Israel’s bombardment began on 7 July. But now water experts are calling it a disaster. Ninety percent of wells, wastewater treatment plants and desalination plants cannot operate due to power cuts and lack of fuel....Trying to maintain the flow of water to people has been incredibly dangerous. Seven water technicians were killed while on duty at the height of the Israeli attack when almost half of Gaza’s territory was declared a no-go zone....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109149] [ 31-aug-2014 05:54 ECT ]

Why Palestinian citizens of Israel are no longer safe
By Ron Gerlitz

August 13, 2014 - ....Since the onset of the war in Gaza, the scale of the assaults on Palestinian citizens of Israel has increased dramatically, as have their intensity. Today we find ourselves in a new and appalling chapter of relations between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel. The lengthy article in last Friday’s Haaretz weekend magazine (Hebrew) was a comprehensive and systematic account of the campaign of physical and verbal violence directed at Palestinian citizens, the campaign by the right wing to have Arab workers fired and the profound fear that prevails among them....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109148] [ 31-aug-2014 05:49 ECT ]

Nouri Al-Maliki's military overthrow of the constitution
Tareq Al-Hashimi

August 13, 2014 - ....Let us consider the Nouri Al-Maliki era to be extinct, never to return through any person or in any form. Let us learn a lesson from this mistake by refusing to switch to another Al-Maliki or any politician from his coalition and party because there is a possibility that Al-Maliki will try to communicate with his replacement so that he or she can also be remembered for their corruption and sectarian policies. We, the Iraqi people, did not revolt in all provinces only to repeat the experiences of Jaafari-Maliki in 2006. We revolted for a cause and we should continue to revolt until we see changes unfold on the ground. The road may be long but we needed to dispose of Al-Maliki in any case and this has been done....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109147] [ 31-aug-2014 05:44 ECT ]

Syria News - August 12, 2014
Local Coordination Committees of Syria
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August 12, 2014- By the end of Tuesday, the coordination committees were able to document 40 martyrs including 3 women, 2 children and 2 martyrs under torture: 13 martyres were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs; 10 in Aleppo; 9 in Homs; 4 in Idlib; 3 in Deir Ezzoe; 3 in Daraa and 2 Hama....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109146] [ 31-aug-2014 05:39 ECT ]

Iran and its Militias Back New Iraq Prime Minister
By: ISW Iraq Team, Jessica D. Lewis, and Kimberly Kagan

August 12, 2014 - The Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militia, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) decided to abandon support for Maliki. AAH released an official statement to express its support for the decision made by the National Alliance to appoint Haider al-Abadi for the Premiership over Nouri al-Maliki. There are also reports that Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr organization, will give a statement in support of Abadi today. A CoR member from the Badr bloc, Razaq Mhibis also stated his support for Abadi. Statements by these two organizations strongly indicate the Iranian attitude toward Maliki and Iraq’s government formation. AAH and the Badr organization are not likely to make such statements without top cover from Qassem Suleimani and the Iranian regime against Maliki....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109145] [ 31-aug-2014 05:26 ECT ]

Amnesty International Report Details Crimes by US/NATO Forces in Afghanistan
By: Kevin Gosztola

August 12, 2014 - Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed by United States and NATO military forces since 2001, but, according to Amnesty International, there have been only six cases in which the US military has "criminally prosecuted" officers for "unlawfully killing civilians."The human rights organization put out a report [PDF] containing ten cases of apparent war crimes, where proper investigations and justice for the victims have been absent. These cases involve instances of night raids by US Special Operations forces, air strikes, drone strikes and torture that have occurred within the past five years of the Afghanistan War....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109144] [ 31-aug-2014 05:24 ECT ]

Guantánamo prisoner to publish 'harrowing' memoirs
Alison Flood
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August 12, 2014 - Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian who has been detained in Guantánamo since 2002 despite never having been charged with a crime by the US, is to publish an account of his experiences next year, detailing the multiple forms of torture to which he has been subjected and "shatter[ing]" the secrecy that surrounds the Cuban prison. Slahi's book, which has just been acquired at auction, is the first diary to be released by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee, said publisher Canongate. Written in 2005, in his segregation cell, it started out as letters from the author to his lawyers, who fought for seven years to have the manuscript declassified. Parts still remain redacted...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109143] [ 31-aug-2014 05:19 ECT ]

Momentum grows for ICC action on Gaza
Daoud Kuttab

August 12, 2014 - As the sounds of gunfire in the Gaza Strip begin to cease, international human rights organizations, legal experts and political activists are speaking up about the need for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate whether war crimes were committed during the Gaza conflict this summer. The ICC, created by means of the 1998 Rome Statute with the aim of prosecuting individuals for war crimes and amended a few times, became legal in 2002. Legal experts and the ICC’s own bylaws say that it is a court of last resort. This means that the ICC will only intervene when a country is found to be unwilling or unable to carry out its own investigation....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109142] [ 31-aug-2014 05:15 ECT ]

The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture
By Ray McGovern

August 12, 2014 - John Rizzo, the CIA’s former Acting Counsel General, is feeling the heat for his role in blessing what President Barack Obama has now admitted was "torture" during the Bush/Cheney administration. Rizzo went on friendly Fox News to charge that the (still withheld) Senate Intelligence Committee investigation report on torture reflects a "Star Chamber proceeding" and accused some lawmakers of "craven backtracking," claiming that they had been briefed on the interrogation program years ago. Rizzo also revealed that he and other former CIA officials implicated in the torture scandal have found an ally of sorts in current CIA Director John Brennan, who was a senior aide to CIA Director George Tenet when the torture practices were implemented and who is now leading the rear-guard defense against the Senate report...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109141] [ 31-aug-2014 05:12 ECT ]

