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Articles Archives - September 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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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
We Are Living Through an Exceptional Moment in Human History
Fidel Castro Ruz, Cuba Debate, Information Clearing House 9/15/2010
      Sep 10, 2010 -- The deadlines established by the United Nations Security Council for Iran to yield to the demands imposed by the United States regarding nuclear research and uranium enrichment for medical purposes and to generate electricity will be expiring in these days.
     This is the only nuclear use that has been documented in Iran.
     The fear that Iran is looking forward to producing nuclear weapons is only based on an assumption.
     With regard to this delicate issue, the United States and its western allies, among them two of the five nuclear powers with veto power -France and the United Kingdom- supported by the richest and most developed capitalist powers of the world, have promoted an increasing number of sanctions against Iran, a rich, oil-producing Muslim country. Today, the measures adopted include the inspection of Iran’s merchant vessels and severe economic sanctions aimed at suffocating its economy.
     I have been following very closely the grave dangers that may result from that situation, because if a war breaks out in that region, it could very quickly go nuclear, and this will have lethal consequences for the rest of the planet.
     In referring to such danger I was not looking for publicity or sensationalism. I just wanted to warn the world public opinion hoping that, being advised of such grave danger it could contribute to avoid it.
     At least we have managed to draw attention to a problem that was hardly mentioned by the big world media.
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’In Whose Name Do They Talk?’
Laila El-Haddad, AlJazeera 9/14/2010
      Gazans share their views on the talks taking place between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
     A second round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are taking place under the auspices of Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Washington says it hopes the talks will lead to an agreement within a year.
     But Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, are notably absent from the discussions and George Mitchell, the US' Middle East envoy, has said that they will play no role.
     Al Jazeera asked Palestinians in Gaza to share their views on the negotiations.
     Ola Anan, 25, computer engineer: "When people started to talk about negotiations and going back to the peace process and all, I thought, wait a minute, who took our opinion before going there? I mean, Mahmoud Abbas is now a president who is out of his presidential term. So in whose name is he talking? In the name of Palestinians? I don't think so.
     People here in Gaza basically don't have an idea what's going on or about what agenda the Palestinian delegation are going to talk. So we have no interest and we have no news about that. Basically no one took our opinion before going there.
     I really doubt how the Americans can trust Mahmoud Abbas as being a representative of the Palestinian people in general.
     Or maybe they plan to get the Gaza Strip out of the Palestinian Territories? I don't know...."
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How Smart Are the Iran Sanctions?
Joy Gordon, Antiwar.com 9/15/2010
      In the face of the rising hysteria regarding Iran’s development of its nuclear power facilities, there is talk of preemptive military strikes against Iran. Meanwhile, sanctions on Iran – by both the UN Security Council and the United States – have become increasingly harsh. And to the extent they are successful, these sanctions will harm the wrong people and have little impact on the political leadership.
     Yet another round of sanctions doesn’t seem to have caused Iran to buckle. After the Security Council imposed new sanctions in June, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad compared the new resolutions to “a used handkerchief that should be thrown in the waste bin,” and Iran’s envoy to the IAEA said that Iran’s nuclear enrichment program “will not be suspended, even for a second.”
     Such responses are not surprising. In general sanctions do not work, in any regard. Almost invariably, they impact the poorest and most vulnerable, while the political and military leaders are insulated from their impact. Although the United States often views itself as providing a kind of moral leadership by sanctioning other nations, that view is almost never shared by the targeted population. Instead, sanctions trigger resentment and resistance among the population and produce greater support for the government in the face of attacks from outside.
     How Smart Is “Smart”?
     The “smart sanctions” movement in the 1990s sought to focus on weapons, or the assets of political and military leaders, without harming the population as a whole. The U.S. claim to support only “smart sanctions” has certainly not been true with Iran....
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Washington peace talks: democracy need not apply
Electronic Intifada: 15 Sep 2010 - The image of the five men attending peace talks at the White House can easily be dissected as the following: a dictator, a monarch, a puppet and two heads of state responsible for the region's only military occupations -- not the best ingredients for making world peace. Matthew Cassel comments.more

Israeli discrimination drives kids from school
Electronic Intifada: 15 Sep 2010 - Due to the endemic poverty in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank, hundreds of Palestinian children are forced on to the streets by parents who are living below the poverty level in a desperate bid to eke out a few extra dollars to help their families survive.more

Two steps back for Palestinians in Lebanon
Electronic Intifada: 15 Sep 2010 - "Everyone here works without a permit," said Shatila refugee camp resident Mohammed Khalife. "Being legal and having a work permit is the strange thing, not the other way around."more

Terror In The Village That Became A Minefield
Palestine Monitor: 15 Sep 2010 - For many villages in Area C, landmines have become a regular feature of daily life. Israeli military training zones occupy nearly 30% of the land, often based around civilian areas, leaving unexploded ordnance (UXO) that cause horrific injuries to local residents. We spent a few days with the victims to see how they live with the constant terror. Rafat Al-Rushayida is 24, he has lived his whole life in the bedouin village east of Bethlehem that shares his name. Al-Rushayida has played host to a military training zone since 1967, which has now expanded into 50% of the village's land. He and four young friends showed us what the soldiers left behind. If children find a bomb it is custom to surround it with rocks as a warning to others. / Rafat Al-Rushayida with a phosphorous grenade. / / Local children with an unexploded rocket. / / / Awad Al-Rushayida, father of Rafat, was crippled by...more

