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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

Friday, February 24, 2012
When it is illegal to use your front door: Freedom of movement in Al Khalil
Andreas, International Solidarity Movement 2/23/2012
      Al-Khalil (Hebron) is a divided city. As a result of the Oslo agreements negotiated in the 1990s – the people of Al Khalil became familiar with two new terms – H1 and H2. H1 refers to 80% of the city, which is officially under control of the Palestinian Authority, while H2 makes up the remaining 20% and falls under full Israeli military control. In area H2 Palestinians are daily exposed to human rights violations to an extent that can hardly be overestated. Israel severely restricts Palestinian freedom of movement in H2 in the name of ”separation,” but in practice this is a policy of segregation.
     Passing through Checkpoint 56, one of eleven permantly staffed checkpoints betweeen H1 and H2, the consequences of this policy can be heard, seen, and smelled. Passing through the checkpoint, the scents, sounds and sights of the vibrant commercial city center give way to a deserted area where the only people to be seen are a few settlers strolling down emptied streets and Israeli soldiers posted on rooftoops and street corners.
     Punishing the victims
     According to the latest UN report on freedom of movement in the West Bank, there are 90 different closure obstacles in the H2-area, that all interfere with freedom of movement for the Palestinians living in or having errands in H2. Closure obstacles can be staffed checkpoints, roadblocks, electric fences with barbed wire, and more. Along with these closures, Israel has imposed a ban on all Palestinian vehicular traffic on Shuhada street, which was once the vibrant main street – connecting the North with West of Al-Khalil. In large sections of Shuhada Street, the Israeli army also enforces a ban on pedestrian traffic.
     The Oslo Agreement gave Israel the chance to normalize and justify military emergency conditions and zones, already in place since 1994. That year a known member of the settler community of Khalil, Baruch Goldstein, walked fully armed into the Ibrahami Mosque and killed 29 people – injuring a over 100.... -- See also: When it is illegal to use your front door: Freedom of movement in Al Khalil and Villagers: Israeli forces bulldoze olive trees on Hebron land
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What Really Happened in the 'Yom Kippur' War?
Israel Shamir, CounterPunch 2/22/2012
      A CounterPunch Exclusive: Collusion and Betrayal on the Suez Canal
     Here in Moscow I recently received a dark-blue folder dated 1975. It contains one of the most well-buried secrets of Middle Eastern and of US diplomacy.
     The secret file, written by the Soviet Ambassador in Cairo, Vladimir M. Vinogradov, apparently a draft for a memorandum addressed to the Soviet politbureau, describes the 1973 October War as a collusive enterprise between US, Egyptian and Israeli leaders, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger.
     If you are an Egyptian reader this revelation is likely to upset you. I, an Israeli who fought the Egyptians in the 1973 war, was equally upset and distressed, – yet still excited by the discovery. For an American it is likely to come as a shock. According to the Vinogradov memo (to be published by us in full in the Russian weekly Expert next Monday), Anwar al-Sadat, holder of the titles of President, Prime Minister, ASU Chairman, Chief Commander, Supreme Military Ruler, entered into conspiracy with the Israelis, betrayed his ally Syria, condemned the Syrian army to destruction and Damascus to bombardment, allowed General Sharon’s tanks to cross without hindrance to the western bank of the Suez Canal, and actually planned a defeat of the Egyptian troops in the October War.
     Egyptian soldiers and officers bravely and successfully fought the Israeli enemy – too successfully for Sadat’s liking as he began the war in order to allow for the US comeback to the Middle East.
     He was not the only conspirator: according to Vinogradov, the grandmotherly Golda Meir knowingly sacrificed two thousand of Israel’s best fighters – she possibly thought fewer would be killed — in order to give Sadat his moment of glory and to let the US secure its positions in the Middle East....
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Iran, the IAEA and the Parchin Site
Gareth Porter, CounterPunch 2/23/2012
      The failure of a mission by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to get Iranian permission to visit a military testing site mentioned in its latest report has been interpreted in media coverage as a stall to avoid the discovery of confirming evidence of past work on nuclear weapons.
     But the history of Iranian cooperation with the IAEA on carrying out inspections at the Parchin military testing centre, as well as a previous IAEA-Iran work programme agreement, suggests that Iran is keeping permission for such a visit as bargaining leverage to negotiate a better deal with the agency.
     The IAEA statement Wednesday emphasised the fact that the mission to Tehran had been denied permission to visit the site at Parchin. That prompted Associated Press correspondent in Vienna George Jahn to called Iran’s refusal to agree to an IAEA visit to Parchin “stonewalling” and evidence of “hard line resistance” to international pressure on its nuclear programme.
     International Herald Tribune blogger Harvey Morris wrote that Iran’s strategy was to “play for time”.
     But access to Parchin was discussed as part of broader negotiations on what the IAEA statement called a “document facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues” in regard to “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program. The negotiations were focused on what cooperation the IAEA is demanding and what the agency is ready to offer in return for that cooperation.
     Judging from past negotiations between Iran and the IAEA, Iran is ready to offer access to Parchin as well as other sites requested by the agency as part of an agreement under which the IAEA would stop accusing Iran of carrying out covert nuclear weapons experiments.
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Asking Israel why it tortured my friend
Electronic Intifada: 24 Feb 2012 - Joy Ellison Chicago 25 February 2012 When I heard that Israeli Sergeant Benjamin Anthony would be speaking at DePaul University in Chicago yesterday, I had one question for him: why did its army torture my friend?more

