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Articles Archives - February 2012
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Israeli forces continue their campaign of widespread arrests in the occupied Palestinian territories - International Press Center photo

Saturday, February 18, 2012
Saving Khader Adnan’s life is saving our own soul
Richard Falk, Al Jazeera.com 2/17/2012
      The Palestinian prisoner's case is a microcosm of the unbearable cruelty of prolonged occupation.
     The world watches as tragedy unfolds beneath its gaze. Khader Adnan is entering his 61st day as a hunger striker in an Israeli prison, being held under an administrative detention order without trial, charges, or any indication of the evidence against him.
     From the outset of his brutal arrest in the middle of the night - in the presence of his wife and young daughters - he has been subject to the sort of inhumane and degrading treatment that is totally unlawful and morally inexcusable. Its only justification is to intimidate, if not terrify, Palestinians who have lived for 45 years under the yoke of an oppressive occupation. This occupation continuously whittles away at Palestinians' rights under international humanitarian law - especially their right to self-determination, which is encroached upon every time a new housing unit is added to the colonising settlements that dot the hilltops surrounding Jerusalem and the West Bank. Hundreds of Palestinians join hunger strike
     The case of Khader Adnan is a revealing microcosm of the unbearable cruelty of prolonged occupation. It draws a contrast in the West between the dignity of an Israeli prisoner and the steadfast refusal to heed the abuse of thousands of Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails through court sentence or administrative order.
     Mr Adnan's father poignantly highlighted this contrast a few days ago by referring to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas in captivity for several years and recently released in good health: "Where are the mother and father of Gilad Shalit? Do they not feel for me in this humanitarian case? Where are they?"....
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Open letter to EU’s Ashton after statement on Khader Adnan
Ali Abunimah, Ma’an News Agency 2/18/2012
      Dear Ms. Ashton,
     Forty-eight hours after my colleague David Cronin first requested it, your spokespersons found the time to issue a statement on the plight of Khader Adnan, who could die at any moment, shackled to his bed, now in his 62nd day of hunger strike against his arbitrary detention by Israel.
     Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Carter Center, and numerous civil society groups all over the world have called for Israel to immediately release or charge Mr. Adnan, as well as the more than 300 other “administrative detainees” including 21 elected members of the Palestinian legislative council currently being held by Israel.
     But you didn’t do that. Instead, you washed your hands of Khader Adnan, and to the extent that Khader Adnan has become a symbol of Palestinians’ desperate determination to stand up for their rights against overwhelming Israeli oppression, you washed your hands of all Palestinians too.
     As Adnan wrote weeks ago:
     “The Israeli occupation has gone to extremes against our people, especially prisoners. I have been humiliated, beaten, and harassed by interrogators for no reason, and thus I swore to God I would fight the policy of administrative detention to which I and hundreds of my fellow prisoners fell prey.”
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We’ve seen the threats against Iran before
Phyllis Bennis, Al Jazeera.com 2/18/2012
      Although political brinkmanship with Iran is nothing new, escalating tensions do not bode well for the region.
     Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Here we go again with the Iran hysteria. It is tempting to think this time will be just like previous periods of sabre rattling against Iran. But there are significant new dangers. The Arab Spring, Israel's position, changes in the regional and global balance of forces, and national election campaigns, all point to this round of anti-Iranian hysteria posing potentially graver risks than five or six years ago.
     We have seen all this before. The US ratchets up its rhetoric, Israel threatens a military attack, escalating sanctions bite harder on the Iranian people, Iran refuses to back down on uranium enrichment. But at the same time, top US military and intelligence officials actually admit Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, is not building a nuclear weapon, and has not decided whether to even begin a building process.
     There is certainly a big dose of déjà vu. In 2004 Israel's prime minister denounced the international community for not doing enough to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. In 2005 the Israeli military was reported to "be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran". In 2006 the House Armed Services Committee issued a report drafted by one congressional staffer (an aide to hard-line pro-war John Bolton, then US ambassador to the UN), claiming that Iran was enriching uranium to weapons-grade 90 per cent. That same year a different Israeli prime minister publicly threatened a military strike against Iran. In 2008, George W Bush visited Israel to reassure them that "all options" remained on the table.
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fish hiya: no life
In Gaza: 18 Feb 2012 - If these were “normal” circumstances, we could deal with it. I remember not long ago when we would complain because the power was out for 12 hours a day. Now I long for those days. These aren’t normal times, these are worse than even “shitty” times. This is no life. Every day, every hour, I think: what time is the power coming, how long has it been off now? When will the water come? The drinking water truck has stopped coming around. The people who purify the water can’t do so without electricity, and they can’t deliver the water without gas. We’re not asking for a lot: water and electricity. Who hears our voices? Does anyone? This was the main message in our conversation, but of course other complaints escaped as well: how incredibly boring and disorienting it is to have almost entire days, every day, without power. No computers,...more

Obsession with Israel: Variegated Trojan Horse
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Feb 2012 - By Jamil Toubbeh 'Obsession with Israel' is akin to wearing the Stars and Stripes on one's lapel; while both may be symbols of commitments to causes, the causes, by virtue of their uniqueness, are rarely complementary and if by chance they are, their individual objectives and outcomes are usually skewed to one or the other cause(s). The reason: in a democracy national interests and sovereignty are unique and supreme. This concept is best articulated in George Washington’s enduring statement in his historic Farewell Address, delivered more than 150 years before the establishment of the self-proclaimed Jewish State, aka Israeli. Washington said: “[A] passionate attachment of one Nation for another provides a variety of evils...facilitating the illusion of an imaginary interest, in cases where no common interests exists; and infusing into one the enemies of the other, betrays the former to participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter". The...more

War 'Option': You Will Comply or Else
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Feb 2012 - By Ron Forthofer Madeleine Albright, former U.S. ambassador to the UN and former Secretary of State in the Clinton administration, once asked General Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?" Albright's statement nicely captures the U.S. approach to dealing with troublesome leaders. By troublesome, I mean those who have the temerity to oppose U.S. positions and who, at the same time, are far too weak to pose a real military threat to the U.S. Examples of nations that had such troublesome leaders include Panama, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The leaders of Syria and Iran are also currently in the crosshairs. Note the contrast between Albright's words and those of President Eisenhower in his "Cross of Iron" speech in 1953. Eisenhower addressed the idea of regime change when he said:...more

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