America's 'Freeze' Still Favors Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Sep 2010 - By James Gundun - Washington, D.C. At first glance Washington's sudden support for extending Israel's settlement 'freeze' in the West Bank appears to be typical 11th hour positioning at Sharm el-Sheikh. Having delayed until the final moments in hope of reaching a compromise with the Palestinian Authority (PA), US officials must now rush to strike a deal before September 26th, when the “freeze” expires and direct negotiations between Israel and the PA potentially collapse. President Barack Obama initiated the call for an extension of the “freeze” on September 10th, followed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday and US envoy George Mitchell on Tuesday. That America’s credibility in the Middle East, along with Obama’s, hangs in the balance has provided the necessary fuel to break Washington’s pro-Israel stance. With one indirect round of negotiations already scuttled and widespread pessimism harassing the current negotiations, the White House cannot afford...more

The Tides of September
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Sep 2010 - By George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C. For many Christians and Muslims, whether American or Arab, particularly Palestinian, the month of September brings back depressing memories that have affected their lives and regrettably shaped their attitudes toward each other, drastically and often negatively. Even Israelis or Jews were equally marred by the actions of their extremists, if not their government. Twenty-eight years ago this week (September 18) Lebanese Christian militiamen, with the assistance and protection of Israeli armed forces who had occupied southern Lebanon, under the leadership of then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, overran two Palestinian refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut to mistakenly avenge the assassination of their leader Bashir Gemayel, Lebanon’s president-elect. (Lebanon has yet to identify the culprit who assassinated Gemayel). As a result, hundreds of innocent civilians were murdered in the three-day “orgy of rape and slaughter, which is considered the bloodiest single incident of...more

Hate Mongers among Us
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Sep 2010 - By Jeff Gates Hate is a harsh word. As the counterpoint to love, hate reigns supreme among those emotions that the faith traditions seek to expunge from the human heart. Hate we’re told is the face of evil seen in plumes of smoke and ash on 911. Yet hate also serves a purpose for those adept at catalyzing conflicts. In the aftermath of that horrific event, hate we’re assured is a desired emotional state. Yet induced hate led us into two unwinnable wars. Hate may yet take us into Iran. Or Pakistan. That hate is also bankrupting us both financially and psychologically. As the “how” of hate mongering becomes transparent, its common source will become apparent. With transparency comes accountability. That’s when you can watch for hate to emerge yet again to shield those who hide behind the toxic charge of “anti-Semitism.” With the shared knowledge of how hate is...more

Palestinians Must Start again
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Sep 2010 - By Stuart Littlewood – London So criminal within itself, it flinches from upholding the rule of international law. So corrupt, it happily outsources its foreign policy to terrorists in Tel Aviv. The idea that America acts as an honest broker for peace between its fellow cut-throat Israel and their victim, Palestine, on whose neck the Zionist jackboot is firmly planted, is a joke that is only funny in the hysterical sense. The idea that any country, let alone America, would promote talks where one party is expected to make concessions to another which is bent on land-theft and whose government can only survive if it continues to defy international law, is madness. But Obama is up for it. Why did Palestinian leaders allow themselves to be sucked into this instead of going over America's head to the UN and campaigning intelligently for implementation of the rulings the world community had...more

The Salesman – A Poem
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Sep 2010 - By George Polley A manufacturer's rep at a cluster bomb trade show explains on camera how these weapons are designed to avoid civilian targets and focus only on military ones seen from thousands of feet above. He looks into the camera's eye and says in all seriousness, like a man delivering a sermon that “these weapons are very effective,” and are for sale to anyone with cash and the proper credentials”, as if the transaction is the kind of behavior that ordinary, sensible people engage in every day. Canisters filled with violence are marketed like the latest model toaster, very effective in providing toast, and without the cleanup the older models required. And they do provide toast ... in a way. What does this say about us as a species, as a people, as individual men and women, parents and grandparents? What does this say about you, about me? - George...more

Freedom Flotilla: From the other side
Tales to Tell: 13 Sep 2010 - Originally posted as an author guest post at www.plutobooks.com, Originally posted as an author guest post at www.plutobooks.com , On Sunday evening, May 30th, at 10.30pm, I was in bed reading. In bed with me was my mobile phone; it had taken me several days to understand how Twitter worked and set it up so I could receive FreeGaza flotilla updates, but I’d finally achieved it. Earlier in the day I’d spoken at a Transition Town event locally, taking advantage of a crowd to ask for people to do the same, to go online that night and witness the journey of the Freedom Flotilla, with a particular concern for 8am Monday morning when the boats would reach Gaza waters. When the Israeli navy had rammed and stolen FreeGaza boats in the past, it had waited until Gaza waters, daily occupied by its gunboats which weekly kill, injure and kidnap Gaza fishermen.,...more

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