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Articles Archives - March 2010
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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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Monday, March 8, 2010
Is Europe planning seal of approval for Israeli settlers?
Jonathan Cook, Dissident Voice 3/8/2010
      Israel Set to Join Club of Richest Nations
     An exclusive club of the world’s most developed countries is poised to admit Israel as a member even though, a confidential internal document indicates, doing so will amount to endorsing Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories.
     Israel has been told that its accession to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is all but assured when the 30 member states meet in May.
     But a draft OECD report concedes that Israel has breached one of the organisation’s key requirements on providing accurate and transparent data on its economic activity.
     The information supplied by Israel, the report notes, includes not only the economic activity of its citizens inside its recognised borders but also Jewish settlers who live in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan in violation of international law.
     Israel’s accession to the OECD on such terms threatens to severely embarrass many of the organisation’s member states, especially those in the European Union that are publicly committed to avoiding collusion with the occupation.
     The OECD report proposes that these legal difficulties may be circumvented by asking Israel to produce new statistics within a year of its accession excluding the settler population – even though, an OECD official has admitted, Israel would have the power to veto such a demand after it becomes a member.
     “The OECD seems to be so determined to get Israel through its door that it is prepared to cover up the crimes of the occupation,” said Shir Hever, a Jerusalem-based economist.
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Covert intelligence war?
Omayma Abdel-Latif, Al-Ahram Weekly 3/4/2010
      National security comes into focus in Lebanon as the US embassy in Beirut seeks information no foreign entity should have.
     A high-ranking Lebanese officer explained to As-Safir the significance of the American request: "It meant that the US could have the capacity to eavesdrop on cell phone calls, hamper calls, jam phone signals at a given location and locate any cellular phone."
     On 4 January 2010, US Ambassador to Lebanon Michele J Sison met with Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications Charbel Nahas. Their discussion focussed on Lebanon’s telecom sector, particularly the potential for the privatisation of telecommunications in Lebanon. Sison said that both the US government and the US private sector offered their support to Lebanon in addressing these important priorities. She also expressed the US government’s "desire to assist the government of Lebanon to achieve its many objectives and guarantee the security of [its] people".
     This week, Sison’s efforts to win a piece of Lebanon’s telecommunications cake must have been dealt a death blow following what has now been dubbed a "scandal". On 26 February, the daily As-Safir newspaper reported that the American embassy in Beirut submitted a letter to the office of the forensic investigation chief in the Internal Security Forces (ISF) headquarters on 1 April 2009 wherein the embassy reportedly requested that the ISF supply information on cellular network stations and their geographical locations, in addition to technical details pertaining to communication systems. As-Safir said that one of the two stations refused to supply the requested information unless requested by then telecommunications minister Gebran Bassil to do so. Bassil refused the request on national security grounds.
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Israeli Socialism and anti-Zionism
Moshe Machover, Israeli Occupation Archive 3/7/2010
      Israeli Socialism and anti-Zionism: Historical Tasks and Balance Sheet - A talk delivered by Moshe Machover on 28 February 2010 at the conference The Left in Palestine/The Palestinian Left, School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
     This talk is dedicated to the memory of my late friend and comrade, the Arab Marxist Jabra Nicola (1912–74).
     The terms “Right” and “Left” as used in Israel are misleading: they do not denote a socio-economic position (as they do elsewhere, especially in Europe). They denote attitude to Israeli policy towards Palestinians, towards war and peace.
     I will avoid this confusing usage. I will talk not about “left” but about socialism.
     My theme is the correlation – if you like, the dialectical relation – between the struggle for socialism and the struggle against Zionism.
     My main theses are two sides of one medal:
     1. In Israel the struggle for socialism must be part of a regional struggle; and it necessarily implies a struggle to overthrow Zionism.
     2. Conversely, a defensive struggle against the worst effects of Zionism can be waged on its own as a series of one-issue campaigns, by single-issue groupings; but Zionism cannot and will not be overthrown in this way. It can only be overthrown as part of a socialist transformation of the entire region, the Arab East. And it requires an organization set up according to this strategy....
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Amir, ten years old, abducted by Israeli soldiers from his bed
Electronic Intifada: 8 Mar 2010 - Amir smiled when I asked him to tell me his favorite color. Sitting in his family's living room last Thursday afternoon in the Old City of Hebron, the ten-year-old softly replied, "green." Hours after our interview Israeli soldiers would break into the house and snatch Amir from his bed. The Electronic Intifada contributor Nora Barrows-Friedman writes from the occupied West Bank.