Gaza's Doctors Struggle to Provide Basic Care Amid Strikes on Ambulances, Health Workers, Hospitals
By Nora Barrows-Friedman
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August 12, 2014 - Along with the devastation of homes and livelihoods, Gaza is facing "an imminent health disaster," the United Nations says, because "critical supplies of medicines and disposables are almost depleted and damage and destruction of power supplies has left hospitals dependent on unreliable back-up generators."In addition to the lack of clean water and sanitation - as Gaza's sole power plant was bombed, debilitating sewage treatment systems and health infrastructure - the UN adds that Gaza is posed for "serious risks of outbreak of water-borne and communicable disease."The Gaza Ministry of Health reports that there have been 35 separate incidents of attacks on various medical institutions and health facilities...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109140] [ 31-aug-2014 05:09 ECT ]

False images used to ‘prove’ slavery, genital mutilation under ISIS
Wassim Nasr and Djamel Belayachi

August 12, 2014 - The savagery of ISIS jihadists rampaging through Syria and Iraq is well known. But dozens of photos circulating on social media networks and the media claiming to show the barbaric acts of the Islamist group are, in fact, fake.While ISIS has claimed responsibility for multiple acts of horrific violence, many of the shocking images published online and attributed to the jihadist group have actually been taken out of context and falsely labelled.The jihadists that fight under the banner of ISIS are spreading terror in Syria and Iraq. In areas they control, they have massacred prisoners and stoned women to death. Recently, the jihadist organisation has forced thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee after taking control of Mosul and Sinjar in the north of Iraq. ISIS has claimed responsibility for multiple acts of terrifying barbarism. Online and in the media, it’s possible to find dozens of horrifying images attributed to the jihadist group. Yet many of these are not what has been claimed...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109139] [ 31-aug-2014 05:02 ECT ]

Nowhere to Flee for Palestinians From Syria
Adam Coogle

August 12, 2014 - Nidal, a 36-year-old Palestinian, has been stranded in a Syrian village near the Jordanian border with four of his siblings since February. Jordan deported them, confiscating their identity documents, leaving them no option but to stay in a conflict zone. They rely on the charity of local residents to survive."I need my ID back so I can at least go further into Syria," he told Human Rights Watch by telephone in May. "I'm completely lost."
Nidal is one of many affected by Jordan's non-admission policy for Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria. Jordan turns away Palestinians at the country's borders and detains and deports Palestinians who manage to get in. We have documented 16 of these forcible deportations, and research by other groups indicates the number is well over 100, among them women and children...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109138] [ 31-aug-2014 04:59 ECT ]

U.S. Avoided Threat to Act on Israel’s Civilian Targeting
Gareth Porter

August 12, 2014 - United Nations officials and human rights organisations have characterised Israeli attacks on civilian targets during the IDF war on Gaza as violations of the laws of war.During the war, Israeli bombardment leveled whole urban neighbourhoods, leaving more than 10,000 houses destroyed and 30,000 damaged and killing 1,300 civilians, according to U.N. data. Israeli forces also struck six schools providing shelter to refugees under U.N. protection, killing at least 47 refugees and wounding more than 340.But the Barack Obama administration’s public posture during the war signaled to Israel that it would not be held accountable for such violation..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109137] [ 31-aug-2014 04:56 ECT ]

Obama Admits He Banned Only “Some” Of CIA’s Torture Techniques
By Jeffrey Kaye

August 12, 2014 - Forgive the tongue-in-cheek, but it is almost as if the only person who reads and responds to my work on torture is President Obama.There was a cascade of coverage of the President’s August 1 remarks concerning John Brennan and his defense of his embattled CIA chief, as Obama was also widely derided for his seeming defense of those who tortured "some folks" after 9/11. (Obama did not mention that theorder to torture came from the Oval Office.)"Well, at least he called the crimes out as 'torture," some observers noted. Others, including some in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), called for John Brennan’s resignation as CIA director after he admitted the CIA had spied on Congressional investigators who were writing a thousands-of-pages-long report on the CIA Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation program....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109136] [ 31-aug-2014 04:53 ECT ]

Still Tolerating Torture
By William Blum

August 12, 2014 - Since the "war on terror," the before , there was the argument pretense that Two of the things that governments tend to cover-up or lie about the most are assassinations and torture, both of which are widely looked upon as exceedingly immoral and unlawful, even uncivilized. Since the end of the Second World War the United States has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and has led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance and encouragement by American instructors, particularly in Latin America....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [109135] [ 31-aug-2014 04:47 ECT ]

The courage to refuse
Rory Fanning
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August 12, 2014 - THE NUMBERS are small, but there are Israeli military resisters actively fighting the occupation of Palestine within the borders of Israel. These draft-age teenagers face enormous pressure from their government, family and peers to perpetuate state racism and the siege of the Occupied Territories. Despite the pressure, these brave Israelis adhere to their conscience and stand for justice in a society that increasingly rejects it.In addition to supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestine from outside Israel involves standing in solidarity with those Israelis who find the courage to say, "I refuse." ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [109134] [ 31-aug-2014 04:42 ECT ]

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