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Articles Archives - February 2011
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Israeli forces continue their campaign of widespread arrests in the occupied Palestinian territories - International Press Center photo

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Counter-revolution brought to you by ...
By Pepe Escobar, Asia Times 2/8/2011
      Historically, what Washington always really feared is Arab nationalism, not crackpot self-made jihadis.
     It will be a long, winding, treacherous and perhaps bloody road before the popular Egyptian revolution even dreams of approaching the post-Suharto Indonesian model (the largest, most plural democracy in a Muslim-majority country) or the current Turkish model (also sanctioned at the ballot box).
     As predicted (Rage, rage against the counter-revolution - Asia Times Online, February 1) the counter-revolution is on, and brought by the usual suspects; the Egyptian army; Mubarakism's comprador elites; and the triad of Washington, Tel Aviv and European capitals.
     After more than two weeks of protests on the streets of Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak, this is what the White House's "orderly transition" is all about - with Washington still playing all sides even as the Egyptian street smashed the mirror and defied for good the "stability"/terror imposed on it by the dark side.
     The counter-revolution goes way beyond comments by Frank Wisner, a United States Central Intelligence Agency/Wall Street asset who is US President Barack Obama's secret agent to Cairo and a personal friend of the Egyptian president, on the desirability of Mubarak stay and supervise the transition.
     It comes across almost casually as Robert Springborg, professor of national security affairs at the US Naval Postgraduate School, tells Reuters, "The military will engineer a succession. The West - the US and the EU [European Union] - are working to that end. We are working closely with the military ... to ensure a continuation of a dominant role of the military in the society, the polity and the economy." Translation; erase the people to ensure "stability".
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Did Israel Provoke Increase in Rockets to Justify Operation Cast Lead?
Mitchell Plitnick, Palestine Note 2/9/2011
      Prior to Operation Cast Lead, the devastating Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008-09, there had been six months of a truce which both sides claimed the other did not maintain in good faith. Still, the truce endured.
     When Israel escalated the tensions on November 4, 2008, killing six Hamas men in an operation Israel said was meant to thwart a tunnel Hamas was building to abduct more Israeli soldiers, some people felt that Israel was intentionally raising the stakes because the truce was holding and Hamas was fortifying its position in Gaza.
     Therefore, the thinking went, Israel struck hard at Hamas with an excuse knowing that Hamas would feel it had no choice but to retaliate.
     Well, that line of thinking got quite a boost when Wikileaks released a cable earlier this week containing an American report on a meeting with Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak. Here is the relevant passage:
     3. (S) Regarding the Tahdiya, Hacham said Barak stressed that while it was not permanent, for the time being it was holding. There have been a number of violations of the ceasefire on the Gaza side, but Palestinian factions other than Hamas were responsible. Hacham said the Israelis assess that Hamas is making a serious effort to convince the other factions not to launch rockets or mortars. Israel remains concerned by Hamas' ongoing efforts to use the Tahdiya to increase their strength, and at some point, military action will have to be put back on the table. The Israelis reluctantly admit that the Tahdiya has served to further consolidate Hamas' grip on Gaza, but it has brought a large measure of peace and quiet to Israeli communities near Gaza.
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Pollard Espionage Ring Still Unfolding
Grant Smith, Antiwar.com 2/9/2011
      Israel sent over its top spies to pick up American taxpayer-funded highly enriched uranium from Shapiro, a devout Israel supporter and president of a local Zionist Organization of America chapter.
     Almost one year ago Victor Gilinsky and Roger J. Mattson penned the stunning article “Revisiting the NUMEC Affair” in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. It describes how in the 1960s Israeli agents and their U.S. collaborators stole highly enriched uranium from the Pennsylvania NUMEC plant for Israel’s first atomic weapons.
     The two former Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials’ exposé reveals how 337 kilograms of material, enough for several weapons, made their way into Israel’s Dimona nuclear weapons facility likely packed in the same sealed containers as lawful radioactive agricultural and scientific equipment shipments. It cites a secret CIA diversion briefing held at the NRC, credible official audits of materials lost to processing waste and absorption versus diversion, accounts of CIA recovery in Israel of HEU traces matching the Portsmouth signature of NUMEC’s government-supplied uranium, and the plant owner’s deep and ongoing ties to Israeli intelligence case officers and suspicious activities.
     Inadvertently, these expert nuclear diversion researchers make a very strong case against releasing Jonathan J. Pollard, currently sentenced to life in prison for spying for Israel. In 1986 espionage investigators discovered and alerted the press that Pollard’s handler, Rafael Eitan, shared the same birth date as a supposed “chemist, Ministry of Defense, Israel” who visited NUMEC on Sept. 10, 1968, as part of a “four- man team.” But it is now clear that the entirety of the Israeli spy network of agents and operations has not yet been fully revealed.
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The ascent of the Palestinian pharaoh
Electronic Intifada: 9 Feb 2011 - Economic dependency and an oppressive security state is the recipe that many dictatorial, one-person, or one-party regimes apply across the region. This model was followed by the once American-supported, and then American-deposed Saddam Hussein, to Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, who was first a pariah in the West and then became its darling, to Tunisia's Zine El Abedine Ben Ali who was overthrown by his people, among others. While the Egyptian people stand steadfast in an effort to overthrow their own Pharoah, a similar "pharoah regime" is steadily being built for Palestinians in the West Bank.more