"Palestinian cinema is a cause": an interview with Hany Abu-Assad
Electronic Intifada: 8 Mar 2010 - Nazareth-born filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad is best known internationally for his 2005 film Paradise Now about two young, attractive Palestinian men from Nablus in the occupied West Bank who are drawn into a suicide bombing mission in Tel Aviv. It was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The Electronic Intifada contributor Sabah Haider spoke with Hany Abu Assad about how his films are received, Palestinian cinema and the challenges of filmmaking.

random violence
In Gaza: 7 Mar 2010 - * the destruction begins as far as 700 metres from the border It was senseless, random, gratuitous violence against the farmers and their hopes.  Bulldozer treads dug through bean and onion crops, in zigs and zags, seemingly without direction.  Swaths of land were eaten by the military bulldozers’ blades, also seemingly randomly:  the wheat crop which might mature to waist high if not bulldozed was left to grow, but the calf-high beans and onions were mowed, not fully but insultingly so. The 100 or so olive trees that had escaped the winter 2008-2009 Israeli massacre of Gaza and prior and later military invasions this time went with the 4 towering military bulldozers and 3 tanks. Tracks spat out earth in unwieldy clumps, not to be worked again this year, difficult to calm and smooth next year, in an area (near, but still outside of the Israeli-imposed 300 metre no-go zone,...

Palestinian Revolutionaries on International Women's Day
Palestine Chronicle: 8 Mar 2010 - By Sukant Chandan (Sukant Chandan interviews Palestinian revolutionary Leila Khaled and Palestinian Gaza resident and revolutionary Shireen Said for International Women’s Day 2010) The Palestinian people's oppression continues primarily due to the financial, diplomatic and military support that the Zionist state receives from the USA, and secondly the acquiescence of pro-Western states in the region. After the fall of the Zionists state’s long lost brother – the Apartheid state of South Africa – the Palestinian struggle remains perhaps the leading and most potent anti-imperialist struggle in the world. Unsurprisingly therefore Palestinian women are a central example of what role women can play in the struggle to free themselves, their families, communities and their nation against imperialism and Zionism. Leila Khaled brought the Palestinian struggle to the world’s attention by means of two dramatic plane hijackings in 1969 and 1970 in which no-one but one of her own comrades was killed,...more

Kairos and Lent in the 'Holy Land'
Palestine Chronicle: 8 Mar 2010 - By Timothy Seidel Experiencing the Lenten season in Palestine is unique. It carries with it incredible feelings of closeness and concreteness as one visits sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem—the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected. Yet, those feelings of closeness are easily swallowed up by a sense of separation and forsakenness as one considers the current situation. In the recently released “Kairos Document,” Palestinian Christians take this situation as their starting point in challenging theological interpretations of those “who use the Bible to threaten our existence as Christian and Muslim Palestinians,” trying to “attach a biblical and theological legitimacy to the infringement of our rights.” Though Easter and its celebration of resurrection and new life defines Christianity, in a place like Palestine the season of Lent always seems more appropriate. Lent is a time of...more

Will Israel Spark New Wave of Suicide Bombing?
Palestine Chronicle: 8 Mar 2010 - By Stuart Littlewood – London 'The suicide bomber wrote that he began to live the day he came to know he was to die. Where did he get this passion to kill?' -- Mahesh Bhatt Here in the civilised West we hate suicide bombers with a passion. We’re taught that the proper way to blow fellow humans to smithereens is to do it from 40,000 feet. Or failing that, send Apache helicopter gun-ships at street level firing their laser-guided missiles and 30mm cannon. Or failing that, turn loose our main battle tanks to shred and vaporize the “enemy”, reduce their homes to rubble with DU shells and spread birth defects for generations to come. Nowadays we don’t even have to leave home to do it. We can train our really brainy chaps to steer armed drones to the target from the comfort of an armchair. B-52s, F-16s, Apaches, drones and...more

Articles Archives - March 2010

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