"UN must prosecute Israel for war crimes," says Bloody Sunday lawyer
Electronic Intifada: 24 Feb 2012 - Adri Nieuwhof Geneva 24 February 2012 Michael Mansfield, a juror for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, talks about the tribunal’s shadow report documenting Israel’s apartheid policies that tears apart Israel’s report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.more

Gaza's Race Car Students 'Inspirational'
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Feb 2012 - By Stuart Littlewood Imagine a handful of engineering students imprisoned in the tiny Gaza enclave taking on the cream of Europe's technical universities in a competition to build a race car and compete with it. They did it last year. And they’re planning to do it again this year – at least that’s what their students’ union tells me, and I’ve been trying to get confirmation. Formula Student (FS) is a challenge to university students around the world to design and build a single-seat racing car, which they must then put through its paces at the Silverstone Circuit in the UK in a series of static and dynamic tests. The aim is to inspire young people and boost skills in advanced engineering. In Europe the competition is run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineer (IMechE). America has a similar student competition run by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Students...more

'Most Gifted Foreign Correspondent in a Generation'
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Feb 2012 - By Ralph Nader Anthony Shadid, called the 'most gifted foreign correspondent in a generation' by his then Washington Post colleague, Rajiv Chandrasekaran (author of the widely heralded book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City"), didn't really need a byline. For anyone who knew of his peerless, unique reports from the Middle East would read them and just know they were a Shadid special. Alas, there will be no more Shadid reports and features from the streets, alleys, souks, homes, hospitals, workplaces and cultures of the Arab countries. For on an assignment from The New York Times in a dangerous, mountainous area of Syria last week, this humble, brilliant, nuanced, generous, honest, brave double-Pulitzer-Prize winner (with another one likely on the way) died from an apparent asthma attack together with severe allergic reactions and exhaustion. Mr. Shadid, only 43, with by a wife and two children, never wanted to be a...more

Belarus and Venezuela: Building the Multi-polar World
Dissident Voice: 24 Feb 2012 - All over planet millions of people die of hunger every year. It is not a secret. Our media agencies tell us such facts quite often. Speaking about global inequality is not taboo in Western liberal democracies. To state that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer is to repeat a cliché, a platitude of whose truth almost none are unaware. But the structural causes of poverty are rarely addressed in the Western press. Why, for example, if capitalism is the best of all possible socio-economic systems, do most of the people on the planet live in poverty? We are told that developing countries have dragged their populations out of poverty by opening up their markets to direct foreign investment. Rather than reining in the excesses of capitalism, then, intensifying its expansion is, many would argue, the solution to poverty. But if that is the case, why...more

Tunisia: Moderate Political Islam Eschews Violence
Dissident Voice: 24 Feb 2012 - The world of journalism and that of the broader reading public suffered a major loss last week with the death of Anthony Shadid in Syria. Shadid one of the most daring, and daringly honest, journalists in the world succumbed to an asthma attack at the age of 43 last Thursday while on assignment for the New York Times . Before he died he sent this story which appeared in the NYT 2-18-2012 two days after his death. It is important to discuss and evaluate the story as it reveals the complexity of modern political Islam and upends many current false and bigoted notions being spread in the US and Europe. The story revolves around the return to Tunis of Said Ferjani, a self educated Islamic politician, who lived in the U.K. for 22 years and is a member of the Ennanah Party — an Islamic political party that won the recent...more

Articles Archives - February 2012

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