Despite PA repression, Palestinians rally for Egypt
Electronic Intifada: 9 Feb 2011 - In the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah last weekend, security forces belonging to the Palestinian Authority attempted to pacify a protest of 2,000 persons.more

From Egypt to Palestine: U.S. Corporation supplies tear gas in order to violently repress protesters
Palestine Monitor: 9 Feb 2011 - Tear gas is one of the many products that American allies in the Middle East import from U.S. corporations. Used primarily to suppress protests, Egyptian, Tunisian and Israeli security forces all employ tear gas manufactured and shipped from Combined Systems Inc., a U.S. corporation based in Jamestown Pennsylvania. Tear gas is a seriously dangerous chemical used to disperse crowds, however many deaths and serious injuries have been caused by the military's use and misuse of the product. Adalah-New York, a U.S.-based campaign to boycott Israel, is calling upon U.S. citizens to pressure their government to end support for such undemocratic and inhumane policies. An Israeli and American flag fly next to each other in front of CSI headquarters in Jamestown, PA Due to the massive amount of economic assistance provided to Israel and Egypt by the U.S. government, most of which comes in the form of military aid, it is...more

Netanyahu Must Go Now
Palestine Chronicle: 9 Feb 2011 - By George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C. Why is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (and many other Israelis) behaving like an ostrich? He is digging his head in the sand and wondering why the Egyptian uprising, triggered by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, has engulfed the Middle East and posed a threat to Israel. Netanyahu and his extreme right-wing cabinet may now be regretting their failure to push harder or, at least, be more accommodating in reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinian National Authority. All they had to do was to comply with international law and refrain from expanding colonies in the Occupied Territories. This has gone on for the last 43 years without much ado from western powers, especially the US. The Israeli media has underlined the fact that the Israelis have been "terrified" since January 25, when the Egyptian uprising broke out, much to everyone's surprise. These...more

It’s Love-All in the Blame Game
Dissident Voice: 9 Feb 2011 - U.S. and Swiss officials are reportedly meeting in secret to work out details of a possible extradition exchange of film director Roman Polanksi for ex-U.S. President George W. Bush. Bush recently canceled his planned February 12 talk to a Swiss group after international organizations pressured the Swiss government to detain Bush on charges of torture and other human rights violations. Last year Swiss authorities refused a request by U.S. officials to send Roman Polanski back to California to face decades-old rape charges. Vigilantes on both sides of the Atlantic have been left frustrated by this stalemate. “Why should criminals be allowed to go free simply by avoiding the jurisdictions where they committed their crimes?” wondered Bernard Schittkopf, legal counsel for many ex-Nazis brought back from foreign hidey-holes to face justice in Israel or The Hague. Bush told an interviewer last week that he was through with politics. “Hell, after invading...more

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